Friday, August 5, 2016

East and west: humanistic vs materialistic meaning of life

East and west always have been opposites through out history. East has always been the place of mysticism and closed communities and west the seat of rationality and open societies, at least in the general sense of the spirit. East do have contribution in science but ironically its not very philosophical, it has been more technological and mathematical.

But why we see the west in an existential crisis and why does east keeps an air of ignorance about it?
The forces of materialism caused this philosophical West's society to fragment, the individual got alone.So this individual devoid of humans to give his life meaning moved towards philosophy and materialistic achievements to fill this void of meaning. And so they  excelled in these fields like no other.

But the east still dwells in close knit societies.And an individual is a part of a family, a caste, a tribe and this identity gives his life an inherited meaning.So his mind is not bothered much about the philosophical meanings and materialistic achievements.

Obviously this is an oversimplification of a complex phenomenon.But what I basically mean to say is that human beings are social animals and true peace giving meaning  in their lives comes from the presence and connection with other human beings, otherwise the reality starts to break and loose meaning.

This realization stems from my personal experience when I woke up one night in a state of panic, derealization and a deep feeling of meaninglessness and as I saw a friend sitting on the other bed, this feeling started to dissolve with the shear force of his presence.

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