Stoned on Philosophy
Does this sound like fun? After all, stoned implies a drug trip. And it is not a bad analogy – you do feel like you are in another world: a strange new world with terrifying (and fascinating) possibilities. But the comparison with drugs will not take you very far.
The effect of drugs can be (more or less) predicted – or at least it can be predicted that something will happen. The effects of philosophy are something you just wander into by accident – and can just as easily wander out of again. In that way it is like a spiritual trip: amazing insights occur, that you immediately want to share with everyone – and then they vanish.
Existential philosophers had the advantage of using literature (novels and plays) to tell their story in another way. But for me Karl Jaspers, who came into philosophy from psychiatry, has had the most impact. I am reading his Philosophy of Existence and it is hitting me right in the gut.
It is no use telling you to read him too. You have to wander in the wasteland for awhile first. And few want to do that.
I can only think of the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Except he may not appear – or he may only lead you astray.