ISIS: A “Back-to-the-Body” Perspective

ISIS beheading

ISIS beheading

The “Back-to-the-Body” Perspective is a new way of doing philosophy, psychology, and social science. We use the human body as a source of wisdom, insight, and guidance for understanding the world and for solving problems in the world. One problem we face today in the world is the problem of ISIS, also known as Islamic State or ISIL. In this article, I look at ISIS from the “Back-to-the-Body” Perspective

Who Should Theorize About ISIS?

Someone might say that the problem of ISIS is too big or too complex for any one individual to theorize about. “We should leave such matters to the government”—that person might say. “Let the politicians and diplomats solve those problems…”

But politicians and diplomats are in the category of “government,” and the government has in the nation a social function similar to what the brain has in the physical body: it is an executive power. The brain does not create a will but only executes it.

Thus, it is not up to the government to set the will for the people, but rather to receive the will from the people. We do not elect a government to tell us what to do as a nation, but rather to hear from us what we want to do as a nation—and then to execute the people’s will. Hence, it seems appropriate to theorize about social problems rather than leave them for the government to solve.

The Nation’s Culture

People’s absolute and unalienable will is to satisfy its three fundamental impulses of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The purpose of government, then, is to defend and protect people’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. When it comes to a particular problem, such as the problem of ISIS, we need to count on the nation’s culture to sort out the particular issues of that problem.

Thus, we have an interplay between the people, the government, and the culture—where the people provides the will that guides the nation; the culture provides the ways to fulfill the people’s will; and the government executes the people’s will.

It will be useless, then, to hope that the government will come up with solutions for huge problems such as ISIS. The hard work of proving solutions belong to the culture of the nation: intellectuals, philosophers, the media, academia, religious leaders, artists, and so on. These solutions must be transmitted to the government, who will then execute them.

ISIS is one such huge problem. Thus, the solution for ISIS will not come from the government, but rather from the heart of the nation, namely, its culture. Therefore, it is not inappropriate for a blog such as this one to discuss the problem of ISIS.

It is from this perspective, then, that I offer ideas and suggestions about how to deal with ISIS. And I offer these ideas and suggestions from my own observations of what works and what does not work in the human body.

What to Do About ISIS


The only way to have peace is to live in a unified world.

The first question is to consider whether we, as a human race, will regard ourselves as a unity, a whole, and a living entity, or will we think of our ourselves as a gathering of disparate and unrelated parts. Are we one body with many parts—or are we many bodies of separate and conflicting parts?

This question is important because, in its current sphere of influence, ISIS does not affect the integrity of the United States. It it active in countries whose borders are far from the borders of the United States. Shall we, then, disregard ISIS and minimize its importance to us?

Well, those who regard the world as a collection of disparate and unrelated parts, propose just that: ISIS is not be a problem we have to worry about. “Let those people deal with their own problems”—they say.

But if we are to view the world as one—like a living body—then ISIS is our problem! In fact, what happens anywhere on earth affects everyone on earth. Thus, if we think of the world as a single whole, then ISIS is also a US problem. What is, then, the best way to look at the world? As a single whole or as a bunch of disconnected entities?

As usual, by the fruits we can know the tree. On one hand, what fruits will we garner if we think of the world as a bunch of disconnected entities that fight with one another?  On the other hand, what fruits do we harvest if we have a world that is a single, unified whole? What kind of world will we have if we adopt one perspective (disconnected entities) as opposed the other perspective (a unified whole)? The results are striking and can make a difference between peace and war.

Peace Can Come Only for a Single World

The reward of peace is prosperity.

The reward of peace is prosperity.

Peace can exist only for a single, unified world. It doesn’t matter how many nations we have, as long as we look at the human race as one. Such a world would be a unified world.

In contrast, if the nations are nothing but disconnected parts, the nations will pursue conflicting purposes. The inevitable result will be war. Thus, war is inevitable in a world in which people do not see themselves as a unified whole.

Peace, then, belongs only to those who are many but one at the same time, rather than those who are many and separate. The many will struggle, unless they find a way to make one out of many: E pluribus, unum.

The ideology of ISIS is a disease for humanity. This disease must either be healed, or it must be stopped. The world cannot allow the ISIS people to go on causing the damage they are doing. We must stop ISIS for the sake of the health and well-being of the whole, or else the whole world will suffer.

Rewards of Peace

If we are brave and fight this kind of evil anywhere it raises its head, we will be rewarded with peace are prosperity. A peaceful world is a prosperous world. Today, we spend huge amounts of wealth and effort for the purpose of fighting wars. If we eliminate the enemies of peace, we can use the nation’s treasures to enhance people’s lives: health, nutrition, well-being, education, security for our future. But first we must act swiftly to defeat the enemies of peace.

I conclude with a quote from Sun Tzu:

Only the one who is acquainted with the evils of war can understand the profitable ways of conducting war…. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
Excerpt From: Sun Tzu. “The Art of War.” iBooks.

Photo Credits:

Photo: Working for World Peace; Author: BrotherMagneto; Source: ; Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Photo: Peace and Prosperity; Author: Adrian Bailon; Source:; Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Photo: ISIS beheading; Author: Synergy ByDesign; Source:; Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).


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