Books I’ll never write #2: is an inner life enough of a life?

How far can you be said to have lived a life if most of it has been in your head?

Like many people I’m torn between an active life of doing stuff and a more contemplative life of reading and thinking. Likewise, authors are often advised to write what they know. Stephen King suggests otherwise, saying he’d not have written most of his books if he’d followed that advice.

To me this tension between thinking and doing, imagining and experiencing, begs the question: if you’ve got a rich and active inner life, is that enough? Does reading and thinking about interesting things offer as good or better alternative to doing things? In fact, what is the difference between doing things and thinking things?

So this is an exploration in answer to these questions. It looks at philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, literature, and tries to get to the bottom of whether an inner life is life enough.

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