When contemplation becomes a form of escapism

The life of the mind appears to be dazzling and voluptuous operation. 

Drifting of to exile inside yourself, becoming a castaway on a desert island of your dreams, being a prisoner in the fortress of your art, these things sound absolutely idyllic. 

Especially to the kind of person who feels most at home inside his own head. 

But the challenge with introspection is, if we spend too much time living the life of the mind, sitting in a corner perfecting ourselves, then contemplation becomes a form of escapism. 

We’re not making the world a better place, we’re just reflecting all day. Flighting from the world into a antisocial rabbit hole of false bliss. 

That’s what turns me off about most meditation retreats. The last thing I need to do is travel two hundred miles upstate to sit in a quiet room for ten hours a day and empty my mind. That sounds punishing. 

I’ve meditated for thousands of hours in the past fifteen years, and don’t regret a single minute. But at this point in my life, more stillness isn’t going to be my agent of transformation.

Moving is. Working is. Being useful to the world is. Connecting with the earth is. Getting the hell out of my own head and engaging with nature is. 

Maybe that’s what people who live the life of the mind need. A reverse meditation center. A place where you can’t help but get out of your own head. 

An experience where you’re abruptly escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual. 


Is drifting off to exile inside yourself reaching a point of diminishing returns? 


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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