Knowledge is a wonderful thing: it is the lifeline of human existence and development, the use of which has separated us from any other species that we know of. But that doesn’t interest me. Knowledge is the holy grail, and it is fantastic, but it is for other more innovative people. For me, it is not the knowledge itself, but the pursuit of knowledge that is of the highest order: the exploration. I am, merely, an explorer.
The quest, the impossible dream of the explorer is thus: fly out to the great unknown and make it known. Then, fly out again to the greater unknown, and try to make sense of it all. This is quite aptly put down by Buzz Lightyear: “To Infinity and Beyond”. Infinity and then beyond it: what a beautiful, paradoxical assertion. In other words, explorers are those diseased with restlessness, those addicted to the beautiful satisfaction, the heavy delightful sigh after discovering something.
I think for the explorer, the ultimate contentment never exists; the mind and the body are never really at rest; each moment is a restless venture for more knowledge—an unquenchable thirst if you may, and that very fact makes the quest of the explorer a kind of melancholic beauty, there is so much to do, so much to know, so much to explore, but so little time. It is like there is a huge field out there, and something precious at one end of the field. The explorer starts at a random point in the field and runs around trying to find that precious thing (not really knowing what the thing is, but running all the same), but never really finds the precious. S/he maps all the places s/he’s been to, and makes deductions (logical or emotional) and tries to go on, and eventually, the body rots away, being another part of the ground, the work unfulfilled, the journey incomplete.
Quite the sad story. But, for the explorer, it is not quite a sad story. Sure, it is tinged with melancholy, a Beethoven-esque torture, but it is kind of a bittersweet kind of story, one that makes you fill up with contrasting emotions of frustration and happiness, primarily because the explorer takes the highest amount of joy in the journey. The destination may exist, it may not. For the explorer, until s/he can get down and measure that abstract destination, it is just another mirage. It is like the journey in a ship to the unexplored lands of the past: nobody knew the outcome; ah, but the adventures in the journey itself were the subject of legends.
And that, I guess, is the biggest part of me: the will to explore.
Scratch that: And that, I guess, is the biggest part of what I believe to be me: the (self-sustaining) will to explore.
26th March, 2020