Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On the "Land of Confusion"

On the "Land of Confusion": And hence, I ponder, what is the land of confusion and where does it exist? The land of confusion is a place characterized by bitter political partisanship, mass consumption, deindustrialized cities, overpopulated towns, rising costs of living, environmental neglect, out-of-control inflation, and high unemployment. With all of these negative "things" working against humanity, it makes one ask why. Why birth? Why money? Why cars? Why planes? Why trains? Why boats? Why clothes? Why washing machines? Why food? Why drinks? Why music? Why dance? Why drugs? Why fashion styles? Why sex? Why computers? Why logic? Why math? Why science? Why cancer? Why suffering? Why pleasure? Why history? Why memories? Why vanity mirrors? Why highways? Why trees? Why animals? Why life? Why humans? Why fish? Why water? Why recreation? Why sports? Why Renaissance art? Why entertainment? Why hamburgers? Why rush hour? Why countries? Why nationalism? Why languages? Why backyard barbecues? Why televisions? Why shave? Why haircuts? Why Church? Why religion? Why schools? Why jobs? Why marriage? Why children? Why family? Why friends? Why lakes? Why oceans? Why rivers? Why mountains? Why Earth? Why Sun? Why Moon? Why space? Why death? Why Resurrection?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why not?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

On the Eternal Return

On the Eternal Return: And hence, I say, the eternal return marks a fundamental feature in all forms of life! It is a process whereby man will ultimately return to the place from which he originated. This process is characterized by things endlessly repeating throughout time. The roots of such a concept can be traced back to the days of ancient Greece in which the Pythagoreans sought to examine the possibility of the universe as a finite entity. For the most part, the Pythagoreans believed that the universe contained a limited amount of matter. As a result, they concluded that it could not be expanding continuously. Today however, modern physicists like Stephen Hawking assert that the universe is constantly expanding. Aside from the scientific implications of eternal return, Friedrich Nietzsche brought an entirely literary perspective to the doctrine. On the whole, he claimed that time is merely a construct of the human intellect, and therefore, it should not be considered in all matters pertaining to life and death. Eternal return does not evoke the reincarnation of rational beings but rather makes note of the possibility that time will eventually return you to your starting point. When time is viewed in a linear fashion, it effectively shuts out the notion of the eternal. And yet, eternal return attempts to eliminate the distinction between the temporal and the eternal by teaching man that time is in fact cyclical.

Friday, March 16, 2007

On Overcoming Fate

On Overcoming Fate: And hence, I ponder, how does man overcome his fate? Ever since the days of ancient Greece and its deterministic mentality, fate has played an important role in the religious and cultural experience of mankind. One such example is the concept of predestination in the Protestant (Christian) sect of Calvinism whereby man is called to the Earth to do a specific duty in life. Likewise, Calvinists believe that man's afterlife condition is also predetermined. In other words, life (and afterlife) for man has already been preordained and there is nothing he can do to change it. On the whole, it's fair to say that man is inherently fatalistic due to the predetermined circumstances that dominate his being-in-the-world. His class, religion, race, location, and family are established by the time he's born. After recognizing the limitations placed upon man at birth, he must bow down to the ways of his ancestors and the workings of the world for they will teach him how to act. At some point, however, man must destroy the customs he has acquired for they will only hinder his future progress. The final step in overcoming fate involves becoming profound. Man must therefore grow down in addition to growing up. And once man has struck this impeccable balance, he has forever broken the chains of his self-imposed triviality.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

On the Consequences of Being

On the Consequences of Being: And hence, I say, the consequences of Being are grave! Man must be wary of his actions for they will eventually affect his future state of Being. Likewise, man ought to be wary of appearances for they are merely manifestations of Being. As a result, appearances tend to mask the deeper, inner reality that exists within us all. This inner reality is motionless for it is the Truth and as such it is unwavering. Being is and nothing is not. The ultimate reality therefore is not something but someone and as such He is a manifestation of the divine. To think and to be are one and the same. Therefore, the temporal (thinking) side and the eternal (Being) side of man are synthesized into one wholesome thing. This thing can be understood rationally as a free spirit which seeks to embrace his naturally endowed right of freedom. And when man fails to fully recognize his eternal side, then he is said to be in despair; or if taken in a theological sense, he has sinned. To alienate the free spirit from the thinking Being is to separate the elements of man that make him whole, and thus, man has fallen into sin by splitting his Being into two halves.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On the Philosophical Imperative

On the Philosophical Imperative: And hence, I ponder, what is the philosophical imperative and why is it a necessary component of life in the postmodern era? The pursuit of wisdom is marked by various obstacles. In order to truly pursue wisdom, man must detach himself from everything that hinders him. That is, man must come to terms with both the temporal and eternal elements of his Being through a systematic inquiry into what it means to exist in the world. This systematic inquiry into the true nature of things can otherwise be called the philosophical imperative. Derived essentially from the philosophical body of metaphysics, the philosophical imperative insists that man must address the fundamental questions surrounding his being-in-the-world. In an effort to engage in the philosophical imperative, man ought to study philosophy since it teaches him not only how to think but also how to be in the world. Moreover, given that philosophy expounds the true nature of things (manifestations of the divine) to man, it therefore teaches him why things like phenomena occur the way that they do. And yet, philosophy remains the only field of study dedicated to uncovering the ultimate truth about human existence. Hard sciences like biology, chemistry, and physics only go so far as to discover what appear to be rather menial and random truths about the larger concern of humanity itself.