By Allama Muhammad Yousuf Gabriel
The philosophies in the pre-modern ages taught poverty, patience, perseverance, and sacrifice of this transient world for the sake of the next eternal world. This world was to be shunned as an issue of deceit. Love of God was preferred to the love of wealth and this world. The torture of worldly misery was thus mitigated, and also the calamity was attributed to the will of God and was thus taken with patience. All the givers of revealed religion, excepting perhaps Solomon, lived in poverty and preferred poverty to wealth. The lives of all the great teachers of mankind, e.g Socrates, Budha, Christ and the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, serve as the precedent. Bacon's life on the other had is an example of the worldly pleasure and luxury and engenders hatred for poverty, morality and humility. Epicurus may only be seen to side with Bacon in this.
Bacon's relation to his own philosophy may be surmised as follows:-
"Love of wealth, power and ostentation was inherent in the nature of Bacon, that he might give the philosophy of fruit and man's right of dominion over nature. And his mind was so set on these things that he went as far as condemning the moral philosophy and misinterpreting the word of Bible".
If the tree is recognised by its fruit then the mind of Bacon could be recognised by its philosophy. And if the fruit is related to the tree then the philosophy of Bacon is certainly related to the mind which produced it. Emperor Akber confirmed the philosophy which raised him to the status, that of the Shadow of God. And if Diogenes had given a philosophy he must naturally had given the philosophy of Tub-dwelling. And thus if the people had accepted the testy philosophy of Diogenes with as much eagerness as they have accepted the odoriferous and flavoursome philosophy of Bacon, then surely the trade of tubs would have flourished to the extent to which the trace of house building has flourished in the times of Bacon. However, do what we may to expose Bacon, and explain Bacon's philosophy, this world of today may hardly be expected to take notice of it, for indeed, so blindly intoxicated it appears to be by the inebriating effects of the philosophy of fruit and worldly pleasure, that no advice, no warning could have any effect. Bacon may reign supreme as the greatest and the most genuine benefactor of mankind, till the worst has happened. No doubt, the factor of humanity's helplessness in the chains of this universal economico-industrial set up of the Baconian progress could not be ignored. Bacon during his life had himself constructed and put on the chains, and so have his followers. It may be asked why Bacon had made the attainment of highest places of great wealth and great power as the inevitable object of his life. While diverse other equally able and perhaps abler men in history had acquiesced in a life of poverty as their lot in the world, and had produced works equally great if not greater than those produced by Bacon. Why it is to be wondered, almost every man who wrote about Bacon, lamented his difficulties in obtaining the highest places in the administration, as if it has been a natural right of Bacon to have the places of wealth, honour and power. The reason for this could be guessed as the appreciation of Bacon's philosophy of lucre and luxury which they entertained in the light of their own worldly desires.
To know the mind of Bacon is to know his philosophy. And to know his philosophy is to know these who accepted and adopted his philosophy. And to know the life of Bacon is to know the life of his followers. And further to know the end of Bacon is to know the end of his followers. And because the entire world has followed him, therefore it means the end of all in shame, in misery, in the burning flames of the hell of atomic bombs and atomic radiations.
Bacon's philosophy stands unique in all history as a philosophy of universal acceptance and prevalence, so that it has surpassed every other philosophy. Buddha's philosophy claims the allegiance of but a part of mankind. The same may be said of Hindu philosophy. The same may be said of Islam and of Christianity. But Bacon's philosophy of science-guided, materialistic progress owns the allegiance of the entire world, east and west, white and black, yellow and green, unchallenged and unshared by any other. Indeed, it has seized this mankind like the intoxication of wine, so that every nation on earth is engaged in the race of progress, viewing with each other and endeavouring to excel every other, surpass every other, and outwit every other, knowing that they tended toward a blazing, braying, boiling and bursting atomic hell. The credit, however, for so unique so admirable and so wonderful a success of Bacon's philosophy is shared with Bacon by his followers due to their unreserved acceptance and hard, incessant endeavour not for a year, not for a couple of years, but for centuries at stretch. To them it has been like an article of faith. So complete has been the acceptance of Bacon's philosophy by the entire human race, and so complete and perfect has been their adoption of Baconian culture, that a complete unmistakable identity of attitude, appearance, behaviour, and demeanour may be observed from one corner of the world to the other, and the portrait of Bacon may be discerned visibly imprinted in the mind even of those who have never heard the name of Bacon, and have not even seen him in dream. This identity does not end here, but further their end may also be expected as identical both in this world and the next.
