What Am I Transcended in Time?

Life begins with questions and wonders of the mysteries of the world; a struggle of truth and wisdom to know the most important part of reality. And at the edge of the puzzling existence, there is a wider vision of life. At this point, Philosophy being revolutionary confuses my common sense. The disturbance for the search of meaning can lead to reject my beliefs. But as the major task is to analyze and construct arguments, there is hope coming closer to the truth. What then life is all about? A quest of truth of who, what we are, where we came from and where we are going. I am being imprisoned by my own beliefs of reality. Maybe it is because of my feeling of strangeness. I doubt, let it go! Every claim I win for that includes evidence that underlies investigation itself to its truth.

Ancient civilizations in India, China and Greece were the forerunners of Philosophy. The Indians would ask the theocentrical question “Who am I”. Who created all the things? Who am I to others? Brahman. Who is Brahman in relation to me? We are the one. Atman is Brahman and Brahman is Atman.

That which the finest essence – this whole world has that as its soul. That is reality that Atmas (soul). That art thou.[1]

From the time that there was a shift from mythos (in which work of Hesiod and Iliad were known) to logos, Ionian Greeks began to rationalize their answers to their questions. “Where am I?”, a cosmocentric question asked by the Ionian Greeks accounting to the origin of the universe. The water of Thales is the origin of all things.

They say nothing else comes to be or ceases to be; for there must be entity either one or more than one from which all other things come to be… Thales, the founder of this philosophy says the principle is water.[2]

Apeiron is the origin of all things for Anaximander – the indefinite, boundless, infinite, and indeterminate.

Inexhaustible in quantity and wholly devoid of specific qualities an unlimited mass characterless having unlimited potential for assuming different specific forms.[3]

For Anaximenes it is air:

… companion of Anaximander, affirms together with the latter that the substrate of everything is one and infinite. This substrate, however, is not indeterminate like that of Anaximander’s, but it is a definite nature: it is what we call air.[4]

The three Ionian Greeks have one thing in common: there is unifying principle assuming different forms in matter – water of Thales, the apeiron of Anaximander, and the air of Anaximenes. The Urstuff is what they have in common.

The civilization flourished in Yangtze and Huang Ho rivers is Chinese. They would rather ask the question “What Am I” which touches the nature of man. In short, it is anthropocentric. The focus is on the ideals and interest of humans. It begins in itself reaching to the existence of others. A very oriental perspective.

I always ask myself what I am in this world. What I ought to do in accordance to goodness? What is the way of life I want? Ultimately, these questions will lead into asking “What is the essence of my existence in the world?”

Humans Becoming Humane

“It is the man that can make the way great; not the way that can make man great.”[5]

Humans are the agents of actions in the fulfillment of the way or the path. Of course, who can perform the act other than man? It is the spiritual being? Expect not. The act itself will materialize through an agent that will perform in this present world. (Co, p.123) But all humans will do the act itself which will be performed in this present world.

Kong Zi said: The gentlemen occupies himself with the way and not with hius livelihood… what the gentleman is anxious about is the way and not poverty… the way of gentleman is threefold. I myself have not been able to attain any one of them. Being humane, he has no anxieties; being wise, he has no pwerplexities; being brave, he has no fear. Tzu Kung said: But master that is your own way.[6]

Lin Fang asked about the fundamental principle of Li. Kong Zi replied, “You are asking an apt question, Li at large, it is always better to be simple rather than too arrogant. It is more important to have the real sentiment of sorrow than minute to observance.[7]

I find the philosophy of human simple and comprehensive. It is a way of life of the individuals. Though the existence is obvious, how could I still say that I’m searching what is life? The only solution I can suggest is to bring out the best of the involved humans in the fulfillment of the act. What am I transcended in time? This philosophy is easy because it can be perceived.

Co is asserting that all universal can withstand the test of time. The nature of man is universal. Thus, the nature of man can withstand the test of time.

My point of conclusion then is that the nature of man can transcend time. However, real and universal are nature of man. Thus, what is real and universal can transcend time.

[1] Robert Ernest Hume. The Thirteen Principal Upanishads. 2nd Ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 248.
[2] Ignatius Yarza. History of Ancient Philosophy.
[3] James Jordan. Western Philosophy: From Antiquity to Middle Ages. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.), p. 8.
[4] Yarza, op. cit., p. 19.
[5] Alfredo P. Co. Philosophy of Ancient China: The Blooming of Hundred Flowers. (Espana, Manila: UST Printing House, 1992, p. 121.
[6] Co, op. cit., p. 123.
[7] Ibid., p. 122.

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