The Necessity of a New Enlightenment
The Enlightenment era gave us many voices whose wisdom we could now most utilize, given the woeful state of the world, the United States included, which was founded on Enlightenment principles and Natural Law.
Men of power will always form a cult of greed if not counterbalanced by those who would hold their feet to the flames on behalf of humankind and the natural world; however, such great minds at the moment are disorganized, dysthymic, and have not sufficiently awakened to the fact that we each hold responsibility for this world, depression over current events be damned. Who else will rise to the challenge of putting the powerful in their place if not those of us who rightfully give a damn, and for whom the stakes are highest?
Enlightenment thinkers were revolutionaries, believing strongly in a mission transcending themselves alone. They believed their very purpose was to “do the great work to which we have been called: to cultivate, enlighten, and ennoble the human race” (Weiland, 127–8).
But at the same time, they, too, we’re discouraged by passive lamentation, or even rage--without action.
“…People ask for more light…but my God, what good is all that light, if people either have no eyes, or if those who do have eyes, resolutely keep them shut?” (Lichtenberg, 90).
It will take those of us who most give a damn to then “rise like the sun and burn”…perhaps inspiring others to do the same.
We have much to lose, but much more to gain if we only show an innate sense of courage.
Further commentary on Enlightenment principles will be forthcoming; please visit http://www.humanitas.site to sign up for notification of articles beginning July 1, 2017.