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Summary : Anthony Gottlieb’s landmark The Dream of Reason and its sequel challenge Bertrand Russell’s classic as the definitive history of Western philosophy. Western philosophy is now two and a half millennia old, but much of it came in just two staccato bursts, each lasting only about 150 years. In his landmark survey of Western philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance, The Dream of Reason, Anthony Gottlieb documented the first burst, which came in the Athens of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Now, in his sequel, The Dream of Enlightenment, Gottlieb expertly navigates a second great explosion of thought, taking us to northern Europe in the wake of its wars of religion and the rise of Galilean science. In a relatively short period—from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution—Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark. The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy. As Gottlieb explains, all these men were amateurs: none had much to do with any university. They tried to fathom the implications of the new science and of religious upheaval, which led them to question traditional teachings and attitudes. What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves and for our ideas of God? How should a government deal with religious diversity—and what, actually, is government for? Such questions remain our questions, which is why Descartes, Hobbes, and the others are still pondered today. Yet it is because we still want to hear them that we can easily get these philosophers wrong. It is tempting to think they speak our language and live in our world; but to understand them properly, we must step back into their shoes. Gottlieb puts readers in the minds of these frequently misinterpreted figures, elucidating the history of their times and the development of scientific ideas while engagingly explaining their arguments and assessing their legacy in lively prose. With chapters focusing on Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Pierre Bayle, Leibniz, Hume, Rousseau, and Voltaire—and many walk-on parts—The Dream of Enlightenment creates a sweeping account of what the Enlightenment amounted to, and why we are still in its debt.
Summary : "His book...supplant[s] all others, even the immensely successful History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell."—A. C. Grayling Already a classic, this landmark study of early Western thought now appears in a new edition with expanded coverage of the Middle Ages. This landmark study of Western thought takes a fresh look at the writings of the great thinkers of classic philosophy and questions many pieces of conventional wisdom. The book invites comparison with Bertrand Russell's monumental History of Western Philosophy, "but Gottlieb's book is less idiosyncratic and based on more recent scholarship" (Colin McGinn, Los Angeles Times). A New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Best Book, and a Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2001.
Summary : Fictions of Enlightenment is the first book to examine the fascinating and intricate relationship between Buddhism and the development of Chinese vernacular fiction. Qiancheng Li brings Buddhist models to bear on the vision, structure, and narrative form of three classics of late imperial literatureJourney to the West, Tower of Myriad Mirrors, and Dream of the Red Chamberarguing that by fashioning their plots after the narratives of certain Mah?y?na sutras, the novelists transformed Buddhist concepts into narrative structures. Within the traditional Chinese novel Li even defines a new genre: the fiction of enlightenment.
Summary : "With this profound and magnificent book, drawing on his deep reservoir of thought and expertise in the humanities, James MacGregor Burns takes us into the fire's center. As a 21st-century philosopher, he brings to vivid life the incandescent personalities and ideas that embody the best in Western civilization and shows us how understanding them is essential for anyone who would seek to decipher the complex problems and potentialities of the world we will live in tomorrow." --Michael Beschloss, New York Times bestselling author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 "James MacGregor Burns is a national treasure, and Fire and Light is the elegiac capstone to a career devoted to understanding the seminal ideas that made America - for better and for worse - what it is." --Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author Revolutionary Summer Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling historian James MacGregor Burns explores the most daring and transformational intellectual movement in history, the European and American Enlightenment In this engaging, provocative history, James MacGregor Burns brilliantly illuminates the two-hundred-year conflagration of the Enlightenment, when audacious questions and astonishing ideas tore across Europe and the New World, transforming thought, overturning governments, and inspiring visionary political experiments. Fire and Light brings to vivid life the galaxy of revolutionary leaders of thought and action who, armed with a new sense of human possibility, driven by a hunger for change, created the modern world. Burns discovers the origins of a distinctive American Enlightenment in men like the Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and their early encounters with incendiary European ideas about liberty and equality. It was these thinker-activists who framed the United States as a grand and continuing experiment in Enlightenment principles. Today the same questions Enlightenment thinkers grappled with have taken on new urgency around the world: in the turmoil of the Arab Spring, in the former Soviet Union, and China, as well as in the United States itself. What should a nation be? What should citizens expect from their government? Who should lead and how can leadership be made both effective and accountable? What is happiness, and what can the state contribute to it? Burns's exploration of the ideals and arguments that formed the bedrock of our modern world shines a new light on these ever-important questions.
