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Summary: Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self imposed immaturity.

Laziness and lack of resolve and courage to use your own understanding is self imposed

immaturity. Any work for which a person is willing to pay, others will readily take the

responsibility for him no matter how tedious the work is! Then they will treat this person

as a domestic livestock, and then these guardians will threaten this person from using his

own intellect. Moreover, that person will enjoy this state of impracticality and tries to

find the shelter in the rules and formulas for his immaturity. In other words he hinders his

own mental growth. Although gradual, but enlightenment is almost inevitable. A

revolution can end an oppressive rule but it has not the power to change the way of

thinking; this goal is achieved through the enlightenment which is to have faith and

courage to work on your own understanding.

For enlightenment only the freedom to use reason publicly is needed. By publicly

spreading our message the whole community becomes aware of our ideas. By practicing

the same ideas privately is useless and problematic e.g. if a worker does not agree with

his officer’s order, he should respond by making the public aware of the problems of the

system through his scholarly work rather than disobeying his officer in his personal

capacity by checking the utility of the order. In the same way a clergy is bound to tell

congregation abut religious teachings in accord with the symbol of church. However

publicly as a scholar he can object the interpretations of that symbol and the organization

of the church without any prejudice. These scholarly ideas may be contradictory and even

can be wrong, but through sharing his ideas he use his freedom to reason by using his

own intellectual ability and understanding. “For that the spiritual guidance of a people
should themselves be immature is a absurdity, that would ensure the perpetuation of


But pastors bind themselves by oath with the church symbol in order to secure the

guardianship of people for all the time. Now such an agreement is against the idea of

enlightenment and is a crime against the human nature. In actual human thinking is

impossible to bind and is destined to change. At the same time people can impose a law

to use the freedom of speaking publicly so as to counter the shortcomings of the

institution this provisional order might last until the core of the matter is not clear and

then through the popular mandate alterations could be proposed to the ruler. Now the

propositions will be happily accepted by monarch if these are harmonious with the civil

order. At the same time he must prevent anyone from interference with others working as

such intrusion can subject his own governance to question and clarity.

Author praises his prince for his steps to enlighten his subject esp. on religious matters.

These are important because the immaturity on these matters lead to dangerous and fatal

consequences. For this job the ruler himself should be enlightened and should have power

to fight the odds. At first this enlightenment may lead to ambiguous results but at the end

this not only benefits the whole community but also the government.