In the schools, colleges and universities our minds absorb many "seeds" of knowledge. Some of these seeds remain in our minds without further development and growth. We just repeat what we have learnt from teachers or read in the books. These are seeds of the so called “borrowed knowledge”; we have not contributed in its discovery or in its creation. The more we repeat this kind of knowledge and follow what it teaches us to do (or how to behave) in our professional or personal life, the less our chances for realization and development of our own creative potential.
Of course, there are persons who use the borrowed knowledge to expand its fields. Most of the researchers are involved in such kind of activity. Some succeed in proving that what has been known in a given field of inquiry is no more valid or is false. Other may succeed in establishing new directions of research and produce seeds of new knowledge. Thus, one particular seed of knowledge either cannot germinate (as it happens with a seed of ever-repeated borrowed knowledge) or can die (as it happens with a seed of no-more-valid or false knowledge) or can grow and produce new seeds of knowledge. The destiny of each newly produced seed of knowledge repeats the destiny of the parents’ seeds.
As the wars and conflicts have been permanent companions to the life of human societies, the most advanced knowledge has always been used for exercising power of one tribe over another, or of one nation over another, or of one class of people over another. It is well known that the seeds of the contemporary computer knowledge which have ‘germinated’ into creation of supercomputer, as well as for e-mail and cellular-phone communication were planted in a military ‘soil’. The same is true for the seeds of knowledge which have given rise to the creation of monstrous weapons of mass distraction, advanced laser and drone weapon systems, satellites for spying and cosmic ships. The research in the military fields of inquiry is always generously funded.
The multinational business companies are also very generous towards funding research in such fields of knowledge which contribute in the growth of their profits.
The fact that today we continue to witness not only horrible wars, but also irreversible environmental degradation, natural catastrophes due to the destructive effects that the man-made technologies have on the climate change, sporadic outbursts of lethal diseases on a mass scale, ever-deepening inequality in distribution of wealth in society resulting in millions of extremely poor and homeless people, shows that our knowledge does not help us enjoy healthy and happy life – a life in peace with one another and in harmony with nature. In order to experience such kind of life, we need wisdom.
Wisdom is different than knowledge. The knowledge is fragmentary, while the wisdom is holistic. There are many branches of knowledge and the deeper the research in a specific branch goes, the less it connects with the other branches. While the scientific theories which are considered valid today often become obsolete tomorrow, the words of wisdom even of the ancient sages do not lose their validity. In an almost mysterious way, the wise people succeed to connect their behaviour, experience and thoughts with the source and essence of existence that never changes.
The ancient sages strongly emphasized the vital importance for humans to explore and master themselves.
Here are the words of two great sages of ancient China - Lao Tzu and Confucius:
Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom; mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power” (http://www.deepspirits.com/ancient-sages/lao-tzu/).
Confucius: “The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development”
On the forecourt of the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the sages of the ancient Greece had written: “Know thyself!”
The requirements for the humans to master themselves appear over and over again in the Buddhist wisdom: “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you”.
The capacity to know ourselves is unique for the human kind. “Human beings are nature becoming self-conscious” – these are the words of the French researcher Reclus in his book “Man and Nature” written in 1905: https://archive.org/details/lhommeetlaterre00reclgoog
It is in us - the human beings, where the Mother-Nature is able, through the power of our self-consciousness, to become aware of herself – of her limitless power, of her inexhaustible source of energy and infinite potentiality to create or destroy, to maintain or restore. The more we develop and strengthen our self-awareness, the higher our ability to observe and comprehend the action of the forces of nature within us.
"The same forces and energies which sustain the universe are responsible for the existence of the human species and the development of their consciousness" said Heisenberg - one of the greatest theoretical physicist of our times and the key pioneer of modern quantum theory:
By observing and meditating on the manifestation of these forces in ourselves, we can gradually reveal how to control them and how to use their immense potential so that to expand our consciousness. But how can we observe these forces in ourselves? The Yoga practitioners do this easily by directing their awareness to the process of breathing or to the rhythm of their heartbeats. Both the process of breathing and the rhythm of the heartbeats manifest the vital operation of the universal forces in us.
With the power of our imagination we can mentally visualize the origin and source of the universal forces as a never-exhausting fountain of powerful streams of energies. The Tibetan Buddhists are the greatest masters of mental visualization: http://www.buddhahouse.org/Articles/visualisation-meditation-deity-practice.html
According to the Tibetan Buddhism, it is the practice of mental visualization that can endow the mediator with enormous spiritual power.
While visualizing and meditating on the inexhaustible source of the forces and energies which have created us and which sustain the infinity and timelessness of the whole existence, we learn to strengthen our connection with it. The stronger our connection with the source, the more intense becomes our mental, emotional and spiritual experience of this connection (Dimitrov, 2007).
Together with accumulating this experience, we allow the seeds of wisdom planted in our inner nature to grow and enlighten us.
The stages in our growth in wisdom manifest not only by revealing the secrets of how to be healthy and live longer, but also by empowering us to care for Mother Nature, to be compassion and ready to help those who, being under the permanent stress of to-day’s life in society – a society that runs on power, money, competition, conflicts and wars – can hardly realize their inborn capacity for self-awareness and thus miss the blissful experience of being both the bearers and the realizers of the endless existential potential.
Note: According to quantum physics, everything that exists in the material world manifests as fields of energy associated with a myriad of various elementary particles-waves: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics .When observing the behaviour of these particles-waves we affect their behaviour. That is what the famous “Observer Effect” in quantum reality reveals – any act of observation inevitably affects the reality of what is being observed: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm. And this effect holds its validity not only at the quantum level of matter. It manifests also when we exercise self-awareness.
The self-awareness is nothing but observing ourselves, that is, concentrating our attention to what the body and mind experience “now” and “here”. And by doing this, we inescapably affect our experience – our feelings, our thoughts and our actions. A simple example is the process of self-relaxation. Our bodies can fully relax only if we mentally observe each part of the body, by “asking” it to become absolutely free of tension. One imagines the body “heavy” and “warm”, comfortably laying relaxed on the floor. Then one gets free of any disturbing thought or feeling that could emerge by visualising it as a smoke which one “gently blows out of the mind”.
Other examples of the “Observing Effect” are many cases of self-healing, including cancer remission or freeing oneself from a health-damaging addiction. Through self-awareness, deep meditation and developing of genuine spiritual attitude towards the salubrious inner forces which sustain our life, one can succeed in visualising oneself empowered up to such high degree with these forces that even hard-to-cure-by-medicine dangerous sicknesses like cancer or life –threatening addiction can be “forced” to leave the organism.
Many examples of manifestation of supernatural power of Indian and Tibetan Yogis: http://hubpages.com/education/supernatural_powers_and_indian_yogis , http://www.thranguhk.org/buddhism/en_milarepa.html , as well as of spiritual masters belonging to different world religions, relate to the development of their inborn capacity for self-awareness up to the highest possible degree.
Reclus E. 1905, L'Homme et la Terre", Paris: Librairy Nnational (English edition: 2001, Man and Nature, AK Press) https://libcom.org/files/Reclus%20-%20Man%20and%20Nature.pdf
Heisenberg W. 1971 Physics and beyond: Encounters and Conversations, NY, Harper and Row http://philpapers.org/rec/HEIPAB
Dimitrov V. 2007 Ecology of Immortality: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/ecology-of-immortality/id444455887?mt=11