The Experience of the Soul

I found this quote whilst reading about knowledge as a flow, a fascinating topic in itself.

There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul.” Arnold Bennett

“Ah-ha!”, “The penny has dropped” and “Eureka!” all speak of the moment when the experience of the soul meets with the cognition of the brain but none are quite so elegant as this quote. Why does it take both brain and body to fully understand something? Some insight can be found in the field of Ontological Coaching and its assertion that body, language and emotion are not separate but that changes in one influences change in another. This suggests that to really “get something” you must involve all facets of who we are.

Is it any wonder that “knowledge management” by database archival doesn’t work.

On Wednesday, Alan Silcock and I worked with two groups of people in our Knowledge Game workshop. We started by perturbing them in such a way as to force experience and cognition of knowledge together. Participants entering with a theoretical understanding of knowledge (and that includes Knowledge Managers) experience first hand their own behaviours, perceptions and habits around the use of knowledge. As suggested by Arnold Bennet, there is a force behind the knowledge and emotion that sweeps the room and in some cases is strong enough for people to cry “Ah-ha!”.

Think back to your own “Ah-ha!” moments. Was there a wave of emotion that you felt through your whole body. Some may even describe it as relief. What a challenge for knowledge workers to create this type of environment – regularly – in the corporate world.

I’ve been unable to find anything about Arnold Bennet, the originator of the quote. If you’re able to find something, please email me.

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