Is knowledge power or power is power

Does knowledge really make you powerful?

The majority of people have no idea what treasure trove of knowledge each and every one of them carries with them. You are not aware of it. With that, however, this knowledge lies idle.

Without a doubt: a sentence like “What do YOU ​​already know?” Should be perceived as an insult by most people ... and rightly so.

But this effect is based solely on the emphasis, because “What do you already KNOW?” Is a perfectly legitimate question, the correct answer of which would astonish most people.

Formula: knowledge = power?

“Knowledge is power” is a popular saying, the origin of which is commonly traced back to the English philosopher Francis Bacon. But this is only true if it is about any freely available knowledge that - because it is sufficiently networked - can be used at any time and in a wide variety of contexts and thus can contribute to creative solutions - not only, but also - of problems.

The way in which we convert information that we consciously or unconsciously experience and perceive into knowledge and how we then store this knowledge in memory can definitely stand in the way of this availability. Because what we finally call “knowledge” is not an unchangeable fact, not an absolute. It is the result of an individual process in which information, the potential knowledge content, is checked, selected and assigned.

“Knowing” is not “just there” just as “thinking” is not just there. It arises. And that means: it can be influenced to a certain extent, can be learned and also changed afterwards by influencing the individual steps of the process of combining to "new" knowledge and ultimately its previous results.

The hierarchy of knowledge

Developing knowledge follows certain rules and structures that are dependent on hierarchies and shaped by ideas and thought patterns that we have adapted for ourselves and possibly varied again.

Each piece of information that we assign to our knowledge base receives a qualification within this process: we assign it a general relevance and we establish contexts of meaning, we categorize the primary context of the information. In the process, complex patterns are formed - sometimes more consciously, sometimes more unconsciously. The more factual and, above all, emotional references to information and the more important the subject areas with which we relate them are to us, the higher the content rises within the hierarchy of our knowledge.

The “filters” for the selection and assignment of the knowledge content are not only already existing knowledge content, they are not only those of practical functionality with regard to coping with life and environmental appropriation. Since people are social beings, socio-cultural aspects also come into play here. In other words: There is not only a categorization according to thematic references, but also an evaluation based on the social, religious, ethical norms and ideas that we have internalized and to which we feel connected.

How do we generate our knowledge?

Ultimately, in the process of generating knowledge, everyone does what religiously fanatical parents try to do, for example, who raise their children according to “their own” ideas in order to shield them from knowledge that goes against their personal beliefs.

The results are also always the same: a limitation of knowledge, thus of thinking, which of course has to be expressed in a limitation of action; because what one cannot even think (or is allowed to think) cannot be put into practice. And that means nothing other than: a reduction in creativity and thus the possibility of practical life.

Nobody can completely avoid this effect. Because even when using language and its terms, evaluations and norms are subconsciously transported.

Nevertheless, these barriers can be overcome, knowledge content can be released from the blockages of such assignments and made freely accessible for creative processes. And that without being harmed.

An example of this are case analysts from law enforcement agencies, who learn to distance themselves from their own moral claims and boundaries in their thinking in order to be able to put themselves in the minds of criminals. They do not become criminals themselves, their own value systems remain intact - but they learn to understand where these values ​​make themselves felt in their thinking, where they influence and bind knowledge content.

Philosophy - The love of knowledge

This already describes the path that leads to the desired result of a free use of one's own knowledge: it is a process of conscious making and the realignment of thinking, a downright debossing of cherished patterns and ideas, a process of de-emotionalization. And so it is not the discipline of psychology that can provide guidance here, for its field is the classification and evaluation of behavior, the definition of normality and deviations from these norms.

It is philosophy that has the answers.

This may seem amazing to some people - and if so, then this is a very simple and practical example of the power of the principle described above. Anyone who believes that philosophy is “aloof” per se and has little to do with coping with everyday life, his knowledge of the subject and the possibilities of this spiritual science is obviously provided with an evaluation that will prevent him from looking for the ways here To look for the old one-way streets of his thinking: a mental blockage that can make his life unnecessarily difficult.

Actually, the idea is quite obvious and therefore almost banal that a discipline that deals with the thinking of people, with the way in which they determine their being and existence through their thinking and the resulting actions, most likely the limitations of these Identify processes and create ways to eliminate them.

But nobody should feel bad or even ashamed because they haven't thought about it yet.

A look at the extremely recent history of the cognitive sciences, which is still developing, shows that it is part of a long and in many places still ongoing tradition.

The intellectual confrontation with the topic of "knowledge", with the questions of what it means, how it arises, what possibilities it opens up when, how and where and what limits it is subject to, how it constitutes, shapes, changes reality, has a - measured against our lifespan - a seemingly endless tradition in philosophy. There are correspondingly many opinions, approaches and theorems.

The method of “knowledge activation” draws from the abundance of these thoughts and insights, which is one of the still rare links between the world of purely intellectual debate and purely practical use.

Get out of the blockages

It was created with a view to the needs of people who have to be creative in their job, from whom innovations, ideas and problem solving are required; So that applies to artists just as much as it does to business leaders.

In a multi-stage process, the existing intellectual blockages, the assignments and evaluations that block knowledge content are first identified and analyzed. This analytical process already forms the basis for a changed way of thinking, which leads to a permanent redesign of the process of knowledge generation described above. It makes it transparent and comprehensible, i.e. conscious, in a way that prevents new blockages.

The first important steps in this direction can be taken within a two-day seminar. The overall process, however, requires intensive coaching that takes between six and 24 months.

The difference to conventional coaching processes is - apart from the method - in the result. Instead of looking for patterns based on the analyzes of previous successes that make them reproducible, the aim is to expand knowledge and change thinking.

In other words: Where traditional coaching remains reactive and its effects are questionable (since it can only take situational variants into account to a limited extent), knowledge activation enables active and permanent optimization of thinking and acting and increases the ability to develop creative processes.

From old to new

Because all creative processes are based on the ability to rearrange what already exists, to vary it, by removing the fixed assignments of knowledge content and thus making them freely available.

Finding and forming analogies, the transfer of knowledge and problem solutions from one unrelated area of ​​knowledge to the application of another, is referred to as "synectics" and is a recognized creative technique that has been particularly successful in the field of engineering over the past decades was applied by translating examples from nature (e.g. the construction of insect or bird wings) into technical innovations (in this case aerodynamic).

Those who only perceive things and people as they present themselves to them based on their current understanding of the world, without recognizing their potential and not able to find and interpret similar patterns and structures, i.e. who persist in the restriction of mental blockages, he will come up against limits in many areas of practical life - although he has the knowledge necessary to solve the respective problems and to master the respective situation. He just cannot freely dispose of it.

“Knowledge is power” when you know what you know and how to deal with it. Knowledge that is bound, blocked by prejudices and evaluations, on the other hand, leads to powerlessness in the face of those who have learned to use their wealth of knowledge creatively in every situation.

Ultimately, it is not the one who has the most knowledge who will be most powerful in the sense of this winged word, but the one who can deal with it most flexibly. In other words: Whoever frees his knowledge from blockages through knowledge activation and learns to use it variably in creative processes in a synectic sense has power.

Author: Armin Rütten
Published on February 27, 2012

Tags: high school graduation