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Existential-Phenomenological Approach

By: Dennis Villanueva Tubo

(SYNOPSIS)

Submitted by: France Marie Miralles

BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY

1. LOGICis a science of correct reasoning. Before we can come to the knowledge of the different areas of concerns, we need to look into, first, our way of rationalizing. 2. PHILOSOPHY OF MAN- The body of a man is considered the closest object to the thinking person- man. The different phenomena that are happening in his life open in his mind to assume that his existence is a purposeful existence. Why man exists and why man dies? 3. COSMOLOGYthe next object that is closer to a man are those things that clutter around him. These are lifeless being yet meaningful to mans search for meaning. Cosmology is a science of inanimate objects. 4. METAPHYSICS- Opposite to material things are the intelligible matter. These realities that are not visible to our naked eyes- only mind can see. Metaphysics is science that studies the nature of being. The word Meta means beyond. What is the beyond of every object that is physically composed? 5. ETHICS- is a science that studies the morality of human act. Morality concerns that rightness or the wrongness of an act. Ethics point us that we should live a moral life. 6. AESTHETICSThis is a science that studies the concepts of beauty.

7. PSYCHOLOGY- The word comes from the two latin words psyche which means mind and logos which means study. To combine the two words together, it means the science of the mind. 8. EPISTEMOLOGY- Episteme is a latin word which means theory of knowledge. In this etymological definition this branch deals with the process on how does man know? How do you know that you know? 9. SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY- Man is a social being. Man is viewed as a member of any institution essential to his growth. Social groups like peers can influence his social valuing. He is acting according to the expectation of the significant others and develop a personality in the manner according to what he perceives of himself. 10. THEODICYtheodicy is to understand everything what we believe in. Philosophy tries his best to grasp even the incomprehensive mysterious existence of God.

CHAPTER 1 PHILOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHIZING

There are philosophers like Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, Hereclitus and more who used philosophy in search for the answer about the origin of all things. There are also philosophers during the medieval times like St. Thomas, St. Augustine and many more who have seen the significance of philosophy for pondering rational explanations about the doctrine of faith. There are also philosophers especially in the modern times like Rene Descartes who used philosophy in intensifying the foundation of all branches of science. In contemporary times, philosophy is used as a critique to bring to the open and discuss the different issues that confront the lives of the people as a society. The etymological definition, Pythagoras coined the word philosophy from the two Greek words philein and sophia which means love and wisdom. Etymologically, philosophy is a love of wisdom. The act of loving is synonymous to searching such that the will is inclined to acquire the object of his will, which is wisdom. Wisdom is defined as a good and right practical application of knowledge. Wisdom is deeper than knowledge. It involves understanding the implications of that knowledge and its uses with the thought of how I could be beneficial for oneself and others. Every human being is a philosopher, thus he is capable of finding wisdom or truth. Generally, philosophy is an endeavor of finding for truth by means of reason. For Karl Jaspers, philosophy is a field whereby question is more important than the answers. One can start to question when he is beginning to be aware of something. Awareness is a preliminary step before we can make a significant question. This inquisitive mind whose nature is to know the truth will go deeper in search for that object. The inquisitive mind might possibly assume another question coming from the first answer until the whole truth is achieved.

