Descartes and such.

Achieving enlightenment is something I find to be very interesting.  Enlightenment, to me, is something that is a cross between a spiritual and philosophical way of looking at life based on the trials you go through mixed with the things you watch everyone else around you go through.  I believe enlightenment to be something personal on a “when you know you know” type of level, achieving enlightenment I believe is a possible thing; I in no way consider myself to have achieved enlightenment because of how young and unexperienced in life I am, however I believe this to be a tangible thing in one’s life. Enlightenment, is the way in which you understand things based on what you know about reason and what you have learned from the world in a philosophical (possibly opinionated) and spiritual sense of understanding.

Mettrie talks about enlightenment in a way that talks about it as something that deals with reason.  She says, “What makes reason excellent is not its being immaterial but its force, its scope or its acuteness”, she talks about reason as something that is what it takes to make up one’s own understanding of everything. I agree with this to an extent because of the way in which enlightenment, or this idea of understanding goes along with just that, you can’t argue with certain types of reason, the pen is blue because there is a definite idea of what blue is and you cannot change that, so reason is important when trying to become enlightened.

Descartes famous for his “I think therefore I am” theory is someone who I can agree with.  In his two meditations he goes through what he understands in both of the senses I am talking about in my idea of enlightenment.  He starts by saying in his first meditation, “Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses”, which I agree with because it goes back to what Mettrie was talking about with reason but on a more personal level, like saying, “this pan is hot, I know because I touched it and it burned me”.  In his fourth meditation Descartes says, “I previously accepted as perfectly certain and evident many things that I afterwards realized were doubtful”, in reference to thinking about understanding in a spiritual sense, using things like your perception and imagination.  I also agree with this but less than I agree with his senses theory a little bit more because of the tangible evidence senses provide, which is not to say that your perception of a color or thing changes your feeling, it does and can, but the concreteness that goes along with the theory in his first meditation is more appealing to me when thinking of my theory of enlightenment.

Milton deals heavily with reason in his piece which we were assigned (“Aeroepogitica”).  When talking about reason and trying to convince other people he says, “When a man writes to the world, he summons up all his reason and deliberation to assist him”  talking about how reason can allow you to gain a better understanding of arguments for yourself.  We know this because the piece was all about him getting people to think to themselves about the politics that went into publishing laws.  I obviously agree with Milton because of the way he used reason in his argument to make people think about the laws and how the politics should not factor in when thinking about how pieces should be protected from the authors and readers and even publishers standpoint.

Equiano, whom I agree with most tells the story of her life.  The ideas and theories she comes up with about the world are all based around what she was taught by her parents and family mixed with what she learned about the world just through experience.  She says in the middle of her writing “The next day proved a day of greater sorrow than I had yet experienced” which greatly appeals to what I think about when I am forming my theories about enlightenment.  Equiano had all of these experiences that lead her to her understanding of what life was about, through her perception.  A quote comes to mind, “Experience is the mother of knowledge” (Cervantes), which is what enlightenment is all about, the way in which you take in and experience life and create an understanding of knowledge.

 

La Mettrie:

http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/mettmanm.pdf

Descartes:

  • Meditation 1:

http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfbits/dm1.pdf

  • Meditation 2:

http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfbits/dm2.pdf

Milton:

https://engl382fall2013.wordpress.com/readings/00-previous-readings/areopagitica/

Equiano:

https://engl382fall2013.wordpress.com/readings/00-previous-readings/0922-equiano-interesting-narrative/

Man from Cambridge.

The man from Cambridge

Came to me.

Sat me down upon his knee.

Told me about life and peril

That if I should want heir’s id best get sterile

 

Life is crazy man

Life is wack

All these people talking at me

Not with me

Man give me some slack.

 

He told me Son

With fire in his eyes

It is I, I am him

Who knows all the stars in the sky.

Ive been here long

And I have been here first

I have the knowledge to quench your thirst.

 

Life is a journey

I gotta take it myself

Put my hands in my pockets

My fears on that shelf.

Telling me what I should do

Gotta do,

Its my life you see,

Get off my back man

Stop talking at me.

Knowledge and Success

With quill and parchment in hand
And this candle glowing
I began to ponder
What tis this knowing

We just trying to succeedGet dem paper n gold
Striving fo da fame
Takin da high road
Wantin a betta life
Than da one befo’

We must better thy selfBe open to learning
Getting the knowledge
For a life of earnings

Fightin fo da top spot
Rushin’ till da clock stop
Reachin fo the stars
So we can shine like dem
Gotta be smarter n stronger
To make it to da end

Knowledge is success
Success is key to living
We musn’t hold back
When education is so giving

Art Prejudice and Criticism

When it comes to the topic of prejudice in art, I do not believe it is possible to experience art without having prejudice. I think when it comes to viewing art one must have some opinion on the art they are looking at. It is almost impossible to like everything you see in this world. You have to have some type of opinion on what you see in the world. I personally don’t think it would be worth it to leave out the idea of prejudice in viewing art. The reason for this is because if you do not have prejudice when viewing art, how can one find what they truly like in a piece. Richardson goes on to say, “All animated beings naturally covet Pleasure, and eagerly pursue it as their Chiefest Good; the great Affair is to choose those that are worthy of Rational Beings…” I believe that what Richardson is trying to say is when people are viewing art they become rational, and try to find only the good in those works. Richardson also believed that people who loved paintings have the ability to help reform them. He thinks that art gives a person the chance to find their influence on the world. I would go against this notion and say that art gives a person the ability to find their true identify in finding what they actually like and do not like. This means that viewing art is more of a personal experience.

Image

The picture above is one that I can say really speaks to me. It is a picture of the world known band the Beatles departing from an airplane in the 1960s. This picture shows a group of guys that took over the world in the sense by performing their own art of music. In this art piece it shows the guys laughing and having a joyful time. Every time I see this piece I smile and think about how this band changed the world through their music. I think Richardson would like what I have to say about this piece. I think he would agree with the fact that this piece art has had some sort of influence in the world, I mean were the Beatles not influential in the past decades of music?

Image

One piece that kind of moves me away or irks me would have to be this watercolor. In this piece there is man on a boat rowing down a dark waterway with the moonlight overhead. The reason this piece steers me away is because I feel all gloomy and sad inside when I see it. The coloration in the picture is what throws me off, and why the man is traveling alone in the dark. When it comes to this piece I do not think that Richardson would like what I have to say about it. When I view this piece I create my own perception of what I think about it. Richardson would go against this and say that the art must force me to become rational in the since of viewing it.

https://engl382fall2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/richardson-two-discourses-ii.pdf

http://www.radiohannibal.com/radio_hannibal/2012/09/cool.html

http://pictify.com/154713/house-boat-in-the-moon-light-1960s-painting-by-the-famous-water-color-artist-dn-walli

Structuring Morality

Today I received a manuscript of a work in progress from my friend, Thomas Paine. And though it may seem contradictory in my response to him, I truly wish that he takes my criticism not as judgment but as advice given to a friend with the most genuine sentiments of helpfulness. I appreciate Paine’s passion for the subject he wishes to publicize, but I think it extremely unwise to expose it to the public. He discredits the entire premise of the religion that so much of our society relies on for moral structure. By asserting the idea of a general Providence but excluding the widespread acknowledgement of a specific and sole providential being, he will be taking a heavy blow to the foundation of society’s moral standing. I accept if this is how he feels and I understand where he is coming from, but this idea is far too dangerous for the delicate structure of morality as well as his own safety. Our world has constructed a way of living from the moral code that religion has supplied us. People like me may not need such guidelines to allow me to find my morality, as I have carefully constructed my own system, but for the greater portion of mankind, the widespread acceptance of religion has given millions a mandatory set of rules which they might not have otherwise followed. I do not think that religion is required for morality, but I think that for those who are not able to construct a code for themselves, religion obliges them to follow the same path as all their spiritual fellows. This is why we need it, and this is why Paine would be sorry if he ever pushes this idea into the light. It will only ignite mass upset and he may damage the system that keeps so many tied to some form of moral structure.

After years of pursuing an Enlightened reputation, I have finally become the darling of European Enlightened society! I cannot express my happiness for having achieved this status, for it has been a struggle to emerge from the isolation that living in America entails. Though I love my homeland and keep it close to my heart, Europe can appreciate what I have to offer so much more. Just look at my portraits over the years – I used to have simple, boring, common portraits painted of me staring blankly at the painter with little significance behind the image. But now I have just sat for a few paintings, one of which I look startlingly similar to Rosseau, if I do say so myself, in my large fur hat. If you see both paintings together, I doubt you could tell who is who! Another one bears a likeness to Voltaire, who I recently met in private, but everyone was so insistent that we meet in public as a ceremonial convergence of French and American Enlightenment! My portrait illustrates myself, seated in a study, engrossed in a text. My coat is a shiny light blue with gorgeous embellishments and detail – far better than the drab brown coats I used to wear in America. It may seem superficial, but this is part of how I can officially be seen as a true member of the European Enlightenment!

Lamentation on a Dream

Along this old spire, the sun did rise.

Visions that ran through my mind,

Had been of a grandiose size

But had disappeared in spite of my hind-

 

Sight is twenty twenty.

Bitches be spittin’ nothin’ but shit,

Sayin’ that this is plenty.

Y’all be satisfied with yo’ bit,

Ain’t willin’ to invest a single penny

On a dream that may not return any.

 

On through the air the dream did fly,

Away on the wind it did ascend.

As I lay helpless but to lie,

Sinking faster and faster my void did send-

 

Me? I ain’t no dope,

Got me sittin’ here tied to no rope.

I ain’t blind to my contradiction,

So tired of failin’ to conquer this confliction,

Cuz all I got is nothin’ but stuck,

Go on, get out, I don’t give a f***.

Editors’ List for Essays to Be Published Online

Hello everyone, this is your friendly neighborhood editor, Adam. Here is the list of essay writers that we have chosen to publish. Remember that we need a finished draft by Dec. 6 for all whose proposals have been chosen. Chosen ones, DO NOT FORGET THIS DATE!  Anyway, here it is for all:

Ja’Nae Miata

Tommy Merritt

Trey Capps

Andie Tompros

Much happiness on your Thanksgiving vacation!

❤ ❤

Adam