Last Updated on August 5, 2015
Often I have faced situations where I find myself seeking or asking within for an answer to an apparent problem or dilemma. Usually I just sort of know what it is I must do, such as what course of action I must take. I am writing this article mostly for my friends at The Mankind Project in Auckland, New Zealand. So I will use my attending a New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) weekend as an example of what this article is exploring.
In coming to my decision to attend an NWTA I knew close to nothing about it. I was not looking for anything. I was not facing any issue or problem in my life to which The Manknd Project might have been a solution. Rather the New Warrior Training Adventure weekend was simply recommended to me by a person who met me—for whatever reason that might have had running in their story at that time—and later a man phoned me to see if I was going to come. I felt or knew to go to the introduction meeting, so I went. I sat there and saw men who, in my opinion at the time, were in a rather different space from me and had some sort of life-crisis that spurred them into attending the weekend training. So my questioning mind had no data to really base a decision on. I was not in the same boat as those men telling me their story about how the NWTA benefited them so deeply (and encouraging me to go for the same reasons). Yet I simply “knew” that this is something I am to do.
Now, I’ll jump into my point. Had I not liked what I perceived the consequence of going to an NWTA would be, it is highly likely I would have felt like “I don’t know what to do”. Same data. Same situation. Same intuitive guidance, yet a different experience. If I had resistance what I was hearing from these men, it is possible I would have been confused about whether to go or not.
This is a fairly simple example that may not illustrate my point as clearly as I would like, so I shall explain further.
In my life I have come to understand that by the time a person says, “I don’t know what the answer is / I don’t know what to do,” the truth underlying that state-ment is this person already got the answer, yet they do not like what they think will be the consequences of following the answer they got. The primary ways in which most people deal with an inner answer to a question are as follows:
- The person is open to knowing the answer, and they remain open to the guidance that will move them into “right action,” yet have not acted as of yet for whatever reason;
- Or they know and are now taking that action, or perhaps consciously choosing not to take that course of action without complaining that, “I don’t know.“
- The person got the answer, thus they do know, yet they don’t like the answer and tell themselves, “I don’t know.“
Typically state #1 and #2 are the only two authentic outcomes when we ask ourselves a question about our path and our pertinent choices in life. The state of “I don’t know” is just a self-created smoke screen to avoid facing the truth.
The Smoke Screen of “I Don’t Know“
It goes like this:
I actually know what to do, yet the story I tell at the level of my ego-mind in regards to that knowing is a story I don’t like. The net result is rather than reject the story, I reject the inner knowing.
Let’s say I was to ask “Should I do A or B” in my life.
Almost immediately there is an inner knowing, a felt-sense, as to what the answer is. The moment the question comes to mind, the answer is there with it. They are like two sides of the same coin. Knowing and intuition are not based in time. Let’s say the the inner answer might be, “Go with doing B,” and yet I may have the belief that B is going to mean I’ve got to do something that I judge as too challenging, too revolutionary, too difficult, too outside my comfort zone, etc. What will result is that I will block out this intuitive guidance or knowing. I will block the answer that is beating at the door in my mind.
What results in this situation is me entering that state of “I don’t know what to do“. This is a facade I have put up in my own mind. A self-protection mechanism cunningly thrown up like a smoke screen by the ego-mind (ego simply being a misidentification of Self)—some might say it’s a smoke screen thrown up by my shadow.
I invite you to explore what I have put forth here. I invite you to take deeper look at those areas in your life where you tell yourself “I don’t know what the answer is” or “I don’t know what to do.” Ask yourself, “What is it I don’t like about the knowing I feel inside?”
Another way that will often cut to the core of what it is I am avoiding by maintaining a state of “I don’t know” is to deeply and honestly ask myself, “What is the last thing I would want God to tell me to do in this situation?” Or, with regards to the question I am asking, “What is the answer I would be most afraid to get if God were to answer this for me right now?“