For Aristotle, philosophy is a science that discusses all things through the use of reason. The word reason is the determinant factor why man is different from a brute. This is a mental activity when one is enticed to investigate some facts and eventually arrive to a conclusion. Only human beings, actually, can reason out. For Pinon, philosophy is a science of all things in their ultimate cause through the aid of human reason alone. The objective of every philosophical enterprise is the attainment of truth. To simplify the idea: asking the following questions would lead us to distinguish different areas of truth. 1. What is this? 2. What is it for? 3. What is it made of? 4. Who made it? The fist investigates the formal cause. It points about the truth of the nature of a thing. The second question investigates the ultimate cause. The third question talks about the material cause. And the last talk about the efficient cause. According to Roque Feriols if you want to fully understand what philosophy is, learn to practice it. Learning to value it through practice will provide us complete knowledge rather than just mere descriptions. Our own experience can provide enough explanations. In order for one to begin philosophizing, one has to start wondering about the thing around him. And from wondering can start to question, if the question is meaningful. A meaningful question touches a very core of the person; that question appears to be significant to him that his whole mind and body is consumed, busy looking for the answers to this meaningful question. In order to philosophize, one has to use a specific vehicle in order to arrive at his destination. A vehicle of using the hows and the whys. These methods continue until final and sufficient answers have been established. There is a point in mans life when he is confronted with different forms of crisis and tribulation-the crossroad of life that will situate him to metaphysical involvement. These are the

situations that drive one to reflect and ask basic question about fundamental undiscovered truths. Everybody knows that every question, there is always a corresponding answer. Yet truth remains that there are some questions that remain unsolved. In philosophy, there are situation where man is confronted with no assurance of right answers. Metaphysical question are indeed hard to solve because they are beyond the realm of our senses. For one who is at the midst of this problem, one will try his best to find the light or insight that will ease or soothe his mind and heart from these depressing metaphysical problems. One can avail it through deep and through reflection. Reflection is a way of viewing things in an objective manner. Man can see the light in every metaphysical problem in the forms of sayings, because it shows the fact of the human quest towards finding and realizing the meaning of human existence. Another meaningful way of philosophizing is using parables. One can use parable to deliver such a complicated matter. Jesus found this very effective every time he spoke about the kingdom of God. Always remember that each parable has one central message to make connection or applications we could establish into our own life. Stories. This is also considered an effective vehicle for those in search for the light. Story is very significant because one can permeate to a deeper level of ones own consciousness after pondering it. It will lead one to gain the truth that one is clinging to. Philosophy is the ability of the mind to see what naked eyes cannot see. It is a search for the meaning, endless search for value and purpose. Mans walk for the truth is a lifelong journey of searching and discovery through the solitary self and through the others. Search for truth is to search the fragmentary meanings of life towards the realization of the ultimate meaning of human existence.

CHAPTER 2 VIEWS OF THE DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHERS: An Overview

WESTERN PHILOSOPHERS

Ancient Philosophers. Thales is known to be the first philosopher. He claimed that man is made up of water. And Anaximenes contends that air is the world-stuff. According to him man is a union of the body and soul that the body is a condensed air and the soul is a rarefied air. Anaximander opines that man is a being that has evolved from animals of another species which are lower than his. He affirmed that man came from fish. Socrates acclaimed to be the greatest philosopher in the western civilization. His definition of man puts more value to the soul rather than to the body, because man for him is a soul and the body is only a prison cell where man is incarcerated for the time being. Man as a soul should be nurtured properly. The quality of a person lies on his effort to nourish his life by means of acquiring knowledge. Man as a soul should learn to practice it without falling into error, wisdom is the second nourishment of the soul. The third nourishment is Virtue the final output that came from the first two. According to Plato man is a soul using the body. As a soul present in the body, Plato teaches that the soul has three parts. Rational part, appetitive part and spiritual part. The rational part is located in the head, specifically, in the brain. This enables man to think. The appetitive part is in the abdomen driving man to experience hunger, thirst and any other human needs. And the spiritual part, in chest. This part leads us to experience love, anger, etc.

