We have chosen the title, The New Enlightenment, for several reasons:
In general, we hope to provide enlightenment, cast light on, a number of social, metaphysical, and
intellectual issues at several different levels. We believe that social and metaphysical enlightenment, understanding of political-economic-social-spiritual issues, contributes to developing fully realized individuals.
- The Eighteenth century Enlightenment, as experienced in Europe and America, was an embodiment of the
Perennial Tradition, the secret legacy, the single stream of initiatory teaching working through all the great schools of philosophy and mysticism. The Enlightenment is a recent expression of the Perennial Tradition and is therefore one of the most easily understandable by modern people.
- The essays presented on this site will manifest the form of Plato's dialogues:
- Struggling against the world of delusion and tyranny and championing the world of truth and reality
- Engaging in social-political analysis, to determine how the order or disorder of a society shapes its citizens' minds and souls
- Safeguarding our minds and our souls by engaging in philosophy, in the sense of searching assiduously for the truth: what is really happening in the world
- Not advocating hatred or harm to those persons whose actions we expose as destructive; making clear how their actions are causing human suffering, misery, even death, but while denouncing their vile deeds to the utmost, retaining an understanding of and connection with them as fellow members of evolving humanity
- We want to help create an Enlightenment movement that embodies contemporary aims, a New Enlightenment leading to the development of cooperative commonwealth communities.
"There can be no real question that the Enlightenment promoted the cause of freedom, more widely, directly, positively than any age before it. It not only asserted but demonstrated the power of knowledge and reason in self-determination, the choice and realization of human purpose.
"For the first time in history it carried out a concerted attack on the vested interests that opposed the diffusion of knowledge and the free exercise of reason.
"As thinkers the men of the Enlightenment were conscious revolutionaries, very much aware of a 'new method of philosophizing' that amounted to a new living faith, the basis for a new social order."
Herbert J. Muller. (1964). Freedom in the Western World
- The New Enlightenment movement will explore the metaphysical and social roots of the Enlightenment principles. Because these foundational ideas are embodied in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, America and other industrialized nations still enjoy important freedoms.
But even with those advances, we must be realistic, as was Rousseau, in recognizing that people still "are everywhere in chains": chains of ignorance and delusion created by communication monopolies, and chains forged by class divisions in which the upper-class amasses obscene wealth, the middle-class suffers under wage and tax slavery, and the lower class toils under the ugly repressions of welfarism, poverty, and homelessness.
- We want to use the Internet to assist in creating this New Enlightenment. For more on this subject, see this article on the Internet and The New Enlightenment.
- The Internet can be the locus for new embodiments of such Enlightenment instruments as the French Encyclopedia, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, and the speeches of patriots such as Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Mason. In line with the progressive principles of the 18th century Enlightenment, this new Internet-assisted movement will include:
- Creating a periodically updated Encyclopedia of the most
important information in all major fields of study
- Rendering of information in simple, clear terms, so issues are understandable to the non-expert,
intelligent world citizen
- Focusing The New Enlightenment movement on major issues for human betterment
- Centering on a humanist-populist, practical, socially conscious
point of view
- Exposing political, religious, and social repressions which continue to degrade and destroy human
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