The importance of insight, knowing the truth about reality and oneself, is universal, present in very culture, worldview, and religion. Leyland Ryken describes “archetypal plot motifs” that occur in all literature, myth, and legend. One of these is “the movement from ignorance to epiphany” (insight).
Why does “the movement from ignorance to epiphany” appear in very culture, worldview, and religion? Why is insight about reality so important? Why should we know the truth about God, the world, and ourselves? Why?
Because God created the world as a school. Every aspect of creation, the natural world, ourselves, and our relations are revelatory. All facts speak to us. Everything, every encounter, and everyone is an invitation to think and learn.
God, the great teacher, created human beings as his pupils — in his image. We are homo discens, the being who learns. Humans were designed for intellectual curiosity and insight.
Knowing, understanding, wisdom, and insight, are crucial features of the world as God created it.
The movement from ignorance to insight is a central feature of the Bible. Consider this passage; “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom 12:2)
Our goal as followers of Jesus Christ is to know God and to make him known. This involves a process of diligent study, moving from ignorance and illusion to epiphany and insight. We can express this intellectual transformation in this way: “Now that you know who you are in Christ, consider how you ought to think!” We should enroll in God’s school.
Once again, transformation is the result of insight. This happens due to a radical change in what and how we think, brought about by repentance from being “conformed to this world” intellectually and being “transformed” in our minds by the Spirit of God.