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The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View by Richard Tarnas
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“The world is in some essential sense a construct. Human knowledge is radically interpretive. There are no perspective-independent facts. Every act of perception and cognition is contingent, mediated, situated, contextual, theory-soaked. Human language cannot establish its ground in an independent reality. Meaning is rendered by the mind and cannot be assumed to inhere in the object, in the world beyond the mind, for that world can never be contacted without having already been saturated by the mind's own nature. That world cannot even be justifiably postulated. Radical uncertainty prevails, for in the end what one knows and experiences is to an indeterminate extent a projection.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
“The forms of mathematics, the harmonies of music, the motions of the planets, and the gods of the mysteries were all essentially related for Pythagoreans, and the meaning of that relation was revealed in an education that culminated in the human soul’s assimilation to the world soul, and thence to the divine creative mind of the universe.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind
“education is a process through which truth is not introduced into the mind from without, but is “led out” from within.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind
“What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.… Man is something that must be overcome.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind
“Knowledge based on the senses is therefore a subjective judgment, an ever-varying opinion without any absolute foundation. True knowledge, by contrast, is possible only from a direct apprehension of the transcendent Forms, which are eternal and beyond the shifting confusion and imperfection of the physical plane. Knowledge derived from the senses is merely opinion and is fallible by any nonrelative standard. Only knowledge derived directly from the Ideas is infallible and can be justifiably called real knowledge.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind
“For the deepest passion of the Western mind has been to reunite with the ground of its own being. The driving impulse of the West’s masculine consciousness has been its dialectical quest not only to realize itself, to forge its own autonomy, but also, finally,
to come to terms with the great feminine principle in life, and thus to recover its connection to the whole: to differentiate itself from but then rediscover and reunite with the feminine, with the mystery of life, of nature, of soul.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
“the striving (and anxious) Christian, deprived of the Catholic’s recourse to sacramental justification, could find signs of his being among the elect if he could successfully and unceasingly apply himself to disciplined work and his worldly calling. Material productivity was often the fruit of such effort, which, compounded by the Puritan demand for ascetic renunciation of selfish pleasure and frivolous spending, readily lent itself to the accumulation of capital. Whereas traditionally the pursuit of commercial success was perceived as directly threatening to the religious life, now the two were recognized as mutually beneficial.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind
“At the foundation of Hegel’s thought was his understanding of dialectic, according to which all things unfold in a continuing evolutionary process whereby every state of being inevitably brings forth its opposite. The interaction between these opposites then generates a third stage in which the opposites are integrated —they are at once overcome and fulfilled— in a richer and higher synthesis, which in turn becomes the basis for another dialectical process of opposition and synthesis... Hegel’s overriding impulse was to comprehend all dimensions of existence as dialectically integrated in one unitary whole. In Hegel’s view, all human thought and all reality is pervaded by contradiction, which alone makes possible the development of higher states of consciousness and higher states of being.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
“La teoria redime i fenomeni; è una congettura fortunata.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
“Il mondo esprime il proprio significato attraverso la coscienza umana. […] Attraverso l’intelletto umano in tutta la sua individualità, contingenza, e lotta personale, il contenuto del pensiero del mondo, sempre in evoluzione, raggiunge la propria formulazione cosciente. Sì, la conoscenza del mondo si struttura grazie al contributo soggettivo della mente; però tale contributo è teologicamente convocato dall’universo nell’ottica della propria autorivelazione. Il pensiero umano non riflette né può riflettere come uno specchio una verità oggettiva predeterminata del mondo; al contrario, la verità del mondo raggiunge l’esistenza quando nasce nella mente umana. Nello stesso modo in cui durante una determinata fase del proprio sviluppo una pianta produce fiori, anche l’universo produce nuove fasi della conoscenza.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
“Thus Western man enacted an extraordinary dialectic in the course of the modern era - moving from a near boundless confidence in his own powers, his spiritual potential, his capacity for certain knowledge, his mastery over nature, and his progressive destiny, to what often appeared to be a sharply opposite condition: a debilitating sense of metaphysical insignificance and personal futility, spiritual loss of faith, uncertainty in knowledge, a mutually destructive relationship with nature, and an intens insecurity concerning the human future. In the four centuries of modern man’s existence, Bacon and Descartes had become Kafka and Beckett.”
Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View