According to Aristotle there is no dichotomy between the body and soul. Instead, in his metaphysics he claimed that man is a rational animal. For him man is not a dichotomy of the body and soul as what Plato claimed. Meaning that human body and the human soul is substantially united in order to be called a man. Their union is indispensable. He said there are three kinds of soul: vegetative soul, sensitive and rational soul. Vegetative soul is capable of feeding, growing and reproducing. We can see them in plants. The sensitive soul is obviously found in animals including brutes. The highest type is found in man, the rational soul. Only man can reason, think and he encompasses two other souls and that which makes him the highest. St. Augustine was the first great Christian philosopher and the main authority in the Medieval period. He maintains that man is created in the image of God. And according to St. Thomas Aquinas, the angelic doctor, man is substantial union of body and soul, means the body has a significant function towards the soul likewise the soul towards the body. The Modern Philosophers, Rene Descartes is known as the father of Modern Philosophy. In his philosophy man as a substance is divided into two particular substances: the res cogitans (refers to the soul) and res extensa (refers to the body). The word cogitans comes from latin word cogitare which means to think. From this we simply interpret that soul of Descartes is the thinking substance. The body as the substance can even move apart from soul. Then our body can move without the soul. And he elaborated it in a simple analogy. Our body moves because it is has all necessary parts like heart, brain, etc. permanent damage of the essential parts would mean death already to the person. Another modern philosopher, Karl Marx found substantial points concluding matter as the fundamental argument concerning human nature. Materialism is perceived by Marx the context of society and labor. The concept of materialism finds its value in the philosophy of Marx on the basis that the life of man is determined primarily by the material conditions for him to live.

According to him human nature is not given but it is something made. Mans nature is mans own creation. For Martin Heidegger, We are the Dasein. Dasein is being of man, man as Dasein means that man is a being. Existing in the world. Our existence is reserved for us. Nobody should decide for man the kind of life he wants to live. It is up to him to decide on it. The freedom to choose the kind of life is depending the fact that Dasein is essentially my own. Edmund Husserl is the founder of an orientation called PHENOMENOLOGY, a method that he first outlined in his Logical Investigation. In his phenomenological thinking, man can be understood according to the world he lives in, for the world is an integral aspect of mans existence. The Evolutionist claim that life originated from a single microscopic cell. These scientists divide the history of vertebrate into three main eras: Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic. The last era is the era of recent life, human life. According to Charles Darwin, man is a product of evolution ascended from the lines of the apes. But, Pierre Theilhard de Chardin believes that God through Christ is the center of evolution. Christ is the starting point and the terminal point of evolution. And he discussed it in three different phases: the Biogenesis- phase that shows how life started; The Noogenesisphase that show how man began. And the Christogenesis- phase during which Christ assumed our human nature. and to Jean-Paul Sartre an aesthetic existentialist. He admits that man comes from nothing. He said that there is no human nature because man is what he wills and what he conceives of himself and man is condemned to be free. Karl Jaspers asserts that man has in him the Deity, Divine. He established his concept of man by acknowledging that philosophy has its foundation in religion. Jaspers presents a fourfold explanation of human existence which is capsulized in his concept of Encompassing. Man

is encompassing in a four-fold manner. First, man is an existent. Second, man is a conscious being. Third, man is a spirit. Fourth, man is Existenz. Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaarrd is known as the father of Existentialist. According to him, man must struggle to exist by dissociating himself from the crowd-existence when man is detached from the crowd, only then can he consider his life significant when one realizes his personal freedom, his subjectivity, his commitment, and his responsibility. And Victor Frankl developed a form of existential psycho-therapy known as legotheraphy. In his concept, in a word mans main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain, but rather to see a meaning at a given moment of his life.

