From my notebooks: The Lifelong Learner

Or in other words, a picture OF MY LIFE.

Ronald Gross quoting Cornelius Hirschberg, salesman by trade and author of The Priceless Gift:

About ten years ago, I decided that I would settle down to a prolonged reading of philosophy. I decided to read Plato and the other ancients in chronological order, and continue through the years reading at least certain key philosophers, such as Aquinas, Bacon, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegal, and some moderns. But as soon as I started Plato, I became dissatisfied with my knowledge of Greek history – a discontent which took two years’ reading to appease. Such a study of Greek history put me in a state of imbalance with respect to still older history, so reading Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Asiatic history became necessary.

I was now forced to consider pre-history. This led to inquiries into the details of the evolution of man, then of animals and plants, and, finally, of the earth itself – a line of reasoning which would have eventually led me to evaporate into empty space. Fortunately, events made it advisable to refurbish and extend my command of mathematics, which caused several interruptions, adding up to perhaps eighteen months.

What became of philosophy? It is still waiting. Fortunately, those ten years of reading contribute powerfully to the study of philosophy, and if I have a long life, I’ll make it yet. I think I can start in two years…


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