Desire for power is inherent in man. The love of power comes from the consciousness of man’s mental and moral superiority over other created things. It is instinctive; therefore, that man as superior being must control and dominate others. Again the awareness that all men are created unequal gives birth to the desire to rule and dominate others. The history of the world, so far as man is concerned, is a history of the struggle for power. Thus from the primitive wars of tribes and clans to the ruinous wars of today, there is only one idea behind these wars and that is the thirst for power.
Broadly speaking, power is of two kinds -physical and mental. Physical power is of the lower order as compared to the power of the mind. Primitive men mainly understood one kind of power and that was of the body. In the past the strength of the arms decided things and might alone was right. However, with the growth of civilization and the development of human mind, the mental power came to be recognized as of a superior order. Mental power has its origin in knowledge.
When man first appeared on the earth he was no better than animals. He was also the beast of prey and was a helpless being, a victim of the wild beast and the hostile forces of nature. But God endowed him with an intelligent mind and this mind ultimately came to his rescue. He discovered fire and learnt its uses and this knowledge of other elements and things gradually made him strong. In course of time his knowledge has achieved wonders in the world and given man mastery over many things.
All the great discoveries and inventions on which modern life is based are but the manifestations of the power of knowledge. The conquest of the forces of nature like water and electricity and harnessing of these forces for man’s use, have been made possible by the knowledge of physics. It is the knowledge of mechanics which has lessened distance, broken down the affinity of men all over the world. The epoch making discovery of atomic energy has revolutionized the entire concept of future life of man on the earth. Today completely unheard strides made by man in the field of science are he results of the knowledge and perpetual search of wisdom combined with the hunger of power to rule and dominate.
In fact, the development of art, science, culture and civilization, finally depends upon knowledge. Nature has yielded her mysteries to this power. It has made physical power and mental strength to one and the same. But knowledge has not only given man mental strength, it has taught him how to utilize his physical strength in a better, surer and more and more disciplined and economic way.
Great ideas make great men and there is no trait more constant in human nature than his habit of pursuing a truth away from its province. Hence balance is the cardinal virtue of good sense. Great as is the power of knowledge, the tendency to misuse is greater. Knowledge is inclined to fill us with pride and thus stake its real blessings. The need is to translate knowledge into wisdom, for knowledge is proud and wisdom is humble. It is only when we have realized this that we understand the significance of knowledge that is power, and get the desire to acquire that knowledge which enables us to find truth. We must pursue knowledge to its utmost for, “Half knowledge is a dangerous thing; Drink deep or taste not the perennial spring”.