EASTERN PHILOSOPHY View of Hinduism The word philosophy is taken from the Sanskrit word darshana, it means a way of acquiring a view point. Basically their view of philosophy is to understand that which causes man to suffer. Understanding such will help him from the bondage of pain and suffering brought about by sensual attachments to the material world or to the pleasures of the flesh. To achieve this objective, it will all start with the self. Aatman is one the crucial terms in the Upanishads. It is normal Sanskrit word for self. Indian philosophy finds it pleasing to begin the investigation from the self. Indian philosophy starts their study from the experience of the self. The syntheses in the search for the self are: The ultimate subject of all experience and action; the witness of all experience which is never the subject of the action; consciousness itself; the ground of consciousness; the aspect of the person; the ground of individuality; the total person; the ultimately real element in the person; and the unchanging and unchangeable aspect of the person. View of Buddhism Buddhism started in Indian about 500Bc, and called after Buddha (the Enlightened One). Shiddharta Gautama, the Buddha as the traditional founder and profounder of its doctrine. A man in Buddhism is a person can be described as a number of phenomena into a single working unit. There are also Five Aggregates (Skandhas in Sanskrit) are used to analyze a person: 1. Form- the body (rupa in Sanskrit) 2. Primary Consciousness or perception (Samjana in Sanskrit) 3. Feeling (vedara in Sanskrit) 4. Recognition, Consciousness, Discrimination, Distinguishing Awareness (virjana in Sanskrit) 5. Compositional Factors, Volition- all the other remaining mental processes (Samskara in Sanskrit). In Buddhism, the brain is regarded as a part of the body. It is not regarded as the factory of thoughts- thoughts are functions of the

mind. Mind is defined as a non- physical phenomenon which receives, thinks, recognizes, experience and reacts to the environment. It is a phenomenon that is not body, not substantial, has no form, no shape, no color, but like a mirror that can be clearly reflect objects. And it is described as having two main aspects: clarity and knowing. Death in Buddhism is defined as the separation of the most subtle body and mind from the more gross aspects of the body and mind. As this separation is gradual process, death is not a point in time, like in western thought, but it describes a period during which this separation occurs. On the issue of Rebirth, we cannot only be born as human beings the next time, but also as animal, god, half-god, hungry ghost, or even hell. But no one assured for a permanent stay. After a life in God-realm one could be reborn in the hell-realm, it also depend on our karma ripening. The Buddha takes up some of the thoughts of the Upanisads and gives them a new orientation. The Buddha is not much in formulating a new scheme of metaphysics and morals as rediscovering an old norm and adapting it to the new conditions of thought of life. His Four Noble truth are: that there is suffering, that it has cause, that it can be suppressed, and that there is a way to accomplish this: the Eight Fold Noble Path: right view, right thought, right speech, right behavior, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. The cause of suffering is traced to ignorance and selfish craving. When we get rid of ignorance and its practical consequence of selfishness we attain nirvana, which is described negatively as freedom from ignorance, selfishness, and suffering and positively, as the attainment of wisdom and compassion. The path to the attainment of nirvana, to the elimination of ignorance and selfishness, is the Eight Fold Path of morality.

View of Confucianism Confucianism has dominated the Chinese thought for the last twenty-five centuries. It had its beginnings in the teachings of Confucius but in the work of buildings its formulation, Mencius and Hzun Tzu took the lead. Confucianism is a code of conduct to live this life. Confucius philosophy is humanistic and it occupies itself mainly with human relations and virtues. There are three cardinal virtues that underlie Confucianism these are Yi, Li, and Jen. The first virtue means the oughtness of situation, that is to say, that everyone in society has certain things which have to do, but it must be done without ulterior motive. If he done things for profit the act is not called Yi, and its not a righteousness act, it comes to contract Li (profit). The Jen is roughly translated as human heartedness or humanity. The doctrine of Jen stands out from the mass of thought that Confucius developed as the central thesis of his whole system. His ethics, his politics, his ideal all flow form Jen, the perfect virtue. Confucius summarizes Jen as- practice Chung, Do to others what you wish yourself. And Shu, do not do to others what you do not wish yourself. These three were norms of conduct followed by the Chinese people for thousands of years. View of Taoism In the Taoist system, the Tao was designed as wu (no being); heaven and earth and all creation as yu (being). To say that Tao was called non-being is to say the Tao is uncarved block or the unnameable, that it lies hid, nameless. And to say that heaven and earth and all things are things which are designed as being is to say that they have names. It simply thought that since there are things, there must be source. In Lao Tzu, it is said all things in the world come into being from Being (yu); Being comes into being from Non-Being (wu). Tao is unnameable as non-being and is that by which all things come to be. Therefore, before the being of Beings there must be Non-being from which being comes into being.

