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Chuang Tzu, Dostoyevsky, the Idiot, Prince Myshkin, intelligence, innocence, and wisdom

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas




“You have heard of the knowledge that knows,

but you have never heard of the knowledge that does not know.”

Chuang Tzu



         ‘Truth’ in the conventional sense is, after all, a terribly uncreative way of acknowledging one’s ignorance; knowledge, as it is maintained in the world, is falsely ignorant of true ignorance; it can know everything except one of the most important knowings of all ...mystery. Worldly ‘knowing’, then, is merely the cowardly not knowing of not‑knowing; ‘knowing’ is unknown unknowing. Which is to say, we are told as children that there is nothing in the darkness that is not there in the light, but there is one thing‑ darkness.

          Acknowledging this vision of the unseeable, Clarice Lispector wrote: “Perhaps this has been my greatest struggle in life: in order to comprehend my non-intelligence, to understand my feelings, I have been obliged to become intelligent. (Intelligence is necessary in order to understand non-intelligence. Except that the instrument- the intellect- continues to be used from force of habit. And so we are unable to gather things with clean hands directly from the source.)” (brackets are author’s)

Let us call this ‘The intelligence of ignorance’.

In Dostoyevsky’s book, The Idiot, Prince Myshkin relates a similar observation, stating: “I may be considered a child even here, but what of that? I am, for some reason, even considered an idiot...but what kind of idiot can I be now, when I realize I’m considered one? When I enter a place, I think to myself, ‘They think I’m an idiot, yet I’m intelligent, and they don't realize it-’ The thought often occurs to me.”

           To come upon this type of innocent brilliance we must neither seek to know, nor seek to not know; we must simply ease away and set the contents free; we must not know what seeking is, nor know what knowing is. We must not know ‘why?’, and we must not know why we do not know why.


excerpted from:


way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra



THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer














Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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