I want to go back to where I hadn’t learned everything

I want to go back to where I hadn’t learned everything; where there were still mysteries of human knowledge open to me; where life was unexplored and paths branched off in every direction. I want to feel again the wonder of discovery, the fear of the unknown, the excited terror of not knowing what is around the next corner.

Today you tell me a new thing and all I can think is, “it follows.” Of course that’s what you did, because that is who you are, it is what you always do, what you always did, and what you always will do. I don’t have to touch you to know how you feel; don’t have to be in the same room with you to know your mood.

I see a child discovering all the usual things, excited, terrified, happy and alive, discovering these things in the same order and in the same way as everyone else. The illusion of novelty still grips her mind tight. I want to tell the child to take a step back and truly understand, to know that gaining this knowledge will only ruin her life. It is better to be on fire with the desire to discover, than to actually have discovered.

We march inexorably to a pre-determined end, where human learning will culminate in a final step, after which there will be no more change. Only then, perhaps, will we step back and wonder why we bothered.

The end