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A Thought on Intercultural Philosophy

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A Thought on Intercultural Philosophy

At most universities “philosophy” encompasses only European philosophy, starting with post-mythological Greece. Other philosophies often fall under sinology, indology, anthropology, or other separate disciplines. But Philosophy, “the love for Wisdom” is basically universal, as the universal mind is universal. Philosophy in the west as well as the east has greatly deteriorated compared to the impulses given by the ancient Greeks, Indians, Chinese and others. It would be of great value to study, also comparatively and synthetic, the roots of the teachings as given by such figures and Vālmikī, Kapila, Kṛṣṇa, Buddha, Śankārācharya, Lao-tzu, Toth or Hermes, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, Plotinus, Tsong-kha-pa and others.

In most cases original philosophies have almost from the beginning and continuing throughout the centuries added water to their pure wine due to the activities of lesser philosophers; or even by philosophers who themselves understood the core of the original teachings, but saw that they were too subtle and large for a wider circles of people to handle, and thus, they feared, could lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations which could be most harmful to human wellbeing and genuine progress.

However, not all philosophies the world over and in all times have meditated on and worked out all possible objects of mental activity within their framework to the same extent. Also some philosophies contain elements of a practical or of an emotional character which are or have been useful for particular cultures, but are of less than universal value. If not abandoned in time, these have lead to dogmatism and fundamentalism

Some philosophical systems or individual philosophers have reached a depth of understanding which provided keys useful for cultures still to flower in the future. Examples are the concept of buddhi as taught in Mahayana Buddhism or that of non-violence in Jainism, the ethical and esthetic impulses from Great Greek philosophers, Sufism within Islam, or genuine Theosophy in modern times.


(Taken from: Culture Transcending Education from a Theosophical Viewpoint)