Who am I, and Why am I here?
The Frequently Asked Questions of Uncle Cosmo
Who is Uncle Cosmo?
I am Uncle Cosmo. Apathyology comes out of my attitude for living with myself and the people around me. I try hard to live my life as a good person. The lessons I have learned in that effort have created the philosophy of Apathyology.
Is Uncle Cosmo your real name?
The World Wide Web is a big place with a lot of people. To help protect my privacy we chose an alternate way to refer to me. I'm really nobody special and my name doesn't need to be on the web site. Uncle Cosmo is merely a name for the spokesperson of Apathyology.
Why did you make this web site?
Apathyology came out of an explanation of how I live a life of contentment and relative happiness. There are some things that I've simply learned to not care about. We gave my philosophy a name. Maybe not a totally accurate name, but at least a catchy one. Other people have seen value in Apathyology. They are some of the people who put together this web site. I supply the message and they supply the means. We do this because some people genuinely find benefit from this different way of looking at life.
I'm a passionate person, how can I stop caring about everything?
Please don't stop being a passionate person. Apathyology will never ask you to stop caring about the things that are important to you. Unless, of course, you find it important to care about hate, revenge, righteousness and bigotry. If you find it impossible to stop caring about those emotions, then Apathyology is not for you. Apathyology is not for everyone. It tends to be more popular with people who are open minded and tolerant. In fact, tolerance for other people is one of the results of practicing Apathyology.
My religious faith is important to me. How can I say that I don't care about things?
Apathyology, as far as I've seen, is compatible with all religious faiths that ask its followers to do good things and not to do bad things. If your faith suggests that you care about injuring other people and our society, then Apathyology is not for you. Study the Ten Wisdoms of Apathyology, and imagine what the results would be when following its teachings. Your good morals and values will stay intact, but you will find another way to combat the weakness of your insecurities. Apathyology helps us to be nicer to other people and to ourselves.
Are you trying to make this into a religion?
No, religions require worship. This is purely a study of, practice of, and philosophy of the art of selective caring. As humble humans, we tend to care about things that we have no authority to care about. We care about controlling the thoughts and actions of other people. Apathyology leaves this to the Divine Powers to worry about.
What are the flaws of Apathyology?
As a viable philosophy, we have yet to find a flaw. If you find one, let us know and we'll examine a way to correct it. However, I know of one issue that can make Apathyology an uncomfortable lifestyle. Apathyology is a philosophy that suggests an ideal world. How can you live as a good person in a world with a population of people who have no enlightenment, or no desire to treat others well? How do you practice kindness in an unkind world? I admit that this isn't an easy thing to do. But somebody has to do it. Somebody has to demonstrate a style of living that promotes self-esteem. We all lead by example. This isn't always easy. If you don't have the strength yet, then take Apathyology slowly. The strength will come. Mahatma Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
What do you want from me?
I want you to think. Consider not caring about the things you don't need to care about. If you find benefit from Apathyology, then practice it and tell others of your benefit. If you don't find any benefit, let me know how the philosophy can be made better.
What is the Apathyological Society?
The Apathyological Society is not a genuine organization. There are no lists of members, or rules, or policies. Joining the society is just a way to support our cause and show your commitment to the principals of Apathyology. We don't take ourselves too seriously in the Apathyological Society. That would be caring too much. We collect new members of the society all the time. Join the Apathyological Society
So all I have to do is stop caring about anything and Apathyology will solve all my problems?
Remember that Apathyology doesn't ask you to stop caring about everything. All you have to do is to try to stop caring about the things you don't need to care about. Please care about everything good in your life. Secondly, problems in our lives are an essential part of living. Dealing with problems is what we do with our conscious lives. Apathyology can't solve your problems, but it does affect how you deal with them. You will learn to ask yourself what are the things that are worthy of caring about. Your problems will be simplified and you will be a more insightful person.
Apathyology? Is this for real? People will laugh if I tell them that I follow a philosophy of not caring.
