“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” –John 1:1
For most of my life, my greatest passion has been the search for knowledge.
A lonely child, I found refuge in books: in fiction, tales about foreign lands and fantastic creatures; in practical books about science, the earth, and life processes; in languages, philosophy, religion; in the paranormal, occult, and mysterious. You name it, I had to know about it.
I often felt like everyone else had gotten the instruction manual on this thing called Life, and I was the only one left empty-handed.
And so I took this business very seriously. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Somewhere out there was the answer, one day I would find the truth behind it all, and everything would make sense.
In college, I studied literature and languages, and later went to graduate school for a master’s degree in Rhetoric & Composition. I developed an obsession with epistemology, the study of truth, language, and what we can know.
Eventually I started to think that maybe Socrates had it right all along, and the answer was that we truly can know nothing; but my obsession now had a life of its own, and the demon inside me demanding answers ate every piece of text and trivia in its path, never satisfied, always hungry for more.
I was building my very own Tower of Babel, and it was destroying me. Every Word was another brick in this tower, growing higher and higher into the sky, and I thought that in this way I would one day touch God.
This tower was not built of truth, but of ego. It was a fortress meant to protect me from this reality: that I was terrified, confused, lost and alone.
As all I had built crumbled in a flash, I saw that each little piece of knowledge, each little fact, each bit of data was a line of defense against the world, against chaos, and against life.
It was awareness that I was seeking, and consciousness that I needed.
Words can be a useful tool in directing thought, in guiding the mind to greater consciousness. The word is creative, it is generative, it directs the manifestation of life, but it is not life itself.