Posts Tagged ‘Renaissance’
Do you still believe “Future revolutions are for Liberty?”
Thomas Mann from “The Magical Mountain” (La Montagne magique). Photo from Littérature et Poésie‘s photo.
Thomas Mann – La Montagne magique
The Sacred Practical Necessities; (October 25, 2009)
Cultural transformation is the byproduct of practical necessities: Struggling for life and fearing of death. For example, by the time mankind got conscious of his ephemeral life (for many millennia, people didn’t get to live beyond the age of 30 at best) and that death is a certainty then, religion (the eminently among the sacred practical necessities) was created to cope with the consequences that resulted from that conscious fear, on the ground that, otherwise, no security or peace of mind could prevail within any organized society.
Religion might not have been invented right after we got conscious of our mortality, but necessarily as modern man realized that he is a special individuality. Then modern man got wary of producing mass hand tools for the tribe and took special care for individual designs such as specialty carved symbols on the tools, particular color combinations, drawing and painting that reflected feelings and awe toward the environment and the forces of nature. Painting, sculpting, and drawing symbols were the precursors for inventing a language as a practical necessity, first verbally and then, by written medium.
Death is chaos and life is a struggle to feed on death: a constant semblance of restructuring spiritual cohesion. Metaphysic, the precursor to religion, is but this longing to providing continuity between life and death so that our logical mind does not breakdown to smithereens: Sciences and technologies cannot provide definite and exact answers to everything. Metaphysics must have been substantiated because many people experienced a few supernatural events and realized that what is being physically sensed is not the whole story.
I believe that institutionalized religions grew after verbal communication was feasible by means of languages to harangue communities against the other infidel tribes. Religion, as a conscious culture, utilized the metaphysical potentials in man to codify its system of beliefs and then codifying a system of daily behavior, rules, and regulations.
Unfortunately, what was necessary at a period was utilized inevitably to dominate other tribes that believed or adopted different totems or sacred rites. An irreversible trend was set in motion: practical necessities generate cultures with counter productive results (theorized as necessary) to our evolution. That mental process is the foundation to our spiritual shortcomings to progress ethically and morally.
Religion and sciences have the same roots in the conscious and, though they evolved with different methodologies, they adopted the same procedure for impacting on the mind: They established consensus based on a few premises, struggled hard not change their system of beliefs and then, waited for a paradigm shift to transforming the traditional culture. The revolution of Luther and Calvin against the concept of Papal infallibility left intact the core obscurantist culture of Catholicism and Christianity which is viewing knowledge with suspicion, and specifically scientific knowledge, as the work of the devil. In fact, Protestantism went as far as considering philosophy as compromising the human mind.
The fundamental revolution came when people realized that if the Pope is fallible then, religion is consequently fallible and the quest for answers to fill the void in knowledge was resurrected with sciences. Cultural Revolution in Europe was made feasible because of three basic developments: the weakening of the central religious power in Rome, the invention of mass printing, and the focus on local languages such as German, French, and Italian instead of Latin (the language of central power). Hence, this frenzy in Europe of the 16th century Renaissance to translating the Islamic books (then the most advanced in sciences).
Historically, the Arab conquerors of the Near East region (that was part of the Byzantium Empire in Constantinople) relied on scholars in the Near East who wrote in the Greek language to re-translating the Greek classical work into Arabic and Syriac (also called Aramaic, the written language of the Land). Aramaic was the spoken language of the people and of Jesus. Damascus was selected to be the first Capital of the Arabic Dynasty of the Umayyad and Damascus saved the Greek language from oblivion.
The scholars of the Renaissance in Europe mastered both the Greek and Latin languages and could eventually refer to the original Greek manuscripts. Thus, the period of the Renaissance in Europe was a revolution against the failure of the Christian religion to satisfying the cultural transformation after the failure of the crusading campaigns to circumvent the essential trade routes (through Egypt) and the affinity of the Arabic/Islamic culture in Spain (from 800 to 1400 AC).
Most paradigm shifts could be classified as cultural transformations but a few could be conceived as cultural evolution; a qualitative jump in our knowledge of nature and man are related to concepts such as using symbols, verbal communications as a language, the written language, the concept that man and earth are not the center of the universe, that time is an intrinsic element of space such that no two events can be said to occur simultaneously, that man is not wholly master of his decisions, and that man is neither the crown of creation nor the peak of evolution.
The sacs of Rome, printing, Reform, and Renaissance; (August 24, 2009)
The writer and polemist The Aretin was a feared guy by Emperors and Kings; they were cowed into the defensive until their promises are obliged and delivered.
Aretin lived in Rome before 1525 and then moved to Venice to become a famous and respected personality. It happened that the illustrious painter Titian visited Rome in 1545 and was awed by what he discovered. Titian wrote to The Aretin describing his enchantment of Rome. The Aretin replied: “You are regretting that you didn’t visit Rome 20 years earlier. If you are awed by what you are seeing now then what you would have done observing Rome when I left it?”
This answer is truer nowadays than even 50 years ago.
Now you would say “If you had seen the Cote d’Azur, the Riviera, Peking, or Rio de Janeiro 50 years ago!”
No, this is not nostalgia matter. Rome was indeed ransacked in 1527 by the French at the order of Emperor Charles Quint. The invading troops looted almost everything for months during Pope Clement 7 who loved art and encouraged artists and learned people to settle in Rome.
Consequent to that ransacking most artists and learned spirit immigrated to various regions in Europe. The new printing discovery played as a catalyst for the Luther reformists and the dispersed artists and spread Renaissance in Europe.
Rome was ransacked several times by the Christian “heretics” coming from France, Germany, and central Europe.
Christian heretic sects evolved since 325 after the Nicee conclave and the following conclaves as Emperor Constantine decided to unite the divergent dogmas into an Imperial orthodox dogma. The heretics in the Orient fled Byzantium Empire to Persia, the Arab Peninsula, and reached China with their brands of Christianity.
Wars that invade key and civilized rich cities instead of subjugating entire countries and people had beneficial results to disseminating civilizations.