Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Monday, May 17, 2004

The desire for knowledge

"None strive to grasp what they already know"

"There is often chaos in the world, and the love of knowledge is ever at the bottom of it. For all men strive to grasp what they do not know, while none strive to grasp what they already know....Thus, above, the splendor of the heavenly bodies is dimmed; below, the power of the land and water is burnt up, while in between the influence of the four seasons is upset. There is not one tiny worm that moves on earth or an insect that flies in the air but has lost its original nature. Such indeed is the world chaos caused by the desire for knowledge!"

Chuang-tzu, The Wisdom of Laotse, trans. and ed. Lin Yutang (New York: Modern Library, 1976), p. 287.


Blogger Michael said...

I often think that most wisdom is an open secret because it is composed of ideas we already know but do not take seriously enough to turn into practical skill.

11:56 AM  

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