Philosophy – the very word can be a barrier, seemingly impenetrable and lacking in relevance to anyone other than navel gazers or academics who relate more to books than they do to people. But leave any preconceptions at the door and it can be a fascinating subject, rich in ideas and potential answers to some of the most fundamental questions upon which we all ponder, however briefly or privately.
I grant you, the work of some philosophers is so impenetrable and dense that you find yourself almost suffocating in words and sentences that simply meander before finally ending very closely up their own backsides.
But there are others out there, writing now, who have opened up the subject in incredibly diverse and enriching ways – posing questions and answers to some of the most pressing concerns of what shapes our lives.
Many of these contemporary philosophers write about the things which interest me most – human relationships and how we communicate, behave, interact with and love or hate one another. What drives us, what should drive us and what we might one day become.
I have found that some modern philosophy has helped me greatly in gaining a greater understanding of both myself and the kind of man I want to be as well as giving me insight into the people I have loved and lost as well as those I continue to hold in my life.
One of the most easily accessible ways I have found of finding out the meaning of things from people far wiser than me was not just through books (more of which in another post) but through a brilliant series of podcasts featuring short interviews with some of today’s greatest thinkers. The series is called, Philosophy Bites and you can find out more and subscribe to the series by following the link at the end of this post.
I have embedded one of the first Philosophy Bites podcasts I listened to and whilst at first it might seem incredibly dry I do urge you to give it a chance.
This particular podcast deals with the most fundamental question of them all – the meaning of our lives. I like it because it talks about the interior cultivation of ourselves. And that belief in something does not necessarily come before the practicing of it – i.e. you should embark upon the practice of things before you begin to believe. I rather like that philosophy…
Listen to: John Cottingham on The Meaning of Life
Click here to listen to more Philosophy Bites podcasts