' Philosophy '...


Viewed from the standpoint of the house in which we all have to live--that is, the body--Advaita Vedanta seems to deal only in ultimate abstractions--however admirable and lofty its outlook.

The body is there and its actuality and factuality must be noted and, more, accepted. This is why I do not give any other label to the ideas put into my later books than the generic name philosophy. I do not call it Indian philosophy since there are ideas in the books which do not belong to India at all.

I do not identify it with any particular land, race, religion, or teacher from the ancient past or the modern present. Philosophy cannot be limited only to abstract ideas. It includes those ideas but it also includes other things. Its original Greek meaning, "love of wisdom," concerns the whole of man, and not only his abstract thoughts, intellect, feelings, body, or relation to the world around him.

It concerns his entire life: his contacts with other people, the morality which guides him in dealing with them, and finally his attitude towards himself. Philosophy must be universal in its scope; therefore, it may embrace ideas which originate not only in India or in America or in Europe, but in every other period of civilization. Not all ideas are philosophical, but only those which are true, useful, in harmony with the World-Idea, and able to survive the test of practice and applicability.



-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? >
Chapter 1: Toward Defining Philosophy > # 128
Paul Brunton

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