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She is pretty to walk with, And witty to talk with, And pleasant, too, to think on. Why man, she is mine own And I as rich in having such a jewel As twenty seas, if all their sands were pearl, The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, The matron's glance that would those looks reprove.

By my modesty, - the jewel in my dower - I would not wish any companion in the world but you. You are my true and honourable wife; As dear to me as the ruddy drops That visit my sad heart. Trifles light as air Are to the jealous confirmations stone As proofs of Holy Writ. Happy he With such a mother! Believe not that the dribbling dart of love Can pierce a complete bosom. Thrice blessed they that master so their blood, To undergo such maiden pilgrimage: But earthlier happy is the rose distilled, Than that which withering on the virgin thorn Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.

Thyself and thy belongings Are not thine own so proper, as to waste Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us 't were all alike As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd But to fine issues; nor Nature never lends The smallest scruple of her excellence, But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines Herself the glory of a creditor - Both thanks and use.

The primal duties shine aloft, like stars; The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless, Are scattered at the feet of Man, like flowers. Live while you live, the epicure would say, And seize the pleasures of the present day; Live while you live the sacred preacher cries, And give to God each moment as it flies. Lord, in my views let both united be; I live to pleasure when I live to thee. He that has light within his own clear breast May sit in the centre and enjoy bright day; But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts Benighted walks under the midday sun.

Well may your hearts believe the truths I tell; 't is virtue makes the bliss where'er we dwell. I am as free as nature first made man, Ere the base laws of servitude began When wild in woods the noble savage ran. Happy he who far from business persuits Tills and re-tills his ancestral lands With oxen of his own breeding Having no slavish yoke about his neck.

There are several cases where "other" Poetry Insights relate directly to some of the more problematic areas of human existence. We should welcome this!!! World Wide Humanity desperately needs such Insights as they may provide clues to a compassionate and considered alleviation of many difficulties. Several quotable quotes about -. Before God, there is neither Greek nor barbarian, neither rich nor poor, and the slave is as good as his master, for by birth all men are free; they are citizens of the universal commonwealth which embraces all the world, brethren of one family, and children of God.

Permit me It is not solitary, unconnected, individual, selfish liberty. As if every man was to regulate the whole of his conduct by his own will. The Liberty I mean is social freedom. It is that state of things in which Liberty is secured by the equality of Restraint; A constitution of things in which the liberty of no one Man and no body of Men and no Number of men can find Means to trespass on the liberty of any Person or any description of Persons in the Society.

This kind of Liberty is indeed but another name for Justice, ascertained by wise Laws. And secured by well constructed institutions. The co-existence of several nations under the same State is a test, as well as the best security, of its freedom. It is also one of the chief instruments of civilisation; and, as such, it is in the natural and providential order, and indicates a state of greater advancement than the national unity which is the ideal of modern Liberalism. The greatest adversary of the rights of nationality is the modern i.

July theory of nationality. By making the State and the nation commensurate with each other in theory, it reduces practically to a subject condition all other nationalities that may be within the boundary. It cannot admit them to an equality with the ruling nation which constitutes the State because the State would then cease to be national, which would be a contradiction of the principle of its existence.

According, therefore, to the degree of humanity and civilisation in that dominant body which claims all the rights of the community, the inferior races are eliminated, or reduced to servitude, or outlawed, or put in a condition of dependence. If we take the establishment of liberty for the realisation of moral duties to be the end of civil society, we must conclude that those States are substantially the most perfect which Lord Acton.

Liberalism is the supreme form of generosity; it is the right which the majority concedes to minorities and hence it is the noblest cry that has ever resounded on this planet. Jose Ortega y Gasset. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. Every class is unfit to govern Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Reason and Knowledge have always played a secondary, subordinate, auxiliary role in the life of peoples, and this will always be the case.

A people is shaped and driven forward by an entirely different kind of force, one which commands and coerces them and the origin of which is obscure and inexplicable despite the reality of its presence. One cannot avoid a certain feeling of disgust, when one observes the actions of man displayed on the great stage of the world.

Wisdom is manifested by individuals here and there; but the web of human history as a whole appears to be woven from folly and childish vanity, often, too, from puerile wickedness and love of destruction: with the result that at the end one is puzzled to know what idea to form of our species which prides itself so much on its advantages. We hope that your interest in quotable quotes from the poems and other works of secular writers has been greatly stimulated by the contents of this selection and also of our "Central" poetry insights selection.

As can be persuasively experienced through the impact of the profoundly moving words of - the Sage - the True Mystics and the supreme Poets - as related in our "spiritual insights" and "poetry insights" sections we can rely on Insight, perception, and Enlightenment, to help us get to grips with TRUTHS about obscure, seemingly innate, "Aspects of spirituality and being" with which all human beings are endowed. We are all of us well aware that the "World of Events" is an intermittently unquiet place where day to day life is occasionally, and sometimes most tragically, disrupted by such stresses as economic booms and busts, by widely differing views as to the just politico-economic functioning of society, or in cases, by civil disturbance or by outright international conflict.

How then should the existence of the God of the Mystics be reconciled with the actualities of Humanity's historical experiences? Any attempt to take a broader view of human existence in order to account for non-spiritual behaviours in a God acknowledging philosophical scheme soon involves speculations about human nature, and on how we can be confident of our having a TRUE estimate of human nature.

