What Can I Know? How Much Can I Ever Know?


If we assume that all we can ‘know’ is based on the five senses (hearing, vision, smell, touch and taste) then all we can potentially ‘know’ is limited by the built-in boundaries these five senses inherently possess. However, if we view the senses with a greater but as yet unfulfilled potential then perhaps there are more things (of an undetermined extent) that we can ‘know’. Where the limits of our knowledge may be, we cannot say. The capabilities of the senses we possess and how the evolution of our brain affects them will be the determining factor of what we can ultimately ‘know’. Although this may be true in the physical sense, the spiritual sense is a whole different matter.

There are people who claim to see beyond the extent of the five senses, possibly a sixth sense, and others suggest even more senses beyond our ‘collective imagination’. If we take the view that some undefined “spiritual sense” is possible then spiritual development itself offers an additional avenue of knowledge – and perhaps wisdom – that we may consider feasible in knowing more things then the current senses allow.

If we think that what we can ‘know’ is based solely on quantifiable measures then what we are dealing with is a physical reality of infinite facts. Is it reasonable to want to ‘know’ everything that is possible, or is it more credible to want to ‘know’ the things we need at any given moment for living our life and dealing with the complexities it presents? What accentuates our motivation to search for more is curiosity and it is this quality that mystifies the urge to search at all.

Anyone who has studied Calculus should remember the concept of infinity: we approach it but never by definition reach it because that would preclude its existence. So even if we expand the current level of our physical senses there would still be things we cannot ‘know’ because we are finite, living in an infinite universe. The very nature of our existence would preclude us from amassing all knowledge even if that is our aim.

If we consider spirit to be part of our true nature and the infinite universe then, although continually evolving, we would still need to evolve so far beyond what our present spiritual awareness can even conceive possible to ‘know’ the true extent of our knowledge capability.

So the question of what can be considered our knowledge potential becomes an irrelevant venture. It would seem more fruitful to search for the things we need to ‘know’ to help us achieve a greater understanding in dealing with our circumstances at any given moment (with reasonable patience) and accept evolution as the natural path for all things to unfold in its own time, and trust it as the best way to understand ourselves, the apparent limits of our universe and perhaps the reason why we exist at all.