This thought has been coming to me recently as I was struggling to find inspiration for the next article. I figured it would be best to cover another esoteric topic. The idea of achieving gnosis by in a sense “Erasing your mind” of the present knowledge and beginning all over again to gain a new sense of clarity. It got me thinking regarding two phrases from Tao Te Ching: wu-wei “non-action” and of course The Beginner’s Mind.
Now the idea of starting your philosophy and outlook from scratch may seem a bit strange. it is also quite difficult and requires a lot of self-reflection. I would speculate that this is perhaps to avoid stagnation and blind dogmatism and also as a way to move along with this ever-changing world. Before we go further, I will summarize what the basic tenets of the Tao is for those who are not familiar with it nor who have read it. As you know, The Tao is a collection of short sayings written by the elusive author, Lao Tzu around Ancient China in between 6th Century to the 4th Century BC. The text itself is simple yet at the same time vague and not very easy to understand the first time at face value. In order to raise some highlights, there are edited works of the Tao from various scholars to add commentary in a way to clarify and explain the enigmatic chapters of the Tao. I’m not going to lie, even I had difficulty understanding the Tao the first time. But fortunately, a good way to understand it, is perhaps a Jungian method of thinking.
Now let’s get back to elaborating on The Beginner’s Mind. I personally would describe it, from a seeker’s perspective as “knowledge through nothingness”, or rather “knowing from nothing”. Achieving a state of gnosis by entering into vacuity. Focusing on a completely blank state of consciousness, in other words, “empty-mindedness”. Easier said than done. From my understanding, this method of being is like tapping into the primordial and unknown. Therefore manifesting knowledge and learning a new trait and skill that can never be conceived of before. From personal experience, it works well with fast learners. From the unconsciousness, being comes forth.
As Socrates would put it “True knowledge is knowing that you know nothing.” There is something equivalent in the Tao. I believe it was:
“The Way that can be walked is not the eternal Way. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of Heaven and Earth. The named is the mother of all things.”- Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Chapter One”
There are no clear words to describe it because that is the mystery of the unknown. The known and the unknown complement each other rather than oppose one other achieving true harmony in existence and non-existence. Real and Unreal. Reality and Fantasy. The Material and the Ether. As above so Below. As below so above.
So here is the question dear reader: