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The Faith vs Reason Debate

There can be no doubt that "Modernity" places a high value on Science and on Rationality whilst the relevance, or validity, of any attempts at Spiritual Insight are widely dismissed and disregarded.
Yet, over earlier centuries, Spiritual Insights were considered to be of great importance and Spiritual Wisdoms were sincerely repected.

It is actually the case that an acceptance that "valuable Spiritual Insights are possible" and an associated "Distrust of Reason" are very evident amongst the more profound teachings of the great faiths of the world as the following two quotations, from Christian sources, tend to demonstrate:-

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

St. Paul

If thou reliest more upon thine own reason or industry than upon the virtue that subjects to Jesus Christ, thou wilt seldom and hardly become an enlightened man; for God wishes us to be perfectly subject to Himself, and to transcend all reason by inflamed love.

Thomas a Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ Bk. 1 Ch. 4 v. 13

If such a thing as Spiritual Enlightenment is held to be possible surely should it be thought of as being moreso a form of Cognition or Perception associable with a profound spirituality than as being considered to be a result of Thought or a product of Rational Mental Processes.

One of the most evident ways in which this site's content "pushes boundaries" is through the inclusion of key quotations deriving from several World Religions!
Whilst quotations, from no fewer than seven prominent World Faiths, that express an acceptance that "valuable Spiritual Insights are possible" and an associated "Distrust of Reason", are available on our pages just one such quotation will now be offered, as an example, from a "non-Christian" source:-

Vivekananda was a Vedic scholar and Hindu sage who made an appearance at the Parliament of World Religions that convened in Chicago in 1893 and was generally recognised as having made a singularly important contribution to the proceedings:-

When there is conflict between the heart and the brain, let the heart be followed, because intellect has only one state, reason, and within that intellect works, and cannot get beyond. It is the heart which takes one to the highest plane, which intellect can never reach; it goes beyond the intellect, and reaches what is called inspiration. Intellect can never become inspired; only the heart when it is enlightened, becomes inspired. An intellectual, heartless man can never become an inspired man. It is always the heart that speaks in the man of love; it discovers a greater instrument than intellect can give you, the instrument of inspiration. Just as the intellect is the instrument of knowledge, so is the heart the instrument of inspiration.

The name-in-religion Vivekananda translates as - The Bliss of Discerning Wisdom!

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Whether we realise it or not most people, even though they might consider themselves to be quite un-spiritual and rather un-poetic, have a capacity which allows for a recognition of Profund Truths which have been "somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations.

It may even be the case that spiritual and poetic wisdom can help us to realise truths that are otherwise largely beyond our reach:-

...the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.

St. Paul

The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth. We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose ... We distinguish the announcements of the soul, its manifestations of its own nature, by the term Revelation. These are always attended by the emotion of the sublime. For this communication is an influx of the Divine mind into our mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have found it entirely possible to research into the Profund Truths that have been "captured and somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations!!!

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Some words of background context introduction to the important wisdoms we are attempting to identify as "Central Spiritual Insights" are probably necessary:-

Aldous Huxley & The Perennial Philosophy

Many commentators have claimed to have identified agreement about a range of "Spiritual-Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World across the ages!!!

Aldous Huxley, in the Introduction to his own, widely celebrated, study into such central agreement about "Spiritual Truths", first published as The Perennial Philosophy in 1945, wrote that:-
"Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditionary lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. A version of this Highest Common Factor in all preceding and subsequent theologies was first committed to writing more than twenty-five centuries ago, and since that time the inexhaustible theme has been treated again and again, from the standpoint of every religious tradition and in all the principal languages of Asia and Europe."
In this major anthology, (which has never gone out-of-print since first publication), Huxley accepted the proposition, deriving from Leibniz, a notably eminent scholar who was an early investigator into the Common Ground shared by The World Religions, that Religions concern themselves

"with the one, divine Reality"

and that

"the nature of this one Reality is such that it cannot be directly or immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfill certain conditions, making themselves loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit."

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Leibniz' usage of the term "The Perennial Philosophy" in relation to Comparative Religion seems to be to some degree associable with the use of that term in 1540 by Agostino Steuco, who was a librarian at the Vatican, in relation to studies that had been undertaken by an Italian Renaissance scholar, Marcilio Ficino, attempting to align ancient Greek writings with Christianity.
The results of exhaustive studies conducted by ourselves at Age-of-the-Sage.org into The Perennial Philosophy in relation to "Comparative Religion" were such as to lead us to also accept that "the one, divine Reality" is better discerned by those spiritually endowed with Charity, Purity of Heart and Humility. However, we came to believe Meekness to be another spiritual endowment which may well tend to contribute towards heightened powers of discernment.

This suggestion that Meekness is of immense spiritual value may not surprise.
More unexpectedly, perhaps, the outcomes of our comprehensive researches into the mysteries of Deep Spiritual Truth were also such as to suggest that it is appropriate to fully associate A Disdain for Materialism (compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration), and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment), with the centralities of The Perennial Philosophy.

Some truly extra-ordinary wisdoms ~ a brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources closely followed by another brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources ~ are set out below, (to be again closely followed by what seems to be a comparable selection of "Central Poetry Insights").

A selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources

These Christian quotations have been selected based on their inherent Spiritual Impact, (rather than whether they might be deemed to be Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox), and come from The New International Version of The Bible and from the 'Of the Imitation of Christ'; a fifteenth century devotional work that has long been the second most widely read Christian book after The Bible itself.
A Disdain for Materialism
Some have Me in their mouths, but little in their hearts.
There are others who, being enlightened in their understanding and purified in their affection, always breathe after things eternal, are unwilling to hear of earthly things, and grieve to be subject to the necessities of nature; and such as these perceive what the Spirit of Truth speaketh in them.
For it teacheth them to despise the things of the earth and to love heavenly things; to disregard the world, and all the day and night to aspire after heaven.

Thomas a Kempis - Of the Imitation of Christ Book 3 Ch. 4 v. 4

A Distrust of Intellect
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

St. Paul

A Yearning for Divine Edification
What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

St. Paul

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

St. John

Purity of Heart
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life...

St. Paul

Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

St. James

"Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources

A Disdain for Materialism
Chuang Tzu put on cotton clothes with patches in them, and arranging his girdle and tying on his shoes, (i.e. to keep them from falling off), went to see the prince of Wei.
"How miserable you look, Sir!" Cried the prince. "It is poverty, not misery", replied Chuang Tzu. "A man who has TAO cannot be miserable. Ragged clothes and old boots make poverty, not misery".

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

A Distrust of Intellect
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment; Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.

Rumi - (Islam)

A Yearning for Divine Edification
The intelligence of the mean man does not rise beyond bribes and letters of recommendation. His mind is beclouded with trivialities. Yet he would penetrate the mystery of TAO and of creation, and rise to participation in the ONE. The result is that he is confounded by time and space; and that trammelled by objective existences, that he fails apprehension of that age before anything was. But the perfect man, - he carries his mind back to the period before the beginning. Content to rest in the oblivion of nowhere, passing away like flowing water, he is merged in the clear depths of the infinite.

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am, who worships Me, being free from attachment and without hatred to any creature, this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me.

Bhagavad Gita ~ (Hinduism also known as Vedanta).

And my soul is absorbed
In the Love of My Lord.
Bow humbly to the saint
That is a pious act.
Bow to the ground before him
That is devotion, indeed.

The faithless know not,
The joy of the love of the Lord;

From Sohila-Arti ~ a bed-time prayer
This section of which is attributed to Guru Ram Das - (Sikhism)

Purity of Heart
The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Solomon - (Judaism)

Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.

Ansari of Herat - (Islam)

Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth! Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.

Dhammapada - (Buddhism)

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The Great Poets have also won many profoundly instructive insights.

Saints have no moderation, nor do poets,
just exuberance.
~ Anne Sexton

The following "Central Poetry Insights" quotations could be said to "somehow encapsulate" the same Truths just presented from Christian sources, and from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources.
A Disdain for Materialism
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.


A Distrust of Intellect
The intellectual power, through words and things,
Went sounding on, a dim and perilous way!


A Yearning for Divine Edification
God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;


That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.


Purity of Heart
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.


The best of men
That e'er wore earth about him, was a sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
The first true gentleman that ever breathed.

Thomas Dekker

Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,
Sh'hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been
As one in suff'ring all that suffers nothing,
A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgement are so well co-medled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please: give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.


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Our page-content will now turn to a more explicit coverage of the faith vs reason debate (whilst continuing to attempt to challenge the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins and others).
[An in-depth coverage of the deep similarities between the Core Mystical Teachings of the major World Religions is available here for those interested]!!!

Prominent "New Atheists", also known as The Four Horsemen.

faith vs reason debate or controversy
Image Credit:
Neil Davies - caricatureclub.co.uk

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This evidence as to agreement between The Great Religions as to what is Core Spiritual Truth gives rise to an irresistible opportunity to challenge Richard Dawkins, and the other "New Atheists", who have been so active in praising the value of "Reason" and "Science" and in dismissing Religious Faith.

The Great Poets join with The Great Faiths in tending to show an awareness of the importance of non-rational appreciation of spiritual truths:-

Distrust of the Intellect

Errors like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
John Dryden

Into the eye and prospect of his soul.
William Shakespeare

Here the heart
May give a useful lesson to the head,
And learning wiser grow without his books
William Cowper

Would he had been less full of borrowed knowledge! Then he would have accepted inspired knowledge from his father. When, with inspiration at hand, you seek book-learning, your heart, as if inspired, loads you with reproach. Traditional knowledge, when inspiration is available, is like making ablutions in sand when water is near. Make yourself ignorant, be submissive, and then you will obtain release from your ignorance.

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The Great Faiths tend to prefer "Inspiration" over "Thought":-

Enlightenment is not 'Intellectual'

A University Professor went to see Nan-in, a Zen Master, to find out more about Zen.
As their meeting continued Nan-in was pouring Tea and continued to pour even though the cup was overflowing. The Professor cried. "Enough! No more will go in!"
Nan-in replied "Like this cup you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

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Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
The Book of Proverbs

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The Parable of the Sower is, perhaps, the most "Enlightenment" related teaching of Jesus!!!

   Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times."

Then Jesus said, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear." ...

... Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop - some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.
He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear."
Jesus' teaching ~ as set out in St Mark's gospel Chapter 4

The Parable of the Sower actually features in three of the four, primary, "Canonical" Gospels - such that it is possible to attempt to derive deeper meaning by presenting the following alternative ending ~

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open."
~ as set out in St Luke's gospel Chapter 8

This "Parable of the Sower" could be said to suggest that Enlightenment does not appear to be Intellectual but may principally arise from keeping to spiritual teachings!!!

