For a while, in the nineteenth century, it was common for the Enlightenment to be attacked as the liberal work of utopian fantasists, with critics pointing out there were plenty of good things about humanity not based on reason. Enlightenment is a funny word. It has deep spiritual context from Buddhism and eastern philosophy. Meditation, Consciousness, Enlightenment, Spirituality; ... Obviously there is good and bad. For Enlightenment without Reason is a waste of potential, and Reason without Enlightenment is a waste of experience. Lastly, the idea that Enlightenment requires the renunciation of all material possessions and the seclusion of a cave is nothing but a trope. How did Hobbes's views differ from Locke's? Enlightenment is therefore little more than concentration, concentration fixed on the nature of awareness itself. I see this in the words of many of our Church leaders, for one. Stuff like that. Where it gets funky, however, is when one begins claiming that Saṃsāra is the realm of death and rebirth — as any pureblood Buddhist is want to do — whereas Nirvana is where one ends up once one has broken free of the shackles of karma, alongside other such claims about the nature of mind and universe. They also stopped the development of science as well as oppressing minority groups like Jews. Approaching his 30th birthday, he came to the realisation that no amount of worldly pleasures or conditioned experiences could provide lasting happiness or insulate one from the suffering that plagues the human condition. What’s the most direct path? That’s why many countries moved towards democracy and republics. If desire for enlightenment is supported by unshakable faith in God, love and devotion, sincere effort and complete surrender to God, it's not at all a bad thing. Inevitably, we impose our stress and sadness, frustration and anxiety, upon our partners, parents, siblings, colleagues, friends. And with Truth comes power, the power to influence or control the world around us, the power to influence and control our own lives, to rise above our base instincts and live with the better angels of our nature. And wishful thinking without efforts is not a good thing. Need the world really be a bowl of sunshine before we can swim in it? When their eyes met, they had a bit of a moment and Siddhartha became mesmerised. Naturally, it scares the shit out of you. If one looks at the track record of Enlightened “gurus” or spiritual leaders throughout history, this is not the story that emerges. Think of it this way: our operating systems — our modus operandi for moving through the world — are made of values and ideas that are layered through and on top of experience. A common criticism of the whole Enlightenment program — the first one, not the other one — is that it requires, rather ironically, a level of self-centredness that borders on pathological. Enlightenment is one of the (if not the) most alluring human concepts. What did the philosophers of the Enlightenment seek to understand? Past, present, and future, near and far, melted into one radiant state of intuitive bliss as he became timeless, all-pervading awareness.” Ultimately, Siddhartha Guatama became Buddha, the Awakened One. Hobbes thought people were naturally violent. This line of argument, while on its face at least quasi-reasonable, is predicated on an erroneous view of the human predicament. If you desire for enlightenment and don't do anything to deserve it then it's not gonna help you. In bettering our own vibes, we are by extension bettering the vibes of those we travel round the sun with — and that’s what it means to better the world. It’s sure a trippy idea and either depressing as shit or hopeful as a daisy depending on one’s perspective. But there is definitely also -. What is at stake here is more than a matter of the influence of personalities, or questions of good or bad faith (did cynical enlightened absolutist rulers abuse naive philosophes? Or is gratitude journaling, ice bathing, and drinking coffee with grass-fed butter also necessary? Have courage to use your own reason!” This was an immensely radical statement for this time period. Together, they catalysed the Industrial Revolution which begot the Digital Revolution, and the rest is of course History. The eighteenth century was a century of mind-boggling change; when Europeans entered the nineteenth century, they lived in a world that barley resembled the beginning of the eighteenth century. But that’s because they are not enlightened. Also legal would be any future authorized translations. Mind is the arbiter of time, the ultimate source of productivity. It is heavily associated with the 18th century Enlightenment era, also known as the Age of … The reality, for the overwhelming majority of us, is that our problem is not that we don’t have enough time, rather that we struggle to spend what time we have wisely. In some highly idealised version of things, ten minutes spent meditating is ten minutes spent not solving climate change or the AI Alignment problem or pandemic preparedness or global poverty or any other of the long list of global problems. They would have complete control. There is no thinker of thoughts, no homunculus between the ears pulling strings or calling shots. But it seems like the enlightenment just