Empty Days

Thursday, June 24, 2004



City of knowledge.

The life of the mind is notoriously limited. From mind to mind organic little bridges are constantly formed and destroyed, for nothing quite fits the complex self-absorbed pattern of the individual mind. Voraciously, sentries are posted at all intersections, looking for one who might carry a gift and a letter of passage. This is how ideas come and go and gather together, as if friends of friends sent on a long circular journey.

To form knowledge you must first prepare understanding by establishing friendliness. The greatest teachers are those who know that what is true is only true and valuable among friends. This is how the great circle of culture is entered - with a letter of passage and a friend's guiding directions. Those who come unannounced, ideas without passport, are banished and chased away like a hoard of aliens. This is the predicament of many of those who are trying to teach the uneducated and the resilient - bridges are not built, sentries are not posted to meet friendless ideas.

The stupidity of modern education is born out of friendlessness. Teachers are retreating into fortresses of their known circle and vast vacuous minds are left outside the high walls. The high walls of erudition prevent entry to peasants and commercial travellers. Heavy-armored knights are sent out with blazing glades to slay the uncultured and push them into arrogant submission. Thus vast stupidity outside the fortresses proliferates unchallenged - bridges are not built, and sentries are not posted to welcome yet only to repell.

Stupidity is the opposite of ignorance.





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