The gardener and the philosopher: two more approaches to the purpose quest
This is a continuation from Matthew’s post on exploring and mountaineering as two types of quest on the purpose journey.
There are another two types of approach in this quest: the gardener who nurtures and the philosopher who challenges.
We are all, at varying times, explorers, mountaineers, gardeners and philosophers depending on where we are in our lives. Seeking (the explorer) and climbing (the mountaineer), are parts of the process, as are tending (the gardener) and questioning (the philosopher).
Is primarily nurturing or tending their immediate environment
May travel to seek new ideas, but they bring these ideas (like seeds) home and cultivate them
Tries to build on what they already have, rather than seeking something else
Takes time to nurture their abilities, projects or inventions (and perhaps those of others)
May have to weather many seasons before they see results
The gardener fears adverse weather (that a harsh frost might prevent seeds taking root)
J K Rowling is a gardener
Challenges existing ideas and reexamines old patterns of thought
Seeks deeper understanding and wisdom
Wants to live in accordance with their principles (but must first establish their own principles)
Seeks answers to existential questions (Why are we here?, What is life all about?)
Fears living on false pretences - and so challenges existing assumptions
Anyone who has ever wondered what life is all about is a philosopher in this sense
“I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.”