The Unreality of Life

As I sit another day in my office, feeling strangely detached from the world — a feeling that I seem to have more often these days — a verse from the book of Jacob comes to mind. Jacob wrote:

I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days.

Perhaps it is the sometimes abstract and disconnected nature of the work that I do. Perhaps it is in part because I’m a little bit sick lately, and didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Whatever the cause, today has so far passed away like as it were unto me a dream.

Which probably means that I need to stop blogging and get some work done. Wake up, Kaimi, and back to work!

3 comments for “The Unreality of Life

  1. I think we’ve all had these feelings at times. Thanks for the glimpse into your day.

    But at the risk of thread-jacking, I’m quite curious about something here. I know a number of attorneys, both in and out of the church. I respect most of them greatly. I’m impressed with their powerful intellectual gifts. I admire their work ethic. I sometimes toy with the idea of studying law myself.

    But, like any profession, I wonder about fulfillment. Kaimi mentions the abstract, disconnected nature of the work. How many attorneys truly love what they do? Is the percentage more or less than the rate for professionals in general? I don’t know, but I pulled this excerpt from a Christian Science Monitor article on lawyers leaving the profession:

    “A recent survey by the New York Law Journal found that more than 40 percent of associates at large New York law firms do not intend to remain lawyers for their entire careers. A 1997 report by the Boston Bar Association said a “significant cross-section of lawyers” were dissatisfied with their professional lives. And as early as 1992, a survey by California Lawyer magazine revealed that 70 percent of California lawyers would not choose the career again.â€?

    Much of the practice of law, especially corporate law, seems derivative in nature—you’re not working on the front lines, you’re indirectly involved in the creation of value. Does that ever bother any of you? Or am I simply off base with my assumptions?

  2. I think we’ve all felt that detached feeling, but for me it is more often a secret something whispering “You’re a stranger here.”

    Tolkien talked about something like this as “Chestertonian Fantasy,” the sort of realization that struck Dickens one day as he noticed the word moor-eeffoc, which is “coffee-room” written on the window, seen from the inside of the glass. It struck Dickens at that moment how odd the ordinary is when seen from a new vantage. Chesterton picked up the anecdote to describe the kind of feeling you relate, and Tolkien adopted it from him.

  3. I feel that way now and then, and I am still only a law student.

    Spending 10 plus hours a day on anything highly conceptual and abstract will induce a certain stupor. I find short walks outdoors help me get my bearings again. A few deep breaths of fresh air can do wonders.

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