Worldly Knowledge vs. Ultimate Knowledge


Human beings have the unique privilege of being born with the capacity to learn. Using signs, symbols, language and science, we have gathered a lot of knowledge over the centuries. This knowledge has transformed our lives through its application in technology, medicine and engineering.

​As we know more and more, we realize there is always something more to know. In every theoretical discipline – physics, chemistry, mathematics and so on – the search for more knowledge continues. There does not seem to be an end to knowledge. Although many scientists are diligently seeking a unified theory which will be the mother of all theories and will answer all the questions, their quest has not been successful so far. This does not mean that one day they will be successful. Scientific discoveries in the field of Quantum dynamics tend to point to the conclusion that there might be fundamental limits to knowledge.

Despite such limits, knowledge can always increase endlessly. Such is the nature of worldly knowledge. The increase in the amount of this worldly knowledge has also increased the number of years young human beings have to spend in school. There is ever increasing amount of knowledge we need to imbibe before we are ready for working in the world. Beyond a point, one must choose a specialization and literally know a lot about very little.

One must observe this carefully in the world.

Realizing this some people go in search of spiritual knowledge – the knowledge of God. The case is the same in this field also. There is endless knowledge of meditation, consciousness, soul, higher energy and so on. It is crucial for one to realize that such knowledge is equally worldly. It has the same nature of being never ending.

​As one understands this, one begins to investigate how knowledge is created. One sees clearly how simple sensory inputs are concretized, symbolized, given a name and then woven to form the fabric of knowledge. Much of this is done by one person and then later just informed to others through the process of education, without the actual sensory experience.

By investigating deeper into this, the grip of knowledge on oneself weakens. Everything one knows is put under the microscope of the mind, questioned and understood in its entirety. Knowledge literally falls away and there is freedom from all that is known. All that remains is bare experience – the experience of the air on the skin, the sound on the ear, the object on the eye, and the taste on the tongue. The mind will still name the experience but not in the same way as before. There is a certain knowing of the knowing – a constant moving knowing state not an accumulating process. This is ultimate knowledge.

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