Summary: Unity in diversity. Out of the many, one. A statement on every dollar bill in existence "E pluribus unum." It's the motto on the seal of the United States itself. This is our starting point, because it's important we understand just what we're looking for in a philosophy.
Unity in diversity. Out of the many, one. A statement on every dollar bill in existence "E pluribus unum." It's the motto on the seal of the United States itself. This is our starting point, because it's important we understand just what we're looking for in a philosophy.
When I think about the perfect philosophy, I want it to be beautiful. It should explain reality accurately and coherently. It should show justice. It must be absolutely true (this is the one we skip in modern times because we prefer a buffet style.) Oh and love would be nice.
And what about practical application?
There is philosophy of government, economics, ethics, religion and so on. In the struggle of man kind to survive on this dust ball, what is the primary purpose behind all the philosophies of the world past and present?
Discovering the unifying thread in the ultimate diversity of cultures and ideas on the planet.
To date the idea has been to embrace contradictions in ideas, to allow for some sort of unity in diversity.
Unfortunately if person A wants a ham sandwich and person B wants to kill person A, they can't both be right and still survive in harmonious unifying diversity. Person A goes to get a ham sandwich and is in the process murdered by person B.
If Jesus Christ teaches that my sins separate me from God, there is one piece of truth.
Then Buddha teaches that there is no god and my desires must be removed, there is another piece of truth.
Obviously they can't both be right. It doesn't make sense. One wants the removal of doing wrong, but fully supports doing right, and claims a God governing the universe. The other wants the removal of all desire, good or bad, and claims no god at all.
So truth is by it's very nature exclusive. There is a correct answer, and an incorrect answer. There is objective truth. There is a God. These are things I will not be trying to prove in this piece.
My desire here is to point out the superior teaching and life philosophies lived and spoken by Jesus Christ. I won't be comparing the lifestyle of Jesus Christ to other "great teachers" of the various world religions. Instead I will be comparing the philosophies of Jesus Christ to modern mindsets and ideas on morality, right and wrong, and so on.
Jesus Christ lived the philosophy of a wider context. His life was the example of one lived with eyes set on eternity. He was God become man. He was the infinite God and maker of all things. Yet when he lived on Earth, he lived to make the required impact. He lived not as a God on Earth, but as a humble servant with a set amount of time.
Much philosophy on Earth is written one could say for a man who is to live forever in his present body. This is not the case. The average man or woman will live about 70 years. If you're very lucky (or unlucky based on your perspective) you'll get 100 years. It's amazing how that simple fact is ejected entirely from the modern mindset. Modern man refuses to face the grim facts of history and of his impending expiration date. We tend to have such an ignorant view on just how limited we are. We don't want to be limited, so we divorce ourselves from our limits and pretend we are limitless.
What was the essential teaching of Jesus Christ? When asked a similar question, what is the most important commandment, he said:
Luke 10:27 (NIV) He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Love God, love people. Very simple. Definitely works in practice too.
Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in John chapter 13. He set the example, that if God comes in a human body, God himself, and humbly serves his people, that's the way a Christian should live. Humbly serving.
Luke 22:46 (NIV) "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
Jesus urged his disciples to pray against temptation. Yeah, so what? The "so what" is Jesus knew the problem. The problem isn't an invading army, a corrupt government, or a depraved media. The enemy is temptation, the enemy is sin, and the enemy is the forces of evil that manipulate the worldly powers and media corporations.
In modern psychology and self help, I'm my greatest asset. Truthfully, I'm my biggest problem. Jesus knew that.
Luke 15:3-7 (NIV) Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.