Knowledge = experience
Posted in Thoughts

I wonder why I/we read so much bullshit these days. I think checking feeds all day long and being connected to the stream…. being in the flow makes us believe we are evolving. I read so much, I watch and listen to so much  that I sometimes think that by consuming so much information I am actually learning something and transforming myself into a better human being. But this is of course not true.

I think I live my life by studying maps (as Osho might say). Maps of things I will never fully know or understand. Of course maps are important. They give you a sense of direction. You can’t get lost if you have a map. But a map is still a map. You can’t say you climbed a mountain by looking at a map. The map helps once you do it but just by doing you will fully understand what the map was all about in the first place. And after you do it is not the same map anymore. You are not the same.

In the last months I experienced so many things I thought I have a deep understanding of. I experienced things that I was writing about or gave lectures about. But once I’ve done some of those things, I looked back and I saw how arrogant I was. Next time you read “10 ways of achieving X” or listen to an interview with a great person, don’t fool yourself in thinking you are expanding your knowledge. Knowledge only comes with experience.

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16 Responses to “Knowledge = experience”

  1. Vlad Stan Says:

    Great post!

  2. Vlad Popa Says:

    I believe we are not looking for a map, but rather directions. Other times we are just looking to see if someone else hasn’t found an easier way.
    In time we get overloaded with information and lots of it is irrelevant. I guess you reached the point where you have to select your sources of information.

  3. Octav Druta Says:

    Maps are in fact descriptions of other people’s experiences. Knowledge and maps in general, may link your interest to choose certain experiences and I personally find them useful from this perspective.

    It’s true, “you can’t say you climbed a mountain by looking at a map” but looking at the description of the mountain on that map can determine you to choose to climb it.

    Maps are important because they can represent a source of inspiration.

    Great post!

  4. Sergiu Biriș Says:

    Very good post, Vladimir! :)

  5. Catalina Rusu Says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post! I’d be curious to have a discussion about Osho with you.

    I believe maps are an important tool to be aware of the direction you may take in order to live your own experiences and to extend your knowledge. So much and so little in the same time :) They have a relevant scene that explains this so good in the film “Gods Must Be Crazy”.

  6. Vlad Nedelcu Says:

    Hei Vladimir! I want to pay a tribute to your wise thoughts, something i realize couple of days ago:
    level 1: we are learning nothing
    level 2: we are learning from our mistakes
    level 3: we are learning both from our mistakes and, most of all, from others mistakes.

    i understand that all these levels comes with our many experiences, one by one, so let’s all have patience and enjoy life step by step.

  7. Daniel Says:

    I love getting lost! …both by accident or deliberately ;)

  8. Octav Druta Says:

    RT @Daniel: I love getting lost! …both by accident or deliberately ;)

  9. adelina Says:


  10. Mihai Mafteianu Says:

    Great post! Congrats.

  11. Eugen Says:

    @adelina a way or the way?

  12. Cosmin Says:

    Well done! You’re on the right track. :)

  13. Cristi Says:

    There are many kinds of experiences. You can’t get a map for a marriage, for instance, but there are so many things within a marriage that we can deal with just by applying the common sense.

    You know those parents that strive so hard their children will not make the same mistakes as they did? It’s a valid concern up a point. Me going to college should be an advantage for my son. But in the end, the mistakes are not the same because were made by an entirely different person. A different person that hopefully has learned something from his parents mistakes.

    Very nice and inspirely humble post!

  14. Razvan Says:

    Great post. You will become one day a rich man

  15. Kaustav Says:

    I rather like your thinking in this article. It is much like people who travel to other countries for short holidays, attend a few meetings, lay on a beach, visit a few clubs and climb a few mountains, and come back home and think they are ready to criticise and make judgment. Yet they have not truly experienced those cultures in an immersive enough way, and they have not been exposed to these foreign experiences for a long enough period of time to properly know the subtle nuances that make up a culture, people or society. This parallels well with what you write about. Looking forward to your future articles :-)

  16. Mircea Says:

    I resonate with you, Vladimir, and you, Kaustav, to a point.
    In some, knowledge doesn’t equal experience…let’s just thinnk about so many things we know just theoretically which later one can be experienced.
    We know for sure that an atomic propulsion rocket is entirely possible, for example (project Orion)…yet, we haven’t built one practically, to get experience. The fact we don’t have a practical experience with this means we don’t have knowledge?
    Another example: we knew, in theory, about nuclear fusion or fission years before we actually build the bombs. We know what to expect and how it will be. We just didn’t see it for real until years later. Does that means we didn’t have knowledge until we actually see it?

    And so on…
    Any (or almost any) real experience starts with a theoretical one. First you think/read/see…then you practice.

    The best, in my opinion, is to combine these two. Knowledge = theory + experience.

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