Here is the full text and summary of Jules Evans’s talk titled “How Philosophy Can Save Your Life“ at TEDxBreda Conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio:
Jules Evans – Author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations
So I’m going to tell you how ancient Greek philosophy inspired modern cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, and how through CBT, millions of people have got access to the therapeutic wisdom of the ancient Greeks. We are realizing that philosophy can help us as Socrates put it: “To take care of our souls.”
So I’m going to begin by telling you my story of how philosophy helped me through the most difficult phase of my life. So when I was a teenager in the mid 1990s, my friends and I were — I guess you could describe us as amateur neuroscientists. We liked to experiment on our own brains with various different chemicals every weekend.
So we began our experiments with marijuana and we had some interesting results, and then we moved on to experimenting with LSD, also quite interesting, and eventually we were experimenting with MDMA, amphetamines, ketamine, magic mushrooms, all thrown into our neural chemistry like ingredients into a druid’s cauldron. I mean, we had some great times and hilarious visionary and even spiritual experiences.
But then I noticed some of my raver friends were beginning to wipe out. So my best friend had a psychotic breakdown when he was tripping. He was just 16 and he was locked up and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Other friends developed bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, paranoia.