View Full Version : Ecclesiastes-Don't Be Afraid of the Title of this Thread

11-12-2005, 09:38 AM
I have to write an IWA (independant writing assignment) about this quote:

"For in uch wisdom is much grief, and
an increase of knowledge is increase of sorrow."

Any thoughts?

PS, this is the last sentence of the first chapter of Ecclesiastes

11-12-2005, 10:53 AM
Yeah.. I have thoughts about it.. I think that basically the point is that sometimes by knowing a lot, you realize that pain of it all.

I would be better off (feelings wise) not knowing that people are starving and homeless right now.
That's why the Gumps of the world are generally happy people.. They don't know any better. Ignorance is bliss..
Sometimes dead is better.. And that sucks that it's that way. But the fact remains that sometimes it just is.

11-13-2005, 02:51 AM
I have to write an IWA (independant writing assignment) about this quote:

"For in uch wisdom is much grief, and
an increase of knowledge is increase of sorrow."

Any thoughts?

PS, this is the last sentence of the first chapter of Ecclesiastes

Knowledge and wisdom make a person face the realities of life, and, with that wisdom and knowledge, come the realization that our ideals are unreasonable, if unreachable, and the further we reach into that realm of reality, we realize the grief and sorrow of the fact that our ideals cannot be reached. For example, feeding all the kids of the world....impossible. Stopping all war and conflicts.....impossible. Taking care of everyone who needs taking care of......impossible. The knowledge and wisdom of that reality brings on the grief and sorrow of how we pale in our efforts to create a "Heaven on Earth".

To brief it, the more you know, the more you realize your shortcomings and the shortcomings of mankind.

11-13-2005, 03:31 AM
In short... ignorance is bliss.

There are many different ways to look at that passage and many different ways to apply it, but to me, the pain comes from the fact that we, as humans, have been in a never ending endeavor to discover the secrets of our world, our universe and in fact, ourselves since the day that Eve to the advice of a talking snake. The grief comes because in our constant pursuit of all knowledge, we lose sight of the simplistic nature of our existence and purpose. We are so busy trying to discover why a flower sits in a field, what materials make up that flower and who/what made that flower that we forget to acknowledge and enjoy it's simple beauty.

Another way to approach this is from the perspective of someone like Albert Einstein. Einstein was arguably the smartest man to ever live, but his prize discovery... the theory of relativity... directly led to one of the worst forms of destruction ever unleashed by an intelligent being... the atomic bomb. In his knowledge, came a weapon of unspeakable horror that has killed millions and remains a constant threat to this day. His knowledge, though vast, pained him until the day he died.

In the end, I think our constant pursuit of knowledge has left us numb to the most basic forms of existence. The most simplistic and primal sensations that we are born with are slowly desensitized by an inherent and overwhelming urge to explain all that can be explained. Perhaps it is not the knowledge itself that is grief inducing, but rather the pursuit of knowledge and the way it smothers our pursuit of bliss. You see, there is no satisfaction to be found in knowledge. Knowledge, and the pursuit thereof, is an endeavor that knows no end. Once you explain away topic A, you must then explain the explanation, and so on and so forth with no end. One cannot know all that there is to know, thus creating in us a sense of frustration and bewilderment because we can receive no satisfaction in pursuing something that has no end. There is great joy in mystery. There is great satisfaction in being able to appreciate and enjoy the world around us without losing sight of the very nature of our being.

11-13-2005, 04:33 AM
The author of Ecclesiastes is Solomon, who was the wisest person ever. He had money, wives, and wisdom, but he lost everything. He lost focus on trusting in the Lord and started looking to himself. he lost track of Proverbs 3:5-6, which he also wrote. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not upon thy own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He'll make your paths straight."

We weren't made to understand everything and our constant search for knowledge puts us at odds with accepting the deity of God. We don't understand all of his ways and it pains us to see bad things happen in our own way of looking at things. God has a completely different way of looking at the world's events than we do. Many people have turned their back on God because they think something is unfair. We have to accept that which we can't explain or understand.