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Most fortuitously Comparative Religion investigation shows that intriguing Tripartite Soul teachings that can be thought of as being "Observations about Spirituality and the wider world" are common to several World Faiths!!! The implications of these Observations may well represent the key to much necessary understanding about the human condition!!! We can look to a range of spiritually impact- full quotations drawn from very diverse sources, including indisputably central World Faiths teachings, which taken together establish to the point of full certainty that, whilst God may be regarded as being an Absolute Existence, the spirituality of individual persons should be viewed as being one of several facets of the manifold human nature Tripartite Soul which is in us all.

Jesus' keynote teaching is known as the Sermon on the Mount. Inherent to the Sermon on the Mount is an undeniable assertion, in Jesus' own words as related in more than one of the Gospels in each case, of the relativity of our personal capacities for spiritual expression and progress. 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 to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?

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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. 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. The results of Comparative Religion investigation allows us to state that several World Faiths other than Christianity also assert views about spirituality comparable to that implicit in the Sermon on the Mount - i.

The Masnavi of Jalaluddin Rumi is an overtly religious work formed within an Islamic context more than seven hundred years ago. In the Masnavi there are several passages which suggest that personal spirituality is relative -. The monk said, "I am searching everywhere for a man Who lives by the life of the breath of God. Where is one who shows himself a man in anger and lust? In search of such an one I run from street to street. If there be one who is a true man in these two states, I will yield up my life for him this day!

The Ka'ba is a singularly important Islamic shrine which stands in the court of the Great Mosque of Mecca and is a site of pilgrimage for all Muslims. The Ka'ba, whose renown waxes greater every moment, Owes its foundation to the piety of Abraham. Its glory is not derived from stones and mortar, But from being built without lust or strife. Hinduism or Vedanta is another of the World Faiths which imputes a multi-faceted character to human nature. Arjuna spoke. But by what is a man impelled, O Varshneya! The Holy One spoke. It is lust: it is wrath, born from the "passion" mode: know that this, all-devouring, all-defiling, is here our foe.

They come and they go, they are transient: not in them do the wise find joy. But he who on this earth, before his departure, can endure the storms of desire and wrath, this man is a Yogi, this man has joy. He has inner joy, he has inner gladness, and he has found inner Light. Holy men reach the Nirvana of Brahman: their sins are no more, their doubts are gone, their soul is in harmony, their joy is in the good of all.

Because the peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from desire and wrath, who know their own soul. Bhagavad Gita 5: Buddhism also joins with Christianity, Islam, and Vedanta in suggesting that human nature has several identifiable tendencies -. Sikhism proves to be yet another major religion which suggests that human behaviors have three identifiable tendencies -. With lust and with anger, The city, that is thy body Is full to the brim. Meet as saint and destroy That lust and that anger. Root out the choking weeds Of lust and anger; Loosening the soil, The more thou hoest and weedest, The more lovely grows thy soul;.

Ancient, classical, Greek philosophy also evidences cogent suggestions that human nature is complex with that complexity following the pattern set out in the teachings and texts of several World Faiths Plato was a pupil and friend of the greek philosopher Socrates. Amongst the many works attributed to Plato's authorship is his "The Republic" 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.

Plato may actually have been putting his own ideas in Socrates' mouth!!! It is in this record, made by Plato, of "Socrates? 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. But here begins a difficulty. Are all our actions alike performed by the one predominant faculty, or are there three faculties operating severally in our different actions? Do we learn with one internal faculty, and become angry with another, and with a third feel desire for all the pleasures connected with eating and drinking, and the propagation of the species; or upon every impulse to action, do we perform these several actions with the whole soul.

As there are three parts, so there appear to me to be three pleasures, one appropriate to each part; and similarly three appetites, and governing principles. Explain yourself. According to us, one part was the organ whereby a man learns, and another that whereby he shews spirit. The third was so multiform that we were unable to address it by a single appropriate name; so we named it after that which is its most important and strongest characteristic. We called it appetitive, on account of the violence of the appetites of hunger, thirst, and sex, and all their accompaniments; and we called it peculiarly money-loving, because money is the chief agent in the gratification of such appetites.

Yes, we were right. Then if we were to assert that the pleasure and the affection of this third part have gain for their object, would not this be the best summary of the facts upon which we should be likely to settle by force of argument, as a means of conveying a clear idea to our own minds, whenever we spoke of this part of the soul? And shall we not be right in calling it money-loving and gain-loving? I confess I think so, he replied. Again, do we not maintain that the spirited part is wholly bent on winning power and victory and celebrity?

Certainly we do. Then would the title of strife-loving and honour-loving be appropriate to it? Yes, most appropriate? Well, but with regard to the part by which we learn, it is obvious to everyone that its entire and constant aim is to know how the truth stands, and that this of all the elements of our nature feels the least concern for wealth and reputation. Yes, quite the least. Then shall we not do well to call it knowledge-loving and wisdom-loving?

Of course we shall. Does not this last reign in the souls of some persons, while in the souls of other people one or other of the two former, according to circumstances is dominant? You are right. And for these reasons may we assert that men may be primarily classed as lovers of wisdom, of strife, and of gain?

Yes, certainly. And that there are three kinds of pleasure, respectively underlying the three classes? Exactly so. Now are you aware, I continued, that if you choose to ask three such men each in his turn, which of these lives is pleasantest, each will extol his own beyond the others? Thus the money-making man will tell you, that compared with the pleasures of gain, the pleasures of being honoured or of acquiring knowledge are worthless, except in so far as they can produce money.

But what of the honour-loving man? Does he not look upon the pleasure derived from money as a vulgar one, while, on the other hand, he regards the pleasure derived from learning as a mere vapour and absurdity unless honour be the fruit of it. That is precisely the case. And must we not suppose that the lover of wisdom regards all other pleasures as, by comparison, very far inferior to the pleasure of knowing how the truth stands, and of being constantly occupied with this pursuit of knowledge….

Pythagoras also, in earlier times, advanced a similar view of human nature. Pythagoras was a prominent figure in the intellectual life of the Greek world of the sixth century B. 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"! Return to local menu. The stunningly insight-full Bard of Avon has something worthwhile to contribute to this review -. The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword; The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion, and the mould of form, The observed of all observers, quite, quite, down! We have then, from a Comparative Religion survey of the teachings of several World Faiths, from Philosophy, and from Poetry, and also from Common Sense based on experience!!!

Surely ALL of this leads us to be in a better position to contemplate upon the whole broad vista of Human Existence!!! Each successive generation effectively inherits, but often fails to appreciate , the "Wealth of Wisdoms" that have been established through the teachings of the Founders of the World Religions and through the efforts of Mystics, Poets, and Philosophers. In every age and culture there is surely a role for sincerely spiritual persons to attempt to remind their contemporaries of the importance of these Wisdoms and to strive to demonstrate their relevance to peoples lives.

Within any of the mystical faiths it can happen that some profoundly spiritual individuals may approach a state that might be called "Mystical Union" or "Communion with God". If Enlightenment is more accessible to such people than to the majority of humanity it is to be hoped that their insights will be of benefit to ALL of Mankind.

Across the several faith-based cultures of Mankind most other people, in addition to practising a less overt spirituality, will tend to live somewhat materialistic-worldly lives contributing moreso to family and economic activity perhaps. The activities of those people who, although they may well draw strengths and consolations from their own spiritual practices, are also much involved in family and economic life helps to people the earth and to provide a basis of material comfort for all.

Whilst it is by no means a happy thing to dwell upon we cannot deny that across the globe it is possible that some individuals will act "wrathfully" possibly motivated by their own sense of Economic or Ethnic or Religious or Historical injustice. Wrathful actions often harm people or property and may well give impetus to wider, and often dangerous, situations which are difficult to wind down. No one wants to see injustices in the world and we must surely establish constructive ways of addressing them. Humanity is pleased to "scientifically" know itself as Homo Sapiens Sapiens Wise, Wise, Man but there is surely grounds for suggesting that we flatter ourselves.

On reflection this view seems persuasive with the broad tide of Human Events being open to be seen as composed of individual, and of collective, expressions of "Honesty, Manhood, and Good Fellowship". Can a case be made that Human Intellects are more usually brought into play in pursuit of "Desire", of "Spirituality", or of "Wrath" than in the pursuit of more purely intellectual goals? Given the authority of those sources that implicitly, or explicitly, recognise the existence of a tripartite soul we at age-of-the-sage.

That framework of beliefs which exists in relation to God, to Man, and to Society. This profound recognition provides awe-inspiring material of an unparalleled richness upon which to base metaphisical speculations and philosophical speculations. As someone once said The images which follow "depict" metaphysical speculations and philosophical speculations based on the Tripartite Soul view of Human Nature recognised by several World Faiths, by several Famous Philosophers, and by Shakespeare!!! We cannot deny that despite suggestions of a deep similarity in Human Nature across the Millenia and across the Globe there have been, for good and for ill, some notable "extreme?

It may well be that the Tripartite Soul approach to insights into human nature can even be extended to a "Societal Level" of social theory speculations. This view would suggest that Societies themselves!!! 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.

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. We, Heads of State and Government of the member States of the Council of Europe, meeting for the first time in our Organisation's history at this Vienna summit conference, solemnly declare the following:.

The end of the division of Europe offers an historic opportunity to consolidate peace and stability on the continent. All our countries are committed to pluralist and parliamentary democracy, the indivisibility and universality of human rights, the rule of law and a common cultural heritage enriched by its diversity. Europe can thus become a vast area of democratic security. This Europe is a source of immense hope which must in no event be destroyed by territorial ambitions, the resurgence of aggressive nationalism, the perpetuation of spheres of influence, intolerance or totalitarian ideologies.

We condemn all such aberrations. They are plunging peoples of former Yugoslavia into hatred and war and threatening other regions. We call upon the leaders of these peoples to put an end to their conflicts. We invite these peoples to join us in constructing and consolidating the new Europe. We express our awareness that the protection of national minorities is an essential element of stability and democratic security in our continent. The Council of Europe is the pre-eminent European political institution capable of welcoming, on an equal footing and in permanent structures, the democracies of Europe freed from communist oppression.

For that reason the accession of those countries to the Council of Europe is a central factor in the process of European construction based on our Organisation's values. Such accession presupposes that the applicant country has brought its institutions and legal system into line with the basic principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

The people's representatives must have been chosen by means of free and fair elections based on universal suffrage. Guaranteed freedom of expression and notably of the media, protection of national minorities and observance of the principles of international law must remain, in our view, decisive criteria for assessing any application for membership But a specific list of minorities recognised by the Council of Europe is not defined.

