Parveen Babi: The Philosopher
May 7, 2012 Mila_in_NY 138054 reads 19 comments
Most people here on PV are more or less aware of the life story of the beautiful Parveen Babi and her sad descent into the world of mental illness and the sadder demise. What picture does your mind conjure up when you think of her? The luminous beauty who provided a high glamour quotient in many Amitabh movies? The bikini clad babe who is frolicking in the water? Or how she died alone in an apartment discovered two days later because milk and news papers piled up at her door step?
Yes she made outrageous allegations against not just Amitabh Bachchan, but also Prince Charles and Bill Clinton. She was growing increasingly paranoid after she came back from the US, overweight and unrecognizable. Whatever the public perception of Babi was during her later years, there was an educated and intelligent person behind all that madness. In 1997 she wrote an article titled 'The Age of Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Reason' published in Times of India . On the wake of her death, TOI published this article again. My dad, who is a philosopher himself, and a possible Parveen fan during his youth, forwarded me the article. He was impressed by her reasoning and I remember we had a good talk about Babi. Check it out yourself,
The Age of Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Reason
By Parveen Babi
Our contemporary society erroneously defines a philosopher as any individual who conducts a logical analysis of existing and apparent reality. This perhaps is proof that contemporary society no longer produces true philosophers. Rationalist philosophers from Aristotle to Bertrand Russell have given philosophy methods of conducting syllogistic inferences and logical analysis and down the ages, these techniques have become so synonymous with philosophy, and the practice of true philosophic explorations so rare, that today, the practice of logical analysis has erroneously been taken to mean the practice of philosophy.
Philosophy is man's search for aspects of his existence hitherto unknown to him, regarding which his curiosity is naturally aroused, and his answers to this search, holding true universally. A philosopher is one who with his thought and intuition changes the course of mankind and takes human consciousness one step forward. A philosopher is thus an individual with a curiosity about certain aspects of human existence. He possesses a certain extraordinary and irrepressible original substance which compels him to become curious, to search, and to make a statement about his search and its answer.
My above statements give rise to another question: Is it necessary for philosophy always to be based on pure reason? I would like to ask another question in reply to the above: What if the philosophy of pure reason is discovered to be lacking? Should the modern world, even then, continue to follow the philosophy of reason? If the philosophy of reason was true and perfect unto itself, then it would have led the human race to perfection. But today, after centuries of following the philosophy of reason, corruption and moral decay are rampant in society. The proof of the validity of a civilisation's philosophical system comes from its effect on that civilisation. And our modern civilisation's philosophy of reason has only created chaos and corruption.
Reason, evidently, seems to be able to conduct perfect calculations by itself, but these seemingly perfect calculations are perfect merely in their deductive capacity. Deductive logic, though capable of conducting perfect deductive calculations, lacks wisdom and the universal positive values required to reflect on the ultimate aspects of human existence.
Pure logic in philosophy has yet to come up with a technique of inference which is faultless. Pure mathematical and scientific logic, while possessing the capacity for deductive and analytical calculations, has led man to his destruction by inventing scientific and technological phenomena which give him the capacity to destroy himself. And since science deals in pure reason and scientists conduct their enquiries and inventions without the involvement of universal positives their actions have invariably been conducted in the negative direction of giving a few individuals the supreme power: the means of destroying the human race.
In fact, after a few inceptional enquiries, most of the significant scientific endea-vours of the 20th century have been conducted with a destructive motive. The division of the atom was conducted in order to create the apparatus of the atomic bomb. Even the invention of computer technology has been conducted with the motive of creating a supreme deductive intelligence to be used for warfare, political power and control.
It is time that we adopted what the greatest philosophers of mankind Jesus Christ, Mohammad and Buddha taught the highest order of reason combined with belief — belief in the positive, the truth, a higher reality, which helped them attain perfection, and which helped them lead humanity towards the attainment of perfection. It is not necessary to limit philosophy to reason and separate it from spiritual philosophy. Belief is the capacity, nurtured in human individuals, to recognise and acknowledge the ultimate truth — God. Belief was first inculcated in human beings by God providing evidence to them of his self and his positives. However, the majority of humanity is not capable of (true) belief. If they were capable of (true) belief, then they would not be able to subscribe to the gross corruption of human society.
Because belief — the capacity for the positive — is also the incapacity to subscribe to the negative, corruption. Belief is generated only out of the reasonably refined, evolved substance. When the individual's substance becomes reasonably refined, then it generates both belief and healthy reason. Healthy reason is reason which is reined in by belief, which is supported by belief, which is combined with belief, and which is incapable of negative. I also believe that the function of human philosophy today ought to be to solve the existentialistic problems of man, instead of getting self-involved, and intensely microscopic about abstractions or epistemological and syllogistic explorations about the perception of reality.
The purpose of man's thought — his philosophy — according to me is to help him attain fulfilment in his worldly existence and lead him to perfection of the self and the species. And, of course, the ultimate function of man's thought is to lead him to God perfection and to help himself realise Godhood."
What do you guys think of her article on Philosophy?