12 March 2013

What I've Learned So Far*

1. Take out the supernatural shit, and the bogus body "alchemy", and Taoism has some profound things to say about the fact that everything is in a constant state of flux. A wise person learns how best to surf that flux.

2. Take out the supernatural shit, and Buddhism has some profound things to say about the nature of reality, such as the "self" is not fixed and permanent, that suffering is due to the clash between our desires and what actually occurs, and that learning to accept what actually occurs lessens suffering.

3. The ethical branch of Stoicism has some profound things to say about learning the difference between what an individual can and cannot control in life, taking responsibility for the former and accepting the latter. In a sense, it is about dignity and integrity.

4. Without letting oneself get too bogged down in metaphysical meanderings, one can learn something from Existentialism, too. Namely, existence is inherently meaningless, and an individual is responsible for creating meaning within his life. Furthermore, happiness is a by-product of the pursuit of meaning. When one tries to pursue happiness directly, he usually fails.

5. Living in a time of unprecedented access to information, with resources on the internet, and relatively inexpensive books being published, a Postmodern approach to philosophy and ethics works best. My personal philosophy may be a pastiche of thought systems, but I've worked consciously to cull the best and shape it toward a useful approach to life.

*These are my lessons for myself, and not intended as as lessons for anyone else.

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