Ordinarily I would steer clear of any such high falutin topic regarding one’s supposed personal philosophy of life but as such is the topic for discussion at next weeks gathering of the weekly discussion group at the Unitarian Universalist Society of the Greater Daytona Beach Area I thought that preliminary to possibly partaking in that discussion group it might behoove me to see indeed if I did actually have a relevant personal philosophy that was worth discussing and/or elaborating upon.
I don’t have a personal philosophy of life because I think that for most people such things as philosophy are entirely irrelevant to their lives for a whole host of reasons. My personal philosophy of life is based upon a rejection of philosophy and a belief that science has more relevant answers that philosophy and that psychology as both a social science and a life science gives more answers than mere philosophy could ever hope to.
The forces that most affect people, shape their personalities, and determine their lives are the unconscious forces of the unconscious mind elaborated upon by both Freud and Jung and many of the other practitioners in the field of psychoanalysis and psychology. Dreams as Freud indicated are the “royal road to the unconscious.” Becoming more aware of the blind forces of destiny that urge us on puts power into the hands of real people by giving them some measure of conscious control over those selfsame blind forces of destiny. In a very real sense one’s inner life is therefore every bit as important as one’s outer life, however as we live in a culture that values action over contemplation; introverts are often disparaged and made to think that there is something not quite right regarding their lack of connection to the outer world of people, places, and events and their assumed to be obsession with self which is really a stronger connection to that inner world of spirit and myth that indeed make up the essence of the great ruling religious myths of our era and of all eras past, present, and future.
To speak of modern day religions as being based upon myths already puts me in bad stead with a lot of people who believe that such myths as religions are based upon are literal truths as opposed to transcendental truths that have no real meaning if taken to be actual literal fundamentalist truth.
To prove the point that Western Civilization and America in particular does not value its introverts to the same extent that it values its extroverts lets look at some numbers. 90% of all Americans are introverts while 10% are introverts. Of persons having some sort of psychiatric label, i.e. diagnosis placed upon them 90% of these so stigmatized persons are introverts. These numbers say a lot in and of themselves. In the Orient things are quite different. 90% of the population of a country such as China are probably introverts with the remaining 10% being extroverts.
The man of action is the Western ideal as much as the contemplative is the Oriental ideal. Action vs. non-action. Ying vs. yang. The very idea of a vs. in anything is a conditioned Western response to the compartmentalization of the life of the psyche that in Asia has been traditionally been given free reign to encompass the All, the Absolute, the One as opposed to the duel.
The bicameral psyche of the West has become more like a dis-ease than anything else. The either/or mentality of the West is its great moral, social, and spiritual undoing. The West is the proverbial person cited in the bible who conquers the whole world only to lose his/her soul in the process. This is why the West going clear back to the ancient world has always been dependent upon the great unknown and unknowable mythical East as the sole source of its soul stuff. Christianity is the perfect example of this based upon the moral precept of loving one’s neighbor as opposed to conquering one’s neighbor. For the Romans man was a wolf to man as the famous Latin saying had it. For the modern man of the West living in his post Darwinian world the same saying applies only in translations it is put forward as the survival of the fittest which as any biologist knows is not really what evolutionary theory is all about or was ever really meant to be. Evolutionary theory is based upon the concept of differential reproductive success as being the key criterion for phenotype or genotype success within any given species.
The Western guiding principle of life being a struggle of each against all and all against each other constitutes the basis for the extinction protocol. In other words it is a species dead end if taken too seriously and not counterbalanced by the Christian ideal. The saving grace for the West is to be found in the Eastern ideal bound up with the ideal of love as having a saving and life affirming social value. Such a theoretical formulation may seem very metaphysical but indeed it is actually highly practical which is why it has within it a species survivability value that the purely Weston mode of though never had and never will have solely on its own.
Does the knowledge of this reality related to the inner world of the spirit expressed as a social value constitute a moral and/or social philosophy? I would say that indeed it does. It would therefore be my own personal philosophy if I were in need to establish it as such and attempt to take ownership of something that defies such concepts as ownership in the first place and for principled reasons. Indeed such a moral philosophy has an inner and an outer life of its own that it capable of expressing itself in a myriad of ways in situations too unique and innumerable to ever be able to be fully appreciated.
Therefore such a moral philosophy can never belong to any one person or be the product of any one mind or psyche. It is the common mass mind of humanity that expresses itself through and on behalf of everyone who ever lived or ever will live. It is the moral and social basis for the space time continuum that encompasses simultaneously the past, present, and the future. This is the Novis Ordo Seclorum that gently whispers down through the ages that which I was so you will become. It is the immutable long lost law of the Universe that is always ever present in us all reminding us quietly in the stillness of our dreams that life as we know it is not always what it seems to be.
All you have to do to hear it is learn how to listen!
Note-this piece was originally posted to Open Salon on 11-09-2014