Forgetting Foucault

In Taoism, being unlearned is a good thing. No, it doesn’t mean you should be an idiot. You should learn: read the classics, cultivate your intellect. Then you should forget everything you learned and return to being an idiot. But a different kind of idiot. 

When I graduated high school I didn’t want to go to college. My reasoning, if we can call it that, was that I already knew everything and that college professors had nothing to teach me. What an idiot.

I can see now that my resistance to learning anything new was my ego being incapable of admitting its own ignorance. It took humility to shut up and listen and learn. I gained a lot, no doubt.

But sometime after I graduated, it became apparent that I couldn’t think for myself. I had no faith in my own voice- I didn’t even think it existed. If we were talking about something I would tell you what Nietzsche or Foucault had to say about it.

Now I’m trying to say what Ben has to say. I need to forget Foucault (and all the other scholars, I’m only using Foucault because ‘Forget Foucault’ has a nice ring to it). At the same time I’ll never completely forget what I learned and I won’t revert back to the kind of idiot who doesn’t want to learn more about something from somebody else.  

Why be unlearned? Nature’s unlearned and it’s genius. But then there’s lemmings.

  1. #1 by Workplace Wonders: "Work and Life Inquiries." on February 28, 2013 - 11:23 pm

    That’s why children are sometimes the best students. Even if you think you already know it, put a different spin on it or learn from others.

    • #2 by Gopher Padfoot on March 1, 2013 - 6:50 pm

      You’re right! And I think I’m bettering them by making goofy faces or teaching them ‘the way of the world’… okay, I’ll keep making goofy faces.


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