‘I will explain the fundamental difference between spiritual and intellectual work. Let’s say that I give you an orange: your intellect enables you to acquire a lot of information about that orange: its shape and weight and colour, where and when it was grown, its particular properties and the chemical elements it contains, the different ways it can be used and, even, its symbolic significance.
Taste the orange and feel its effect on you
In an Initiatic school you will learn none of that, but you will learn the one thing that is essential: you will learn to taste it. This is what spiritual work is: not to store up masses of theoretical information but to ‘eat,’ to taste, the orange, to experience the fruit and feel its effect upon you, using the natural instruments God has given you.
Soon you will feel all the wheels within you beginning to spin more smoothly. Initiatic Science will not teach you anything about the physical structure of the fruit but it will teach you how to eat it. Then you will be able to apply yourself to studying the Book of Nature.
Science needs to have life breathed into it
In this way you gain practical experience, applied knowledge. This is more difficult than theoretical knowledge; it requires an effort, but it is the only way to transform oneself.
One day people will begin to realize that science needs to have life breathed into it, that it must be applied to all aspects of reality. Once this is understood, mathematical formulae, for example, or geometric forms and properties will begin to speak in other accents and men will discover that the same laws govern our thoughts, feelings and actions.
Science needs to be linked with nature and the life of man
This is what I mean by true Science. At the moment we know too much about astronomy, anatomy and mathematics: but no one ever sees the connection between them. Above all, no one ever links the sciences with the nature and life of man.
And don’t imitate the ridiculous behaviour of those who flock to highbrow lectures about the wisdom and science of the Initiates of the past, without realizing how small, petty and weak they are and how incapable of giving a reasonable direction to their own lives. That is not spirituality.’
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov,
Izvor Book 216, The Living Book of Nature
Chapter 1, The Living Book of Nature