The source of knowledge is God, only. But God can use anything or anyone to communicate that knowledge. He used a donkey to communicate with Balaam (Numbers 22:28-31). Like Gold, knowledge can come from the extremely unpredictable conditions. Also, God used the Magicians (The wise-men from the East) to communicate the birth of the Messiah (Matthew 2:1-12).
The European explorers invaded Africa, in search of gold and other precious minerals. This could not have been an easy expedition—but worth expending energy and time for. This was because those explorers had knowledge of the value derived in those precious minerals. Without the full appreciation of the value of those minerals, Africans were automatically relegated to inferiority.
Before the modern methods of extracting gold, the exercise may have been viewed as time consuming and unattractively dirty by those Africans. Gold panning, involving separating particles of greater specific gravity, containing gold from undesirable elements could have been viewed as daunting.
Considering having to deal with dirt involving muddy conditions, those Africans could not see any value in gold panning, for instance. But those involved with gold panning were not necessarily bothered by dirt, as fully appreciative of the nuggets of gold, rather than dirt. To them gold was more valuable than avoiding spending much time on muddy conditions.
Knowledge is, therefore, most important—enabling those involved not to be bothered with dirt, necessarily. Those people could not be persuaded to leave muddy conditions for something else. I draw parallels, when considering how knowledge can be obtained and why it is avoided by many people.
For humanity, there is nothing that can be said to be more important than knowledge. In other words, if survival is of utmost importance, knowledge takes precedence over everything else, including precious minerals. This is why God also spoke through one of the Prophets:
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6) (ESV).
The most unpleasant aspect of this passage of Scripture points to the possibility of knowledge being rejected. In recent years I was exposed to there being three barriers of study. In other words, for any person pursuing study, only three barriers would certainly limit and cause failure to attain the desired knowledge.
Financial limitations should not be assumed as among those limiting factors when pursuing study. As long as a person desires to seriously pursue study on any subject of interest, money is not always a limiting factor. The good news is that the aforementioned barriers can easily be handled as not to hinder those determined to pursue some study.
Remarkably, this was revealed by an American Author, L. Ron Hubbard1, whose publications have made this an interesting philosophy. Unfortunately, most people avoid L Ron Hubbard’s writings, due to ignorance, or misinformation. It takes a person of character, to examine everything—before denouncing—to discover most of the interesting revelations by the same author.
But, there is one obstacle to learning, regarded as peculiar to the aforementioned three barriers. Anyone intending to study, needs to ensure that this peculiar obstacle is first taken out of the way. This is a special barrier—not easily fathomed like the other three barriers. The obstacle implies assumption that one knows the subject being studied, already.
Envisage someone having not, actually, seen gold before—except receiving some superficial description of it—which he then takes as genuine. The person diligently searches for gold, assuming it to appear as depicted in what prevails in his imagination. He then refuses to consider any other viewpoint, except as prevailing in his imagination.
If shown the actual gold—to be exactly what he would have all along been looking for—the person violently rejects it. Whoever, brings the actual gold, gets violently treated—as assumed to be fake. The person assuming to know can easily ill-treat knowledgeable people unknowingly.
It goes without saying that this, exactly describes the attitude of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. They rejected Jesus, who they later abused and killed on the cross. They professed to know better, even though Jesus proved Himself to be the real Messiah that they had all along been looking for.
What caused them to reject Jesus was the assumption that they knew better. They were not different from the one refusing to accept gold, on assumption that the one presenting genuine gold would be fake. Ignorance—as the only cruelest enemy of humanity—gives comfort to those perishing in their ignorance.
There is little that can be done to help a person who assumes to know better. When Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” He knew exactly what He was talking about. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to penetrate the understanding of those assuming to know.
That kind of arrogance is exactly what caused the Pharisees to kill Jesus. To those familiar with the Ndebele war against the whites in 1890s, it also caused king Lobengula to unnecessarily kill his trusted advisor Lotshe, or Hlabangane2.
Knowledge is as easy to acquire as one is able to clinically evaluate any provided data. It takes only a wise person to reject data, based on reason rather than misinformation. Many people reject knowledge, based on hearsay or rumor-mongering. They are unwilling to verify things for themselves—relying only on what comes from gossip, rather than fact.
Humanity suffers unnecessarily, because of deliberate rejection of knowledge. But, in reality, the only thing that causes people to reject knowledge is pride. I suppose those attempting to bring valuable information to the people who assume to know better, understand what I mean?
Knowledge is acquired through study, which means evaluative analysis of any given data. Study is different from memorizing what is given. It implies understanding and ability to apply whatever is studied. It takes only a humble person, to be willing to examine information given, without prejudice.
This is exactly what the Pharisees of Jesus’ time failed to do. They denounced Jesus, based on the little information that they held. Such scanty information made them feel comfortable—as favorably comparing themselves with the other ignorant people, in their environment.
They desired to listen, only to those who, at least, would be judged as being better than them. Not a despised man coming from the despicable city of Nazareth (John 1:46). With that attitude, it becomes impossible to acquire knowledge. Such a person remains as ignorant as the African People who could not perceive the value of gold—abundantly available in their own land.
Study is as easy as knowing how to handle the aforementioned three barriers of study. The idea that one knows, makes acquiring knowledge impossible. It needs God’s intervention, as cannot be handled similarly to the other barriers of study.
As previously stated, a person who assumes to know better cannot be helped to understand anything else. But, approaching study without prejudice—handling the following three barriers of study—enables learning whatever one desires to understand.
