After a long episode of self-restraint and denial, I finally give in to the lure of blogging. The decision is inspired as it is deliberate. For some time now, I’ve been looking for a medium to help me fashion and refashion ideas, the bright and the misfit alike, with the hope of making myself and half a dozen bored strangers who might wander off this site become a better student of life, a keener reader of the world or to put it simply, become an apprentice of philosophy. Philosophy is a frightful term and as an activity can even be more frightening to many. This is probably why somewhere in the mind of a devotee like myself, one finds a lurking desire to dispel that myth by dressing her down a bit, by placing her in some familiar juncture or by putting on her tags that are easy to recall. In that respect, I admire the likes of Terry Eagleton, AC Grayling or Umberto Eco who in their newspaper columns employ philosophy as conveniently as a gourmand uses salt and pepper on his favorite meal. I am not saying I can match such feat; I know I have neither the skills nor the guts. What I am saying is a feat similar to it is worth doing: to wrap philosophy in colored garments, to season it with flavor, to make it writhe in pain, scream with joy or shriek like an angry bird – anything to make philosophy as familiar as a friend’s name.
The blog’s title aklatpanulat speaks of the two basic regimens of doing philosophy: reading and writing. Those two words do not exactly sound like “Party! Party!” or “Teach me how to Dougie” but philosophy can’t help it; it is a craft whose main tool is words. Words can launch wars but they can likewise bridge worlds. Words can wound but they too can weave wonders. Philosophy deals with words because they are the labels of the feelings, dreams, ideas, meanings that forever elude us. Thanks to philosophy and its concern with words, somehow we are able to discover and identify them, no matter how fleeting, and help ourselves make sense of reality in all its strange familiarity.
The point is to make philosophy visible in its invisibility. Ooops….that’s me backsliding to philosophy’s old habits. To say it another way, the point is to give philosophy a face one can see so that in seeing it, one finds not just philosophy but one’s self in a different light. That’s the kind of experience we get when we stand before a mirror; when it is clear, the mirror shows not only itself but ourselves. Philosophy does better; it discloses not only us but a better understanding of who we are.
Today, February 4, 2012, is my birthday as a netizen. After some struggle and dillydallying, I finally let myself in the blogosphere. I wonder what it took the ancients to start with their cave walls, papyrus and sheepskins.