Still working through this very definitive concept on knowledge:
“But when knowledge comes, the whole world is turned upside down. The meaning of things begins to emerge. And more importantly, the relations between things are seen for the first time. Questions are asked and answers are sought. A strong restlessness comes over the spirit and the enormity of error moves over the horizon like a vast shadow. Struggle emerges as the way of life. An appetite is awakened that can never be satisfied.” (Howard Thurman)
Dr. George Thomas who later began to identify himself as Ndugu T’Ofori-Atta, was my Professor of ‘The Mission Of The Church’. I came to find out that it was he who gave me the nomination to represent the Interdenominational Theological Center in the First Howard Thurman Educational Trust Dialogue. I could say a lifetime of the encounter with Dr. Thomas; only here to say that he walked me down the aisle of Central, Atlanta church to marry Johnnie Warren Riles, III; performed by the Pastor, Joseph E. Lowery and Dr. Major J. Jones, President/Dean of Gammon.
It is one of Dr. Thomas’ teachings that is still coming into the fullness of meaning. I have research across the years to find the origin of this teaching with no success. He taught it as an ‘ancient African Tradition’. He gave us the name ‘unasikia’. Even to the spelling I have no reference. That there are three levels of understanding. When you hear something for the first time it is for the ear and is information. The second time you hear it, for the mind, knowledge. The third time you hear this it is for the heart –wisdom.
In 2015 Harvard Graduate School of Education brought together a group of it’s Professors to entertain the subject “What Is Knowledge?” There is the immediate ramification noted that this question has been on philosophers’ minds for 2,000+ years. Associate Professor Tina Grotzer referenced ‘conceptual knowledge’ and ‘structural knowledge’. Numeracy. Nature; (that other word for… Life). Professor Gigi Luk talks about the acquisition of knowledge in the stages of childhood development. “In early childhood we take knowledge as building blocks. There remains the need for critical thinking skills to evaluate that knowledge, to ask questions, to be skeptical. Enabling the next generation of knowledge builders. “Knowledge Generators.”
More and more in this 2023 world, I hear and see the sense that very little makes sense… any more. Foundations and Value Systems are in such a state of erosion that the ‘meaning of things’, the ‘relations between things’ are ‘in the cloud’ and so very difficult to see. Surely it is the ‘struggle that emerges and for the seekers of knowledge this struggle is clearly a way of life. For those who have no vision towards knowledge, the asking of questions; the knowledge building; the knowledge generators must… come forth, even from ashes.
Conversations this week with my cousin on her return from Dubai. I have always heard from persons in their travels there of somewhat of a paradise; that in effect turns our ‘whole world upside down’. Where is the disconnection between our nation where the people are no longer considered in the preservation of life processes? I keep hearing the concept “Greed” for which a working conceptual knowledge is a must. At the end of the day Greed is in religious knowledge… sin —a deadly sin. Destroyed for lack of Knowledge of God. Social inter- dependency finds life in questions being asked and answers being… sought.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” “To get Wisdom is better than gold; to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” (Proverbs)
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