I have developed a philosophy over the years that has served me very well. I have pretty much built an impenetrable fortress around my position. But for me this is a sign I need to be a bit more open-minded to some of the options out there, and to my empirical surroundings. A philosophy is not just about something you can defend well with arguments. It is about something that gives you a new and more encompassing perception and understanding of reality, life, and the world around you. A philosophy should help us to expand our minds and use our imagination. Not contract our minds in to a fortress position, immune to criticism and contrary arguments.
There is so much to philosophy beyond argumentation. Yet all too often it seems to end up in quarrels and taking sides in various dualistic debates, and identifying with various “isms”. This element of philosophy has its place, without doubt. It does help us to be prepared to appreciate possible criticisms and be more aware of our assumptions and premises. But at this point in my life I think I need to move towards an open-minded approach once more. Open to the wonder that is reality, and being alive. And to all those big “why?” questions that make you stop and think. The meaning of life, my life, human beings’ life. The origin of life. I have long not pondered these questions, imagining what can be known has been discovered by science, and what is not yet known can never be known, or is limited to dogmatic assertions or articles of faith regarding this, that, or the other convenient and comfortable belief.
Finding a personal meaning of life for me is not a hopeless, futile avenue of inquiry. My meaning is not limited to past meanings prescribed by others and by my cultural background, and familial upbringing. It is something I create through my connection and interaction with my surroundings, and being open to them and to changes as I grow and develop. The answers may not be clear-cut, they may not be world-changing, (besides my own personal world), and they may not be formulable, absolute or long-lasting, but what they will do is provide me a direction in which to take my life freely and with an open mind, rather than playing out a pre-determined course set by past beliefs, arguments, or supposed claims to knowledge.