Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Europe Renaissance

No connection with interpreting “Holy Books”: Arab Renaissance demands other mass meetings in Tahrir Squares…

I keep reading the same broken records where consequences are switched for the causes of Renaissance in many periods of history.  The recurring proposal is: “Renaissance were consequent to religious Books being permitted to be interpreted…”

For example, authors keep repeating that Europe Renaissance in the 15th century was consequent to the Protestant schisms against the dominant Catholic Church exclusive interpretation of the Bible…

Facts are that Protestantism in Europe generated dozen of rigid sects with much stricter religious dogma that refused any interpretations of their Bibles and harvested many victims and acted worse than the Catholic Church of the period…

Wrong deduction, of how the renaissance of people spirit emerges.

Renaissance is a period of affluence, of generated wealth, of openness to outside wealth and cultures, dynamic trading with the others in economic and cultural terms, secured by a climate of free expression and free gathering…In a Renaissance period, the spirit of the people is up and ready to get engaged and acquire more knowledge and wealth.  In this environment, the clerics are pressured to retreat and converse among themselves and re-interpret the religious books to match this rebellious mood of the people for more happiness, pleasure and zest for life.

The Arabic Empires in the East and West (Spain) experienced several renaissance periods of affluence and explosion in scientific research and economic development: One of the consequences was a frantic re-interpretation of the Coran (Koran) to suit the spirit of the period…

It is during periods of dire miseries, famine, military operations…when people are down and feeling crushed that the religious clerics, supported by the monarchs and califat, revert to rigid comprehension of the religious Books “word for word, descending from God and even written by God…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and demanding: “We are hungry and want to eat, we are sick and want to heal, we are oppressed and we want to participate in life, we are educated and we want jobs, we are poor and we want free education to all…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and chanting: “We are isolated and want to communicate with other people and cultures, we are crushed and we want to connect with other civilizations, we are confronted with obsolete mentalities and we want to be freed and open to the wide world…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and proclaiming: “We didn’t revolt so that clerics rule us, we didn’t resist dictators and the brutal forces of oppression so that we are submitted to the rules of antiquated and obsolete Books, we didn’t lose an eye, been beaten, physically handicapped, and many of us killed…so that we are hoarded into more obscure prisons of the mind and dealt with archaic judicial system of the bedouin period…”

We don’t want the girls to be re-educated to the family customs and traditions of the Wahhabi sect

Arab Renaissance has nothing to do with the re-interpretation of outdated and obsolete Books that teaches nothing of any value to learn and live in our present and be part of mankind progress…

Arab Renaissance is getting liberated from centuries of constraints and re-learning to read the current world with fresh eyes and young heart and larger mind..

Arab Renaissance will come when one city, anywhere in the Arab World, experiences a period of affluence, sustained economic wealth, direct interactions with foreign cultures and civilizations, and the people feeling secured in their freedom of expression, freedom to gather, freedom to interact with the other (regardless of genders, race,religion, class status….

Renaissance has nothing to do with interpretation of any Holy Book.

The Arab revolutionary spirit is being fooled to wait for the re-interpretation of the Coran…as if the Coran was not reinterpreted several times…

As if the living is waiting for the clerics to give the green light for the modern Arab Renaissance

Go back to Tahrir Squares and discuss Arab Renaissance, and avoid discussing religious abstract notions that no one will ever know, and no one will ever experience.

The all-time freest spirit: Humanist Montaigne

The French essayist Michel Eyquem, known as Montaigne (1533-1592), died a century after the Americas were “discovered”:  He read and heard eye-witness accounts of what pains, suffering, and crimes against humanity the America Indians have been submitted to.

He wrote in his Essays (Book 3):

“Everyone labels barbarian behaviors, customs not of his own usage or habit observed in other tribes or new people.”  This is pretty relevant in all generations, in all ethnic people, and in all religions.  This is valid for the European, the Americans, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the French, the German, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Russians, the Catholics, the Moslems… in every decade and century, all the way to our “modern time”.

Every colonial power imposed their own customs and system of beliefs on “barbarians” they invaded and then exploited to replenish empty crown treasuries.

Montaigne was the eldest of five boys and three girls and inherited the estate of Montaigne. In this 16th century, smack in Europe Renaissance and religious wars between the Protestants (Calvinists, Anabaptists, and Huguenots of France) and the Catholics of papal Rome, the French humanist Montaigne wrote:

”I try to get moving.  Life is movement of matters and bodies; it is an imperfect action of its essence and deregulated.  I work at serving life.  I brag to meticulously embracing the commodities of life and I find but wind.  But are we not partners of the wind?  The wind howls, is agitated, does not desire stability or solidity.  Vanity is the wisdom of the wind and mankind.”

