From Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling:
"Suppose someone wanting to learn to dance said: 'For hundreds of years now one generation after another has been learning dance steps, it's high time I took advantage of this and began straight off with a set of quadrilles.' One would surely laugh a little at him; but in the world of spirit such an attitude is considered utterly plausible. What then is education? I had thought it was the curriculum the individual ran through in order to catch up with himself; and anyone who does not want to go through this curriculum will be little helped by being born into the most enlightened age."
--Kierkegaard, Soren, Fear and Trembling, translated by Alastair Hannay, Penguin Books, 1985, p. 75.