Developing Wisdom and Self Realization
Philosophy can seem like a daunting subject for many people. It is often misunderstood, and the term is used incorrectly. Philosophy means 'a love of wisdom'.
Like many spiritually aligned people, I have always been a seeker of knowledge, and I love to explore the deeper meaning in life. Questions about the fundamental nature of reality, spirituality, people, relationships, consciousness, or the soul.
But it was inadvertently that I began to really find the answers to these questions. Many years ago, I was severely ill with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. During the process of my recovery, I began to question many of the beliefs that I had previously taken for granted. First I became truly aware of the nature of my own thoughts and feelings, then I started to gain a real insight into relationships between people, which then extended out into cultural norms. It was the beginning of a journey of awakening. Of seeing through ego and fear-based actions, to understanding the true nature of humanity, and then seeing the nature of ultimate reality - although not necessarily in that order!
I went on to study philosophy at university, and found this to be a hugely beneficial process. Unlike studying other subjects, studying philosophy allowed me to delve deeply into all the areas of life where I did not yet have clarity. It was not a process of learning, but of letting go of all the personal and social conditioning I had experienced in my life. It helped me to gain true spiritual insight and a deep understanding of the relationship between spirituality and health.
It is this process of applying philosophy to life which I now share with others. Not an abstract thought process, but a real change to life, wisdom, and spiritual understanding.
Important Areas of Philosophy
Our understanding of the nature of mind and body is one of the most important aspects of reaching our optimum health and well-being. In Western society, medicine is based on a model of mind-body dualism. Where mind and boy are seen as completely separate substances. But when you view the world through a spiritual, or non-dual, belief system then well-being takes on a completely different meaning.
Our personal identity is centred around the concept of ego; the 'I am' beliefs that we have about ourselves. It is the story of who we are, what we have experienced in the past, and how this may still be affecting us in our daily lives. Our identity is influenced by every experience we have encountered; good, bad or indifferent. Often it is invisible to us; it is the lens through which we view the world.
Beliefs are important to how we perceive the world. Whether we see it as something to be feared, an experience of deep learning, or as a source of joy. When all is well in our lives, we do not usually question our beliefs. But when things go wrong; when we are in despair, fear, regret or shame, then our beliefs are the first thing we need to explore in order to see through their truth or falsity.
Contrary to popular thought, metaphysics is a branch of philosophy which deals which the fundamental nature of things. So it explores questions like what it is to be human, or about the nature of emotions, consciousness, mind, pleasure, pain, or spirituality. Metaphysics is important because it is the only way to gain insight into the nature of reality. who we are, and what our purpose in life is.