By Sirous Panjabi
Born in 1957, Bahman Azadfar
(Persian: بهمن آزادفر), IPA: [bɑːhˈmɑːn æˈzɑːdfɑːr] is an Iranian-Swedish philosopher and founder of True Philosophy.
He completed his education from elementary school to university in Tehran. After finishing his education in the technical domain, he did not return to university because there was no institution to address his inquiries in the realm of Wisdom.
If you know Mr. Azadfar, you will be surprised by the many experiences he has had.
Sometimes, you might think that an ordinary person must live multiple lifetimes to witness many diverse experiences and adventures.
Mr. Azadfar led a typical life until the eruption of the revolution in Iran in 1978.
After the Revolution's victory — in the summer of 1979 — Mr. Azadfar regretted his participation. He began searching for the reasons behind the deception imposed on the Iranian people by Khomeini
Mr. Azadfar quotes a friend who said, "If we were wise, we would not have been deceived by Khomeini."
This comment deeply resonated with Bahman and raised a fundamental question: What is 'wisdom,' and how can one become wise?
He reflects on his own journey, saying, "I had read many books since I was a child, and until that date, i.e. the summer of 1979, I had lived in a scientific and cultural environment and had vast and diverse information. I was one of those types who could compete in television intelligence and information competitions, and I had a high chance of winning. But a simple question like 'What is wisdom?' turned me into an illiterate person within a few minutes, and other questions like 'Is there justice?' intensified my ignorance."
By reading philosophical books and asking others, Mr. Azadfar thought he could find the proper answers to the countless new questions that came to his mind, but he could not.
The extant philosophies could not give clear and explicit answers to his questions.
The works of philosophers only added to his confusion.
"In Volume Four, I repeated a part of Professor Steven Smith's lecture to his students at Yale University and criticised his statements.
What Professor Smith said about definitions and authorities were the expressions which I have heard many times since the Summer of 1979.
Professor Smith says: A famous mathematician once said, "Every question must have a correct answer; for every question, one answer."
Then, Mr. Smith rejects this principle and claims it is not so in philosophy.
I couldn’t buy scholastic philosophers' reasonings.
I agreed with that "famous mathematician" and suppose any person in science couldn’t accept there is no reasonable answer to abstract questions.
At age 22, my personality was formed by science, and I believed that every reasonable question must have a reasonable answer. This principle works equally on both materialistic facts and abstract facts.
For instance, If there is 'Justice', it should be definable. Why do we talk about justice so much if there is no justice?"
Mr. Azadfar explains further, "I severed my ties with scholastic philosophy when I found it unscientific. I decided to rely on science and scientific methods that work for materialistic facts, and I believed they should have the same effect on abstract matters."
Recognizing that no university could provide answers to his questions, Azadfar embarked on a journey of self-education and "trial and error" methods to pursue his goals.
Upon completing his university education in 1980, he committed to delving into abstract phenomena and exploring the meaning of wisdom. This became a moral duty for him after the defeat of the revolution. Bahman Azadfar elucidates why and how he devoted himself to working on Wise Concepts in a pamphlet where he conducted self-criticism (self-critique).
Mr. Azadfar resolved to leave no stone unturned in his quest for answers. He recalls, "I tried to learn from everyone and everything. I learned significant things even from people whom I condemned their behaviour. For instance, from Edward Bernays, I learned to leave nothing to chance when you have a goal and are determined to achieve it. Slime Moulds —and their way of Coherence, Coordination and Cooperation— were my foremost educators."
Economy and System
Before completing his education in 1980, Bahman's parents financially supported him. However, he had to manage his own life after that. In 1980, he married a fellow college student, and they started their own family, which was further enriched by the birth of two children.
Apart from meeting the basic needs of human life, such as housing, food, and comforts, engaging in "deep thinking" demands an additional level of well-being. Bahman Azadfar emphasizes the cost of thinking on the body, stating, "We know that 20% to 25% of the energy provided through Metabolism devotes to the brain, with 2% of the body's weight.
Thus, according to energy consumption, the brain is an expensive organ in a man's body."
Deep thinking, particularly in philosophy, is more expensive. For that reason, Philosophy appeared after the Agricultural Revolution when a sort of welfare formed because of the surplus of food production, which allowed a group of humans to enjoy welfare and work on essential questions.
To support his research project, Mr. Azadfar turned to the financial market after working in various fields in Iran and the Swedish industry following his immigration. Despite lacking formal education in the field, he harnessed his extensive knowledge.
His objective was to generate the necessary funds for his study project and create a system that allowed him to travel for business or research. In addition to self-education, he hired experts to aid him in his research and acquired the necessary knowledge.
Recognising the necessity of field investigations alongside laboratory and office work, Bahman Azadfar welcomed any opportunity for experimentation over four decades. For instance, when a journalist friend, Houshang Vaziri, who served as the editor of a newspaper in London, requested Bahman to write about the critical years of the Soviet Union's Fall, Mr. Azadfar accepted on the condition that he would write under a pseudonym due to his business obligations. Thus, H. Maraghei Yekta became Bahman's pen name for several years.
Additionally, Bahman taught Persian at ABF (the educational section of the Swedish labour movement) and philosophy at the Zoroastrian Center in Gothenburg.
When asked about how he managed to undertake so many different roles, Mr. Azadfar responded, "You are discussing decades, not years. Moreover, there were systems which helped me.
My mind works systematically, and I do anything in the framework of a system in theory and practice —as you see in my philosophy, which is a system of philosophy rather than scattered topics.
For instance, for 23 years(1991-2014), I fought against money laundering in Sweden. I started and supported that project, but indeed, there was a financial system which materialised that project.
Without money, nothing would be possible. My financial company animated my dreams.
Within my company, everything and everyone was in their place, or in other words; they were in order and balance.
Launching a neat system is difficult, but establishing it successfully will give its fruit, which is progress and convenience.
The first system was my company, which worked well and provided revenue for other projects.
To have an effective system for fighting money laundering in Sweden, I was forced to hire an assistant and a freelance journalist as the project's core. I spent a few months teaching them, but after training, when they started to work, the process reversed. The project's staff began to feed me with information I didn't know because they worked full-time and travelled to gather valuable information, which I couldn't do alone.
Later, that core became the educator of others who joined the project without my interference —the activists whose pictures you see in Volume Four of my work I have never met personally.
Those activists didn't need my instructions because there was a system which trained and led them.
In 2019, the last years of my business activity, my company demanded only one or a maximum of two hours of my attention. The rest of my presence in my big office was spent in my physics laboratory or working on philosophical models."
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