Not Knowing

In my look at the argument between theists and atheists, one of my key points is that “not knowing” is OK. The big questions of Life are beyond our ability to know with any real certainty. We don’t know what existed before the Big Bang, we don’t know what happens to our individual consciousness after death, and we don’t know The Meaning Of Life. We have hints and intimations, bits and pieces that are meaningful and helpful to some of us though not to all of us, but ultimately, we don’t know.

And that’s OK.

So if I’m OK with not knowing the answer to the big questions of Life, why am I not OK with not knowing the answers to the lesser questions? Why do I insist on banging my head against the proverbial wall trying to figure out (intellectually, of course) what I’m supposed to be and do in this life?

Because ultimately, those things are just as unknowable as the eternal questions people have struggled with since we became human and maybe before. In the absence of knowledge, we need faith.

Not theology or doctrine or even myth, but faith – faith that the Universe really is good, faith that everything will ultimately work out OK.

We can’t know – we can only do. Do the right things for the right reasons and trust that doing so puts us in good position for whatever comes our way.

Do what? That’s what religion is for, to give us some traditions, some structure, some guidelines for living our lives – for practice.

As a Pagan, that means meditation and prayer. As a Druid, that means honoring the gods and goddesses, ancestors, and spirits of nature. As a Unitarian Universalist, that means working to build a better world here and now. As a human being, that means treating others with respect and compassion and pulling my own weight in the material world. That’s not everything, but it’s a good start.

I want to KNOW. I especially want to know where I’m going in my life. But I can’t. I don’t like that, but I can only do what I can with what I have to work with.

And right now that means doing the right things for the right reasons and having faith that it will all work out.

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.

  • Robin Edgar

    "I want to KNOW."

    Have you ever heard the saying –

    Be careful what you ask for lest you get it?

    You might be better off not KNOWING.