Articles

What Resources Can We Use to Establish Our Vision of the World?

There are two key resources we can use: reading and travel.

We still need to be able to distinguish those few books which truly speak to us from the masses which do not. A university’s heart is therefore its library. If it were to be emptied or neglected, this would indicate that something had gone seriously wrong. The principal tool for training minds has to be silent reading. If this personal reading time is not included in schedules or is replaced by endless orations in amphitheaters, it is fair to assume that any pretension to training minds is illusory and only employed by a few minor administrators eager to tick boxes on an obscure form. Yet quiet reading alone is not enough. It must be supported by individual tutoring.

After that comes travel. I am not referring to tightly circumscribed trips during which one sees nothing of the country, but to in-depth experiences in close proximity to reality. It is the combination of canonical works and personal experience when traveling that gives us a partial vision of the world.

An industrial civilization like ours does not aim to give us a vision of the world; rather, it confines us within technical specializations, as though we were engineers attending to a great machine. But the only machine of any interest is Man – the one subject we do not allow ourselves to study. Most industrial slaves are afraid to step outside the confined territories in which each of them operates. This fear reigns supreme. It paralyzes living beings. But being too frightened to exist precludes the possibility of experiencing life’s joys.