The Genuine Article

Not everyone takes their ideas seriously: thus the "moods" of science; "provocative dialectics" in the place of "precepts".  This ought imply a preponderance of poetry - except the inner life is being destroyed by the industrialisation of culture and resulting resistance to the spontaneous.
I could illustrate these trends through the type of student who is particularly wound up: aware of the power of their minds, but equally unwilling to apply their minds to fairly evaluate their surroundings. There is a disconnect between this type of student and reality, and while, on the surface, they are often storehouses of the trivia of knowledge, the knowledge becomes like a hoarder's sickness. I wish so much to say forcefully, make a mistake if you have to - to test whether where you're standing makes sense.
To be in touch with reality destroys the calculated effect. It means accepting what many women describe as their morning faces - implying that their "public" faces have little to do with what they really look like. The calculated effect is a form of disconnect from self, and I would go so far as to say that exaggerated learning is also a disconnect.
For example, did the greatest thinkers always dot their i's and cross their t's? Isn't such attention to detail the role of the bureaucrat? The entire beauty of Montaigne, for instance, is also the fact that he is choleric at times. And, as Davenport points out, writes freely even of his bodily ills. There is no disconnect in such thought.
We could say that this is an age where we despise our humanity, for being weak, for making the occasional mistake we are bound to make when being spontaneous. I was thinking about this in the early morning hours as I read Mary Beard's latest blog: what a rare academic she is, so freely admitting the sweep of the pen, so to speak, that may happen late at night, or when one writes in the sway of passion. But in admitting such flourishes, she puts them in their place, and they become the marginalia to the greater body of knowledge that she has crafted over time.
Only if we are out of touch with ourselves can "moods" be taken for "precepts". However, being in touch with oneself means being able to see one's value apart from the self-devaluation that may occur through spontaneity: sometimes, the wrong words get said, no matter how much we want to get it right.
And then, there are those students, or colleagues, who spend their whole lives submitted to getting what they say right, even if this means being artificial. It is a difficult age to be genuine, it is an age that despises risks or failure. But we have to try to be genuine, I think, because it is only in the face of the real that the fake recoils (eg). Also, there is a greater chance of being led to the essential, "The essential is what makes the soul clap hands and sing, and no counsel to get serious in the face of death stands much chance of being heard over the essential racket," as D.G. Myers writes.

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