When we’re feeling depressed, confused or down, we turn to literature for help. That’s no secret. What we’re hoping for is an answer that can transform our feelings of sorrow to a sense of well-being.
During these periods what we choose impacts on our future actions. What I’ve noticed when researching this, is that the deeper the feelings of low self-esteem, the more we turn to spiritual books. This is because they take us out of the practical world we are struggling in and place us in another world where everyone is equal. If you grasp the spiritual laws well, you may even consider yourself better than those who live in the practical world. Either way you boost your self-esteem and that’s what you longed for before turning to these books.
I’ve been at that stage where the impact of spirituality was impressive. It dug me out of a hole I had fallen in and made me stand up for myself and express a positivity I lacked in droves. It eventually allowed me to find my ideal profession whilst maintaining positivity through any setbacks along the way.
Whether you like it or not we live in the practical world. I always felt like I was losing touch of reality by living in the safe compound of pure spirituality. I could no longer use the phrases, “it wasn’t meant to be” and “everything happens for a reason”. It just didn’t feel right anymore. So I turned back to literature and stumbled upon philosophy. It was like spirituality for the practical world. It spoke to me on everyday issues with the self-examination of spirituality. It put the ball in my court, if I wanted something I realised that actions were needed. The beauty of philosophy is that it prepares you for disappointments in a very logical and unobtrusive way. For example, why suffer from road rage? When you stop to think at how many people are on the roads and how different everyone’s expectation of a good driver is, you realise that hairy moments are likely. It’s a simple matter of statistics and odds. So why get surprised and angry if someone pulls out in front you?
Philosophy also challenges you to think for yourself and question others. By doing so you learn more about the world and more about yourself. When you go deeper into the literature you become enlightened and develop a healthy curiosity for life’s meaning. You want to be a good person so you read up on the philosophical debates surrounding this. You want to find a job that fits so you delve into what makes you happy and what puts you in your element. Most importantly you view the struggle for money, status and power as futile. In short you’re liberated. No more obsessions with salaries, mortgages and postcodes. You only deal with these things when necessary. Outside from these moments you’re investing your time in learning more about yourself or the world around you. You develop a practical calmness that can help in almost every situation you’re put in.
Philosophy allows you to respect yourself and others. By examining your life in a non-judgemental way you see that you’re not such a failure, in fact you’re quite the opposite. You also look at others and acknowledge the bad luck they may have faced or the fact that they are simply victims of their environment. You learn that essentially people are troubled to different degrees (much like us) and that anger is not really the best medicine for them. Here’s something else I’ve noticed: People want to be around me. They respect my views and call me things like interesting or different. I’ve even been called an innovator within my profession! I certainly do not see myself as any of these things but I can understand why I’ve been called them.
Timing is all important when investigating these two areas. A certain book will appeal to you when you’re at a certain point of your life. Give me a spiritual book when I’m at uni and I’ll probably use it as a door stop. But give the same book a few years later when I’m struggling out in the real world, I’ll probably place the book on my top shelf in a shrine like position.
These days I pretty much alternate between the spiritual and philosophical. This way I feel I have balance and mental stimulation that actually means something to me. I’m also open to learning from poetry, art and real life stories as ways to better myself. I feel I have options to combat the different emotions I may feel from time to time. So you could say I’m much more of a balanced individual.
I hope you found this interesting!
As always, thanks for reading.
The Young Philosopher BCN