The search for knowledge and self-improvement drives many people in the path of personal growth. Knowledge and information are not the same although our educated minds have confused the two and made them one from the intellectual point of view.
Information is like any other item, it can be collected and accumulated. To do this, it takes time, effort and money and then a place to store all that is collected. Then it is useless and the effort in its accumulation wasted if it is not shown off. So not only is time spent in its accumulation but also in its presentation and sharing.
Knowledge, and the search for knowledge is often related to ones search for meaning and truth, what is life about and why are we here. That knowledge cannot be found in books or magazines, it can only be found by one developing oneself to a state when inner knowledge comes forth. That is not acquired with more and more information, it can only be directly experienced. And that experience takes preparation. Preparation takes time.
Our ego and personality and desire to improve ourselves is behind the perpetual acquisition of things, information being one of them. One thing is certain, with all the people out there, and all the time in the past spent creating and writing, there is no way that one person could absorb it all. That means that for one who wants to know everything that is going on in any particular field, or variety of fields their life will be spent accumulating information and there will be little or no time left to develop knowledge. This will lead to a life of being a walking encyclopaedia, which in the end of its days will be set aside for a new edition or used as a door stop or accumulate dust or be sold for pennies at a garage sale. Of course there are those who have been born with a great mind and skill that no matter what they read or learn, they become a master of yet another art. Those are exceptions to the rule. Let’s deal with the rule for now.
The human with information, even immense information will at the end of his days, be nothing more than a few cents of carbon and water, with enough iron to make a 2 inch nail, a corpse, an empty dead vessel. Not only that, but it will cost a great amount of money to dispose of this lump of decaying flesh. But knowledge will take the soul to consciousness beyond the end of the body and propel it, stay with it, and be useful.
It is a personal choice, what do you believe. Is life simply being born, living and dieing, with your achievements hopefully being great enough that your name continues and thereby you become immortal, even for a brief time. Or that you are perpetuated in your offspring generation after generation, until you are forgotten, or is there something that continues regardless of all that is material and human. Obviously, the only choice that is relevant to the point of this writing is the latter. The next question if that was your first answer is: what continues? Is it information? Or is the information wiped out and it is only what has been done with it that continues? Knowing by reading books on how to fight, or fly an airplane is of no use unless you have the skill. Knowing from reading how to operate and remove a cancer without ever having trained to do it is not good enough to insure success. However, some experience, regardless of an immense amount of information will be more useful to keep one alive.
There is a story of two men on a ship. One was a scholar and the other a simple sailor. The whole journey the scholar was putting down the sailor because he did not devote his life to study and only spent his days on a boat. Then the boat hit something and was sinking. Sadly there where no lifeboats, as this was long before OSH. The sailor turned to the scholar and asked if he ever learned to swim. The scholar replied that he did not waste his precious time with such activities. Such a shame said the sailor, because your whole life is about to be wasted.
You will never acquire all the information, and whatever you do get will be outdated within a month because someone else has to come with some new invention to make their mark in the world. One day you may look at all you have learnt and believed to be the greatest discovery, only to find in a short time after that it was replaced by yet a further great discovery. But look into your mind, think of what you have trained it to be, and then decide what you will do today and the rest of your life. What is more important to have or be, thinking from the perspective of what you believe you really are.
Information is only valuable if you use it to improve yourself or the world around you.
Train your mind and be creative, be the innovator rather than the regurgitator.