Knowledge is one thing and Understanding is another, but you and I can ‘understand’ something but still be a little hazy on ‘what it all means’ or still be unaware of what is going on.
What’s happening? and Why is it happening (or not) are the areas where Knowledge and Understanding get put into practice.
Awareness and Meaning complete the ‘big picture’ of ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’ or even the small picture of whatever is happening in your life today.
Between us, the human species, we’ve discovered most of how physical life works, how the planet we live on works and to some extent how ‘we’ work as individuals.
Most of the Knowledge about ‘life’ is in place as is a good portion of Understanding about it all.
Most of the time we are Aware of what’s happening – but only just ‘most’ – probably about 55% because there seem to be a lot of people who are completely oblivious to whatever is going on around them, at least in a holistic way.
The big question to which very few people know the answer is Why?
Why are we here – as individuals and as a species?
But before I address that we need to get back to the understanding-awareness equation.
Which comes first?
They both do depending on the situation.
Remember that without knowledge you cannot have either of these so how do these concepts operate?
Enter ‘cause and effect’.
Everything we do has a consequence and it’s not as simple as Newton’s ‘equal and opposite reaction’ partly because not everything we do is ‘physical’.
You and I may know what we are doing, we may feel that we are aware of what we are doing, we may even have an idea of its meaning or why we are doing it – but are we aware of the consequences of doing it?
It was originally thought that making bottles out of plastic would be an excellent idea. Making a plastic bottle consumed less energy and resource than making a glass bottle. Plastic bottles are more robust than glass and would be an ideal substitute, all of which is true.
But for some reason people didn’t use them in the same way as glass bottles or containers which were frequently re-used – think of glass milk bottles which were collected when empty, sterilised and re-used.
Plastic bottles, although they could have been used in exactly the same way were only used once and then thrown away.
Something that seemed quite logical and a good idea at the time was disrupted for some reason with consequences that we are now only beginning to understand and become aware of.
“We’ thought we knew what we were doing, we thought we understood what we were doing, and we had some level of awareness of what we were doing – but not of the consequences.
The consequences are of course a function of the meaning of what we were doing, and this is only a simple example of what can happen when the meaning of what we do with our knowledge is poorly understood and only vaguely in our sphere of awareness.
We think of ourselves as a civilised society – not really understanding what that is as the original meaning has become distorted – but we continue to do things the consequences of which have adverse effects on our lives.
We think we know stuff, we think we’re aware of what’s going on, we think we understand – but do we?
So what IS the meaning of all this?
Most of the religions have books and writings that contain the answer but sadly it has been lost in mistranslation and misinterpretation over the centuries.
You’d have to go back to source, usually in a language that no-one speaks any more to find out ‘what’ we are and ‘why’ we are here.
But there are many modern writings that do contain the answer.
Of these the clearest is a series of four books by Neale Donald Walsch entitled ‘Conversations With God’.
He explains that we are sentient spiritual beings, inhabiting a physical entity which is also sentient.
He explains that everyone is an individuation of the Universe, all separate parts of the same whole like grains of sand on a beach.
And just as grains of sand on the beach are washed away from time to time only to end up on another beach and so we leave our physical entities and are reborn elsewhere.
But unlike grains of sand, we, as ‘sprits’ or ‘souls’ have control over what we do and what form we take, and we do everything we do for a reason.
As individuations of the Universe, or Source, or God, whatever you choose to call the ‘higher power’ or ultimate entity, we are each here to gain an experience of life which contributes to the greater experience of the Universe.
This is all explained very clearly by Walsch and similarly by other authors such as Esther Hicks, Andrrea Hess, Mary Morrissey and many Eastern writers – and this explanation is in the Holy Books – but you have to be looking for it to find it.
The meaning of life is for us to experience something and add it to the collective consciousness.
Star Trek Deep Space 9 describes a species of ‘changelings’ that were sent throughout the galaxy from their home planet to gain experience and then return back to share it in the ‘Great Link’, an ocean like fluid from which all the changeling individuations emanated.
But there’s a problem.
Most people don’t accept this explanation and resist it, sometimes very strongly.
Because the meaning of life requires us to take full responsibility for our own actions, full responsibility for the experiences we make and gain.
There is no-one to blame for anything that happens, only you and I, because everything that forms part of our individuated experience is a consequence of a choice we have made at some time or other in some incarnation or other.
Everything, no exceptions.
You see, because everyone is part of the same Universe entity, even though we may have alternate views of it, and composed of the same energy, energy which IS and which cannot be added to or lost, then although we operate as individuals, there is in truth only one of us.
We, you and I, are the Universe as is everything else that exists in it, even the plastic bottles.
There is only One of Us