CHAPTER 3 EXISTENTIALISM AND PHENOMENOLOGY

Phenomenology is viewed as a philosophy and a method of thinking. The man behind Phenomenology is a German mathematician turned philosopher named Edmund Husserl. But the one responsible for what is known as Existential Phenomenology is another German philosopher named Martin Heidegger. Etymologically, phenomenology comes from the two Greek words phainomenon which means the appearing or that which appears and logos which means science or study. Thus, it is defined as a science or study of the appearing or that which appears. The Phenomenological methods of Edmund Husserl. First, Epoche literally means bracketing. He barrowed this mathematical term and applied it to natural attitude. This method means that man needs to bracket all his natural attitudes about the person he is investigating. This method wants teach us that everyone is unique and skilled enough to practice awareness. Second, the Phenomenological Eidetic Reduction, This method will see directs us to take a closer look to the object wherein we see him as he really is, independent of any prejudice. The eidetic reduction is derived from Greek word eidos which means essence. We reduce the object of concern plainly in the level of the mind. Our level of understanding them as a persons lies on what they are and not who they are? The third method, the Phenomenological Transcendental Reduction, this is a deeper step knowing a person. We now reduce it to the experience the I itself. This method gives us the idea that in its own way, there is always truth to every experience and that only the I can validate it.

According to Gabriel Marcel, Primary Reflection is a term used to underscore the distinction between the object of inquiry and the subject who is doing the inquiry. The object is different from the subject and vice versa. This method is evidently considered the foundation of scientific knowledge. Primary reflection tells us that the other is seen as object. And the Second reflection recaptures the unity of original experience. It is in this reflection that the subject finds reason to keep him being attached with the object. Existentialism is the brainchild of Danish thinker named Soren Kierkegaard. It is a movement emphasizing the human condition above other things in the world. As Soren Kierkegaard said: in our world today, there are no human beings because the individual man has taken refuge in the collective idea which are the crowd, the masses, the group and the public. This compelled Kierkegaard to complain that in the age of the crowd nothing becomes personal. The position of the existentialist starts with the position that man is an existent being rather than a thinking being. The emphasis falls on to the aspect of his existence which will be the basis of this study rather than the idea of living. The term to exist is etymologically defined as to stand out. To exist is to stand out from the rest. Man must not only live but also he must exist. Man learns to carry his life freely with responsibility not only for himself but consider others as well in every decision he makes. Since man must exercise his freedom to be what he wants to be in life, his freedom entails responsibility. He must be responsible for everything he does, in the same manner be responsible for his own existence. In Existentialism, another phenomenon that man must learn to accept, his death. This is what Heidegger calls the possibility of no-longer being able to be there. Death is another possibility, but it is a possibility that is sure and certain. According to Mr. Babor, our death is

already present right after our assumption in life. When we started to live the moment we start to die. And for Heidegger: as soon as man comes to life, he is at once old enough to die. According to Jasper, man also is encompassing. He is capable of Transcendence- the Existenz. He exists in time. Thus, man has historicity, because he has past, present and future. And Jasper also mentioned that man as Existenz, he can also establish a leap towards the Divine. This outlook makes the existentialists to believe that the presence of the Divine makes mans life complete.

