How Do They Know That?

Mr. McCarty taught high school chemistry. When we didn’t have him off the track discussing model airplanes or aquariums, he would present an equation. We were expected to memorize that equation and then use it to solve a chemical balance reaction.

The good students did just that. They got A’s.

Then there was me. I sat there wondering, “How do they know that?” There was no satisfaction with simply memorizing an equation and working it. That was simple. I wanted to know the process involved in discovering that equation.

Already by age 10 I had been reading biographies of people who discovered things. That’s where my interest inhabited.

Whether reading scriptures or the writings of spiritual seekers (such as Thomas Merton, Pierre Teilhard, St. John of the Cross, and so forth), do you ever wonder “How do they know that?”

Whether reading something 3,000 years old or 50, the answer is they experienced it.

When I read something from a spiritual seeker, I can relate it to my experience of God and say it rings of the truth. Or, I can sniff out a fraud.

If you have not yet experienced God, that is why we have spiritual practices. The disciplines of awareness, intention, openness, along with prayer, study, mediation combine to lead you to the experience. Then you know.

A chemist experiences by repeating the experiment and observing the same result as others. A spiritual seeker also experiences by repeating the practices of thousands of years of others and the experience will come.

Today, I will be open to the experience of God.

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