Let My People Know

"From ignorance to knowledge, from meaninglessness to significant action"


There is a point in the function of the mind when thought no longer suffices with defining aspects of consciousness but begins to take sides, for or against. 

When one perceives something there is seemingly immediate recognition. 

But if we slow down the whole process and become aware of each phase, we may better comprehend it. 

Thus when awakening from anesthesia, or drug-induced stupor, it is possible to observe the slow passage back to normal consciousness. 

At first, one sees forms, colors, without any identifiable meaning; it is really an objective observation unprejudiced by memory. 

One does not see the chair or person at whom the gaze is directed; one sees a configuration of form and texture, line and color, the objectively pure information that a set of well-adjusted instruments could transmit. 

Afterwards, one enters into the level of Da’at, or Knowledge, where identification takes place and meaning accompanies observation. 

In other words, the perception of the senses, which is primary, is still not knowledge. 

One hears the sound of a human voice; only thereafter, recognizing whose voice it is and what it is saying to me, can there be any movement, from ignorance to knowledge, from meaninglessness to significant action. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "Sanctity and Retraint" in The Candle of God by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz