We must speak about man’s place in the world… since there are many things about us, about what is possible for us and what is impossible, that are connected with this.
…We must study man and, parallel with that, we must study the world in which man lives, in order to try to understand why man is what he is and why he cannot be any different. We cannot find answers to all these questions if we study man separately from the world in which he lives. In a certain sense man is analogous to the universe; the same laws operate in him and we shall find that it is easier to understand some of these laws by studying man, while other laws we can understand better by studying the universe.
If we try to think of the world apart from ourselves and see it as it is, even from the physical point of view with the help of the telescope or the microscope, we shall realize how limited our capacities of perception are, for they are limited by size. And our capacity for mental seeing is infinitely more limited. Even if we were to come in contact with the source of full knowledge, such as we are would not be able to take it or use it, for, although we can know more than we ordinarily know, there is a definite limit in us—in our mind. So we must know all our limitations and then, when we know the power of our instrument, we shall know what we can get.
…Only knowledge of the whole can be regarded as knowledge, for knowledge of a part without its relation to the whole is not knowledge but ignorance. We can have this knowledge, only we do not realize it and do not understand that in relation to everything knowledge begins with knowledge of the whole… It is the same with everything. Almost all we call knowledge is not really knowledge at all, because it is merely knowledge of a small part without knowing the place of this part in the whole.
P. D. Ouspenky’s
The Fourth Way