Heaven on Earth: The Lives and Legacies of the World's Greatest Cathedrals

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Heaven on Earth: The Lives and Legacies of the World's Greatest Cathedrals

Heaven on Earth: The Lives and Legacies of the World's Greatest Cathedrals

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A vivid narrative that connects the lives of four great astronomers as they discovered, refined, and popularized the first major scientific discovery of the modern era: that the Earth moves around the Sun.

Through my research on child development (I'm a high school teacher, but a first-time mom) I have become extremely interested in Waldorf education. I'd never even heard of it until I started reading books like Simplicity Parenting and You Are Your Child's First Teacher. I guess it's not as nationally popular as the better-known Montessori education. And while Heaven on Earth does not explicitly say it is a Waldorf-inspired book, it is; and it is wonderful! The only notable exception to this that's mentioned in the book is the kibbutzim in Israel, which seemed to be the most democratic and enthusiastically adopted of all. This is probably because it wasn't started by people who were actually a PART of the lower/middle classes. But even they fell prey to the third generation problem, because a bunch of moms didn't want their babies being raised by someone else. For instance, in the 2nd chapter of the communist manifesto, Marx goes into detail about his theory and its perspective on property. He says that he isn't against private property and its ownership generally, but that his theory is specifically against *bourgeois* property. This motivated Lenin's entire concept of property right in the soviet union. None of this is explained in this book, and that's a mistake.

I would never have survived with the media in our life! I was far too busy to deal with the whining discontent the media creates in children! Because I relied entirely on my children's innate capacity to create, imagine, be active, and entertain themselves, they did exactly that. They never came begging for my attention, wanting to be entertained. How could I, a dull old grown-up, compare to their free-flying imaginative world?” Before reading this book I was convinced that socialism presented a naïve and alluringly simplistic reading of history without presenting any useful or workable solutions to its diagnosed injustices. Social democratic systems have proven far superior, allowing the 'invisible hand' of capitalism to direct an economy, that human minds are incapable of, whilst occasionally intervening to prevent unfair business practices and to garantee key rights (healthcare for example). After reading this book my convictions have largely remained the same, if not reinforced. And, no one, it turns out, is better at managing the two than the Prophet himself, now – once the Jews betray him – changing the direction of prayer away from Jerusalem to the pagan temple of the Ka'bah at Mecca, now producing a swift revelation to protect the honour of his young wife, Aisha. Chapter 6—which takes more than its fair share of space, almost half of the book—is an extended detour from the point of the book, but it still serves to support the theme. He begins by saying, "In the previous chapter, you saw the seven choice things which accompany salvation. But for your further and fuller edification, satisfaction, confirmation, and consolation, it will be very necessary that I show you," these seven choice things. Which are:

The author emphasizes throughout the book to look inward and reflect through writing on a journal thoughts, ideas, and questions. Self-awareness is a noted quality a parent must develop. Sharifa Oppenheimer’s parenting handbook is a result of years of experience and knowledge as a Waldorf instructor and as a mother of 3. Written in the context of the changing landscape of family dynamics, the book focuses on becoming more thoughtful about how to run a household with the developing brain of children in mind. Filled with research studies and practical advice, this book aims to help parents a family culture that feels like “heaven on earth.” What perseverance that is, which accompanies salvation. It is such a great chapter, and would make a remarkable little booklet unto itself that I really can't complain too much that it's such a departure from the rest of the book (though it did take me a little bit to get used to the notion). For families that have not yet found their rhythm, this book would be a valuable asset to your library. It has suggestions for daily routines, annual routines, seasonal festivals, birthday celebrations, and other ways families can spend time and make memories together. There are also extremely informative suggestions for how to set up your children's indoor and outdoor play spaces to encourage maximum sensory and texture experiences (natural elements, freedom of movement, encouragement of imagination, etc.), explanations of the stages of child play as they age, descriptions of types of books to read with your children that will foster their natural curiosity and development, suggestions for ways to incorporate art into your child's play, and a focus on how everything you do will become a blueprint for your child's rhythms, behavior, and emotional health. They learn through imitation, after all, so we must be mindful that our children are always learning from us. Love is perfect, and also perfectly reliable. So, with all the imperfections that occur in a day, I always relied on Love, knowing in the end all my transgressions (against my own ideal, by the way, not theirs!) were washed clean by Love's great generosity.”All of the socialist societies had to adapt capitalist tendencies in their economies to survive, which were completely against the original tenets of the socialism set forth by its original creators,such as Hess and Marx. Even the kibbutz that scholars and socialists have held up as examples that socialism can work (I remember reading about those in school)are starting to break down. The only small social communes that have been able to be relatively successful are those that revolve around religion, which ironically is something that most socialist leaders oppose.

