THE PURPOSE OF

PHILOSOPHY

WITH EPICTETUS

SUNDAY SEP 24, 10 AM PST

ON THE REAL PURPOSE OF PHILOSOPHY

True philosophy doesn’t involve exotic rituals, mysterious liturgy, or quaint beliefs. Nor is it just abstract theorizing and analysis. It is, of course, the love of wisdom. It is the art of living a good life. As such, it must be rescued from religious gurus and from professional philosophers lest it be exploited as an esoteric cult or as a set of detached intellectual techniques or brain teasers to show how clever you are. Philosophy is intended for everyone, and it is authentically practiced only by those who wed it with action in the world toward a better life for all.

Philosophy’s purpose is to illuminate the ways our soul has been infected by unsound beliefs, untrained tumultuous desires, and dubious life choices and preferences that are unworthy of us. Self-scrutiny applied with kindness is the main antidote. Besides rooting out the soul’s corruptions, the life of wisdom is also meant to stir us from our lassitude and move us in the direction of an energetic, cheerful life. 

Skilled use of logic, disputation, and the developed ability to name things correctly are some of the instruments philosophy gives us to achieve abiding clear-sightedness and inner tranquility, which is true happiness.

This happiness, which is our aim, must be correctly understood. Happiness is commonly mistaken for passively experienced pleasure or leisure. That conception of happiness is good only as far as it goes. The only worthy object of all our efforts is a flourishing life.

True happiness is a verb. It’s the ongoing dynamic performance of worthy deeds. The flourishing life, whose foundation is virtuous intention, is something we continually improvise, and in doing so our souls mature. Our life has usefulness to ourselves and to the people we touch. 

We become philosophers to discover what is really true and what is merely the accidental result of flawed reasoning, recklessly acquired erroneous judgments, well-intentioned but misguided teachings of parents and teachers, and unexamined acculturation.

To ease our soul’s suffering, we engage in disciplined introspection in which we condut thought-experiments to strengthen our ability to distinguish between wholesome and lazy, hurtful beliefs and habits.

A translation of Epictetus published in Sharon Lebell’s The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness. 

PHILOSOPHER

SIMON J. E. DREW

Simon J. E. Drew is an Australian poet, musician, philosopher, and co-founder of The Walled Garden Philosophical Society. He now resides in Orange County, California with his wife, Jen. 

Simon is currently managing a small music school in Tustin, California, as well as facilitating The Sanctuary Academy for the Humanities and The Sanctuary Podcast. 

To read Simon’s poetic and mystical works, or to listen to his musical compositions, visit thewalledgarden.com/thesanctuary.

SUBSCRIBE TO
GARDEN PICKINGS

Get weekly garden pickings offering the best of The Walled Garden, as well as updates on upcoming events.

ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION

Depending on the assignment, you may need to upload multiple files. Most file types are accepted, but please let me know if you need assistance (email simon@simonjedrew.com)

ENROLLMENT

Join our growing community of seekers and citizens from around the world who are rediscovering their humanity and connectedness by way of the philosophical and spiritual path.

$15.95 weekly

SEEKER

Get access to regular classes, courses, workshops, and resources. Plus, get 10% off TWG store and access to member-only forums.

ENROLL

JOIN TO ENTER THIS ROOM

Enroll now to enter The Sanctuary.

SEEKER

$29.95* per week to get access to all classes and  forums, and a copy of
The Poet & The Sage when you enrol.

*Members of The Walled Garden Philosophical Society get 20% off this grove.

STUDENT

All Seeker benefits, plus up to four one-on-one philosophical mentoring sessions per month, starting at $100 per session.

*Members of The Walled Garden Philosophical Society get $25 off per session.

SUNDAY SEEKER

Attend a weekly event on Sundays, exploring sacred and philosophical texts. Free for Caretakers of The Walled Garden Philosophical Society.

We use cookies to enhance the user experience on our website.
Please confirm that you’re ok with this.