Can you say what you think, or even think what you know? Honestly, I have found it impossible to say, write, or think about what I intuitively know. What I end up with is a hodgepodge summary of the waves of intuition that ebb and flow through my mind. There are too many caveats to mention, too many angles to report, too many possibilities to entertain. Yet, I end up thinking, speaking and writing.
Chapter 56’s, One who knows does not speak; one who speaks does not know sums up the queer nature of this disconnect between intuition and speaking, writing, and thinking. The root of this problem lies in the mysterious sameness referred to later in chapter 56. The process of nailing down thoughts, speaking and writing requires discerning and highlighting differences. However, focusing on differences misses the intuitive big picture and we end up beating around the bush. Accordingly, chapter 10 notes, When your discernment penetrates the four quarters, are you capable of not knowing anything?
The Tao Te Ching’s observations on naming, thinking, speaking are not a proscription on using language, as such. Our trouble only begins when we convert waves of intuition into hard and fast belief. Why do this? We feel an innate need for certainty. Being left hanging in the balance feels dreadful. We want solid cognitive ground on which to stand. Ironically, this attempt to nail down reality’s truth leads us to chapter 71’s warning, Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty, or more literally, Realizing I don’t’ know is better; not knowing this knowing is disease.