The last half of Brooks' treatise is a detailed analysis of "the eight special things that accompany salvation:" Divine light reaches the heart as well as the head. The beams of divine light shining in upon the soul through the glorious face of Christ are very working; they warm the heart, they affect the heart, they new mold the heart. Divine knowledge masters the heart, it guides the heart, it governs the heart, it sustains the heart, it relieves the heart. Knowledge which swims in the head only, and sinks not down into the heart, does no more good than the unicorn's horn in the unicorn's head. Satan promises the best, but pays the worst; he promises honour and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure but pays with pain; he promises profit and pays with loss; he promises life but pays with death."

Table of Contents

Although it was an excellent outcome, it was not the end of the story. After a hiatus of a couple of decades, new voices emerged, proposing to try it all over again. Innocent of all that had come before, they wanted to revive socialism. Aesthetically, this is fantastic. The language sings -- the book begs to be read aloud (and I frequently did so, interrupting whatever anyone around me was doing). You can feel the passion, the fervor throughout. A few paragraphs from different chapters illustrate this:

Here we have a description of assurance, and then an expression of the assured heart. Brooks' Heaven on Earth is both an explanation of the doctrine and an exhortation to pursue it. Quotations like this are just a hint of that. Brooks is one of the best Puritans on this topic—and everything the Puritans wrote about the doctrine is head an shoulders above their Continental brethren. This is pure gospel gold. One of the kibbutzniks admitted: “People like me who started as socialists concluded that you can work hard and get nothing while others don't work hard. It's so unfair.” And this simple deduction had to take a whole life-span to be learned! Well, doesn't it look like 2 plus 2 to you? “Those who leave [the kibbutz] are often the most economically productive.” Wow, that's some deep, deep, thinking. You can safely read this book, no matter what your prejudices may be. This is not a politically biased book, it is history, factual, with names, locations, dudes, and their doings. No refuting the facts. It covers the whole wide-world, in their main scenarios, the main characters of the farce, their stories, their origin and their outcome. It is history from the street level. There's more action here than in all Tom Cruise's movies, and nothing is fake. But beyond that, the book is sound, it is orthodox, it is Biblical—throughout Brooks points the reader to The Book and The One Who inspired it. His aim is to show "that believers may in this life attain unto a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness." He then goes on to examine the nature of that assurance, hindrances that keep believers from it, reasons to encourage believers to seek it, and how they can go about it, the difference between true and counterfeit assurance, as well as answering questions about assurance. Examining the doctrine from so many angles, you really feel (and probably do) that you come away from this book having an exhaustive look at the doctrine. But beyond that, the book is sound, it is orthodox, it is Biblical -- throughout Brooks points the reader to The Book and The One Who inspired it. His aim is to show "that believers may in this life attain unto a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness." He then goes on to examine the nature of that assurance, hindrances that keep believers from it, reasons to encourage believers to seek it, and how they can go about it, the difference between true and counterfeit assurance, as well as answering questions about assurance. Examining the doctrine from so many angles, you really feel (and probably do) that you come away from this book having an exhaustive look at the doctrine.Heaven on Earth is an intimate examination of this scientific family—that of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei. Fauber juxtaposes their scientific work with insight into their personal lives and political considerations, which shaped their pursuit of knowledge. Uniquely, he shows how their intergenerational collaboration was actually what made the scientific revolution possible.



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