«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

Shakarim's Precious Legacy

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Shakarim's Precious Legacy
Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly - a well-known Kazakh poet, philosopher, and historian was born in Semipalatinsk region. His father was the elder brother of Abai Kunanbayev.

As his father left him at an early age, Shakarim was raised in his uncle's house. Abai Kunanbayev helped him to get a decent education, and provided with advice on how to write poetry. Later on, Abai sent Shakarim on a tour of Turkey, Arabia, and Egypt. During his time over there, Shakarim mastered a brod range of languages, including Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Russian; he knew and translated works of Eastern and Russian literature. In his poems, the poet condemns stupidity and ignorance, greed and hypocrisy of the rich, encourages young people to learn, deepen knowledge that will help achieve justice and freedom in life. He claimed that there is no place on earth where the truth would not triumph. 

Shakarim grew up in an atmosphere of knowledge. The atmosphere of Abai's house was reigned by a cult of love for music, poetry, knowledge, so the future poet received a brilliant education for the time. It was under the direct supervision of Abai, who was not only a relative, but also a teacher, spiritual mentor, that Shakirim formed his views due to; under his influence the former began to engage in poetic creativity. Imitating Abai, he did a lot of self-education. His circle of scientific interests was extremely great: he was fond of literature, history, philosophy, geography, natural sciences, especially physics. Sharing the enlightenment-democratic beliefs of Abai, Shakarim actively participates in public affairs. He was still young when he was elected to the post of parish governor. 

Several years were spent on political and legal activities. However, the experience of administrative work had a positive impact on the worldview of Shakarim: he thoroughly studied the life of his people, stood up to fight with strife, strife, with the swagger of the rich and ignorance, the ignorance of the steppe inhabitants. At the same time, administrative activities led Shakarim to a sad conclusion about the discrepancy between his intentions and actions, and he decided to leave the service. In the autobiographical poem The Life of the Forgotten, he uncovered the reasons for his departure from the post of parish governor: in pursuit of fame, he almost became a slave of office, which forced him to abandon the duties of administrator.

Freed from the burden, Shakarim decided to do his favorite thing - self-education. In search of knowledge accumulated by mankind, he wrote from Semipalatinsk, Omsk, Orenburg works on history, philosophy, psychology, religion, and studied them enthusiastically, but the poet did not have enough book knowledge, he needed travels, meetings with famous people, personal impressions.

Seeking to satisfy this passion for the knowledge of the world, Shakarim, following Abai's advice, made a pilgrimage to Mecca, visited Turkey, Arabia, France, worked in the libraries and archives of Istanbul and Paris. In this period the poet was also interested in the poetry of the classics of the East, works of ancient thinkers, works of Western European philosophers, and books by Russian writers and thinkers. He was particularly interested in not only the ideas, but also the personality of Leo Tolstoy, with whom he had been in correspondence for several years.

Deep shock for Shakarim was the death of Abai and his sons Akylbay and Magawi. Determined to follow the path of humanism, enlightenment, moral self-perfection, he went to the Genghis Mountains, in the place of Kenkonos, where he led the life of a hermit for a while. Subsequent political events - the revolution, the establishment of Soviet power, civil war - forced Shakarim to return to people, but not for long, because the new government did not favor people of aristocratic origin. Shakarim is a unique phenomenon of philosophical reflection, which combines theological views, syncretism and mysticism, advanced scientific and anthropological knowledge. The main subject of philosophizing Shakarim is a person, it is to him that the spiritual searches and reflections of the thinker are reduced. The philosopher painfully searches for the way of becoming a person spiritual, this goal is determined by him the main content of human existence, the justification of the individual's being in the universe, developing according to the spiritual laws invested in him by the Absolute.

The essence of man, his nature and purpose Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly defines in knowledge, and first of all in the knowledge of truth, which is the acquired quality of man. Knowledge of the truth is not limited to purely rational knowledge, since in addition to scientific knowledge, it requires the penetration of the moral principle, the knowledge of virtue. Knowledge of truth suggests, in the philosopher's opinion, "awareness in the sciences and various religions," the emancipation of the mind and impartiality, which is given through sensible reason and a critical appraisal of any scientific concept and religious teachings.

The philosophy of Shakarim represents this way of thinking, which is characterized by tolerance, acceptance of any concept, the search for truth through critical comprehension of each form of outlook, the choice of that type of thinking that corresponds to one's own convictions, a personal value code based on belief in higher ideals. The philosopher is characterized by intellectual flexibility, he rejects dogmatism, which compares with a lintel's tie. The predilection, according to the thinker, fetters the thinking activity of a person, makes his worldview one-sided and one-dimensional.

In "Three Truths" he examined the pros and cons of the God's idea and the immortality of the soul, showed the knowledge of the philosophy of various schools and directions, natural science and esotericism, as deeply convinced that the researcher should be aware of different religions and sciences, to know what this or that scientist expressed about this.