addressed a lot of the bad things the church was doing throughout history. To be free of the Self, for even the briefest moment, is tantamount to the highest form of well-being imaginable. And I believe we’re moving on now-to even greater enlightenment informed by God’s revelation, His light. IMO the enlightenment was inevitable-an aspect of humanity’s growing pains. One may also appeal to neuroscience in order to illustrate the logic of Selflessness. Even if such a state is, for some strange metaphysical reason, unattainable, it’s not all bad. ). Whether or not it’s possible to realise some final state of ‘ultimate Enlightenment’ wherein one will never again be distracted by thought — never again suffer the illusion of Self — is of course hard to say. Rather than authority or superstition, we should demand evidence to support our beliefs or truth claims. because it lead to the church losing most of its power! It is possible, I suggest, for one to be both grounded in the ultimate nature of the awareness — Enlightened — and morally/ethically twisted. Judaism believes that for an ideal world there must be a focus on both God and man. We can be — if we choose, if we put in the work — sources of light in the world, beacons of love and joy and calm and peace and all the good stuff. This is a bad thing. Over the next six years he met various meditators and learnt some things. If it’s a real possibility, a landscape of mind available to us all, how are we to get there? https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/the-real-story-of-the-fourth-crusade. The Good, the Bad, and the Enlightenment. Enlightenment is merely the difference between being asleep at the wheel and awake. Before focusing on the allocation of the latter, it stands to reason that the focus should instead be on the on the nature of the former. Just as our well-being is infectious, so too is our suffering borne by those around us. This knowledge should provide a level of contentment. While the two may be correlated, and surely are, there is nothing intrinsic to the phenomenon of being connected to the true nature of consciousness that would imply right or ethical conduct. For official apologetics resources please visit, The French Revolution and the Carmelites of Compiègne. Choosing to see and anchor the + in every or most situations is that, a choice. Set to become a great king or spiritual leader, he mastered the arts of combat, even winning his wife — you wouldn’t believe — in an archery contest of all things. Even if it is necessary to qualify Gay’s exaggerated claim that Enlightenment was responsible for all good, the Christian religion, and Catholicism in particular, could be thought responsible for the bad. I just think that the Church is beginning to understand and gain the ability to spread the knowledge of God and the experience of His love as never before, even in the midst of her own struggles right now. What is Enlightenment? John Locke believed that natural rights. At the moment of Enlightenment, “all veils of mixed feelings and stiff ideas dissolved and Buddha experienced the all-encompassing here and now”. How we live, how we move through the world, is largely a conceptual thing — ideas, beliefs etc. *Illusions are things that exist in the mind only but do not exist in nature. Rather because of science. Again, this may be the case. Like most White men, Joyce sees the Enlightenment favorably, as a product of by and for White men. While the Buddhist literature has much to say on the question — connection to the true nature of mind, ultimate or supreme awareness and so forth — it uses the dichotomy of Saṃsāra / Nirvana to illustrate the idea. So on this thread we have two commonly used attacks against the Church generally grounded in misunderstanding. But while we aren’t in control of the mechanical cause-effect relationship between human minds, we do have control — a truly astounding degree in fact — over the quality of those relationships. The problem, however, is not with how the idea makes us feel, rather that we have no good reason for believing it to be true. Despite the establishment of the Dominicans and their houses near Sonborne and other universities across Europe, despite all the contributions of the Church throughout history for science (the Big Bang, cells in biology, etc. In this scenario, there would be no debate concerning whether or not the percept in question is a snake or a rope, for it is clear as soon as one applies concentration that the object is a rope. What is an awakened intellect and who or what is a Buddha? One can't be for the Old Order and look at the Enlightenment as a "good thing". Heaven on earth, religion-inspiring type stuff. c. do not come from the government. They used reason, or logical thinking, and science to attack this power. In some sense, it is what we mean by freedom. However, when we are facing the light we sometimes are oblivious of the shadows we cast on those near us. According to Lehner, reality is far more complex. I guess my question is why is the enlightenment viewed so negatively by Catholics? In other words, there is more to flourishing, more to the Good Life, than mere Enlightenment. What about the opportunity cost argument, the notion that every moment spent meditating or working on oneself is a moment