Chas. Scribner’s Sons, 1946
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- Part II – INTERIM AMERICA: 1890 TO 1940
- The New Nature of Sin p.29
- Part Two: When Time is Out Of Joint (p.61)
- Science and the Christian Era: (p.84)
- The Intermittence of Faith (p.89)
- Chapt. IV – The Creed of the Living God
- Adults and the Creed p.98
- The Economy of Salvation (p.113)
- Christianity Incognito (p.115)
- The Death and Resurrection of the Word (p.128)
- Transition to Chapt. VI
- Chapt. VI (p.138)
- Chapt. VII (p.165)
- The Cross of Reality (p.166)
- Buddha (p.176)
- Chapt. VIII – (p.198)
- The Camping Mind (p. 231)
- The Rhythm of the New World
[RF – The notes that follow are from a monumental essay on how humankind is transformed from a squalling, helpless animal at birth into what we like to call reaching toward “human potential.” Our education tends to leave us with the notion that to be human is a genetic process fired by a family which cares for us into adulthood at which point one makes one’s own way. This is only partly true, of course. Our genes provide us with a potential which in itself cannot transform us from animal to human. This transformation requires a spiritual infusion into our psyche. This spirit is a gift from past cultures who have successfully engaged the necessities of living and passed on the mysteries of a divine chemistry that unifies the physical and spiritual into human potential.
You, dear reader, most probably are unfamiliar with the author, E. Rosenstock-Huessy, whose name is not a common household term, but his credentials should command your respect. He was dubbed by a internationally known historian, Page Smith, as “…one of a handful of original thinkers that any single century might produce.” He was a personal friend and admired by such figures as the poet, W.H. Auden; the Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber; author Lewis Mumford; philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead; and by many others who praised his work. In addition to this essay, Rosenstock-Huessy has written other books on religion, one with a Catholic priest (Joseph Wittigs). He emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1933 when Hitler came into power; he lectured at Harvard University for three years in six different departments, then accepted a chair in social philosophy at Dartmouth College.
You will find his ideas challenging, requiring careful study. But persistence will be more than rewarded. I have met and had long discussions with a number of persons whose lives have been changed significantly by the power of his thought – my own included. What you have before you are the notes from my own intensive study of this book.
While you read you should keep in mind a few guidelines. Part of Rosenstock-Huessy’s unorthodoxy is that he always begins by grounding his subjects in common experience with his listeners. Thus, the first few pages portray the present state of our culture in America. A cynical picture to be sure, but the point is to raise the question, “How do we cure these social diseases and regenerate our community?” Religion is the ultimate power we need to meet these problems and change our approach to solving them. To truly change is how we grow, and to change requires monumental perseverance, discipline and most of all, sacrifice. Considerable inner strength is necessary to bring about such change. In The Christian Future the reality we experience is at one with the life of the community. Our community is presently declining from the social diseases of War, Revolution, Anarchy and Degeneration. War reflects the inability of people to agree on borders. Revolution is the attempt to break with the present and enter into a future for which few seem prepared to accept. Anarchy occurs when different groups in the community fail to communicate or respect each other. – Everyone is shouting and no one is listening. Finally, Degeneration is the failure of the present generation to inspire youth, so, they are left with the job of having to reinvent society. The result of all of this among the community is frustration, anxiety, a feeling of a lack of control over our lives, and, finally, violence. Momentous words these, but when one makes a dispassionate observation of our society today, one could hardly disagree.
All religious ideas must arise from human experience. When children are murdering other children and a powerful faction in society says, “The safest society is the one in which everyone carries a gun;” it is difficult to be over dramatic in describing the human condition today. One needn’t stretch one’s thinking to describe the present as approaching a living hell. We often fail to understand that the divine state of life is a community voluntarily at peace with itself. This would be heaven! Thus, the mythical religious concepts of angels and brimstone are to be translated into our living experience.
Rosenstock-Huessy declared that our source of knowledge must arise from the direct evidence of history. All of our personal experience reveals that we live in one universe. It follows that there is one common human nature; all cultures the world over are “human” because they evolved language and the experiential basis for language is the same because all languages can be translated back and forth. This, in turn, means that however differently people express their experience, the basis of that experience is the same: forces that cause war and bring about peace, as well as the forces that cause degeneration and regeneration. The concept of bringing about unity in life is fundamental as well. For forces that separate people destroy; forces that bring them together engender movement toward development into greater human potential. Evidence for our knowledge as to how to regenerate our communities comes from the historical record, not from the a spell-binder who tries to sell ideas of painless conversion toward redemption (progress). This evidence is manifest in the sum of the historical record of the great prophets, such as, Laotze, Buddha, Abraham, Jesus and others. All serious religions, Rosenstock-Huessy maintains, state social peace as their goal. Each contributed ideas essential toward achieving such a goal. We must understand that a universal religion would unify the contributions of these prophets and thereby reduce or eliminate contentious barriers between them.
Humans are defined as that animal with the potential to become half god. “Man created in God’s image,” so to speak. But to be a god is to be capable of creativity, so we ask, “In what way can we create in a universe seemingly already created for us?” The answer must be that the one thing we can create, aside from original thought, is community. Community has never been given to us; this is our purpose in the universe and with never a guarantee of a happy ending.
Finally, the author makes the point that the power to do all of this, to gain some control over our lives, to change into our next stage of spiritual evolution, requires the utmost power because, to do all of this carries a very high price. No free lunches! One must discipline, and work and most of all, be willing to personally sacrifice for, to fail in destroying the barriers between us is to tear society apart. To live is to participate in this great adventure in making life worth living. Some challenge! – Richard Feringer – Bellingham, April, 2000]
1. In this day and age no one seems to care about significant issues; lethargy pervades, or perhaps a complete inability to understand experience, and people seem incapable of even conversing clearly with others about it. If this is the case, what can the future, not only of our lives but the future of our community possibly be?
2. Coffee house palaver emphasizes commerce (consumption), how to save money at the mall), or the latest advance in technology. Talk about how to prevent the despoiling of the environment or reduce the hatred and violence is rare. No doubt some of this feeling is caused by the intractibility of social problems. An apparent “healthy economy” seems to breed greater temptation to escape unpleasant facts.
The Great Society, this speechless giant of the future, does not speak English neither does it speak Russian. (p.5)
3. Two world wars in a period of thirty years should have served as a wake-up call to our methods of social analysis, but society seems to plod on, only slightly aware that something might be amiss. There is inevitable conflict between society’s future: its penchant to follow expedient courses of action on the one hand, and the church (supposedly an ethical guiding hand for social decision-making), on the other. Modern thinking results in fragmentation of all elements of social life, continuing social divisions between rich/poor, Arab/Jew, city/rural, Serb/Croat/Muslim, commerce/environment, etc.
Problems taken individually are simplified for manageability, but this very process is a delusion because, issues torn from the larger fabric in which they were imbedded inevitably misrepresents them. Another insidious habit is to neutralize the power of our language. When the ethic of commerce pervades our values everything is presented (sold) on the basis of appearance and expediency: the future is sacrificed for a painless present. As a matter of fact everything becomes isolated from meaningful elements of social understanding, rich from poor, Arab from Jew, city from rural life, commerce from moral judgment, war from peace.
4. So community remains divided, our words no longer give us hope!
But a hell which functions so well as the world wars do will not let us climb out unless we can find new words, new names of faith, unheard tones of hope by which to appeal to each other. the old names are shopworn. A spirit of Pentecost has become our immediate political necessity since we must say more to each other than “war of survival….To survive is one thing for each individual, and quite another for all of us together….It becomes crucial to go beyond stereotype because the new shores of a common and more extensive survival can only be reached on the wings of new names and, in turn, these new names must be spoken in such a setting that their speaker strikes us as trustworthy and free and not fettered by partisan interest. (p.6)
John Dewey counselled us similarly in 1940 “The old words are no longer believed.” Politicians, commercial advertisers, legislators are no longer believed, except perhaps by themselves, because their words of promise remain unfulfilled. Democracy, war to end wars, justice, discount merchandise (like pills from the drug companies which promise cures for everything from better sex to growing hair on bald heads, yes and even to end our depression), clean up the mess in city hall, better government on the cheap, and even in the universities “knowledge is power,” (but the listeners remain powerless), are a few examples that the reader hears every day.
5. However, John Dewey simply confused the issue further:
“…the consumption of words and the creation of compelling names. He, with all the other idealists, takes his notion of speech from the commercial aspect of social communication.” (p.8)
Famous heros such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, Anwar Sadot sacrificed themselves in their acts that unified their words with their actions. “The word into flesh,” so to speak. These are examples of those who received, what ERH calls The Holy Spirit.
Such a unifying of words with personal action and sacrifice resurrects dead words to life. To this end ERH claims he dedicated his life. Social progress has always been by Christians. But the power to back up our ideals with actions often requires sacrifice, at times the ultimate sacrifice. Originally Christian beliefs put forth this revolutionary notion of empowerment, that truth won in past generations must be fought for in each succeeding generation. This seems to be forgotten today.
For Christianity is the embodiment of one single truth through the ages: that death precedes birth, and birth is the fruit of death, and that the soul is precisely this power of transforming an end into a beginning by obeying a new name. Without soul, the times remain out of joint. (p.10)
Obviously ERH refers to spiritual life in statements like these. Only unification of a common spirit will create a future. The remainder of the text lays out the details of how history tells us how a regenerating spirit holds the power to revitalize communities.
