Spiritual wisdom is to be mulled over, not skimmed over
We live in a culture of information overload – updates from various devices, feeds and apps clamor for our attention. We cope by skimming over most of what we read.
By the time we finish skimming a piece, we may struggle to recall the first thing in what we just read. But recollection is foundational to application, which is the purpose of spiritual knowledge. Even if skimming is a necessary survival skill today, this habit that helps in matters of matter can harm in matters of spirit.
In material life, we skim because most of what we read is largely irrelevant. In spiritual life, we skim because what we read often seems familiar, especially after we have heard the basic philosophy. However, such skimming overlooks the reality that spiritual knowledge’s value comes not from its informational novelty, but from its transformational potency.
The essence of spiritual knowledge is that we are at our core souls, beloved parts of the all-attractive supreme Krishna; and we can find lasting happiness by redirecting our love from the world to him. We grow spiritually not by learning new facts, but by developing a closer relationship with our oldest benefactor. And we come closer to Krishna by applying what he teaches.
Such application through assimilation is demonstrated in the Bhagavad-gita. While concluding his message (18.63), Krishna asked Arjuna to deliberate before deciding what to do. Arjuna responded by internalizing the message and altering his course of action – he chose to act according to Krishna’s enlightened guidance (18.73), thereby attaining both material and spiritual success (18.78).
So, rather than skimming over spiritual knowledge, we can mull over how we have been applying it, what challenges we have faced and how we can overcome those challenges. By such contemplation, we can deepen our realization, strengthen our devotion and increase our spiritual satisfaction.
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