Life & Purpose…The Ethiopian Perspective (I)


The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religion.” – Albert Einstein
….At the centre of Faith.
Statement of clarification
1. This contribution is neither an outcome of extensive reading nor a copy of that author or book but a result of common sense, a small portion of insight and a sincere “search for truth”( not research), after some shade of bitter life experience, abandoning an ideological dogma (“communism”), which caused a lot of sacrifice to the generation of my youth and messed up our intellectual development. To make a hypothesis on Social Reality, as a point of departure, it takes and relies on the Relativity statement of Einstein, which is so far incontestable for the Natural Reality. With all respect, I of course demand to be forgiven, if this interpretation for the purpose of understanding Life happens to displace his great work of high research.. However the case, how naive this interpretation may seem at face value, the faith behind it, is nevertheless so strong to believe that it is true. Not only Mystics, Time and Space may evolve to render this Truth a scientific foundation. Until then it is my pleasure to live, not only with the Faith but also with the knowledge, that the fundament of this truth is supported by the (non systematic) studies I made so far, in the field of philosophy and faith, ever since the harmony model was constituted in this form.
2. The Star model- a graphical presentation, which can help visualising the relations and reflections of the Harmony, has just fortunately happened to develop in due course of preparing this contribution. Like so many events in life, it is fortunate that, there is always a treasure of accidence; the working plan of the Absolute. This model can elaborate the point more than innumerable words.
3. The intention with this model is not to declare this or that “new knowledge” whatsoever, but only making the play as transparent and as general as possible, so that any young man could see through it and opt for nothing but Life; Life, a jewel, a gift of the Absolute, which compares and equals nothing, other than its own defence and purpose. This fact is what the survivors of the last generation, owe this generation. That means, in simple words, the game of the day should only be LIFE, if possible why not with a High purpose of Harmony. But never neither sacrifice nor harassment, be it state or whatever.
A concerned observer for 20 years; 18.10.2007 (Text adapted for Web sides from the original dated 10.01.2006)
Hilina Berhanu
Dedicated for all who suffered and lost their lives for the Well-Being of Ethiopia
Life & Purpose! ……………………………………The Ethiopian Perspective
A Simple Sketch of Common Sense
Hilina Berhanu
The Purpose of Life for the modern man is to develop a condition of social harmony, where mankind can eventually achieve its higher objectives of Peace, High Culture, Perfection/Prosperity and a tolerant atmosphere of Faith in a human society, so that every Man-Woman can appreciate and enjoy a Harmonious Life.
– HARMONY in all aspects of Life – -Individual, social, cultural, natural or spiritual.
In every society at a definite time and space parallel to the natural reality of life, there is a social reality which is working its way through history. This social reality is different for every society and has to be perceived in its relation to the sum total of its intellectual leadership, whatever is available at the disposal of that society. The point is only whether one is aware of this reality and in a position to understand the moments and all the elements of harmony, emanating from the natural and social reality. And these moments and elements have to be appraised not in their differences but essentially in their unity and complex interactions to be capable of giving the necessary intellectual leadership, in the sense of all godly and human high virtues to keep life at its best quality for that society. If the sum total of the intellectual section of that society i.e. the elite, are not conscious of their social reality in all possible dimensions, like any position and moment of the harmony, they are also simply objects liable to be moved in any direction as the harmony of life finds it necessary. History has enough testimonies how the inherent necessity of harmony in nature has retaliated either in the nature of Man (revolutions, wars…etc) or on its account (natural catastrophes, destitution, hunger etc.) reminding Man to do something (science, culture…) about its condition. In such circumstances and above all, if the elite of that social reality are blindfolded by their sectional interests, irrespective of what they may think of themselves entertaining an illusion to have a firm command of their conditions, they are degraded to the level of the other objects of the social reality. They are not subjects with the intellectual capacity to determine and move the history of their society in a harmonious manner. It is in such situations, that societies are at their lowest levels of Collective Intelligence and would drift away into different calamities, human catastrophes of history, be it in the form of wars, internal conflicts, revolutions or human destitutions and destruction. This is the case until the social reality re-establishes its harmony again, when the community at large would somehow function by picking its intellectual subject and pave the way to legitimate a new formation of the elite, eligible for that society at that context of history.
