Añora, Maria Wilvenna A. PHILO 25 Tue 10:30 – 12:00October 9, 2008 Orlando Ali M. Mandane Jr., PhD IN SEARCH OF OUR TRUE SELVES I have been in this world long enough to realize that amidst the notable progress we humans have buildover the years, we remain a being in search of our true identity. We question much about our existence. We lookfor answers and seek truth behind them. However, this seek and search trek seems to be an endless odyssey thatthe pursuit of understanding the human being is left open-ended. With this, Id like to share my views of thehuman person. Essentially, the human person is a composite being of soul and body (St. Thomas). The body is just theorgan of the soul which took the form of the human being limited only to that which can be seen. However, thehuman soul is the unseen aspect of the human person that differentiates us from other beings and creatures. Itgives us our identity, making us unique individuals each with its own defining characteristics and attitudes. It isfitted to rule the body making it superior to the body. Unlike the body which may change, grow and eventuallydie; the soul is incorruptible and immortal. Also, the body and soul can be likened to an instrument and an instrument player. Without theinstrument player(soul), the instrument(body) would not serve its purpose and hence it becomes useless. In thissense, the body alone does not comprise a human being. For without the soul, the body is inanimate and lifeless.Conversely, the soul cannot be without a body. Although the soul can exist without the body, its existence doesnot took the form of the human person. It is in every way just a soul capable of moving on its own but incapableof having the appearance of a human being. Hence, to be a human person, we must have a natural body which ispotentially human and we must posses such soul(Aristotle). (continuation at the back)
Having recognized what we are made of, the question of what it is to be truly human is inevitable. Withthis,their is essentially an instinctive fear in most of us to travel with our engines in full throttle. We prefer forthe sake of safety to take life in small and delicate doses. But this should not be the case. Human beings becometruly human, only when they are able to use all their human faculties and talents to their fullest. Such people arevibrantly alive in mind, will and heart. They are open to the full experience and expression of human emotions.They see a beautiful world and hear its music and poetry. They taste the deliciousness of every moment. Theyare able to experience the full galaxy of human feelings- awe, wonder, tenderness, compassion, both agony andecstasy. They are capable of asking the right questions of life and flexible enough to let life question them. Theyare glad to be alive and to be who they are. For such people, life has the color of joy and the sound ofcelebration. Their lives are not a perennial funeral procession. Each tomorrow is a new opportunity which iseagerly anticipated. There is a reason to live and a reason to die. And when such people come to die, their heartsare filled with gratitude for all that has been. For a beautiful and full experience. To them, the world will alwaysbe a better place, a happier place, and a more human place because they lived, laughed and loved here. Human beings precisely because they are truly human obviously experience failure as well as success.They are open to both pain and pleasure. They have many questions and some answers. They cry and theylaugh. They dream and they hope. The say a strong “yes” to life. They feel the strong stings of growing- ofgoing from old into the new- but their sleeves are always rolled up, their minds are whirring, and their hearts areablaze. They are always moving, growing, beings-in-process, creatures of continual evolution.BIBLIOGRAPHYAristotle. The Basic Works of Aristotle. Edited by Richard McKeon. New York, New York: Random House, 1941.St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica in Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Edited by Anton C. Pegis.New York: Random House, 1945.Plato. The Collected Dialogues of Plato (Including Letters). Translated by Hamilton, Edith and Huntington Cairns.New York, New York: Bollingen Foundation, 1961.