Friday, 21 May 2010

The delicate art of...knowing

Knowledge is, in my opinion, built upon a rational framework.  It is the story we tell of our experience at any point in time.  But, as both time and travel have revealed, it most frequently partial, incomplete and, often, biased.

But in my search for the deeper 'truth', or meaning, of the mundane minutae of life, I am always drawn into a search for some deeper knowing.  I yearn to go beyond my own mental framework of 'knowledge' and penetrate a deeper insight, a more subtle discernment, a more enduring, less partial 'knowing'.   

Indeed, in my experience, it is only when I am ready to leave the safe harbour of my - so-called - rational framework, that I can go deeper, that I can access a greater wisdom than my own.  Now, my dear friend Roger, would advise extreme caution in leaving behind our rational frameworks, citing (I imagine!) the possibility of getting lost in half-baked truths and hunches wrapped up as insight.

And indeed the pathway between rational knowledge and greater insight, is indeed a tricky one.  It resembles a tightrope more than a motorway.  And the only way, it seems to me, of staying on the tightrope, of not falling off and landing in a mountain of hoaxes, scams and half-truths is through the use of discernment and insight (again, highly subjective!).

Insight can be defined "an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, an understanding of relationships that sheds light on or helps solve a problem."  It is a knowing that goes beyond our rational framework, that clarifies the essence of an issue at a deeper level.

I used to be intrigued by the paradoxes in the Zen Masters' teachings but, the more I have meditated (thinking would only keep me stuck within my own framework!), the more the inherent paradoxes become more apparent.  I have never really understood anything, I realise now, until I have understood the paradox of it. 

But, as I write this, I also begin to suspect that, even a deeper level of knowing is temporary, limited by the concepts my mind can entertain.  As I evolve, so too will my understanding, my 'knowing'.

So, you may wonder, "why this sudden interest in the nature of thought and understanding?"  The reason is very simple.  Being pregnant has

discernere to separate,

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