Does the knowledge of the disaster of war prevent war? Apparently not. Wars are currently being fought every day from all corners of our world. Russia is on the verge of copying Nazi Germany by invading other countries on the premise of saving particular nationalities. Do the Russians really believe it will be different this time? Leaders continually ignore the ever-expanding knowledge that wars do not change the behaviour or the wisdom of man in the long run. We continue to do as we have always done, and we get the same results as we have always gotten. Humanity is an insane lot. Certainly not a wise lot. How else can one explain why we do what we do and do not learn? This doesn’t only apply to conflict on a global basis, just look in your own home, neighbourhood, institutions, etc and see the hostility happening there continually and systematically. Or in countries where firearm regulation is lax and gun culture is such that it is the norm for citizens to be running around with fully loaded guns ready to kill the innocent, the young, the beautiful, simply because something pisses them off. This is often done under the guise of self-protection and personal freedom, but at what cost? It is statistically proven that more innocent people are killed than protected with these practices, but the proof is ignored. With the unlimited knowledge available, nothing really changes mankind’s addiction to suffering. Knowledge may give us some advances in technology or medicine or war machinery for example. However, it does not give us the ability to love ourselves or each other. Knowledge alone does not allow us to live lives in joy, fulfillment, empowerment and relationship. Because nothing of substance has changed with all the knowledge available, mankind will continue to repeat the insanity of the past.
We seek external knowledge because we believe that knowledge is power. We have hi-tech tools that allow us to be inundated with data, facts and general and specific knowledge. We have never been so knowledgeable in human history. Many of us have university degrees and some have multiple degrees. Knowledge is abundant. So my question is, why has nothing much changed in the world and why is it that so much destruction and pain is necessary? How useful is knowledge? If we think we know something, does it hinder our understanding of what matters? Does knowledge get us to act differently? Is the greed of knowledge an attachment or bondage? Why haven’t we stopped to see what more and more knowledge has given us? Who are we without our degrees or our knowledge? These are powerful questions I have asked myself and the answers to them have allowed me to live a very different life. One I cherish.
For me, the accumulation of external knowledge on it’s own is not learning. External knowledge is always in the past. Real learning is in the active (actionable) present. Our belief that the more knowledge we have, the greater our lives will be, holds us in living a life in denial. I am personally not one to pursue knowledge without knowing its application. I find that only what I am living is knowable. Everything else is theory and useless in my life. Some knowledge may be fascinating or entertaining yet useless for life itself. Knowledge without self-knowledge for me is at the root of disorder. It keeps me stuck.
Real wisdom is in the application of knowledge. If I am not living it (the knowledge), I do not really know it. And, to have credibility in my life, I cannot teach something I cannot live and I cannot say something I cannot feel. For example, ten years ago I read a book whose premise inspired me. It said in part, that each of us has unlimited potential in life. WOW, I was totally fascinated by that statement. Why would anyone make such a statement unless they knew it to be true? After thinking about it for a while I said, yes, that’s right. It works for me. However, nothing happened after that. I continued to live the same life I always had. I did not step into my potential. I was missing a major part of my understanding of this premise; I was not living the understanding. I was not discovering how I could step into my unlimited potential. The knowledge in and of itself was useless.
Fortunately I began to examine my life shortly thereafter. As I did this I took new and different action. I took little steps at first and that moved me into a different place. I loved it. The results where spectacular. My health got much better (my doctor hugged me when he saw the results of my life style changes), my business grew by 500% in 5 years, my soccer coaching effectiveness skyrocketed, my relationships became more authentic and loving, my public speaking ability went far past what I thought possible for me, I feared writing and now write every day, etc.
I am now able to feel and live the premise; each of us has unlimited potential. My new plans for my business takes it into the stratosphere, my commitment to relationships are on a conscious level, my plans for my health is to live to 100, I plan to write successful books, speak worldwide, etc. Yes, I/we do have unlimited potential. I know this through living it. To understand it intellectually has no meaning to me.
My truth is that the most meaningful, the most rewarding, the most powerful, the most important thing in life for me is to know myself. Self-knowledge is the beginning of real wisdom. All the educational degrees in the world combined could not replace the importance of self-knowledge for me. I would be much, much, weaker if I had all those degrees without knowing myself. There is no amount of money in the world that anyone could offer me to give up knowing myself. For me, with deep self-knowledge, the whole universe opens up, all is now possible, fear is diminished, power is restored, love is real, joy and fulfillment is accessible. With self-knowledge, I embrace the struggles of humanity, I have compassion for myself and others, I am intimate and I feel life itself. With self-knowledge, I get to contribute and make a difference that really matters. With self-knowledge I get to step out of the conditioning and the illusions. I get to see what is real.
Why do most of us reject the pursuit of self-knowledge? Why do those who commence to walk on the path of self-knowledge, leave the path and fall into the ditch? Why do we pursue options that continue to give us the same results? Why do we like our pain? Why do we like our comfort? —- I feel that most of us do not vigorously pursue self-knowledge because we cannot feel what the result will give us. Well, for me, the results are magnificent. Sweet as life itself.
With self-knowledge, I am able to apply knowledge so that my life and the lives of others can change. I do understand why wars continue and will always continue. To stop wars, each and every individual on this planet is responsible for making a decision to discontinue our obsession of being “right” and the other “wrong”. Each and every one of us must develop compassion for ourselves and then others. Without it, wars will continue. War starts in the heart of everyone on this planet. The knowledge of the evils of wars is not effective. The self-knowledge of why I may wish to control another is the beginning of ending my need to go to war (including the need to exploit those we love).
Pursuing knowledge about the external without knowledge of yourself, without application and action, without change, will only be for entertainment, which is a form of staying the same, living in denial. All of the theories of new ideas, new politics, new this, new that, is bunk. Self knowledge this the only route to change and living in harmony with yourself and others.
We must remove the leaders who do not understand themselves and who cannot live the change you wish to see in the world. Follow your own leadership. Leadership and change starts and ends with every individual on this planet. You live the life you wish to live and be the example for others. Real change will then occur.