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Wow. WOW! don Miguel Ruiz is awesome, and explains the difference between spiritual wisdom and mindful knowledge VERY eloquently in this book… and as a side note… if you want to listen to this book it’s called The Voice of Knowledge, and you can download it for free if you sign up for our 14 free risk-free trial at our special link… AudibleTrial.com/IAMSpirituality. Lots of I AM listeners have signed up at Audible through that offer, and they report back to me they love Audible… which is not a surprise… because audible is awesome.
Okay… so what don Miguel so eloquently relates here is the difference between the two types of information we receive during our human lives. The first type of information is the information we experience first hand. For instance… when you were a baby… you learned from experiential knowledge how to control your hand. You didn’t learn that from someone else. You figured that out through trial and error. You saw your hand and arm waiving in front of your face… and although you ignore those feelings in your brain today… back then you could feel the area of your brain that was active when that motion happened. And so you started to poke and prod and play with your brain until you figured out how to pick up a cheerio. This… is experiential knowledge. It is the same type of knowledge you get when you burn that same hand on the stove, or when you gather what it feels like to plunge that hand into a pool of warm, swirling water. It is knowledge that transcends words, but that is very real, and it is knowledge that is somewhat universal among all humans.
And the second type of information we get… is what don Miguel was calling “knowledge”. And although I include experiential knowledge in the knowledge bucket, what don Miguel is specifically talking about here is MINDFUL knowledge. Knowledge that we learn from our interactions with other people.
We learn our language. We learn our culture. We learn our religions… all from other people. And that stuff becomes mindful knowledge. We learn our educational disciplines in school. Math. Science. History. Politics. All that is mindful knowledge.
When we learn the color red is called red… that’s mindful information. Our EXPERIENCE of the color red on the other hand… the color our eyes and brain sees… is experiential information… even if when I see red you see what I would call blue, the experience I have when I see red… doesn’t change if I was born in a different country and learned that red was called rojo, or rouge. It doesn’t even change for me if I have synesthesia and taste bananas in my mouth when I see the color red. For me… in experiential information… red is red is red… even if it tastes like bananas.
And so this delineates the main difference between the two types of information we are presented throughout our lives.
First… mindful information… that we learn from other people… is subjective. Language. Culture. Religion. Politics. Are all dependent on where you are born on the Earth. Even science and Math, although they are congruent internationally… are subjective because they are limited to man’s understanding of them… and because they are both imperfect. They both get improved yearly. So even science and math are subject to man’s capability to comprehend.
And this subjective mindful information is a good thing. Things like science, math, and medicine in particular would be in the stone ages if we didn’t pass down information from generation to generation.
On the other side of the coin… is our experiential information, and this information is more absolute… at least to us. But scientifically I can look at this table and be deceived… that I think it’s solid while in reality it’s 99.9999% space… the rest being energy. There’s nothing here. But the fact that I perceive it basically the same way as a sister from China does… makes that more an absolute and non-subjective piece of information. Even if some differences in how my Chinese sister and I might perceive this table because of differences in our brain wiring… there is no subjectivity in either of us on how we experience that table individually.
So what do we need to notice about the two of these things that will bring us some insight about spirituality? Well, there’s a simple little fact that the only way to learn mindful information is to get it from mindful sources such as books, classes, stories, etc., … and the only way to learn experiential information is to get it… from experiential sources. You gotta dive in and experience things to get experiential knowledge.
But in our world, many of us are trying to understand spirituality… and inner peace… and God, or whatever name you want to use… through mindful knowledge ONLY. And the simple fact is that you CANNOT DO THAT. It no worky.
It is impossible to learn about mindful things through experience… you can’t experience math… you can’t touch math… you can only understand applied concepts of math in the world… just like you can’t calculate out the feeling of plunging your hand into warm swirling water. You have to experience that. And so it is impossible to understand things that are experiential through mindful information. You can’t try to understand what it’s like to plunge your hand into warm swirling water through reading or hearing stories about it, or hearing a lifetime of analogies about it… you will only understand that experience when you actually DO it. And similarly… CANNOT understand God / spirituality / inner peace… from reading about it in the Bible… or the Torah… or the Quran… or the Bhagavad Gita… etc. you cannot get it from going to church or synagogue, or temple… and you will ONLY understand God / spirituality / inner peace when you have direct experience OF GOD / spirituality / inner peace.
Refer back to episode 20 for my story of when I met God… something that you can do too.
And so this whole podcast episode has gone by… with wonderful Toltec wisdom from don Miguel Ruiz… and the explanation of the differences between the two types of information we get in this world and how we learn them to say this:
We need to get you just enough information to get mind out of the way… so this podcast shares mindful information on how to do that… but ultimately… if you want to understand spirituality and God or whatever name you want to use… you will eventually have to release everything you think you know… and find that place within you where you actually experience it.
Even Buddha said do not take what I say at face value. Jesus said you must fast from the world.
Experiencing Spirit is the ONLY way you will ever understand Spirit. Sorry for the great news.
It’s great news, because when you uncover that place, no one will ever be able to cast doubt on that experience you had… it will be like they’re throwing marshmallows at a mountain… and it’s at that point you will truly know yourself… and when you will truly KNOW GOD.
No homework this week. But DO go download don Miguel Ruiz’s Voice of Knowledge from audible by going to AudibleTrial.com/IAMSpirituality. You can get it for free if you sign up for the 14 day free trial.
Twitter… Twitter.com/IAMSpirituality. Facebook… Facebook.com/IAMSpirituality. Good conversations happen there.
Next week… we may wrap up Body Mind Spirit 101 series so we can start getting to the good stuff. Send me challenges in your life… Sean@IAMPodcast.com. I’m going to share some of mine in episode 26. Although I’ve passed through enlightenment… you better bet I’m human. See you next week. Peace.
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