Monday, 5 December 2011

The Raft

If what we know is surrounded by a sea of unknowing, I suspect our ancestors felt that knowledge was an island which had been explored by their ancestors. You had only to read the right maps, that is the ancient texts, from Aristotle to the Bible, and all would be revealed.

With the Enlightenment and scientific method, people discovered more and more, and they may have reframed knowledge as a vast continent, still surrounded by the sea of unknowing but waiting to be discovered by intrepid teams of explorers (with or without teams of native bearers who never got a mention).

I regard our knowledge as a sea-going vessel plying the ocean of unknowing, but not a battleship, not an ocean liner or even an ice-breaker. I see knowledge as a raft, and a leaky raft at that. We are all still in the sea of unknowing, and we all have wet feet.


David E said...

I like the idea of a raft. Could I add a sail and a rudder or does that form some sort of control or knowing?

Laura Kerr said...

I tend to think in terms of little frail boats... maybe with a bit of steering power, but against the hugeness and force of the ocean, very tiny and vulnerable!