Igniting Cognition
Published in

Igniting Cognition

Bring Back The Study

Create a place to foster personal growth, education, and ideation.

Gone are the days of the old-fashioned study. The in-home sanctuary where one could escape to read and learn and contemplate is essentially that of a long-forgotten culture. In its stead, we’ve seen the rise of the so-called “man-cave” — a replacement made for the modern era.

A man-cave (or the feminine alternative known as a she-shed) is an understandably desirable room to have in our current times. It’s a place filled with distractions that can range from large TVs and Lazy-Boy recliners to billiard tables and video games. While these rooms may vary in content, they’re typically places where one might indulge in hobbies, entertainment, and relaxation.

A study could function as a home office, but it was also a private place where a person could focus on meditation and development. Many centuries ago, it was known as a “closet” or “cabinet” and filled with books, works of art, a desk, or a place to sit.

Saint Jerome in His Study, 1514, by Albrecht Dürer
Saint Jerome in His Study, 1514, by Albrecht Dürer

Traditionally performed in the study were practices of education and self-growth. These practices included reading, writing, ideation, and artistry. It was a constructive environment offering an opportunity for reflection and quiet contemplation.

Upon discovery and development came new reasons for discussion. Gathering with friends and colleagues to mull over concepts and possibilities might prompt debate on related topics. In turn, it could lead to new ideas and cultivate more profound levels of understanding.

Outside of a formal setting, few come together in person for this in our modern time. Comparably, the internet of today offers digital venues like Reddit for group discourse from afar.

We live in an age where information is easily accessible, yet few people seem to enjoy learning anything more than is professionally or academically required of them. They reject even a mere suggestion of reading a book; else, they inquire whether a cinematic version exists.

Depression resides in record numbers, and distractions boom from every angle. Many cling to these distractions to escape the weight of reality — only to lose their sense of self unknowingly.

Perhaps it’s time to start finding ourselves again.

I believe it’s possible that by embracing our ability to read and learn independently, we can discover new ways to enrich our lives. We can reduce, even if just a little, the weight of what troubles us. What better way to do this than by bringing back the study?

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