Sem. Ray Anselmo M.

Legaspi AB PHILO III- Irregular

Love and Humility: A Personal Look on Philosophy

What is philosophy for you? For the umpteenth time, I have been asked this question and I would automatically answer “the science of all things by their ultimate principles and causes as know by human reason alone.” I know that this is quite an impersonal answer and will surely not suffice for this paper. To be honest, I have always treated philosophy as a means to an end. Before, I was only taking philosophy so that I can get a college degree and then pursue theology. But I admit that this is a terrible injustice to the noble tradition of philosophy. I have been studying philosophy for a number of years now, so I should have at least an idea of what philosophy is really for me. But alas, as Socrates said “The more you know, the more you do not know.” But for philosophy’s sake, I will be delving deeper to come up with my stance. Right from the beginning of my study of philosophy, I learned that the English word philosophy is constituted by the Greek words “philo” meaning love and “sophia” which means wisdom. Essentially, philosophy is love itself and that makes the philosopher a lover. As a lover, the philosopher has the desire to reach out for the object of its affection and in this case, wisdom. This longing for wisdom challenges the philosopher to go beyond his limits. Thus, it displays the dynamics of love as clearly expressed in the classic phrase “My love for you is high as the sky and as deep as the ocean.” This is not an empty exercise of creative literature but applies profound teaching of love that can be applied to philosophy. It just shows that the philosopher

will be perpetually restless until he grasps wisdom even though it is naturally boundless and infinite. But philosophy does not just teach us about love but of humility as well. In reality, our human intellect has innate limitations. Genuine philosophers are never proud. As the philosophical quest continues, the seeker is humbled to the realization that whatever he achieves in the end, will be, in the paraphrased words of St. Thomas Aquinas, “straw compared with the reality he aspires to explain.” It does not mean though that humility is synonymous to despair. Since philosophy is love, it never gives up. It always motivates itself to move on despite all circumstances. Karl Marx stated that it was not the aim of philosophy to just make us think, but to bring us into action that will change the world. Before it became an academic endeavor, philosophy is etymologically and originally love. I therefore conclude that philosophy is not just an exercise of abstraction but an exercise of action. The love that philosophy embodies is identical to the love of a dedicated priest. Priests are called to be servants. True servants are humble, for a proud man cannot serve well. True servants are capable of loving unceasingly for it pushes them to serve without exhaustion. Love and humility are mutual concepts both embodied by philosophy and both integral in the vocation I have chosen, a vocation of service, a vocation of love, a vocation of humility. It is quite suitable that philosophy is the handmaid of theology, for it teaches to love and be humble. As Blaise Pascal said, “Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.”