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Not Knowing

The only intellectually responsible position we can possibly take is not knowing. ~Casey Capshaw

I have self described as agnostic for about as long as I can remember. As opposed to atheism, agnosticism postulates: how could I possibly know that there is or is not a god(or any number of other religious beliefs)? These things are unknowable given available evidence.

Always seemed like a reasonable position to me, though Buddhist practice has rounded off the edges a bit, offering an injunction or experiment aimed at testing at least one type of knowing—A truth about the absolute nature of reality.

In Zen, the practice of insight is complimented with the practice of beginner’s mind.

As my practice in Buddhism has deepened over the years, this concept of “not knowing” or “beginner’s mind” has rung an increasingly deep bell in me. I am beginning to see how the concepts and ideas about our reality calcify and form a delusional veil over experience that, in spite of their best efforts to serve, actually limit the fullness of our human experience.

The truth is, whatever I think about what is going on around me—whatever I think I know— are merely concepts, ideas, and imaginings.

These concepts, ideas, predictions or imaginings about reality in this moment are mere projections derived from past experiences mixed with egoic preferences.

In this truth, the only intellectually responsible position we can possibly take in any moment is not knowing

Who am I? Not Knowing.

As I have sat with not knowing as a practice its wisdom has crept deep into my being and is infused in everything I see and do.

At the Integral Center, we facilitate a practice called Circling that is all about getting someone’s world — truly seeing them. The experience of really being seen has a profound impact on me and others engaging in this practice.

For me, this insight around not knowing has a profound impact on my experience of connecting with others. From “not knowing,” an almost childlike curiosity arises in each and every moment. I put my “Self” aside and really get what it is like to be someone else, in as deep a way as I have ever experienced.

For me, it really does seem like the older I get, the less I know. I am totally cool with that.

Material Fixation

One of the nice benefits of web building is that my craft is easily tradable. My latest trade has resulted in one of the most beautiful material creations I have ever seen.

My new telemark skis are the compilation of local art, local design, and local manufacture.

A couple years ago,in one of my all-time favorite projects, I build a site of Bryce Widom in trade for my favorite painting of his, “The Samurai.”

A while back, a Summit County Colorado company began making very high-performance telemark bindings out of billet aluminum. At the time, Bomber Bishop bindings were revolutionary in the telemark world. I picked up a beautiful pair of these back then. Unfortunately, they are no longer in production, but they are an engineering masterpiece.

Over a decade ago, in my ski bum days, I had a fellow bus driver named ScottyBob Carlson. In a crew where eccentricity was the norm, ScottyBob was a standout. Matching beard and Ponytail, pack of cigarettes a day, sour attitude towards tourists…ScottyBob was/is the consummate mountain man. Not a day went by that ScottyBob was not out on the mountain, carving perfect tele turns as if nothing else on earth mattered.

Scotty was always a bit different than most of the tele guys. He saw the benefits of the deep sidecut ski when all the K2’s we still board-straight. He also had the insight about asymmetrical edges that would later evolve into the “BobTail” patent that he has built a custom ski building business around.

I’ll be helping ScottyBob Skiworks with some website stuff and in trade, Scotty handcrafted me these beasts of the powder.

These skis are so pretty, I almost don’t want to even ski them, just let them hang on the wall in all their glory…almost. They are the product of the dedicated craftsmanship of Bryce, Bomber, and ScottyBob. What a great way to indulge a little materialism 🙂