Life Philosophy

Favorite quotations, etc.
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Tom Young
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:38 pm
Location: MidWest, Florida

Life Philosophy

Post by Tom Young » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:23 pm

As I grow older (now 83), more time to look back on the bits and pieces of philosophy that have formed my own outlook on life. No single item or event, but one of the most compelling times in the past, was when we lived in Concord MA, near Walden Pond. Naturally this led to reading Thoreau's "On Walden Pond". A study of living simply, and a key part of "Transcendentalism". This led to more study of this mid 1850's philosophy.... furthered by reading and researching the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson , (members of the original study group.)
It's hard to describe but cuts to the core of personal perception of people and events. In a way, the ability to step back and look at people and what is happening... from afar. To realize that what is said or done, is not a measure of the person or the societal reaction that appears on first look, but a peek behind the curtain.

We all have some parts of our make up that come from our journey through life. What we are is a product of what we've seen, read, or experienced. Most of the time, people talk about their life philosophy by describing it in a few words. That said, have you ever considered why you do what you do, think what you think, get angry, miserable, sad, or live a generally happy life?

I confess that until the past 5 or years... no thought of the "whys". Now, looking back to understand, has led to an inner peace that wasn't there in the long term past.

As an aside.... I feel that I can understand the speed of our politics, environmental pressures, technology, and even the psychology of younger persons. It is very comforting.

Your thoughts on the subject? :)

daylen
Posts: 1048
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by daylen » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:09 pm

Tom Young wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:23 pm
That said, have you ever considered why you do what you do, think what you think..
Constantly. My inner experience is like an onion where the outside layers are being pealed off.

One of the more prominent dichotomies in my mind is the subject-object differentiation that seems to be what people call "agency". Agents subject their bias to objects, and sometimes objects build alternative representations of the subject. A new subject emerges and the old subject becomes an object in a set to choose from. Life is becoming.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 4953
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:52 pm

I try to think about thinking, but mostly I just keep searching for novel inputs to sort through.

chenda
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by chenda » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:24 am

I saw this interesting interview yesterday on a minimalist channel: https://youtu.be/h8u4clhDHvQ Last 10 minutes covers the key points.

I'm not sure I'll buy the book but I think he has some useful ideas.

Augustus
Posts: 878
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by Augustus » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:32 am

Tom Young wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:23 pm
I think my entire life was shaped by my reading of the hobbit and the lord of the rings when I was around 8 years old, I vividly remember saving up to buy the entire book set and placing an order in a mail away catalog. Another transformative time was reading Walden and Civil Disobedience in my teens. My philosophy is basically an amalgam of good books, the majority of them are good fiction. It's funny that fiction can hold more truth about life than nonfiction. I basically aspire to be a little bit of a hobbit, a little bit of a wizard, and little bit of a dwarf. It's probably the reason that I feel like an alien or an outsider while watching/interacting with others, my childhood was mostly spent alone reading a mix of adventure books and interesting nonfiction, I have a common ground with the authors of these books, but not people in society in general.

This quote stuck with me for a long time:
If the engine whistles, let it whistle till it is hoarse for its pains. If the bell rings, why should we run? We will consider what kind of music they are like. Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through Church and State, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d’appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely, or perhaps a gauge, not a Nilometer, but a Realometer, that future ages might know how deep a freshet of shams and appearances had gathered from time to time.

classical_Liberal
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:07 am

This whole train of thought reminds me of a line from Dickens' Great Expectations
“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”
I try to analyze why I am (or why others are) the way I am too often. Sometimes it's better to accept the present and move on.

daylen
Posts: 1048
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:39 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:07 am
I try to analyze why I am (or why others are) the way I am too often. Sometimes it's better to accept the present and move on.
For me, there does not seem to be an "off button". There is always some kind of thinking going on in the background; unless I am doing something very intense that requires full attention. These sub-processes are usually trying to understand how things are as opposed to why things are. Why questions output dogma and how questions output curious observation.

ellarose24
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:44 am

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by ellarose24 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:05 pm

I read so many fantasy books as a child. When I was older, I studied medieval literature. Something that always comes back to me about these books (Augstus, you will remember this from Lord of the Rings--Tolkien was also a student of medieval literature) were the feasts. Usually after some momentous occasion, some struggle, or in the middle of searching--there were feasts. They always spell out the food so descriptively. There is something good about being hungry, cold, scared--and coming back to basic comforts like warmth and food. I don't know why that's always stuck with me. My favorite part about hiking is the burger and beer I get after a 6-8 hour hike. Being able to put yourself in situations where you remember the absolute luxury of simple comforts is a necessity for me. It makes the world more novel and helps quiet any existential dread.

Tolstoy was another author I fell involve with--he glimpses at the same thing. There is no more real meaning to life than to come home to warm food, a comfortable bed, and people that love you. And that to me is profound.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 4953
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Life Philosophy

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:20 pm

@ellarose:

+1- Well put.

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