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Posts Tagged ‘History’

The Ascent of Mind, the Perfection of Man

February 16, 2009 6 comments
synthesis
synthesis

“Is this possible?” asked my friend.

If you look back in time, man was nothing but a small speck in the world, and made his way through water and progressed through the land. The world rotates and man changes along with it. Human mind is also progressing, not just through the stimulus that cause behavioral reaction but also through learning by looking back to the past. Since then man becomes one with nature as he sees himself part of the grander scheme of the universe. There was no logic then. Only acceptance existed.

The world experienced clashes of meteors and asteroids along with galactic debris hitting the earth’s surface and changing the course of time;  and the apparent phenomenon of animals killing each other for survival, and plants struggling to keep its production stable has imprinted a new consciousness among humans. The impact created a new dimension of understanding things, and man with its capability for adaptation saw that the world moved in conflict and that the need for a supreme unifier was summoned. Ideas and images started to surface in the consciousness of man that eventually gave birth to cultural systems such as religion, language and art.  This was also the time that speculation started and eventually gave birth to human logic. Yet the thought remained very simple as the communal belief rested on one matrix: “In conflict there is harmony as there will be birth in every death.” But no matter how they called on their deities, conflict remained and unity left like a tide.

Darwin speculated on this change after roaming the world to prove his theory that man will always find its way through conflict and will eventually adapt through evolution. There was a clamor however of whether man was designed to exist naturally without the intervention of a super-natural being as supreme architect. However scientifically validated, the idea of the holy can never be disputed as far as logic is used by religious utilitarians;  thus leaving the Theory of Natural Selection  a smidgen of science and not a law for universal acceptance. If the body belongs to science, human faith on the other limb, which is attributed by a compound of human emotions and self projections, belongs to religion. The two human aspects (physical substance or body and spirit or the soul) can be hardly reconciled and will always be in constant enmity as there will always be boundary between Thomas Aquinas and Rene Descartes.

The notion “Faith seeking understanding” may be acceptable momentarily as far as human logic is concerned, but logic is not science for it always settles in relative position as tool for justification. Science is different from logic yet science cannot exist apart from it. This is also true with religion as the justification of it needs the aid of logic.

“But how can you say that there will be a complete synthesis of these bi-polar notions? Can there be such faith seeking science or science seeking faith?” he continued asking.

If humanity moves in history, it surely progresses in time.

In a Hegelian philosophy, man progresses through the scheme of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. This scheme moves along in time as number increases when you add 1 to the previous prime, and so on… ad infinitum. This may sound very abstract but when you look back to history you will see the great changes humans have undergone in years. Long time ago there was no computer and man used to do things manually, but since it is the tendency of mind to move forward, computers were created and that  gave great significance in human progress. However the inevitability of deviants like Hitler and the inhumane system of the communist government will always hinder the progress.  Deviants like them will always discredit this claim; but, I dare say that it is the system – along with its underlying principles, beliefs, and philosophy – that determines destruction and not the natural tendency of the mind to transcend any system. Remember that Hitler and the communist ideologues are nothing but a product of the existing grotesque system, a concocted belief to perfection; and so with their receptacles, all of them were gradually destroyed by a greater mind, that holds nothing but the authentic harmony in society. You must take note then that it is a natural course that the mind will seek harmony and so, sooner or later, any system that creates chaos will be naturally eradicated someday. One mind may hinder progress, the other will efface it to clear the way.

Things move in a dialectic process and it’s always like that. It is always between good and evil. Yet, we have no choice but to progress in history because that is how human mind is devised – to move ahead and to choose harmony among other things.

If this is possible, can it also be possible that human beings will in time see faith in science and vice-versa?

We all started as brutes but through history we have become sophisticated beings to roam this world. This simple premise makes me believe that human perfection will be achieved in time. We are progressing, not regressing, as far as human mind is assessed; and with all hope, humans will achieve this undoubtedly. It may happen in the next gazillion years…but eventually it will. By that time man will acknowledge that with the mind, perfection  is possible and only the mind can eliminate conflicts . Acceptance will come back in. Only harmony will exist.

“What will happen then if humans achieved its perfection?”

Well, we definitely can confront God and challenge his army. However I don’t want to talk about it. Maybe our future children can give us the answer.

******

P.S.

1. (Just a thought.) Can there also be a perfect evil? That’s the biggest problem.

Categories: philosophy Tags: , , ,

Pamalandong on Iloilo History

November 28, 2008 10 comments

aerial view of iloilo river

aerial view of iloilo river

Lack of knowledge can be daunting especially in a situation when you are caught off-guard. This is what happened to me the other day when my younger cousin asked why our place was called Iloilo. Sensing that she might have been devouring topics on the history of places such as the origin of Manila or Cebu, I asked her why she was interested. She gave me a shrug, “I was just asking.” She continued to say that nobody speaks much of Iloilo’s origins except for the accounts of Tomas Confesor, Gen. Martin Delgado and Gen. Quintin Salas and not a great deal about the history of our place per se. It was difficult for me to answer except for the few facts that have been embedded in me by my boring highschool teachers. And what I know of Iloilo is very limited to the simple information that native Ilonggos named it after the shape of the Iloilo River whose meanders resemble the shape of the “nose” or ilong. Since Iloilo is predominantly Karay-a speaking people where “L” is substituted with “R” it was first called Irong-irong. Due to the changing formation of the local lexicon which has been tainted with the incorporation of Spanish terms, the name Irong-irong was changed to Iloilo.

“Why is it called Iloilo?” is no ordinary query because a little distortion may create a big error in the future learning, thus a deep pamalandong is needed. Pamalandong here means a very deep reflection which does not limit knowledge to learning but experiencing as well. In the English language, it means “altruism” yet it connotes more “reflection.” Pa in Hiligaynon is a prefix which means “going to” or “to indulge” while landong means “shadow” or “under the guidance of.” Thus, pamalandong literally means “going into the shadow of.” Another beauty of this term is the notion that it goes with silence therefore signifying a critical analysis of the past. In delving into history, it is not just the hard facts that matter but the hues that surround the events that make it more important. One has to know the ways and the emotions to inject alacrity among the readers.

To make my point sturdy and credible, I explored the Provincial Library and the UP – Western Visayas Center for Culture and the Arts Studies. I was amazed to find good sources that could point out to this historical conjecture. However good, there is a dearth for such books which only proves that Ilonggos are not particular in their quest of history. They say that Ilonggos have lost their passion in excavating their past and trying to muster a concrete panorama of the odyssey of Ilonggo people. History then becomes esoteric stuff where it only applies to few who have chosen this line of discipline thus limiting the spread of knowledge among the people. I guess we all need a good pamalandong on this.

I realized that a simple historical research will lead to an insatiable drive for the past. In the case of Iloilo, I not only discovered that because the Spanish could not utter the “ng” well, and the “R” of the natives irked them, they dropped the former name and changed it to Iloilo but much more. But why of all things, the river became the basis of the name and not the vast plain of Iloilo that during the 16th century was blessed with booming sugarcane and rice production compared with other provinces in the entire Visayan Region? The thirst for an answer prompted me to dig more in the library. However, I couldn’t find exact answers to this except the little information I’ve gathered from few academic books. This lot led me to use my own logic in the way of pamalandong. I guess the reason behind was that the Iloilo River was no ordinary river. Unlike other rivers which root from great mountains then flow down to create a river delta, Iloilo river begins from the sea and ends in the sea. You get the picture? It is not actually a river but a sea estuary (which logically means that it has brackish water) that makes it a unique body of water. Although geologists don’t agree in calling this as Iloilo River, we could not blame our folks for their lack of terminologies. What they perceived as a long body of water with narrow borders was automatically termed a river. Estuary for the academic regards will be acceptable but will remain excusable to be called a river by the common people.

Aside from that, Iloilo was well known of its major river systems that traversed the whole province. It was through these rivers that agricultural crops became abundant and effectually put the name of Iloilo as the rice granary of Visayas. Since this land was populated by heathens, they gave the river a special praise for serving as the life-blood of crop production. That might also be one reason why they chose to name this place based on the mightiest and strangest river they knew – the Irong-irong River. Alas, there are no documents that would support my postulate because the first thing that Spaniards did when they first arrived in Iloilo was to proselytize the natives into Christianity and obliterate all practices that reciprocate the dogmas of the church. Sayang!

Despite the knowledge gap, simply because there are no adequate sources or that I have not been eager enough to look for more reference, I can never help but to give conjecture on the notion of the river in relation to the name Iloilo. According to Fr. Policarpio Hernandez OSA in his records of the past, the Iloilo River served to be a channel of trade in 1855 from Villa Rica de Oton-Arevalo to what is now called Iloilo City. During those times, Iloilo stood to have the biggest international commercial port complex outside Manila. The active relation on commerce and trade with other countries made Iloilo the host of galleon trade from Visayas to Mollucas; this put Iloilo as the Queen City of the South before Cebu took hold of the title.

These accounts only show why the river is very important to the Ilonggos and there is no wonder why they named the place in lieu of the most prominent Iloilo River. I just hope that next time somebody will asks me about Iloilo, I have a little dose of knowledge to arm myself.

Categories: Ilong-Ilonganon Tags: ,