Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands

3th June 2016

What we do know


Man is eager to convey that he knows. Man is certain that he knows and is embarrassed to admit that he does not know. Man does not wish to be known as ignorant in society.

What we do know cannot be denied, because denial proves that we do know to deny. We take pride in what we do know and it is natural if we wish to know more.

To know more is applauded and is the reason why we are conditioned to know more.  The conditioned pride in us takes for granted that we know what we do know. We take for granted what we do know, because we are only aware of what we know, but we are not alert how we have come to know.  If we were alert to what we know, we would understand how we do know and the way we do know cannot be denied either.

We believe that we do know exactly what we want to say.  We need to ponder deeply over this belief, in order to understand that we do not know exactly what was said before the claim that we know exactly what to say when we say it. We surely never know the exact thought before it appears as thought, but know it only after it appears. If we knew it before we would just stop it from coming, if it was a thought we did not want, but everyone knows that that is impossible. Similarly, we do not make the thought that we want to say. When it comes, we believe we know exactly what we wanted to say.

Man does not know the first thought that he will have in the day. He does not remember the last thought of the day before sleep overcomes him either. Life makes man know the first thought of the day and also the thoughts for the rest of the day. Life makes him not remember the last thought of the day. Man is not the thinker.

The enlightened have proclaimed that man will come to know what he is meant to know, which implies that he will say what he is meant to say. When this understanding cements in us, we will be grateful to life for the precious gift, which is what we do know is natural and man can neither make nature nor what we do know happen.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V.S. Shankar 20i6

Editor’s Note:
How often in our daily lives have we not prepared carefully for a meeting or for making a speech or even just when seeing a friend? The words to be used were chosen, memorised or written down so that we knew precisely what we were going to say. How often though was all this preparation not entirely replaced by what is new and fresh and uplifting both for the listener and especially for the speaker?   
Let us rejoice in Life’s gift of spontaneity.
Julian Capper, UK.

German Translator’s Note:
To learn something by heart is equivalent to make it part of our knowledge. From the first poem we have to learn by heart at school in an early age we believe in our capacity to know and to gather knowledge by will an choice. However, if a poem is learned, when would we know the exact moment when the learning is over and the poem is now in our head so to speak? We would never know, because only to remember it would be prove of a successful learning. Life is spontaneous and makes us appear as a thinker, gathering knowledge. Life doesn’t know anything and yet makes us believe we could know, in the human mind. What a deep insight the enlightened presents to us in this wonderful article!
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.

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