A perspective on history – 15 weeks to get a fresh outlook on life – with Lazoslearning

If you are interested in getting an outlook on life and what you could to, I suggest you look at what Lazoslearning has to offer. As a brief sample, I wish to include my reflections and summary of one aspect of a conceptual framework for social action: a perspective on history. For more info and if you like to join an online course, do it here: http://www.lazoslearning.org/

1. What is the nature of time in your conception of history? Does it have a beginning and an end? What are some of the major events that mark the flow of history?

This section suggests a general outline, internally consistent; a perspective on history in 11 elements, an interpretation able to withstand critical analysis in light of the data available about humanity’s past, allowing freedom and assurance.

1. Every created being evolves towards its stage of maturity. As it evolves, it has requirements and opportunities to for development. Challenges are continuously present throughout this process.

2. Humanity can also be viewed as an organic entity that, in its collective life, undergoes evolution towards maturity. Its evolution is not linear but filled with advances, setbacks, tragedies and triumphs.

3. Today, humanity stands at the threshold of maturity. This stage is apparent especially in the phenomenal expansion of human knowledge.

4. The distinguishing attribute of this maturity is the unification of the human race. It is an organic process and requires a complete reordering of the life of the individual, the life of the community, and the structure of society.

5. The transition to maturity is characterized by the interplay of two sets of forces, constructive and destructive. One is responsible for unprecented turmoil in society, but breaking down barriers that hinder the unification of the human race. The other gives rise to a new and steadily growing system, founded on the principles of oneness and justice.

6. There is purpose in the creation of the universe. For the individual it is the development of spiritual qualities and perfections, and advancing towards God. Neither idle worship nor a life dedicated to the pursuit of worldly desire will help achieve this purpose. Activity in the arena of the collective life of humanity, selfless service to society is called for.

7. To carry forward an ever-advancing civilization is the purpose of the collective life of humankind. This civilization has two essential components, material and spiritual, both of which need to advance simultaneously if humanity is to achieve prosperity and true happiness.

8. What causes ultimately the advancement of civilization is the progressive education of humanity by the Manifestations of God, in accordance to the requirements of the particular stage in the development of humanity, expanding the provisions of the previous set of teachings.

9. Science and religion are the two knowledge systems that propel the progress of civilization and that are necessary for its proper unfoldment. Science without religion becomes the victim of materialism and generates tools of destruction. Religion without the light of science and reason degenerates into superstition.

10. The present age is a period in human history of great regeneration, marked by spiritual vigour.

11. Purposeful evolutionary processes allow for ample room for the will of the individual and of the collectivity. The way knowledge is generated and used influences the outcome. A continual battle between the forces of knowledge and blind imitation, between moral courage and vain desire goes on at the center stage in the unfolding drama of history.

A comprehensive theory of history demands the examination of numerous factors and the description of their operation in various realms of social existence: religious, political, economic, and cultural.

Three well-known interpretations of history are presented here, based largely on a book edited by (Galtung & Inayatullah, 1997).

a) The Christian belief system is one view of history, which has greatly influenced human existence for nearly two millennia. We will look at some of the arguments of fourth-century thinker Saint Augustine.

b) Ibn Khaldun, a thinker of the fourteen century, wrote at a time when the world of Islam had fallen into deep crisis. He endeavoured to understand the causes of the rise and fall of civilizations. The story, according to him, begins with humanity’s living in close relation with nature.

c) Hegel, a German philosopher employed a useful but highly abstract tool for analyzing the workings of history: “dialectical progression”.

References:

Galtung, J., & Inayatullah, S. (1997). Macrohistory and Macrohistorians: Perspectives on Individual, Social, and Civilizational Change. Praeger Publishers.

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