by Andrew Klavan who entitled his piece “Oh, Go Ahead, Taylor Swift, Have Babies”. One can’t deny he dots the I’s and crosses the T’s but on the whole he and the soon to turn 30 diva are talking at cross purposes, and Klevan has no chance. On top of her fierce progressivism, she has more than 300 million, and thus there’s no way an Andrew can convince her of anything, especially of trying to be a little more sensible, logical or feminine. As it is, she shouldn’t be encouraged any further motherhood-wise. It might be advisable that she should remain childless.
Of course the reason why women in the western world care so little about fertility rates can’t be economic. It’s precisely “the rich” who have few children and “the poor” who have numerous offspring. Klavan wonders if it could be leftism itself responsible for this particular aversion:
If you live in a society that denigrates motherhood, why should women aspire to it?
It’s a fact that these days when a given social issue is analyzed, what is taken into consideration is the present-day status quo. It will be examined, discussed, evaluated. Yet, problems did not arise when it became apparent that Taylor Swift couldn’t tell the difference between men and women. They had emerged long before the rise of leftism.
Why does a society denigrate motherhood? How is it possible that a superficial young female, who sings about her superficial private life, brings the house down, earning hundreds of millions in the process? Why are there so many equally superficial people willing to dig into their modest pockets to make their idols laugh all the way to the bank?
The point we´re making is that Taylor Swift hasn’t designed herself. It was not she who decided the colour of her eyes, her height, nationality or the nature of her talents. Yet, she thinks of herself, we are sure, as a very self-contained Taylor Swift. Klavan affirms:
Forcing one sex into the other’s roles not only tends to make most people unhappy, it also damages society — which is, after all, built on the bedrock of human nature, not the other way around.
The above would be true if “human nature” as we know it were indeed human but such is no longer the case. Just look at the headlines published by The Guardian:
Women are happier without children or a spouse, says happiness expert
Behavioural scientist Paul Dolan says traditional markers of success no longer apply
We may have suspected it already, but now the science backs it up: unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup in the population. And they are more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers, according to a leading expert in happiness.
Speaking at the Hay festival on Saturday, Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, said the latest evidence showed that the traditional markers used to measure success did not correlate with happiness – particularly marriage and raising children.
What Klavan denominates human nature we call fitrah –a verbal noun which derives from the Arabic verb fatara, to create, and refers to causing existence, producing, originating, bringing something into existence for the first time, since “it” did not exist before. Thus, it denotes creation without a previous model. It implies making the original, in the same way that a mold is the original form before the first piece is cast. It is our fitrah that reminds us that we are creatures and that there is a Creator. This reminder is not ideological. It’s a voice, a nag, a feeling experienced even by the fiercest atheists. In other words, we have been programmed to be the way we are, or should be.
(56) I have not created the jinn or the men –insan, but to worship Me.
Qur-an 51 – adht Dhariyyat
The fitrah of the present-day humanity has been altered or covered up almost completely by culture –the fact particularly detectable in modern females, but this artificially fabricated nature has been allowed to penetrate all spheres and all stages of our life.
But there is also a voice that is external. It emanates from the prophetic system and acts as a support and an intensifier. Prophet after prophet, all human communities throughout history have received the reminder whose purpose is none other than to remove from the natural fitrah the layers contaminated by culture. The prophetic system reminds us we should honour our commitment with our Creator:
(172) When your Lord addressed the offspring of the Banu Adam and let them testify about themselves: “Am I not your Lord?” They answered: “We testify that You are.” And this so that on the Day of the Resurrection you may not say: “We really did not know about this matter.”
Qur-an 7 – al ‘Araf
With the passage of time the fitrah has been warped by persistent doubt, then negation and then no less persistent rejection of a creator and his role in human affairs. As Mainländer puts it (Die Philosophie der Erlösung):
God has died and his death was the life of the world.
Man, thus, has been convinced that he only has this life and the elusive “Nature”. Yet, it’s not as simple as it sounded to Mainländer, Nietzsche or Hegel, and especially to Darwin. Its consequences in the long run were devastating not only for human nature but also for human judgment, which resulted, among other disasters, in the emergence of several generations of alt-feminist females who are rabidly progressive, fashionably modern and hopelessly misguided. It couldn’t have been otherwise. If there is no other life except this one, why not live fast, furious and independent. Why not have idols instead of One boring and cumbersome God. And best of all, why not become one’s own god?
The Fatir, the Originator, the Creator of all molds, cannot be apprehended directly by His creatures in the same way as the watercolour hunter cannot imagine the painter since their ontological levels are different. A drawing does not think or imagine because it has not been granted this ability.
