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The Other Side forums - suitable for mature readers! _ Daily life _ Life Philosophies

Posted by: funked)out_frog Aug 31 2009, 01:51 PM

So, I was feeling a bit down for a while and Saturday night the mother and father prayed for me, anointed me with oil and were just like y'know asking God and Jesus to help guide me and lift me from despair and stuff. It was really nice just like, though Im not a Christian the stuff they were saying was transferrable. After the father was saying that it seemed like I needed to find a philosophy to live by than the one I have, that it didn't have to be faith, just yeah.

Mine don't seem to be working too well, I don't think: So I'm wondering what are your life philosophies?

Posted by: elphaba2 Aug 31 2009, 02:05 PM

Do what makes you happy. Try to be happy in what you're doing. If that's too difficult, have some REM sleep and start over.

Also, smell fresh basil as frequently as possible. A god-danged UPLIFTING type of a scent, I'll tell you.

Posted by: Mata Aug 31 2009, 02:18 PM

It's Taoism all the way baby!

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

From: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html

There are many different translations, but have a look of the Tao Te Ching. Essentially it's a philosophy of life that requires you to trust your instincts and become sensitive to the world around you, believing that you will begin to feel the Tao (which translates as 'the way'). What this means in practicality is that you end up with a relentless belief that everything is going in the right direction, or can be turned that way, even if you cannot fathom how that will happen.

The first two lines of the Tao Te Ching as I know them summarise the whole philosophy: "the Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao, the name that can be named is not the true name." This says many things, but one of them is that as soon as you truly believe that you understand the Tao, you are really only grasping at something unattainable. It is only something that you can sense, a guiding line that you know that you are following through some kind of tingle, but you could never truly explain precisely what it is or why you know it's true - if it can be spoken, then it's not the true Tao.

I think the first step to finding the Tao is by accepting that you are in the right place to begin your journey. If you know that truly this is the first step, without wishing that you were starting somewhere else, then you can look at your life and see the possibilities that are there for you. Trust your instincts to point you the right way, forgetting about desires for material wealth or unattainable goals, and you find that through tiny changes that things begin to change. It feels like coincidence, but things seem to line up, and weirdly you become lucky... Or maybe the philosophy makes you think that you are lucky. Either way, you end up feeling more content and happier.

Well, it works for me anyway!

I found the Tao before I knew what Taoism was. It turns out that I discovered something by myself that had been around for 3000 years, so that confirmed that I was probably onto something good smile.gif

Posted by: Hobbes Aug 31 2009, 04:21 PM

QUOTE (Mata @ Aug 31 2009, 03:18 PM) *
I found the Tao before I knew what Taoism was. It turns out that I discovered something by myself that had been around for 3000 years, so that confirmed that I was probably onto something good smile.gif


Show off wink.gif

It does seems like an awfully darn good mindset of positivity, though.

I don't think I have a philosopy I live by, yet, but a few years ago my step-nephew bought me a book for Christmas with several philosophical/enlightened quotes in it, which I dip into every now and again.

One that fits quite nicely with your post is: "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." Which seems to suggest to me that you can hope and dream, or ask for divine help, but giving yourself the right direction is equally wise.

How about: "To accept what you are is to be content, and there is no wealth to compare with contentment."

Or: "Don't spend so much time worrying about tomorrow that you forget about today."

Finally, I particularly like: "Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think."

Posted by: Cath Aug 31 2009, 04:37 PM

I think mine generally runs along the lines of "Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think." because I feel I'd rather have the experience of doing something than the regrets of not. But lately I've not really been able to hold by that due to surcumstance, so It more generally been of late along the times of 'Take life as it come and do the best you can with it.'

Posted by: Hobbes Aug 31 2009, 06:08 PM

QUOTE (Cath @ Aug 31 2009, 05:37 PM) *
I feel I'd rather have the experience of doing something than the regrets of not.


I spent an awful lot of my life doing the opposite: avoiding things, and then regretting I hadn't done them. The majority of my regrets are mostly about the things I DIDN'T do.

Posted by: voices_in_my_head Aug 31 2009, 06:26 PM

There's a poem hanging in my doctor's office that I always thought was a great way to look at life -

If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

-Nadine stair - 85 years old

Posted by: Yannick Aug 31 2009, 07:12 PM

Do whatever you want as long as your actions don't have a negative impact on anyone else, because by doing so, you're interfering with their right to do whatever they want. So, define happiness for yourself, and then do whatever you want to reach it. Accept that life has an end, so just do all the fun things while you have the opportunity. If that means quitting some awesome job to take the year off and travel, as long as you can finance it, so what?

