This post comes to you in not one, but two parts!!!
Part I: Main Point
The main point of Dr. Leni Garcia’s article is to show us that Philosophy is closely related to mythology. The latter may have been a precursor to the former, but because of the wibbly-wobbly nature of philosophy, I don’t think we can assume a linear progression of cause and effect between the two.
Dr. Garcia used the phrase “There and back again” from R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series as a common, unifying theme throughout the article. This was shown with the way the early philosophers started to question the myths and subsequently rebuked them through their own more rational and logical explanations, but still falling victim to the practices of old – writing in poetry and verse, a style usually reserved for the myths they have tried so hard to avoid referencing. Even after years of journeying away from the grasp of the mythos, they cannot fully escape its “charm,” so to speak, and return to it.
This theme was shown again when Dr. Garcia wrote about Plato’s allegory of the cave, showing how the prisoner who had escaped and received enlightenment through the outside world is still willing to rush back to his fellow prisoners and share with them the knowledge he had acquired.
I think that that this theme of escape, journey, and subsequent enlightened return is most applicable when we think of the evolution of Philosophy through the ages. It escaped its entwinement with mythology, journeyed off and branched into different schools of thought, and after years of studying, improving, and developing, it has become somewhat of an enlightened lens, which we can use to look back at its roots and understand them with more clarity.
Studying philosophy would be pointless if we did not know how it began. I believe that everything must have a beginning. Heck, even this blog has a beginning, as shown by my previous introductory post. Knowing how something started can help us understand the thing better,
Part II: Mythical Story
I will not be writing a genesis story because I feel that that has been done too often. Inspired mostly by the BBC’s sci-fi drama, Doctor Who, I will attempt to write a story that will hopefully encompass the requirements.
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who. All rights belong to the BBC. This is
poorly written fiction.
Legend speaks of a man, the last Time Lord of Gallifrey. A man whose body may not age physically, but his eyes look old – weighed down by the cumulative experiences of a hundred lifetimes. This man goes by many faces, many outfits, many aliases throughout his life, but he is known to all only as the “Doctor.”
This man, no, he’s not a man. Not technically. Men don’t usually have two hearts.
This man, he flies around in his blue police box known as the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space.) The TARDIS is his spaceship you see. Well, it’s more of a space-time-ship, really. Also, it is bigger on the inside. Way bigger. Although she does not always take him to where he wants to go, she always takes him to where he needs to go.
One day, the Doctor steps out of the TARDIS, once again unfamiliar with the place she has taken him to. This time, the TARDIS has taken him to a white plane. That’s all there is. He walks out pensively, trying to survey his surroundings. But there is nothing to survey, it is all white everywhere. A voice booms from out of nowhere, and a flash of light stuns the Doctor. He wakes up in a reverie, a shimmering figure in front of him.
The figure explains that it had brought the Doctor into his realm to warn him about the impending doom about to befall planet Earth. The shining outline tells him that the Daleks have returned, and are planning to lay siege on the Earth with the use of a Time Bomb.
Although not an inhabitant of the planet, he has taken it upon himself eons ago to protect the human race. He believes that the humans are beautiful and unique creatures. Conflicting dualities, and yet they seem to find balance somehow. Selfish in the face of competition, and yet ultimately compassionate when the need arises. He has taken on a number of humans as companions over the years, but they inevitably leave him, and he is left to wander alone until he meets a new one.
He thanks the figure and rushes back in his tardis. He flips a couple of switches, and after a bumpy ride through the time vortex, he arrives inside the Daleks’ ship, right in the middle of contemporary London. He immediately spots the Bomb, 2 minutes before it detonates. Wasting no time, he barrels through the Dalek armada, barely dodging their shots.
He arrives at the bomb, and figures that the only way to stop it is to infuse it with his own regeneration energy. He realizes that that act will be the end of him, since it will literally drain him of his remaining lives. He hesitates just for a second, reevaluating if this will be worth it. Sure, he does not want to die yet. Sure, it may be unfair, but if it means that the human race will continue to live, then so be it.
He grabs on to the bomb, and his hands start glowing with golden-yellow Time Lord energy. Part of him hates that he has to do this. Part of him still wants to be alive, to be able to experience the beauty of the universe. But he has to. He’s the only one who can save the humans. 3 seconds. His hearts start failing. 2 seconds. He feels like the breath has been punched out of his lungs. 1 second. He finishes the energy transferal, and the bomb starts to glow a bright white. The light consumes the Doctor, and expands, taking the Daleks with it. It is done.
Legend speaks of a man, the last Time Lord of Gallifrey. A man whose body may not age physically, but his eyes look old – weighed down by the cumulative experiences of a hundred lifetimes. Now those lifetimes have come to an end. But he shall forever be remembered as the Doctor, protector of the humans, and a human in essence himself.
Garcia, L. (2013) Exploring the philosophical terrain. Quezon City, Metro Manila: C & E Publishing, Inc.
There and Back Again: http://fiscafamily.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/there-and-back-again.jpg
Plato’s Cave: http://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/platoscave.gif
Time vortex: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m00estG87i1r28xa1o1_500.gif
Two hearts: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m48901xrRg1qg49zjo1_500.jpg
Other DW-related gifs: joshuwaaaaa.tumblr.com