Living Knowledge

Roy Masters – from the book- Meaning and Happiness

There are then two kinds of knowing and learning, which come about through two different kinds of reaction: one based on pride and temptation, the other on humility before God. The kind of living knowledge that is valid in the human experience must spring from the understanding heart. Understanding may bring with it knowledge, but understanding cannot be synthesized from knowledge.

You can have knowledge; you can deeply understand that knowledge; you can collate knowledge and put it to work based on understanding that springs again from common sense. Look at this example: one plus one equals two. Now you can see ahead that one plus two equals three. Knowledge alone does not know what to do with itself. It is only when you apprehend the process that makes you aware of knowing that knowledge becomes valuable.

Knowledge should enter the mind by way of understanding through the lens of the soul. It is not good enough for me to tell you that you should come in out of the rain; you really must see this for yourself.

As a matter of fact, if you fail to see it, the faculty of understanding tends to atrophy so that you will become dependent on others to tell you what you should know and do. The trouble with this approach, of course, is that these people are just as lost as you are, and, without understanding, you will not know what or whom to believe.

There is a limit to the value of external direction. Rote knowledge can cause rebellion against rote living, for it is always a guilt-producing compensation for not having understanding, and the answers that such knowledge brings can only substitute for the truth of understanding.

A man dies from misguided faith, faulty relationships and debilitating dependency on people and things.


“The true solution for this dilemma is found in meditation, which is not a slowing down of thought but rather a slowing down of the soul…”

We were designed to ultimately have such a relationship with God, Who gives understanding to him who seeks, not useless information. We must learn to depend on the leading of the Divine Knowing revealed to us in our moment of need, just as we have done in the past with books and people whom we believed knowledgeable.

When a man has solved a problem with understanding, he also becomes aware that if he had more understanding he could have met that moment better than he did; this is because the truth leads to the Light, and more Light is ahead, for when you give up worry through true faith, then you receive answers.

Being closer to reality through that exercise, you then see by disturbing hindsight how much better it could have been done. This kind of hindsight then operates as the next foresight, and true hope and faith progress on their journey to the Light. The ego, deceived by knowledge, experiences a similar but deceptive hope and growth process.

After an ego solution it is also easy to see how much better things could be done, simply because the right answer was mishandled, or else a new problem has been produced, which requires new knowledge to solve it. And so the proud ego moves on, restlessly following the ever-increasing spinning of its thoughts, seeking vacations and distractions in the mistaken belief that if it could only relax and slow its spinning thoughts, it would have the knowledge of how to deal with them and the problems they represent.

The true solution for this dilemma is found in meditation, which is not a slowing down of thought but rather a slowing down of the soul, which allows it to draw apart from the thoughts in the mind so that it can observe the thought process. The soul that is carried along in the stream of aspirations and illusions that arise in our intellect under the pressures of time and space is torn loose from its foundation of being.

Such a soul is a helpless prisoner of its body in the material universe, a stranger lost to a strange, harsh dimension that really should be subject to it.