Sensing Descartes…

philosophyposters5 - JPEG

Yet Monty Python said that he: “…was a drunken old fart”  Still, he had a lot of good ideas & is considered the father of modern philosophy.

So, do you completely trust your senses & the information they relay to you every single moment of your waking life?  Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.  Tell me any of your experiences when your senses have deceived you.

An Ancient Allegory About Enlightenment…

Over 2000 years ago, Plato described reality in terms of an Allegory.  He was keenly aware of how much of what we Believe is simply illusions we Choose to accept.  This wonderful animation perfectly presents his Allegory Of The Cave.

Are there any other Allegories or Parables that have helped you understand life?  If so, I want to hear about them.  Tell me what stories inspired you to look at the world differently.

Here’s a Choice: Read This!

jean-paul-sartre-1947 - 1000x1000px JPEGJean-Paul Sartre… the great novelist, playwright, philosopher & existentialist. Perhaps the most influential thinker of the 20th century.  His philosophical ideas changed the way we think of the world & changed the way philosophy is undertaken. One of my favourite non-philosophical quotes from him is this:

“If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I am still waiting, it’s all been to seduce  women basically.”

I love that.  He says he wasn’t really interested in changing the world with his ideas – he simply wanted to seduce women.  You have to love the French.

Yet in all seriousness, his ideas have changed how we look at the world.  One of the fundamental ideas of his philosophy is The Constraint Of Freedom.  He explains this idea masterfully in his greatest work: Being & Nothingness.  The idea is simply this: that we as human beings have been given free will to Choose anything we please – except for one thing.  We have no Choice but to Choose.  Let me illustrate this idea for you.

Imagine you are walking along a path and you come to a fork in the road.  You have before you four choices.  You can either go left, go right, return the way you came or stop moving altogether.  No matter what you do, you are forced to Choose something.  Even if you Choose to do nothing (to stop moving), you are still making a Choice!

Sartre summed up his idea of Individual Freedom like this: “Freedom is what you do with what has been done to you.”  Basically, the world throws situations at you and every moment you have to Choose how you are going to react to each situation.  In essence, you have no Choice but to Choose.

Constrained by our own freedom.

It seems like an obvious thing at face value.  But it has a profound effect on how an Individual sees the world when we are consciously thinking of our Constraint of Freedom.

What sort of Choices do you make & how do you deal with what life throws at you?  Choose to leave me a comment below & let’s all start having an amazing discussion on this topic.

If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jeanpaul_sartre.html#3hIzeJFufs4pDWwk.99
If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jeanpaul_sartre.html#3hIzeJFufs4pDWwk.99
If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jeanpaul_sartre.html#3hIzeJFufs4pDWwk.99

The Will To Power…

1 Nietzsche, Friedrich - Portrait, 1860 - GIF

“To be comprehended: That every kind of decay and sickness has continually
helped to form overall value judgments;
that decadence has actually gained
predominance in the value judgments
that have become accepted; that we not
only have to fight against the
consequences of all present misery of
degeneration, but that all previous
decadence is still residual, i. e.,
survives. Such a total aberration of
mankind from its basic instincts, such a
total decadence of value judgments–that is the question mark par
excellence, the real riddle that the
animal “man” poses for the
philosopher.”

From The Will To Power

Friedrich Nietzsche

It is a rather interesting occurrence that I find myself a Nietzschian Nihilist. After all, Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for proclaiming that “God is dead.” He was always quick to point out the problems he had with spirituality. Yet I find, as someone who is a deeply spiritual person, that his atheist and anti-spiritualist philosophy adds a great depth to my own mysticism. Is this a paradox? Or a misunderstanding of Nietzschian philosophy on my part? Perhaps…

Yet, if we put aside this difference in philosophy, there is much to learn from the 19th century’s most misunderstood philosopher. The two central themes of his philosophy are The Will To Power & the idea of the Übermensche (usually translated as “Superman” or “Overman”). Through the Will to Power, Individuals can push themselves above the mediocrity of the normal human existence & live a life of greatness – a life better connected to nature & the universe that surrounds us all. This better life of greater connectedness is what Nietzsche termed the Übermensche.

There is a great selection of Nietzsche’s works on the internet. One place to start is The Internet Archive which houses the Internet’s greatest collection of free media in the hopes of offering “Universal access to all knowledge.” It’s a great resource for any type of research you might undertake. And if you have your own Will to Power, you might use it to help you in becoming an Übermensche!

Leave me a comment below & let me know your thoughts on this topic – or any other that happens to be on your mind.