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who are you calling zombie?
by ammar khaleel

What is it about Zombies that we don’t like? Is it that they closely resemble us, since they are half dead, and we are alive. But what makes us alive? We live in our social environment adhering and reacting to its every wince and moan robotically without flinching or noticing the change in our surroundings. Yet we are not half dead, because we pride and praise ourselves to be human beings, conquerors of the world and masters of the universe. Although it’s our arrogance and ignorance that keeps us going, still it’s our human subjectivity that restrains us and prevent us from being free. But free of what? We are free to make choices and decisions that determine the course of our lives, we can distinguish between right and wrong, we have morals, we have our individuality and we are as free as could be, so what is this business about Zombies? Well, Zombie is a metaphor I use to describe our human condition. It all starts with our misconception of human subjectivity, which entitles us to be subjects, independent individuals that exist in a society. However, we are bound by our culture and limited by our traditions and social practices. We believe that we have options and we can make choices that lead us to have good but different lives from one another. Yet, still our lives don’t differ from each other. Yes, we have choices, but all of our choices are predetermined by our environment. The options we have are laid down before us, and we can only access them through our encounter with one another. The decisions we make are revealed and unveiled to us only through my being in a living communal environment, so whether I choose left or right, yes or no, good or bad my decision is contingent on what’s available in my social context. We are reduced to our society, culture and surroundings; there is nothing unique, original or individual about us or the things we do. What’s available for one individual is also available for others. We are all alike, whether we think that we are different is irrelevant from our collective perspective. When I’m ready to go to work every morning, I can either take the bus or I can hire a cab, but I cannot ride a donkey into town, because it’s not part of my social practices, and inaccessible through my environment. Same thing when kids finish high school, they can either go to college or get a job, but they cannot go train to be a knight templar, because our environment does not allow nor tolerate for such a thing to appear or yet exist. Thus, we are stripped from all of our human subjectivity, which means that we are insignificant on an individual level, but collectively we are an entity. So to be free, we must accept and embrace the fact that we cannot exist as individual subject, but only as a whole, one encompassing totality that let us be part of it, completely as one in it. The subjective ‘I’ becomes a collective “We” similar to the ant colony. In the ant world, there is no individual ant, but rather a body of ants that makes up the entire colony; these ants are on autopilot, they only do what they know, which is what’s available for them through their social environment. They are not half dead, but on the contrary they are alive in sense they fulfill their everyday activities, so do Zombies, by whom we are so alienated and indifferent. We are the very Zombies that we dislike, but we are so blinded by our self-denial that we can’t see ourselves in the light of day.


I’m not a messenger of hope! Since I immersed myself in the study of Philosophy, I found new ways and venues to view and critique the world, life and each other, naked and free from any metaphysical conception. Some might think that my linguistic social construction is a bit radical, but it liberates me from my demons.

more about ammar khaleel


i give you god
by ammar khaleel
topic: writing
published: 11.28.03

happily never after!
the return of tedium
by ammar khaleel
topic: writing
published: 4.6.08


ammar khaleel
3.21.08 @ 11:40p

I'm also working on a follow up column (part II) that covers happiness and meaning through our Zombie like everyday activities.

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