Voices of Light
Where is the child in us, Who each day wakes and knows, The Light of Patmos That opens like a rose?
The greatest teachers who have ever lived sometimes seem very remote from us. The echoes of their names –Buddha, Jesus, and Socrates, for example– may make us think or feel that they existed on such an exalted plane, and at times and places so distant, that the character of their lives, and the content of their thought, are too far from our own to have clear and immediate meaning for us in the twenty-first century.
In fact, however, the very opposite is true.
The greatest teachers are precisely those from whom we have the most to learn. They are the “greatest” because their teachings relate, timelessly, to our deepest human concerns.
Whatever our individual situations may be, if we can learn to hear clearly what these teachers have to say –if we permit ourselves to listen to the music of their voices– they can help us to learn what we most want to know: how can we live in a way that is most likely to make us happy? What do we have within ourselves that can enable us best to lighten the burdens of our daily struggles through our own spiritual enlightenment, and help us to realize our deepest hopes?
Voices of Light (see the planned Table of Contents BELOW as well as links to sample chapters. Sample Chapters will appear in a new browser window) is a series of imagined conversations between ten of the world’s greatest teachers and people who came to them to hear what they might learn from them. If you read Voices of Light, I hope the voices of the teachers who speak in them come through to you clearly enough for you to find that they are speaking to you. And that what they have to say can make a happy difference in your life, as they have made in mine.
San Francisco, CA — September 5, 1999
Voices of Light
-TABLE OF CONTENTS-
Page No. Acknowledgments iii Introduction xiv PART ONE: THE LIGHT OF SPIRITUAL TRUTH Ex Uno Plures 1 Chapter One, Lao Tzu, The Way 2 Lao Tzu and the Light of The Way 11 Chapter Two: Buddha, The Enlightened 15 Buddha and The Quiet Light 19 A Wide Quiet 21 Chapter Three: Jesus, The Child 22 Jesus and A Childís Light 28 The Light of Patmos 28 Chapter Four: Mohammed, The Prophet 33 Mohammed and The One Light 38 Chapter Five: Yohandas K. Gandhi, The Peacemaker 41 Gandhi and The Light of Non-Violence 49 PART TWO: THE LIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE 53 Chapter Six: Euclid, The Mathematician 54 Euclid and The Light of Logic 62 Chapter Seven: Socrates, The Philosopher 67 Socrates and The Light of Philosophy 81 The Light of Greece 85 Chapter Eight: Albert Einstein, The Scientist 92 Einstein and The Light of Science 100 PART THREE: THE LIGHT OF FREEDOM 106 Chapter Nine: Alexander The Great, The First Cosmopolitan 107 Alexander The Great, Slavery, and Freedom 124 Chapter Ten: St. Thomas Aquinas, Godís Lawyer 128 Aquinas & Freedom Under Law 142 Chapter Eleven: Nicolo Machiavelli, The Statesman 149 Why Machiavelli? 151 Machiavelli & Political Liberty 160 Chapter Twelve: Thomas Jefferson & Alexis deTocqueville, The Aristocrat & The Democrat 169 Democracy & Freedom 188 Chapter Thirteen: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Visionary 196 Martin Luther King, Jr.ís Dream For Freedom in America 202 Chapter Fourteen: Margaret Mead, The Feminist 210 The Liberty To Be Ourselves 217 217 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 227 BIBLIOGRAPHY & QUOTED SOURCES 228 ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF VOICES OF LIFE 231
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