CHAPTER 4 THE EXISTENTIAL-PHENOMENOLOGICAL VIEW OF MAN

Since man started to assume his being, the nearest object that we can always cling in order to understand him, is his body- the human body. This body is his companion since the time he was born. Every one of us has body. My body and your body is not different as far as substance is concerned. This body has physical dimension and condition, an object with measurement, and composed of flesh and blood and bone, etc.., According to Aristotle, nothing is in the mind without passing through the senses. It just shows how significant the body is whose senses are active to reach the fragments of the world as the object of our knowledge. The first reflection, which is the Body as a property, nobody owns it except me alone. Its mine and mine alone. Ownership of something qualifies you that you are owner of that property. The principle of ownership of the human body cannot be equated with the manner of ownership of any object. Treating this body as an object is definitely wrong because this body is not an object but a subject and a person should be responsible over what he owns. Responsibility is a mark of being free. Ownership of something is a right that only an intelligent being can enjoy. Therefore a person can claim ownership of something because he is a free and intelligent being. Our body is definitely our own body and we must exercise responsibility over it. Being responsible to my body is equal to being responsible to myself. This is because the body and I are one. Ownership presupposes full control over what he owns. To claim ownership of something, a person must demonstrate any manifestation of control over what he owns. The absence of control is tantamount to say that you are not the owner.

Second, The Body as an Instrument, instrument as something that is used to enhance or reinforce part of my body, and the Body as a Representative is the third reflection. Man as a subjective consciousness. The term subject takes the opposites stand against the term object. The object is that which the subject takes as the material cause of his study. The object is that which gives soul to the study. The subject is the one who gives the meaning to the object. He is the perceiver and knower of the object of the study. Without the subject, the object lots its meaning. The body as a body is not a subject. It is simple lifeless object. There are many objects around us that have bodies. But not all living bodies are subjects, because not all living things cannot translate meaning, using the thought of the existentialist, dogs do not exits but only live. The body of a man, not all human body can be subject merely because it has all the qualities of the body of a man. A dead body cannot be a subject anymore and can never be for it does not carry with it the power to perceive the world as a value. The human body is not an It rather the human body is a he/she. He is a value not because of what he has and what he is in life. He is a value as a person. His value is innate in himself. A person, as a subject, is a being who alone can find the meaning of the existence of the world around him including his very own existence.

CHAPTER 5 MAN-AS-A-BEING-IN-THE-WORLD

The term world is derived from Anglo-Saxon words: weor and old. The former means man and the latter means age. This implies that man is identified with the world. In this definition, man is recognized as the ultimate criterion of the existence of the world since the existence of the world is based on the age of man. The Phenomenological concept of a word, there is no world apart from man and vice versa. There is a world because there is a man and there is a man because there is a world. A world is a cluster of multiple beings apart from man. And they will only be considered a world anytime the subject finds them valuable and meaningful. A person as he grows older learns to arrange the things around him according to their value, importance, and meaning. The things around him can be thought patterns, beliefs, ideals, persons, or group of persons, anything that are significant to his human existence. This is the thing that man considers a world. And in turn, this world makes up the person he is. Self the attitude and the disposition of individual have a big contribution in making of our world. Man has to arrange his own world according to his own free choice. By doing this, he is actualizing himself according to his own design. In his own world, he is free to be what he wants to be in life, yet not for himself alone but essentially for others as well. For being what he wants to be is a manifestation of being a unique individual. In a world of unique personalities, we are called for a mission. A mission to make this world a humanized world. Man acts as a master planner of the world since man is called to build and beautify the world.

In our present times, the birth of technology is mans response to the call of humanizing the world. The advantages of telecommunications developed a remarkable significance of human relations; the outstanding performances of our means transportation to facilitate easy mobility of goods and services to all parts of the globe are impressive; the birth of computers and many more. Looking at the other side of the coin, technology brings us a bitter taste. It leaves us the impression of where shall progress be heading to; the inevitable appearance of nuclear power, the fascinating cyborgs to co-exist with us in this planet, and many more. If we consider this progress a negative offshoot of technological advancement, shall there be reason for progress to stop from growing, from advancing due to some unforeseen effects arising from misuse and abuse of technology? We are far advance in some ways, yet remain stagnated or worse, maybe, in some other ways.

