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As I was saying . . . the age of knowledge

By Abdu Rafiu
06 July 2017   |   3:23 am
As I was saying the other day: For ages learning has been regarded as the route to knowledge. The urge for learning led to the advent of the book culture—writing and reading.

PHOTO: YourBlackEducation

As I was saying the other day: For ages learning has been regarded as the route to knowledge. The urge for learning led to the advent of the book culture—writing and reading. Through writing, knowledge is stored, and through reading, knowledge is spread, and indeed, widely spread.

Through knowledge there have been discoveries. As I did state that week that I addressed this subject, the knowledge itself may have been derived from observation of phenomena.

It has been observed, for example, that energy radiates—although the source of that energy is not generally known. Yet, energy must have its source. Through observations and experimentation, the working of life’s principles became established. And using these mechanisms inherent in the principles man has brought about inventions which have facilitated life. The invention of electricity by Michael Faraday will live in the hearts of men eternally. The principles undergirding the invention have today become widespread knowledge. Subsequent attempts after Michael Faraday have been to polish his thoughts and perfect his efforts.

Systems, practices and cultures of different peoples are observed and documented to form a body of knowledge. So is the behaviour of man under different circumstances and environments, be it in politics or economic pursuits. Reports of such behavioural studies abound. If we consider that we cannot see far and we cannot see everything within the range of our sight, vision and perception, we will become persuaded that what is left unseen or perceived can someday constitute a different body of knowledge. Meanwhile, what is considered knowledge is documented and stored as material for learning so that the knowledge can become widespread. What is learned thus becomes different from what is known, that is that which knowledge is. If what is learned is not internalised, that is digested and made one’s own, it disappears from memory. But that which is knowledge is permanent with him who knows it, who has experienced it. This is saying that there may be a gap between what is learnt and that which is known, that which is knowledge. Learning may thus be defined as familiarisation with or study of knowledge. And knowledge is the experience of a person which gives him recognition. Learning can thus be said to be familiarisation with or study of recognition of others, recognitions which could be profound or merely exciting.

Learning can be imparted to a person at a very early age. A child of three, depending on the exposure of his parents, can be introduced to learning, but at a much younger age to knowledge. A child of eight months knows that, though fire is beautiful, it could inflict pain. It burns. The child carries that knowledge for life. Knowledge and learning are documented in books and are passed for knowledge for all ages. If we accept that knowledge is derived from experiences which give us recognitions, which recognitions are documented to be learned, it follows that our knowledge can only go as far as the depth of our experiences, and the range of our perceptions and recognitions.

As there are problems in the economy, politics and social relationships, the signals are that our knowledge is limited and shallow. A limited knowledge needs to be widened and deepened. The vital knowledge of how we as human beings can live at peace and in harmony with our fellowmen is lacking. Our knowledge of nation-building and international relations is deficient. The result is there are wars, there are rumours of war. War merchants are prowling in the dark alleys; they are prowling in the shadows in the wee hours of the day. Thus the knowledge we human beings need greatly and urgently must be that which reveals the truths of life and existence and their inherent immutable principles. We have been made to be aware that given our limitations human beings cannot have this knowledge without help. Long before we sank this deep we had always been afforded help to guide us to true knowledge. As pupils and wanderers in Creation, we human beings need to be taught and guided. We need to be familiar with how Creation works and the place of creatures that we are in it, our tasks and responsibilities in Creation.

The import of that need is driven home with greater impact when he first has knowledge of himself. Who is man? How is he to wander in this world? What are the gifts of nature placed on his path? What is the purpose of his sojourn in this deep valley of matter? The knowledge of Creation and how it works then enables us to be conscious of whether the purpose of that sojourn is being met. How are we to wander on earth without coming to harm? There are pains; there are tribulations in all parts of the world. The global distress has again elicited concern among world notable figures. Mr. Donald Trump left for Poland yesterday enroute Germany for the G20 Leaders’ Summit this weekend with North Korea saying she has launched “intercontinental” ballistic missile test which is said to have beaten the American and South Korea calculation of the escalating tension in the region. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported to have said there was the likelihood of tough talks with maverick Mr. Trump. Poland is geared towards extracting affirmation of Article 5 of NATO, an organisation he had given notice to repudiate.

