Philosophy means “love of wisdom.”
It is the bedrock of existence.
There is a quiet center within that knows fear need not be the driver of our decisions.
'Every failure to cope with a life situation must be laid, in the end, to a restriction of consciousness. Wars and temper tantrums are the makeshifts of ignorance; regrets are illuminations come too late.'
Wisdom means not to be blinded by belief in false evidence. Falling in love with that, consistently, that’s a wonderfully enriching endeavor.
Why should we value philosophy? Not Buddhist philosophy or Greek philosophy. But our own - why should we value our own life philosophy? And what exactly is a life philosophy? Do we teach it in schools. do our parents teach it to us? Who taught it to them? What is emotionally wise?
These ae the kind of questions that seem pretty elemental to embracing life fully.
In order to navigate through the complex world we live in, we must have the right relationship with wisdom.
Philosophy literally means 'lover of wisdom."
When we are in love with a child or with ourselves or with another, we are happy. And with love comes wisdom. Love is the flower, wisdom its perfume.
It is absolutely essential to what we do as human beings.
When we are in love with wisdom, when we come to be wise our consciousness is neither restricted nor deceived.
To see clearly and to embrace clear priorities - means to be engaged with what is ascendant in the human being..
This is a passage (with some commentary) from the Boston Transcript cited in The Gospel of Emerson, edited by Newton Dillaway, a book that was printed and published in the 1930s and 40s:
"Mr Dillaway sees the primacy of the spiritual not through a glass darkly."
To be authentically happy, to be inspired - inspired means to be in spirit.
'not through a glass darkly' is looking at what shines out of us head on. Wisdom and love are what shine. What make us shine as beings.
Not living a life wherein there are these diminishing returns on this happy balance within. But, rather, becoming consistently more and more situated in it.
"Emerson, he says, knew the real reason for the decline of the church, the state, art, letters, life, in modern times.
He did not look for the surface causes, but plumbed to the heart of things, seeing that the loss of this primary faith in what is in you and me is the real cause of the decline of Western civilization. That he sought to re-establish a primary faith in the Supreme Spirit that is in every man."
"How strange a blunderer is man in the plain face of all this. Here is the gift of infinitude within him, and he pushes it away from the center of his life.
He prefers with low mean choice, to put the pleasures of the flesh..., in the center;
or the acquisition of things by centralising the strife of shrewdness and cunning that makes him subhuman;
or he becomes immersed in the intellectual and aesthetic professional duties until these crowd out completely the spirit and its nurture from its rightful center.
And so one may multiply lopsided people.
In the center one sees the thing which ought to be on the perimeter, and out on the rim of the personality, almost sloughed off, that which is spiritual."
To be spiritual is to be emotionally wise, intelligent to one's implicit inner nature.
Fear builds walls, takes offence, fields defence, justifies enmity and upset.
To be guilty is a recipe for pain. Sexuality is an aspect of our nature. It is a healthy part of life, so while there is wisdom in what Mr Newton observes...we are generations on now. And we can embrace the best of what the likes of Emerson found growthful.
There is a certain capacity in those that see clearly.A rectifying quality. Makes sense that such individuals, people like you and I, just normal people living their lives,can fall in love with wisdom. The task of philosophy. To love wisdom. Wisdom cannot condemn.
It can understanding the value of gratitude. When married with imagination....the sky is no longer the limit. Such slants of perception can rebirth the world.
As a species we are traveling out to other planets. We are embracing the solar system and beyond that even. Science will take us there and beyond.
Which is amazing if you think about it. Just as the telephone is and the jets that broke the Mach 1 and then Mach 2 and 3....and on up...are.. to the moon...
Putting philosophy first delivers us into this investigation into what it means to be on this planet. What our roles are. As custodians of nature. Of this spaceship planet.
Where war and conflict in general causes unnecessary suffering.
War costs too much.
That's a simple insight of our species. War is tense. War is the outcome of tension. War is the breakdown, the disconnect from a vantage point of wisdom. It seemssuited -a sane move to create a vibration wherein we are not deceived, where we prioritize wisdom. Focused self understanding and self awareness. That is what yields happy productive individuals.
You are the world.
In your world.
So recognizing the value of your inner philosophy - seems key to plumbing the depths of yourself.
And the framework of our inner world creates the outer. So then the philosophy of our perception is key to the kind of life we have and the kind of world we manifest.
sutranovum is two words
sutra - pregnant phrase rich in meaning
novum - new
an organization dedicated to lovers of wisdom.
"Here among the mountains, the pinions of though should be strong, and one should see the errors of men from a calmer height of love and wisdom. What is the message that is given me to communicate next Sunday? Religion in the mind is not credulity, and in the practice is not form. It is a life. It is the order and soundness of a man. It is not something else to be got. to be added, but is a new life of those faculties you have. It is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, to be humble."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson genuinely sees to the core of the value of philosophy, of loving wisdom...
in the line:
"A man contains all that is needed to his government within himself...The purpose of this life seems to be to acquaint a man with himself. "
"Let us hear this new thing. It is very old. It the old revelation of the wonderful congruities of the moral law of human nature. Let me enumerate a law of the remarkable properties of that nature. A man contains all that is needful to his government within himself. The purpose of life seems to be to acquaint a man with himself. He is made a law unto himself. All real good or evil that can befall him must be from himself. He is not to live to the future as described to him, but to live the real future by living to the real present. The highest revelation is that God is in every man."
Life brings questions.
You have the answers within you.
That is sort of the essence of philosophy.
That we have free will.
And to be wise is to use ones resources imaginatively.
To go beyond our conflict zones takes emotional intelligence.
It takes being able to see the application of gratitude for untold wonders.
When we pause, become attentive conflict resolution makes sense.
The stories we print matter.
But if we don't value ourselves wisely - we lack the vigilance it takes to see how focusing on the positive is a highly prized skill.
And like any skill it can be practiced.
But it does demand seeing things in the right perspective.
From the vantage point of wisdom.
Chadwick's Talk on Thymus or Thyme
"The herb today is Thymus. Thymus serpyllum is what you would call the common wild thyme. It is perennial; it is governed by the sun...It is a perennial; it is governed by the sun...I'll describe the performance of the plant after talking about it...It is a revivifier of the spirit.The Greek word, thymos, which is what the thymus is derived from, crossing the threshold into the invisible world. If you take the plant sage, which gives us the word sagacity, here you've got a comprehensive plant related to thymus. They compliment each other. Now - sage, sagacity, wisdom - continues with man throughout life into old age. Thymus is the beyond. It always is the uplifting of the world and the light and the heat of the sun. It was always used as incense in Greece and embalmment in Egypt.
It grows as an alpine plant, as a rock plant, and it grows on undulating down, if not exceptionally good drainage, except not like bogland. It's an adorer of the sun, and as you know is very stalky, with little tiny leaves and little tiny flowers, and has this relationship to the marriage of the sun for warmth and blankets created by that marriage. The fragrance is out of this world, not in its, and its use is serenity. It grows then in alpine rocks, in very shallow soil, in turf amongst other plants, and is perfectly happy, is very low growing. It grows then in alpine areas over rocks, in very shallow soil, in turf amongst other plants, and is perfectly happy, is very low growing. There are several varieties of it, which we will talk a little about. But it is a very low-growing plant at all times and likes to grow in and for other plants. It is social. It can't bear to be topped, neither does it appreciate what you call a lot of water. And other than that, it grows anywhere from the African border of the Mediterranean up into Iceland, where it grows extremely well., and into Scandinavia and all of those mountain regions."
From Chatwin's Talk on Thymus or Thyme
From There is a Garden in the Mind by Paul A. Lee
The following excerpt is not from the book, per se, but from an online commentary meant to accompany the book.
"II was inspired by a sermon with that title by my teacher, Paul Tillich: “The Salvation of Nature”. He made reference to the then newly formed science of survival and the endangerment of just about everything–the end of nature and the end of us. It was the late ’50s, when scientists announced the formation of such a group, as if science could get us out of the fix, although even they must have had doubts about any recovery given the responsibility science has for the predicament. It must have confirmed for Tillich his description of “the late stage of the self-destruction of industrial society”, a phrase I learned from him that became, for me, a kind of negative mantra, a fancy way of referring to an obsessive preoccupation–the fate of the social order I had to call my own. Tillich makes clear that the scientists didn't mean the survival of humans, or the survival of endangered species, or the oceans, or the forests, or the air–they meant the survival of the earth as we know it, our planet, largely ruled, as it is, by industrial society. It meant the fall of a very large order–bigger than the Roman Empire."
Tillich mentions how the first time things turned sour, in the Biblical myth of the flood, God regretted–the word used is “repented”– what had come to pass with creation and caused a flood to wipe out almost everything; now, this time, we are doing it to ourselves. It is the Flood the second time around with ourselves to blame. Tillich was the only one I knew who used the phrase–”the late stage of the self-destruction of industrial society”–our society–what he called “the world above the given world of nature”, long before the science of survival was proposed or environmental awareness had taken on anything like a national character, after the Earth Day event in 1970.
His formulation stuck in my mind. As a world above the given world of nature, industrial society is a sub-world, a reduced world, where science and technology are in charge as agents of self-destruction, under the ideological sway of Physicalism,the opponent of Vitalism. Physicalism is the reduction of everything to physical and chemical properties; Vitalism argues for the integrity of organic nature against the reduction. Physicalism defeated Vitalism in the early 19th century and now Vitalism has re-appeared in the environmental movement and a host of allied movements, what could be called a Neo-Vitalist revolution. The struggle has been re-enjoined even though Physicalists, or most scientists, having enjoyed a century and more of victorious rule, are reluctant to admit it. They see themselves as servants of industrial society devoted to its continuation, no matter what the cost. Universities are where these servants of industrial society are trained.
This is a bleak view. No wonder that instead of destined to direct history we think it our fate to suffer it.
Of Emerson, Newton Dellway wrote:
"With the coming of this oracle, the young man rose into the Creative Consciousness and began to speak as a Prophet. He was henceforth to serve as a vehicle of insight for molding a gospel of the New World.
And God liveth The word unto the prophet spoken was writ on tablet yet, unbroken, Still floats upon the morning wind, Still whispers to the willing mind."
A gospel is a book of beliefs.
Emerson "did not look for surface causes but plumbed to the heart of things, seeing that the loss if this primary faith in what is in you and me is the real cause of the decline of Western civilization. Thus he sought to re-establish a primary faith in the Supreme Spirit that is in every man."
The realization that we all of us carry around a book of beliefs in our unconscious reminds us to pay careful attention what is our inner 'prophet spoken,"
The root meaning of prophet is this: from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + root of phanai "to speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say." In English, meaning "prophetic writer of the Old Testament" is from late 14c. Non-religious sense is from 1848.
Essentially it means to to speak things in from before.
Philosophy of perception - is basically owning that we, all of us, are speaking things into form, what stories and narratives we are telling ourselves day in and day out.
How we act, how we think, how we feel, how we interact, how we look on one another.
What we choose to demonstrate to our children. To ourselves.
Joseph Campbell, the comparative mythologist he had high hopes for humanity - he wrote:
“Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end… The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth—that is the world as we know it that must pass away. What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in ourenemies, in all of us.”
― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor
It is clear when we approach life with a certain sensitivity for the different narratives, the ones that make up the mores of a society, of farming and planning our daily lives, living as individuals within families and communities around the world then we can recognize the roles we play and prescribe new manners and roles to ourselves. When we demystify prophecy it means to recognize the significance of our preconceptions as that constitutes owning what the bounds of what our imagination and courage decree. Surely wisdom would see humanity flourishing, the earth being taken care of wise, attention to the dissolution of fear and the flowering of sensitivity.
Maybe you have a child. Maybe you love your child and you see their happiness as paramount. Maybe you have more than one child. And everyday your children go to school and have a test you say:
Whatever you get in your test you will always be ten out of ten to me. That kind of loving really sees the greatness in your child. What's greater than ten out ten?
Children grow up to men and women.
And if those children are loved in that way. holistically, wholeheartedly...they grow up to be great people.
“Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it.”
Maybe it's only a terror if we let fear rule our heart, our minds, our lives.
There are two things going on in our lives.
Our inner life.
Our personal and professional lives; our outer life - the body is born, grows up, lives, has relationships with others and with nature and modernity.
There is an inner journey and an outer one.
And wisdom to be found in how we frame each.
We can choose to perceive more harmony, less fighting over superficial symbols, more mature use of resources, more trusting economies. That seems most sensible as individuals and as a species.
There are banks in Southern India that are made of a bundle of 24 families or more or less. And they have known each other for centuries. And someone wants to go to college or put on a wedding, or pay for a funeral, or fix a kitchen....whatever it is everyone pays in and when you have a genuine need you ask and it is managed by all the families in the community. It's an economy based on trust. That was a product of a pre-industrial age. And those things still can be found in India. But, by and large, the corporate culture has taken over - all over the planet.
But the trust and strength of the bonds in a community like that are quite enriching to contemplate. How we might learn from different cultures the strengths and mores that bind us as communities, as business communities, as harmonious participators in living on planet earth.
So there is this sense of family lives, working lives, and our lives related to nature, as custodians and as philosophers of how to use the resources of the land and the sea and the air.
And how to honor it and each other. As husbands and wives, as children, as adults, as individuals, as friends, as relatives, as city and town dwellers, as nationals and as humans.
And there seems to be some sense, some correlation between inner contentment and outer balance.
Alan Chadwick who was a key figure in the birth of the organic farming movement in California in the 60s and 70s onwards, said in an interview in a garden once that "Nature adores man."
There is good reason to embrace vitalism, this sense that life is invested with spirit. Not just a mechanical superficial reading of any given story.
For in each human being, there is a growth toward connection, and ultimately, transcendance.
And the narratives, inside and out, that we adhere to, will shape our stories and our present and our future.
So it makes sense to have an inner disposition expressly focused on philosophy and emotional intelligence. Because philosophy - love of wisdom - helps us to read between the lines of experience. And emotional wisdom means that we make manifest fulfilled lives and we live in harmony on the earth. And learn to become expert weavers of stories, hopeful stories, visionary stores. Stories that celebrate the greening of the earth and the beauty and the joy of living.
the genius and goodness, the levity, the high spirits in your self, in all of nature,
There are tribes in Africa that prescribe uplifting stories for depressed spirits. Go wander in the forest and hear the dawn birds. See someone else's baby smile at you. See the sun rise. Raise a family. Go live in the woods. Whatever your life story may be. It makes abundant sense to focus on those stories that can envision and enact a renaissance.
Alan Chadwick on the herb Thyme - Thymus:
"It is enormously disliked by mites. All insects, literally birds. butterflies, bees have an adoration of this plant and the working of it. It has total effect upon atmosphere where you root it, where you know areas where it grows, the charm of sitting amongst it and the atmosphere it creates."
Thymus means spirited. What kind of atmospherecould our most prudent and happy and conscientious and spontaneous selves...our most fearless selves, create if given half the chance?
That is the question that is at the heart of any good philosophy And the measure of how enriched and sophisticated and elevated our company is boils down to our disposition. And how we are disposed to be is a measure of refinement.
And that is the meditation of culture. Our inner culture, our outer culture.
What we have the courage to envision matters.
Different space inside
Different space outside.
And we have free will to imagine in more blessed outcomes.
That is the world we may wish to experience from the foundation of gratitude.
These last two lines sum up our philosophy.
The reach of these things is far and wide. And deep.