Humans are driven to gain more knowledge, but knowledge comes at a price. The price of knowledge is found in many ancient myth. Humans and even powerful gods and goddesses had to endure much hardship to gain great knowledge.
|Odin with his two ravens Huginn and Muninn|
|Prometheus's torment by an eagle|
|Athena - Goddess of Wisdom|
|Ganesha (notice the one broken tusk)|
|Adam and Eve at the Tree of Knowledge|
These are just a few of many examples of how great knowledge comes at a great price. Humans and Gods alike paid high prices to gain knowledge of writing, fire, and morality. Knowledge and Wisdom do not come for free, myth tells us that people often pay a price for it. (or as Robert Heinlein put it "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" (TANSTAAFL).
Many gods of wisdom and knowledge were not gods of peace but were associated with war (power). The symbolism representing the saying "knowledge is power".
It is interesting to notice that the source of knowledge in many ancient myth is a tree - symbolizing nature as the source of knowledge. See further discussion in the blog entry 'Trees of Knowledge').
Today, humans no longer hope to receive knowledge as a gift from the gods (a transmission model of learning), but consider knowledge not as received but as constructed (a constructivist model of learning). Humans developed to tools of science to gain more knowledge about the world. Does human constructed knowledge come with a catch? Yes, of course. As our knowledge is constructed is never certain and always influenced by human interpretation. Uncertainty and tentativeness is the price we pay for scientific knowledge. Science leaves us with ever more questions, increasing complexity, and tentative theories. While science cannot reach ultimate true knowledge, as a pragmatic approach it lead to great technological developments. (Read blog entry on Science and the Loss of Certainty)