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A few quotes suggesting that Spiritual Wisdom,
although rare, is nevertheless attainable

In the Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy Aldous Huxley explicitly asserts that:-
"Knowledge is a function of being."
In other words, if you are not suited to knowing something, you can not know it.

From time to time we hear people sincerely describing other persons as being, or having been, "Wise and Good".
"Wisdom has its root in goodness, not goodness its root in wisdom."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We find this passage in Aldous Huxley's Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy:-
"In regard to few professional philosophers and men of letters is there any evidence that they did very much in the way of fulfilling the necessary conditions of direct spiritual knowledge. When poets and metaphysicians talk about the subject matter of the Perennial Philosophy, it is generally at second hand. But in every age there have been some men and women who chose to fulfil the conditions upon which alone, as a matter of brute empirical fact, such immediate knowledge can be had; "...

Emerson included this passage in his Essay "The Over-Soul":-
..."After its own law and not by arithmetic is the rate of the soul's progress to be computed. The soul's advances are not made by gradation, such as can be represented by motion in a straight line; but rather by ascension of state, such as can be represented by metamorphosis, ~ from the egg to the worm, from the worm to the fly. The growths of genius are of a certain total character, that does not advance the elect individual first over John, then Adam, then Richard, and give to each the pain of discovered inferiority, but by every throe of growth the man expands there where he works, passing, at each pulsation, classes, populations, of men. With each divine impulse the mind rends the thin rinds of the visible and finite, and comes out into eternity, and inspires and expires its air. It converses with truths that have always been spoken in the world,"...

Emerson is fairly well known-of as having been an influential writer and, as such, may be considered to have had many words at his disposal.
That being said the above selection may seem, in some readers' estimations, to be "wordy exaggeration".
In fairness to Emerson a few details from his biography may persuade that he personally "walked-the-walk" as a person-of-spirit as a younger man and that such "spiritual goodness" as he himself attained unto may have helped him to also attain unto "a degree of wisdom".

Emerson was born in 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts, into familial circumstances where seven close ancestors had been Ministers of Religion. Following on from graduating from Harvard University he himself extended that family tradition, becoming "approbated to preach" by an Association of Ministers in 1826, gaining an assistant minister's appointment in 1829, and then - resigning from this assistant ministry - in 1832.
Paradoxically, Emerson's resignation can be seen as an utterly sincere "Testament of Faith" rather than as a lapse in belief.

In his private journals over a few short weeks in the summer of 1832, just prior to this actual resignation of September, 1832, Emerson inscribed such passages as these:-
  I have sometimes thought that in order to be a good minister it was necessary to leave the ministry. The profession is antiquated. In an altered age, we worship in the dead forms of our forefathers. Were not a Socratic paganism better than an effete superannuated Christianity?

June 2, 1832

  Here among the mountains the pinions of thought should be strong and one should see the errors of men from a calmer height of love & wisdom. What is the message that is given me to communicate next Sunday? Religion in the mind is not credulity & in the practice is not form. It is a life. It is the order & soundness of a man. It is not something else to be got, to be added, but is new life of those faculties you have. It is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.

July 6, 1832

  I would think - I would feel. I would be the vehicle of that divine principle that lurks within & of which life has afforded only glimpses enough to assure me of its being. ...

July 14, 1832

And in concluding a sermon delivered to the congregation at the time of his resignation Emerson said:-

I am about to resign into your hands that office which you have confided in me. It has many duties for which I am feebly qualified. It has some which it will always be my delight to discharge according to my ability, wherever I exist. And whilst the recollection of its claims oppresses me with a sense of my unworthiness, I am consoled by the hope that no time and no change can deprive me of the satisfaction of pursuing and exercising its highest functions.

At that time Emerson had no sufficient reason to believe that he could establish himself as the most notable, Essayist, Lecturer and Man-of-Letters that he would eventually become ~ some years later.
An Emerson scholar named Alfred Riggs Ferguson has suggested that by "doffing the decent black of the pastor, he was free to choose the gown of the lecturer and teacher, of the thinker not confined within the limits of an institution or a tradition." This, later, Emerson has been described by Lawrence Buell in a prize-winning major biography, published to coincide with the two hundredth anniversary of Emerson's birth by a press affiliated with Harvard University, as having become "the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States"!

Emerson's principled Testament of Faith of 1832, associated as it would have been with a significant loss of worldly security consequent to his resignation, surely stands in contrast to the Agnosticism and " Atheism - Old and New " so widespread today.
It ought to be conceded that the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859, taken together with other scientific theories and discoveries, has provided much supportive material for Science and Reason in terms of the Faith vs Reason Debate - allowing for the emergence of mindsets where Science is held to be both credible and useful, and where Faith is held, in many areas where it has appeared to be opposition to Science, to be both incredible and superstitious.
It surely can be suggested that for many millions of persons such "rationalistic and reasoned" non-acceptances of faith have been extended, by inference, (over the recent decades since Darwin, in particular), even to teachings about Spirituality.

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Despite the fact that World Faith Teachings, (and Great Poets), can be shown to value "Inspiration" over "Thought" atheists often seem to be totally "Intellectually Convinced" of the reasonableness of their own positions!!!
It should not be overlooked that Aldous Huxley came from the famously skeptical Huxley family and went against an high-profile and established family tradition in becoming fascinated by faith spirituality!!!