Part II – INTERIM AMERICA: 1890 TO 1940
1. Today “Suburb” is another name for “ghetto” that fails to possess the power of vital, regenerating communities. These modern “monocultures” are characterized by one race, one income group and one cultural background. Atrue community is however, representative of all levels of humankind, rich/poor, all races, religions, and ages (old, and young). A monoculture pure and simple that avoids pain and conflict by isolating itself from all of the problems endemic to the city center that houses all representatives of mankind. Suburb means spiritual inbreeding.
No Romeo or Juliet can come to life in a suburb because Montagues and Capulets do not wage their Homeric battles there, and no Miranda is courted on an island after a tempest; love’s labor is lost. Children are not born in suburbs but in maternity wards – yet how can a man respond to emergencies of war or peace with the full depth of heroism if he has not quaked in the presence of shattering travail, when woman wages her corresponding fight against death?(p.12)
Sick people are isolated, education is isolated, preaching is isolated. The suburb is prudent, kind and barren, sterile, polite, with luke warm passions, utterly boring. THERE IS OUTER PEACE, BUT TOO LITTLE INNER PEACE. One goes to the psychiatrist or marriage counselor because life is incomplete. It is not a place where strong, spiritually healthy human beings can incubate or maintain themselves.
2, In short, life is seen so dangerous because the times are out-of-joint, our understanding of experience is incomplete so our actions are misplaced. A safe haven has been created in these ghettos that is artificial. When we fail to communicate significantly to our fellows, we become desperately lonely.
Divisions between people cannot be overcome in piecemeal steps; rather they are overcome by the same infinite effort by which one must throw a rope across a stream before a bridge can be built. No vital society can be built from a monoculture. We grow by having to solve the horrendous problems created when different peoples struggle and sacrifice to live together in peace.
Divisions among peoples means diminished, if not obliteration of communication. This reduces disparate elements of society to war with each other, law degenerates into the law of the jungle from which no peace can evolve. There can never be a war to end wars!
3. The essence of an industrial world is the specialization of labor and the utilization of people as mere “functions” in the office or factory. Capitol sees humans only as “labor,” or simply tools of production oriented toward ever-pressing demands for greater efficiency. In the interest of efficiency we become more impatient. Insidiously, this factory mentality invades other parts of the normal life-processes, disruptive of other critical relations. How long does it take to create a friendship, or carry out a courtship, or learn to become a master tradesman or artist? No stopwatch applies here.
The pervasive ethic of the factory has made us masters of production and applied to education the commodity is defined as mere acquisition of information. But in the process of learning to create goods and services beyond all imagination begun two hundred years ago, we have depressed our ability at reproduction (regenerating change). In the mean time, unattended social problems are growing and in this environment violence is not far behind.
Change challenges to us to find constructive ways of overcoming the sterile divorce of labor and leisure, and of mastering the sequence of changes which industrial society makes inevitable in every individual life. (p.20)
4. The residential neighborhood and the office remain in isolation from each other. [RF – Public relations directors tell us that technology has made it possible to communicate as we never have before, however, cell phones and pagers reaching us in automobiles, busses, on mountain tops, at concerts, have more often than not accellerated disruption and reduced even more the fading vestiges of personal privacy. Corporations now expect employees and customers (ala telemarketers) to be available at their beck-and-call at all hours of the day and night.]
It could be said that we communicate more, but the nature of these communications is either for commerce, or is superficial, like calling to have a member of the family pick up groceries. Yet we find it difficult to express our true feelings face-to-face. [RF – Marriages have now resulted from interactions over the internet. How can one imagine that e-mail will do the trick if one has difficulty speaking about serious matters face-to-face.]
5. The dichotomy between factory and residence tears us apart because, in the factory language is a tool of production. But in the home and on the street, names of people, or of loyalty to groups is crucial. The former setting is impersonal, the latter absolutely personal or it is nothing.
Neither the factory nor the residence are complete enough in themselves to fulfill our lives. We need production, but human nature is not mono-nature. We are also friends, husbands and wives, daughters and sons, or members of different groups. We are all of those things, we are “multiform.” We crave, the ability and freedom to change, to shift from one of these roles to another as need be.
6. In the normal day-to-day functioning for survival inevitably become caught up in the demands of production, of parenting and maintaining a home, but in carrying out these activities efficiency seems to become, working on “automatic pilot.” Repetition living, however necessary for part of our lives, amounts to non-life as a steady diet. We crave to come more alive, which is to say, to change education, politics, production, all institutions for that matter, toward better standards. Today, in what is called “an interim age,” most of our institutions are on the verge of disfunction to the point of near anarchy. We strive to gain more control of our lives, “following our bliss,” as Joseph Campbell put it. So the great question then is, “how do we begin?”
7. To become more empowered requires an inner power (“soul”). ERH’s metaphor for the environment in which this happens is a “time out,” “The Soul On The Highway.” The highway is the time between the office and the home, figuratively speaking, wherein one can ponder the condition of one’s being out of the cauldron of the work station and a distraction at home.
One must hunt for similar souls to gain reinforcement. One must admit the chaos of our living environment, then one must begin to take action, getting out of the emotionally neutral role of “observer only.” One then seeks out others of a like mind with whom to coalesce, drawing additional strength in action.
8. Renewal must also take place beside other generations which harbor the same spirit. Governments tend to follow the lowest common denominator of public will. Taking action may, perhaps always, take the form of the new and unconventional. (RF – Save-the-streams is one such movement. ERH writes of others in his book PLANETARY SERVICE, in which he admonishes groups to become “social pirates”, meaning, not awaiting the glacial pace of government to begin new projects.]
These actions have the multiplying effect of firing other spirits in the community giving them hope. Begin movements, then, is the byword.
The New Nature of Sin p.29
9. Today, the condition of feeling powerless has reduced us to non-commitment, to impotency. The individual in this state can no longer sin. At least the gumption to sin shows some vitality!
Sin is the contradiction between words by me and my own acts. Whenever the acts are not mine and my speech is verbiage without effect, sin is impossible…He belongs to a professional group, block, and lobby. They sin for him. And at home, he and his wife fall victim to all the drives in the community. (pp. 30,31)
Sins and crimes are quite different. Crime is a breaking of the law. Long before an act becomes a crime by law, it is a gross sin.
10. However, it is difficult to resist these “pressure group sins,” vitality in a community can only take place by the gathering of vital souls forming new types of groups, new fellowships. In this process people begin to free each other. BUT BUCKING TRENDS IS SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE. [RF – Billions and billions of dollars are invested in excessive consumption. The idealist promises of “capitalism” and “democracy” and “free trade” are to be seen as idol fantasy because the truth is, any ideal, practiced in excess becomes monstrous. We no longer have government by the people, but by wealthy lobbies. Free trade benefits only large corporations, while impoverishing many. Extreme capitalism poisons the soil of everything it touches by treating all things, animal, mineral and vegetable, as commodities. In the mean time, it destroys the regenerating forces of nature: genetically altered foods have sterile seeds that kill the animals that eat them, our health is decreased by poisons that increase food production, the drug industries produce so called cures that alleviate symptoms in the short-run but depress our immune systems, requiring more drug consumption in a never-ending downward spiral, all in the name of overall health.]
11. THE FUTURE IS CREATED by a break from the past. Neither the idealist, who rotely follows some principle, nor the “practical man,” who extrapolates from past ideas, comprehends the notion of regeneration. The dominant thinking of this “scientific attitude” results in endless repetition: mechanical behavior is never vital.
The community mores, however innovative at first, have a life cycle of growth and decline. Innovations inexorably become forgotten, corrupted or obsolete.
The future is created by continuous and contentious battles. [RF – For instance, Blacks have begun to emancipate themselves by decades of marches, sit-ins, boycotts, and court battles, yet opposition continues. During the first part of the century private armies hired by factories cut down workers trying to unionize. In time the union movement prevailed, yet today strong forces the world over still take great effort to destroy them. The rape of the environment has been the deadly side-effect of the industrial revolution: over harvesting of timber and other crops, factories dumping toxic wastes in the air and waterways, the wanton use of insecticides, herbicides, over-fertilization of fields by farmers poison our environment. This carnage is obvious today, but corporations large and small cry, “cleaning up is too expensive and will destroy the economy!”]
Social crisis portending the end of life on the planet, or the end of freedom and justice, is always in a race against the time when critical corrections must be made in attitudes. Always, this comes down to opposing armies fighting to the death.
Isn’t it strange? Is war an accident? Are battlefields parts of our geography exactly as much as the Stock Exchange in Wall street or the Pasadena Golf Course?….Indeed, war seems an accident in our system of thought. Battlefields are not part of “environment” of our educational vision. Our systems of thought do not ask and do not answer the question: Why is war indispensable?….Unless peace is employed to create the future, wars are indispensable. (p.33)
12. This truth seems to have been lost, that peace must be exploited in the interest of creating a future, lest war is endless. For the last hundred years or more we have been blindly stuck on producing goods and services far beyond our needs, and today we seem to lack the will to end this excess. AT PRESENT THEREFORE, WE HAVE NO FUTURE ON THIS EARTH BECAUSE EVERY CULTURE ON EARTH EMBRACES ADDICTION TO THE COMMERCIAL MODEL.
13, Each subject in school curricula is encapsulated, teaching us to mirror this by living peace-meal lives. The innumerable barriers dividing races, values, and social class causes us to lose our ability to communicate effectively about significant issues. We are left with small-talk about non-controversial issues, but no vital community can be sustained by small-talk, or by empty words.
