There was a time in my life that philosophy played a very important role. This is not so now but I can for sure say that it has helped me grow and can still does. The path of growth is not necessarily the same for each person. However, if one is willing, they can make use of everything in life for their own growth. This also includes thoughts of great men before us.
A biased mind
In this category, I look at different kinds of philosophies and try to use them for my growth. The goal is to use bits of a philosophy as an input to think different. To be specific, in every article here, I find two aspects of a philosophy that, in my own prejudiced mind, can best help someone in their life. Meanwhile, I also speak about two other points of the same philosophy with which the very same discriminatory mind of mine does not fully agree.
I talk about my biased mind again and again. It is just that, before I proceed with any article, I want to make 100% clear that the thoughts I have are biased thoughts. Of course, one may argue that all thoughts are biased. Still, I would like that the reader is aware of this and understands that in a way, this article is an opinion on how to use pieces of a particular philosophy to move forward in the journey of life.
If you find that a technique, advocated by a philosophy, makes sense, please try it. After all, if you do not try something, you do not really know if it works or not. No matter what someone may advise you, you can either believe or disbelieve him. This does not ensure that this technique, practice or advice will work for you. You can experiment with it and see if it can be of any benefit.
Values and humanity
Philosophies are full of morals and values. I would like to say that my current version of my mind does not agree with the idea of values and principles in one’s life. There was a time that I was trying to find the best values for me. I was making lists about principles I should follow. This is a useful exercise for sure. I recommend that you try it if you want. However, at this moment of my life, I understand these principles as, essentially, commandments. They now sound to me like “Do this, but do not do that”.
Living in a society with rules is already enough. Why do I need to make rules of my own as well? Can I just not sit down peacefully, without any commandment saying what I must and must not do? The last time I reviewed my “value list”, I had 20+1 (as I named that note) principles I should follow, along with a detailed description, for each bullet, on what I should and should not do. Now, this note has moved to an inactive folder in my note keeping app.
I no longer have any values I have to live by. I replaced them with my humanity. All I try to do every day, is bring my humanity to the surface. What does that mean? I try to be grateful for everything and involve the other. I put an effort to look at everything in a fresh, unprejudiced way, and not be stuck in commandments, beliefs and opinions. This is not easy, there are may times I fail, but (oh boy) it feels good when there.
Staying away from conclusions
No matter how someone feels about a philosophy, reading about something you do not agree or never heard can offer a different point of view on important aspects of life. I may no more find any benefit from reading about morals and ethics, but there are some thoughts and claims that can be intriguing and often useful to look beyond our prejudices and conclusions. Many times, philosophy can trigger our conditioned minds to view something from a different perspective.
It is best you do not believe what I or any philosophy say. It is also wise to not disbelieve either. Just see it the way it is. If it does not make any sense to you, that is fabulous. On the other hand, if you can logically comprehend it, perfect again! In any case, you can try for yourself and experience first hand whether something is true or not.
Of course, if something makes sense to you, there are more chances that you can understand it. However, not all things we do can be explained by logic. Take love for example. It is a big part in many people’s lives, but still many people cannot make sense out of it. However, because they experience love, they know it is worth looking for.
Experience is always a safe way to knowing. And experience can be beyond the five senses.
- Looking at life the way it is means looking beyond prejudices, principles and conclusions
- If you want to know if something works for you, it is not necessary to believe or disbelieve somebody. You can just try and experience it first hand
- Trying to be grateful and involving the other can enhance this life