In 1571, Montaigne decided to retreat from politics, the court, and social responsibilities but the isolation was short-lived:  In 1572, the regent of France, Catherine of Medici, fomented the religious massacre of St. Barthelemy against the Huguenots all over France.

Bordeaux in the Perigor province was the bastion of the Huguenots Protestants.  Catholic Paris clamped down on the Huguenots several times.  Montaigne wrote:

I am Christian in the same title as I am from Perigor.”

Montaigne didn’t give religious belief any weight surpassing the reality of existence and communication among people and daily trade.  King Henry IV, the contemporary and friend of Montaigne converted to Catholicism in order to be crowned King of France. Historians coined this phrase to Henry IV: “Paris is worth convertin.”, but it is not true that he said it

Montaigne tours Europe for a year in 1580.  He travelled in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy and had to cut his trip short as he was elected mayor of Bordeaux for two years.  Montaigne said in the introduction of his Essays:

I do not teach; I tell stories.”

What follows are a few quotations from Montaigne that demostrate his humanistic tendencies:

Mankind has no communication whatsoever with his entity

“Human eyes perceive things only through the forms of their knowledge

“I like my friend La Boetie (Montaigne’s colleague in the Bordeaux city parliament) because he is what he is; because I am what I am…”

“He may be as wise as he wishes to be; but finally, he is a man:  That he is more archaic, more miserable, and more of the void.”

Wise principles cannot impress upon our natural conditions

Note:  Leonor was the only daughter of nine who survived to beget Montaigne’s grandchild named Francoise de la Tour Montaigne in 1591, a year before he died.

Is this a challenging time?  Any news?

In the 16th century, smack in Europe Renaissance and religious wars between the Protestants (Calvinists, Anabaptists, and Huguenots of France) and the Catholics of papal Rome, the French humanist Montaigne wrote:

“I try to get moving.  Life is movement of matters and bodies; it is an imperfect action of its essence and deregulation.  I work at serving life.  I brag to meticulously embrace the commodities of life and find but wind.  But are we not partners of the wind?  The wind howls, is agitated, does not desire stability or solidity.  Vanity is the wisdom of the wind and mankind.”

Amid the growing calamities and instabilities of our current world, people are learning to improvise, to adapt to ever-increasing change.

People are rediscovering the potency of weaker links in society, friendship, acquaintances, and in couples.  The stronger links of religion, marriage, and workplace are no longer available or convincing in our isolation.

People are discovering that life is a series of accidents. Taking risks is the name of the game:  The higher our fragility the more powerfully we act and improvise; the greater the magnitude for change the freer we become to evolve and resume life.

We are recognizing that our ultimate purpose is living and learning to steal longer and more frequent moments of joy, happiness, and pleasure.

We are readier to admit that active desires in what we already own and have is the essence of living instead of desiring what we are lacking or are missing from the past.

We are living in a most challenging period and we are adapting to be resilient and are resisting the moods of giving up the fight and struggle to surviving.

The 12th century Japanese poet Nokiosuki wrote: “I may have to live to the time as I long for this moment of utmost sadness and recall it tenderly.”

Note:  The subject of this article was inspired by the French book “The gusto for living and one hundred other essays” by Andre Compte-Sponville (2010)

Did Tamerlane (Timor Lank) Create Empires?

There is this army commander of the 14th century who kept his army on the march longer (for over 25 years) and crossed more lands than Alexander, Genghis Khan, or Attila and conquered more Empires and was never defeated and slept in his tent, outside city-limits, even in his Capital Samarkand (in current Uzbekistan).

The Persian gave him the nickname Lank because he was slightly lame in one leg.  This is Timor Lank who was not the son of any Monarch, prince, or even a tribal leader.

Timor Lank was from the Caucasus region (probably around the region of Azerbaijan and Chechnya (I get pretty upset when history authors fail to located current geographical areas and just paste the ancient names).

He was a Moslem and veneered Imams and clerics claimed to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammad’s family, and who wore the black turban.

Otherwise, he didn’t give a hoot about Moslems when conquering lands and people. He killed mostly Moslems since the vast area of his operations were mostly Islam Land.

For example, he built pyramids of skulls: 60,000 heads in Asfahan (Iran), 3,000 in Aleppo, and many other skull pyramids in India…

First, Timor Lank chased out the Tatar “Golden Hordes” (led by a descendant of Genghis Khan) along the Volga River (current Russia) and burned and sacked all their cities and villages.  He did not resume his operations, but by the end of his war, the Golden Hordes were weakened and displaced.  It was the fate of the Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, to finish off the job against the Tatars in the 16th century and expand his Empire. You may claim that Tamerlane ultimately created current Russia.

