Friday, August 21, 2020

The Oracle Of Wisdom -MSGR. PROF. J. B. AKAM

THE ORACLE OF WISDOM

 It is a feat that only a few talented human beings can accomplish to take an abstract subject and write a discourse of it quite intelligently to such an degree as to create a large book out of it. The feat had been accomplished by the author of this book.


As I have always said: the philosophical approach is not the simple one. And I need to note that the equations of life don't always have simple solutions. Scatter phenomena, incorporates life; but it is philosophy that gives guidance and meaning to the integration that life affords.

The Oracle of Wisdom: For Philosophical Equipoise, Really Rev. Msgr. Dr. J.B. Akam makes use of philosophical scholarship to give direction and meaning to many 's lives. Life is a fight, for many men. It is a struggle-life presents a continuum of miserable situations from which they unsuccessfully strive to get themselves out of it. Life looks meaningless to many others – so meaningless that they feel like saying with Job: "Let the day of my birth be cursed, and the night I was conceived. Let that day be forgotten forever. 

"Yet for some others, the best approach to life is to adopt the" See Laisser Vivre "principle – to take life as it comes.


Such approaches to life are antithetical to the life philosophy which is relevant and qualitative.

 The crux of the matter is this. It is the stimulant which gingers up Msgr 's immense philosophical ability. Akam and puts it to bear in an attempt to return the joy of life to all, thereby making the planet and a better place to live.

It should be remembered that, in human condition, indications of unhappiness tended to persist. For example, what Shakespeare described contextually in As You Like It is remarkable: The unhappy duke (Duke Senior) told his unhappy companion (Jaques):


You see, we 're not all sad alone:

This large, universal theatre

Presents pageants more distressing than the scene

Where we are playing in.


In view of the Hellenistic philosophical tradition, philosophers are inclined to provide interpretation of crucial words for sharpening the focus of debate and for circumscribing reality as certainly as possible in accordance with the popular age-old dictum: "Initio disputandi est definitio nominis" (In order to be intelligible, a definition of terms must begin). Therefore it is no wonder why the author delves into the true definition of happiness in chapter two, comparing and contrasting the scholars' view. 

Since it is only when one knows what "happiness" means with considerable degree of precision that one can propose successful behavior to achieve it.

This reminds me of what Seneca said quite aptly on another occasion: If a man doesn't know what port he's sailing to, then no wind is in favour.


The essential role that "Virtues" play in achieving happiness can be extrapolated from the experience of Socrates who said: "Human life's goal is happiness, and the only way to attain it is by living a virtuous knowledge-based life." This impels the author to dig into the theoretical study of the notion of "Virtues" in Chapter 3. As he puts it: "Our hike into the Virtues should help us learn how to avoid the vices that the nagging consciousness will always incur in us."

Chapter four brings Bertrand Russel 's scholarship to bear on the attempt to untangle the unhappiness issue with a view to optimizing the happiness attainable in human life. Through this attempt, the author focuses on Russel's delineation of the eight things which trigger unhappiness.

Considering that happiness is difficult for an unhappy conscience, the author advises against the naive feeling of intense remorse. He tells the reader that human presence is on the other side of the coin. That is the side of “faith”. He then conjures up Isaiah 1:18, to calm the trepidation of the guilty: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Hence, the proper attitude contextually would be “to leave the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love and the future to His divine providence.”

It is important for the reader to internalize the message in the section on "Effort and Resignation" while reading this chapter. The author strikes a good note while he says "'Change the Changeable.' What can't be changed can be left undone."


Nobody's an Island. Man is a social animal by definition. Therefore the happiness of man can only have a social aspect. So Chapter 5 's significance and validity. The chapter aims to recognize some instances of social connection and interaction that reduce the degree of happiness of the person. The reason for that approach is obvious.

Happiness on a gold platter is not offered freely to anyone. Accordingly. Chapter six 's message is that we need to work hard to attain and maintain our happiness.


Chapter seven is very substantial. What the reader finds is closeness between the title of Chapter 7 and the title of the entire book. This closeness easily shows the degree of significance Chapter 7 conjures up in the work as a whole.

Wisdom and joy are concepts which are both very abstract. This truth points to the challenge of overcoming them. Wisdom is founded upon knowledge, and upon truth. But true wisdom per se transcends knowledge. Because a man in particular fields of learning may acquire enormous quantities of knowledge, and yet he may lack wisdom per se if his knowledge lacks the Eternal Wisdom. As Sirach said: 1:1-14. All wisdom comes from Heaven, and God's fear is just its beginning. And like holy Paul. 1 Corinthians 2:8, said: We talk of the "Wisdom not known to any of the rulers of this day."

If we return to the Chapter we will agree with the author that wisdom is based on true happiness. The Tortoise anecdoete emphasizes the value of constant pursuit of knowledge. As the author puts it: wisdom has never graduated any candidate; this is reminiscent of what we say in education, namely: "There are no graduates in the school of experience." And the injunction for constant pursuit of wisdom is reminiscent of the Qur'an 's strict injunction to the Muslims:

For every Muslim it is his responsibility to try knowledge

Look for information while it is in China

The Savants are the Prophets's heirs.


It is noteworthy that a human condition, even great quantity of knowledge, does not eradicate anxiety altogether. This reality becomes crystal-clear from the situation of King Solomon, whom God vowed to be born with knowledge above and above any man before him. Ecc. Read. THE Chapter 2:18-19.

Overall, The Oracle of Wisdom: Against Metaphysical Equipoise, is a serious philosophical work well-researched. It portrays high academic degree. It has a very striking dimension. That is: "wisdom" non-commpartmentalisation. As a Christian philosopher, the author does not pretend that, when engaging in "philosophical wisdom," he must act as if there is no wisdom that has the Books of Revelation (the Bible) as its repository, or that it should not affect his discourse. For, in our metaphysical reality, "if there was no God, it would be appropriate to invent Him," as the renowned French Revolutionary philosopher Voltaire said.

True academic experience would, of course, allow the Christian philosopher to know where the line should be drawn, so that philosophical debate does not turn into theological discussion.


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