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- Religion - Science Knowledge

Wisdom, Science and Religion

Wisdom – the unification of knowledge and action – is a spiritual capacity of every human being. The origin of an individual’s wisdom is the acknowledgement and embodiment of the teachings of God through the Manifestation of God. The Manifestation quickens the spiritual condition of humanity and empowers the capacity of wisdom; the teachings enable humanity to acquire knowledge about reality more fully, to understand its meaning, and thus provide opportunities to exercise wisdom.

Wisdom is the proper use of knowledge – towards betterment. An individual seeking wisdom is constantly informed from the twin systems of knowledge: science and religion. True religion must be distinguished from traditions, and true science from dogmatic materialism. A community’s practices are not equal to Revelation itself. Humanity strives to understand meaning in the Revelation, and this understanding has limits. It is this understanding – which we term the system of religion – that can degenerate into superstitions unless weighed in the light of scientific reason. And scientific assertions are not equal to the Laws of the physical and biological universe. Humanity strives to understand physical reality, and this limited understanding – terms the system of science – must be directed and illuminated by true religion lest it becomes idle.

All can manifest the quality of wisdom through applying the knowledge of religion and science towards individual and collective transformation.

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Please refer to Figure 2

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Categories
Human Nature Knowledge

Information, Understanding, Wisdom

Knowledge is distinct from information.  Facts are the raw materials of knowledge – just as brick and wood do not, in themselves, constitute the building itself but are shaped into a structure, so is knowledge a structured system.  The system of knowledge includes facts and information, and also includes concepts, hierarchies, connections, patterns, and concepts.
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Knowledge and understanding are also not the same, though this distinction is subtle.  Understanding is a latent spiritual capacity bestowed upon every human being, through which an individual can gain knowledge; knowledge is only meaningful if accompanied with understanding.  For instance, there are laws and an order to nature – say, the physical universe.  Nature, obviously, cannot know the meaning of these laws, and is not conscious of this order; it simply abides.  Humanity, on the other hand, not only can know the laws of physics, but understand the meaning underlying their existence.  To know them is not enough; to understand them is to penetrate to their meaning.  Because the reality of human nature is the soul, and because understanding is a quality and faculty of the soul, the search for knowledge is concerned both with sharpening the powers of the mind and the powers of the soul.  A learning mode implies and requires a constant endeavor to develop one’s spiritual qualities.
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An awareness of the powers and capacities of the soul, and their role in both knowledge acquisition and understanding, helps prevent an individual from adopting dangerous habits of thought – one in particular being the false dichotomy between mind and heart.  Though designations are useful in language to aid in comprehension of complex concepts, such as will, understanding, and knowing, rigid categorization only serves to limit the development of human potentialities – the human being is one; its diverse abilities are all coherent.
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Wisdom is the result of knowledge accompanied by understanding; it connects knowledge with action and enables one to apply knowledge in various ways to a range of situations.  Thus, striving for wisdom is striving to fulfill one’s two-fold purpose in life: to develop spiritual capacities and qualities in the context of contributing to society and serving humanity.
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How do you see information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom interact in daily life?