Philosophies of Life

Life #

We did not choose to be born, rather it was pure randomness, and we all try to make sense of our lives. Writing, from early times, is a way of conveying to our descendants how to live and love; how to overcome travail, failure, suffering, doubt to find joy, hope and purpose. Writers recognise the beauty in brokenness and find ways to repair the wounds of the past.

Literature records attitudes to life throughout the ages.

King Lear expresses deep dark despair:

When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools:

Other Quotes on Life:

Your life should encompass multiple interests, Passions in many areas and several relationships, if you are to avoid crowding your loved ones.

Life is solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short. – Thomas Hobbes

Most men live lives of quiet desperation - Henry David Thoreau

Life is a joke played upon us by the powers that be. Thomas Hardy

Life is what happens to us while we were making other plans . John Lennon

The plans of mice and men gae oft awry - Robert Burns

“The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is totally meaningless.” Tolstoy, exploring philosophical questions about the meaning of life in the face of death.

Life is too important to be taken seriously – Nicholas Bentley

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage for the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr.

Life is no spectacle or feast; it is a predicament.

Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the ones that take your breath away.

Life is a mystery to be lived; not a problem to be solved. Gabriel Marcel

B – Negative; not only a blood group, a whole way of living.

B + Positive; not only a blood group, - a whole way of living.

You’ve got to accentuate the positive / Eliminate the negative / Latch on to the affirmative… Lyrics by Johnny Mercer – 1950’s

Hope is the feeling you have, that the feeling you have isn’t permanent

A good writer can make hope a possibility rather than despair an inevitability

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West

‘Life is the sum of all your choices’ - Albert Camus.

Life is a sexually transmitted, terminal disease.

Life is where the inevitable never happens, and the unexpected always”. Thatcher

Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn” (Jane Austen - Mr Bennet – P & P)

Striving for things that don’t really matter

Life is like a shit sandwich; the more bread you have, the less shit you have to eat.

All life forms essentially play an existential game. The sole aim of the game is to stay in the game.

Life has taught me to think; but thinking has not taught me to live.

Life is a waste of time. Time wastes life. Stuff them both; let’s get wasted.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass……it’s about learning to dance in the rain!

Life is determined how you manage Plan B.

There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us. James Truslow Adams

For more control, stop thinking it’s possible –

Life is partly skill and partly luck. Chance plays a substantial and irreducible role in our fate. Thus the first step towards wisdom is to disabuse ourselves of the illusion of control, to accept that much of our fate is beyond our control. The second step is to assess our chances of success or failure in a realistic way. Ross Gittins

Catch then, oh catch the transient hour; improve each moment as it flies! Life’s a short summer. Samuel Johnson

“In the end, you can see yourself in only two ways: either as a little intelligence surrounded by a random and unintelligent Universe or as small intelligence surrounded by a great and caring Intelligence. In this equation, it is either yes to intelligence, or not. In this mode of thinking, let us ask: Is the universe supported by love or is it empty and uncaring?”

The inimitable Albert Einstein asked the same thing: ”The most fundamental question we can ask ourselves is whether or not the universe we live in is friendly or hostile.” And he further commented that our answer to that question would literally determine our destiny. Insightful thinker, that Mr. Einstein. Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar; Ancient Wisdom for a New World” by Jeffrey Armstrong

The reason we don’t recognise opportunity is that it looks too much like hard work.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. Shakespeare – Twelfth Night.

Some people make it happen, some watch it happen and some just wonder what happened.

Dignity does not consist in possessing honours, but in deserving them. Aristotle

Now that I have abandoned my search for truth I am looking around for a good fantasy. Ashleigh Brilliant

The man who rows the boat generally doesn’t have the time to rock it.

I am a part of all that I have met; Tennyson

“The thin and precarious crust of decency is all that separates any civilization, however impressive, from the hell of anarchy or systematic tyranny which lie in wait beneath the surface.” Aldous Huxley

Happiness is having a large loving close knit family living in another city.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect; It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections……

Be mindful that happiness isn’t based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we like and respect.

“It’s just as vulgar to work for posterity as to work for the sake of money” Orson Wells

Apathy is a frozen form of violence.

You don’t HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul, you HAVE a body. C. S. Lewis

Great Thinkers: #

Marshall McLuhan (1911 - 80) #

A Canadian media guru, English Professor and electronic visionary, he predicted many of the changes that would impact us in the future. McLuhan was an English studies scholar of deep and broad learning.

- ‘the medium is the message’ in 1958. The varying effects of new media, oral to print to radio, to television, to the information super highway with its implosion of information. McLuhan’s whole point was that the technological form of a medium changes the nature of human perception and cognition.

The media ensemble of the time defines what matters, to whom, and what acquires the status of “fact”. He regarded the newspaper as a recent invention that changed the way people thought. In his 1962 book The Gutenberg Galaxy he pointed out that the surreal juxtaposition of stories created by the broadsheet newspaper form changed the way that different narratives were linked together, and thus changed the actual character of our thought. “News” was an invention of the 17th century.

  • ’the medium is the massage’ - Film, including all moving pictures, is a cool medium in that almost everything is done for us and so we lie back and absorb it without really exerting our inner mental eye. Reading and listening, according to the guru of media studies, are hot medium because they engage our imagination.

Role of the Artist; -

“the chances of understanding the meaning of our involvement in the present is very small. It is generally the artists who see what they are living in the present and we are always one step ahead (of technology)”.

Spin, persuasion, propaganda

“Ours is the first age in which many thousands of the best trained individual minds have made it a full-time business to get inside the collective public mind. To get inside in order to manipulate, exploit, control is the object now.”

The Global Village

We are now living in a global age (Village) predicted by our compatriot in the early fifties where we are inundated with the implosion of knowledge and opinion due to the Information Super highway - the world wide web.

An issue of a newspaper from the 1900’s contained more information than a reader in the 1700’s would have been exposed to in a life time.

Albert Einstein #

Einstein was a brilliant scientist, however he was also a perceptive observer of our social philosophies.

“Two certainties in life; the infinity of space and stupidity and I’m not that sure about space.”

“A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.”

“Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolised”.

Not everything that can be counted counts; not everything that counts can be counted.

Imagination is more important than logic.

Logic will get you from A to B; imagination will get you anywhere.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”. That remains true today.

The trouble with creating a society based on rationality is that it very often is not rational.

”The most fundamental question we can ask ourselves is whether or not the universe we live in is friendly or hostile.” Our answer to that question would literally determine our destiny.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

Religion without science is blind and science without religion is lame.

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm; but because of those who look at it without doing anything.

Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of the truth.

To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.

When a pamphlet was published entitled 100 Authors Against Einstein, Einstein retorted:

“If I were wrong, one would be enough.” perhaps apocryphal but absolutely true.

Einstein: (To Chaplin)

‘What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!’


‘True. But your glory is even greater! The whole world admires you, even though they don’t understand a word of what you say.’" …

Then there is inherited knowledge.

Einstein plagiarised Isaac Newton when he said “we are mere pygmies standing on the shoulders of giants” proving his point. It is the accumulated wisdom of the ages that give us a head start in our search for full awareness.

A 1949 statement; “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”