Argo Press, Norwich, VT. 1981
Feringer notes
Last edited: 8-98




Dr. Harold Stahmer offers an excellent introduction which, in addition  to a brief biography of Rosenstock-Huessy and the original contribution he makes to social science, describes the centrality of speech to this new method for social analysis.  Speech  makes the man: “The origin of human speaking is the speaking of human origin…The very name of God means: `he who speaketh: He puts words of life on our lips.” (pp. XIV,XV.)

Speech begins with vocatives (subjects being spoken to) and imperatives.  It begins with “formal speech,” which moves men to action and is embodied in ritual.  Our grammar books, on the other hand, begin with the nominative (the thing or person named), and the pronoun “I.”   The nominative is usable only when an experience is over.  I can only respond as an “I,” after I have been addressed as a “thought.” “I” is the last pronoun a child learns to use.

We discovered that our systems of formal logic were skewed by accepting this nominative distortion of our grammarians.  The beginning vocative and lyric stages of all experience are thus called illogical, even though they are essential before the narrative and nominative (abstract) modes can be applied.  Common sense, or daily talk, is a derivative of formal speech.

Gender, in vocative-driven grammar,  has a social meaning in addition to the physiological.  It identifies the required participation in living interactions, and is not synonymous with sex.  Neuter, in this context,  is not a third sex, but refers to all dead things.  Thus, vocative grammar is a mirror of the stages of human experience.  Inspiration through a vocative or imperative addresses us as “thou,” then forces us to respond as  “I.”  It makes us report as  “we,” and at the end, a story (narrative) speaks of us as “they.”  In this way we are conjugations through  stages of experience.

Instead of mental health, grammatical health is proposed.  Grammatical health requires the ability to command, the ability to listen, the ability to act,  and finally, the ability to free ourselves from the command by telling our story.  Only then are we ready to respond again.  Grammatical ill-health is demonstrated to lead to war, dictatorship, revolution and anarchy; and ERH shows how formal speech can overcome these four social diseases.

This four-stage unit of speech – command, listen, respond, analyze – is best defined in terms of a complete  “time-cup” to be fulfilled and discarded. All social order depends upon the power of invoked names to create a never‑ending series of such time-cups.

We call  this method of describing experience The Grammatical Method.  It is not exemplified by a set of rules as with traditional grammar, but rather as a method to help us understand our history and experience, to help us differentiate between valid and invalid names. It also helps us to determine responses appropriate to the stage of a particular experience or event.

Grammatical experience of this kind changes us.  In the world of today, there are people at many different stages of grammatical development, and our method offers them hope of more successful interaction and understanding.  It give us all a common history, a history aware of timing, and a foundation for a possible peace among men.  (p.129)

Formal speech is what creates us as human beings;  “…it intends to form the listener into a being which did not exist before he/she was spoken to.  Human speech is formative and it is for this reason that it has become explicit and grammatical…language can name a place, Tipperary in Ireland, and a child, Dorothy, the gift of God. This, animals cannot do.” (pp.4,5) If, Rosenstock-Huessy reasons, we are formed by speech, his most basic hypothesis is that through understanding the structure of speech we can understand better the nature of our humanity.  It would follow then that speech reflects our social health and is the path toward social regeneration.

Chapter 1 – The Authentic Moment of Speech

1.There are three types of human speech, preformal, formal, and informal.  Informal is a loosening or ignoring of the formal, and therefore always succeeds the formal.  Preformal is animal speech, which also invests some human speech; informal derives from both formal and preformal.  Formal is the most primary.

2.These distinctions are crucial to understanding the centrality of speech to our being!  Formal speech is what makes us human.

…we must forget all our informal habits when we wish to understand the sublimity, elation, exultation, gravity and precariousness which it takes to speak formally. (p.3)

By indirection, if formal speech is what makes us human and informal speech derives from it, to set aside formal speech is to erode our humanity (community).  Formal speech must be understood as containing the forms or structure of the way we become capable of expressing ourselves.   Reliance on informal speech, or mistaking it as equal in importance to formal speech, destroys the roots of our language.

3.To understand speech, one must begin with animals, or with primary (informal) groups such as the family, gangs, military barracks, all of whom use informal speech as a matter of course.   This is contrary to what psychologists, or linguists, or philosophers normally propose.  The child does not explain the man, where speech is concerned, because speech was taught to the child.  Thus, the evolution of speech is  1) preformal,  2) formal, and 3) informal.

4. Formal speech, the creator of our humanity:

…aims at something not aimed at by apes or nightingales:  it intends to form the listener into a being which did not exist before he was spoken to….The greatest forms of man’s speech are names.  They clearly are not animal language…the very name of God means:  `he who speaketh; he who enthuses man so that man speaketh.’  (p.5)

5.Formal may therefore be named “nominal.”  Pronouns – you, I, my, we, it, etc. – are used instead of names.  Thus our list of preformal, formal, and informal can be replaced with pre-nominal, nominal,  and pro-nominal.

6.There are many overlaps between human and animal experience, a nurturing family, a lover and coy mistress, a leader and his group,  etc. When formal language originated, humans found themselves between two opposing influences, the pre-nominal and the nominal.  This situation created the  compromise, or shortcut to speech  –  informal speech was thereby created. The pronoun logically had to become part of informal speech.  This is a logical conclusion.

With the intimacy of small, face-to-face encounters, less formal speech works perfectly well.  The relation between animal, man, and child is revealed.  “The ape in us speaks pre‑nominally, the man in us speaks by names (i.e. formally), and the child in us speaks in pronouns.”  (p.6)  Thus, speaking informally, we can be understood by using animal signs and sounds, i.e. by grunts, cries, moans, etc.  But such speech never transforms one.

7.Lullabies, nursery rhymes, gossip, prattle, whisper, propaganda, jokes, puns, sales talks, advertisements, etc. are informal – in the realm of the pronoun – emptying names by pointing, hinting, suggesting.  And at the same time they empty some meaning from formal language.  They do support the formality and power of real names when the formal is unnecessary (i.e. small group situations).  For instance, it would be absurd to call your father Mr. Jones most of the time.

It becomes crucial then to know the proper type of speech in the proper place,  when and where it is lacking,  and why it needs to be cast in proper grammatical forms.

8.The meaning of the question, “What is the origin of speech?” is that always there are different environments exemplified by the three forms of speech.  These environments do indeed  exist and therefore call for these distinctions.  The first languages existed in the pre-historic/pre-linguistic fields of force.   Individuals and groups are forced to become articulate, or perish.

A group where members are warring is in a pre-nominal stage, as related to the enemy, and must begin the road to healing by going through the three stages in sequence.  Science also is a formalization of the order in any environment.  Only with science (order) can we work to correct chaotic situations.  “When we have learned why one state of affairs is negative…we begin to understand the origin of the good.” (p.9)

To formulate the problem of speech in such a way shifts the field of the question out of linguistics and philosophy, to the realm of politics and history.  “…new speech is not created by thinkers or poets, but by great and massive political calamities and religious upheavals.” (p.9)

This is the opposite from studying the origin of speech by studying child psychology, because formal and informal speech are not invented by the child.

When do we feel  threatened by the absence of speech?  There are numerous situations, all of which reflect different dimensions of the problem.

Chapter 2 – The Four Diseases of Speech

1.A speech theory based on politics, such as the one advocated here, holds a distinct advantage over a theory based on abstract linguistics.  For instance, one can clearly identify “speech-lacking ways of life,” war for example.   Each side holds different assumptions about what is good and what is evil; what is right for one side is wrong for the other.  In ancient times, the power evoked by names of gods for each side were kept secret.  Each party spoke in different idioms, if not different languages.  Peace can begin only when speaking begins between the parties.  The outbreak of violence between two adjacent countries who don’t speak beforehand is no accident.

Speaking establishes law between the parties, then a new speaking unit is born that is common to both countries.  War represents a spacial discord between neighbors.  Speech during war means a non-trusting of the enemy, and therefore it is not listened to or believed.

2.  A revolution is a break in speech also, a battle between the old and the new, between two parties in a stale culture, full of hypocrisy.  Certain values are provided by those in power, but only practiced with lip-service. Laws favor the privileged, family is idealized, but divorce is high because unstable community values are felt as temporary.  Patriotism and freedom are invoked, but in fact they characterize only the privileged.  A protected class stifles new experiments that might shift power.  In sum, the old practices are opposed by the new (young), who desire a more vital future.

The language of the old has lost its meaning.  Speech here is broken off as well, because while the parties may use the same language, the words mean different things.  All of this is saying that the visions for the future are in conflict.  Language becomes “hollowed out,” as Martin Buber put it.

3.Degeneration occurs when the old have nothing of meaning to say to the young; the young see no future for the community.  Vitality exists only by way of constant change and experiment when the old ways no longer work, so when no new enterprises originate, sources of new life dry up.  The same failure in speech occurs as with revolution,  which breeds degeneration.  The old order is said to be degenerate in the sense of abusing and robbing the youth of their future.  Our present national debt is a good example; debt means borrowing from the future, by definition.  Degeneration represents a counter-revolution to the revolutionary situation, a gap in time between the past and the future. (p.13)

4.Anarchy (crisis) is the counterpart of war.  From the standpoint of speech, war is not listening to the enemy;  with anarchy, there is an unwillingness to give orders.  That means inadequate leadership, because to give orders implies rights for those who carry them out. (p.15)

5. Summarizing these points:

War – occurs from disagreements about national borders and not listening to what the foe says. Anarchy – is the lack of leadership in institutions; no leadership means no rights, and thus crisis occurs by not telling the friend (or citizen or employee) what to do.  The situation is usually brought on by unemployment.

Revolution – is an attempt to create new rules for a community, rules that, at first amount to inarticulate shouting (young inventing new words, or new meanings to old words, because of the hypocrisy of the old).

Degeneration – is the young disbelieving the old, seeing their speech as hypocritical repetition of words that are meaningless to them.

Speech includes listening and speaking, articulating and repeating.  A healthy speaking group uses old terms for new facts (repetition), new terms for old  facts (articulation), spreads out to new people  (speaking), and includes every worthwhile speaker (listening).  The two acts of listening and  speaking constantly extend the territorial frontier of speech.  We want to be able to speak to all and listen to all.  The two acts of repeating and articulating constantly extend the temporal frontiers of speech.  We want to link up with all past and future generations.  (p.15)

6.All four acts are fraught with risk:

a. In war, people who advocate listening to the enemy are excluded.

b. With anarchy, people who advocate speaking to “down-and-outs” are excluded.

c. In revolution, orders from the other side are ridiculed.

d. With degeneracy, “shouts” are “inaudible” (ignored).

One should not be misled by the cosmic suffering at these catastrophes. Is speech really the cause and solution? ERH answers with a resounding, “Yes.”   War is deafness, peace is willingness to listen.  Revolution is shouting, order is the ability to formulate. Crisis (anarchy) is muteness, credit is willingness to entrust. And decadence is stereotype,  rejuvenation, new representatives.  When speech is reestablished, the catastrophes, “…shrink to human dimensions.” (p.17) It thereby reestablishes the community by making the problems manageable.

7.If this is true, the structure of language should bear witness to political purposes, and highlight the consequences of our experience.

8.All four diseases and cures are inter-dependent; the occurrence of one leads to the others in time.  The structure of speech, as correlated with these types of events, can be evidenced by history.  In modern times the forms are both oral and written, while ritual and ceremonies bring the past to us in the present.


Speech was intended to make peace, to give credit, to respect the old and to free the next generation…By defining language as a social form among other forms of social behavior, it will be seen in its inter-relation with other institutions. (pp.18,19)

Chapter 3 – “Church and State” of Prehistoric Man

1.Animals and biologists reckon life from birth to death.  Considering social regeneration, one must reckon life the opposite order, from death to birth. This is because through speech we are capable of passing on our learning to the next generation.  The child does not have to re-invent knowledge, as does the animal, but he/she can be endowed by the dying generation.

