The Unknown

“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.” – Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986)

Doesn’t this teaching by Krishnamurti put a whole new twist on things? First, it helps us see – we tend to be afraid of the known ending – more than we are afraid of the unknown. Sounds obvious. But, is it?

We all age. Some of us want to hang onto a previous age – a known. The weird thing is it isn’t even real anymore. Why do we resist moving into the unknown of the age we are? Why do we feel a compulsion to hang onto youth – why do we resist the unknown of each year as it passes and we grow older? It sort of turns the whole present moment awareness thing upside down. How can I live in the present moment if I’m afraid to be the age I am – if I’m afraid to let go of who I was?

Ken Wilbur teaches we transcend our old selves and yet include them in who we are at any given moment. I agree with him. Who I am today is the totality of all I’ve been, learned and experienced – in this lifetime and maybe in many lifetimes. In this post I’m discussing more your conscious identity – who you believe you are today – are you hanging onto an aspect of you from a past time and living your life solely from that identity?

You may say, “I’m not afraid to be the age I am!” Really look – how much of the past do you hold on to? And, conversely, how much of today do you embrace?

Is it time for Daddy or Momma’s darling to grow up? Is it time for the party girl to hang up her dress? Is it time to embrace the idea of true, intimate love rather than just sex? Is it time for the student to go to work? Is it time to retire and give up your identity as a wage earner? Is it time to hand back to your parents their life and live your own? I could go on. You get the idea. Living in the past – the known – has many, many faces.

So, what’s the big deal? You live in the past and you like it there. The big deal is you are never truly alive. Never engaging life fully. I’m back to Joseph Campbell and the heroine/hero’s journey. Before you can go anyplace you must leave home. You must have the courage for the known to end and to step into the unknown.


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