You NEED to read Philosophy. (Life Changing Advice)

You NEED to read Philosophy. (Life Changing Advice)

Reading the right book at the right time can change your life so dramatically that it’s unbelievable.

The most pivotal thing that anyone can do to change their lives is to always be a student.

It’s no surprise that you can learn a lot by picking up a book and just reading.

(or listening, like I do with audible)

Put aside the fact that some people write “self-help/ motivational” books for money.

Philosophy is more about the dispensing of knowledge, thought, criticism and things that are not physical.

St Luke Writing a book

Someone has spent innumerable hours taking their thoughts, writing them down, discussing them with peers, refining their words to convey the correct idea or sentiment, taking it to a publisher, (or taking publishing into their own hands to prevent censorship) and sent this out into the printed world to reach whoever will read it.

That right there is NO small feat.

Anyone who has ever seriously sat down to write a book will tell you that it’s a GRUELING and unforgivingly TIRING process.

(Hell, even writing this blog gets to be tedious with the formatting, pictures, posting times etc.)

Now, take a step back and realize that many of these books were written HUNDREDS of years ago, some of them literally back in “ancient” days of rome/greece.

Meaning EVEN MORE obstacles and issues to be presented to someone to do these things.

While we still have some more recent philosophers that have taken a very impactful position, I think it’s still something to be cognizant of that all of these works are TIMELESS.

They are able to relevant despite being decades old, because of the core principal is one of thought and reasoning.

Why I care so much about promoting philosophy.

If you’ve been following my Instagram(@damonisvegan) for any amount of time you’ll notice I share a LOT of philosophy/books.

This is SOLELY because I have found those books to have one of two main benefits

  1. They are HEAVILY contrarian opinions
  2. They provide IMMENSE actionable value that can be incorporated into ones life.

Now there is always something to be said about reading in general and how insanely good it is for you.

I’m also one of the kinds of people that is inline with Naval Ravikant in the concept of

“just read anything, anything you like at all, then keep doing that until you like to read.”

I literally have a post on health and fitness about that same philosophy

In fact that philosophy is what I try to ingrain into EVERYONE for EVERYTHING when they want to “ease into” something new.

If you enjoy cooking for example, you don’t need to throw out all of your current ingredients and learn to become a Michelin star level chef.

Keep cooking as you do, and see how THE prepare some of the same dishes you do!

Slowly learn the differences and understand why they do these things.

Once you learn context clues and how to interpret symbolism, you can hit heavier topics like understanding utilitarianism, stoicism, absurdism and garnering a solid self-perception.

Essentially, philosophy teaches you to THINK and interpret the world through a new lens.

Want a GREAT video to give you phenomenal suggestions?

Look no farther, a GREAT introduction to reading philosophy.

I can go on for hours on just EXAMPLEs, but i’ll save us all a hearty amount of reading and end our intro with this:

The reason I particularly share books with those two bullet points is fairly straightforward.

  1. They make you think differently
  2. They can instantly improve your outlook on life

The world needs opposing and intense values to be shared.

I am not advocating that ANYONE take a staunch (or otherwise “bad”) viewpoint just for the sake of controversy.

If your entire purpose is to exist and go against the grain on every topic then I hate to break it to you, but you are no longer an individual.

You are a predictable set of values that assigns yourself to the least popular opinion without any real substance behind yourself.

That is fundamentally stupid and the long-term negative impact on your reputation likely isn’t worth it.

However; some contrarian opinions get expressed VERY well and with GREAT argumentation behind it.

These people form their thoughts and opinions based on persuasive evidence, findings, and culminate their thoughts based on the principles they find to be in line with their morals/values.

This allows for conversation to be shared and with the scale of the internet literally BILLIONS of views, comments, and thoughts can be transferred at a moments notice.

People that hold FIRMLY on HARD pressed topics generate… CONTROVERSY.

Love it or hate it, whether or not you like something, people THRIVE on controversy and actively seek it.

When it comes to contrarian/controversial books it can be a bit turbulent when you think to share the content.

