This moment, this situation that faces us right now – this patient, this person, this family, this illness, this task, this pain or beauty - we have never seen it before. What is it? How do we respond? I don’t know. Not knowing, I am ready to be surprised, ready to listen and understand, ready to respond as needed, ready to let others respond, ready to do nothing at all, if that is what is called for. I can be informed by my past experience but it is much better if I am ready and able to let that go, and just be present, just listen, just not know. Experience, knowledge, wisdom – these are good, but when I examine things closely I can see that they remove me from what’s in front of me. When I know, I bring myself forward, imposing myself and my experience on this moment. When I don’t know, I let experience come forward and reveal itself. When I can let go of my experience, knowledge, and wisdom I can be humble in the face of what is, and when I am humble I am ready to be truly fearless and intimate. I can enter into this moment, which is always a new relationship, always fresh. I can be moved by what happens, fully engaged and open to what the situation will show me.
Norman Fischer, Not knowing is most intimate