Most of what I know about philosophy is from my formal education. I have studied many religions, holy books, and cultural movements, and I love to study things from an artistic historic perspective, because it provides insight into the collective unconscious of the culture at the time. I believe that cultures share certain aspects of a psyche and that we evolve together, as we are presented with new ideas and share our own with others.
I have several influences that guide me in my spirituality: Hindu philosophy, Japanese principles of honor, discipline from martial arts, ancient Greek philosophy, comparative mythology from a variety of cultures, the hero’s journey, and probably most thoroughly French enlightenment philosophers.
My major French influences that I studied in school are the following in order:
- Voltaire – Witty and Versatile, relentless against the Catholic church, monarchies, and intolerance.
- Sartre – a huge existential influence, who really moved the world forward
- Descartes – First one to find the question that the Matrix asks. How do we know we are, or what is real.
- Rousseau – One of the first evolutionary psychologists, had excellent and unique ideas.
- Montagne – One of the first philosophers, defines movement of detachment and contemplation.
- Pascal – He was a religious fanatic, but his scientific logic and philosophical approach is second to none
I love some Greek philosophers, mostly the triad of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. There are some other influences that I’ll add later.
My favorite thing to do right now is learn about native mythology or Hindu mythology, because it’s just so powerful for consciousness. Stories about Shiva and Vishnu are just so awesome and they seem to really be able to capture the heights of imagination. Vishnu is my favorite, with Garuda and Ananta to guard him and help him out and let him sleep. And he floats outside of the space-time continuum to contemplate the universe. Vaikuntha is the name of his home, the place of eternal bliss and happiness. He delivers salvation to those who separate completely from the material world, or Moksha in Hinduism. He also has an abode of an ocean of milk, where he sits on Ananta, who has a thousand heads. He’s a pretty cool deity.
comparative mythology is really cool, and I love learning more about Buddhism in Japan. I’ll write some more about that…
Other philosophers to check out:
- Karl Marx
- Soren Kierkegaard
- Poetic Edda (influences the Lord of the Rings and Norse Mythology, Beowulf, etc)
- Bhagavad Gita