Five blind men wanted to find out what an elephant was. They had one brought to them. Surrounding the elephant, each blind man reached up to touch it. The first blind man grabbed the elephant's trunk. He said, “Aha! So an elephant is like a snake. " The second blind man, holding one of the elephant's legs said, “Oh, no, it's like a tree trunk. " The third grabbed the elephant's ear and said, “How can you say that? An elephant is clearly like a fan. " The fourth, clutching the animal's tail, said, “No, no, no! The elephant is a like a rope. " The fifth, climbing up the side of the elephant, said, “You're all wrong! The elephant resembles a small hill. "
This story of an elephant and blind men has been used since many thousands years by the different philosophers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism and Jainism to explain that man is not capable of understanding the whole Truth of the universe due to the limitation of his mental and physical capability. No man, however, wise and intelligent he may be, is incapable of grasping the true knowledge of the world which is too vast and complex. They have therefore, advised people to have tolerance to other's opinions as we all know only part-truth of the universal Truth.
However, there is one class of people who not only believe in the part-truth but they firmly believe that they have understood is the whole truth and the only truth. They are not only sure that and elephant is nothing but a snake (or a fan or a tree trunk) but also ensure that the whole world see it that way. Any one who differs with them is not only wrong but also deserve not to live. These people are called the idealist, who seems to have their idea of the perfect world and perfect knowledge.
Idealism means a cult or a group of people who worship an idea. Those who worship an idea are the idealist. An idealist person has no God except the Idea. Idea is defined as “A conception of something in its absolute perfection" or “One that is regarded as a standard or model of perfection or excellence. "
Idealism is a theory of reality and of knowledge that attributes a key role to the mind in the constitution of the world as it is experienced. It has the view that reality is nothing but the activity of one's own mind and that nothing really exists or can be known to exist but one's own mind and its thoughts.
Thus idealism is an ideal which is based on an idea of the perfect world or the perfect life. An idealist fails to understand the limitation of his idea and ensures that the real world is converted into the world of his idea. This has always resulted into catastrophe in the world. History reveals that every idealism dies like any living being as it is not the truth. Yet the damage caused by the idealism has to be born by the humanities for all future generations. All idealism failed to the test of time and the people who implemented these idealism were regarded as the devils amongst the man.
This was one of the greatest idealism which believed that some races are superior than other races of the human beings. This ism have no faith in God and their God if any is Darwin whose only law is “survival of he fittest". Darwinism gave scientific justification to racism as some races were declared as more evolved than others. The biggest implementer of racism was Hitler, who believed that German, belonging of Aryans race are the most superior race of the man and they have the “right" to rule the world. Hitler’ views were expressed in his autobiographical book “Main Kampf" (My Struggle) in the following words.
“For the establishment of superior type of civilization the members of inferior races formed one of the most essential pre-requites. They alone could supply the lack of mechanical means, without which no progress is possible. It is certain that the first stages of human civilization were not based on the use of tame animals as on the employment of human beings who were members of inferior races. . . Only after subjudicated races were employed as slaves, was a similar fate allotted to animals, and not vice versa, as some people would have us believe. At first it was the conquered enemy who had to draw the plough as only afterwards did the ox and horse take his place. "
However, only after few decades, the world find racism as a blot to human dignity and it is considered one of the most serous offences in all countries. All studies suggest that racism has no scientific basis whatsoever.
Socialism is defined as “an economic, social and political doctrine which expresses the struggle for the equal distribution of wealth by eliminating private property and the exploitative ruling class. " The God of socialism is the society which seems to have the divine wisdom of God. In the beginning of the twentieth century, socialism was the biggest idea that seized the imagination of the people. Yet it failed to succeed even in the fist socialist country of the world i. e. USSR or Russia. Gandhi was one person who was always against socialism even when the wave of socialism was sweeping the world, particularly in the developing countries. His opposition was based on very simple reason that the people who peach equality are themselves wish to be the most unequal as they rule these countries of millions of human beings. While they want people to have no freedom, they want unrestricted freedom for themselves which include freedom to kill millions of people in the name of socialism. Socialism like any other human idea failed but only after taking the life of millions of people in the socialist countries.
