Lessons For Living

Based upon philosophies from the world's cultures

12 June 1995


This is a contemporary understanding of humanity and social modes. It is shaped by common traditions and rights of passage from societies believed to have never interacted prior to modern times.

After studying philosophy from several cultures, I noticed parallels among various philosophies for living. Many of these are rooted in the basic teachings behind the world religions without the contradictions of dogma misinterpreted through the centuries.

-Daniel Joseph Pezely
Seattle, 1995


A good teacher prompts students to ask questions of themselves and find the answers for themselves. Ultimately, a person can only be taught by himself or herself.


Teach lessons in a manner free from traditional religion. This helps prevent people rejecting it based upon preconceived notions. Such lessons follow.


The roles each person plays throughout life are both teacher and student.


A teacher learns by teaching students.


Coming of age in society is to become recognized as a teacher to others. That is, the individual attains a role as a functional member of society.


Listen to others without passing judgment. Even when you find the message difficult to understand, it may still be valid. Perhaps it will apply to you-- not at the present point of your life-- but later. Or passing it on may benefit someone else instead.


Everyone has their own solutions and answers. Something that works for you may be inappropriate for someone else. Likewise, their way might be only for them.


Respect views of others. Agreement is unnecessary for respect.


Respect and acknowledge that there is a mystery of the universe, which may be beyond your interest, comprehension or concern. Just let it be.


If such mysteries do not seem to affect you, respect that such things are important to others. Consider that one day these might become important to you.


Try explaining your views rather than persuading others to change. This is a real challenge.


A game is about experiencing it. Competition is secondary. Experience is the goal. Experience is the victory. Experience is the only real prize.


The meaning of life is to understand. One person's understanding will be different from another's.


Understanding comes from personal reflection of past experiences.


Some experiences are direct: you take action which becomes experience to you. Alternatively, experiences may be indirect: you observe another's action and observe the outcome.


Learning, experiencing and teaching are all part of the same thing: personal growth.


Learning, experiencing and teaching never end.


A child passes to adulthood by taking the role of an active teacher. An adult becomes child-like again by taking the role of an active student.


A person is an adult and a child at the same time by teaching in one role and learning in another role.


Everyone is a teacher and student from birth through death. Before birth and long after death, their teachings are apparent for those who take notice.


Genuine teachers are silent role models for society. They live as an example to others for those who take notice.


Society should be used as a map for what needs to be taught. Address the problems in society by creating teachers to educate people effectively. Then, the matters of concern will cease to be problems.


Students strive to teach what has yet to be taught. This is true progress: to teach something new!


The foundations of a healthy society or subculture are respect, acknowledgment, understanding and sharing.


Judgments of value and morality give way to matters of health: healthy body, healthy mind, healthy society.


Worth is beyond the text, story and books. Value may be found only in the message and meaning. Quoting someone else's words is useless unless these happen to be your words also.


True worth and value are disconnected from money. Money is just a concept. Worth and value will remain significant even to the last person ever alive.


Meaning and interpretation may be different for you versus someone else.


The one versus someone else may be human, animal, structure, form or even the formless. Respect transcends and extends beyond the one, the many or the self.


Only expressed meaning has importance-- not the messenger or even the precise message. That is, place value on the meaning, and look beyond physical books or those attempting to be leaders.


There is no doctrine. There are no leaders. There are only written forms of expressed meaning and identified teachers attempting to explain such meaning.


If only part of something can be understood, learn what you can and reflect upon that much. As questions arise or answers are sought, teachers with answers will become available to you.


Answers and teachings are always incomplete. Avoid taking any single answer or teaching as ultimate fact or absolute authority. Have many sources for the same answers and teachings-- the significance of this is priceless.


Truth is relative. Truth is based upon the context, situation or surroundings.


Belief is everything for you and possibly nothing to another.


Should your beliefs contradict themselves, respect each belief within its own proper context. This creates a separate web-of-belief or reality for each facet of your life. Each may serve a different and separate purpose, even if unknown to you at present.


One definition for a reality is: the context in which we deal with information. In this case, that context is living life and the information, our experiences.


Should a new belief contradict existing beliefs, negotiate the new one versus the old. Your conclusion will be to either remove or adjust one of them-- perhaps effecting many or even all your beliefs.


Unknown purposes makes you a student. Learn from others in this situation.


Known purposes make you a teacher. Teach others from this situation.


You may have some known purposes and some unknown ones at the same time. That makes both you a teacher and student at the same time.


Life-- to experience life-- does not require all purposes to be known. Even though some traditional religions require knowing your purpose, living and functioning in society does not.


Your place of reflection and meditation may be anywhere. It may be everywhere. It may be at any moment. It may be every moment. Use this to your benefit.


Experience and reflection may be simultaneous. You may reflect on one thing while experiencing another. Some experiences, however, require dedicated concentration for a healthy outcome. Experience and teachings will establish which experiences those are.


Teaching provides indirect experience for the person being taught.


Experiences build upon past ones and lay foundations for future ones. This is how we learn and internalize things.


Experience helps us move beyond and transcend other experiences. This is learning and understanding.


Our actions are guided by our experiences but not ruled them.


Past experiences influence present and future actions. Past and present actions influence experiences. Understanding the interrelationships is wisdom.


For any question, there is an answer.


Some answers are questions.


Some questions are difficult to answer and require true endurance.


To stop thinking and to stop seeking answers is to surrender living even though biological life continues.


To be alive is separate from having life.


When thoughts cease even temporarily, the mind continues to work in other ways. Experience this for yourself.


There is no reason to give up hope; seemingly hopeless situations simply have some questions unanswered, even if those answers are more questions.


Position, power, status, etc., are relative. If you desire these, consider that you may have yet to ask enough questions.


Understanding and attaining wisdom are not instantaneous but take time, yet they are reached suddenly and possibly when unexpected. Experience will reveal this.


Whether we should be vegetarian versus carnivore is less important than the realization that we may be either yet still maintain good health.


Animal or vegetable, remember to be thankful of the life which provided food you eat. (Just because science has yet to reveal a nervous system or other such functions in plant-life as identified in animals and humans, this is insufficient reason to believe such things lack consciousness.)


The last slaves to ever be accepted as such-- following people, animals and vegetation-- will be things: those entities taken for granted such as the pavement beneath your feet, the constructed material for the chair on which you'll rest, the airwaves and waveforms manipulated by vibrations from your voice and so on.

Final Thought

Any philosophy taken to heart becomes a religion for that person.

Copyright © 1996, 2006 Daniel Joseph Pezely
All Rights Reserved.