In advance I must say I’m sorry because this posting will be difficult for many of my readers here to deal with. Before I get into the details of this article let me state that it is better to have something of a spiritual nature that holds together a personality even if they do not get that spiritual means from any other source than religion. I am far from a godless heathen in the way I conduct my own life and for many years the church was important to me. But there comes a time when you either keep growing or you stop, and I never stopped. I outgrew the confines of any religion in a personal quest for knowledge and philosophy that has replaced that spiritual growth for me which I consider to be much larger than the teachings that come from just The Holy Bible.
This small disclosure is needed for a reason, there are two modern philosophers who have done work that will save the world by saving America, and they need to be studied. Any barrier which stands in the way of learning what these people had to say needs to be addressed. It is one thing to study the Founding Fathers and what they had to say, but the task of our modern age is different, and will require a different level of understanding to accomplish. We cannot just repeat what was done in the past, but must learn from it and translate it to our modern circumstances, and to understand the perspective of where America finds itself in 2012 this information is important.
The first figure is Robert Pirsig who is currently floating around the Atlantic Ocean in his sail boat purchased off the royalties of his two books, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Lila. Pirsig is a former school teacher who achieved an earth-shattering discovery that the human race has not yet come to terms with. I predict if left alone, Pirsig’s ideas might take 100 years to assimilate into our culture, but on our present course, I do not think America can last that long. Pirsig discovered the nature of “quality” referred to here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom in large doses. The weight of this discovery drove Pirsig to madness, and he was treated in a way that was intended to drive the knowledge from his mind without malicious intent. But the experience placed so much weight on his thoughtful mind that he more or less retired after the publication of Zen, and is currently living off its royalties.
A few times a year he makes port with his boat in New York and picks up his royalty check from his publisher, then he goes back out to sea to disappear for months at a time. He made his contribution to the human race and he’s done—and I don’t blame him one bit.
Pirsig went one step further than Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism. Pirsig was able to explain why Ayn Rand was correct in her belief that it is the senses that create a mind that achieves reasoning ability through cognition. When Ayn Rand writes about the exceptional beings who carry the world on their backs it is because of the methods that Pirsig discovered that makes some people exceptional and some not so much so. Ayn Rand’s objectivism is a direct descendent from Aristotle who was in direct conflict with his close friend and mentor Plato.
The turn-off that many people have toward Ayn Rand is that she did not believe in God, and her reasons are for the same reasons that Aristotle and Plato were fundamentally in intellectual combat all the time. Plato eventually at the end of his life began to see that Aristotle was correct in the belief that “The truth resides in the world around us.” Plato on the other hand believed that “Earthly knowledge is but a shadow.” Plato thought that forms in the living world were to some degree less than an unseen, unknowable supreme being that is just out of reach of our conscious reality. It is Plato who was used by later philosophers such as Boethius in 480 CE to help formulate the terms of Christianity in the church and create what we think of God here in the modern age. Boethius wrote the masterful book The Consolation of Philosophy while in prison awaiting execution for treason. It was in this work by Boethius that many of the myths about a living God emerged such as “God foresees our free thoughts and actions,” and that God is beyond time. Descartes, Leibniz and Kant would proceed on with Plato’s corrupted theory through the Dark Ages into the modern progressive age. It would be Immanuel Kant that the academics of Europe and America would attempt to mold the progressive philosophy from and Karl Marx was a huge fan of Kant. The flaw in Plato’s thinking was not malicious, nor did it take away from his creative genius. His thoughts were improved by Aristotle by competition of thought and many problems Plato had in his theory were solved by Aristotle. But Aristotle was rejected by the medieval churches because Aristotle didn’t fit the agenda of social control, and Plato did.
After Aristotle died there was a philosopher by the name of Epicurus from 341-to 270 BCE who took Aristotle’s ideas a bit further. He determined that if mankind could overcome a fear of death, then we can be happy. On the last day of his life, knowing he would be dead by the end of the day he was asked if he was still happy. He replied, that he was truly happy—as he had rejected any fear of death in his life. It was Epicurus, known by many in the Dark Ages as a man in pursuit of sensual pleasures by rejecting the idea that his actions in this life were in a quest to obtain something better in the next life. It was John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century who much later revived the ideas of Epicureanism putting the idea in the head of the American Founding Fathers. It is because of Epicurus that the term, “Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” was put into The Declaration of Independence. It was Jefferson and many of the other Founding Fathers who embraced Aristotle in favor of Plato. And it was Ayn Rand who took Aristotle to a whole new level in objectivism. She has done for Aristotle what Kant did for Plato.
