Appreciating art does not make us a masterful artist. Enjoying a concert does not make us a composer. Reading a book does not make us an author. We must learn skills, practice, practice, practice. We must fail, pick ourselves up and keep on until we at long last become masterful at our chosen skill.
So too with spiritual life. Reading a Scripture, listening to speeches, reading what other people understand, etc does not lead us to enlightenment, to awakening, to Knowing God, Wisdom, Truth, to know and know that we know deep within our very souls.
Aldous Huxley said a lot about this, such as:
In no circumstances, however, can the study of theology or the mind’s assent to theological propositions take the place of what [William] Law calls “the birth of God within.” For theory is not practice, and words are not the things for which they stand.
I am drawn to the way William Law put it, "the birth of God within." Of course I know we live and breath and have our being in God, live every moment in the Presence of God. For most people, it seems, this is like knowing there are radio and television and wifi waves right now wherever we are, but if we don't have the equipment to utilize them, they might as well not be there.
We can intellectually know a bunch about God (or whatever word you want to use to point to the Divine), without ever having touched the life- transforming experience of the Divine.
I am convinced that most of us walk around hungry, even starving, for the birth of God in our lives. We try to end that hunger with other things (food, drugs, politics, sports, shopping, gangs, gurus, the cult of culture, etc), with no success. Those are not the things for which our hungry soul seeks. We crave a spiritual and robust walk with God, direct, real, Oneness.
It seems to me, we can only have this with a sincere change of priorities. With actually meditating, contemplating, praying, journaling, in other words, engaging in known spiritual practices that lead to such a life. And, at the same time, turning away from the opposite, from the substitutes we've been trying to use to satisfy our inner hunger. As Paul once said, in Philippians 4:8 & 9
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV translation)