May 17, 2011

Knowledge and Happiness

Lord God of truth, is whoever knows these things by the fact pleasing to you? No, unhappy is the man who knows all this, but does not know you; happy is he who knows you, eve if he does not know such things. Indeed, a man who knows both you and these things too is not the happier because of them, but because of you alone is he happy, if knowing you, he likewise glorifies you, gives thanks to you, and does not become vain in his own thoughts. 
A man who knows that he owns a tree, and gives thanks to you for its fruit, even though he may not know how many cubits high it is or how wide it spreads, is better than one who measures it and counts all its branches, but does no own it and does not know or love its creator. 
It is thus with the man of faith, to whom all things serve, is as one having nothing yet possessing all things, although he does not know even the circles of the Great Bear.  It is folly to doubt that he is far better than one who measures the skies, and counts the stars, and weighs the elements, but neglects you who have "ordered all things in measure, weight, and number."

St. Augustine, Confessions