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Document your philosophy of life

Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial. Documenting my philosophy has enabled me to systematize my views, as well as eliminate inconsistencies and fallacies. It has also enabled others to read and criticize my philosophy, which has resulted in further improvements. And most importantly, documenting my philosophy has enabled me to provide a roadmap on how to live well.

But remarkably, I can find no other similar document online. If you are aware of such a document, please provide a link to it.

I propose that others undertake this project, given the substantial benefits of doing so.

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    Apr 22 2014: Hello Philo:>)
    I agree with you that life philosophies help clarify our views and eliminate inconsistencies....."know thyself".

    The life philosophies I embrace are very simple....
    "If I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem"
    "Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference".
    Although this is thought to be a "prayer", I say it to myself as reinforcement and reminder:>)

    Those are very basic philosophies, which encompass everything, and serve as a foundation for me. I embrace various other philosophies that might be appropriate for different situations, and first, I automatically consider the two philosophies above.

    I like to keep things as simple as possible, and I agree with Keith's statement...."Complex problems are solved by breaking them down to their simplest parts and then solving the simple problems which in turn solved the more complex problem."

    I observe that some folks (including me at times), get caught up in the complexity of situations, and sometimes feel overwhelmed, so my first questions to myself can I realistically contribute to changing a situation? Do I have the courage and wisdom to contribute to change? How can I realistically be part of a solution?
  • Apr 21 2014: I reduce my Philosophy to quotes:
    Quotes by Keith W Henline

    "Think all ways"
    "Yoga dissolves pain"
    "Joy is the hearts key"
    "My mind is my mistress"
    "Learn to share or perish"
    "Growing is the revolution"
    "Humans need another goal"
    "God creates, man uncovers"
    "Think at the speed of black"
    "Sex, a game we lose to win"
    "Born a genius, raised a dolt"
    "Human, Gods only mistake"
    "History is what you believe"
    "The greatest thief is the past"
    "Education is what you think"
    "Attraction is the best teacher"
    "Freedom is the law of nature"
    "Bad diet equals bad behavior"
    "Kindness is the best Currency"
    "If you do not choose, you lose"
    "Sharing is the cost of freedom"
    "Insanity is hurting for pleasure"
    "Knowledge is true and constant"
    "Our only adversary is ignorance"
    "Money is paper, Wisdom is Gold"
    "Justice lives in the halls of nature"
    "Man’s law is not just, it is just law"
    "Your mind is your only true friend"
    "Corporations are Organized Crime"
    "Religion, a prison inmates manage"
    "Nobody fights with their mouth full"
    "Let the problem choose the solution"
    "Courtroom, a swap meet for the rich"
    "Religion sells what God freely offers"
    "If any of ye lack wisdom, ask Google"
    "Anyway you find God is the right way"
    "Singing is the soul talking to other souls"
    "The world is perfect, we are the problem"
    "Politicians make the rest of us look good"
    "Appreciate bad habits, then take a detour"
    "Imagination and stupidity race to infinity"
    "Quantum mechanics is probably accurate"
    "Simple problems solve complex problems"
    "Answers appear when the problem is clear"
    "Love opens all doors, the key is acceptance"
    "Healthy people play, unhealthy people fight"
    "We look for life on Mars and destroy it here"
    "Look close and you will see love everywhere"
    "Men write on tablets, God writes on our heart"
    "Man must do the right thing even if it is wrong"
    "We are so blessed, look within instead of without"
    • Apr 21 2014: "Simple problems solve complex problems"?
      • Apr 21 2014: "Simple problems solve complex problems"?
        Complex problems are solved by breaking them down to their simplest parts and then solving the simple problems which in turn solved the more complex problem. Something I learned as a systems analyst.
        Computers are used to solve some of the most complex problems in the universe and yet "all" problems are broken down into a simple on or off switch. Binary, it does not get any simpler than that.
      • Apr 21 2014: Rodrigo that is another way of putting it, however that phrase usually means to pit your enemy against it's self. Here is another strategy that works as well: "The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy"- Friedrich Nietzsche
        If you think of another enemy as an enemy within it could mean the same as the first strategy you spoke of. "Divide and conquer"

        I like the exercise, surely there are some more you might question?
        • Apr 21 2014: "If the solution is not clear move closer or further away"

          If you can't see the wood for the trees then move out of the wood to see the the wood or just ask for further information.
        • Apr 21 2014: "Sex, a game we lose to win"

          It's seven words long and means nothing so you have seven or less words to explain it otherwise it is a failed quote. You are allowed one comma or other punctuation mark. Only one, though! And try to keep the words to four or less letters.
      • Apr 21 2014: "Let the problem choose the solution"
        If the problem has a mind of it's own like a person or animal it is much more likely to accept a solution that they come up with, than one you do.
        If it is another type of problem then often the answer will appear just by intense study, sort of like when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

        "If the solution is not clear move closer or further away"
        In one word: Focus. Your tree explanation is good but some people say "forest for the trees"

        "Sex, a game we lose to win"
        Consent or compromise are two words I would use. In other words we often do not get it the exact way we want it but (like in hand grenades) close is good enough in this game. So, even thou we may lose the game according to our strict rules, with a little patience we can still get a win. Sex should be a win win situation and in order for that to happen there is usually compromise by one or both.
        • Apr 22 2014: Men need sex. Women need babies.