In Shakarim's striving to learn various doctrines and world views, to unite science, philosophy, religion, esotericism in search of truth, justification of morality and spirituality as the highest laws of human existence, a special style of philosophical consciousness is manifested. In Shakarim's philosophy, there is a world view, which is inherent in a holistic examination of the problem of man and life, a unique teaching with its characteristic multifacetedness and depth. Shakarim is convinced that truth is not known only by feelings, they are changeable and deceptive. True knowledge is given only by the mind, because "the truth is seen and perceived by man not only by the eyes, but by the eyes of the mind. The mind, in union with the moral will, gives a man whose behavior is distinguished by reason and morality. The philosopher is convinced that the knowledge of virtue must coincide with the actions of man, which is wisdom, since "about the wisdom and intelligence of the wise, about the might of the strong, about the virtuosity of the master we are judged by their deeds.

Considering all the arguments for and against the idea of ​​the almighty and the immortality of the soul, Shakarim Kudaberdiuly believes that the fate of an individual and of humanity as a whole depends on the solution of this question, since it is based on the problem of recognizing the priority of the moral principle in human nature. Solving the problem of the idea of ​​the Almighty and the immortality of the soul guides a person, according to Shakarim, to lead good in their actions not for the sake of the Almighty, but for the sake of the created world and man himself.

Shakarim was convinced that the most important science for man is the science of conscience. This science can be taught by teaching people from childhood. This is the main theme of his book "Three Truths", which is a unique philosophical work in which the author developed an original concept of human existence. Voices of conscience are different. If a person lives correctly, conscience sounds like the voice of a wise teacher, a mentor. But first of all it is the voice of God. In the depths of his conscience, a person discovers a law that he did not give himself, but to which he must obey and whose voice, always urging him to love and do good, and avoid evil, responds when necessary. A man has a written law in his heart. Conscience is the most secret and holy of holies of man, where he dwells alone with God, whose voice sounds in the depths of his soul.

Most likely that is why the conscience was considered by Shakarim not only as a moral and ethical, but as the most important philosophical and theological category, which refers specifically to God. This is why Abai and Shakarim so persistently repeated about science, heart and conscience. Without these three keys, we can not open the door to the future, to eternal happiness with God the Creator. And this is the most important thing in life.

At the center of philosophical and ethical reflections of Shakarim Kudaiberdiuly is the recognition of the Creator's idea and the immortality of the soul. The belief in conscience, both in the highest moral law, and in the existence of the soul - are interrelated. And if a person does not have faith in the existence of the soul, and he believes that conscience is suitable only for appearances, then in him the love of life dominates over the spiritual principle, since the heart of a man who did not believe that conscience and soul is the necessary support, no science, no art, no way and no law can cleanse.  The philosopher comes to the conclusion that conscience is the highest desire and need of the soul, since "the soul is such an essence that never disappears, does not lend itself to corruption, but every time everything is improved, goes to the exaltation. This is because it makes itself obligatory for reasons that would accelerate its rise. 

The reason leading to the elevation of the soul, according to Shakarim, is the moral purity of man, his thoughts and deeds. It can be ensured by conscience - as the highest moral sense, a barrier to immoral actions and the beginning of a striving for virtue. Conscience is also a measure of human morality, and the lack of conscience makes it incapable of establishing the difference between good and evil, virtue and vice. Man, believing in the existence of the soul and conscience as its first need and desire, does not become inhuman and soulless under any living conditions and trials. Therefore, Shakarim defines a person's belief in the immortality of the soul and the associated need for a moral sense of conscience as the strongest support for his spiritual exaltation.

There is a comprehensive and detailed study of the philosophy of Shakarim, where it is pointed out that the philosopher believes that the lack of faith in the existence of the Creator and the immortality of the soul exerts a harmful influence on people and makes them immoral, evil, and not good. Therefore, according to our philosopher, conscience, being the constant desire and need of the soul for perfection and exaltation, endows the soul with the ability and the opportunity for one's own ascent in development. In this regard, Shakarim claims that if a person believes in the posthumous life of the soul and that conscience is her first need, then nothing can make his heart black and stale. Shakarim's philosophy is a theological humanism, since it "is entirely aimed at giving a theological justification for the need to humanize a person.

He operates with a philosophical category of causality, proving the idea of ​​God. Using the law of conservation of matter, Shakarim believes that "if to follow science, then nothing existing exists and does not move by itself. It needs a reason, there must be a rootless causeless reason and this causeless is the Almighty." All material bodies are causally conditioned, which means they are created. The root cause of all things is the Almighty, who creates everything according to the laws of expediency, harmony and measure. Man, knowing through finite infinite, i.e. the laws of the universe, breaking them through their consciousness, become holistic and wise. Outlining the concept of the root cause, Shakarim acts as a supporter of theology.

At the same time, in the search for truth, the thinker expounds the materialist conception, citing convincing arguments in favor of a materialistic worldview. In "Three Truths" he expounds the atomistic teaching, bringing arguments from the ancient legacy of Pythagoras, Epicurus and Democritus and also the latest discoveries of science such as physics.

Considering the materialist conception, the philosopher leads such strong arguments as the law of cyclical development of the universe, the Darwinian theory, according to which in Nature there is a law, according to him the selection is made, the best is selected, able to grow, develop and strive for perfection.