CHAPTER 6 MAN-AS-A-BEING-WITH-OTHERS

This chapter talks about the horizontal sphere where man exists side by side with other beings-other-than-himself. This phenomenon describes man as a social being. Man must learn to come to exist along with others. No man is an island as the popular saying goes. The socialness of man requires intelligence and freedom. Every human act is an intelligent act wherein the self is conscious of his own act, intention and the other self as well. It is basically a free act as well because he finds the reason for such an act. Man need to know the repercussions of being social. As Heidegger puts it this way, Human Daseins existence is not an alone-existence but an existence-with-others. Existentialist believe that through the presence of the others, I become what I am now, I become what I want to be. The self is the subject and the giver of the meanings of the world around him. And he is also a value which is innate in him. This value needs to be respected by others as a person and should not be compromised in favor of some extrinsic reason like wealth, properties, status power, etc. getting to know oneself is mans first and foremost commitment. Our family plays a great part in mans formative life. This is a personal business although others serve as a casual factory only. Not able to establish knowledge of oneself well would mean confusion. The others, the unique person must come to realize and actualize himself in the company of other unique individuals like him. As Jaspers said: only through his absorption in the world of Beings in the immeasurable space of objects, in ideas, in Transcendence, does he become real to himself. Man is in the process of making himself and it does happen only in the

context of the others. Socializing does not happen only for the sake of making it happen. Man must understand why he has to socialize with other beings as well. The objective of socialization is to realize himself and understand himself which does happen only through the participation of the others in the socialization process. The others as a subject, it cannot be denied that some of us treat the others as objects. This is an attitude whereby the I reduces the being-ness of the other as mere objects which for him have no innate value at all. They become a value because of what they possess. What are our senses perceive they leave impressions to us. And these impressions, sometimes, create biases, prejudices or prejudgments. Most often than not, our attitude is based on what is fed to us by our senses without realizing that what we only perceive are mere accidentals. We see her beautiful or ugly, but what we always fail to notice is the person behind those accidentals. His being is reduced to everything what he has or what he has not and not according to what he is. Most often than not, some of us behave according to what we think others are. Everything is reduced to a mere assumption. And assumption happens because of some previous similar experiences that occurred during the past. Basically, it is an unjustified attitude because it has no basis at all. Sometimes, assumption happens because we use ourselves as basis of measurement in order to see others. The other as a subject, the relationship becomes personal wherein the other is recognized as a person during the course of the encounter. The relationship becomes mutual which means both of them recognize each others needs and rights as both unique personsgiving and acceptance of each others need which is to love and be loved. Love does not fall anymore to the accidentals but to the being-ness of the person to where those accidental are found. In this kind of relationship, you find his being meaningful to you. His/her presence is more important than anything else. The center of attention is not what makes you happy but rather on

the things that would make your beloved happy and fulfilled. As Leo Buscaglia says: Love is process of my leading you back to yourself. Loving someone is a decision. Your feeling of love must be a reasoned love. A reasoned love is a kind of love wherein it calls permanence continue loving even when there is no feeling anymore. It is doing good to someone although that someone is not doing something good to you. It is not an indifferent act to be with someone else. Rather love is an active driving force one to hold on, appreciate life and find ways to make life meaningful. And another illustration of unconditional love is depicted among the members of the family where love has no bounds, a kind of love that does not expect something in return.

