Arzola

Self-taught philosopher vs. University

26 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

In high school I felt I was wasting time: it didn’t help me cultivate a love, and develop genuine curiosity for, learning, other than memorizing and developing a few skills here and there. This seemed the norm for most students, if not all.

After leaving school I got interested in poetry, science, art — things that I used to be indifferent to back in school.

So I researched and read books on philosophy, psychology, literature, spirituality, etc.. I spent a thousand dollars on books, traveled to another continent, and I am currently taking the Transcending Self eCourse by Peter Ralston. That’s a considerable amount of money for me given that I’m 21 years old — for context, an undergraduate degree in philosophy here in Spain costs $1000/year approximately. I’ve also explored LSD, 5-MeO, psilocybin, and AL-LAD. With this I want to lay out my educational journey thus far.

Then Leo somewhere said the point of philosophy is to do it on your own and I wondered about it.

Frankly I’m not too interested in academic philosophy. I do admit that university could be helpful though, but a degree in philosophy? I want to know the truth, to self-actualize, to dedicate myself to life-long learning. What is the primary motivation for studying philosophy at college? The truth is regardless of circumstances.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not entirely dismissing university. What I’m saying is that, with commitment and persistence, a self-directed educational journey could be more effective and certainly more enjoyable.

Da Vinci or Alan Watts inspire me as to the possibilities of autodidactism.

Any thoughts?

Edited by Arzola

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University might teach you critical thinking and the scientific method. Not taking random thoughts and imaginations of someone / oneself for truth.

University could push you to look into perspectives which you might have never considered / might think are "wrong". Not just living in a self-reinforcing bubble of spirituality.

Maybe look into studying biology, evolution and neuroscience. The cutting edge research in these areas is very interesting and might shatter a lot of beliefs you have about spirituality.

This might be exactly what you need

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, @Stakres . Neuroscience seems pretty interesting to me, will look into it. 

Edited by Arzola

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Yh, I would suggest to just go by yourself, for me it has so much more aliveness and spontaneity to it, than dragging myself through the next uni course. People tend to put some of these courses on a pedestal, but the information is really available anywhere if you just take five minutes to look. For example at my university I can without registration, see the index table of exactly what is being taught and often quite a bit more. You can just go ham on this stuff by yourself, keeps things free and moving.

In general any perspective from uni, will contain some measure of the truth, but it is often very convoluted and seriously held back by the frameworks carried over from hundreds of years ago. So it takes some getting in to, to figure out what is being said, but I totally agree with @Stakres this stuff can be very cutting edge and the top level papers can really break you out of your bubble.

Might I suggest the Joe Rogan podcast with Paul Stamets, a real mushroom researcher, not extremely advanced, but it gets you a feel for what is going on at the edge of science:

 

Depending on what path in life you choose, it might be necessary to stick one out for a degree, but there is no reason to put that piece of paper on a pedestal.

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I think that combination of both is best option but only if you afford college and if you can get a job with that college degree after.

World today is much more complex than in times of Socrates, Da Vinci, Nietzsche, Freud, Allan Watts...

Carefully choose what job will feed you and that you can retire without fear of money.

Maybe in first few years or decades you won't find any jobs related to philosophy, but keep trying and master your craft so that one day you can life from it. Writing book for example, lecturing, traveling etc.

 

Good luck

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Not the all university programs folllow the mainstream culture. For example my proffesor knows the limitations of positivist science also he is a non dual guy. You might find great use in academy if you know where to look at. I suggest you to check smaller departments and review their paper work. You might be suprised. 

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Great advice guys. I stumbled upon John Taylor Gato and the book Choose Yourself. Great thoughts about education and individualism. 

I might add: I’ve made a distinction between education, or info we accumulate at school, and learning. Also, a general albeit good definition of autodidactism is: 

  • to take full responsibility for your learning and education,

which most people—including me—don’t really do. Like actually putting your ass on the line, not depending on anyone — which doesn’t mean you don’t learn from them. That’s the essence of self education. 

One of the things of the university path is the passivity of simply following what you’re told. Isaac Asimov, Frank Kafka, Mark Twain... These people have expressed their concern on the educational system. Vernon Howard is an example. Rupert Spira, Peter Ralston. These two attended university as far as I know, graduating with degrees unrelated to “spirituality”. 

What I would really like is Leo making a video on self education, learning, and the educational system — conscious education. 

Consciousness work has the spirit of autodidactism.

That said, I’m seriously considering getting a psychology degree. Philosophy, for me, is loving truth. And I guess that, in order to learn, philosophy at university would be valuable, but I don’t think the degree itself would be useful for making a living.

Of course I’d have to be creative on how to make a living. A business on non-duality?

I’m still contemplating what I really want to do. Ultimately I’m the one who has to do it. Thanks to everyone for the advice. 

