Tacit, Spiritual and Artistic Knowledge

tacit

The premise of this paper is that non-dual spiritual knowledge can be equated on a limited level with tacit non-verbal knowledge-in-action. The paper takes a general conceptual and philosophical approach to the issue, using writers such as Schön, Polanyi, Wilber, D. T. Suzuki, and D. Tacy.

The author offers a list of conventional types of spiritual knowledge and compares one of the types (spirit-in-action) with Schön’s definition of tacit knowledge-in-action. The paper presents the idea that both spirit and tacit knowledge lie somewhere at the foundation of everyday personal experience. To that end, several examples are given to illustrate how tacit knowledge manifests in specific wisdom traditions and by extension how those forms can be carried into everyday life.

The paper concludes with an attempt at relating these ideas to the author’s artistic practice and by proposing some potential theoretical problems with the premise. The scope of the sampled wisdom traditions is limited to the selection of Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta and Neoplatonism.

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