March 2, 2013

Knowing and realizing

What's the difference? Sometimes we utter the exclamation, "Oh, now I realize what that means!" 
Knowing is just an accumulation of information in our minds - a bank where our knowledge account keeps piling up. But realizing requires something more than this passive process. It requires an experience that gives meaning to that knowing. For example, a woman might know about child birth, its related process and the seeming trials and travails of this profound event, but until she has that baby herself she will never fathom the intensity of that intrigue, the bliss, the agony and the joy that accompanies it. Yes, for me this is just knowledge but for my wife it is a realization. Another example is about goodness as a life concept and the potential benefits of it; but it is only when we practice goodness that we experience the joy of it and the satisfaction that it brings in the form of peace and inner harmony. Until we live it we cannot truly believe the content and emotions associated with such reverence so as to make us believers. Religion is also in the similar vein a practice of morality in its essence as we have come to accept that as what comes from God must be the truth. But unfortunately, there is in many of our minds scepticism clouding this truth. On a cloudy day, even the surety of the sun is obscured and for someone who didn't know that there was a sun behind that cloud will continue to believe that there was no sun and only the clouds exist.  Such are clouds that keep us from realizing. Realizing this to be so is in itself a profound realization. Self awareness and the consequent journey to personal enlightenment are possible when we take such leaps. That is the practice of it through an understanding of its moral basis and how it meshes in with the oneness of all creation, we start experiencing the message it has for us - the reality behind the rituals. 
Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to move from knowing to realization. That is the most intrepid event for many of us. We want to know what's in it for us for sure before we take the leap. Of some things we will never know with that certainty of scientific rigor - but then scientific knowledge is in itself tentative and waiting to be disproved, and form the realm of actions that we take because society has shown the validity of it. 

Realization is needed for us to mature and be the responsible minds of tomorrow

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