Absorbing Fresh Knowledge
[Vinod Anand]

The capacity to absorb fresh knowledge is called udana. This capacity is at its maximum at infancy, and it diminishes gradually as you grow older. In the passage of life this process of absorption helps you gain information, knowledge and intelligence. But the intelligence acquired does not make you think freely, originally, or reason independently.

Udana will not build the intellect. There is no cause and effect relationship between intelligence and intellect. Intelligence per se will not enrich the intellect. Ironically, the entire focus throughout the world is to gain intelligence while the intellect remains poor as ever, undeveloped.

Today it is all intelligence, no intellect. Very few stand out That explains why out of millions of doctors turned out by medical schools only a few have proved to be outstanding — extraordinary in their research and findings, like those who have discovered life-saying drugs or subtle techniques to transplant organs in a human body.

So, too, out of countless engineering graduates, only a few have produced wonders like the Panama Canal, Golden Gate Bridge or Euro Channel Tunnel. In the field of law again there are but a few prodigious lawyers who overshadow even the most reputed ones.

The difference arises in the strength of intellect in the former which the latter, possessing abundant knowledge of law, lacks. To cite an example: In Chennai, over 70 years back, the High Court was deciding a famous case on forgery. The lawyer defending’ the accused made an elaborate presentation covering practically all points of law. And when the opponent lawyer’s turn came up, he requested the judge to merely put up the original document against the light. He beseeched, “Do you see a watermark in the document, my Lord?” The justice cooperated “Yes, I do see an elephant watermark” The lawyer rejoined, “This paper was manufactured in 1932.”

And the original document was dated 1930! Of course, he had earlier obtained the proof of it. Why stockpile knowledge? The above observations demonstrate the power of a developed intellect vis-à-vis intelligence, a mere stockpile of knowledge All the intelligence that people carry without the intellect to apply it in life tantamount to gold bars on a mule’s back. Again, intelligence acts like the horsepower in a car and intellect, the steering wheel which controls and directs it.

You will do well to make sure you have a Power steering! The faculty to think and to reason is a human prerogative All other beings this faculty since they do not possess an intellect. The intellect renders a human being the chief d’oeuvre of creation, but most are unaware of this unique status.

And people do not care to develop this life-saving, life-sustaining and the intellect Practice makes perfect. Also, you fail to realize that thinking and reasoning is skilled work; that you need to learn and practice, like playing the Violin or golf. You believe that thinking is a natural process like seeing, hearing or breathing.

That you can think clearly and precisely without putting in the necessary effort on your part. You must understand that to develop the faculty of thinking, of reasoning, you need to devote as much time and effort to’ it as you would to learning any other art or skill.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.