Who We Are? 3 (The Seal of Anthropology)

Who we are? Why it’s so important to know who we are? What’s the objective beyond in knowing ourselves? Is there any benefit or hope for this ‘we’ investigation?

Human mind always asks this question of benefit. What will he have in end if he does this or that? Many of us may have this question why we need to investigate ourselves? Investigation of self is possible only by sages in fables of the past. What is the hope for this investigation? What will be the benefit?

We’ll have a journey to find answer for these questions. Since I believe holding doubt is a grave hindrance to any task. When doubts persists, either we must clear ourselves out of it or out of the task itself. There is no way to pursue the task clinging to doubt, it will certainly make fuss.

Ok, let us begin.

In the beginning, we saw investigation is of two types; intrinsic and extrinsic. That is ‘in’ and ‘out’. Again I replicate clearly that our task is to investigate ‘in’. That is to investigate the investigator himself. Investigating ‘out’ implies investigating the surrounding.

If we are really able to find the gain behind investigating ‘out’, we will successfully able to relate it with investigating ‘in’. I’ve told the answer.

Why we are investigating ‘in’ and not ‘out’?

Why we are investigating ourselves not our surroundings?

It’s clear that the field of science which investigates our surrounding had grown in great range. On the other hand the hardest and noblest task of investigation ourselves has not yet grown to that range. And most of public are unaware of its importance.

Though we are beings of ‘in’ and ‘out’, we focus much on ‘out’ which is most quite apparent. This apparent quality of the ‘out’ make us easy to believe its reality; whereas subtle, hectic and hidden ‘in’ makes the task hard to investigate and believe.

So, we pay greater attention to investigate apparent ‘out’ than hectic ‘in’. This is human tendency. We are afraid of our hectic ‘in’. But not all, it is apparent that those who are reading further are of that rebels who always like to risk in unknotting hectic mysteries.

Name three achievements of Science in your choice. Keep this question to yourself I’ll exhume later.

Ok. A question again? What’s purpose of knowing ‘out’ or our surrounding?

Concept will be quite clear and straight forward still answers may vary. To survive first and next to control. Without knowing or investigating ‘out’ we cannot survive. Since survival is the key to exist or to be in reality it is mandatory to know the phenomena behind it through continuous investigation.

When survived, control surprises. After knowing the phenomena behind the ‘out’ we rush to take control. We assume ourselves the title to govern the phenomena with our wishes, which we are fully aware of. Even though all animals may have this tendency, human leads.

Name three achievements of Science in your choice.

Whatever achievement you may list. Electricity or Computer or any other achievement. You are not representing the direct achievements of Science but achievement of Technology or Applied Science. If really you need to list achievement of science your list will have Newton’s calculus, Einstein’s theory of relativity, Rutherford’s radio-active theory and so on.

The collective conduct with public is that they measure science with aid of technology or its application. Most don’t know what relativity is, though they enjoy the technology developed on that basis. Even in that time, when science discovers something new it would seem hope-less or benefit-less for the public until it reflects in a technological benefit or application. Humans will demand to feed poor in place of wasting money in mars probe which might seem rationally truthful.

This is human, they demand profit. The point is that even the investigation on apparent ‘out’ seem to have ‘no benefit’ in human term. Humans on the whole don’t see the vision. The visionaries are always mere. Still, it is always binding to these mere number of humans to explain their vision to their Human spare. It is a duty too.

The pen with which I’m writing, the paper which you are reading and the dispersed ink in it, the chair on which you are reclining, the dress you’re wearing, the computer’s screen which you’re watching, the internet which you’re browsing and all other visible and invisible stuffs surrounding you (i.e ‘out’) were once metaphysical. Our investigation of the ‘out’ gave us power to survive it and to control. Now, we are in charge of control. Though human may be inferior in physical terms to a whale in swimming but investigation had made us superior to them by inventing submarines.

So, investigating provides us knowledge over the thing which we are investigating, which in turn can be controlled and utilized for our benefit.

Here take a break to think about the question in the start. ‘What is the benefit of investigating ourselves?’

Are we trying to survive ourselves? Are we trying to control ourselves?

Yes. Indeed we are. We are trying to survive ourselves. We are trying to control ourselves.

Human is both a Physical and Cultural being. In a sentence, we are aiming to survive and control the phenomena of our physical and cultural existence by investigating ourselves.

Well. The objective with investigating ‘out’ and ‘in’ is clear. To survive and control. By investigating ‘out’ first we had learned to survive, then with excess learning we had learned to control.

Likewise, our attempt to investigate our physical ‘in’ being has contributed a lot in Biological Science. We have successfully found the physiological phenomena, decoded DNA, still researching the brain. We are trying to control our physical being through achievements.

People understand importance or the profit of investigating Physical Science (out), Biological Science (in). They can list some achievements of those sciences by their application. Though latest research like quantum mechanics, cold fusion, exploring cosmos, researching brain, mutant foods, may have less acknowledgement from the public today. But when they exhibit their application they turn the scene.

The problem which people don’t understand comes with our ‘Cultural Being’. People cant understand what’s the profit in Social Sciences? Especially Anthropology.

Though purpose may be clear, what’s the use?

‘Religion is Evil’. Its today’s trend to say. Is it? Is religion is evil?

People throw empirical evidence of Europe’s dark ages and Modern Islamic radicalism as proofs to base this theory. On the surface it may seem sure. One may conclude that embracing Science is best alternative to Religions. Is it true? Is really religion is evil? Is really science is noble?

We can’t conclude anything like that on European standard. Europe might had been suffered from religion not all the parts. India, China, Middle East had culturally flourished right after religious upsurge of Vedanta, Buddhism and Islam. Islamic Golden Age was evident promoting science and philosophy while Europe was in dark. Today’s instability of Middle East is not due to Islamic radicalization but purely due to western intervention. Robert Kaplan explains the role of boundary in politics and nation building in his book ‘Revenge of Geography’ which explains other elements for a country’s instability. Further, Russell Bernard writes in his ‘Research Methods in Anthropology’

‘Science did not cause Nazi or Soviet tyranny any more than religion caused the tyranny of the Crusades or the burning of witches in 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts. Tyrants of every generation have used any means, including any convenient epistemology or cosmology, to justify and further their despicable behavior. Whether tyrants seek to justify their power by claiming that they speak to the gods or to scientists, the awful result is the same. But the explanation for tyranny is surely neither religion nor science.’

Though on the surface, the question ‘Is really religion is evil? Is really science is noble?’ may seems to weigh the side of science, ultimately it is not. This is anthropological approach to a problem. The holistic approach.

Now say me. In the beginning we thought religion to be evil but investigation has made it easy for us remove the false notion behind the holding. That is the purpose of investigating our cultural being. It can avoid misunderstandings. It can avoid wars restoring peace. It can find a solution for poverty, hunger, racism, castes, pollution, relationships, violence etc. It can change the world, by changing minds.

This is the seal of Anthropology.

(To be continued)

Baba Pakurdheen A

Anthropologist, Writer, Traveler, Journalist and ultimately a Simplite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: