We propose that spirituality is the base urge of man to think beyond the obvious.Socrates argued that the invisible world is the most intelligible and that the visible world is the least knowable, and the most obscure.
In this series we have a few blog-posts, each one handle a distinct issue of man's spirituality, especially such themes as to who is the SEEKER, and what exactly he seeks
With the reign of 'objective' knowledge principles of Science today, man could keep only an 'outsider' status vis a vis his life and existence. He could 'experience', or undergo life only as something 'external', or even 'alien' !
This existing dichotomy of the self of man vis a vis the phenomenon of his 'existence',could be the chief reason behind many of modern man'smental healthissues. A proper integrity of mind with nature, or say existence, it appears, is an essential condition for leading an optimum, or a well 'aligned' life. Like the right kind of bodily health, the sense of bodily well-being, there definitely exists a sense of emotional, or say, spiritual well-being too, the state of being 'integrated' with nature's hidden energy-system.
Announcing it a 'paradigm-shift', American Psychology Association admitted last year that mental disorders are not always caused by physical ( neurological) factors, but they are mostly born out of social and personal-life related issues and causes of patients. This very relevant observation greatly supports the need for the above integrity of self with life, and existence in general.
Despite the existence of many socio-political and religious institutions around us today,responsible for devising ideal societies, the fact of man's unique and ultimate 'private' nature of 'self' has not, and could not so far be recognized and accepted by the modern world. Individuals always have to shoulder the responsibility of choosing and internalizing his 'subjective' concepts, as to what is society, world and existence, to constitute this very private self, in a unique act of psychological,or spiritual integration. While the world goes its own way as an impersonal ghost, each individual is left to carry his private self the way he chooses to be , of course while carrying a very subjective 'world' idea also within, that serves the purpose of an essential 'canvas' for the self to 'belong to', or as a platform for placing his self in it. It is similar to the physical necessity of objects in the world for the category of space' to occupy itself. This central metaphysical need ( of having a certain 'spirit', or a subjective notion of the world) of the worldly self of man- the ego-is not yet recognized by the modern world. The link given here is a dedicated work that explains the said dynamics: http://anatomyofrealities.blogspot.in/2013/08/thinking-understanding-it-as-internal.html
As no other realm exists today beyond the 'world' that our socio-political institutions have created, (including the contributions of science towards the idea of such world) individuals are always compelled to 'integrate' with this synthetic world. Synthetic in the sense that, both the image of the personal self, as well as the image of the 'world'- the canvas- are self constructed.
Here, the seemingly unique and separate contract, or the tie that existence has kept with each person loses its centrality. Man is pushed into an enclosure, or gets 'locked' in the walls of the said external 'world'. Despite many purely personal life experiences, both painful and pleasant that each individual usually undergo during his life time, he has no option but to define them, and understand them within the explanations of pure scientific 'chance' or probability.
Life of modern man, in the above sense, is a kind of being 'tied' to the 'outside' of his self, to the walls of the external world. If life and the self of man had some or other kind of 'oneness' with whatever energies and secrets of existence, such oneness is kind of lost for ever for him !
Is a child-mother kind of integration possible for man with existence ?
It is an undeniable fact that, as stated above, each human-being is united at some unknown level and dimension with existence, in-spite of his self-chosen external identities and myth of the conceptual 'world'. While the way he is united with his conceptual world is an objective fact, the fact of his integrity with existence is a metaphysical, or spiritual fact. The best example to understand this integration is that of a new born and its mother. While child-birth is a biological fact, the emotional integrity the child must be experiencing with its mother is a hidden but live fact. This integrity loses its intensity once the baby grows-up, and become an independent member of the world, a synthetic product as far its absolute relativity with the stage of history, localized socio-political factors of the particular person etc. But, if man totally forget or ignore his irrefutable past oneness with the mother, both in body and spirit, what he loses is his very tie with his origins !
