And in understanding, knowledge;
This one has caused me the most difficulty so far... my unfolding understanding of the prayer is that it asks a series of boons, each one taking us further to the heart of what it is we are truly focusing on... it mirrors a natural growth of awareness and is, as such, a call to self initiation.
In that sense, each stage refers to a state that is generally regarded as "higher" in nature than the previous (or "deeper"... use whichever metaphor suits)... except this.
In understanding spiritual and psychological growth, mere knowledge is regarded as a precursor to understanding, which has connotations of placing the knowledge in a wider, more ecological, context, and of giving meaning to what would otherwise be simple data/information. So why, why does the prayer take us to understanding first and then lead us to knowledge?
My understanding (sic) is that philosophers, epistomologists, distinguish between knowledge of and knowledge how
. Contemplative and mystic traditions focus on the importance of understanding, and druids are especially well placed to recognize the importance of placing knowledge (information) in a greater ecological context BUT
understanding is nothing without action... this line is the start of a call to act, to act within the world, to act from not just what we know, but what we feel, integrated into a greater whole.
Understanding is deeply important. But maybe this line calls our attention to the awareness that contemplative understanding without action is little more than naval gazing, is a call to develop understanding as a basis for our action rather than for its own sake.Return to central thread