We can say, tentatively, that a philosophy of life is a theory of the good conjoined with practical recommendations for attaining the good. The discovery of the ultimate meaning and essence of existence is the central purpose of philosophy. There is no such thing as subject-object relationship in regard to the consciousness of what is universal. The psychological principles, to Swami Sivananda, are but certain of the several stages and functional points of the appearance of the Absolute in the evolutionary process of the external subtle universe existing behind the gross mass of the five elements. Ethics is either naturalistic, hedonistic or metaphysical. The transitory nature of mediate knowledge affects the whole world of science, for this latter is sense-bound. The truth is that the reverse is the case. Primary virtues are those which are directly concerned with the conscious movement of the finite to the Infinite, and the secondary ones are those indirectly responsible for this attainment. It is not conscious and also not universal in nature. Your life philosophy needs to apply in all situations and circumstances. Philosophy is a well coordinated and systematised attempt at evaluating life and the universe as a whole, with reference to first principles that underlie all things as their causes and are implicit in all experience. [2], The term also refers to a specific conception of philosophizing as a way of life,[3] endorsed by the German Lebensphilosophie movement whose main representative is Wilhelm Dilthey[4] and several other continental philosophers such as Henri Bergson[5] and Pierre Hadot.[3]. Philosophy is a general exposition of the ultimate concepts, meanings and values of the things of the universe, by a resort to their final causes which range beyond the reach of the senses. According to twentieth century Freudian psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim, “our greatest need and most difficult achievement is to find meaning in our lives” (Bettelheim 1978: 3). Psychology, apart from its dealing with general topics, such as the springs of action, thought, intelligence, emotion, will, feeling, the relation of mind and body, the nature of internal conflict, the mechanism of sense-knowledge, etc., may be distinguished as individual, social, educational, religious, analytic and group psychology. Man possesses nothing superior to reason, and so philosophy cannot go beyond it. It is not circumscribed by the limitations of the past, present and future, by the laws of this place or that country, but refers to all times, places and conditions. There have been moments in philosophy that placed a deal of emphasis on questions like this. Swami Sivananda would agree with Hegel in holding that the supreme purpose of philosophy is not circumscribed by the contents of empirical experience but extends to the final and uncontradicted attainment of the Absolute. Axiology has to be referred back to metaphysical studies. It holds that there is one level of reality, existence. Under aesthetics the significance and the nature of beauty are discussed in philosophy. But within the internal view of meaning, we can argue that meaning is best found in activities that benefit others, the community, or the Earth as a whole. Under epistemology the various theories and processes of the acquisition of right knowledge, as well as the nature and possibility of wrong knowledge, are discussed in detail. They are not the main dish. Philosophy does not pretend to give us Truth as it is, but is capable of intimating to us the existence of a super-sensible being which presses itself forward in each and every one of our experiences as their sole value, essence and justification, as the highest consummation and beatitude of all individuals in the universe. The aesthetic consciousness is thus the result of a partial expression of the universal in conscious experience. Michael Chase, Stephen R. L. Clark, Michael McGhee (eds. It is wrong to think that the world is concrete and the Absolute abstract. Either one knows it fully in non-dualistic communion or does not know it at all. From the Cambridge English Corpus Their philosophy is one … The architect of the monumental mansions of philosophy is not merely the abstract and unaided intellect, but the intellect free from all desires, purged of all prejudices, and based on immediate intuition. “Philosophy has its roots in the practical needs of man. The ordinary untrained mind confuses what is the permanent element in what we call the world with the abstract appearances, which are merely accidental to it. We can think of French existentialists like Sartre and Camus that seem to be very sensitive to concerns about the futility of existence. One must put the Vedanta into daily practice, in every action that one does. The Reality that is established in philosophy is to be experienced in the state of deep meditation. Quite surprisingly we learned from our pilot studies with "quality of life as medicine" that just by assimilating the basic concepts of the quality of life philosophy presented in this series of papers, patients felt better and saw their lives as more meaningful. But, if it is defined as process of the function of the intellect, we have to note that it is not a always the sole means; for philosophy in Swami Sivananda, as in Plato, Plotinus and Spinoza, makes its appeal not merely to the intellect of man, but to the heart and the feeling as well. Hence we can say, with Aristotle, it is the Fundamental Science. Swami Sivananda differs from Hegel’s conception of philosophy as the work of the unifying Reason. Here we become alive to the supreme function of philosophy, which declares that the super-sensuous basis of matter and energy, space, time and gravitation is the secondless Absolute. A philosophy of life is an overall vision or attitude toward life and the purpose of it. Philosophy is not to be confused with intuition, with mystic or religious experience, though it is a very powerful aid in achieving this end. It is the way, not simply of explaining what ought to be, but of directly experiencing that which eternally exists” (Voice of Sivananda, pp.2,3). What science has abrogated is not reality but appearance, and after everything is said, there remains the irreducible minimum of the consciousness of the Self. As ethics philosophy engages itself in the ascertainment of the nature of right and wrong, good and bad. Everyone