A similar absence of a recognised list of minorities that occurs in relation to the Vienna Declaration is true also of the Framework Convention. Several of the states that have ratified the Framework Convention assert that they themselves recognise that they have specified, longstanding, minorities that should qualify for such consideration as is set out in the Framework Convention.

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  6. Other ratifying states have asserted that they themselves have no qualifying minorities themselves but they have still signed up in overt solidarity with the other states in the Council of Europe. Most of those states that have signed or ratified the Framework Convention have however done so without any recorded comment.

    As of 16 October thirty four member states of the Council of Europe had ratified the Framework Convention - a further eight states had initially signed in support of the Framework Convention but had yet to fully ratify their acceptance of it's provisions. Switzerland, Belgium and Canada can perhaps be numbered amongst the most successful western societies in accomodating longstanding ethnic diversity within single state systems.

    In all these cases the approach has effectively been towards the accomodation of historic communities rather than individuals. That is to say towards establishing contexts whereby the individual human beings concerned can substantially live within their own historic-communal institutions, operating in their own language, within a state that they accept and which is also accepted by other human beings living similarly historic-communal lives within other historic communities comprised in the same state.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson resigned as an Unitarian minister in and subsequently tried to establish himself as a lecturer and writer. His efforts in this direction included the self-financed publication of a pamphlet entitled "Nature" in This essay, only five hundred copies of which were printed and these took some six years to be distributed , received little initial notice but effectively articulated the philosophical underpinnings of the subsequently widely influential New England Transcendentalism movement. Emerson's first substantial publication was a volume of Essays that issued from the presses in There were twelve essays in this volume the very first being one entitled "History".

    This essay sets out a transcendentalist 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. 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".

    Towards the end of the Essay Emerson asserts that :- " every history should be written in a wisdom which divined the range of our affinities and looked at facts as symbols. I am ashamed to see what a shallow village tale our so-called History is". Emerson suggests that it is by looking at facts as symbolic of the application of human affinities that people may hope for a broader and deeper writing of history that would more truly express, and constructively demonstrate, Humanity's central and wide-related nature. There are several pages on our site that investigate the variously persuasive approaches to the study of History that have been adopted by a number of Famous Historians.

    That being said none of these Historians have really attempted to approach their studies from a Transcendentalist perspective!!! Given this fact we have attempted to briefly set out the background to an approach to Historical studies which hints at the operation of human affinities in the providing of the facts which Historians tend to take as their subjects of study. The "introductory" section which follows may lack "pace" in some readers estimation - if you usually have little interest in reading about History we suggest that you read a brief series of our On-Line pages that consider one of the more "dramatic" episodes in European History.

    The Revolution of We hope that the evidence of Human affinities acting to sponsor events that you find on that page will encourage you to return here and give the following section your interested consideration. For most of the eighteenth century western Europe was under the sovereignty of Emperors and Kings. Territories occasionally changed sovereignty as an outcome of Dynastic wars or Dynastic marriages. Increasingly towards the end of the eighteenth century Enlightenment principles were displaced in the esteem of influential sections of society by ideas associated with the Romanticism movement which, amongst other things, prized Feeling and Sensibility above Intellect.

    The rather "Classical" pattern of society as shaped the principles of Enlightenment was seen by the rising generation of Romantics as being formal, dull and prosaic. In association with the emerging Romanticism as sponsored by Rousseau and others there were movements supportive of a more sensitive and less strictly disciplined approach to the education of the young.

    In the 's much of educated Europe had been swayed, in contrast to the prosaic and formal modes which prevailed, by certain Tales of Ossian, that were presented as being discovered authentic records dating from the third century that presented lives of Scots Celts who lived romantically-heroically in unsophisticated, but vital, circumstances. These tales were later proven to be contemporary fabrications framed by a James Macpherson but nonetheless established a genre widely translated and imitated across Europe.

    One Johann Gottfried Herder played a significant role in terms of the incorporation of such romantic attitudes into the wider functioning of political society. It may be that all times are to some extent "times of transformation" and one of the many ways in which transformations were occuring in Herder's day was that the broader masses of society were gaining, albeit gradually, in education, wealth, and sophistication.

    It was often the case in these Dynastic times that such broader masses were originated from ethnic traditions that were different from that of those elites who ruled them. Dynasties had extended their sway across centuries of wars and marriages and Rulers were held in theory to exercise their sovereignty in the interest of all their subjects. Increases in literacy and sophistication acted in any case to present the ruled with a situation where their non-representation in the corridors of power began to be increasingly questioned.

    Where there was also a difference in ethnic or religious tradition between the ruler and the ruled other questions of cultural sensitivity were also more open to being raised. Transitions of society can be slow but between say and say one of the more dramatic transformations was to be the effective transfer of Sovereignty from Monarchs to Peoples. The "Spirit of the Age" in was in many ways laying the foundations for this, eventual, transfer of sovereignty.

    The Germanic peoples had long been one of the most potent in western Europe. In they constituted the politically influential majority populations throughout the German Confederation. Through the Prussian Dynasty a Germanic power extended into the Baltic region and parts of eastern Europe and through the Habsburg dynasty a Germanic power exercised sway over vast tracts of central Europe. Germanic influence was also widespread as a legacy of trade, as in the case of the Hanseatic League, which contributed to there being a number of substantially Germanic trading cities outside traditionally German lands.

