The following gives a preview of the Reloading Humanism shop that is currently in planning. Here the idea is to offer quality products that provide inner life-lines to things that our much neglected psyches need, whilst the books offer not only intellectual stimulation but also self-determination and empowerment.
This mug enables a warm beverage to be enjoyed whilst solace is drawn from the hoopoe bird. In The Qur’an, knowing that there is a country in Africa that is ruled by a queen who worships the sun, the hoopoe bird knows something that Solomon does not and so serves as a messenger between Solomon and Sheba (27:22-23). Departing from this, in the Sufi poem, The Congress of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar, it is the hoopoe bird who suggests to the assembled conclave that they search for the Simurgh and who admonishes the faint of heart. In its claw, the Reloading Humanism hoopoe bird holds an apricot, whose tree is self-fertilising and so embodies the motto, „Out of its Self“ that is the motto of the coat of arms on the other side of the mug. This depicts a glass ball that, on fire, is both burning and being burnt.
Venus of Willendorf Paper Model for Grown-Up’s
11 cm H.
The world-famous Venus of Willendorf was found in the Wachau in 1908. This stylised but nevertheless 1:1 scale model is printed on A-3 card which is folded so as to make an A-4 folder. Colour-coded instructions provide step by step guidence which can be augmented by following the link given by a QR code on the back. This leads to „A Message from Willendorf“ which can also be accessed via the menu on the Reloading Humanism Mission Page. It should be noted that assembly requires a high degree of manual dexterity which thus makes the model unsuitable for children. On the back of the folder, a second QR code provides a link to „Wachau News and Tips“ (also accessible via the menu on the Reloading Humanism Mission Page) where the article, „An Ice Age Corridor“, gives an overview of how scientists and anthropologists see Austria’s most famous Ice Age artefact.
Memento Mori Paper Model
9.5 cm H.
The model is printed on both sides of an A-4 sheet of card and apart from assembly instructions also includes a brief introduction to the philosophical school of thought known as Stoicism. Memento mori forms the departure point of Stoic thought and in his well-known, Meditations, Emperor Marcus Aurellius wrote as a reminder to himself: „Think of yourself as one who could die at any moment and try to live the rest of your life in tune with nature“.
Parmenides of Elea: Belief, Being and Pragmatism
The book introduces the Pre-Socrartic philosopher and natural scientist, Parmenides, who lived in the Greek colony of Elea on the south-western coast of Italy. For centuries, it was unquestioningly assumed that Parmenides‘ poem was an allegory. More recently it has been suggested that the work is in fact a description of an actual experience, the experience being nothing less than an altered states revelation of divine truth as imparted by a goddess. After introducing Parmenides and his life and times, the evidence for his poem being the transcribed record of a revelation is examined in detail.
Thereafter, Alexander Curtis explains the nuts and bolts of Parmenides‘ thinking with innovative graphic diagrams being used to illustrate key points.
Throughout the work, the relevance of Parmenides‘ philosophy for us today is pointed out and at the end, there is a loose and lively translation of his otherwise challenging poem. This takes Parmenides out of the stifling tradition of academic philosophy and re-instates the seminal, uncompromisingly radical nature of his thought.
Venus of Willendorf Relief
11.5 cm D.
This plaster cast is taken from a hand-crafted relief by Alexander Curtis and is available in a polished grey finish, or gilded in either gold or silver. Although the modern viewer automatically assumes that the Venus of Willendorf was seen by the people who created it as a goddess or as some form of embodiment of a supra-natural, benevolent principle, contemporary research makes a strong case that the figurine and her 160-odd sisters represent the forms of real women. This is off-set by the blank faces which negate all that is particular, so that taken together, the figurines are to be seen as invoking a universal principle of womanhood of which real individuals partook. In this way both real women and the figurines they appear to have made of themselves, are to be seen as embodying life and fertility. For more on this, see the article „An Ice Age Corridor“ accessible via the menu on the Reloading Humanism Mission Page.
Endlessly Expanding Universe Medallion
4 cm D.
This medallion is made by beating a tin cob into a steel die and represents an endlessly expanding universe. Although endlessly expanding, it is but one of a countless number of universes that are continually coming into being and fading away, each universe being like a bubble of steam in a pot of boiling water. Beyond our universe, what is equivalent to the pot of boiling water, is called by scientists the multiverse. When our universe reaches a state of maximun entropy, it will have run its course and will be absorded back into the multiverse.
A Theory of Self and Consciousness
This books presents the theories of self and consciousness worked out by Alexander Curtis introduced in the essay „One World Pragmatism“ accessible via the menu on the Reloading Humanism Mission Page. The work is a product of the western analytic tradition and is concerned with showing how the subjective can be seen as being embedded in the objective worlds of physics and chemistry. As such it is an attempt to deliver the explanations of which we are in such dire need if we are understand our place in the world and learn how to live responsibly and in tune with nature. For the self, a mathematical model is proposed that grows out of the different ways that we conceptualize the world as we progress from infancy, through childhood and into adolescence. While the nature of our conscious experiences is such as to defy direct description, it is found that a general classification of their place in the world is possible.
Reloading Humanism Lucky Coin
Following Marcus Aurellius‘ exhortation to: „Search within. Within is the source of the good, capable of ever flowing, if ever you do search“ (VII.59), this coin is designed for your pocket as a reminder that our destinies lie both within and without and that by molding those within, we may influence those without. The reverse features the invective: „Find the Balance, Square a Circle, Reach for the Stars“. This is summarised graphically on the obverse where there is a circle along with the square that squares it, whilst inside the square, there is a logistic parabola along with the first stable point of chaos theory. For a fuller explanation, see the essay „One World Pragmatism“ accessible via the menus on the Reloading Humanism Mission Page.