Philosophy vs. Life

December 23, 2008 · 0 comments

“Practice and Enlightenment are not two.”  -Dogen

“As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to live it more and more.”  -Jules Renard

I decided to major in Philosophy in undergrad because I enjoy a well-crafted argument and because I liked the things we talked and thought about.  By default, I turn inward to pick things apart with my brain, to untie the knots of reasoning that underlie a particular statement.  I look for contradictions and throw away a line of thought when I find one (or many).  I was searching for Truth: thoughts/ideas/concepts that were/are undeniable: without contradiction or possible negations.


Socrates said something along the lines of “the more I learn, the less I know.”  Over the past few years, I’ve been having kind of an extended satori involving everything I’ve heretofore put in quotes.  To the point:  how I live my life does not depend so much upon the principles by which I live it, but by how I live it.  I’ve spent plenty of time trying to figure out how I’d like to be and how I’d like to be perceived, but the thing I forget when I’m thinking about this is that I am and I am being perceived


I have to live life.  I have to stop living in the third-person and start living in the first-person.  Having principles does me no good if I don’t live them.


I still get caught up in my own head, turning things over and trying to tease out some sort of kernel of undeniability from something I’ve read or heard.  That’s fine, that’s part of who I am.  While it’s certainly important for me to continue thinking, it’s (arguably) more so for me to continue living.

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