Those whom heaven helps we call the sons of heaven. They do not learn this by learning. They do not work it by working. They do not reason it by using reason. To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven. -Chuang Tse: XXIII

Only in some very special cases is comprehension the point of reading–in things like recipes and “reading material.” The point of reading is understanding, and comprehension is to understanding as getting wet is to swimming. You must do the one before you can hope to do the other, but you don’t do the other simply because you do the one.

We’re very familiar with the idea that some things are so complex they’re beyond our comprehension. This not only keeps us solving and experimenting but also distracted. Many things are really so simple we can’t see them under our big noses.

1 2