The Glass Bead Game
Meditation and wisdom were good, and were noble things, but apparently they throve only on the margin of life. If you swam in the stream of life and struggled with its waves, your acts and suffering had nothing to do with wisdom. They came of their own accord, were fated, and had to be done and suffered.
In the postmodern life, to live actively one must decide where to put their energy, and two major targets, or extremes, exist.
One can fully commit to a life of study, intellectualism, individualism, and purity. We can call this the vita contemplativa. We will assume the desire to exist within modern society, and as such this lifestyle is necessarily dependant on support from those working and actively supporting the external hierarchy.
One can also fully commit to this life of work. Careers can be developed, capital can be gained, and a life of happiness within this realm of material consumption can be obtained. This happiness, although real in its own sense, is contingent on ignoring the questions of truth and wisdom within oneself.