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Author Topic: Life changing philosophy, anyone?
CommanderShroom
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Icon 5 posted October 21, 2004 10:22      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I said something to someone the other day that started a thought. I told them that they were a quality person. i.e. Robert Pirsig typed idealism.

Then that led me onto a deeper search. What philosophies have profoundly affected my life? And that led me to digging around my bookshelf in the garage, which someone once commented that I was the only person they knew that had a collection of technology and philosophy books next to service manuals for cars in their garage. And I dug out my battered copy of Lila.

So now I pose the question to all the geeks out there. What philosophy, if any, has profoundly changed your view of the world around you? Yes Jesus, Muhammed, and Buddah, etc. do count.

The two that gave me an insight to myself were Buddah, and Robert Pirsig. I always look to the Four Noble Truths and the Sevenfold Path and think of people and things in the type of Quality they have. I was actually unaware at how much they affected me until just the other day.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 10:59      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Freud. Realising the actual power of your subconscious is a real eye opener.

I've read his book on the interpretation of dreams. An interesting read.

A lot of people insist Freud was nothing more than a crackjob too bent on cocaine to be useful. Other people say he's a genius.

I'm of the latter belief. Although he WAS a sex-crazed coke-head maniac. [Wink]

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 11:16      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, DNF, you're in the minority. It's pretty much proven now that depression is due to a lack of seritonin and other chemicals in the brain. Same goes for other mental illnesses. Talking about how you were pottty trained doesn't do any good. In fact recent studies have shown that medication (but not cocaine! [Eek!] ) by itself often shows more results than talk therapy alone. It can still be argued what dreams are about, but studies I've read about suggests that they're only leftover mental debris. Sorry. [Frown]

As for a life changing philosophy, if I had one, I'd write a book about it and get rich. [Big Grin]

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 11:19      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure how the two relate.

Yes, seratonin is absolutely responsible for depression and other such illnesses. Receptor cells either aren't receptive enough, or they absorb faster than the brain can produce, etc. I understand that.

That doesn't take any merit away from the fact that one's subconscious is a /very/ powerful thing.

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ooby
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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 11:49      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Peter the Hermit. Although he did cause problems with Muslims that are yet to be solved, he essentially triggered a chain of events that thrust Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance. If it weren't for him, what would all of those faires be?

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"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 12:13      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Self-responsibility.

Once I understood I couldn't and shouldn't blame my problems on others, and that my happiness lies into my own hands first and formost, my life did change. For the better, need I say.

I still need to be a little more outgoing and a little less procrastinating, but once I'll have this done, the world will be mine. (In a good, positive-thinking way, of course.)

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Eppur, si muove!

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 12:51      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yea. A LOT of people need to learn self-responsibility. I know too many people who find scapegoats for their problems.

There's no shame in going, "I fucked up. It's my fault. Learn and move on."

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 14:40      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Yea. A LOT of people need to learn self-responsibility. I know too many people who find scapegoats for their problems.

There's no shame in going, "I fucked up. It's my fault. Learn and move on."

It's well worth doing every now and then, just to see the look of surprise on your workmates faces.

I've worked in places where every small mistake sparks an orgy of finger pointing and 'blame-engineering'. Openly admitting my mistakes and then just getting on with fixing them actually improved my reputation, much to the surprise of some of the old-timers.

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Aves Corax
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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 15:44      Profile for Aves Corax     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
Well, DNF, you're in the minority. It's pretty much proven now that depression is due to a lack of seritonin and other chemicals in the brain. Same goes for other mental illnesses. Talking about how you were pottty trained doesn't do any good. In fact recent studies have shown that medication (but not cocaine! [Eek!] ) by itself often shows more results than talk therapy alone. It can still be argued what dreams are about, but studies I've read about suggests that they're only leftover mental debris. Sorry. [Frown]

Depression is not caused by any one thing, GMx. Chemical imbalance is a biggie, especially for mood disorders, but a significant amount of dissociative disorders ("multiple personality disorder", fugue and soap opera staple amnesia to name a few) are caused by defense mechanisms first described by Freud.

That doesn't prove jack about the id, ego, superego, psychosexual stages of development, etc., but not everything is the result of bad chemistry.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 16:08      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My approach to life is guided by the principles of aikido (conflict doesn't have to end in violence) and also by John Rawls (use your talents for the greater good). Yeah, I'm a leftie-pinko, but that's not my problem. [Wink]

I'm with y'all on self-responsiblity. I actually find saying "Yep, I fucked up" kinda liberating. Along similar lines, I also believe that if it's in your power to get the job done, you should get it done. No shirking, no excuses. Kinda goes back to the Rawls thing.

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted October 21, 2004 16:15      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It depends. Non-severe Major depression usually goes away by itself. Under severe stress, the brains chemistry is altered, maybe causing the the disorders you mentioned.

The whole arguement is nature vs nurture. Behavior patterns learned in abusive relationships etc., are called personality disorders, and they can't be "cured" by drugs, but they very often go hand in hand with depression, etc.

What I'm trying to say is that Freud definitely opened the door to physcotherapy, but all his theories about the cause of mental illness and his method of treatment have been largely discredited.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 22, 2004 04:35      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Aves Corax:
Chemical imbalance is a biggie, especially for mood disorders, but a significant amount of dissociative disorders ("multiple personality disorder", fugue and soap opera staple amnesia to name a few) are caused by defense mechanisms first described by Freud.

