Knowledge and Knowing
This was first brought up with my friend Sue, who was facilitating a Newfield model of life coach session. She asked all of us the distinction of knowledge and knowing. We came up with things such as:
- The difference between the Fact based knowledge ( left brain, reductionistic, positivistic, empirical, analytical) and the interpretive ways of knowing ( connected, comes from experience, is felt in the body- even at the cellular level, right brain, intuitive, spiritual, includes the cosmos and nature)
- An overview of the western empirical paradigm of “knowledge” (information) vs interpretative and more spiritually connected ways of “knowing”.
- A comparison of Eastern and Western models of “knowledge and knowing” and how these translate into different models of learning.
However, this interesting question has taken my thinking out of the session. Accidentally, (if there is such a thing,) I went to a DVD show on J. Krishnamurti, and he said, “Knowledge has its roots in the past. Human mind is constructed on knowledge. It functions on knowledge… The description is not the described… Transformation is not depended on knowledge or time…” We had a talk after the screening. What I found fascinating was that a lot of people in the group started to go denying knowledge, as if it’s a bad thing, just because the beloved Krishnamurti has commented on it. They want to be “free from kowledge so that they can live in the now”, but did Krishnamurti deny knowledge? I remember hearing him saying, “Knowledge has its place.” And isn’t calling “knowledge a bad thing” a sort of new “knowledge” gained by specific perception on a DVD? If human mind is constructed on knowledge, we then have nothing to deny about.
Knowledge is good. It just should not dominate us or define who we are. Who we are is this forever becoming and being that can’t be defined. If we use the word soul, how about the inner whisper of the Soul as knowing?
Living in this society we have constant information overload streaming into us from the outside horizontal world. I call that knowledge. And we can easily lose the Clarity and focus of our Soul’s inner Knowing. We can become unbalanced and disconnected from our natural Joy. When this happens, life loses its color and passion. We then make choices without awareness and fall into unconscious living as if we are in a horizontal trance…
But if we choose to, we can get connected with our Soul’s Highest Purpose, we have vertical alighment with our inner knowing, which doesn’t have any shape or form. It’s not there until it is because it’s always present. And it’s not interllectual understanding. If we understand intellectually and leave it like that, it’s a dead thing. It’s clutter. It’s useless. But if we understand intellectually (knowledge) and live it, it becomes alive and becomes part of the knowing within us, a clarity of vision and perception, a cairty of eyes; we can see through – not that we find an answer somewhere, but the question disappears.
I have heard that the ancient Hindu Advaita Vedanta was so named because the words mean “the end of knowledge”. It may be shocking for the Western minds, as most Western approaches pride themselves on their abundance of knowledge, and here the ancient wisdom sees the end of knowledge is a good thing!
Mind likes to devide. It likes to see an “either… or… ” world. But life is all inclusive. Freedom can never come after you are “free from” anything. Freedom happens right here and now, when we have knowledge and knowingness and allow everything to be as it is, and know that we have choices.