I’ve read so few books in my life (technical and how-to books being the exception). When I read Self-Reliance by Emerson I was astounded by how much of what he said I had already learned and concluded on my own over the course of my 30 years of life. On occasion, I’ve found myself writing and publishing things that others would later tell me are so similar to this or that famous piece of text. And I had done so without ever having read or been exposed to said text.
Its made me realize that those great texts, whatever they may be, are simply a recording of someone’s exploration of something that we all have within us, something that’s available for each and every one of us if we’re so willing to explore, to question, to walk into the darkness with our eyes, ears, and minds open to whatever may present itself. It’s in the doing that we discover, not in the reading of someone else’s account of doing (though the latter can be inspirational, hopefully inspiration to go out on our own and explore).