Speak what you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m realizing that I had a misconception of knowledge. The pursuit of knowledge isn’t a journey to some definitive place of knowing or understanding, rather it is a continually evolving sphere of information which becomes wisdom over time. One must funnel enough information and perspectives into the system for it to gestate into wisdom.
Wisdom is a personal understanding of knowledge that is then applied.
Having definitive answers shouldn’t be our goal. Knowing shouldn’t be the primary objective. The objective, as I see it, is the relentless pursuit of knowledge, not the knowing that may come from such pursuits. The overused adage “life is a journey, not a destination” applies equally to learning.
Physical life is the splitting of cells and the renewing and creation of new cells. A constant evolution. Wisdom is similar — the dissecting of information and regeneration into another (hopefully) useful form.
Life then isn’t a quest for answers, but rather an unearthing of new questions. Learning is the constant forward progression of mind and spirit.
Don’t fret when answers you seek are elusive. Don’t become overly concerned when the questions fragment and multiply rather than become more finite. This should be what we seek — question formulation. Answers are simply a valuable byproduct in the pursuit of more questions.
Curiosity is life.
To create an adventurous and fulfilling existence one must have a compelling purpose — we’re told. The continued pursuit of knowing leading to a birthing of wisdom is as good a foundation for living as any objective that mainstream society directs us to pursue.
As well, we shouldn’t become too fixed in what we believe is truth; we shouldn’t blindly follow the wisdom laid before us. We must each come to our own truths. What we believe today can, and often should, change tomorrow as we consume healthy information that nourishes our lives.
I am no scholar. For many years my desire to pursue knowledge and wisdom through reading and writing was hindered because I felt I wasn’t smart enough to make such pursuits my passion. I believed I wasn’t worthy to follow in the footsteps of those authors I had read. I was a solid C student in high school and college. I realized over many years of marginal commitment to my passions that we can self-educate, that we can make of our lives what we wish, that our lives needn’t follow the structured path society has carved out.
Do not accept my words because I have found success in my pursuits. I haven’t. My pursuits, however, are the meaning of life for me. Success is a destination and instead, I’m resolved to allow the journey of my pursuits influence and dictate where life takes me.
Success is a moving target I’ve spent far too many years with my eyes fixed on. Staring at the imagined horizon has caused countless trips and falls. I better understand I must focus on, and commit to, what lies just ahead. My practices and pursuits should be paramount.
The horizon, the destination, success will never arrive, so don’t wait on it. Instead, engage fully in the process of passionate pursuits and enjoy the ride.
Stay curious and consume wisely friends.