Every person on this planet has a philosophy including you. The philosophy that you have relates to and includes everything in your world view. Philosophy is a way of thinking ABOUT something. Regardless of how strongly a person denies the illusion that they’re not philosophically driven, they do have a philosophy, and in fact, that statement is an expression of their philosophy.
Philosophy is not some hallucination or dream, it’s a logical process driven by the interaction between two parts of your brain that we describe as Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2. It’s about the different styles of the big picture, future oriented thinking of the Quadrant 1 and the detail driven, past oriented thinking of the Quadrant 2.
Ayn Rand who was a philosopher who defected from Russia to escape the lack of freedom of speech is often quoted on this topic from a speech she gave as, “A philosophical system is an integrated view of existence. As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy yourself by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation. Or, you let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalisations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, identified wishes, doubts, and fears thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy that fuses into a single, solid weight, self doubt like a ball and chain in the place your mind’s wings should have grown.”
The take home message for me is that my philosophy gives my mind its wings and empowers me to reach far greater heights. My philosophy is my ‘true north’ and gives me a reference for every single action I take in my life.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it this way, “Look, one’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It’s expressing the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die, and the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” She’s speaking there to our own personal philosophy that we’ve defined or haven’t defined, but regardless of that, it runs us. It gives us everything that we have in our life.
So let’s just go through a fundamental example. This distinction would lead our life to two very different outcomes.
Firstly, philosophy one. The universe is disorganised and random. It has no order, therefore it follows that people will observe the same patterns, disorder. We therefore must manipulate and control them. Their economy has to be controlled. Their education has to be controlled. The legal system has to be controlled, and it’s for their own good. Sickness is going to occur randomly because it’s just bad luck. We will wait until a person is sick or they are damaged or they’re socially deprived or criminalised, and then manipulate, or force, or coerce them with some external power, and then believe that we’ve made them well again.
In health and education, finance and social justice, and whatever activity in life you care to name, this results in a short term relief approach to deal with a predominant symptom. This philosophy would hold little hope for change of the human experience as little or no innate potential or hope is believed to exist. There’s no opportunity here for people to do the right thing. They have to be controlled and coerced from the outside in.
Contrast this with philosophy two.
If the universe is organised and this organisation extends through living organisms with what we call homeostasis, then all humans must possess untapped potential for change, growth, development, health and well being.
Instead of trying to manipulate and alter people, we’d look for ways to eliminate interference to the expression within.
This obviously applies to health, relationships, education, business, law and order and the environment to name a few. For example, in the 1970s I was in Paris and the Seine river was disgusting. It was unbelievably polluted, it smelled, there were dead fish everywhere and there is no way you would swim in it. It was, by today’s standards like a third world country’s river. They decided to clean it up. They knew that the river could clean itself up if there were less irritations to its inbuilt control mechanisms. They decided to stop putting toxins into it, stop putting effluence into it, stop putting industrial waste into it and in a very short period of time that bio-system regenerated, cleaned and cleared.
That’s an example of not trying to control, treat, manage or fix it but trying to reduce the interferences being put into a system knowing that the system is self-regulatory and self-sustaining.
This could apply to any area of human endeavour from one’s personal health to world peace. Many human relationships are toxic messes due to interferences. The majority of health problems are degenerative in nature based on lifestyle. The education system is yet another example.
There’s a different way of thinking. This philosophy type two says, “Hey, it’s all within, and we just have to clear out interferences and stop messing it up. So sickness, social deviance, financial issues, political conflict etc., are viewed as the distortions of normal organisation, not a problem to be fixed.
In this model, returning to health in whichever context it may be would be accepted as a normal innate drive, a natural phenomenon. So if this philosophy is adopted, one’s thoughts and actions would be very, very different.
When we entertain contradictions where what we say and what we do are in conflict and we are not getting outcomes we desire we are setting ourselves up for a sub-optimal life. If we have a situation that’s gone bad and it’s not working and we continue to hold the same philosophy and do the same thing then we are setting ourselves up for a sorry existence.
Your philosophy is reflected in your words so choose your words with care. Your word’s dictate your thoughts, your emotions, your feelings, and your actions. So as James Ray reminded us, “Buried deep within each of us is a spark of greatness. A spark can be fanned into the flames of passion and achievement. And that spark’s not outside of you. It’s born deep within you.”
So what I’ll ask you to do this week is to ask yourself, “What drives me? What is it I’m really passionate about?
What makes my heart sing?
What’s my view on life? Is it Philosophy 1. or Philosophy 2.?
What’s my view on the world?
What’s my view on people?
Do I trust people?
Are people inherently good or they inherently evil?
What’s my greatest gift to humanity?”
What am I here for?
What’s my mission?
Is the power that made me stupid and random?
Does the power that made me need help or just no interference?
Relative to these questions I will spend an evening with those who are interested on June 19th and we can explore this fascinating topic further. We will dive into the details of creating purpose statements, mission statements, vision statements, and so forth.
Here are a few exercises that will uncover your philosophy?
Say to yourself “What can I do where I can put energy into that “scrupulously logical deliberation of thinking” and make sense in terms of the philosophy that I’ve decided upon”? (This may be Philosophy 1. or Philosophy 2).
Keep a journal of thoughts that come to mind.
Be grateful for everything, it’s not so much about what you’ve got or received. It is really valuable to be grateful for the ‘bad’ things that have happened. Having that sense of gratitude will help you to find ideas that come into your mind that are consistent with your philosophical constructs, or the philosophy that you have not yet defined that you now want to develop.
So go deep into this. This is so, so important. This frames every fabric of your life. So make sure that you give it the time that it deserves.
Dr Mark Postles (Chiropractic Guru)
Kawana Chiropractic Centre QLD