Knowledge as Love

One of the problems with reading Jürgen Moltmann besides the fact that I have to re-read everything around 10 times before I have the faintest idea what he is saying, is that once I believe I understand what he is saying I want to underline around every other sentence he writes. Of course, this completely defeats the purpose of underlining because I am no longer able to spot what I was trying to remember because of the mass of writing on the page. While reading The Spirit of Life some time ago, I was sending lots of quotes to Pam because I was so excited about what I had just read. One of the quotes I sent to her was the following:

When we try to get to know something by the methods of modern science, we know in order to achieve mastery; “Knowledge is power”, proclaimed Francis Bacon. We take possession of our object and no longer respect it for what it is. … The act of perception transforms the perceiver, not what is perceived. Perception confers communion. We know in order to participate, not in order to dominate. That is why we can only know to the extent in which we are capable of loving what we see, and in love we are able to let it be wholly itself. Knowledge, as the Hebrew word (yada) tells us, is an act of love, not an act of domination. When someone has understood, he says: “I see  it. I love you. I behold God.” (p. 200)

I believe this connects with so much of our knowledge. We do it with creation, others, and sometimes even ourselves. It is knowledge to dominate and control rather than knowledge to connect and love. Connection and love are so much better than domination.

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