By way of self-criticism, Bar Hebraeus (1226-1286), warns: "Do not be a fool and assume that whatever you do not know does not exist. For what you do know, pales in comparison to what you do not."
All the wise philosophers that preceded him affirm this with the words, "I know that I know nothing."
Yes, though everyone thinks they know, knowing is not what matters.
It is a matter of knowing that one does not know. Of knowing oneself.
It is a matter of acknowledging one's lack of knowledge without bragging, boasting, and whining.
As it is written, "One of the beauties of knowing that one does not know is being able to observe oneself, realizing what one looks like from the outside and undertaking self-discovery. Those who do not know, know themselves. Striving to understand and learning are not an act of storing knowledge in the brain, but an endeavor to free the mind and soul. Learning something requires first and foremost knowing that one does not know. It is humanly impossible to learn something that one thinks they know."
It is a matter of the humble acknowledgement of one's fallibility in the face of the unknown.
It is a matter of having a pure heart and, consequently, a healthy spirit.
It is a matter of becoming aware of the spiritual unity we are in as different organs of the same organism.
It is a matter of getting rid of all unsound motives hurtful in intent and practice.
It is a matter of being freed of conceitedly aggressive negative thoughts and destructive criticism.
It is a matter of smoothing the disorderly and secretive propensities of all undercurrent forms of stubbornness, selfishness, domineeringness, abuse and exploitation, or even eradicating these entirely, if possible.
It is a matter of being constructive rather than destructive. It is a matter of making things easier, not more difficult.
It is a matter of lifting up, not dragging down. It is a matter of not being a slave to one's ego/flesh.
It is a matter of the ego knowing its place and keeps within its boundaries. It is a matter of silencing 'Me' So That 'You' are heard, and keeping 'Me' in check.
It is a matter of the person having unconditional self-respect, respect for others, and all of existence.
It is a matter of the person putting their ego in its place. It is a matter of the person not championing the ego.
It is a matter of the person acknowledging their own flaws and shortcomings. It is a matter of the person discovering their own weakness and impotence.
It is a matter of rising above narcissism as well as every kind of ostracism and prejudice. It is a matter of to defeat every kind of haughtiness and defiance.
It is a matter of knowing that to know God, one must first know oneself. It is a matter of to attain such discernment and light.
What truly matters is to be free, to remain individual under the dominion of the spirit. It is a matter of for the self to flourish...
What truly matters is to attain individuality, and to retain the balance between individuality and freedom.
It is a matter of to look at the truth through spiritual eyes of individuality.
That truth is humility!
It is a matter of to persevere in the truth and in the way of that truth.
It is a matter of not for the person to depreciate himself or herself, but to appreciate others through humility.
It is a matter of getting the ego out of the way and humbly embracing all existence.
It is a matter of being at peace with a humble spirit and merging with every single atom of life.
It is a matter of seeing all people and even creatures as one's equals without condescension, arrogance, boasting, and discrimination based on ethnic background, class/status, and identity.
It is a matter of hearing that incomparable divine whisper, and drawing back one's ego into the depths, the core, the self within the self.
It is not a matter of comparison at all. It is a matter of "Not forgetting that we are the various organisms of the same body/organism" (1 Corinthians 12:12).
It is a matter of accepting different talents and skills without falling prey to feelings of rivalry, as well as offering them for the use of others.
What truly matters is using one's authority, position, duty, talents and skills to serve without condescension, without expecting something in return.
It is a matter of knowing that all people are born equal, but into different circumstances.
It is a matter of knowing that there are different capacities of comprehension, evaluation, and internalization.
It is a matter of understanding, comprehending, and evaluating correctly.
It is a matter of trying to understand what Christ meant when he said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6).
It is a matter of understanding the words, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" (Matthew 20:26).
It is a matter of always keeping in mind the words, "those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" (Matt. 23:12).
It is a matter of internalization.
It is a matter of sincerity and consistency - the freedom of the spirit.
What truly matters is possession of a virtue that uplifts human dignity. Retaining humanity despite all.
It is a matter of striving to aid all existence through the spirit of empathy; taking inspiration from life, people, the entire universe; and inspiring others as much as possible.
What truly matters is being enlightened by the words, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).
It is a matter of facing life in high awareness of the above.
It is a matter of being close to oneself. Of knowing one's place.
A Persian proverb says:
"He who does not know, yet knows this; he is a child; educate him, groom him.
He who does not know, yet does not know this; he is ignorant, stay away from him.
He who knows, yet does not know this; perhaps he is asleep, wake him up.
He who knows, yet know this; he is wise, follow him."
A Syriac saying goes like this:
"To read a book without questioning it is a waste of time. It is like sowing air and reaping the wind and storm. Mundane reading is equal to a lifeless monument. It is similar to an ear of wheat without grains or grass in the wind. To read without speculation is to gather grass off of rooftops. It is done in vain, a useless endeavor."
Malfono Yusuf Beğtaş
President of Syriac Language-Culture and Literature Association / Mardin
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