Intellectual Tithing

Contributing with your Brain

Donating Wisdom or other Intellectual Property to the Tree of Knowledge

The Linux Penguin symbolizes the Giving of Knowledge
The Tree of Knowledge represents the sum total of human understanding. Intellectual Tithing is the giving of new and useful information to the Tree of Knowledge. The Tree of Knowledge is what separates us from the animals. We all benefit from the knowledge that has been handed down to us.

Think about it - where would we be today if someone didn't invent the wheel? The person who invented the wheel made a great contribution to the Tree of Knowledge of the human race and helped all of society move forward. If you look around at all the stuff around you - you soon realize that almost all of it was built by other people. As you sit in front of your computer reading this, you are using a device that is the combined work of millions of people and technology that is built on the work of people for thousands of years. All contributing to the Tree of Knowledge which allows us to have things like computers. We are living off the intellectual tithing of others, and we give back to the world by contributing intellectually - by being creative and sharing our creations with the rest of humanity. This helps grow the Tree of Knowledge and furthers us as a species. From this perspective - the human race can be envisioned as a single super being that shares a common mind. And in that respect we all have the opportunity to contribute to that common mind so that our thoughts and contributions with outlive our physical bodies. Contributing to the Tree of Knowledge is probably as close as you get to immortality in the Church of Reality.

Intellectual Tithing is discovering something useful and making your knowledge part of the Tree of Knowledge.

I use the Linux Penguin as a symbol of intellectual tithing because the Linux operating system is distributed under the GNU license and is free to everyone. This software is the work of tens of thousands of people contributing freely to a software tree that everyone on the planet is allowed to use. These people freely give of their intellectual resources to the good of humanity. As you surf the Internet you are hitting servers that are running this free software.

The Tree of Knowledge is the Afterlife

What is left of you after your body dies? If you reproduced then your genetics live on. But does that represent who you are? Not really. Yes - you might pass on some values to your children and if the values are good values then you continue to contribute to the world after you are gone. If the values you pass on are bad values then the things that are bad about you continue to live on after you are gone. The "guy who inverted the wheel" is still with us because the wheel is a very important part of the Tree of Knowledge. Hitler is still with us because the remnants of his destruction still exist and have make an imprint in the Tree.

Some people are remembered for what they contributed to the Tree. Some are remembered or being destructive. But most people aren't really remembered at all. When you die there is a small circle of people who knew you and remember you. But what happens when the last person who knows you dies? Will there still be anyone around to tell your stories? Will there be people quoting your writings? Will they be using your invention? Or will you merely be forgotten?

What you do counts and what you leave behind and how you are remembered represents the only form of immortality that we know for sure exists. So if you want to be remembered in the Tree you have to accomplish something. You have to take all the Knowledge you inherited from the Tree and give something back. Come up with something new and useful - or - you can help someone else come up with something new and useful and you can know you had a hand in it.

Steven Hawking is one of the worlds greatest physicist. He contributes much to the Tree of Knowledge and he will be remembered for his accomplishments. But the people who dress him in the morning - feed him - and put him to bed at night also have a hand in his accomplishments. So you can contribute to the Tree by supporting those who are making a difference in the world and helping us evolve in the Sacred Direction. When you do that then part of you lives on and the world becomes a better place because you contributed to help make it happen.

How to Donate to the Tree of Knowledge

Not everyone is a programmer - scientist - or researcher. You may be wondering - how do I donate to the Tree of Knowledge. You might be a fairly ordinary individual who has never invented anything nor come up with an idea that is significantly profound. But you can still contribute - and you can use your wallet to do it.

If you can't contribute to the Tree of Knowledge, you can donate money to people who are contributing. For example - you could donate to cancer research, and if they find a cure for cancer - your donation might have helped make that happen. You can donate to the Electronic Frontier Foundation - a nonprofit civil liberties foundation that is working hard to protect the right of free expression on the Internet to help make sure the information keeps flowing. Civil liberties - freedom - and justice are all issues that are very important to the Tree of Knowledge and your contribution advances the human cause.

If you are using someone's shareware program or free software and they ask for a donation to support their work - send them some money. If these programmers don't get any donations then they might have to go out and get real jobs to support themselves and not have the time to write free programs.

Starting a web site and posting useful information is intellectual tithing. You might have a cure for the hiccups or grandma's fruit cake recipe. You might have a kool trick for doing something no one else has thought of - or something that a few people know and you want to share it with the world. When you post a web site - you're providing information to the entire planet. Or at least the part of the planet that has Internet access. You should be careful to make sure your information is both accurate and useful. Contributing misinformation adds chaos to the Tree of Knowledge and doesn't benefit anyone. Being intellectually responsible is important.


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