Were The Dark Ages Really Dark?

“The Dark Ages still reign over all humanity, and the depth and persistence of this domination are only now becoming clear,” says Richard Buckminster Fuller in Cosmography. “This Dark Ages prison has no steel bars, chains, or locks. Instead, it is locked by misorientation and built of misinformation… We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.”

Have you ever considered how History’s name-tagging takes effect in perception? It is generally assumed that Modernity was the fruit of the Enlightenment and that, in turn, the Renaissance was a time of unparalleled progress for humanity. Let’s move further back.

The term ‘dark age’ has been attributed to Petrarch (1304-1374) who described his own time as one of ‘darkness’. He was later followed by the Enlightened Voltaire, Rousseau, Gibbon and, more recently, Bertrand Russell.

Is it truly fair to deem the Middle Ages as ‘dark’? The Western Roman Empire had succumbed to Odin’s ravens. The Spanish Inquisition of the Church was clearly evil. But, is that all the Middle Ages were?

Continue reading “Were The Dark Ages Really Dark?”

The Warrior Versus Modernity’s Cult of Eternal Boyhood

Michel Houellebecq, a controversial (and plain brilliant) French author, about whom the UK’s The Guardian deemed an “aging literary enfant terrible”, wrote in his La Possibilité d’une Île

The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.”

Undoubtedly, it seems quite a grim outlook of adult life or just a philosophical entrenchment after Turgenev, things have indeed changed these days. Continue reading “The Warrior Versus Modernity’s Cult of Eternal Boyhood”

For it is a Human Number

“Pythagoras and his followers wrote the precepts of their doctrines in cubical arrangement,” we read in Vitruvius’ De Architectura (Book V, Preface), “the cube containing two hundred and sixteen verses, of which they thought that not more than three should be allotted to any one precept.”

Notably, 216 is the result of 6 raised to the third power. Ever since the ancient Chaldeans, the number 6 represented the act of creation, so it was considered to be the perfect number. Again, among the Platonic Solids described in Timaeus is the Cube, a congruent and regular six-square-face polygon, is representative of “Earth” though with a deeper significance. Continue reading “For it is a Human Number”