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What is the Essence of Western Civilization? (1 of 6)

    - by Kelly Kinkade   

       What is Western Civilization? People commit their lives to damaging Western Civilization, and many of them don’t even know what it is. Some fall in love with Eastern cultures and then think the West is inferior, when in reality, they are rejecting something they never really got to know in the first place. Others give their lives protecting the West – like soldiers – or give their lives trying to reach the West – like some refugees. So what is it?

       Can you say what the West is in one word? Soon, you will know that word. But, first think about this: doesn’t it strike you as strange that, on the one hand, many soldiers love the West so much that they will surrender their life that it may continue and they can’t put what it is into words, and on the other hand, many people hate the West so much that they give their lives trying to destroy it, and they can’t say what it is either? Doesn’t your mind wonder how one thing can cause mortal hatred and sacrificial love among the same species?

       Maybe it’s even more amazing to see teenagers and recent teenagers devote their energy and idealism to causes out of harmony with Western civilization – the very thing that gave them so many advantages in life. What is so powerful that it can extinguish even gratitude from a human heart? Ignorance. Ignorance of the essence of Western Civilization does this. So what is it?

       One word describes Western Civilization and distinguishes it from every other culture. The Stoic School knows this word, because the School knows what the West always is and never is not. The Stoic School reaches way back to the beginning of Western Civilization. We were formally organized in 300BC, so we have been building Western Civilization for 23 centuries and counting. We are the oldest continuous organization in history.

       The Stoic School is dedicated to protecting Western civilization so that it grows strong and stays healthy. This is because we have seen that pure Western civilization is a blessing to all people who deal with it whether they are part of the West or not. But even more importantly, we protect Western Civilization because we were there at its birth, and we have been its tutor and chaperone ever since.

       You will find that knowing the West is necessary to follow the advice “know yourself.” This expression comes from the conception of Western civilization. Over 3,400 years ago in Greece there was some form of an Oracle at Delphi. An Oracle is what you might call a prophet. The people that went to her for personalized advice included King Solon, Croesus, Socrates, Alexander the Great, even Cicero. But, amazingly all visitors to Delphi, in addition to their personalized advice, received one piece of advice that was the same. Whoever approached the Oracle would see two words set in stone above the door. The engraved words were, “Know Thyself.”

       You will see that the key to knowing yourself and the essence of Western civilization is the same one word. The next article will share that word with you. Until then, try to think of what it is, and prepare to know yourself and your civilization accurately. 

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