The slow death of all that is known

The know-it-all can never be surprised. Everything he learns is an appendix to a distant education. What little new insight is gained is but a footnote to his diploma, the dusty document of knowledge canonized long ago when his education was completed. New input must be normalized, stripped of its novelty, indexed in support of institutional knowledge because contradiction is a threat to the monument of his being, tiny fractures threatening to implode his ego.

To him, knowledge yet unlearned is static, a set of information that he will transcribe should additional data become required. Data gathering, which is what education has become for him, is a tedious but necessary routine of memorization that rewards him with the ability to deflate the ambitions of know-lessers. Everything has been done before, the only joy art brings him is the pleasure of decapitation, the process of spotting references to what has already been done and pointing out unoriginality in anything new. He funnels credit from the living to the dead because historic achievements are less threatening than modern rivals.

Conversely, the creative person is aware of how little she knows. She draws life from this debt because long ago she disconnected her ego from her knowledge. To contain her world in a few memorizable formulas would be death, a guarantee that growth is impossible. Instead, her perception is a sketch, an impression where every line can be erased or darkened. Her journal fills as she captures every nuance, savoring every opportunity to unlearn the encyclopedia of her formal education. She is never threatened by new data, additional information simply adds to the mystery that fuels her inspiration. There is never contradiction, only new layers of beauty, proof of the divine, more reasons to keep drawing. Every moment changes her reality because the more she looks the more she sees.

I would ask you which person you are, but the know-it-all can't see his cage and creativity knows no other method. Then again maybe it is possible to switch allegiance from a slow death in defense of everything you are certain about to a long life in awe of creation.

Thanks for reading. I create sketches like this every Saturday, so consider following me if your archive of knowledge isn't already full. Stay creative.


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© 2017, humans.txt