Timor Lank captured Samarkand and made it its Capital.

He descended on Persia and conquered this Empire and beheaded over 60,000 of the population in Isfahan and piled up the head in shapes of pyramids.  This city surrendered peacefully and Timor Lank had no plans to occupy it; he was just crossing!

It happened that for a few cases of rape within the city by Timor Lank’s garrison of 500 soldiers, the inhabitants slaughtered the soldiers.  Timor Lank was camping outside city limit, always in his tent. And the reaction was a nightmare on the city inhabitants.

The commander moved on toward Turkey in 1400.  The Turkish Sultan army was completely demolished and the Sultan was put in a tiny cage so that Timor Lank could use it as a stool to mount his horse. This commander could have conquered all of Turkey, but instead he headed south to enter Aleppo and Damascus in Syria.

If Timor Lank had not vanquished the Turkish army then the Byzantium Capital of Constantinople would have fallen 50 years earlier along with most of Europe.

There would be no Western Europe or the Renaissance:  at that time, the enmities between Genoa and Venice was at its zenith, the Kingdom of Poland was weak, there was no Russian Empire, and the King Henry of Portugal had not begun challenging the high seas to discover new routes to India and the Far East.

And the King of France Charles 8 would not have entered and ruined Rome and displaced the skilled artisans and thinkers, located and concentrated in Papal Rome, to all over western Europe that started the Renaissance.

In the 13th century, the Mameluke Sultan of Egypt had moved out from Egypt with his army and defeated the Mogul army of Hulagu in Palestine around 1250.  This time around, the Mameluke Sultan did not venture to come out to rescue his vassals  in Syria.

Damascus put up a serious fight, but Timor Lank tactics were always to destabilize any city before setting siege.  The skilled people in Syria and Palestine were sent to build and develop Samarkand. (That is the story of the Levant since antiquity: armies conquer The Levant to capture its skilled workers.)

The Ottoman Sultan would later defeat the Mameluke Sultan in the 16th century and conquer Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and all North African countries.

Timor Lank conquered Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

One of Timor Lank offspring would establish the Mogul Empire in India (the Punjab) that lasted over 5 centuries.  The British Empire would finally take over all of India by the end of the 19th century, but failed to retain Afghanistan after two bloody massacres of its troops.

The British had drawn the current borders among Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Kashmir.  As well as drawing many other borders in the Middle-East and Africa with colonial France

This ruthless commander Tamerlane was getting ready to march on China when he died at the age of 63.

Note:  My published novel on “Rainbow over the Levant” is set in that time period.

Einstein speaks on theoretical sciences; (Nov. 15, 2009)

I intend to write a series on “Einstein speaks” on scientific methods, theoretical physics, relativity, pacifism, national-socialism, and the Jewish problem.

In matter of space two objects may touch or be distinct.  When distinct, we can always introduce a third object in between. Interval thus stays independent of the selected objects; an interval can then be accepted as real as the objects. This is the first step in understanding the concept of space. The Greeks privileged lines and planes in describing geometric forms; an ellipse, for example, was not intelligible except as it could be represented by point, line, and plane. Einstein could never adhere to Kant’s notion of “a priori” simply because we need to search the characters of the sets concerning sensed experiences and then to extricate the corresponding concepts.

The Euclidian mathematics preferred using the concepts of objects and the relation of the position among objects. Relations of position are expressed as relations of contacts (intersections, lines, and planes); thus, space as a continuum was never considered.  The will to comprehend by thinking the reciprocal relations of corporal objects inevitably leads to spatial concepts.

In the Cartesian system of three dimensions all surfaces are given as equivalent, irrespective of arbitrary preferences to linear forms in geometric constructs. Thus, it goes way beyond the advantage of placing analysis at the service of geometry. Descartes introduced the concept of a point in space according to its coordinates and geometric forms became part of a continuum in 3-dimensional space.

The geometry of Euclid is a system of logic where propositions are deduced with such exactitude that no demonstration provoke any doubt. Anyone who could not get excited and interested in such architecture of logic could not be initiated to theoretical research.

There are two ways to apprehend concepts: the first method (analytical logic) resolves the following problem “how concepts and judgments are dependents?” the answer is by mathematics; however, this assurance is gained at a prohibitive price of not having any content with sensed experiences, even indirectly. The other method is to intuitively link sensed experiences with extracted concepts though no logical research can confirm this link.

