Knowledge..The Ups and Downs


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I suppose the topic of this thread is knowledge, but really in a pretty general sense. It is interesting that knowledge is perhaps one of mankinds most important tools. After all, knowledge and its ability to be transferred from generation to generation are precisely what allow us to have this marvellous inheritance of ideas and tools upon which we can continue building and continue exploring new frontiers.

Yet, I have found that knowledge has some very subtle side-effects, too. I have observed quite a few people through my years that are dubbed, in common parlance, to be "weird" or "abnormal". I have spent a good deal of time watching how they are treated by others and seeing the way that their abnormal qualities are addressed. What I have found often, is that knowledge has consequences that go even beyond harm to free ideas that preconceptions present.

I just saw a news report on TV talking about a recovering drug addict, and the way that his family doesn't let him use the car alone or doesn't let him carry much money at any given time. Don't get me wrong, this approach may be best for some people. But, I state this example in a partly metaphorical sense, partly an exemplary sense. I don't think people often consider that to the degree that our peers truly believe we are "just drug addicts" or "just plain weird" or "kinda scary" or "bipolar" or "ADD-ridden", they tend to show the person that changing is of no value. Which is to say, they will never be given the level of trust deserved if they really can change themselves. The individual thinks to themselves," Everybody is convinced that I'm nothing but a drug addict at heart" or "Everybody believes I'm nothing but an anti-social weirdo." The individual may have an inkling of a hope to change these things, to be accepted and share in everyone else's lives as an equal. However, they are sometimes shown by their peers that they will simply not be allowed to change...they will not be trusted to change. The individual sometimes comes to the conclusion that, regrettably, the only thing they have left to do is adopt the identity given to them by others. "They will always see me as a drug addict", they think, and they relapse constantly. "They will always see me as a freak", and they go off TRYING to fill that role, as they haven't any other course of action that will be considered actually valid by others. I ask you this, (and don't get offended, its just a theoretical example): What if by some ridiculous coincidence, we found out that Jesus had done drugs early in his life? Would he not be torn apart, and Christianity forever stigmatized as the ramblings of a drug addict, despite the acclaim he has gotten for two-thousand years?

The drug addict sees that even if he does kick the habit, people will always look at him and think "drug addict". No matter what great things he accomplishes in his life, people will look at him like a recovered drug addict...not a regular person like anybody else.

No doubt, an individual must bear some of this responsibility themselves. However, I don't think the line is as easy to find as some may feel compelled to believe.

Any thoughts about this?
I 'know' I can never really speak to being in someone elses shoes in any topic, but I can understand why a family would limit the 'freedom' of a recovering drug addict. While on one hand you would give him/her a chance to redeem themselves by allowing them the 'right' to travel unencumbered and with unlimited funds, on the other hand you are also giving them opportunity. Opportunity to run into old friends, enough money to get themselves into trouble, motive and means when they come together are dangerous partners.

Kicking a drug habit is not easy, it is incredibly hard, it is not just the chemical dependency but also the comfortable social were accepted as you were amongst those other friends, not judged by other users...easy to slip up if you get back around them and the drugs.

There is this phrase out there...Knowledge is power, I disagree. Wisdom has power, but neither does anything without proper action.
I agree with you on this Jiii. While a wholesome dicipline is important in recovery, ramming home the lesson that you are basically "sick" isn't a good approach to healing. Yes we still have to face that all important first step but if stuck there stagnation sets in.


Jesus was really big on forgiveness and the reciprocity of forgiveness. The Lord's Prayer takes on a new dimension when viewed from the perspective of this discussion:
Matt 6:9-15
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.