Thinking is Messy

Sometimes I wonder if the pain of the intellectual life is worth it.  But, then I was comforted by the words of one of our great thinkers: “Thinking is messy, repetitious, silly, obtuse, subject to explosions that shatter the crucible and leave darkness behind.  Then comes another flash, a new path is seen, trod, lost, broken off, and blazed anew.  It leaves the thinker dizzy as well as doubtful: he does not know what he thinks until he has thought it, or better, until he has written and riddled it with persistence akin to obsession” (Jacques Barzun, Teacher in America, 433-34).


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