THE BLOG

The Gap Between Knowing and Being

05/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Scott Schwenk Evolutionary Coach, Leadership Development Catalyst, Culture Architect

There are days like this one where I'm at a complete loss for how to rationalize the gluttonously nasty things human beings do to one another and our habitat on this planet. It seems like destruction is a publicly traded commodity. Kindness has become woo-woo. Therapy, a way to band-aid the horrendous guilt, and narcotics, a way to sleep at night, only to wake to triple lattes as a replacement for crap sleep from the narcotics.

It's a hamster wheel.

I don't see an end in sight on days like this.

We may very well create the end of the sustainability of the human race on this planet in my lifetime.

There's an ever-expanding fault-line gaping between what we truly know as right action and what we actually do with our time, money, and energy. The race to get more of anything and everything faster than the competition to fill a bottomless hole is accelerating. The snake is eating its own tail and we're so distracted as a race into hurrying towards something more, better, and different.

Three 46-minute sittings of meditation, an hour and a half of chanting, three hours of exercise, and a day filled with self-inquiry have not gotten the disgust and anxiety to abate. I feel responsible for this mess. I feel called to do something about it, and struggle with the notion of an ego driven to be lofted into heroism, rather than trust in a rooted altruism arising from my heart.

It's amazing how the hue of nasty casts its shadow over every thought and feeling.

This too will lift. It has come to pass.

I'll hear some piece of music tomorrow, or the sound of the hummingbirds outside my window in the early hours, or read some status update on Facebook that restores my faith in humanity. Or is it just more anesthesia?

What's the difference between burying my head in the sand and immersing myself in self-upliftment, self-realization? Can I trust the mechanisms I have for seeing clearly the gap between knowing and being?

Even as I write this, I know this is a visitation; the blossoming of stored old emotional energy enlivened the news on Uganda's proposed bill to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death.

I know that the power of my days, months, and years of focused practice will burn up this distorted point of view in the ever-burning fires of Truth. It will happen as surely as the Sun will rise in the morning.

I will be infused with a new point of view: one that has more space and compassion rooting through the crevices. It comes because I have asked. I have asked, and am never let down in sincere prayers like these. I have not asked for the world to be rearranged overnight. I have asked to see differently; to see in a way that is productive. To see in a way that empowers actions based in Truth, motivated by trust, and marinated in knowing.

In the meantime, I sit. I sit and attentively watch. I move closer to the sensation of my breath, the simplicity of my body sensations, and the remembrance of all the ways I love myself. Already I feel the shifting of the sands within.

Writing brings its own release. It's a way of participating without forcing change. Reporting on the inner landscape without nailing myself to the cross for having these feelings reveals space. In that space my breath deepens, and the healing expands.

The gap between knowing and being is my teacher.