the more i see, the less i know

“Aslan, Aslan. Dear Aslan,” sobbed Lucy. “At last.”

The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath came all round her. She gazed up into the large wise face.

“Welcome, child,” he said.

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”

“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

– from “Prince Caspian,” by C.S. Lewis

I pray that this will be true for me too. So often, as we grow older, we allow that which is great and majestic to decrease, rather than increase, in our eyes. As we get older and learn more, we think we get wiser also, and we think that increased wisdom leads us to understand more, and so that which was once a great mystery becomes less wondrous. But true wisdom recognizes how little it really knows, and thus marvels more greatly at the mystery as it increases. Indeed, it finds that there is far more that it does not know than it previously thought.

When I left him, I reasoned thus with myself: I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.

– Socrates, in The Apology of Socrates, as written by Plato

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