Thursday, February 4, 2010
Knowledge is a good thing... a thing of God. We have been given the capacity of mind to learn, think, and know. Many inner chambers of our intellect are filled with stores of data, which we daily access. Complex knowledge builds upon fundamental blocks creating webs of connecting thoughts. Books are filled with food for these recesses of our minds, and we eat our fill, then seek for more. Our very nature is one of curiosity, of a wishing to know something.
The Imitation of Christ presents a chapter against vain and worldly learning. It specifies that we begin to lust after knowledge and become wrapped up in our own thoughts, so as to forget that from which knowledge truly springs. Our minds become entangled in the threads of society, and knotted with the curse of respectability. We begin to lose wisdom by thinking that we know... and we begin to believe that we ourselves are high in the clouds of knowledge, and lose our breath from the emptiness of that high elevation. Sometimes we are so convinced in our own understanding that we forget how to learn, how to submit to greater knowledge, and our minds are blinded by nearsightedness.
To avoid becoming entangled in our own knowledge and intellect, we must have the proper motives for knowing. We must always seek to learn for our own humble enlightenment... recognizing that there is much we don't know and hoping to grow in understanding. We must wish to know, not for mere selfish reasons, but that we may be a better example, teacher, and of better service to our friends and to God. Most of all, our learning should be rooted in the desire to glorify God more fully in His creation. We must be filled with constant wonder at what we have learned, and thank the Lord for giving us understanding that our minds could not encompass before.
We know that our knowledge is good, and has been used wisely, if we find ourselves again drinking from the Fount of Wisdom. "When thou shalt have read, and shalt know many things, thou must always return to the beginning" (Imitation of Christ). Knowledge is as a circle that branches out from the fundamentals given us by Christ and leads back to His infinite knowing in an unending cycle. Just as the water falls and forms pools only be sucked into the skies to fall again, so too the Fount of Wisdom is constantly recycling and coming back to our knowledge-thirsty lips. In all you learn and in all the fruits of your learning seek to grow closer to God in His creation. Only then will your mind remain open and your capacity to know continue to expand.