by John Clark Philosophy is in decline. You hear it all the time. The evidence is regularly trotted out: fewer graduates; no jobs; no prospects; a lack of interest from the culture, etc. It’s become a tedious verity. But hold on, how can that be? The oracle of the humanities cast out of public discourse, […]The Healing of Philosophy
A therapeutical approach through philosophy is not a new subject. Long forgotten, philosophy has developped into an increasing fragmentation of the subject, based on rationality and somehow quasi-scientific. Although philosophy is to be addressed to the masses, unfortunately only academics and amateurs can read it and understand it. However, that was not the case in ancient Greece.
Greek philosophers believed that philosophy (the love of wisdom) could help for a better living both on the individual and the collective levels. it was eudemonisitc (eudemonia in greek means happiness); happiness achieved through virtue and higher thinking. To say it differently, it was a rational approach to life. It taught control over passions, and ethics.
Roman philosophers were on this path too. The brilliant Seneca offered, and still do, a life coaching through his writings and advices. Letters to Lucilius is the book to read if one wants some counceling (trust me on this!).
Fast forward many centuries later, a philosophical councelling or consultancy emerged in some countries such as in Germany with Gerd Achenbach, in France with Oscar Brenifier and in USA with Lou Marinoff who defines this branch of philosophy as:
” a therapy for the sane”
Each counceling has a different method: it goes from formal logic to Socratic maieutic to Wittgenstein’s philosophical reflection and so on, always based on philosophical theories.
The benefits of the philosophical therapy are many. Most importantly, it teaches people to think logically and find their own answers. Sounds easy right? Not really. Besides, it is a shorter therapy then other forms of psychotherapy.
The ego is very important. It allows us to look after ourselves, to cover in winter, to eat when hungry, to seek shelter for safety, to interact with others. Constituted mostly from our primary instincts and from our habits and thoughts patterns, the ego is our living kit.
Anxious people are caught in their inner narrative speech: who am i? What to do? How to act? What people would think of me? What if I fail? Etc. In other words, they are caught in fear. This turns the ego into a rigid machine operating upon one’s dominant thoughts patterns and narrations. In other words, this dragon ego will prevent a person from being emotionally touched by new experiences.
This calcification of the mind leads to a calcification of life. Only the ability to be open to anything new can make us hear melodies in daily noises and annoyance. An enhancement of the mind comes from new perceptions of the very close and, paradoxically, the very far. Life is to be amazed by the wonderful: the “wonder-full”. And why not to believe in mermaids and unicorns? Ideas are not supposed to be normal but extra-ordinary.
Here are some tips that open the mind to amazement (they worked for me so I am sure it will work for you too):
- Workout, workout, workout: the power sensation over yourself alongside your body image enhance self-confidence, give energy and is an anti-ageing process, both for the mind and for the body
- Yoga: needless to point out its benefits on yourself and on humanity. The headstand, also called the King of asanas, sends a blood flow to your heart and to your brain, making you feel calm, concentrated and so happy, you would smile from your liver!
- Meditation: few minutes a day is a good start. Close your eyes and inhale and exhale slowly. Start counting backwards from 11 to 1 and when you reach 1, start from 11 all over again. 11 inhale, 11 exhale; 10 inhale, 10 exhale and so on. With time, it will change the structure of the brain!
- Walking, preferably in nature. This also brings oxygen to the soul. The impact of nature on us is magical. Pay attention to colors, shapes, sounds. If not, any good walk outside will change your life.
- Reading: shut the world outside and read a good book of your choice. It works on imagination and opens the mind.
From the latest statistics of the World Health, 74% of the world population is under stress and anxiety. I’m not sure about the number but anyway it is scary. To achieve peace within ourselves, to become amazed like children, one must take actions. Because life is worth it and because the world is wonder-full!
#philosophy #philotherapy #nietzsche #nietzschequotes
“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Who has never had a heartbreak in his life, doesn’t live! For pain and suffering are a part of life, no matter how much we try to protect ourselves and our loved ones from pain and loss and grief, they will all occur. And the healing is a long process; that been said, the memory of it will never completely fade away. Damn it! It happened to me, many times, but the last time it did, oh dear it was bad. It was the abrupt end of a 3 year love story and I was left with nothing. Dazed and confused, the world looked different to me: and it made me curse, it made me yell and it made me understand how powerful love is in taking over all of our minds and souls and bodies. And how more violent is the loss of it. Heartbreak is a violent violation, just like rape is: something so deep, so intertwined with our inner self, taken away. Nothing fair about it. And not a single question made sense. Was it so painful because love was so deep? Or was it painful because I was older and supposedly wiser, and ended up more stupid? Is there any meaning to all this anyway?
Yes there is: a heartbreak is the best reason to think outside the box to recreate the life I wanted. That eureka moment came to me when I stumbled upon this text and no one is better than Nietzsche the dynamite, to awaken and strengthen a broken hearted:
“No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Schopenhauer as Educator
Turning point in my life. So I decided to walk towards what I love to do, and learned a lot during the walking process:
”Happiness is the feeling that power increases – that resistance is being overcome.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ
A famous quote that I reformulated in a daily practice only to learn the following:
- happiness can’t be built on people but on actions/activities, for people can leave anytime taking happiness away with them
- happiness needs self-esteem which is a core confidence that can’t be taken away
- self-esteem is a will of power and it can only be built through a progressive activity that one loves
- happiness becomes a will of power, an affirmation of life
Two years later after my heart got broken, I can say I have never been in a better place in my life. As if everything fell in its place. Trust me it works. I shared those tips with people I know and now I am sharing it with you. I can’t wait for your comments…
“Pardon me, my friends, I have ventured to paint my happiness on the wall.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra