Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
11th August 2013
What does understanding mean?
In simple terms, understanding means the ability to understand. Present-day man has more understanding than his primitive counterpart, the reason being that primitive man had less intellect than present-day man. Present-day man understands that understanding is because of intellect an individual has. Intellect, however, is not man-made. If man could make intellect happen to him, nothing would prevent him from having as much intellect as he wanted. But this is not possible and man understands that. It is not possible because intellect is an inherent characteristic and, therefore, is not under the control of man’s wish to have more. Intellect and understanding without words and meanings are an inherent characteristic of the animal kingdom too. For example, an animal in the wilderness knows where water is. Likewise, intellect and understanding with words and meaning are an inherent characteristic of man. As intellect and understanding are inherent, it means that understanding happens to man with regard to what he is meant to understand. Intellect gave rise to understanding in a precise manner, which in turn gave rise to knowledge in a precise manner. This means that man has come to know what he is meant to know, just as a flower blossoms if it is meant to blossom.
Whatever man has come to understand, for example, about the functions of a cell, is based on cause, effect and time. It is incomplete and not complete understanding, because man understands the functions of a part of a cell and not of the entire cell. This is the understanding that has happened to present-day man. If man were to understand the functions of the entire cell, he would understand that the entire cell functions without cause, effect and time, because it would be impossible to find the first cause, effect or time.
Similarly, man has come to understand the functions of the other and of himself in parts, and not the complete other as the other is or as he is. He knows parts of the other man’s function based on cause, effect and time. It is an incomplete understanding and not a complete understanding of man. If man were to understand the other completely as the other is, he would understand that life happens to the other and to himself without cause, effect or time, because it would be impossible to find the first cause, effect or time that has happened to the other or to himself.
Likewise, man has come to understand life in parts based on cause, effect and time. It is an incomplete understanding and not a complete understanding of life as it is. If man were to understand life as it is, he would understand that life happens without cause, effect and time, because it would be impossible to find the first cause, effect or time.
So what does understanding mean? When understanding of life happens to man based on cause, effect and time, it is incomplete. They are the knowledgeable. And when understanding happens to man that life is not based on cause effect and time, it is complete. They are the wise or Sages.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar