Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
on May 6, 2013
I think when it comes to philosophy, I am not interested in any books which I cannot directly apply to my life (in a practical and pragmatic way).
Therefore this was a refreshing book to read-- and also a deep insight into the thoughts of the author himself. Having studied philosophy his entire life, he has obvious questions: what does it all mean, and why am I on earth, and why do I do what I do?
I often have the same existential questions, and here are some quotes I enjoyed from the book:
1. Life is never smooth, we can never truly expect what will happen.
>> Ortega Gasset: "Life is fired at us point blank. We cannot say, Hold it! I am not ready. Wait until I have things sorted out."
2. Live in wonder and be curious
>> Socrates: "Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins with wonder."***
3. The "art of living" is an important goal in life
>> Utilize body, speech, mind to helping greater good!
4. Gaining happiness isn't obtaining material goods, but to develop your own capabilities to its fullest
>> "Man's happiness is to move higher, to develop his highest facilities, to gain knowledge of the highest things and if possible, to see God."
5. Don't aim for physical pleasures, but cultivate the mind
>> Saint thomas: "All the more perfect than sensuous pleasure as the intellect is above the senses."
6. Become self-aware
>> Catherine Roberts: "The very act of realizing one's potentialities might constitute an advance over what has gone before."
7. We are who the people we spend the most time with
>> "We are made or marred by our relations with other people."
8. Be active
We are meant to be active in life, not lethargic. Doing nothing leads to depression (we were meant to move)
9. We can always overcome
>> "No matter how weighed down and enslaved by circumstances a person may be, there always exists the possibility of self-assertion and rising above circumstances."
10. The need of freedom is part of our biology--hard wired into us
11. The limits of knowing
You cannot fully know what you are thinking, let alone what others are thinking
12. Don't try to measure everything
Scientism is trying to nerdify everything and quantify everything. Steer away from this, some things in life can't be measured.
13. Cultivate "Adaequatio"
IE: You can't have an opinion on something before you are fully educated on it. Ants can' have an intelligent discussion of the science of how microwaves work, because they are not adequately intelligent enough to do so. By spending a lifetime learning, one can achieve higher levels of "Adaequatio"
14. Worst thing is to be uneducated
>> They will have "an inadequate and impoverished view of reality"
15. Faith and reason don't necessarily contradict
>> "Faith is not in conflict with reason, nor is it a substitute for reason."
>> Buddhists: "Faith opens the eye of truth."
>> Christianity: "Open our eyes to the heart, so we can see God."
16. Thoughts on Wisdom
- Wisdom as a 'science for understanding'
- Using wisdom for the "sovereign good", not for corruption and manipulation
17. The concept of "Ockham's razor"
Don't contain any ideas or concepts that are not strictly necessary (to cut off unnecessary fat).
18. You don't need to justify your actions
Man's highest value: Claims that something is a good in itself.
19. Never stop improving
>> Plotinus : "Never stop chiseling your statue" to make yourself beautiful!
20. Practice mindfulness
Don't live our lives in auto-pilot like we usually do!
Buddhism, they call it: "satipatthana" (mindfulness)
21. Don't have opinions
>> Buddhism : "Opinion is a tumor, opinion is a sore. Overcoming opinion you become a saint"
22. No man is his own island
23. Religions should be active
"Religion without applied psychology is completely useless"
24. There is no real answer to life
>> "A solved problem is a dead problem"
25. Pursue art
>>"Art helps us to develop our higher faculties"
To sum up, highly recommend this book-- order it now!