“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
— Albert Einstein
Knowledge is easy to come by these days. Our phones and our computers put a world of facts at our fingertips. Yet how much of what we know do we truly understand? It is one thing to know that a stove top that is in use is too hot to touch but to understand it you have to experience what it is to be burned. To me understanding is akin to the term grok that Robert Heinlein used in his novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”. It means to not only have knowledge of something but to become one with it, to have it live inside your skin. Most spiritual knowledge is only words and paradox without understanding. Once the understanding is reached than the paradoxes can be embraced. It is easy to be a know it all in today’s world. To truly give knowledge meaning tho we need to understand.
On the qabalistic Tree of Life, the second and third spheres (sephiras) are Cookman which means Wisdom and Binah Understanding. Wisdom is considered active and Understanding passive and sitting across on the same level of the tree means that they form a certain dichotomy. In between them is the hidden sphere D’aath which means Knowledge. The Path that joins the Three is that represented by the Empress card of the tarot which holds the meaning of the full-blown creative impulse. It fits rather well if you think of it as it takes wisdom used in a creative way to turn knowledge into understanding.
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