    During an appointment at the substantially German city Riga in Latvia, Herder reflected on the value of local Lettish culture, and the problems of its suppression by international cosmopolitan culture.

    What enlightenment?

    Whilst based in Riga Herder gained attention with his Fragments concerning current German literature which advocated the emancipation of German literature from foreign influences. In Herder, whilst visiting Strasbourg, met Goethe and became involved in a long and culturally significant conversation with him. This meeting led to a subsequent friendship and literary collaboration. In his treatise On the Origin of Language Herder held that language and poetry are spontaneous necessities of human nature, rather than supernatural endowments. Herder developed the idea of Volksgeist "national character" as expressed in the language and literature of a nation.

    Each nation was held to have its own Volksgeist that was of unique value due to being shaped by that nation through its history. In Herder became court preacher at Weimar through the influence of Goethe who had entered the service of its ruling Prince. Something of Herder's outlook as per a Romanticisation of Nationality can be gauged from the following quotations Nature brings forth families; the most natural state therefore is also one people, with a national character of its own.

    For thousands of years this character preserves itself within the people and, if the native princes concern themselves with it, it can be cultivated in the most natural way: for a people is as much a plant of nature as is a family, except that it has more branches. Nothing therefore seems more contradictory to the true end of governments than the endless expansion of states, the wild confusion of races and nations under one scepter. An empire made up of a hundred peoples and a provinces which have been forced together is a monstrosity, not a state-body No greater injury can be inflicted on a nation than to be robbed of her national character, the peculiarity of her spirit and her language.

    Reflect on this and you will perceive our irreparable loss. Look about you in Germany for the character of the nation, for their own particular cast of thought, for their own peculiar vein of speech; where are they? Read Tacitus; there you will find their character: "The tribes of Germany, who never degrade themselves by mingling with others, form a peculiar, unadulterated, original nation, which is its own archetype.

    Even their physical development is universally uniform, despite the large numbers of the people," and so forth. Now look about you and say: "The tribes of Germany have been degraded by mingling with others; they have sacrificed their natural disposition in protracted intellectual servitude; and, since they have, in contrast to others, imitated a tyrannical prototype for a long time, they are, among all the nations of Europe, the least true to themselves.

    The many princely courts of Germany, and her established intellectual life, for many decades up these times had been in the habit of communicating through the French language as a result of a long period of French cultural predominance in Europe. From circa there appeared an increasingly influential Sturm und Drang Storm and Stress literary movement. This movement was given a considerable creative impetus by many young persons, from many of the states of which "the Germanies" were then composed.


    It was often the case that these young persons were dismissive of the "foreign" and "formalistic" courts maintained by the secular and clerical lords of the Germanies. They sought to be creative through a free expression of emotion, inclination, and passion often in opposition to established cultural forms. Herder was a central figure in the Sturm und Drang movement and shared in its rejection of French cultural forms.

    Goethe's German versions of Ossian's 'Songs of Selma' occupy several pages of his The Sorrows of Young Werther , which became the cult novel of the day. The Sturm und Drang movement was dramatically influential in the cultural life of the Germanies for less than a decade but, despite its brevity, nonetheless constituted evidence of a noticeable alteration in cultural perspectives.

    These were politically interesting times - a potent minority amongst the colonial Americans actively sought independence from Britain and were helped to achieve this by the interventions of the French and others. The prodigious expense of this French involvement however contributed to the onset of an initially financial and ultimately political crisis in the French Kingdom.

    In the aftermath of the French Revolution of populist energies were unleashed within the markedly populous French Kingdom in what were to become an eventual twenty six years of intermittent French Revolutionary and Napoleonic turmoils. In association with these turmoils the pre-existing Dynastically and Clerically based patterns of Sovereignty and Governance were brought down in many parts of Europe.

    A more popular sovereignty and forms of nationalism meanwhile were encouraged by the various contending parties in their attempts to secure allies to their respective causes. In the case of the Germanies where many intellectuals had initially welcomed the French Revolution in the hope that it would bring much needed reforms in its train the actual establishment of Napoleonic power brought with it enforced demands for wealth to support Napoleon's Empire and for manpower to fill the ranks of his armies moreso than locally welcome social or political reform. German indignation at Napoleon's many impositions gave rise to a defiant assertion of a German nationality.

    At that time "the Germans" and "Germany" were divided into a multiplicity of states and it is surely of a prime significance that Fichte addressed the "German Nation" rather than say the subjects of the King of Prussia in who's capital city the Address was being delivered. In these Addressess Fichte called for a system of national education that would tend to preserve the distinctive quality or ethos of the German Nation. Nationality was seen as being higher than statehood. Fichte held that people should be willing to give a complete and consuming loyalty to their nation as something eternal in contrast to the lesser civic loyalty that was due to a state.

    In these times several radical ministers had been authorised by the King of Prussia to effect root and branch reforms across the Prussian territories that would simultaneously lessen the appeal of policies that emanated from Napoleonic France and would also tend to greatly enhance popular identification with the Prussian Royal state. At the time Fichte delivered these Addresses "Germany" was undefined. As far as Prussia itself went there were numerous Polish subjects in her northern and eastern provinces. What would their position be in a "National" Germany? Some forty years after these events there was another period of revolution in Europe.

