Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

You can’t buy Imagination

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Everyone has very subjective opinion on defining intelligence. Some people call straight-As students as intelligent. Some people call an artist who drew wicked abstract art as intelligent. Some people call a successful multi-millionaire entrepreneur as intelligent. Some people don’t think any of them are intelligent. Despite the variance in opinions, there is common assumption from most people that the more knowledgeable the person is, the more intelligent he/she is. As how Francis Bacon, a renowned philosopher put it, ‘Knowledge is Power’. My gut instinct told me something is amiss and that i got to put on my philosophical cap to reason it out. And so i did …

Knowledge is accessible everywhere

Exactly one year ago, i know nothing about physics. Absolutely zero. It was around January-February 2007 that my interest in physics sparked when i read an article about Einstein with his Special Theory of Relativity in Times magazine. I was very fascinated with the idea of how speed can influence time. Since then, i became a physics-addict. I spent a great deal of time reading about physics up to this very day, a field which i have zero education background in.

With the abundance of knowledge and information so accessible especially on the internet,  knowledge is always just within our fingertips. If knowledge has become something which is attainable by everyone and anyone, by all means, knowledge is no longer something special and valuable. Suddenly, knowledge has become a common commodity. Knowledge is literally free and easy to seek. This means, whatever knowledge that you know, others will know too. Nevertheless, knowledge only limit to things that we know at the present time. To see the future, we need imagination.

Knowledge ≠ Imagination

I always discourage people from being a book-freak. Even if you get to read all the books and become the most knowledgeable person in the world, it is still pointless. To become a thinker, one needs to spend an equal amount of time to contemplate on all the knowledge that he/she has just absorbed. If all a person do is just read, read and read, he/she will forever dwell in other people’s ideology, opinions, and mind-set. To stand and think at your own feet and , you need to spend time to reflect and imagine. Why? Because a thinker is a person who creates and invent new knowledge, ideas or thoughts. It is through human imagination that humanity consistently push our boundary to progress further. What separates a genius with an extremely smart person is the amount of imagination he/she possess. Try to ponder on this point – everyone can become a genius by just reading and following other people’s point of view. Sounds illogical, no?

I’m not suggesting that knowledge is utterly useless. In fact, knowledge is important as the basis of all intelligence. However, in the higher level of thinking process, having a great deal of knowledge do not mean having a great deal of thinking ability. Most people thought it worked that way, but in truth, it is a big false. There needs to be a balance. A balance between knowledge and imagination …. which imagination will then manipulate knowledge to create more knowledge.

Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. – A. Einstein

Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else’s head instead of with one’s own. – A.Schopenhauer


Written by elan85

November 19, 2007 at 2:45 am

Posted in Philosophy

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