The needed bridge between Eastern and Western philosophies

FINAL-bridge4

Real freedom of every one of us is at risk within the complexity of the modern world, because human beings have created a system that sustains and speeds up the flow of life, with the effect of preventing people to have the tools and the time to think about the meaning of their life in a wider context.

In societies where life conditions have achieved a good standard, this system is often set up to make people need more, so leading them to work and produce more in order “to buy more and pay the bills”. A system that was built to increase the quality of life of people, and has generated incredible wealth in parts of the world, is now becoming a trap for many.

The only manner to mitigate the negative influence of this system is to become able to make choices that depend on the vision of life coming from the deepest-self and that are not instilled by the external environment. Each individual should be allowed to choose in line with his/her core values and should be protected from a system that is so strong to make people feel like “new age freaks” when they take alternative and more sensible approaches to life.

Looking at the Eastern philosophy, it is sufficient to carry out the first and third steps of the Centered Life Model to achieve connection with the core-self and then to live in the present moment, as follows:

Step 1) Understand and train your mind (through meditation: derived from the Buddhist tradition)

Step 3) Live in the moment (through mindfulness: derived from the Buddhist tradition)

However, this simple approach to life unfortunately is becoming weak against the influence of this system created in the modern society that, as said, speeds up the flow of life to the extreme, involving millions of people.

Therefore, to guarantee real freedom of choice of individuals, the first and third phases must be extended, enhanced and made stronger; this is done merging the Eastern approach of step 1 and 3 with the Western philosophy, from which the second, fourth and fifth steps of the Centered Life Model are derived, as follows:

Step 2) Discover who you are (through mind/reality models derived from anthropology, psychology and western philosophy)

Step 4) Decide where to go (the western approach of defining a vision of the future)

Step 5) Take action (the western approach of making and trying to accomplish a defined life plan)

It is important to point out that these three phases derived from Western philosophy are not strong enough on their own as well, because they find their foundation on the abstract and logical analysis of reality, therefore they become weak when the basic human instincts, driven by strong sensations and emotions, take the lead. In this case, only the contribution given by step 1 and 3 allows keeping a lucid mind, so to make a life plan in line with the core-self and not with objectives artificially instilled by the social environment.

Merging the most practical aspects of eastern and western philosophies, and making them simple and clear in one consistent open framework, the individuals will be able to achieve sufficient freedom to decide independently what the best for them is and, in the end, the best for all. This is the meaning and objective of the Centered Life Model.

If you want to have the full picture, these concepts are widely treated in the book Brilliant well-being.

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Many thanks in advance for your comments!

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Steps to becoming confident, successful and happy

Brilliant well-being: the life-transforming book

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Copyright © – Dimitri Gianesini – All rights reserved

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6 thoughts on “The needed bridge between Eastern and Western philosophies

  1. Jeff Hirz says:

    This is a fantastic demonstration of how to bridge these two mindsets. One thing I’ve always struggled with, in terms of Eastern philosophy, is “how do I still get shit done?” What really is effortless action? How can I do without doing? I have my roots in Taoism, though, and I don’t know much about Buddhism aside from the four noble truths, eightfold path and the fact that it’s very similar to Taoism in many ways. Loved your line on how Western philosophies “…find their foundation on the abstract and logical analysis of reality…”. Absolutely agreed. If there’s no external progress, people assume you’re not doing anything with your life. If they can’t see the benefits visually or tangibly, it’s a waste of time.

    Thanks for this post – helped elucidate a lot for me. And I think this exemplifies many of the trends happening in New Age – it’s finding more practicality as more writers enter the fray and help clarify esoteric concepts.

  2. jgrwriter says:

    Great post. The idea of bridging the gap is clever and really practical. If individuals were to attempt this practice, I’m certain they would easily find the value in doing so.

  3. “Each individual should be allowed to choose in line with his/her core values and should be protected from a system that is so strong to make people feel like ‘new age freaks’ when they take alternative and more sensible approaches to life.”
    Excellent advice. I work with patients regularly using a mix of eastern and western medicine, and I understand the pressures the modern western world can place on folks. But many of my patients, when they begin to see the improvement in their well-being (physical and mental), let go of such concerns and stop worrying about negative outside forces.

  4. Nagarjuna Nandivada says:

    Dear Dimitri,
    Your aim to slow down the” fast flow of life” and center it gets well covered. Eastern Philosophy being referred by you is Buddhisim so I suggest that you bracket Buddhisim after Eastern Philosophy to make it amply clear. I think you have kept it simple enough to allow people to get to the middle path at first. Your aim to bring about slow down and set in realization that true happiness is not in material alone does get covered in your recommended path.
    Advance philosophy:
    When one desires to transcend centred life and be one with infinite Truth & infinite Bliss then there is teachings of Vedanta-Advaita-Non dualism.
    What you refer to “Discover who you are” we (Advaita) mean “I am That I am” meaning I am not the body-Mind-senses but I am the SELF and the SELF is one with supreme SELF (Non duality)

  5. VIOLETA BOCAGE says:

    Great post! Your idea is something I’ve discussed with friends several times, except I took it more from a scientific stance — technology and knowledge have progressed faster and further than wisdom. Until wisdom catches up, there will continue to be an imbalance. Now, how does wisdom catch up I don’t know. Wisdom isn’t as important to our society as knowledge and technology because wisdom doesn’t bring money and power, at least not in the way most want.

    Thanks for the interesting article!!!

    • Wisdom I think goes hand in hand with self awareness. Living in the bliss of our fast paced reality can be brought about if we can give the body, the mind, the work, the desires the space and support that the Self needs to actuate and cultivate. When I work, I need to support my idea of it. The scene moves like an artist’s canvas. I create a place where I can become something more than I am. It is a serene space where nothing can break in to disturb the beauty that may come to me. My mind is able to be free from the reality of the world; and in that knowledge I become aware of the collection of things. The wisdom then can channel my desire to create solutions that can affect the outside of me. I become aware of the brilliance that is awakened inside; and through me. As I gain wisdom, I am drawn to achieve a certain destination with my desire. It can just affect me surely but with my increased desire and passion I then tend to draw others around me to it too because it is something I feel so passionately. Solutions to things then can be tackled. Gina M Capone, Entrepreneur © 2013 Opes Campitor Corporation http://www.opescampitor.com

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