From stranger to savior. This is what philosophy is to me before and after the spring of 2020. The prejudice is that philosophy is an abstract farfletched topic. The prejudice is that philosophical pupils are those nested in their own cocoon, reading and thinking despite day or night. My personal journey narrates a different story, one where anyone – you – can find a place close to home.
Philosophy opens the door out of the reality. We are not only creatures of habits, but also creatures of institutionalized cultures. Since we have been ingrained into the society we reside in, questioning an obvious element of that society requires zooming out of that reality with an innocent pair of lens. With its hypotheses, imaginations, and radical visions about the world, philosophy disguises me as a novel observer of the world I have been familiar with, exposing me to revolutionary ideas as to what societal design could be different and better. Without such iconoclastic philosophical ideas, we may be too institutionalized into the status quo to be able to identify what could be transformed for the better.
Philosophy opens the door into the reality. Simultaneously, on my personal philosophical quest, I experience both zooming out of and into the current world. Active efforts in learning philosophy have paved the way for me to practice mindfulness to a greater extent. When I deliberately invest time into learning about philosophical thinking, philosophizing daily happenings has become concentrated, focused, and no longer spaced out across the day. Whenever during the day I encounter a question requesting articulations in my mind, I have the option of doing the philosophical work at the designated time in the day to resort to, sparing me the burden of scattered thoughts that prevents the mindfulness I need for my well-being. At the end of the day, philosophy grounds me into the present by endowing me with a pair of wings that exhausts my daily appetite for flying into clouds of thoughts.
Given these observations about the psychological effects of reading philosophy, anyone may benefit from such a hobby, yet the mystery remains that philosophy is a perplexing, convoluted matrix reserved for those with time affluence. Yet it is not true to my own experiences. Ancient philosophy, on the one hand, has been interpreted by multiple generations, producing successor versions that are compatible with contemporary mindsets and vocabularies. These versions, being the friendly threshold for beginners embarking on the philosophical path, are appetizers, preparing our palette for richer, denser main courses. On the other hand, philosophy is as much contemporaneous as historical. We live among philosophizers of our time, sharing mentalities and sentiments with them. We are ourselves philosophizers of our time, having the capacity to problematize various elements of our life.
From stranger to savior. This is what philosophy can become to anyone before and after the commencement of their personal excavation into the philosophical field. The vision is that philosophy transfers us out of and deep into the reality. The vision is that philosophical pupils can enter the school of thoughts from any entrances to arrive at any points in space and time. Ideally, philosophical narratives are woven into our personal narratives, striking close to home.