So the two of us were driving up and down endless streets! To avoid embarrassment I didn’t mention that we were lost and prayed my friend in the passenger seat might not sense we were getting nowhere! Eventually, with an overlay of urgent anxiety he uttered the question that I had been dreading, “Are we lost?” Not knowing where the boundaries are, what comes next or what the answer is always invokes panic in my friend! He does not do well with unknowns. He once told me he takes heroin because it drives away his chronic anxiety and makes him feel “like the sun is rising in my soul.” I was present once when he got lost in an outdoor garden maze and heard his shrieks and screams as an anxiety attack overtook him!
The quote by Sufi mystic Rumi, “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment” would be completely opaque to my friend! At the heart of bewilderment is the realization that answers are not immediately available and one needs to know more. The problem with embracing unknowns and mysteries is that lacking answers can prompt us to panic to the point some just can’t deal with! Refusing to deal with mystery ensures that we will never resolve it! For some people like my friend his reaction to the unknown is the impulse to flee or other times to settle for poor choices which really answer nothing!
Living without all the answers is like being lost in a wilderness for which we possess no map! Embracing it involves living with the mystery and neither trying to solve it nor flee from it! Ironically by being fully present we can begin to hear the Divine whispering to us within our heart. As my friend and I continued exploring streets he dripped sweat and to reassure himself kept up a relentless tapping on the dashboard! The thought of having to find our way coupled with trying to calm and reassure my friend caused a migraine to start muttering behind my right temple! To the profound relief of us both we arrived almost by accident at our destination! I don’t think I will ever forget that ride or my realization of how important it is that I always be willing to find peace within the mysteries of feeling bewildered!