    At this time the territorial extent of "Germany" was a central issue as there was a contest for acceptability between a Kleindeutsche resolution where the western and northern Germanies might coalesce under Prussian leadership and a Grossedeutsche resolution where the Habsburg lands would be included in a Germany where the Habsburg influence would be most significant. This contest was not entirely distant from religious questions as Prussia was a predominantly Protestant state and the Habsburg lands were predominantly Catholic. Further deep complications arising from the fact that Germans were a minority in the Habsburg lands where the Hungarians vied with the Germans as a people of state and numerous Slav peoples Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Croats, Ruthenians, Serbs together represented a more numerous population than the Germans and Hungarians combined.

    Peace settlements following on from some of the many Wars of Dynastic Succession in European History had led to the ancient House of Savoy, traditionally powerful in south-eastern France and north-west of the Italian Peninsula, to be recognised as Kings of Sardinia. Count Camillo di Cavour was appointed Prime Minister in Cavour was somewhat in favour of liberalism, secularism, and of economic development.

    The political and diplomatic aftermath of the Crimean War from featured a breach between the Austrian Empire traditionally an involved power in the affairs of the Italian Peninsula and the Russian Empire. Given that the Austrian state had effectively needed Russian assistance to secure the return of Hungary to its control in the wake of the revolutions of the breach with Russia meant that Austrian state, still strained by Hungarian restiveness, was in a substantially weaker position to resist Cavour's diplomatic machinations directed towards the incorporation of several territories in the Italian peninsula into an extended Kingdom of Sardinia.

    Cavour's diplomacy, which in some ways exploited "Italian" nationalism, laid the foundations for the "Making of Italy" as a kingdom by As the nineteenth century ran its course Kleindeutscheland was largely imposed from above by the diplomatic manipulations of Bismarck in support of the expansion of they sway of the Prussian monarchy which led to the proclamation of the second German Empire in Habsburg Austria meanwhile was forced, by reverses suffered through Bismarck's diplomatic conflicts to concede a compromise with its Hungarian element that saw the Hungarians exercising much more authority in those lands which were traditionally associated with the Hungarian crown of St.

    The Hungarians had won concessions for themselves but tended to overtly attempt to impose Hungarian "Magyarisation" upon the various Slav peoples domiciled in the lands of the Crown of St Stephen. Within the "Germanic Austrian" Viennese Parliament and the territories with which it was legislatively associated meanwhile there were many instances of linguistic and ethnocultural rivalry where representatives of Slavic peoples often raised issues about the languages of administation and education within lands where they were respectively domiciled.

    The following On Line links can take you to pages where historical developments are detailed in ways that attempt to quietly display the operation of the Human affinities for "Honesty-Spirituality", "Good Fellowship-Desire", and "Manhood-Ethnicity" in the Unfolding of History. As with The Perennial Philosophy a very large number of impactful quotations from mysticism in world religions and from secular poetry appear in our page sections.

    In this page section you can find brief details of several quotations sources or links to on-line pages containing fuller details of several quotations sources. So far as I am aware, with one certain exception, all of the sources quoted are no longer under Copyright protection. The certain exception that is known to me is the Chuang Tzu, this work is still under a restricted, rather than a full , form of Copyright, quotes from this source, and also from the Lotus Gospel as I am unsure of the status here have been kept to a bare minimum.

    We hope that readers will be interested enough in these sources to access the originals. Said originals and some better, still under Copyright restriction or just more readily available , alternatives are listed below. Click on these Links to review brief details about quotations sources used by us to illustrate the Wisdom of the Mystics for selected World Faiths or for General background This translation is generally deemed to be scholarly and is also prized for the literary quality of its content.

    A number of quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi's Masnavi I Ma'navi appear in our "Central" spiritual insights section and our "Other" spiritual insights section. A number of quotes from the Bhagavad Gita appear on our "Central" spiritual insights section and our "Other" spiritual insights section. The quotations you can read in our spiritual insights sections come from a rather dated translation - by F. As with the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads the quotes from the Dhammapada you have read come from a dated translation - by F. Max Muller - a translation by Mascaro is usually available from Penguin Classics.

    A number of quotations from the Chuang Tzu appear in our "Central" spiritual insights section and our "Other" spiritual insights section. The Perennial Philosophy treats mainly with Eastern rather than Western sources as Aldous Huxley hoped to present readers with quotations that were unfamiliar. The quotes from The Republic of Plato come from the translation attributable to J. Davies and D. The myriad of quotes that appear drawn from secular plays and poetry have sources too numerous to mention in detail.

    If you are really interested a good way to track many of the plays and poems down would be to have recourse to a good book of quotations. Such books are generally indexed by phrase and tend to give chapter and verse as to the original source after any and each of the phrases quoted. We particularly welcome information about quotes that might enhance our Spiritual Insights selections or our Poetry Insights selections.

    We also greatly welcome suggestions for expanding the age-of-the-sage Site into subject areas that might be thought complementary to its main themes. We see these main themes as being Shakespeare and Byron are obviously world renowned Poets. There are also Mystics, from several world faiths, who enjoy immense reputations amongst those who are knowledgable about their amazing insights. The following is an example of the spiritually impact-FULL quotations that are to be found in this celebrated work. None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.

