We all crave for something deeper, a meaning to life, some of us more than others. My interest in philosophy was piqued when I read Sophie’s world at age 12. Then I started to ask more questions about why people acted the way they did, what drove their actions. Again, not so much the action in itself, but the reason for it.
Growing up, this curiosity remains, as evidenced in my full-time work on leadership. I have always been puzzled by some actions that we do as humans, especially actions that are not optimal for all, many examples exist, but I am convinced that many of us do not think through our actions before we act, because if we did, then perhaps, we would approach things from a different perspective, and possibly with more humility.
This brings me onto religion. It is very hard to study a lot of philosophy and to philosophise about things without contemplating one’s belief systems and what they comprise of. Having been brought up as a Christian, this was initially a struggle, thinking, how is it possible to find enlightenment in other paths, how is it possible to truly be human, with full interaction with other humans. I guess what I am saying is that this journey to enlightenment hasn’t been smooth.
I took up yoga a while ago, moving on from Pilates which I started 5 years ago now, to a more holistic way of experiencing inner tranquillity, again one of my ‘hiccups’ was ‘how did this tally with Christian doctrine?’ Gradually, and thankfully I must say, I have come to the realisation that perhaps all of life is not black and white, as that would be reductionist. Rather, life occurs more in shades, transitioning from the spectrum of fully black (again, depends on what you call black,, there is rich black, absolute black, pale black, etc*) to absolute white.
And I think accepting this and viewing life through these lenses provide a richer life experience, how you can fully know others and be fully known yourself. A life of openness, of humility, where one allows oneself to evolve, because we don’t always know what we know, and we might know what we think we don’t know.
Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is enlightenment – Taoism
*I am painting my flat now, and it has been interesting to find out not just how many different colours there are, but the ingenious names that paint-makers have given to the colours!