His paternal grand-father was none other than 'Darwin's Bulldog', Thomas Henry Huxley who wrote in 1880:-
Some twenty years ago, or thereabouts, I invented the word 'Agnostic' to denote people who, like myself, confess themselves to be hopelessly ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about which metaphysicians and theologians, both orthodox and heterodox, dogmatise with utmost confidence.
Thomas Henry Huxley described how he came to originate the term "agnostic" as follows:-
When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure that they had attained a certain "gnosis"--had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble ... So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic". It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society ...
Perhaps equally remarkably Julian Huxley, an older brother to Aldous, was "the Richard Dawkins" of his day helping to found the American Humanist Association in 1933, becoming the first President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union in 1952, and of the British Humanist Association in 1963 (besides early in his career being an Oxford academic and later serving as the first appointee as Director-General of U.N.E.S.C.O. - the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (health permitting), Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris were announced, in the summer of 2011, as keynote speakers at a Global Atheist Convention - "A Celebration of Reason" - to be held in Australia early in 2012.

"This is the first time that the Four Horsemen have spoken together publicly in five years," said Atheist Foundation President David Nicholls. "Their best-selling books on atheism earned the group the moniker 'The Four Horseman of the Anti-Apocalypse', and fittingly so as they have been instrumental in bringing forth a new enlightenment in the face of growing irrationality, fundamentalism and superstitious thinking around the world."

[Christopher Hitchens was included in the projected panel of speakers at this event because of his high profile as a critic of religion and of what he articulately sought to portray as its negative influences on society.
It happened, however, that the ill-health he was known to have been suffering from actually claimed his life in December, 2011].

We at Age-of-the-Sage would like to sympathise with Christopher Hitchens' family and friends in their personal loss.
Whilst we did not share his views on Religion, or Politics, we found it necessary to maintain a healthy respect for his eloquence whilst accepting that he always sought to act as a person of principle in line with his own beliefs.

The 2012 Global Atheist Convention Opening Address was delivered by David Nicholls as president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia. A key section of this opening address being:-
... And where are we at this moment in time? We are celebrating reason, for as Bertrand Russell stated, "to save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true."

No holy book has promoted reason and no religion has even attempted to do so. In fact, revealed writings depend on the reader suspending reason in preference to believing statements on faith.

We should not be against people suspending reason, after all, it is their life, but we must be totally opposed to suspended reason being forced into the minds of children as a way of thinking. Children grow into voting adults, some become politicians, making laws for everyone.

Teaching young people how to think and not what to think is a prerequisite for a good and equitable civilisation. To avoid furture divisive sectarian societal dysfunction, faith indoctrination supported by secular governments must cease.

Reason has exponentially increased human understanding about medicine, food production, electronics, engineering, transport and population friendly political systems.

It is responsible for bringing us down from the trees and placing people on the moon, where the Earth has for the first time been viewed from a completely new perspective.

Reason has allowed us to work out that the universe is "very big indeed" with black holes comprised of millions of stars, with some stars billions of kilometres in diameter and trillions of planets orbiting others in a others in a cosmos nearly beyond description.

Reason has sent spacecraft from Earth to explore the far reaches of our solar system. It has enabled information about humans and other species to escape purposely into cosmos in a never-ending journey.

Reason has provided the tools to glimpse the smallest particles in huge atom-smashing colliders when brought together at nearly the speed of light. Most profoundly, reason has for a minute part of history, shown a few lucky generations how evolution has shaped everything we see about us.

Reason has brought humanity out of the dark-ages of superstition into the light of authenticated knowledge, based in empirical peer reviewed evidence.

The speakers and entertainers at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention are here to provide various perspectives about the ability of humans to use reason in problem solving, in improving the quality of life, in enhancing happiness and in being kinder to each other and the planet. ...

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Most people like to think that they hold a coherent view of the World and of Humanity's place in it.
In this regard it cannot be denied that here seems to be a divergency between deep-seated wellsprings of spiritual-poetic inspiration and feeling, and the more conceptual reasonings of the intellect, that continues to be difficult to reconcile.

The "Enlightenment is not Intellectual" specific and "Distrust of the Intellect" specific quotations sourced from persons of faith and the great poets displayed earlier featured contributions by some undoubted, (and ~ in cases ~ largely, or completely, undoubtable), authorities including A Zen Master, Solomon the Wise (often mooted as the principal author of the Book of Proverbs), Jesus' Parable of the Sower, John Dryden, William Shakespeare, William Cowper and Rumi (the most famous mystical poet in the Islamic World).

Spiritual Authorities would have us believe in "Faith-Related" Truths ~ scientists would have us believe in other Truths which they hold to be "Scientifically Valid".

Could it be that Human Beings are capable of d-e-e-p spirituality notwithstanding the "Rational" theories offered by Science?

Emerson interested himself fully in scientific matters. He read Darwin's 'Origin of Species' in 1860 (having previously read-up on other, less persuasive, evolutionary theorisings), and was, (in terms of the Faith vs Reason Debate as it played out in his own times), somewhat "jolted" away from the traditional Christian faith practices with which he was "culturally surrounded" and "culturally familiar" by what he saw as the far-reaching implications on the functioning of societies in terms of culture, outlook and faith practices, of initially, Copernicus' astronomical theory and also of other, subsequent, scientific theorisings.
He nevertheless persisted as a person-of-faith holding sincere spiritual beliefs!

