August 21, 2007

Three Forms of Knowledge


image source: flickr photos
Text source: "The Way of The Sufi", by Idries Shah

Ibn El-Arabi of Spain instructed his followers in this most ancient dictum:

There are there forms of knowledge. The first is intellectual knowledge, which is in fact only information and the collection of facts, and the use of these to arrive at further intellectual concepts. This is intellectualism.

Second comes the knowledge of states, which includes both emotional feelings and strange states of being in which man thinks that he has perceived something supreme but cannot avail himself of it. This is emotionalism.

Third comes real knowledge, which is called the knowledge of Reality. In this form, man can perceive what is right, what is true, beyond the boundaries of thought and sense. Scholastics and scientists concentrate upon the first form of knowledge. Emotionalists and experientialists use the second form. Others use the two combined, or either one alternatively.

But people who attain to truth are those who know how to connect themselves with the reality which lies beyond both these forms of knowledge. These are the real Sufis, the Dervishes who have attained.

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds confused to me,
    Inductive knowledge,
    Deductive Knowledge,
    Revelation, (whatever that may be.