Live from Cairoston

[This piece is more of a writing exercise. An attempt to write a coherent essay in one sitting]

Whether in mathematics, philosophy, religion or language, the past century has witnessed the realization, and reluctant acceptance, that there are no Absolute Truths that transcend the time and place in which they are articulated. There is no firm ground to stand upon except grounds established by mutual consensus between people. Even something as basic as logic or arithmetic take for granted a set of common sensical axioms that are just that, a set of common agreements that reflect more about how we think then how reality is beyond our perceptions.

It seems as if our main function is to be a creature; meaning to arise and give rise to other creatures. We aren’t immortal, but live long enough to replenish our anticipated departure. As creatures we survive long enough to ensure that creature-hood itself is immortal. In that sense, we’ve developed to ensure that capacity of survival. Our brains function in a pragmatic way that facilitates survival, whether through basic accounting, planning, social bonding, myth formation and so forth. The raison d’etre of reason is to be a creature that lives long enough to give rise to another creature.

From the aforementioned standpoint, any utilization of mental capacities beyond the pragmatic limit is a misuse of the tools we have. Truth is defined creaturely as conducive of survival. To divorce Truth from such a program and unleash it into the Abyss of the Absolute is an abuse that reflects a malady. Philosophy in a Socratic style is a malady from a survival standpoint. No wonder philosophy only arises in societies that take their survival for granted. Likewise, to divorce God from its role as comforter of self and stabilizer of society is a similar misuse of a survival tool. For God to become a pursuit as opposed to a component in the pursuit of survival amounts to incoherence.

That being said, there is a benefit that comes from these two practices, the ill philosophical pursuit of Truth and the overly ambitious religious pursuit of God. Both presuppose another realm beyond the creaturely realm of worldly survival. Discontent with the finiteness of life, a new frontier is fashioned in our minds. However, these minds have not been fashioned to investigate otherworldly realms. Rather they are specifically for survival in this world. Therefore, any pursuit of the Beyond is erroneous because it pursues a Truth unlike that which it is able to recognize; survival.

Where do we go from here? I’d like to mention three directions: 1) Perpetual unquenchable longing, 2) Substratum monism and 3) Rehabilitating thinkers or demarcating a new species

By perpetual unquenchable longing, I mean to recognize the leap our minds want to make beyond the limits of our finite lives. To realize yourself as a mere creature, a gadget built to manifest life before having it taken away from you, a tool to make a new gadget, such a realization is humiliating. It is humiliating because all belief in self-worth and agency crumble before the prospect of being “used”. A more dignifying model would be a creature made for its own worth and living a transient phase in one realm before moving on to the next. This additional realm brings with it the notions of Absolute, Truth, and God. If such a realization adds to the quality of our worldly survival, then it is True. However, to avoid its exaggeration to an extent counter to that very survival it must recognize its limits. There is a longing for another realm that extends our life, but that longing must never be realized, the destination must never be reached during this worldly life. To terminate the worldly life in pursuit of its extension bears a deep contradiction reflective of a malady. To life this world in the name of the next bears the same contradiction. A perpetual longing allows one to harvest the fruits of belief in another realm to enrich the current worldly life.  [Note: this paragraph is a failure]

By substratum monism I refer to a metaphor that considers all forms of being as fingers of a glove brought to life by the hand of God. The leather of glove is designed to last long enough to create its replacement. The sense of humiliation that comes with realizing you are being used to perpetuate life subsists once you associate yourself with life itself. The thing inside that ponders its fate and is troubled by finiteness and becoming a tool is pointing that finiteness and utility are attributes of the leather glove. The thing embodies the glove to bring it life. Substratum monism refers to accepting the worldly habitat of a creature’s cell (read: prison), while recognizing that one is there to bring life to an otherwise dead fold of leather. One is here, but is really part of the One.

Finally, thinkers who ponder the abstract are, from a survival perspective sick. We are sick. We suffer a malady cause by abusing our mental faculties. Thinkers survive and pro-create almost as if by accident. They do so because they are designed to, but they are not content with this achievement. They are obsessed with their ill-fated pursuits. Either we think of ways to rehabilitate them and bring them back into the fold of creatures. Or we recognize that there is room for us to demarcate a new species. This species lives and flourishes on paper. It survives in the minds of others and in their books. Your entry into this world is to document your thoughts. Your survival is to be read by others and remembered. Homo libros could fit as a name. With this species I share this poem.

Homo libros

Childhood memories pave the way,
the desert land,
another day.

Between pale hills; sand so dry,
a patch of green,
soothes the eye.

Behold! Misty floating cloud,
over the grass,
free and proud.

Gleaned by roots from depths of clay,
“Earth to Sky,”
I heard it say.

“Clover O’ Clover, bear me no grudge,
Along your sway,
I could not indulge.
For I am of heavens,
the One, not some,
Life for all,
not meal for dumb.”

“Do not forget,”
the clover cries,
   “roots that raised,
an Earth so wise…”

Enter Ra. Panicking mist.
Ancient wisdom,
suddenly dismissed.
A new day,
hot sun,
sour leaf,
and a heavy heart.

‘Tis the likeness of Body and Self.

Our selves are hovering clouds,
Looking back at our flesh.
After silent moonlit nights,
We recollect the Truth afresh.

By cultivating
– Land or Man –
we form such clouds of mist.
One from deep waters,
The other from words,
and tales of forefathers.

Through language we speak,
reflect and think.
After nights lonely,
and melancholy,
we give birth to self,
hovering over our body.

And in our bodies,
live the selves of others.
And our selves shall live on,
in others as well.

So lick your lips and taste my words,
Let myself flow into yours.
Mix and merge,
Sounds emerge,
‘Tis the Logic of this Urge.

Comments on: "Philosophy as biological heresy – or – towards Homo libros" (3)

  1. said:

    Salam Ahmad! I came to visit your blog to check on you. iA you are doing well.

    P.S: When did you become a philosopher?!

    • Aхмат Mахмудович Илива said:

      Good to hear from you Sami! Thanks for the visit. All is well on my side, close to graduation it seems. I hope all is well on your side too 🙂

  2. […] they wiggle around and create new fingers. Each finger has its own misty self hovering over it (see here for explanation of this metaphor). The world each finger perceives is a projection of itself. A […]

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