    What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary. This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. If fishes get ponds to live in, they thrive. If man gets TAO to live in, he may live his life in peace.

    Regard your neighbor's gain as your gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss. Every addition to or deviation from nature belongs not to the ultimate perfection of all. He who would attain to such perfection never loses sight of the natural conditions of his existence. With him the joined is not united, nor the separated apart, nor the long in excess, nor the short wanting. For just as a duck's legs, though short cannot be lengthened without pain to the duck, and a crane's legs though long, cannot be shortened without misery to the crane, so that which is long in man's moral nature cannot be cut off, nor that which is short be lengthened.

    All sorrow is thus avoided. The Sermon on the Mount can be regarded as being composed of several themes including-. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

    Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.

    Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

    If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

    But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. From these cosmopolitan centres emerged a prolific class of highly cultured and enlightened literati.

    With the reintroduction of the old examination system, poetry attained a high degree of refinement, subtlety and sophistication. Specifically regarding the prevailing themes in Wang Wei's poetry, specially noticeable is the explicit personal involvement of the poet related to all selected themes and motives. This personal involvement expressed by the presence of a 'Self'-- thinking, feeling, brooding, contemplating, etc. During the Tang this lyricism gained new expressive values. Wang Wei and others selected themes for their poems which deliberately dwelt with the existence of identification between the prosaic narrator and the poem's active protagonist.

    Wang Wei, primed in the technique of handling textual construction repeatedly made use of it in order to express his ideology which was much influenced by Buddhism. Complying with this structure, the poems were presented as an 'act' of the poet's protagonist addressed as much to Nature as to himself, which frequently appear in unison, thus reinforcing the notion of reflective time, figuratively evoked by dusk after sundown, moonlight, the darkness of the night i. Such qualities which may be considered as 'romantic' poetical facets, were discursive agents of an ideology of evasion rather than commitment.

    In broad terms, Wang Wei's poetical framework consisted or going beyond the presence of the active protagonist, utilizing constrasting elements which qualitatively portrayed the environment such as the moonlight with its glow and the abyss of the night i. These constants, which through their repetitiveness - maybe overabundant - are present in almost all the poems of the selected group, place the reader in a position so as to appreciate a much larger poetical corpus of the work of Wang Wei.

    Thus the reader can gain an even deeper understanding of these poems. In some poems were the skillfull formality of the metaphors and the subtly rendered imagery convey a subjectivity which permeates through Nature, i. The choice of such motives expresses a poetical sensibility which is quite the opposite of the social and political analysis and critical appreciation of Du Fu and Bai Juyi. Wang Wei treatment of themes is remote from "the poetry of the world" where the verses are concerned with contemporary issues. His poems physically and psychologically transport the reader to isolated locations i.

    Other Spiritual Insights

    In many verses the notion of solitude and loneliness is strongly related to the concept of enlightenment, i. It is in the silence of the environment that the subjectivity of the poems explores and finds its true 'Self', thus indivisible Nature and Man assuming both a metaphysical transcendence. For his own sake, the protagonist must be fully cogniscent of his 'Way', and this implies for Wang Wei a detachment from worldly values i. Detachment from the worldly matters surpassed by transcendent realities.

    This itinerary which the subjectivity sets for itself without concern for its destiny i. Such an itinerary is not merely a voyage in time but implies a mutation of his own self, as on his way i. The voyage of Man's essence is a departure with an altered return as its time and space imply transformation. Implicitly, the indivisible notions of Nature and Man unveil the intuition of a dialectical evolution projected in a progression which is not 'cumulative' - that of the logic of the world - but of 'elevation' - that where the starting point is never coincidental with that of arrival.

    In it Wang Wei expresses an "adieu" "farewell" - and not a 'au-revoir' 'see you' - to the world. In the Chanson de la fille de Luoyang A Song of a Girl from Lo-yang 16 the poet makes it clear that he considers worldly possessions as nothing but vain and contingent belongings.

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    • Acknowledgments?

    Both in this poem as in the La chanson de Xi Shi Song About Xi Shi 17 the poet considers material goods a hindrance to the fulfilment of 'true' life. The La chanson de Xi Shi is the only one of Wang Wei's poems where an attempt at social critique is expressed through stereotyped and obviously exaggerated formulas, i. The poet categorically expresses his disdain for honours and riches, so unimportant and transient i. For him life is too short and one must continuously press ahead towards the fulfilment of one's ultimate goal: enlightenment.

    This detachment is an immediate and personal reflection of a deep intellectual awareness which erupts spontaneously in some of his verses i. Elaborate passages as this attest for the influence of Buddhist philosophy in Wang Wei. Contemporary to the poet, the chan zen Buddhist School emphasised the importance of individual meditation as the 'Way' to reach the essence of 'true' reality hidden under this world's illusory appearances. The poet explores the realms of Nature in opposition to and even detrimental to established worldly values.

    It is interesting to note that the dichotomy between Nature and worldly established values also became a characteristic of European literature particularly during the nineteenth century Romantic period, although certainly devoid of the Chinese initiatory and esoteric qualities found in the works of Wang Wei. Wang Wei is sensible to the synchrony between Man - himself- and Nature - his poetry.

    It could be said that the poet feels so integral to the realm of Nature that both constitute a natural and inseparable unity. European literature, and particularly Portuguese literature, also express this life's ideal of being in unison with a Nature remote from established worldly values. Although some analogies are to be found between the work of Chinese poets and selected European and Portuguese writers, major differences are immediately evident. Wang Wei equally prescribes to the 'ideal' of a bucolic lifestyle devoid of excesses, with the greatest of moderations, and orientated towards the pursuit of cultural and pastoral activities i.

    Instead of the 'sea' - a Chinese traditional symbol of 'agitation' - Wang Wei's 'idea' of a bucolic lifestyle implies one's immediate and direct participation. The Chinese poet achieves fulfilment with the contemplation of Nature i. He 'dreams' of nothing else more than a continous presence in the forests where he finds rest and becomes detached from himself, thus fully participating in the idealised unity with Nature. In this 'natural' environment remote from the echo of worldly concerns which he adamantly refuses i. Following the teachings of the ninth century Lin-chi and Tsao-tong Schools of thought which aimed at convincing the initiated that any conscious reality of a conceptualization is false, and at leading him beyond the mere concepts, Wang Wei wanted to become the "[ The relevance of dialogue as a method to reach enlightenment should also be emphasised i.

    Example of this expanded dialogue are the poems exchanged between Wang Wei and his friend Pei Di. In fact, Pei Di answered in verse to Wang Wei's poems dedicated to the landscapes of the valley of Wang. In Adieu Farewell 31 Wang Wei returns to the device of an effective dialogue between himself and the reader. In this dialogue he openly reveals his previously described life's 'ideals'. After a successful career as a civil-servant, he renounced all and retired to the remote countryside where he spent the rest of his days exclusively dedicating himself to poetry. Nature was also to become the solace of the society's disillusioned nineteenth century Portuguese writer Alexandre Herculano.

    In this work, the poet compromises lyricism to the narration in order to elucidate the theme's messages. The poem describes the allegoric history of a fisherman who entering a cavern, finds another world where people tend the fields and speak "[ Harmony reigns in such a place - this 'other world' - and the newly established contacts with foreigners are friendly. But, notwithstanding the perfection of this government, the fisherman becomes nostalgic for his people, but incapable to reenter the cavern, can not return home.

    As an introduction to the voyage of initiation the poem begins with a discussion on the subject of Nature, the poet stating that no attempts should be made to alter the path of the 'Way' or the destiny of Nature, and inviting the reader to participate in the ectstatic contemplation of a mountain "[ While containing all the fundamental aspects of Wang Wei's poetical style, the Song of the Peach Tree Spring also enhances the pursuit of the 'Way'; that it should be effortless and natural i.

    The poet does not put forward an unbelievable and unrealistic realm, but creates in the reader the desire to participate in a utopia with the obvious pedagogic intention of making tangible all 'abstractions', notions and concepts. All similitudes between Wang Wei's poetical, idealised realm and his contemporary Chinese world were meant to implicitly determine to whom the poets' message was addressed.

    But let us consider the utopian facets of this poetical structure where peace and harmony prevail: "[ In reality, perfection is in the conscience of all those who inhabit utopia; those who have lost all memories of the established worldly values of the beyond.

    Those who embark on the voyage will be transformed because they will become participants of a completely different and novel set of realities. The perils of the journey symbolize all the dangers endured by those in pursuit of the 'Way' "[ This division - utopia versus reality - has been present since the times of Plato and it is present in the traditional Western concept of tangibility with similar notions and values put forward by Wang Wei.

    By analogy, the 'aurea mediocritas' equally is the utopian place of the Chinese poet. This poet described the journey to the cavern as an ascetical 'Way', which in Western terms could be considered as elevating Man's consciousness to a state of mind which in literary terms is described as a place of perfection - the 'other world', or that of the Immortals.

    It is curious that the fisherman does not notice that he has reached that 'other world' of the Immortals "[ Perhaps he was not yet sufficiently enlightened to reach such a stage?! Anyway, what is certain is that all men progress towards enlightenment according to their own capacities, visions, and notions of this world. The firsherman's capacity for hindsight might never allow him to attain the utopian dimension.

    He understands tangible beauty but at that stage he is at he can not yet grasp the relevance of the pursuit of the 'Way', finding only solace by recalling memories of the past "[ Wang Wei's poetry seems to be a plea to discard mundane affairs in order to search for the 'Way' literally illustrated as a deep incision in the mountain; the serenity of reality; the erratic path alienated from the 'natural' progress of events "[ Where is the answer?

    Obviously in ourselves, reenacting in this life the long voyage of the initial sages Translator's note: The following poems comprise all those which have been selected by the author to support the theme of his essay, excluding those of which excerpts are quoted in the text which appear indexed to the citations. Due to discrepancies between the French and English translations of Wang Wei's poems originally written in Chinese, all quotations of the poet's works are given in this English text as presented in French by the author of the article. Extracts of Wang Wei's poems quoted by the author and repertoried in the following notes, are underlined and contextualised in each corresponding poem, in full.

    For comparative reference, whenever possible, an English version of the same poem follows the French version. Written at Command in reply to the Emperor's springdetaining poem on the distant spring view in the rain, on the way from the Magic Palace to the Pavilion of Joy.

    Wang Wei: Poems. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books. Tuttle Company, , pp. When she emerges from her private chamber she is ushered into a coach redolent with seven fragances.