Note: The following writing is a response to a friend seeking safe harbor; to regain a sense of balance and stability in the face of the tumultuous seas and winds of change on the horizon. It was intended only as a literary trifle to calm the agitation, capture the attention and excite the imagination of the reader. –d.w.jacobs
Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a place known as A Land Called Academia. This land was said to be inhabited by a people called academicians, or thinkers who, though largely incapable of honest work in fronting the real problems of ordinary men in day-to-day life, yet possessed a wide and far-reaching reputation of great altitude and special insight into the ways of the wise.
These peoples were called by various names – not always flattering – but in the main, they were known as scholars, intellectuals and philosophers who lived a life devoted to the systematic examination of such lofty basic concepts as truth, existence and reality toward a professed goal of reaching a more enlightened state of awareness and a greater understanding of life.
So the story is told, they walked extensively through the garden of wisdom, engaged in deep thought, pulling a long philosophical white beard . . . thinking and thinking and thinking . . . and then thinking and thinking and thinking again . . . in a scholarly, largely intellectual study of all things theoretical.
Many long months and years were spent following this method of attaining enlightenment and wisdom. As such was the way of the philosopher in A Land Called Academia.
Sadly, the sought-after results of their labors ended with them becoming mired in the thickets of significance, as the process of thinking about thought largely ending up with dubious insights of no practical relevance or value to the lives of ordinary men and women. And ultimately this effort became an endless, introverted, introspective, self-abnegating, self-deprecating, and ultimately useless, ineffectual and futile search for the answers. There was no end in sight and no applicability to the real world of the living.
For by distancing themselves from life in an attempt to understand life, they were missing the primary ingredient necessary to become successful in their quest.
They were seeking to learn about life by looking at the manifestations of life and not looking at life itself.
This is equivalent to examining how a radio is constructed by only listening to the sound that emanates from it. The efficacy of their method is only superficially beneficial.
Mostly, it is a pointless waste of time with potentially disastrous consequences by stirring up things unnecessarily and discovering nothing that can be put into use in the real world that is born, lives, breathes, bleeds and dies.
As the centuries passed, ordinary people began to realize that these philosophers, scholars and intellectual in fact produced nothing of any real or lasting value and their influence has largely fallen away from the ken of man.
In their place was developed a scientific system of discovering the truths of life by observation and examination of and actual experience with the woof and warp of life itself. Honest, hardworking, normal people found that active involvement with the thing being examined and studied was of far greater value than the speculative meanderings and solutions only based upon theories developed without direct observation.
Thus we come to an address of your dilemma as put forth in your recent letter in which you seek to come to a better understanding of some of the problems extant in your life.
Near the end of the letter your writing indicates a native and fundamental understanding of a route toward sanity and happiness that I wish to point out for emphasis:
“I essentially had a fight with a someone who wasn’t even there . . .”
“Trusting my heart and not letting the negative voices of skepticism in . . . is the key.”
In my opinion, your statements above resonate with more wisdom and truth than any ivory tower philosopher citizen in The Land Called Academia.
Finally, I humbly submit a three lines from my writings – previously published – which may remind you of what you had forgotten that you already knew:
“The end result of doubt, worry and fear is only more doubt, greater worry and increased fear.”
“The truth of simplicity is camouflaged by the complexity of lies just as a tangle of lies will mask the simplicity of truth.”
“Sanity, happiness and power are a direct consequence of living a life of simplicity, truth and worthwhile purpose.”
It is my hope that you might find in this short note, a mental balm to help heal the emotional wounds of which you speak, to soothe the harsh edges of miscommunication in interpersonal relationships and open the door to calmness and spiritual comfort as a result of true wisdom, correctly applied.
daniel w. jacobs
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