Saturday, January 22, 2011

Knowledge and action

Your knowledge is only as deep as your action.

Knowledge means knowing. Action means doing.

This is especially important on the spiritual path.

For intellectually oriented people, it is very easy to get caught up in the dry intellectually stimulating but often useless details about arcane matters of soul, spirit, reincarnation, heaven, hell  etc.

To drag us deep into the whirlpool of futile intellectual pursuits, there is no dearth of excellent books written by many excellent teachers. Not one lifetime is enough to read even good number of them.

Is it not better to balance reading and acting?

Ramana Maharshi used to warn his disciples this way.

"What's the point seeing your face in several mirrors in the morning to check if you really need a shave? One mirror and one good look at yourself should clearly tell if you must shave or not. After that, your energy is better spent in getting a nice shave rather than going to different mirrors of different size and with different frames to see your same face and to reconfirm that you really need a shave."

Reading several books for pure intellectual fascination, following different gurus, following different paths etc. are not required.

Most of it is common sense any way.

Start spending quiet time by yourself and free of all external stimuli and eternal truth automatically start appearing to you.

It is just that we are all so busy with the mad rat race that we all have become rats and lost our true human nature which is essentially divine.

Of course, if you are knowledge centric, feel free to read a lot. There is absolutely no harm.

However, if you are a serious spiritual aspirant, just know that intellect can not figure that out. The eternal truth can only be experienced when we still our mind. Intellect is only good for dividing everything into good or bad, black or white, sane or insane. It can not understand unity. So, intellect is not the tool to find unity.

Think like a man of action. Act like a man of thought.

You will become a dry intellectual bore if you only read and never take time to contemplate. Contemplation is going right into the depths of consciousness. Reading, listening, watching etc. are only at the surface level. There are no treasures on the surface. Real pearls are found only the depths of the ocean. So, dive deep rather than spending your time on mindless pursuits on the surface level.

There is a very nice saying which goes like this - Data is good. It will keep the mind busy while the heart makes the decision.

Reading books leads to knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Corruption is a crime. Crime does not pay. Therefore, by reading books you will die broke. :) (False logic. But, funny. Found it somewhere on the net.)


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