The mistake we make is to turn upon our past with angry wholesale negation. … The way of wisdom is to treat it airily, lightly, wantonly, and in a spirit of poetry; and above all to use its symbols, which are its spiritual essence, giving them a new connotation, a fresh meaning.
The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that if you ask a man how much is two plus two and he tells you five, that is a mistake. But if you ask a man how much is two plus two and he tells you ninety-seven, that is no longer a mistake. The man you are talking to is operating with a wholly different logic from your own.