Who are your ‘true’ friends? An ancient Celtic wisdom might help you find out

Thinkers of ancient civilisations like Aristotle have long laid philosophical civilisations of friendship. That’s thousand of years ago, and today our generation has difficulty of telling which among those we add as ‘friends’ on Facebook are, by our definition, our true friends.

The idea of writing about friendship as a blog post came into being days ago when I came across Maria Popova’s blog, where she cites poet and philosopher John O’Donohue on the essence of true friendship.

She quotes a portion of O’Donohue’s 1997 masterwork Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom:

In the Celtic tradition, a person who acted as a teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called anam cara (soul friend). With the anam cara, you could share your inner-most self, your mind, and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention, morality, and category.

We all need friends at some points in our life. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have agreed that it is an “essential ingredient of human happiness.”

I like to think now that if one wants to be happy, he/she simply needs to define friendship and let go of those who don’t qualify in their own definition.

Featured image taken from this video


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