Re: On understanding and insight.
Aug 29, 1996 09:13 AM
by Maxim Osinovsky
On Thu, 29 Aug 1996, Anna S Bjornsdottir & Einar Adalsteinsson wrote:
> I think that we should probe a little into what it is "to understand".
> Usually we say that we understand this or that, and then we are pretty
> content about it. We hear something, and we understand that, something vague
> is explained to us, or we figure somthing out, and then we have understood
> that bit. In this way we think that we can collect so much understanding, as
> we go on with life, that we will be pritty soaked with understanding when we
> get old. But is it so? Is understanding related to accumulated knowledge or
> logical and analytical thinking, or is it somthing entirely different? What
> really happnes within, when we come upon a real big understanding? Don't
> look at me. Look inside yourself an find out on your own.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about understanding. Very interesting.
To my knowledge and experience, true and full understanding of a thing means
having ready access to its mental image or picture that is complete with
both underlying principles and details. It is a direct and very detailed
awareness of the thing. Some illumined minds are able to
grasp the image in its general outlines but are lost amidst the details
(e.g. 'silly saints' as defined by Gourdjieff); minds bent on analysis
may possess a wealth of detail without any vision of the whole (many
scientists). So true understanding requires both insight faculty and
analytical skills. Consequently, it is something that emerges when both
spiritual mind and ordinary mind are at work.
I believe that understanding does not come for free. For example, our
Planetary Logos is known not to have full understanding of lower planes,
but It is working hard through deva kingdom and human kingdom to attain
that kind of understanding. In the same way, we are not aware of what's
going on in our bodies on cellular level (we have a pretty good
theoretical understanding but there is no direct awareness), but at some
time we will be (see e.g. publications about Sri Aurobindo work).
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