Not Knowing


What we know – that is, what we think we know – can be a big source of problems in relating. Relationships get clogged by what partners think they know about each other. Our most problematic “knowledge” takes the form of labels, judgments, and expectations we have of a partner. Such knowledge paints a very limited picture of them. If we take it seriously, we may treat our partner as a mere caricature. Our vision is distorted by our ideas about them. We miss seeing their true depth, and because we treat them according to our limited ideas, they are likely to limit how they interact with us in turn.

The card NOT KNOWING invites you to gently suspend a few familiar beliefs and expectations. It asks you to open your heart and open your eyes, as if you were an artist approaching a blank canvas. View your partner with fresh eyes. This may be a good time to question all your assumed knowledge about them, to question interpretations you make of their actions, and to reexamine the expectations you have of them.

In fact, most of our beliefs and expectations are based on experiences we had in childhood or previous relationships. This “knowledge” needlessly limits us. Taken for granted, it prompts us to act as if we already know what will happen. Can you identify an area in your relationship where you do this? For instance, do you ever hold back from asking for what you want because you know you will be refused? Do you tend to avoid things because you expect a negative result? Do you ever get bored because things have gotten too predictable? Do you sometimes block yourself in solving a problem because you think you already know all there is to know? For instance, you may think you know what’s really going on, that you know your limits and the limits of your partner. But this so-called knowledge may be limiting your options – and your joy.

This card challenges you to overcome the limiting effects of all such “knowledge.” Forget what you think you know! See things with fresh eyes. This is the best starting point for finding freshness in your relationship – and for finding fresh solutions to stale old problems. Honestly admit that you don’t know everything, that you may be mistaken in how you see things. Realize that your thoughts, familiar as they are, hold little true freshness. Allow your mind to become like a blank canvas. When thoughts come up, let them pass. Approach the present moment with total curiosity. Open your inner doors, and discover new, positive, and fulfilling options.

NOT KNOWING asks you to reawaken your heart to the wonder and mystery of a person whom you thought you knew all too well – your partner. While you may often predict how they will feel or behave, people are more than patterns – and nobody stays the same. You err when you treat someone as predictable. You only confine them – and needlessly limit how you interact. When you limit yourself this way, you stifle much happiness and fulfillment.

This card suggests an antidote. Clear your eyes and see your partner anew. Open your heart! Remember that light spirit of inquisitiveness you had when you first met them. And remember that we are all much larger and far more mysterious than any presumed knowledge about us can ever capture.