POEM: Needling a Haystack

The stockpiles of human knowledge grow exponentially
And , like needling a haystack
Says, “What the hay?!”
Finding better is where it's at
Not how fast you can shovel it
Nor how big your pitchfork is
Rather what thread follows
And sew what

This short poem is a tribute to with a purpose.  Unfettered skepticism produces recognizes that some are better than others.  In fact, what you ask determines what answers you get.  This poem cuts through the exponential amassing of knowledge by honing our attention to that which mends our together into a meaningful whole.  Without full questions to guide our inquiries, greater access to knowledge simply leads to greater confusion.  The attraction and distraction of a tsunami of available answers to questions, i.e., knowledge, can actually hamper .  Now, this isn't some anti-intellectual .  This simply recognizes that lacking wisdom is much less fruitful, even dangerous.  The quests for scientific knowledge and wisdom are consonant.  Both seek to integrate knowledge into an ever greater whole.  Knowledge that serves the whole, as opposed to just some part of , is a better quality of knowledge.  Knowledge isn't just about bits and pieces, mere ; true knowledge is about a deeper understanding of the relationship of these parts to each other, and most importantly, the whole.  Wisdom has a deep for the whole, and an even deeper for the fact that the ever greater whole can only be tentatively and incompletely described.  Thus, wisdom is characterized by both humility and curiosity.  Wisdom opposes ideologies and .  In fact, ideologies are simply ideologies that have lost humility and curiosity and stopped seeking out the ever-elusive, ever-greater whole, which is at least partially represented by those outside a ideology.  This fact escapes many trapped in militant ideologies because they mistake totality for .  Wisdom is an inoculation against militancy, , and .  This is because the humility and curiosity of wisdom breeds a generous in seeking a harmonious relationship with the whole.  The openness of wisdom is not merely a corollary of the tentativeness of empirical skepticism and scientific reductionism; it is is rooted in the positive appreciation for the value of the “other” which comprise the yet-undiscovered aspects of and ineluctable .  This may be your enemy.  This may be .  It may be both.  A transcending mere openness is made possible by a or in the whole being more valuable than the parts, even the sum of the parts.  This is as essential to healthy scientific investigation as it is to loving human relationships.  This simply assumes, or prefers, that serves the whole rather than some special interest.  This simply assumes, or prefers, human relationships that don't reduce humans to things to be manipulated, but beings to be appreciated.  The of wisdom is the mother to its only true child: .  In humility, stripped of arrogance and egocentricity, and equipped with an overpowering curiosity and a transcendent appreciation of the “other,” only remains.  And all good will follow.

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