More knowledge does not = understanding


Early on in my “shedding religion” phase I went through a period in which i exerted a lot of effort trying to package up my new understandings in language and concepts that appeared “Christian.” But it was like trying to mix oil and water. Eventually I realized that those previous concepts weren’t as “Christian” as I had once thought, and in many cases were diametrically opposed to what Jesus lived and taught. There were also a period in which I was bent on satisfying my mind in grasping truth, which led me down a path of exploring and investigating a lot of philosophical thought. I’m the kind of person when going down a path that I leave no stone unturned. In time the path brought me to a place that has been more about practice. For me, “practice” is mindfulness. In other words, I don’t set out to do “spiritual things,” I just do what I do, spiritually… or with mindfulness. I don’t tell myself, “I should be reading more, doing more, studying more, learning more.” More knowledge is not the equivalent of understanding. Sometimes you can get too smart for yourself and pull the wool back down over your eyes. Knowledge is a temporary expedient – we acquire it, integrate it, and move on. The garbage collector who is unloading trash cans into the back of the garbage truck can do so with mindfulness. He or she is not so easily distracted by the way things appear, and perceives the fundamental truth and essence of all things. This mindfulness is an energy that extends into and conditions the whole. This mindfulness touches those he or she interacts with throughout the day. This mindfulness is the spiritual life. Do whatever you choose to do, and just do it with this mindfulness. Do not fall into the trap that there are all these different things that you “should” be doing. Our biggest obstacle is that we stay distracted. Some people stay distracted from the moment the wake up in the morning to the moment they go to bed at night. Some people stay distracted for years at a time, even an entire lifetime. You must be awake, and be mindful.

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