The Most Powerful Knowledge
This poem is about knowledge, power, and the knowledge that brings us the most power or strength.
Those from the ivory tower
Say that our knowledge is power
But what do we want power for?
Will it be used to win the next war?
If all of our knowledge is applied
To increase the power on our side
Then we must find some weaker foes
That we can successfully oppose
But if we destroy the other side
Then we must further subdivide
And we must create splinter groups
Against which we can amass our troops
In this way, power divides into parts
Is this the goal of our learning and our arts?
By our power, strong and mighty
Do we wish to weaken our society?
It has been said beforehand
That a house divided cannot stand
A certain destruction is produced
When this type of power is unloosed
Does all of our learning have only one aim?
Will all of our power set the world aflame?
Or can our power be converted
So that destruction is averted?
Two forces act in the world today
One force keeps destruction at bay
By seeking to heal all separation
But the other force leads to desolation
Our knowledge has produced technology
That can be used by any ideology
It can be used to communicate
Or it can be used to promote hate
Technology is power’s child
But this child has gone wild
And we now have an arms race
That is increasing in its pace
No one wants to be destroyed
And so everyone is employed
Trying to find a safer spot
Where the fighting isn’t too hot
But isn’t this effort wasted for most?
For only one, in the end, can boast
That he has not fallen or become ill
That he is the final king of the hill
And what will be the reward for this king?
What did his intrigues and fighting bring?
Will he find satisfaction as the only one
Who outlasted all the others and finally won?
This outcome is only in the mind
And it is has only been designed
To show the logical conclusion
Of the present worldwide confusion
Some knowledge is good for temporal ends
And it seems to work when one defends
One’s body or one’s nation
Against a foreign invasion
But our defenses and attacks
As we have seen, have certain lacks
The attacks cannot be limited to foes
For the mind sends its hatred wherever it goes
But there is a type of learning
To which many are returning
It is a wise and subtle art
Of centering in one’s heart
This knowledge leads to a power
That does not struggle, fight, or cower
It is a knowledge in which thoughts of fear
Are transformed by love and disappear
What is this knowledge that is strong
And is helping many go along?
It is the knowledge of life eternal
And of its companion, love fraternal
Those who know that life is eternal
Do not fear anything external
They know that sorrow and pain
Are only a game of the brain
You say that you are not sure
If you believe you will endure
This is the place for faith’s great leap
And the time to awaken from your sleep
To give up this world and body
And all that is weak and shoddy
Is not a sacrifice or loss
For eternal life has no cost
And when we all really know
That eternal life is so
Heaven will come to earth
And fill our life with mirth
So don’t waste your time on learning
To make what will be burning
For when the fear of death is removed
The whole world will be thus improved
The knowledge that you once desired
Will no longer be sought nor acquired
Eternal life will be our guiding light
Till we attain the peace that is our right