To Know

To Know

To Know God There are two ways in which we can know God. First, we know about God because we have heard about Him from others. We have inherited a tradition about God from our fathers, from our ancestors, and from all great people in the past. This, however, is not enough. No matter how much a person may have heard about God, he must also have his own personal experience of God. Unless a person has experienced God for himself, he will never have any true idea of what God is

In a way, it is like love. If you have ever been in love, then you know what I mean when I speak about love. But if you have never been in love, the word is totally abstract. You may imagine that love is something very nice, but you have no experience of it. Even if you read what poets sing about love, you can understand it only on the most abstract level. However, if you have ever been in love, the word will have very powerful connotations for you

The same is true for God. If you have experienced closeness to God even once your life, then when I speak about God, you know exactly what I mean, and the concept has a very strong spiritual connotation. But if you have never had this experience then God is something very abstract and can be described only on an intellectual level. We can speak about God, argue about Him and even debate his existence. However if you have ever experienced God, then there is nothing to talk about. As soon as I mention the word God, you know exactly what I am speaking about, since God is as much part of your existence as He is of mine. One who has ever been in love might argue that love does not exist. The same is true of one who has never experienced God. But for one who has had the experience, there is no question.


Excerpt from Jewish Meditation

– Aryeh Kaplan

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