Thursday, March 01, 2007

Comprehending What You Read

I was reading a scripture last night that I don't think I comprehended anything that it truly said. I stopped and re-read it, and still don't have any idea what it truly means. I understand the basics of what it said, but it's just a head knowledge. I can probably quote it, but that's about it.

I know that I'm somewhat intelligent, so it isn't a matter of my brain not being able to rationalize what I'm reading. I think the problem that I'm having is, I don't have the foundational information to use in my understanding. It's like someone trying to explain to me how a carburetor works, when I don't know what parts make up one or for what function it holds.

This has me thinking - Isn't this the foundation of ignorance? Ignorance isn't that the brain's inability to process information - it's that it doesn't have enough initial programming to organize the information into a final conclusion. Without the foundational information - the rest is just illegible, incomprehensible, unrecognizable gibberish.

There's a lot of gibberish I struggle to understand. In my writing, in my relationships, in my spiritual walk, etc. When I come across it - I start to recognize that there's something missing in the foundation of what I think I already know. I'm led back to the beginning.

I've got to learn how to spell, type, write, learn the rules of punctuation, grammar and language, learn how to plot, outline and flesh out characters - before I can manipulate all that information and transform it into something new. I don't create anything - which is to make something from nothing. None of us has creative power. But, if I learn the basic elements of something, I can form it into something else. Just like an old joke indicates, I've got to get my own dirt. (If you don't know the joke (the foundational teaching), you won't get the pun.)

So, while I try to comprehend exactly what happened on the mountain of transfiguration, I'm beginning to see the difficulty in comprehending what I read. It's not about my ability (or lack thereof) to read - but to have the necessary information already stored to help me understand.

If I don't understand 'who' was on the mountain, 'why' they were there, 'what' actually happened and the cause and effect of the act, how will I comprehend what it's trying to tell me?
I'm a curious person by nature, a modern-day Nancy Drew. I want to understand the physical world around me - and the spiritual world within and beyond that. I won't be able to do that unless I can understand, divide or process the information I receive. Reading it - isn't good enough. I must comprehend it.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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