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  • Writer's pictureDarren Timms

Do you really know it?

Life must be experienced directly.

If you do not synthesize or experience the knowledge for yourself, you are guessing…

Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher, said there were three steps to wisdom: ‘’The first was reflection; the second, was imitation, and the third was a repeated meaningful experience, and without it, there can be no wisdom.’’

Knowledge is information. Philosophical or theoretical concepts or ideas we learn intellectually. A process of discovery derived from the experiences of others. For example; Books, lectures, films, documentaries etc. in which the information learned stimulates the intellect.

This type of learning certainly has its place as it introduces new information, but remains just that, until we consistently integrate the knowledge acquired through direct participation, which then facilitates wisdom.

Wisdom is a very different level of understanding. It is the experience beyond words. If I tell you something, you may forget. If I teach you something, you might remember, but if I include you directly in the experience, you are going to learn and the more you experience, the wiser you become.

Please take the time to immerse yourself in the practices that I write about and teach. When I speak of practicing mindfulness, meditation, grounding, affirmations, or any other concept, it is imperative you experience, with repetition and consistency to know what I am talking about at a level that reaches beyond the intellect.

People tell me all the time, ‘’Hey, I know this and that stuff’’ Yet, scratch the surface and it soon becomes evident what they think they know, they do not. To understand and not to do is not to know at all.

If you believe that you know something yet don’t have the results to show for it; I assure you, you know it as an intellectual concept and not a pearl of inherent wisdom.

There are three levels of knowledge which capture this.

The first level of ''knowing it'' is that of understanding the concept. To intellectualize something with the thinking mind. To read the words of others and relate to them solely at that level.

''To know it, know it'' is to have an existential experience. For example; I can read how to play the guitar, but until the instrument is in my hands and I am playing a tune, it is not an existential experience.

''Know it, know it, know it'' is to experience something so often it becomes an automated habit. Using the guitar again as an example, I have played it so often I own this new skill set and has become a new habit.

To illustrate further. How can you know the benefits of meditation or a yoga practice unless you have repeatedly experienced it?

Can you speak a new language or learn to ride a unicycle from the words in a book? without repetitive practice; Absolutely not.

You can read about it, sure. Appreciate it even. But until you feel the experience where the corresponding emotions correlate with the repeated action, you are presuming to know, yet

knowing what and how to do it and doing it are poles apart.

You may read a thousand books and articles on how to do it. You can relate to the pain of the poet, the genius of the philosopher or the majesty of the author, but they are just words. And above that, they are not yours. They belong to another.

In fact, any intellectual understanding not backed by direct experience often leads to potentially destructive, ignorant, and deceptive states.

Unless you commit to the experience, wisdom will remain absent from your life. Sure, you will have a head full of knowledge but wise you will never be.

In a nutshell; Knowledge is about information and ideas that we acquire through study, research, and observation. Wisdom is the ability to recognize and assess which aspects of that knowledge are valid, lasting, and applicable to our lives through direct and consistent repetition.

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