People often misidentify knowledge for understanding. Some people know many things, but they don’t understand anything.
It was a time when people desperately collected diplomas and certifications, and some still do. It allows them and other people to call them experts or specialists.
Gurdjieff noted: “Knowledge is one thing, understanding is another thing. People often confuse these concepts and do not clearly grasp what is the difference between them. Knowledge by itself does not give understanding. Nor is understanding increased by an increase of knowledge alone. (…)
In ordinary thinking, people do not distinguish understanding from knowledge. They think that greater understanding depends on greater knowledge. Therefore, they accumulate knowledge, or that which they call knowledge, but they do not know how to accumulate understanding and do not bother about it. (…)
As a rule, when people realise that they do not understand a thing, they try to find a name for what they do not ‘understand,’ and when they find a name, they say they ‘understand.’ But to ‘find a name’ does not mean to ‘understand.’ Unfortunately, people are usually satisfied with names. A man who knows a great many names, that is, a great many words, is deemed to understand a great deal – again excepting, of course, any sphere of practical activity wherein his ignorance very soon becomes evident.”
We also should discern between understanding and memorising.
The Western educational system, unfortunately, mainly focuses on memorising.
Memory, however, doesn’t mean understanding. Somebody may have a fabulous memory but not necessarily understand what they remember – know by heart.
Understanding means that you (…)
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