The Beauty Of What We’ll Never Know

Almost 30 years ago, Pico Iyer took a trip to Japan, fell in love with the country and moved there. A keen observer of the human spirit, Iyer professes that he now feels he knows far less about Japan — or, indeed, about anything — than he thought he knew three decades ago. In this lyrical meditation on wisdom, Iyer expands on this curious insight about knowledge gained with age: that the more we know, the more we see how little we know.

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Many times we worry about how things are going to turn out.

But the phrase ‘I don’t know…’ is powerful and should be respected for its sincerity.

After spending most of his early career writing for Time magazine, British-born novelist of Indian origin, Pico Iyer, took a trip to Japan for 2 weeks and came back with a 40-page essay about Japan. He thought he knew everything there was to know about Japan.

Shortly after taking this trip (which is almost 30 years ago now) he moved there. A keen observer of the human spirit, Iyer professes that he now feels he knows far less about Japan — or indeed, about anything — than he thought he knew three decades ago.

In this lyrical meditation on wisdom, Iyer expands on this curious insight about knowledge gained with age. He asserts that the more we know, the more we see how little we know.

‘Knowledge is a priceless gift’ he notes ‘but the illusion of knowledge can often be more dangerous than ignorance’.

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