January 9, 2013
This writing is copyrighted and the exclusive work of Halli Bourne of True Self Wellness, LLC.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. ~Confucius
At the click of a mouse or the stroke of a key, we can search the derivation of the word dissestablishmentarianism, discover the mating habits of the platypus and chart the distance from the star, Sirius, to the sun. In this ostensible “information age,” we consume more information in one day than we once absorbed in an entire year. We can download complete house plans and check the weather anywhere in the world, but has instant access to information made us more intelligent, or for that matter, more peaceful? Is it intelligent to build nuclear bombs to “keep the peace?” Is it intelligent to pollute the very resources we rely on for survival while expecting sunny outcomes? The Dalai Lama says of the paradox of our modern age, “…we have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgment, more experts but more problems…” Has knowledge become the default religion for modern life, with soulless rites and doctrines empty of wisdom?
While modern culture explodes in complexity and fragmentation, the gentler human spirit longs for simplicity and connection, neither of which are brought by knowledge for its own sake. Stress disorders plague “civilized” humanity in prolific proportion, as more information is continuously crammed into our brains like people into a crowded elevator. Unchecked, modern culture will siphon the life out of us with its insanity of pace, useless technology and material obsession. Enduring societies value artistic expression, human relation, harmony and accumulated wisdom, and none of these will arise from break-neck speeds and heads over-stuffed with information. Many spiritual traditions claim intelligence of the heart is far superior to intelligence of the head. Wisdom comes from experience, simpleness and stillness. True knowledge lies beyond words, concepts and calculations. Surely a better balance can be struck by loosening our grip on frivolous internet searches and opening to the uncomplicated insight of essential being. Knowledge of our own inner landscape may prove immeasurably more useful.