Knowledge and Spirituality

I was reading from a book written by guru

I stopped for a moment and started thinking about spirituality as such and the amount of material that one can find in this world. The sheer number of religions, sects and sub-sects. The number of Saints and Yogis and their followers in this world. Ironically each saint would have been written upon multiple times in terms of interpretations and translations. This presents a mind-numbing amount of content.

Is it possible to read all this in one span of life?

This brings a very interesting question to the fore and that is the relevance of information and the difference between information and Knowledge. There is only a certain amount of information that any human being can ingest in a lifetime. So we obviously have to be selective about the information that we ingest on a day-today basis. This can only be done by understanding the relevance of information to ourselves. The relevance of information now brings us to the difference between information and knowledge. When information is converted into something useful, by the application of our mind to syncretise a conceptual understanding of information and concepts that we have collected so far, then the information is converted into Knowledge. Knowledge helps us understand.

Now the question shifts to the more important question of how to differentiate amongst the information that we collect on a day-to-day basis. The straight forward answer to this question will be that it depends on what one wants to do or is doing. If you are doing business then the focus should be on information related to business. So on and so forth. But at the end of the day the mind is like a machine which needs lubrication, a kind of mental rest and this is where spirituality comes into play. Spirituality has only one goal and that is to give you peace of mind. While one’s ambitions and goals will leave us in a constant state of restlessness and anxiety about what will happen in the future, spirituality will leave us bereft of all these symptoms and tend to push us towards a more balanced state of mind.

For the beginners in spirituality, ingesting some bit on a daily basis will definitely help. While for the advanced practitioners (don’t ask me for the definition), again discretion is adviced. I have come to realise this because of two factors, one is that it is more important to syncretise rather than ingesting information. Sometimes it is better to understand 4 lines of poetry rather than read 100 lines. I have read the book by Guru once and I decided that I will not finish the book in a hurry. I will rather stop and weigh my thoughts over and over to be able assimilate the last drop of Knowledge before moving forward.

In the seashore of the collective knowledge of this world, there are way too many footprints and I am confused. If I follow every other footprint, I will end up in ‘Brownian motion’. I do not have ‘apriori’ information to be able to select any one. In this melee, I met my Guru and out of pure intuition, putting down intelligence and trusting my intuition alone, I follow his steps and I have never looked back since. I am not asking you to do the same as everybody might not have the good-luck of meeting with a Guru. What I am asking you to do is to prioritise your sources of information, syncretise rather than spend all your time in collecting ‘General Knowledge’ (which remains General) and lastly to spend sometime in spirituality for that balance in life.

And totally out of the blue, trust your intuition once in a while.

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