Conversation on Philosophy
One of the things I did in college was to return my Economics books after a couple of months, and change my elective subject to Philosophy. The reason, then, was very simple; I found Philosophy interesting, and Economics less so. But…it meant that I had a liberal education before the term was invented…… it’s been a lifelong companion, this study (more often, musing) of philosophy. However, so many arguments for the different types of philosophy are compelling and acceptable, that i have come to being an agnostic. I do not know what is true (I suppose no one ever can know)…but though I do not like rituals any more, to me, agnosticism is not ……not knowing what to believe, but…willing to accept that any philosophical view may be valid, What I feel is…I simply do not know enough to embrace any one form of philosophy. And so often, philosophy shades into religion…so that, too, is a grey area for me.
Part of Hindu culture, inasmuch is it was a response to Vedic traditions, it was prevalent in India, and seems to have died out (formally) in the mid 15th century. It was about materialism, naturalism (Atheistic), and hedonism. No castes or dharma, or reincarnation or life after death, it still believed in the independent soul. It also holds that Brahmins have created a bunch of rituals for their own livelihood, particularly that related to the dead. And that religion is entirely man made.
That the pleasure arising to man from contact with sensible objects, is to be relinquished because accompanied by pain— such is the reasoning of fools. The kernels of the paddy, rich with finest white grains, What man, seeking his own true interest, would fling them away because of a covering of husk and dust? While life remains, let a man live happily, let him feed on butter though he runs in debt; When once the body becomes ashes, how can it ever return again? (The shloka in Sanskrit for the last verse: ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pībet yāvaj-jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kutaḥ punar-āgamano bhavet)
I give it here, as a beautiful poem. I see value in penance and self-purification, too., in NOT “feeding on butter though he runs in debt” (which I think is non-sustainable). I don’t usually propound philosophy, because I feel that each person’s philosophy of life is intensely personal, and private. What works for me may not work for the next person.