Introduction of Zen Schools into Japan

Historically, Zen may be regarded as the fulfillment of long traditions of Indian and Chinese culture, though it is actually much more Chinese than Indian, and since the twelfth century, it has rooted itself deeply and most creatively in the culture of Japan. The Rinzai School of Zen was introduced into Japan in 1911 by […]

Meditation in India versus the teachings of Sixth Patriarch in Zen Buddhism

Let’s start with the story  of Hui-neng, the Sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism. The Fifth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism – and here we begin to enter a more reliable chapter of history – was Hung-jen (601-675). Who was apparently the first of the patriarchs to have any large following, however, much overshadowed by his immediate successor […]

Roly-poly (the Japanese Daruma doll), the first tea plant, and another legend

The Chinese term Ch’an (Japanese reading: Zen) or Ch’an-na is a phonetic rendering of the Sanskrit Dhyana, which is usually translated in English as meditation. The traditional account of the origin of the Ch’an or Zen school is that the Buddha, in addition to his scriptures, possessed an esoteric teaching that was transmitted independently of written […]

Mahayana Buddhism as opposed to Theravada, (an important difference)

The Mahayana distinguishes itself from the Buddhism of Pali Canon by terming the latter the little (hina) Vehicle (yana) of liberation and itself the great (maha) Vehicle – great because it comprises such a wealth of upaya, or methods for the realization of nirvana. A preliminary study of the Pali Canon will certainly give the […]

Buddhism and its origins in brief

 The danger of scholarship is always that, in extreme specialization, it may be unable to see the forest for the trees. But the problem of gaining some idea of the thought of India at the time of the Buddha, six centuries before Christ, is not to be solved by careful piece-work alone – necessary as […]

Creation and God in Indian Philosophy

Fundamental to the life and thought of Indian from the very earliest times is the great mythological theme of atma-yajna—the act of “self-sacrifice” whereby God gives birth to the world, and whereby men, following the divine pattern, reintegrate themselves with God. The act by which the world is created is the same act by which […]

It is man who makes truth great!

Reasonable, unfanatical, humanistic, Confucianism is one of the most workable patterns of social convention that the world has known. It is a basic Confucian principle that “It is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great.” For this reason “humanness” or “human-heartedness” is always feels to be superior to righteousness, since man […]

The Tao and usual Western idea of God

 The important difference between the Tao and the usual idea of God is that whereas God produces the world by “making”, the Tao produces it by “not-making” — which is approximately what we mean by “growing”. For things made are separate parts put together, like machines, or things fashioned from without inwards, like sculptures. Whereas […]

Multicultural & Cross/Inter-cultural (Definitions and more)

Introduction: Sometimes people are shocked by behaviour they feel shows a lack of “common sense”. Clearly, something that makes sense to members of one culture may make no sense at all to members of another. Sometimes seems incredibly naïve to speak of acceptance, tolerance and empathy in a world that seems increasingly marked by a return […]

Body language gestures from around Asia

Cross-cultural difference are not only refers to verbal communication, but also existed in all sorts of human activities between foreigner tourist and local hosts. Non-verbal behaviour is a significant element for a tourist because it is easier to be noticed and understood than verbal communication. Researchers believed that most of the message is communicated through […]

Definition of some important philosophical terms

Atomism: The idea that the universe is made up of tiny particles. Determinism: The belief that everything that happens in the universe is fixed in advance. Dualism: The belief that the universe consists of two different things (mind and matter). Empiricism: The belief that experience is the source of all knowledge.

Schools of Philosophy: The Post-Modernists

Post-modernism is a relatively recent movement in philosophy. It was so named because it began as a reaction against the “modern” age of Philosophy since Descartes. Descartes had begun the trend in establishing systems aimed at discovering fixed and absolute truths about the universe. The post-modernists’ view is that philosophy is fooling itself. Post modernist […]

Schools of Philosophy: Feminist Philosophers

 Feminists believe that society is based on unequal division between men and women. The “first wave”feminists were concerned with equality between the sexes. “Second wave” feminists are more concerned that what is special to women be recognized and valued as important. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797): Wollstonecraft‘s most influential book, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women”, […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Existentialists

 The Existentialists believe that there is no order in the universe and no objective rights or wrongs. Individuals are free to create their own lives according to the choices they make and must take responsibility for their actions. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855): Kierkegaard is seen by many as the father of existentialism because of his attack on […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Phenomenologists

 Phenomenology is the study of how things appear. The Phenomenologists tried to get  behind the surface of how things appear to reveal the nature of consciousness itself. Edmund Husserl: Husserl was the founder of phenomenology. He wanted to do away with theories about reality and restore certainty to philosophy. His method was to describe exactly […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Pragmatists

Pragmatism is a practical view of philosophy. Pragmatists view the truthfulness of an idea in terms of its usefulness in real life. This school was the first major movement in Philosophy to come from North America. Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914):  Peirce invented the term “pragmatism”. He meant to be a method to clarify the relationship […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Empiricists

Empiricism is the complete opposite of rationalism. Empiricists believe that true knowledge of the world is obtained through the senses, not by reason. These philosophers argue that we have ideas only because we have perceptions. All knowledge is based on experience. John Locke: Locke disagreed with Descartes’ rationalism and had no inclination to rely on […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Rationalists

Rationalists consider that truths about reality can only be revealed through reason, not by believing what the senses tell us about the world. Parmenides:  Parmenides can be considered the first Rationalist because he thought that the material world could only be properly understood by thought and reason, not what is perceived through senses. Parmenides’ idea […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Scholastics

The Scholastics were Christian thinkers who tried to understand and explain Christian doctrines in the light of ancient Greek philosophy. The Christian tinkers who lived in the first few centuries after the birth of Christ were known as “Church Fathers”. Scholasticism dominated Western philosophy for hundreds of years. St Augustine (354-430): St Augustine was born […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Materialists

The materialists hold the complete opposite view to the idealists on the nature of reality. Materialists believe that everything that exists is either matter or depends on matter for its existence. The real world is out in the street, not in the head. Aristotle: Aristotle was Plato’s first great critic. Aristotle thought that Plato had […]

Schools of philosophy: The Idealists

Idealists believe that the external, material world is produced by the mind or ideas and that it cannot exist separately. Reality therefore begins inside the head, not out in the street. Plato: Plato thought that everything in the material world owes its existence to a perfect, external, and unchanging idea from which it is modelled. […]

Schools of Philosophy: Greek Schools After Socrates

 After Socrates’ death, three new schools of thought were founded in Athens. All of them were influenced by Socrates’ search for what is Good. The Cynics: Started by Antisthenes, a disciple of Socrates, the Cynics became widely known through the antics of Diogenes, Antisthenes’ pupil. Diogenes preached that the only path to happiness was living […]

Schools of Philosophy: The Pre-Socratic Philosophers

The pre-Socratics (The Early Greeks) were the first philosophers in the West. They are classed as the school that started Western philosophy off on its 2,500-year-old-history. The ancient Greeks believed in a family of gods, who lived in palaces at the top of Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. The whole universe and its […]

The Father of Western Philosophy

Socrates was a familiar figure in Athens. Shabbily dressed and always barefoot, even in winter, he spent his days discussing everything under the sun with all and sundry. He was soon regarded as the wisest man in Athens, even though the city was full of philosophers who charged money for teaching. This flattery did not […]

Philosophy Today (20th Century)

Philosophy today began with a shift away from “I” as the Key to understanding reality. Instead, thinkers started probing into human “structures”. Language, science, and society itself all came under scrutiny. One of the most important changes in philosophy today ids the emphasis put on words and how they reflect the world.

Spinoza: The ethics of God

Introduction He goes by the name of “Benedict de Spinoza“, using the Latin equivalent of the given name (“Baruch”, meaning “Blessed”) that he discarded in his youth following his excommunication by the Amsterdam Jewish community of his birth. Little concerned with wealth, fame, or the transitory pleasures that drives others, Spinoza is motivated by the […]

Spinoza: The level of Knowledge

Spinoza distinguishes between three levels of knowledge and describes how we can move from the lowest to the highest. We begin with the things most familiar to us, and says Spinoza, “the more we understand individual things the more we understand God.” By refining our knowledge of things, we can move from (1) imagination, to […]

Religion and Spirituality

Growth of interest in spirituality: Traditionally, spirituality has always been viewed within the framework of a specific religious group. Thus, there have been multiple spiritualities associated with various saints in Roman Catholicism, as well as different spiritual paths to be found within the context of particular interpretations of Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism. In this sense, […]

Religion and Growing Feminism

Growing feminism and sensitivity to women’s issues: Feminism has become a significant issue within the religious world.This concern has been expressed in a wide variety of different forms. Theologically, it has challenged understandings of God, human persons and the world of nature that some argue were implicitly rooted in male perspectives. Politically, it has striven […]

“Greening” of Religion!

 “Greening” of Religion: This involves growing consciousness among religious groups and individuals of the importance of environment concerns. Such consciousness frequently has been a part of the mainstream in many Asian religions but even though individuals like St. Francis of Assisi in the Christian tradition held perspectives that emphasised the relations between humans and nature, […]

An odd philosopher couple whose love affair lasted 50 years!

 Sartre and de Beauvoir met as university students at the Sorbonne in Paris. Famous the world over as the odd couple, they never married or shared a common property. De Beauvior refused to live the conventional female role. They lived in hotels and ate in cafés. But they did share a common philosophy. Their particular […]

Two philosophers in one body!

Ludwig Wittgenstein‘s  burning ambition was to bring an end to philosophy, and he considered that he had done so – twice. He was brilliant, charming, arrogant, rude, witty, brave, and frequently suicidal. Equally as confusing as his philosophy. in fact he seemed to be two different philosophers, the older one disowning the work of the […]

A philosopher whose books revolutionized teaching methods in the US.

In the late 1900s the USA developed its own school of thinking known as pragmatism. The gist is that ideas only useful if they can be put into action. The Americans cleaned out the philosophy cupboard and threw out everything that had no practical value. one of the leading lights  of this new age of […]

A philosopher who wasn’t a stuffed shirt with the ladies!

Hegel was not a modest man. He claimed that he understood all of the philosophy and history. Like Spinoza, he thought that god and the universe were inseparable. it is difficult to describe Hegel’s philosophy simply, because it isn’t simple. It is a huge, all-embracing system that moves through history like a giant snowball, gathering […]

Karl Marx: Private Property and “Estranged, Alienated Labour”

Estranged, Alienated Labour: We have started out from the premises of political economy. We have accepted its language and its laws. We presupposed private property; the separation of labour, capital, and land, and likewise of wages, profit, and capital; the division of labour; competition; the conception of exchange value, etc.

Aristotle on: “Friendship, Love, Well-wishing, and Unanimity”

Friendship: Friendship is a kind of virtue, or implies virtue, and it is also most necessary for living. Nobody would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other good things. Aristotle takes up the subject of what is lovable. He returns to his three “objects of choice”: goodness, usefulness, and pleasure, […]

Stoics’ APATHEIA

Apatheia is a state of mind in Stoic philosophy in which one is free from emotional disturbance; the freedom from all passions. Apatheia is the root for the word “apathy” (i.e., indifference), but the ancient meaning of apatheia is closer to equanimity than indifference. To some extent, the Stoic term “apatheia” is misleading, even in […]

Aristotelian ethics versus Stoicism

  Agreements between the Two Views:  (1) The goal of ethical philosophy is practical: the improvement of human lives, the promotion of happiness (the blessed or supremely good life). (2) hat happiness is also the ultimate end (goal) of human life.(3) That happiness is the most complete end. (4) That happiness is self-sufficient. To say […]

