Many people read phenomenology. Some people claim they understand it. And surely less people claim they are phenomenologists (is that still a thing?). But surely all people believe phenomenology is an important sector of philosophy; something to admire and wish you could one day comprehend. (so that you could at least say something for that subject while drinking beers with your friends)
But that picture couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Phenomenology is not a separate section of philosophy per se. It is just an epiphenomenon of our tendency to tag everything with names and categorize them according to our needs to install and accept authority. Think about it. Phenomenology claims it deals with phenomena and our perception of them. Well, to be honest, which philosophical system doesn’t do the exact same thing? Isn’t reality and its manifestations (phenomena) part of the analysis of philosophy since its inception on the shores of Asia Minor? Phenomenology claims that we should examine the phenomena without prejudice. Really? So is this the only philosophical systems which teaches something like that? Do phenomenologists truly believe that other philosophical systems claim that what they say is “prejudiced”?
But why do we accept such preposterous claims?
Why do we believe phenomenology is something important?
Why don’t we question the obvious?
The answer is simple: Because humans, by nature, are prone to following authority. We like authority because we hate thinking. We like following. Or they have convinced us that this is the only thing we are capable of. We like to follow instead of questioning what people tell us. Few people have the intellect and even fewer the courage to question what is proposed as “obvious”. And philosophy today is all about authority.
What have you read? Who said that? Uneducated questions from uneducated people, that come up all the time in a philosophical discussion.
But philosophy is not conducted with references. In fact, the more references a philosophy paper has the less philosophical it is.
Genuine thought needs genuine foundations. And these can only be based on intuitive irrational thinking (see Harmonia Philosophica for more on the “irrational”, the “logical” and “non-thinking”), even against all bibliography on the matter. Think of the references cited by Jesus Christ of Buddha. Now think of the number of references used by today’s “philosophers”, who are nothing but. In essence, today’s “philosophers” are all historians of philosophy at best; they can recite Heidegger or Plato but their capabilities end exactly where they start. Scared little people, pretending to be “free thinker” while being unable to utter a simple sentence without thinking who said it first. The local garbage collector is more of a philosopher than they are. Because at least he has the courage to utter his own philosophy while drinking wine with his friends. Without references, but with a simple “This is what I think” uttered in genuine honesty.
This garbage man thinks simply.
And that is exactly what we need.
Authority builds on complexity. If it is difficult to question authority, imagine it talking in a language you don’t even understand… And of course, this goes the other way around as well… Something philosophically complex cannot be imposed unless authority is used…
In the beginning we had pro-Socratic philosophers. Then we had Heidegger who tried to interpret and analyze Parmenides and Heraclitus. Then people read Heidegger, tried to understand his complex tongue-torturing philosophy and wrote some books with the things they thought they understood; all in their own . And now we have people discussing about the books written by some people who have read Heidegger who had in turn read the pro-Socratics and tried to understand them (and eventually failed). Authority and complexity form a powerful Lernaean Hydra which keeps on growing more heads the moment we cut one off. And the more it grows, the more it drags us away from where we started our search for the truth.
The only way out, is burning the whole place up.
To be stupid, to conduct simple thoughts.
And as a child, to revisit everything.
It is the simplest questions which are the hardest ones to answer.
Don’t seek grandeur, using complex notions. Don’t seek to be admired for what you know. There is no need for complexity when talking about the truth and reality. Because the truth is simple and causeless. Try to be simple, honest and consistent. The truth does not need references.
Sitting under an olive tree.
Being afraid. Crying by the cross.
This is all the reference you need.
Just let it be.
In order to see better in the dark, sometimes you have to put out all the lights…