14. Excessive valuing of a mindset favoring commerce and pragmatism in all phases of daily life have sickened society and there seems to be no antidote on the horizon. It is even virtually impossible for a determined family to isolate their children from these forces because of media technology. Individual power is lost to institutions. Children are therefore left with little moral guidance because their mentors every conceivable point of view, and therefore no one. Developing minds are left with the ethic of commerce because that is the influence that comes into every home.
15. What is to be the guidance we need for inner strength to reverse these forces? Religion, ERH suggests is a kind of psychological trick in the sense that we need some type of standard outside ourself. Beyond the creation of the universe, God seen as a supernatural father who judges watches over us has, over the years been the interpretation of this view. But the words of formal religion have become hollow, unconvincing. The notion that we live in order to enter paradise, that right will always win and evil punished is ununderstandable because there is nothing in our experience to confirm this. In consequence no thinking person can accept these views. There seems to be no powerful force to counter self-serving behavior.
The psychiatrists couch, or drugs, or constant excitement has become our substitute for a void of spirit. Another substitute has been, by honest people, a dropping out from both government and community. No “involvement.” Presently war and violence seem unavoidable, so one seeks refuge by a total refusal to become committed to sacrifice for anything. Indeed, the Biblical admonition, “Go forth and conquer the earth,” has become a justification for violence.
16. One of the principle mistakes of social scientists in the past one hundred years has been to mistake religious principles of love and forgiveness and feelings of obligation as natural traits of humans. This same naivete is the call of humanists, (basically, people are good, rational beings).
ERH asserts that model human behavior, as presented by philosopher John Dewey, and by Confucius is: scientific, democratic, depersonalizing, cooperative, functional, preparing one to be a cog-in-a-machine. (see p. 44) This is modern pragmatism, and classic chinese philosophy as well. THERE IS NO ROOM HERE FOR PASSION, OR RENEWAL (BECAUSE A MACHINE CANNOT CHANGE ITSELF), OR FOR RE-INVENTION OF HUMAN NATURE AND LANGUAGE.
17. There can be no doubt that humankind, left to their natural tendencies, remain animal-like. Only some type of superhuman power can jog one into higher levels of development. WHAT IS THAT POWER AND HOW DO WE OBTAIN IT?
Often great truth is hated and crucified…Free men must shift their allegiance from solidarity and functioning “inside,” (one’s thoughts) to rebellion, to reverence, to sacrifice, according to the evils which have to be resisted most urgently. (p.48)
No humanist doubts the notion of an inherent “goodness of humankind.” They believe, with Dewey and Confucius, that mankind is a natural animal, complete and unchangeable as to its nature. To the humanist, evil, greed, avarice, war need not exist if only we would clean up our logic.
The Christian put forth a different view: humankind must be created and therefore peace will come only when they are willing to pay the price for creating it. Recreating humankind is never easy, or cheap; but that is our purpose on this earth if we will commit to it. To fulfill this command is to “live” spiritually. Very few people born on this earth move very far along this road. Their animal nature of survival of the fittest is maintained largely in tact, but this animal tendency, when not abated prophesies the end of history.
18. …revolution proves that not everybody thinks he is inside (the community) and that others who are inside are in peril of being cast out. This refutes the tenets of Deweyism, of one scientific, all inclusive, cooperative, impersonal, painless order, an order in which nothing vital has to be settled by force; …(p.51)
It the Christian belief that mankind is unfinished and it is up to us to become, “beyond natural,” so that natural man may be transformed. Pragmatism may “inform” people, but it has no power to transform them.
19 One force in the move to transformation resides in real leadership. True leaders along with other qualities, move people toward seeing reality as clearly as possible. Each generation must re-invent standards of civility, i.e. disregarding the lessons from history tends believers toward “natural” tendencies, the laws of the jungle. Heroes by definition represent the right leadership at the right time. Roosevelt led us out of the depression of the thirties against enormous odds.
20. The trouble with the methodology of natural science is that it can only show us the concrete appearance of social events, leading us to speculate as to the spirit underlying those actions.
Science since Darwin abandoned (social) unity; John Dewey abandoned suffering as our basis of understanding the (social) world. Compare the words of Oscar Wilde: “Suffering is really a revelation. One discerns things one never discerned before.” For the reason of unity, we had made all our history since Christ one common enterprise for all men who were converted to this Oneness. And for the reason of revelation through suffering, we had built up a hierarchy of values according to the degree a man had suffered, we listen to what he had to reveal. (p.56)
Contrarily, to humanists, willingness to suffer is not venerated.
21. Summing up dominant values of 20th Century man:
a. The two-fold capacity of modern man: 1) never get excited, pained or violent. 2) we can know everything by logic, and to be civilized is to shun violence at all costs.
At the same time he can be an objective observer of world events such as strife, greed, struggle and blind passions, with no need for involvement.
b. Simply by producing goods and services, and in seeking a ghettoed neighborhood for peace and protection, he fortifies himself in his “…inoffensive, pragmatic, Confucius style of living and smiling and working and whispering and pitying the follies of others.” (p.57)
To this man the future always comes as a surprise (as contrasted with an attempt to shape it and not relenting until he has). To the Christian man, the future must be fought for:
“How else can it be as the future is the fruit of passionate, dogmatic, devoted, eloquent living?”…He who wishes to be a little bit less surprised by the world’s fits and tantrums, a bit less unprepared for the next crisis, may now be willing to ask the simple question: How is Future created? When does mere living become less important than the coming to life?…And not before you begin to fear for Life’s return, will you meet the original question of Christianity. (p.57)
Mere living is the day-to-day physical survival of life. “Coming to life,” is the act of becoming creative and acting on some part in redefining society.
Part Two: When Time is Out Of Joint (p.61)
“The most significant characteristic of modern civilization
is the sacrifice of the future for the present, and all the power
of science has been prostituted to this purpose.”
William James (1842-1910)
1. Christianity is the founder and trustee of the future, the very process of finding and securing it, and without the Christian spirit there is no real future for man. (p.61)
[RF – ERH says in other essays that Christianity existed long before Jesus’ time. By this I take him to mean that any human communities that survived practiced certain patterns of thought and action. What Jesus did was articulate those truths, that unity and peace could be achieved if man could change and renew himself. This is why he placed Christianity at the center of history.]
The meaning of Jesus as the center of history is that man had been split into such a variety of specimens that the unity of the species was imperilled, and consequently the lowliest stratum of man – not Caesar Augustus but the child in the manger – had to be made the foundation of a universal unity. (p.73)
When old ways no longer succeed and war, anarchy, degeneration and revolution describe conditions, new ways must be found to re-vitalize a social order. Those new ways are described by novelty, and surprise.
…”saving” Christianity is unnecessary, undesirable, impossible, because it is anti-Christian. Christianity says that he who tries to save his soul shall lose it. Our supreme need is not to save what we smugly presume to have, but to revive what we have almost lost. The real question is: Do we have a future? Then, we would have to be Christians. (p.61)
At the center of the creed is death and resurrection, sloughing off and renewal everyday, – over and over and over again.
2. Cyclical thinking is the real core of the pagan mind. The formula echoes in Babylonian, Hindu, Buddhist, Platonic, and stoic teachings. Aristotle speaks of the rotation of government, as do the culture cycles of Vico and Spengler, Mexican myths and Germanic “twilight of the gods.” In modern times, the penchant of the social scientist (often calling himself humanist) to see humankind as a natural animal and thereby, his characteristics as well are boorishly predictable. In mythical literature, and often in modern novels, the mimic is the inescapable prediction or curse.
3. All myths divide peoples, time begins with the god which created the tribe (the Haida Raven, Osiris, Odin etc.) and endless wars were fought to the death between these different groups. No tribe was a brother to another unless the first was an extension. Heaven and earth, celestial gods (the mythical heros), and each tribe had iron-clad boundaries.
4. The essence of Christian doctrine is that there is one, unified, world. Heaven and earth, man and woman, brother and brother, “…namely, that man can progress from fragmentariness to completeness only by surviving the death of his old Adam, his old allegiances and beginning new ones.” (p.66) Jesus shed his nationality and proved that an end could be turned into a new beginning. Death and resurrection, and thereby “…death could be made fertile,” if we anticipate it. Death is survived by successors, having been invested with, say, the spirit of justice, carrying that spirit in one way or another, and thus the next generation is transformed.
5. Heaven is created on earth by humankind beginning to live, here, today, by acting on Christian principles. Heaven is not something reached personally, after one’s death. [RF – ERH suggests that is the religion fit for six-year-olds.] Creating heaven on earth is what is meant by the end determining the beginning. Our goal determines what we must become, beginning now.
Men create future when they are more than doubtful about the stability of society as it is, and feel that the end of the world is ever imminent. By freely anticipating the death of some part of their minds, ideal, old allegiances, they conquer the compulsory total death which hunts pagans down like nemesis. (p.69)
6. Faith is the demand that one completely surrenders to “…something outside the existing order of things.” Faith that one can achieve the impossible is the only power new, progressive movements have, like present day movements protecting the environment, reestablishing honest government, reforming our system of justice, etc.
7. The notion that the future is merely an extension of the past may work for natural science, but is backward for social science, according to Christian views. Natural science possesses no guidance for society. “Better bombs may be called progress, but real progress is in not using them.” Thus, a viable future for society must be anticipated and sacrificed for by a society unified in spirit. The Holy Spirit.
8. ERH differentiates between cycles and progress. Cycles occur both from our own creations (inside us) as well as outside us in nature. Progress is the result of our own efforts. (pp.78, 79) “the cycle is an external myth at which we stare, and progress an act of our own creative faith.” (p.79)
For progress there must be a definite commitment, publically stated.
