the Basics 1.1

There is this e-magazine I write for. The Epigram Magazine recently published its ‘Blue Issue’  and is an initiative of three brilliant teenagers. I must say that they have done an amazing job with content creation and are getting better with their work as the second wave of updates makes its way towards us.

I’ll have occasional articles on the ‘e-zine’ plus a column with my regular works. ‘Monocle’, my space, was just asked to have material on philosophy. Editor had observed that I seem to like the subject. Though ‘philosophy’ is a generic term and often misunderstood. It would be best to have a look at the definitions, available online, first.

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. [http://bit.ly/PrnPc]

Philosophy can also be defined as love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline. Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods. The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs. [http://anse.rs/9F9avn]

Shying away from words that seem heavy only adds to one’s ignorance. Understanding their meaning is essential. Especially when they speak of ‘logical reasoning’ and ‘pursuit of wisdom’. Wisdom, that helps you live a better life in a deeper sense. How does that help? We will be discussing that soon.

Happiness comes if you have the right setup. And we strive all our lives to be happy and satisfied. ‘Being satisfied with what we have’ is not a preferred viewpoint because it does seem full of limited aspirations. And that charges us lions to go that extra mile and achieve excellence. At times, even that fails to satisfy and we are left looking for more happiness by trying even harder and reaching greater heights. But is it really necessary? Why do we get confused between ‘Goals’ and ‘Means’?

We will come to religions too, later. A careful study done by one of my favorite authors Fritjof Capra throws light on how the basics of Eastern Mysticism (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Chinese Thought, Zen) are the core concepts of Quantum Mechanics. In his own words, as in the book ‘The Tao of Physics‘-

“Mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches; scientists understand its branches but not its roots. Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs both.”

Also,

“The mystics explore it through meditation. The nuclear physicists explore it through experimentation and hypothesis. It’s the universe as we understand it today, a ‘cosmic dance’ of paradoxical yet unified relationships- an organic vision brilliantly evoked by a gifted and thoughtful physicist”

I will share more from this book and others in the coming ‘the Basics’ posts. It is time we open our minds to good stuff. Philosophy is as cool as it gets. As cool as it gets. Yes, as cool as it gets.

love and peace

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