Symbolism for the Brights
In Chaucer’s day, the term was bryght (shining, clear, vivid). The imagery on this website evokes light—radiant light—something more intense than Carl Sagan’s candle in the dark.
One sees in the header (atop the pages of this website) an array of seemingly luminous blue-white orbs displayed against a background of darkness. The independent sources shine forth to collectively illuminate the proximity. The overall lighting effect is rather striking. These are optimistic and hopeful visual elements.
The image at right presents a body, perhaps a planet, viewed from space. As there is no up or down or right or left in outer space, the arrangement of planet and darkness and starlight is changeable. Whatever the relative positioning of the triad of elements might be, they call to mind a process of change. The question becomes: Is the transition one of brightening or darkening?
Viewing the planet as our own and the star as our nearest, one sees the illusion of a sunrise or a sunset. We would wish to take the promising route, whereby the imagery brings to mind a gradually increasing illumination for this earth of ours, an escalation of enlightenment. Looking forward in time, then, the hope of the Brights is for a better future for humankind, and enbrightenment, shall we say?
Embrightenment! This rhetorical expression hearkens to a once promising time on earth when it looked as if science and reason would offer a key to the future. During the period many call the Age of Enlightenment, it was possible to envision a world wherein humankind itself might acquire understanding of nature, gain insight into humanity, make meaning of life, and work for a better and brighter future for all.
To enlighten is to free from ignorance, prejudice and superstition. To embrighten is to proceed in a civic sense along similar lines.
The ultimate end is gaining for those who have a naturalistic outlook the freedom from societal ignorance and prejudice those citizens deserve.
These are citizens who would wish to express and live out their naturalistic worldview, to inform, to give clarification – to brighten on grounds informed by science! And yet they do not have civic parity with those citizens who draw on supernatural explanations. Embrightening means seeking social acknowledgement and fuller visibility and particiation for themselves as citizens.
Brights today have to work harder to advance equity for their naturalistic outlook on the world.