Learning in the modern world is devoid of self-knowledge. Learning is accumulation of knowledge from books and visual sources. The accumulation of knowledge enhances the skill and capacity to perform technical tasks. It provides jobs, enhances status and brings in wealth.
Such learning without self-knowledge brings in misery. Life is not just a job or a technical task. It involves all parts of the human being, and being skilled only in one part makes the other parts incapable of dealing with life’s changes.
Self-knowledge brings about an understanding of the self and the various ways in which it sustains itself. It allows one to understand the hurts, agonies, suffering, fear and the extraordinary joy in moments of beauty.
Without self-knowledge, there is conflict between the various parts of the mind. And, in this conflict, there is suffering. Whereas, when there is an understanding of the self, there is greater capacity to be excellent in one’s skills without the misery of self-aggrandizement.