Human : The Philosophy of Oppositional Pair – Basically, the new things come from the same ingredients. The new things can be the old ingredients escaping from our point of view. Each era has basic philosophy of art and culture caused by change of social – culture along its history. Culture identity neither lies at art- product nor society behavior but from human mind cores to move the art-product and behavior presence.

In 1973, Cliford Geerts depicted, culture actually could be seen as “mechanism control” for behavior and what people did, or could be interpreted as “pattern of people behavior” (Keesing & Keesing, 1971). Therefore, talking about culture, there is knowledge of human, covered by human emotion itself. The knowledge will be the root of valuation system, which is good and bad, beautiful and ugly, precious and worthless and so on. Culture itself produces certain demeanor and particular objects from stimulus faced by society. That phenomenon guide us to arrange, select and string up the needed symbols, so that selected symbols can be arranged as a hint to know what actually we want, how to achieve a purpose, how to measure a value, how to identify a danger that threaten, and how to overcome it.

Human is just a little node in the middle of the sublime universe. We are structured by nature, and nature has a connection with God. That’s why there is no myth without human, nature and universe. Earth, skies, mountain, jungle, earth creature, all of them are harmony. Moving with energy which is incomprehensible but can be felt.

Pre-modern Indonesian thinks that reality consists of twin oppositional pairs but completes each other. Not only pre-modern Indonesian, but also this point of view occured in various ancient society in the world, west culture as well. Jakob Sumardjo in his book “Estetika Paradoks” describes it as dualistic-antagonistic.

Baca juga : “God : The Real Engineer”

Human and all creature around them, divided to two oppositional pair. Men and women, include male animal and female animal. In tropical forest environment, human can see that there is something has a role like a “man” and “woman”, every mortal, growing, and moving consists of twin oppositional pairs that is contrary to nature.

For those who believe the existence, either its lies inside or outside human, inside the earth or outside the earth, inside the universe or outside the universe, consists of two oppositional entities. Why? Jacob Sumardjo answered in “Estetika Paradoks”. For human recognize the value, either it empirical-objective or awareness-subjective, how human identifies they are men if there is no woman? How to realize bright if there is no dark? How to feel cold if there is no hot? How to recognize earth if there is no skies?

Ancient east society especially Indonesia has no philosophy history as the west society. Indonesian prefer practical things than the theoritical case. It does not mean that Indonesian lazy to think, but their mind adressed to transcendental experience, merges with god or transendental energy. Our philosophy always return to human – universe and human – God relationship, after figure out relationship between human and universe, universe become teacher. From universe human learn about God.

Considerably different from east philosophy, particularly in Indonesia, west philosophy upholds the intelligence to gain knowledge, logic and science. The main character like Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant and so on, identifies something with empirical ways. This point of view starts to come and interfence in Indonesia when colonization begins in 17th century. Even though in modern era here, we also engage more with west philosophy.

In the world, it happens nowadays, we cannot devide east and west thought version. Both of whose influx already mingle and sway each other. Like twin different pair, Jacob Sumardjo said as well, mortal creature, animals, human, plant, empirical-objective and awareness- subjective value are couple of merged oppositional pair. What if I categorize this two of whose thought as dualistic-antagonistic, am I wrong? They can merge each other though. But it depends on the people themself. Maybe there are 3 kinds of point of view in Indonesia. First they engage with west thought, uphold their logos, human as the center, “to do is more important than to be”. Second, people with east version thought, they hold macrocosmos in their mind, intuition, spiritualism, “to be is more important than to do”. Third, people who merge both of them, they approach emotional-spiritual and theoritical-rational thought, “to do as well as important as to be”. Which point of view do you recline?


  • Author : Panji Pratama Lifianto
  • Editor   : Arri Rama Putra
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13 thoughts on “Human : The Philosophy of Oppositional Pair”

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