Knowledge is proportionate to being,” Bruno answered. “You know in virtue of what you are; and what you are depends on three factors: what you’ve inherited, what your surroundings have done to you, and what you’ve chosen to do with your surroundings and your inheritance. A man of genius inherits an unusual capacity to see into ultimate reality and to express what he sees. If his surroundings are reasonably good, he’ll be able to exercise his powers. But if he spends all his energies on writing and doesn’t attempt to modify his inherited and acquired being in the light of what he knows, then he can never get to increase his knowledge. On the contrary, he’ll know progressively less instead of more.”

“Less instead of more?” Sebastian repeated questioningly.

“Less instead of more,” the other insisted. “He that is not getting better is getting worse, and he that is getting worse is in a position to know less and less about the nature of ultimate reality. Conversely, of course, if one gets better and knows more, one will be temptedĀ  to stop writing, because the all-absorbing labor of composition is an obstacle in the way of further knowledge. And that, maybe, is one of the reasons why most men of genius take such infinite pains not to become saints–out of mere self-preservation.”

– Aldous Huxley, Time Must Have A Stop