The modern cry out for a fix to the worlds moral state of depravity is because everything the human race thinks and believes was built off a false premise that Plato himself attempted to correct later, but the editors of history looking to the passive collectivism in Plato’s belief of a superior afterlife created flocks of human slaves ready for worldly representatives who could communicate with the Gods.
After Epicurus died, Greek philosophy quickly declined and the Roman Empire rose to power. The Romans applied stoicism which placed duty before self. As America became a world power and considered itself to be more like Rome, our military had adopted the Roman practice of honor in sacrifice. Of course the Romans advocated stoicism to serve the needs of the empire and this went on until Constantine declared himself a Christian by signing the Edict of Milan which allowed Christians for the first time to profess their religious beliefs.
The Roman Empire fell basically in 395 CE with the division of the Empire into East and West and the vacuum of philosophy and the arts vacant in Europe and the Mediterranean since the time of the Greeks was satisfied by various churches trying to fill the power void left in the wake. This was the beginning of The Dark Ages and the churches needed a way to gain control of the various segments of the population no longer under the obedience of the Roman Empire. St Augustine of Hippo 354 to 430 CE had began to devote himself to Christianity and proposed that God is not responsible for evils which led to the interpretation of the Fall in the Garden story of Adam and Eve. The Hebrew Bible began to take shape as early as the 7th and 10th centuries organized by Masoretes. The Codex Amiatinus was produced in the 8th century, but it wasn’t until The Gutenberg Bible printed in 1452 that a Bible could be given to anyone outside of a church for comprehension and personal study. Until that time all information was passed to the masses through the church, which they ruled with an iron fist.
Many of the books in the Bible were not written or translated until several centuries after the passing of Christ. Given the nature of the churches in the Dark Ages, I would suspect anything they put into a biblical translation, or left out. To me the Bible makes an interesting story, but it doesn’t come close to providing irrefutable truths about faith or the nature of God. It was not constructed by the hand of God, but by just another group of tyrants running the churches at the time. By the time the first Bibles were available for printed publication, well over 1000 years had transpired from the times of Christ.
A few hundred years after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Muslim religion started as they sought to translate Aristotle’s work into the formation of their religion. Evolving in parallel with Christianity following closely the teachings of Zoroastrianism the Muslim religion did not have a Quran (Koran) at the time of Muhammad’s death in 632 CE. Zoroastrianism had been prevalent in the modern area of Iran as early as 6th century BCE and had gradually been assimilated into Islam. Both Christianity and the Muslim faith resemble great similarities to Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism would be revived by Friedrich Nietzsche in his book about the Übermensch (translated to overman—the name of this site) called Thus Spoke Zarathustra, named his main character after the prophet of Zoroastrianism.
Dear reader—I am telling you all this so that you can understand the shallowness of our human history and the beliefs that have brought us to this point. Much of what America did right in its creation was created by philosophies built upon the shoulders of Aristotle. Much of what we have done wrong has been done on the shoulders of Plato. It really comes down to those two thinkers. Everyone else has simply added to the basic ideas between those two philosophers. Aristotle was rejected until Thomas Aquinas talked the church into reviving the philosopher around 1270 CE, and it was Aristotle who had filled the gaps of his master Plato. Yet it was the churches, and the philosopher Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, then Woodrow Wilson, then Franklin Roosevelt, then John Kennedy, then Lyndon Johnston who brought to America more of Plato’s philosophy with an emphasis on religion from the Dark Ages through the writings of Kant and Roman stoicism. And that is where we have gone wrong as a country.
Ayn Rand has put her philosophy of Objectivism behind the work of Aristotle and when our nation functioned with a leaning under Aristotelian terms due to philosophers like John Locke whom the Founding Fathers read heavily, America worked better than anywhere in the world, much the way Greece did before the death of Aristotle. A country is built on the ideas of the people who inhabit the nation, and depending on the quality of the minds of those individuals a society will have success or failure. America is failing because it is functioning from the wrong ideas, so it is time to get rid of what doesn’t work and replace it with what does.
I’m certainly not asking anybody to give up their Bibles or their religions. But I am asking you dear reader to repot yourself into a larger container and give your roots some room to spread so you can grow even more. As human beings we are only performing at a fraction of what we are capable of, and progressives are using the same methods that created the Dark Ages to keep mankind as small plants in small pots with no room to grow. I didn’t learn all that I showed above in public school—in fact not one word of it. I may have heard the names of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle in my high school anthropology class, which I did enjoy. I learned all that from reading—and reading a lot. And being willing to go outside my comfort zone in pursuit of truths that no teacher could give me—because most of the teachers I ran into were practicing evasion tactics in their own lives and were certainly not in a condition to teach others.
But Ayn Rand should not be avoided just because she didn’t believe in a God the way the Bible instructs. She asked for proof and in the world of the living there were no signs of such proof. Ayn Rand demanded explanations for what she believed and why she believed it. Regulating certain thoughts to the blankness of a superior world that is unknowable, has left thieves and looters open to scam society with false teachings and speculation anchored in an afterlife. This is what looter politicians and corrupt representatives of the churches have done for many years—they prayed on the weak-minded who had been looking for salvation in their lives. Churches and governments both appeal to the masses through collectivism, and if America is to ever find itself again, it must eliminate collectivism from its vocabulary and protect the rights of individuals in the here and now.
One of those methods of replacing collectivism in American culture with a philosophy grounded in the roots of Aristotle, properly–as the greek texts had conceived before the corruption of interpretation exploding forth in the Dark Ages is Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. Today, it is Leonard Peikoff who carries Rand’s message as he is the official authorized presenter of Objectivism through his classes over many years starting in 1976. Objecitivism is the next step for the human beings of the world as it’s logic is destined to replace all the superstitions and theory of many years of religious turmoil and philosophic limitation. Below are an entire course worth of videos from Leonard Peikoff himself as he provided this philosophy to one of his classes. If you are a fan of Rand’s work such as Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, you will learn why those works are so powerful to you by watching Peikoff’s presentation. If you reject Ayn Rand in anger, or fear, you will learn why you are wrong in your thoughts. Philosophy is the foundation of everything, so if society is broken in some way, it is because the metaphysics and epistemology of the society is wrong at its basic premise. This is not an idea that can be cheated, or corrected with further spending. It can only be fixed with correction into the metaphysics and epistemology of a societies philosophy.
Religion is a guide for a person’s eternal life, and whatever method one chooses to utilize in getting there is perfectly fine. But radical Muslims cannot be allowed to inflict their beliefs on the rest of America and threaten to kill everyone who doesn’t believe in their shallow version of history. And Christians are in the same situation. Zionists have a right to exist and much of the trouble in present day Palestine and Israel are conflicts over the same plot of land as interpreted by the religious beliefs that were stemmed off the sources shown above. They have more in common then they have apart, yet they are willing to kill with the simple mindedness of stoicism utilized in the Roman Empire to bend the opposing belief system into their way of thinking. And this behavior is perpetuated by powerful interests all over the world who actually wish to rule in the same way that the churches did in The Dark Ages.
For all these reasons discussed above the great mind of Robert Pirsig is sailing out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, or perhaps even the Caribbean right now aloof to it all. I know people who attempt to read his books and find themsevles reading them over and over again never quite getting the concepts. This is because they still have their roots in too small of a pot–the world of Plato and Kent. But just because it’s hard, or different does not mean it’s not right. You can see more about Robert Pirsig at the link below.
It’s not enough to wave the flag and proclaim change. You have to know what you want to change into, or in the case of The United States, what we want to revert back into. We have to know what part of our history worked and why, then commit ourselves to the act of getting there. I am not quite where Robert Pirsig is, where I’m willing to drop the world and walk off—because that’s what he did. Lucky for us Ayn Rand never did that. She stayed with the attempt of waking up the world her entire life, arguing against the foolishness of building the entire human race around Platonic thought with one eye everyday toward death allowing priests, politicians and simple looters to believe their souls could be saved if they coerced society into collective salivation through their toxic manipulations. The key to all life, to the betterment of all the world is to wake up the soul of every single human being and get them to treat their soul well in the here and now with an eye on today and living a good life as an individual of value and end the global practice of evasion utilized by the second-handlers of religion and politics. God gave human beings the gift of reason, and it is an insult to the universe if we simply refuse to use it due to half-hearted beliefs rooted in a time thousands of years ago that was faulty from the start, and identified. But the looters of logic stole the broken thoughts and passed them through the centuries to arrive before us all today in modern America. The key is in our minds already—all we lack is the courage to use it.
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