The School Of Life - Eastern Philosophy

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A card set featuring 20 of the greatest ideas from Eastern philosophy.


Eastern philosophy has always had a very similar goal to Western philosophy: that of making us wiser, less agitated, more thoughtful and readier to appreciate our lives. However, the way it has gone about this has been intriguingly different. In the East, philosophy has taught its lessons via tea-drinking ceremonies, walks in bamboo forests, contemplations of rivers and ritualised flower arranging sessions. These cards take us on a journey around the key concepts of the great Eastern thinkers – Confucius, Lao Tzu and the Buddha – as well as the art and practices of many of their followers. We are invited to sample the distinctive wisdom of a continent and enrich our notions of what philosophy might really be.


Read an extract from the cards >>


Example Content:

The Vinegar-Tasters: 'A favourite subject for Asian Artists for many centuries was a depiction of the three founding figures of Eastern philosophy - Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu - standing together and each reacting in a characteristic way to the taste of vinegar. [...] Three attitudes to the world in one image. We're not being asked to choose, simply selectively to experience te distinctive wisdom of each position.'


The Five Virtues: 'Confucius identified five central virtues that make us good: compassion (ren), ritual propriety (li), justice (yi), knowledge (zhi) and integrity (xin). Crucially, Confucius felt that these five had to be worked on over a whole lifetime. He told his followers: 'At fifteen I had my mind bent on intellectual learning. At thirty, I was busy and practical. At forty, I had doubts. At fifty, I started to learn. At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth. At seventy, I had learnt to follow the five virtues.'


Guanyin: Guanyin is a saintly female in East Asian Buddhism strongly associated with mercy, compassion and kindness. She occupies a similar role within Buddhism as the Virgin Mary within Catholicisim. [...] Guanyin doesn't judge. She understands that you are tired, that you have been betrayed, that things aren't easy, that you are fed up. She has a measure of the difficulties involved in trying to lead a remotely adequate adult life.

20 cards in a gift box | 159mm x 115mm x 20mm