Ask the Swami

Dear Swami:

I have asked this question of many great masters, and none could answer it to my satisfaction. So I will ask you: "How do you know you know?"

Ashir Dropov,
Brooklyn, New York

Dear Ashir:

As far as I know, there are Four Stages of Knowing:

1. You don't know.
2. You don't know you don't know.
3. You know you don't know.
4. You know "I don't know" is all you need to know.

Clearly, you have not achieved Stage Four because you still think you need to know if you know, and your desire to be aware of what you know and what you don't know has led you to a state of mental confusion.

I understand this condition from my own experience, because I too was a know-aware man. But then in an instant of enlightenment, I went from know awareness to no awareness. As soon as I knew I didn't know, I knew. Y'know? I'll put it another way. All of the knowing we fill our heads up with is to avoid a void. But emptiness is the space of all creation. It says so right in the Bible: "In the beginning vas the Void." (Note: It is not widely known that the early God of the Hebrews spoke with a Yiddish Brooklyn accent.)

 Get The Latest From InnerSelf

So instead of doing a void dance to avoid an unavoidable void, we must seek Holeness. That is why I recommend you carry your own box of Nothing with you at all times. This is nothing personal.

And I recommend that you stop throwing bait at all these spiritual masters. Believe me when I tell you this mental master-baiting will not get you nowhere. As my friend Brad Blanton says, "The mind is a terrible thing -- waste it".


Dear Swami:

How do I handle a boss who gives me no instructions for a particular project and then complains about how it was done?

His standard reply to any request for assistance or any comment on being treated unfairly is, "That's your problem." Since I'm not in a position to look for another job, he's right. It is my problem. I even bought one of those voodoo dolls and am thinking of putting his name on it and sticking pins in strategic places. Any ideas?

Mandy Torpedos,
Berwyn, Illinois

Dear Mandy:

Please, please, please, no violence! Violence never works (unless, of course, you're a nation-state with a powerful air force). No, your boss needs your compassionate help. From what you say, it sounds like he is in the advanced stages of assaholism.

The main symptom of assaholism is assaholic behavior, accompanied by the denial that there is any assahole problem whatsoever. It is very important that you handle this situation delicately and discreetly.

Perhaps you can introduce him to a friend of yours who is a recovering assaholic, or even anonymously leave literature around about "Assaholics Anonymous".

Above all, never become self-righteous. An assholier-than-thou attitude will defeat your purpose.



follow InnerSelf on


 Get The Latest By Email