Que sais-je?

ggfdd

To distract myself from tiresome thoughts, I have only to resort to books; they easily draw my mind to themselves and away from other things.

From Montaigne’s Essays.

P1010691

Coincidentally last week I revisited Michel de Montaigne’s essays and was reminded that his birthday was this Sunday. Encouraged, I decided to bake a small treat to celebrate his day. I know that in the region of Périgord, walnut tarts and cakes are traditional, so I opted for a tart with a twist of including dried golden berries in it. It all added to a delightful afternoon of introspection.

P1010707

Now we are not merely to stick knowledge on to the soul: we must incorporate it into her; the soul should not be sprinkled with knowledge but steeped in it. And if knowledge does not change her and make her imperfect state better then it is preferable just to leave it alone. Knowledge is a dangerous sword; in a weak hand which does not know how to weild it it gets in its master’s way and wounds him, ‘ut fuerit melius non didicisse’ [so that it would have been better not to have studied at all].

from Essays.

P1010720

I would like to suggest that our minds are swamped by too much study and by too much matter just as plants are swamped by too much water or lamps by too much oil; that our minds, held fast and encumbered by so many diverse preoccupations, may well lose the means of struggling free, remaining bowed and bent under the load; except that it is quite otherwise: the more our souls are filled, the more they expand.

Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

  1. I like Montaigne. “Now we are not merely to stick knowledge on to the soul: we must incorporate it into her; the soul should not be sprinkled with knowledge but steeped in it.”

    What a fine statement. Montaigne was indeed a genuine person. A genuine human being is a rarity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s