Finding Philosophy in a Cocktail Glass, and Everywhere Else

It all began in a Parisian bar, in the 1940s. Jean-Paul Sartre was sitting at a table, drinking a peach brandy when another philosopher, Raymond Aaron, approached him and said: “If you’re a real philosopher, you can find philosophy in that cocktail glass.” Upon hearing that, Sartre had a eureka moment. He began to wonder if all of our desires, preferences, and activities — from how we prefer our eggs prepared to the car that we drive to the sports that we like to the clothes that we wear — involve profound philosophical meanings. “Mysteries in Broad Daylight” is dedicated to this new way of philosophizing. We use the word “new,” despite the fact that Sartre’s insight goes back to the 1940s. This is because his insight has been almost completely forgotten. That itself is a great mystery. Here, then, is a blog about finding philosophy in a cocktail glass, at a ball game, at a supermarket, and everywhere else, for that matter. Each of Dr. Dillof’s posts will explore the deeper meaning of a seemingly ordinary aspect of everyday life, a mystery in broad daylight.
Dr. Dillof, practicing the alchemy of insight
Dr. Dillof, practicing the alchemy of insight
Hopefully, you will experience a sense of wonder, amazement, awe, and cosmic laughter when you glimpse into the profound depths of the everyday. Such emotions are very healing. Furthermore, you will be learning the art of seeing the deeper meaning of the everyday, in your own life. You will learn what Erich Fromm called “the forgotten language,” the language of symbols, myths, fairytales, and dreams. But Fromm did not realize the extent to which our ordinary waking life is inundated with symbolic and mythic meanings. Life, truly, is a waking dream.

Having learned this new and wondrous way of philosophizing, you will never be bored again, for you will have discovered that everything, no matter how seemingly trivial, is a doorway into a profound mystery. Pursue these mysteries with diligence, and your consciousness will significantly shift. The door that leads out of the “matrix,” out of Plato’s Cave, will open for you. (There is no detective adventure more exciting than this!) And you will find yourself treading a Western route to Eastern wisdom. That is quite a promise from a mere blog, isn’t it!

Mysteries in Broad Daylight is a new blog. Were you to search the entire blogosphere, indeed the entire World Wide Web, it is highly unlikely that you would uncover anything quite like it. We welcome your comments, ideas, suggestions, and posts. You can e-mail Dr. Dillof at: mdillof@verizon.net. If there is enough interest generated from this blog, we might develop online seminars, or webinars, teaching this new philosophical approach to illuminating your world and yourself.

Dr. Mark Dillof, Man of Mystery, and Author of this Blog

Mark Dillof has been a philosophical counselor for over twenty years. You can learn more about his work, by going to his other website, www.deeperquestions.com. Dr. Dillof earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in philosophy from Binghamton University, an M.A. in psychology from the New School for Social Research, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in philosophy and psychology from Union Institute & University. Some years back, he awarded himself the title S.C.E.E., which stands for “self-certified epistemologist extraordinaire.”

Important to his understanding of the real world and of people has been the diversity of his work experience — stockbroker, real estate assessor, professional magician, college professor, public speaker, laugh therapist, management consultant, executive coach, philosophical counselor, to name a few. In 1986, Dr. Dillof began his counseling practice, serving clients in Binghamton, Ithaca, and New York City. He is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling. (ASERVIC) He currently resides in Binghamton, NY, but is thinking of moving to a warmer place, because he has about had it with the long, cold, and dreary upstate New York winters.

Dr. Dillof began offering telephone counseling in 2001. Thanks to an earlier website called: “the philosophy clinic,” he has clients worldwide. If you go to his website, www.deeperquestions.com, you will discover, in the archives section, an earlier version of this blog, also entitled “Mysteries in Broad Daylight.” Dr. Dillof also offers seminars on a variety of intriguing topics, and does consulting work. He wrote a popular book about male/female relationships called “Awakening with the Enemy.” (Philosophy Clinic Press, 2000). He has recently completed a book entitled: “The Paranoid Vision.” It has not yet been published.

Dr. Dillof can be reached at: mdillof@verizon.net

But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful.Nor again is there anyone

who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?