You had it right the first time. [Wink] It's no longer called 'multiple personality disorder'. It's now called "disassociative personality disorder." because, you know, if you change the name, it changes the sickness. [Roll Eyes]
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted October 22, 2004 05:52      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
John Rawls sounds like an interesting read. I may have to check that out. And perhaps I will give Freud a shot.

I brought this one up for the simple fact that I recently realized what influenced my current attitude towards life. I spent my entire childhood nervous and slightly out of sync with life. The Christian doctrine didn't sit well with me. Though I harbor no ill will towards it. And as my rescources grew so did my search. I have studied many things. From the ideals of Socialism and Communism and even the writings of LaVey and Crowley. None of them fit in a way that I could justify as a way to live life.

It led me on a wonderful search through many ideals and when I found the writers I mentioned before things began to click. As if somehow the world began to make sense to me.

When I realized just how much it has affected me, I had to ask. I am curious to see if I am of the few that has to spend years searching or if it is fairly commonplace.

I guess I meant to say what philosopy/philosopher has profoundly affected your view on the world and yourself.

I also want to add one more name to my list. Bill Wilson. Yes AA's Bill Wilson.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted October 22, 2004 08:21      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I didn't mean this to be as long of a post as it is, but I got a bit carried away.

On Ethics
Kant, John Locke, a number of wiccian texts, Toa Te Ching and unfortunatly a little bit of Social Darwinism (not for moral beliefs but for understanding human motivation).

I believe in the Universal Catagorical, Socail Contract Theory and the premis of the Wiccian Reede. I believe that asking if an action can reasonably be followed by everyone/anyone (given the circumstances) typically keeps me on the straight and narrow. It doesn't get rid of all grey area when what ever you do is going to cause someone harm. I don't believe that ends justifies the means, but I believe in some cases there are needed evils (cases where there is no right way out).

There is a lot to be said for the idea of responsibility. If we can't link cause and effect, how can we hope to know what is right and wrong.

On Approach to Life
I used to worry about everything, and I don't remember when or why I stopped... But at some point I realized that worrying doesn't help the situation, so the best thing to do is figure out if you can do anything to stop the negitive from happen or if you have to let things just play them selves out. If the later, then relax... Everything always works out in the end.

I also don't believe in regrets... We make the choices we do because of reasons that we have at the time. We don't have the fore-knowledge of exactly what the out come is going to be (most times we have a pretty good idea though). If we make mistakes every now and then; it's something to learn from, not to beat your self up over... Yet, every now and then I find cause to beat myself up anywho, I figure it's probably just me punishing myself so I won't do it again the next time. I don't carry long term regrets though (or at least haven't yet).

Afterlife
I don't morn death like most do, and don't fear my own death (I fear pains, but not death). I think it has to with my belief that death isn't the end and I feel I will see (somewhere, somehow) those that left before me again. I believe in ghosts/spirts (seen too much not to), reincarnation and some form of heaven; but don't pretend to know how or why it works the way it does. I think this is a huge contributing factor to my don't worry about stuff take on life.

Welp, that just my 2.0 * 10^-2

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 22, 2004 10:45      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always try and at least once a year, sit down and read something that I totally don't believe in, or know nothing about.

I have a book on Tibetan Buddhism that I want to read in the near future.

I have read the bible.

I would like to read Mein Kampf at some point in time, just to get a glimpse into that man's head.

It's always interesting to see what other people believe/think, regardless of whether I agree with them or not.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted October 22, 2004 20:10      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think for a book to affect you that deeply you have to read it at the right time of your life, sometime in your teens ideally. I was very affected by Albert Camus's more humane version of existentialism after I read L'Etranger at the age of 15, indeed I remember that after reading a translation, I then went and read the original in French twice. Well it's a short book! I am unsure though, how much if any of those ideas remain part of my mindset now, but it was a very liberating experience. I felt my mind was set free.

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Dr Cyclops
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Icon 1 posted October 22, 2004 20:31      Profile for Dr Cyclops   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mine is an odd combination of: Taoist philosophy, Yogi philosophy, Zen Buddhism, Libertarianism, Martial arts, along with my practical science education.

Making me into some kind of holistic-libertarian-yogi-engineer. I found Tao and Zen as excellent veiws of the universe, just a process of being. Yogi and Martial arts were kind of physical embodiments of that, a kind of "physical wisdom". Out of this, I ended up being a libertarian, the most philosophically sensable political philosophy that I know of.

Of course, these things got to affect the way you live your life, not just how you like to think of yourself while you have your thinking cap on.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted October 23, 2004 05:22      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Mine is an odd combination of: Taoist philosophy, Yogi philosophy, Zen Buddhism, Libertarianism, Martial arts, along with my practical science education.
(Emphasis mine)

Well he is smarter than the average bear! [Wink]

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 23, 2004 06:23      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
quote:
Mine is an odd combination of: Taoist philosophy, Yogi philosophy, Zen Buddhism, Libertarianism, Martial arts, along with my practical science education.
(Emphasis mine)

Well he is smarter than the average bear! [Wink]

So, grasshopper, what is the sound of one picnic basket opening?

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