Monday, September 19, 2011

A father’s lesson

I am not alone in believing that Philosophy is the work of the highly learned people. Actually it is a general belief that has roots since the inception of popular Philosophy in the ancient Greek times. What really puzzled me, just happened this morning (September 15th, 2011). My father was talking to my youngest brother who is an eighth grader (He is an intelligent and curious boy, always have some thoughtful questions for me. Besides, he got first position in his class. At least he is doing much much better than me in school. It never happened that I get first position in school until University),
“If animals got instinct so do I” reasoned my youngest brother
“Animals have instincts and a lower conscious to satisfy their instincts. Human also have instincts but on contrary have higher consciousness. With higher consciousness comes responsibility. If a dog steals a piece of meat to satisfy its hunger, no one would call it a thief. If a dog kills another dog in any case, no one is going to call it a murderer. It is because their consciousness is low enough to just satisfy their instincts. On other hand, if a human steals, kills, cheats or does anything wrong to satisfy his instincts, he would be called a thief, a murderer and cheater because he got a higher consciousness which makes him able to judge between wrong and right. Because of higher consciousness man is responsible for his actions. Keep in mind that with higher consciousness comes, responsibility and as much as your level of consciousness grows so is your responsibilities.”…My father was advising him…
I said to myself, wait a minute, this line of reasoning looks familiar to me. Isn’t he is talking like a Philosopher? Frankly, it was the most amazing piece of Philosophy I have ever heard and more than that, he was not a University Professor but a father who have not read any other book except Holy Quran. The only thing that he reads is newspapers (Sometimes magazines). What really surprised me that He was teaching EXISTENTIALIST Philosophy?
I am 100% sure; he doesn’t know anything of what we call Philosophy. What he has heard of Philosophy is that there were some highly wise persons by names of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle so you can hear him advising you, “Don’t take too much time in making decisions, you are not Plato” or “It is really simple, you don’t need to consult Socrates in figuring it out” or “Do you think of yourself as Aristotle that you pass judgments on others?” and phrases like these ones. It is just his reading loud his own thinking as he doesn’t know anything about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle other than their names.
I am saying all these because he never got a chance to attend school. The way he learned reading and writing is really interesting. In his youth time, he was working in a textile factory in Haiderabad city of Sindh Province. In the evenings, after work he was buying tea and cake for a shoemaker and in return he was teaching him to read and write. That is all of his schooling but he got a reading habit of reading every day, newspapers and occasionally some magazines. When I was young, he was reading me loud some of the interesting stories from magazines. I loved his accent and was feeling proud when I was making some corrections to some lengthy or hard to read words.
But this morning, he really impressed me. Frankly, if I had to explain a deep Philosophical question to an eighth grader, I would make it very difficult for him. I didn’t interrupt him (to inform him that, what he is explaining, known as existentialist philosophy among learned people). He was asking my youngest brother,
“Does a dog feel itself responsible if a man is in misery?”
“No, I don’t think so” replied my brother
“Does a man feel responsible if a dog is in misery?” My father put another question
“Definitely, he does” answered my brother
“See, the man got higher conscious, so he feels responsible while the dog has lower conscious so it doesn’t feel responsibility. Both man and dog have instincts but they satisfy their instincts differently just because they got different levels of consciousness. You go to school to raise the level of your consciousness. The higher is learned a man, the higher is his responsibilities”………
I was totally puzzled as I was witnessing in flesh and blood what I was always imagining of Socrates. He is not a learned man to the eyes of world but he holds more wisdom than a lot of learned people…….

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Let's beat the drum!...!...!...!

Yeah, Let's beat the drum...In month of Ramadan, some people beat the drums going street to street to wake up the people in predawn time...I was always fascinated by their jobs; they wake up people from sleep in a time when they are in deep sleep... Socrates were thinking that most of us are in deep sleep like that of predawn time, so he was going from street to street in ancient Athens and cross-questioning people to show them that their lives are un-examined...When we do not analyse our beliefs and world views then it is like living in sleeping mode...The stronger the certainty in unexamined worldviews, the deeper is the sleep.......

As there is no Socrates to stop us on the streets to cross-question our worldviews, keeping diary is way to open yourself for your examination (it is famously known as self-accountability) here I have started beating the drums...let's see how much I am going to be committed to my diary :)