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”Although the living is subject to the ruin of the time, the process of decay is at the same time a process of crystallisation, that in the depth of the sea, into which sinks and is dissolved what once was alive, some things ‘suffer a sea-change’ and survive in new crystallised forms and shapes that remain immune to the elements, as though they waited only for the pearl diver who one day will come down to them and bring them up into the world of the living.”
I saw this quote by one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. I studied some of her writings, and was pretty impressed by her bluntness, ingenuity, and simplicity. Some of her works are ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism, ‘The Human Condition,’ ‘On Revolution,’ and ‘The Human Mind.’
It’s a known fact that when we don’t really use our cognitive function, we rot and decay. It’s no wonder that people with warped views of the world and society caused most of the evil in this present age. In layman terms, cognitive function can be aptly described as ‘an intellectual process by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering.’
I won’t go into too much details about the lack of this important aspect of our civility as humans, I’ll just try to touch base with some of the setbacks we would experience if we don’t use our brains. Lack of cognitive function is responsible for most of the ills in our societies today. Citing the examples of religious bigots like Islamic State murderers, Boko Haram and serial killers whose brain have been irreparably damaged by their intellectual paucity, its little wonder that they believe in fables and riddles purportedly yarn to elicit their obedience.
Decay is essentially part of all living things, we are born, we live, we grow old or maybe not, and then we die and the decaying would start. All living things, especially humans, have the extraordinary ability to survive decay through our offspring, thought patterns, actions and deeds.
How do we leave great legacies behind? How do we defeat the theory of decay which governs all living things? It’s simple – our thought processes is as important as the air we breathe because that would ultimately affect our choices in life, beliefs, and the quotidian or relatively mundane life we led.
Another thing I wanted to point out, also by Arendt, was the effect of thoughtlessness in the life of human beings, it’s always disastrous to lead a thoughtless life. This was aptly described when Hannah Arendt went to Jerusalem on behalf of The New Yorker, to report the trial of Otto Adolf Eichmann, who was accused of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Arendt described Eichmann as thoughtless; quiet authentic inability to think. Succinctly put, absence of critical thoughts can actually turn us into a monstrous, stupid, or crass entity who could be easily blown apart by every wind of doctrine.
Critical thoughts are what makes us the higher beings, capable of making sane, rational decisions. That’s simply what differentiated us from animals.
Arendt is a political theorist but many scholars hailed her as a philosopher. I love reading her works, it makes me think deeply about life and society in general. The above quote could be used and interpreted in several ways, I have chosen my way and that is the fact that we can surely survive decay. We only need to think and we’re free to create a better life for ourselves and everyone around us. Life is in stages, enjoy it while you can and THINK before you act.
NP: The life of a writer is a lonely one, I’m still slaving away on my books hence the sporadic updates on my website. I’ll be visiting your blogs as time permits. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts, I’ll love to read what you think.
Enjoy the rest of your week my friends!
Much love, always.