Sunday, May 22, 2011

Educating ourselves

“Any and every legitimate means of acquiring information is to be pursued, and all the odds and bits of time pressed into use. Set a high price upon your leisure moments. They are sands of precious gold; properly expended they will procure for you a stock of great thoughts; thoughts that will fill, stir, invigorate, and expand the soul.

We should esteem those moments best improved which are employed in developing our own thoughts, rather than in acquiring those of others, since in this kind of intellectual exercise our powers are best brought into action and disciplined for use. Knowledge acquired by labor becomes a possession: a property entirely our own. A greater vividness of impression is secured, and facts thus acquired become registered in the mind in a way that mere imparted information fails of securing. A habit of reflection and observation is well-nigh everything…….

Be not dismayed at doubts, for remember that doubt is the vestibule through which all must pass before they can enter into the temple of wisdom; therefore, when we are in doubt and puzzle out the truth by our own exertions, we have gained a something which will stay by us and serve us again. But if to avoid the trouble of a search we avail ourselves of the superior information of a friend, such knowledge will not remain with us; we have borrowed it and not bought it.”

I think this applies to our religious beliefs more than any other subject. It is easy to say we believe such and such, when in reality we rarely study out a teaching on our own but rather we “borrow” it from the pulpit, creed or denomination.

The Golden Gems of Life, photo from the Internet.

1 comment:

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Fred,

Food for thought. Learning never ends. Age doesn't mean we are learned. In fact we have to unlearn many things which we know and beleive and learn new things to survive in this fast changing world. Learning is continuous and never stops at school or college.

Religious knowledge is something that is passed on to us by our seniors in the form of parents,pastors or other elders. We don't try to read the rich literature that is written by so many learned men on the subject. Therefore our knowledge on religion remains stunted and underdeveloped.

We have to keep reading and updating our knowledge especially now because even well know scientists like Stephen Hawking started making statements which will shake the foundation of our religious faith and especially the younger generation is vulnerable.

Best wishes,