Studying is good to learn theory.
Experience (practice) is real evidence.
Study gives us the language to express experience. Study is not reality until what has been learned is experienced. There are two ways of coping, one using theory and the other, experience. My father in law, who was an engineer, told me, “If you want to solve a problem, look for visual evidence first, and then look for the invisible.” I have never found ‘invisible evidence’ 🙂
To cope in life, we usually rely on routines, rules and rituals, and can become quite expert at this. The same thing happens in spiritual life: we cope by adopting a theory, a partial truth. We can invest a lifetime on the invisible, rather than in what is actually being experienced. We can find ourselves following mysteries, believing there is more to come. This narrows our ability to cope with the reality of how it actually is, and of how we find wisdom in the uncomfortable emotions. If we do not control our emotions, they can make us ill.
The tendency to cling to terminology is how religious attitudes are formed, and this is a step away from spiritual experience which is beyond words, thoughts, mudras and bowing. We may find ourselves saying and doing things which are not natural to us, acquiring something that obscures the simple truth. Some teachers encourage this, as it keeps us ‘coming back’ because we are not quite ‘ready’. This creates conflict and doubt, and destroys confidence and joy.
Whatever we think we know, the thing that is important is that which realises this thinking and knowing. Pure awareness – essence – is not complicated; it is the simplest experience in the universe. Everything is merely a reminder to a practitioner, as every thing is a symbolic teacher.
People who are ‘projectors’ hate talk of experience, as it is threatening. We see this in ordinary life, with people trying to outdo one another. Dealing with those who cope by adhering to conventional rituals isn’t easy. There are always visible signs produced by emotions.
Best to stand clear 🙂