Learning

Will Goff

Learning

Mucking about, turning over stones and peering under rocks, a great many people wander about the earth looking for answers. Answers to what? -- to curiosities, for these are not true questions. True questions forever remain questions: stalwart impasses yielding no solution.

Forming clubs and teams, various contests arose around this flipping of stones, they never grew bored or tired of such a pass time, -- with every 'flip' of the stone is buried a new curiosity, behold! -- underneath that very same stone now lies a brand new mystery.

While this very same community was involved with their tireless routines, another, albeit much smaller number were asking different questions. This minority could always be found doing what others termed 'crazy' or 'ridiculous' -- always, however, this minority held fast to their tasks, despite any mockery.

And so, while the multitudes followed stones across vast planes, endlessly turning rocks, they would inevitably chance across a member of this other sort doing odd things: grasping at the ground, these strange ones would push at the very earth itself or heave their meagre weights against very large cliffs. If questioned as to what it was they were doing, they would reply: "Best not to bother me now, I'm sure I've almost got it!"

Curiosities arose instantly and rumours circulated like wildfire, "Almost got what? Why trouble yourself with such strange exertions, what are you trying to do?" Pausing from their arduous work, the stranger would reply, "Like you, I too am curious -- it is this existence I am trying to turn over -- I must understand!" After a few short moments of bewilderment, laughter would break out, "Absurd!" they would charge, "you are mad!" But such comments would not dissuade these 'crazy' efforts, seeing this majority would only ridicule what they did not understand, the strangers always set back to work.

And so, for a great long time the 'odd ones' were left to their toilsome activities. And a great many times throughout history the vast majorities were awed by such efforts, when one or another of these unusual people did manage to turn the world over -- the majority grew fearful of such displays of power.

So, rumoured by some as an action of fear rather than safety, strange people were sought out and locked away, their experiments suppressed. "Damn your efforts to turn our world over!" cried the multitudes, "We are content here, how dare you shake the earth itself! We have no use for your knowledge -- we are comfortable with our smaller questions. Besides, what use is knowing? -- We believe!"

And so, a sad confusion came to surround unfamiliar knowledge: an eddy of lethargy and misunderstanding. At the centre of this unhappy squall is a question of meaning, a true question, the nebulous shape shifter which assumes responsibility of our reason, is proviso to faith and impetus for interpretation.

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