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The Body of Faith (Part 3)

To know and to understand are two different things. When you climb a ladder, unless you abandon the lower step, you will not be able to climb to a higher one. Knowledge is like that. If you are not ready to let go of your knowledge, you cannot get a deeper knowledge of the same thing. The history of science proves this. You discover a new thing that helps you understand better. Yet you are aware that some day you’ll have to let go of that thing in order to discover something deeper and higher. The Buddhist teaching of abandoning your knowledge is very important.

The process of learning and understanding has to do with your faith. As you let go of one notion, one understanding, your faith grows. The kind of Buddhism that you learned when you were twenty years old, you have to let go of. The notion of Buddha you had when you were fifteen is quite different from your understanding of the Buddha now. Your understanding of the Buddha is deeper and closer to reality now. But you know that you have to let your notions go in order to have a deeper understanding of the Buddha.

Thich Nhat Hanh
from Going Home; Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

to be continued…