Do You Know If You Know?

As you know if you are a regular reader, we have been exploring here something that I call The Holy Experience. And I said here last week that in this present issue I would see if I could even more closely describe that Experience, by more broadly defining it. So, here goes...

The Holy Experience is as varied and as infinite as Life. It is a particular aspect of Life that explains life TO life through the process of life itself.

The Holy Experience is the experience of knowing, and of knowing that you know. It is the experience of being, and of being what you are being. It is the experience of having, and of having what you have.

I know that all of this may sound like just so much gobbledegook-- circular talk getting nowhere--but if you will have a little patience, I think you will be well rewarded.

When I speak of the experience not only of "knowing," but of "knowing that you know," I am speaking of two distinctly different encounters with life. A wonderful teacher once opened me to the awareness that there are those who... not know, and do not know that they do not know. not know, and know that they do not know. not know, but think that they know.
...know, but do not know that they know.
...know, but pretend that they do not know.
...know, and know that they know.

All of us fall into one of these six categories. So it is one thing to know, and another thing to know that you know.

Now the truth is that all of us know all that there is to know. Yet not all of us remember this, and so we have the experience of not knowing, or of knowing, but of not knowing that we know. In the moment that we know, and know that we know, we have had the Holy Experience.

Because this experience is so vast, it is almost more difficult not to have it than to have it. Yet most people still manage to not have it--even though half the world is yearning for it. That is because half the world does not understand that it is yearning for that which it already has.

For instance, peace.

The world's people yearn for peace, yet they do not experience it, nor do they demonstrate it. That is because they do not understand that they are peace. And in denying that which they intrinsically are, they deny themselves the experience of it.

This is what I meant when I said, just a bit ago, that the Holy Experience is being, and the experience of being what you are being.

To give you an example of what this means, or of how this could "show up" in real life, I can remember my father raising his voice at me in frustration when I was in high school because of the poor grades I kept bringing home.

"You're smarter than this," he would say, waving my report card at me. He was right. It was one thing for me to "be" smart (I was), but quite another for me to be being smart in my daily life--that is, to be acting like that. I was not demonstrating what I was, I was not demonstrating what my father knew me to be. I was IT, but I was not being IT.

To be, or not to be...that is the question.

Similarly, it is one thing to have everything in life, but if you are "having none of it" (that is, if you do not believe that you have it, or cannot acknowledge that you have it, or do not appreciate that you have it), then you may as well not have it at all.

You will not experience having it because you are not willing to "have" what you have. You are not willing to hold what you have been given.

That is why the marriage vow says "to have and to hold." You can have something, but if you do not hold it, it is just the same as not having it at all.

It is as if someone had given you a great gift, but you dropped it the moment you got your hands on it. You let go of it. You still have it. It is still in your possession. The person who gave it to you has long since disappeared. But you will not pick it up and hold it. And so it lies there at your feet, as useless as if you did not have it at all.

I cannot tell you how many people I have seen ignoring their talents in exactly this way. They have been given great gifts, but they will not pick them up, they will not use them.

And so the Holy Experience is knowing that you know, being what you are being, and having what you have. It is a large experience. It is a huge experience. It is the experience of who you are, writ large.

Hugs and love,




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Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.


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