not spent solving the world’s problems? Here, the whole Enlightenment thing does appear to be a phenomenon that stretches along a continuum. b. the natural rights governing human behavior and society. Siddhartha was, in every sense of the word, blessed. The English slaughter of hundreds of Catholics during the penal times. Saṃsāra, stripped of the metaphysics, is therefore the realm of Self, whereas Nirvana is the world of Selflessness. Debra Wink. It is not the case, however, that upon breaking through the subject/object illusion that one is permanently Enlightened. When one is lost in thought — distracted — the existence of the Self is as good as irrefutable. There are documented cases of criminals blaspheming so that they would be transferred to the Inquisition…which was considered much more merciful than the secular courts of the time. We bring the quality of our experience to bear on our every interaction. The Galileo case, for many anti-Catholics, is thought to prove that the Church abhors science, refuses to abandon outdated teachings and is not infallible. The Enlightenment mythology is based on several pillars: With practice, such experiences become more regular and longer in duration. “We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.”. Polical Ideas of the Enlightenment The Swiss philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed in individual freedom Rousseau believed that people are naturally good, but power corrupts them; Free people form a social contract with gov’t based on the common good of the people Rousseau’s ideal gov’t was centered on a direct democracy The nature of Self is much the same. Change: For Good or Bad" The Enlightenment is a name give by historians to an intellectual movement that was predominant in the Western world during the 18th century. Towards the end of the 17th century, a cast of cats — predominantly white European men — started playing round with a special type of thinking and doing, one that emphasised empirical observation and experimentation. — where Nirvana is inner peace, impermanence, selflessness, unity of all things. As in, one may be more or less frequently connected to the Selflessness of experience. supported the Enlightenment idea that people are naturally selfish. The fact it took you a couple posts just to call the martyrdom of Catholic nuns bad makes me concerned. In the end, he came to the conclusion: “Dare to know! In practice, however, ten minutes spent meditating is ten minutes spent not watching Netflix, Youtube binging, social media scrolling, or simply lost in thought. Change: For Good or Bad" The Enlightenment is a name give by historians to an intellectual movement that was predominant in the Western world during the 18th century. For instance, is it a finite and binary phenomenon, as in you’re either Enlightened or you’re not? I would agree that personal enlightenment requires introspection, “To know thyself.” Learning to know yourself gives you greater understanding of human nature (the good & the bad). ), the Church halted science because it censured Galileo for using Scripture to support his then unsupported claims? All there is is electrochemical signals being sent across various regions of brain tissue. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions It’s sure hard to imagine, but plausible enough. “Because what does not survive scrutiny cannot be real.”. The main problem is enlightenment makes humanity confined to this world alone. Ultimately, the Enlightenment does hold a deeply unpleasant side to its history. There is no such thing as being ‘slightly lost in thought’ or ‘kind of connected to the ultimate nature of experience’. the realm of Samsara into Nirvana — a place beyond space and time, life and death — where they will rest in eternity. John Locke thought people were neither good nor bad naturally. A gross oversimplification of the Tyndale and his Bible to the point of error. Explain. They could make irrational decisions and go crazy, be corrupted. Within a particular centre of the brain? which by the way is on the back of the US dollar bill. Roman Catholicism sacking of Constantinople. Because without a focus on God, all moral values become relative. It is more than conceivable, therefore, that even the most ethically abhorrent gurus through time have possessed genuinely profound/Enlightened states of mind. While confronted by the sickness and suffering around and within him, Siddhartha one day stumbled upon a meditator who sat in deep absorption. The Buddhist variety of Enlightenment is, in secular terms, is — I believe — synonymous with the cessation of “Self”. Just back from a week in Vermont, baking under the tutelage of Jeffrey Hamelman, I was itching to get into my own kitchen and fire up the oven. But what is it exactly? How did Hobbes’s views differ from those of Locke’s? What one does and who one chooses to be in the Here and Now is another thing. What bad thing did the Church do that required these nuns to lose their heads? Instead, we are all part of the intricate web of human experience, intimately and inextricably connected to other beings. And … It is the power to move with purpose, to live one’s time intentionally. Rather, what the history renders apparent is that either such gurus are a) faking the whole Enlightenment