Ways of Knowing

Intellectual: Reason, logic, and formal education’s response to truth; preferred form of Western people.

Volitional: when truth is known by choices and commitments we make; tied to time, memory and struggle of ongoing, refined decisions.

Emotional: when the great emotions (anger, fear, hatred, desire, ecstasy grief) are able to open us to truth; eventually necessary to fully “know” (underplayed by intellectuals).

Bodily/Sensory: when the actions and movements and five senses of the body themselves teach us truth.  Despite supposed sacramentalism of the church, it has deeply mistrusted “corporeal theology”.

Imaginative: When the truth of the larger unconscious is known usually through pictures, stories, myth, images and fantasies as unconsciously operating archetypes that are operating are awakened in our consciousness giving coherence to life and knowledge. “Ego-consciousness” resists its scary power.

Aesthetic: When matter and form come together to create the beauty or ugliness of truth.

Epiphanic : The peak experiences and breakthrough moments that reveal Big Truth. “The Grail Experience” that cannot be orchestrated or manufactured. Always grace! This way relativizes all other forms of knowing and all other systems. The individual needs a strong inner lover to be able to fully experience it, a well-developed inner warrior to not indulge it, a wise inner magician to learn what it is really saying and what it is not saying, and a powerful inner King/Queen to hold it together in “reality”…(which is nothing more than a collective hunch).

 

Taken from Richard Rohr: Quest for the Grail (page 50)