It's not in my sig on this site, but it is on several others. From NOFX's The Agony of Victory:
C'mon, dance like a retard. Life's an endless party not a punch card. I don't understand some people's drive; let's just f**k and drink and be alive - not just survive.

Posted by: Daria Aug 31 2009, 07:24 PM

Happiness.
Essentially, strive to make others happy and in doing so you will be happy yourself- and you will have a network of people you know who will support you when the happy putters out now and again. It's not as specific as the karma idea. You know, that by doing good things, good things will happen to you, but it's a similar thing. The other philosophies I live by are It Can Always Be Worse and I Wouldn't Want It Any Other Way. Shit always happens, I never have enough money, I sometimes feel that the health problems I have are horribly unfair... but then I realise that I wouldn't be who I am without them and the situation could always be worse.

Posted by: Hobbes Aug 31 2009, 07:41 PM

QUOTE (Daria @ Aug 31 2009, 08:24 PM) *
Happiness.
Essentially, strive to make others happy and in doing so you will be happy yourself


I second that. Whenever I have had the misfortune to be asked, "What is the meaning of life?" (something that can never be answered satisfactorily, it seems), I always give an answer like, "Provide happiness to others," or, "Have a positive influence on others".

Posted by: I_am_the_best Aug 31 2009, 08:42 PM

I wouldn't say that I have a defined motive behind all of my actions and a particular philosophy which I actively live by. However, if I were to summarize my decision making process then I guess I'm governed by honour and shame (how pretentious does that sound...):

-Often you have to do things you don't want to do, and not do things you may want to.
-It's embarrassing to want things.
-Swallow your pride and do things for other even if it's bad for yourself.
-It doesn't matter if no one else does this, as long as you yourself are doing the right thing.

I guess it's a strange mix of selfishness and unselfishness. I'll probably mellow down when I get older and stop being a teenager rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Hobbes Aug 31 2009, 10:41 PM

I know an awful lot of people that have a self-motivating philosophy of, "It doesn't matter what people think."

At first, I thought it was some affirmation to ensure that you lived by your own standards, and didn't need other people's vaidation. But the more I hear it (especially, it seems, from Big Brother contestants), the more I realise it is actually a case of, "I'll do whatever I damn well like, and I don't care what anybody thinks, regardless of what I do or do not cause."

Frankly, I think it is an awful mantra steeped in the worst kind of selfishness. THere is nothing wrong in doing things for yourself, and only wanting acceptance from yourself. But there is EVERYTHING wrong with actively ignoring other people's feelings regarding your thoughts and actions.

Ho hum... life is life...

Posted by: Daria Aug 31 2009, 11:16 PM

QUOTE (Hobbes @ Aug 31 2009, 11:41 PM) *
"I'll do whatever I damn well like, and I don't care what anybody thinks, regardless of what I do or do not cause."


Eurgh. I know a vegan anarchist who is exactly like that. "I'm an anarchist- I don't care what anyone thinks. I don't need to follow rules."

Also, on the subject of her not shutting the f*ck up when we all asked her to, she said "I'm a loud person. I'm in a samba band- I don't care what anyone thinks, I'm loud"


*shudders*

Posted by: Yannick Aug 31 2009, 11:53 PM

See, I count 'annoying' people as 'harming' people, but realize people have to act as they please, even if they totally embarrass themselves by doing so. Honestly, if you want to go around making an ass of yourself by being really obnoxious and justifying it by "Well, I don't care what you think.", then go for it, I'll laugh at you from the sidelines. I don't really know what it's like to not care what people think. I mean, I've been in that state of mind, but it generally doesn't last any longer than what's causing it. It's good to live your life with little influence from others (like regarding popular trends, peer pressure, etc.), but you should still pay attention to other people's judgment. If you're totally fine with doing what you want at the extent of other's happiness, then no, not cool. If you're fine with being uncool (as defined by my rules), then whatever.

