Knowledge is… what exactly?

June 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm (Education, In So Many Words) (, , , , )

Despite that old saying that knowledge is power, lately I have found that the more knowledge I obtain, the less I feel I know about anything at all.  Sit down and read a book, immediately you are bombarded with at least ten other books you now need to read.  Les Miserables part one and two led me on a month-long adventure studying Napoleon.  While reading Napoleon, I felt like I didn’t understand much about any of the French wars.  I started buying up all sorts of French history despite the fact that I don’t really care much for French history, I just feel the need to know.

Well, that was last month.  This month something sparked an old interest, an idea I had about ten years ago that I never pursued.  I want to discover where the fine line between historical and relevant Astrology and the horoscope divination stuff actually lies.  I think the planets influence the world at large in a ‘the universe is one well oiled machine that works somewhat as one’ kind of way.  But divination and prophecies kind of give me the willy-nillies.  So I found myself reading The Case for Astrology by John Anthony West.  Of course, he is incredibly detailed and I realized I didn’t have a clue about half of what he was talking about.  So I started with the basics and picked up Dava Sobel’s The Planets, a couple of Stargazer books that I will hold onto for the kiddo (all great stuff for about age ten), and a number of other things.  So here I am now, reading anything and everything I can get my hands on from Astronomy to the mythology and literature that are the star’s namesakes.

Frankly, as exciting as it is to learn something new – it’s also a bit exhausting.  Each new little piece of the puzzle reveals 1000 pieces you never knew existed.  It’s the same in any subject.  When I was studying Egyptology I buried myself in Ancient Egypt everything for nearly a year.  12 months of research later, all I managed to uncover was how much more there was to research.  Even now in my Astrology/Astronomy stint, I’m uncovering how interconnected much of it is to Egyptian history, myth, and mystery, that it’s just added another 20 books to my TBR pile.

It is endless.

And when it all ends, when I die, where does all this knowledge go?  Unless I become a world renown writer (doubtful) or some kind of famous historian (highly doubtful), it will all be lost.

That could be a really depressing thought.  Except for one tiny little detail: It’s not so much about the knowledge, but the journey.

It’s about the diligence it takes to sift through information and catalogue not just the facts but thoughts about those facts.  It’s about using your mind and thinking through reality and your world view of that reality.  It’s about understanding human nature and God’s nature well enough to be the best possible human you can be.  It’s about knowing that when you die, you spent your time wisely, keeping your eyes open to the nuances and the tiny details of everything.

It doesn’t matter what I die not knowing when it comes to factoids and dates and the names of things.  It matters that I lived a life of pursuit.

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Exposure is Everything

November 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My whole life I have been enthralled by the world of books.  As a child, I was an avid reader the school librarian could not keep appeased.  I lived in the worlds of Laura Ingalls, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and more.  Although I went to college to study business, as soon as I was out I sought a position in a bookstore; my dream was to run the literature section, and I did.  I worked there for some years, fully stocked up my home collection, became the inventory manager, but then had a baby and so left the company.

We have 17 overflowing bookshelves in our house and books stacked on every available end table in between.  I have been gathering up children’s titles throughout my pregnancy until now for my daughter, preparing for a lust of the written word comparable to mine.

People keep warning me that she may not want to read, she may not like it like I do.  They keep telling me I cannot force my child to enjoy my hobbies.

I am not forcing her.  I am making the written word available.  She sees books everywhere, she sees people enjoying books everywhere.  In addition to our own collection that we read from every day, we visit the public library for group readings and she sees people outside her family unit gathering to enjoy a book.

My daughter is one year old, and already she often chooses Eric Carle over a stuffed animal.  She brings me Rainbow Fish and expects me to read it aloud while she sorts her blocks.  It seems sometimes as though she is not actually listening, just sorting her belongings, until I stop reading and she looks up and points at the book.  My daughter sorts through her picture books and flips through the pages, she even has her own little cushioned rocking chair she climbs into to do it.  She rocks and pretends to read while I lounge and read in our library in our house.

My daughter loves books, and I am both amazed and proud.  I implore the world to make books available to their children from a young age.  Read aloud to them, they cannot help but be interested and thirsty for stories and knowledge.

Get Your Kid Started!

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