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Enlightenment

Enlightenment

Steven Hofmann

Enlightenment, 2013
Acrylic on Wood
10 inches x 10 inches
$300

The term “Enlightenment” did not come into use in English until the mid-18th century, with particular reference to French philosophy, as the equivalent of the French term ‘Lumières’ (used first by Dubos in 1733 and already well established by 1751). From Immanuel Kant’s 1784 essay “Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?” (“Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?”) the German term became ‘Aufklärung’.

For Kant, Enlightenment was mankind’s final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance. The liberation of the human mind from the dogmatic state was what the age of enlightenment was trying to accomplish. Enlightenment was a phase of progressive development, which began in antiquity and challenges to the established order were constant throughout the emergence of humanity’s enlightenment.

One can never “be” enlightened. It a forever moving target that remains just ahead of you. This only applies of course if you are seeking truth. Most of humanity see enlightenment like all other goals that can merely be arrived at. The process of enlightenment can never be completed. There is always another door behind the door. It is infinite. To realize this is the beginning of the journey.

 

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