Wednesday, 19 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #17: Knowledge and Belief

I was once teaching English to a boy in Taipei, playing with alphabet magnets with him, missing out letters and getting him to fill in the gaps, that kind of thing.

“Where are you, Y?” I said. “Where are you? I can’t find you.”

I really couldn’t find a Y. 

The young boy looked at me with complete sincerity behind the eyes, and said,

“There is no Y.”

I laughed out loud.

There is no why.

How much trouble do we get into by asking why!?

We get confused and frustrated because the answers to our burning questions seem beyond our grasp.

When we lose hope, we turn to groups and organizations, teachers and leaders, that promise us they have plenty of it to go around.

We find solace in their wisdom and their beliefs and experiences.

And that’s where the issue lies.

We so easily adopt the beliefs of others, without questioning them.

They give us hope, and for many of us that’s enough.

But this hope stands on someone else’s foundations… not ours. 

I can tell you what the sun feels like from my own experience, but I can’t experience it for you.

That’s your job. 

Thomas Campbell, in his mind-blowing book My Big TOE, says that, in order to obtain the answers to our whys, we don’t need to listen to anyone else. He says we should be willing to get rid of every belief we have and adopt an approach of open-minded skepticism (that among other things).

His reasoning is that a belief is just that - a belief.

It’s not knowledge.

Bruce Lee said, “All knowledge is self-knowledge.”

There is a why, we’re just looking in the wrong places for the answers.


Later, that boy and I discovered there was no I, either.



Are you on TWITTER? Me too! Follow and get Followed
Image info

No comments:

Post a Comment