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Seeker Or Knower


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As you may already know, friends, one of my favorite things to do on this forum is to present two things as if they are mutually exclusive, appear to affirm one over the other, and then conclude by claiming that I might be the opposite or both.

 

Here's my blanket generalization:

 

Seekers live the questions.

 

 

<<WARNING: heavily biased statement >>

Knowers content themselves with knowing the answers

 

 

I'll rephrase:

 

Knowers are content with the answers.

 

Which are you? Are you so obsessed with asking questions that you don't take the time to listen for the answers. Or are you so arrogant to believe you have the answers and don't ever ask the questions?

 

Yo! Yo! Yo! Break it down now...

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As you may already know, friends, one of my favorite things to do on this forum is to present two things as if they are mutually exclusive, appear to affirm one over the other, and then conclude by claiming that I might be the opposite or both.

 

That's dynamic unity. My favorite symbol.

 

"If we don't doubt God and our spiritual path, we are out of the gyre. There is no more hum, no music, no movement. We may enjoy the peace of not having to struggle with belief, but that silence may signal the end of spiritual vitality."

 

Gyre: A circular or spiral system of movement, especially a giant circular oceanic surface current. It represents the cyclical nature of reality, and the recurrent pattern of growth and decay, waxing and waning.

 

Which are you?

 

I am uber obsessed with asking the questions. I do get answers. However, my problem is, I don't sit still with the answers before I'm off and asking another question. :blink:

 

"Knowledge always has a wedge of ignorance in it, because the only way to be wise is not to understand everything. Ignorance, too, should have a wedge of intelligence so that it isn't mere stupidity. Real understanding is a creative mixture of certainty and unknowing." - Thomas Moore

 

"The great Dionysius says that our understanding of God draws near to nothing rather than to something. But sacred ignorance teaches me that that which seems to the intellect to be nothing is the incomprehensible Maximum." - Nicolas of Cusa

 

I'm in a quotey mood today. :D

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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I have found that seeking and questioning brings about degrees of disorder. Knowing brings a sort of stability that decays over time due to the impact of intelligent questions and new answers.

 

Rigid orthodoxy could be termed to be not natural under this definition which conforms with the basic operating patterns of complex natural systems. By the way, the gyre is the primary symbol for change in a system undergoing change into new stabilities.

 

AR and Fatherman, IMO you are both on the side of the angels on this one.

 

flow.... :D

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I have found that seeking and questioning brings about degrees of disorder. Knowing brings a sort of stability that decays over time due to the impact of intelligent questions and new answers.

 

Nice break down, flow! This is the proper way to answer the unanswerable. I agree with both of you. The relationship between Seeking and Knowing is not a one or the other, it's a process...a cycle. The problem arises when we try to make them exclusive...when we take one without the other.

 

Here's a plug for knowing.

 

The act of creating/manifesting ultimately requires knowing. Seeking is not enough. If a person wants to engage their own God given power of creation it requires knowing fueled by powerful intent. I am healthy. I am wise. I am wealthy. I have already found the love of my life. I have Peace. There is no room for seeking. Their is only knowing here. Why seek out something that is already here?

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Ahhhh yes, but having all that in an ordered life is usually transitory. Nature abhors stability such that you can have all of that, and then in the blink of an eye, you can lose what you have. I know, I've been there and back a couple of times, because creation of novelty demands sacrifice. There is no other way.

 

But it's eventually over, you seek new pathways and you are redeemed somehow, and newness takes a place in your life. You and life continues on into the future in different ways. Not like it was, but satisfying and stable again in new ways.

 

flow.... :)

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But it's eventually over, you seek new pathways and you are redeemed somehow, and newness takes a place in your life. You and life continues on into the future in different ways. Not like it was, but satisfying and stable again in new ways.

 

I find your words here comforting, flowperson. Mother Theresa spoke of a mystical period of her life that she never recaptured. But the knowing of God's presence sustained her ministry for the rest of her life.

 

Your wisdom and experience is a blessing to me tonight. :)

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By the way, the gyre is the primary symbol for change in a system undergoing change into new stabilities.

 

Yeah. I was thinking of changing my name to the gyre kid. :huh:

 

Are you "turning and turning in a widening gyre" (Yeats)? ;)

 

A medieval mystical treatise is entitled "The Cloud of Unknowing." It seems to me that in the gyre model, Knowing is really suspecting--or maybe intuiting. Problems arise, I think, when we try to DEFINE things. The meaning of the word "define" is to set limits. So how could we set limits for God? Or really anything having to do with God?

Edited by Jeannot
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It seems to me that in the gyre model, Knowing is really suspecting--or maybe intuiting. 

 

I like that. "I suspect that God might be ..."

