Thoughts on what a Scholar is to me

I have always believed that there was more to the scholar than learning or going to school.  It seems to me that a scholar is a specific type of person, reflecting a certain type of personality.  If a person does not have this quality then they cannot be a scholar.  I suppose that it can be learned but I’m more inclined to think that if a person reflects this quality then they had this quality in them all the time.

Some of the qualities include:

  • It entails a fascination with ‘looking within’ things.  In reality, it is not over ‘learning’ but the ‘peering into’ things.  To me, the scholar has a love not to learn but to look at whats behind things.  In other words, its the ‘act’ of peering into whats behind things that drive the ‘scholarly trait’.
  • This fascination tends to be personal.  That is to say, they do not follow a scholarly path for social reasons (such as prestige or money).  It somehow satisfies a personal need.
  • There is a continual inquiry into things. 
  • It appears to be a male trait.  I have never seen this quality reflected in a female.  I’ve seen girls that are ‘bookish’ or get good grades, but they have a whole different character.
  • They do not seek money, prestige, or any other honors, typically.  A ‘true scholar’, in my opinion, does not need these.
  • Often, there is great suffering for their scholarly ways.  It can cause great exhaustion, inner turmoil, and personal/social problems for the person with the scholarly way.
  • Their scholarly way often dominates their life.
  • A scholar is typically creating a ‘mental image’.  That is, their work seems to be to develop a philosophy, perception, awareness, theory, world view, etc.  These are all things that exist in the mind.  Seldom is it to create an object (such as a building), application of their ‘mental image’ (like applying business theories into the business world), or other ‘non-mental’ things.   

Some scholarly traits may sound similar to Asperger’s Syndrome, which may lead someone to think I’m describing an ‘Aspie’.  There are similarities, that’s true, but I don’t feel that makes a scholar an ‘Aspie’.  There are more ‘Aspies’ who don’t fit this behavior then there are that do.  Not only that, many scholars are not that Asperger-like in character.  But this is not the only tendency it resembles.

The scholarly tendency seems to have qualities similar to other tendencies, such as a craftsman, poet, or artist.  It also has qualities similar to monks, priests, shamans, and medicine men as well.  In a way, they may be various versions of the same human trait.  It almost seems like the scholar trait is just a part of a greater human quality which manifests itself in different ways, one of which is the scholarly way.  It seems to be a quality of someone who has a strong urge within them that needs to be expressed in life.  This is taken seriously and personally.  The manner of this expression dictates the trait they manifest:  artist, poet, scholar, monk, shaman, etc. 

Scholars are also not necessarily ‘book centered’ people.  In fact, I think that’s rare.  As I said above, a scholar is someone who likes the act of ‘peering into’ things.  Books are usually involved only when they help to that end.

Most of the people who go to the University, Colleges, and such are not scholars.  In fact, when I was at the University and College I would say that I saw none.  This is because these places are about social prestige and money.  They are places for people who want to ‘climb the social ladder’, so to speak.  These have become so powerful that, in a way, they have pushed the scholars away.

It seems that most of the people who have a scholarly way that I see are just everyday people doing everyday things.  Most of what they do is wasted on petty interests, like computer games, various hobbys, etc.  There was a time when the ‘scholar trait’ benefited society.  It helped society to develop and survive.  This was a very beneficial quality to have.  But, nowadays, its become almost worthless.

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