Just a thought that entered my mind when I was reading this thread. Muslims say that Christians and Jews are similar to them, in that they are also, like Muslims, "the people of the Book." But it is not quite true. Of course we Orthodox Christians have books. We do have the Bible, we do have works of our Fathers, we do have thick volumes of proceedings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. But our ultimate authority is not any book - it is Christ.
If we just study books, we do not achieve unity with Christ. This unity is beyond rational, "contemplative" learning. Our most prominent teachers like St. Maximos the Confessor, St. Simeon New Theologian, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Paisius Velychkovs'kyy, the late Fr. John Romanides and other, have always emphasized that we become one with Christ by making adjustments in our entire life; we need to get more "book" knowledge, but we also need to learn how to pray, meditate, fast, practice charity and hospitality, in other words, do our "training" ("askesis") in all aspects of our life, gradually purufying our heart from the oppression of various passions and achieving the vision of Uncreated Light ("theoria").
While the acquizition of book knowledge is at least to some extent possible in solitude, the asketic life needs to be guided by a community, which includes your peers and your spiritual directors (priests). And, very importantly, askesis must be strengthened by the True Body and True Blood of Christ, which one receives ONLY if one is a member of a community of faith.