How Much Do I Know?

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02nd September, 2022

A winner knows how much he has to learn even when he is considered an expert by others.

A loser wants to be considered an expert by others before he has learnt enough to know how little he knows.

Spanish composer & Cellist, Pablo Casals was in the final years of his life and a young reporter asked him, “Mr Casals, you are 95 years old & the most outstanding cellist that has ever lived. Why do you still practise for 6 hours a day?”

Casual Replied, “Because I think Iam still making progress.”

That’s the dedication to learning & continuous growth he had.

In his book, ‘The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning,’ physicist Marcelo Gleiser writes this:

“Consider, then, the sum total of our accumulated knowledge as constituting an island, which I call the Island of Knowledge. A vast ocean surrounds the Island of Knowledge, the unexplored ocean of the unknown, hiding countless tantalizing mysteries.

As the Island of Knowledge grows, so do the shores of our ignorance—the boundary between the known and unknown. Learning more about the world doesn’t lead to a point closer to a final destination — whose existence is nothing but a hopeful assumption anyways — but to more questions and mysteries.”

The more we know, the more exposed we are to our ignorance, and the more we know to ask.

Dutch philosopher Spinoza suggested that wisdom is seeing things ‘sub specie aeternitatis,’ that is, ‘in view of eternity.’

A fundamental principle of wisdom is to have a long-term perspective, to see the big picture, to look beyond the immediate situation.

Wisdom requires humility.

Start with the assumption that you know nothing, and then you must be teachable.

The answer to the question, ‘How much do I know?’ that has kept me grounded is that I know nothing.

Keep learning  for continuous growth & stay blessed forever.