“As long as people have not said so, they may sleep, eat, work together and yet not be married at all. They have not cut out the possibilities of doing otherwise.” (p.79)
Until we have admitted the existence of some problem, like pollution, crime, the gap between rich and poor etc, we cannot begin to correct an infectious condition. We have fallen to great depths and must climb out. Today we usually suspend standards of ethics in public and private life, the ethic of greed prevails more than ever today. To continue the “old ways,” the conditions which brought on these social disasters, is to get into a groove, to be on “automatic pilot” so to speak, repeating failed courses of actions. To unify is to get common agreement, first as to the ills of the community, then rise above them by agreeing on some experiments that might cure these diseases. Thus, cycles are automatic and socially degenerative – progress is calculated and efficacious. OUR NATURAL TENDENCIES ARE TO RELAX AND STAY INTO THE OLD WAYS. IT TAKES GREAT EFFORT TO CHANGE. THUS, vigilance must be constant; somewhat on a knife edge, a balance between anticipating the “end of our world,” and maintaining some source of will and energy to innovate.
9. To ignore, to drop out of society is to once again create barriers between ourselves and the flow of life around us. Vacation is a temporary dropping out. As a time for reflection, this is necessary, but temporary it must be, lest the future is destroyed by constant leisure.
Thus, our lives, if we are aware, cannot be either linear or spiral (as reminiscent of failed theories of history); they must be “crucial.” One can never drop out from society really, because our existence is inexorably tied to our communities. Our food, safety, friends, work, all aspects of living are bound to others.
Science and the Christian Era: (p.84)
1. In our modern era science has replaced magic and fantasy, but social change is always resisted. Scientific tendencies always favor the past. Darwin, Freud or Einstein fought bitter, stubborn opposition to their new work. Innovators revise their questions in the light of new evidence. Paracelsus, one of the great innovators in medicine said: “The truth begets hatred.”
Mere data today is turning the world into a “tower of Babel.” Truth unifies, but since it is always incomplete it remains, pseudo-truth, dividing peoples. All fields which strive to progress depend upon other fields of study, and upon acceptance by society. Upon the rise of modern science, society had to accept a new philosophy, i.e. the exploration of nature must be unified by a common set of principles. Until the public accepted this, they would not accept or support new scientific work.
2. The notion that revelation of new insights, which always creates new questions and new orientation, calls for subsequent change, is a basic tenet of Christianity as well as modern science.
3. Progress occurs when our old ways of thinking are seen to no longer solve our problems, and new ways of thinking must be found. Revelation means a new way to see the world. Linear thinking keeps applying the old ways, asserting that failures are caused by insufficient data.
Linear thinking causes one to be trapped in a “vicious circle,” it is never capable of seeing an end to the old ways and the beginning of something new: it cannot comprehend the end of an era and beginning of a new era.
Iron-clad (unchangeable) rules therefore enslave us. The laws of natural science address the question, “what is nature?” Its method assumes a universal logic of suppositions (philosophy) which assumes a unified set of methods to describe natural phenomena. This philosophy assumes that humankind are one hundred per cent children of nature and therefore totally ruled by natural laws, i.e. the nature of man will never change. Following this logic leads one to conclude that social history is a mere succession of inevitable events. Just as with the animals of the forest, a single pattern of living eternalized.
4. When one assumes that humankind can learn from its experience and change into something different, (i.e. socially evolve) then one calls for a science of society that is different from that of nature. Thus, there must be a difference between “progress” and the “vicious circle.”
Progress is impossible in a society which has lost orientation. (p.89)
ERH goes on to point out that the pagan view of science (i.e. making endless distinctions and isolating events in the interest of defining them) creates the “vicious circle” way of thinking. And reminds us that a science of society must be driven by an orientation of mankind that allows for true social progress (i.e. integrating isolated events), as against mere repetition. The basic difference is the distinction between static isolation of events and dynamic interaction between them.
The Intermittence of Faith (p.89)
1. Is Christianity bankrupt today? Yes, and it must start over once again. This notion once again demonstrates the meaning of death and resurrection. The same is true in our individual lives. Christianity has been bankrupt many times in its history, at the times of St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Luther, and now today for instance. The very vitality of Christianity is its mandate to change, be think anew, to redefine itself. THIS IS THE PATH TO RENEWAL, AS LONG AS SOMEONE STILL BELIEVES AND ACTS ON THE FUNDAMENTALS.
Chapt. IV – The Creed of the Living God
How God Is Known – Adults and the Creed – The divinity of Christ – Let us Make Man
1. God (the power that makes us speak the truth – and act on it at the right time), is constantly killed in our hearts and must rise again. In secular language, we must keep trying as long as we have living breath. We experience God when we live the act of changing our lives and moving ahead.
2. In tribal life, God was the power that kept the tribe together. That was defined as the spirit of its ancestors. The ancestors never die, in their words, they “went to the happy hunting ground.” Death is denied.
3. Pagan “sky empires” such as Egyptian, Mayan, Incan, etc., believed that God was in the heavens, the cosmic order as revealed in the cycles of the stars. The stars are eternal, therefore, God never dies and the laws of the universe are written in stone (hieroglyphs), as guides for man. Death is ignored.
Jews believed that God was the power (in his people) to endure the passing of concrete things and await for him (the Messiah) to come in the future. Death was neither denied or ignored, but endured. Death was a negative.
With the coming of Jesus, death was included as a part of life and the key to humankind’s renewal. By renewal (through the notion of death and resurrection), God’s spirit was victorious over men’s physical presence and rational minds.
4. In the previous religions God was a concept, an abstract power. With Jesus, God was not an object, or a concept. He resided in humans. “He is the power which makes us speak.” (.94) THE NOTION OF DEATH AND RESURRECTION THEREFORE MEANS THAT HUMANKIND IS CAPABLE OF CONQUERING DEATH. God then can only be revealed at the time we speak and act on significant truth. This occurs only at specific times in our lives. The divine, therefore:
…is known as an event, never as an essence or a thing. And it can happen to us only in the midst of living, after death in some form – bereavement, nervous breakdown, loss of hope – has come upon us….We have no other authority for our faith in God but the living soul of man…(pp. 94,95)
Thus, we know we have this power of renewal because we can actually live it. God, according to this interpretation is not the soul of the world, that abstraction cannot know how individuals feel, or struggle to obtain its powers.“The prime mover knows nothing of you or me.” (p.95)
5. Thomas Aquinas harmonized Aristotle with the Christian tradition, i.e. We experience God because logically something had to create the universe, so both Catholics and Humanists accepted this conception of God, as an abstract concept.
Such natural reason is really immature reason, like the philosophizing of a child prodigy who thinks before he has lived. A child has to think in external, physical terms about God or science or royalty, for example, because he has not yet lived long enough to identify himself through sympathy, with the more mature phases of human experience. (p.97)
People think the world into existence by logic, (something had to create the universe), but one can only experience religion when forced to confront difficult personal problems which overwhelm. [RF – This brings to mind one of ERH’s aphorisms, “90 % of traditional organized Christianity teaches a religion fit only for a six year-old.”] It would seen the God of ERH has the power to transform us, but not the God of the Humanists!]
6. In life we are driven by many gods – property, power (some control over our lives), sex, greed, art, science, many social causes. We pass from one need to another endlessly, they are all of this world, they are multiple, and we are stretched between them back and forth. But, in the end none are permanently satisfying. At different stages in our lives one is dropped and another takes priority. What is really necessary? Our wish is for some modicum of stability and meaning in our lives, and these higher needs call for some unity and understanding.
That which sustains us in the material world does not sustain us in the inner, spiritual world where arises our deepest sense of meaning. The evaluation of our present and past can only begin meaningfully from a vision of a future. Where we wish to go and what we wish to become and how we intend to get “there,” are the only true basis for social evaluation. These questions tell us what to keep from the past and what is no longer relevant – toward the future. If we have no anticipation, we have no basis to evaluate our lives. [RF – Aristotle’s aphorism, “the unexamined life isn’t worth living,” must be turned around, “the unlived life isn’t worth examining” In which case we don’t have a future!]
Adults and the Creed p.98
1. The Athanasian Creed:
a. God created everything in heaven and earth – thus, the universe is one (no separate heaven and earth).
b. Humankind has the liberty to die (in old ways), and rise again – a metaphor for our potential to change, to recreate our nature, to advance from natural animal to half natural animal and half god. We know we have the divine power to be creative because many people know they think original thoughts.
c. God gave us the potential to receive the Holy Spirit from our fellow humans, “…which enables us to commune with posterity and start fellowship here and now.” (p.98)
Modern Christian theologians are reluctant to accept the notion of a “creed” – forgetting that this explains the flow of life (regeneration) for all humans. (RF – Unitarians and many Congregationalists, especially, proudly claim to follow no creed.)
The Christian Dogma is not an intellectual formula but a record and promise of life. It does not propose ideas for our minds to master; it tells actual events which can master and transform us as they did the first Christians. It is not a mere topic of thought but a presupposition of sanity. It is the Christian “a priori,” (p.98)
2. The Creed foretells of events that will be experienced when a culture is vital. The Gospels represent one model of this notion: i.e. The same truth must be told in different ways to different cultures, depending on what their level of understanding might be. Facts and formulas inform, stories, on the other hand, hold the power to transform. The Gospels are the same message told to different groups: Matthew tried to prove it to the Jews, Mark, Luke spoke to the future generations, and John spoke to the Jews when the Torah was no longer enshrined in the Temple, (i.e. the budding Christians) and he had to convince them that “the word had to become flesh.”
In a like way, myths are the first step in telling a truth to children in a language they can understand. This is appropriate as long as the more sublime truths are understood by adults.
