Sunday, August 7, 2011

Philosophers…..What they are not?


I don’t exactly remember the source of this story,
…………Once upon a time there was a man who fallen in love to a prominent lady of the city… He was trying to reach the lady but the guards of her residence were not allowing him to meet her…He couldn’t think of anything except of her…and he was eating, sleeping, walking and talking in her love…Everyday he was writing his painful condition in a letter and was going to her residence but like always… the guards weren’t allowing him…. The story of one-sided love become famous and people started talking about it…The lady heard about her lover and she ordered her maidservants to bring him to her…. When he entered into her room, he opened his bag and took out hundreds of letters that he had written to her…and started reading them to her…. The lady was passionately listening him, reading the letters and after an hour or two she stood and slapped him in the face and said, “You fool, I am sitting in front of you and instead of talking to me, you are reading me the letters that you have written over years…………….
So is the condition of the Philosophers…who claim that they are fallen in love to wisdom. The wisdom is living in flesh, in the form of people, around them and they look for it, into language, numbers and symbols…… May be I am underestimating Philosophers as there are a lot of people who love wisdom and looking for ways to fall in love with wisdom….If there weren’t some people who like to become Philosophers, there weren’t Philosophy departments in Universities and a lot of publications in Philosophy each year… Even Philosophy became a tool for diplomacy in international affairs (Iran hosted last year’s world Philosophy day conference with collaboration of UNESCO…USA and EU opposed the conference and UNESCO was forced to withdraw its support of conference)………. There are a lot of materials on lives of Philosophers but I got surprised when I come across the Ian Ravenscroft’s article, “How to be a philosopher” in the Philosophy now magazine…. In which he counts nine things one have to do in order to become a Philosopher including, what to wear, What to eat, What to drink, What to read, What to think about, How to think about it, Talking about it, Lighten up, Living and dying…… Wow, that is cool, I said to myself… it is like when somebody gets admission to a school, he gets a prospectus in which all the instructions are written (Welcome to a conditioned life)…….But that is not my first time encounter of “how to become a Philosopher”…. It brought back a lot of my college time memories………
During my college years, we read about famous “Tea House” which was a nursery of big names in Pakistani literature…so we had specified a corner in colleges’ grassy plot…. where we were talking about our creative endeavors…. I still remember one of my friends who was doing everything that people in Tea House was doing….He was smoking cigarettes in the thinking style (Though I have an allergy to smokes but I was tolerating his smoking…in order not to disturb the creative process….May be you are laughing right now…At least, I am laughing while writing this…)… He was chewing Paan leaves….Betel Leaves… (He had an adorable look when his lips were red), drinking a lot of milk tea, always wearing white dresses and had a teacher who were correcting the rhyme and was advising him on the contents of his poems…
Despite of my love for writing, I didn’t have a creative flow…He was quick in identifying the problem…”creativity has its own life style…How can you expect to come up with great ideas by your simple and rigid life style???….” And then he was advising me for changes in my life…so the BIG ideas start liking to live in my skull…………… First and most important thing…. fall in love (I wasn’t able to understand how to fall in love…Zap!!!) so the intensity of feelings soar…. Start smoking to increase concentrations (The omnipresent dusty atmosphere of Quetta was more powerful than tiny smokes of cigarettes….), start wearing white dresses so the senses become very sharp to catch the very Delicate ideas (Thanks to swarms of vehicles in the city, everyday…. after coming from college when I was washing my face, a large amount of black soot was coming out of my nose and throat….I knew that my lungs were as black as baker’s chimneys…. In this atmosphere, how could white dresses help me in sharpening my senses)…. Drink a lot hot milk tea (The only advice that I followed with full zeal…until I found that the milk tea is the biggest culprit of Diabetes in Pakistanis…then I quit drinking milk tea to replace it with green tea, mint tea and occasionally chamomile tea)………..and have a teacher who correct and guide me in my writings (Frankly, I was thinking that rebellion against tradition is the primeval condition of creativity so I didn’t want to break anybody’s heart by my rebellious and argumentative nature…especially the one who takes the charge of my guidance)………Occasionally and in between lines… I was trying to say that Diogenes and Socrates two big names of Philosophy (Antisocial Philosophers)….hadn’t followed any of these recommendations…then I was thinking that perhaps historians didn’t report these important secrets of these Philosophers (That is the silliest way to convince myself so I could keep shut my mouth to not hurt a friend that was so dear to me)
Well, I failed to follow the instructions and didn’t become a poet or a philosopher...and so is true for my friend…. We become equal (the one who followed = the one who didn’t follow)……..though there are still stark differences in our life styles……
So when I come across such articles that are about, how one can become a Philosopher…. I loudly say…Come on…for God’s sake…Philosophy is not modeling…You don’t need a conditioned life (Though one needs an examined life and that has no formula or recipe book to follow)….

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