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Knowledge is Equal to Darkness

The world is in the era of information overload. There is so much information on different platforms that humankind is busy consuming this data, thinking of it as knowledge. They may even participate in debates and discussions, showing how many things they know. But did you know that our ancient sages said that knowledge equals darkness?

Yes! During the prehistoric times – the era of the creation of our great Upanishads and the philosophy of Vedas. They said that the ignorant go towards a world of darkness by pursuing knowledge. If they ignore it, they stay in the dark but go towards even greater darkness if they learn and acquire it. The reason worldly wisdom restricts relative aspects from not being aware of that absolute wholesome knowledge, which Vedas provided as the ultimate, eternal truth, that which never changes.

The first is still understandable, but the second one seems a little absurd. How can knowledge take one into greater darkness? This is especially questionable in the modern world when children hear “Knowledge is Power!” from their elders and teachers.

However, if you go in-depth, this makes complete sense. You will realise that the ancient sages are essentially coupling the two complementing terms “Vidya” and “Avidya” (which loosely translates as knowledge and ignorance). In their opinion, both of them, i.e. worldly knowledge and ignorance, keep you from growing spiritually.

If you are ignorant, then there is no spiritual growth, and if you are knowledgeable, you will be busy trying to impress others by flaunting your knowledge. You will always be in a cycle of learning more and showing it off; there will not be much spiritual growth. The worldly wisdom that we rely upon, which we try to prove to others that we are more knowledgeable, for which we spend time acquiring more and more of it, is finite and limited.

Everything in the physical world is constantly changing. It keeps evolving. It keeps accumulating, keeps shedding. What was true yesterday may not be true today. What you know as truth today may not hold tomorrow. Truth changes, reality changes, so naturally, it will take you towards darkness. You can never be sure of eternal truth, what will always be true. In short, you always remain unsure and in the dark.

This is what they meant when they said that irrespective of whether you are ignorant or knowledgeable, you remain in the dark.

It is like plus and minus, positive and negative, good and bad, hot and cold. Just like you cannot understand happiness without knowing sadness. Knowledge and ignorance are two sides of the same coin. We have to know its opposite to have worldly knowledge of one aspect.

While metaphysical knowledge is the spirit, worldly wisdom is that of the body and mind. With its constant chatter and relentless change of opinions and beliefs, the mind lacks stability. It is prone to debate, arguments, and differences of opinion. If there is an argument, you can bet that your mind will develop a counterargument. The cycle never ends. According to them, when all worldly knowledge ends, what remains is the truth and the ultimate reality.

The chattering mind is the observer observing the observed. All three segregate, but when the mind becomes still, the observer, observing, and the observed become one, there are no changes. There is no separation. The observation remains; the seeker seeking the result realises that there is nothing to seek. You are everything, and the universe exists because of you. Everything that you perceive and conceive already exists.

That is how the subject of spiritualism relates to the topic of knowledge. It states that until and unless you know yourself, there cannot be any self-awakening, self-enlightenment or self-realisation. Because in the end, you realise that there is nothing to enlighten, nothing to experience, because you are already enlightened, you already have that unlimited potentiality in your brain.

The potential is lying dormant all it needs is awakening. It is the source of intelligence that comes out in spontaneity and which, in turn, comes out when the mind is still. This is why stillness is essential in the matters of spiritualism. Stillness means that the mind is focused and centred and not wavering or in a constant state of chatter.

Stillness allows the mind to go into a state of meditative awareness. You are focused entirely on the present moment. This is when your inner intelligence awakens. It comes out to discover everything of all that exists. Worldly knowledge hinders this process, hence the darkness remains because it will not lead you to its final destination. It will remain incomplete.

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