These two powers of prescience before my birth, and of determination after my life, distinguish me from the animal.  The origin of speech lets the “natural” relation of birth and death be superseded. (p.21)

2.  A  burial, a funeral, a eulogy, an obituary are the speech forms and ceremonies that exemplify this death/life sequence.  There are no human beings who do not bury their dead.  Man thereby ceased to be an individual.  Rather he was called to continue in his parents footsteps.  It reverses nature by overlapping it with a social continuation of life.  Death is thereby transmuted into its opposite, and life is transmuted into its opposite. [RF – emphasis mine.]

3.The initiate is told where he is going. To anticipate death, to treat life as though it already stretched beyond his parent’s death, he is given a name that lasts beyond his physical life, and he is called to bridge time into the next generation.

4.Society (speech) reverses the chaos of nature and the law of the jungle.  In nature every specimen is born, and dies by itself. Fate prevails. Speech, on the other hand, creates continuity, freedom, peace, and order. Man’s emancipation from the animal forms means an enlarged share of life.

5.Modern thought tends to mix up into one stew, individual life, eternal life, social life, and historical life,  thinking all of them as the same. It is important, ERH asserts, to make distinctions and indicate relationships.

6.Is speech really capable of bringing order to chaos, and does history really indicate this?  Human societies begin in islands of peace, and they cannot begin with war or revolution, where  incest, war, jealously, rape, and anarchy are rampant. Peace is based on eliminating sexual competition, and this, ERH asserts, motivated the invention of the family as a legal unit.  While forms of marriage vary, all tribes have such forms.

7.The family has constraints.  Chastity in the family, which “tones down sex,” limits incest.  These taboos are the price paid for peace.  Originally, chastity did not apply to the individual, but rather to the mores within the family where sex was controlled and incest was taboo.  (p.24)

In sum, ERH provides examples of where the animal inclinations of humankind were ordered, and the family was created as an island of peace where strict rules needed to be applied.  There was a rhythm between chaste life on the one hand, and orgies and festivals on the other.

8.Before modern society positions in the family were stations of office; father, mother, brother, and sister were formal titles of offices first, and only sex relationships secondarily. If any member of the family conceives of its members as individuals, separate from a station in the family, the family as a unit begins to break up.  Today, “singleness” is common and more economically possible.  Family structure is much less stable, divorce common and violence in the family has increased.

9.The creation of social groups and institutions with offices, titles, and names was against natural animal behaviors.  Within  the family, any member, husband, wife, son or daughter, can represent the family.

They are of one flesh, according to the Church, which again seals the covenant of peace above `individuality’ or, better, their `dividedness.’  (p.25)

This beneficial, but  unnatural unit, is the fruit of speech and would not be possible without the naming and the handing down of traditions from parent to child.

10.Belief in marriage is akin to belief in God, or gods.  Both are founded on faith.  With marriage, our sexual and other instincts continue to be with us,  but marriage  boundaries create peace.  Faith that such an institution is necessary to maintain a community is all that overcomes our natural instincts, just as belief in some power outside us that imposes rules to make us better requires faith.  Both marriage and belief is founded on the same power.

11.There is a fundamental conflict between faith and reason, between theology and science.  It is “reasonable” to follow one’s sex urges in whatever context.  Only faith (in the future of the family) would restrain one.

12.Legitimate children are free to anticipate a “legitimate” place in the future of the community because their parents, having publically taken vows, have declared that the children were planned and would be under their protection and preparation.

My own future is made possible by the love of the preceding generation….Hence, every marriage meant the  founding of a small nation with due respect for the freedom of its future citizens, the free and legitimate children.  Parents sacrificed their lifetime and devoted their whole being to this founding act.  (p.27)

13.The tribe must be understood as an extended family.  But the basic unit of all community, originally, was the family, and since it preformed all functions – law, economics, medicine, etc. – from the family came our present formal institutions.  Thus, the wedding vows can be understood only in terms of indicating this middle ground between the past and the future, between preceders and successors, between ancestors and grandsons…an act of respect for traditional and for freedom simultaneously.  (p.28)

Chapter 4 – The Conflict of Political Sense and Common Sense

1.Any political structure (institution) expands the power, and the times and spaces of an individual.  This expansion is unnatural rather it is “supernatural,” transcending both time and space.  However, stabilizing as institutions are, they collapse without the faith and renewal by individuals committed to them.

2.Formal speech is the means for creating such faith and renewal through nominating leaders, who invoke a common spirit, initiate law, and signify to the body politic its institutional values.

3.Chaos is complex; it may annihilate bonds of fellowship by failing to give credit to those who produce,  thus creating anarchy.  It may annihilate vitality by destroying freedom, creating degeneracy.  Or it may annihilate laboriously established new boundaries, creating war.  The institution is always in danger of these basic forms of chaos.  All of these forms of chaos may be reversed by formal speech.  The very naming of social ills helps to cure them.

4.The tribe preceded the family, because peace and order could not occur until speech had been established.  Family life functions on an informal basis (using pronouns instead of proper names) – and common sense implies that tribal formalities pre-existed in the family.  The intimate living conditions of the family means that one can use shortened, informal speech because of this intimate experience.  When we know people less well, we must be more formal, addressing them as Mr. and Mrs., or “Mr. Chairman.”  Formal situations require explicit rules (laws), where informal speech does not require these.

At the fireplace of each family, the high speech of the tribal spirit is shaken down to the lowest denominator.  Thereby it becomes common sense.  (p.30)

5.Common sense (informal speech), therefore was derived from the formal speech of the tribe that preceded it.  It makes us at home within an existing structure.  The notion of Rouseau’s “noble savage” and Franklin’s “poor Richard” are false.

6.The formal act of naming, itself, is a political one in the sense that any new situation requiring a new name requires the group’s agreement .  Otherwise understanding is lacking. lack of understanding leads quickly to chaos.

7.The cry for peace and order is a desperate cry.  Shouting for freedom and for regeneration of the good old days, is futile. To establish peace requires specific understanding of the conditions for peace.  This is to say,  the creation of new rules that will be followed by the victims of chaos (the shouting, raging, crying, weeping people), who cannot be salved until the miracle of peace is experienced. FORMAL SPEECH PRODUCES EXACTLY THESE MIRACLES. (p.31)  [RF – emphasis mine.]

8.Does speech always reduce chaos, or save a community?  Obviously not; it fails as often as it succeeds precisely because people misunderstand, people lie, people do not have the courage to speak.  Some of the group are brutes gone berserk.  Some wish to break with the group and begin anew, on their own.  To speak is always a risk with no guarantees.  To speak is also to give power to others by virtue of the very act of revealing one’s thought to others.  To say one thing and do another, to teach one thing and believe another, to behave in private differently than in public, all are forms of the “devil.”

When oaths become hollow forms, all of these forms of deception are the diseases of common speech;   conflict cannot be far behind.

Ever since man spoke, he has been divided against himself.  Only half of his speech is successful and fully understood.  The other half is either dead  wood, or it is betrayed…The true miracles of speech, as with all miracles, are threatened by their false imitations…. Our analysis of the forms of speech should be helped by our sense of danger, of possible betrayal which lurks in all speech.  (pp. 32,33)

Chapter 5 – Speech Versus Reflection

1.To speak  is different from reflection.  Speech, both formal and primal, is used when there is chaos, or “high tension.”  To speak the truth in this situation is unsettling.  The result is unclear.  The temptation is to “cool out,”  use stale words, incantations without meaning, without the will to act on them.  (p.33)

2.ERH cites the Revolutionary and Civil  wars. In 1776, the articles of faith in this new country promised free and equal treatment.  In 1860, the unwillingness to carry out this promise came to a head.

3.The names of original speech face in three directions: they face the public who is told, the person who is called, and the spirit that is invoked. (p.34)  Modern thinking, in good scientific fashion, classifies different types of speech, the specific and the general, taboos, etc.  Authentic speech cannot be classified as going from facts to generalization.  To change the community, to save it from further chaos, one must be willing to speak.  One must be willing to be quoted,  and to insist that the thing must be said.  Speaker and listener must have faith that the words are true, have the courage to defend them from attack, and have hope that the community will believe the speaker.  The power of speech is founded on this triplicity.  And when this is lacking, the words are dead.

4.The product of analysis is quite different.  To generalize is to abandon the real situation where crisis occurred. Generalization has its place, but only after real events have been described.  Analysis derives from real life experience.  The act of science, is an act of faith in the truth of his work, his hope to be believed. He thus participates in real speech.  But the product of his work, the stripping of the risk and emotion of crisis from the incident being analyzed, is the “graveyard” for the living meaning for words.  [RF – I believe he means by this statement that generalizations, by nature of being abstractions, derive from past events.  New events confronting one in the present may or may not be accurately described by the traditional general term; therefore, misunderstanding may occur. ]

5.The act of being scientific follows the course of true speech:  1) The speaker’s predecessors established the method, and the speaker is also a follower (listener), 2) He is checked by his colleagues – the speaker speaks in fellowship,  3) He exposes himself to possible contradictions in the future – the speaker leads.

6.In this final section of the chapter, ERH defends the notion that, with “the creative mood of languages,”  names are fulfilled in the future.  We can know a person only on their death-bed. During their life they are still fulfilling the meaning of their soul (their name), and before that time of death, meaning cannot be finally pronounced.  Thus, to speak “primally,” is to look toward the future.  In this sense language creates our new social reality.

Chapter 6 – Logic on Trial

1. Science is said to be “reflective,” in the indicative mood.  It defines and describes something, and neither the speaker nor the listener can do anything about it. It speaks about a past event, a fact. To say, “Johnny is stupid,” is an indicative statement that tells the listener about the attitude of the speaker. The indicative mood absolves the speaker and the listener from any participation in the fact, except intellectually.  Indicatives are not a call to action, but a call to reflect.  This is the essence of logic,  a pure intellectual act.

2.”Greek Thinking”: At some time in the past (ERH doesn’t give a date, except to refer to Alexandrian scholarship, which he asserts did not produce one poem, prayer, or law. We assume some time around 356-323 B.C.)  Greek thinking focussed on the indicative mood as the true form of thought.  By contrast, this was not the case with the Hindu, Hebrew, Egyptian, Chinese, and others. In these non-Greek cases, ascertaining reality utilized other moods such as the imperative, optative, and narrative. In these non-Greek cultures, then, logic included all four.  He cites Genesis as an example of reflecting the other moods of thinking about speech, excluding  the indicative.

By this omission the connection between logic and the Bible, between reason and faith, was obscured.  Both seemed to speak of different processes:  the one (non-Greek) based on imperatives, optatives, narratives:  the other (Greek) on indicatives.  And both stubbornly declined to compare notes.  Hence theology is illogical to the logician.  And the logician appears irreligious to the theologian.  How absurd! (pp.40,41)

3.There are four moods  in the description of an event. in terms of speaking about it to another.  These include the call or motivation for action, the action itself, the describing of what happened during the experience, and finally, the analysis and generalizing. In speech terms, these are 1) imperative, 2) optative,  3) narrative, 4) indicative.

4.With these four, there is a speaker and a listener. Either one or both can refer to the act itself. They must be carried out in sequence to make sense.  The example ERH gives is as follows:

give an answer

may I have an answer

you have answered me

he answers

this sentence is the answer

The first four are examples of speech, the fifth is an example of thought (reflection only). The contrast is between speech and thought.  The first four place the speaker and listener in relation to concrete truth, and the fifth is “academic,”  abstract, timeless.