thing or b) Simultaneously Enlightened and deranged. That’s what the whole Enlightenment deal is about. The basis of these metaphysical claims are supposedly direct insight, knowledge acquired through communion with the Divine itself. Even so, he was discontent. Start studying the enlightenment thinkers world history questions. The Good, the Bad, and the Enlightenment. What transpired we now refer to as the Age of Enlightenment. I read once that people used to commit blasphemy just to wind up in the hands of the Inquisition because they were more afraid of the local government. Take the question at hand, What is Enlightenment? Beyond the fight between whether American Exceptionalism is good or bad for the rest of the world, American exceptionalism has deep roots showing how it got to the status it is in today. The world without a God-given standard gets itself in trouble sooner or later. While it has ancient roots, the word Enlightenment came into popular use only recently. I’m talking about all the doctors and scientists who were burned as witches for like several hundred years. The goals of the Enlightenment were knowledge, freedom, and happiness. I'm using the author of the blog posts' description as he has experienced it. Then it remains merely a wish. While it runs counter to our current popular theories of knowledge, it’s possible that knowledge about the nature of the universe can be acquired through meditative insight, direct communion, as it were. 3 Things Only Spiritual People Understand. Individual Catholics did, however, at various times take part in the execution of witches, along with Protestants who also took part in witch hunts.”. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. For example, look into the reformers oppression, torture and slaughter of Anabaptists, for one. A single human spirit (consciousness) may undergo many cycles of death and rebirth — life, death, life, death, life, death and so on ad nauseam — until it finally attains Enlightenment at which point the cycle of life and death is broken, causing the spirit to transcend (in real-time or upon its final body death?) It does not imply a particular destination. That this is so is by no means a human failing, simply a function of the laws of human experience. Once you have you head straight about that, c’mon back and we’ll talk. It is therefore to Buddhist literature, somewhat reluctantly, that we look to for dialogue concerning the nature of Enlightenment. Meditation, and the entire Enlightenment regime, is therefore perfectly consistent with the requirements of a world that requires our deliberate effort. Why is this bad? Today, the Age of Enlightenment is synonymous with the Scientific Revolution. The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, began in Europe in the 1700s and spread to many parts of the world. Wasn’t the enlightenment a revolt against those bad governments as well as the church. It’s also binary, in that one is either concentrated on the nature of awareness, the Selflessness of experience, or they are lost in thought. The thinkers of the Enlightenment objected to the absolute power of the royal rulers and of the Roman Catholic church. That change itself is always good, and that good intentions are sufficient to guarantee a good long-term outcome. I assure you, however, that it’s not. All valid questions. But, what to make? Imagine you’re walking down the street and you come across what appears to be a snack coiled up on the sidewalk. The ideals of the Enlightenment are products of human reason, but they always struggle with other strands of human nature: loyalty to tribe, deference to authority, magical thinking, the blaming of misfortune on evildoers. The Church, as an institution, did not authorize the execution of witches. Powered by Discourse, best viewed with JavaScript enabled, : The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. The intellectual movement spans the better part of 150 years and had a profound impact on Western culture. Not that it’s worth much, but people have certainly claimed it to be realisable. But it seems like the enlightenment just addressed a lot of the bad things the church was doing throughout history. Now, suddenly, reason was f… However, it wasn’t until he got to a place called Bodhgaya, a week before his 35th birthday, when he decided that he would remain in meditation until he finally acquainted himself with mind’s true nature. ... Social institutions and education (basically "experience") are responsible for all that human beings learn, be it good or bad. Contrary to the idea that meditation is incompatible with “productivity”, it is in fact a powerful enabler. Over that time, ‘The Enlightenment’ has been accused of having its hand in every baleful moment of human history: it has been indicted as the destroyer of morality; the harbinger of selfish individualism; as a thief robbing human life of meaning; as being a form of cultural imperialism, and as being directly or indirectly responsible for everything from the Holocaust to global warming. Just because one may experience the loss of Self, why should that mean that the experience of Self is somehow on lower ontological footing than Selflessness? In such a world of distraction, focus/concentration/awareness is the ultimate