The Wonder of a Mind Awake

The Wonder of a Mind Awake

"Epic Quotes" is a category all by itself. There are some quotes you just need to have down somewhere where you can revisit it over and over again and share with friends. Here we're keeping track of some of our favorite quotes. We might offer commentary below the quote, or give you the commentary of someone else on the quote, like this one. 

Do you have an Epic Quote? Share it with us. If we agree with you, we'll post it! 


Epic Quote

“When the point of education becomes the production of credentials rather than the cultivation of knowledge, it forfeits the motive recognized by Aristotle: “All human beings by nature desire to know.”
— Matthew Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft

Epic Commentary

Too often I hear people talk about education in the context of "getting a job." If a job is the end goal, we miss the point of education. And I think this lack can already be felt in our culture. 

After I posted this quote on social media, my friend Deb responded like this: 

I lament this in the church. I'm observing so many pastors reject the path of educational training in favor of "on the job experience". Zizek would say this is because we no longer trust or value knowledge. Rather our value is in the doing. Beyond the education aspect, I wonder what else it reveals? Pride, insularity, unteachableness, resistance to authority or evaluation? Sigh.

To which I responded: 

I too find this in the church, at an alarming clip. But not all churches are alike I have to say. That said, the church has fallen in line with pragmatism and it produces beauty-less buildings and a bottom line mentality that ends up feeding the rejection of curiosity and the wonder of learning. And I would say it's not an Enlightenment type of thing I'm pushing. Rather, the wonder of a mind awake.

The observations on the church I think to a large degree are accurate. But I don't want to focus on that.

Rather, I want to draw our attention to the thought of our minds and what it means to cultivate our knowledge in this world, to live in the wonder of a mind awake. 

A mind awake does not eat information for the sake of knowing more than someone else; an easy temptation in our data/info driven age. 

A mind awake does not consume senseless junk; like most of what we're fed on the internet. This leads to an obese mind; unhealthy and wonder-less. 

A mind awake gathers the events of the day, the nuance of relationships, the lessons learned through experience, the stories told, the stories untold. But experience must not exist as an end in and of itself. It must join its compatriot: rigorous learning, the kind we find in books. 

A mind awake listens. 

A mind awake rejects the input of trash culture, bingeing on the unlovely, and asks, "What can I fill this moment with that will make me more alive?" 

 A mind awake fights the temptation to live in isolation from nature, with only digital inputs, and finds quiet moments outside, under trees, on beaches, in fields, around mountains, rivers, and streams. 

A mind awake embraces the challenge of reading the hard books. 

A mind awake weighs points of view not by the weight of someone's social media following but by the veracity and reasonableness of their argument. Lemmings follow folks with whom they agree, only to walk off the cliff of bias chanting unreasonable trendy mantras. 

A mind awake blends personal experience with the submission of learning from a person who does not wish to grind their ax, but rather give life through true enlightenment. 

A mind awake strives for beauty within the discussion; the topic, the response, the disagreement. 

A mind awake seeks knowledge to serve, not to rule. 


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