“When Reason speaks to you, hearken to what she says, and you shall be saved. Make good use of her utterances and you shall be as one armed. For the Lord has given you no better guide than Reason. … For Reason is a prudent minister, a loyal guide, and a wise counselor. …
“Yet be mindful that even if Reason be at your side, she is helpless without the aid of Knowledge. Without her blood-sister Knowledge, Reason is like house-less poverty; and Knowledge without Reason is like a house unguarded. … Reason and Learning are like body and soul. Without the body, the soul is nothing but empty wind. Without the soul, the body is but a senseless frame.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Reason and Knowledge
Many will be confused by Gibran speaking of reason and knowledge as if they are two different things. Many think they are the same thing. Others think that reason, which functions only on the material plane, needs only knowledge of the material world to function properly. They are correct only if they think the material world is all that exists and the spiritual worlds are a fantasy. Gibran did not believe that. One thing many people don’t know about Gibran is that he not only taught spiritual and universal truth through his writings, he also ran a small spiritual school where he taught his students those things that cannot be put in writing.
Reason and Learning
In the short work that the quote comes from, Gibran talks about Reason and Learning, seeming to equate Learning to knowledge. That is true, of course,but we need to notice his use of capitalization. When he says “Learning and Knowledge,” it is not the same saying “learning and knowledge.” It is a fairly common practice for spiritual teachers to use capitalization to indicate something Divine, something beyond the world of matter.
So when Gibran and other spiritual teachers speak of Knowledge and Learning, they don’t mean taking classes in a pubic school or reading books. They are talking about a higher level of Learning, a higher Knowledge. They are talking about the truth that draws the misled out of Plato’s cave. Learning the Knowledge that end the Bale of misunderstanding each other is what they are talking about. The Knowledge called Gnosis.
This kind of Knowledge cannot be gained from books. It can’t even by shared with others verbally, it can only be gained individually. It has to be experienced. The only thing a spiritual teacher can do is point you down the path to that Knowledge, and help you avoid the pitfalls.
If a spiritual teacher tells you otherwise, he is almost certainly a false teacher. If her teachings have been carefully examined and accredited by the state, they are probably false teachings. The state, any state, has little reason to promote spiritual development. So generally we must start our spiritual awakening ourselves, and if you are reading this, you have probably taken that step. Once you have started down that path, your intuition will hopefully lead you to a true spiritual school that can hep you gain true Knowledge and use them together to help you in this world as well as the next.