Difference between knowledge and information:
Your knowledge is never a burden. It is your ignorance that is a burden. Any time you feel that your knowledge is becoming a burden, know that this burden is not the result of your knowledge, but because your ignorance has disguised itself as knowledge. True knowledge never becomes a burden; it never pulls you down. It always keeps you light and ensures that you’re enjoying the process of life. So, what is this true knowledge?
Since we’ve been using the word “knowledge” loosely throughout human history, the word has become so common we have forgotten its true meaning. As the word itself suggests, knowledge comes from knowing which comes from the Greek root word gnosis which comes from the Sanskrit root word jnana. Jnana means pure awareness. This pure awareness, this ability to perceive things just as they are, is true knowledge.
We need to understand the difference in knowledge and information. Your burden arises because now, instead of seeking knowledge, you are seeking information. In today’s language, when we are referring to knowledge, we are talking about information. You are thinking, “How much knowledge should I gain? How cautiously should I approach this? Will too much knowledge stop me from experiencing life in its purity?”
You have substituted the word knowledge with information, and information is something that you should never gather; it should never become a part of you. Information should be used only when the situation requires it, so you shouldn’t be attached to that information. If you hold on to the idea that you need to acquire more information, you will become more isolated from life.
Right from your childhood, you have been gaining knowledge and information. So, let’s better understand the difference between these two. If I were to ask you about the details of your life— “Where were you born? Who are your parents? What are your friends’ names? What did you learn in your science class?”—You would answer with information. You would tell me names, places, and dates. Much of this information remains as a memory.
Knowledge is a consolidation of your entire life experience. Whether you can recollect it is not important. Since your knowledge blends into you, you can react appropriately to different situations. You cannot go back to how you were when you were five years old and respond to life in that way. Through growing up, your knowledge has become a part of you. This knowledge, however, can never block you from experiencing life in its purity.
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