Izzy's Rules and the Order In Which They Ought to be Followed:
1. Do what you want, but hurt no one else (this includes the planet) while doing so (don't hit anyone, don't kill anyone, don't f*ck with anyone's head, etc.)
2. Realize others also have the right to do what they like, so as long as they aren't unknowingly harming themselves (out of control drug-abuse (which is different from WANTING to over-use), suicide threats/attempts due to impaired judgment or emotional problems (different from WANTING to just stop living, not because of any problems, just because life is meh, etc.), don't attempt to interfere. Discussing the situation with the person if it comes to the extremes to understand it from their point of view is encouraged.
3. Don't lie to yourself. Lie to others only when it's in the best interest of all involved.

Umm, and more to come if I think of them.

Ethical hedonism ftw?

Posted by: gothictheysay Sep 1 2009, 01:56 AM

Still trying to look for a "life philosophy", but the recent one to make me not panic is Everything Is Going to Be Okay No Matter What. I'm currently having trouble with whether I should change something about myself that my significant other doesn't like - or, more apropos, if I should change back to the way I was beforehand. I have a really hard time judging how much I give of myself to other people - with some people I think I'm selfish, and with others I may give too much.

Posted by: IrishGuy Sep 1 2009, 04:48 AM

QUOTE (Hobbes @ Aug 31 2009, 03:41 PM) *
QUOTE (Daria @ Aug 31 2009, 08:24 PM) *
Happiness.
Essentially, strive to make others happy and in doing so you will be happy yourself


I second that. Whenever I have had the misfortune to be asked, "What is the meaning of life?" (something that can never be answered satisfactorily, it seems), I always give an answer like, "Provide happiness to others," or, "Have a positive influence on others".


Yes.

Posted by: Mata Sep 1 2009, 12:43 PM

Another one that I like is 'lead by example'. I always try to do my best in situations and to stop myself getting lazy. Laziness is easy, but it leaves me feeling hollow rather than relaxed. It doesn't mean that I have to rush around saving the planet all the time, but small things (like picking up litter from the street and putting it into a bin) make me feel happier.

Posted by: Hobbes Sep 1 2009, 05:43 PM

QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Sep 1 2009, 02:56 AM) *
Still trying to look for a "life philosophy", but the recent one to make me not panic is Everything Is Going to Be Okay No Matter What. I'm currently having trouble with whether I should change something about myself that my significant other doesn't like - or, more apropos, if I should change back to the way I was beforehand. I have a really hard time judging how much I give of myself to other people - with some people I think I'm selfish, and with others I may give too much.


Not sure anyone should necessarily change who they are, as such, but a lack of flexibility is also problematic. Compromise and negotatiate seem to be the order of the day, methinks.

Posted by: crazymat Sep 1 2009, 06:28 PM

I like this poem
http://www.fleurdelis.com/desiderata.htm

Basically do what makes you happy and try to get along with other people. I generally try to avoid pointless arguments and see things from other peoples point of view. Also I think that it is good to be critical of self criticism - most negative thoughts are completely irrational and would seem ridiculous if somebody else said them.

Agree with Mata on laziness.

Posted by: Yannick Sep 1 2009, 08:41 PM

Haha, it's like TJ made a video for this thread.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq5R9wHCJVg&feature=sub

Posted by: Hobbes Oct 3 2009, 07:00 PM

Ludwig Wittgenstein: "I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure it's not in order to enjoy ourselves."

W.H. Auden: "We are here on earth to help others. What the others are here for, I've no idea."

^--- Both stolen from a short talk I watched on TED.com, which is slowly becoming a favourite website.

The speaker, John Lloyd, also said the following which I found immediately fascinating:

"Another thing you can't see is the grid on which we hang. This is fascinating. You probably know, some of you, that cells are continually renewed. You can see it in skin and this kind of stuff. Skin flakes off, hairs grow, nails, that kind of stuff. But every cell in your body is replaced at some point. Tastebuds, every 10 days or so. Livers and internal organs sort of take a bit longer. A spine takes several years. But at the end of seven years, not one cell in your body remains from what was there seven years ago. The question is, who, then, are we? What are we? What is this thing that we hang on, that is actually us?"

Posted by: Tarantio Oct 5 2009, 07:28 AM

For the last few years I've been loosely following the tenets of Bushido. Bit of an odd one, and to be honest I'm not too keen on the "revenge" part of it, but a lot of it is based around the enrichening of others' lives, which has been my number one goal in life for only a little longer.

