22. RECOGNITION PERCEIVES
WHAT SENSE AND DESCRIPTION DO NOT

 

The key element of Paul's new developments was based on the pre-Christian Greek understanding is the noetic faculty of recognition, and we can perhaps understand from the above examples that the boundaries of recognition are wider than those of our sensory perceptions. Among other things, we can recognize things that happen inside us, although they are out of reach of our normal senses. 

Under modern conditions, a ˜state of recognition', is the beginning of higher-consciousness.  In our studies, when we ask about the soul?' we can continue by asking: "What are its borderlines, because then we can also talk about recognition? You can't recognize something until you know its borders: what it is, and what it is not. If you were blind and deaf and dumb, you wouldn't easily know who someone was.

More things can be recognized than we can sketch or describe in sensory terms, proving that there is a difference between descriptive and recognition knowledge.

"There are things that cannot be put into words.  They make themselves manifest." (Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus logico-pilosophicus.) 

The word gnosis is based on Greek roots, giving us both English and Greek terms which both contain the same root for 'know' (gno) from which we also get the word gnosis (γνωσης). This is prefixed with (ανα), meaning 'anew' or 'again', to produce the word (αναγνωσης) re-cognition, thus to know-again, or to recognize.  So in the Greek of the early Church, recognition knowledge was recognized and defined by the word διάκρισης (diakrisis) “ normally translated discernment. 

In the early Church, this seems also to have been used to refer to perception of what is not visible to the senses, but can be perceived when we recognise things within ourselves. This recognition often happens, for example, in experiences which science currently classifies as belonging to the ˜hidden half˜ of the brain, the activities of which we cannot properly or fully describe in ordinary terms. (We can also recognise external things that we do perceive through the senses, but by recognition we can also know more than by sensory perception or its description, and do so more easily,)

To know that Gnosis is a name for higher knowledge is not the same as knowing the reality behind it - knowledge whose quality was once further defined by the Greek word διάκρισης (diakrisis) “ or discernment.  In the early Church, this word seems to have been used to refer to the special  vision of the invisible which is found by recognizing things inside ourselves. 

We can perceive more such things by recognition much  more easily than we can know them by defining them.

This often happens, for example, in experiences which science currently classifies as belonging to the ˜hidden half ˜of the brain - to activities of which we cannot properly or fully describe.

The ancient Greek diakrisis at times means something like 'decide' or discern, through the Latin discernere - hence the common translation into English of 'discernment'. Today, it is just beginning to be named and distinguished by modern thought, although it is not yet clearly recognized as a faculty. The ˜recognition knowledge' on which Christianity seems to be based is similar. Recognition of inner experience when it has been met with more than once, serves like signposts to help us confirm the reality and significance of inner experience. "There are things that cannot be put into words.  They make themselves manifest." (Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus logico-pilosophicus.) 

So Gnosis is an uncommon form of higher knowledge, whose quality is further defined by the word διάκρισης (diakrisis) “ or discernment.  In the early Church, this seems to have been used to refer to a special kind of vision of the invisible, which is obtained through recognizing things within ourselves. We can perceive more such things by recognition, and  more easily than we can know them by defining them. This recognition often happens, for example, in experiences which science currently classifies as belonging to the ˜hidden half ˜of the brain, the activities of which we cannot properly or fully describe.