Unless your philosophy is practical why bother?

Philosophy is a way of life of discovering and putting to use knowledge in a practical way.

I was saddened to read an individual declare on their WordPress blog that they had given up their spiritual quest, saying there was more important things to focus on.  Reading their bio I noted this blogger was a “spiritual butterfly”, those types who flutter from one philosophy to another, living in their heads, seemingly unable to take from each philosophy a practical element to include into their own lives.

Philosophy, the spiritual quest, is a lifelong way of life.  Philosophy means a love of wisdom, and wisdom to me is practical wisdom, that is something that you can use in a practical positive way in life.  Philosophy can be hard work, it is a constant journey up the mountain, it involves questioning, change and a desire to improve like an artist improves in their craft.  Philosophy is about finding the truth as relative to that individual, and discarding error and falsehood.

Philosophy should be as natural and necessary to life as breathing, knowledge converted into practical expressions of “doing” in life.  The person who gave up on their spiritual quest lived in their head, treated their approach to philosophy as an abstracted intellectual exercise, rather than a living breathing practical approach to their life.

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7 responses to “Unless your philosophy is practical why bother?

  1. There’s a sense of loss isn’t there, when you witness someone giving up. I find that many people are really only looking for something to make themselves feel better, and some of these are the spiritual butterflies you mention.Often, people only want the feel-good slogans from a philosophy; I have a friend who talks the talk but doesn’t act on it… Others may have the best intentions, but they’re not ready to face the difficult elements. Maybe some of those people will be ready at some point later in their lives.

    • I agree, like an acorn that never made it beyond the growth of a root, which never found the source of water and nutrition to grow further. Spiritual butterflies have a spark of wakefulness, but they made the error to treat it as an intellectual exercise, they avoided getting their hands dirty by the hard work of questioning, doing and changing. It is another aspect of the instant gratification aspect of society that people think that if they do such-and-such philosophy they will be instantly transformed, all their problems resolved. Walking the path, there are many shadows to face, dragons to slay, illusions to see through; it is easier to run away from these problems into intellectualism.

  2. I feel the same thing, i’m always searching for more things to add to my philosophy, but at the same time, nothing beats living life itself and figuring out “the hard way” but for these people who give up, once something gets hard or difficult, they tend to turn away to the next thing that makes them happy, little do they know, life is hard and painful sometimes, just like a philosophy they find and like and then realize they are doing the opposite, makes em feel bad, so instead of changing themselves, they change intellectual philosophies to fit how they want to act. Not so much an exercise in bettering themselves, more of an exercise in justifying themselves.

    • Hi Freefrednice, every philosophy has something to offer, and it is good to explore a bit of all philosophies. I agree with your conclusions, it is a question of mixing philosophy with living life. I note that things will always get worse before they get better, and it is in those moments when the going gets hard that the butterflies either quit or move onto a new philosophy.

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