The Thingness of History

According to Nietzsche, history should never be pursued for the sake of just collecting more knowledge about the past. This means that history is something more to us; something that we can carry every day in our lives; something that others cannot take from within us. It is something that we can hold on to.

Nietzsche has been quoted to say “However far and fast he runs, the chain runs with him”. We can’t escape our memory, we can’t escape our history and we can’t wear it down. That would be the nature of history for me. It is a part of every human being. It is a matter of concern that is distinguished from a living being; something that makes a strong appeal to the individual. This indicates, personally, that the nature of history is a means to have or be capable of having within and naturally being within us.

Let’s take odor as an example. Odor is a characteristic or a predominant quality, a peculiar and essential character that every person has. The natural odor of every person is the smell that he bears or within one always. Meaning, that odor cannot be worn by anyone else. It is essentially in every human being. The same as with the nature of history, history is essentially part of human lives, individually.

When we say pattern of history, we are implying that there is one. When we say pattern, by all means, it is a form or model proposed for imitation, something designed or used as a model for making things, or a discernible coherent system. Our world is a state of things in which chances are supreme. We are living, ever since, in an unorganized world with our hopes, choices and dreams. A world that is a matter of chances that there can be no such thing as a perfect example or model as a whole that to be compared with regarding to the pattern of history. We are living in a confused unorganized state in a distinct form of the world since the beginning. That would be considered our evidence of knowing that we are living in an imperfect world. That by far, no complete peace, freedom and happiness has ever been achieved. A proof of not having the capability of having the quality of holding our lives, cohering a coherent plan for action to have a such organized world to set up an administrative structure for human lives. Therefore, there can be no pattern to history that we are capable of constructing for history or for the world. Our world is marked by gradual changes and a matter of choice. Your body, your emotions, the people around you and world- everything is changing. There are no patterns, no formulas but a constant change. A change that will for sure eventually lead us to an end. An end to our sorrows, needs, aspirations and all. And that is how we need change, a change to improve our life. We are in a process of change, a continuing natural activity or function that will lead us toward a particular result. That would be the only thing that we can be of certain about. We are in a series of action and operation conducting to an end.

Having to know the pattern of history also mean having a perfect kind of world. This would mean that you could have the ability that will cause you to be in a certain position of power to take control of the world. For the reason that you are in possession of exclusive knowledge or information relating to the main essential points of the world. But we cannot have and know that except for fact that the world is too huge and chaotic for someone to find a perfect model as a whole, or an ideal exemplification in general to put one’s life, thoughts and emotions in order. We need to look for it in pieces. We need to look at models in a view of their structures, their achievements, their attainments, accomplishments, or the things they are composed of, something that is useful that we can use in our lives. We should consider that our mind is living in a very huge and extensive world which cannot bare the ways of the world. Therefore, there can be no pattern of history or the world, for the fact that we cannot know it. It is far beyond the capability of human beings.

Human beings’ consciousness about the historical events of the past is the driving force that exerts pressure to every individual to live life. It is the thing that history brings out to every human life; the existence of history in human lives. This quality puts you in a state of being aware of something within oneself. The historical consciousness serves as the aspect or quality that connects us as being or belonging of the same kind. It is a kind in which every individual serves as a vital function to everyone.

History in relation to past serves as the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being to establish the existence of a thing, or to demonstrate as having a particular quality or worth. Because of the things happened in the past, history is created. The things that are for some had just gone for a long time ago and having existed or taken place in a period of time may, for others, and even to everyone, plays a very significant function to every human being. This function serves as the purpose of your life, to direct you on a course or in a direction on going ahead. Past serves to be just part of history; an essential portion or element of history. It is a means to have something less than a whole, but of one of the functional units of history.

Regarding to the relation of time in history, time shapes history. As the time goes on, history goes on. It is the nature of history that stays with us, within us and goes on with us. Such that history never dies. It is alive and has desirable and esteem characteristics.

