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  • The problem with libraries is that they can be so large, impressive, and filled with knowledge

  • that they unwittingly embed in us an idea that everything worth registering, everything

  • valuable and true, must lieout there’, must already have been classed on a shelf

  • with an index number to await our discovery the moment we cease to be so preoccupied with

  • ourselves.

  • But what this modest, respectful and quietly self-hating conclusion disguises is that each

  • one of us is an unparalleled and superlative center of knowledge in and of ourselves; our

  • minds have more ideas stored in them than are to be found in the collective catalogues

  • of the Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra, the Pierpont Morgan Library in New

  • York and the British library in London; we have vaults filled with a greater number of

  • moving and beautiful scenes than those of the world’s greatest museums put together.

  • We are just failing to wander the stacks and galleries as often as we should; we are failing

  • to notice what we have seen.

  • So convinced are we that insights of worth lie beyond us, we have omitted to consult

  • the treasury of thoughts and visions generated every hour by our endlessly brilliant, fatefully

  • unexplored minds.

  • The American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once remarked: ‘In the minds of geniuses,

  • we find - once more - our own neglected thoughts.’

  • In other words, geniuses don’t have thoughts that are in the end so very different from

  • our own; they have simply had the confidence to take them more seriously.

  • Rather than imagining that their minds are only a pale shadow of the minds of infinitely

  • greater thinkers who lived and died elsewhere long ago, they have been respectful enough

  • of their existence to conceive that one or two properly valuable ideas might plausibly

  • chose to alight in the familiar aviary of their own intelligences.

  • Thinking isin a way we generally refuse to imagine – a truly democratic activity.

  • We all have very similar and very able minds; where geniuses differ is in their more confident

  • inclinations to study them properly.

The problem with libraries is that they can be so large, impressive, and filled with knowledge

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B1 respectful failing library valuable filled greater

You Still Have a Chance to Be Very Original

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    Summer posted on 2022/02/08
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