Summary: Some say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Sometimes a great deal of knowledge can be even more dangerous. Aadapted from an essay in Back To Godhead magazine Volume 11.11
Style: Dramatic (satiric). Duration: 7min
Actors: 2M, 1N.
Scriptures: Mark 8:36, Psa 31:10, Jer 4:20, 1 T. 1:4 KJV
Setting - India, the Ganges River
Narrator: Though a mass of gray was moving in across the northwest sky, the sun was still shining. As he ambled down the shrubby slope to the beachfront below, the man felt a chilly breeze coming through the trees. He turned up his collar and made his way more quickly to the little boat dock, with its slats of soggy old wood.
(Scholar is in an intellectual huff and approaches Boatman by the side of a river)
Scholar: Boatman! Take me across!
Boatman: Yes, sir. Climb aboard!
Narrator: Professor Perkins wasn’t what you’d call an old man—graying, to be sure; but still sprightly, even athletic-looking. In the sub-continent’s academic circles, he had long been a man to watch. There was perhaps no one who could match his fertile wit, his sweeping command and instant recall in practically every field of higher learning.
The boatman had seen better days. His body was bent from thousands of hours of paddling in the sun, he was carrying on to keep his family fed and a roof over their heads. As the scholar leaped lithely onto the deck and sat himself down the boatman bowed from the waist.
The Scholar recalled an old adage: a king is respected in his own realm, but a learned man is respected all over the world.
Scholar: Boatman, the water is becoming rather choppy. While you're out here, have you ever thought about the relationship between total torque and cross-current impact?
Boatman: No, sir, I can't say that I have.
Scholar: For one thing, a more streamlined apparatus should likely yield a greater mechanical advantage. But then, I don't suppose you've studied much about physics, have you?
Boatman: None at all, sir. I just row this boat across the river.
Scholar: Hmmm. Boatman, it appears that you've wasted 25% of your life.
(they proceed on for a few moments)
Scholar: Boatman, Have you ever looked into statistics and probability? I'm thinking here of Gaussian or possibly Poisson distribution. With all these dark clouds coming in over us, do you have any idea what a graph of storm probability would look like?
Boatman: No, sir, I never have studied whatever it is you're talking about. I don't know what you mean.
Scholar: You mean you've never studied advanced mathematics? Ah, then, my dear fellow, you should know that you've surely wasted 50% of your life.
Boatman: You're probably right, sir. I just row this boat across the river. By the way, there seems to be a big storm coming.
Scholar: Tell me, Boatman, do you know anything about gauging deviations from the STP ? standard temperature and pressure ? to forecast wind velocity in a storm center?
Boatman: I'm sorry, sir, I really don't.
Scholar: You're a bit dense, Boatman, aren't you? Are you telling me that you've never learned anything about meteorology?
Boatman: I guess I haven't, sir.
Scholar: Well, then, you've wasted a full 75% of your life! What do you have to say for yourself?
Boatman: I just row this boat across the river... say, hold on tight! It's really raining and blowing hard!
(boat capsizes, Boatman swims and starts heading for shore while Scholar flails about, reaching out with umbrella handle but hooking nothing)
Boatman: Sir! We'll have to swim the rest of the way!
Scholar: But... I can't swim!
Boatman: Then it looks as though you've wasted 100% of your life!
(Boatman swims on while Scholar drowns helplessly)
Narrator: The Moral of the story is this: Whatever else we may learn in our life's journey, there's one thing we all need to know: how to cross safely to heaven when our material body “capsizes.” Therefore, while technological science can analyze things and perhaps make our voyage more comfortable, we need practical spiritual knowledge to make it more successful.
© Don Delaney, all rights reserved.