Philosophers are interesting people. Those who are semanticists can dissect words more finely than a biology student can dissect a frog. Those who are spiritual can have you so far into the ethereal plane as to cloud your thoughts. Those who offer guidance in life can offer, as Alain de Botton does, ways of surviving in the jungle of modern society.
A clever young man, Benjamin Law, who claims to have travelled reasonably widely, yet has never seen snow, but has ‘experienced gastro in Cambodia, India and Indonesia’ (refer ‘Good Weekend, SMH 28 Mar. 2015) quotes de Botton as follows: ‘The sole cause of a man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.’ (‘The Art of Travel’)
Ha! I have lived alone in my ‘retirement cave’ (refer Hinduism’s guidance to senior citizens) for more than 2 decades. But I am not sure that I have lived quietly, since I have published 6 books, 44 articles in http://www.ezinearticles.com, and nearly 700 posts on WordPress/Facebook – all written in this cave while living in peace, both mental and spiritual. Yet, I have been active in civil society, having served on 6 committees since moving into this quiet terrain, where only bird-calls and the songs of the sea fill the ears and satisfy the soul!
Could philosophers be wrong? Perhaps Buddha had the right answer for us, as he offered a necessary guidance to his fellow Hindus. Indeed, had the priesthoods of all the other religions (including those which were established after the time of the Buddha) absorbed his message, we fellow humans would have learnt to live in peace with one another all over the globe.