IN THE SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE OF LIFE (FAITH AND PHILOSOPHY)

January 08, 2019

Life is a phenomenon which was even more unexplainable in ancient and forgotten times. If we wish to go onto the journey in the search for the origin of life the best point to start from is to put ourselves in the shoes of those men in which the reasoning capabilities were first developed.

LOOKING FOR TRUTH WITHOUT

The first question which the reasonable man would ask himself when caught in the web of life would be "How do I and everything around me exist?" This question would immediately illuminate him with the fact that there has to be a source of life for nothing can be created out of nothing. Incapable of finding this source throughout the boundless nature around him, man is faced with two choices - to believe or to think. Regardless of his choice however, he is faced with the reality around him - the sun rises and settles every day, in the night sky he sees glowing dots, with time passing by the air goes through the cycle of coldness and warmness, the plants die and are being revived again, but the only things which are never revived before his very eyes are the rest of the people and animals.


The first men who had demonstrated some religious beliefs were those who reached certain conclusions based upon their observations of the world around them. They saw that everything around them seemed to go through 4 stages. The sun rises, reaches its peak, settles and darkness takes over. Over time the sun, from their point of view, went through a similar cycle within larger span of time, but following the same principle - in the spring the sun was "rising", during summer it was in its peak, during autumn the sun settled and during winter it has fallen into darkness. Those reasonable men also began to realize that this 4-stage cycle manifested itself into living things as well - each of those seasons is accompanied by the birth, peak, decay and death of plants. The believer therefore begins to deify the Sun as a supreme God for he sees that its light regulates life and creates the world, for during the night when it is dark everything is merged, but when the sun rises its rays create the world - man begins to see all separate elements in the world around him.
The believer is then confronted with the conclusion that just as plants draw life from one and the same source (Earth) so they can be revived, so does humans and animals have to draw life from some invisible source in order to be revived/transformed after death (not necessarily in physical form), as everything seemed to obey the 4 stages of the cycle of life which repeats itself eternally - birth, splendour, decay, death.

LOOKING FOR TRUTH WITHIN

The philosopher however, unlike the believer, uses the same tenet of thought "As above, so below; as below, so above. As within, so without; as without, so within", but his thought is based upon things which he knows exist and touches them through reason. The philosopher, as the believer, asks himself the question "How do I and everything around me exist?",  but he takes a different approach of thought. Instead of looking for the source of life by observing nature, he does so by turning his attention towards himself. He begins to work with that which he knows exist as a part of him and analyzes it. Not long after that the philosopher establishes a few fundamental facts:

- He sees nothing when he closes his eyes
- He tastes nothing when nothing is in his mouth
- He smells and hears nothing when his nostrils and ears are clogged
- And he feels nothing when his skin isn't touching anything.


Therefore he contemplates that he is the source of life, for without his bodily capabilities the world around him seems to exist only as a potential which is turned into a reality through his senses. The philosopher then begins to analyze the mental aspect of his human constitution - his mind. In this analyzation he establishes the fact that he can exercise thought only upon things which he sees around him and upon ideas within his mind, which are clothed in forms seen by him in the past. He concludes that man cannot make sense of an idea if that idea is not associated with some known to him images. The philosopher's analysis makes him realize that he is acquired with:
- Bodily perception (thought upon that which he sees with his eyes)
- Mind perception (thought upon ideas clothed in forms and images which are familiar to him)

Even further reasoning upon his own mentality, leads the person towards the contemplation of the fact that there is something within him which transcends those two aspects of perception. The philosopher realizes that in order for him to exercise any thought, he must have the capability to understand that which he sees and imagines. Therefore because he has this capability of understanding, this capability itself must have its own source. And since both the "understanding" and its source are not the product of his body, the philosopher realizes there is something which is immortal and eternal within him. Understanding this, he sees himself capable of becoming "enlightened" through meditation with the purpose of touching this eternal source. A man who has touched his eternal beingness is said to be illuminated, thus becoming a  "Yogi" (one with everything).

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