Knowledge and Knower – The Two Sides of the Same Coin

Imagine that you have visited a dietician to consult him for reducing your weight. You are, however, surprised to see that he is heavily overweight. He is an extremely nice fellow, who has all the knowledge of the world to reduce weight. He explains to all the methods to reduce weight.

Would you trust his advice?

The answer seems to be no for most people. The first thought that comes to your mind is that if this fellow is really a good dietician, why can’t he reduce his own weight?

You simply can’t trust his knowledge.

Knower and Knowledge

Logically speaking, there is no relationship between the knowledge and the knower. After all, if the same knowledge or advice is given to you by a person who is fit and healthy, you would have no difficulty in accepting the advice. But here was a man advising you to be fit, but he himself is unfit.

People find it difficult to separate knowledge from knower. In fact these two are believed to be so inseparable that you can reconstruct one from another. We have reconstructed the images of Jesus and Buddha from the knowledge they imparted to the world. The Hindus have reconstructed the pictures of Ram, Krishna, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma etc based on the knowledge they are associated with, There is no one who had seen them, yet their pictures are in every temple. Thought, their portraits were also not made during their lifetime, most people believe the genuineness of these pictures as their personality personalities the knowledge they imparted.

People know from their experience that Jesus Christ must have been a thin person, dressed in simplest cloths, having beard as he would not have cared for his looks. Similarly, people conceive Buddha as the man of peace, meditating for the enlightenment and search of knowledge from within.

What is Knowledge?

Plato defined knowledge as “justified true belief.” His definition of knowledge recognizes that belief and truth are not sufficient for knowledge; that knowledge is a subject of true beliefs. It means that knowledge is actually a form of belief that had been found to be true by the knower.

For example, if you have the knowledge that exercise is good for health, it is because you believe this statement i.e. “exercise is good for health” as it must have been proven true in your experience. Just imagine, that you had noticed that most people who exercised became sicker, you would not have acquired such knowledge. Even if you would have noticed that people has equal chances of becoming unhealthy with or without exercise, you would have never believed in such “knowledge”.

Thus having a particular knowledge means that you not only believe in the knowledge but you have also found it to be true based on your own experience or based on the experience of someone whom you trust. People are quick to discard the knowledge, if their beliefs are proven false in their real life. For example, if you believed that daily prayer to God can cure cancer, and you have seen your friend dying of cancer despite of daily praying, you can not have that knowledge.

Knowledge Transforms

Knowledge is so powerful that it can be easily said that a man is known by the knowledge he has. It is because; knowledge is so ingrained in the soul that no one can defy it. Every one follows the knowledge like a slave follows his master.

If you really have the knowledge that daily exercise is necessary for your health, there is no way you can avoid your daily exercise. If at all, most people do not follow daily routine of exercise despite of having such knowledge is because, they have seen that many people who are healthy do not exercise everyday and many people who exercise daily are unhealthy. They may themselves realize that in all their lives, they remained healthy despite doing no exercise.

However, if they become sick and the medicines fail to cure them and the doctor advise them daily excise for curing his illness, the same person may start following the routine as he believes in the doctor. If he gets cured of his illness due to daily exercise, he himself start believing this statement and the same becomes his knowledge.

Thus experience can change knowledge as it can break many old believes and create new believes.

Knowledge Has to Succeed Like Man

All human beings know this secret of man that no one really do anything against the knowledge one has. Therefore, they closely observe the synergy between the knowledge and the known as knowing one automatically reveal the other.

Thus knowledge becomes a person in real life. It has to succeed in the race of different types of knowledge. Winning the race is the only method to prove that the knowledge is authentic. If the knower becomes successful, the knowledge wins the race. Mahatma Gandhi once accepted humbly

I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Nonviolence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.

Yet even the modern people accepted “Truth and Nonviolence” only because Gandhi acquired success following these principles. Had he failed, these principles would have never been accepted by the world.

Thus the success of knowledge is actually the success of the man (knower). Thus knowledge of truth and nonviolence was personified in Gandhi. It was accepted because Gandhi succeeded in the same world with competing knowledge like violence, racism, imperialism. Imagine if the World War II would have been won by Hitler, the principles of Autocracy, Racialism, Fascism, Nazism would have become the undisputed principles for the modern world and no one would have talked truth and nonviolence.

Knowledge is a Living Thing

Knowledge is not something that is written in books in words and frozen in time. Knowledge is always live as it is always tested by all the knower of the knowledge. The knower has no option as he is bound to follow the knowledge he has. Hence the knowledge is always under test. It is born, reaches to its peak and then dies only after giving birth to a new knowledge by different name but having a close resemblance to it. It has its own life as it survives even often after the death of the knower. Almost all religions like Buddhism, Christianity and Islam become powerful only after the demise of their creator. Yet they all represented a person who personified the knowledge in human form.