Blogging is difficult when you become aware of how much you really don’t know

The old cliché “the more you learn the less you know” has never been truer than it is for me right now. It’s been 8 months since my last article (that almost sounded like the beginning of a Catholic confession) and the reason I haven’t written anything is due to a profound sense of how little I really know. The more I learn the more I realize how vast and complex life really is. My whole life I’ve studied theology, philosophy, history and now psychology and the deeper I go the less I feel qualified to say anything about anything. And it doesn’t stop at me, I even find myself cringing when I listen to so-called professionals in the psychology field talk about anything to do with the human psyche – even worse when I have to observe them doing therapy.

It’s sort of the reverse problem that someone like Nietzsche had. Nietzsche said that he had to write in order to get all the thoughts out of his head, as if they were crowding his mind to the point of pain. Not me. Now every time I discover something profound it seems to be so interconnected with everything else in life that in order to say anything at all about it requires either an endless game of connecting dots or willingly leaving out infinitely more than I’m including.

I’ve been a fulltime therapist (psychotherapist) now for about 7 months and the problem has only become worse. I thought I knew a lot about the human psyche and the basic human condition from my studies and life experiences. Then I went to work in a psychiatric hospital doing therapy on both acute and residential units and holy moly… I’m embarrassed of how little I really knew about human beings, illnesses of the soul, and what it takes to remedy them.

I write this short article to touch base with some of my old readers in the hopes that maybe they are still around. I’m hoping to write more again in the near future, maybe even picking up the pace to where it was before I took my sudden leave of absence from this blog almost 8 months ago. My life has been filled with so many new thoughts and experiences – and not just as a therapist but as a father, a husband, and a Christian – so quickly that I fear to write about any of it at the risk of bastardizing them. It feels like I’m still processing a lot of it but there are signs that bits and pieces are ready to surface.

Anyway, hope to hear from my old readers and hopefully new ones in the future. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

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11 thoughts on “Blogging is difficult when you become aware of how much you really don’t know

  1. When we had our first child I stopped blogging for almost a year. As the preacher says in Ecclesiaste 3:1 – “To everything there is a season.” No one’s forcing you to blog, and when the inspiration comes back to you, I’ll be waiting (that’s one of the good things with internet: you can subscribe to blogs!).

  2. Everyone looses a bit of their mo jo from time to time. In this context, usually its when a change is happening in their thinking. And usually that is a build up for a burst of a new awakening!

  3. Well I for one would love to hear more about your experience as a psychoanalyst in relationship to your faith. I say that with genuine interest. I am currently moving through an MA in Written Communications, a field of rhetoric, and constantly find places where my ontological and epistemic assumptions are challenged. I often work in two different modes: an academic communicator and an Orthodox communicator. I suppose modes is a bad way of putting it, perhaps “intended audience” is what I mean. I speak to separate communities. Anyway, hearing how another Christian has moved through a secular education, one with a foot (a toe?) in the humanities, is something of great interest.

  4. Eric, you stated that all wonderfully. I find this to be more and more true myself. Wish more people and myself could keep this kind of humility.

  5. I discovered your blog because of your comments on Zizioulas, which I found helpful, because I was and am trying to understand the difference between the ideas of individual and person. I’m also now reading a lengthy biography of Freud. I suspect that you either have or at some point will have some observations to make, however tentative, on therapy and Orthodox (as well as orthodox) Christianity.

    In more detail, some ideas about which I am curious: are there therapeutic ideas that are not reductive and simplistic? Is there an actual coherent anthropology (or are there coherent anthropologies) behind current forms of therapeutic practice? Can this or these be squared with Orthodox/orthodox Christian understandings of being human?

    I’d welcome your thoughts on these and all related ideas. And I know what you mean about every aspect of reality is interconnected with everything else. But equally, no hurry; it seems that what you are interested in may require more time than blogging often allows in the “normal” scheme of contemporary human behavior.

  6. I love this post! Great questions. You given me food for thought. Hopefully I can answer some of them in upcoming articles. I have to think on them for now.

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