Foreword, 2

Furthermore, experience shows that reviewing repeatedly can be important for another reason more, in addition to helping us to dig behind the conspicuous and inside the highly concentrated. The moment you fully understand something is not so much an arrival point as a starting point: that of a path which is wider and deeper each time you face the subject again, rewarded by discoveries and cognitions you cannot foresee now because each one is prerequisite for the next and leads on to it, that you’re going to lose if you don’t embark upon it.

Practice never going past a word or symbol you do not understand fully, because this is the most important barrier between you and knowing and understanding, and knowing and understanding is what makes the difference in life. Even the most humble and overlooked word can have lots of different meanings, and there are lots of ways one can misunderstand it; once you go past one, everything from there onwards vanishes behind your back and you’re lost with no maps at the mercy of storms and sharks. See for yourself who your friends are: big, clear dictionaries and the ability to master your attention, or helpless carelessness at the mercy of incomprehensible or undetected traps?

This single specific point of the misunderstood word or symbol is the very example of something easily overlooked that when observed and pondered carefully and repeatedly enough begins to reveal its full, real meaning and scope. It has been said that this is the only reason anyone gives up studying any subject once chosen, and that anyone can learn any subject and be able to use it, whether talented or not, provided one has no misunderstoods in it. This is no small thing: it means that anyone has the potential to learn, understand and master anything; in other words, it means that no one is hopelessly prisoner of unsurmountable limits. Just stop for a minute, take a step back to better frame it as a whole, and wonder about what a difference this single point alone can make.