PP, time and wage labour


Another year is ending and what have I done during this time? I worked to keep a job and I worked to get a new one. I managed to do both. Unfortunately, although one of my jobs was related to philosophy, there was not much time left for my philosophical projects and philosophical practice (apart from leading the weekly philosophical cafés). Then again, most people around the world have even less time or energies than me to dedicate to their philosophical projects. This in part may explain why philosophical practice is not growing as a movement. These thoughts bring into my mind additional questions, which I keep asking myself:

Should philosophical practice focus on ourselves and our own development as human beings? In that case it is not something for common people who work hard, and have almost no time left. And if it is not so, but it is only for an elite, what importance could it have then anyway?

On the other hand, if philosophical practice should also be available to common people:  How can we reach that person who finds himself forced to spend most of his time working, keeping his job or searching for a new job, and who will probably never be able to have time to live a life dedicated to philosophical reflection and spiritual improvement?

How can philosophical practice open new horizons to the working participants? The different philosophical practitioners around the world offer several alternatives of philosophical practices. All of them offer the participants a glimpse into broader horizons of human existence through philosophy. The participants choose this or that particular philosophical practice mostly because it takes place near their home or their working place. And all of us philosophical practitioners manage to engage participants in a philosophical reflection about life that gives them and us material for deeper thinking for a few days or weeks. For this we use different approaches: philosophical counselling sessions, workshops, retreats, cafés, etc. To be effective we need to grow and to also reflect on ourselves and our thinking.  We achieve this among other things by nurturing ourselves in philosophical practice sessions among practitioners.

Still we are unable to increase significantly the number of non-philosophers participating in philosophical practice. And this I think has much to do with the problem of people´s lack of time inherent to contemporary society, more than on the kind of philosophical practice itself that is offered by us. I propose this as a hypothesis. And the resulting challenge would not be so much, on which principles we are doing our philosophical practice nor the way we do it or what we want to achieve specifically, but rather, how to make accessible our approaches to people trapped in today´s prison of dependence on wage labour.

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