Welcome to The Cerebral Dilettante—your home for brief, but deep pondering of deep things. I take a self-directed, organic, interval-training kind of approach to acquiring knowledge, wisdom and insight, moderated by an awareness of my physical, emotional and relational needs. What does this mean, you ask? It means that I read, and ponder, and perhaps journal about some concept that intrigues me, and when I get bored with that I read People magazine. Or sometimes I paint my nails. It means that I eschew a regimented, shame-based approach to self-education and self-exploration, and prefer to learn as the mood strikes me, or when I literally have nothing else to do. And if the mood doesn’t strike me for several months, I don’t shame myself. I need to work on my abs anyway.
I may tend to be overly analytical, but my goal is balance and listening to the self. I have achieved this over many years. I try to balance the difficult work of unraveling the mysteries of human existence with some tube, or a really huge shoe sale, or beer or wine. I like gin too. In fact, I have so nailed the balance thing I can go months without having any really deep thoughts at all. But then I find my soul, or my intellect crying out for nourishment, and I have to read a book (probably a short one) on the American Revolution, or economics or something. I find myself more drawn to the broad sweep of history, or the overarching concepts in some field of study, and so I am rarely burdened with the memory of any details about what I read. (I know supply and demand is important. And the French were helpful). But while I’m reading it, pondering it, my mind is expanded. And then when I watch Lost it contracts again.
Dig deep, then rest. Ponder, and rest. Rest as long as you need to. Only ponder and learn as long as your soul leads you to, or until your ass starts to hurt and you have to get up and get some ice cream. When it is time to learn again, your mind and heart will let you know. Do not fall prey to the inner didact’s lash, and feel you have to remember every silly detail about what you read. Or even read the whole thing. Read as far as you feel compelled to, and when your soul asks you, “Good God, who reads this crap?” Put the book down, and take a nap. You’ve earned it.
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