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Does Philosophy Help You When You Lose Your Balance Of Mind?

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by silentlistener, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. silentlistener

    silentlistener Silver IL'ite

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    Knowledge of philosophy is exciting to listen and learn. It's very interesting to discuss philosophy with somebody else. A convincing piece of knowledge in philosophy once learnt, makes us feel fulfilled at the intellectual level.

    But at the moment when one loses their balance of mind in a overwhelming way , is this knowledge of philosophy really helpful in getting you back to your balance of mind ?

    Would like to listen to real life experiences....
     
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  2. silentlistener

    silentlistener Silver IL'ite

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    @GeetaKashyap

    Thanks for the like. But I am surprised you left without passing any remarks.

    I am sure there must have been occasions in your life when you lost your balance of mind overwhelmingly.

    I am also sure, you must have knowledge of some philosophy which you may be really admiring.

    the question is.... was that piece of philosophical knowledge which you admire and believe in..... was it useful to you during the time of your acute mental stress ?
     
    GeetaKashyap likes this.
  3. jskls

    jskls Finest Post Winner

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    SilentListener though you have addressed this to Geetha just sharing my views.

    It depends on one’s maturity and understanding of life at the time of crisis. In tamil there’s a saying Aettu suraikkai karikku uthavaathu meaning book knowledge doesn’t help. If one is exposed to philosophical knowledge but haven’t experienced personal stress their advice to someone who’s going through could be different. If one doesn’t have any knowledge but just have to endure stressful life with one after another at some point they would have gained philosophical knowledge by experience. Having knowledge and understanding of life along with matured insight will be a blessing in time of mental distress and I am not sure how many would be blessed like that. Not sure if I am sharing anything relevant just thought of sharing what I felt.
     
  4. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    @silentlistener,
    :grinning: I began typing but then abandoned as I had to go out. Had I not philosophised my attitude and approach, I couldn't have survived till date. Leaning on to a philosophical approach acts as a crutch and helps regain balance easily. I have challenged my son to show me any situation and I can come up with a suitable philosophy, attitude or a lesson to be learned from it. :tongueout:

    I have not read much of scriptures to quote eloquently.
    'Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani'
    This verse is from the Bhagawad Gita, where Arjuna was not willing to fight the Epic war of Mahabhaarat and Krishna explains to him to perform his duties.
    Meaning,
    You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. - Bhagavad Gita, Chapter II, Verse 47

    Earlier I used to get very upset when I wouldn't get results matching my efforts and there was a constant 'why me?' mindset. Now I ask 'why not me?', shrug and carry on when adverse things happen. I do get upset momentarily but I bounce back. I am able to avoid extreme reactions, at least most of the times.:rolleyes:

    Many day to day instances have taught me very strong lessons and having an attitude of gratitude has also helped me appreciate and cherish life's little mercies.
     
  5. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    I have got great admiration for philosophers and their teachings. I love Bhagavatgita and have appreciated the essence.

    But in practical life, may of the teachings are raw and cannot be used at all. We should have a practical wisdom as to which teaching we should follow and which one not to follow. To know the distinction between the two is the practical wisdom.Any amount of philosophical knowledge will not be of any use if you are not'street smart'.
    'sathyam vadha, Dharmam chara' is philosophy. But to understand what satyam is or Dharmam is 'under the existing circumstance is the life skill. There are many many such episodes in mahabharath.What Krishna did ,looked adharmic against general codes of conduct.But according to Him, if the intention behind any adharmic act is good, that adharma will be deemed as dharma.

    Google auntie will dump on us lakhs of philosophical
    quotes and lessons.

    Definitely the materials initially inspire us for a while.But definitely they cannot motivate us to the extent of facing crisis.

    Considering the huge presence of philosophical advices, by now there would have been lot of refinements and improvements in the general behaviour of people stated to have been inspired by those philosophical teachings.

    In the contrary,confidence has been shattered,suicide trends have increased,many rapes, acid throws and atrocities have surged resulting in grave crimes and murders.
    Sadly,the philosophical studies and behaviour patterns do not seem to integrate.

    There is a Tamil proverb” kattik koduththa saadhamum, sollik koduththa vaarththaiyum eththanai naalukku varum”( How long can the packed lunch and imparted advice last?)My mother used to say this soon after advising us.No amount of quotes, proverbs and lectures on Vedantha can help, if people do not decide to change of their own.


