What Makes A Classic?

Classics

Qualities of Classics

Classic describes moments when the human mind peaks in its grasp of the true, the good, and the beautiful. There is no canonical agreement of what makes a classic a classic. However, there do seem to be certain qualities without which the term classic would seem a compliment misapplied:

  • Excellence
    The excellence of a classic is such that it seems to enjoy an inexhaustibility of meaning. The opposite of a classic is a period piece, fad, momentary, or provincial thing with glitzy celebrity.
  • Universality
    Classics melt borders geographically and temporally. Classics are as at home today as they were yesterday – and maybe even more so today as new developments make their insights even more relevant and more obviously true.
  • Shock
    Classics jostle how we see the world. Classics are subverse of petty and sectarian orthodoxies and ideologies. In a classic, the might be triumphs over the grip of the status quo.
  • Hope
    Hope follows like a corollary to excellence, universality, and shock. Hope has universal appeal and opens previously unexpected horizons. Hope enlarges our sense of possibility and invites participation.
  • Fruitfulness
    Classics are fruitful in two ways: they spawn other classics, and over time, more is found in them than was even suspected by the original authors. Classics are perennials that rise to new life with each new opportunity. Millennia later their insights may be vindicated as they could not have been when first created. In the presence of a classic, standards rise and thus critical thought is encouraged.

Christianity Without God
Christianity Without God: Moving beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative

Daniel C. Maguire

How Can We Create Our Future?

Live Each Day With Passion

  • The Past Doesn’t Have A Future, But You Do.
  • Believe In Yourself And In Your Dreams.
  • Make The Most Of Every Day.
  • Action Will Turn Your Dreams Into Success.
  • Look At Life Through The Windshield, Not The Rear-view Mirror.
  • When You Stop Giving, You Stop Living.
  • Live Each Day With Passion, And You’ll Never Have Regrets.

The Past Doesn't Have A Future, But You Do
The Past Doesn’t Have a Future, But You Do: Achieving the Future That’s in Your Hands
Byrd Baggett

Can Science Solve The Mystery Of Nature?

Mystery of Nature

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And it is because in the last analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.

…..Max Planck

The Seeker's Guide
The Seeker’s Guide

Elizabeth Lesser

How Does Being Still Benefit Us?

Stillness

Thoughts and Images

The mind loves to travel in familiar territory, endlessly recycling thoughts and images we have thought a thousand times before. We move through the world making it familiar through our concepts and labels.The world doesn’t invite or command us to impose our thoughts of “good,” “bad,” “beautiful,” or “ugly” – yet we find ourselves freezing the universe into something known through concept, memory, and association.

Knowing Fully

Within all the activity there is little room for surprise. Intuitively, we may understand that our capacity to deepen and learn is linked to be surprised by life, by other people, and by ourselves. Our concepts, ideas, and knowledge can only tell us what we think about the world, drawing on memory and association. To know anything fully, we must learn to be still, to listen, and allow it to reveal itself to us.

Buddhist Path to Simplicity
The Buddhist Path to Simplicity

Christina Feldman

Ancient Rome’s Global Economy

Ancient Rome's Global Economy

1st Century CE

In the 1st century CE, the Roman Empire spanned an area from the Persian Gulf westward to Spain and Britain and from the Rhine frontier in Germany southward to the Sahara Desert. The Empire encompassed the entire perimeter of the Mediterranean basin, while its trade networks extended to Bactria (central Asia), India, Arabia, and Nubia (area along the Nile).

Rome 100CE
Roman Empire


Global Economy

Roman expansion began in the 3rd century BCE, but the high-water mark for imperialism was the reign of Augustus (29 BCE-14 CE). Nonetheless, the empire continued to expand throughout the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. The result was a “global economy,” or at least the closest to one that can be imagined for the ancient Western world.

The Greek term often used to refer to the empire was oikoumene, often translated as “world”. From it we get the English word “economy,” but it originally carried the sense of “the managed realm.” From a Roman perspective, fit meant “the world we inhabit and control” – in other words, the Roman empire.

From Jesus to Christianity
From Jesus to Christianity

L. Michael White