For example: suppose we ask someone who never studied geometry to reconstruct a geometric manual devoid of any schemas. He may use the abstract notions of point and line and reconstruct the chain of theorems and even invents other theorems with the given rules. This is a pure game of words for the gentleman until he figures out, from his personal experience and by intuition, tangible meanings for point and line and geometry will become a real content.

Consequently, there is this eternal confrontation between the two components of knowledge: empirical methodology and reason. Experimental results can be considered as the deductive propositions and then reason constitutes the structure of the system of thinking. The concepts and principles explode as spontaneous inventions of the human spirit. Scientific theoretician has no knowledge of the images of the world of experience that determined the formation of his concepts and he suffers from this lack of personal experience of reality that corresponds to his abstract constructs.  Generally, abstract constructs are forced upon us to acquire by habit. Language uses words linked to primitive concepts which exacerbate the difficulty with explaining abstract constructs.

The creative character of science theoretician is that the products of his imagination are so indispensably and naturally impressed upon him that they are no longer images of the spirit but evident realities. The set of concepts and logical propositions, where the capacity to deduction is exercised, correspond exactly to our individual experiences.  That is why in theoretical book deduction represents the entire work.  That is what is going on in Euclid geometry: the fundamental principles are called axioms and thus the deduced propositions are not based on commonplace experiences. If we envision this geometry as the theory of possibilities of the reciprocal position of rigid bodies and is thus understood as physical science, without suppressing its empirical origin, then the resemblance between geometry and theoretical physics is striking.

The essential goal of theory is to divulge the fundamental elements that are irreducible, as rare and as evident as possible; an adequate representation of possible experiences has to be taken into account.

Knowledge deducted from pure logic is void; logic cannot offer knowledge extracted from the world of experience if it is not associated with reality in two way interactions. Galileo is recognized as the father of modern physics and of natural sciences simply because he fought his way to impose empirical methods. Galileo has impressed upon the scientists that experience describes and then proposes a synthesis of reality.

Einstein is persuaded that nature represents what we can imagine exclusively in mathematics as the simplest system in concepts and principles to comprehend nature’s phenomena. Mathematical concepts can be suggested by experience, the unique criteria of utilization of a mathematical construct, but never deducted. The fundamental creative principle resides in mathematics. The follow up article “Einstein speaks on theoretical physics” with provide ample details on Einstein’s claim.


Einstein said “We admire the Greeks of antiquity for giving birth to western science.” Most probably, Einstein was not versed in the history of sciences and was content of modern sciences since Kepler in the 18th century: maybe be he didn’t need to know the history of sciences and how Europe Renaissance received a strong impulse from Islamic sciences that stretched for 800 years before Europe woke up from the Dark Ages. Thus, my critique is not related to Einstein’s scientific comprehension but on the faulty perception that sciences originated in Greece of the antiquity.

You can be a great scientist (theoretical or experimental) but not be versed in the history of sciences; the drawback is that people respect the saying of great scientists even if they are not immersed in other fields; especially, when he speaks on sciences and you are led to assume that he knows the history of sciences.  That is the worst misleading dissemination venue of faulty notions that stick in people’s mind.

Euclid was born and raised in Sidon (current Lebanon) and continued his education in Alexandria and wrote his manuscript on Geometry in the Greek language.  Greek was one of the languages of the educated and scholars in the Near East from 300 BC to 650 AC when Alexander conquered this land with his Macedonian army.  If the US agrees that whoever writes in English should automatically be conferred the US citizenship then I have no qualm with that concept.  Euclid was not Greek simply because he wrote in Greek. Would the work of Euclid be most underestimated if it were written in the language of the land Aramaic?

Einstein spoke on Kepler at great length as the leading modern scientist who started modern astronomy by formulating mathematical model of planets movements. The Moslem scientist and mathematician Ibn Al Haitham set the foundation for required math learning in the year 850 (over 900 years before Europe Renaissance); he said that arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and math should be used as the foundations for learning natural sciences. Ibn Al Haitham said that it is almost impossible to do science without strong math background.  Ibn Al Haitham wrote mathematical equations to describe the cosmos and the movement of planets. Maybe the great scientist Kepler did all his work alone without the knowledge of Ibn Al Haitham’s analysis but we should refrain of promoting Kepler as the discoverer of modern astronomy science. It also does not stand to reason that the Islamic astronomers formulated their equations without using 3-dimensional space: Descartes is considered the first to describing geometrical forms with coordinates in 3-dimensional space.




July 2020

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