Only experiential understanding is understanding

In the course of my studying about trust in God in the book Alei Shur I came across a few statements that threw me for a moment. He said that there is no quality that people delude themselves into thinking they possess more than trust. Furthermore, if you haven’t understood the meaning of being God-fearing and the meaning of truth, you cannot possibly understand the meaning of trust. Trust is not something you can learn from a book. It’s not an intellectual knowing. It’s something your soul knows and something your heart lives with.

Since I haven’t yet studied those sections of the book thoroughly, I thought, am I wasting my time trying to tackle this section?

No, I don’t think it’s a waste of time. Getting to this understanding is a process. More than that, it’s an orientation. Not only is it not an intellectual understanding. My sense is that the attempt to understand trust rationally interferes with my experiential understanding of it.

I can only approach this understanding if I ask myself different sorts of questions. What does my soul know? How is an idea I am reading about borne out in my life experience?

Asking what my soul knows is not the same as asking what my ego thinks. Hearing how a text “calls me” is not the same as saying that it “speaks to me.” The latter affirms what I already think. The former pulls me to a new place, bringing me to transcend my self. There’s a very subtle but critical difference. As usual, to be continued…

Batya

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