Statement: I know.
- Is it true?
Yes, seems true to some extent, and in some situations.
- Can I absolutely know it is true?
No. (I also cannot know whether it is in my highest interest to know or not, or have a sense of knowing or not.)
- What happens when I believe that thought?
- I feel certain about a particular story. It feels solid, substantial. Also, it feels like its own world, something that cannot be touched by what is outside of it.
- At the same time, it feels confined, narrow, contracted. There is a sense of isolation. I am right, and others either agree and are also right and on my side, or disagree and are wrong and not on my side. It also isolates me from exploring different stories. Those stories also become Other, and a terrain I don’t want to know or be exposed to, other than to find counter arguments to them.
- There is a worry about stories that contradict this one. I feel I need to prepare counter arguments, even before those stories come up. And when they do, it feels threatening. It threatens the safe, comfortable stability of the truth of the story. I threatens a sense of me being right.
Where and how do I experience it in the body?
- There is a sense of solidity and opaqueness of the body, especially in the chest area. (Almost as armor.) There is also a more shallow breath, and some muscle tension, especially when I anticipate that the story is threatened, or it is.
How do I treat myself when I have that story?
- As right. In a privileged situation. Knowing better than others. Also, in a precarious situation since the story may be challenged from others or even myself.
How do I treat others?
- As right or wrong, allies or Others. As someone I know more than. As someone who may challenge my story, try to pull it down, and me with it. As someone to be on guard against, because even those who (seem to) agree now may change their mind any moment. As someone I am separate from, because of that.
When did I first have that thought?
- Probably early on. It may have been when those around me attached to a story, acting as if it was true, and I found that story in myself as well. Adults around me had a story, acting as if other stories were wrong, and I shared their story (the smart thing to do, obviously), so I too must be right. They act as if a story is true, and other stories are wrong, and as if it is the right thing to have that particular and correct story, so I take their cue and take on that story as true as well (even if it doesn’t feel quite right to do so).
What am I afraid may happen if I let go of that story?
- I am afraid I will lose my bearings. Drift. Have no way of orienting and functioning in the world. Is that true? Imagine you don’t have that story. Is what you fear likely to happen? No.
- Who would you be without that story?
Open. Receptive. Playful. Free to play with and explore any story that may come up, from others or myself. Free to explore the limited truth in each one. Free to be receptive to others who cling to particular stories. Free to meet them where they are, with understanding, and also see the truth in other stories.
- I don’t know.
Yes, that is as or more true than the initial statement. Any story is only a story. It is at best a question about the world, which may help in a practical way to orient in the world. But even if it is very helpful, in some situations and at some times, it does not mean it is “true”. Any knowing is always provisional, up for revision. Anything coming from stories, or reflected in stories, is not an absolute knowing.
- My thinking knows.
Yes, that is definitely true. Knowing is only a story created by thinking. My thinking is what makes it appear as if there is knowing, first by creating a story about the world, and then by creating another story saying that the first one is true.
- My thinking does not know.
Also more true. My thinking only comes up with questions about the world, which sometimes are of practical value.
- I don’t know.