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STOIC POETRY | Exploring, not searching...

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

August 12, 2019

Dear Eric,

I had an interesting conversation with someone yesterday - a Christian friend - who commented that he thought I was "searching" for something... We hear this a lot, don't we? Believers who suggest we - the unbelievers - are somehow lost and seeking after something. Of course, the "something" they suggest is always the very thing which they have already found - and which they think we too will find if we only try hard enough. It is an annoying thing for them to suggest, as it belies their vain conviction that they've the only answer which everyone else is looking for. I didn't give my friend a very good response, mostly ignoring his smug suggestion that I was on a quest which should only end well if I wind up at his truth, and instead I simply moved the conversation on to another topic. But I have been thinking about it. And I think I have now got something better to say.

The next time someone suggests I am "searching" for something I am going to respond that I'm not really searching as much as I'm simply exploring. I'm not trying to find anything in particular, but instead am just enjoying the act and process of moving around in new territory, for the sole purpose of finding what I didn't know was there. I'm hoping to expand my horizon. I'm not "searching" for anything in particular...though I am genuinely interested in finding anything that is interesting or true. And as for finding...I've found a lot. As for finding something of meaning...I've located some of that as well. Let me tell you briefly about that.

The things which I've found which are most useful are the things which are true, as well as the propositions which some claim are true, but which have since been revealed to be false or at least founded on very poor facts. In the process I have developed my own small collection of treasures which some might regard as things worth searching for. These are the Objectives and Principles of The Good Life, which I have developed over the course of many years, and which I now use as my guide to better living. In short, I'm no longer "searching" as I've already found and created the things I was previously looking for; and now instead I'm simply exploring for the simple sake of adventure and the joy of discovering what I did not know was there.



My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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Very well said, Kurt. Like you, I've walked that walk as well once upon a time. My father is a retired United Methodist minister and his faith was pushed down my throat five times a week. Wednesday night Bible study, Thursday night choir practice, Friday night youth group meetings and worship service twice on Sunday. But that was his public life, not his private, and his failure to practice what he preached when at home drove me far away from his brand of religion. There are those that feel all warm and fuzzy within Christianity and that's wonderful for them. Yet, it wasn't something that I ever searched for. It was something I needed to escape from.

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