A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Macrocosm Lies Within the Microcosm

The further you travel, the less you know (Tao Te Ching). Discuss! I think this means that covering big distances, physical or mental, has nothing necessarily to do with knowledge. And pilgrimage nothing necessarily to do with attaining wisdom. Nirvana can be an instantaneous thing - not necessarily the result of years of diligent effort and pursuit.

It's how you filter, deal with and learn from experience that counts - not just having more and more random experiences. Though personally I love random experience - in a Jack Kerouac kind of way.

To echo Dylan - when younger I felt so much "older" (more pretentious?) than when I read the Beat writers now. Perhaps I'm just journeying towards a profound simplicity? Any thoughts, anyone?


Loren said...

This certainly reminds me of Blake's:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

I suspect it's more important to see deeply than it is to see widely, and perhaps traveling widely makes it harder to see deeply.

Though one can also make the argument that leaving home makes you see home in new ways once you return.

The Solitary Walker said...

Beautifully put, Loren. I have always loved that Blake poem.

John Hee said...

the older i get the less i know, and that realisation seems to mean a degree of wiseness can follow at times

The Solitary Walker said...

That remark in itself seems to me an example of wiseness, John.