Eastern philosophy is also more about the spiritual while Western philosophy is more of a hands-on style. Confucius, for instance, emphasised the “obligations that obtained between emperor and subject, parent and child, husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, and between friend and friend”. Eastern philosophy also thrives on virtues. The western mantra is “more”, and has been for a long time. . East is more of the root of your Being, while West is more superficial (which is what East cautions about). “How amazing it is that this rich and beautiful country, the property of one of the oldest and most densely populated nations of the world… should have remained so long unoccupied and almost as unknown as the African deserts,” he added. Apart from geographical locations, these two parts of the world have differences in their way of life and the approach to life in general. These diverse ways of viewing the world are embedded in the culture’s literature, education, and political institutions, so it is perhaps of little surprise that those ideas have been internalised, influencing some very basic psychological processes. It is often suggested that contrasting Eastern vs. Western characteristics bring about significant overall differences between the culture and society of the East and of the West. Few people living in Hokkaido today have ever needed to conquer the wilderness themselves. How East and West think in profoundly different ways, influential article in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, our social orientation may have a genetic element, recently profiled the thinking styles of British Bangladeshi families in East London, score higher on measures of individualism, Shinobu Kitayama at the University of Michigan has found, : the more likely you are to get infection, the more collectivist you are. Like most East Asian countries, Japan as a whole tends to have a more collectivist and holistic mind-set. Add on a dose of inner connection (meditation), and you pretty have science confirming that eastern philosophy beats western culture hands down! Western philosophy, on the other hand, is based on self-dedication to be of service to others. Life is round, and the recurrence with everything around it is important. In contrast, the Western civilization is more individualistic, trying to find the meaning of life here and now with self at the center as it is already given and part of the divine. He found that within one generation, the children of immigrants had started to adopt some elements of the more individualistic outlook, and less holistic cognitive styles. In contrary, the Eastern philosophy is based mainly in Asia, more specifically the Chinese philosophy. Thomas Talhelm at the University of Chicago recently examined 28 different provinces of China, finding that the thinking orientation appeared to reflect the local agriculture of the region. Most western culture has the following belief structure: More is better. They also asked people to draw a diagram demonstrating their relationships to their friends and associates: people in individualistic societies tend to draw themselves as bigger than their friends, whereas collectivists tend to make everyone the same size. Another (counterintuitive) idea is that the contrasting mind-sets are an evolved response to germs. In 2010, an influential article in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences reported that the vast majority of psychological subjects had been “western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic”, or ‘Weird’ for short. People living in individualistic societies may also put more emphasis on personal choice and freedom. The divide did not seem to correlate with measures of wealth or modernisation, but he noticed that one difference could be the kind of staple crop grown in the region: rice in most southern areas, and wheat in the north. A contradictory statement, but is it so crazy? Excellent for all types of crystal healing such as chakra cleansing, Reiki healing, body layouts and grids. In fact, money is simply a stepping stone towards freedom; it’s best when spent on experiences and on other people, such as charity. If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”. Happiness is largely created from variety of factors, and money is not the most important one. The reason behind it is the difference between Eastern and Western philosophy. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital, Travel and Autos, delivered to your inbox every Friday. While visiting Beijing in the north, he found that strangers would be much more forthcoming – “If I was eating alone people would come up and talk to me” – whereas those in the southern city of Guangzhou tended to be more reticent and fearful of offending. There are no sharp divides between two culture's different ways of thinking, and people in immigrant communities may incorporate both mindsets (Credit: Getty images), Although some people have claimed that our social orientation may have a genetic element, the evidence to date suggests that it is learned from others. The main differences between the school of thought or the philosophies of the East and West are the West’s Individualism and the East’s Collectivism. The main principle of the Eastern philosophy is unity. East Vs West: Which Philosophy Makes Us Happier?