Speech, in is origins, was unwilling and incapable of formulating sentences in which speaker and listener did not enter.  This follows from the situation of oral speaking.  (p.42)

This is to say, since complex thought evolved only after speech, the original speech situation included only the speaker and listener.

5.The indicative relates to things and situations which need to be identified, and for which law depended.  An example would be, “Was it murder or self defense, theft or borrowing?” The phrase, “This is,” is a judicial sentence that makes no sense unless summing up contradictory proceedings.  No abstract sentence is true without such antecedents of concrete data.  (p.43)

There is an important distinction here, one between data and conclusion abstracted therefrom, as to what “things” the data indicate.  Thus, the indicative (analysis) always succeeds the other three moods. [RF – emphasis mine.] Here ERH implies that “fact” is always a judgement deduced from data (i.e. from the narrative) where there is a speaker and a listener, even though they may be tied by the written word rather than face-to-face.   Obviously, there is always the assumption that something living preceded the thing described. He gives examples of names such as Hitler, Japan, Negroes, Churchill and Roosevelt in WWII, that are all “loaded with living reality.”

6.Abstract statements make sense only in relation to real concrete statements and to a speaker and listener.

“It is illogical, then, to build a complete logic on the logic of abstract statements.”  Abstraction voids all data of life, it has transmuted the living into dead things, timeless, unpowerful.”  (pp.44,45)

7. In conclusion, no true thinker can lay claim to understanding wisdom unless he/she knows the difference between living and dead statements, which is to say, he/she has participated in the creating of the abstraction, thereby infusing life-giving into the speech process.

Speech as a Social Process

a.What Greek (Western scientific) thinkers tend to forget is that their science, their “facts,” are related only to data. They forget that, had there not been a community, a family that sacrificed for them, a family that created speech in a community of peace and finally a profession which taught them their methods, they would not be present to research.  All of these antecedents take time to produce, a much longer time than their work.  They make no distinctions between these two types of knowledge (living and dead statements).

The four root sentences given above, – “answer me,”  “may I have an answer,” “I have answered you,” and finally, “he is answering you,” – have a logical sequence.  Imperative must precede optative, which must precede the narrative, which must precede the indicative. (p.46)

b.There is a “secret” logic tying together the speaker and listener, which is the order by which it is being carried out.  This unity is in  a single time capsule.  The time taken for each step will differ.  These relationships are often called “frames of reference” today, but ERH asserts this concept is wrong. It is rather a “field of correspondence,”  of a speaker and  a listener, and related to an event.  A frame of reference is an abstraction outside the incidents, rather than being a necessary aspect of the exchange.

c.Formal speech (speech that moves people) is corporeal, while casual speech is not; three characteristics demonstrate this. 1) Any idea that is acted upon becomes social because of its consequences,  and therefore corporeal. 2) With a situation of speaker and listener, the burden is on the listener, the receiver of the imperative.  But when the listener becomes the speaker, the roles are reversed. 3) And finally, there are  changes in the physical world as a result.  With informal “chit-chat” such as  “the sun is shining,”  there is no call to action.

The division of labor, action and response, cannot exist unless there is formal speech in which people are moved to act, and formal speech rests for its success on these steps of function and role changes that take place in sequence. “Forms of language move people who speak and who listen, into the field of correspondence and out of it again.  Speech is movement.”  (p.50)

d.The dreamer is not “under orders” of an imperative, so unless he acts, he has little effect.  The scientist who ignores these steps preceding his report cannot succeed in understanding the roots of his own creativity, i.e. command (imperative), response (research), narrative (report of methods), and finally generalization.

The imperative:  p.51

a.Three important facts are expressed in the shortest form of any verb, 1) that somebody receives an invitation to act, 2) that the act lies in the future, and  3) the act is specific.  The imperative form of the verb preserves the most ancient layer of human Speech.  It invokes the original situation of formal speech. In this case two humans are temporarily fused in a time cup – the single word (imperative) sets all this in motion.

b.Three more facets of formal speech: one person is asked to obey, a worldly act is required, and the time span sets aside time for obedience to perform the act.  “All achievements are formidable.” (p.53)

c.Obedience. In these situations the listener is transformed into the role of a “soldier,” a participant in a social process.  The imperative reveals the confidence of the speaker that he knows the world and what must be done in it.  Mere knowledge is transformed into its purpose, action.  Therefore the imperative ranks as more important than mere indicatives, because it transforms known life into a future.  The imperative decides and defines an epic; the order given marks the divide between before and after (the decision), moving people in history; reason shines brightly because it is acted upon.

Between Order and Realization – p.54

a.Imperatives make us feel “enlightened,” lighting a way into the future.  It is empowering to make a decision and act upon it. However, the imperative is enlightening only if it is fulfilled.  The narrative gives meaning to the imperative.  The basic principle is that for effectiveness and achievement, creativity, etc., there must be this cycle of acts, followed in sequence, with each successfully completed.

b.At times, with large issues such as the establishment of justice and law, years, perhaps thousands, may elapse between command and response.  “Thou shalt not kill,”  for example.   Implied here is the notion that, in the case of lasting and important issues, each generation must create its appropriate response in the light of its situation. ERH cites the example of W. James’ essay, THE MORAL EQUIVALENT OF WAR, which to this day has not created a response, as his admonition/prophesy has been ignored.  (p.56)

The Lyric – p.57

a.What is between beginning and end of the sequence?  What is needed on the part of the person taking action to insure completion of the command?  One needs morale to go through with it.  How is this achieved? One must be “on fire” with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is “lyrical.” Some rhythm needs to  “…contain reason for action.” We sing.  The lyric is between the dramatic and epic. Its grammatical form is usually called the subjunctive, although in Greek it is called “optative,” and in Latin it is called “conjunctive.”  “It is a mood of depreciation and curse, of blessing and praying, of rejoicing and wailing, of laughing and crying.”  (p.57)

b.To be on fire is a condition of a life really being fulfilled.  This emotional drive must not come from “brute passion,”  which leads to vice.  It must come from  inspired reason.  “Lyrics have their logical place and their grammatical forms between imperative and report, because they allow men to be on fire without becoming brutes.”

c.The lyric is a reflection of the appearance of the first person singular, the subjective in speech.  The process of carrying out the act involves  keeping up one’s spirits,  weeping, singing for joy, and other emotional support.

The lyrical mood descends into the dark depths of our body and carries the light of reason into the bottomless pit of the fires of sex, fear, jealousy, ambition, greed and pride which are born in these depths.  …In Aeschylus’ tragedies the real event is that for the first time the inner life of the hero behind this command becomes speakable.  (pp.58,59)

The Narrative  –  p.60

a.The narrative is the epochal mood;  the imperative is more concise, the narrative more lengthy.  The second contribution  of the epochal mood is that it is in the third person plural in one sense.  “He”  is neither speaker nor listener at the moment of telling, but rather in the role of the observer.

b.Furthermore, the narrative is historical, nothing to do with logic or with generalizations.  The two types of speech, narrative and imperative, are far apart.

The Abstract – p.61

a. The abstract has no meaning out of context. To say love, murder, chair, life, etc. raises only the vaguest of thoughts.  To say, “This is murder,”  can only have meaning in relation to some specific event.

b.The Greeks reversed this order by putting  the concept of “principles” first.  As a result, narrative truth is reduced to  a form stripped of all specifics.  In short, classifications are raised to the highest value.

c.While it can be useful in some instances to be freed from having to remember all the living details of evidence by use of abstracts (classifications), for example to say, “I am depressed,”  it is important to understand that this represents only partial truth.  Rosenstock-Huessy is adamant in defining the limits of abstractions, which he has dubbed “Greek thinking.”   He refutes the notion that thought of this type is more complete and rational than language  ( i.e. the utilization of all moods of speech as he defines above).

d.While this assertion as to the limited truth of abstractions seems somewhat academically obscure, Rosenstock-Huessy says its meaning could not be more destructive to our understanding of experience.  Five thousand years of grammatical and linguistic evidence in Western culture shows that beginning the teaching of language with abstractions,  is just the opposite from what we need if we are to understand our experience.  We cannot begin with abstractions but rather with the narration of events – events that create a “time cup” of imperative, lyric, and narrative, before the final abstraction (indicative).

e.There is one more important aspect of this notion of abstraction.  That is, numerability.  The abstract represents several possibilities.  Contrarily, in context, in the narrative, that same abstract can only mean one thing. It is unique and singular!  Another way of making this point is to reflect on the fact that an abstraction  represents a summary of single events.   The phrase “a chair” says that many individual chairs have been witnessed, and the concept summarizes their nature, something to sit on.  In this sense, many unique examples have been bunched into a single category.

f.A category such as a principle, the Greek philosophers claimed, was timeless and always the same.  And yet, it could not have been conceived without the time experience of viewing many singular events.  For this reason, Rosenstock-Huessy refutes the Greek notion that abstractions could exist out of time.  Thought is not out of time; it could not occur without a physical presence of the body that includes a brain and that experiences things over time.

g.In another dimension, Rosenstock-Huessy differentiates between narrative and indicative moods  by pointing out that history (that is, narrative history) is full of emotion described by the experience of people showing  risk, greed, love, etc.  Science, by contrast, is stripped of emotion, objective (removed from social experience), and therefore abstract.  The scientist, however, cannot or does not consider important all of the travail that was the price he personally paid for his creativity.

h.ERH ends this section by placing the notion of abstractions in their proper relation to the other moods of experience, at the end of the time-cup sequence of the imperative, the lyric, and the narrative.  It is useful to embrace the idea of the Greeks for the final step of generalizing in the indicative mood.

The Full Cycle of Speech  –  p.68

a.ERH summarized this chapter by reminding the reader that, if events are to be ordered for the purpose of creating community, the action to do so must occur in the sequence of:  1) An imperative – “Do this.”  2) The lyrical full of emotion – “I am doing this.” 3) The narrative – ” This is what I have experienced in the process.” 4) The indicative – “This is what has been accomplished.”  (The objectification and classification of the event).

b.This cycle is viewed as the natural, unavoidable sequence of events that must follow if anything to be accomplished.  The steps of this sequence vary enormously in time-spans.  For instance, after two thousand years since Jesus, Christians are still striving to fulfill his commands.  The time cup of democracy continues after hundreds of years.  At the other extreme, a time cup may last the few minutes required to take out the garbage.

c.Each of these sequential steps represents an order of grammar in tenses (past, present, future) and in  moods (imperative, lyrical, narrative, logical).  Other connections can be made as well.  For instance, revolutionary, future, and imperative belong together, as do lover, present, and lyrical.  Also, story-teller, past, and narrative as well as scientist, past, judgmental, and classifier are units.

d.Each stage also represents attitudes toward issues in the community.  For instance, to be conscious of the “present,”  one must be sensitive (to emotions including one’s own), willing to participate in society, find common ground.  The giver of imperatives, and narrators, require an acute sense of loyalty to truth.  The revolutionary looks to the future, and in so doing may be less sensitive to the present.  The evolutionists, the lovers of history, look to the past and tend to treat time as endless.

Each stage can be seen in terms of emotional temperature, the and giver of imperatives is “hot.”  The listener and subject acts “warmly.”  The process of narration should be neutral, and the scientist exhibits “cold” objectivity.

e.Formation of a community requires that people must communicate, understand each other, and agree, or find some modicum of agreement, as to each of the stages along the way.  Contrarily, disorder occurs when the thinking of any group in the community becomes trapped in any one of the stages.  The visionaries, the ones taking action, the reporters, and the scientists all think differently or represent a necessary but incomplete form of thinking.  In general, the community must balance between these.  And such balance must apply to the individual, as well.

f.All of this seems to add up to providing us the a road map with reference points to indicate our progress or retrogression in evaluating experience.

