Knowing by Loving

Bernadette Judaea
3 min readMay 17, 2023

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There’s this really beautiful song I’ve been hearing that was spontaneously written by two interns at a program called One Thing.

Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash

The program is led by a Christian based organization, that offers a six month internship for young adults seeking the Lord together. In the song, they sing “Just to know you is to love you, come and make me whole”.

Given my experiences over the past few months, this line really stood out for me. I’ve been reviewing the series by John Vervaeke called Awakening From the Meaning Crisis, in which he endeavors to propose the way that we can make meaningful lives by participating and playing in our every day experiences. Its sounds trite and trivial when I put it that way, but I encourage people all the time to watch the series in its entirety to really understand how serious it is for us to reintroduce ritual and play.

What’s the deal with ritual and play? Why are they something that we really emphasize when we are children but then “grow out of” when we become adults. What is the point of ritual? How could play help us to solve the meaning crisis? And why does this line from the song remind me of that?

Awakening From the Meaning Crisis takes us through the framework of several topics in the subjects of Cognitive Science and Philosophy. One of the figures of history that John talks about at great length in this series (and again in a separate series called After Socrates) is Socrates. Socrates so famously associated with the aphorism “Know thyself”. That’s where the knowing by loving comes in; one of the capstone lessons I continue to see in the Awakening series is how we can know something better when we participate with it. When we engage with and use all of our senses to understand it, it somehow becomes a part of us.

Ritual and play are ways of making meaning. Ritual can be as simple as lighting a candle before pouring your morning coffee or as complex as a well-devised ceremony, complete with incense, a music playlist, and roles for different participants. They allow us to experience a form of authentic relating, something that many of us are desperate for by the time we become adults.

These artists that wrote such a beautiful piece were inspired by the energy of the internship that centered fellowship around Christ. As someone that has experienced the powerful presence and the joy that can manifest from the pure bliss at a youth conference, the lyrics to this song come from that place. I can almost guarantee that the young writers were visited by The Holy Spirit, though of course I could never prove such a thing.

I’ve been led by The Holy Spirit to do some pretty unbelievable things and through The Holy Spirit I’ve experienced things that I cannot explain. I know when these spots in time occur and I can revisit them in my mind to experience the remembering. The full body remembering. Re-membering, becoming a part of my body again. A member of the body once again. A body of the All.

If God is Love then by knowing Love we know God. The Holy Spirit is experiencing that love. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of that Love through the act of Forgiveness.

All different ways of knowing. Knowing Love. How can we know Love? To know Love, we participate in Love.

Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa

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