Why are we born? Where do we go when we die? Do we choose our lives here on earth? Who was I in a past life? How can I know what my true life meaning is? Should I contact a psychic medium? Can I even trust psychic mediums? How can I trust myself? Can I access the Akashic records? Are they even real? Why incarnate?
As I sit here writing on my laptop, my brain has just exited a dizzying phase of the all-knowing disease.
I lapse into this state sometimes when browsing my social media streams where hoards of questions, topics, memes, inspirational quotes, arguments, and rebuttals constantly inundate the cramped walls of my mind until my strained eyes begin to glaze over.
Suddenly infected by the desire to know, I open a new tab on my browser, search for one idea. Click an article. Read. Open another tab. Search for another idea. Read. Ponder. Click a link. Open a new tab. Digress into another topic. Reflect. Ponder. Until half an hour later I have about 10 tabs open exploring a multitude of topics that all lead to an ever greater selection of questions … that don’t actually answer my original question.
Perhaps you also have the insatiable thirst to collect knowledge. Perhaps you also ask the big questions of life and are rarely satisfied by the answers you receive. If that is the case, I can empathize deeply with your situation because I too am an avid seeker of knowledge who sometimes gets so lost in the labyrinths of the mind that I emerge back into reality half-crazed and heavily dazed like the Mad Hatter’s Rabbit.
If you personally identify as a lover of truth, knowledge hoarder, spiritual seeker, thinker or philosopher, you need to keep reading.
What is the All-Knowing Disease?
To begin, I just want to say this: there is nothing wrong with seeking answers in life. In fact, without first seeking, how can we find? Without asking questions, how can we develop our intelligence and reservoirs of wisdom? Without trying to understand, how can we exit the cycles of ignorance that lead to suffering?
The desire to know is vital to our spiritual and physical evolution as human beings. The desire to know not only contributes to our physical survival, but it also contributes to our emotional well-being and process of spiritual awakening into truth.
That is why this article is directed specifically to those who feel that they have spiritually awakened, and have progressed quite far on their paths (the “spiritually mature”). However, if you still feel like you are “new to all of this” then this article won’t be of much benefit to you (and actually might be detrimental to your growth). So feel free to read this article instead.
Now that we have cleared that up, I want to explore what the all-knowing disease is. When you hear the word all-knowing you probably picture an archetype such as God and connect it with other words such as “omniscience,” “all-seeing,” and “all-wise.” In essence, this is precisely what the all-knowing disease points to: we want to pursue an unrealistic image of ourselves, we want all the answers all the time!
I have lost count of the millions of instances where I’ve tried to use the mind to solve my problems, to bring me comfort, and to give me a sense of control. And everywhere I look, I see people doing the same: mistakenly using the mind to try and solve the problems created by the mind. As you can imagine, it’s quite a circus!
“But I’m not being all-knowing; I just want to find the answers, that’s all,” you might say. Although, you neglect to realize that your entire life has been dedicated to the pursuit of understanding and the pursuit itself is a form of addiction. Why is this the case? Because solving puzzles and filling in the blanks gives us a potent (but false) sense of safety, reassurance and control. We tend to think deep down that “if only I could answer this question it would make me happy and complete.” And so we dedicate our lives to the next spiritual high, the next “hit” of a fragment of truth that answers our long unresolved questions. After all, what drug is more potent than tasting what it is to be God: all-knowing?
Most of us suffer from the all-knowing disease. Often our obsession with pursuing mental answers to mental problems comes as a result of a lack of inquiry, a lack of self-awareness. When we give the ego-self the position of power in our daily lives, we are ruled by fear and the desire to perpetually “know.” This is on the direct opposite end of the spectrum to Soulful living: to experiencing truth itself in all of its purity and liberty, without the need to theorize about it, or ask where, why, when and how it came about.
As I mentioned before, the need to know is not a “bad” thing, and it is in fact very useful. But there comes a point on our spiritual paths where we see through the fallacy of seeking Paradise anywhere else but right here in the moment. The miracle of miracles is that Paradise is right now, not in a thought or answer.
8 Symptoms of the All-Knowing Disease
The desire to be all-knowing is a disease because it causes us a great deal of unhappiness and pain – and most of us experience it. Picture a dog chasing its tail around and around: that is basically what the all-knowing disease is. We are constantly chasing a state of being that is just out of touch with who we are right now.
Here are some common symptoms of the all-knowing disease:
- You have an obsessive need to “know.” In other words, life stops until you have a significant understanding of, or collection of information about, a certain topic.
- You ask deep questions about life, but your questions never seem to be answered. As a result, you are constantly trying to fill the void of your understanding with beliefs, dogmas, philosophies or theories.
- You have strong emotional reactions to the thoughts, ideas, religions, beliefs and dogmas of others, particularly if you believe they are “dodgy,” “misleading,” or “false.” You might try to show this person how wrong they are, how right you are, and lapse into arguments easily.
- You find it very difficult to admit that you are wrong about a particular topic, even if you know you might be.
- Once you have found the answer to your question, you quickly fill the hole in your life with another question … and another, and another. The cycle of question-answer-question-answer repeats itself thousands of times over throughout your lifetime.
- You believe you have a certain power that is not available or accessible to other people that gives you more insight/intelligence/understanding (e.g. clairvoyance, ESP, precognition, etc.), thus making you more special than others.
- You withhold your ability to enjoy the present moment and truly experience contentment and joy believing that your happiness can be found in the future when you have all the answers.
- You have a hard time trusting the innate wisdom of life, embracing not-knowing, and going with the flow.
A few months ago I was reading about the life of spiritual teacher Gangaji. She too was constantly seeking-seeking-seeking, until one day she met with her enlightened teacher Papaji who immediately told her to “STOP.” That one word changed her entire life and ended her suffering. Why? Because she realized that everything she needed was already here, and that she was constantly chasing an image of perfection that could never be reached – as a dog chases its tail.
Are you willing to learn how to trust life? Are you willing to simply stop? I know it isn’t easy; I’ve been there many times before. It can be scary to not know what happens after death. It can be unsettling to be in the dark. But by accepting that state, by ceasing the perpetual seeking, you can paradoxically find everything that you have ever been searching for: bliss.
Want to know how to cure the all-knowing disease? I recommend reading this article on 6 of the Most Powerful Questions to Ask for the Awakening Soul.