Zen’s trick is to be absolutely comfortable right in the middle of a paradox. A paradox is self contradictory condition. The universe starts with a paradox. There is nothing, then a big bang, and then something. If you are a creationist, there is God, then there is the heavens and the Earth. Then, once we have matter, we cannot create it or destroy it, but we can transform it into energy. How did we come from nothing? How will we become nothing? If God is good, why is there evil? Where do I stop and not I begin? All of these questions are where knowledge meets “Don’t Know”.
Don’t Know is not an answer, it is a vast space. Each thing we learn we take a little bite out of Don’t Know. Don’t Know doesn’t get any smaller when our knowledge gets bigger. A lot of what we know, we actually don’t know. When we explore Don’t Know, we get to know its peace.
Stepping into Don’t Know can be frightening. That’s why many people turn back and stick to the shores of knowledge. They stick to the shores even when the shores are quick sand.
If the basis to everything is good, how come there is so much bad? Because if you sink in the sands of knowing, you come out in Don’t Know where it is wonderful.
There is no badness in the animal realm. If a fox eats a chicken it is because it is a fox. Humans made good and bad, so they can behave badly and feel badly. That’s not badness, it’s ignorance. If we knew how to behave better and feel better we would. We just don’t know. Things we know contribute to our ignorance. We need to unlearn those things, but which things are they? Is a vegetarian bad if he eats a chicken? Vegetarians can’t eat chicken, they disappear.
When you notice yourself suffering, check what you know. Throw it all away and see how you feel. If you’re a chicken, look out for the fox and the vegetarian. You never know. Don’t be a chicken.