Chapter 7 – Dress and Speech

1.Rosenstock-Huessy asks, “How can my assumption, that formal speech has been spoken over long periods of time, be verified?”   There is evidence:  Luther answering a Pope’s words uttered in 1202, Jesus being called the second Adam because he spoke of regeneration, philosophers responding to statements made years or generations before other philosophers.  But, ERH asserts, there is even more telling evidence in the meaning of formal dress for ceremonies.

2.One of the most basic human instincts is to conquer death, and death is conquered, not physically, but socially, by way of passing on our social position and name to those who follow us.

The power to connect more than one generation is not given in nature.  If this death could be overcome, the danger of becoming res unius aetatis  –  (a matter of one age) – was conquered.  Funeral rites celebrate this conquest… All dresses are the uniforms of successors to people whose names have been recognized after their death, or resignation from office.  They are names bestowed on successors, connecting a before and an hereafter.  (p.78)

3.Dress and formal costume reflect a formal social role that changes.  No human group is without dress.  The present aspect of time is invisible without dress as a symbol of a social role.

We acquire, as I quoted before, a different body by putting on a doctor’s gown, a priest’s garment, a bathing suit, or a nurse’s uniform…History is a constant making and unmaking of temporary social orders…(p.75)

4.We acquire freedom and power by such investiture.  Major beginnings of social roles begin with initiation ceremonies, indicating a political and mental lifetime.

5.All names came before the bearer, and they associate the individual with groups, thus providing a set of cultural beliefs.

Chapter 8 – Ritual

1.Ceremony celebrates milestones in life, birth, death, marriage, initiation, etc.  And each ceremony has its unique ritual, unique in dress and speech.  Ceremony and ritual originate as life and death truths that demand our attention or the community is doomed.  By definition, then, ceremony and ritual deal with long time-spans, into both the past and the future.  All formal speech begins in ritual, because ritual defines elements  of our experience.  These truths that call for ceremony provide only general guides to action.  The burden of the action is to constantly fit our methods into new patterns that will re-establish the truth mandated.

2.Ceremonies deal with past accomplishments (what we have done), as marked by monuments, stories, eulogies, and obituaries.  What is allowed in the future is represented by inaugurations.

3.Inaugurations must protect freedom,  because one is not sure what the future might demand.   Freedoms are protected by rules that empower the subject.  The role of the subject at the inauguration is to be a listener, to those who have served in the past.  Thus, biography, monuments, funerals, etc. are recalled.

4.All of these milestones represent serious, long-term evolutions of processes that must occur in the interest of community survival.  They tie together generations.  When ceremony is applied to short-term events, the practice is vulgarized and leads to secularization.  When ritual or ceremony loses its meaning, it becomes hollow, the subject of satire.  When such meaning is lost, when performance of duties is not seen as a life-and-death matter, we lose our guide-posts ahead of us.

5.How do we interpret primary ritual, as to its importance and power to move us?  Not by the mere conveying of ideas.  Conveying ideas would take little power to perform and may not move or command the listener.  To create a life, a community, is to create time, a super time.  This takes power, which in turn is created by ritual spoken at the right time.  A ritual takes time in dealing with past accomplishments, and inaugurations.  This time in the present unites past and future.

6.The more we honor the names of the past, the more claim do we lay to the future. (p.81)  By naming, we create super power, and super time for the community.  By naming we are describing a clear orientation of time and our place in the larger ongoing processes.

The true leader invokes a spirit (through ritual), which unites and gives direction to the community.  Almost as an aside, here ERH states that power of the future  “…is in the hands of those who can provide jobs, and that means order.” (p.84)  [RF – I assume here he means this also indicates a way into the future that will continue divisions of labor.  This would continue giving meaning to individual lives. The emphasis above is mine.]

7.The history of law indicates that an interpretation of the period between death and birth requires the law of succession to be fundamental.

The first and originally the only law is the law of succession.  The two codes, the penal and the civil, depend on the difference between a violent death and a natural death. (p.84)

8.New ritual celebrating victory over oppression creates a victory over a negative aspect of life, and order out of chaos.  ERH cites the apostle Paul, who advocated women speaking in church. This was revolutionary in his time. The Holocaust Museum recently opened would indicate an evaluation of what we have learned from Hitler.

9.All of this is relevant to the centrality of speech.  Our rise above animals is based on our ability to remind ourselves each generation of our history and what must be done in the future.  None of this would be possible without the power of speech, manifested through dress, ceremony, and ritual.

10.Before our era, no word ever got into the dictionary unless it was used in ritual.  Names were not names before the chieftain or medicine man had addressed them in public ritual.  Flowers and animals, fire and water, trees and stones, all were spoken in the ritual before anybody ever spoke them. (p.87)

Ritual is needed to create language which will go down through fifty or one hundred fifty generations.   Languages are immortal because they aimed to immortality…Speech did not name the materials of nature; it did name the historical roles of men and things as they appeared to the “thing” or things of the tribe. (pp.87,88)

Chapter 9 – Grammar and Ritual

1.If all this is true, the logic of our sentences follows from the structure of the ritual.  [RF – What Rosenstock-Huessy calls, in other essays, “a higher grammar” than that we learned in elementary schooling.] The grammatical forms described in this essay, as contrasted with traditional Alexandrian grammar we have all learned, makes sense in real life situations.  The traditional grammar  (I love, he loves, we love, etc.) is learned out of context.

Ritual begins with pronouncements by an authority, that is to say, by ancestors and gods, addressing listeners (you!).  Each grammatical person in the exchange is of equal importance  in real life, because first and second person are interdependent.

2.In everyday speech, a speaker assumes the presence of a listener.  One makes no sense without the other, just as this writing would make no sense without you, the reader, to whom I speak here.

3.We know who we are by being named, by belonging, by being spoken to, all of which means we are first conscious of ourselves as a listener, in the social role of son, daughter, lodge member, etc.  Only later does our ego, represented by the “I,” the speaker, appear to us consciously.

4.In tribal ritual there were four stages; 1) Members were addressed. 2)  They sang and danced on being called. 3) They listened to the narration of the myth of the hero, long dead, who is represented by a mask.  They heard of his power and deeds, which they would be called upon to pattern their behavior after.  Finally, 4) objectification finalized the ritual in the form of a moral of the story.

Artifacts dug up by archaeologists are physical remnants of a once living, life-giving ritual.   Art, science, law, education, religion, and sports are our present-day rituals.

5.Modern dictionaries are a listing of dead words, dead because we should not be free to use those words without taking action on them. This is because thought, if not preparation for action is impotent.  And it is precisely that action that breathes life into our languages, ourselves, and our communities.

Chapter 10 – Question and Answer

1.Rosenstock-Huessy asks once again, “Do these statements about ritual apply to everyday language?”

Take two types of questions for examples.  1)  “Is this the road to Paris?”  and 2) “Is there a God?”  The former prepares one to participate in community life, the latter does not, and therefore is defined as a pseudo question.  The ritual in the first question lies in the demand for a commitment, e.g. “Will you serve?”  This commands a life-time of commitment.  To answer, “I will,”  makes people feel in contact with the divine when they dare to say, “I.”  (To speak is to participate in a possible creative act, which is a divine act.) (p.97)

2.Another type of question is that of doubt and searching.  When responding, we are acting in the role of first person, “I,”  perhaps doubtful and insecure in feeling our authority.  Our affirmation comes from prayer. “Prayer directs, illuminates, establishes him who has to speak with authority.” (p.97)  We are all priests, ERH declares, and …”Priesthood is the right obtained by prayer to speak with a claim to being followed and obeyed.” (p.98)

3.The purpose of ritual is to establish the authority of the speaker,  the truthfulness of the listener(s), and the truth of the statements.   In this process the ritual has achieved three things:

a.  Who and what questions fill a gap in established sentences.

b.  Promise, oath, and pledge questions place a witness behind his deposition.

c.  Invocations and prayer authorize the questioner to speak, “in the name of freedom,                                         decency,                          science, poetry, etc.

All of these questions define the speaker, the listener, and the world outside.  (p.99)

4.The first set of questions reaffirms the time axis, presupposing a history of spoken life.  A stranger who asks these questions is asking to participate in the community.

The second set of questions extends into the future. Those admonish people to back up laws, traditions, hopes, and promises.

The third set creates authority. All communities need leaders, who must have authority. These authorities are not superior human beings, but rather are figureheads through which the higher authority speaks.

All speech depends upon this distinction between speaker and listener, between authority and respondent.

All speech creates history and future.  High and low are established.  In the three sets of questions they may be recreated and imparted. (p.102)

The answer to the question, “Does common language have the same structural grammar as ritual?” then is yes, but it is an informal speech.  Common language must reaffirm past and future.

Chapter 11 – The Trivium and Symbols

1.Symbols are everywhere, in the dress of judges, in wedding rings, etc., symbolizing the voice of their constituents.  But there can be no symbols without previous speech, which established the symbol in a ritual ceremony.  Symbols are crystallized speech, and crystallized speech is metaphorical.  All speech is metaphorical in part.

2. Speech must be partly metaphorical because it must have the power to suggest a quality beyond mere appearances.  Science is also metaphorical for the same reason.  We cannot witness an atomic nucleus,  we can only diagram it, and the rest must be suggestion.

Chapter 12 – Grammatical Health

1.We have to be spoken to, lest we go mad, or fall ill.  (p.110)  All persons need to be addressed as unique. We need to be loved, and this  “exclusiveness” must be experienced.

2.This notion applies to leadership as well.  All leadership is based on the leader thinking of, and being understood  by, his/her people.  The leader thinks in terms of “my unit,” or in the army,  “my platoon.”  And only thus does that leader,  parents included,  have the right to give orders, or make requests of those who are “their own.”

“Come, Johnny.”  The invocation, “Johnny,” draws out  the mother’s self, the verb, “come,” draws out the child’s self.  Both surrender to a mutual interaction.  (p.112)

3.The vocative (to invoke, to call) and the imperative are natural forms indicating solidarity in groups between speaker and listener. The leader calls the name and gives the order.  The responders  give themselves to the cause. The leader rising beyond himself in this act.  “Come, Johnny,” joins the imperative and vocative.  There could be no community without the vocative case and the imperative mood.  These are a necessity for the health of the community.

In retrospect, neither the leader nor any individual follower can take personal credit for the achievement.  That must be a “we,” accomplished by a merging of the speaker and listener into one.

4.For health, we must be free to change between the “you” and the “I,” and the “we” and the “it,” depending upon the demands of the situation.

The religious, the poetic, the social and the scientific mind all should have their say and their grammatical representation in our souls.  We must be “you’s,” before we can be “I’s,”  “we’s,” or “its” to ourselves.  (p.117)

Grammatical health is the health of transubstantiation, of substantial change.  It (the spirit)  must die away, and be resurrected time and again.  This is because the spirit (of a cause, say) eventually becomes stale and must be resurrected.

5.”Ex-authorization” is a term Rosenstock-Huessy coins to reflect the declaration of the end to some spirit of an action that has died.  His assertion is that one must end a spell, a marriage, an oath, etc. when its purpose has passed, and a new action must begin.  This is the reason for sequence; one must begin with the spirit, the willingness to accept a command, to take a vow,  and one must not be dissuaded from this crucial act by the fact that it must be absolute.  For instance, if a marriage is only one interest among many,  if it is a relative commitment, then  it is very likely to end in divorce.

This then presents a paradox.  One must make the commitment as though it were the only important act in the world.  Then, when  it is done, one must end it.  In terms of the “thou, I, we, it” sequence, the “it” indicates a time for analysis, when the commitment is dead and over with.

