Life can be more
Life can be more
Is creative philosophy able to lead us?
Who doesn’t feel or is worried that life in its current form could lack something crucial. But what? It is difficult for us to name. Is it just an insignificant part that people may rightly not give much attention, or is it something important, perhaps even decisive?
Such a search for meaning is certainly not new and has only led to frustration or disappointment in too many cases and areas. Such seekers, who are often not taken very seriously, not infrequently deal with religions of the respective local type, the next step often goes to art, then to humanists who have become independent, and finally also to natural scientists trying to deal with such subjects.
In the end, the specialty usually won. Everyone did what was best according to abilities and brought money. They tried to complement each other as much as possible, what made teamwork sacred. However, women were often left out.
Philosophy could now try to deal with this dilemma with an approach that was first called synthetical in English and is incorrectly translated as synthetical, because it is certainly not synthetic, but on the contrary is intended to avoid such unnatural development. Therev were few critics of creative philosophy, but perhaps not without good reason also only a few supporters. Even with a clear distinction from classic university philosophy, it still smelled too much of purely mental gymnastics in a quiet retreat or of sterile laboratory air.
Why has the head been so one-sidedly preferred to other parts of the body in philosophy so far? People probably imagined that this part of the body usually kept upright, with a slightly increased volume, made them differ from animals in particular. But those beings were and are far superior to them in many other abilities.
Holistic is not an esoteric curse word
Human beings can be accepted with clear conscience as fairly complicated, but better as complex. Analytical philosophy has tried to break down individual parts as well as possible, but in an understandable way has not created a better person. Meanwhile, the words “good” and “better” have fallen into disrepute because of poor possibilities for definition, even if gurus and the pope still like to use them.
New tendencies in such a philosophy try to introduce decisive extensions here, but without wanting to question the merits of the analytics, which sometimes degenerate into mental acrobatics. A more open attitude to the animal part frowned upon seems to be necessary not only in abstract philosophy, but in all parts of life. This, however, should encompass a philosophy to be regarded as natural. Life and philosophy could not only be closely linked, but even interwoven.
The apparently backward-looking, increasingly animal-stylized author has become particularly aware of this during several years of life in Asia. In addition to thoughts, feelings and daily fitness, experiences with the environment and while traveling, and with the local structure of sexuality and power crept more and more into his “philosophy of life”.
Since the time of the highly praised classical Greek philosophy, not so noticeable further north behind well-heated walls, things have changed decisively among the Greeks, perhaps also in this regard and quite practically. For example, they care for thousands of refugees on the remote and not very large island of Lesbos, despite the most difficult circumstances, of which not even a few are desired in some other areas.
Can philosophy help in such a situation? Obviously, this cannot be achieved through the head. Are residents of such regions sometimes condescendingly seen as backward areas still “at animal level”? Or do the so-called highly civilized people further north have only such a cannibalistic relationship with animals that they are primarily interested only in cheap meat? Is something wrong with the previous philosophy?
Does culture taboo nature?
Culture is a term that comes from agriculture and should actually be closely related to nature. But that was lost when that culture unilaterally began to pact with power and therefore taboo on sexuality to maximize subordinate labor. Finding out and reducing such undesirable developments certainly cannot be pure brain work and therefore cannot be solved by analytical philosophy.
The first priority should be to tackle outdated and harmful taboos, which may also be the basis of the criminally large unequal distribution of goods and income.
But almost (!) all politicians, who could also be guided by advanced modern philosophy, are prohibited from touching taboos, in the form of a penis symbol, called cravat or tie, as a restricting garment around their necks. In this way, the connection of the rational head to other qualities and delights of the body, perhaps even sexual, is perhaps not only symbolically constricted and disconnected from public and above all from political life. Even at the state-approved universities, only fertilizer for analytical philosophy is approved, but not for such creative philosophy, which is obviously regarded as suspect and cannot be defined in advance as being a creative subject in a definable and limited way.
Does it first have to be explained what this means in the non-animal area? Digital design is already successful, but also analog morphing and, in the future, quantum dynamic approaches that will mix up such separations in the future. At the moment, these may appear to be a rational educational problem and be marginalized, but by their nature they are surrounded by boundaries, but not bound by boundaries. How critical sexuality and power can be is shown by the insistence on tie fashion, which could well be understood as paternalistic and discriminatory.
Should we first ask what about creative freedom of expression? Is everything perfect in Europe? Or would you prefer to start considering the recombinant algorithm of Twitter's “artificial” intelligence that discretely lets disappear opinions in distant America? Sexuality and power, for sure, are not controlled transparently there.
© All rights by Hans J. Unsoeld, Berlin 2020
Updated Febr. 20, 2020