Philosophy is not a theory but a vision of life (Darsana). 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.
UPDATES (july 16th)
From pure empirical observation and a scientific attitude we are to gradually rise to a philosophical realm where we are in the midst of conditioning factors which reign supreme over the isolated particulars of life and satisfy us that we are more than the mortal body and the pale mind that we are here. There is something superb about us, and the pursuit of this real essence within ourselves is the task of philosophy, the purpose of the spiritual pursuit of mankind.
The universe is a vast field of psychological experience of multitudinous centres of individuality for working out their deserts by way of objective experience. The universe is another name for experience by a cosmic mind, of which the relative minds are refractive aspects and parts.
Philosophy is the vision of facts as they are, divested of the imagination by which circumstances in life are construed to be quite different from what they really are.
The ‘Advaita’ of Sankara is not so much the assertion of oneness as the negation of duality, as the names of his system suggests. God is not one or two or three, for He is above numerical affirmation. He is not anything that we can think of, but, however, He does not involve in any difference; hence He is ‘Advaita’, non-dual. Such is the cautious name of Sankara’s system of philosophy.
Space is the relation of the coexistence of ideas and time is the relation of the succession of ideas. As coexistence and succession themselves are ideas, the world has no existence independent of the mind, working from the subjective side as the thought-process of the individual and objectively as the Will of Brahma.
UPDATE (dec 2013)
The true philosophic method should not be lopsided, should not be biased to any particular or special dogma, but comprehend within itself the processes of reflection and speculation and at the same time be able to reconcile the deductive and inductive methods of reasoning. The philosophy of the Absolute rises above particulars to greater and greater universals, basing itself on facts of observation and experience by the method of induction and gradual generalisation of truths, without missing even a single link in the chain of logic and argumentation, reflection and contemplation, until it reaches the highest generalisation of the Absolute Truth, and then by the deductive method comes down to interpret and explain the facts of experience in the light of the nature of this Truth. This is a great example of the most satisfactory method of philosophical enquiry. Philosophy being the way of the knowledge of Truth, its method must be in agreement with the nature of Truth. In philosophy and religion the end always determines the nature of the means.
The flowing of a river is an action, the blowing of the wind is an action, the bursting of a volcano is an action. Do we find a difference between these actions and our actions? The difference is the extent of personality-consciousness, ego-consciousness, individuality-consciousness involved. If our actions have an impact upon another person, it produces a nemesis by way of a reaction; but if Ganga overflows and demolishes millions of villages, no reaction will be set up against Ganga. If tornadoes blow, tear out trees, make the ocean rise up and destroy all kinds of life, the wind will not have any nemesis or reaction to its action. If a volcano kills millions, it will not have any karma reacting upon it. But if we do anything – if we destroy a village or break something – we will get the nemesis thereof.