I think the work behind this blog is “a search for wisdom”. But not exactly the way we usually understand wisdom.
Hereafter, I try to explain better what I mean by “a search for wisdom”…
I say “try to explain”, because I am never completely sure about why I do the things I do. I feel a strong determination, I do them, and then I try to understand why!
So, hi, I am Lénaïc!
I am a kind of researcher-explorer. I am French, introverted, and hypersensitive. I value a lot freedom, creativity, and altruism.
I like topics around simple living: permaculture, nature, craftsmanship, autonomy, philosophy, the mysteries of life… But simple living does not feel completely accurate, as I am actually curious about almost anything.
Searching for wisdom may be a more appropriate expression to describe my work, as we will see.
When I was a child, I wanted to be a biologist. I was really amazed by nature, plants, and cells.
As a teenager, I was good at philosophy at school, although I was not reading carefully the philosopher’s books we were asked to study. I think it is precisely because I was not reading those books that I was good: I was forcing myself to draw the answers from inside me, instead of looking for them outside. But at that time, I was still understanding philosophy as a kind of intellectual exercise.
Then, I studied agronomy in Paris. My preferred course was compared agriculture, where we learned about a range of farming practices and cultures throughout the world and History. While still studying, I started blogging during an internship in Kenya in 2007, about Kenyan culture (in French). After graduation, I did a gap year. I was a bit lost, basically looking for meaning in my life!
Eventually, I worked as an engineer for a few years at a French research institute. I co-led a study to assess how to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from French agriculture. During that time, I studied my personality (INFJ, according to Carl Jung’s work on personality types), and realized I was hypersensitive. This realization helped me a lot to feel happier. Around 2013, I rigorously explored my sensitivity, to try to tame it (or for it to tame me?). This led me to self-publish a book on sensitivity and happiness (in French).
Then, I did a Ph.D. in Montpellier on agroecology. There was still this dream of being a researcher… During that period, I practiced Vipassana meditation regularly, and I did a few retreats (in French). It uncovered a strong interest in the mysteries of life and I started to blog about spirituality (in French).
Interestingly, over this period, I gradually experienced life differently. As if, more and more clearly, I was realizing that, essentially, I am you. It is a bit weird to say it — probably even weirder to read it! But, as it profoundly changed the way I experience life and death, I guess it is worth mentioning. It is then that I first wrote English posts, for instance, this one about love, that explains better what I mean about feeling that I am you!
After becoming a doctor, I concluded that the kind of research I was attracted to was not practiced anymore in mainstream academic science. I like to remember what Ph.D. means: Doctor of Philosophy. With philosophy meaning ‘love of wisdom’ in Greek. This comes from times when being a researcher, a philosopher, really meant looking for wisdom, trying to understand who we are and how the Universe works. Science, craftsmanship, art, mysticism were studied and practiced as a unit, not separately. Because they are so intertwined and because they all bring some answers.
Think of Leonardo Da Vinci, observing the movement of water for hours while diving into advanced painting techniques; Isaac Newton, inventing calculus while immersing himself in alchemy experiments; Nikola Tesla, studying — or even feeling — electricity while publishing patent after patent, etc. I feel like these researchers were really Doctors of Philosophy, really looking for wisdom as a whole.
I would say, “a search for wisdom”
Thus, the philosophy I am talking about, this wisdom, is not an intellectual exercise as we may usually think nowadays. It is an empirical exercise. Understanding through experiment.
When I practiced Vipassana meditation, I learned that, in Buddhism, wisdom is called paññā. Paññā clearly refers to empirical knowledge, in the Pali language, as opposed to intellectual knowledge. It is really about experiencing reality, by observing our own sensations. I think that experiments of all sorts can lead to paññā, wisdom, when they are done out of sheer curiosity, mindfulness.
So, when I say that, behind my work, there is a search for wisdom, I mean a search for understanding life, as deeply as possible.
I don’t mean reaching an intellectual understanding of life. I mean reaching an empirical understanding of life. Through exploring, observing, whichever topic, in the present, with mindfulness. All topics are connected, all are expressions of the “ultimate reality”.
In other words, as far as I understand, wisdom may be more about the way we observe things, rather than the knowledge we infer after observing these things.
So, here, I share some of my elegant experiments, on many topics, as a way to explore life, understand life, search for wisdom, deeper and deeper…
(Re)discover my work
Over the years, I have immersed myself in many topics that I call my research projects.
At the moment, I’m building a wood frame tiny house. Before, in Taiwan, I was designing and making bamboo objects. Since I was little, I have been experimenting with vegetables from my garden. And now, I like to ferment them. Then, I venture into the meanders of our digestive tract. And when that’s not enough to solve my health issues, I try energetic medicine. Sometimes I even write about love!
Here’s a whole universe to explore and re-explore following your desires!