The deficiency in knowledge can only be covered through total wholesome knowledge. This immeasurable knowledge cannot be found in man. For our needs, and the needs for all time, what we urgently require is knowledge. Knowledge being light illumines. Thus, true knowledge is truth itself. As Truth can only be found beyond man for it is eternal, perfect and consistent, not subject to any alteration, to war or revolution or ideas of men, attributes man does not have, so can true knowledge be found beyond him. It is beyond his calculations or his avarice. It is incorruptible. In other words true knowledge can only come from Above. Now, we are in the Age of Knowledge—knowledge that gives explanation for all happenings. If we accept that there is life in the non-physical, we must also accept that beings in the non-physical have knowledge. Does knowledge gained here end with a person’s demise on earth? If the answer is in the negative, it is logical to appreciate that human beings in higher planes, in the Light Region or Paradise must carry higher and richer knowledge.

If any of them were to be sent to the earth, it must follow that he will come with higher and richer knowledge. We must by now have been familiar with accounts of the mission of such blessed ones among various peoples in different communities and at different times—the Prophets of Old, the Teachers of Mankind and so on. It stands to reason that the Lord Christ and the prophesied Son of Man Who is to appear in these times of chaos and perplexities will bear all the knowledge coming from the Highest of Heights, being Parts of the Almighty in Whom the Father works and they work in the Father as Love and Justice. And so the Lord Christ said “…whatever the Father does the Son does.” Any wonder, therefore, the statements of the Lord are so unfathomably deep that His hearers wondered aloud: “Where did this Man get this wisdom from and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother’s name Mary…?”

Proofs of the point that men come with knowledge gained in centuries of their wanderings in different planes of the world abound around us. We may also ask for example: What explains the prodigies in different communities? There are others who may not be prodigies but who strike us in a certain way. One common feature of the lives of such people is that they shot into global renown very early in their lives. Take Mr. Bill Gates, take Mr. Buffet, take Soyinka or Achebe for example. We may also ask, who taught Dangote business—the university he went in Egypt? Or Michael Adenuga or Femi Otedola, or Alakija, Otudeko, Michael Ade-Ojo, the young financial tigers Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Atedo Peterside or Fola Adeola to mention only a few that they have been so immensely successful? I once asked this question, far back in December 1993: Who taught Adeola Odutola and Ugochukwu business principles or corporate governance? Who taught Michael Ibru, Mobolaji Bank-Anthony, Lawrence Omole, Wahab Folawiyo or Dantata? What of men of profound thoughts and deep insights of ages past we are quick to quote? Daniel Swarovski says in his priceless book, The Time is Ripe: “What some regard as a special gift or talent is, in my opinion, the fruit of long experiences gathered in many lives.” Many will remember such prodigies who began to compose his music before he was 12 years old and Johann Bummel who in fact gave public concert at the age of 11. There was the publicised case of a little boy in the East a long time ago who was a preacher. There was one posted to my WhatsApp a couple of weeks ago, also preaching.

Knowledge lies only in experiencing. Some grain of this truth has been sensed and made to reflect in the saying “Experience is the best teacher.” All knowledge can arise only out of Truth and we human beings were permitted splitting of this Truth until Christ, the Truth and Life Himself descended to the world and in these times, the Age of the Son of Man promised by the Lord Who is to bring to our remembrance all that Christ had taught us and is to lead men to further truths, thus giving us the secret of Creation. The knowledge so brought is to be absorbed and experienced so it can be internalised by us human beings to make it our own. This knowledge is all and total, overseeing all and it answers all questions of life and existence. And being Rays of the Truth that is Light it awakens and nourishes the spirit. Plants serve to nourish our body, but the Word of Truth is the food of the spirit. Given the chaos and confusion in our world, and the collapse that is so self-evident in every part of the globe today, total knowledge is imperative.