There is one thing that always baffled me: how to get all these interest under control? how to shape of such a diverse pool of interests one or a few solid competences? There are not many of these polyglot, cosmopolitan and universally educated scholars left on our planet. Our society tells us that we have moved beyond the need of generalists. We need specialists in hydro engineering or labor law. We run through similar curricula, all of us raw diamonds at the start, round marbles at the end. Such stunning characters like Baruch Spinoza, who was both a rationalist philosopher and an optical scientist-craftsman, Hildegard von Bingen, who was ventured into medical, moral, religious and musical study fields or Leonardo Da Vinci, who covered a wide spectrum of professions have always been rare exceptions. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". Even if we don't accomplish what those polymaths did, we should learn from their mindset and turn curiosity and imagination into the paramount message for our offspring.
When I read William James' "The Variety of Religious Experiences" I also understood at once, why people before the invention of tv, before the introduction of IT technologies, before the information revolution, were able to spend so much time on their studies: there was nothing else to do for those who did not have to bear the yoke of physical work of farmers or servants. Days, long evenings and even nights were spent reading, thinking and writing. Our lives have changes so tremendously during the last 100 years; much more than during the 1000 years before that. The information revolution is a two bladed sword. It enables me to write this essay and do quick online research for it. But it also makes me waste hours and hours on social platforms. Nowadays the challenge is more than ever, to be in touch with one inner self in order to safely navigate through the 24/7 available information on all and everything. Mankind's knowledge currently doubles every two years or so. But man's knowledge is halved every generation, it seems.