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The quest has three aspects: metaphysical, meditational, and morally active. It is the metaphysician's business to think this thing called life through to its farthest end. It is the mystic's business to intuit the peaceful desireless state of thoughtlessness. But this quest cannot be conducted in compartments; rather must it be conducted as we have to live, that is, integrally. Hence it is the philosopher's business to bring the metaphysician's bloodless conclusions and the mystic's serene intuition into intimate relation with practical human obligations and flesh-and-blood activities. Both ancient mystical-metaphysical wisdom and modern scientific practicality form the two halves of a complete and comprehensive human culture. Both are required by a man who wants to be fully educated; one without the help of the other will be lame. This may well be why wise Emerson confessed, "I have not yet seen a man!" Consequently, he who has passed through all the different disciplines will be a valuable member of society. For meditation will have calmed his temperament and disciplined his character; the metaphysics of truth will have sharpened his intelligence, protected him against error, and balanced his outlook; the philosophic ethos will have purified his motives and promoted his altruism, whilst the philosophic insight will have made him forever aware that he is an inhabitant of the country of the Overself. He will have touched life at its principal points yet will have permitted himself to be cramped and confined by none.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 1: Toward Defining Philosophy > # 173

-- Perspectives > Chapter 20: What Is Philosophy? > # 19






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