Man knows naught by being told
Posted by Adi pe Decembrie 8, 2010
Words are symbols, not realities. Though they are processed by/through the intellect, nevertheless they are grounded in material orientation and consciousness, even though it is subtle materiality. Words can never be the truth, though they can approximate or indicate the truth. Therefore we must use words only as a means to lead us to the truth which is really beyond words. Rather than a “leap of faith” we need a leap of intuition! We need words, but we also need to use them as a bridge to something more meaningful.
Words can be misunderstood and even purposely distorted, so they can be vehicles for error and even outright untruth. This is why knowledge never results from anyone “being told”. The positive side of words is their ability to trigger or evoke from deep within the knowledge we have always possessed or gained in the past. For this reason a worthy spiritual teacher does not intend to inform or indoctrinate us but to remind us of what our eternal spirit has always known. Just as Jesus often said: “Your faith has healed you”, in the same way it is our own spirit (atman) that teaches and illumines us. However, teachers can stimulate this uncovering of already-known wisdom, so their value should not be discounted.
Man may believe what others say; but thus he never knows. Believing is not knowing. But Jesus is pointing out something much more grave: believing what others say, and being satisfied with that, is a block to knowing. So we can prevent ourselves from ever coming to knowledge of the truth by “accepting truth” from external sources, whether books or living teachers. Rather, we should investigate rather than passively accept.