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Posted (edited)

If you go with university, do survey this field well and see if the university includes what you desire, and give you what you need/want for the future

There are many effective, if not more effective options than going to university 

Where I grew up there was and still is a massive dogma around getting a degree being the only/best way to succeed in life. So if you avoid those traps that will be good 

That being said, right now is a great time to become an entrepreneur as resources (information and aid) are abundant, as well the as ease of creating one (cheap and quick to test). That's an option if you're interested 

I have a gut feeling that university won't fulfill your desires 

Some career options are: 

Life coach, a healing teacher, yoga teacher, chiropractor, or virtually any type of service field. These is always abundant opportunity in these areas 

You can also find communities that better suit your interests

 

Edited by d0ornokey

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i am learning philosophy in uni. i think that they give you good skills for understanding the field and having good critical thinking. also if you want to make a change in the philosophy world you should know what the academia talking about and how to talk in their language.

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5 hours ago, TheSomeBody said:

i am learning philosophy in uni. i think that they give you good skills for understanding the field and having good critical thinking. also if you want to make a change in the philosophy world you should know what the academia talking about and how to talk in their language.

@TheSomeBody I’m curious: What do you specifically study? What tools, texts, resources do your teachers facilitate you?

Also: What have you found most interesting thus far?

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On 10.1.2020 at 9:46 PM, Arzola said:

@TheSomeBody I’m curious: What do you specifically study? What tools, texts, resources do your teachers facilitate you?

Also: What have you found most interesting thus far?

they give you large perspective on the subject,they makes you think about it really hard like leo. i study philosophy and psycology in a program that focuses on cognition and consciousness . in philosophy i learn mostly about ideas about the mind.

for now my fav is methapysics and epistemology.

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@Arzola You should not go to university. It will only stifle you.

This advice is specifically for you (Arzola) not others.

Double down on the work you are already doing rather than distracting yourself with university coursework. You will not find Truth or Love in a university unless you bring it there from the outside.

Self-taught philosophy is the only true kind. The rest is parroting the words of dead men.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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On 1/6/2020 at 2:02 PM, Arzola said:

 

What I would really like is Leo making a video on self education, learning, and the educational system — conscious education. 

 

Yes! and address university. I don;t know if I should go!

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14 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

Self-taught philosophy is the only true kind. The rest is parroting the words of dead men.

What is self-taught philosophy? How is it not parroting dead men?

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Advice to young people deciding whether or not they should go to university:

There's no rush. One of the best decisions I've made is taking a year off after graduating highschool. 

Many people just use university as a (very expensive) distraction that gives them the illusion of safety and security. Is it possible that you only want to go to university to avoid the difficult emotional labour of finding your life purpose?

If your life purpose REQUIRES a university degree like engineering or medical...then definitely go.

 

But, if your life purpose involves applied psychology, philosophy, personal development, metaphysical exploration... a degree in philosophy or psychology will just be a waste of time, money, and mental energy.

 

But good luck convincing your parents or other people that this is the case ;)


Enter their minds, and you’ll find the judges you’re so afraid of – and how judiciously they judge themselves.

- Marcus Aurelius

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On 1/14/2020 at 1:03 PM, electroBeam said:

I quit university half way and never looked back.

What were you studying?

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On 1/14/2020 at 9:08 PM, LoveandPurpose said:

What is self-taught philosophy? How is it not parroting dead men?

Becoming conscious, making breakthroughs, having insights into the nature of things, questioning and contemplating for yourself... YOU being the source of learning — in this case about philosophy. Researching and reading on your own, working to experientially understand the material.

Edited by Arzola

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2 hours ago, Arzola said:

What were you studying?

computer science. 

University is necessary for jobs where you are to execute well defined, safety or mission critical tasks. These include being a doctor, lawyer, safety engineer etc.

If something goes wrong and you screw up, having a degree allows your employer to save face if questioned why they hired you.

 

In roles where your work is less well defined, and is not safety or mission critical, a degree becomes much less important. What's more important here is aptitude, experience and a great portfolio. If your employer hires an arts grad just for the degree - that doesn't mean shit, there's not much value there. A degree can't tell you how intelligent and creative you are. Only your history can.

These roles include the arts, and some sciences such as philosophy. 

 

Im in 2 roles now: CTO of a company, and computer science research engineer.

The first role doesn't have an employer, so no degree required there. The 2nd role is highly creative and not safety critical, because it's research. They were wowed by my portfolio of inventions I've made in the past(robotics, etc). 

 

Honestly I don't know why people get philosophy degrees. They are one of the worst in terms of employability. If you really want a degree, it would be better to get a doctor, lawyer, safety critical engineering(electrical, mechanical), psychologist, etc. Something where degrees are important and valued for that role.

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On 1/14/2020 at 1:08 PM, LoveandPurpose said:

What is self-taught philosophy? How is it not parroting dead men?

Philosophy is love of wisdom. A philosopher is one who sits around contemplating reality. You can contemplate reality without reading a single book. Reading is not contemplating. You can go live in a cabin in the woods and be a philosopher.

Philosophers in universities don't do much contemplating. They are like caged birds. Don't expect them to fly very far.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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