Nature of Philosophy

Philosophy is not a theory but a vision of life. It is not merely 'love of wisdom' but signifies a real 'possession' of it. The philosophers are therefore not professors, academicians or doctrinaires, or even spectators, but true participants of life in its real meaning and relationship. To be a philosopher, thus, implies more substance than what is often taken to be its value in life. A philosopher is not concerned with human beings alone: his concern is with all creation, the universe in its completeness. His thought has to reflect the total import of existence in its togetherness.
A philosopher's task calls for a great strength of will and clarity of understanding, side by side with an exalted moral consciousness.

Philosophy has often been identified with a life of contemplation, without action. That this is a misrepresentation based on ignorance would become obvious from the nature of philosophic wisdom. Though wisdom is a state of consciousness and implies concentration and meditation, it does so not in any exclusive sense, for philosophic wisdom is all-inclusive. It synthesizes the different sides of the psychological nature, e.g., the knowing, willing, feeling and active. Any lopsided emphasis is contrary to the requirements of wisdom of life. A philosopher, in his heightened understanding, has also the power of sublime feeling and action for a universal cause.

Philosophy is not also opposed to religion; on the other hand it is the lamp which illumines the corners of religion both within and without. Philosophy supplies the meaning of religious practices, even of ritual, image and symbol. If religion is the body, philosophy is the life in it. Philosophy ennobles religion, sublimates art and stabilizes the sciences, such as sociology, ethics and politics. It was the hope of Plato that the philosopher and the ruler be found in the same person, if the world is to have peace. Philosophy is also the remedy for the illnesses which psychoanalysis has been...