Monasteries of the Mind

“Monasteries of the mind are an effort to reconnect with the past and disengage psychologically from the present. For millions of Americans, their music, their movies, their sports, and their media are not current fare. Instead, they have mentally moved to mountaintops or inaccessible valleys, where they can live in the past or dream of the future, but certainly not dwell in the here and now.”

Wow, Victor Davis Hanson is talking about me! I haven’t watched network television in at least ten years. I’ve been to the movies once in almost as many years. My current musical favorite is Count Basie, but on the weekends my husband and I enjoy reruns of Casey Kasem on the radio.

When I was still homeschooling, I hung out with others who also rejected much of popular culture in favor of old books, old movies and old, well, pretty much everything. But I retired from homeschooling several years ago, and left many friends behind when we moved away from the place where we raised our family. So it’s nice to be reminded that I’m not alone.

For many Christians, I think the state of the culture is a real concern. The Bible recommends that we focus on specific things:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)

Such things are increasingly unavailable in our modern culture. That’s why we’re forced to retreat to monasteries of the mind.

2 thoughts on “Monasteries of the Mind

  1. From the first comment, I thought Hanson would be trashing those who retreat and choose to mentally live in the past. But when I read the article, I was pleased to see that he was instead saying, “I don’t have to wallow in the garbage that’s offered to me today. I can enjoy older books or older movies or older music.”

  2. Yes, I find that I agree with much of what he’s writing these days. Good to see you here, Susan. Hope all is well. I checked on your blog a while back and was surprised to see you had retired. I’m sure you’re keeping busy just the same 🙂

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