posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 02:12 PM
I, for superficial reasons, have gone ahead and made an attempt at classifying humans. Of course, as with all attempts at classification, there is
much overlapping, and systems such as these usually help to generalize rather than to define; but I think this attempt may serve, at least for me, to
be of some use. So excuse any narrow-mindedness for what it is.
I have divided humans into three metaphorical subcategories—the prophet, the priest and the servant—using religion as an analogy. I will disregard
the metaphysical and ineffable aspects of religious assertion for what they are, as they are unnecessary in this instance.
If we suspend judgement on the mythological aspects of religion, we can learn much without having to argue about its metaphysics. One thing I find
especially intriguing in the cannons of religious lore is the prophets—the humans, who through divine revelation or pure creative reason, inspired
the masses with their wisdom. Although much excellence can be found in their doctrines, it is difficult to determine whether their principles are to
this day still relevant, as sometimes thousands of years stretch between them and modern times. Nonetheless, their teachings are not what is found to
be most important about their life, but rather how they lived them.
Let’s presuppose a prophet lives his life according to no doctrine but his own. This implies many things: the prophet holds the empathy and
imagination to properly conceive of a doctrine he can live by; he acquires the honesty and critical awareness needed to refute the doctrines of
others; and he shows a keen ability for deep and prolonged contemplation. These are prerequisites for the task of determining value and creating a
way of life.
Despite the overwhelming pull to accept and fall in line behind the popular doctrines held by the many, the prophet is still able to go through life
by his own principles (ie. Jesus in the time of Judaism, Buddha in the time of the Brahmin, and Socrates in the time of the Athenians). This may also
imply the prophet holds a slight subversive disobedience, one which compells him to challenge and deny the prevailing beliefs of the time in favour of
his own. This could be considered brave or at least stubborn. The prophet was of course inspirational enough to gather followers, not because he
performed miracles, but because people wanted to live as he did and feel how he felt.
The prophet was wise; and through his wisdom, love and self-mastery, lived life to the fullest and on his own accord, not to be a shepherd, but to
remain true only to himself, and in turn, humanity.
Behind the prophet, lies the disciple, who waits at the side of the table for the scraps the prophet leaves behind. The priests don’t live according
to their own doctrines, but instead find purpose in attempting to live the doctrines of the prophets. With this vantage point, the priest needn’t
accomplish the difficult task of providing his own way of life, as the prophet has done the necessary work for him. The priest, to justify his choice
as a follower and to satiate his own vanity, needs other followers to do the same. Thus he preaches the doctrine of the prophet as his own and becomes
The priest is a strange case (The Grand Inquisitor comes to mind). He holds the fortitude to lead, but lacks the creativity, confidence and
contemplative skills to live his own way of life according to himself. He refuses to do the necessary work to achieve the same things as the prophet.
He instead chooses faith in the doctrine of someone else at the expense of his own potential, which goes against what the prophet really taught.
The servant has neither the time nor energy to conceive applying his own doctrine to his own life. Why would one bother when doctrines are being
served ready-made with the priest’s stamp of approval? He thinks “what works for the majority must assuredly work for me.” This is done, not out
of necessity, but out of laziness. The servant needs only to fill the void, something to justify life to himself and others, or something he can fall
back on when a more philosophical mind is required. He is only prone to adhere to the doctrines of his priests and authoritarians. Despite his pride
telling him otherwise, he is perpetually a servant to someone else.
Every human has the potential to become a prophet, priest or servant; and in matters of life, these generalizations can be spotted everywhere.
Although it is exceedingly difficult to ignore the indoctrination in our lives, we are still strong and creative enough to propose our own truths. The
only perspective one truly sees from is his own, showing that any other perspective or interpretation of life has a fundamental error. If we eliminate
these errors, or at least disregard them as not true from our angle, we make way for our own perspective.
Which are you, Prophet, Priest or Servant?