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Introduction to Eastern Philosophy. Asking the Right Questions. Philosophy is so interesting precisely because it is not about the right answers, but about the right questions. The Love of Wisdom.

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Asking the right questions
Asking the Right Questions

  • Philosophy is so interesting precisely because it is not about the right answers, but about the right questions.


The love of wisdom
The Love of Wisdom

  • Philosophy literally means “the love of wisdom.” I define wisdom as knowledge that is transformational, the original meaning of the Greek word gnosis.


The great questions
The Great Questions

  • You study philosophy so that you can explore some of the great questions of life. Perhaps the first philosophical question is to ask yourself why there is anything at all? Instead of nothing, why is there something called a universe, a cosmos?


More questions
More Questions

  • Next, you might ask: What does it mean to be a human being, to have life? Do we serve any purpose in this great scheme of things? Is there any meaning to life?


Socrates
Socrates

  • Socrates said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” What does it mean to live an examined life?


Twoness in nature
Twoness in Nature

  • When we can see and accept the twoness in nature, then rather than duality, we can have polarity.


The indestructible question
The Indestructible Question

  • When philosophy becomes the search for meaning, it is facilitating the indestructible question.


A worldview
A Worldview

  • Wise people from around the world state that it is necessary to have a philosophy of life, a worldview. In fact, we already have one and it dictates how we live and the choices we make. The study of philosophy is to help encourage us to make this philosophy conscious.


A world in crisis

Any college educated person needs to be aware of the issues facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

A World in Crisis


Pure awareness
Pure Awareness facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • Just pure awareness is pure openness.


What the oracle said
What the Oracle Said facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • The oracle in ancient Greece at Delphi said: “Know thyself!”


Movement outward and movement inward
Movement Outward and Movement Inward facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • Amazingly enough, there can be a movement outward and a movement inward, both at the same time.


The path of philosophy kyoto japan
“The Path of Philosophy” facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction. Kyoto, Japan

  • The sacred is that which allows us to bear these two movements within us.


Soren kierkegaard 1813 1855
Soren Kierkegaard facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction. 1813-1855

  • The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard wrote: “life was not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.”


Seek wisdom
Seek Wisdom facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • Philosophy asks us to seek wisdom right there in the midst of the contradiction of all our fears and yearnings.


Religion or philosophy
Religion or Philosophy? facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • Religion and philosophy have been separated in the Western world, but they are more united in the Eastern world.


Both the yin and the yang
Both the Yin and the Yang facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • A great symbol of this reconciling force is the Tao, which contains both the yin and the yang together at once. Could this be sacred?


Integral philosophy
Integral Philosophy facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • An integral approach understands the necessity of combining East and West in one’s view of the world. We live in what is called the global economy, a global village. We have access for the first time to the wisdom of the whole world.


The need for critical thinking
The Need for Critical Thinking facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • Openness is necessary, but so is a critical mind. “You want to open your mind, but not so far that your brains fall out”! A critical mind is not a mind that needs to judge and ridicule, but it is a mind that ask questions and looks for fallacies.


The axial age
The Axial Age facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • What is this “Axial Age?” It is a virtual explosion of mental and cultural consciousness, infinitely richer and more sophisticated than any of its predecessors.


The sacred
The Sacred facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • All people who are originally interested in religious and philosophical thought are concerned with the nature of ultimate reality. But they call it by different names such as Brahman, Tao, Ground of Being, the Ultimate, the Holy. In the Western world we most often use the word God.


“God” facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • When the word “God” is used to define ultimate reality it often has a personal taste to it. That is God is seen as a Cosmic Person-a divine being with will and intelligence who is just and compassionate and infinite in virtues. Some eastern philosophy considers God personal and some impersonal.


The impersonal god
The Impersonal God facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • The impersonal God is the recognition that God is beyond all ordinary definition. The infinite cannot be understood by the finite mind. God is said to be pure spirit, not definable in words.


An integral approach
An Integral Approach facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • An integral approach will embrace it all and seek to understand it as a vast and amazing drama, a mystery drama, the mystery of mysteries.


Something else is going on
Something Else is Going On facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • “The other broad answer…is that something else is going on: behind the happenstance drama is a deeper or higher or wider pattern, or order, or intelligence.”


A different question
A Different Question facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • “Who created the world” is a different question than “How did the world begin?”


Lack of understanding
Lack of Understanding facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • If you don’t understand the immune system, then how do you explain why some people get sick and some do not during an epidemic?


No turning back
No Turning Back facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • Once people started to look for laws that even the gods had to obey, there was no turning back, try as so many would.


A belief
A Belief facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • Philosophy begins with a belief that the world is intelligible.


Origins of philosophy
Origins of Philosophy facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • “The story of philosophy is the story of human reflection on life. The two principal sources of philosophy are curiosity about self and the world and a desire to overcome all kinds of suffering” (John Koller).


Ultimate questions
Ultimate Questions facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • “Ultimate, universal questions were being asked, and answers were being sought from a new quarter - the human mind’s critical analysis of material phenomena.”


Natural elements
Natural Elements facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • The significant thing was that it was no longer the gods that were being spoken of but natural elements.


An intelligible whole
An Intelligible Whole facing our world and our country. And to face this crisis students need an integral wisdom, a wisdom that is universal and inclusive. Hopefully this class will be one step in the right direction.

  • The early philosophers “held that the universe is an intelligible whole. In other words, they presumed that a single order underlies the chaos of our perceptions and, furthermore, that we are able to comprehend that order.”


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