Emerson saw societally disruptive effects of scientific discovery as impacting significantly on "Western" human lives since The Reformation to which such persons as Erasmus and Luther contributed in a cultural environment that was also ~ very tellingly ~ impacted upon by the scientific, that is to say astronomical, theorisings of Copernicus as set out in his 'Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres':-
... I think the paramount source of the religious revolution was Modern Science; beginning with Copernicus, who destroyed the pagan fictions of the Church, by showing mankind that the earth on which we live was not the centre of the Universe, around which the sun and stars revolved every day, and thus fitted to be the platform on which the Drama of the Divine Judgment was played before the assembled Angels of Heaven, ... This correction of our superstitions was confirmed by the new science of Geology, and the whole train of discoveries in every department. But we presently saw also that the religious nature in man was not affected by these errors in his understanding. The religious sentiment made nothing of bulk or size, or far or near; triumphed over time as well as space; and every lesson of humility, or justice, or charity, which the old ignorant saints had taught him, was still forever true.

From Emerson's "Historic Notes of Life and Letters in New England"
(penned circa 1867 ~ some six years after his reading of Darwin's "Origin of Species").

[Contemporary usages, in many contexts, of the words revolution and revolutionary, and ~ by extension ~ such expressions as "truly revolutionary" are derived by implicit associations of comparable upheaval with the unintended, but nevertheless extremely "societally disruptive", full implications of the ever more widespread acceptance of Copernicus' theory!

Actually, although Emerson does not detail this, Copernicus' novel approach, although influential, was somewhat confused in content and was later scientifically improved on by a mathematician named Kepler working with volumes of precise data that had been collected over many years by an astronomer named Tycho Brahe.
The theorising posited by Copernicus and Kepler concerning Heliocentrism, where the Sun is seen as being at the center of a system of planetary motion, was subsequently more broadly popularised as an outcome of a marked controversy centered upon one Galileo Galilei and the unauthorised publication, as far as then "societally controlling" Church authorities were concerned, of a work supportive of Heliocentrism.
Some decades later such astronomical theorising was given convincing mathematical expression in Isaac Newton's Laws of Motion.

Copernicus', Kepler's and Newton's approaches have today all been somewhat discounted, in terms of their relevance to an overall human understanding of things, given the acceptance by human reason of a scientific hypothesis holding there is an Expanding Universe consequent to an initial "Big Bang"].

Emerson saw potentially sublimely redemptive and illuminatory powers, highly beneficial to the individual and to society, to be available to being realised through spirituality!
... the doors of the temple stand open, night and day, before every man, and the oracles of this truth cease never, it is guarded by one stern condition; this, namely; it is an intuition. It cannot be received at second hand. ...

... it is still true, that tradition characterizes the preaching of this country; that it comes out of the memory, and not out of the soul; that it aims at what is usual, and not at what is necessary and eternal; that thus, historical Christianity destroys the power of preaching, by withdrawing it from the exploration of the moral nature of man, where the sublime is, where are the resources of astonishment and power. ...

... And what greater calamity can fall upon a nation, than the loss of worship? Then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple, to haunt the senate, or the market. Literature becomes frivolous. Science is cold. ...

... We have contrasted the Church with the Soul. In the soul, then, let the redemption be sought. ... It is the office of a true teacher to show us that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake. ...None believeth in the soul of man, but only in some man or person old and departed. Ah me! no man goeth alone. All men go in flocks to this saint or that poet, avoiding the God who seeth in secret. They cannot see in secret; they love to be blind in public. They think society wiser than their soul, and know not that one soul, and their soul, is wiser than the whole world. ...
These selections are from Emerson's Divinity School Address of 1838.

We need presumably have no doubt that if Emerson were alive today he would still be capable of expressing such opinion as:-

... the religious nature in man is not affected by (scientifically proposed) errors in his previous understanding. The religious sentiment makes nothing of bulk or size, or far or near; triumphs over time as well as space; and every lesson of humility, or justice, or charity, which the old ignorant saints have taught him, are still forever true.

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Religions have comforted and guided most of Mankind for many thousands of years.
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Although the "Westernised" world is currently going through a particularly agnostic and atheistic phase we like to think that our Spiritual Insights Quotations related contribution to the Faith vs. Reason Debate or Controversy will help to remind people of the profundities possible to faith.

The findings of our investigations into the Timeless Wisdoms that have been handed down as World Faith Teachings help to richly demonstrate that there are Central teachings about Spirituality which can definitely be shown to retain an unimpaired relevance to peoples lives alongside the Creationism which is most directly challenged by Science.

"You will hear things like, 'Science doesn't know everything.' Well, of course science doesn't know everything. But, because science doesn't know everything, it doesn't mean that science knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to be watched by a few million people now on television, for these lights to be working, for quite extraordinary miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approaches towards understanding it. And as Wittgenstein quite rightly said, 'When we understand every single secret of the universe, there will still be left the eternal mystery of the human heart.'"

Stephen Fry quoting Wittgenstein during a Room 101 TV program of March 2001

Religion deals with the truths of the metaphysical world just as chemistry and the other natural sciences deal with the truths of the physical world. The book one must read to learn chemistry is the book of nature. The book from which to learn religion is your own mind and heart. The sage is often ignorant of physical science, because he reads the wrong book - the book within; and the scientist is too often ignorant of religion, because he too reads the wrong book - the book without.

