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SOCIETY FOR PHILOSOPHICAL PRAXIS, COUNSELLING AND SPIRITUAL HEALING (Registration No. 477, 2000-2001) (A Non-profit and Non-religious Society to promote Free and Creative Thinking, Social Action and Spiritual Healing)

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philosophical counselling india
Counselling, and Psychotherapy
(Registration No.477, 2000-2001)
"Existential Predicament And Transformational Philosophy"
(December, 2017)

♦ Registration fee for Indian participants is Rs.2000/
(It includes lodging & boarding)
♦ Registration fee for foreign delegates is $ 200/
(It includes lodging and boarding)


Note: These rates are applicable till the 15th November, 2017
Send D.D. in favour of Secretary, Society for Philosophical Praxis, counseling and Spiritual healing, Jaipur (Rajasthan) Contribute your research paper on one of the topics mentioned below. 

You May Transfer the Registration Fee directly to this account and inform us by mail

Dr. Rajkumar : e-mail  :
Or Secretary, PPCSHS , e-mail :

Post Address: C-207, Manu Marg, Tilak Nagar Jaipur 302004

Pan No. AABAP3656R

Accounts details
Pan No. AABAP3656R
Account No. 674701293437
IFSC Code ICIC0006747
MICR Code 302229018
ICICI Bank, Rajasthan University Campus, JLN MARG, JAIPUR-302004

Your research paper is expected on one of the topics mentioned below:
1. Existential situations
2. Individual's outlook
3. Understanding meaning and process of transformation of life
4. Transformation and introspection as methods of self- change
5. Methods of transformation : Philosophical approaches Indian philosophy
A) Upanisadas, B) Gita, C) Buddhism, D) Jainism , E)Vedanta (bhakti movement) and F) Yoga.
G) Contemporary Indian thinkers : H).krishna Murthy, Osho, Raman Maharshi etc.

Western Philosophy
Stoics, Epicurus, Martin Buber, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche
Note: You are free to choose any other thinker whose philosophy has transformational value.

6. Existence and Essence : A journey from limited life to fuller life
7. Human reality and possibilities of life
8. The concept of authentic life
9. Exploring the self
10. Human seeking of meaning of life
11. Role of philosophy in social transformation
12. Role of Literature in awakening and cultivation of our inner dimensions.

Note: We would need to receive your completed paper by the end of October, 2017. There are plans that we will publish the accepted articles in a book form.


We would need to receive your completed paper by 31st October. 2017. There are plans that we will publish the accepted articles in a book form. 

Existential Predicament And Transformational Philosophy

        Philosophy, the activity carried under this name in the academic world, is suffering contemporary crisis. The crisis is partly due to the postmodern criticism of reason and its subsequent relativism, partly to the divide between Analytical philosophy and continental philosophy. Remaining solely theoretical threatens its very being. Its powerful rivals who want to replace it are those who want to emphasize that it should be practical and be applicable to everyday life.

        There are at least two senses in which the term philosophy is used: formal and an informal sense. In the formal sense, philosophy is an academic study of the fields of aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social and political philosophy. One's "philosophy of life" is philosophy in the informal sense, as a personal philosophy, whose focus is resolving the existential questions about the human condition.

        "Philosophy of life" also refers to a specific conception of philosophizing as a way of life, endorsed by the German Lebensphilosophie movement* whose main representative were Wilhelm Dilthey** and several other Continental philosophers such as Henri Bergson+ and Pierre Hadot***. Hadot is of the view that the philosophy teacher's discourse could be presented in such a way that the disciple, as auditor, reader, or interlocutor, could make spiritual progress and transform himself within. By "spiritual exercises" Hadot means practices intended to effect a modification and a transformation in the subject who practices them.

The human situation appears to be a struggle between what is (existence) and what ought (essence) to be.

Turning inward is the way to free oneself from sorrow and desire, to reach wisdom and even immortality.

        Ancient philosophy was primarily practical in its aims, not theoretical. Wisdom was not identified with whole of the theoretical knowledge , but happiness or wellbeing, which was to be attained by bringing about proper internal ordering of the soul. Any and all accounts of the cosmos or what goes on in it were subordinated to this goal. One did not have to be an original theorist in order to be a philosopher. Nor did one have to be up-to-date to opinions of various theorists. Instead, one had only to adopt a particular way of life, a life centered on the pursuit of wisdom. Thus one can be original theorist or a learned scholar, but not a philosopher in the classical sense. Just as professors who teach novels do not thereby call themselves novelists, so professors who teach philosophy should not thereby call themselves philosophers. Being a' philosopher' was not a matter of education or vocation, but was conceived as a new way of being in the world arising from an internal spiritual conversion.

        The transformational philosophers, throughout the ages have taught us to see our own limitations and superficiality of life and suggested to go beyond existing situation or stepping out of cave of our normal life, out of our perimeter . Getting in touch with our inner dimension, awakening it and cultivating it leads to the greater and wider horizons of life. On the basis of this understanding it may be said that transformational philosophical process has two stages: philosophical self-examination / (investigation) that would reveal our existing limited and distorted vision of life and second stage tells us to step out from this situation or from narrow approach towards life. The main emphasis of first stage is on the analysis of an existing situation and the second stage consists of realizing of unrealized positive potentialities of life ( or Self). These stages are not completely separate from each other. The main issue is how to recognize the need for self- investigation and the process or method of self- investigation.

        The process of self -examination is always based on the understanding of one's own limitations. The understanding of one's own limitations or emotional, behavioural and thought patterns helps the person to overcome them. The limited or perimeteral understanding of different issues such as meaningful relationships, understanding what is fair and just, understanding what self is and so on. Sometimes the different understandings are caused by different situations. For example when I am with strangers I have suspicious understanding and on the other hand when I am with my best friends I have trusting understanding.

