On the Inaccessibility of Knowledge


One of the most useful features of WordPress is being able to keep fairly good track of the number of visits one’s blog generates. For my blog, at least, the number has remained relatively stable and points to a small if rather devout following constituted mostly by people who will love me even if write nothing but drivel.

All of that changed over the last week as I posted a series of entries on the S’vetâs’vatara Upanishad. The chart on my site visits approximated the tail end of an almost flawless bell curve—which indicates that love ends where pedantry begins.

And it’s rather unfortunate as I’m a terrible, terrible nerd. I remember the month I spent preparing for the comprehensive exams of my Master’s degree. I’d wake up, walk to the bakery a block away from my flat, and over a cinnamon walnut focaccia and hot chocolate, spend at least three hours reading texts on the history of metaphysics before switching to texts on the works of contemporary philosophers. Those four weeks still rank as among the happiest of my life.

But if the responses of my readers the last week have been any indication (or lack of responses, rather), it appears that I may have to find a more willing audience upon which to inflict the fruits of my scholastic labors. On the one hand, I find it distressing that the works that have made the greatest demands upon me as a writer tend to exercise the least attraction. On the other hand, I find consolation in discovering that people are apprarently more interested in the trials and tribulations of my housekeeping life than in, say, the contradictions and paradoxes of the Hindu faith. (That I should find this puzzling is further testament to my academic proclivities.)

But then again, I can resort to the defiance of artists and thinkers everywhere and ignore the popular in favor of the esoteric. I can do that and claim to do so in the names of Authenticity, Fidelity and Truth. I can do that and even look admirably heroic (if not also faintly moronic) in the process.

But doing all that would also make me inaccessible. And that’s the one thing that I, as a writer, will not abide.

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