Vivekananda - Religion and Science
There are two worlds, the microcosm, and the macrocosm, the internal and the external. We get truth from both of these by means of experience. The truth gathered from internal experience is psychology, metaphysics, and religion; from external experience, the physical sciences. Now a perfect truth should be in harmony with experiences in both these worlds. The microcosm must bear testimony to the macrocosm, and the macrocosm to the microcosm; physical truth must have its counterpart in the internal world, and the internal world must have its verification outside. Yet, as a rule, we find that many of these truths are in conflict. At one period of the world's history, the internals become supreme, and they begin to fight the externals. At the present time the externals, the physicists, have become supreme, and they have put down many claims of psychologists and metaphysicians.

It may be that those who gain "immediate spiritual knowledge" become unusually capable of metaphysical insight alongside possessing enhanced spiritual insight.
In Philosophy "Metaphysics" is the branch of Philosophy dealing with "being": how things exist, what things really are, what essence is, what it is 'to be' something, etc. The word comes from a "book" of some thirteen treatises written by Aristotle which were traditionally arranged, by scholars who lived in the centuries after Aristotle's life-time in the fourth century B.C., after those of his "books" which considered physics and natural science.
It may be that for want of other terminology directly suited to reference such elusive subject matter the term MetaPhysica, (in Greek it means "after physics" or "beyond physics"), was adopted in relation to Aristotle's "book" of "metaphysical" treatises.

Huxley concludes his Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy with these words:-
"If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge."

Human Existence

 ... you must take the whole society to find the whole man. Man is not a farmer, or a professor, or an engineer, but he is all. Man is priest, and scholar, and statesman, and producer, and soldier. In the divided or social state these functions are parcelled out to individuals, each of whom aims to do his stint of the joint work, whilst each other performs his.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
(presented as "one of those fables which out of an unknown antiquity convey an unlooked-for wisdom").

Pythaoras was a prominent figure in the intellectual life of the Greek world of the sixth century B.C. Alongside his widely recognised contributions to mathematics and geometry Pythogoras is also considered to have recognised that there was evidently a "three-way" complexity to human natures:-

 Pythagoras who, according to Heraclides of Pontus, the pupil of Plato and a learned man of the first rank, came, the story goes, to Philus and with a wealth of learning and words discussed certain subjects with Leon the ruler of the Philasians. And Leon after wondering at his talent and eloquence asked him to name the art in which he put most reliance. But Pythagoras said that for his part he had no acquaintance with any art, but was a philosopher. Leon was astonished at the novelty of the term and asked who philosophers were and in what they differed from the rest of the world.

 Pythagoras, the story continues, replied that the life of man seemed to him to resemble the festival which was celebrated with most magnificent games before a concourse collected from the whole of Greece. For at this festival some men whose bodies had been trained sought to win the glorious distinction of a crown, others were attracted by the prospect of making gains by buying or selling, whilst there was on the other hand a certain class, and that quite the best class of free-born men, who looked neither for applause no gain, but came for the sake of the spectacle and closely watched what was done and how it was done: So also we, as though we had come from some city to a kind of crowded festival, leaving in like fashion another life and nature of being, entered upon this life, and some were slaves of ambition, some of money; there were a special few who, counting all else as nothing, ardently contemplated the nature of things. These men he would call "lovers of wisdom" (for that is the meaning of the word philo-sopher).
(Pythagoras was an acknowledged wordsmith and is often credited with originating the term "Philosopher")!

  Ancient, classical, Greek philosophy also evidences cogent suggestions that human nature is complex:-

 Plato was a pupil and friend of the greek philosopher Socrates. Amongst the many works attributed to Plato's authorship is his "The Republic", (composed circa 375 B.C.), wherein is set out a series of discourses that allegedly took place between Socrates and a number of other persons who variously arrived and departed as the discussions continued.
 It is in this record, made by Plato, of "Socrates? " philosophising that most intriguing themes are developed -

 ...can we possibly refuse to admit that there exist in each of us the same generic parts and characteristics as are found in the state? For I presume the state has not received them from any other source. It would be ridiculous to imagine that the presence of the spirited element in cities is not to be traced to individuals, wherever this character is imputed to the people, as it is to the natives of Thrace, and Scythia, and generally speaking, of the northern countries; or the love of knowledge, which would be chiefly attributed to our own country; or the love of riches, which people would especially connect with the Phoenicians and the Egyptians.
 This then is a fact so far, and one which it is not difficult to apprehend.
 No, it is not. ...

As has already been related The Parable of the Sower features these words in depicting different persons' reactions to spiritual teachings:-
... Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop ...

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How far can it be accepted, in all this evidence of a three-way disposition in human behaviours, that Jesus, (very significantly), in The Parable of the Sower, effectively presents a view of earthly Human Existence that is, (significantly), "broadly shared", by Emerson, Pythagoras, and Plato / Socrates?

Is "Human Being" more truly Metaphysical than Physical?

Faith and Philosophy!!!
Our Human Nature - Tripartite Soul page

Spirituality and the Wider World!!!
People may well be spiritual, materialistic, ethnic and intellectual!!!

