Friday, August 20, 2010

On learning

Awareness of one's own ignorance increases (or ought to) as an exponential function of one's knowledge—so often does the entry of a tiny new fact into one's mind open up grand vistas of wild and unknown territory. Many times, one is forced even to look back over lands already mapped out, only to find them distorted beyond recognition. This is both curse and blessing for an explorer—curse because one will never learn everything, and blessing, because one will never learn everything. Whether it makes life, on the whole, wonderful or intolerable depends on the balance of joy one gets from learning something new, against the suffocation and despair one feels for not knowing it all.

I am not yet decided where I stand. I know that the beauty of new facts—even new doubts—in their infinite variation, give me more than enough motive to keep going; yet, every step is bittersweet.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I love it and hate it at the same time.