There is a profound difference between knowledge, understanding and wisdom. I don’t remember ever not knowing that at an intellectual level, but understanding it came far later. Perhaps this is a normal part of the human life cycle. As we age our wants and needs change, as does the aspects of reality we focus on. Or perhaps it reflects a growing unwarranted arrogance on my part. But for whatever reason, my underlying motivational driver has shifted from seeking knowledge through seeking understanding to seeking wisdom.
I was lucky as my mother introduced me to Krishnamurti at a very tender age. Krishnamurti was an Indian Guru who in 1929 dissolved his organization. Krishnamurti spoke on matters spiritual, but his comments are generally applicable:
I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned realization of the self.
Because I am free, unconditioned, whole — not the part, not the relative, but the whole Truth that is eternal — I desire those, who seek to understand me to be free; not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect. Rather should they be free from all fears — from the fear of religion, from the fear of salvation, from the fear of spirituality, from the fear of love, from the fear of death, from the fear of life itself.
I may never become wise or even gain true understanding. Wisdom may well be a bi-product of seeking something else or not seeking anything at all. But this site, while helping people enhance their freedom, will also document the evolution of my consciousness. In the course of this I hope that we shall, in the words of Krishnamurti, become:
Freer, greater, more dangerous to every Society which is based on the false and the unessential
Krishnamurti had a profound understanding of reality. The damning effects of big government have long been recognized. Krishnamurti could have been speaking of them, rather than of the organization created around him when he said such organizations:
becomes a crutch, a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth.
When you look for an authority to lead you to spirituality, you are bound automatically to build an organization around that authority. By the very creation of that organization, which, you think, will help this authority to lead you to spirituality, you are held in a cage.
Reality is intruding into the delusional neo-socialist economic systems developed countries have created. Krishnamurti’s words will prove prophetic:
You will see how absurd is the whole structure that you have built, looking for external help, depending on others for your comfort, for your happiness, for your strength. These can only be found within yourselves.
Jesse has an excellent post outlining why we have built our economic system on a tissue of lies:
It is not that this generation is worse than any other. Rather, it is because it thinks it is different, better, higher, above all others. And out of this rises the ability to rationalize ideologically, and with lessening pangs of conscience, the worst of their excesses that is frightening. This is the path that allows the most powerful, the Übermensch, to rob, torture, starve, and euthanize the weak at their own discretion, or sometimes merely for the sake of expediency and enjoyment. It is the most virulent moral epidemic of the early twentieth century, and the most pernicious vanity of human history, attempting a resurgence. And the great voices of conscience and cultural transmitters are remarkably silent.
The greatest impediment to reform and renewal is the gullibility, vanity, and mean spiritedness of a self-absorbed cultural elite that pushes beyond all reason, flouting the laws that protect even them, and strikes the Faustian bargain that eventually brings their self-destruction. It is the fall of Rome, the British Empire and the Soviet Union. It is an old story of hubris that leads to downfall and decline.
That things will change is inevitable. Governments, banks and elites can delay the day of reckoning. But only at the cost of making the adjustment when it comes worse. There is a limit to how far down the road they can “kick the can”.