This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie, The Matrix. How true it is. Think about it, if you didn’t know about disease, death, rejection, debt or money, how happy would you be? What would you do in a world without these things? Take a moment and pretend. You are free – you do not owe anything to anyone. You are immortal – nothing can damage you or end your life. You have all the time that you want to do whatever your heart desires. There is no rush, no deadline to meet, no qualifications to meet – just life.
How wonderful would that be? The truth is, that world exists. Right here, in each and every one of us. Sadly, 99.999999% of us do not live in it. We are trapped in a world of knowledge. We think that by learning more and more about our universe, we gain a better understanding of it. On the contrary, we are losing freedom at a ever quickening pace. In the past, there was a rough idea of when someone would pass away. Today, there is an average life expectancy of 70+ years in the US. In the future, it may be foreseeable to know the exact minute of your death.
What a limitation that would be – for someone to tell you when you will die. It may seem far fetched now, but it may not be in the distant future. But you don’t have to imagine such a scenario to see how we are limited now. We are told that if you don’t brush your teeth, you teeth will fall out. If your parents are overweight, you will also be overweight. You have to work hard your whole life to be happy. And all other sorts of nonsense. We are told these things so many times, often times by authority figures that we respect, that we take these things in as truths. We don’t question them, we accept it and allow these ideas to control our life.
How can knowledge limit you. For one, it stifles creativity. When you know something, you never think about how it came to be, how it works, etc. For example, think about fire. We know how to make fire by lighting a match. Since we know that, we never think about new ways of creating fire. It is only when we are forced to like for other solutions that we attempt to find them. This is a simple material example, but many conceptual ideas are far more impacting.
So does this mean to forget about everything you learned? No, but be open to different ideas and concepts. Don’t be so bold and confident about what you “think” you know. Great philosophers have made the claim that they know nothing. Thinking like this, you will detach strong feelings for the things that don’t matter, while gaining happiness for the spiritual freedom that you get to live in.