Posts Tagged ‘knowledge’

The presence of knowing

July 28, 2012

Knowledge is a dubious gift.

The problem with knowledge is that once something is known, it cannot be unknown. Even though we forget and often can’t recall what happened yesterday, some part of our brain still retains the memory of everything we have ever encountered.

Much of what we do and remember is automatic and linked to our survival and basic needs. Dementia and Alzheimer’s aside, it takes little effort to recall where we live, work, and play on a regular basis. I am grateful to remember my loved ones and special times shared with them. The memories I have a problem with are those when I witness the ugliness we create in life.

The current ugly in my life is the knowledge that people leave their babies and small children to die alone locked in vehicles. This summer, I have read at least five articles where infants and small children died of heatstroke inside a car or van. All of their stories yank my heart right out of its ignorant resting place. For example, a day-care worker “forgot” that she left a three-year-old strapped to his car seat in the van at the end of a field trip. I really would have rather not known this. My imagination has a field day taking on the suffering of others, and I wondered why I needed to know.

I tried to imagine what it must have felt like to die like that, so I purposely sat in my car one day when the temperature was about 85 degrees. I parked in the shade, turned off the engine and rolled up all the windows.

Within five minutes, a mild panic settled into my throat and I felt that certain restlessness that I was not in a good situation. Thick and heavy heated air went in and out of my lungs, but it was not enough. Sweat oozed from my skin as my body began its futile attempt to cool me off. Nausea settled in my stomach. Within ten minutes, I had to open my door and let myself out.

And my true suffering had not even begun.

The babies and children I have read about suffered much more. They could not free themselves. The three-year-old who was left in the day care van might have been able to get out of a car seat, but most likely he had been trained NOT to. He sat there sweating, waiting, and hoping for someone to release him. I cannot imagine the distress in their little minds, although I can imagine how I would have felt, what I would have thought, and how alone I would have been with my despair. In my ending, I felt total anguish at the betrayal of trust. I had been entrusted to someone’s care and they had broken that trust.

I think that before anyone gets to have a driver’s license, he or she must endure at least ten minutes of what it is like to be locked in a hot car and not be able to free themselves.

The question again came to me, though: Why had my attention been drawn to these articles? Why did I need this knowledge? I know not to leave a child locked in a car under any circumstances. When I am driving with a child, everything about that driving is with the knowledge that I have precious cargo on board. I could have easily lived the rest of my life without knowing the suffering those children endured.

My answer is metaphysical. God/Spirit/All-That-Is/Universal Consciousness is always with us, connected at the source of our being, even in our dying. I am connected to those children, just as I am to every living soul in the universe, through God.

In this moment, my presence is with every child who is suffering and letting them know they are not alone.

©2012 by Barbara L. Kass

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the presence of knowledge

March 20, 2011

Awareness is a tricky adventure. We are aware, at some level, either consciously or unconsciously, of all that exists and all that happens. If we were to consciously recognize the totality of existence, it would overwhelm our limited human capacity. Our psychological safety net is that we will only become aware of that which we are ready and able to be aware of.

I told you it was tricky . . . but hang on. It gets better.

A friend sent me the link to a 4-minute video about the Hubble telescope (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAVjF_7ensg.

The Hubble recording brought us knowledge that we did not have before. It discovered hundreds of galaxies a bazillion light years away, recorded that knowledge, and brought it back to us. Now we know it, too. The universe knew of their existence upon their birth. The Hubble did not learn anything new, and neither did we. Our awareness grew. The telescope simply channeled the truth and reality in outer space to us. We will channel that knowledge into various aspects of our lives (for me, it mostly deepens the mystery of existence).

We do not own this knowledge. We did not create this knowledge. We think we created the Hubble telescope, but actually, we channeled the knowledge of how to build the Hubble. It is a shamanistic viewpoint – the channeling of ability and knowledge. A doctor is a shaman. A teacher is a shaman. You are a shaman. We all channel the knowledge that is already known and use it for our own purposes. All that we have invented comes from channeled knowledge. We invented antibiotics from channeling the knowledge we gleaned when we discovered penicillin. We invented the airplane from watching birds fly.

The answers to everything already exist. Everything that is to be known is already known. As every event occurs, it is instantaneously known to our universe. Because we are connected most intimately with our universe at the spiritual and cellular level, we know it, too. As soon as someone says “What if . . .?” or “Is there . . .?” “How can I . . .?” the universe begins compiling that information to make it possible. The result may take two hundred human years to manifest, but it will manifest.

If, for example, within your wider desire for humanity, you want an end to war as a method to resolve conflict, keep it in your thoughts. Know that the solution is already formed while we speak. It may take several generations for us to become aware of it, but it will happen.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

Shifting presence

May 12, 2010

Humans rely upon words to do the majority of their communicating. We talk to ourselves relentlessly – it’s called “thinking.” Others communicate with us using words, either speaking them or writing them. We can sometimes rely upon actions: a gesture, a glance, the silent message of just walking away. Actions, like words, are subject to interpretation. Our brains work very hard to make sense of all that we encounter.

If I pay close attention to my inner process when I think, I find that one aspect of me is blabbing away, another aspect is listening, and yet a third aspect is observing. My body is responding to this chatter as well, sending messages that make my response to life a more accurate reflection of who I truly am . . . should I choose to be.

This is a gifted way of being in the world – a way of being that allows me to interact when I am fully present. There’s so much going on inside and outside of me that I need to pay attention to. If I am not present, I will miss some key messages from someone or somewhere.

I worry that turning off my thinking might cause me to not respond in a way that supports me or other people. But, as I mentioned in yesterday’s writing, my being in the world has moments of full presence without thought. Of course my brain latched on to this with a ferocity that won’t let go. And the answers that I seek seem to find me right when I need them.

Last night, I stumbled across “silent knowledge” in don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Fifth Agreement. My term for silent knowledge is the wordless place. Ruiz writes that silent knowledge is truth that we know and feel without words. As I shift into my wordless place, I am more the presence that exists for eternity. It is from here that I wish to respond to life.   

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass