Essential Philosophical Questions for Life | An Essential Lesson in Uncertainty
Hello everyone…here is a journey into my labyrinth and I hope this provides you with something to contemplate.
For this letter, I’ve provided some thoughts that have been stuck in my mind this week…
I hope you enjoy them.
For my full posts, dream exploration, weird stories, and if I’m helpful in leaving you with something to contemplate…subscribe to the full letter below! (It’s $5 a month, so if I provide you with the value of a cup of coffee every month…maybe give it a whirl. It also helps me keep my lights on:))
Also, The Red Book Chapter 2 might be coming this week…however I’m considering pushing it to next week with Thanksgiving upon us. It’s a good one;)
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4 Philosophical Questions You Should Ask Yourself to Understand Life | And why they matter
We often allow ourselves to become fearful of our own thoughts, as we become afraid to be alone with them. But we must take an opportunity to be alone with our thoughts and look to understand our varied viewpoints on life; our own understanding of life.
So, these are four questions I’ve found vital for understanding the foundations of your beliefs…
Thus, they’re vital to understanding your perspectives on life.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” — Socrates
Why do you care if there’s life after death? Or not?
For this one, if you desire an afterlife, ask yourself why? And how do you operate in the world differently based on how you answer this question?
As life is always uncertain, so if there’s something else waiting for me, I won’t have regrets about not knowing about it sooner. Even if there isn’t life after death, life still has meaning itself because of the joys and tribulations that come with being alive.
The experiences we have always hold insights for us to discover.
That’s what I know.
2. What is your meaning in life? And Why?
I believe we always operate with a purpose, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. The belief structures we grew up with—they develop, cultivate, and evolve. So, we are always operating with meaning, but until we begin asking ourselves the question of, ‘what is our meaning?’ we continue operating within the structures and myths that are provided for us.
Find your meaning; find your life.
3. If God exists (imagine they do in this case), how would you define them or the concept?
I see the concept of God as directly related to our meaning-making psyche and our desire to cultivate wisdom in our life. So, God is not a concept that we should place all of these restrictions upon simply because established religions desire to dictate the argument.
Make God your own.
4. What role do you think consciousness plays in the universe?
Consciousness is who we are, and it’s how we experience the world. I think that our beliefs about the role of consciousness in our universe help us understand a foundational piece of the map we use to understand existence.
So, enjoy contemplating this one…it might be fundamental.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” — Marcus Aurelius
As the saying goes, “pictures are worth a thousand words” but sometimes questions give us thousands more.
An Essential Lesson on Uncertainty | with Jiddu Krishnamurti and Bertrand Russell
For this next section, I want to provide some quotes as a foundation…enjoy!
“If we can understand the compulsion behind our desire to dominate or to be dominated, then perhaps we can be free from the crippling effects of authority. We crave to be certain, to be right, to be successful, to know; and this desire for certainty, for permanence, builds up within ourselves the authority of personal experience, while outwardly it creates the authority of society, of the family, of religion, and so on. But merely to ignore authority, to shake off its outward symbols, is of very little significance.” — J. Krishnamurti
“We are to understand and transcend the desire for certainty, then we must have extensive awareness and insight, we must be free, not at the end, but at the beginning.” — J. Krishnamurti
“Some care is needed in using Descartes’ argument. “I think, therefore I am” says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we are quite sure of being the same person to-day as we were yesterday, and this is no doubt true in some sense. But the real Self is as hard to arrive at as the real table, and does not seem to have that absolute, convincing certainty that belongs to particular experiences.” — Bertrand Russell
We do, however, desire certainty. Oh, do we desire that pull towards certainty like a drug providing us with an escape from a harsh reality. In our view of certainty around truth, we feel secure. Any perception you hold of certainty is a false one, so if you hold certainty, you hold a false reality. And as I write these words, I feel the pull of my own uncertainty.
Are my own words lost?
There is this feeling of an unquenchable thirst for certainty. We crave the comfort that only comes with finding out what’s true, and when it feels as though nothing can be trusted or understood—the pull of chaos awaits.
So, the embrace of a life doomed to uncertainty awaits.
Yet, this embrace also feels like a blessing.
We desire those binary categories because it makes us feel safe, as it becomes something we can build upon. It becomes easier for us to tell ourselves a story if that story’s foundation is created through a binary, as your reality becomes “this or that.” These binaries bring our psyche into a sense of order by packaging our reality into neat boxes, but do we sacrifice truth in the process?
But the solidification of certainty becomes the death of any clarity.
Yet, there’s utility in the binary, but within the utility exists the dangers, and this becomes the necessary nuance within the understanding.
We live in a reality of multiplicities, so the denial of this circumstance leaves us making outlandish assumptions. And it’s within these assumptions that we allow our minds to create the shortcuts, and we use these shortcuts to avoid the dread of uncertainty, thus we allow ourselves to bypass integral nuance.
The death of nuance becomes the death of reality.
Thus, when we speak in absolutes, we’re often forced into a position of the edict; the proclamations of “you’re either with us or against us.”
However, there’s another mental shortcut we take, as we allow ourselves to become convinced that we are taking the position of “me against the world,” so we take every instance of doubt upon our position as an example of its truth.
Oh, but wait, there’s that certainty again, right?
The “free-thinker” desires the aroma of uniqueness, and their drug is snorting the perspective of their doubters, as they only need to intake one line to allow their ego to stand above their skeptics — all in the name of remaining a lion amongst the sheep. But truly, they will find themselves as the arrogant fool amongst the curious.
So yes, we desire that pull towards wisdom. But that pull towards a position of certainty comes in full swing with its mental shortcuts, allowing us to become the wisest fool amongst a crowd of fools.
What do you think?
Talk to you soon,