I think that most of us do not appreciate how much our work efforts are shaped and limited by what we think we know.
Mark Twain famously said that “it ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
My knowledge of this work is similar. What I think I know may have been useful when I first came upon it, a step to stand on, but now it is a stumbling block that closes off the questioning needed to open new horizons. I develop a dependency upon old ways of thinking. I take refuge in old aims and I cling to established procedures without recognizing that’s what I’m doing.
“I can place attention on sensation, I can invoke presence, I can observe self… I know what I’m doing. Any day now, it will all come together and I will move on to the next level.”
Maybe I need to give up.
Do I really think this is my work? That I can do it my way according to my understanding? Do I think that I know what is needed? When was the last time I was surprised to see things in an entirely new way?
What do I really know? Can I explain it to a young friend who has no background in this work and none of our specialized vocabulary?
Giving up is not the same thing as quitting. Quitting has a quality of rejection. Giving up is acknowledging that my efforts are fruitless because I need help and I am open to being led, or shown something new. There is humility in that and humility is a most wonderful opener of doors.