CHAPTER 7 MAN-AS-A-BEING-TOWARDS-DEATH

Death is one of the phenomena that man needs to understand. Nobody can escape death, so to say. And nobody dies in place of someone. Everybody will experience this. As to how death will happen nobody knows unless you choose how it will happen example suicide. As a Chinese philosopher once said: death is a relative of life just like night and day, sunrise and sunset. We cannot appreciate the beauty of sunrise if there is no sunset, and vice versa. Metaphysically, death is a cessation from being to nothingness, from man to non-man. Martin Heidegger defines death as the possibility of no-longer-being-able-to-be-there. In the Christian point of view, death is a separation of the body and the soul. To borrow the thought of St. Thomas, death occurs when the soul as the principle of life separates from the body. And that causes the body to feel dead...look dead. Rene Descartes has a different manner of thinking wherein his concept of death is scientifically explained. Death happens not because of the separation of the body and soul, rather an indication that the major parts of the body are not functioning well anymore. Mr. Webster defines the word cessation as a definite stop or a pause. If we will come to analyze the word itself, the word entails a start or a beginning. A start for something so that in due time it will soon stop and eventually cease to exist (dying). The reality of life after death is the key to accept death as a phenomenon. Nobody knows what is beyond that dark place called death. Everybody is reluctant about death so much so that if you make you first step there is no turning back. Dying is being gone forever. Nobody

wants to take the first step if possible because of fear. Fear is the reason why there is resistance to accept death. And fear is disposes man to remain cynical to move on.

CHAPTER 8 MAN AND THE ABSOLUTE THOU

Accentuate the word God. The word living attached to it is an essential property of God, because if God is dead, we cannot call Him God anymore. St. Augustine, defined god in this way: God is the Absolute Spirit, Absolute Will, Absolute Intelligence, Absolute Freedom, Absolute Good, Absolute Power, Absolute Holiness, cannot will evil, no beginning and no end (eternal) and Transcendent. By experience, everything in this world is limited. Man lives and soon dies; wood changes and turns to ashes; etc. but God is not a part of this world. Therefore, God is not limited. Therefore, God is absolute. St. Thomas Aquinas, a medieval philosopher who is called the angelic doctor, proved the existence of God by reason. His revealed his magnificent work in his book Summa Theologica entitled: The five ways. For him, there is five ways to prove Gods existence. First way: The Argument from motion- St. Thomas concluded from a common observation that an object which is in motion is in motion by some other objects of force. From this, he believes ultimately that there must have been Unmoved Mover (God) who first put things in motion. Second way: Causation of Existence- this way deals with the issue of existence. Aquinas concluded that a common sense observation tells that no objects creates itself. In other words, some pervious object had to create it. Aquinas believed that ultimately there must have been an Uncaused Cause (God) who began the chain of existence of all things. Third way: Contingent and Necessary Objects- this way defines two objects in the universe: contingent beings and necessary beings. A contingent being is an object that cannot exist without a necessary being causing its existence. Aquinas believed that the existence of contingent beings would ultimately necessitate a being which must exist or all of the contingent beings to exist. This being, called

necessary being is called God. Fourth Way: Argument from degrees and Perfection- St. Thomas formulated this way from a very interesting observation about the qualities of things. This is referred to as degrees or gradation of quality. From this fact Aquinas concluded that for any given quality such as goodness, beauty, knowledge there must be a perfect standard by which all such qualities are measured. Fifth Way: Argument from Intelligent Design- the final way that St. Thomas Aquinas spoke of has to do with the observable universe and order of nature. Aquinas stated that common sense tells us that the universe works in such a way, that one can conclude that it was designed by an intelligent designer, God. in other words, all physical laws and other nature and life were designed and ordered by God, the Intelligent Designer. Religions are only trying to establish relation with their God which is essential to our religious life. Establishment of relationship is the next step after proving that there is a God. For it is impossible for a man to love someone without knowing him first. Religion is the external manifestation of mans relationship with God expressed in faith. Religion serves as a vehicle to establish relation to God. Man works out his faith to experience encounter with his God in the arena of religion. In every endeavor, man ultimately aims to look happiness. Happiness is called the supreme good of man. It is mans ultimate end. Happiness is the attainment or enjoyment of the supreme good, which is God. The attainment of happiness by enjoying the presence of God is only possible when one can find the meaning of his existence. God is the Light in order to find the meaning of our existence. It is a personal effort to search and discover. It is not something to be scooped because the meaning is not something apart from you.