I should mention, the seven tenets are Valour, Benevolence, Rectitude, Etiquette, Truth, Loyalty and Honour. I got into it by devouring one of the versions of the Hagakure cheaply available. Its a bizarre little book filled with oddities, racism and very deep wisdom (I should point out the vast difference between the latter two, by the way).

Posted by: bjgupta Nov 23 2009, 05:06 PM

Pl refer to booklet titled ‘Philosophy of life and other essays’ located at http://www.angelfire.com/ex/bjgupta/Booklet.htmfor my philosophy of life.

Regards,

(B.J. Gupta)

Posted by: Mata Nov 23 2009, 06:27 PM

Uh-huh... BJ, since you have advertised this book with the same message elsewhere on the web, could you drop by again and post a reply to confirm to me that you're interested in talking about philosophy and not a spammer?

Posted by: Yannick Nov 23 2009, 08:09 PM

I think we should start asking suspected spammers simple math questions. To confirm they're not spammers, and to uphold a certain base intelligence level on the internets. 1*2 will suffice. ..Unless we're feeling mean... then something more like "If the reciprocal of (x+y) is equal to the sum of the reciprocal of x and the reciprocal of y, find all possible numerical values of x/y."

Posted by: Mata Nov 23 2009, 10:53 PM

Well, when people register they now have to answer the question 'are you a spambot?'. This has slashed the number of spambot reigstrations. I was deleting sometimes up to 100 spambot accounts every day just to keep this place spam free - it was turning into a lot of work! It's really helped. I suspect that the weird posters lately have added their accounts by hand because there's a very low replication of their spam messages across the web, which usually means that there's a either a human at work or the software running it is incrdibly smart and will be conspiring to nuke us and replace us with robots very soon.

Posted by: Hobbes Nov 23 2009, 11:09 PM

QUOTE (Mata @ Nov 23 2009, 10:53 PM) *
there's a either a human at work or the software running it is incrdibly smart and will be conspiring to nuke us and replace us with robots very soon.


Or perhaps zombies, it would seem.

Life Philosophy for business:

"Early to bed. Early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise."

Posted by: crazymat Nov 24 2009, 09:11 AM

QUOTE (Yannick @ Nov 23 2009, 08:09 PM) *
I think we should start asking suspected spammers simple math questions. To confirm they're not spammers, and to uphold a certain base intelligence level on the internets. 1*2 will suffice. ..Unless we're feeling mean... then something more like "If the reciprocal of (x+y) is equal to the sum of the reciprocal of x and the reciprocal of y, find all possible numerical values of x/y."

As a captcha to my blog (which has now fallen into disrepair) I require commenters to enter the chemical symbol and atomic number of a randomly selected element. It filtered out moronic comments pretty well, but there are not many people who leave comments on my blog. tongue.gif

This kinda thing is pretty ineffective way of distinguishing humans and machines, but it works out ok because nobody cares enough about a site of that size to bother adapting a spambot for it.

Posted by: bjgupta Nov 24 2009, 03:18 PM

Mata,

This is to confirm that I am interested in talking about philosophy and not a spammer.

Regards,

(B.J. Gupta)

Posted by: Mata Nov 25 2009, 11:33 PM

Thanks for coming back BJ. Can you summarise the main thesis of your book? I don't know much about Hinduism and the underlying philosophies, so can you try and boil them down into a couple of paragraphs?

Posted by: bjgupta Nov 28 2009, 02:12 PM

Mata,


Following is a para on 'Philosophy of life from the booklet.

A theory is considered scientifically correct if real life observations when viewed through that theory , validate the theory rather than leaving believers of theory confused and surprised. Same is true with the philosophy.

I believe that most of what we get in life is by chance. So I don't get surprised by even and odds in my and everybody else's life.


I do not deny free will, but how much free is ' free will' ? For an average person, if you compare things within his control to the things which are beyond control , you may find that things beyond control considerably outweigh things within control. You have little control on the society and family in which you are born. No doubt there are examples of 'rags to riches' and vice versa , but these are more of exceptions than rule.


Regards,

(B.J. Gupta)


"If good can happen, even if we do bad, why bad can't happen even if we do good?"

Posted by: Hobbes Nov 28 2009, 06:06 PM

QUOTE (bjgupta @ Nov 28 2009, 02:12 PM) *
"If good can happen, even if we do bad, why bad can't happen even if we do good?"


