16 August 2011
All of this fretting seems to be about certainty, knowing that what we’re doing is valuable. We don’t trust ourselves, so we look for quantified proof. John Keats, who gave up a career in medicine for poetry, famously recommended a solution to this problem, negative capability: when a person “is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.” How can you be yourself without being able to tolerate uncertainty?
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