Summary : In the modern era Sigmund Freud observed that the most common dreams are typically the product of our anxieties and preoccupations. The prevalence of common dreams has spawned mechanistic type theories by contemporary scientists hypothesizing the inconsequentiality of all dreams. In this book I have attempted to balance the slate by consolidating information as to the function and meaning of dreams, and the transcendent possibilities they represent. In contrast to the aforementioned quasi scientific theories, rich Dream Yoga traditions attribute mystical and trans-personal value to some classes of dreams. Tibetan Buddhist Dream Yoga masters, along with teachers from other traditional cultures, recognizes that, while it is true that many dreams are relatively inconsequential in regards to content, some dreams have great significance.
Summary : Against the backdrop of ever-increasing nationalist violence during the last decade of the twentieth century, this book challenges standard analyses of nation formation by elaborating on the nation’s dream-like hold over the modern social imagination. The author argues that the national fantasy lies at the core of the Enlightenment imaginary, embodying its central paradox: the intertwining of anthropological universality with the primacy of a cultural ideal. Crucial to the operation of this paradox and fundamental in its ambiguity is the figure of Greece, the universal alibi and cultural predicate behind national-cultural consolidation throughout colonialist Europe. The largely unpredictable institution of a modern Greek nation in 1830 undoes the interweaving of Enlightenment and Philhellenism, whose centrifugal strands continue to unravel the certainty of European history, down to the current internal predicaments of the European Community or the tragedy of the Balkan conflicts.
Summary : This book tells nothing less than the story of how the modern, Western view of the world was born. Cultural and intellectual historian Anthony Pagden explains how, and why, the ideal of a universal, global, and cosmopolitan society became such a central part of the Western imagination in the ferment of the Enlightenment - and how these ideas have done battle with an inward-looking, tradition-oriented view of the world ever since. Cosmopolitanism is an ancient creed; but in its modern form it was a creature of the Enlightenment attempt to create a new 'science of man', based upon a vision of humanity made up of autonomous individuals, free from all the constraints imposed by custom, prejudice, and religion. As Pagden shows, this 'new science' was based not simply on 'cold, calculating reason', as its critics claimed, but on the argument that all humans are linked by what in the Enlightenment were called 'sympathetic' attachments. The conclusion was that despite the many tribes and nations into which humanity was divided there was only one 'human nature', and that the final destiny of the species could only be the creation of one universal, cosmopolitan society. This new 'human science' provided the philosophical grounding of the modern world. It has been the inspiration behind the League of Nations, the United Nations and the European Union. Without it, international law, global justice, and human rights legislation would be unthinkable. As Anthony Pagden argues passionately and persuasively in this book, it is a legacy well worth preserving - and one that might yet come to inherit the earth.
Summary : The first authoritative and accessible single-volume history of philosophy to cover both Western and Eastern traditions, from one of the world's most eminent thinkers The story of philosophy is the story of who we are and why. An epic tale, spanning civilizations and continents, it explores some of the most creative minds in history. But not since the long-popular classic Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy, published in 1945, has there been a comprehensive and entertaining single-volume history of this great, intellectual, world-shaping journey. With characteristic clarity and elegance, A. C. Grayling takes the reader from the worldviews and moralities before the age of the Buddha, Confucius and Socrates through Christianity's capture of the European mind, from the Renaissance and Enlightenment on to Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre and, finally, philosophy today. Bringing together these many threads that all too often run parallel, he surveys in tandem the great philosophical traditions of India, China and the Persian-Arabic world. Accessible for students and revelatory to enthusiasts of philosophy, Grayling's narrative brings to life the work of both famous historical figures and less well-known but influential thinkers, bridging epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, political philosophy and the history of debates within these areas of enquiry. He dramatizes the interchange between and within eras and epochs, making thrilling the grand dance of human thought. He asks what we have learned, but also what progress is still to be made. Destined to be Grayling's magnum opus, and astonishing in its range and accessibility, this is a landmark work.
Summary : Encouraged by Eckhart Tolle, Awake Joy is a unique and comprehensive guide to awakening and enlightenment. It points to the radiant joy that is beyond the thinking mind, the separate sense of self, its idea of separation and identification with form. Katie Davis takes the mind-identified reader through their personal growth strategies to awakening. She then deepens to Self-discovery or what we might call the realization of the Heart. The book then shifts to conscious living by embracing humanity's diversity and the earth as none other than the Essence. The journey requires presence, not practices, although the book offers experiments and meditations to free the ego. This book is designed to be your companion throughout your life's journey to true and lasting fulfillment. It will be a trusted resource again and again. This A-Z handbook stands free of concepts and points pragmatically for those who are ready to surrender suffering for themselves, their families, the schools and the world
Summary : A MASTERPIECE of illuminative writing, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing is mandatory reading for anyone following a spiritual path. Part exposé and part how-to manual, this is the first book to explain why failure seems to be the rule in the search for enlightenment, and how the rule can be broken. :: Book One of Jed McKenna's Enlightenment Trilogy. Contains Bonus Material.
Summary : INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
Summary : Waking from the Dream presents a very precise view of the Buddhist path to enlightenment. It offers profound insights into the complex concepts that are not easily definable, such as suffering, self, mind, reality, and truth. Writing with the highest level of realization, the author attempts to anticipate and answer the many questions that will arise as one begins practicing Buddhism and starts down the path to enlightenment.
Summary : What is Ascension and self awareness? What are the Akashic Records? What is the Book of Truth? Who are the Council of Light? What is Light Language? Why am I here? What is my soul’s path? What am I supposed to be doing, my purpose? Why does this type of situation keep happening? Why do I feel so drawn to this particular person? We all find ourselves asking at least some of these questions lately, or at some point in our life, wishing and hoping for divine guidance to just help us in these confusing times. The good news is we are not alone and there is a plan and there are ways to get this. It is your soul’s plan that you came into this life and into soul incarnation with. Your Akashic Records have the blueprint to your soul’s plan, the Book of Truth is the gateway out of the illusion of the dream world we’ve been told is the “real world”, and Akashic Enlightenment is the key and gateway to both leading you to your highest true soul self and a life of joy, abundance, freedom, peace and love. Through your own Akashic Records and the Book of Truth via Akashic Enlightenment you will be shown the divine wisdom and knowledge of your past, present, and future lives, alignment with your true soul self and the true laws of the universe as created by Creator / Source / God / All That Is outside of any illusory realities created by you or society. You will be helped to better understand and become self aware of who you really are as your highest true soul self and how your soul is experiencing the Ascension, or self awareness unveiling, underway at this time. You will clear old energy and/or thought patterns, stepping out of fears, traumas, and anxieties on all levels helping you move along and follow your soul’s path of higher awareness. Ultimately, strengthening your soul alignment to be and maintain your highest true self as this is truly the greatest service you can do for yourself and thus for anyone or anything else. Focus on your own self alignment and change your world and life forever! Get started and dive deep into your inner spiritual journey back to your True Self now! (A recommended practice for A Course In Miracles students as a way of receiving personalized and in the moment lessons and guidance on your current situations and current growth areas beyond completing ACIM.)
Summary : After Enlightenment: Hamann as Post–Secular Visionary is a comprehensive introduction to the life and works of eighteenth–century German philosopher, J. G. Hamann, the founding father of what has come to be known as Radical Orthodoxy. Provides a long–overdue, comprehensive introduction to Haman′s fascinating life and controversial works, including his role as a friend and critic of Kant and some of the most renowned German intellectuals of the age Features substantial new translations of the most important passages from across Hamann′s writings, some of which have never been translated into English Examines Hamann′s highly original views on a range of topics, including faith, reason, revelation, Christianity, biblical exegesis, Socrates, theological aesthetics, language, sexuality, religion, politics, and the relationship between Judaism and Christianity Presents Hamann as the ′founding father′ of a distinctly post–modern, post–secular theology and, as such, as an alternative to the ′postmodern triumvirate′ of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida Considers Hamann′s work as a touchtone of modern Jewish–Christian dialogue, in view of debates with his friend Moses Mendelssohn Explores Hamann′s role as the visionary founder of a ′metacritical′ movement that radically calls into question the basic principles of modern secular reason, and thus reprises the debate between those defending Hamann′s views and those labeling him the bête noir of the Enlightenment
Summary : Using the traditional Tibetan Buddhist framework of the Four Reminders—the preciousness of human birth, the truth of impermanence, the reality of suffering, and the inescapability of karma—Khandro Rinpoche explains why and how we could all better use this short life to pursue a spiritual path and make the world a better place. The book includes contemplative exercises that encourage us to appreciate the tremendous potential of the human body and mind.