Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two Kinds of Knowing

The verb "to know" has two basic meanings. On the one hand there is a factual kind of knowing. In this kind of knowing we "know about" something or someone. For instance, to know about a person, we might know how tall they are, what they are wearing and the nature of their work.

A second kind of knowing is "to know" a person. In this kind of knowing, we know someone on a deeper level than factual. We know who they are-- their values, their beliefs and their expectations of our relationship with them.

This second kind of knowing is important in a loving relationship. To love someone is to know them in a deeper way. Certainly, we might love how they look and what they do. But love can also deepen so that we get to know who they truly are and receive their love in return.

These kinds of knowing/loving can be applied to our relationship with God. We might "know" that God exists and is the creator of all that is. Yet, if we are to have a close relationship with God, we need to know God in the second sense. This second way of knowing means having a spiritual connection with the holy and sacred dimension of life. In this spiritual connection, we don't only know about God, but we know God and are known by God.

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