Our seeking of truths, importance and purpose from the past is the great force that will make every human being seek to find the perfect world. It is the use of history in relation to life. According to Nietzsche, “history so far serves life, serves an unhistorical power. It doesn’t serve the past, it doesn’t serve the future but serves creativity and it serves will”. What he meant was history is not only limited to being understood only within their own contexts and times but as symbols of greatness and achievements. It should be views as an inspiration to oneself that as for Nietzsche is the Monumental History. It expresses something very positive and a faith in humanity. A faith such that for Nietzsche, the great moments in struggle of individuals form a chain in them. In them the high points of humanity are linked throughout millennia. That would be what is highest in such a moment of a distant past be as an inspiration to creativity, to growth and to develop, and also to give us courage. The courage such that for Nietzsche, “the knowledge of the great which once existed was at least possible once and may well again be possible sometimes”. It is when history works for us, it gives us the ability or power to instill with boldness to do great actions.

That would be by so far my own understanding of history regarding to its nature, its pattern, its relation to the past, in relation to time, and its relation to life. History would mean something to us if we only know how to appreciate history. History for life plays a very important thing in our lives. It can mean nothing to us if we won’t be able to find the importance of history and its values to every human kind. We need to work out our ways and bring out the creativity within us. It will lead us to be better in making our choices such that history serves as a set of choices we can rely on for the development of life. History does serve as many significant things in our lives. It serves as an inspiration, a purpose of being in the world, and a will to do great things. But somehow, we should not take history as the only way of living our life to the perfect world. We should bear in mind that we are always in the process of finding our own happiness in life. Through this process, we might be faced with much difficulty. Trying to draw positive conclusions through this may be challenging. We just have to find the beauty in every choice we make. As what the saying goes, “We all make choices in life. The hard thing to do is to live with them”. Therefore, beyond all the choices we made must also be the responsibility for each choice. To be responsible for them teaches us to stand for what we believe in and this will lead us to growth. Those choices will be able to teach us in the ways of life and let us discover that what we thought were ordinary turned out to be so much more.

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The Philosophy of History

Nature of History

History is a major part of human life and it can be described to be the tool to students for knowing about the past, and it’s the witness that can testify to the events that happened in the past. It can also lighten up reality, strengthen memory and provides guidance in daily life. We need to study history if we wish to learn how the world came to be as what it is today. My first impression on history was a boring subject and it was useless for me to study those past events because I believe that “Past is Past” and it will never be discussed those events that already happened in the past, it doesn’t make any sense anyway. Reading books is not my hobby, it wasted my precious time and I really don’t like it after all. Time goes by; and slowly, I did appreciate what history is all about and why we really need to fluster ourselves to study on it. As what my professor said that history doesn’t only talks about past events but it also talks about human experiences.

Human experiences is what we consider the nature of history, the activities of the people in the past that leaves something in our minds and could still be remembered in the present and even in the future generation. An experience that would requires a significant signature among us. It also involves investigation of the remaining facts relating to such experience. But of course, these so called experiences are not all good experiences sometimes we need to undergo bad experiences for us to be reminded that in every situation we may encounter in our life there is always a lesson that we can get from it, a lesson that will help as all through the upcoming years, or it can be a lesson with a purpose. The nature of the field of history is how the situation is connected to one another. How the events in the past affected the events in the present and in the future. How it affects each other and in what specific situation connects them.

Why study history? Why should we, to be more particular, we need to study history in order for us to know why and how that incident occurred in the past. Also to clarify things that misunderstood by other people. We have seen the leaning tower of Pisa, for example, but do we really know the reason why that tower is not straight? Some says that why we need to bother ourselves studying the history of people that already die and events that already happened? We need to learn that things because it can answer all your questions. If we do not have enough knowledge about the past, it’s hard for us to explain why these things happened and what really happened during that event. Studying history can help individuals to enhance a sense of ‘shared humanity’; also to understand themselves and otherness, by learning how they differ from other people.