Grammatical health is to maintain the integrity of the “time cup” for action.  “The ex-authorization of speech and the reference for the time cup are both the main tasks of grammatical health.”  (p.122)

Chapter 12 – Genus (Gender) and Life

1.Gender holds a social meaning and it is crucial to distinguish this meaning from physiology.  In this last chapter, Rosenstock-Huessy demonstrates this importance as reflected in our grammar.  The important distinction in everyday living is that between living things and inanimate objects.  Living beings have eyes and ears and take action; dead things are important, but not to be considered living.  Social scientists, treating people as “objects” (objectively) who cannot speak or listen, mislead us.  Actuarial concepts notwithstanding,  the purpose of social science is to help us understand our experiences and their purpose, to build a viable community.

Witnessing and living witness, gender and speech, create the times.  (p.120

2.There must be divisions of labor within the community.  The basic divisions in society for action are essentially between the person ordering and the person doing, the first person singular and the second person (listener). These divisions are, of course, carried out by both men and women.  But sex, as merely a physiological concept, is often mis-transformed in our grammar to a concept of a division of labor.  To unite physiology and a division of labor, as the same, is to stereotype social roles to the point of making them destructive.  It is to treat one as having no ears, and the other as having no mouth.

To engender social health and community, it is crucial to make the distinction and treat the grammatical “gender” as representing social roles that may (must) be carried out by either a man or a woman, depending upon the appropriateness of the situation.

3.In a parallel way, in ritual, corporeal things are used metaphorically, to represent concepts different from the objects themselves.  In ritual, one’s armor was representative of the role of soldier, and buried with the individual to indicate that his life, as well as his social position, was ended.  “They sealed him into the deliberately created space and time, country and period,  of which  he had become a member.” (p.123)

4.Supporting the notion of social role:

Astonishingly, nearly any word in Greek or old-German could be turned into a masculine, a feminine, or a neutral form…gender is a fundamental category of speech and…it does not intend to describe sex.”  (p.125)

5.We, of course, experience both men and women giving and receiving orders.  The fundamental division of labor in grammar is, then, between subject and object.  This means the ability to make  war and to make peace, to be dramatic at one time and undramatic at another time.

Gender is the interplay of speaker and doers of “the word,”  of revolutionary act and evolution, of sudden gradual process, of today and always, in life the life of speech…this is the ambitious aim of gender in grammar (p.127)


Lectures 1-3
Feringer notes
Last edited: 8-98


Lecture 1

1.”Language is the power to make yourself understood by a person who did not understand you the day before.” (p.4)  Linguistics, as they are handled today, have nothing to do with this, , because they only speak of people defining their terms.

2.Peace-making is not an act of will, but comes from the ability to give up one’s will in an act of love. True peace  must be found, rather than imposed. (p.6)

ERH suggests a metaphor: just as thousands of seeds fly through the air, but only a few grow and bear fruit, so it is with sentences.

3.He makes a distinction between speaking and “talking.”  Talking is uttering words, and speaking is backing up talking with consistent acts. (p.8)  It is the same between speaking and politeness.  Unless politeness is backed up by relevant acts, it does not reflect “speaking.” (p.10)

4.There are three circles of speech, 1) how people speak of you behind your back, 2) how they speak to your face, and 3) how you think of yourself.   When these three harmonize, there is peace (the ideal condition).  Also, this represents the three problems of human speech. (p.10)  Thus, “…language has everything to do with the relationship between the word and the man who utters it.”

5.One must learn the distinction between true words, words spoken with one’s whole existence and  character at risk and the other  (empty words unsupported by action).  (p.11)  Words spoken only for money or acclamation are empty.

6.No linguists can understand the true mystery of speech.

7.Beginning about 1180 at the University of Paris, the seven liberal arts were established, which allowed the study of grammar, the analysis of the structure of language. But there was no requirement for the “Holy Spirit” to guide the speaker, i.e. no insurance that our God-given ability to communicate was not wasted on  “prattle.”  There was no way to distinguish the important from the unimportant. (p.16)   “Obedience is something unknown in linguistics in American education.  And it is the beginning of wisdom.” (p.17)

8.Linguistics allows one to analyze sentences as though they stand alone.

Paganism means that man stands alone, just as science, as an isolated statement fragments knowledge.

Lecture 2

1.Curiosity is to be distinguished from “inquisitiveness.”  Idle curiosity may not be serious.  One must be willing to sacrifice one’s time and money in a calling, and then one is inquisitive, and can be transformed.  To be “called” opens the door to willingness to sacrifice.

2.To be called is to have a name – professor, biologist, doctor, etc,  “…there are not just verbs, and adjectives, and nouns….there are names by which we are called.” (p.2)  Man has a right to an honorable name.  Mere words are spoken of things and people. Names, by contrast, are spoken to people. “A name is something between you and me, from face to face.” (p.3)

To mis-speak about “things” may be a simple error, but to mis-speak about a person’s name to his face is much more serious,  more explosive. “All questions usually are insoluble in the way in which they are presented in our papers.  You will never solve the Vietnamese question as long as you do not call Ho Chi Minh by his name…He is the man we have to talk to.” (p.6)

3.To be human is to have a given name, and to speak about yesterday and tomorrow. Linguistics does not deal with the humanity behind language.

ERH goes on to indicate other factors of humanity not distinguished in linguistics, for instance, that the future is not created from the past, but the other way around. Time is a social creation, as people speak together who live in the same times. The future as something we strive to achieve impinges, not only on our interpretation of past events, but on our anticipatory actions today. Taking an examination at the university is  “…the product of your fear, or your hope for the future, and not the other way around.” (p.11).  Out of all of this comes the need for language, none of which is the concern of linguistics.

4.”Speech rejuvenates us because after I have listened so often to the fact that I’m my father’s son, suddenly somebody says, `Now you are a father. Now you have grandchildren’.  And by these actions,  we re-create the universe.  “Speech takes you from a hoped for future into an accomplished past….Now all language is built around this necessity to make things future into things past.” (p.12,13)

5.Christ came into the world to teach us that the past does not beget the future. “That’s the whole Christian doctrine…..The Revelation in Judaism is of the past, and the Revelation in Christianity is of tomorrow.” (p.14)  This is the  imperative  and the first form of language.

The second form of language is the subjunctive, the optative, the expression of feelings (the adjective).

The third is the indicative, the narrative about the past.

The fourth is from the outside looking in, the objective, the conceptual.

6.Language allows us to describe this flow of events.  “These are the four languages into which all human language is divided and organized.” (p.18)

Man is transformed by speech, or he doesn’t speak. And all linguists are quite sure that they are not changed, but language is changed by their research….But your and my listening and speaking will bear fruit if you allow yourself to become a different person by this impact… (p.19)

Lecture   3

1.Most people believe they have the power to lie in order to get ahead. ERH IS INTERESTED IN THE QUESTION, “HOW DO WE TELL THE TRUTH?”

We speak to others.  Well, then you cannot speak the truth, because others have always different interests from yourself.  And only if there is some almighty ruler in the universe who watches you and me will we limit our lying, and our egotism, and our vanities, and …  (p.3)

[RF – I’m not sure  how to interpret this. Is belief a psychological game we play on ourselves?  And what if “I” believe and others don’t?  What happens to the community then?   In general, if we don’t believe others speak truthfully there can be no power in language and it will die, along with the community. His assumption seems to be that we play games with language (lie) too easily if we don’t assume a God father is watching over us individually!]

2.Our only access to  religion lies through speech. Language is the process (the only process) by which we change and grow, by which we become human. (p.6)   Through language we keep alive the memories of others and of events. We are half animal (because we die) and half god because our names beyond our death.

Language is between people!  While it can describe other things in the world, it is the relevance of those things to people that defines its importance.

3.ERH defines the notion of “curiosity” as voyeurism, as wanton, destructive, as wanting to know something just to want to know it, for no other purpose.  Inquisitiveness for the scientist may be different.  The serious need to know is:

…the only excuse for all interest in humanity, you see:–our identity, our solidarity.  And as soon as you break away from this and observe — you are in great danger of treating the other part which you observe as an anatomist treats a corpse. And this is forbidden.  (p.12)

4.ERH speaks of crime and the need for punishment because “…you and I are just as weak as the criminal…” (p.14)

“…the presupposition of speech is that all people are capable of everything.” (p.15)

5.Most talking is not speech, it is small talk, “babble.” Only when it is absolutely necessary to communicate do we have speech, when our lives depend on it.

6.The true purpose of speech is to identify reality, to understand our experience, to plan for the future. We need to communicate with others to confirm and expand our own experience.

Lingo of Linguistics – 1966 – Review

These lectures were given at a conference on language held at Western Washington University.  Against the other speakers at the conference, Rosenstock-Huessy attempts to point out how “their” formal studies of the structure of languages represent abstractions ripped from the larger context in which “life-giving speech” takes place.  While he admits some value for such study, he points out how those formalizations omit the true nature of communication, which after all is an action between human beings who are struggling to survive against severe odds.  In these lectures he details the essential differences between linguistics and vital speech, between generalizations and flesh and blood.


Santa Monica
Lectures 1-6
Feringer notes
Last edited: 8-98


Lecture – 1

One must be reminded that the author spoke to his audiences, always. Never did he read a lecture, as he believed the lecturer, in the process of really communicating with his audience, needed to respond to it on a fresh basis each time.  And “each time,” he would always have fresh insights into his topic; thus he  never gave the same lecture twice.  Continuity was maintained because his major points were generally the same, only reached by different routes,  emphasizing different variables depending upon the main issue being discussed.

The new reader of Rosenstock-Huessy needs to be reminded that his topics were not organized the way we have come to expect from our traditional school training.  ERH was a generalist in the most insightful sense of the word.  That is, individual topics upon which he touches, such as speech, religion,  community, grammar, understanding our experience by recognizing a method through which fruitful action proceeds, grammar, a between natural science and social science, etc. are always put into the larger context of the community and the universe.  No single  topic, he asserted,  had any but a limited methodological meaning outside  the context of larger human experiences. The ultimate problem to which all his subject matter relates is, “How is the community to be regenerated?”

The topic in this series of lectures was the regeneration of language and its meaning in our lives.  To best understand this reading one needs to keep in mind how ERH is relating language and speech to the various facets of this larger fabric of our everyday living.

The following notes are taken in their chronological order from the lectures, rather than re-organizing, which will occur as these notes are used in some future time for a specific audience in addressing a problem of interest.


1.The necessity for speaking: “We are in great danger today that genuine speech will disappear.” Play (small talk) and serious speech are almost indistinguishable, and this is a very destructive tendency.

2.When is the word true, and significant? This is a relevant question because speech is constantly evolving, changing.  Humans transcend the world of animals because of our language. Human speech begins about 13 months after birth.  With all animals physical development is relatively complete at birth.  With this “other” world of humankind, speech, then evolves after physical birth because it represents a crucial arena of development for the child (i.e. his/her ability to change & grow), which requires a gestation period, just as does physical development.

THE MAJOR DISTINGUISHING FEATURE of true speech versus “play” speech (which he dubbed “talk”) is that true speech points toward the future (of society).  (p.4/1)

3.A major share of our behavior comes from our environment (in this case, mainly social environment), which is constantly changing.  If one is not prepared to know what knowledge should be carried from past to future, or  when we cannot know today what human guides to action are to exist in the future, then society turns to anarchy and usually violence.  This happened in Germany after WW I, where a lack of leadership, a lack of orientation and a lack of faith resulted in the violent upheaval of Nazism.

4.One cannot know what is a viable guide for creating a future for the society in which one lives by formula. Here is yet another distinction between a science of society and a science of nature.  Social truth is a truth that unites the spirit of a people and this can only be ascertained in no less than three generations.

