Friday, July 27, 2012

Discipleship and Mediocrity

Time spent reading is not time spent thinking. And time spent receiving is not time spent giving. And Time spent being a student is not time spent being a teacher.

This makes me think that it is possible to spend too much time learning from other thinkers, to the extent that you will not develop your own creativity. This should not be a problem for those in the sciences, but for philosophers and artists, I think it is quite possible to become too much of a mirror by spending too much time reflecting. You can slip into being an historian of philosophy instead of being a philosopher; just like you could catch yourself being an art critic or an art teacher instead of being an artist.

To create innovative new vantage points, you need distance between yourself and other thinkers. You need to come to the problem from a new angle so that you can look at things in a different way.

On the other hand, what is the likelihood that you will actually produce something useful? There is a good chance that if you spend too much time thinking and writing, you will not realize that everything you are producing is beneath what already exists. Then you're just an asshole stinking up the internet with your pseudointellectual blog.

Like every situation where there are two desirables in tension with each other, there are balances to be found.

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