H. S. Lewis - Wisdom of the Sages - Knowledge

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"Knowledge," says the Mystic, "is the sum of facts and truths, and nothing but these, gleaned from experience, education or comprehension, without prejudice as to the channel through which the influx of knowledge may come, the source of the education, its nature, or the objectivity of the comprehension."

[…]

To the Mystic all phenomena deserve unbiased and careful observation, while the cause of each phenomenon commands and demands the most rigid investigation and study that it may be properly classified and related to other causes or the great primary and fundamental cause.


The days are gone when the Mystic is considered to be "one who holds to the possibility of direct conscious and unmistakable intercourse with God by a species of ecstasy," unless such ecstasy includes every sane, conservative and rational method or process of analysis, investigation, study and reasoning.


That the Mystic does have what he, in all sacredness and reverence, calls direct and unmistakable intercourse with God, is true. It is only when such intercourse is interpreted in the light of material or objective possibilities that the Mystic's claims seem to be unscientific or irrational.


If the existence of God is assumed,--and the Mystic substitutes his positive knowledge for the common assumption--then the Mystic sees and feels no strangeness in his communion with God through the medium of all phenomena. To him intercourse with God is not only possible but a constant reality through the observation and study of the most minute form of cell life.


But, to the Mystic comprehension is fundamental; he comprehends where others do not. He understands where others cannot. If the basis of understanding is relativity, the Mystic is most perfect in his understanding, for he is a Mystic only because, in the nature of things, he has discovered or become conscious of the true relation of all things, all laws, all principles and all phenomena.

[…]

Essentially, then, the Mystic is one whose comprehension is based upon a divine understanding of things fundamentally; and all that he perceives, observes, analyzes and studies must reveal facts, and these facts being absolute and true, conform with his understanding and comprehension, and associate themselves with the fundamentals well established in his consciousness.

[…]

Can we not say, then, that unto a few men comes that wisdom which is not common to all? and is not the law of selection as consistent, as logical and as just as all other laws of nature?


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