I reviewed with some fourth-year students a concept I cover in my first-year classes.
After class, a student came up and asked, “Why didn’t you say that before? That would have been very helpful to know earlier.”
The student was experiencing the concept in a deeper way for the first time. Within each of us is a deeper understanding of everything. When we awaken to it, it can be hard to believe we’ve ever heard it before.
This can be compared to knowing the taste of a strawberry. You can hear all about what a strawberry tastes like, interviewing people and gathering descriptions of strawberries. You can study strawberries for years, from berry picking to chemical makeup and genealogy. You could even get a Ph.D. in strawberries. You would then have a thorough intellectual understanding of what strawberries taste like. But if you did that without ever tasting one and finally bit into one, you would probably say, “I know all about strawberries. I have a Ph.D. in strawberries. And there’s one thing I can assure you: This is not a strawberry.”
An intellectual understanding of the taste of a strawberry does not provide the experience. There is no way to know the taste of something without tasting it.
Deeper knowledge is within us, waiting for us to experience it.
In the case of the student, she had heard the words of the lecture, but hadn’t tasted the understanding, the experience of it. When she finally had a deeper experience for herself, things came together for her.
As the nature of existence becomes more available, it transforms the same old words you have heard before into something else, something new.
This is why I discuss the same concept in a myriad of different ways. When it hits right, knowing about becomes understanding at a deeper level.
And now for an even more fascinating point: In the future, it is likely that same student will approach me and say, “I thought I got it then, but now I really get it.”
Eventually, we begin to realize that each, “Now I get it,” brings us to another level of understanding, and then another, and then another. As the process goes on, we learn that we will never really “get it.” Truth is not a place or product; but a continuum. We grab onto notions because they serve and support life in that moment. Our next step may be to let them go. In time as we realize the progression, it becomes easier to hold things lightly, always ready to let them go.