«To educate» for the initiate means most of all to exteriorize the meanings hidden by words. To read, indeed, is not enough to understand “how to do it and why”. Simple divulging is not enough to understand the practical side of the teaching. The task of divulging is merely to report ideas rather than to reveal them to the eyes of the mind.|
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Reading is not enough to understand
«To educate» for the initiate means most of all to exteriorize the meanings hidden by words.
To read, indeed, is not enough to understand “how to do it and why”. Simple divulging is not enough to understand the practical side of the teaching. The task of divulging is merely to report ideas rather than to reveal them to the eyes of the mind.
In actual fact, reading doesn't produce wisdom but the mind that is able to take advantage of it does, because it absorbs correctly the principles. In other words, wisdom is not the ability to know and remember, but the ability to give life to what is understood, making it part of oneself. This is the “secret” of wisdom: to learn how to become ourselves, what we learn. First, though, we must understand, and do it properly.
The ability to understand depends mostly on the education we have received. Here the image of the educator appears in an initiatory field; his first characteristic is to picture himself in the mind and eyes of the person who's searching, so that he can imagine his difficulties in recognizing the teaching hidden by words and in the metaphors of a language made intentionally ‘slippery' as a defense.
Like plants defend themselves from the greediness of birds through leaves and thorns, the texts of certain initiatory source defend themselves from the curiosity of the passersby, using evasive words with dubious interpretation, so that they “can be understood only by those who are allowed to know”. We are back, then, to the postulate that says that reading is not enough to understand.
Divulging is important; but to know without understanding can cause serious damage when the learning process is left to the free interpretation of the reader. To prove this we can look at other branches of knowledge. Can you become a physician, an engineer, a surgeon or command an airplane or a boat by only relying on yourself? Even admitting possible exceptions, being a self-taught man in the field of knowledge is not a rule but rather a risk.
Therefore, like the editor of educational books relies on the teaching staff able to explain the concepts, so the divulger should rely on an educator able to correctly reveal the secret terms that we want to exteriorize. Otherwise, by scattering drops of precious water on the sand we will end up by wasting it.
Athos A. Altomonte