Hello Kittens, hope your weekend was freaky in the best possible way. What? your weekend does not extend to Wednesday? lol. Guess it depends which day is day one. Ok admission, I started writing this on Monday and got distracted. Thought I would move on to rule two of the 24 rules of Lie. ( I am writing on each of my personal 24 life rules – https://badkittencreations.com/about/the-24-rules-of-lie/– )
So here we go with number two –
*2. Knowledge is the best thing to collect. It is all that is really worth anything. Some knowledge will spark something in you that pushes your limits. The rest will simply remain part of your collection, but all has value.
They say knowledge is power. This is not a cliche for no reason. My personality type is one that tends to place a higher value on or prioritize the internal world over the external one (INTP if you are interested in such things). Thinking is my hobby.
I like to, as much as possible, keep my external world simple so I can focus on my internal world. This is a quality that is common among artists, philosophers and scientists. It is also a quality that is seen by virtually everyone outside those areas, as a serious fault. Now while it can be argued that any extreme tends to be counter productive, and I would tend to agree, I still do not feel that this is the negative people assume.
The pursuit of knowledge is really the pursuit of freedom. Without knowledge of your own you are at the mercy of any and all who would control you. Knowledge gives you a weapon and a shield against them. Another way of saying it gives you options perhaps. It is also the start of a way forward from any point. Not only that, it makes you a damn site more interesting at dinner parties.
- William Shakespeare said – “Ignorance is the curse of God. Knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven”
There are different ways to view knowledge as a concept in it’s self though. When seen as pure factual information Knowledge is a means to an end – power/ freedom/ control/ advancement.
- Robin Morgan said – “Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny, camouflaged as humility”
As a means to an end, you can also call knowledge a ‘link in a chain’. Raw information is arguably worthless without context. And when you have knowledge of facts without any experience this is also of less value. And is the main reason I do not put much importance on the modern interpretation of ‘education’ with it’s emphasis on facts learned by wrote for the purpose of passing a set test on one day. Information you do not understand will add little value to your life…how do we attain understanding? context is part of it but experience and critical thought are key.
It is this distinction that has lead great minds to say things like….. “It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into it’s waters” – Nietzsche.
- “All our knowledge begins with the senses, procedes to understanding and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason” – Immanuel Kant.
- “Information is not knowledge” – Albert Einstein, who also said “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”
So imagination then. To be the kind of genius Einstein was obviously requires imagination…or a willingness to trust instincts in the face of the established order (the ‘N’ in the 16 personality types)..or to put it one more way, to allow yourself the luxury of childlike wonder and a child’s lack of inhibition in what can and cannot be.
This quality in someone means they can take information, turn it into knowledge and run with it.
As a philosophical concept it also gets quite allot of action. Pretty much on the same theme though….
- “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance” – Confucius.
- “To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge” – Socrates.
I had a conversation with a fellow artist on Deviant Art the other day on the subject of elitism as a positive force. While I do recognize this to be true in ways, there is a major negative to elitism. I defined “negative elitism” as a tendency to over value superficial signifiers/labels, while refusing to see the value in that which lacks them. And a desire to impose personal standards on others without consideration to their personalities, strength and needs. This short sighted arrogance causes a blinker effect that holds you back more than moving you forward. And it can be found in academic circles as much as in fashion or any other world. Where confusing the possession of knowledge alone with greatness, is a common fault.
An example of this we see every day online is when people declare an argument void because of a spelling or grammatical error. Where spelling or grammar errors do not cause confusion of meaning, they cannot be said to undermine the argument. Oh and Einstein was dyslexic.
Interestingly the philosophers above were way ahead of their time. Science is catching up with them in proving the disparity between what we perceive as real/ or experience as real, and what ‘reality’ might actually be like. But does this make the pursuit of knowledge pointless? Hell no!
I will end with one last quote from one of my favorite people – “There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge” – Bertrand Russell.
Have a thoughtful day Kittens xxx