I hear the reverse of that idea quite a lot - often as an argument as to why God cannot exist. It's usually along the lines of: "My <relative/friend> died of cancer at 25, and he never hurt anybody. How is that fair? Why would God do that to a good person?". No matter what my religious views are, that argument doesn't really cut it. But that's not the point...

I often hear similar comments that meet the other side of the idea held in your sig's quote, BJ:

"Can you believe it? The person who won £8million on the lottery hasn't had a job for years, has been sponging off the government all that time, and has a criminal record. He doesn't deserve to be win... it shouldn't be allowed!"

I do like how, as a society that uphold science more and more as the decades pass, there seems to be a spirituality that we apply to the notion of fairness. In some ways it's as though - whilst no longer implementing the idea of Heaven and Hell after death - we use our morals and ethics to guide us towards what we think we 'deserve' in life as a result of our behaviour. That, in a fair world, we receive some reward for our good conduct, and punishment for our misdemeanours. Are lottery wins, healthy children, satisfying jobs, etc. the post-religious Heaven? Is our new Hell simply the idea of getting some form of karmic comeuppance?

Posted by: bjgupta Nov 29 2009, 09:29 AM

Notion and wish that good should happen to only good ones and bad only to bad ones is root cause of envy and self pity.

Regards,


(B.J. Gupta)

Posted by: Cath Nov 29 2009, 01:22 PM

Something my mum just chucked under my nose which strikes a cord rather definatly with me....

Churchill - Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.

Posted by: Miss-Smiley Dec 1 2009, 01:30 PM

Interesting thread.

Have an optimistic approach to life. Look at the positive side to every situation even difficult ones and ones seemed as bad. This will keep you happy and get you through life. I know it's easier said then done but really does help me.

You can't please everyone so just do what you feel is right in the situation.

Don't give up easily!

Sometimes you give so much care and love to the person, yet they may write down your hurting them the most. It may seem upsetting but try not for it to get to you so much as the person is probably going through a lot and probably has deep depression along other things. I think this last situation is really rare though!

Posted by: Hobbes Dec 2 2009, 05:15 PM

QUOTE (Miss-Smiley @ Dec 1 2009, 01:30 PM) *
Sometimes you give so much care and love to the person, yet they may write down your hurting them the most.


That's interesting: the idea that you can give a great deal to someone, but if you ever hurt them, it'll be that pain that they remember.

It isn't always the case, and perhaps sometimes it's deserved, but I think there's a lot of truth in that - especially from a relationship perspective. A lot of people remain fairly angry with their ex-partners, and that is the residing emotion, despite days/weeks/months/years of love and affection. Perhaps it is because we took the good stuff for granted, or came to "expect" it. Or maybe it is that the negative stuff was so bad, or shocking/unexpected, that it becomes the prominent feature of the relationship.

Sad, but true in many cases I think.

Posted by: Miss-Smiley Dec 2 2009, 11:04 PM

QUOTE (Hobbes @ Dec 2 2009, 05:15 PM) *
QUOTE (Miss-Smiley @ Dec 1 2009, 01:30 PM) *
Sometimes you give so much care and love to the person, yet they may write down your hurting them the most.


That's interesting: the idea that you can give a great deal to someone, but if you ever hurt them, it'll be that pain that they remember.

It isn't always the case, and perhaps sometimes it's deserved, but I think there's a lot of truth in that - especially from a relationship perspective. A lot of people remain fairly angry with their ex-partners, and that is the residing emotion, despite days/weeks/months/years of love and affection. Perhaps it is because we took the good stuff for granted, or came to "expect" it. Or maybe it is that the negative stuff was so bad, or shocking/unexpected, that it becomes the prominent feature of the relationship.

Sad, but true in many cases I think.


Thanks for adding your pespective to it! I know it happened to me. It came from a very distressed girl though, she seriously needs professional health. Still it really hurt me me lots to begin with, and came has a huge shock! I never hurt a soul! It seems it's stupid little things which got to the girl e.g your not that little. It just shows the state of mind this quote, how down and deistressed she must be! Shes upset about everything going on in her life, I don't blame her but that gives no right to write down things like that- it's not even true. I use to treat her like my new sister, take her to most my friends houses (shes like 8 years younger then me too), buy her stuff she needs (small part of her issue- her dad got huge finacial issues), presents etc. So it took me some time for it not to get to me. She still angry at me and my family. I miss our strongly sisterly relationship we had sometimes! sad.gif

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