People laugh at a lot of things. Apathyology was never meant to be something to be taken too seriously. You don't have to be an Apathyologist to practice Apathyology. The moment you start to wonder about what it would be like to not care about a negative emotion, you are practicing Apathyology. The first time you refrain from carrying out a petty revenge, you are practicing Apathyology. The first time you realize a good feeling from the strength you have gained, you have practiced Apathyology. When you find yourself doing this every day, then you are an Apathyologist. It's not for everyone, but it is for anyone.
What do you mean by caring too much? How can you care too much?
You've seen a fan at a sporting event who, instead of cheering, spends his time yelling insults at the other team and its fans. He loves his team, but he cares too much. You've heard stories of couples who break-up, and one of them harasses or harms the other to show how much they have been hurt. That person cares too much. You've seen a child hit another after a toy has been taken away. The child cared too much. These are very simple examples of people caring too much, but they should illustrate the point. We care about many, many things. When our level of caring rises to a point where we become obsessed or zealous, we are in danger of caring too much. Passion is a cliff's edge. The thrill comes from getting as close as possible without going over. Apathyology gives you something to hold onto.
Is Apathyology trying to make me into some kind of pacifist?
Yes. A pacifistic attitude is a result of practicing Apathyology. However, Apathyologists are not passive. We still must protect ourselves from harm. We must protect the people we care about. And when we are harmed, we need to take steps to insure that we won't be harmed again. Keep in mind that there is a difference between protecting ourselves and revenge. Revenge is hurting someone in order to soothe our pride. Pride resides within us it cannot be made stronger by the suffering of others. Instead of protecting us, revenge can only harm us further.
Apathyology seems to focus on being nice to other people. Why isn't there anything in it about loving thy neighbor and stuff like that?
Frankly, Apathyology doesn't presume to tell you to love everyone you meet. If you follow a religious faith that promotes loving everyone, then that's fine with Apathyology. But if you love everyone, or love a few, or love nobody, it doesn't affect the practice of Apathyology. You don't have to like people to treat them well. Just don't care about the emotions that compel you to treat them badly.
What do you mean when you say that that Apathyology is a healthy self-esteem emulator?
Imagine how you'd act if you could strip away all your insecurities, all your fear, self-consciousness and self doubt. These are the traits that make us feel that we have no power. Since the ancient beginnings of our developing civilization, personal power within a community has been important. A person with acknowledged power in a society had an advantage. People with power were more likely to eat better, take the mate that they wanted, have better shelter and so on. With these fundamentally high stakes, people found ways to acquire, maintain and increase their power in their community. If a person's power was challenged, strong retaliation was often the resolution. If the community witnessed a public confrontation that produced a loss of a person's power, the community expected that person to demonstrate dominance over the offender. We became a world of people trying to protect our personal power at all costs.
Throughout history, there have been people who recognized that as civilization became more refined, the need to protect personal power was becoming a burden on civilization itself. Efforts to maintain one's honor were chaotic and destructive. They tried to teach people how to live without fear, and instead live in harmony with our fellow humans. Most taught love, compassion, and spiritual beliefs as the keys to that harmony. This reasoned doctrine, though noble, conflicts with the ingrained need to protect our power in society.
If you had no fear of losing your power... if you had confidence that your power was not based in the perceptions of the society, but comes from within... if you liked the person you are... then you would have healthy self-esteem. And people with healthy self-esteem have little need for revenge, because they don't have to exhibit their power publicly. They wouldn't hate, because they have no fear. They wouldn't be afraid of the unknown, because they know that living has inevitable consequences. They would treat other people well, because it would be counterproductive not to.
Unfortunately, this level of self-esteem is rare. I have never seen it. I don't possess it. I hope that with the billions of people in the world, that someone has it. Apathyology is not designed to give you perfect self-esteem. All it can do is help you to live in a manner that resembles healthy self-esteem. It emulates healthy self-esteem. The rest is up to you. When you begin to not care about the negative emotions that would normally cause you to fear a loss of social power, you begin to act as someone who has good self-esteem. You begin to live in harmony, instead of fear. You start to be like the person you always wanted to be.
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