Philosophy is thinking hard - logically and reasonably - about life's 'big' questions. It is difficult but can be immensely rewarding. It can help us to to be more rational creatures and so less inclined to prejudice and bigotry. It helps us to be wiser and the world is always in deep need of wisdom. It can save young minds from being overcome by superstition, hogwash and balderdash.
I have always been fascinated by the human mind - how it works, what it is and the how it can go wrong in cases of 'madness'. From my early forays into the literature of Poe and Lovecraft, to my PhD research on madness - schizophrenia and depression especially - the mind is compelling and intriguing.
The great Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in 'Twilight of the Idols' that “Without music, life would be a mistake.” In this I entirely agree with him. Music has been my life's companion. My tastes are broad, but excellent: Kate Bush, Prince, Bowie, R.E.M., Divine Comedy, Nick Drake, Chvrches, Marina and the Diamonds, Janelle Monae, Agnes Obel, Max Richter, and on and on...
I became enchanted by Magic as a child, and while wavering occasionally, I have been an avid student for much of my life. Magic involves psychology, intelligence, wit and acting skill - the magician is the one who plays the role of the magician. It provides moments of wonder and awe, precious things, through the application of intelligence and considerable skill. Oh, and I'm a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians:
An early childhood (4-10) love of Marvel comics, lead me, by some wooded path, to the dark, burgundy, joys of Poe, Lovecraft and King. Horror/Fantastical literature and film is so much more interesting and interpretively rich than most 'daytime' Art. It can teach us much about human nature. Some other greats are Thomas Ligotti, Laird Barron, Philip K. Dick, and J.G.Ballard. Check them out.
My Masters thesis was about how our experience of Art can cultivate a healthier way of relating to the world and each other. Instead of our increasingly normal instrumental and grasping attitude to each other and nature - think of extreme Capitalism and the mindset it inculcates - Art fosters a mindset of letting-beings-be, of openness. Being early seduced by the poetry of Yeats, I am also simply in thrall to Beauty.