The relevance of each person keeping his 'integrated' status with existence
The emergence of the concept,or the ideal of 'liberalism' in Europe during 17th and 18th centuries perhaps had marked the need of man keeping his individualistic relation with one's existence. History says, after the invention of printing technology,and the reaching of Bible in the hands of each person in Europe, they started realizing the possibility of keeping direct contact,or relation with God, leaving the centrality and relevance of Church behind. The writings of philosophers like Locke also had helped to uphold the ultimate freedom of individual as supreme. Then came the American revolution, wherein an entire people had declared that 'freedom and liberty' of man was God provided, or self evident. The only sensible business of the States was to protect this sacred,natural eligibility of man !
The extreme relevance of the enlightenment era
The very brief period in history when the mind of man got FREE was when the authority of Church had fallen. Science, great literature, creative ideas like inalienable liberty of man etc were the natural results ! But, we all know that the new Political masters, and the new hegemony of the INDUSTRY in the world, had immediately taken control of the mind of the man once again, depriving him the permanent benefits of the ENLIGHTENMENT! The concept of free-individual is only a deceptive myth that the contemporary world and its leading institutions propagate.Allowing man to be fully integrated with his existence is a least supported ideal in today's world. A kind of disintegrated self, that is tied-up, or belongs to a 'collective' of some-kind is today;s ideal individual. This arrangement allows better control of individuals, as it gives the leaders of such collective, easy control and command over large-masses of men !
A person's faculty of reason and good-sense would work only if he is free. The unprecedented spurt of creativity of man during enlightenment is the best proof.
A freedom-deprived person's first and fore-most priority would be to please his oppressor and ensure his survival, or sustainability of whatever minute degree of freedom he has been enjoying. No action and thought that originate from this man in fetters would be healthy and positive, or good for him, his family and children, or for the society as a whole ! It was these lines of thought that prompted the torch bearers of early 'liberals' to advocate its superiority and essential-status for every human-being. The words such as ' inalienable rights', 'self-evident', 'endowed by their creator' etc. of the American declaration of independence are extremely relevant here. Those words directly hint towards the essential oneness of man with nature, or existence in general.State was an arrangement of man's collective, just for continuously safe-guarding these state of his natural freedom.
Is modern man really free, and spiritually integrated with nature/existence ?
Though such a beautiful and healthy concept and ideal of 'liberalism' had descended in the world at the beginning of modern era, how come that modern men mostly have turned impersonal pieces in the massive-crowd in the contemporary world ? How come that he gets agitated at the sighted provocation,and get ready to pounce-upon the the fellow-being ? How come he always wait for orders and commands from his local-leaders in Politics, or religion, and get ready to take-up arms against the perceived enemies ? How come he got very tightly self-centered, adopting a life-philosophy of self-interest in all realms of his thought and activity ? Where did that old ideal of unrestricted human liberty and freedom had vanished from the scene?
Was it due an over-dose of the ideal of liberalism,( that caused an excessive obsession for minding only one's own liberty, leaving the other to his-own fate to guard his liberty?) or, was it due to the later developments in Europe, like the unprecedented industrial growth, and the accompanied political developments that worked against the great liberalism notions ?
The distinct and clear answers are:
1) The excessive dose of liberalism, unfortunately in modern era, was confined towards those who excessively cared to grab it, and developed that freedom to reach unfathomable heights, pushing back of those who were behind! Yes,,, only a chosen minority of men of modern world who were able to utilize liberalism to the fullest, and could make their industrial empires, and be able to contribute heavily to the GDP of their respective States, and were able to provide millions of jobs to ordinary citizens in the country, could make liberalism a live reality ! Liberalism had simply culminated into modern day capitalism, with all its fruits exclusively enjoyed by those who could make it very big in industry ! This particular feature of liberalism has proven that, not every one at the same time can be successful in the race for enjoying unlimited liberty! When someone enjoy it fully, the rest have to satisfy with the residue, or the kind of freedom that the top layer define and permit it for the rest !
