You seek too much information and not enough transformation.Sai Baba
When faced with the prospect of having to feel difficult feelings, of processing pain, grief, or shame, naturally we all prefer avoidance. It’s understandable and perfectly human to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Some of us go to great lengths to avoid dealing with negative feelings all-together. With the right numbing mechanisms and mindset, one can spend his entire life trying to outrun the pain.
But spirituality is oriented in the opposite direction – it is fundamentally about turning towards the feelings, confronting the negative difficult material, and working through pain and suffering in order to heal.
During that process, the pain is transmuted into wisdom, leading to maturity, soul growth, and evolution of consciousness. The practice, at its heart, is one of profound transformation.
One would think that on the spiritual path avoidance wouldn’t happen. And yet, one of the most common traps is avoidance by a certain kind of intellectualism, by that I mean the seeking and collecting of knowledge and information pertaining to spiritual matters, without the actual implementation of them. It is an academic approach, which remains entirely in the mind, and refuses any sort of authentic transformation.
Having the appearance of spiritual work and seriousness, this is a form of distraction at best, and an ego-feeding mechanism at worst. Spiritual work is about real tangible transformation, from the inside out. Too much information, too much intellectual spinning around abstract concepts, becomes a hindrance to the real inner work, not an asset.