It just occurred to me that the meaning and end of the Christian
religion might well be this: there is always hope. We can see the
evolutionary advantage of that message. Still that suggests the import
of Christianity is an emotional growth, functionality.
Which thought gave rise to a playful summary of history on my part.
Let us suppose that the glorious triumph of the classical world was
Marcus Aurelius (d.180 AD) Not a hard case to make at all. Time-wise
then Christianity was on the rise about the time the classical world
flowered, and died. That's what flowers do.
Christianity itself may be said to have blossomed with Nicholas of
Cusa. (d. 1464). During that period of more than a millenium then, we
see an emotional growth in segments of humanity -- and my evidence for
this would be the attitudes toward women changing, this whole idea of
love between individuals, and appreciation of the maternal. All very
emotional themes. Arguably new in history.
And we consider ourselves part of a different era, now. One which
seems to have discarded much of the progress of humanity, but that
perhaps was necessary to procure a clean slate for further growth,
just the typical patricide characteristic of progress. I have no idea
what the flowering of this era will be.
We have an intellect engaged since 180, and capable of including
emotional realities since 1464. (to speak abstractly.) The emphasis on
emotions certainly played a part in this third vegetation -- since our
own seems to be characterized by, among other things, an emphasis on
human individuality -- the person as a center of knowing, of change,
of reality. All dubious propositions, but useful. It is hard to
imagine Humanity could come to value the individual so, without this
emotional component from the so-called medieval era. And of course we
need not emphasize the importance of the intellect which we owe to
antiquity. So it all weaves together.
But this individuality is useful for what? I do not know.