Knowledge as a continuum of material sciences & inner sciences

Knowledge acquired by the first means (five ordinary senses of man and by reasoning) is called science, and knowledge acquired by the second (supersensuous through Yoga) is called the Vedas.

CW: Vol. 6; Writings; Prose and Poems; Hinduism and Shri Ramakrishna


What is acquisition of knowledge? Acquisition of knowledge may be understood at six levels.

Level 1
Knowledge through the senses (knowledge acquired through observation and experience) helps us comprehend reality.

Level 2
Knowledge through perception and classification (knowledge acquired when we are able to group, classify, distinguish and separate into classes etc.).

Level 3
Knowledge through modification (knowledge acquired when we analyze, correlate knowledge across classes, etc.).

Level 4
Knowledge acquired through a deeper trans-sensory faculty of human beings (knowledge acquired through intuition).

Level 5
Knowledge acquired through an engagement with trans-sensory reality leading to an awakening of the deeper dimension of the human being. (knowledge acquired through spiritual and other practices).

Level 6
Knowledge acquired through a transformation of one’s state of being. A different state of being leads to a recognition and acceptance of different level of ideas associated with that state of being (this is knowledge acquired due to a psycho-social evolution in the human being).

The first three levels of knowing are born through experience and engaging with the world outside us.

The second three levels of knowledge are born through diving deeper into the human consciousness and manifesting the results of this deep-dive through intuitive insight and discernable changes in the human being. These could also be called inner sciences.

Thus, material science is the formalization of the first three levels of acquisition of knowledge.

And inner sciences (the Vedas – in India), are the formalization of the second three levels of acquisition of knowledge.

The first three levels of knowledge (Material Sciences) are engaged with observation and learning that results in helping human beings act differently in the world. When human beings act differently they impact the world outside.

The second three levels of knowledge (Inner Sciences) are engaged with knowing and becoming that results in human beings changing themselves. When human beings change themselves, they first impact their own selves and then change the world outside