One of my favorite comedians has this great tactic that sets me up for a serious roar every time he does it.
It’s Mike Birbiglia.
He’ll tell a long story involving someone acting like an ass, and as he elaborates on the ass-ness, the audience inevitably groans in sympathy with his perspective on the ass-y behavior he’s describing.
That’s when Mike pauses and levels with the audience in that signature tone of his, saying I Knowwww!
I love it. I gets me every time.
Think of all the ways you might use the word know…
I dunno know
I know, I know.
A lot of variety, right?
This season, the mystics and I are working with the queen of knowing, The Wisdom Keeper archetype.
The Wisdom Keeper greets us this time of year to teach us an important nuance of true knowing, or wisdom.
It’s this: true knowing must involve not-knowing.
True knowing always leaves room for the mystery, the divine, God, Goddess, the Universe, or serendipity.
In other words, the nature of wisdom is to know, but not know-it-all.
True knowing is a deep root.
Know-it-all is founded in shallow presumption and a been there done that attitude.
True Knowing is curious about outcomes and open to possibility.
Know-it-all is threatened by newness and thrives in limitation.
True Knowing is fluid and receptive, humbled and excited by the limitless sea of collective knowledge.
Know-it-all is rigid and fragile, arrogant about what they already “know”.
So here’s how to tell where you fall.
When someone suggests something to you, do you shut it down or do you consider it?
Does not-knowing make you feel curious or threatened?
Does not-knowing make you feel “dumb” or realistic?
Do you stay in “known territory” (same job, same friends, same beliefs) or do you branch out with a spirit of wonder and curiosity?
Do you stay in control, making plans, predicting outcomes and measuring risks? Filling every second with a plan?
Or can you surrender? Can you leave room in your calendar for miracles, mystery, and serendipity?
Now it’s time for my favorite question: who cares?
Who cares whether or not you’re a raging know-it-all versus a wisdom keeper?
Um, all of us. Know-it-alls are no fun. (Cue: I Knowwwwwww! See, it’s funny.)
The Wisdom Keeper archetype teaches you to know without arrogance, without needing to control or dominate, or avoid vulnerability.
She’ll teach you the art of surrendering so that deeper wisdom can come through you, dropping the armor of knowing-at-all to expand your reservoir of lived experience.
The more you resist the more she will strip away what is predictable, controllable, and regular until you have no choice but to surrender. (Pandemic, anyone?)
So, to conclude.
Some big shit is going down in our country right now, and indeed the world over.
And if it’s taught us anything, it’s that nothing is certain.
So loosen up. Those white knuckles holding onto knowing-it-all are a giant waste of energy.
Instead, use that energy to send down a deep root into the truth of what is.
Truths like: You’re breathing. The leaves have fallen. The nights are longer. The air is cooler.
Truths like: there will be curve balls, snafus, fuck-ups, and shitstorms, and you, as a wisdom keeper, will know how to handle it without knowing if, when, or why they happen.
Truths like: when you look up to see a school or porpoises swim by or a flock of high flying vultures riding an air current, or when someone surprises you with a gift, or you get the help you needed to moment you needed it most, it’s because you left room for the mystery without needing to know if, when, or why it will happen.
Start there, and see what other truths you can find.
As they say, the truth is out there.
And the truth will set you free.
love & knowing,