Thursday, January 2, 2014
I have a passion and a love of history; most of my followers know that I have a profound respect, maybe even a passion for the words of the French author Voltaire. He was a humanist, rationalist, and one of the greatest philosophers of enlightenment.
We know that out of the mouth of babes come truth and out of the mouths of men will comes his version of what truth he wants you to know, which I often refer to as His-Story. My favorite quote, among many, spoken by Voltaire is “History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.” Whereby, he professes that “Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.”
The great African America scholar Dr. John Henrick Clarke say it this way “history is a historical clock that tells of where we have been.” This is profound in terms of war, be it a war within yourself or between others, and we know “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” This begs the question, should we “Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Unfortunately, we find that love is not society’s answer because “Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.”
For example, “Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing…”
It is important to note that those men “who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities… Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do." Therefore, maybe we should learn to "Love truth, and pardon error." During my journey having witnessed history that I know to be true only to learn that very little of what we have ever been told is true. This leads me to believe that “each player must accept the cards life deals him. But once they are in hand, he alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”
In the world in which we live one must read to succeed, yet many “…despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.” I was fortunate to learn early in life that a “library” is the place where the “lies are buried” and I was taught to dig for truth, which could why I have a passion for the written word.
“The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors… We never live; we are always in the expectation of living… Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” Therefore, free your mind and the rest will follow. “It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge”. You will find in the end that “True greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten oneself and others.”
Since I birthed Thought Provoking Perspectives and shared with the world, often times I receive berating comments in response to a particular view point. What I will say to those of differing opinions is that we can agree to disagree, but if you disapprove of what I say, know that I will defend to the death my right to say it. My goal is merely to suggest that you “think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too”. This medium was created to offer a different view point, which is “my thought provoking perspective…”
Quotes by Voltaire (1694 – 1778)