But there is a profoundly positive side to this self-knowledge, as well. Old Sam can help Young Sam by bequeathing to his past the benefits of his present. Oscar Wilde once said, "Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes," but Young Sam does not need to make mistakes; Old Sam has already done that for him. Despite his rapidly-waning strength, Old Sam begins to teach his "other self" self-worth, self-control, and finally, self-sacrifice, breaking the cycle of amnesia and self-delusion that has trapped so many Sams before them. Self-knowledge is the key by which they are finally set free.
Therein lies the most unusual of this film's messages. None of us have the opportunity to sit with our younger selves the way Sam Bell does; sadly, we cannot gain experience without first making our own mistakes. But we can come to a deeper knowledge of ourselves and those around us; indeed, we must. A man who believes that he knows himself is a man who may never really understand anything. Moon is a reminder to all of us that the quest for self-knowledge is not only painful; it is never-ending. After all, "If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know" (1 Cor. 8:2).
Isn't that a reminder for which we can all be grateful?