So legends like Santa Claus are not lies when told to children that they may understand the workings of the Spirit among us – as long as the legend waits to be told again, in appropriate terms, to the adolescent, the man, the father, the community leader. (p.99)
3. ERH points out how, by Luther’s time, the Church had become so worldly that Luther threw the authority of both church and state over to the people. His cry was, “everyman his own priest” and asked the Bible be translated from Latin to the vernacular. In response, both Catholic and Protestant addressed mainly the education of children, largely ignoring the adult population. And to this day, the child’s version of the Bible is what it told whereby no intelligent adult would take Christianity seriously.
4. A good parent or teacher has to discard much mental lumber and reshape his perspective under the stress of having to select what is vitally important for the new generation in his care. (p.101)
The phrase, “the living God” means that, the event of transformation means rebirth, re-creation, the ability to change our nature, a step from mere animal toward “super-natural” animal. The question of “why” for a creative or heroic act is childish, the questions of “what” and “when” are crucial to our lives.
5. The cradle of progress can hold only one person – one who is a model for many to follow. In the material world it is the opposite, a bridge is built by many – in the spirit world the power is carried by an event, a martyr, a hero, a courageous leader “inspires” others. Otherwise, one merely follows orders, which requires no commitment.
Such leaders set standards, inspire, are to be exemplified – they are not simply “a” person, like all others, but “the” person one follows. Jesus is the Christian’s model, and thus is called “divine. “A negative (scientific – humanistic?) interpretation would be that, since we have the standard, we no longer need the specific event as a reminder. The scientific notion ignores the power required for transformation. It explains why science cannot comprehend the notion of creativity by application of its method. It is because Jesus created the spirit of the creed and lived by it, that it is given to the community, it allows community members to become creative – that he is called “divine.”
6. Another dimension of the Trinity appears here (pp.108-112) whereby the father is guarantor of trust, the son is guarantor of liberty and the Holy Spirit the guarantor of creativity. And all men are admonished (commanded) to accept and protect these acts as the model for humankind.
The Economy of Salvation (p.113)
1. ERH asserts that for the last two millennia the common person and clergy as well, believe that God, after creating the universe has done nothing since. They, in other words, do not understand that humanity must be recreated constantly as it evolves further from the natural animal state.
2. He further asserts that, after one thousand years the “church” has become corrupt, void of Christian purposes. Christianity has been corrupt; in the tenth and fifteenth, and now the twentieth centuries. In the past it was reborn, will it be once again? It never promised to eliminate sin, or death, but rather to overcome them. (p.114)
3. Salvation means the advance of the singular against the plural, and this, we know has happened through Christian history; toward one God, one World, one Humanity.
The Three Epochs
These three epochs are: – in the first millennia the church was established representation of one God over the many false gods. In the second, the rise of science and subsequent realization that there was one world and a single method to describe it. The goal during the third millennium must be to establish that humankind is singular.
We have yet to establish Man, the great singular of humanity, in one household over the plurality of races, classes and age groups. This will be the center of struggle in the future, and already we have seen the outbreak of youth movements and Townsendites, class war and race war. (p.115)
4. The three parts of the Creed exemplified the truth, that Christianity was being practiced in history as reflected in the achievements in the first two millennia: redemption in the 1st, scientific discovery of the world in the 2nd, and stated goal for the 3rd.
5. The core of the Christian doctrine is the spiritual regeneration (succession) of all people, not heredity. Success breeds a spirit of imitation. Failure and attempt to renew requires the members to maintain the spirit of renewal, to continue to be creative and grow. This represents the vitality of Christianity.
Another aspect of the genius of Jesus is his quality of indirect leadership. He chose not to lead by demonstrating genius, and thereby rule by sword, or tongue, but rather to create a church that would teach a world full of genius’ who were empowered to reincarnate the spirit.
True spiritual succession does more than perpetuate. It spreads and deepens.(p.118)
Instilling the Holy Spirit in man is the secret of his ability to be innovative and disciplined in order to quell the earthly tendencies. Temptations of the flesh overwhelm us.
Our penchant to over eat and drink, our greed, our willingness to give in to expediency, our inability to overcome bigotry, faltering courage, lust and perhaps most of all laziness: all these and other demons in our psyche are barriers to growth. To diminish these traits of a purely physical existence requires developing enormous inner strength at times when sacrifice is demanded of us. Sacrifice is often required in the process of community building and avoid acting simply out of habit.
Our life is haunted by boredom and neurosis; it is disintegrated by mechanized society, and by the mechanizing science which makes man a mere derivation of antecedent causes. (p.121)
The pinch comes especially from seductive cures, when spellbinders promise easy, painless antidotes for social problems. Gnostics averred that, since truth was around anyway, one had only to know it to solve problems. And the modern day Humanists are well known for thinking about things (endless discussion), while being slow to take up action. Gnostics taught that revelation was unnecessary, Humanists taught that sacrifice was unnecessary. BOTH PLAY THE SAME TRICK, I.E. REGENERATION OF SPIRIT CAN BE CHEAP AND PAINLESS.
Even man’s lusts and fears have become respectable today because they testify to his vitality. `Vital, dynamic, powerful, stirring, stimulating, exciting, thrilling, terrific,’ are the medals which modern man bestows. They are really insults. To call a speaker stimulating, for instance, is a triumph of Pontius Pilate among us. It seems the truth no longer matters. (p.121)
ERH points out that, today we have many crusaders and reformers, but their effect is lessened by application to insignificant causes.
6. Of course people cannot be “goody – goody” all the time. We are, after all, unavoidably animal in our nature. The problem is to develop, as much as possible, the spiritual possibilities in our nature. And, of course the major instrument by which this occurs is through an honest use of speech (our words authoritated by our action).
Throughout this chapter ERH offers the detail of this insight. The reader is admonished, always, to refer to the sources of these notes, i.e. THE CHRISTIAN FUTURE.
Christianity Incognito (p.115)
1. Here is a crucial aspect of Christianity: to recognize that we would never be more than half divine (capable of creativity). [lRF – This means, our ability for a complex language means we can think new and complex thoughts far, far beyond animals. To think original thoughts means we are capable of creativity, which is God-like (divine). Humans then can be defined to be the animal that is capable of becoming half god. One might add that, the acquisition of this enormous power is neutral, the notion of good and evil is how we use that power.] To be a total Christian would have to mean, to be another Jesus. To be totally pagan makes us animal-devils. We will always have these two elements within us, the natural animal that is capable of creating.
2. Denominational strife is, or should be, unnecessary because all serious religions have the same goal, merely different attitudes toward achieving it. ERH believes, and I take his point, that Christianity amalgamates the core of all other serious religions, creating one universal religion. Extreme believers in any denomination either renders them boorish, or hypocritical, or dangerous – zealots (such as those bombing abortion clinics in the name of God), for instance. To be totally secular makes one into a hedonist, directionless, self serving. Both extremes are the enemies of community.
3. Membership in a church is not necessary for one to call him/her self a Christian (now especially, because organized churches have lost sight of its goals). One becomes Christian when one demonstrates the existence of the Holy Spirit within them in their everyday activities.
The Death and Resurrection of the Word (p.128)
1. We must find new names to describe the same regenerating process.
A great Swiss Jesuit writer has even gone as far as to declare, `The word `God’ is so spent that we do not intend to haggle with Nietzsche on its behalf.’ That would be nameless Christianity indeed.” (p.128
2. Secular language is either universal and abstract, like mathematics, or concrete and particular. Two times two equals four is for all persons and universal. “England, my England,” is particular and concrete. But the Christian notion of the “word,” connected to action is not a concrete representation of a creed per se, its universality unites bonds between persons. This is yet another manifestation of the notion that we must be both secular and divine in our spirit and actions.
3. Make the word into the flesh and blood of action.
4. The death and resurrection of the word also must describe communication between generations. The “word,” in time becomes flat, loosing its power. Old ways no longer solve the problems and new solutions must be fashioned and named. Today justice, liberty, equality, are at risk and must be reestablished. The new means, and new terms must be forged to achieve the same goals from the past. Loss of orientation from the past generation, and from a dreamed of future isolates and kills the spirit of a people. People tend to lose their power and integrity in due course. Spiritual death, therefore is very real. For over one hundred years China was dispirited. For five hundred years the regenerating spirit of Egypt has been moribund. The same may be said for many other once vital cultures. ERH’s description of America at the beginning of this essay predicts our descent at this time. The question remains as to when or whether this spirit can be regenerated.
Transition to Chapt. VI
1. We must learn from our failures of the past: what to discontinue and what to carry forward: such as: [RF – my own reflections extrapolating from text examples to the present.]
a. When children are left with inadequate direction they are faced with re-inventing society, in which case they always begin with the culture of the jungle. Child crimes, teen pregnancy, runaways, etc. are rampant in the U.S. today.
b. When we are left with a dominant scientific (secular) basis for thought, that judgement is always toward venerating physical comfort: commerce becomes the primary standard for important decision making. In this case the social glue eventually comes undone: personal judgement becomes more impersonal, trust and commitment recede. This phenomenon overwhelms us today.
