Knowing vs. Understanding

This month we’re talking about taking our time on the path to spiritual growth. When we seek only to accomplish, we are not giving ourselves the time to assimilate spiritual lessons into our selves. We can’t truly be in touch with our spirit if we only seek to check off boxes on our to do lists. Here is an example one person who puts goal-setting before spiritual learning.

Tiana would be the first to tell you that she is a very spiritual person. She is an energetic woman with a solid career, and her hobby is seeking spiritual growth. There are very few spiritual practices she hasn’t tried—she’s a certified yoga instructor, a reiki practitioner, she excels in meditation, has consulted with psychics, has been on pilgrimages, and studied both Christianity and Buddhism. And that’s just the short list! When she learns of a new practice, she delves into it with all her energy until she knows all she can about it. Then she moves on to the next one.

With all her knowledge she still does not feel fulfilled and she is impatient to be a “spiritual person.” For her, becoming more spiritual is about the accumulation of expertise. Unfortunately, that is a very misguided way to view spirituality.

All of us should always be seeking, just as Tiana does, but in addition to knowing we must also understand. Knowing and understanding are similar concepts, but they have different outcomes. For example, someone can know the formula E=MC2, but without understanding they will never be able to properly apply it. Such as Tiana with her drive to be a “spiritual person.”

To truly be in touch with her spiritual side, Tiana needs to step back and examine what drives her to be so accomplished. Maybe then she can slow down and learn how the process can be far more beneficial than the accomplishment itself.