The thinker, expounding the arguments in the use of materialism, also leads the concept of the affinity of biological organisms, according to which the whole diversity of life on Earth is born by the sea; the variety of living and material bodies occurs as a result of evolutionary development and adaptation to the environment. Sensuous perceptions are the source of human knowledge. However, Shakarim, despite all the convincing arguments given to him in favor of the materialist conception, believes that secular science pays little attention to the spiritual sphere of man, and the soul itself is associated with the activity of the brain. The philosopher considers the main drawback of the materialistic conception to be the perception by man of his body as his personality, hence his self-sufficiency and complacency, the realization of his being as a corporeal and material, from which immorality and soullessness grow. According to the philosopher, science could not root and develop a good beginning in man by virtue of obfuscating technocratic thinking, which deprives a person of the belief in the necessity of spiritual and moral values.

In the beginning of the 20th century, Shakarim's "Lyaili - Majnun" was published in Sholpan magazine. The plot of Lyaili and Majnun, the ideal beloved, is one of the oldest stories in the literature of the East. Shakarim refers to this "eternal plot" in the period of in-depth searches related to the desire to penetrate into the essence of the teachings of Sufism about spiritual love. In the introduction to the poem, he points out that the story of Lyalli and Majnun was revealed to him by Fizuli, whose poetic skill was highly esteemed by the Kazakh poet.

Shakarim as a poet was closely within the framework of the traditional development of the love-heroic theme, characteristic of the Kazakh oral epic literature. He was irresistibly attracted by the idea of ​​the formation of a perfect man, developed by the Oriental poets on the basis of love stories and assuming that the person has ideal qualities, without which the fusion of man with the Truth is impossible.

Such ideal qualities philosophers considered unselfishness, nobility, readiness for self-sacrifice, ability to constantly deepening love. Unlike Greek philosophers, who tend to limit love to the measures of reasonable sufficiency, the Sufis absolutized love, viewing its ultimate manifestations as a step on the path of the ascent of the spirit to a higher consciousness. Another difference consisted in a special requirement for the lover - to his consistent and determined rejection of marriage. This refusal first of all testified that within the framework of this system love was nothing more than a kind of long preparation for the attainment of a higher state of mind. It is easy to see that the great oriental poets, developing this topic, in fact, were in polemics with philistine opinion. This dispute is muffled, then Shakarim openly continued, contrasting his hero with a crowd of townsfolk, who are trying to endure the verdict to the holy madman.

The problems of Majnun, very expressively described by poets of different ages, including Shakarim, is a crying caused by foreseeing the inevitability of tragedy: his marvelous love is not intended for the earthly, but for the divine world. Ordinary earthly love with its worldly joys, peace and comfort of a family home is the first necessary sacrifice of the ascetic. And in the fact that Majnun, however, like Lyaili, originally comes into the world with this weeping, the will of the heavens, predetermining the fate of the heroes, is seen. Of course, Shakarim realized that Majnun was not a model for mass imitation. As an ideal, it can be perceived only by those people who are carriers of a very specific spiritual consciousness. Lyaili and Majnun as romantic heroes reject the world of impermanence and suffering, choose the transcendental eternity, the spiritual fullness of their perfect love. This is the moral aspect of this truly amazing story, perfectly reproduced by Shakarim. With good reason it can be argued that Shakarim's poem "Lailly - Majnun" is a true masterpiece of national epic poetry.

Shakarim's philosophical prose is full of meanings. In his essays Shakarim continues to develop and cover many other topics as well. One of the central and in his lyrics, here this topic grows essentially into a pedagogical system that could become a kind of moral code for the people. In this respect, Shakarim, of course, can be considered the creative successor of Abai. Despite the fact that the prosecutor's office of the former Soviet Union rehabilitated Shakarim for lack of corpus delicti, the prohibition on the poet's work, accused of bourgeois nationalism and other ridiculous sins, continued. But the people still kept in memory the works of the poet. The Kazakh intelligentsia demanded a revision of the official attitude to Kudaiberdiyev's work. Only after 1986 did the return of Shakarim's poetry become possible to the people. His activities on holding the congress of Alashevites in Semipalatinsk, articles, philosophical essays, poems and poems, essays and much more were publicized.

The legacy of Shakarim is very diverse and, at the same time, quite laborious in its interpretation. To a greater extent this concerns his theoretical philosophical views. In this sphere he did not recognize the truth of any of the views known to him. He was extremely tolerant literally to all ideas, ranging from the fantastic ideas of religion to the strictly scientific provisions of philosophical materialism. He was not at all embarrassed by the complete absurdity of occultism and spiritism, psychics and magicians. And at the same time, he seriously thought about the significance of the latest discoveries of natural science, especially atomic physics. It is possible that this could happen because of his insecurity in the sufficiency of his own knowledge and because of a doubt in the correctness of his beliefs. In addition, in his opinion, any scientific idea that has become widespread in certain social circles deserves close attention, since it can carry a rational grain in itself. The philosophy of Shakarim is just a thoroughly shoveled "mass of blade" for the extraction of a grain of truth.