As an aside from other practices I was reading Da Free John’s book The Knee of Listening. In it he describes his personal spiritual journey, from his early years in the seminary to his time with the Indian guru Baba Muktananda, going into great detail about his own spiritual experiences. He ends it with an epilogue titled “The Man of Understanding”, which finishes like this...
Since no one understands, how could they notice him? Because there is only understanding, he is beloved, and no one comes to see him. Because there is only truth, he is likely to become famous. Since there is only joy, he will not be remembered. Because you have already understood, you find it necessary to touch his hand. Since you love so much and are not understood, you find it possible to touch his ears. He smiles at you. You notice it. Everything has already died. This is the other world.
It seems to me that after such long descriptions of quite esoteric experiences, he is becoming cryptic in order to express a change in evolution in his thinking, which for a long time wasn’t present, you could see that even through his experiences of these great other worlds through this shakti energy his desire to see more was unaltered. But even after coming out the other side, describing the shahastrar chakra coming off his body, with his emphasis on understanding I think he has missed the point somewhat.
Have you ever contemplated that in reading a book, some measure of the experiences it describes become your own? It is a question of undergoing, of passing through what is imparted, of imagining yourself through that lens. So understanding is not totally irrelevant to growth, and through reading you can accomplish a certain measure of things. It is an experience, not merely a question of knowledge. But it is still unreal, books can impart lies and imaginings as well as truth. So this second-hand experience can never be totally trusted.
You can immerse yourself in the literature of the mystics, gnosis, as a step on the way to becoming a man of knowing. But in the end you have to walk the path, if you truly want to reach somewhere.