superpower. Spiritual Liminality: Coming to Terms with an Evolving Faith, Thoughts in Solitude: Celebrating Spiritual Victories. The enlightenment was in many respects a continuation of a process which was begun by the Scientific Revolution. Because of the demand that religious people obey their dogma unquestioningly many problems have developed and the Enlightenment has, at minimum, encouraged worthwhile questioning of absolute conformity to doctrine whatever its source and the rise of technology, although not always a good thing, has, in general, lead to more human prosperity and innovative thought than total conformity to ancient … The best way to answer it is by way of analogy. * Cutting through the illusion of the self brings one closer to the factual realities of existence. Those under our shadows might feel we are treating them badly. The rest of the story is the age old one of how religions/cults/celebrities materialise. And certainly reading these translations was not only legal but also encouraged.". Time allocation is, after all, a function of mind. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority ; Embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change; THIS INCLUDED GOVERNMENT AS WELL! What does that mean? That is bogus. This is true. One may, and almost invariably will, continue to find themselves distracted by thought. Is there anything to this type of claim? Enlightenment is one of the (if not the) most alluring human concepts. Saṃsāra is illusion, in other words, while Nirvana is Enlightenment — what is True and Real. We are not islands unto ourselves. In fact, it’s essential. -- In stark contrast to Enlightenment rationality, Rousseau emphasis the primacy of emotion as a means of attending the Truth. In the context of a world where billions live in poverty and shit’s blowing up everywhere — a world that requires work — to concern oneself with one’s own “Enlightenment”, so the criticism goes, is a grossly unethical indulgence, a betrayal of one’s responsibilities to the world. While it’s a very different kind of Enlightenment, it is nevertheless equally significant. While we all seem to have some almost inborn understanding of what the word means, for how else would we explain its powerful resonance, we nevertheless seem to be rather hazy on the details and by default deeply suspicious as to whether or not it is in fact a genuine phenomenon or merely philosophical snake oil. Together, they’re lock and key. The Blessed Carmelites of Compiègne were guillotined on July 17, 1794. Monarchy, Royalty, Aristocracy is all of the Old Order! So where are you hearing all of this from? “All separation in time and space disappeared. Experience and action in the world are, though related, two seperate programs. Once you regather your shit, however, you realise that what appeared to be a snake was not a snake at all but rather a coiled rope. Spirituality and Religion — Are They the Same? The thing with Buddhism is that it centres around some extraordinarily deep, empirical insights into the human condition, those gleaned by the Buddha himself, but is unfortunately shrouded in unnecessary metaphysical and esoteric baggage. I see it more as typical jew arrogance, as the criminal claiming responsibility, boasting about their crime long after they imagine anything can be done about it. Having gleaned this insight, really the central insight, Siddhartha left his family and royal life, setting out on a journey to realise the treasures of mind. The Enlightenment IS about destroying the Old Order and replacing it with "a better place" or the New Order!! Or is it more like an infinite continuum stretching the horizon towards ever greater Enlightenment? Being connected to the true nature of experience, the Great Perfection, does not imply a certain way of life nor a particular hairstyle or a special affinity for Birkenstocks. For it’s hard to overstate the benefit to well-being that puncturing experiencing with this insight, even if such experiences are only ever highly ephemeral. See, most of us walk around as if we were a Self — a voice, a personality, a thinker of thoughts — that lives behind our eyes and between our ears. So far your only defense of the Enlightenment has been “Well the Catholics were bad”. And then there is of course the problem of how to attain it. David Brooks, a writer for the New York Times, discusses the topic of the French Enlightenment versus British Enlightenment in his article Two Theories of Change. 6 years ago. Saṃsāra, according to Buddhist thought, is the ordinary state of things — suffering, life and death, the illusion of self, the world of appearances etc. I hear a lot of Catholics talk negatively about the enlightenment because it lead to the church losing most of its power! Why not reverse the claim and suggest that it’s the ephemeral moments of Selflessness that’s the illusion? It might in fact be the case that the universe and human consciousness is structured in such a fashion that a human life is not a singular phenomenon — that is, confined to a single meatsuit occupying a single slice of space and time — but is rather some kind of cyclical deal. Thomas Hobbes. It’s a term that has inspired many a philosophy, religion, and cult the world over. Through the application of Reason, Enlightenment