The Relation of Theory and Practice

sent by: CLARKE SCOTT |

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Contemplative Life—Searching for Truth, Peace, and the Sacred.

Welcome to all the newcomers.

I had an influx of new subscribers this week. Probably because of the final (I promise) name change. Either that or I got a mention by someone, somewhere.

I changed the name again because few people have even heard the word, “numinous” before. While “contemplative” is more well-known and simple to understand what I am all about. And for me, at least, the two are closely related.

So if you are new here, and you’ve not seen it already, I have a free meditation course called, 7 Days to Deeper Meditation –

I mentioned this here because I speak about it below.

The Relation of Theory and Practice

As you may know, I have been working on a book called, Meditate or Die for some time now.

The project has taken a while to sit correctly with me. Obviously, the book is about meditation but there are many different ways in which you can write about meditation. And the direction in which I plan to tackle the topic has changed several times as a result. Indeed, I have written several outlines (some partial; some not) but none of them ever felt quite right. Intuitively, I knew, the timing, or something was off, so I just keep procrastinating and finding other things to do.

Then this week I had a breakthrough.

A good friend of mine who knows the publishing industry well suggested I look hard at coming up with a hook before we go and find an agent to shop it around. Now I do want the book to be published by a big company, that is the dream. So the plan is to first try the larger publishers, and then the b-lists, c, d, and finally self-publishing if I cannot find someone to publish it for me.

But here is the point, no matter how it is published, finding the hook, as I found out, is harder than it sounds.

The better you can make it the stronger the entire project will be, as the hook threads an entire project. But the hook is not about “hooking” anyone in but rather it is about showing how to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and in an interesting way.

All of that is to say, I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the gap between theory and practice.

Not only as this pertains to the ideas of the hook and the book, and the writing of both, but in relation to meditation practice. See I now realize I dropped the ball with those that have gone through 7 Days to Deeper Meditation.

That is, I’d spent a lot of time and energy writing the course, creating all of the pages, homework, etc., and giving it away for free, but then never followed it up with more content or the means to implement what I taught in the course. I wrote it. Let it do its thing, and then moved on to the next thing.

This did not serve the reader then; nor did it help me other than the fact that it made me sit down and write out how to develop deep meditation, which I knew I would need for the book.

The gap between the theory presented and the means to implement this in practice was not closed, and that should be the point, right? You can really practice well if you know zero theory but equally, you cannot make theory meaningful with practice. The two should be on either side of the same glove.

See below for how I plan on fixing this.

Memories, Dreams, and Reflections

Carl Jung — Memories, Dreams, and Reflections is what I have been reading this week. It is an interesting read. Insightful at times; weird at others, and utterly misinformed at yet others.

For instance:

He is even, as the dream said, the “higher presence,” an expression which properly is used only of God, unless we are dealing in Byzantinisms. I cannot help thinking here of the Buddha and his relationship to the gods. For the devout Asiatic, the Tathagata is the All-Highest, the Absolute. For that reason Hinayana Buddhism has been suspected of atheism—very wrongly so. By virtue of the power of the gods man is enabled to gain an insight into his Creator. He has even been given the power to annihilate Creation in its essential aspect, that is, man’s consciousness of the world. The idea of annihilation is already suggested by the Buddha: by means of enlightenment the Nidana chain.

Perhaps because it is all about a dream we can allow this to pass unmentioned. But probably not. I will likely return to this next week so I can have more time to think and explain my thoughts on this passage and how Jung is right but wrong at the same time.

30-Day Challenge

Inspired, that is the best way to describe my week. And as a result, I got a lot done this week. Sometimes I even surprise myself with just how much work I can get done when I am feeling inspired.

But even with all this inspiration and energy, there was not quite enough time to complete everything needed to launch the new 30-Day Challenge in this email.

But here is a little bit about it: I will be launching a 30-Day Meditation Challenge, with 30 daily guided meditations to help guide you to a deeper practice. There will also be a Masterclass and a community with weekly live Zoom calls for those that accept the challenge and have questions along the way.

I am, very excited by this, as it feels like the thing missing that can bridge the theory of deep meditation with the implementation of it.

That is my hope.

Take care,

Clarke Scott


for those that entered their emails for more in writing as a spiritual practice, I have not forgotten you. Something is coming really soon that I know will be interesting and beneficial and a lot of fun for me to share with you too.


The essay of the dream I had is all but done. I recorded the audio of it last week but then realized I did not hit the record button before starting.

I’ve never done this before but I still felt foolish for doing so. For those waiting to read it, I am sorry for making you wait so long!

Join the free newsletter and get deep personal advice straight to your inbox!

Join 10,000+ subscribers — every week I send you a short, fun, and actionable email chock-full of ideas exploring the principles, strategies, and tools of a life well lived so you can live a happier, healthier, more meaningful life.