This is why it’s so important to make a distinction between the enlightenment philosophers of Europe and the enlightenment of people like Gautama Buddha.
(I should double check the exact details, but to the best of my recollection:) Noam Chomsky talked about philosophers during the enlightenment era in France bringing in a layperson off the street and beating a dog in front of her and laughing at the woman’s apprehension because of her poor understanding of ‘nature.’ European enlightenment can allow for despicable hypocrisy on the part of the philosopher who can say it’s okay to do this to others since the universe is all mechanics anyway, but would never allow such things to occur to himself.
Within Indian sects such as the Jains, you get something very different. Someone within these sects might make the statement that the material world is not important, but they internalize this notion and become one with this level of consciousness. The perspective includes themselves and they are not separated from such things like the European philosophers were. That’s why some Jains are even willing to let themselves die of starvation. Many of the European philosophers would have used arguments about how it’s fine to let others die of starvation since all things are mechanical anyway, but would also say and do anything to avoid the same fate for themselves.
(Note: I clarified an ambiguity: I implied before that Jains see the world as “nothing.” Jains believe there was always “something” inherently, but that the material world is not of great importance.)
Interestingly enough, god must have read my blog post from yesterday. I didn’t make a magical overnight transformation of character, but I did finally come to accept the issues in my life. They didn’t go away but I definitely felt more at peace with them today than before.
Today, I also was introduced to the philosophical idea of absurdism. It was then that I realized that I live an absurd life. For those who read this post that have also read kirkegaard’s fear and trembling, I am a knight of infinite resignation who longs to be a knight of faith. My plea to god yesterday to live a life through love was more like a wish to be transcendent and have a better understanding of life, the universe, and meaning.
Philosophy is great but it’s just ideas and thoughts. I want to feel the higher power of the universe move…
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