Failures and breakthroughs – exposed, reflected, considered

Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Category

awake or asleep

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Heraclitus wrote:

Men are as forgetful and heedless
in their waking moments
of what is going on around them
as they are during their sleep.
Fools, although they hear,
are like deaf;
to them the adage applies
that whenever they are present
they are absent.
One should not act or speak
as if he were asleep.
The waking have one world in common;
sleepers have each a private world of his own.
Whatever we see when awake is death,
when asleep, dreams.
 
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Written by Hayk

October 21, 2011 at 6:37 am

awake and alive

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Wakefulness is the way to life.
The fool sleeps as if he were already dead,
but the master is awake and he lives forever.
He watches. He is clear.
How happy he is! For he sees that wakefulness is life.
How happy he is, following the path of the awakened.
With great perseverance he meditates, seeking freedom and happiness.
  
from the Dhammapada of Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha)

Written by Hayk

October 17, 2011 at 7:43 am

10 reasons why socrates is still relevant today

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Leaders in Europe and America have to take out dusty books of philosophy and check why Socrates and his ideas are still valid today:

  1. They’ve Never Been Rendered Obsolete
  2. He Taught Us to Question Everything
  3. He Taught Us That Life is Worthless Without Happiness
  4. He Taught Us to Ask if There’s Such a Thing as a Just War
  5. He Advocated True Freedom of Speech
  6. He Invented Philosophical Ethics
  7. He Was a Champion of Human Virtue
  8. He Warned Us of the Follies of Materialism
  9. He Taught Us the Value of Civil Disobedience
  10. He Taught Us to Stand Up For What We Believe

Written by Hayk

October 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

are you a hero?

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Brave bystanders lift a burning car and save a man trapped beneath.

Flight passenger leaps onto a burning man to prevent him from detonating explosives.

As the train arrives, a 50-year-old man jumps on subway tracks to save a youth.

These men/women were ordinary people who decided in an instant to do something heroic.

Dr. Zimbardo thinks everyone can be a hero.

Hero:

  • chooses not to watch-and-wait in face of crisis.
  • puts compassion into action by helping someone in need.
  • decides to speak against injustice, instead of assuming someone else will.
  • supports the causes that matter to him/her, without expecting rewards.

Written by Hayk

October 10, 2011 at 9:10 am

Posted in philosophy, society

Tagged with , ,

freedom according to camus, adler, gandhi, buddhism and modernity

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Since Protagoras’ famous “man is the measure of all things,” declaring human freedom as an unlimited absolute, philosophers have been fascinated with the idea of freedom.

Philosopher/scholar Adler categorized freedom as:

  1. self-realization
  2. acquired state of mind
  3. self-determination: to determine — not necessarily carry-out — wishes/actions in life

Gandhi thought, “freedom isn’t worth having if it doesn’t connote freedom to err.”

Hindu/Buddhist freedom is embedded in moksha; to Chuang Tzu freedom meant “free yourself from the world.”

In modern China/world, freedom is “fusion of personal, national, social, civic, and moral freedoms” or “liberation, self-development, independent personality/responsibility, democracy/human-rights, spiritual-cultural necessity, privacy, autonomy/self-mastery.

Written by Hayk

October 5, 2011 at 6:51 am

fame and fortune (chapter 44 of tao te ching – translated by ursula le guin)

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Which is nearer,
name or self?
Which is dearer,
self or wealth?
Which gives more pain,
loss or gain?
 
All you grasp will be thrown away.
All you hoard will be utterly lost.
 
Contentment keeps disgrace away.
Restraint keeps you out of danger
so you can go on for a long, long time.

Written by Hayk

September 29, 2011 at 6:51 am

dim brightness (chapter 7 of tao te ching – translated by ursula le guin)

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Heaven will last,
earth will endure.
How can they last long?
They don’t exist for themselves
and so can go on and on.
 
So wise souls
leaving self behind
move forward,
and setting self aside
stay centered.
Why let the self go?
To keep what the soul needs.
 

Written by Hayk

September 20, 2011 at 7:01 am