Selfishness and greed dominate our thinking; observe, for instance, the influence of lobbies over the votes of politicians; lobbyists are shameless in admitting the buying of votes in elective bodies. The logic of commerce tell us that clean water, air and soil become too expensive, and what follows is the reasoning that short-term benefit takes precedence over long term, health, education and all other social services become too expensive for proper funding.
c. “Scientific thinking” exacerbates the “consumer oriented society,” because the cures are always derived from logical, tunnel vision – moral guidance is often illogical when the balance between the physical (present), is favored over the spiritual (future).
d. Lack of trust, corrupted institutions, blatant misrepresentation of actions and events by those in power, end in feelings of extreme frustration and cynicism among the public, which evolves into the rise of extreme groups advocating hate and violence. [RF – In modern times these conditions have evolved into fascism: Italy in 1922, Germany in 1933, and in Yougoslavia in 1995)]
In sum, all of these conditions commonly prevail today whereby no other than the destruction of any future for our communities is imaginable.
Before we may be sure that our Creation of Future is more than an academic discussion, the common things near home must regain their splendor. And when do old things regain their lustre? When do facts become interesting? When words recover their meaning? When they again appear as things to come, as acts to be done, as names to be invoked; when everything, so to speak, has ceased to exist because we feel that our own infinite insistence alone can give it a new lease on life. (p.137)
Chapt. VI (p.138)
O FORTUNATE GUILT! OR LOOKING BACK ON THE CHURCH
1. Organizations can be called to life by a viable plan, but the real life of the organization may best lie in the passion (aliveness) of the planners. It is a truism that order opposes creativity. “The sloughing off of old stages and the insistence on new ones distinguishes life from mechanism.” (p.139) Living things are constantly adapting to the environment, or they die. [RF – just as a tree must adapt to periods of wet and dry, and as Buddha taught us, one must turn inward to meditation to escape an overpowering chaotic world in order to maintain sanity, at times. Following blind habit seems difficult to change.
2. The family is the most alive organization we have.
3. Any “alive” organization must be vulnerable to suffering, pain and frailty because it is willing to sacrifice and change.
To live means to be vulnerable and he who must remain vulnerable at any moment cannot expect to be secure and happy in the ordinary sense. (p.139)
4. Hope to regain the past always fails. Charity (love) that is faint saps will and commitment. Faith, that risking change will renew life, is essential and this is a constant gamble of course.
a. In the fifth century A.D. Constantinople began to challenge Rome as the center of the Christian church. The Greek Christian church attempted to take advantage of the military attacks on Rome, believing it was vulnerable. Their “hope” to transfer the center of the church to Constantinople failed, thereby splitting the easter and western centers of the church.
b. In 794 AD there was a possibility for reconciliation, but Rome hated and feared the eastern church and bypassed the opportunity through a lack of Charity in a mood of spite. A lack of love eroded the spirit to reunify.
Summary: The past cannot be restored in entirety and should not be, because that would also mean restoring the failures as well as successes. [RF – Modern examples would be the hatred between Serbs and Croats, in America between “pro-choice” and “pro-life” groups, and generally between extreme hate groups of different creeds.]
We should be thankful for some of our failures because the agony and desperation can cause some essential, beneficial side effects. Our problems force our souls to new life.
5. Secular thinking can pervade clergy just as much as it can the lay-person. Its characteristics are dwelling on materialistic, here-and-now thinking, i.e. upon economics avoidance of pain in the present at all costs.)
6. Contrarily, human progress (peace) is always bought with sacrifice in the name of a lasting unity between peoples. In our daily living we find the world largely chaotic, fragmented and at war with itself. The cure is to find or create order from the chaos. But not a rigid, unchangeable order.
7. Science has achieved for us a unity in nature. All scientists agree that a unified method and purpose for science is in place for natural science. The same unity must occur for a science of society that will bring about peace.
In social life there remains many barriers to peace: race, culture, gender, age, ideologies, bureaucracies within corporations and governments, etc. The criterion for a successful science of society is therefore an eradication of these barriers. (See the MULTIFORMITY OF MAN for an expansion of this idea) – (pp.160-163)
8. Religious (spiritual) unity must precede one’s commitment before secular problems can be solved. When secular problems become our gods, such as economic considerations, this always leads to slavery or war. (In the jungle, the dominant male animal always enslaves the others.)
9. The social difference between the scientific mind and the religious mind, as related to human community, is that science looks for causes (i.e. breeding and genetics) and religion looks for effects (in terms of spiritual achievement). For instance, the meaning of a child lies in the future, in what it becomes, not in how it was bred. With science, the beginning determines the end. With Christianity, the end determines the beginning (what we do each day to achieve that end).
Chapt. VII (p.165)
1. We become free (capable) to create a community when we understand the elements of time and space in our experience. To grow we require reference points in the process of measuring progress and for this, only time and space offer a possibility. The scientist assumes the existence of a unified space, and time is assumed to be a given, with no beginning or end. Indeed, with scientific orientation we experience space as a unified whole, – what we witness in nature is given, and differentiations are products of our thought, such as taxonomies and the dividing of our experience into departments of study in academe.
Socially we also experience not one but two elements of space: the concrete world, on the one hand, and our thought about it on the other. Time is divided as well: experienced in three elements, past, present and future. Generally, in social experience the time of the physicist is of limited value because our life-rhythms are imprecise and of different meanings as compared with the time in nature. Thus, quantitative measure in social experience should give in to sequence of stages for reference points.
2. In a sense, time and space are the fundamental elements of experience. The new-born child can quite naturally function without thinking of all of this. But because, as we grow and become more conscious of the world around us the monumental amounts of stimuli amount to much chaos. All sorts of things happen of which we have little comprehension. Survival rests on our ability to bring some order to these events. While natural science has done well for us in bringing order to our perceptions of natural phenomena, ERH strongly asserts, these methods are inadequate to the much more complex social phenomena.
Part of the genius of ERH is his concept of how time and space must be viewed differently between these two types of events (natural and social). The more we become conscious of these distinctions and their meaning, the more capable we become of exerting some order and control over our social environment. At any moment. For instance, we are torn in two directions: 1) thinking about the two experiential fronts of past and future and 2) the two worlds of concrete events and thought. When one imagines two perpendicular intersecting lines, one representing time and the other space, one can imagine that the present is represented at the intersection. One must choose at any moment, consciously or unconsciously, which direction (front of experience) is best to pay attention to. Action takes place only in the present. THESE ELEMENTS OF TIME AND SPACE REPRESENT THE MOST IRREDUCIBLY FUNDAMENTAL QUALITIES OF OUR EXPERIENCE.
The Cross of Reality (p.166)
1. This “Cross” as described by ERH bears no direct reference to the Christian cross. It is, however a symbol of the whole conscious experience of human beings every hour of the day. It is nothing less than a diagram of our contact with reality! An abridged graphic representation of decisions we make every waking hour. To be conscious of the nature of decisions we are called to make reduces the level of chaos around us. Given any situation commonly confronting us, we are faced with several choices that are often not easy to make: one may respond according to remembered past experience, or judge in favor of creating a future situation whereby our immediate gratification should be postponed. It may be best to respond guided by intuition, to immediately intervene, or conversely to turn introspective, pausing to reflect before acting.
Reality itself – not the abstract reality of physics, but the full bodied reality of human life -is cruciform. Our existence is a perpetual suffering and wrestling with conflicting forces, paradoxes, contradiction within and without. By them we are stretched and torn in opposite directions, but through them comes renewal. (p.166)
[RF – A footnote in the text offers a citation referring to Origen and Augustine in their commentaries on Ephesians, “In the philosophical object of knowledge the figure of the cross is engraved like an indelible watermark.”]
2. We are, of course, familiar with the physical concept of space, but it has long been recognized that the inner space of our thought is another world we inhabit. We imagine, we introspect, our emotions well up despite any attempt at rational control. And the rules governing these two habitations of our consciousness (inside and outside) are very different. Outer space functions according to the rules of nature, not under our own control. Our thought is infinitely more controllable: a world of decisions.
Time, is much more a creature of our imagination. Time is divided, ignored, slowed down, speeded up, all depending upon our psychological states and convenience. Time offers crucial reference points against which our journey through life, but of a different form than that of the physicist. There is a before-and-after major events: before World War II, marriage, children, major crisis in our lives, etc. . Time is fleeting, as the duration of a kiss from a lover, it slows down when we are pained. Or one can take time-out from life when one enters the world of a novel, film or concert or play. Both time and space are the source of the reference points we so desperately need to maintain memory and order in events, and one might add, our sanity.
3. We refer to past events and may relive them in our memories, or suffer in an unhappy present anticipating the fruits of that sacrifice. We face these four fronts of inner and outer space, and past and future at every conscious moment.
No social progress, whether in the family, or at war can occur without such reflection. A successful proposal of marriage, or a commitment to a cause can be an agonizing decision that changes our lives. This is why we can suffer during indecision when making crucial choices. In these ways the “Cross,” depicting social time and space as differentiated from the time and space of the natural scientist, can serve as a powerful symbol of the flow of life.
Our own civilization, dominated for several centuries by natural science and its applications, suffers most of all from obsession with the outward front. The essence of man’s attitude on this front is objectivity: whatever we treat as something merely to classify, experiment with, describe, control, is thereby externalized, treated as if it had no solidarity with us, estranged from our living system. (p.170)
This is but one quarter of our existence, and to mistake it for the whole, as many people tend to do, reduces man to a mouse running in a maze.
4. The scientific psychologist believes that our thinking is motivated by a prior cause. In fact, it is the opposite. Our fears are predicated on anticipation. Our willingness to sacrifice, the same.
