Knowledge Is The Great Mystery of Life

Knowledge is the Great Mystery of Life, Mozhaisk Reservoir, Moscow Region, Russia

Knowledge is the great mystery of life. It is the great mystery of my life. This I am told in Step 10. What Is Knowledge? And I am told this after the Step opens with “Knowledge is not the things that are usually associated with it.” This is very comforting to know, since I had the inkling from the very start that this Knowledge with a capital “K” has to be more than anything I have previously considered.

It has to be something mysterious, something that can only be understood through experience, through “profound intuition, great insight, inexplicable knowing, wise perception in the present and in the future and wise understanding of the past.”

I have lived with this understanding for quite a number of years, more than I can say for sure, for it is only now, from a vantage point with a better view, that I can see this Knowledge was with me earlier, before I knew what name to give it.

There were things I “knew” without being able to tell you how I “knew” them. And if I did tell you, you would probably laugh and look at me askance, with skepticism in your eyes and your finger pointed at your temple telling me that I was crazy. So I would keep such “knowing” to myself.

Now I know that this is part of the “inexplicable knowing” referred to in this Step; the gnosis I have mentioned before. It is something incredible and beautiful and true. And something very mysterious.

Knowledge is the Great Mystery of Life

And I take great comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who thinks this way and that this Knowledge is nothing new, but as old as time itself.

St. Isaac the Syrian

I found an interesting text while pondering on how to best approach this post. It is titled “The Mystery of Knowledge”  from Orthodox America and contains an excerpt from the chapter, ‘The Theory of Knowledge of Saint Isaac the Syrian,’ in Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by Archimandrite Justin Popovich. Saint Isaac the Syrian, a Christian mystic and spiritual writer, claims there are two kinds of knowledge—natural knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Natural knowledge is contrary to faith, while spiritual knowledge is “the perception of the mysteries,” “the perception of what is hidden,” “the contemplation of the invisible.”

This is something I “know,” and I choose to believe that this is the Knowledge presented in Steps to Knowledge, and in Step 10 in particular.

I am very happy to accept that Knowledge is the great mystery of life, for this gives me the freedom to explore. I am even happier to read at the end of this Step that “Knowledge is greater than this. It is your True Self, a Self that is not apart from life.”


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