Author Topic: Don't worry, be Finnish!  (Read 1184 times)

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Offline drogulus

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2019, 06:29:09 AM »
In the ancient world philosophy as critical striving for knowledge and as a kind of behavioral therapy for attaining wisdom were usually seen as two sides of a coin. Martha Nussbaum wrote a book (mainly on the Stoics, I think), titled "The therapy of desire". For the Platonic Socrates, leading a good life is inseparable from attaining real knowledge (getting out of the cave). And this is similar for the whole Platonic tradition, neo-Platonism, including the later Christian variants. (Boethius' book is called Consolatio Philosophiae, after all...)
Depending on the school the connection will not be as tight. The good life and happiness in the somewhat detached way we nowadays mainly associate with the stoics and buddhism tended to become more important in Hellenism. For the skeptics and Epicureans these practical aspects clearly take precedence over knowledge and also for the later stoics (like Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius who after all are our main sources on stoicism, there are but fragments of the "older Stoics" like Chrysippos) they dominate. But the connection is nevertheless there. Lucretius' materialism is supposed to take away fear of death (or possibly hell/underworld) by the insight that the soul is just made of finer atoms and will perish.

    You identify philosophy with its products, I identify it with the means philosophers used to decide.
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Offline Iota

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2019, 08:29:28 AM »
...'the way out of Hell is through the centre'.

A great quote!
I find it to be generally true that freedom often lies in walking open-eyed into the heart of whatever psychological/emotional fire that troubles you. Like John Berryman said “We must travel in the direction of our fear.”
Fears seem to thrive on one not being able to face them fully, and when one does it seems completely logical that their power is reduced, or perhaps banished altogether.

I find Buddhist ideas valuable because (as I read somewhere) the human mind evolved to enable humans to survive, not to make humans happy.

Perhaps you read it in Robin Wright's Why Buddhism is True, where that notion is argued very persuasively.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Don't worry, be Finnish!
« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2019, 09:02:40 AM »
A great quote!
I find it to be generally true that freedom often lies in walking open-eyed into the heart of whatever psychological/emotional fire that troubles you. Like John Berryman said “We must travel in the direction of our fear.”
Fears seem to thrive on one not being able to face them fully, and when one does it seems completely logical that their power is reduced, or perhaps banished altogether.

Perhaps you read it in Robin Wright's Why Buddhism is True, where that notion is argued very persuasively.

Glad you liked the quote. Mentioned, in reference to Dante, in that excellent book 'The Wisdom of Insecurity' by Alan Watts. A book that I have found very helpful. He argues that emotional pain is intensified by trying to get away from it ('this shouldn't be happening to me'). Paradoxically by going towards the pain we can, to some extent, alleviate the pain ('the way out of Hell...)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

 

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