Before I took my friend to the airport, we went to breakfast, where I decided to share with him what I thought was useful advice; especially for a developing bright mind; I am usually careful about giving advise but for him I made an exception.
I noticed during the time he was here at my house how knowledgeable he thought he was. And it was a very beautiful thing to witness at the age of 13, it just wasn’t true. It is difficult to actually know anything, ever. So it is naturally hard at such a tender age. So I decided to share something with him that I read and learned when I was not much older than he. Socrates, one of the worlds most learned men, said: “All I know is that I know nothing.” He was trying to highlight the difficulty with proving knowledge. In other words, how can you ever know with any degree of certainty that you know something? What is it that constitutes knowledge? Because we are in a constant mode of change which obviously includes knowledge. I mean, even the Bible has revised editions. So that has to tell you something!!!
So I said to him “If you know stuff my friend, you will not be able to learn stuff.” In order to learn things, you must be receptive. There has to be space for it, availability in your brain. But if you already know, then there is no possibility. You will have no place to put it. So you will have to reject it. This is the problem with all the so called scholars. They are in a big pickle because they need to know things, but how to do it? They have to reject everything that is new and interesting because they already know what’s true, so there is no space.
So when we got to the drop off area, we both got out of the car. We hugged each other. It was a wonderful visit! I said to him: “tell me what you learned today.” He looked at me and said “I learned today that I know nothing. And that in order to know anything, I must first accept that fact.” And I learned in that moment that a good work had been done…
Intelligence is keeping oneself open to possibilities. It does not need to know anything. Maturity doesn’t need to know anything. I mean, who cares? Unless you are referring to a science that never changes, knowledge is useless. Because as soon as you know about something, it literally becomes impossible for you to learn anything else! dwp