You are here
The Wisdom of Not Knowing
Estelle Frankel, practicing psychotherapist, storyteller, and seasoned teacher of Jewish mysticism (ordained by Reb Zalman), here offers us a deeply affirming exploration of the challenges and possibilities of the unknown—with meditations and exercises that can help transform the fear and uncertainty of “not knowing” into a sense of openness, curiosity, and bravery.
The unknown is a deep current of mystery that runs through all religions and mystical traditions, and it is also the nexus of contemporary psychotherapeutic thought and practice and a key element in all personal growth and healing. In The Wisdom of Not Knowing, Estelle Frankel shows us that our psychological, emotional, and spiritual health is radically influenced by how comfortable we are at navigating the unknown and uncertain dimensions of our lives. And who among us is not on the edge of the unknown?
Drawing on insights from Kabbalah, depth psychology, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and ancient myth, Frankel explores how we can grow our souls by tapping into the wisdom of not knowing. She also includes case studies of individuals who have grappled with their fears of the unknown and, as a result, have come out wiser, stronger, and more resilient. Each chapter includes experiential exercises and/or meditations for befriending the unknown. These exercises help convey how we must be willing to “not know” in order to gain knowledge and be able to bear uncertainty so we can be free to enjoy a healthy sense of adventure and curiosity.
Our very human tendency is to foreclose on the present moment by coloring it with fearful overlays from the past. It seems that the anxious mind would rather imagine the worst than wait and be surprised by what life actually presents. The chapter, “Courage in Face of the Unknown” examines these dynamics and explores ways we can overcome our fear of the unknown by developing greater courage. With courage we can face our radical vulnerability and the unpredictable nature of life with greater equanimity.
Frankel offers clear, accessible psychological and spiritual insights and a set of practical tools, including mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, and journaling exercises.
“Recasts the ‘unknown’ from a situation of dread to an invitation to ever more liberating awareness.” —Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness is an Inside Job