Tapestry Institute
  Spiritual Ways of Knowing

"The man who sat on th ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures and acknowledging unity with the universe of things was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization."  Read more ...
-- Chief Luther Standing Bear

"People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time. If the children had ever thought so, they were cured of it now."   Read more...
-- C.S. Lewis

"Looked at, but not seen, the name is invisible. Listened to but not heard, the name is silent. Grasped at but not obtained, the name is intangible."  Read more ...
-- Laozi (Daodejing)

Spiritual ways of knowing are not primarily about the canons and creeds that make up the organized body of religious practice. Those documents, while inspiring and instructional, tend to be more intellectual because they use analysis and generalization. Visible at
their ancient and original cores, however, are the root experiences of spiritual knowing that all humans experience from time to time: intuition, revelation, awe, reverence, fear, and wonder. This kind of knowing is often tied to a person's sense of having encountered something much larger than the self, yet something intimately related -- even something experienced as the Whole within which the self is only a part. The great spiritual texts of the world's religions record such experiences of their authors, and evoke them in readers.

Spiritual ways of knowing are keyed to the great paradoxes humans face, the complementarity of light and darkness, illness and health, life and death. That the best of our existence is interlaced with perilous and tragic events challenges any sentient being, and it is often in spirituality that we find expression of the mysterious, unspeakable power that lies in embracing exactly that which most terrifies us. Says Sam Keen in "Fire in the Belly" (1992), "The authentic religious quest has always been the quest to absorb one's own shadow, to realize that we ourselves are the projectors of evil. To be a joyful person, know your depression. To be a good person, know your evil."

To explore an example of spiritual knowing first-hand, visit Spiritual Learning about Tornadoes. Note:  The Tornado link takes you to an older Tapestry webpage that has not yet been reformatted because of its high image content.  Use the return button on your browser to return to this page when you have finished exploring the example.

East Intellectual Ways of Knowing and Learning
Example: Intellectual ways of knowing about Tornadoes
South Experiential Ways of Knowing and Learning
Example: Experiential ways of knowing about Tornadoes
West Spiritual Ways of Knowing and Learning
Example: Spiritual ways of knowing about Tornadoes
North Mythic Ways of Knowing and Learning
Example: Mythic ways of knowing about Tornadoes
Center Integrated Ways of Knowing and Learning
Example: Integrated ways of knowing about Tornadoes



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