Pattern of History

History somehow does not follow any pattern. In all places and at all times it has been agreed that the direction of history is always “downward”, from the Golden Age, or Garden of Eden to the Iron Age or Latter Days. The religions, philosophies and traditions of the world are unanimous in seeing not a pattern, but of decline and degeneration. We have all been inculcated from the earliest age, and which places late-patriarchal itself at the pinnacle of a long process of ‘human progresses, relegating earlier civilizations to varying degrees of ignorance and barbarism. When we see clear patterns in history we should take notice of them. When we see the repeat of these patterns throughout history we should learn from them so we don’t make the same mistakes. This is what the founders tried to do when crafting our constitution. They didn’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past. History was speaking to them and they were listening.

Driving force of historical events

There were a lot of thing and ideas that came to my mind. Like when we recognizes there has always been the existence of some form of conflicts from the beginning of man to the present, giving the impression that man is driving his own history based on the individual’s aims and struggles.

For me, the driving force of historical events can maybe identify as conflict or struggles of classes. We felt that class conflict was the fuel that propelled change in society. Only the lower classes can have a “true consciousness” of the way the world really works, for they suffer all the pains of poverty, but the upper class justifies their exploitative actions with a “false consciousness” and denies the true effects of their ways. Eventually, the lower classes rise up and fight against the more powerful group, and the result is a combination of the two former classes, which eventually diverge and fight with each other once again.

Conflict in family can be an example. Like when you and your brother have conflict, it started because you have different thoughts with a certain thing. Conflicts can sometimes help you become a noble person. It is always been part of our life even in the pre-historic/primitive time. Learning from our mistakes in the past can help us to be more progressive in the future. Without it maybe history would be useless.

History in relation to past

If we are going to compare the definition of history and the past, we probably think that maybe they have the same meanings. Past are any events that occurred already. These may or may not be events that humans have actually witnessed. For example, a tiger in a jungle that kills and eats a deer, humans did not witness it but it occurred already. History is the actual recordings and the studying of the past. These are the recorded narratives of the past that people study to garner information about their past. Because history are written by the people in the past, unless we personally witness the events written or have more accurate evidence; we must assume what the writer has recorded is true. To say it clearly, History is a fundamental way to recall, understand a certain situation or events, but the problem is that how can we go through history if we do not have any data or evidence to that event. As a historian, were seeking for truth, we should move forward along the way and that’s when the word “past” will rise and will help us. Their connection is to find truth but that two words have a unique purpose to our lives.

History in relation to Time

Time has a big role in history. Time is the most precious thing in life. It influences every single moment and everything we do. To manage time is to manage life. Time makes sense in small pieces when we look at huge stretches of it; it is almost impossible to wrap your head around things. Time is very important, and it could record all the events that happened. It is said to be eternal. It is said that it has neither a beginning nor an end. Yet men are able to measure it as years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. They have also given meanings to the words – past, present and future. True, time has a meaning. It moves. What was yesterday is not today. What is today will not be tomorrow. Yesterday is gone. Today is and tomorrow is yet to come. Yet time is said to have no holiday. It exists always.

The use of history in relation to Life

History is important because it helps us to understand the present. If we will listen to what history has to say, we can come to a sound understanding of the past that will tell us much about the problems we now face. If we refuse to listen to history, we will find ourselves fabricating a past that reinforces our understanding of current problems.

People tend to underestimate the power of history. If I want to convince you that capitalism is evil, I could simply tell you that capitalism is evil, but this is likely to have little effect on the skeptical. This frontal attack is too crude. If, however, I disinterestedly tell you the history of capitalism, nonchalantly listing all the atrocities attributable to it, I am much more likely to achieve my goal. I can leave a lasting impression that will evoke revulsion at the mere mention of the word.

History teaches values. If it is true history, it teaches true values; if it is pseudo-history, it teaches false values. The history taught to our children is playing a role in shaping their values and beliefs-a much greater role than we may suspect. Lastly, to make it short, creating something in a result of everything therefore man creates history.