My Philosophy on sharing books with sensitive topics/thoughts.

This is my exact model for how I examine books that seem to be counter-productive or heavily opposing the social/political norms.

  1. Examine the Author’s title
  2. Examine the Author’s intent
  3. Examine the tone of the text
  4. Examining the overall impact this book may have after completion.
Photo by Martin Pechy

Why Examine A Books Title?

Because it’s often a decent indicator of what you’re getting into most of the time (for more recent works.)

If I browse through audible or my weekly recommendations for reading and see a book called

Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology – J.P. Sartre

“The Trouble with Being Born” E.M. Cioran

Then I can strongly infer what they’ll be about based on the title alone.

Based on the title and cover I’ll often gloss over a summary to find author info or themes.

This is my model for things that aren’t being DIRECTLY recommended to me or in a thread of books I already like.

After I’ve read the title and decided to read it, I’ll get the book.

I’ll take my time going through it to try and come to my own conclusion about the authors core message and how it made me feel.

This is my interpretation of the author’s intent and the general tone.

If I find it TRULY impactful, I’ll watch a video about it or see if the author themselves have commented on the work.

(Often times philosophy classics will get gets DOZENS of YouTube videos on the topic.)

The tone of a book is often one of the most underrated things I’ve come to realize (for myself atleast.)

If it’s very depressing and soul-crushing, but aims to remedy this in a matter of fact manner (Looking at you.. Albert Camus.) Then i think it can genuinely help alleviate a lot of issues people silently face.

If it’s just super fucking depressing, but is cathartic to read… well it’s probably best not to share
(looking at you Cioran.)

The massive impact one GREAT book can have.

My previous bullet point works hand in hand with my second reason to share a book.

If the thousands of people that keep up with my day to day life read this, are they better off?

Do they get a new lens to appreciate their life and experience more gratitude?

Does this validate their feelings or make them feel more understood?

This is something that can be mindlessly and anonymously transmitted through philosophy.

Alongside of this, when I choose to share a book about suicide, about sexism, about social status/class I need to also think about others perceptions.

What kind of impact will it have on ME personally?

Will some people label me misanthropic, nihilistic, misogynistic, irrational, or foolish for believing in something?

Do some people hold a grudge against the author for their indecent behavior?

(It’s hard to find philosopher that doesn’t have skeletons in the closet)

Will that get me into a “guilty by association” ordeal?

Most importantly:

Is the message so valuable and so well executed that, in spite of the fact that someone may erroneously label me any or all of those, that I deem it worth my time to elaborate on the topic and share my perspective with them despite potential conflict?

Philosophy teaches you how to articulate thoughts, not just “argue”

I get literally DOZENS of direct messages about how despicable Jordan Peterson is and how I should refuse to share any of his content.

But I think it’s a disservice to not share ANYTHING he ever says.

A lot of it is highly enriching and valuable, especially for men.

I personally don’t care for his opinions on some topics and I choose not to share those ones.

When I share snippets from his book “12 Rules For Life” and explain that he agrees EVERYONE deserves to take care of themselves the same way they would treat a good friend, we are ALL in agreement.

That can lead to some DEEP introspection on themselves.

I think it’s worth 5 minutes of my time to let a friend know that instead of attacking his character, they should remember that they are a magnificent person who deserves to treat themselves with compassion.

Yin/Yang symbol
Photo by ALTEREDSNAPS Via Pexel

Similarly, if I share too much of Camus I occasionally get people who think I’m too whiny or dig too deep into “if i’m really okay?” because of the content of the nature.

It ebbs and flows, but largely once you read enough and find ways to properly express yourself, you get to have a better understanding of people.

Their good natured intents or perhaps why they chose to lash out on you, despite you just wanting to share valuable information.

There is NOTHING more valuable than your attention, and why you can give your full attention to topic it’s great.

When you can fully express your ideas and emotions in a matter that is so mindless you don’t question yourself, you are unstoppable.

Until next time, Toodles!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *