And wishful thinking without efforts is not a good thing. Have courage to use your own reason!” This was an immensely radical statement for this time period. But that’s because they are not enlightened. Individual Catholics did, however, at various times take part in the execution of witches, along with Protestants who also took part in witch hunts.”. It is therefore to Buddhist literature, somewhat reluctantly, that we look to for dialogue concerning the nature of Enlightenment. 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., “One of the questions I tackled in the booklet was “Did the Church burn witches during the Middle Ages?” The short answer is no. If there was a Self, where would it reside? The Buddhist variety of Enlightenment is, in secular terms, is — I believe — synonymous with the cessation of “Self”. “We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.”. What one does and who one chooses to be in the Here and Now is another thing. But what is it exactly? 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. supported the Enlightenment idea that people are naturally selfish. c. do not come from the government. Excommunicated troops acting against orders is Roman Catholicism, but the French Revolution isn’t representative of the Enlightenment? It is not the case, however, that upon breaking through the subject/object illusion that one is permanently Enlightened. 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. Hobbes thought people were naturally violent. It has deep spiritual context from Buddhism and eastern philosophy. When one is lost in thought — distracted — the existence of the Self is as good as irrefutable. Inevitably, we impose our stress and sadness, frustration and anxiety, upon our partners, parents, siblings, colleagues, friends. Monarchy, Royalty, Aristocracy is all of the Old Order! All valid questions. 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. 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. 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! The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions So on this thread we have two commonly used attacks against the Church generally grounded in misunderstanding. Or is gratitude journaling, ice bathing, and drinking coffee with grass-fed butter also necessary? In Nepal some 2600 years ago, give or take, one Siddhartha Guatama was born. Also legal would be any future authorized translations. Like most White men, Joyce sees the Enlightenment favorably, as a product of by and for White men. February 2, 2010 - 11:10am. 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. Wasn’t the enlightenment a revolt against those bad governments as well as the church. – 10 minutes; The Age of Enlightenment Guided Notes slides 1-5 … The Church, as an institution, did not authorize the execution of witches. b. the natural rights governing human behavior and society. 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 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. IMO the enlightenment was inevitable-an aspect of humanity’s growing pains. 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. Meditation, and the entire Enlightenment regime, is therefore perfectly consistent with the requirements of a world that requires our deliberate effort. We are not islands unto ourselves. How we live, how we move through the world, is largely a conceptual thing — ideas, beliefs etc. The world without a God-given standard gets itself in trouble sooner or later. This is true. It denies the afterlife and any supernatural end for humanity. Saṃsāra, stripped of the metaphysics, is therefore the realm of Self, whereas Nirvana is the world of Selflessness. — 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. Within a particular collection of neutrons? Within a particular centre of the brain? 3 Things Only Spiritual People Understand. 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 it didn’t enter the common parlance because of a sudden interest in esoteric psychology or eastern mysticism. It is the power to move with purpose, to live one’s time intentionally. Major Aspects of the Enlightenment: Philosophy. That is bogus. 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. In fact, it’s essential. Because without a focus on God, all moral values become relative. Saṃsāra, according to Buddhist thought, is the ordinary state of things — suffering, life and death, the illusion of self, the world of appearances etc. The Blessed Carmelites of Compiègne were guillotined on July 17, 1794. This line of argument, while on its face at least quasi-reasonable, is predicated on an erroneous view of the human predicament. -- In stark contrast to Enlightenment rationality, Rousseau emphasis the primacy of emotion as a means of attending the Truth. The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, began in Europe in the 1700s and spread to many parts of the world. In such a world of distraction, focus/concentration/awareness is the ultimate superpower. How did Hobbes’s views differ from those of Locke’s? They referred to this “new” way of thinking as ‘Reason’, and the product of reasoned experimentation — the doing — ‘Science’. Take the question at hand, What is Enlightenment? 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. What is an awakened intellect and who or what is a Buddha? Is it simply a matter of enough meditation and mind-altering chemistry? According to Lehner, reality is far more complex. Even so, he was discontent. In some sense, it is what we mean by freedom. ... Social institutions and education (basically "experience") are responsible for all that human beings learn, be it good or bad. John Locke believed that natural rights. In the end, he came to the conclusion: “Dare to know! Also don’t forget Roman Catholicism sacking of Constantinople. Here the proverbial Socrates may ask, but how do we know the Self is an illusion when our experience of Selfhood is so convincing? For official apologetics resources please visit, The French Revolution and the Carmelites of Compiègne. Spiritual Liminality: Coming to Terms with an Evolving Faith, Thoughts in Solitude: Celebrating Spiritual Victories. *Illusions are things that exist in the mind only but do not exist in nature. Rather, what the history renders apparent is that either such gurus are a) faking the whole Enlightenment thing or b) Simultaneously Enlightened and deranged. “For instance literally murdering a guy for just wanting to give English readers a Bible that can be read in their language.”. But it seems like the enlightenment just addressed a lot of the bad things the church was doing throughout history. Rather than authority or superstition, we should demand evidence to support our beliefs or truth claims. 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. Roman Catholicism sacking of Constantinople. That this is so is by no means a human failing, simply a function of the laws of human experience. It is heavily associated with the 18th century Enlightenment era, also known as the Age of … The … Enlightenment is a funny word. 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? I mean the inquisition was pretty bad. 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. There is no such thing as being ‘slightly lost in thought’ or ‘kind of connected to the ultimate nature of experience’. “Because what does not survive scrutiny cannot be real.”. Here, the whole Enlightenment thing does appear to be a phenomenon that stretches along a continuum. 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. We bring the quality of our experience to bear on our every interaction. 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? So where are you hearing all of this from? Even if such a state is, for some strange metaphysical reason, unattainable, it’s not all bad. There is no thinker of thoughts, no homunculus between the ears pulling strings or calling shots. Heaven on earth, religion-inspiring type stuff. Time allocation is, after all, a function of mind. They would have complete control. The main problem is enlightenment makes humanity confined to this world alone. Enlightenment is therefore little more than concentration, concentration fixed on the nature of awareness itself. 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. The Self is, as they as, an “illusion”. 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. 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. Today, the Age of Enlightenment is synonymous with the Scientific Revolution. 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. 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. 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?) A gross oversimplification of the Tyndale and his Bible to the point of error. Imagine you’re walking down the street and you come across what appears to be a snack coiled up on the sidewalk. The goals of the Enlightenment were knowledge, freedom, and happiness. Need the world really be a bowl of sunshine before we can swim in it? I see this in the words of many of our Church leaders, for one. Enlightenment is often conflated with some platonic ideal of a human being, perfection embodied. John Locke thought that people were neither good nor bad innately. However, when we are facing the light we sometimes are oblivious of the shadows we cast on those near us. You’re either one or the other. For those who have not experienced the blissful freedom of Selflessness, Enlightenment as Selflessness probably sounds a little underwhelming — disappointing even. Then it remains merely a wish. 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. 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). Philosopher Immanuel Kant asked the self-same question in his essay of the same name. Powered by Discourse, best viewed with JavaScript enabled, : The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. Explain. ), the Church halted science because it censured Galileo for using Scripture to support his then unsupported claims? While it’s a very different kind of Enlightenment, it is nevertheless equally significant. Enlightenment is merely the difference between being asleep at the wheel and awake. Admittedly, it’s possible that this is all true. Naturally, it scares the shit out of you. Is there anything to this type of claim? 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. 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. Together, they catalysed the Industrial Revolution which begot the Digital Revolution, and the rest is of course History. What is Enlightenment? Spirituality and Religion — Are They the Same? Just as our well-being is infectious, so too is our suffering borne by those around us. If one looks at the track record of Enlightened “gurus” or spiritual leaders throughout history, this is not the story that emerges. The church also was causing a lot of oppression and persecution of free thinkers. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Growing up, he was also, by accounts, highly intelligent and compassionate, not to mention tall, handsome and strong. Far from a selfish endeavour, tending to the quality of our experience is therefore among the most selfless acts we can partake in. Experience and action in the world are, though related, two seperate programs. And then there is of course the problem of how to attain it. 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 Enlightenment. Judaism believes that for an ideal world there must be a focus on both God and man. It is more than conceivable, therefore, that even the most ethically abhorrent gurus through time have possessed genuinely profound/Enlightened states of mind. * Cutting through the illusion of the self brings one closer to the factual realities of existence. 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. Why is this bad? Again, this may be the case. One may also appeal to neuroscience in order to illustrate the logic of Selflessness. The word Enlightenment is a western translation of Bodhi, Sanskrit for the knowledge/wisdom/awakened intellect of a Buddha (Budh meaning “to awaken”). 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. 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. In particular, the fields of philosophy, science, and politics were forever changed. But, what to make? They also stopped the development of science as well as oppressing minority groups like Jews. Siddhartha was, in every sense of the word, blessed. Before people start getting into the Inquisition, just to be clear, because of the Inquisition, these nuns deserved to die? Obviously killing nuns isn’t good but the French Revolution isn’t the wholeness of the enlightenment. The enlightened man would cure whatever ailed society by using human reason alone, and human power. The fact it took you a couple posts just to call the martyrdom of Catholic nuns bad makes me concerned. If you desire for enlightenment and don't do anything to deserve it then it's not gonna help you. For instance, is it a finite and binary phenomenon, as in you’re either Enlightened or you’re not? While confronted by the sickness and suffering around and within him, Siddhartha one day stumbled upon a meditator who sat in deep absorption. 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. 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. 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. This was/is Buddha’s big insight. That’s why many countries moved towards democracy and republics. As such, the quality of our experience is not confined to our own minds. The Good, the Bad, and the Enlightenment. What does that mean? Over the next six years he met various meditators and learnt some things. It’s sure hard to imagine, but plausible enough. Debra Wink. One can't be for the Old Order and look at the Enlightenment as a "good thing". 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. I guess my question is why is the enlightenment viewed so negatively by Catholics? a. — where Nirvana is inner peace, impermanence, selflessness, unity of all things. That change itself is always good, and that good intentions are sufficient to guarantee a good long-term outcome. Try reading far less biased sources, my fellow “Catholic”. 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. The Enlightenment mythology is based on several pillars: 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. The nature of Self is much the same. How did Hobbes's views differ from Locke's? All there is is electrochemical signals being sent across various regions of brain tissue. It’s a term that has inspired many a philosophy, religion, and cult the world over. To be free of the Self, for even the briefest moment, is tantamount to the highest form of well-being imaginable. Or is it more like an infinite continuum stretching the horizon towards ever greater Enlightenment? But it seems like the enlightenment just addressed a lot of the bad things the church was doing throughout history. 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. 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. After six days and nights, cutting through the various illusions of mind, he reached supreme and unsurpassed Enlightenment. The Enlightenment IS about destroying the Old Order and replacing it with "a better place" or the New Order!! 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. The Good, the Bad, and the Enlightenment. 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 … But it seems like the enlightenment just addressed a lot of the bad things the church was doing throughout history. Thomas Hobbes. 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. Choosing to see and anchor the + in every or most situations is that, a choice. What did the philosophers of the Enlightenment seek to understand? So far your only defense of the Enlightenment has been “Well the Catholics were bad”. because it lead to the church losing most of its power! And certainly reading these translations was not only legal but also encouraged.". Enlightenment is one of the (if not the) most alluring human concepts. 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. God-given values ar… “All separation in time and space disappeared. As in, one may be more or less frequently connected to the Selflessness of experience. 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. I assure you, however, that it’s not. Enlightenment thought was also attacked for not criticizing the emerging capitalist systems. It does not imply a particular destination. The thinkers of the Enlightenment objected to the absolute power of the royal rulers and of the Roman Catholic church. 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. I hear a lot of Catholics talk negatively about the enlightenment because it lead to the church losing most of its power! One may, and almost invariably will, continue to find themselves distracted by thought. 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. 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. 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. The best way to answer it is by way of analogy. At the moment of Enlightenment, “all veils of mixed feelings and stiff ideas dissolved and Buddha experienced the all-encompassing here and now”. For example, look into the reformers oppression, torture and slaughter of Anabaptists, for one. There are two ( ) opposing forces which both have a pull. ... Is this a good or a bad thing? Stuff like that. Now, suddenly, reason was f… As soon as one applies sufficient concentration, however, the experience of Self drops away, leaving only awareness itself. 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. Which act could be considered an acceptance of the social contract? I’m talking about all the doctors and scientists who were burned as witches for like several hundred years. This is a bad thing. which by the way is on the back of the US dollar bill. But what does that even mean? However, through practice, one will find themselves so less and less. 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. In other words, there is more to flourishing, more to the Good Life, than mere Enlightenment. When their eyes met, they had a bit of a moment and Siddhartha became mesmerised. I’m not sure that provides … 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. What bad thing did the Church do that required these nuns to lose their heads? They used reason, or logical thinking, and science to attack this power. 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. One of the major philosophical developments of the Enlightenment was rationalism. No matter where we look, there is nothing to find.
2020 was the enlightenment good or bad