I Loves Me Some Wisdom!
You might well say that philo-sophy -- the love of wisdom -- is not a noun but a verb: it is a lifelong passion and pursuit. Here again, the operative word is love; thus, it is a living and loving of Truth above all else.
One might even say that it is the religion of pure truth. Truth is one of the names of God, and if we have faith in this ultimate truth, it does have the capacity to save. Of course, we also require revelation to fill in certain inevitable manmode lacunae, but if we aren't first oriented to truth we won't recognize it. In order for it to be assimilated, it requires "man's free perceptual reaction to revelation."
Very few great philosophers have ever been among the tenured -- certainly none of my favorites. Rather, they are usually gentleman slackers and men of vertical leisure with a passion for the eternal. No organization or institution would have them, nor is it likely that a philosopher would feel comfortable among credentialed idiots and tenured apes, let alone young adolts.
(I'm picturing Schuon, at the end of the term, solemnly leafing through his "student evaluations," or being forced to undergo sensitivity training for his views on homosexuality.)
"Philosophy cannot endure the herd," writes Berdyaev. Nor can it endure the immature, for which reason it generally wasn't considered an appropriate pursuit until one reached middle age, or before one had a few miles on the O-dometer. (There are exceptions, of course, Berdyaev being one of them. He had little interest in school, but in his free time blew through Kant and Hegel when he was around 14.)
So, Berdayaev is the traditional type of philosopher; he left no systematic doctrine, only his own pneumatic contrail, or logostream of contemplation: "Philosophical knowledge is a spiritual act, where not only the intellect is active, but the whole of man's spiritual power, his emotions and his will."
Now, what is a man but intellect-emotion-will, or head-heart-hands, or truth-love-freedom? "Only a free spiritual being whose roots go down to the bottomless depths of existence, can strive for final freedom, is able to fight for it: an un-free piece of nature would remain in slavery to the end of the ages..." If there is no freedom -- in particular, vertical freedom -- there is no philosophy.
Philosophy is vertical movement par excellence. Conversely, leftism is the quintessence of vertical stasis, or an exchange of vertical adventure for empty promises of horizontal comfort: the latter strives "to make men happy, to calm and organize them," so "they will forget their irrational freedom, will renounce their right to absolute, supra-mundane truth." Such "is the way of the Grand Inquisitor. It leads to the ant-hill where there will be neither freedom nor personality" (again, personality, or individualism, is freedom lived).
The Inquisitors of the left stand with one hand opening "the door to human happiness" while the other closes "forever the door to freedom." In reality, "we need relative, outward, social freedom for absolute, inward and mystical" freedom. Again, the horizontal is for the sake of the vertical, not vice versa, otherwise we mistake means for ends.
Man has inalienable rights to life and liberty. But what is life + liberty? Again, personality: thus, there is an "inalienable right of personality," of being, not just doing and having. You could possess all the world's riches, but what good will it do if you're not yourself? Rosebud...
Now, man's first property is himself, but it seems that this self actually belongs to another -- or is at least intrinsically ordered to the great notSelf, O: "In the creative, knowing act of philosophy there is an upsurge towards another being, another world, daring to approach the ultimate mystery."
The object of philosophy is the subject who pursues it, and all this implies. In this quest, reason is a tool, not the master. It applies without ambiguity only to middle earth, not vis-a-vis the Beginning or End. This is because reason is ultimately circular, and therefore not free; caught in its web there are no ends but arbitrary or false ones.
But intuition or gnosis cut through the muddle of the mount and go straight to the begending. One purpose of revelation is to provide symbols to kindle this direct intuition. Thus, "in philosophy intuition is the ultimate: logic, the penultimate." (To paraphrase Schuon, revelation is public intellection, just as intellection is private revelation, so to speak; or, something isn't true because it is rational, but rather, rational because it is true.)
Only intuition can reveal the meaning of being. If truth were confined to the necessity of logic, it would render meaning impossible, for necessity leaves no space for freedom. Man himself is living proof that 1 plus 1 sometimes equals 3.
Philosophy has always been a break-through out of this meaningless, empirical world that crowds and compels us from every side, to the world of meaning, to the world beyond...
(All quoted material from Berdyaev.)