 

"But sacred ignorance teaches me that that which seems to the intellect to be nothing is the incomprehensible Maximum." - Nicolas of Cusa

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BTW, here's John Donne's version of a gyre:

 

On a huge hill,

Cragged and steep, Truth stands, and he that will

Reach her, about must and about must go,

And what the hill's suddenness resists, win so.

Yet strive so that before age, death's twilight,

Thy soul rest, for none can work in that night.

To will implies delay, therefore now do;

Hard deeds, the body's pains; hard knowledge too

The mind's endeavors reach, and mysteries

Are like the sun, dazzling, yet plain to all eyes.

Keep the truth which thou hast found; men do not stand

In so ill case, that God hath with his hand

Signed kings' blank charters to kill whom they hate;

Nor are they vicars, but hangmen to fate.

Fool and wretch, wilt thou let thy soul be tied

To man's laws, by which she shall not be tried

At the last day? Oh, will it then boot [= profit] thee

To say a Philip [iI of Spain], or a [Pope] Gregory,

A Harry [Henry VIII], or a Martin [Luther] taught thee this?

Is not this excuse for mere contraries

Equally strong? Cannot both sides say so?

That thou mayest rightly obey power, her bounds know;

Those passed, her nature and name is changed; to be

Then humble to her is idolatry. . . .

So perish souls, which more choose men's unjust

Power from God claimed, than God himself to trust.

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Which are you?  Are you so obsessed with asking questions that you don't take the time to listen for the answers.  Or are you so arrogant to believe you have the answers and don't ever ask the questions?

 

1) I know, with my puny brain, that I don’t know at least 99.9% of what there is to know.

 

2) I know, with my heart (as in the biblical intimate knowing), that I have experienced the ineffable Divine.

 

3) Because of that Gnosis (#2), I will forever be a seeker. I am “addicted” to “know thyself,” (in order to experience spiritual growth) as well as compelled to “lift up every stone” and search every “split piece of wood” for Christ and Sophia.

 

I am both arrogant (to Gnow that I have touched the Divine) and obsessed (to want more of it). B)

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I am both arrogant (to Gnow that I have touched the Divine) and obsessed (to want more of it).

 

It was crumby of me to only allow you the choice of arrogance and obsession. :D

 

Truthfully, you are blessed to Gnow the touch of the Divine and helpless in your desire to want more of it. :D

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As you may already know, friends, one of my favorite things to do on this forum is to present two things as if they are mutually exclusive, appear to affirm one over the other, and then conclude by claiming that I might be the opposite or both.

 

Here's my blanket generalization:

 

Seekers live the questions.

 

 

<<WARNING:  heavily biased statement >>

Knowers content themselves with knowing the answers

 

 

I'll rephrase:

 

Knowers are content with the answers.

 

Which are you?  Are you so obsessed with asking questions that you don't take the time to listen for the answers.  Or are you so arrogant to believe you have the answers and don't ever ask the questions?

 

Yo! Yo! Yo! Break it down now...

 

I tend to be pretty satisfied that faith isn't so much something that provides certainty as that which grants the grace and courage to live with uncertainty. So, I would have to say I'm pretty much a seeker by your definition.

 

However, I remember someone saying that to question is both to know and to seek. There must be some knowledge in order to frame the question (this is painfully obvious to me where computers are concerned--sometimes I haven't a clue how to frame the question to find what I need to know!), and also something sought necessitating the question in the first place. So, aren't we all something of a mix, never really one or the other? Whether we recognize it or admit it is another matter!

 

I have strong, clear, beliefs, but they are, I would hope, open to growth. My theology has never been static. Interestingly (to me, anyway), I have gotten more liberal and less doctrinaire as I get older. Luth

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I agree, Luth. The older I get, the more tolerant and liberal I become.

 

As for me, I would definitely classify myself as a seeker at this time of my life. I love asking the questions. Sometimes I obsess over it (I think I'm borderline-OCD; I ask questions and obsess, then get frustrated when I can't come up with answers that make sense to me right away o.O). I may enter the 'knowing' phase in the future, but that is yet to be determined. And it will be awhile - I'm only 23, after all.

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I agree, Luth. The older I get, the more tolerant and liberal I become.

 

As for me, I would definitely classify myself as a seeker at this time of my life. I love asking the questions. Sometimes I obsess over it (I think I'm borderline-OCD; I ask questions and obsess, then get frustrated when I can't come up with answers that make sense to me right away o.O). I may enter the 'knowing' phase in the future, but that is yet to be determined. And it will be awhile - I'm only 23, after all.

Only 23? Chad, I 'd say you can look forward to an interesting journey! :D

 

And don't count on ever really feeling that things are pinned down to where you can say you 'know' them. Once you do, you are in danger of becoming stuck. There is a bumper sticker that appeals to me: "MILITANT AGNOSTIC!. I don't know and neither do you.

 

Are you familiar with Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld novels? In one, Small Gods, a philosopher says something to the effect: "We're here and this is now. As I see it, everything else is pretty much up for grabs."

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