You never know unless you know

You never know unless you know — Knowing is so different from thinking, just as acting is different from waiting.


So, thanks for the birthday greetings, kind words, and also thanks for the financial donations to the cause.

I am so appreciative of your contacts, and generosity. In fact, today’s article comes from two quotes from readers.

I don’t know how many of you use an RSS reader to read my blog posts. Since they also automatically go out as e‑mail, I suspect the vast majority of you read the e‑mail version. I’m quite addicted to RSS feeds, though, which I read using Google Reader.

I subscribe, presently, to 95 blog feeds. Now, clearly, I don’t read 95 per day—as some blogs publish tech and news updates hourly. I scan the headlines, browse my favourite writers, and read likely 1 or 2 %.

Interestingly, or not, there are a couple of themes attracting my attention these days—simplicity and complexity. As these are topics dear to my heart, I thought I might add my 2 cents.

The Addiction to Thinking

Complexity comes from thinking. Or better, ruminating. Ruminating is chewing one’s mental cud.

One of the dangers of “too much” creativity is the endless generation of complexity (otherwise known as bullshit…) Many creative people are inactive, simply because of the stories they are weaving. They are waiting, waiting, for the muse to arrive, to take their hand, to light the path, and to guarantee the results.

Storytelling itself goes on incessantly, for all of us.


If you believe that one, have I got a story for you!

The issue is whether we will yield our lives to our stories.

I spend long hours with my clients, attempting to help them to disentangle the webs of their delusion, trying to help them see the boondoggle they have created. For most, it is hard to see the forest for the trees.

The reason? We, in addition to storytelling, do a ton of meta-commenting. This is the process of describing what is going on in our heads in a disembodied voice, which is hell bent on proving the truth and validity of the story being told. And remember, it’s a story!!!

One client thinks she is logical, fair, and practical, and that her ex is air-headed, self-serving and immature. She sees her every act in these terms, and cannot imagine how he could accuse her of being cold, controlling, and manipulative. This is because she sees her version of her story as true—in other words, NOT a story she made up.

This is a classical definition of foolishness

And thus, the first quote, and the title of this article:, sent by a friend:

Here is the latest from the little soul who lives in my house,

You never know unless you know.”
Jonah, age 5 and 34.

Clearly a wise, Zen soul.

Knowing is different from thinking. Knowing is wisdom, as opposed to the stacking of “facts.” My client, above, is a fact stacker. She has a pre-conceived opinion, as above, and each incident is forced to fit, perfectly, into her belief. Her “fact-checker” is her own mind, as it meta-comments. She refuses to ‘know” that her belief is just a story she invented, which has no independent reality. She is thus stuck, and oblivious.

Letting go of our assumptions, stories—our mental gymnastics—flies in the face of the Western assumption that life is meant to be sliced and diced into a pablum. Masticated into a paste. Then force fed to everyone around us.

You never know, unless you know.

I think my path to this point started in earnest back in 1986, with a trip to Finding in Scotland, accompanied by the ever-lovely Darbella. We went to see the giant radishes. *smirk* I ended up buying “A Course in Miracles” in their bookstore. I even eventually taught a course on the course.

The line I most love is, “I could have peace instead of this.”

Once you know peace, absorb peace, float and swim in peace, you see that your thinking mind has no interest in making things different. The thinking mind equates “better” with more proof of just how bad things or others are. Knowing, on the other hand, is dis-interested in proof, and is invested in peace.

Peace, as we say, is not compliance.


Look at Gandhi. He broke the back of the British Occupation, and never raised a finger in anger or acceptance. He talked, walked, gathered salt. Notice. He got off his butt and walked.

We have the endless opportunity to act. To act, not from some dumb story we’ve concocted, but with both integrity, and humour. To drop the stories, the evasions, and the blaming, to, in other words, “Let everyone (including ourselves) off the hook,” and to work from a place of deep, inner knowing.

Many people equate wisdom with analysis

Not so. One guy I know is heavily invested in changing his tune. He used to obsess about his supposed lack—money, relationships, career. Now, he obsesses about seeing abundance everywhere. Endless dialog with himself, analyzing every thought. I suggest he have a breath, and then make tea.

The other quote, from another friend, from an article on Robert Glenn’s blog:

Chuck Close defined the attitude a little more closely: “Inspiration is for amateurs–the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

I’ve been writing this blog since 2006, and before that, an e‑zine that I began mid 1999. I also have written a couple of books, etc. Never, once, did I wait for inspiration to hit before writing. I sit, I have a breath, and I place my fingers on the keyboard.

Now, sure, some articles come a bit more quickly than others, but if I just sat here, humming “Ohm,” and waiting for the bird of inspiration to fly up my nose, I’d be a fool. I may be at times foolish, but never do I wait.

Show up. Get to work.

What the hell are you waiting for?

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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