Thursday, December 21, 2006

Knowledge ≠ Power

Man that is disheartening to write. But after much deliberating, I think it is a universal truth. Take that postmoderns!

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set ye free.

Al Gore, in his film, An Inconvenient Truth, makes the statement that people generally move from ignorance to despair whence informed, feeling that they can make no difference given the new information. I get that.

It's not that knowledge cannot lead to change or empowerment, but it has become an end of the line for a great many of us. Being "aware" is kind of a last stop before the train ride gets terribly scary, racing around corners in the dark. So it seems that most of us opt there. Well at least I'm informed. I'm not sure that's enough.

I watch the cigarette TRUTH ads and read the emails from ONE or Sojourners...but still people are not changing in really "significant" ways...or it at least appears that way. Sure people are changing their minds about the war by the dozens, but are they changing their own lives?

I wonder if this is why the message of Jesus has been so domesticated and weak in our modern world (or perhaps for all time?). I wonder if we have attempted to disseminate information instead of embodying a new Way of Life. Now don't get me wrong, I believe that paradigm shifts can help people understand things in new lights, but I wonder if information, even if leading to a paradigm shift, is still less potent, life-changing, and integrative than embodying an alternative Way.

Anyone?

5 comments:

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Oh shit, I just disseminated information!

brett said...

ryan, man i cannot tell you how much this rings true here in our household. i find myself continually challenged by the knowledge i am gaining but, as my wife will tell you, there has been minimal, if not any at all, change. what good is the information to change the world when you can't (or won't) leave your own island.
i just read a chapter out of mark's book that dealt a little with "does what we do make much of a difference on any level?" and i guess if the answer to that question is the motivation that is driving our actions, we'll probably be dissappointed. but if our motivation is that something wholly (holy) other (in particular people), well...
we do live in a time and place where information is all that is required for "success." when you see "the way" fleshed out it rubs the powers the wrong way and tweeks everyone's worldview, for good or better. i am praying and hoping for the ability to truly be a follower of christ.
i can only see that happening in community...

jessica said...

great post... so true...

Eric Wakeling said...

It is hard. Is it cheesy to say, "Baby steps," like Bill Murray in What About Bob?

I'm trying to take baby steps but I do recognize how enmeshed I am in my culture of materialism, greed, and domination of others. I desire a "shift" but I'm baby stepping towards the reality of it.

I'm trying to blog again at www.wakebird.com

emma said...

I just got a book called 'the Jesus of suburbia' which I think touches on some of these issues! for me a lot of the time it is so easy to get discouraged, that what I'm doing isnt making a difference... but the world is changed by the cumulative effect of many small changes just as much as by the might shoves.