You who wantby Hadewijch
English version by Jane Hirshfield
Original Language Dutch
You who want
seek the Oneness
the clear mirror
|-- from Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, Edited by Jane Hirshfield|
/ Image by Lea Chvrl /
"You who want
I suppose that is all of us. We all want knowledge.
Society tells us that "knowledge is power," but we don't really have a clear sense of what knowledge is. In the modern era, we tend to think of knowledge as information, data. We think of knowledge as the feeding and exercise of the intellect. All of that is certainly important, but real knowledge is something else.
We can't think our way into heaven.
When mystics speak of "knowledge" they speak of gnosis. This is not information, but a profound Knowing. The knowledge we are talking about has more to do with full awareness. It is as if one floats in the vast ocean of knowingness itself. This "knowledge" is an all-encompassing recognition of meaning and interrelationship. It is direct and permeates one's whole being. It is the full bodied perception that living meaning somehow flows through all of existence, unifying everything within a living self-awareness.
Information is observational, external, and always limited. This is not to say that gnostic knowledge has nothing to do with informational knowledge, however. In spiritually open states, one's intuition may be refined and heightened. Clear insight about a certain person or situation may just pop into your mind as a fully formed understanding, as if you suddenly see the whole pattern without having to work so hard to connect all of the individual bits of information. But this is more of a byproduct, an ornamentation on the face of knowledge, not the knowledge itself.
Real knowing, gnosis, is alive, all-permeating, all-unifying. It reconnects us within the living whole... and leads us into ecstasy.
...seek the Oneness
This is why, real knowing is about seeking oneness, turning within, learning to see ourselves honestly, truly, clearly.
Surprisingly, none of this knowledge is ever acquired. It isn't a new possession or experience or even a new thought. It is already here, at rest in the center of things. When it is found, it is as familiar as our bones. It is our very nature. It is already waiting.
the clear mirror
Have a beautiful day!