Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It's not what you know...

We carry around buckets of information. We read the news, books, magazines, Facebook postings and Google shares. We view YouTube and Ted videos, listen to mp3 recordings of our favorite speakers and attend conferences. We are a learning-people. We know. We know a lot of information. We collect information. This is great for practical purposes, appearing on Jeopardy or breaking the ice at a party. What is the economy of Czechoslovakia? What is the melting point of glass? Plasma or LCD? Synthetic oil vs. mineral oil. Psychosomatic episode or hypochondriac? Organic or cage-free eggs? Both?  

Thoughts and words fill our days. They fill our minds. Yet, after a while, these buckets of information become heavy and burdensome. We look in them for what we need and become overwhelmed with all the data that we find. We observe, analyze, but we don't feel. We keep acquiring data hoping to find something that will have deeper meaning to us, even if we are not aware that we are doing so.

Knowing too much can confuse us and make us numb to the world and to others. We may know, but we don't know what to do with that knowledge. We need to make a pause to experience. Experience is a teacher. It brings understanding. To experience we don't need thoughts and words–we need presence, silence, stillness and willingness. This is how we feel alive.

Knowledge is necessary, but it is not living, loving, breathing, beauty, being in awe, experiencing miracles, feeling the rain, finding peace in the energy between good friends, listening, feeling, seeing, dreaming. We can know about love or we can feel it in a lover's touch. We can know about compassion or we can lend our hands when we are most tired to someone in need. We can know about kindness or we can smile at the rude and unwelcoming stranger. We can know about listening or we can drop everything we are doing and listen with our body and heart to a loved one who wants our attention. We can know about art or we can get moved into reverence by it.

Information is not wisdom, it's not knowledge, it's not understanding. It's not what you know, it's what you understand. Decide not to learn something new today. Feel something. Experience something wonderful. Don't name it. Live it.

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