Exercising Wisdom

September 25, 2014 | By | 4 Comments

Whenever I read Augustine, I wonder why I read anything else. I do not mean Augustine is the only author worth reading, but rather that the depth and profundity of his ideas seems to nearly eclipse the normative (and comparative) trash I regularly find in the news or on the Internet. People are so eager to write about something new – to get you to click on their article or watch their video. In the last 24 hours I have seen so many comments on the iPhone 6 Plus possibly bending that I am tempted to believe that actually matters. Unbelievable, except for the fact that, at least for a time, I believed it today.

When I read Augustine I am reminded of the weighty matters of life – wisdom, truth, justice, integrity, love, happiness, and community. These things matters, and they are issues one is more likely to misunderstand just to the degree that one is likely to claim to understand them.

I do not claim to understand them. Yet I live many days as if my understanding is sufficient. This should be sufficient evidence that it is not.

I long for a simpler life, a life not berated by technology, a life characterized by patience, contentment, wonder, curiosity, creativity, friendship, vulnerability, and deep community.

Where am I likely to find this life? Not in the places I usually look (online). It’s so hard to break free from the monotonous rhythm of triviality our society venerates and mass-produces.

Maybe I am being too hard on myself.

I struggle deeply with anxiety, and am frustrated that our culture does not foster a healthy pace or clear vision of meaning. When I read Augustine (or many other philosophers for that matter), something in my soul resonates with the depth and seriousness with which he approaches life. Where can I find that today?

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Comments (4)

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  1. Steve Nunez says:

    I often feel the same when my peers comment on how one ought not be so serious about life. As a college student, veteran, and life-long lover of philosophy I see a culture of ideological, intellectual passivity that does little to birth originality or understanding. Sadly, I myself have not figured out how to balance social interaction with my peers and intellectual stimulation besides reading philosophy.

  2. Adrian F. says:

    I often struggle with the same thoughts. Even TV series which is used to love have become dull and worthless. I am thinking that it is absurd to be so interested in the life of a fictional character and that I should focus more on mine. Be more involved in everything I do and pursue the path towards wisdom, if I will ever going to reach it.

  3. Rohit says:

    Dear friend,

    Great to find an eanest soul.

    Due visit prashantadvait.com which has blogs by Acharya Shri Prashant, a mystic in today’s world.

  4. Victoria C. says:

    I think most people have this feeling, or longing, rather – for something deeper than what modern day presents us. This has become a feeling we are being accustomed to, and philosophers of modern day probably feel it more intensely than anyone else because there is a heightened sense of awareness regarding virtues, and a constant battle regarding how we should go about living our lives.

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