I wanted to share this thought on a Monday morning. Friday evening when I was trying to get home to my dog as quickly as possible I mostly practiced deep breathing exercises but in between I read a bit in Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart. What she wrote in the first chapter struck me as an interesting and useful statement on curiosity:
“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
“When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.”
“Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all.” That sounds a lot like (existential) curiosity, if you ask me.
For fun, you can also check out what she has to say about “This lousy world” on YouTube. It’s an excerpt from a talk she gave at the Omega Institute and is only about two and a half minutes.
Wishing you a week with room for not knowing!