Monday, December 24, 2007

When both faith and reason fail you: Three forms of Knowledge

"Plato defined three types of knowing. The is pisis (faith). This means believing in something because someone in authority tells you so... The next higher way of knowing is dianoia (reasoning).. the test of reason and logic... The highest knowing is noesis - direct knowledge. This is the knowing that comes from the divine self." *

faith, reason, gnosisThroughout my life I have struggled with both faith and reason. As a teenager, I became a Christian. I was searching for answers for my existence here on this planet. Christianity came in a simple bundled package - believe in Christ, and you shall be saved. It was quick and easy and convenient solution to life's questions and problems.

However, all the answers did not from myself; it came from either church or the christian bible. Both were supposed to be infallible sources to the divine, and as time went by the less reasonable they seemed. Both hard list of rules and the biblical myths that were to be taken as literal truths that did my head in.

So after about five years of being faithful, I be come logical. I studied the sciences and ruled my life within the realms of what could be deducted and analysed. At first, like faith, it held all the answers that I needed and eased the cognitive dissonance I had in my life. But the problem with reason is that not all of life's decisions are logical. On a personal level, its not rational to make decisions that take you out of your comfort zone. For myself, quitting my job, travelling the world, and even falling in love broke the bounds of logic. It would have been a safe decision to remain where I was. But no matter what calculated risks I took, I would have to fight reason to take the next step.

So leaving faith and reason behind, I found myself. My own experiences, both internal and external, have provided me with the knowledge to evolve and even prosper. What long and strange (but wonderful) trip it has been!

* page 63, Ross G.H. Schott, The Dark Arts of Immortality

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