Alright! This week I wanted to share with you one of the most important aspects of the DeROSE Method, its Concepts.
We normally say that you train the techniques something like 2 to 3 hours per week, but you use the Concepts through all your week. Therefore, the importance of the Concepts to the DeROSE Method is enormous. Professor DeRose likes to say that the method is 80% Concepts and 20% Techniques.
But first let us just have a quick reminder of what the DeROSE Method. DeRose Method is a unique approach to mindfulness, well-being, meditation and performance. It offers practical exercises to help you better manage your emotions, increase your focus and reduce stress. It is composed of Techniques and Concepts that together teach you to get the most out of your life.
Alright, so let us explore the Concepts of the DeROSE Method. The first stop in this exploration is to understand that there are two ways of looking into the Concepts. The first is to try to list out a lot of Concepts and the areas that they may be applied in life. This would produce a very large list which still would not be comprehensive enough. My preferred approach is to explore the philosophies from which the Concepts originate.
These philosophies deal with two very broad aspect: speculation and behaviour. A Speculative philosophy refers to a philosophical tradition that focuses on abstract, theoretical questions about the nature of reality, the universe, and our place in it. While a Behavioural philosophy, on the other hand, focuses on the study of human behaviour and its underlying motivations. This type of philosophy is concerned with practical questions about how people act, think, and feel, and seeks to understand the factors that influence human behaviour. I often summarise these understanding our place in the universe (speculative) and how we manage the relationships with ourselves and others (behavioural).
When talking about the past it is very difficult to know facts precisely. These are often inferred and make use of references in texts that were written much later. As far as we can tell, the philosophies we teach in the DeROSE Method originated over 5000 years ago in the Indus Valley Civilisation.
These philosophies are very complex and encompass almost all aspects of life. If we were going to take dives into them it would require several articles. So for today I am going to try to summarise the most important aspects that allow us to later continue our studies of them.
The way I like to summarise the key principles of the speculative philosophy involve two phrases. The first is given to us by Professor DeRose. He calls this his first axiom and it reads: “Don’t believe.” The second is simply “I don’t know”. When we relate these to the philosophy, they highlight its naturalistic element. At its very core, this philosophy is related to knowledge, knowledge in the sense that you may either know something or not know it, there is no form of belief present. In other words, when it is faced with a question such as: “is it raining outside?” it will state that if you go outside you will be able to know the answer. While when faced with questions such as: “Is there life after death?” the answer will be simply “I don’t know.” While other philosophies may state that they believe X or Y to happen, ours “does not know” therefore it is extremely tolerant of other views — “as I don’t know, X or Y could be right, or not.”
This summary usually allows me to teach my students three key foundational stones of the Concepts of the DeROSE Method.
- Don’t believe in anything, remain skeptical, study and research.
- Accept that there are things which you will know, and many, many more that you will not. It is ok not to know! It is ok to express your opinion and not state it as fact.
- Finally, remember that, if you don’t know something, other thoughts could be right — therefore we should respect other people’s views and not dismiss them because they are miss-aligned with your views.
So now let us look into the behavioural philosophy. This philosophy relates to how we manage the relationships with ourselves as well as others. One of the central aspects of this philosophy is that it promotes sensorially and it is anti-repressive. This may not make much sense, and during the theoretical classes of DeROSE Method we dive deeper into them. One of the aspects that I often use to describe how this philosophy works is through discipline.
The idea of discipline often seems like something repressive, like you have to force yourself, or have others force onto you, a task or activity. But actually discipline can work in two ways. If discipline is imposed on you, for example, when a school teacher forces you to do extra lines to improve your hand writing or when you are forced to train a musical instrument you do not want to because it will be “good for you”, or even when you are ‘disciplined’ by a boss — this type of discipline is imposed.
However, there is another type of discipline. The diligence by which you trained what you loved, in my case the hours i spent training how to play drums. No one needed to tell me to do that, i just loved it and practiced every day, for hours (i did have pads on the drums to mute the sounds!). However, we can many other examples of this type of discipline, where the desire to achieve something keeps you training, focused, undeterred, no one needs to say anything to you. This type of discipline I call internal.
The difference between these two types of discipline are a good proxy for the behavioural philosophy of the DeROSE Method. What we teach is how to awaken than inner discipline and what we do not recommend is to impose to yourself, or in others, an external discipline. However, it is important to note that even discipline needs to respect your personal limits. There is no point pushing a training beyond your limits as it will impact your ability to train again in the short term. Therefore, it is important to be connected to yourself and increase your awareness of yourself so that you can extract the most of your potential, consistently, every time.
This post is already starting to get quite lengthy and there is still so much more we could discuss. However, I hope that you have a basic understanding of the Concepts of the DeROSE Method and are eager to apply them to your life in any way you would wish. It is also important to note that this vast and complex topic has been summarised to the extreme in this article.
If you would like to learn more to experience and see examples of these Concepts in practice come and try the DeROSE Method in our school!