Illusion of knowledge


Knowledge has an important place in every sphere of our life, what we are today is because of knowledge what we acquired in our past. What we will be tomorrow too depends upon what sort of knowledge we can collect today. It is a powerful tool to achieve success, power and position in society. Knowledge is, knowing everything about a specific field, like knowing why, how, where etc about anything. Dictionary definition of knowledge is, “Information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.” Importance of knowledge becomes more important when it is matter of self; means knowledge about inner-self.


According to the definition of knowledge, it can be acquired by practise or by experience or it can also be obtained by reading books and theories. Every type of knowledge has its value in its own way, but where practical and experience is required, one cannot fulfill it with theoretical knowledge howsoever vast a person may have in them. The case of spirituality is same; where we need to feel, not to learn. You can explain the rain or flower but you cannot explain what you actually felt. You can obviously explain a little part of it, but to make understand others in the same way and with the same depth, that person has to pass through it. Problem becomes more severe when someone after listening from you starts explaining your feelings in some in her/his way. Spirituality had always been prone towards the same.

“An explorer returned to his people, who were eager to know about the Amazon. But how could he ever put into words the feelings that flooded his heart when he saw exotic flowers and heard the night-sounds of the forests; when he sensed the danger of wild beasts or paddled his canoe over treacherous rapids?

He said, “Go and find out for yourselves.” To guide them he drew a map of the river.
They pounced upon the map. They framed it in their Town Hall. They made copies of it for themselves. And all who had a copy considered themselves experts on the river, for did they not know it’s every turn and bend, how broad it was, how deep, where the rapids were and where the falls?”

We all are having some copies of map, many of us tried to explore but when we found difficulties, we console ourselves with these copies. These copies are the greatest source of creating illusion of knowledge. They prepared a map from our house to the destination, but knowing the house we assures ourselves to know the destination. Living in an illusion is source of pleasure. But it is a fact that someday, every illusion has to break like dreams and so the illusion of false knowledge.

George Bernard Shaw has written somewhere that, “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” Why false knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance? Because it traps any possibility of learning.