IN DEFENSE OF THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE
LET ME BEGIN by confessing a certain inaptitude in the wording of my theme. The contemplative life needs no defense among those who have had some taste of it here at the university, who have gone out into the world of practical affairs and yet are willing to drop it for a while--to forgo its imperative claims and to return to the university for some brief taste of the studious or contemplative life which the university has to offer.
I am assuming, in other words, that those engaged in the actual business of the world's practical affairs know how unsatisfactory is the life of affairs, of the market place, when our eyes are turned to the grindstone and when we do not have a chance to look up to the sky or see the green fields beyond us. Indeed, at times, men of affairs overestimate the attainment of those who are supposed to be devoted to the contemplative life--in accordance with the old dictum that "the other fellow's lawn looks greener."
It is rather against my colleagues, not necessarily at this university, that I have been preaching the necessity of respect for purely theoretic studies, and in listening to me you are hearing an abstract of what the students of this university have, for good or evil, been subjected to.
To prevent misunderstanding, let me say emphatically that I do not wish in any way to minimize the importance of the____________________