Thoughts on the problem of philosophy and its power

Philosophy has always been sort of an enigma to me.  Over the years I’ve read and studied a lot of philosophy . . . 

So what?

It’s just words and concept . . . whoopidado!  Anyone can do that.  One person says this, another says that, and so on and so on, endlessly down the line.  And so I agree with this or that philosopher . . .

So what?

For me, philosophy seems to be nothing but words and concepts, fabrications of the mind.  Because of this they live only in the abstract ‘thought’ world.  This, though, is only a small aspect of life, a very narrow aspect of life. 

Though philosophy is a good reflection of life it fails because there is no application of it in life.  That is to say, it has little demonstration in life.  It does not create a ‘way of life’ or ‘belief system’ or ‘religion’.  It’s just a ‘point of view’ someone takes.  For me, this is where philosophy fails. 

So I believe in points of view of Aristotle . . . now what?  So I agree with Sartre . . . now what?

All philosophy seems to be is nothing but an ‘agreeing’ with someone elses point of view:  “yup!  Nietzsche is right about the ‘super man’,” . . . now what?

Philosophy always seems to end before it accomplishes anything, it seems to just ‘stop’. 

It seems to me that most of philosophy is nothing but a reflection of life, a statement of what you’re seeing, like saying, “look, the sky isn’t blue, it’s actually a light blue.”  In that respect, philosophy is really an observation.  But its more than an observation, its a giving-a-meaning to what your observing.  This, no doubt, is beneficial and good . . . in its place.  But there is where it ends.  Philosophy does little beyond that. 

As a result, philosophy is very limited in its scope.  I mention this because many people who look to philosophy are looking for something it can’t give:  a way of life.  Philosophy does not offer a way of life or belief system.  It’s only a delineation of observation, of interpreting the world.  Typically, at least from my experience, people are looking for more than that. 

Often, when people look to philosophy they say they are looking for ‘answers’.  This shows their abstract ‘thought’ point of view, which is often what attracts people to philosophy.  But, the problem is that people are usually looking for more than ‘answers’, they are looking for the ‘beyond abstract thought’.  What this means is that in looking to philosophy, they’ve already failed . . . there are no ‘answers’ there.  They may be satisfied temporarily, in their abstract mind, but it soon begins to fail.

It seems to me that philosophy is something more for the ‘mature’ stable mind.  It is not for someone seeking ‘answers’.  My experience is that when dealing with the questions of life, abstract thought is not the way to go. 

Life is too deep to be left only to thought. 

Abstract thought is too limited and narrow in its conception.  It is also very illusionary, making things seem relevent when they are not.

For someone who has ‘lived’ and ‘suffered’ and ‘grown’ philosophy is like a painting that they have pain-stakingly painted, stating their ‘reality’ of life and experience.  It is like a ‘song’, a ‘demonstration’ of their beingness . . . there is the power of philosophy, I think.  When philosophy has been stated from a lived life, an expression of a ‘reality’, it becomes like a work of art with a beauty and truth all its own.  Yes, that is the power of philosophy . . . not as a source of ‘answers’.  Philosophy, to me, is just that:  a work of art, an expression of passion, a revealing of ones beingness, a form of a ‘song of life’.

This shows that, to me, philosophy is more than ‘abstract thought’.  It is an expression of ones self and ones perception of life.  This makes it not unlike art or poetry or song.  In many ways, its a variation of it.  But, as I said, for their to be philosophy a life must be lived.

I do agree that philosophy can inspire and guide a person, but I do not believe it will hold the ‘answer’.  For this, a person must discover it themselves.  A person, really, must discover and create philosophy for themselves just as an artist must discover and create a work of art.  It will not be in ‘agreeing’ with Nietzsche or Socrates.  In many ways, philosophy is the end result of this process, the conclusion.

Most certainly, we will find that we tend to adhere to certain philosophers who have a similar point of view as we do, who reflect our character, our ‘reality’.  But thats only similarity in thought, an alikeness.  Still, for a philosophy to work it must be very personal, an expression of oneself.  In oneself the truth lies.  There it must be sought and manifested.  

Philosophy is really nothing but the expression of ones ‘reality’ as a result of a life lived.

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