From Latin cognoscere "to get to know, recognize," from com- "together" + gnoscere "to know." In general use, cognizance means awareness and knowledge gained from personal experience. Cognizance is the aim and the method of practical spirituality: if one seeks personal, experiential knowledge of the facts, then to aquire it, one must utilize the cognizance one already has in order to expand it further. It is important to understand that cognizance is a function of consciousness (awareness, perception, and understanding), not intellect or belief.

"To state that “this is good” or “that is evil” is an easy matter, yet to have cognizance of good and evil is very difficult. Likewise, to state that 2 + 2 is 4 is very easy, yet to have cognizance that 2 + 2 is 4 is a matter that pertains to gods.

"The drunkard knows that drinking alcohol is wrong, yet the drunkard does not have cognizance that drinking alcohol is wrong. If the consciousness of the drunkard became cognizant that drinking alcohol is wrong, then he would prefer that a millstone be hung about his neck and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea than continue in the vice of alcoholism.

"Our consciousness awakens by means of more elevated levels of the Being and life. Thus, knowledge that does not become cognizance is worthless. Millions of spiritualist students study our books, yet the intellectual knowledge of the written truths alone is worthless, because having cognizance of these truths is what is important. Thousands of spiritualist students believe they have cognizance of the truths they have read; wretched beings… they are mistaken…

"Only the great masters of Major Mysteries have cognizance of those truths.

"Students of spiritualist schools are parroting chatterers who repeat what they read, that is all. Therefore, what is important is the awakening of the consciousness, because the intellect is just a function of the animal soul, yet the consciousness is a function of God." - Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries

"Only the one who truly possesses the complete knowledge of his Inner Self is awake in an integral manner. This is what is called self-cognizance... To become self-cognizant is something very difficult, however, one can reach this state by learning how to be alert and vigilant from moment to moment. If we want to attain self-cognizance, we need to know ourselves in an integral manner. Every one of us has the “I,” the self-willed, the ego, which we need to explore in order to know ourselves and thus become self-cognizant... Your intelligence, whose true nature is the Void—which must not be seen as a void of nothingness, but as that very intelligence without shackles: brilliant, universal, and happy— is cognizance, the Buddha, universally wise. Your own empty cognizance and that brilliant and joyful intelligence are inseparable; their union forms the Dharmakaya, the state of perfect illumination. Your own brilliant cognizance, empty and inseparable from the great body of splendor, has neither birth nor death: it is the immutable light, the Amitaba Buddha. This knowledge is enough. To recognize the emptiness of your own intelligence as the Buddhic state and to consider it as your own cognizance is to continue within the Divine Spirit of Buddha." - Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education

"The greater the quantity of disintegrated “I’s,” the greater the degree of Self-cognizance." - Samael Aun Weor, Infant’s Self-cognizance

"The unconscious state of many Theosophist, Rosicrucian and Aquarian spiritual devotees is shameful; it grieves us to see them discussing and arguing about things of which they have no cognizance. They talk about karma, yet they have never conversed with a master of karma. They intellectually discuss the cosmos, yet they do not know how to consciously travel in the astral body. They have never personally conversed with an angel. They only argue because they have read; that is all. Nevertheless, the most critical matter about this is that they believe that they know. Wretched people... how swollen with pride they are… they are worthy of pity."- Samael Aun Weor,Preparation for Initiation 19

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