In the last day of our philosophical-contemplative retreat in Brando, near Torino in Italy (August-September 2017), only six of us remained: Michele Zese and Stefania Giordano (Italy), Monika Obermeier (Germany), Regina Penner (Russia), Sebastian Drobny (Austria), and Ran Lahav (USA/Israel). We were inspired by the deep philosophical experiences we had during those 5 days. We sat down around the kitchen table and decided to form a new group: Deep Philosophy.



September, 2017


Who we are: The DP (Deep Philosophy) is an international network of philosophical practitioners, members and non-members of various associations of philosophical practice around the world. Our purpose is to develop new forms of philosophical practice that would be more philosophical: more focused on basic, universal life-issues, more aware of the philosophical tradition, and aimed at the traditional goal of personal growth and inner transformation.

      Many great philosophers throughout history understood that philosophy can transform life, that it can open for us new dimensions and new inner depths. Like them, we believe that philosophy can help transform human lives by going beyond superficial and mechanical ways of living.


Our basic principles:

1. The goal of Deep Philosophical Practice is personal transformation – in other words, awakening new dimensions in the person’s life. Its main goal is not to normalize life, not to solve personal problems, but rather to develop new forms of self-awareness, new meanings, new inner depths, new dimensions of life.


2. Deep Philosophical Practice is based on philosophy, and philosophy is a discourse that deals with general ideas about universal and fundamental life-issues. Any practice which does not deal with general ideas and fundamental life-issues, and which remains on the level of personal problems and particular facts, is not fully philosophical. Likewise, logical analysis or critical thinking by itself is not philosophy, if it does not deal with general ideas about universal, fundamental life-issues.


3. Deep Philosophical Practice uses the power of philosophical ideas to impact life and transform it. Philosophical ideas are relevant to life not because they can solve problems, not just because they “apply” to life or can analyze it, but because they can touch life, inspire it, awaken it. Deep Philosophical Practice is not a form of applied philosophy.


4. A truly philosophical discourse has intimate connections with philosophical ideas from the history thought. Philosophical practitioners are not fully philosophizing if they ignore previous thinkers as if nothing has already been said before.


5. Yet, discourse in Deep Philosophical Practice is creative. It does not blindly accept historical views as authorities or ready-made recipes, but as starting points for an open, creative, personal exploration. In this sense, Deep Philosophical Practice involves a personal dialogue with historical thinkers.


6. In Deep Philosophical Practice we focus on the encounter between the individual’s concrete situation and abstract universal ideas. Thus, when we deal with personal experiences and issues, we take individuals beyond their specific condition, beyond their singularity, relating them to the broader horizons of human life. Conversely, when we work with a philosophical text, we do not remain on the theoretical level of abstract discussions, but relate it to the individual’s concrete situation, personal issues, emotions and behaviors. In this way, philosophy becomes a creative dialogue between the individual and universal human issues, in which the two resonate with each other.


7. Deep Philosophical Practice is for people who seek personal growth and transformation – and there are many such people in today’s world. Our target audience is people who want a fuller and deeper life, not people who want to solve personal problems, or who are looking for intellectual entertainment.


If our ideas in this manifesto resonate in you, you are invited to contact us.


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