Man, in order to ascertain social truth this, needs a power bigger than himself, which is the power of language; his word must be binding on himself.  Bowing to such authority, is usually more powerful than any individual (limited) view.

The power to create a future is to avoid following causes dogmatically (according to formulae).  Any principle, when applied, must be reinterpreted at each occasion and meaning changes over time as experience adds new dimensions to the issue at hand.

5.True speech helps us mark reference points in our lives, when a time for change is appropriate, when recognition is spoken at the right time. These reference points occur in the larger paradigm of time and space.  The explanation of these reference points moves through most all of ERH’s writing for great events indicate a “before and after” type of thinking. “Yesterday we did so-and-so,  tomorrow we will do something else – and here we speak English, south of the border they speak Spanish. But the basic issues are  universal.”  (p.10)

Power is speech: “God is all the powers that make us speak.”  (p.11)   To repeat, the power of speech lies in its ability to communicate the reality of our progress through life,  what is past and what is to be future, what is inside and what is outside us, as individuals or as applied to our groups.  Names have an eternal power because they outlive the person. They are the positive and negative  vestiges of eternal life. (p.15)

Lecture 2

1.It is not the object of our loves, (i.e. girl/boy, profession, cause)  that makes us speak, but rather the fact that we love is that holds the power. This is loves’ divinity.

2.From the gods, and from God, we are inspired (compelled) to speak, and because we each have a name, we  participate in a divine power.

3.Prayer invokes the power to tell us who we are. We can seldom raise this question to a fellow human  and obtain a truthful answer, because he is biased and therefore does not give us the truth. Thus, prayer is constantly on our mind.  And prayer always takes two – one to speak and one to listen.

One is never self-reliant, or self-made. ” Self reliance leads into the lunatic asylum.” (p.4/2)  For 200 years philosophy has begun and ended with having causing  (in part at least) the schizoid personalities  common today.

God exists only with the weak, because when we listen to others it means we recognize a power greater than ourselves. [RF – the speaker begins with the word “I,” in which case he/she acts as an authority, metaphorically as a god.] And when we listen to ourselves only, we go crazy.  One is incapable of love then, when one listens only to oneself.

4.Real speech always begins with an invocation, with an imperative. Analysis cannot tell us what to do directly. It can provide alternatives, but without some goal (and a commitment to it) one has no criteria for analysis. THE NATURAL FLOW OF ACTION,  is to commit, to act, to describe what happened, and then to criticize (in terms of goal achievement).  Numbers only, or measurement, or analysis, can never be the beginning of any action.  (p.17)

5.RELIGION-THEOLOGY-FAITH:  Religion is to accept a command [RF – in ERH essays the term “command” or “authority” means an action in the name of God or the community].  Theology means to analyze. Faith is to obey commands; thus, followers must have “faith” that such action will be fruitful.  One always needs to have faith in one’s ability to carry out the task.

The sequence of speech is from verb to verb. (see #8 below, end of 2nd paragraph)

6.Every act of mankind has to go through four stages if one wishes to learn from experience.

7.The basic problem is that there is a sickness over the world in which the meaning of our experience is not known because of our methods of analysis. We utilize the methods of physical science for social analysis, and this does not work because these methods provide no basis for change (of attitude). One cannot deduce what future we ought to fashion as a result of narrow analysis from experience. We must be free to change as insight and creativity might dictate.

Terms should be defined after, not before, the experience,  as the true learning experience might add new meaning to events.  ERH asserts that 1) there are four stages required for fruitful social analysis that leads to solving problems, 2) these stages must be followed in sequence, 3) they are derived from our experience, and 4) they define space and time in a way as to be meaningful reference points. If one does not have reference points, like following a map through new territory, one becomes disoriented.

8.Sensory experience provides metaphors of these four stages: 1) smell comes first [the problem is sensed, if only at the level of intuiting that something is wrong.]  In this stage a desired future is imagined,  whereby the problem is raised, i.e. how to get there from here.  2) Hearing and obedience is second.  3) Third is touch and contact (getting involved through action).  4) Eyesight is fourth,  i.e. the thing is accomplished and can be “seen.”  In this country we attempt to “see” clearly first; this is not possible because we cannot accurately predict, the result of our actions. Thus, we must have “faith” that our methods (actions) can give the desired result.

Grammatically, 1) the first step represents the goal being set, and it points toward the future, 2) the “you” (2nd person) is yourself as a listener to the voice of authority from a higher power, from the past, and 3) finally, when the task is accomplished, there is a “we” invoked, the group profits (if only in the sense of having tried) and is included in the benefits. Those having taken action may have been either hero or villain.  In general, taking action moves from verb to verb in each step, as the verb is conjugated, completing the process.

From the standpoint of religion, the time perspective is introduced through 1) faith, which points toward the future and requires willingness to believe that our efforts can create the desired future, 2) the present in which we act, in terms of love for the group and doing good work, and finally,  3&4) hope that past methods (or desired states) can be re-established.  Thus faith, love, and hope unify time in each single act, and in larger, epochal timespans as well.

9.Authority, God, is powerful only in the weak; we all alternate in feeling weak and strong from hour-to-hour or day-to-day.  (p.23)  This is important to understand because it describes how we change; to doubt ourselves at times prepares us to change.  It is where creation begins, and always the beginning of the “new” needs incubation; change always puts the future in question.  Thus the bringing to life (truth) of action, the realization of fruitfulness in action, is brought about by enacting these four stages in proper sequence. (p.25)   Another aspect of this notion is that the validation of knowledge only occurs in experience ( with the uniting of commitment, experience, description, and analysis.)

10.To summarize, in terms of our sensory system, these four stages are  smell, hearing, touch, and finally sight. We can  concentrate on only one stage at a time and in this sequence if we are to understand the detail of our experience..  One becomes schizophrenic if one attempts to experience all four at once, as many seem to think they can do in society today.  Understanding this ordering of events empowers people and is essential for empowering society.

Lecture – 3

1.We tend to abuse our senses of seeing and hearing, putting them out of a fruitful sequence FOR SOLVING OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS.  In our  scientific age today we tend to begin with analysis, with methods out of physics.  The regeneration of people and of society is not a “scientific” process, except that scientific methods can be a small part of it at times.  For instance, to judge someone by “seeing” only is to misconstrue their character.  Rather to see them in action, over time, is to see them more truly, to understand their attitudes,  their soul.

2.Upon death a person becomes super-human because he/she achieves life beyond, through the memory of friends. “That’s super-human.” (p.3/3)

ERH believed St.Paul suffers an undeserved reputation of misogyny; he admonished women to be quiet in church, to listen so as to learn to speak.  Paul’s goal was to prepare women for a new role, of becoming speakers rather than only as wailers in church. (p.4)

Death is important to understand in order to give continuity to the times. Each generation is free to change, of course, but the beginning of change is first to learn what is necessity, and this must be handed down from the past generation. Therefore each generation is rightfully present at the death bed. The major question for us today is, what do we have in common with both parents and children? Of course it is the necessary principles to insure survival of the community, to be received from the past, and passed on to the next generation.  Thus, “…if death is not conquered, or realized, or faced, there’s no hope. … “THE QUESTION FOR THE DAY IS, WHICH POWER ENABLES US TO ESTABLISH WHAT IS CALLED HISTORY, AND WHAT IS CALLED SOCIETY AND WHAT IS CALLED CONTINUITY?” (p.5)

3.ERH differentiates between man and animal in that man, in addition to basic animal senses, has an ability to “scent” present conditions. Here he tells the story of the biologist who believes that man takes 22 months to gestate, 9 months inside the womb of the mother and 13 months in the womb of language after birth. (p.7) He focuses on our ability to tell if something (group or cause) is alive or dead. MAN MUST FACE DEATH, in order to overcome it.

4.Our speech consists of three layers; names given us, the truth sought and finally, words we utter to communicate. Names are universal and international, therefore one third of all languages, are already international.

In another context, “Man’s common language begins when he names the dead (remembers heros, creates myths, etc.) and doesn’t forget them…”  (p.10)

Three words are specialized: they are hope, love, and faith, which also unite times into one larger epoch.  Hope builds on knowledge we have already touched, for a return to the past glory that we have shared with others.  Faith is built on a return to invigorate a name, and love builds on motivating (empowering) us in the present to act in creating a future. (RF – this concept of unity is crucial throughout ERH’s thought, i.e. fragmentation leads to death, while unity leads to fruitful life within the community.)

5.To live only in the present, or past, or future is to lose touch with much of reality. The world is constantly changing around us; our reference points to finding our way must locate us in time and space at any moment.  To do this we must constantly decide what will guide us best – consciousness, unconsciousness, looking to past knowledge, or present or future, looking inside (the group or our personal thoughts) or outside.  We can never focus in all these directions at once, but one of these reference points, or some combination, will be our best guide to action in each instance that calls for a response.

6.A fundamental need for all humans is to be spoken to; no other action will indicate so much respect.

The world is never static; therefore all meaning derives from seeing any single event in the context of some movement.  It is the same with architecture; a liveable home respects normal human movements reflecting a compatibility between them in the course of the life style it is designed for. “You  should only build where movement has already been experienced in which form it should develop.”  (p.19)

7.Tenets of human nature:

a.To speak to another is the highest show of respect.

b.Affluence is usually (almost always) a curse.  It doesn’t give direction to the destiny of mankind, rather it gives only a superficial sense of the world, non-hearing, non-loving, self-indulgent.

c.Modern society will be wiped out if its goal is to enjoy itself. We were not put here to enjoy ourselves.

I have tried to tell you last time that to understand means to have the courage to stand under the impact of these four states of our own existence, to confess that we are in love and passionate (about some one, or some cause, or something), to confess that we hear orders and want to obey them, to confess that in order to obey, we have to join the company of saints, or of the soldiers, or of the professors, of the student–always joining in with others, always becoming social.   No man can hear an order and end up alone.  You cannot even become a nun without finding an abbess who will hear your vows. (p.20)

d.Mankind tends to want to see an unchanging world, during his life.  That’s why the rationalist is the  most annoying  creature… he’s always the same type. (p.21)

e.The secret of human creativity is that we can become conscious of the stages of our development, and can thereby pass them on to the next generation.  No animal can do this,  and this quality rests on maintaining a vital language. Communication. Each of us has a biography, and only through language can we integrate  our knowledge of these stages and thereby prepare the next generation to complete the creation for a future. We owe our present state to our predecessors, in part at least.

8.ERH makes a strong and important distinction between action and passion. He says today these terms are often confused as the same.  Passion is the drive, but at times it may not at all mean action, it may mean listening, or waiting, or being obedient.  Action, on the other hand, means to be in motion all the time.

9.When we love something or someone we must bring something to our love, and eventually, through the expression of action, change that which we love, (add something to it, improve it). Just as the love object changes you, you should seek to change it.

To act fruitfully is to carry through these four stages, to thereby change the community and, in the process, ourselves. It is always painful. It is not easy to change. Simply being alive extracts a high price.

Every human being is at every one moment in all four states, and that’s why we are deeply torn. Man is not a harmonious being.  But only if these four situations are connected with other people, and they bear with us, can you ever find peace.  Not in one of these states can you be all by yourself.  And the problem of man is that he is not self-reliant.  That’s the only thing he certainly is not. (p.27)


1/4Change is reflected in the action of speech, organically, and in our grammar: 1) In speech,  listening and commitment, the experience, the narration and analysis require a different attitude of the soul. 2) Organically, seeing, hearing etc. are as described above. 3) In grammar  the beginning is imperative, not rational and not based on memory.  Getting through experience will often call for the lyrical, to reinforce our emotional state to “hang in there.”

Only when the job is done can analysis then be appropriate and anniversary celebrations can occur, reminding us always of what had become necessary.

