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Humans, by nature, are rationally weak but passionately motivated. Emotions are always stronger and drive action, and reasoning is often used as an excuse for inaction.
Neuroscience is now revisiting emotions as drivers of action, reducing them to mere tools. The complexity of emotions, especially the mixed variety, runs deeper than just being catalysts for action.
Our emotions often trigger automatic actions which we tend to regret later. The suffering that we and others then undergo can be termed as compassion. The challenge is to distance ourselves from our automatic emotions that trigger reflex actions, or reactions.
True, responsive action has to be cultivated by being aware of our actions, habits and emotions. By checking our habits, and ensuring that whatever we do has value in it, we can get rid of our reactions, based on emotions.
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Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy(1945) is an extraordinary work of synthesis, introducing global (particularly eastern) spirituality into mainstream western culture.
The Author and Philosopher's fresh take on religion, shaping it as an 'empirical spirituality' was a huge influence in the 1960s and which has since then led to more people (now 27% in the US) being 'Spiritual but not Religious'
Aldous Huxley was heavily criticized after his death by newer philosophers who didn't subscribe to the Perennial Philosophy.
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The philosophy of the Scottish philosopher David Hume wasn't just about being disagreeable. He was skeptical and doubtful on authority, and on himself too.
He could highlight flaws on both si...
David Hume understood that the various beliefs and ideologies that sound reasonable and logical on the surface, are in fact irrational and emotionally driven deep down.
This way he could argue about or doubt practically any belief or thought process.
David Hume was completely at ease with contradictions. This way he could avoid getting into extremities.
He used to contradict himself by providing a counter-argument against his own statements. This way, no matter how contradictory it sounded, it provided an insight into life, which itself does not follow a linear, logical path.