Philosophical Aphorisms

The easiest way to make peace with others is to realize we are no better; the easiest way to do that is to open our eyes.

Reality doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.

Criticising those who are absent-minded assumes the rest of us aren’t.

We all live in a delusion. Some live in the delusion of the past, some in the delusion of elsewhere, others in the delusion of what’s supposedly happening now.

Those who put themselves down are as egotistical as those who elevate themselves. The only non-egotistical stance is to not think of ourselves.

People with a persecution complex are the biggest egotists, for they believe they are important enough to be persecuted.

Can we be aware of ourselves? Can the eye see itself? The eye can see itself if it has a mirror. We also have a mirror for ourselves. It’s our actions.

To find out what we believe, see what we do. It’s nonsense to claim we believe one thing yet do another.

There is no compassion without action.

Every parent who punished a child has cast a vote for determinism.

Contradictions are a sign of one of two things: incoherence or a deeper truth.

Paradoxes do not exist in nature: only in the mind.

Paradoxes are a sign of bad thinking.

Worldviews are often axiomatic: they are the foundation for one’s logic rather than the result. Think about that the next time you try to logically convince someone to change his or her worldview.

Choose a happy delusion over a miserable reality, a happy slave-hood over a miserable kingship, and to serve in heaven rather than rule in hell.

The less I fight, the happier I become. True happiness means embracing the wimp in me.

Imagine you are blissful, yet utterly mad and wallowing in your own filth. If you recoil, then you do not value happiness enough.

True invulnerability is not being impervious to harm, but not minding being harmed.

Even the above is not true, for not minding means one cannot be harmed.

One of our biggest enemies is our mental “defense” against negativity.

Your pain is proportional to how much you try to avoid it. If you stop trying to avoid pain, you will be hurt a lot less.

Your resistance to others is inversely proportional to how much you try to keep them from affecting you. If you stop resisting their impact on you, you will be immune to them.

We always do what we want; even when we think we don’t, we do it because we expect a bigger pay-off than from not doing it.

Regret is an illusion; if we were in the same situation, we’d do the same thing. If we knew then what we knew now, it wouldn’t be the same situation.

There is no what-if. What has happened, happened and it could not have happened otherwise.

Asking “why” ultimately fails. It either goes on forever, or provides a final answer. Can you imagine a final answer that won’t disappoint you?

Buddhism aims at no self. Hinduism aims at the universal self. Both aim at the same thing. The unification is that no self and universal self mean no separate self.

People use weighted probability to decide. Remember that the next time you ridicule someone for taking steps to avoid an unlikely fate.

Numbers work because they capture the essence of what matters to humans.

What is knowledge? If it’s the ability to do things, then a machine knows. If it’s a feeling of knowing, then a mistaken person knows. If it’s neither, then the word is nonsense and there is no such thing.

Our feelings towards a concept are inversely proportional to its meaning.

Many words are nonsense.

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3 thoughts on “Philosophical Aphorisms

  1. Love your aphorisms. Are they all yours? Your take in knowledge and paradoxes is particularly interesting. Also, I agree with the Buddhism vs. Hinduism aphorism. No separation, no self.

  2. Thank you! They are all mine in the sense that I did not get them out of any source (that I know of), although the phrase “can the eye see itself” was pulled verbatim out of a reference I heard to just what someone was watching when being mindful; however, it was a lead-in to the rest of the aphorism which AFAIK was not pulled from anything.

    Having said that, everything I write is the result of both experience and reading. With regards to the latter, it’s very possible I’m re-stating (possibly multiple) sources without realizing it.

    The Buddhism/Hinduism one is probably the closest to an external source. It was inspired/based on something I read that stated that if you identify yourself with everything, then by definition you identify yourself with nothing because to identify yourself with something requires differentiation. Everything = nothing.

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