As the world has moved further and further from real-life experience towards digitally enhanced, and space-confined representations of reality, as the experience of being for the modern man becomes limited to pixels on a screen and static cubicles, his mind becomes limited as a consequence. The modern man feels and thinks himself wise, because he has access to endless studies, research, information, websites, and tutorials. That's not negative by itself, but it does not make a man any wiser unless it's accompanied by actual, real-life experience.
The modern man knows nothing because he has let himself be separated from the most ancient and purest source of wisdom: life. Life lived fully, without limits. A life that experiences the full spectrum of human emotion. A life not completely dulled by the blue lights and bland routines of modernity.
To become truly wise, a man must live, not merely exist, research, and read. A man must act, and fail, and hurt, and suffer, and win, and run, and climb, and grow.
The sad reality of the average western male is that his life is a set of mostly meaningless mundane tasks, which are repeated day after day, week after week, and month after month. The most common path for a man in the twenty-first century is that of a life so comfortable and boring that he reaches his old age without having done but a fraction of the things that his spirit has been begging for. This man, which, if we are not careful, will be you, me and everyone else you know, exists merely as a faceless entity in a sea of gray. His job is boring, his marriage is dull, his friends are boring, and even his mind has been numbed down to the point of no return. His entire existence is a feverish dream of a distopian present in which nothing ever happens, and in which this man does absolutely nothing of note.
This may seem extreme to you, but there are men living like this. And looking at the extremes serves as a warning sign of the things we could become if we stopped fighting against the spirit of our corrupt epoch. Unless we keep striving for better things, unless we keep swimming against the current of modernity, inertia will lead us down that path.
"Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain" -Jack Kerouac
This modern man knows nothing. Nothing worth knowing, that is. He might know how to execute a complex function in microsoft excel, he might know the scores of every game every weekend, he might know every little detail about the news of the day, and he might even know all there is to know about superhero fanfiction.
But he knows nothing of life. He knows nothing of the deeper and timeless principles of existence. he knows nothing about the depth of human emotion, he knows nothing about the endless potential of the human body, and of the spirit of man. He knows nothing about these things, because he has let countless years go by without seeking to experience all that life has to offer.
This man does not take risks. This man does not speak up. He does not seek greatness. He does not reject the numbing comforts of modernity. He simply exists, but he does not live. And as a consequence, he will live his life never knowing anything.
So wisdom will not come from a life spend in a cubicle.
It will come from experiencing the countless wonders that exist in the world. It will come from using your body, from using your mind, from pushing yourself to every limit you could fathom, physically, mentally, spiritually.
I have learnt about humility, struggle, and courage on the JiuJitsu mats.
I have learnt about sacrifice, discipline, and willpower in the gym.
I have learnt about my own ignorance, and about the depths of the human mind by trying to create something of value that other men can use for good.
I have learnt about the sheer greatness of God, about the insignificance but also about the incredible meaning of a human life in prayer.
I have learnt about the infinite balance of life, about the overwhelming beauty of God's creation, and about the need for good men while out in nature. I have learnt about the things that matter spending time with those I love.
I have learnt these and many other things only when I am living life. None of these lessons came to me in my office.
None of this is to say that I know all there is to know. Of course not. I know just as little as the next guy. I am just as modern of a man as all of us. I spend more time in an office than I would like. I am, after all, a simple man, trying to learn and trying to understand God's purpose for me.
But I do know one thing, and that is that the source of wisdom -true wisdom, not the earthly and arrogant sort- is not in the cheap, modern imitations of what a human life should be...
The source of wisdom is life itself.
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