Week 14: knowledge vs understanding

It finally dawned on me that ever since we got the affirmation “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy” that Haanel has been trying to get us to really not only know this but understand it. For example, last week, we pondered the power that we had as the channels of the Universal Mind, this week we were asked to concentrate on harmony.

Now, these two terms (knowledge and understanding) are very similar in meaning:

1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition: knowledge of many things.
2. familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning:
A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
1. to perceive the meaning of; grasp the idea of; comprehend: to understand Spanish; I didn’t understand your question.
2. to be thoroughly familiar with; apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of: to understand a trade.


It seems to me that although the two words are used as synonyms, they are different in degree: you might know some fact, but not really understand the ramifications or usage of that fact, to the point where your knowledge is actually useless, like those people with all sorts of book knowledge but no ability to use their knowledge in real life situations.

This is where I find myself in this week, because although I’ve been reading all this for 14 weeks now (and know the facts of the matter), this week I realized that I didn’t understand it at all.

Haanel says:

We get results in exact accordance with our understanding of the law and our ability to make the proper application.

So there you have it.

I really want to understand all of this; right now I’m feeling more like “the more I learn the less I understand”. But I will persist until I succeed, I always do. 🙂


Comments (5)

  1. Maureen

    Great description

    1. mkmma_pattyloof (Post author)

      Thanks! 😀

  2. joan campbell

    Patty, Thank you for this blog. It clearly defines the differences between knowledge and understanding.

  3. Michael Barnes

    Love your honesty Patty! i often have the same feelings of learning more and more and not really understanding. But with persistence and tenacity we will arrive at understanding together! 🙂

    1. mkmma_pattyloof (Post author)

      Thanks 😀

Comments are closed.