Keith Gascoigne

Contentious Blog Post


Engaged philosophy

I am quite convinced that if people lived better lives, instead of being focused on the ‘me’, on greed, on selfishness, on money, on mindless consumerism then our world society would change.

For instance, I lived in Glasgow for a while and drove through the center quite a lot. I was surprised by how many people would let me into the traffic and I started doing the same thing and often with a wave or a smile. It not only made me feel good but it seemed be happening more and more. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, car drivers, cyclists – all people. Of course there are always exceptions but I remembered the thoughtful drivers. I learned that, generally, if we behave in a pleasant way with people then some, if not most of them, will behave in a pleasant way with others. I call it ‘passing it on’. A kindness gets passed on.

Consider a world where everyone is not kind – where every person wants to be first, get to the front, push others to the back, grab what they can. The thought is unpleasant but it is happening here and now. Road rage is growing – especially in large cites. It isn’t right and anger and frustration destroys life.

We all need to calm down and see the good things that life has to offer instead of working from 9 to 5 for forty years for nothing of any lasting value. That is, of course, if you have a paid job.

Surely, right-living, ethical-living has more to offer? It seems so with more and more people taking time out and going to intentional communities for a while to experience a calmer, more satisfying way of living their lives and with other like-minded people.

Some of these communities are called ‘spiritual’ or ‘personal development’ communities but I prefer the term ‘ethical-living’ communities because ethical living is right living.

We see examples of unethical living day after day in the mass media, on television and from our politicians; we are drowning in examples of bad-living and it is getting us nowhere and never will unless we want to accept an appallingly bad way of life – not only for ourselves but also for our children.

I spent over two years living and working in one ethical community. I gave myself the space, the time and the right environment in which to work, sit and see what is happening to society while I was out of it.

It isn’t possible to see anything while actually in it. I had to leave England and go to France and other countries before I saw England objectively and it is the same with society. We have to get out of it to really see it. Of course, we have to come back into it again or we can do no good but the time spent out of it gives a totally different perspective on life.

Try it and see. There are intentional, spiritual, ethical communities all over the Americas, Australia, Europe and many other countries. Find your self and help to save our whole world society. It is the only way.


Class: Engaged Philosophy.

Tags: ethical-living, right-living.

Published: 2014-02-20.