Also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)
The fear of the unknown is a very common human tendency. Most people are constantly engaged in making sure that their world plays out just like how their mind would imagine. However, the reality is that there is no possibility for growth without embracing the unknown.
When we shut off the mystery or awe factor in life, we not only curtail growth, but also unknowingly make life mechanical. Just like there is no fun in watching a game whose result is already known, life will also be very boring and mechanical if everything were to be predestined.
Life is a combination of what is certain and what is unknown. Though they appear to be opposite, life is incomplete if either of them is missing. Within the sphere of limited perception there is a part in us that is certain about some things. There is another part that is always probing into the unknown, triggering wonderment about many mysteries.
The wise are the ones who acquire the skills to face and handle uncertainty. If one can become comfortable with the world of constant change, then he or she will be able to proactively respond to and capitalize the vast possibilities that life offers.
The way of the wise is to see uncertainty with a sense of wonderment. Wonderment is the beginning of new knowledge. Creativity dawns by stretching the wonder. The attitude of ‘I know’ makes one closed and limited. ‘I don’t know’ makes way for new possibilities. When one moves with ‘I know it all’, he or she gets stuck with a fixed concept.
Often one says ‘I don’t know’ out of frustration. Turning that ugly ‘I don’t know’ to an ‘I don’t know!’ that is marked by wonderment arising out of knowing the endless possibilities is the path of growth. The more one knows, the more wonderment dawns about the unknown. It is beautifully said in the Upanishads, “One who says, I don’t know, knows it, and the one who says, I know, doesn’t know!” It’s said that what is known is not even the tip of the iceberg of the unknown.
Wonderment is not about something which is old. Certainty is about something which is not new. Life is a combination of old and new. The person who only wonders looks lost and confused. And the one who is certain about everything, takes things for granted and tends to become inert and dull. Knowing to embrace both adds spark and charm in life. The ability to strike the perfect balance of surety with a sense of awe is a sign of growth in life.
Wonderment dawns when the mind encounters something it perceives as vast. It brings a feeling of expansion. When we are in awe, we see things differently and our powers of observation become sharp. The feeling of awe expands our sense of time and we become alive and engaged in the present regardless of the past and future.
A sense of astonishment brings wakefulness, and when we are awakened, we see
that the whole creation is full of wonders. If one doesn’t get awed by the magnificence of this creation, his or her eyes are yet to open. In an awakened state, when the eyes close with a sense of awe, that is meditation!
Our perception of the world does not really matter to What Is. This creation is an unfathomable secret and when we become sure about it, its mysteries deepen. Deepening the mystery of creation is science and deepening the mystery of the Self is spirituality. If neither science nor spirituality can create wonder in you, then you are in a deep slumber.
Wonderment creates the desire to probe deeper. Without this intense quest of man to know more about life, all the progress made by humanity wouldn’t have been possible. Though we are born curious, we tend to lose the probing nature when we disconnect ourselves from the real awe factor of life. Regaining our sense of curiosity is important to our success.
A focused and calm mind brings up innocence and non-judgmental state which is the beginning point of any knowledge. That’s why regular meditation is vital for creating a clean slate of knowing! When we begin to ask lots of questions without judgment, unknown facets of life start unfolding.
Ask what is relevant and about something that you really want to know. Probe beyond the questions that can be answered in either yes or no. Wonder is a question for which we don’t seek an answer. Drop the sense of being right and known. Wonder about the world that you don’t know yet. There is charm beyond the mundane. The unknown world is beyond what is seen and imagined. Close your eyes, meditate, quieten the mind and deepen the wonder!
Wonderment is said to be the preface to yoga, the union. Be the wonder that you are!