The Pursuit of Knowledge

You never know where you’ll find new knowledge. It can come at unexpected times, in unexpected places and in unexpected ways. It could come through a book, a movie, a trip, even a casual conversation. You never know when, where, or how you might find a useful nugget of information that sticks with you or leads you down a new rabbit hole of discovery.

The best is when it causes you to connect new dots. Connecting the dots between old knowledge and new knowledge simplifies our understanding of things we used to find confusing.

But knowledge-seeking can also be a slave master, constantly pushing us to acquire more. Much of our suffering comes from our desire for and struggle with trying to have everything figured out. It’s not that we shouldn’t desire answers or seek them, but that we need to find a place within where we can search for answers and yet be comfortable not finding them.

When we give knowledge-seeking a higher status in our life than it deserves we often end up attaching our identity to the things we think we know. We do it in such a way that if anyone, even a loved one, disagrees with us it’s as though they have attacked us personally and we feel compelled to defend our position as though we are defending our own honor and self-worth.

And if the other person presumably doesn’t have the same knowledge we have we begin to feel a sense of superiority. Knowledge, when unchecked by love, puffs us up with false pride and blocks our source of true wisdom.

It’s natural to seek knowledge outside of ourselves, but often what we find is not knowledge, but unassimilated information and mixed ideas. What we need to know most is already within us. If we’ll just quiet our busy mind we’ll be able to connect with it.

We can glean wisdom from other people, but only if it leads us back into ourselves. To simply adopt the opinions and views of others as our own is not true understanding. Knowing things is different from knowing about things. And to truly know something is to know it within you. Or as Galileo put it, “you can’t teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

Let wisdom guide you in your pursuit of knowledge. Explore your heart and you’ll find an inherent wisdom. Inner wisdom makes its home in silence and humility. Embrace these two qualities and you’ll find your inner wisdom.