Lesson 2: Humanology (Anthropology) Part 1

Without a study of the structure of the existence of a human being and the particularities which have separated human existence from the existence of other creatures and animals, we will reach this conclusion that a human being, without an inclination or tendency towards a school of belief or faith and growing towards that, cannot enter the arena of human life.

In order that we come to know the great design of a world view and ideology in the structure of the existence of a human being and his or her human life and also with the intention of understanding, to the furtherest extent possible, the necessity for the non-elusive elements of ideology, there is no choice but to endeavor to take our first steps towards understanding the human being itself.

What kind of a creature is the human being? What particularities do we contain that requires us to have a school of thought and action? Why do animals not need to have an inclination towards a particular school of thought and action?

In order that we come to understand the human being, it is necessary to place the issue in the midst of other creatures who we sense, for ln the opinion of some scholars, "The understanding of anything consists of understanding it in relation to other things."

In order to understand the human being among other sensible creatures, we must first, of necessity, look at all the other creatures who have the power of sensations.

There is no question about the fact that the human being is not part of the inanimate world nor part of the plant world. The discussion begins with the question, "Is it correct to separate the human being from other animals and know it to have special qualities'?"

Some have the opinion that separating human beings from other animals makes no sense. Now it is up to us to think about whether or not it is correct for the human being to be understood separate from others.

This is not an unimportant issue and the answer is not a simple yes or no. In a general sense, when the human being is compared to other animals, if we ignore the three dimensional differences, we see there are three other important basic differences: First, the dimension of insight or consciousness; second, the dimension of inclination or tendencies; third, the dimension of efforts or acts.

The Differences in Attitudes

There are four types of attitudes or methods of understanding in the human being. Animals share three of them and the fourth one belongs exclusively to the human being and this one causes the difference in attitude.

Types of Attitudes

1. Perceptions: The direct understanding of perceptions. For example, a flower is placed before you. You see it. That which you perceive in the color and shape of the flower is a result of the function of the power or faculty of perception.

2. Imagination: The indirect understanding of perceptions (the storage area of perceptions).

For example, the flower you saw, when you come home, you still have it in recollection and you understand it. In your home, no flower is before you for you to directly understand but it has been stored in your perceptions and it is something which you pay attention to without your mind. This is called the faculty of imagination.

3. Illusion: The understanding of a particular meaning. The word ‘meaning’ refers to anything which is not capable of externally being understood like kindness or hatred and the word 'particular' is in the sense of logic. In logic it is said: Whenever a concept does not accept more than one truth, it is called particular and whenever it is possible that a concept have more than one truth, it is called 'universal'. For instance, 'this chair' brings a concept to mind which the insight into one truth does not accept. But 'chair’ brings multiple truths to mind. The first is particular and the second is universal.

For example, to understand what illusion is, you come to know something, i.e. your mother and father love you and you love them. This perception is called illusion. Thus, love is a meaning and also because it is not absolute (it is your love for them or their love for you). Thus it is particular. As we have said, the understanding of a particular meaning is called illusion.

Summary of the Lesson

1. Humanity without inclination to a school of thought of faith and following that cannot enter the life of a human being.

2. In a general sense, the human being differs in three basic, important dimensions with other animals: a. the dimension of insight and awareness; b. the dimension of tendency or inclinations; c. the dimension of acts.

3. There are four types of comprehension in the human being, three of which they share with other animals. The three that arc shared are: a. perceptions, that is, the direct comprehension of sensibles; b. imagination: the indirect comprehension of sensibles; c. illusion: the comprehension of a particular meaning.

Questions to ask yourself

1. What does the human life of a human being depend upon?
2. In what dimension does the human being differ from other animals in distinguishing perceptions?
3. Describe the insight of perceptions and imagination.
4. Describe the insight of illusion and give examples.
5. Do you accept the fact that these three kinds of comprehension are shared between human beings and animals? Why?