The revival of the great ideal of Democracy from its old Greek model to American Democracy of modern times was another land-mark development that altered the old socio-political reality. For the one and only goal of every modern nation in the world today -ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, - a meaningful partnership of the newly emerged Political group with industry was an inevitably necessary exercise. This course of 'development' was the one and only known, and acclaimed option for every modern nation.
In the above new reality of modern world, universal liberalism, with its dictum that equal individual freedom and liberty should be accorded even to the last man in the corporate, or the political hierarchy was not a viable option.What the new institution of industry needed was millions of ordinary men who could work in the factories and offices, accepting their management decided (what they thought the worker deserves) roles. What the new political order wanted also was meek-voters than self-integrated free-individuals, who always sought freedom and liberty !
The communist regimes who had attempted to achieve the same kind of economic development themselves without private capital, also culminated at the end, in the same kind, or even worse condition of common man with regard to the level of his freedom and liberty ! The demands of the millions of manufacturing units and the discipline that a controlling state demanded from its citizens, had made the lives of common citizens under communist regimes much worse than that under capitalist regimes.
2) Those ordinary men who could not make it to be accumulators of huge-capital for building-up various industries in the country, were naturally had to satisfy themselves as 'human-resource' for the former class. Their own equally active sense of creativity and personal spirit of unbound freedom, was never called for, or utilized in their role as mere 'resource' for limited and specialized roles in mass-organizations of thousands of workers.
An artificial habitat of the mind had gradually born and developed in the modern era, called the main-stream ' WORLD '. This was basically amarket placeof specialized information, images, symbols and aspirations meant for those millions of men who were the new 'resources' in the above synthetic places of work. The old 'real world', wherein man and his pure existence was in direct relation with existence under the vast-sky, was lost for these men forever.
Many factors aided this process; Science drew a harsh line at the infinite string of time-at Big-bang, giving an 'objective' beginning to it. If time really extends beyond this line, it has no 'observational consequence' for science, or she ignored it on the ground that such 'earlier times simply would not be defined' ( portions in parenthesis, that of Stephen Hawking, in his book ' A brief history of Time'.)
The Second factor is modern Political realm, that has found all the advantage in considering and handling citizens in large groups instead as freedom and dignity seeking private individuals. As vote-bank masses in modern Democratic politics, their relevance is only that as voting-creatures. Modern professional political-entities have no gain from considering citizens as dignified-private persons, needing freedom, liberty and individual space ! They learned great lessons from their partners- the industry- that no action or attitude is worthwhile which does not create, or result in some or other kind of gain for the entrepreneur. Here, the new professional political entities in modern world are none but smart entrepreneurs of a sort, without any doubt! ( see link:http://influxofcapitalisticvalues.blogspot.in/,for further information on the above proposition )
The above described 'world' product has become so hardened an object today,that ordinary men are not at all capable of raising their intelligence above its high-walls, as narrated partially in the beginning of this paper. For inferring out their individual selves, the (psychologically ) mandatory canvas today is the above synthetic ' world'. Anything above and beyond its hardened reality is mere 'illusion' and 'fiction' for all the men of the world today. It has become a parallel realm of 'existence' for modern man !
Sadly, our world would be fit to be called truly civilized and modern only when our existing collective institutions like politics, industry, science and media recognize and accept that individual citizen is the sole unit in existence who is capable experiencing life wholesomely, and not their fictional identities like voter, worker, consumer, reader and TV viewer ! Death of individual is the death of life on planet earth, as it appears to all of us today!
Author: Abraham J.Palakudy
He is an ardent seeker and researcher in areas of knowledge like Mind&Reason, Metaphysics, Spirituality, and Polity
Contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: Voice of Philosophy@jopan1
His profile and other blogs:https://www.blogger.com/profile/14249415589712707293