FORWARD: This letter, following, was written to a friend reaching out to me for safe harbor in troublesome times. The purpose of this missive was to help this individual regain a sense of balance and stability in the face of approaching tumultuous seas and dangerous winds of change.

It was intended only as a literary trifle to help calm the agitation, lessen the stress of real or imagined threat in the environment, and excite the imagination of the reader; to thereby redirect attention and remind them of the pure joy of being alive and living life to its fullest. Note: Published broadly, as the content may be helpful to others finding themselves in similar situations. –  d.w.jacobs

A Land Called Academia

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, possessed a wide and far-reaching, if largely undeserved, reputation for the special insight gained from the incremental acquisition of knowledge obtained through direct observation.

Such people were called by various names – not always flattering. They were, in the main, known to be scholars, intellectuals, and philosophers who lived a life devoted to the systematic examination of such lofty concepts as truth, existence, and reality, toward the professed goal of attaining an enlightened state of awareness and a greater understanding of the meaning of life.

So the story is told, they walked extensively through the garden of wisdom, engaged in deep thought, pulling a long professorial, philosophical white beard . . . thinking and thinking and thinking . . . and then thinking and thinking and thinking again . . . in a scholarly, primarily scholarly study of all things theoretical and hypothetical.

Many long months and years were spent following this method of attaining enlightenment and wisdom. Such was the way life for a philosopher in, A Land Called Academia.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 mainly ending up with dubious insights of no practical relevance or value to the lives of ordinary men and women. Ultimately, this effort turned into an arrogant, condescending, egotistical and ultimately useless and futile exercise in self-importance with no applicability in the real world, masked behind a haughty, supercilious and patronizing smile.

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 to use in the real world that is born, lives, breathes, bleeds, and dies.

the_man_at_the_getty_by_myvonne6As the centuries passed, ordinary people began to realize that these philosophers, scholars and intellectuals in fact produced nothing of any real or lasting value, and their repute and influence largely faded 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 experience with, the woof and warp of life itself.

Honest, hard-working, ordinary people realized 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 dimma 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.Your two comments near the end of your letter indicate an instinctive awareness of what it takes to approach sanity and happiness as you have written in your letter as follows:

“Essentially I have been fighting with someone who wasn’t even there, endlessly trying to solve problems that only existed in my imagination. The key is to begin trusting my heart again and not let the negative voices of skepticism, cynicism, and doubt get in my way.”dan-cigar-with-terry copyIn 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 – as a tap on the shoulder, to remind you of what you know. but may have forgotten.

“The 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 essay, a mental balm to heal the emotional wounds of which you speak. To soothe the bruised feelings and harsh edges of discontent of interpersonal relationships, and open the door to mental calmness and spiritual comfort as a result of wisdom, well applied, in your life today and all of your tomorrows.

All my best,

Daniel w. jacobs
© 2005, all rights reserved

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