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by DT Strain, 2006, updated 2009.

Over the past few years, I have been studying Stoicism, Buddhism, and areas where they overlap or contradict. I have been amazed at some of the similarities between them, and intrigued at innovative ways to think about how, if, and where they conflict. Like many others, I have also come across amazing overlap with modern concepts of complexity and chaos, and with my own Humanist philosophy.

This document is an attempt to reconcile some of the more profound realizations contained in these streams of thought, as well as some others (such as Taoism, Emerson, and even Christianity). This practice of a global reconciled view I call Synthophy - particularly when reconciled in this manner, as opposed to the infinite ways one might seek to reconcile different streams of thought. The word Synthophy is meant to represent a 'synthesis' of philosophic ideas, practiced as a 'philosophy' in its own right. Therefore 'Synthophy' is an amalgamation of the words 'synthesis' as in "to blend together" and 'sophy' as in "wisdom" - or, the wisdom of bringing together good ideas. 'Synthophic' would be that which pertains to Synthophy (as philosophic is to philosophy).

In this synthophic process, I have attempted to maintain a naturalistic view and an empirical approach. At the same time, I have attempted to integrate notions of compassion, virtue or character ethics, and a more subtle and enlightened overall understanding of nature and life. I have used poetic language reminiscent of folk wisdom in places, but it has been very carefully worded so as to be unexpectedly precise.

Structurally, I have attempted to formulate a series of premises, starting from the ground up, with each building on the previous and leading to the next. Hopefully, each precept will not merely serve as a premise emphasizing the final precept, but rather be a centrally significant lesson in its own right - with a vast array of material from several philosophies, waiting to be explored to understand more deeply. In this way, the 20 Synthophic Precepts can also serve as a program outline.

The 20 Precepts have been grouped into five broad topics I call the Five Synthophic Realms. Those are presented first, with elaborations following. As always, the following is provisional and open to further tuning in the future...

Continue to The 5 Synthophic Realms >>