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October 9, 2004

The Transfer of Knowledge

In a book Iím reading, The organization of information, the Author distinguishes between information and knowledge. I found this explanation very interesting. She said something like knowledge is the internalization or actualization of information. Information is a static item that can be used to arrive at knowledge. However information is not knowledge. Someoneís knowledge can be recorded, but this becomes information and does not represent that personís entire knowledge.
Thich Nhat Hanh said that if you know what a lemon tastes like and you want to share that with someone who doesnít know, it is very difficult for you to transfer your knowledge to the other person. You can explain what a lemon tastes like, you can describe the texture, the feel, the taste in whatever words you can find that are appropriate to your experience. But, what you really want to share is not the description of it, but the actual experience. It would be much better to just give the other person the lemon and let them bite into it. Then they would have knowledge of the lemon.
Many people know and experience the love of God, yet do not know how to transfer their knowledge to others. They can tell us that God is love, that God always answers our prayers, or that God is the Universe and the very breath we breathe and without God we could not be alive or exist. Yet what they really want to tell us is not the description of who God is or what God does, but the experience of God.
Because of this difficulty in sharing our experience, or knowledge of God, we are left with information about God that is not knowledge unless it is internalized or actualized. In this life we are given the opportunities to experience God. We can hear about God all we want and we can form our opinions about God, yet we still would not have knowledge of God. We would have information about God. But when we experience God, then we know. When we know God we know that God truly is love and all of the miracles that have ever been done on this earth were done through Love. When we pray for God to help us in this world, God hears us. God does something. God answers us, but to know this, we have to experience it. I see God working in this world and changing peopleís hearts all the time. God is closer to us than our own jugular vein. God knows the number of hairs on our head and he knows our hearts. God is so close that we cannot be separate from God and still live.
Since we know that all of that information is not true knowledge, we can seek out opportunities to experience God so we do know. Since God is Love, that is a good place to start. Love others as we love ourselves. When we truly do this, then we know and experience God.

Posted by carl1236 at October 9, 2004 11:41 PM | Knowing God