“I know that.” If You Hear Those Words, Stop Talking.

Presuming to know is a disease. First realize that you are sick, then you can move toward health.

Verse #71 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

“I know that.” I attended a Millionaire Mind Intensive in June, and the facilitator equated those three words to the most dangerous words in the English language. I totally get where he’s coming from with that statement. If someone speaks those words to you, you might as well stop talking. When someone speaks those words to you they have stopped listening to anything you are saying. Their opinion has been formed and cemented into rock. Whatever you may want to say at that point is a waste of time and effort. Just give it up and go home. Otherwise both people are going to end up angry and frustrated.

When you “know” something you stop looking, you stop considering, you stop theorizing, and you stop investigating. When you “know” something every other course of action has been closed off and you only do what you know. Why does the Lao-tzu consider this to be a disease? Actually, what Lao-tzu says is “presuming to know,” which implies that you really don’t know at all. So why is “presuming to know” a disease? It is a dis-ease because “knowing” cuts you off from the ebb and flow of life. You are firmly planted in the river while the river rushes around you. “Knowing” allows for no change, and change is all there is. All life changes, constantly. When you “know,” you cut yourself off from the change. Knowing something makes us solid, unmovable, and unchangeable. You are now cut off from life. You are opposed to it. Dis-ease is opposed to life.

Allow yourself to not know. Question your beliefs. Question your knowns. Remove that phrase “I know that” from your vocabulary. This is realizing that maybe you don’t know what you thought you knew. This is realizing you’re sick. Then you can begin to become part of the ebb and flow of life again. You will become changeable. You will open yourself to new possibilities and see new perspectives. You will flow with life and be opposed to standing firm against it. Unlearn all that you thought was true and begin to ask yourself what might be true. Don’t presume to know anything. If you do know something to be true, allow that tomorrow, that something may no longer be true. Every morning when you wake up, forget all that you presume to know and discover what the day holds for you.


In love and light


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