A Message to Discerning Students

Through my years of working one-on-one with students with diverse life experiences and from over 15 countries, I’ve learned that what people need—if they want to make meaningful progress—is a sparring partner.

They need someone to help them to think about how they think; to serve as a mirror to their words (which are no less than the audible manifestation of a person’s thoughts), and then to offer the gentlest of retorts and queries, all the while reinforcing their agency and the potential for clearer seeing.

They need a clear-headed and honest interlocutor who can help them to learn more about who they are; not as the ultimate bearer and dictator of the knowledge of their nature, but as one who has found him or herself and now wishes for his friend to feel the joy which comes from such a realisation.

This also, that people need to be challenged optimally. They need an encouraging voice—someone who wishes to know them, and who wishes them well.

They need to be taught kindness, by way of kindness. And this applies to their outward actions as much as to their inner thoughts regarding themselves. There can be no way found without the soft rhythm of a kind heart.

They need to be instructed in the ways toward Wisdom, no matter how imperfectly they may walk these ways. And note that there are “ways” to Wisdom, for while Wisdom is one thing, it is nevertheless situated as if at the peak of a mountain to which one may traverse the lower regions from any direction—with varying degrees of difficulty and distance—and still yet arrive at the peak.

They need to be slowed down at times, and sped up at others. Therefore, they need someone to see their pace and to discern with them the necessary adjustments. 

They need to be listened to and heard. They need to become listeners and hearers. In this way, they must speak, and they must listen.

They need to learn to pursue Alignment, understood as the coming together of one’s highest and most noble aspirations with one’s actions and lived experience. 

I help people to walk the path toward deeper self-knowledge, and I’m a friend to them as they step into the fullness of who they are and who they could be.

I’m tired of superficial talk, small thinking, and revisionary philosophy. I believe that true philosophy heals people, truly. If you’re inclined to believe this, too, then I hope to work with you soon.

Simon J. E. Drew

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Simon J. E. Drew

POET | MUSICIAN | PHILOSOPHER​

Simon is an Australian poet, musician and philosopher now based in Orange County, California. He is widely known as a populariser of the Stoic school of philosophy, though toward the beginning of 2020, Simon was led to explore his artistic and mystical nature. What ensued is captured most beautifully in the co-founding of The Walled Garden Philosophical Society, and even more so within the works featured in The Sanctuary Grove.

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A Message to Discerning Students

Through my years of working one-on-one with students with diverse life experiences and from over 15 countries, I’ve learned that what people need—if they want to make meaningful progress—is a sparring partner. They need someone to help them to think about how they think; to serve as a mirror to their words (which are no less than […]

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