We are all philosophers

Philosophy has become a dying, practical discipline and it's time we bring this back to life to help ourselves and the environment find balance and meaning.

Philosophy is about analysing our own experience, having the courage to ask why, and questioning existing structures and patterns that don’t make sense anymore. I must emphasise the word courage, because without this, there is no progress. We have become accepting of what we are told, of what happens to us and what we are given, regardless if it serves us well or not.

It is using our own ‘unique’ perspectives to come up with new ideas and ways of thinking, it’s massively creative and is at the same time therapeutic. It builds strength inside of us, it allows us to take responsibility for our own lives rather than pointing the finger at others.

Philosophy should not be contextless, it should not be asking questions for the sake of asking a question or just to pass an exam, but rather because something doesn’t seem right, needs updating or is not serving its intended purpose. It helps us understand ourselves and our lives better, it develops meaning. Philosophy is not only for the ‘educated’ and ‘wealthy’, over the years it has become something that we think needs a degree or a qualification, this is a lie.

Philosophy worships experience, practicality and then reflection, it is learn by doing, not by theory.

EXAMPLES INCLUDE

- Why do we check our phones so many times a day?
- Why do I watch so much TV?
- Why do we keep buying things and changing them so often?
- Why did I lack so much interest at school?
- Why do I need to be in this meeting?
- Why do I struggle to be around a certain person?
- Why do I drink so much coffee?

Society lives behind a veil of pacifism, pretending that life is hunky-dory and that we are not living our own adventures, our own battles. If we share our struggles and our successes, so many others can learn and build on them and find peace knowing we are not alone in this journey.

Our conversations don’t tend to go beyond the surface level, our emotional intelligence is dwindling because we lack the courage to be honest, this is what we need to bring back, honest conversation about the struggles we are facing, rather than trying to pretend that life is ‘good all the time’, and anything deviating from that is taboo.

We should be prepared to be right and wrong, but also understand these always change, new ideas, new evidence is always present, you are not always right and nor am I.

Someone who works as a gardener can often different viewpoints to someone who works as a lawyer. Someone who lives on a council estate can offer different viewpoints to someone who lives in a gated community. It is the diversity of opinion and experience that allows us to make levelled decisions. Otherwise, we will continue on this path of separation.

Neuroscience provides evidence that we don’t see ‘reality’, we see our version of events, the meaning we have attached to an objective experience. Therefore how can we expect to have a more balanced society when we don’t open our eyes to other experiences and meanings outside of what we usually encounter.

It also shows that our brains follow a train track method, so when we have experiences and make judgements of these experiences, it can be very hard to change them as they become hard wired, to protect energy for survival. You can change them by asking questions and understanding the misconceptions of the mind.

For more detail on neuroscience and how our minds really work, read a fantastic book by Beau Lotto called Deviate.

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