The Spirit of Humanism
Humanism was one of the forces that created the modern world – but one we have forgotten. We have become barbarians again.
I didn’t really know what it was myself, and that sparked my interest in what the modern world was – now that we have left it behind us. I am reading The Making of the Modern Mind, which is excellent, if huge – but I have plenty of time, in that way I am rich. I quote from page 122, where he quotes from Pico’s Oration on the Dignity of Man.
This is not entertainment, something post-modern man is addicted to, but something so profound it has to be couched in biblical language.
Then the Supreme Maker decreed that unto Man, on whom he could bestow naught singular, should belong in common whatsoever had been given to his other creatures. Therefore he took man, made in his own individual image, and placed him at the center of the world, spake to him thus:
“Neither a fixed abode, nor a form in thine own likeness, no any gift peculiar to thyself alone, have we given thee, O Adam, in order that what abode, what likeness, what gifts thou shalt choose, be thine to possess.
The nature allotted to all other creatures, within laws appointed by ourselves, restrains them. Thou, restrained by no narrow bounds, according to thy free will, in whose power I have placed thee, shalt define thy nature for thyself. I have set thee midmost the world, that hence thou mightest the more conveniently survey whatsoever is in the world.
No have we made thee either heavenly or earthly, mortal or immortal, to the end that thou, being as it were, thy own free maker and moulder, shouldst fashion thyself in what form may like thee best. Thou shalt have power to decline into the lower or brute creatures. Thou shalt have power to be reborn unto the higher, or divine, according to the sentence of thy intellect.”
This to Man, at his birth, the Father gave seeds of all variety and germs of every form of life.