          "Quantum mechanics is probably accurate" You get an extra thumbs-up for this one.
      • Apr 22 2014: "Men need sex. Women need babies."- Rodrigo
        It would be more accurate to say both need sex and babies, men need babies also after all who is going to carry on the great traditions, who is going to inherit our wealth, who is going to carry on our name and don't forget who is going to take care of us when we get old and can't remember if we took our medication yet or even where we put our slippers, just to name a few. Women have just as many sexual needs as men but do not tell anyone, it is just a secret between you and I, nobody else knows that.
        • Apr 22 2014: Ok, I'll drop the sex/babies but I'm not going with "Sex, a game we lose to win" .
    • Apr 24 2014: I would add: "what you practise, you become." To change is to practise something new." "Practise change." "That which holds you back from change is often best left behind."
    • Apr 25 2014: "Men write on tablets, God writes on our heart"
      • Apr 25 2014: I simply base that on my own experience with God, no words spoken, no manuscript, no etchings of any kind but the message was loud, clear and unmistakable.
  • Apr 24 2014: It is interesting that this is not more common. In fact you'd think it would be a requirement for politicians before we'd even consider voting for them!
  • Apr 22 2014: Thanks for sharing your philosophy philosopher! A great document full of thought provoking stuff! I have some thoughts if you're interested.

    "The design of humans, and nature generally, is wasteful and messy, inefficient and full of needless vulnerabilities and imperfections, pitfalls and limitations. " I can see that the process of evolution may be wasteful and inefficient in terms of individual lives, but the outcome is anything but wasteful or inefficient, nothing is wasted in nature, as far as I can tell, the level of complexity and interdependence astounds me.

    "I define “free will” as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one’s intentional actions"-is there a level of responsibility below ultimate in your opinion? I think that there is a spectrum of "freedom" but that ultimate freedom means being completely independent and I don't know of anything in this universe that is completely independent. I think that "will" with even the smallest amount of freedom makes us responsible for our choices.

    "In fact, the inevitability and finality of death (according to afterlife skepticism) may render all of one’s concerns trivial." - My only argument is that while there may be no afterlife in the religious sense, the effects of our actions continue on throughout time creating tomorrow's reality and I see no practical reason we shouldn't concern ourselves with the predictable consequences of our actions.

    "This is the practice of visualizing things going wrong, which should eliminate shock when they do go wrong. To eliminate fear and anxiety, one may ask oneself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” with respect to a particular situation. Often, this worst-case scenario is not very harmful in the overall context of one’s life." I would say that in moderation this is a very helpful practice, especially in keeping a wider perspective, but overuse can lead to serious anxiety.
    • Apr 22 2014: Jacob, thank you for reading and for your thoughtful feedback.

      "The design of humans, and nature generally, is wasteful and messy, inefficient and full of needless vulnerabilities and imperfections, pitfalls and limitations. " An example of what I am talking about would be the fact that humans both eat and breathe out of our mouths, which causes innumerable choking deaths each year.

      Regarding responsibility, it is ultimate responsibility that is relevant to the rationality of reactive attitudes such as resentment and regret. If one is not truly the source of one's actions, then such attitudes make no sense. This is how free will impossibilism is relevant to my philosophy.

      I agree that we should concern ourselves with the consequences of our actions beyond our death, if we have significant empathy for future generations. That said, not everyone has significant empathy for future generations.

      Negative visualization would lead to anxiety only if one cannot accept the worst-case scenario. But with a disciplined mind, one can accept just about any scenario. In this way, the effectiveness of negative visualization depends on how well one has learned to apply the other techniques in the document for maintaining peace of mind.
      • Apr 23 2014: you are most welcome, thanks again for sharing the document and for the effort you obviously put into it.

