The World is Constantly Receding Before Our Grasp

When the internet first became very widespread, there was a great deal of excitement over how it was going to bring the entire world to our fingertips. And this is still how it is talked about and advertised today (in smart-phone commercials, for example). To a certain degree, the internet has indeed brought the world to our fingertips. It is very easy nowadays to buy just about anything you can imagine.

But the acquisition of things is never what satisfies. It is not what we are here in this life to do. Humans as a group have always been able to get food and shelter one way or another. Modern affluence and convenience only bring more and more comforts to more and more people. To what end?

Think about the search for knowledge on the internet. It is an endless maze. Each time we click from one link to another, we follow the thread of a mad Ariadne. The filament is not gold but cheap thread and it’s attached nowhere, fluttering in the wind. The further you follow it, the less you know, the more lost you are.

Even when following what feels to be a vein of golden truth, it’s hard to know what;s going on. Sometimes I marvel at all the good sites I find (I am no longer astonished by all the bad ones, they are like dust motes floating in the air by the millions, easily ignored). I read that an author I admire has apparently been following the site of someone I have never heard of, and has been doing so for years. So I investigate that blog, and find that second writer has even more recommendations. And on it goes.

But even this kind of search — investigations in the name of truth — is almost too bewildering to be of use. The pit seems to descend forever, does descend forever. The world is constantly receding before our grasp. The internet does not bring us wisdom but only pushes it farther away. It’s like trying to grasp a floating reed underwater. The more eagerly you grasp, the more it slips away, and you must pursue it ever further.

In the end, the only thing to do is to be still.

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