        Stepping out from the personal limitations or from the CAVE (Plato's Cave)++ may be understood as a process of self- transformation or a return to the Self. The idea of self- transformation seems to be unrealistic and difficult one. The stepping out of the cave is not simply overcoming one's dissatisfaction or distress or dysfunctional behavior or satisfying one's own needs. This psychological approach is fundamentally inadequate for a number of reasons.

        A better understanding of the meaning of 'stepping out from the cave' can be found in the writings of transformational philosophers. As we have mentioned earlier that there are two attitudes towards life: limited and fuller. The first attitude indicates only superficial aspects of ourselves and in the fuller attitude we engage ourselves in the deeper aspects of our being.

        The transformational thinkers like J. Krishna Murthy, Raman Maharshi, Osho, texts like Upanisads, Gita, and philosophers like Stoics, Bergson, Martin Buber ,Buddhism, Yoga philosophy, Bhakti movement, etc. have envisioned self -transformation from limited, mechanical and fragmented life. Every one has a dormant yearning- a call to transform, and wants to live a greater, fuller and richer life. The views of transformational thinkers help us to recognize this yearning and encourage the person (you can transcend, you ought to do so) to transcend his limitations.

        All these sources, in spite the different insights of the process of awakening and cultivating our inner dimensions , have common belief that the transformed state have a special value. Normally we feel that our everyday moments are insignificant, barely conscious, dull forgettable but in the transformed state each moment is experienced as valuable. Each moment gives us special significance- it is significant itself. For Stoics this moment is tranquility in harmony with cosmos. For Bergson it is 'rich symphonic flow, for Buber it is togetherness.'

        Due to the sense of being fully and directly conscious of reality we appreciate the moment in its fullness. This appreciation of fullness is alive in us and is intense. It is not a theoretical concept but we are directly aware of the fullness and richness of reality within and outside us. My psychological mechanism and forces make me fragmented. My incoherent attitude and understanding are the result of my psychological dynamics. In the transformed state I am one. My emotions, thoughts and behaviours are no longer separate and isolated and are part of a unified whole. It may be expressed as natural self, flow, togetherness of I-you, one with myself.

        In my everyday life I experience myself at the centre of world and working to manage and control it. I am preoccupied with various agendas, needs and concerns. This is the ego centricity which needs transformation. In the transformed state I experience that I am the part of larger reality that extends beyond myself. I feel as if I am an integral part of cosmos, a small entity in the vast cosmos. Before the transformation I was controlled by fixed psychological forces and patterns. In this sense I was not liberated from psychological mechanism. After the transformation I am free from all psychological forces. I am the one who determines myself. Everything I do and feel and think emerges from unified source of energies.

        Transformed state has been portrayed differently by different thinkers. But this state is different from ordinary moment before transformation. Each moment is precious and full with a sense of inner unity, openness beyond myself and inner freedom. Such a transformation is more than a subjective experience. Transformed state of mind is not just experiential, it is also a window to a deeper knowledge of our human reality.

---------------- Footnotes :

*Lebensphilosophie ("philosophy of life" or life-philosophy in German) is a philosophical school of thought which emphasises the meaning, value and purpose of life as the foremost focus of philosophy. This philosophy pays special attention to life as a whole, which can only be understood from within. The movement can be regarded as a rejection of Kantian abstract philosophy or scientific reductionism of positivism.

**Wilhelm Dilthey(1833-1911) strongly rejected using a model formed exclusively from the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften), and instead proposed developing a separate model for the human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften). His argument centered around the idea that in the natural sciences we seek to explain phenomena in terms of cause and effect, or the general and the particular; in contrast, in the human sciences, we seek to understand in terms of the relations of the part and the whole.

+ Bergson, the philosopher of intuitionism and of creative evolution, conceives Reality as a vital impetus, an élan vital, whose essence is evolution and development. The élan vital is a growing and flowing process, not a static existence which admits of no change whatsoever. Logic and science, intellect and mechanism cannot fathom the depths of the vital impetus which is the basis of all life. There is change and evolution everywhere, nothing merely is. All existence is a flux of becoming, moving and growing, a succession of states which never rest where they are. The intellect works mechanistically. Consciousness is the essence of the élan vital which is the great Reality. It is impossible to know Reality through logic and science. It is known only in intuition which is a direct vision and experience transcending intellectual processes and scientific observations and reasoning.

Intuition has nothing of the mechanistic and static operations of the logical and the scientific intellect. Intellect is the action of consciousness on dead matter, and so it cannot enter the spirit of life. Any true philosophy should, therefore, energise and transform the conclusion of the intellect with the immediate apprehensions of intuition. Reality has to be lived, not merely understood.

** *The thesis of the book by Hadot –"Philosophy As a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault"is that ancient philosophy was not the abstract theoretical discourse that philosophy is today, but was a way of life, a means of transforming one's perception of reality, and was accompanied by spiritual disciplines to help people transform their lives. Philo-sophia, the love of wisdom, was for living. It was considered therapy, to end suffering and bring joy and happiness. Ancient Western philosophy was no different from ancient Eastern philosophy in this respect. The book gives you suggestions on how to think for yourself and for the present moment. The book recommends how to practice philosophy as 'a way of life'.

Hadot was greatly influenced by Marcus Aurelius' book-Medatations. The book presents a series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus's insights and advice--on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others.

++ See Plato's The Republic, Book 7, Editor, Betty Radice,pages 316-325,Penguin Classics 1974

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