Were it to be imaginarily brought to life, we would see a static hunter, bewildered and confused, trying to understand not only why he is there, but also where he has come from and where he is heading; and what lies beyond the horizon of the painting. He would try to find out the nature of the object he is holding under his arm and what he is supposed to do next.
Man would feel that same perplexity and despair if he had been granted life in this way. To what past or to what future could he link himself? To what sense? We can see that man needs a story, not just as a sequence of events, but as the origin; as the explanation of his own existence; as the result of the meeting he attended and in which the whole plot was proposed and accepted by all human beings, and which became part of the material his fitrah has been made from.
Therefore, the very essence, the primal nature of man, his fitrah, should contain acceptance of the status of a creature and the existence of a Unique Creator. This implies that man has received from his Lord the mark of righteousness, the support that strengthens him and maintains him in his millennial flow throughout history –a history older than the universe. Man is part of a plot –of a novel in which the Author and the characters agree that in the end, when the argument has fully developed, they will meet again. Man, through his fitrah, recognizes this origin and keeps it alive in his heart through a constant longing for eternity and perfection, beauty and purity.
In this sense the fitrah also means “remembrance”. It is the fitrah, our primordial mold and essential nature what constantly reminds us of our history, of our origin and prevents us from feeling the terror of the hunter drawn on the canvass when he comes to life, ignorant of his origin and the reason of his existence.
The fitrah could be represented by the bread dough before it is cooked; the clay before being introduced into the kiln; the skin of an animal before being tanned… since it is the original form of things, the true mold of man before he was thrown into the flow of history, in which his fitrah runs the risk of being transformed into an artificial nature, forgetful and disrupted –imposed by constantly changing culture.
Listen to the conversation we overheard the other day:
– What is that little stone over there?
– This one you mean? Well, it’s a kind of god. I worship it. Do you mind?
– Of course not. Do I look a bigot? Everyone knows what to do and who to worship.
– I’m really glad to hear it because sometimes they write me off as an eccentric bore or a loony.
– Yes, I know loads of such spiteful people. I don’t even bother to talk to them.
– Do you yourself have any gods?
– Not any more. But I used to. My knowledge has deepened since then. Haven’t you noticed I’m not like the others?
– Of course I have, from the very moment we met.
– I can see you have reflective powers.
– Well, my daily worship of the stone makes me detached from worldly affairs. Do you like the way I put it?
– Yes, it’s gorgeous. It’s obvious you work hard. Do you eat meat?
– No, no, no! I don’t touch that stuff!
– Ooooh, you should, my dear son! If you liberate yourself from all bondage, you become a slave of liberation.
– What a deep thought! You’re really wise. May I worship you?
– Well, I haven’t been promoted to godhead yet, but you can have a photo of mine and put it next to your stone.
– That’ll be terrific. My altar is a bit empty, don’t you think so?
– Well, just a stone… it’s no great shakes, but quantity is not the main factor… although it helps. The important point is to understand that we are like fish, moving freely in the waters of the ocean, going up and down, to and fro, around and around… The last step, my step, is to be above any kind of definition or approach.
– Sounds very deep. I didn’t get it, I’m afraid. How shall I call you? My god?
– You can call me Idol.
– All right, Idol. Could you say it again? Make it simpler, please.
– Of course I could do it, I’m almost god, aren’t I, but I won’t. I’ll say it again, in a more difficult way.
– How cruel you can be! You’re really mighty!
– Can you kill?
– Kill? You mean actually kill?
-Yes, you slow on the uptake; I usually mean what I mean. Can you kill, smash somebody’s head with a hammer… say, your neighbour’s head?
-Why should I? I love my neighbours. I love all creatures in the world… lice, galaxies, my enemies… Come to think of it, I don’t really have enemies.
– Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! I can see you’re still at the mystic stage, you probably sit and meditate for hours.
– I do, on and off, you know. To be honest, sometimes I prefer sex, though.
– Ah! It’s not entirely hopeless then. Listen! Do you want to become god?
– I beg your pardon?
– I asked if you wanted to become god.
– Well, I… actually… I’ve never thought about it before, but now that you mention it… It would be sensational, wouldn’t it? I can imagine my boss’s face when I tell him.
– So, let’s set it right. A god is not subjected to anything. Values are for the subjects. As long as you have values, you can’t get rid of the condition of slavery and dependence.
– Oh yes, I kind of understand now. So, what’s your advice?
– Take a hammer and smash your neighbour’s head; then come back.
– All right. What if there are other people with him?
– Oh, my little son! A massacre would be a very promising beginning.
– Will you be here when I come back?
– How should I know? The Pleiades don’t inform me, as yet, of everything to come.
– Well, don’t forget to leave your photo then.
– Don’t worry, I won’t.