If this community does not maintain the harmony incorporating the high level of philosophical and intellectual capacity necessary for that society, this can also last only until the next phase of disharmony begins. This means to maintain the harmony, the elite i.e. the political class (the total sum of the elite from culture, politics, science and faith) should consistently give the necessary leadership taking into account all the necessary elements of a harmonious life in the nation, a modern nation which can fulfil all the requirements of stability and sovereignty and work for its people, in its sphere of influence towards the high objectives of mankind.
This is the basic consensus, which a nation today needs in order to guarantee an all round and acceptable existence of its members. An intellectual component of a society, which cannot stand up for this basic standard cannot claim to have the intellectual attribute it believes to have and is in effect a playing object of other nations and their leadership. Ethiopia has lost this capacity at least for the last forty years. This stretches deep into the middle period of Emperor Haile Selassie, until the different moments of disharmony began to emerge in search of a new intellectual leadership or political class; which failed until today. On the other hand, the Ethiopian people, are growing mature accepting the challenge of disharmony and showing their readiness to work for their harmonious destiny. However, the elite are still not capable of resolving their own disharmony to work out a functioning system with the people to come to the social harmony, which that society highly needs at the moment. The Ethiopian people are calling for a human progress and a genuine intellectual leadership which equals their readiness to change their miserable plight towards prosperity and a higher culture, which will bring about harmony and as a consequence the welfare of the society. What is the quintessence of life and what are the dimensions of this HARMONY?
(To make a picture of the following Model of Harmony, see the graphics (a pdf file) at the end. The following is an extract of a detailed paper elaborating the Model)
The Quintessence of L I F E
There are four planes, which could represent the quintessence of life at a highly macro level:-
I. The social plane
1. State
2. Community
3. Family
II. The cultural plane
1. Laws
2. Ethics
3. Love
III. The Material plane
5. Mankind
6. Nature
7. The Universe
IV. The Spiritual plane
5. Conscience
6. Religion
7. Faith
The interfaces on the transcendental level (which are not points of discussion here) are
V. The Human plane (consisting of these four planes)
4. The Human Being & Hope
And
VI. The Absolute plane (consisting of all the planes)
8. The Absolute & Deliverance
There are eight Dimensions making the Backbone of these Planes
1. The State & Laws 5. Mankind & Conscience
2. Community & Ethics 6. Nature & Religion
3. Family & Love 7. The Universe & Faith
4. The Human Being & Hope 8. God, the Absolute & Deliverance
These Dimensions have their corresponding Axis:
1. Humanity (h) 5. Mass (m)
2. Intelligence/Consciousness (I) 6. Energy (E)
3. Quality of Music (q) 7. Light (c)
4. Destiny (D) 8. The Source (S)
The Purpose of Life is HARMONY within and between the four Planes of Life and achieving the corresponding Higher Objectives of Mankind:-
Peace, Culture, Perfection and Faith.
Higher objectives
Harmony is not a constant state of life where everything functions like a “Perpetuum Mobile”. Moreover it is not a phenomenon like a building out of similar bricks, with every bit of them fitting to each other and every section of life to be uniform to function like those parades of masses of people on big celebrations of former communist countries or sport opening ceremonies, to demonstrate in vain some sort of art. On the contrary, Man is by far beyond this state of intellectual abyss and with reason and logic reigning on the human mind today, the nature of harmony is the opposite, demanding diversity and even quantum complexity as its prerequisite to be real in life.
And above all, harmony is a state of existence highly embedded in the factor of time, reaching out for eternity and longing for infinity. Do we like to imagine where the limits of the universe are? Is the Mind ready to contemplate on how abstract the quantum dimension is, that holds us together or what the ultimate force behind all this matter, conscious or unconscious, visible, dark or whatever else could be?…. For instance just a newly discovered one galaxy, out of innumerable others, which is much bigger than our milky way, contains billions of stars…cosmologists speculate even on the existence of a multiple of similar universes like ours….etc. …etc.. Can we easily accommodate such facts in our minds? Therefore harmony is not a state of tranquillity and rest but full of all the moments and vectors of life conceived in space and time. Harmony is an art and state of equilibrium constituting and allowing the existence of all its elements at a time always moving towards a still higher purpose; which is again nothing other than harmony itself. With this in mind harmony is thus necessarily embedded in a fundament of higher objectives, which could always be formulated for the various sections of harmony in particular or higher objectives inherently related to the four planes of life in general, which provide the big purpose of life its concrete nature.
