How to Become a Philosopher

Philosopher, philos, philos-sophia: it simply means love, lover of wisdom, lover of knowledge. That in ancient Greek times, it was essentially a humble flex; you would say “I love wisdom and I aspire towards wisdom and becoming wise, yet… I am not yet wise”.

For example, the troll Socrates: who said “I am only wise because I know I know nothing.” (rolls eyes).

Every child is born a philosopher. For example… when a child is pushing boundaries, making sense of the world, and asking why? He or she is trying to figure out how to situate themselves in the world. The big problem is a lot of parents, teachers, religious teachers or whatever… never really give children the opportunity for critical thinking.

What is critical thinking? Critical thinking… kritikos in ancient Greek simply means judge, to weigh. Therefore a critical thinker is simply somebody who hears something reads something or whatever… and thinks for themselves: 

What is the significance of this thought or idea?

Deep diving

For example, one thing I have discovered very useful to study is religious texts, reading the Bible, the Koran, the Torah and Jewish texts etc. Why? So much of the world is predicated on morality and ethics; for example America is a protestant Christian country, much of the Middle East is Islamic, believes in the teachings of Mohammed, and also, a lot of people in America Israel and other places in the world are Jewish, heritage from Judea… and therefore, a lot of cultural things are disseminated through the media. For example, when I was a kid in Bayside Queens in New York, at PS 169, Public school 169 in Bayside Queens, I think when I was in the fifth or sixth grade, at around 11 or 12 years old… I remember just lying in bed, in my bedroom, watching reruns or TV shows of Seinfeld. I really had zero idea what was going on, and later… I learned that Seinfeld was essentially a comedic situational comedy based on Jewish, Jewish American culture. For example hilarious episodes I remember like the soup Nazi, etc.

And so much of American culture is Yiddish Jewish!

  1. Chutzpah
  2. Schlep it around
  3. Don’t be a ‘shmuck’

Thus, understanding the culture you understand your world.

Unchain yourself

“You gotta respect the elohim were on a whole new regime!” – JAY Z

Something I realize which is really interesting about Jay Z is that I think he has figured it out a lot of things. People think Jay Z is dumb; but in fact, he is highly intelligent, not only street smart, but booksmart. He seems to have read a lot of Shakespeare, poetry, and religious books. Once again, a lot of America lives in ignorance; this is the downsides of Americans who have never traveled, don’t have a passport, or have never really lived or ventured beyond their own city, state, etc.

I still remember one of the most formative moments of my life when I first went to Beirut Lebanon, and I learned so much. I was a ripe 21, 22-year-old. I learned how the Lebanese were some of the most beautiful attractive intelligent people, very worldly, even my favorite philosopher NASSIM TALEB is Lebanese. 

I learned how the Lebanese were fluent in Arabic French and English and half a dozen other languages… how Beirut was known as the Phoenix; was it burned down to the ground and rebuilt seven or eight times? The true embodiment of the notion, What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger“, or the more precise thought:

If something has been burned down to the ground, and has been successfully rebuilt several times… it is a sign that it is robust, strong, and actually gains from a chaos disorder and fire.

For example, let us think and imagine this interesting thought; kind of like the movie Akira [AKIRA II]. Imagine that you’re a big monster, and every time that somebody tries to attack you, shoot you with missiles or whatever, you actually grow bigger, stronger and more powerful. 

This is a very interesting thought, because in life, I think a lot of us shirk away from conflict, drama, etc. Yet what if we should put ourselves in a position in which we actually gain from the attacks of others? That every time that somebody tried to attack you, you would actually literally become more muscular, stronger, bigger, gain more skeletal muscle, etc.

I think this is the general premise behind weightlifting; the idea that in someways, when you lift very very heavy weights, always increasing your one repetition maximum lift, that in someways, you’re actually doing positive damage upon your body, but overtime, with enough sleep rest restoration, meet consumption etc.… you actually become bigger, more muscular and also stronger.

Once you deadlift 7 plates and beyond– you can do anything.


The philosophy of the mind 

A sound mind inside a sound body (Mens sana in corpore sano)

Mens sand (mind sane), in corpore sano (in body sane).

So… what is the mind? 

My belief is that the mind is simply an offshoot of the body. That is, your mind and some sort of thing that you could just upload to the cloud and store forever. No. The mind is simply an offshoot of the body. That without a body you have no mind. That when your body dies, your mind also dies.

Let us consider everyone needs a body. You cannot just be a brain in some sort of fishbowl, connected to the internet. This is not a mind.

Also a very interesting thought I learned from studying philosophy — the notion of a mortal soul’– that when you die and your body dies, your soul also dies.

Where does the notion that the mind is some sort of metaphysical thing come from?

Several things. First, a lot of philosophers actually have some sort of heritage within religion. For example, a lot of thinkers philosophers etc., especially the more modern ones, I referred to modern as everybody after Socrates… has some sort of influence from Christian, Catholic, Protestant Lutheran thought; The philosophers of Germany, and France, thoughts on nobility, the Holy Roman empire, conflicts and wars etc.

Even our best friend Nietzsche… was his father of pastor? A Christian minister?

Then the big problem:

If philosophers were deeply influenced by religion, their thoughts are more muddled.

True critical thinkers — before the time of Jesus?


Philology — essentially you study ancient Latin and ancient Greek, and you learn about the history of words, how they came into play, and modern meanings. 

The reason why I find this so critical is that English is a very imprecise language. We all see the same words, but… in our minds we have different concepts and notions.

For example, when we talk about “family”, assuming you live in America and there are multicultural beliefs; the notion of family is very different if you’re Caucasian, Vietnamese American, Korean American, from Ethiopia etc.

Or religion. Notions of religion are different if you’re Jewish, from Israel or Palestine, from South Korea, from Phnom Penh Cambodia, from Japan etc.

Critical thinking

Some thoughts on critical thinking:

  1. Don’t put no faith on anything you haven’t witnessed in real life, embodied reality, in the flesh. Even videos and photos; in the world of AI and image and video generation and deep fakes, everything could be fabricated pretty easily.
  2. Not everything is on the Internet: I think there is a weird bias in today’s world that we think that all information is easily accessible on the Internet. There is still a lot of hidden information and knowledge that is actually not visible on the internet. 
  3. Understanding algorithms: an algorithm is simply an instruction made by some nerd at a computer who posits what is important, and what is less important. I think the best way to think of the algorithm is that it is weighing mechanism; it weighs important and value. Yet… Only a true individual, a true solo philosopher can and should posit values.