How 3 Royal Saints Walked the Narrow Path to Heaven 

In the Gospel of Matthew, a rich man asks Jesus how he can enter the kingdom of heaven. Disappointed in Jesus’ answer, he turns away in sorrow, instead desiring to hold onto his great wealth. Later in the chapter, Jesus reiterates the difficult path that the rich face in entering Christ’s kingdom: “Then Jesus saidContinue reading “How 3 Royal Saints Walked the Narrow Path to Heaven “

When Civilizations Collapse (Part 3): Aztecs and AI Weaponry

On November 8, 1519 Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his exploration party first made contact with Aztec emperor Moctezuma II. After a coup d’état resulting in the death of the emperor in the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards found themselves at odds with the formidable regional power. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Spaniard’sContinue reading “When Civilizations Collapse (Part 3): Aztecs and AI Weaponry”

7 Historical Philosopher-Kings to Inspire You

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates envisions the ideal city-state. After describing life within his supposed utopia, his detractors press him on whether or not his dream could ever come to fruition. Socrates replies:  “Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy … cities will neverContinue reading “7 Historical Philosopher-Kings to Inspire You”

Searching for Wisdom: A Socratic Social Commentary

Few people are more renowned for their knowledge and wisdom than Socrates. Though a legendary thinker himself, the ancient Greek philosopher struggled to find the root of wisdom in the greater world around him and was executed for exposing the irrationality of his peers. His famous line, “all I know is that I know nothing”Continue reading “Searching for Wisdom: A Socratic Social Commentary”

When Civilizations Collapse (Part Two): Lessons From Rome’s Fall

Like the civilizations of the late bronze age discussed in our previous article, the Roman Empire declined due to a synthesis of several factors. Economic issues, barbarian invasions, weakening cultural bonds, and political corruption all contributed to the fall of the West’s greatest empire. Two factors particularly relevant to Americans today are military overextension andContinue reading “When Civilizations Collapse (Part Two): Lessons From Rome’s Fall”

When Civilizations Collapse (Part One): Lessons from the Bronze Age Decline

2012, Apocalypto, Mad Max – we’ve all seen disaster movies depicting the chaotic events that lead to civilizational collapse. Often the events portrayed are cataclysmic, thrilling, and unexpected, resulting in great loss of life and destruction of property. We allow our imagination to run wild with possibilities when we envision society crumbling. Even so, throughoutContinue reading “When Civilizations Collapse (Part One): Lessons from the Bronze Age Decline”

Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

For a Roman emperor and the most powerful man in the world, Marcus Aurelius lived a notably uncomfortable life. Choosing a life of stoicism rather than comfort, Aurelius shirked the luxuries that his high status provided him. He slept in a simple cot with an animal skin rather than a comfortable bed. He worked incessantly,Continue reading “Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations”

The Gnostic Roots of the Trans Movements

Some things just won’t go away. Denim jackets, bell bottoms, vinyl – some things tend to creep back into the mainstream just when you thought society had finally forgotten about them for good. Not just fashion either: ideas have a habit of popping up again after thoroughly being put to rest years or even centuriesContinue reading “The Gnostic Roots of the Trans Movements”

Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World

At ThinkingWest we often discuss books that have stood the test of time. These “classics” arose from the tremendous impact of their ideas, masterful command of the language, and storytelling power – not from their physical appearance. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we often hear, but today we are going to do justContinue reading “Codex Gigas: “The Devil’s Bible” and other Illuminated Manuscripts of the Medieval World”

A Lost Practice: Coming-of-Age Rituals

The Man-Birth Far in the deserts of western Australia, among an ancient aboriginal people known as  the Mardu, a metamorphosis occurs. As a male member of the tribe reaches around 10 or 12 years old, elders knock out a tooth and pierce his septum. The boy is symbolically “dead” and must remain silent throughout theContinue reading “A Lost Practice: Coming-of-Age Rituals”