12.14, Thursday 25 Nov 2004

On wisdom, since I mentioned it earlier: Tom S told me about something Bruce Lee said: Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I've understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick.

The epiphany. Behind the mountain, there are more mountains. The deep understanding which is simplicity itself and has come back full circle. The wise have built up many such epiphanies, and, what's more, they understand the nature of epiphany itself, of paths and journeys (I think, I've caught maybe a sideways was-it-there-or-wasn't-it glimpse of it, perhaps). I love talking to wise people. You spend twenty minutes building a shaky spiderweb of a proposition, and they listen, and then they say "no" or "yes," and you know from listening that they're really understood, and they've taken that path before, and they've been past the epiphany. It's such a relief to receive that. That's what I think wisdom is.

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