The Guiding Light of Philosophy
There is a part of humanity which is singular in nature, although the mind seems to be unable to perceive it as such. We look at the world around us believing that perception and will are separate, yet at the same time question the grand disparity that we see communicated between us and our world. Philosophy is the balance which appeared in our world to unify these twin functions of will and perception in order to give rise to another more important function, that of wisdom. In our dualistic mind and reflected world, this wisdom is deeply buried and is trapped in the aimless wanderings of our restless and untrained minds, clouding it with rambling thoughts and irrelevant experiences and clusters of opinions about ourselves and the world which we call ego. It is these blurry abstractions and hazy metaphors which have cursed the human race to forever wallow in a murky pond of its own creation ignorant of the beauty and majesty which lies just beyond the veil. Fortunately, there is a silver lining to our cloudy minds. Philosophy is that lining, a grand cosmic broom which sweeps away the clutter of an unquiet mind. Through its agency humanity gained the ability to question the cosmos and all that makes up existence. Without it humanity would not have risen above the level of other primates. As a result, philosophy allows us to examine the profound questions evoked by human existence, it creates an open forum in which to explore new ideas, and finally it provides us with a moral code by which humans may live by.
Philosophy allows us to examine the profound questions evoked by human existence by dissecting metaphysically the cosmological mechanisms of which humanity is a great part. When we look at our place in the universe, at the sights, the sounds and the many sensations which bombard us at every step, we are forced to ponder the existential questions which confront us because we exist. Without the tools provided by philosophy and its inquisitive methods, humanity would not have progressed intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually. Philosophy has allowed us to peel away the shiny veneer which lies between us and our true existence and gives us the sensory organs to perceive and comprehend what we find there. Without it all these profound questions would forever hang in the air decaying as we turned our backs upon that which we would not have the tools to comprehend. Life is a great mystery and philosophy is the key to its cipher.
But what do we do once the flow of ideas begins to tumble down upon our unsuspecting heads? Through philosophy we are able to open forums in which to discuss and explore these new ideas in a manner that allows for all variables, variations, and angles to be sampled and examined in order to add to the great pool of knowledge which is humanity’s legacy. In the open forum of philosophy nothing is sacred. By this I mean that there is no subject, no field of interest which escapes the piercing eye of wisdom and its penchant for disassembling the most complex of topics and learning just how they work. Through its eyes we are able to see our world all the more clearly as we question not only our existence but also the way we acquire the knowledge to devise these same questions. If humanity is an inquisitive scientist, then philosophy is the lab, the equipment and even the education of the scientist enabling us to peer through wisdom’s lens and into the world.
Finally, philosophy provides humanity with a very necessary moral and ethical code. Through its questioning and examination philosophy has forced us to search deep within ourselves in an effort to better define the standards of behavior that human society must have in order to continue to thrive as a species. Moral and ethical codes make it possible for the laws which keep us safe to exist, yet these laws would not be possible without having been developed through years of philosophical questioning and exploration of not only the nature of humanity, but of what rules us. Through it we categorize the standards of human behavior that we believe are acceptable and unacceptable to our societies as a whole. Philosophy allows us to meta-analytically examine our species and forces us to come to certain conclusions about ourselves. We are a society of laws because through the self-examination and introspection which philosophy brought, we became aware that without morals and ethics our species and societies would soon implode and destroy each other. Through philosophy moral and ethics are the dam holding back humanity’s primal urges and cool our passion’s heat.
Philosophy is the manifestation of humanity’s unmet needs. Through its all-seeing focus humanity has been able to quickly evolve past the primitive state from which it arose, and indeed would have been doomed to remain in without the advent of reason. Through philosophy and philosophical questioning humanity was able and is still able to examine the profound questions evoked by its very existence, questions which throughout our brief history on this planet have haunted even when we were still in the most primitive of states. Through this questioning an eternal forum was opened where the constant influx of new ideas and the unanswered questions of older concepts may be discussed and explored in an effort to better understand the world and our relationship to it. Through this questioning and the resultant understanding of human nature, morals and ethics were able to develop, without which we would have been doomed to barbarism and darkness as the world turned in on itself, devoured by the inevitable and incessant conflicts that must arise in a world without moral and ethical codes. Yet despite the presence of philosophy in the world as a harbinger of light to the darkness, humanity is still threatened daily by another darkness that is set to devour us if we should be caught slipping. We must not forget that philosophy is the love of wisdom, and it is in these words that humanity must find its solace and bind its courage to it tightly for the world today seems to be taking tentative steps down a road where there is no bright beacon of philosophy to light its way. Down this road morals and ethics are less important and the transformation promised by the forbidden knowledge that they seek will come at a great price. Without the cooling light of philosophy, this world would never have pulled itself out of the cave where our entire species was born and resided in darkness and ignorance, doomed and content to live out their existence, ignorant of the beauty and majesty of the world outside its flickering walls. With that being said we must tread carefully and not try to explore to deeply the darkness at the back of the cave, lest in our blindness it devour us.