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Friday, January 8, 2016

Checking In. Hiatus Extended

As some of you know, I've popped my head in every now and then to the different circles and communities I chat with.  But most of it was non-committal, and I think that, actually, the greatest portion of involved conversation (which hasn't been much) took place over at Vox Popoli.  But, for the most part, I've done what I can to minimize my time with the online community for now.

There's oodles to discuss.  That is for sure.  I even have a list of things to address, if I were so inclined. But this has been a time of reflection and study for me.  And I do believe I may possibly re-orient myself away from the forums and blogs I frequent, and put more attention to other pursuits that supersede and pre-date this person you know as Laramie Hirsch.  I do not feel as though blogging is my life's calling, after all.

But I will return and be more available in some capacity at the end of the second week in March.

For now, I'll share this passage, from the book, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods:

We want to develop breadth of mind, to practice comparative study, to keep the horizon before us; these things cannot be done without much reading. But much and little are opposites only in the same domain. . . [M]uch is necessary in the absolute sense, because the work to be done is vast; but little, relatively to the deluge of writing that…floods our libraries and our minds nowadays. . . . What we are proscribing is the passion for reading, the uncontrolled habit, the poisoning of the mind by excess of mental food, the laziness in disguise which prefers easy familiarity with others’ thought to personal effort. . . . The passion for reading which many pride themselves on as a precious intellectual quality is in reality a defect; it differs in no wise from other passions that monopolize the soul , keep it in a state of disturbance, set it in uncertain currents and cross-currents, and exhaust its powers. . . . The mind is dulled, not fed, by inordinate reading, it is made gradually incapable of reflection and concentration, and therefore of production; it grows inwardly extroverted, if one can so express oneself, becomes the slave of its mental images, of the ebb and flow of ideas on which it has eagerly fastened its attention. This uncontrolled delight is an escape from self; it ousts the intelligence from its function and allows it merely to follow point for point the thoughts of others, to be carried along in the stream of words, developments, chapters, volumes. . . . [N]ever read when you can reflect; read only, except in moments of recreation, what concerns the purpose you are pursuing; and read little, so as not to eat up your interior silence.

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