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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.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Eastern Philosophy. Asking the Right Questions Philosophy is so interesting precisely because it is not about the right answers, but about."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Eastern Philosophy

2 Asking the Right Questions Philosophy is so interesting precisely because it is not about the right answers, but about the right questions.

3 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.

4 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?

5 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?

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

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

8 The Indestructible Question When philosophy becomes the search for meaning, it is facilitating the indestructible question.

9 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.

10 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.

11 Pure Awareness Just pure awareness is pure openness.

12 What the Oracle Said The oracle in ancient Greece at Delphi said: “Know thyself!”

13 Movement Outward and Movement Inward Amazingly enough, there can be a movement outward and a movement inward, both at the same time.

14 “The Path of Philosophy” Kyoto, Japan The sacred is that which allows us to bear these two movements within us.

15 Soren Kierkegaard 1813-1855 The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard wrote: “life was not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.”

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

17 Religion or Philosophy? Religion and philosophy have been separated in the Western world, but they are more united in the Eastern world.

18 Both the Yin and the Yang 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?

19 Integral Philosophy 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.

20 The Need for Critical Thinking 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.

21 The Axial Age 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.

22 The Sacred 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.

23 “God” 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.

24 The Impersonal God 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.

25 An Integral Approach 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.

26 Something Else is Going On “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.”

27 A Different Question “Who created the world” is a different question than “How did the world begin?”

28 Lack of Understanding 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?

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

30 A Belief Philosophy begins with a belief that the world is intelligible.

31 Origins of Philosophy “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).

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

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

34 An Intelligible Whole 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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