has a philosophy on life, whether they realize it or not. The world is either pluralistic or a single whole; and is real, ideal or unreal, empirical, pragmatic or rational. What the senses perceive is but the outer changing mode of the fact of the relativity of experience. Philosophy is no doubt the grand artistic edifice constructed by the higher purified intellect of man, but to Swami Sivananda, it is not merely this, for, according to him, it is based on intuition and is meant to justify rationally one’s faith in Truth. Though philosophy, in the system of Swami Sivananda, is mostly understood in the sense of metaphysics, ethics and mysticism, its other phases also receive in his writings due consideration, and are placed in a respectable position as honourable scions of the majestic metaphysics of his Vedanta. In the realisation of the Supreme Being the mind of the individual is completely transcended, together with all its dualistic categories. Epistemological problems are, therefore, in the end, problems of the nature and the manner of the manifestation of the Absolute through the psycho-physical organism. What's the meaning of life? What we are greatly affects our ways of knowing. Under axiology philosophy establishes the nature of values in the different stages and views of life, such as physical values, aesthetic values, moral values, religious values, etc. Always do what makes you feel great. [1] The term is generally used in an informal sense, meaning a personal philosophy whose focus is resolving basic existential questions about the human condition rather than an academic philosophical endeavour. 1 : an overall vision of or attitude toward life and the purpose of life. 2 [translation of German Lebensphilosophie] : any of various philosophies that emphasize human life or … Kant’s contention is that, as knowledge is limited to the perceptual categories of the sensibility and the conceptual categories of the understanding, even our knowledge of God as such, for example, is not a possibility. It is never possible to produce a perfect philosophy through the instrumentality of reason alone, for, unbridled reason can easily carry consciousness away from Truth. “A clear understanding of man’s relation to God is a matter of momentous importance to students of philosophy and to all aspirants” (Philosophy and Teachings, p.2). All knowledge that we ordinarily obtain in this world is mediate, for it requires the operation of the triune process of the knower, knowledge and the known. These theories are standardly divided on a metaphysical basis, i.e., in terms of which kinds of properties are held to constitute the meaning. The people who share some of these beliefs become our friends and allies in whatever paths we choose to follow. Philosophy conceived as metaphysics deals with an extensive reasoned discussion of the natures and the relations of God, world and the individual soul. These codes or principles are what define us. The Onion (The preeminent internet newspaper that advocates an absurd answer to the question: What is the meaning of Life? The process of refining this philosophy is like building a ship. This negative knowledge becomes the starting point of the effort towards its positive realisation in meditation and communion. The Absolute is necessary for the world, but the world is not necessary for the Absolute. A philosophy of life is any general attitude towards, or philosophical view of, the meaning of life or of the way life should be lived. “One must be a practical Vedantin. The test of reality is non-contradiction, and philosophy is the pursuit of reality. Thus philosophy is the pathway to the realisation of the Absolute Consciousness through the ladder of the different stages of the relative consciousness. “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” ― Victor Frankl tags: inspirational-quotes , overcoming-adversity-quotes , philosophy-of-life Philosophy is an intensely practical science. It is the Absolute flowing and moving that appears to the senses as the world. We fill up our time with distractions, never asking whether they are important, whether we really find them of value. The Absolute is not the one that is coloured by the functions of the senses and the understanding, but the very presupposition of the senses, understanding and reason. Beauty is the vision of the Absolute through the senses and the understanding. Man wants to know about transcendental matters when he is in a reflective state. The human situation appears to be a struggle between what is (existence) and what ought (essence) to be. The philosophical basis of modern physics and biology also can be comprised under metaphysics. The way of the good is the direction of the right. Reason in the philosophy of Swami Sivananda is only a handmaid to the higher intuition, made use of to proclaim the truth and value of intuition in the world of sense-perception. In other words, science is a coordinated and systematised knowledge of the contents of the world as it is observed through the physical senses of man. The mind is a feeble objective insentient evolute acting as the individual’s instrument in the perception of the external world, which is physical in nature. “Philosophy is love of wisdom, or striving for wisdom. It is an impartial approach to all problems and aspects of life and existence, and its studies are not devoted merely to the empirical world, as in the case of the physical and biological sciences; not restricted to the provinces of faith and authority or to the questions of the other world, as is the case with theological disquisitions; not confined to investigation of the mind and its behaviour, as in psychology; not given over merely to casuistry and ethology, as in the normative science of morality and ethics; not taken up with the consideration of civic duties and problems of administration and constitution, as in the case of politics; not concerned with the solution of problems and techniques of adjusting and ordering and discovering the origin and organisation and development of human society, like economics and sociology; but are adapted for an exhaustive treatment of the basic presuppositions of each and every one of these, as also of what is other than and beyond all these, that on which all these are ultimately founded and which is the ground of all knowledge and experience in general. 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