Known, Unknown & the Unknowable

facing unknown

“He said that not to seek order was one of the great mistakes that the ancient seers made. A deadly consequence of that mistake was their assumption that the unknown and the unknowable are the same thing. It was up to the new seers to correct that error. They set up boundaries and defined the unknown as something that is veiled from man, shrouded perhaps by a terrifying context, but which, nonetheless, is within man’s reach. The unknown becomes the known at a given time. The unknowable, on the other hand, is the indescribable, the unthinkable, the unrealizable. It is something that will never be known to us, and yet it is there, dazzling and at the same time horrifying in its vastness.” ~ Don Juan, The Fire from Within by C. Castaneda

5 thoughts on “Known, Unknown & the Unknowable

  1. History has proven that the “unknowable” can become “known” so I see a bit of a contradiction…I realize Castaneda is talking about deep stuff here, however who would have thought two hundred years ago that computers would one day replace workers or be able to think of possibilities that man might not even consider, such as the Qubit that does quantum computing? I love Castaneda’s work…he always gets me thinking!

    • Yes, I agree that we are always evolving, but I still think you are talking about the ‘unknown’ becoming ‘known’ to us.
      The ‘unknowable’ is something else, it is not within human reach. Here’s what Don Juan says about it further, and in my own (almost disastrous experience…) this is so true!
      “…whenever what is taken to be the unknown turns out to be the unknowable the results are disastrous. Seers feel drained, confused. A terrible oppression takes possession of them. Their bodies lose tone, their reasoning and sobriety wander away aimlessly, for the unknowable has no energizing effects whatsoever. It is not within human reach; therefore, it should not be intruded upon foolishly or even prudently. The new seers realized that they had to be prepared to pay exorbitant prices for the faintest contact with it.”

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