Wisdom’s Way of Knowing
Transformation as Awakening
Sunday, January 11, 2015
(Baptism of the Lord)
One of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s guiding questions is: “How can we turn information into transformation?” How can we use the sacred texts, tradition, and experience to lead people into new places with God, with life, and with themselves? As we develop the Living School, online courses, events, and resources (like these Daily Meditations), we hold these goals close, knowing that we can only invite and lead. The real work of transformation is God’s to do—and ours to accept.
Tobin Hart, author of From Information to Transformation and a professor of psychology, maps six interrelated layers of knowing and learning: 1) information; 2) knowledge (where direct experience brings information to the level of mastery and skill); 3) intelligence (integrating intuitive and analytic), 4) understanding (seeing with the eye of the heart); 5) wisdom (blending truth with an ethic of what is right); 6) and finally transformation. Transformation, he says, is about waking up, whereas the first five are more about growing up.
Cynthia Bourgeault says that Jesus came to help people awaken, “but awakening is not that easy, and as a moshel meshalim [Master of Wisdom], Jesus had mixed success. As the four Gospels all record, some people glimpsed what he was saying while others missed it altogether. Some people got it part of the time and missed it the rest. Some people woke up and others remained asleep….” (The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart, p. 5).
How does one awaken? How do we move through our lives, taking in information and experiences, toward greater aliveness and wholeness? How can we approach this year of studying the Wisdom Lineage (as I see it) in such a way that we are roused from sleep and open to God’s transformative grace? This week we’ll explore wisdom ways of knowing that can support this journey.
Gateway to Silence:
May I love with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.