Popular, "Scientific", Rational,
inadequate? ~ Darwinism

Famous "Hornet" cartoon of 1871
(just after Darwin's ~ The Descent of Man)

C S Lewis, you are a soul with a body quote

Has Science found what it would itself consider to be adequate ways of accounting for Humanity's Sense of the Divine?
A Sense of the Divine that has raised countless Cathedrals, Churches, Mosques, Shrines, Synagogues and Temples across the millenia. A Sense of the Divine which has often resulted in the spontaneous establishment of faith-related civilisations, or the conversion-to-faith of existing civilisations, such that it would not be too much of an exaggeration to depict Human Beings, across recorded history, as frequently living out their lives within faith-based cultural atmospheres!

The Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount is generally accepted as being the most important of all the teachings of Jesus.

This Sermon can be regarded as being composed of several themes including:-

An invocation towards leading a spiritually centred life
(wherein Jesus refers to such persons as follow this spiritual teaching as being "the salt of the earth" and as being "the light of the world")

An encouragement of mild forbearance

A litany against materialistic worldliness

We would suggest that this demonstrates an acceptance-in-principle of a three-way pattern in Human Dispositions!

The presentation of "Tripartite" Human Nature posited above, together with this assertion that the Sermon of the Mount might be held to feature "Themes" consistent with such, ( ~ or similar?), "Existential Tripartism", could prove to be rather controversial.
Given this possibility a full consideration of all of this is given on Our Human Nature - Tripartite Soul page for the benefit of interested readers, but also to provide defensive argument against challenge from potential detractors!
Such defence would, undoubtedly, arise from the evidence on that page that not only, (very significantly), Jesus' central teachings and (significantly), Emerson, Pythagoras and Plato / Socrates but also, (very significantly), Islam, Hinduism-Vedanta, Buddhism and Sikhism, and (significantly), Shakespeare offer substantial implicit support to the presence of an already established, if largely unappreciated, universal recognition of an "Existential Tripartism" present in Human Beings.

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An acceptance that there are Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), that science and religion each have "a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authority" and these two domains do not overlap, is a view advocated by Stephen Jay Gould.
According to Gould's NOMA principle "the magisterium of science covers the empirical realm: what the Universe is made of (fact) and why does it work in this way (theory). The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value".

Gould saw the NOMA principle as offering "a blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution to . . . the supposed conflict between science and religion."
Gould argued that if indeed the polling data was correct ~ and that 80 to 90% of Americans believe in a supreme being, and such a belief is misunderstood to be at odds with evolution ~ then "we have to keep stressing that religion is a different matter, and science is not in any sense opposed to it," otherwise "we're not going to get very far."
He did not, however, consider this proposed diplomatic approach to the resolution to "the supposed conflict between science and religion" to be paramount, writing in 1997: "NOMA represents a principled position on moral and intellectual grounds, not a mere diplomatic stance."

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We live in a Physical World which can be meaningfully investigated, and transformed, by physicists, mathematicians, chemists, biologists and engineers but we also live in a Human World which is perhaps open to being "broadly appreciated" by theologians, economists, historians, poets, philosophers and metaphysicians.

Einstein said something about Science and Religion where ignorance of each others powers left one lame and the other blind.
He also said:-

"Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts."
If there was "ball-park" agreement about how the Human World "ought" to operate, (thanks mainly to the Humanities), then the Sciences could be brought to bear to effectively seek to attain those aims ~ (alongside inherently desireable advances in such fields as Medicine, Food Production and Global Warming Limitation that we might perhaps hope for from The Sciences in any case).

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The lives we lead are "Human" lives, simultaneously Intellectual, Materialistic, Spiritual and Ethnic.

It is to be hoped that physicists, mathematicians, chemists, biologists, engineers, theologians, economists, historians, poets, philosophers, metaphysicians and other specialisms can somehow pool their talents to allow Intellectual, Materialistic, Spiritual and Ethnic Human Civilisation every chance of future progress.
"We need a worldview grounded in science that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. If we can bring our spirituality, the richness and wholesomeness of our basic human values, to bear upon the course of science in human society, then the different approaches of science and spirituality will contribute together to the betterment of humanity."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
(In a comment on "War of the Worldviews: Science vs Spirituality", a faith vs. reason debate or controversy related book written by the scientist Leonard Mlodinow and by the prominent spiritual writer Deepak Chopra.

Leonard Mlodinow has previously co-authored with Stephen Hawking on scientific subjects).

Leonard Mlodinow, Deepak Chopra and Stephen Hawking

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N.B. This page is NOT particularly intended to be a presentation "in appreciation of Emerson".

He was in his own times, and for his own reasons, sincerely a person-of-faith whose works, as has been shown above, can be drawn on to yield many quotes very relevant not only to a demonstration of that sincere faith but also to providing some cogent input into diverse aspects of the Faith vs Reason debate. (Besides which there may well be great potential advantage, in terms of establishing credibility for the content of this page, in attempting to remind "modernity" that such views were held by a notable figure who not only was, but also remains, a source of profound cultural influence).

Our page content will now turn again towards the elusive subject of Metaphysics ~ featuring yet more directly relevant quotes from Emerson.

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The most significant "original" suggestions forwarded by the present writer being probably rather disconcerting ones for many readers, (and indeed, it must be admitted, for said "present writer"), about "Existential Tripartism".



