The most important thing in any situation is the vital lesson that we are able to draw from it. The world is a classroom, and we are all students, good or bad ones.
The death of Prince Philip, lover and husband of Queen Elizabeth 11, has attracted diverse reactions from various quarters, worldwide. However, opinions will remain nothing but opinions, and I don’t bother myself to delve into what people fathom in their simple, or complex minds, as the case may be.
For me, facts are sacred, and only facts should be discussed publicly. Rumours should come alive, and rest only in our closets.
One of the interesting facts about the late Prince Philip, is that when he married Queen Elizabeth in 1947, he renounced his Greek citizenship and church, and became British, Anglican and a Royal Duke. But that’s not the main fact that piqued my curiosity.
In 1969, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh invited the Apollo 11 crew to the Buckingham Palace shortly after their return from the moon, impressed by their great achievement – as everybody was.
The Duke questioned them closely about their impressions and experience and the chatty astronauts replied by regaling him with the breathtaking visuals, how the moon rolled in by the window to their right by 5 am, just as hoped and how the experience was full of impossible silence and all of that.
Prince Philip later disclosed his impression of the US astronauts and spoke of them as men without depth and little wisdom.
He reflected that these were people who had gone the highest heights of all men and all they found was silence and a desolate, wasted and uninhabitable landscape, which he saw as mirroring the crowning of all our efforts as humans and our rise to great heights.
He was concerned that they did not see that philosophical part of their voyage but were limited to the ephemeral excitement of sights and sounds only.
From this period, he began to occupy himself with philosophy and even gathered a few people into a society of thinkers.
He was deeply impressed by the idea of the meaninglessness of achievement and the emptiness of life that he became a seeker of meaning and truth. If he ever found it, he now knows. Many thanks to John Ogunlela for this insight.
And I summarise in the words of Leonardo Davinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
May the soul of the departed rest in peace.