Gifts of confusion

What are some of the gifts of confusion…?

(That question came up in a conversation today with a friend, who tends to get contracted when she is confused.)

This is a somewhat confused and exploratory post, so more after the jump.

I am habitually confused, so quite familiar with it… I guess my way of breaking down topics and trying to make it as clear as possible is a way to compensate for, or balance out, the confusion. Even as a kid I was habitually confused by a lot of things people were doing and saying, and I still am, often by the same things.

Confusion is of course just part of our human experience, and a healthy one too. At a relative level, all of stories are just that, stories, with only a relative truth, and each of their reversals have truth in them as well. Confusion is a reminder of that, and if we are OK with confusion, it keeps the options open, the mind receptive, our interest and curiosity alive. It keeps us from being too comfortable, too settled in familiar stories.

If we are not OK with confusion, it becomes a monster as so much else. It compels us to pretend to be certain about our stories, pretending they are absolute truths. It closes our minds and our hearts, making both less receptive and alive. It creates a sense of separation and alienation, from ourselves, others and life.

In a funny way, confusion, when we are OK with it, is a reflection of not-knowing mind. Both allows for receptivity, fluidity, a lightness in exploring stories and each of their reversals. When Ground is not awake to itself, we have confusion, and when Ground is awake to itself, we have not-knowing mind, and both are pretty good.

Of course, both are there in both situations. Not-knowing mind is awake emptiness, free from and not touched by any stories, and is right here and now. And confusion, which is at the level of stories, can be there whether Ground has awakened to itself or not. The main difference is that when it is awakened to itself, it is also completely OK with confusion.

Looking at confusion in a different way, I see that confusion comes up when I want a particular story to be true, and disown the truth in its reversals. The reversals don’t go away, of course. They stick around, and life will remind me of that. So when reversals come up, and I still try to hold onto the truth of the initial story, I experience confusion. Finding the truth in all of the reversals is a way to clear it up, to discover what is already more true for me. Here, confusion becomes a reminder to explore the truths in the reversals of the story.

So in one way, confusion, when we are OK with it, allows our mind to be receptive. And in another way, it is a reminder to notice the story we take as true, and explore the truths in each of the reversals of that story.

Either way, confusion is our friend. As everything else, when we explore it.

Maybe. That is at least what I have found so far.

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