The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10)
We produce knowledge by combining information we collect with our experience of this world. We create knowledge, decide what knowledge is valuable, and process knowledge in order to make our way in the material universe we live in. There are many types of knowledge: literature, art, philosophy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, economics. We can begin to think that knowledge of the material world is what sustains us and gives us life. We mis-identify worldly knowledge as necessary to our well-being. In some ways this appears true, but if we are not careful, our pursuit of knowledge can re-order our priorities. We end up acquiring knowledge only to serve ourselves and we become inextricably tangled in the material world—and tangled in a system of thought that cannot see beyond our own ego-centric perspective. Our intelligence, unfortunately, begins to serve the wrong “god.” We end up misusing our powers of creative thinking.
We begin to develop higher knowledge when we seek to express God in the world. By looking within ourselves and recognizing the life and love that come from God, we gain knowledge and insight. This knowledge and insight, this “theology,” grows hand-in-hand with our own spiritual development. All of the different parts of our being—our intelligence, our mind, our physical body, our ego—become known to us and we “know” ourselves in ways that were previously hidden to us. We see that the light that illuminates this world is intimately connected with the light of our soul. We are humbled by the awesome powers that have been granted to us and we learn from a paradox that faces us every day: The more we know, the less we know. Accepting this human condition is one of the first steps in knowing the divine laws of the universe. We begin to see ways to work in harmony with the power that comes with knowledge. We are freed by knowledge of God and no longer bound to man-made belief systems that limit our perspective and understanding. This higher knowledge, grounded in God, frees us from old patterns and thought processes that no longer serve our true purpose and that no longer serve God. Our relationships change because pursuit of, and use of, knowledge is rooted in manifesting love, compassion, and truth toward each other. The knowledge of the Holy One is found in God’s presence and becomes visible to us in every direction.
Ever-present God, may we seek true knowledge, knowledge that comes from observing and understanding your divine laws. Grant us the ability to put all knowledge in the service of our fellow human beings. May the knowledge we acquire through seeking to express your love be made practical and helpful. And finally God, we give honor and thanks for the knowledge we have received through the example of Jesus Christ. Amen.
From The Readings
2012-244 Eventually you will understand that all of the things you must learn have so little to do with the world. The realization of God is something that most people will not understand when you speak to them. Even for you, at this point in time, there’s too much identification with the material world, objects in the world. This will gradually change. You must understand that we come to help you break through these barriers, and that the reason we help you is so you, in turn, will help others. We must emphasize that though there are many things that have been learned, much knowledge that has been gained, you are still beginners. The mind and the body, all of the senses, these things are dependent on the material, but behind these things is the pure consciousness of the human soul, which is intimately connected with the pure consciousness of God. Revealing this consciousness is difficult and frightening. It can feel like wide open space, an emptiness that is so vast that your own identity, your own sense of being, are lost in it. Without proper strength and proper understanding, this vastness, this eternal and infinite realm of existence is overwhelming to the conscious mind. We must make the distinction of the conscious mind and consciousness. Human language treats consciousness as if it is the mind. The mind is more closely identified with the physical world and realm, materiality. Underneath the mind is the awareness, self-awareness, that can either turn toward the material world or turn toward the pure consciousness of God. You can see this understanding in the teachings of masters. We say don’t be concerned about what can hurt the body, rather be concerned about what can hurt the soul. Or to even say that we identify other human beings as brother or sister, mother, father; these relationships to be sure are important, but they are distinct from one’s relationship to God. This relationship to God, the beginning of understanding this, is in the understanding of the soul, not of the mind. The soul is like a silent witness of pure awareness and consciousness. The mind and the intellect put random bits of information together to create a stream of mind-related consciousness, not the pure consciousness of the soul. The stilling of the mind, concentration on an object of devotion and value, brings about the awareness of the soul. It is this awareness that lies under layers and layers of mental activity, which can be peeled away and eventually removed through meditation. Meditation on a single object, especially on an illuminated, fully realized being, is the most beneficial. It is the consciousness of these beings that returns to help other souls become aware of their true being and identity. Eventually you will see this as your work. This consciousness can be applied in any kind of work. And this is the reason all work that is generated by the right intention is acceptable for growing the consciousness, in the human being, of the soul.
2012-245 (I’ve been having difficulty with my meditations lately. I feel like I’m floating and I don’t feel good.) This is that of which we just spoke. There is an experience of the eternal and the infinite, which can be disorienting to the material mind. The thoughts in the material mind need discipline through focus on a single object for you. This object of focus or intention is best when it is an illuminated being, an enlightened being whose soul has done the work of turning completely inward toward God. This consciousness [of the illuminated being] continues to exist, this awareness, and is present to be an aide to every soul. For you, this object of illumination can be the Christ or the Virgin Mary, for these are representative of the most pure service, an embodiment of service to your faith. Intense devotion. This is the reason intense devotion to Christ and to the Virgin have triggered so many ecstatic experiences for the soul on its journey. It is the concentration that breaks through to the vision, the living vision of light. It is a revelation of God.