In this day and age, knowledge comes cheap. Anyone with internet access has a wealth of science and culture literally at their fingertips. A few hundred years ago, only kings and monks had access to the knowledge of their time in a similar way. Knowledge was not cheap back then, it was only for the happy few and books were prized possessions. And even then, their array of knowledge did not span the earth like it does today.
I love the cornucopia of knowledge we have access to. I remember dallying through our local library when I was a child. I loved the quiet atmosphere and the facts that all these books opened doors to other worlds. I still love to roam the internet or a bookstore in quite the same way.
Knowledge does not make us wise though. One could even argue that this wealth of knowledge makes us complacent. Everything can be looked up, so what is the point of remembering or drawing your own conclusions about a certain subject. Also, so much has already been done. Is the world really waiting for your contribution, either in art or in science, to the sphere of human knowledge? Quantity is no guarantee for quality, perhaps it is even a hindrance.
I find I usually get more out of one book, reading it multiple times, than by reading many books, just devouring the words but nor granting myself the time to digest them. For knowledge to become wisdom, you need to make it your own either by experience or by contemplation. Especially sacred texts demand this price, I find. They will only start to have meaning for you, if you read them time and again. The wisdom hidden within the words demands you to pay a price. It is almost like a relationship that consumes time and energy. Sophia is a jealous lover.
On a more personal note, I will gladly start paying a price in my quest for knowledge and hopefully wisdom. I’m going to university in September. I was too young and too volatile when I tried the first time around. When I look back on the reasons it did not work out for me the first time, it all had to do with not yet knowing how to live. Odin gave his eye to gain wisdom. Such desperate measures will not be asked of me, but still our family will have to do with less money for the next couple of years. I’m grateful they are so supportive, it will be an extra reason to do as well as I can.