Epicurus’ ATARAXIA

Epicurus is considered a major figure in the history of science as well as philosophy. In ethics he is famous for propounding the theory of hedonism, which holds that pleasure is the only intrinsic value. However, his view of pleasure is far from the stereotypical one. For Epicurus, the most pleasant life is one where we […]

Epicurus on “Death”

Epicurus claims that there are two self-imposed beliefs that do the most to make our lives unhappy or full of pain. They are first, the belief that we will be punished by the gods for our bad actions, and second, that death is something to be feared. Both of these beliefs produce fear and anxiety, […]

Epicurus: “Types of Pleasure”

For Epicurus, pleasure is tied closely to satisfying one’s desires. He distinguishes between two different types of pleasure: ‘moving’ pleasures and ‘static’ pleasures. ‘Moving’ pleasures occur when one is in the process of satisfying a desire, e.g., eating a hamburger when one is hungry. These pleasures involve an active titillation of the senses, and these […]

Epicurus on “Virtue” and “Justice”

The virtues: Epicurus’ hedonism was widely denounced in the ancient world as undermining traditional morality. Epicurus, however, insists that courage, moderation, and the other virtues are needed in order to attain happiness. However, the virtues for Epicurus are all purely instrumental goods–that is, they are valuable solely for the sake of the happiness that they […]

Epicurus: “Types of Desire”

Because of the close connection of pleasure with desire-satisfaction, Epicurus devotes a considerable part of his ethics to analysing different kinds of desires. If pleasure results from getting what you want (desire-satisfaction) and pain from not getting what you want (desire-frustration), then there are two strategies you can pursue with respect to any given desire:

Kingly government, Aristocracy, and Timocracy: Their perversion and corresponding forms of friendship

1) Aristotle’s idea on the three forms of constitution :  There are three kinds of constitutions, and an equal number of perverted forms, which are, so to speak, corruptions of these. Constitutions proper are kingly government,  aristocracy, and timocracy. Timocracy is a form of government based upon an assessment of property, though most people are […]

Philosophy, the handmaiden of theology?!!

In the Middle Ages, especially  in the works of the Scholastic writers, arises the problem of the relationship between theology and philosophy. An attempt was usually made to resolve this problem by resorting to the idea of subordination and recalling the old phrase “Philosophy, the Handmaiden of Theology,” from this viewpoint, philosophy is an auxiliary, […]

The gossip facet of my life.

There are hundreds and hundreds of hard and soft media daily, writing thousands and thousands articles and stories gossiping celebrities in any field that really you cannot even imagine it. Even most of so called serious materials while they become scrutinized, are full of exaggerations and somehow busy making or promoting some celebrities. Celebrity gossip […]

The fool does not understand the full implication of what he is saying!!

St. Anselm’s ontological argument St. Anselm’s life and work: ¨He was born in 1033 and died in 1109. He was from Aosta, in Piedmont. As a member of the medieval Christian and of the European community which had begun to take shape, he did not restrict  his life and activity to the country of his origin, […]

Clocks can tell you nothing about the real nature of “time.”

Some say 20th-century philosophy began with Edmund Husserl. He invented a new way of looking at the world. He called it “phenomenology”, meaning “how things appear”. Husserl wanted to find a foolproof method of meaning reality. Descartes‘ idea of doubting everything was a big ingredient of his philosophy. Like Descartes, he believed that consciousness is […]

Nietzsche and the Persian

When Nietzsche was a boy he was called “the little pastor”. His father was a Lutheran preacher. He expected to be a clergyman like his father, but at university he began to question his upbringing. He became a professor at the age of 24. He decided that Christianity robbed people of the will to excel. […]

Many avocations but not a vocation!!

 Dear friends, Hello and Respect, There are times when my capacity overflows,  and I have no choice but to relate my problem with you- my patient listeners and dear friends – my audience, and my interlocutors.  At these sort of occasions,  as if I am a frog which needed to come to the water surface to croak […]