As our culture has become cluttered with intellectual information, most individuals believe that a “spiritual concept” is to be understood intellectually.
Nothing further from the truth.
Let me give an example.
Sadness. How could we explain what sadness is to a person? Most people have experienced sadness so it does not matter how I define it, there will be an understanding.
Let us pretend that we don’t know what sadness is.
We want to “explain” sadness to little Jimmy. Then, we throw the dictionary blurb at him:
“Sadness is emotional pain associated with, or characterized by feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, helplessness and sorrow. An individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic, and withdraw themselves from others.”
Obviously the words above do not make any sense to little Jimmy, as he has to look up in the dictionary for every word used in the definition. Only that which he has experienced, he will recognize.
Now, try explaining detachment, love, soul consciousness, totality, peace, emptiness to little Jimmy… 🙂
That is why a Ph.D type of dissertation about sadness will not do a thing as far as “inner understanding.” It may be a source of great information with the latest research on sadness but that is about it. Intellectual information.
On the other hand, if “Know-it” the poet; explains sadness to little Jimmy, he will give an analogy.
“Sadness is like being in a bright day, full of sunshine…and deciding to turn your head back, towards your own shadow.
To experience sadness there has to be “someone” (ego) because like a tree facing the sun, that “someone” has its own shadow. Then, there has to be the disposition to look back, to turn the head around away from the light.”
If little Jimmy had the experience of his own shadow and a bright day, he will have an idea of what sadness is. That idea becomes the experience once he experiences sadness for himself. At that point little Jimmy will be sadness. To know is to be.
This is why spirituality is more in tune with poetry than research. It is more in tune with feelings than thinking.
How could you explain the notion of being in control but at the same time, being harmonious?
There are many words used: To be focused. To concentrate on something, etc. Those words bring more definitions but never the idea…
Have you seen the 800 meter champ, David Rudisha from Kenia; run a race?
It seems effortless movement. Balanced. Harmonious and yet fast and powerful. Rudisha maintains his poise, his form even while breaking the world record.
The 800 meters is one of the most “painful” events in track and field, but he is able to keep his poise from beginning to end.
Here the video:
Now, if we are able to “understand” that harmonious control by seeing the example, we could use that in our everyday movements. We could even exercise while keeping that harmonious balance.
Form, style, balance. That is an art in itself.
In Spirituality, we mirror beauty. Every aspect that we could be aware of is an opportunity to “be it” again. It is a matter of recognition.
That is how we “learn.” We just recognize it, if our awareness is “on.” Otherwise, we could be lost in the world of definitions, concepts and logic, the world of meaningless words.