Cherishing confusion: the starting path to freedom

DSC_0011If you like to be on top of things, then it may sound quite a contradiction to cherish confusion. All our life, we try to put order in the chaos of existence, find meaning, build a purpose for ourselves and our action. In the past year, this quote from A. Einstein was my inspiration:

“Out of clutter, find simplicity, from discard, find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”.

It’s pretty clear that seeking confusion is not exactly the path to follow. But here is the secret: to get out of the clutter, there is a necessary step which starts with getting comfortable with confusion.

If our immediate reaction to things is to follow the simplification process we have always followed (like putting all the mess under the carpet thinking we have a clean room), then we never become aware of the cumbersome existence we create for ourselves (piling so many unnecessary stuff in our life that we cling to carelessly).

This is where cherishing confusion becomes so helpful because the solution to this misery starts with: confronting the pile,  acknowledging all this stuff we have accumulated under the carpet, in the drawers, behind the curtains… and this is mega confusing at first.

Now, where it becomes a true life changer is when we apply this to our own mind.

 I wrote about how we all first experience meditation in this earlier post: practical meditation tips for analytical minds

When we start observing our mind, it is like suddenly noticing that our thoughts come and go in a flux more comparable to Paris Gare du Nord station on a Monday morning than the village station of Castel-Moron d’Albret pretty much anytime of the year ( just for the sake of clarification, Gare du Nord is Europe’s busiest railway station and Castel-Moron, the smallest village in France).

This is mega chaos. But rest assured that what happens in your mind is eventually totally unfoldable to yourself, if you are ready to confront yourself. That’s where cherishing confusion comes handy.

 You just have to get beyond your mind’s inner gossip.

Here is the greatest quote I found to express the beauty of this confusion from Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche in his book Joy of Living:

Confusion is the beginning of understanding, the first stage of letting go of the neuronal [mind] gossip that used to keep you chained to very specific ideas about you and what you are capable of.

Imagine, dear reader, the immense possibilities that would lay ahead of us if we would drop all these beliefs that we so fiercely cling to, by simple habit of putting things under the carpet; imagine if we could confront our inner gossip and realize that it is all the creation of our own confusion.

Then wouldn’t we cherish the confusion and start seriously cleaning up the mess?


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