ABOUT: LET US PHILOSOPHIZE

ABOUT: Let Us Philosophize

From the preface to the First Edition (1998):

“This book runs counter to the dominant attitudes in modern and contemporary philosophical circles.  … The book is a personal testimony of a seventy-year-old man who, throughout a life beset by many constricting, troublesome and tragic circumstances and events, though not denied certain blessings, has had one overriding and abiding passion — call it addiction if you will: the urge to find answers satisfactory to his mind to questions that most sane people raise at an early stage of their lives then throw behind their backs to attend to the business of living.”

 

From the preface to the Revised Edition (2008):

“This is an original venture of philosophizing, in which considerations about ultimate reality, about knowledge, and about values are interrelated and merged in a coherent system. Most present-day academic and professional philosophers look upon such an audacious approach with derision. To them I say, “It’s your approach that has made a mockery of philosophy.” For the blurb of the 1998 edition I wrote:

“Modern Thinkers, applying the criteria of science, have concluded that traditional philosophy was false and meaningless: philosophy was reduced to a number of specialized disciplines and techniques that cannot approach the ultimate questions that originally gave rise to philosophy. For the guidance of life we were left with dogmatic religion on the one hand and, on the other hand, the nihilism of a science that can work practical wonders but has nothing to say about meanings and values. Only full-blooded philosophy can help overcome this dilemma, for unlike science, philosophy does not give us factual knowledge, but gives us an undestanding of those ideas and ideals which alone give value to life. This book seeks to show that this is possible and necessary and offers the substance of such a philosophy.”

The poetic Prologue and Epilogue sum up its philosophy”

PROLOGUE

A kitten is born;

grows up;

plays a while;

suffers a while;

and dies.

A human babe is born;

grows up;

plays a while;

suffers a while;

suffers much;

thinks,

and in thinking creates for himself the world he lives in;

multiplies his joy;

multiplies his suffering;

creates for himself horrible woes,

woes the starry heavens never dreamed of,

but tastes of eternity;

and dies.

Dies and is no more;

but in his transient existence

eternity has found a home,

and time has ceased its ceaseless toil

and has found rest in Reality.

 

EPILOGUE

A dream,

Our life, a dream.

Nothing but a dream.

‘Nothing but’?

All that be, what else

but a dream? —

a dream God dreams.

The fluttering butterfly,

the roaring sea,

the starry heavens,

are but a dream —

a dream God dreams.

My birth, my death;

my strivings and my sufferings,

are all a dream God dreams.

Yet when I have a dream that I can call my own

then am I one with God.

  1. R. Khashaba

July 13, 2016

 

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