Volume 50, 2008
Social and Political Philosophy
The Philosophy of Women, See-al and Life of Haam, Seok Heon
This thesis reviews Haam Seok Heon‘s See-al philosophy, the main philosophy about life in terms of women. The See-al philosophy was created by Haam, who went through the turbulent times of Korea. So far, we have had papers that dealt with his philosophy under the political, historical and religious contexts, but there has been no paper focused on women. Actually, Haam confessed that it was his mother who structured the foundation of his philosophy. He also said that he learned from his mother about freedom, equality, and the basics of See-al ideas. He developed his philosophy of life, See-al, through the image of his mother
who devoted her whole life to bring him up with love and willingly sacrificed her life for her beloved son. Haam regarded women as a link of all lives in history. He also thought mothers, women in other words, have that power that gives birth, breeds lives and infuses new structure into eternal life; in addition, he stated that women have energy which pulls clear and new things out of filthy and dirty things. Through his image about women, Haam's See-al philosophy extends itself as an ecological life movement. In this paper, Haam's philosophy about women is not reviewed and analyzed by the western point of view because Haam is not a man who spent his life in so-called the "times of women" in the western view. Since his philosophy emphasizes self-reflective, independent life, freedom and
equality, we might find out that there are some discrepancies between his philosophy and the lives of his mother and wife who had sacrificed their lives under the patriarchal social system. However, the meaning of Haam's independent life is totally different from the western concept of if. That is, his idea of independent life is closely related to sacrifice. In the current society under the influence of Neo-liberalism, only competition and economic logic matter; however, Haam's philosophy, which states "Life is no different between you and I, and only love can save you and I as one existence" and cherishes every single life as one organism that connects all existing things--sky, earth, human beings, etc.--is of great importance for us to reconsider.