The Cross of Reality shows us that the scientific attitude is only one out of four equally valid contacts with reality, and that it depends upon the existence of the others for its own meaning. …Man does not think because he “is.” We think because change is ahead. …We dread change; therefore we think. (p.170)
5. That man is free to find himself in many times and spaces unifies all of history because we can go a long way to understanding and relating to those who lived in the past, and why they took certain actions, as well as learning its consequences. The fact that the same problems for survival arise in every generation means that we should understand the fullest extent of our nature through the study of history. The Peloponnesian Wars were an economic revolt against the domination of Athens, which, failing to share power with other city-states lost much of its power. European nations colonizing America lost much of their power for the same reason. In modern times we are entering a period of enormous demand for resources: competition between nations intensifies pressures between nations. Oil, copper, cheap labor, educated minds, and numerous other goods and services are at issue. Unless these barriers to peace are diminished our fate is eternal war which will eventually do us in.
Too late change means endless wars. Today, trade reform is essential yet cynicism and despair stifle our will. Those who read history should learn that only a very few are capable of sparking reform. The “hippie” students marching against the U.S. – Vietnam war evolved into the removal of a president. That this reflected a failed logic of the government is now admitted.
The present intellectual lack of understanding and communication between science and religion grossly distorts the thinking of many. The “Cross” shows us that, rather than separate or opposing, these means of consciousness are complimentary and essential parts of human need. Science defines nature, religion guides social decisions relating to creating a community at peace with itself. Science, contrary to the beliefs of many scientists is an inappropriate guide for our decisions for social action.
1. Four religious leaders created a consciousness of rhythms of our thought, thereby keeping us a bit more sane and free to respond to events.
Buddha lived in a time, not unlike our own, of extreme materialism. This brings on a niagara of stimuli and demands upon us, many gods vie for our attention. Hinduism advocates many gods, competing -but lacking unity. In such chaos a person becomes psychically overloaded. Buddha demonstrated a way out of this, which was to renounce the material world, turning inward in meditation.
2. China, in the time of Laotze was highly organized: too many demands on one’s time to participate in social activities and with too little time out for reflection. This is another type of tyranny. Laotze’s solution to this enigma was to “drop out” of society, becoming anonymous. His symbolism for this process was that of a wheel hub, still connected to the spokes (of society), but removed from the centrifigul forces of life. (p.178)
3. Abraham (p.181) was tyrannized by ancestor worship. He felt bound to carry out the prescriptions handed down from his father and unfree to oppose them. One must avenge one’s grandfather’s enemy, for instance. [RF – Certainly we see stark evidence of this in S.E. Europe in Yugoslavia today.] The parable of Abraham offering, before God to sacrifice his first born son, is symbolic of this trend. God, advising against such sacrifice freed Abraham to allow his son to oppose the tradition of his father, freeing the next generation to change. Only so do we correct failed traditions, mandates from the past that were no longer functional in the community. This meant that Abraham no longer should be seen as his son’s god. That there must only be one God.
The Jews thereby put faith in God’s goal of unifying all of mankind: God was the spiritual father of all humanity. This belief also demonstrated the Jew’s willingness to remain weak (humble), before God. The flaw in the this position is that, the Jews awaited for the second coming (for the Messiah) to unite mankind.
4. Jesus represented a different view of the emancipation of humankind. He completed the process of setting us free first, by accepting the validity of his three predecessors, and second, by addressing humankind’s final tyranny, a tyranny of having to wait for others to act. Man was free to create his own heaven on earth.
a. Before Jesus, each culture had its panoply of gods, myths of origins, heros and a separate history, all of which separated tribes and empires. All those “outside” a given culture were reviled as lowly, thus justifying their pillage and murder. By advocating the singularity of humankind, culture and race wars could no longer be justified. Thus, rather than separate histories there need be only one universal history, one that didn’t deny unique cultural histories but rather giving them much more meaning in the form of a larger relationship to all others.
b. Christianity is universal because it subsumed the traditions of Buddha, Laotze and Abraham, adding the final link that would free mankind to act themselves to create their futures. Space and time were seen to unify humanity so that human kind could progress toward its potential. This was, always is, the future to be created.
Buddha – meditation, turning inward.
Laotze – cultural anonymity, turning outward
Abraham – disconnecting from the past, anticipating a future
Jesus – acting in the present to create a future
c. Time is unified because all histories are part of a single mankind. The symbolism of the death and resurrection is that, each day and week and month we should awaken and make, however small, a new beginning toward progress in our lives. In sum, these four men offered a path toward unshackling mankind from the tyrannies of the fronts of time and space and at once setting us free to evolve from the state of a natural animal to that of a “super-natural” animal.
d. To live in only one of the four fronts of time or space is so dysfunctional as to endanger humanity. To think “scientifically only” is to deny our ability to change. To think only in terms of traditions likewise locks out any possibility for correcting dysfunctional mores. To live only a life of meditation is to deny concrete reality. The freedom to move back and forth from one to the other mode of thought is the key to understanding fully our experience and acting more efficaciously. Learning from the past, anticipating a new future, meditating on our learning and taking action.
e. Progress through history has been brought about through the power and courage of individuals who were instilled with an indomitable spirit to risk change (the Holy Spirit). (p.196) The “Cross of Reality” provides a standard by which judgement about the spiritual health of any society can be measured, identifying both cause and solution to the four social diseases of war, revolution, anarchy and degeneration. It can be said of humankind that, “The creature is made creator.”
But in the light of these experienced lives, the known social facts now can all be deciphered by a final standard. A social order may be pronounced “sick” according to the amount of tyranny instead of authority, or causation instead of creativity; or it may be predicted “healthy” because of its degree of fellowship, of rhythm and symphony instead of blueprint bureaucracy, or of its quality of serviceable compassion instead of power. (pp.196,7)
Chapt. VIII – (p.198)
THE RHYTHM OF PEACE OR OUR “TODAY”
1. The Enemy of the Holiday: The industrial revolution has created a condition of migratory peoples, “glorified migrant workers,” Eugen called them. Migrants were a people who became only loosely connected to place, or a group, as they constantly change schools, jobs, marriage partners, and professions in these decades. Dedication to associations waned and in the process, the ability of different types of communities to regenerate themselves. Peoples are naturally separated by class, culture, language, profession. [RF – now, less than a month from the years 2,000 A.D. few, if any institutions escape full scale degeneration, including that of the family.] ERH, even in 1946 has asked, “What is to be the social glue which will regenerate the community?”
…we shall have to create opportunities in which men recover their power to found or re-found communities. This power is lost. The modern mind has lost its recipe. (p.198)
The holiday is one unifying force, an indicator of the vitality of associations of all types when its spirit and purpose is remembered.
On a holiday, we share one time and one space although we are divided by self-interest…we carry on as though we were one and the same man, regardless of birth, unafraid of death, unabashed by sex. unperturbed by fear. (p.199)
2. The meaning of holidays has degenerated, having mutated into mere leisure. We need time out from the everyday struggle for survival of course. But when cultures forget the price of progress in terms of pain and sacrifice, then the spirit of the holiday becomes individualized, unregenerative loafing.
3. Leisure tends most of the time to be private, that is playing, getting away from everyday community demands. Leisure therefore may divide citizens. The true HOLIDAY, on the other hand, unites members of a community. It is a communion of joining in fellowship to celebrate some great struggle in the group’s history. “Holidays are the mortar of society.” (p.203)
4. Holidays are an essential part of religion for religion is not private. The purpose of religion is to imbue individuals with the strength and courage whick holds the power to regenerate the community. Language and religion are the only avenues to creating a common spirit. Language provides the communication avenue and religion creates the power. Therefore, religion must create holidays to bind communities, reminding and empowering its members to continue battling for essential causes.
The deep sorrow at President Roosevelt’s death, and the solemn rejoicing on V-Days, were expressions of a profound health of the American spirit. I felt great pride and gratitude for being allowed to share in them. (p.203)
5. Mere leisure isolates the soul, true holidays on the other hand, unify a common spirit of the people.
Sunday, in the history of the Christian church symbolizes a memory of the resurrection (rising from the dead) in the spirit of a new beginning. “That is the sublime reason why Sunday is the first day of the week, instead of the last.” In church doctors, lawyers, dock workers, parents and children, people of all stations not likely to interact during our normal working week join in communion. This unity of spirit reminds us of the necessity to act toward community renewal, to the day of evaluation, to reconsidering our acts, or re-deeming (re-thinking) our lives. The meaning of redemption is to think anew. Holidays represent the pause we need for that reminder. (p.205)
6. All churches, even pseudo-religions function on the basis of holidays, which form a rhythmical pattern of reminders. In Christianity, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Advent are examples. “Philosophical systems are not rhythmical. Religion is. Why?” Because the purpose is to lift members up to a higher level of behavior. The rhythms of holidays remind us of steps to be taken to this end. There must be a period of incubation for the spirit to evolve. (p.207)
…weeping and joy, winter and summer, victory and defeat, birth and death, make up the rhythm, if and when we tackle them as opposite numbers and do not leave them to accident. One Sunday in seven days, one vacation a year, mark us out as educated people. (p.208)
Originally man celebrated the seasons, winter equinox, sowing harvest, etc.These and other, previously sublime holiday celebrations have, in modern industrial culture, been doctored for commercial reasons. This “doctoring” reflects the degeneration of the meaning of true holidays into mere idle leisure.
7. Sublime religious cycles should not be confused with the mechanical cycles of, 365 days of the year, or of the other mechanical dates of the solstice and equinox. The fourth of July in America, and celebrations of births, or great victories (V-days ending WWII for instance), or births, deaths and anniversaries are anything but mechanical. They represent the eras of great social accomplishments created by mankind. These un-mechanical rhythms are the essence of our social existence.
A birth represents faith in the future, a death (or end of any era) represents time for refounding. July 4th in the U.S. most commonly today, “is only a time for beer and baseball.”