…, I’m Divyanshi Garg, And This Is My Dharma, A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into The Afterlife, Homage To Ram Dass: 39 Quotes On Spirituality, Love, And Life, 6 Similarities Between Star Wars And Zen Buddhism, Yak Faks: The Incredible Yak And Its Symbiotic Relationship With Tibetans, Feb. 15, Nirvana Day: The Day Buddha Died. Life is service to God, money, community, and so on. The Eastern philosophy is drawn much more into groups or society or people’s actions and thoughts as one in order to find meaning in life as they try to get rid of the false “me” concept and find meaning in discovering the true “me” in relation to everything around them, or as part of a bigger scheme. As Horace Capron first travelled through Hokkaido in 1871, he searched for a sign of human life among the vast prairies, wooded glades and threatening black mountains. “Westerners – and specifically Americans – were coming out at the far end of the distributions,” says Joseph Henrich at the University of British Columbia, who was one of the study’s authors. Our thinking may have even been shaped by the kinds of crops our ancestors used to farm, and a single river may mark the boundaries between two different cognitive styles. It’s weird to think that we each have embraced a philosophy, but it’s true; whether it’s subconscious or conscious, we absorb and parrot everything we see and hear. Cite Historians such as Frederick Jackson Turner have long argued that the expansion and exploration into the west has nurtured a more independent spirit, as each pioneer battled the wilderness and each other for their own survival. In many cases, the consequences are broadly as you would expect. Talhelm said he was first inspired by his own experiences in the country. More money, more vacations, more cars, more houses, more food, more sex, more power. Generally speaking - there are many exceptions - people in the West tend to be more individualist, and people from Asian countries like India, Japan or China tend to be more collectivist. The difference is the “I” of the West, and the “We” of the East, as one focuses on finding truth and meaning. “The stillness of death reigned over this magnificent scene,” he later wrote. As Hussain points out, there are many historic connections between Eastern and Western countries that will mean that some people straddle both ways of thinking… Ethics is based on behavior, and dependence is from the inside to the outside. The Individual. But why did the different thinking styles emerge in the first place? Some of the most notable differences revolved around the concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism”; whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with the other people around you, valuing the group over the individual. Aspect 1: Where Thinking Happens — Internally or Externally Holistic thinking permeates Eastern philosophy and culture (Credit: Getty Images). This tendency for self-inflation appears to be almost completely absent in a range of studies across East Asia; in fact, in some cases the participants were more likely to underestimate their abilities than to inflate their sense of self-worth. Due to its Christian influence, there has to be a beginning and end to find meaning. Let us take a deeper look into more of the aspects or problems or issues these two philosophies try to make sense of. The fact is that the Universal is not derived from observation of particulars; the Universal can exist even without there being particulars. The small things: making others happy, finding fulfillment in our daily routine, finding joy in our work. Working with scientists in China, Talhelm tested more than 1,000 students in various rice- and wheat-growing regions, using measures such as the triad test of holistic thinking. By the new millennium, it numbered nearly six million. Have you ever wondered about the differences between Eastern and Western philosophies? Thanks to the time and money it takes to probe minds across the globe, most research still examines Weird participants at the expense of greater diversity. He is particularly pleased that researchers like Talhelm are beginning to set up big projects to try to understand the kaleidoscope of different ways of thinking. The tacit assumption had been that this select group of people could represent universal truths about human nature – that all people are basically the same. This cosmological unity is the main point in the journey of life as it goes towards the eternal realities. Alex Mesoudi at the University of Exeter recently profiled the thinking styles of British Bangladeshi families in East London. Similarities and differences in society. The differences between Eastern and Western thought can be clearly seen in modern society, despite globalization and unifying influences. Thus, if we talk about philosophy, we talk about a school of thoughts. Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. Join 800,000+ Future fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. “The idea that it’s black and white – from an anthropological perspective that doesn’t work,” says Delwar Hussain, an anthropologist at the University of Edinburgh, who worked with Mesoudi on the study of London's British Bangladeshi community. Apart from geographical locations, these two parts of the world have differences in their way of life and the approach to life in general.
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