These higher objectives are: PEACE, High CULTURE, PERFECTION and FAITH
I. Peace for the social plane
The concrete purpose of any state form (e.g. Democracy), the community and the family can be nothing less than peace. If we want to save ourselves from further calamities, wars, and all sorts of inhuman social conflicts, as witnessed in our recent history (WWII etc.), this higher objective can only be attained through an appropriate social justice and welfare. Otherwise, we are driving towards what a wise Ethiopian may call “Eyaweku Aleku” (“a conscious self destruction”) – another form of destruction. Irrespective of the insanity of the actors, in the name of “enduring freedom” or the promise of the “heaven beyond”, the “cultural conflict”, which is hovering today over the world around the question of “Atomic Energy and the dream or the nightmare of a religious National superiority” is not accidental and has its social ground and may be the forerunner of the next round of human destruction, if the human species fail to work for peace, social justice and welfare. There is no way that this round of destruction could be less inhuman than the recent past, which was more or less ideologically conditioned. How would it be like with an additional religious dimension?
II. Culture/ High culture for the cultural plane
Culture- High culture means human culture based on the high level of scientific progress with the respect of all human cultural background as diversified as it is today, historically handed over to the modern human from every section of the human species. Imagine a virtuoso classical music, which would caress all your senses***, which would move your loving heart, which will enhance the silence of your mind, which will inspire you with a transcendental vision, thereby elevating your passion and respect for life and the human. This can only be achieved by the genius, who is in a position to combine all variations of notes by means of a high musical intellect one can imagine of. Or imagine a nice field and steppes of flowers made up of only tulips in one geometrical form or the other, in comparison to that of a big garden with different forms of planes full of all the varieties of flowers existing today in nature – from the well known beautiful black red rose to a cactus flower etc. It does not require a special intellect to tell which would be appealing and delighting to the healthy mind, be it the artist or the layman. The same is true with Culture and High Culture, which can be a panorama of all cultures from all shades and corners of the human species at a definite time, without the slightest propensity of exclusiveness. Not exclusive but always working on the elevation of the human intellect towards the essential substance of the human mind – reason and logic, supported by some form of faith; Faith which as discussed below, is itself one of the higher objective of life too.
III. Perfection for the material plane
Mankind as a species, not only represented by its highest intellects, but also even by that of the common intellect, has the affinity for perfection and it lies in the nature of the human to be curious and always in the search for a higher knowledge. This may be, as protagonists of evolution may presume, due to the higher instincts of survival in the “highly aggressive state of nature”. Survival of the fittest for the human however, can be more easily realised through a higher intellect than through a tougher tentacle – the muscles. This is true, though history is also full of other facts on events which are contrary to reason and logic. In spite of all odds, this did not however prevent the human species to progress towards perfection. Every period of life has produced its jewels of humans, who have the courage and the intellect to develop science as far as their ages could manage, so that we would enjoy its fruits. Enjoy and develop all spheres of science, always critically appraised to go further towards perfection initiating a new scope. Science is always an open phenomena and remains so, as long as the human being manages to maintain its existence, and life; Life with a Purpose. In other words the higher objective of the material plane is perfection with the strong support of science; Science for the promotion of peace and human culture.
