Yes, we pursue knowledge, but not simply for its own sake. Our aim when we are learning and loving knowledge needs to be acting in accordance with the truth we have discovered – wisdom being knowledge, rightly applied.
When our knowledge is transformed into action, it becomes virtue, and virtue was the goal of education.
Or, as James puts it,
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
She proves that virtue – right acting – needs to be the end we are pursuing when we educate children (and also ourselves), and demonstrates this is the classical notion about what education is for.
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Simple Sanity Saver: Scholé
Scholé, or leisure, is the mode and mood of festival, of celebration.
Pieper, in Leisure, the Basis of Culture, uses the word leisure, but only after he clarifies that leisure and scholé are the same thing. They are synonyms – the same concept coming from different roots. So any of the quotes below could be read with the word scholé instead of leisure and the meaning would be the same.
Leisure is the condition of considering things in a celebratory spirit.
Scholé is more than a practice, it is also a mindset, an orientation toward the world that is looking at its nature in itself rather than
looking at it for its utility or possibility.
The leisure of man includes within itself a celebratory, approving, lingering gaze of the inner eye on the reality of creation.
Thought: Must modern man refuse leisure because he has refused the entire concept of creation. Nothing is created, all is chance, therefore, why dwell on it approvingly?
Leisure is not the attitude of one who intervenes but of one who opens himself; not of one who seizes but who lets go, who lets himself go.
Letting ourselves go here does not mean losing self-control, as we often use the phrase, but rather it is self-forgetfulness. It is not imposing ourself on the world or on the book, but rather immersing ourselves in the world or the book to the degree that we forget time and our own concerns.
And then this dovetails with this quote from The Liberal Arts Tradition about the direction and emphasis of our schools & homeschools:
Classical education seeks rather to build a robust poetic and moral education before it moves to analysis or critique.
If we want a truly grounded, traditionally classical education, we begin with wonder and awe, with copious time out of doors and music and dancing and innumerable stories – not with chants full of random facts or cotton balls glued on construction paper. And even as our children grow and “age out” of the free play stage, still they need space and time and movement and fresh air to allow the connections to form in their minds.
And so do we.