        I guess the only part of your philosophy that I can't quite wrap my head aroundis free will impossiblism.I am not convinced our will is completely free, but that is not because of physical determinism, rather it is tied up in the connections we have to the world around us specifically the people we loveand the interdependence we share with the life of this will impossiblism may well be the most accurate description and understanding of freedom but it seems an impractical philosophy, at least for me in my day to day life. To say we are not in control of our actions and that we have no freedom of will gives many an excuse to act irresponsibly. I think that we are capable (a disciplined personthat has practiced intentional action their whole lives) of making choices and acting in a relatively free manner and if we are capable of it, anything less is just a failure on our part to meet our potential, though full disclosurerequires me to add that I am NOT an entirely disciplined person.
        • Apr 23 2014: You may be confusing free will impossibilism with fatalism. Recall that I define free will as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's intentional actions. Free will impossibilism is perfectly consistent with careful deliberation, discipline, considering the impact of one's actions and making choices. It just implies that the way in which one deliberates, and the choices that one makes, are ultimately a function of factors that are completely outside of one's control.
      • Apr 23 2014: I probably am confusing them, to be honest I have always had trouble keeping philosophical terminology straight. That's why I've whittled my philosophy downto the two sentences I listed in my first post ha ha. A simple philosophy for a simple mind.
  • Apr 21 2014: Part two:

    "The universe is the same size as your imagination"
    "Accepting gifts helps two, rejecting gifts hurts two"
    "It matters not which path but what we leave to follow"
    "God does not give us more than we can handle, we do"
    "If the solution is not clear move closer or further away"
    "Light comes from resistance, not by going with the flow"
    "We are all going to die tomorrow, keep that in mind today"
    "People who talk a lot do not say more, they just say it more"
    "No matter what you think, say or do, someone will not like it"
    "The only thing I know for certain is there is nothing for certain"
    "Nothing exists outside the mind for it is the mind that makes it so"
    "The brain sleeps while we are awake and awakens while we sleep"
    "The mind is a stream of images that we act upon as if they were true"
    “If you are not the most important person in the world, then you are crazy”
    "Man is a slave to the conscious mind, freedom only exists in the subconscious"
    “If a hundred bad things are coming, ninety nine will vanish and you can handle one"
    "Reality is your soul as interpreted by your sub-conscious and in a waking state influenced by the conscious part of your mind”
    "The Law of Supply and Demand, you control it and no government, politician, corporation or military can break it. This law is the only viable solution to all of the world's problems and it is totally up to you! If you don't buy it, they don't make it. It's not them, it's you! If you want more pollution, crime, poverty and injustice, keep buying what they are selling. If you want change, simply change your buying habits. It is that simple!"

    Enjoy, critique or deny... comments welcome TY Meisster PhiloSofer
    • Apr 21 2014: These are quotes. What is your philosophy? Choose one, or concoct, boil it all down into one. I wanna know. I pay top dollar!
  • Apr 25 2014: If, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction", then any complete thing, is a union of it's opposite components. (score one for Lao-tzu and Newton) This is the first fulcrum of decision making.
    If I practise to find a state of mind where thoughts bubble up and out without pausing, till the bubbling subsides, a state without preconception, neutral buoyant, and inertialess; then the forces of perception may act on me, as on a blank slate. This is the first tool of perception.
    Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle" is an eloquent proof that you can't know everything. To perceive a thing you must interact with it and thus change both it and yourself.
    Therefore, interact, change and be changed and don't think you or anyone else is completely right.
  • Apr 22 2014: Two more

    " The past is gone forever, so it makes no sense for past events to affect one’s present state of mind" - i think the past is a part of us and cant be ignored, but there should be a balance between past present and future focus.

    " However, a disciplined mind will not be disturbed by hard work, and will require only freedom from severe physical pain to maintain peace of mind in the future"- I completely agree and think that hard work is part of a healthy life.
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    Apr 22 2014: "Treat others as yourself"
  • Apr 21 2014: My philosophy is pretty simple, so it fits nicely in my simple mind.

    Whether we are "free" or not, we still have "will" and can/do affect the world. We are responsible for the predictable consequences of our actions.
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    Apr 21 2014: I remember I used to recording the path of my philosophical growth, unfortunately I dropped this habit two years ago. I intended to pass down my philosophy to my posterity. Also,our attitude and conception of life evolves all the time,thus by recording our philosophy constantly we have the ability view our growth as experiences accumulated. Aside from that, when we come to the end of our life,I would proudly scan our documents of philosophy to feel it with appreciation.
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    Apr 19 2014: Thank you for sharing the intricacies of your mind.
    Interesting words of death.
    What are your thoughts about a community that lives carefully, out of fear that mistakes may lead greater powers (Earth, Gods, nature, weather) to cause death to everyone?
    • Apr 19 2014: Thank you for taking a look, Michael.

      I have no problem with careful living. Prudence may be justified by considerations of self-interest alone; belief in greater powers is not necessary.
  • Apr 16 2014: People get bored. That's my philosophy.