When the subject is Buddhism, “enlightenment” means a spiritual awakening. But the Western Enlightenment has been political and social. It’s about reason, the rights of the individual citizen, and a scientific understanding of the material plane. Because the Enlightenment’s ideas were derived from the speculations of a number of individualContinue Reading

If we mark the beginning of the Middle Ages with Charlemagne appointing himself King of the Franks (768) and mark the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment with Descartes’ philosophy of Cogito, ergo sum (1637) or Isaac Newton’s Mathematica Principia (1687), then the Middle Ages lasted around 900 years—900 yearsContinue Reading

As the Roman Empire collapsed, disorder increased. Civilization requires order, and Europeans were well past the point where they could live simply. So, a new order came into being, an alliance between the Roman Catholic Church and powerful aristocrats—royalty. At this point, the only relationship Christianity had with Christ wasContinue Reading

There have been many instances where, once the teacher dies, the students fall away from the teachings. Because of the heavy mythologizing that came after his death, it’s difficult to see Jesus as an enlightened teacher. He’s depicted as a super being, the only son of God the Father. HisContinue Reading

After a long COVID-induced hiatus, I just completed my first recording session in nearly a year and a half. There was a particularly interesting aspect to this session. 50 years ago, when I was trying to find my place in this world and had dreams of making it as aContinue Reading

Before picking apart the entity we call Christianity, I need to establish who I believe Jesus was. There is no figure in the history of the West who’s more polarizing and less understood by both his adherents and those who disparage him. If you go to the New Age sectionContinue Reading

After a year-and-a-half-long hiatus, I’m finally going back into Bruce Kaphan’s recording studio, Niagara Falls, to work on Street Songs, the collection of recordings that accompanies my manuscript-in-progress Street Song. I don’t want to give out too many specifics prior to the event (I’m a little superstitious that way) butContinue Reading

The Enlightenment was first a philosophical movement, the roots of which stretch back to ancient Greece, where most Western philosophy begins. The late 20th Century French intellectuals, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, say in their book What is Philosophy? that it was the ancient Greeks who dispensed with the sageContinue Reading

I’m going to be using the word enlightenment a lot in these posts, but in two different contexts where it has two different meanings. The Age of Enlightenment, sometimes called The Enlightenment Project, but more commonly just The Enlightenment, was a period in European history that is generally considered toContinue Reading