Beginning my 70th Year

At the dawn of my 7th year, I relished all things new and lustrous.  Each day, I understood something about the world that I hadn’t understood just the day before.

In my 70th year, I celebrate unlearning the things I thought I knew.  Each day, I hope to question some assumption that I have accepted for so long that I cannot imagine how my world might fit together without it.

As one piece after another falls away from what I once thought was the bedrock of reality, I find the most daunting challenge is to assemble from the new pieces some coherent whole, something with just a fraction of the satisfying integrity of the mythical picture of the world that has guided me since childhood.

Like the old peasant of Shamcher’s story, I will be given to know what I need to know, no more.  If I want to know more, then, I must throw myself into some mission that requires deep knowledge.  I ask for the guidance to tell me what that mission might be.

— Josh Mitteldorf

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