IV. Faith for the spiritual plane
Faith is strictly speaking a domain of the sovereign individual; the individual free of any constraints. It is not with a longing for the past or out of nostalgic sentiments, if it is suggested here to change the well known aphorism of the last Emperor; “Haymanot yegil new “ to “Imnet Yegil new”. “ Faith (not religion) belongs to the sphere of the individual”. This is true, if all the prerequisites of a high human culture with the necessary welfare and peace on the basis of reason and logic were available. But this is not the reality, though, given the scientific progress of today, combined with the available spiritual prerequisite, the abundant wealth could have been sufficient enough to entertain such a culture.. The higher insight hadn’t unfortunately made its way through the mind of every individual, that the source of pleasure does not lie in the accumulation of wealth but somewhere in the mind of the self for the bliss of knowledge (cf. Aristotle) or somewhere between heaven and earth or like Kafka would simply say over the surface and under the feet. But unfortunately we are still staggering on an earth – otherwise the beautiful earth – where one feels to be happy touching the barren sand of the moon and on the other side, a child on this same earth dies out of destitution by every tick of the minute; and the former could sleep at night silently, without being nagged by the slightest bit of conscience whatsoever. Because of all such hard facts, the necessity of the state for the social reality of today is apparent, be it for the administration of social and civil justice, and be it for the administration and distribution of wealth or controlling and monitoring of the latter with the help of the “magical market forces”. Likewise mankind is today full of all sorts of faiths and all kinds of religions. Whether or not with a highly genuine spiritual purpose or as a style of life, these spiritual instances attract and absorb the individuals or groups of mankind, since it lies in the nature of the human to be spiritually affiliated to this or that sect. As long as they are not instances of human manipulations, as unfortunately they indeed mostly are, these religions or faiths constituted in all forms of institutions could play a healthy social role. They can fulfil their social purposes in helping to elevate mankind, if not in the possible spiritual humbleness, at least, in the sense of human ethics and in its moral awareness. If we are lucky and the intellectual level of the society allows, this objective can more or less be fulfilled by the religions available today. And thanks god, ample humanist intellectuals have pleaded for religion not to meddle in the secular section of life. At least in the regions where enlightenment has succeeded, it is established, that the civil state should be free of any religious affiliation or attachment, which is the most optimal way of looking at it. The Faith posited here, as the high objective of the harmony of life, is but of a higher abstraction. This is, on the one hand the sum total of the philosophy of enlightenment and the belief that the human mind would be at its summit of intellectual abstraction capacity and would touch all godly virtues, when it is free of any institutions, dogmas and religions in their traditional interpretation of disciplining the life of the human. Without the inherent insight emanating from oneself, liberation of the self would not be materialized. This way of attitude can be manifested in all forms of intellectual devotion or system of belief, be it philosophy or religion. On the other side, there is the quintessence of the sum total of all institutionalised manifestations of religions, which could serve as instances of ethics and moral awareness, which are of spiritual nature but also secular enough to be in favour of life and in an indirect service of the state where they exist. Whether, those from the traditional religion politically liberated intellectuals like it or not, the form of faith whose moments stretch in the two directions mentioned is amply present in the social reality of today. And it is the quintessence of all these aspects of faith, which I concretely posit as a higher objective for the spiritual plane at large. This culminates ultimately in the Faith for life with the purpose of realising the other high objectives of mankind. Peace, perfection and culture, which in turn will lead us to the longed harmony in society and the intellectual individual mind at its highest level of intelligence based on reason and logic, which is again itself not devoid of faith for a still higher purpose; a higher purpose beyond human dimension, with which only the mind can and may prepare itself – if not endowed by nature and historical process in its substance, as some may be – a ready mind at least in the will,
The will for a healthy human conscience to live with once neighbour;
The will for a state of peaceful existence;
The will to learn and progress towards perfection;
The will to appreciate the development of human culture in its diversity and complexity;
And never the arrogance of superiority in an inhuman uniformity, negating the very nature of life or pseudo equality in a uniformity of life, for the purpose of manipulating man. Can you make out of a cactus tree a eucalyptus, or is it better and wiser to make their common soil fertile? The faith in Harmony is not a belief in uniformity like religions of this or that colour may propagate. On the contrary, it is a state of existence with diversity and complexity as its prerequisites. It is with this conception that Faith is presented as one of the four high objectives of life in harmony. Faith as the crème de la crème emanating out of the healthy human conscience, the non-dogmatic section of religion and the philosophical faith based on the intellect.
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