Such originality is itself capable of being shown to be something of an add-on to Emerson's own thoughts (or divinations?):-

"In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain, and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him, and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg presuppose air. He cannot live without a world."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
History (an essay of 1841)

This view suggests that Societies themselves!!! have a Tripartite character.
What is the business of history? What is the stuff of which it is made? Who is the personage of history? Man : evidently man and human nature. There are many different elements in history. What are they? Evidently again, the elements of human nature. History is therefore the development of humanity, and of humanity only; for nothing else but humanity developes itself, for nothing else than humanity is free. ...
... Moreover, when we have all the elements, I mean all the essential elements, their mutual relations do, as it were, discover themselves. We draw from the nature of these different elements, if not all their possible relations, at least their general and fundamental relations.

Victor Cousin
Introduction to the History of Philosophy (1832)

"Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances, which are human actions, like every other natural event, are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history, which is concerned with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will in the large, we may be able to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual may be seen from the standpoint of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment."
Immanuel Kant
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View (1784)
In his essay "History" Ralph Waldo Emerson sets out an approach to History where the "innate Humanity" that is common to all of mankind is seen as operating throughout the ages in the shaping of events.
The first two paragraphs include such sentiments as:-
 "There is one mind common to all individual men.

 Of the works of this mind history is the record. Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history. All the facts of history pre-exist as laws. Each law in turn is made by circumstances predominant. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom, empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of this manifold spirit to the manifold world".

The quote from Plato's "The Republic" set out above possibly bears repetition here:-

 ...can we possibly refuse to admit that there exist in each of us the same generic parts and characteristics as are found in the state? For I presume the state has not received them from any other source. It would be ridiculous to imagine that the presence of the spirited element in cities is not to be traced to individuals, wherever this character is imputed to the people, as it is to the natives of Thrace, and Scythia, and generally speaking, of the northern countries; or the love of knowledge, which would be chiefly attributed to our own country; or the love of riches, which people would especially connect with the Phoenicians and the Egyptians.
 This then is a fact so far, and one which it is not difficult to apprehend.
 No, it is not. ...

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Whilst he preferred to consult reliable translations Emerson could attempt to read works in French or German and it is worth noting that Emerson read, and was influenced by ideas offered in, Victor Cousin's "History of Philosophy" prior to the English language edition of 1832 - as this excerpt from a letter to his brother William demonstrates:-

Footnote from - The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: English traits, Volume 5
by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alfred Riggs Ferguson, Joseph Slater - 1971)

We may wonder - did Cousin's metaphysics influence, perhaps significantly, the construction by Emerson of aspects of his own essay, History?

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Emerson was open to engaging in investigations into "The Perennial Philosophy" as the following excerpt from an "Ethnical Scriptures" series of articles featuring extracts from non-Western scriptures makes clear:-

Each nation has its bible more or less pure; none has yet been willing or able in a wise and devout spirit to collate its own with those of other nations, and sinking the civil-historical and ritual portions to bring together the grand expressions of the moral sentiment in different ages and races, the rules for the guidance of life, the bursts of piety and of abandonment to the Invisible and Eternal; - a work inevitable sooner or later, and which we hope is to be done by religion and not by literature.
The Dial, III, July 1842, 82; (quoted in R. K. Dhawan, Henry David Thoreau, a Study in Indian Influence, 1985, 27-28)

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The fly-leaf to the first (1946) UK edition of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy begins:-

Beneath the revelations of all the great world religions, the teaching of the wise and holy of all faiths and the mystical experiences of every race and age, there lies a basic unity of belief which is the closest approximation man can attain to truth and ultimate reality.
The Perennial Philosophy is an attempt to present this Highest Common Factor of all theologies by assembling passages from the writings of those saints and prophets who have approached a direct spiritual knowledge of the Divine, and who have recorded not only the method of that approach but also the clarity of soul they derived from it

The following linked pages are intended to more fully demonstrate a degree of Common Ground between the Inner-most Spiritual Teachings of several major World Religions on Charity, Purity of Heart, Humility, Meekness, A Disdain for Materialism (compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration) and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment).
These quotations are presented on a series of very brief pages where each faith is considered individually.
We have seen it as worthwhile to add another category of quotation ~ where recognition has been given "by the wise and holy of several faiths" to the possibility of Mystical Communion with God ~ as this addition may rather directly tend the range of agreement from Comparative Religion studies about "Core Spiritual Truths" already demonstrated towards actually becoming real evidence of the existence of "Spiritually Discernible" aspects to the one God or Spirit which is central to Mystical Faith.




Christian Spirituality Quotations




It may be that it will be possible to see any contributions, made on this page, to the Faith vs Reason debate as being consistent with such Sermons and Parables of Jesus as The Sermon on the Mount and The Parable of the Sower.

symbols associated with Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism, Taoism and Judaism
Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism, Taoism and Judaism

Given similarities in accepted Spiritual Truth between major religions it is surely reasonable to view with respect the profound spiritualities that exist at the cores of ALL of the enduring and widespread faiths just explicitly mentioned.
The table of links and the collection of religious symbols displayed above are thus intented to be presented in a manner consistent with aspirations towards promoting a mutually respectful co-existence of The Great Faiths of the World.

Central poetry insights ~ Secular but quite similar in content!!!
Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Cowper and Dryden ~ need we say more?

A representative collection of the Spiritual and Poetic wisdoms
recently presented is available to download from this page

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