    “ I am self propelled,fuelled from within.I appreciate people’s opinions,but I am not attached to them.I learnt long ago that if I give them the power to feed me,I also give them power to starve me”.

    This quote is ever green in my mind.
    Philosophy can teach the what of it and why of it. But the 'how of it' which is the most precious thing in solving problems has to be learnt by us by our own experience.


    Jayasala 42
     
  6. silentlistener

    silentlistener Silver IL'ite

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  7. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    I saw the thread yesterday. Some instant response thoughts came to mind. But, first we'd need a definition of philosophy for the purpose of this thread. It can mean many things. So, OP, what definition did you have in mind?
     
  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @silentlistener

    Theoretical philosophy is like fundamental science and practical philosophy is like applied science. How good is high-level right living principles, if one doesn't apply in day-to-day life? Life is always filled with pleasure and pain and no one lives a pleasure only life or pain only life. The combination of pleasure and pain may vary. Philosophy becomes essential for not celebrating excessively when we face pleasure and not to get into depression when we face pain. In fact, when rightly applied, philosophy is very helpful to come out of stressful situations.

    5 years into our marriage, my wife and I were devastated with a bad news. We both thought there was no meaning in our lives anymore. We both prayed for an answer. When I got an answer, I shared it with my wife and she readily agreed to that solution. It is 35 years since we were married and our lives couldn't be any happier because of that decision.

    Because of philosophical nature of mine, I barely fight with anyone. I inherited our parents' property last year after my mother passed away and my brother was occupying the house for 8 years and hence had a strangulating influence in the decision to sell the property. I was struggling between fighting for my rights and remaining calm in a difficult situation. While communicating my rights, I was very balanced but at the same time I was praying for a solution quickly. Withing 3 days, a buyer known to my friend decided to buy the property and agreed to obtain the necessary approvals himself so that we don't have to struggle. God willing, this property will be registered in favor of this buyer within 30-60 days from now.

    I enjoy singing bhajans every week as it helps me to feel calm in my mind. When there is a special event, I always felt the need to sing a bhajan as my negative emotions thought not getting an opportunity is a rejection. 10 years back, in an important occasion, I didn't get to sing a bhajan and I felt very rejected and was in tears. The next day, when the decorations were removed (Nirmalyam), I was asked to come and sing a few bhajans. I learned a lesson that singing with devotion is to the Lord and not for the fellow devotees. Stranger are the ways of the Lord to blunt the ego.

    Viswa
     
  9. silentlistener

    silentlistener Silver IL'ite

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    A quote, from great book like bhagwat Geeta or from a saintly person. For example the following is from bhagavad Gita:

    "We did not bring anything to this world, neither are we going to take anything. We came to this world empty handed. We have made everything over here, be it relations, money, love or respect. We cannot take anything with us when we die. Everything would be left over here.".

    you read and understand the above qiote....after a few days you encounter a big loss in your personal life. When you recollect the above quote , does it give you a real solace?

    That is the point
     
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  10. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    OK. Going by your response, the quote you cited, and other responses in thread looks like we are thinking of "philosophy" as guidance for life, not many of the alternate definitions, such as found here.

    Good question and good thread topic. My short answer:

    If we go by the five stages of grief -- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance -- then, philosophy steps in around the beginning of the "acceptance" stage. Philosophy also stays as the solace and courage provider beyond the acceptance stage whenever the loss's memory presents itself, or when the hazy memory of the loss temporarily re-surges with more clarity than comfortable. After having made peace with the loss, if we are suddenly reminded of it, like we see others having what we lost, then, again, the mind goes through some grief processing, and ends with renewed acceptance with the help of philosophy.

    So, right after a major loss occurs philosophy might not help much. We will in fact dismiss it and find it annoying when sympathizers present "helpful" philosophies. Our reaction to loss when it happens or when it is still fresh, depends on how strong we are mentally, how much life has taught and hardened/strengthened us till then.

    Ha ha, short answer is becoming long. I will stop. But, since most have given their favorite quote, mine is:
    If we all put our troubles in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

    This works for most losses, though not tragedies like losing a child, spouse when young, house to fire, serious illness, etc.
     

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