thinkers espoused, we could attain Truth. The … https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/what-witch-hunts-can-teach-us-about-charity-and-fear, “One of the questions I tackled in the booklet was “Did the Church burn witches during the Middle Ages?” The short answer is no. Major Aspects of the Enlightenment: Philosophy. What began as nothing but a secular methodology for reducing suffering and connecting with the ultimate state of mind — meditation — was then converted/perverted into a religion known as Buddhism. Should Christians take part in ‘Pride’? You’re either one or the other. Just as a mastery of mathematics or carpentry won’t emerge from the experience of Enlightenment, neither will a perfect social or ethical framework. In Nepal some 2600 years ago, give or take, one Siddhartha Guatama was born. There are good reasons to admire the Enlightenment as a cultural movement. In particular, the fields of philosophy, science, and politics were forever changed. But it seems like the enlightenment just addressed a lot of the bad things the church was doing throughout history. However, through practice, one will find themselves so less and less. If there was a Self, where would it reside? The Enlightenment by Satori The enlightenment and understanding of life and nature as it is can be reached after a crisis or a hard work of many years, often with many difficulties and suffering in the learning or it can be reached by Satori: a moment full of joy and complete inspiration. One of the major philosophical developments of the Enlightenment was rationalism. Good Things; Do Now – Fill out parenting checklist Introduction to the Enlightenment “Are people inherently good or bad?” Discussion – Hobbes and Rousseau’s ideas on whether you think people are good or bad. The enlightened man would cure whatever ailed society by using human reason alone, and human power. Enlightenment thought was also attacked for not criticizing the emerging capitalist systems. While there is obviously a lot of the former going on, for charlatans are everywhere, I suggest that the latter is equally prevalent. The church also was causing a lot of oppression and persecution of free thinkers. I would argue that sacking of Constantinople is just as evil. They referred to this “new” way of thinking as ‘Reason’, and the product of reasoned experimentation — the doing — ‘Science’. Admittedly, it’s possible that this is all true. Human beings, as one may have noticed, don’t live in vacuums. But what does that even mean? — a product of the contents or appearances in consciousness, whereas Enlightenment is simply about recognising the nature of consciousness and living in the Here and Now. The key insight of The Enlightenment, in many respects, was that nothing is to be taken for granted. “Are these the rights of man”? Previously, ideas like philosophy, reason, and science – these belonged to the higher social classes, to kings and princes and clergymen. ... Is this a good or a bad thing? As with any religion, or philosophy for that matter, if you can seperate the former from the latter — and not throw out the baby with the bath water — there is great value to be had. Try reading far less biased sources, my fellow “Catholic”. John Locke thought that people were neither good nor bad innately. Our well-being or lack thereof, by virtue of our interconnectedness, invariably affects the quality of the web of minds of which we are a part. Philosopher Immanuel Kant asked the self-same question in his essay of the same name. God-given values ar… Siddhartha was born into royalty, a prince, and was accordingly privy to all the indulgent pleasures of ancient princehood — “hundreds” of the finest women etc. Enlightenment is often conflated with some platonic ideal of a human being, perfection embodied. It was then that he realised that the ultimate perfection he had been seeking must rest inside the mind itself, not outside of it, as he had formerly supposed. It’s almost certain that the positive valence that characterises the underlying quality of consciousness is bound to shape one’s action in the world for the better, but there is nothing inevitable about it. The word Enlightenment is a western translation of Bodhi, Sanskrit for the knowledge/wisdom/awakened intellect of a Buddha (Budh meaning “to awaken”). Until we are overwhelmed with evidence to suggest this is Reality, however, I suggest it makes sense to take what is interesting and empirically verifiable within the Buddhist account of Enlightenment, and discard that which is interesting only. Which act could be considered an acceptance of the social contract? As such, the quality of our experience is not confined to our own minds. Also don’t forget Roman Catholicism sacking of Constantinople. I mean the inquisition was pretty bad. And that’s enough. The Self is, as they as, an “illusion”. But it didn’t enter the common parlance because of a sudden interest in esoteric psychology or eastern mysticism. After six days and nights, cutting through the various illusions of mind, he reached supreme and unsurpassed Enlightenment. No matter where we look, there is nothing to find. Before we can conscionably spend hours doing nothing but concentrating on the “true nature of awareness”, or any other such flowery nonsense, the world must be an oyster of peace and perfectly equal prosperity. But what is it exactly? Where traditional productivity literature emphasises ways to slice and dice and god bless “hack” one’s time, the Enlightenment deal flips this logic on its head, emphasising the quality and control of mind over the administration of time. Here the proverbial Socrates may ask, but how do we know the Self is an illusion when our experience of Selfhood is so convincing? because it lead to the church losing most of its power! There are two ( ) opposing forces which both have a pull. And even for those who buy the idea that Enlightenment is a real thing, something to aim for, something that can — even within the context of an all too finite human life — be realised, there is still far from a perfect uniformity of opinion concerning its finer details. Well, for a while it might be nice to have respect for civil rights, but when it becomes convenient or necessary (for various social or political reasons) to change that focus, then respect for human life becomes just another idea that goes out of style. We live in an age of unprecedented distraction, a world wherein the thread of our attention is being pulled at from a million different directions, a world wherein our attention has literally been commoditised. February 2, 2010 - 11:10am. Growing up, he was also, by accounts, highly intelligent and compassionate, not to mention tall, handsome and strong. a. If we put aside the fact that human suffering is the problem and that working on alleviating one’s own suffering is among the most leveraged solutions, there does seem to be some tension here, at least on first glance. Consider another psychological illusion. It denies the afterlife and any supernatural end for humanity. The Enlightenment. Obviously killing nuns isn’t good but the French Revolution isn’t the wholeness of the enlightenment. Within a particular collection of neutrons? This was/is Buddha’s big insight. Excommunicated troops acting against orders is Roman Catholicism, but the French Revolution isn’t representative of the Enlightenment? It’s a term that has inspired many a philosophy, religion, and cult the world over. It is this illusion — the sense that we are a thing that experience happens to rather than experience itself — that is the primary/ultimate source of human suffering. Enlightenment, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that emphasized the use of reason to advance understanding of the universe and to improve the human condition. “For instance literally murdering a guy for just wanting to give English readers a Bible that can be read in their language.”. Once enlightened, there is no good or bad as enlightenment is about, among other things, acceptance and no judgments. Experience is thus the base layer, the kernel of our operating system, but we depend on conscious ideas and values — the contents of consciousness — in order to act in the world, in the context of a society. While we all have a vague notion of who the Buddha was, some well fed cat who loved to meditate and wore a big smile, better understanding the story helps to contextualise the concept of Enlightenment. – 10 minutes; The Age of Enlightenment Guided Notes slides 1-5 … One may be grounded in love, compassion, and the blissful insight into the unity of all things, and yet nevertheless retain a taste for all kinds of pathological behaviour. Before people start getting into the Inquisition, just to be clear, because of the Inquisition, these nuns deserved to die? A charismatic figure — in this case Buddha — resonates on some visceral level and inspires a following of people who then project all their hopes and desires onto said figure, worshipping and evangelising, seeking in the object of worship that which is most absent in their own lives. https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/tyndales-heresy, " It is a fact usually ignored by Protestant historians that many English versions of the Scriptures existed before Wycliff, and these were authorized and perfectly legal (see Where We Got the Bible by Henry Graham, chapter 11, “Vernacular Scriptures Before Wycliff”). And this is not to say that darkness and ignorance do not also continue to march forward and broaden themselves. But as any good spiritual text will tell you, and as you may already know by way of experience, what we are is not a Self at all. As soon as one applies sufficient concentration, however, the experience of Self drops away, leaving only awareness itself. You seem to have more things to say against the Church for things she never condoned than you do against those parading the cause of the Enlightenment and their very deliberate slaughter of Catholics. Even when we have set goals for ourselves, when we have decided upon a direction for our lives, the path is notoriously hard to walk, paved as it is with neon signs of diverting temptation. Far from a selfish endeavour, tending to the quality of our experience is therefore among the most selfless acts we can partake in. Is it simply a matter of enough meditation and mind-altering chemistry? For those who have not experienced the blissful freedom of Selflessness, Enlightenment as Selflessness probably sounds a little underwhelming — disappointing even. I’m not sure that provides …