Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An imp that delighted in self-contradiction

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I had often thought that the mind was, quite literally, a devil’s advocate, an agent of diabolical sophistry that could argue any point and its opposite with equal conviction; an imp that delighted in self-contradiction and yet, though full of sound and fury, ultimately signified nothing. None of the truest things in life — like love or faith — was arrived at by thinking; indeed, one could almost define the things that mattered as the ones that came as suddenly as thunder. Too often, I thought, the rational faculty tended only to rationalize, and the intellect served only to put one in two minds, torn apart by second thoughts.

~Pico Iyer, The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto, 1991

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