This seems to go against our present penchant to begin with a goal.  This paradox, it seems to me, is answered by suggesting that the goal must “feel” right, it must capture our imagination, and that is what is irrational.

2/4Time, in terms of sequence, is also important to the formula of change. Each stage must be recognized and acted on at the right time ( not mechanically determined),  and never can they be contemplated all at once. Sight, for instance, is fleeting, and regeneration will take  perhaps 30 years. Smell requires  perhaps weeks.

3/4Another important point he makes is that significant projects which we begin will usually not be completed in our life-times. He pointed out that Jesus depended upon the apostles to complete his work. This is why institutions are created, to carry on an idea which cannot be completed within a life time, i.e. creating a great university for instance. TIME THEN BECOMES AN IMPORTANT REFERENCE AND ELEMENT TO UNIFICATION IN CHANGE.

4.ERH coins the four attitudes in terms of “verts:”  introvert looks inside us for contemplation, extrovert looks at things outside us. If one looks toward the past one is a retrovert, and to the future, an ultravert. (p.7)

5.To be objective is to speak of dead things. “Dead things can be weighed and measured. Living things cannot. (p.8)  To be subjective, is to express one’s unique opinion.  To look into the future and create, one is “prejected” – the task is yet unfulfilled.

What we get from the past is trajected to us, bridged from the past – such as our language.   THE AUTHORITY OF THE TEACHER IS BASED ON THIS POWER TO CONNECT ALL TIMES AND CONDENSE THEM INTO SPEECH, to pass on to the next generation, instilling it with life.

“If he doesn’t do this..he only teaches his own nonsense…it isn’t worth anything…he has no right to teach.” (p.10)


6.For the student’s part, he/she must put themselves into the study, happiness has nothing to do with it; the corollary is that the student must be more than just a student, he must take his part in receiving  the wisdom of the ages, gaining his authority and integrity by way of participating in the regeneration of life of the community.

that wisdom includes the four modes, that is, traject, preject, object and subject  roles, past, future, present, inside and outside. In sum, the time and space elements of experience.

7.Another way of stating the difference between natural science and a science of society is that the natural scientist assumes all knowledge is available to him at all times.  In society, if we are to be creative, to see anew and think anew, if we are to understand new conditions of our environment,  there is knowledge we cannot know; primarily, this would be what we will commit ourselves to. Such knowledge is subjective and only available to us at the right time. This type of revelation is not predictable. (p.12)

Having had our experience, we may not understand it until a much later time.  This type of understanding we cannot know until the right time.

Furthermore, the types of moods of knowledge – lyrical, dramatical, epochal, and analytical – also are a dimension of the stages of the process.  To have the end point only is not to know how it was generated, and therefore, how it might be re-generated. At any one time we live at a different front of knowledge – forward, backward, inward or outward; each stage is a reference point telling us where we are along a journey of problem-solving.  This is the only measurement possible in social science, as compared to numerical measurement in natural science.

Passing from one stage to another,  we must be “transformed,” otherwise the stage cannot be accomplished.

William James defines scientific psychology, as the science of mental processes.  What he meant was objectivity as the principle mode of thought.

“Such a narrow and fruitless view of the mind.” (p.13)

8.ERH defines the “soul” as that power to be transformed in the sense of changing from one stage or front to another. One literally becomes a different person. It is the power to change our consciousness. (p.14)

9.Regenerating community lies at the heart of our human-ness. To know we will die, but can conquer death by regenerating the community, is our “super-natural” ability. The animal kingdom achieves continuation by mere procreation, in which case their development is genetically determined.  Human-ness means that our spirit can be made to live longer than our own lifetime, because it is carried on by the next generation.  Spiritually and intellectually we become something new by this process.

The whole problem for every human being is to decide what is mortal and what is eternal…Every act or process that the divine creator expects to perform — peace among men, the building and settling of the cultivated area, the bringing up of animals or of children, the building of schools, whatever we do with the knowledge that this is what we are expected to do, runs though this gamut of command, of getting involved, of looking back and holding on and fast to it, and of saying one day, `It’s all over.’  (p.17)

10.When we are in one stage we are blind, deaf, and dumb to what goes on in other stages.

“Because we all change between moments of ecstasy and megalomania and moments of humiliation, and clumsiness, and blindness or deafness.  I think this is the most important handicap today for any spread of spiritual unity among mankind.” (p.19)

11.The (natural) scientist believes that he must be guided by principles rather than by experience. For understanding sticks and stones, “principles” will suffice,  but for society this doesn’t work in the same narrow, measurable, predictable sense.  When we change our attitude, for instance, everything needs to be looked at anew, one needs to start all over again.  Scientists have been unable to explain the source of their own creativity.  Max Planck “began all over again,” as did Einstein.  In a like way, to re-invent society, as we must do each generation, we must say that past knowledge isn’t good enough. (p.21)

Lecture – 5

1/5Other distinctions between natural and social science:  natural science believes the past creates the present, and the present the future.  IN SOCIAL SCIENCE THIS CANNOT BE, IF ONE IS TO REGENERATE COMMUNITY.

Mankind is stretched between past and future, and MUST CREATE A PRESENT. Creating a present means becoming conscious of and taking planned action toward some goal. What ERH means by this is that our present actions must be guided by what it takes to create the (social) future we wish. “The past and the future then form the present.” (p.2/5)

2/5He goes on about different parts of “time” in our lives.  The part of time that seems most meaningful to us is that which is dictated by the future. Thus, if we love our work, the “present” has meaning to us and is fulfilling.  The same with the historian, who must select topics relevant to building that future. Otherwise history is nothing more than a dead sequence of facts, meaningless.  “That’s why history has to be rewritten every generation, because our future reveals itself as a changeling…” (p.3)  New insights call for redefining the past.

3.The changing environment requires that knowledge also be regenerated. One is reminded of Whitehead’s famous aphorism, “Knowledge keeps like fish.” Each new age requires a new slant on knowledge (all knowledge), and therefore  a changed curriculum in schools.

He points out that the seven liberal arts, (astronomy, music, geometry, arithmetic, logic, rhetoric and grammar) are all pre-Christian. The conception of knowledge had to change after the Greeks, as it must with any new age. Mathematics changed in the light of the new forces of Christianity. MOST OF ALL, CHRISTIANITY MEANT NEW MEANINGS FOR GRAMMAR (a higher grammar ERH later explains) – WHICH IS TO SAY, THE PURPOSE OF THE NEW GRAMMAR WAS TO RECOGNIZE HOW MAN MUST CHANGE, PULLED BETWEEN THE PAST AND THE FUTURE. THEREFORE THE NEW GRAMMAR MUST SPEAK ABOUT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER, (past, present, and future) as a single unit of time.

The old grammar of the Greeks and Chaldeans saw grammar in terms of individual words and sentences.  This new concept (Christianity) called for a super grammar. This was a new notion for mankind, that life was not an endless succession of repeated cycles.  Therefore, if humans were to participate in the creation of their own future, reference points had to be created by which to gauge the progression  (or retrogression) when it occurs.

This new grammar was necessary  (is necessary) because Christian doctrine meant that we had to continue to learn from the past, and take from it what we needed in the light of new “futures” we conceived of.  (p.4-7)

The alternative was to remain as simple animals, pushed about by natural forces.  This may be what is meant (in part) by “go forth and conquer the earth,”  THE CONQUEST IS MEANT TO MEAN, THAT OF SOCIETY RISING ABOVE THE ANIMAL STATE.

4.This whole idea of “change” was therefore codified by Christian doctrine – that man could change based on new insights and new demands, and a new vision of a possible future for society. Previous to this time, once a Jew, always a Jew, once a Roman, always a Roman, once a Greek, a slave, a nobleman – always.   And that aspect of Christianity meant that  all humanity was one family, which in turn required new learning and change. For one thing, we must mine the historical record to see the cause/effect of some aspect of behavior – as a starting point for renewal. And, since we cannot know what the future will hold, it must be lived by faith alone, that the change will be fruitful.

What has taken shape before can be seen and must be seen.  And therefore, funny as it may sound, man can only go forward, as long as he also looks backward. (p.14)

5.Back to grammar.  The basic forms of literature are  drama, lyrics, epics, and narrative. Drama creates expectations, lyrics expresses emotion, epic looks at the facts, and narrative is analytical (concerned with states of mind). Thus we have the cross of reality,  in that epic = past tense, lyric  the subjective present, drama = imperative; this is the type of  higher grammar,  just as math changed from Euclidian to higher math with Einstein.

6.The Old Testament laid down laws of right and wrong, but Christianity says that since the environment changes each generation, those old laws must be re-interpreted each generation.   In a smaller timespan, each decision we make calls for the same consideration, and this process adds to the meaning of the moral principle.  (p.20)

7.ERH states several ethical rules which he derived from Christian principles. 1) We speak to ourselves, reflecting how we think of ourselves, 2) We are spoken to and respond to others speaking to us and, 3) Others speak of us outside  our presence.  These are three basic grammatical forces we live under.

No young person can know himself, but in our old age we can hope that all of these streams of speech are unified; this accomplishment should put us at peace with the world and should be our goal through life. (p.22)  ERH points out other examples of grammatical living, i.e. to be loved and have loved, to find uniqueness and be a member of groups, demonstrating needed balance between singular and plural.  In general, especially in “Speech and Reality,” he describes in great detail this method.

8.Finally, with reference to the need to regenerate ethical rules, ERH points out that DOING GOOD is  a creation of the present. When this is done thoughtfully it takes imagination and cannot be determined by some absolute rule. In one instance murder may be necessary, in another it may be immoral. Shakespeare said, nothing is ever “good or evil”absolutely, it’s of the moment.  A slap on the face may be in one instance an act of kindness or love, or in another of hatred and hurt; it all depends.  THIS “RELATIVISM” IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT.


1.Culture  has nothing to do with “countries” per se, but rather the process within a country of allowing time for processes to develop at their own speed. Observing the laws of growth, like wine aging.

China and Peru have a civilization, but when processes within the civilization are not given their time to evolve, such as  dissent, or assent to a new principle like friendship or the healing of hurt, then the civilization sickens. “The Devil tells you, – you can have all your pleasures immediately and patience says you cannot.” (p.1)

2.For movements to be fruitful, one must wait and see if the idea is accepted by the grandchildren, who would also commit to it.  We must understand that we are responsible for the future now, which requires conservation, maintaining the Constitution, reminding ourselves of how to treat the poor or our neighbor.  Many seem to have forgotten such principles in this country. We are therefore obligated to insure (today) those things that must last into the future. A civilization that successfully achieves the goals of movements, will evolve “culture.”

3.Institutions, churches included, must not sacrifice the future for present fads, or conveniences, or pleasures.  For instance, a popular fad of the day is an admonishment from psychologists to “be ourselves.”  “We have a right to develop ourselves,” they say.  Well, there is some truth to this no doubt, but then we also have an obligation to sacrifice for the future, for our children, for our country if called, to maintain the principles of law. “…all  issues are religious, and the relation between man and wife is… of course the central issue of our faith.” (RF – I TAKE IT THAT THIS IS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE TRULY SACRED, WHAT IS CALLED “GOD’S WORK,” OF BEING A HERO, OF WHAT ALL SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH ARE INTENDED TO REMIND US OF,  WHAT HOLIDAYS ARE INTENDED TO REMIND US OF.