Bacon's philosophy has furnished the mankind with a unique example of the inadequacy of human mind for the requirements of giving a philosophy of life to humanity. The philosophy of Bacon after its universal prevalence for centuries together, and inspite of its great rationalistic wisdom, its admirable freedom from dark superstition, its laudable enlightenment, its joys, its comforts, and its literary, scientific and economic achievements has eventually brought the mankind to a grief as universal and catastrophic as is the prevalence and the nature of Baconian philosophy.
"To conclude therefore", writes Bacon, " let no man upon weak conceit of sobriety or ill-applied moderation think or maintain, that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works, divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress of proficience in both; only let men beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together".
(Advancement of Learning, page 10)
Answer to Bacon may be:-
" To conclude therefore, let no man upon a strong conceit of wisdom or ill-applied zeal , think or maintain, that a man can search too far, or be too well studied to give mankind a philosophy of life. But let men rather realize their place and desist from taking upon themselves a duty which appertains to the prophets ordained by God himself".
Says, W.H.D.Rouse, " Milton's poetry, especially "Paradise Lost", is a universe infused with mind, giving the same impression of irresistible and overwhelming force as the universe itself. His thoughts fill the imagination and transcend it. His rhythms fill the ears like the sound of the sea. Sense and intellect are filled, and more than filled. We feel the same complete satisfaction and fullness in Homer, but with Milton we feel also a kind of awe. Homer is man's poet; by him all the passions and enthusiasms of humanity are sung with perfect sympathy; man with all his failings, often so lovable, some times so dark, becomes a god, or at least shows his capacity for god-head. Virgil again, the poet of imperial dignity and national ambition, paints for us the pathos of human frailty, and the tragedy of a gentle soul chosen by fate to do ungentle deeds. With these the divine is something not to be explained, that must be endured or obeyed. Homer, despairing perhaps of any rational explanation of the universe, touches his gods with light ridicule; yet he owns a moral rule, which the best men must obey they know not why, only he does not explicitly connect this with a divine sanction. With Virgil, divine has something of the grimness of a stoic fate: Its plans are dark, but they must be carried out, no matter if men and women are broken. Milton has the courage to grapple with the great problem: He will justify the ways of God to man. If he does not succeed in doing this, that is because the thing cannot be done by human intellects".
(Introduction to Poetical works of John Milton page viii)
Now we have no objection to this opinion. Nay, we would be rather the happier if Milton's works, are extolled in even higher strains and with greater assiduity. But when we here from Mr. Rouse that, " nothing now remains to say about John Milton: his place among the immortals is secure", a cloud of doubt appears before the eye of our mind. And we think, paradoxically though that nothing of real worth as yet has been said of Milton. Milton's example is of an instrument placed in exhibition, whose beauty, appearance, and form is praised by every onlooker, but none has ever broached the topic of its aim, object, or purpose. Ever since the memorable works of Milton, namely, " The Paradise Lost", and " The Paradise Regained", have appeared, their literary and poetical value has been assessed. Indeed these works of Milton are of so high an order that excepting the possibility of doctrinal differences, their literary and poetic merit cannot be fully extolled. But more than the assessment of their poetic value, the necessity of the judgment of their basic object and purpose deserves precedence. Yet it may be pointed out with regret that no thought whatsoever has hitherto been given to this very important fact. It is by this means that Milton may be rescued from oblivion, with revived interest, and with real benefit to a misguided world, not because we have greater sympathy with Milton than other celebrities that have been lost in oblivion, but because these works of Milton have a direct bearing on this modern age of Baconian atomism, and are as important as any treatise on atomic science. Perhaps even more important due to the much required spiritual element.
We will here briefly state the object of these works of Milton, and will briefly support our statement by the evidence of certain excerpts from " The Paradise Lost", Milton (1608-1674) born twelve years before the publication of Bacon's "Novum Orgaum", and well aware of Galileo's astronomical discoveries, and one of the greatest scholars of his age, and well acquainted with the state of the surrounding world, could not have been regarded as ignorant of that Baconian storm which was then brewing in the western Christendom. And Milton a Christian to the core of his heart could not have been expected to endorse the antichristian and Mammonistic culture of the worldly philosophy of modern atomism. "The Paradise Lost", is as much the epic of Adam's fall from Paradise as it is of man's fall into the ungodly, materialistic culture of Baconian atomism. And Milton's "Paradise Lost" is not only a universe infused with mind, but it is at the same time is a dire yell of a stubborn, and deeply religious mind against the approaching cavalcade of Baconian heathenism.
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