The first barrier is simply, the absence of mass. In other words, there are physiological phenomena that manifest in a person studying without actual mass or the object being studied. One cannot teach about computers to anyone having not viewed the actual computer to experience how it works.
That person would feel squashed, bored and therefore overwhelmed by the subject. All the person would need is to see the actual object and experience how it is operated. The person would feel happier and desirous to continue studying the subject, as making a lot of sense to him.
The second barrier to study is, too steep a gradient. All learning starts with the lowest grade. Any higher grade, before a lower grade is learnt, makes a person feel confused. There is no subject said to be too difficult for any person who has passion for whatever is being studies.
The person gets confused along the way, only when having attempted to tackle what is ahead, before learning what would be at a lower grade. In other words, when feeling confused with what one is studying, the solution is to go back to the lower grade. There would always be something that the person thought he understood when he actually, did not.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of a person who is studying computers. The computer is provided, as mass, for him to examine and apply the operating procedures as taught to him. That person, also being careful to follow the gradient steps, before tackling the more difficult aspects.
Obviously, nothing becomes complicated for the learner who then truly enjoys studying computers. But there is one more barrier that needs handling—as possibly indirectly affecting the student’s understanding. Though having been able to effectively handle the first two barriers to study.
The third and most important barrier is, therefore, a misunderstood word. The problem with a misunderstood word is that it affects everything being studied. Immediately, after stumbling onto a misunderstood word, the person experiences a blank phenomenon. The mind becomes blank of whatever is studied.
Imagine a person, having picked up a book—considering it important—but failing to continue reading after a few paragraphs. The person would give all sorts of excuses for not continuing to read the book. Excuses like; “the subject is too complicated;” or “I do not have time” are commonly given as explaining inability to continue studying.
Such excuses would be false. But that person avoids admitting being dishonest—as being untruthful. Yet, still, the person would be unable to comprehend the material being studied. The person fails to appreciate the reason for feeling sleepy when reading the book? The truth remains in that as soon as the person stumbled on a misunderstood word, he became blank.
A person cannot do anything when blank in the mind. The day-dreaming that comes during the time of reading something is always caused by misunderstood words. Such misunderstood words could be many. But even if there would be one misunderstood word, the person experiences a blank-feeling.
There is truth in that the phenomenon manifesting after encroaching a misunderstood word during study is blankness in the mind. When a person has experienced blankness during the time of reading, he loses communication with the material being studied. Communication is the only thing that keeps a person in cohesion with what is being studied—thereby, being able to understand.
We can draw up an analogy with electric current, which is transmitted through an electric cable. When the cable is faulty somewhere, along the cord, the power would not exceed the faulty area. Similarly, the words—used to transmit information being communicated—get impeded by misunderstood words. The misunderstood words represent faulty areas along the electric cable.
Understanding—represented in the electric current—gets lost through misunderstood words. Having lost reality, due to misunderstood words, the person becomes alienated with the subject being studied. What needs to be done is identifying the misunderstood words and clearing them, using a good dictionary. This is similar to simply fixing a faulty cable for the current to flow freely.
That is all what is necessary for the person to remain committed to the study of the subject. One of the most complicated things about misunderstood words is assumption of knowing the meaning, without truth. Most misunderstandings in human relations emanate from misunderstood words.
This, obviously, then, links up with that greatest and enigmatic obstacle to learning: “The idea that one knows it already.” The person may have grown up defining the word in question, wrongly. It takes humility to be willing to examine everything without prejudice. Arrogance causes unwillingness to check the possibility of misunderstood words.
The assumption that a person knows, when he doesn’t, is motivated by pride, which breeds arrogance. Unfortunately, very few people are humble enough to accept being arrogant. They are too proud to ever view themselves as associated with arrogance. Like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, they would rather die in ignorance, than become willing to swallow their pride.
I sympathize with people like Nicodemus—though deciding to come to Jesus by night. It is difficult—though most people assume it to be easy—to shake off what the person holds as stable datum. Humans experience difficulty—having to accommodate something new in their mind faculty.
Jesus insisted that it was impossible for any person to be in God’s Kingdom, unless willing to become like a Child (Matthew 18:2-4). The acquisition of knowledge is the most important thing, for the entire humanity. What has caused all problems known to bedevil humanity, is knowledge deficiency.
The starting point is appreciating that most of what is passed for knowledge, through our educational system is, actually, the opposite of knowledge. Jesus brought the workable idea. But we have the so-called educated people of this world, misinterpreting everything Jesus said, for their own benefit.
People talk about corruption in government and in corporate business. But all corruption starts with misinterpreting everything taught by Jesus. There are so many words that are deliberately misapplied in Christianity, leading to misunderstanding of everything that was originally taught by Jesus.
Handling the third barrier enables people to seriously appreciate what Jesus taught. This implies clearing misunderstood words, when studying what Jesus taught. Ask yourself “what word could I have possibly misunderstood”—whenever encountering what some people identify as “complicated scriptures” in the Bible.
There, obviously would be a misunderstood word somewhere. Taking verbatim, what Jesus taught, without any other person’s influence is the only way to go. If such words do not make sense, there, certainly, would always be misunderstood words. There is no exception to that rule.
There is no other knowledge surpassing what Jesus taught. By handling the three barriers of study, one easily becomes enlightened. Nevertheless, the most important barrier to handle is to do with misunderstood words. Everything truthful comes directly from the source—rather than via somebody else.
- L Ron Hubbard is the Founder of the Church of Scientology and all time best-selling Author of The: Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
- The Patriot “Lobengula kills trusted advisor Lotshe” By Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu June 9, 2017.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
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