Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Being in Itself

The vastness of the universe is a mystery in itself. Its capability to accommodate infinity is as yet to be comprehended, and humans can merely speculate that which they can comprehend – and a very small portion indeed. This dwarfs the existence of the human race, and the consciousness which is the only thing available simply becomes a mere speck in the grand structure of everything. Man seems to become an insignificant part, and the self-seeing spirit questions this insignificance despite uniqueness.

Can a definite answer be reached?

Humans are special in every aspect of its being. The logical mind, the skillful hands, each portion of our anatomy is fascinating. One can even deduce that it is perfect. The great potential of humanity lies in its one unique aspect: the consciousness. It is the spirit in one context, the soul in another, and being both at the same time would be the best resolution, but whatever it may be this immortal and special part of a human gives the ultimate sovereignty in its existence. That is, the thinking self that we are enables us to be above every living creature (though not in a condescending way but rather in a responsible, steward way). This then forms the vital part of what is known as leadership. Being above the other living things, we are bound to form the notion of taking responsibility for anything that happens. Because we are the only ones capable of making, limiting, or avoiding circumstances, we are to ensure that harmony is maintained. Then one asks: what about the harmony between fellow human beings? Wouldn't it be futile for them, equal in their own rights, to govern themselves? One would easily visualize wars and battles for power or anarchist rebellion, as the problem of who would govern among the governing race ensues. Though it is true that humans are born equal, it is equally true that a group can only survive if an authority exists.

How can one resolve this? Through equality and sovereignty at the same time.

One would muse if a society of equal individuals peacefully living under a certain leader can exist. Problems are either the leader would oppress the subjects or the citizens would overthrow the leader altogether. If both equality and organized governance could exist, the tug-of-war relationship of the masses and the ruling body could be changed. If one carefully observes the different groups that exist anywhere in the world, one would see something fascinating: the relationship between the leader and the members is more than just power. Members, human as they are, follow a leader if he/she can rightfully provide their needs as humans. That includes both the rights and the basic necessities. The leader also ought to be an equal as well, interacting with the members just as fellow members do. What would distinguish the leader then? It is the respect that he/she gains. And how does he/she gain it? Through stewardship and excellence. Indeed, the leader starts with himself being an excellent member and co-worker of the group. If he then is able to exceed this by being devoted to serving the group, he gains the respect of everyone. To top it all out is his constant drive to make the group improve, which makes him totally worthy of authority.

It is equally true, however, that this has not been achieved anywhere in the human world. In each human group there always will be tension, disagreement between the members, power-struggle, and in worst cases oppression (and on both sides). All these ideals come to nothing when viewed in a realistic lens. What should be done, then? Should we just let the hideous injustices linger in every human group? Should we simply dispose of communal life and live as individuals, far better than tyrannical ruling and corruption? And should we just accept that, as mere specks in this universe, we will just dissipate into dust altogether, destined, just as everything else is, in a constant degradation and entropy that leads to nothingness? Is the struggle for life useless after all?

Or are we missing out something?

Indeed, one could see the hopelessness of the world that we all are in. Everything seems to be unchangeable, the universe simply overwhelming for us to try to live with. It is more enlightening to note, however, that consciousness brings with it an ultimate feature: the will. One is always able to choose his own path, no matter what the situation. As said earlier, humans can limit, avoid, or create circumstances, which gives the power over all living things. And one important factor, which can be taken from the almost impossible union of Darwin and creationism, gives humans the capability to resist the downward spiral of entropy, and which makes our existence stand out from the rest of the universe:

Man is the product of a constant struggle to survive, and with his capability to evolve as himself he draws into his being power, purpose, and life, making him the fittest of them all.


Mila Polinar said...

On the contrary, you are forgetting that with the presence of a leader, members are given the duty to follow the ideals of that leader which do not necessarily coincide with their ideals. Of course, I am talking about the oppressive leader, one that coerces his people. While it is true that the people can fight back, the power they have initially given to that leader eventually defeats them in the end, leaving them with no choice but to suffer. I can only hope then, that the human will is strong enough to detect oppressive leaders and that our current leaders would finally open the dictionary of life and look up what the word "leader" really means. :)

kevin kent vincent canlas said...

Mila, you are taking the phrase out of context. I used it to say that man is not insignificant, that even though the whole universe falls into entropy man can "limit, avoid, and create" the circumstance. With regards to the ideals of a leader, I discussed it in the earlier part - that he must be worthy of the leadership, that he must aim towards the betterment of the group - and this will definitely exclude oppressive leaders. :)