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Philosophical ideas to get through hard times

(277 Posts)
Dawn22 Mon 16-Mar-20 19:14:26

I would like to start a thread about what we can learn from the old stoics and philosophers and there is much to know about there take on life and then how we can apply that to 21st living.

I liked this so here goes

An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life.
"A fight is going on inside me" he said to the boys. It is a fight between two wolves. One has anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity, guilt, lies and ego."
He continued; "The other is good- he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, kindness, empathy, truth, compassion and faith.
"The same fight is going on inside you too Grandson - and inside every other person too."
The Grandson looked and asked "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied "The one you feed".

Hope this message helps.

Pantglas2 Mon 16-Mar-20 19:20:27

I’ve loved tale since the first time I heard it in my twenties and lived by it ever since - I avoid the people who display the first set of traits like, well like the plague actually.....!

I get depressed when I come into contact with too much negativity.

Fennel Mon 16-Mar-20 19:23:13

Dawn - good idea for a thread.
For me, I've always resorted to music to relieve pain and calm my spirit..
We're all different.

MiniMoon Mon 16-Mar-20 19:38:05

Exactly Fennel, "music hath charms to soothe the savage beast. To soften rocks, or bend the knotted oak".
It's where I go, when I need solace.

CherryCezzy Mon 16-Mar-20 19:51:48

My mother taught me that take when I was young and there is a truism to it. The dilemma I find difficult, especially in circumstances like they are at present is the dichotomy between acts & omissions. Driven by a base animalistic 'need to survive' , do we do things like eg. the current stockpiling people or do we conversely omit to do that because if we do there will be others who can't and therefore it is more likely that they may end up I'll and pass it on to us anyway. Human nature? Lack of altruism? Inevitable consequences? Or compromise?

CherryCezzy Mon 16-Mar-20 19:54:28

Meant ill! Autocorrect, grr.

BlueBelle Mon 16-Mar-20 20:06:35

Yes I love that one there’s a few I like
“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you” I think that’s a Maori saying

GeminiJen Mon 16-Mar-20 20:17:21

One's doing well if age improves even slightly one's capacity to hold on to that vital truism: This too shall pass

GeminiJen Mon 16-Mar-20 20:19:03

Should have said: That's from Alain de Botton

MerylStreep Mon 16-Mar-20 20:21:14

An Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view and appropriate in all times and situations.
They presented him the words. And this,too, shall pass away.

Pantglas2 Mon 16-Mar-20 20:59:50

I also like ‘Man plans and God laughs’ which my DH pipes up with whenever things I’ve planned go awry - like now!

rosecarmel Mon 16-Mar-20 21:45:35

Ancient Story, Modern Message: The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots. Each pot hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her shoulders. Every day, she used this device to carry water to her home.

One of the pots was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. The other had a deep crack in it and leaked. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this situation occurred daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the woman one day by the stream, saying, “I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old woman smiled and replied, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walked back home you watered them and made them grow. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table and give to my friends and neighbors. Without you being just the way you are, there would not have been this special beauty to grace our homes and lives.”

Sometimes, it’s the “cracks,” or what we perceive as imperfections, in this reality that create something unexpected and beautiful. These “cracks” allow something to change and ultimately make the whole much richer and more interesting. Every thing and every being has its own unique purpose and destiny to fulfill. This is one of the great beauties of the Tao.

Happiyogi Mon 16-Mar-20 21:52:04

Nice thread. I think it's comforting to know that people who lived long before us and without the comforts and 'sophistication' we take for granted were still wise and shrewd observers of humanity.

Dawn22 Mon 16-Mar-20 23:01:01

Great wisdom so far everybody. Thank you.

Rosecarmel- and to expand your point further -

"Ring the bell that you can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That is how the light gets in."

- Leonard Cohen
(Modern day stoic)

lemongrove Mon 16-Mar-20 23:13:37

There is a saying ( applicable to human behaviour) that there is nothing new, under the sun.
We can choose to be panicked, fearful, anxious, or we can choose to be calm and hopeful.
As whatever will happen is mostly out of our hands, a certain stoic or fatalistic attitude can be the best one.

Dawn22 Mon 16-Mar-20 23:33:35

"Beware the barrenness of a busy life."
- Socrates
This struck a chord with me because busyness is the modern gold standard currency .Busyness almost equates to greatness.
But we do in fact need time and space to think our way out of trouble and peace and stillness to lead us into happiness and contentment.

Till another new day tomorrow. Dawn.

Dawn22 Mon 16-Mar-20 23:34:44

"Sleep the sleep of the just."
Anonymous.

lemongrove Mon 16-Mar-20 23:41:43

Exactly Dawn 👍🏻

‘What is this world, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’

eazybee Tue 17-Mar-20 08:24:23

All shall be well,
And all shall be well,
And all manner of thing shall be well.

Mother Julian of Norwich

but also:
'Take what you want, says God, and pay for it'.
(Spanish?)

Dawn22 Tue 17-Mar-20 09:32:41

Solid words at 23.13 Lemongrove. So much is now out of our control.

Great other views points.

A lion chased me up a tree and l enjoyed the view from the top.
- Confucsus

That is what l am trying to say to my youngest son as he is seeking employment after College shortly and the world is on its axis now and it is for him to look at the bigger but more importantly the longer picture now.

Dawn22 Tue 17-Mar-20 22:47:12

To one and all
Hoping to keep this thread going as we were never in need of such sage advice from the past in order to deal with the uncertainty of the future.
Sleep well tonight.
Dawn xx

Dawn22 Tue 17-Mar-20 22:49:26

Sleep the sleep of the just.
- Anonymous.

grannyticktock Tue 17-Mar-20 22:58:13

A family member posted this link to a set of mindfulness exercises to help us cope. I find them helpful.

www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath

Dawn22 Wed 18-Mar-20 19:48:21

Really great if people could come back and post regularly in order to keep thread going which is really important at the moment.

HOPE how necessary it is to us and yet it is easy to lose heart. Yet a young girl had the informed presence of mind to write the following

"I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains."
- Anne Frank

She lived for just 15 years. The two go hand in hand - trouble and joy, but best to juggle them as best you can. Her words are an inspiration now.

Dawn22 Wed 18-Mar-20 22:31:57

Good night all
Sleep the sleep of the just.
- Anonymous