“I don’t know” is the only true statement the mind can make– Nisgaradatta Maharaj
These type of pointers is meant as medicine.
In this case, it’s medicine for the tendency to take thoughts – or some thoughts – as true.
And as with any thought, it’s not entirely accurate. It leaves something out.
Mental representations are questions about the world, whether we notice or not. They are maps of the world and help us orient and function in the world. They are different in kind to what they are about. (Unless they happen to be about mental representations.) Reality is always more than and different from these maps. And they cannot contain any full, final, or absolute truth.
And that goes for Nisgaradatta’s statement as well. His statement also has limited validity, and there is validity in its reversals.
We can know certain things. We can notice our nature directly. (Our nature can notice and “know” itself in that sense.) We can know things in a provisional, limited, and conventional sense, although these are not final or absolute truths.
His statement is not the only true statement. It doesn’t hold a final or absolute truth any more than any other thought.
In general, I find it helpful to explore pointers in this way and especially pointers from the non-dual world. What are they meant as medicine for? What’s their validity? In what ways are they not so valid? What’s the validity of their reversals?
“i do not know is the only true statement”
- no thought is absolutely or fully true
- Not even that
- Bc can know things in a conventional and limited sense, Pragmatic sense