Saturday, March 12, 2022

"Natural abilities are like natural plants that need proyning by study." -- Explain.

This line is taken from Bacon's essay 'Of Studies'. Here Bacon compares the natural abilities of man to natural plants and points out the need for studies. Wild plants do not have proper shape. So they have to be cut and trimmed. Man's natural abilities too have likewise to be trained and corrected through studies. However great one's natural ability an unlettered man cannot shine in life. A sportsman needs a good physique which is a natural gift. But good physique alone is not sufficient to make a good sportsman. One needs proper food and training. Nature and nurture-are the two factors needed to make a good tree, a good sportsman, a good speaker. Bacon is undoubtedly right in laying stress on proper training, 'proyning' as he terms in the case of trees. The importance of studies cannot be overestimated in human life for the improvement of natural abilities. But Bacon goes on to add, only studies are not sufficient. Experience, i.e., practical knowledge of life and existence, is also needed. Without the latter studies are unlikely to serve any useful purpose.

Bacon is generally right about the importance of studies and experience in the formation of a rounded personality. Wild trees need to be pruned and trimmed for giving them proper shape. The same is the case with humans. But, it should also be noted, giant trees in natural forests attain great height without any care and tending from human agents. So with the giant among men. The genius of Shakespeare, of Jesus, of Socrates cannot be explained by proyning, trimming and cutting, reading or studies of a particular type. Their greatness defies analysis and cannot be said to be the result of studies. Bacon's remarks about studies and experience do not represent the absolute truth.

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