4.        …this earth is always in the throes of death, destruction, annihilation, extinction, drying-up, sterility, and decay. Death is upon us.  And every generation has to create a  larger humanity.  …The power of peace between men is the power of conservation of the human race. And speech is the method by which this is constantly achieved.  (p.5)

5.THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE PRINCIPLE OF SOCIAL UNITY:  ERH asserts that during the 19th Century the individual was promoted as the atom of society, the indivisible unit.  He points out that the individual can be torn apart. There is constant war unless there is peace (unity) between groups of people. And since the individual is created by speech, which in turn is generated in a community at peace, we must create peace.  War represents the lack of speech between the parties. Thus, the atom of society must be the community!

6.He makes a distinction between secular thinking and religious thinking.  Secular thinking is sociological (the individual is the social atom). Religious thinking requires that the social unit is community, and in community with God.  Thus, with church thinking, “that which may not be divided” of society becomes the trinity between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that represents all of mankind. (p.9)  (RF – THIS SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER DEFINITION OF THE TRINITY, UNIFYING THE GROUP, IN ADDITION TO UNIFYING KNOWLEDGE OVER TIME. Truth is determined when it can be passed on and acted upon over three generations.)

7.Peace is also to include the notion of mankind as the caretaker of nature, of the earth’s resources, of the environment.

8.Underpinning the seeking of truth is the need to learn from our experience. Describing this process in terms of changing relationships is reflected in grammatical names of roles and their meaning.  Thus, the sequence of fruitful learning is: to receive a command (from the holy spirit that may also be described as “authority,” but always coming to us through other persons – e.g. through speech). This ERH calls “higher grammar” to distinguish the concepts from traditional grammar.  1) First comes the 2nd person  (me) listening to the command. 2) “Me” the listener changes into an “I,” willing to do it (first person).  Then the “I” working with others  becomes a “we,” plural. “We”  transforms   the event into 3rd person, changing its role into one of objective observer, into an “it.”. “It has been accomplished.” (p.10)

9.The “I”, is an AUTHORITATIVE ROLE. Authority may be thought of in many forms, a cultural more, an expert in any field, a parent or president.  BUT IT MUST BE REMEMBERED THAT BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, ALL AUTHORITY MUST BE UNDERSTOOD TO REPRESENT SOMETHING HIGHER THAN OURSELVES THAT WE AS INDIVIDUALS REPRESENT, i.e. the law, a profession, an accepted scientific principle or moral principle. Children, beyond a certain age will not pay attention to parents unless they understand the parents to be representative of something beyond themselves.   “We are all either priests of the word, or we are nobodies.”  We are never self-made, we must always receive from others in order to grow.   SOMEONE ELSE ALWAYS CREATES US.

10.History is therefore not analysis (which is scientific, which cuts actual experience down to the bone of generalizations, omitting the unique.)  History is the “we” part of the grammatical method; it tells the story of past experience, as narrative, an essential step in the process of finding truth.

11.ALL SPEECH IS METAPHORICAL (p.15)  The visible hints at the invisible, “seeing with the eye of God,” or of Horus, etc. The invisible explains, and gives meaning to the visible. Thus, all speech is metaphor.

12.ERH provides another definition of God. (p.17)  The creator of the universe is such a power that we cannot define it.  Those things that cannot be defined are  by definition living, if only through humans. God is life to us and therefore cannot be defined any more than the U.S. or England could be defined.

Only those things to which we are indifferent can be defined.  An emotional relationship thus precludes defining. (RF –  I will not try to summarize the next few pages which provide ERH’s logic of how God and ethics are superior to all our institutions explaining, that these institutions must recognize and bow to the authority that created them. I believe the text must be read directly.)

13.ERH points out that one of the great moral decisions we have to make is how much we must give (bow to) ourselves and our fellow men, and how much to conservation of the earth.  One might put it similarly, how much to ourselves and how much to the community welfare?

14.A distinction between play and seriousness is paralleled as that between mere talk ( “the water is cold,”) and serious speech,( “we must come to agreement”).   Serious issues cannot be controlled;  they begin and end, but in between we only participate in a larger process we cannot control. Games and  small talk can, by contrast, be under our control. (p.21)

In serious speech or real issues, we learn something (or should).  Play is paid for in time consumed. serious issues are matters of  life and death whereas, play can be practiced and mistakes corrected. Serious life cannot be erased once enacted; it can only be learned from and a new situation responded to.

15.There is a distinction also between thought and speech.  Thought attempts to explain things logically, while  speech tells the listener of the meaning, of the emotional commitment to the issue.  Thus, tone in speech defies all rules of grammar. It reveals the spirit.  ERH asserts that the Old Testament and Greek philosophy put thought above spirit.  Christianity puts spirit ahead of thought.

17.Christianity, he asserts also, is embedded in the notion of one world, one unity, one creation.

…Christians of course had to emphasize that man is embedded in this one creation.  There is no beyond.  Christianity has never believed in what the children now are made to believe, and beyond outside this.  God has created one Heaven and one earth, and not a second heaven and a third earth.  And we are His children when we extend our power to breathe to our brethren and sisters.  And then we are filled with the spirit and we can make peace in His name. (p.24)

17.Ultimately then our lives should be guided by a dedication to following the ways which will regenerate community, they should “emblemize” ethical behavior.  Therefore, when we speak (true speech, that is):

We are transformed into conductors of this speech.  And a good speaker, of course, trembles in his whole body when he speaks, and the listener can be made to tremble….The human being who speaks has to stand under his own word–it returns to him–and binds him to the future.  (p.26)

18.When one speaks, then, he is committing himself to a new future for himself, he may have changed, –  and by indirection, he speaks to mankind.


Feringer notes
Last edited: 8-98

Lecture – 1

1.In social science, laws we make can be broken.

2.In traditional social science humankind is identified with nature; the assumption is that our “nature” is a given that we cannot avoid or change. It is prescribed. “Tricks to aid memory are not related to our development except in a minor way.” (p.2/1)

3.Natural laws cannot be broken, but in social science, we have the freedom to break laws or customs followed in society.

ERH makes a number of  distinctions between social and natural science throughout this essay:  1) Laws discovered about nature must be assumed to be absolute, otherwise no prediction is possible. Laws related to social behavior  are the opposite, to break them may signal a decline in the society or a change for the better leading to possible war or new customs.  2) Natural science laws last  forever because they are only possible for dead matter that is basically unalterable, like sticks and stones – dead thing s in other words. Social science laws,  by contrast are transient because humankind is yet unfinished, our nature is changing, what will hold a society together in one age will be insufficient in another.

4.Behavior that we call “natural”, such as greed, lying, thievery,  etc, may be natural (common) , but these qualities are antisocial.  What ERH  is driving at is that while some laws of nature may describe society, we are free to break out of such a mold,  but there is always a price to pay. The child who is not taught obedience causes undesired consequences eventually. Education can change our nature.  When anti-social behavior occurs,  there may be war to pay.

The law, for instance of child up-bringing, to obey, listen, read, play etc. ( the first four  “tones of the spirit”). When these are broken, when the child is made happy instead of learning them, society pays later.(p.1-6)


5.It is also a social law that  we are free not to act the same. If one man is stupid in business and loses his money, another may take advantage and prosper.

6.Social science and natural science differ in their purpose and method.  Breaking a social rule has very different consequences from breaking a natural science rule.

7.Three attitudes in this country :

1) A common belief is that our thoughts are a private affair (i.e. religious beliefs).  This is wrong!  Our mind is a public affair because we think in terms of language. Since all thought that allows us to grow must be in terms of language and must receive validation from others, what we think is of public concern.

This is to say, our considered thought, our thoughtful thoughts, as contrasted with mental garbage that  is not what we wish to commit ourselves to. To keep an open mind before making a decision is, of course, important.  But eventually, a commitment we must make. Before commitment to marriage, one is private; but real life accepts the notion that a public commitment must be made.

2) What are called “public attitudes” are very real in the form of customs and cultural mores.   3) There is an attitude beyond our laws,  that which must be sanctioned by custom and the church.  What some call – God’s law.  When we truly believe in something, like a friendship, or our country, or to  marriage, then we must turn private to public.

8.To live is to respect these laws of society, commit to action to uphold them when necessary (such as opposing injustice), and be willing to pay the price.  To stand up for principles in which we believe and for which we  will sacrifice is a necessity for all persons if they wish to see a more decent community.

Much of the time we are cowards, too weak to do this.  But we become mature to the degree that we do take stands. AS LONG AS WE RECOGNIZE AND RESPECT GOOD DEEDS, SOCIETY WILL SURVIVE.

“Living” is the power to overcome social gravity in this way – to stand against those too weak to speak out and to act at a given moment.

9.To summarize:

…social laws only exist as long as we treat each other as members of one body, of one society, as one man’s acts react on somebody else, as your abusing the law will force the people to change the law for me, what I tried to tell you, which is the interesting thing about society.  Your mistake leads to the fences around my action. I’m forbidden certain things because you broke the law, or vice versa.

As long as you have solidarity it is perhaps not so very difficult for you now to grasp that the circulation of thought presupposes that there is one thought, one thinking process for all mankind.  And what you try is to secure your part in it, your membership, your participation in this circulation of thought. But that your nice ideas, that you have your private ideas, or your private knowledge, or your private education is an illusion.  (p.20)

10.  In a more general tone ERH says that we are all dogmatic to some extent, but the difference between him and his students is:

…you don’t know your dogmas, and I know mine. So I can be spoken to, and you cannot be spoken to. For example, you have the dogma that you have no dogma.

You also have the dogma that nature exists, or evolution…That is, you do not see that these are transient, human attempts to explain existence, and that you at any minute must be ready to sacrifice the term “nature.”  (pp.20,21)

11.People who speak to one another are not natural. We are human creatures, because we are still in the process of being unfinished.  Therefore we have no final nature. And people who achieve great acts, Demosthenes, Helen Keller, Lincoln, etc. become “super-natural.”  “Nature is that which man has to defy in order to come to life.” (p.21)     As pointed out above, it is natural to be self-centered, greedy, to lie to  avoid an uncomfortable situation, etc.

12.Humankind is that which nature cannot give, such as naming our children. “What  nature cannot give is the content of the social sciences.”  (p.22)

The spirit of a person  is  one’s soul.  When one believes in the unity of mankind,  one looks at individuals in a different manner. One’s face will often express the inner spirit. Nature does not incur distinctions between individuals except in obvious and superficial ways, like a woman wearing lipstick, or our differences in height or hair color.  Modern art paints man as natural – no distinction between individuals, no uniqueness.

13.We are “coined” by past events. Ever since the GOOD SAMARITAN, if we believe in that behavior as helping create a good society, then that event influences what we become.

The living God is that spirit which we allow our actions to be patterned after. “The first commandment is the backbone of any social science…”

None of this has anything to do with natural birth, but with the ideas that humankind is willing to abide by.  And this is why the circulation of thought is crucial to human survival.

A child is not either a son or a daughter.  Even the words “son” and “daughter” are already great offices in humanity, and that’s why we call the first man who allowed himself to be sculptured all his life, we call him “the son.” (p.27)


Lectures 1-26
Feringer notes
Notes started: Sept-’96 – Jan-’97
Last edited: 8-98


Lecture – 1

1.There has been a fiction in this country that we must be dominated by logic. ERH believes logic is an inadequate method for social analysis. The truth is just the opposite, if we are to understand our experience more clearly and find a direction that will ameliorate destructive divisions between peoples,wemust dominate logic, rise above it.THE TOPIC OF THIS COURSE IS TO EXPLAIN WHY AND HOW WE ARE TO MASTER “MERE” LOGIC.

2.At different periods of our lives there is a different intensity of thought; the variations in life reflect cycles ofintensity. For instance, in the timespan between the ages of 16-25 years one exaggerates the importance of philosophy, of logic, of language stud, etc. If we do not do it during this time, we will probably do very little during the rest of our lives.

3.The point is 1) thought is both our own doing, and2) it comes to us at certain times with greater demand. