In order to understand this book you have to look beyond its title “Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man: A Philosophy of History and Civilisational Triumph”. Otherwise you may feel it is too complicated to read and you will miss the best benefits of all that this author Dr. Nayef Al-Rodhan provides you in knowing in the end all is good, if you have the faith to believe. Of course all can be explained by science, with the background of this author he would have to preclude some of his thoughts through science, but if you throw in philosophy then it gets interesting because you can forecast different results. Man must not live beyond his means in the end.
This is a long time lesson that people have been trying to teach for years. You cannot take it with you and in the end the less you have in material items, the more you understand of the human spirit, the better fulfilled you will be as a human being and you will find the meaning of life through human touch and life. In the end there will be different cultures living together as there is today sharing most of the basic values and with each one keeping their own dignity. Through the sixteen chapters there are three areas or parts addressed and they are life, security and future. The reference material helps the reader with the glossary, the diagrams, and summary tables.
The one thing that stood out to me is the increase of awareness of our emotions that enhances our behavior making our relationships healthier and more fulfilling. In fact, we are creating our own history. You must read this book with an open mind and be able to explore and listen to others perceptions. The knowledge of being able to see all options presented in front of you and then moving forward will allow you to grow as an individual. It may take you some time to get through this book but read it with an open mind and you will find that you will enjoy this book.
Egypt prides itself as the first center of civilization on the African continent from 5000 B.C. The country is located along the coast of the Nile River in the northeast of Africa. Egypt was the site of one of the most powerful and longest-lasting civilization in the ancient world. This great ancient state highly utilized various art forms in revealing their deep-rooted philosophies of life. These philosophies were embedded in their strict and compact religious beliefs paramount amongst them was the belief in life after death. Owing to this, the people practiced a death cult where art was the main vehicle that was used.
Egyptian art was made purposely to serve the dead. For the ancient Egyptians, death was not an end but the transition from the land of the living (physical world) to the land of the dead (spiritual/metaphysical world). The Egyptians believed that when they died, their souls (Ka) would continue to live in another world but inside the same bodies. Therefore to ensure a successful journey to the land of the dead and the afterlife, the deceased had to be physically preserved along with earthly possessions and other reminders of daily activities.
To achieve this philosophy, the ancient Egyptians carefully treated their dead bodies called mummies and embalmed them to protect them from decaying. Works of art were meant to accompany the deceased into eternity. Thus, Egyptian art is an art of permanence that is why Egyptian art is popularly referred to as ‘Art for Eternity’. Fine linen strips woven were used in wrapping deceased bodies. Sometimes, the likenesses of missing corpses were carved from imperishable or durable materials like granite, gold and gems to replace them. After wrapping the body of the deceased (mummy) with the linen material, it was painted in bright colours and laid in tombs. These architectural structures known as pyramids were constructed with heavy stones. This assisted in prolonging their lifespan for eternity. Egyptian tombs were built to assure a blissful afterlife for the deceased, and the paintings, sculptures and other objects in them had an eternal purpose.
The interiors of these pyramids were lavishly decorated with series of paintings that depicted the journey of the dead to the metaphysical world. Other themes for the painting included people hunting and feasting. Funerary texts which were believed to preserve the dead person’s name and petitions for his wellbeing by the gods were also written in hieroglyphics. This graphic art recounted the good deeds of the deceased including his titles and honours gained during his lifetime.
Thus, the ideologies of the Egyptians regarding the afterlife which is part of their philosophy was made evident through the artistic creations-paintings, sculpture, architecture and textiles. This should inform scholars today of the indispensable role art can play in societal progression and sustainable development. Modern scholars must not dissuade art as silent in philosophy because of their picturesque nature. Rather, they must endeavor to explore on how to implement artistic creations in relaying philosophies or deep thoughts as the cardinal example of the ancient Egyptians illustrates.
Charlotte Mason predominantly believed in the over-all ‘training’ of a child, educating the whole child, and how to positively parent children. However, the main goal that she desired to accomplish…is to never stray far from spiritual matters. This is what gave her method its life, hope and purpose. Miss Mason taught us that we, as educators of our children, need to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in all the we do, say, hear and teach. Charlotte Mason once said that “such a recognition of the work of the Holy Spirit as the educator of mankind, in things intellectual as well as things moral and spiritual, gives us new thoughts of God, new hopes of Heaven, a sense of harmony in our efforts and of acceptance of all that we are.”
Charlotte Mason lived in a time during the late 1800s when children were not really considered as ‘whole persons.” Children were more accepted if they were seen, but not heard. They were taught to speak only when spoken to. They had no more rights than a stray dog might have. Poor children were considered an even lower class than that.
I believe that this was very saddening to her. Miss Mason believed that children were special, real people, with their own thoughts and feelings, and whom were worthy of being heard from. She herself desired to hear what those thoughts might be. To teach them that there is indeed a living God who made them. That this living God does not consider them to be worthless mistakes.
This is what motivated Charlotte Mason to be the person she desired and succeeded in being. Her passion for the Lord, life, and children. This is what prompted the philosophy that she strived for during her lifetime. What better reason to base your philosophy of education on, than this?
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