8. Rhythms are scheduled reference points in our lives, sign posts in life’s journey. We commonly witness depression and lack of will and commitment today: people raise the question as to who, and what they are and what is the meaning in their lives. The frustrating impress of factory and office schedules dominating our lives is attested to by the psychological problems: divorces, and other examples of dysfunctional behavior are indications of having lost our power to understand and control, at least to some extent, our lives. The separated compartments of our lives have been deadening: religion is only a Sunday morning meeting, the endless racing for more money keeps us encapsulated in the organization. Life’s rhythms are out of joint. [RF – I witness more and more lonely people, and fewer who can find intimate friends.]
Psychoanalysis is the obvious reaction to the deeper lack of rhythm which factory and suburb imposed on us. (p.211)
There must be a rhythmical balance in our lives between working teams, intimate relationships, professional associations and community, each solves basic necessities of life for production and reproduction. We tend to get isolated in one or another of these modes of existence which seriously diminishes our ability to maintain our psychic balance. We change jobs, partners, communities in desperation rather than by plan.
9. ERH points out that industry has organized so that it is impossible for people to maintain sufficient control over their work so that they can feel any sense of accomplishment, let alone pride. And it is this type of “breaking natural rhythms of life,” i.e. loss of control over our lives, that is so spiritually eroding. Under these conditions, groups are merely conglomerations of migrant workers, like mindless cogs. [RF – There is a conscious management tactic which creates this environment, the term for this is, “dumbing down” work assignments.]
10. The point is, more meaning needs to be reestablished in the different segments of our lives. For instance, in the past the family was the source of social security, delivery of health services, counseling services, production of goods, and most of all, education. And all of these functions were carried out in fellowship in different types of small groups. No one could carry out these functions alone, so one learned to found communities in fellowship and mutual respect. Much of that has been lost in our present organizational systems. Almost 100% of these functions are now carried out by institutions in which the individual has no control.
Modern industry has deprived too many people of their right to crucial living, of a wholesome suspense of growing from one phase of life into the next.(p.214)
11. The holiday reminds, us, not only of the pain and suffering, but also the elation in remembering great accomplishments of events. Celebrating Labor Day in memory of the war against industrial armies fighting the establishment of unions, or celebrating the American Revolutionary War, or the great martyrs through-out all of history, who paved the way to some human freedom, these and other mile-stones in history at once remind us of the price that must be paid over and over for our freedom from tyrannies. Cementing our fellowship with these heros connects us to the great movement of history and more importantly, adding crucial meaning to our lives by placing us in context with the evolution of all of humanity.
When one’s life becomes insipid, ERH avers, one’s vital spirit (soul) is diminished and with it the ability to participate in life. Life’s essence centers on our ability to face problems and in the process, reproduce vital rhythms of living.
The greatest conflict of our day seems to me to be wider than factory and suburb. The extremes are reached when warrior and the thinker of our days are confronted in their tendencies…The cleavage between their official philosophies has been taken for granted. We have left peace-time thinking and war-time action completely unreconciled. Thinker and warrior have no common history….Thought has been academic, warfare has been brutal, these last decades. (p.215)
12. In sum, the regenerating potential of the holiday may be said to remind us of how the great forms of our institutions came about. Those institutions, such as law, government, public schools, and many of our freedoms do not perpetuate themselves. As a matter of fact, all forms tend toward lifeless, mechanical actions which eventually fail to function as intended. The necessity to revive the very creative spirit which created those freedoms and social benefits is always present.
13. FOR ONE TO LIVE SOLELY WITHIN THE SPIRIT OF THEIR AGE ALSO LEADS TO SURE SOCIAL DECLINE. The tendency, so common today, leads one to exploit our natural resources and social accomplishments to the limit because, by definition, we live like “there is no tomorrow.” And, of course, such an attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Unavoidably, we must begin by inheriting the best values of our parents. But also, we are the inheritors of a million years of the development of language, without which we would be communicating with each other by grunts and squeals.
However, while this (physical) life stretches from the cradle to the grave the life span of an inspiration reaches from the middle of one man’s life to the middle of the life in the next generation…Hence, one’s generation’s background is due to the previous generation’s foreground. My father’s values determined my education. (pp.220.221)
14. Physical mutations of genes have a direct parallel in spiritual attitudes as ideas change from one generation to another. “The meaning of liberty is our power of creating a new kind of man.” Without the knowledge of human progress taken from history, we tend to misjudge our power to change, and thus degenerate into mere pragmatic attitudes expecting immediate gratification and thus lose the very power we possess to change. “…creating the world is a perpetual act. What we call creation of the social world is not an event of yesterday, but an ongoing event of all times…Each generation has the divine liberty of recreating the world.” (p. 225)
15, It has been a failure of our educational system, in declining to teach students they must devise new ways to re-establish the social achievements of past generations. Students are taught the methods for different disciplines, usually in a fragmented way. What seems to have been omitted is their obligation to the community and to future generations. [RF – I heard a neighbor the other day say that, he had to deal with the world the way he found it, and his sons and daughters must do the same. He went on to say that he had no interest or obligation in preserving the environment or use unrenewable resources sparingly. His children would just have to deal with the world as they found it!]
The Camping Mind (p. 231)
1. The main thrust of this section is to examine the tendencies of organizations to routinize its procedures, thinking problems through carefully and completely before acting. THE EFFECT OF THIS TENDENCY IS TO COME TO ACTION TOO LATE, the crisis has begun, in other words. The opposing view is demonstrated the soldier who sees danger, who responds intuitively and responding to a need to surprise the enemy: often coming to the crisis too early, but in so doing, prevents the crisis. Since the point is allegorized by the term, “war,” ERH’s conclusion is that we will have eternal war unless we can reincarnate some of the soldier’s intuitive process into the bulky procedures of the bureaucracy.
2. ERH, likens the introduction of intuition to that of the gasoline engine where “explosions” (as in warfare) are to be controlled, which of course, would be the goal for some modicum of peace in the community. We must merge these two qualities of order (rationalism) and intuition —
…else society will always come too late to any emergency, to any task. Therefore, the corollary to the abolition of war is the integration of the soldier’s way of life into the mental life of the community. (p.232)
The organization represents too much rationalism, the soldier symbolizes faith that surprise will be a bridge to a more vital future. Rationalism versus intuition – order versus risk – past versus future, these are the unavoidable paradoxes inherent in our everyday decision making. They reflect the essential balance that must be struck between the points of the cross of reality, mentioned above.
Would it not be very unpleasant to have these constant conflicts? Yes, it would be voluntary conflicts spread thin over innumerable occasions which should take the place of the large explosion called a war…catastrophes would be replaced by an infinite number of controlled explosions.
We cannot have life without explosions; let us bring them under control by spreading them and by dispersing them and by putting them to some positive use.(pp.232,233)
3. To accomplish this we need to integrate the two “prodigious virtues” of reason and faith. “Reason is objective and gives us security. Faith is selective and has a sense of the important.” For them to be separated leaves us with impotent reason and faith remains too intermittent. To always be in a state of too earliness, or too lateness, leaves society dead-in-the-water.
The time lag of Reason cannot be cured unless it is put under pressure by the bold approach of youth; and, vice versa, a blind youth goes to Hitler. (p.234)
4. The academic – overly rational mind – must be tempered by the “Camping mind” which goes back and forth between reason and faith. Economics lies at the core of most wars, but the science of economics is heartless because science cannot recognize ethical decisions. Economics must, unavoidably deal with unemployment for instance, putting it at the center of its considerations if we are to avoid war.
Continuance of intractable wars occurs unless the intuitive mentality of the “soldier” demands that peace time must be used to avoid war:
…fire, light, and warmth are three equally necessary phases of the communal life. The fire of the service men and the light of reason, and the warmth spread from their interaction into the mechanized areas of production and consumption, this seems to me the full process of living. (p.238)
The Rhythm of the New World
1. The remainder of the last few pages summarizes with the ultimate question. America, perhaps up through WW II, had acted, more than not, to avoid catastrophic war by having integrated the efficiency of order and the intuition of soldier, willing to have faith and risk acting in new ways.
This quality seems to have been squandered in pushing the youthful faith aside. They have become cynical, our leaders, and we have a society unwilling to sacrifice immediate gratification for a future, living on the physical world only. ERH quotes an ex-student, a soldier returned from the war:
Those of us who have accepted death and come to life again many times will either have to find our moral equivalent for war or perish or degenerate. (p.241)
How then are we to break this mindset. This interim period, as it has been called for some time, rather than meaning we must wait and see, should be a wake-up call to recognize these last wars have created a new time and new spaces which require new approaches. Certainly, the risk is great as well as the sacrifices. [RF – I am now writing this during the Christmas season of (1999), to conserve, to be generous to the needy, to forgive, in short celebrate all of the mandates for Christmas would appear to destroy the economy. Every merchant claims that well over half his annual income derives from this season. The enigma is no less in all other arenas of critical social problems.] ERH raises the question then as to how we are to balance morals and economics.
2. The first step must be to change the spirit of the people. All creative acts have succeeded against impossible odds. Always, solutions to critical problems seem impossible in the beginning. Creativity, by its very definition, rises above what previously was thought impossible. The “Camping Spirit” must be established. Creativity always begins in small units, with one, perhaps two, then must double, and double, and double again the numbers of small associations in our lives to educate in this spirit.
If we have the courage to do this, we may enjoy the rhythm of peace. For peace is not the sleep and the torpor of non-movement.…Peace is the victory over mere accident. Peace is the rhythm of a community which is still unfinished, still open to its true future. (p.243)