Еssay on My Consolation of Philosophy

Philosophy is an ancient science which dates back to ancient times. Naturally, views of philosophers living in different places in different time may vary consistently since they reflect the perception of philosophy by a particular philosopher in a definite epoch. In such a situation, Alain de Botton in his book The Consolations of Philosophy attempts to unite different philosophers and prove the fact that philosophy has always been a very important science that could be practically applied to practice and, what is more, on analyzing the major works of various philosophers, the author lays emphasis on the utilitarian character of philosopher. At any rate, on reading his book, the audience can be really convinced the philosophy is very useful and practical science and such a perception of philosophy differs dramatically from the traditional view on philosophy as an extremely complicated and mainly theoretical science. At any rate, I in person found this very noteworthy since the practical application of philosophy described in the book could help me overcome my personal problems.

First of all, it should be said that philosophy developed by different thinkers can bring consolation even though these thinkers have already died. This means that it is possible to find the practical implementation of philosophy as the means of consolation in our everyday life. Often we can encounter different situations in our life that may cause a lot of problems or even make our life unbearable. Basically, people often attempt to find consolation in their families, in communication with their friends, but often they cannot find any solution or consolation and they may suffer from depression and grow more and more isolated from the society and their social environment that leads to a dead-end and not to the solution of their problems. In such a situation, it is very important to know really effective ways to find consolation and philosophy is probably the most effective tool in this regard, but it is necessary to know what philosophy matches you the most.

In fact many philosophers developed ideas which could be used to consulate people in difficult situations that occur in their life. And I had such problems when I really needed to change my view on myself, the surrounding world, and my lifestyle. For instance, happiness is one of the ultimate goals of the philosophy of Epicurus, who insisted that people should strive for happiness and spend their life in pleasure and satisfaction of the current needs of an individual (144). In fact, Epicurus developed a philosophical teaching which was, to a certain extent, based on the principles of carpe diem. This philosopher believed that human beings should not waste time on some grievances or activities that did not bring them some sensuous pleasures. Everything that was unpleasant to human senses the philosopher viewed as a useless loss of time.

In this regard, it should be said that even philosophy was a kind of useless wasting of time, unless it bring a person some positive feelings and emotions. This means that Epicurus laid emphasis on the necessity to be permanently involved in some activities that can distract a person from negative emotions, thoughts, improve his/her mood and, in general, make a person a bit happier. In such a way, Epicurus suggested that a person can find consolation when he/she lives in accordance to his/her desires and inclinations and enjoys the life all the time. Moreover, a person should always be surrounded by his/her friends that could help him/her distract from his/her personal problems, forget all misfortunes and just relax, feast and entertain him/herself with the help of friends. This philosophical approach may be used as an effective tool of consolation and I learned it from my personal experience.

In general, the entire book mainly focused on practical implementation of different philosophical approaches in real life that makes the book very interesting and helpful. In this regard, I should say that this book really helped me in my adolescence when I had serious fears concerning my future. In fact, I sincerely believed that my present life was absolutely insignificant and I dreamed to grow faster and start the real, adult life. Nowadays, I understand that it was a really naïve dream, but I would like to emphasize that at the moment I really feared that I would fail in the future and would not achieve anything, I would not make any significant discovery, or some invention, I would not be a national hero or something like that. But gradually, as I grew older I simply started to enjoy my current life as it was.

I appreciated the communication with my friends and I understood that, instead of dreaming of the future and being afraid of the perspective of failure, it would be much better to live my real life at the moment.

Nowadays, I can definitely say that it was a kind of Epicurean philosophy that I have unconsciously chosen being an adolescent and lacking knowledge that I possess at the moment. In this regard I should be said that ideas of Epicurus are quite attractive, especially for young people. Basically, I think that this philosophy could help me overcome my fears and apprehensions and change my perception of life faster than I did it on my own. Nevertheless, I do not think that this philosophy is too simple because of its focus only on the pleasures people can take from their life. Instead, I believe that this philosophy is particularly useful in situations when people are in a state of depression or when they are dissatisfied with their current position. Epicurus’ ideas can help people find consolation in simple but very effective steps they can undertake. For instance, communication with friend is one of the most effective tools that can help me overcome my problems and it makes me feel better.

Thus, it is possible to conclude that the book The Consolation of Philosophy is very important from the point of view of our understanding of philosophy as practical science. In fact, it is obvious that philosophy is a really rich science, though its richness is often hidden from the public, which either cannot understand philosophy, or is simply ignorant of the possibility of its practical application. In this regard, the book of Alain de Botton is very helpful.

Nowadays, I strongly believe that philosophy of Epicurus is still applicable in our life, it is really a timeless philosophy that can teach us to benefit from every moment of our life and enjoy our life.

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