"I know nothing - NOTHING!"By Mark Lersch
May 20, 2011
"I know nothing - NOTHING!" For those of you who remember the old sitcom Hogan's Heroes, these are the famous words of Sergeant Schultz, a German, good-hearted, overweight soldier who is in charge of guarding American prisoners at a German prisoner-of-war camp. If you haven't seen it, don't. It's not that good. However...
By Mark Lersch, MA, LPC, LPCC
"I know nothing–NOTHING!" For those of you who remember the old sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, these are the famous words of Sergeant Schultz, a German, good-hearted, overweight soldier who is in charge of guarding American prisoners at a German prisoner-of-war camp. If you haven’t seen it, don’t. It’s not that good. However…
Karen and I have found ourselves saying this phrase a lot lately. We’re not repeating the words of Schultz just because it sounds hilarious and we love mocking the German language, but more so because as we go through phases of our growth there are times where it really feels like the house of cards has fallen yet again and we have been placed back on the “start” square of the game of life. This morning we looked at each other and I thought, “Really, again?!” It wasn’t until later that I realized, “Of course! Isn’t this how we grow into experiencing intimacy with the Divine and with each other?”
Karen and I have had the privilege and challenge of having undergone a lot of our spiritual and personal growth together. I’ve dragged her into things like Buddhism, psychotherapy school, Aikido, Gestalt Therapy, Warrior Training Camp and Inner Bonding (yes, I get 10 points for that one). She’s dragged me into things like Psychodrama, Evangelical Christianity, Vision Questing and 10-day juice cleanses. Amazingly, we have loved it all (except for the juice cleanses). However, I can’t tell you how many times we have looked at each other and asserted, “Yes! This is IT! Now we’ve got the missing piece! Now we have it figured out!” And then, of course, it all comes crashing down and we realize “I know nothing-NOTHING!”
Having recently moved to Colorado and re-connected with the A Course in Miracles material, we felt inspired to offer a free group at our Unity Church based on ACIM principles called “Forgiveness Circles”. Having both led a variety of groups over the past 12 years, we did not think this would be a big deal and that it would be a fun way for us to share our passion and gifts with others. Wrong! Little did we know that our own kaka would hit the fan. The type of group format we were “inspired” (aka, tricked into by the Divine) to use was new to us and embarrassingly revealed just how deep and subtle the control strategies of our wounded selves run. So it turns out, as is usually the case, the Forgiveness Circles was less about service to others and more about facing and forgiving the deeper control strategies of our own wounded selves.
It occurs to me that as uncomfortable as this process of facing the countless control strategies of the ego can be, isn’t this also a beautiful and adventurous way for us to learn through relationships that the only real option to win the game is not to play it anymore? Eventually we grow tired and bored of attempting to control a game that cannot be won and we just stop playing. It is when we know that we don’t know; it is precisely when the house of cards has fallen yet again; it is exactly when we find ourselves back to square one; it is right there in that moment of deflated wounded self that Love is waiting, just as it has always been--waiting for us to quit trying to play the game of ego and instead smile, open to our essential core Self and relax into Home. But that choice is only ours to make and sometimes it takes a lot of cards collapsing before we feel ready.
There is a Zen quote that I really enjoy: “Not knowing is most intimate." Sergeant Schultz, it seems, was actually a Zen Master in lederhosen.
And for all you Schultz fans, here is a YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ag4nkSh7Q&feature=related
Mark and Karen are certified Inner Bonding facilitators and licensed psychotherapists. Please check out their website to find out more about them or about their upcoming Inner Bonding Couples Intensive in Colorado this September. www.corequestpotential.com
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Since we cannot know what the next moment will bring, why not be fully in this moment? When we spend our energy in the past and future, we miss the fullness of the now. Today, focus on your present inner experience.
By Dr. Margaret Paul