Nationalism is the belief that groups of people are bound together by territorial, cultural and (sometimes) ethnic links. It promotes loyalty and devotion to a nation or ethnic group that places emphasis on promoting the interests, cultural and social values, or religion of one group above all others. The idea of nationalism was developed in the 19th century and led to the formation of the nations of Germany and Italy. Nationalism believes in only one God i. e. their Nation. Everything else falls in the person domain of the citizens except that Nation is above everyone. Nationalism divides the people on the basis of the geographical location and justifies the promotion of the interest of the people of one nation compared to the other nations. Nationalism is the root cause of the World War II which was fought between the people of the same race, same culture, same religion and same ethnicity. This senseless war took more human lives than all the wars put together in the history of mankind. However, the recent events of globalization has demonstrated that nationalism has no rational basis and the world can be a much better place if the national boundaries are removed to make the whole world as One.
The concept of capitalism emerged in the seventeenth century in Europe, based on commodification and the drive of the owners of the means of production to maximize the profits of their companies. The God of capitalism is money or wealth. The more wealth one has, the more his divine he is as he has more value in the society. Capitalist advocates the free market economy and accumulation of wealth without any limit. So you have today people owning billions of dollars in the world where billions of people do not have even a dollar for eat and live. Capitalism does not believe in a equitable and just society, which are the hallmark of all religions.
Materialism believes in matter as the only reality or God. In a materialistic society, people desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters. Their motto is “eat, drink and marry". The enjoyment of senses and body is the only rituals to be performed by the materialistic man. Every person is valued on the basis of his or her material achievements and possession. In fact, in a materialistic society every human being is nothing but the body whose value depends on the money it can earn from the market by any means.
The opposite of materialism, which believes that spirit, is the ultimate reality. Its God is spirit which can't be seen, felt or understood. Spiritualism denies body as the real self and believes that the physical self is nothing but illusion. So their motto is “don't drink, don't eat and don't enjoy". That means you must do everything to torture and punish your body as it is the source of all evils. All pleasure are prohibited is spiritualism being related to body.
The Hidden Agenda of Idealism
Idealism is the most dangerous enemy of the man as it is disguised in the clothing of reason and logic. Its characteristics are very similar to Satan who advised Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge against the wishes of God. The Satan in man has always discovered numerous reason and logic from time to time to fool the people for the sake of the personal benefit.
The central theme of idealism is “divide and rule". Every ideology divide the people and create confrontation between them as some people accept the idea while other oppose it. Once large number of people get convinced of the ideology, the ideologue simply take the place of their leader and exploit the world for his personal benefit.
We are so blind to the logic of the idealism, that we hardly realize its irrationality and bad logic. Our ideologies are seldom decided on merit, but invariably decided on the basis of our vested interest and emotions. If you are an industrialist or an entrepreneur, you can never find fault in capitalism not because it is good for the world but because it good for you. However, an illiterate, unemployed and poor person can see no merit in capitalism which only exploits him and he can only see the benefit in the socialism which suits him. For a person of a rich and powerful nation, nationalism is fully justified and killing the people of an enemy or weak nation has no evil. We can find with little application of mind that all idealism benefit only small number of people who are able to exploit these isms for their personal goals.
A World Without Idealism
It is impossible to imagine a world without idealism as idealism is the creation of human mind which itself is a part of the Universal mind. All idealism conceals and expresses part f the truth of the Reality. Thought all idealisms are as ephemeral as the creators of the idealism i. e. man yet every idealism is a partial representation of the Universal Truth or the Ideals of God. The challenge, therefore, lies in not contemplating a world without any idealism but to find a synthesis of all idealisms that together can express the full reality of the universe and provide the full picture of the elephant.
Mr. Awdhesh K Singh is an Engineer by education and philosopher by passion. He has published several papers in International Journals and Conferences on the subject of E-governance, Artificial Intelligence, Fuzzy Logic and Expert Systems.
He is the founding member of The Aatmic Science Foundation, (The Science of Soul Foundation). His interest is in creating synthesis between all religions and sciences for the benefit of the mankind.
Many of his articles are published on the website of Aatmic Science Forum http://www.aatmicscience.com and Science of Soul http://www.scienceofsoul.com
He can be contacted at his email address email@example.com