It’s an inside joke of mine: Spanish for, “I know everything, and I know nothing!”  (Fluent Spanish speakers, please let me know if that is phrased or spelled incorrectly!)

Sometimes I just wake up remembering something very important–so important that I must post it here.  The following is such an item:

For many years now I have had a mentor.  I have never met him, because he comes to me from a sweet little Hasidic story.  He was a rabbi who lived in a small Russian town at the turn of the century.  And after twenty years of pondering the very deepest religious questions and spiritual issues in life, he finally came to the conclusion that when he got right down to rock bottom, he just didn’t know.

Shortly after reaching that conclusion, he was walking across the village square on his way to the synagogue to pray.  The cossack, or local czarist cop of this little town, was in a bad mood that morning and thought he would take it out on the rabbi.  So he yelled, “Hey, Rabbi, where the hell do you think you’re going?”

The rabbi answered, “I don’t know.”

This infuriated the cossack even more.  “What do you mean you don’t know where you are going?” he exclaimed in outrage.  “Every morning at eleven o’clock you have crossed this village square on the way to the synagogue to pray, and here it is eleven o’clock in the morning and you’re going in the direction of the synagogue and you try to tell me you don’t know where you’re going.  You’re trying to make some kind of fool out of me and I’ll teach you not to do that.”

So the cossack grabbed the rabbi and took him off to the local jail.  And just as he was about to throw him into the cell, the rabbi turned to him and commented, “You see, you just don’t know.”

So I just don’t know.  No one does.  We dwell in a profoundly mysterious universe.  In the words of Thomas Edison, “We don’t even begin to understand one percent about ninety-nine percent of anything.”

–From Further Along The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck


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