Wisdom in Ancient Philosophical Traditions


 Wisdom in Ancient Philosophical Traditions

In ancient times, philosophers were revered for their deep insights into the human condition, as well as the natural world. Studying philosophy provided practical guidance on how to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. This post will explore some of these philosophies and how we can apply their lessons to our daily lives.

This post will explore some of these philosophies and present you with exercises that will help put them into practice in your life. This is something anyone can do from anywhere at any time. It's never too late to start living better!

Disclaimer: I don't want this post to be seen as "religious" or "biased. " This is merely a review of philosophy with the goal of helping you live a better life.

This post does not aim to discredit any particular religion or spiritual practice. For those of you who have already taken the plunge into studying philosophy, I hope this post will help you make sense of what you have learned so far!

I don't make any assumptions about what people believe or how much they know about philosophy. I'm not a philosopher, and I'm certainly not an expert on this subject matter. If at anytime during your study of philosophy, your perception on it radically changes for the worse, please seek out professional help from a professional therapist or doctor.

I hope this helps you develop a deeper understanding of philosophy!

Wisdom from Ancient Philosophies – Psychotherapy
Traditionally, people thought that psychotherapy was an option for psychosomatic conditions.  The idea was that if you experienced certain conditions such as headaches, stomach aches, pains in the joints, or perhaps even depression, you simply needed to talk about these issues until your therapist convinced you that they were "all in your head". Psychotherapy was meant to help you achieve greater mental health by removing the psychological causes of these ailments. However, it now seems that the 'deeper purpose' of psychotherapy has been lost on modern-day psychotherapists. Many therapists today do not even try to treat the psychological aspects of mental health. Instead, they focus solely on the 'physical' aspect of psychosomatic conditions. While this certainly helps to relieve symptoms of physical ailments, it doesn't address the emotional reasons why you may have developed these conditions in the first place.
Psychotherapy – a modern day philosophy
Listen to this modern-day psychotherapist explain what he means by "psychosomatic":
"The meaning I mean is: if you have a problem with your psychological health, then you don't need to go see a psychiatrist or psychologist. That's not our job. Our job is only for physical problems or problems that are physical, mechanical or catered towards by physical therapy. And when you have a problem with your neurotic content, you must go see a psychiatrist, psychologist or neurosurgeon. That's it."
Now that we have this clear distinction between the psychological and physical aspects of psychosomatic conditions, let's focus on the psychological aspect. Psychotherapy, as I understand it, is an exploration of what lays beneath the surface of our conscious mind. It is a way to examine our own thoughts and emotions from an outside perspective in order to better understand ourselves in general. As an example, when I studied philosophy in high school, we took a course on "Philosophy of Mind". The idea of this course is that we look closely at the different ways people think about consciousness and how it relates to our physical lives.
We examined topics such as "Dualism", "Kantianism", and "Aristotelianism" in order to better understand different philosophical perspectives on this topic. We also explored various psychological disorders such as sociopathic behavior, autism spectrum disorders, and depression. I won't go into great detail on these topics because a) they are complicated and b) this is not a psychology blog.
What I'm trying to get at is that studying philosophy helps you learn how to see the world in a new way. Instead of simply accepting what's right in front of your eyes, you begin to question everything. After spending countless hours reading philosophy, I have developed an ability to see the world in a more holistic and meaningful way. You learn how to examine the 'interconnectivity' of concepts such as "mind", "body", "consciousness", "emotion", "reasoning", and so on. These concepts are all related to each other in every possible way! For example, it's nearly impossible for your physical body to operate without the participation of your mind. That means that when you have a headache, stomach ache, or back pain, there is always a psychological component to it which must be addressed. You see things in a completely different light!
In the past, people rarely saw things this way because generally speaking, people don't think about these concepts until they begin studying them. However, I believe that these concepts are important enough that young kids should be introduced to them at a young age. You don't necessarily need to take an entire course on philosophy or psychology in order for you kids to grasp the important ideas behind them.
Why not Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
It's important that you understand that C.B.T. is not a philosophy in and of itself – it's a branch of psychology. However, the ideas behind C.B.T. can be very philosophical in nature! The first thing you need to realize about C.B.T., is that it has absolutely nothing to do with the "mind" (a psychological term). If you've ever been told by your family doctor that there's nothing wrong with your physical body and all you need for treatment is to "just think positive," you know what I mean by the word "mind".
C.B.T., as I understand it, is supposed to be a "highly theoretical model of psychotherapy" which has its roots in philosophical ideas such as "utilitarianism", "cognitivism", and "behaviorism". The goal of C.B.T. is to help people change negative thought patterns in order to change their behaviors – essentially, to discover a balance between the mind and body (physical health). While this may seem like a worthwhile cause, I personally believe that C.B.T.'s approach is far more harmful than helpful! Let me explain…
The reason why most mental health professionals have never heard of C.B.T.

For the past 10 years, I've been to many doctors and therapists. They always told me that there was nothing wrong with my body. Yet, they were unwilling to explain why I was feeling so terrible psychologically! At first, I felt like these professionals were crazy. How could they tell me that nothing was wrong with my body? What about my anxiety? My depression? The physical pain that I experience in the joints of my arms and legs?
One day, my mom told me about a holistic doctor who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This doctor was willing to examine me not only physically but also psychologically! The first time I went to see him, he spent more time talking about psychological issues than physical issues.

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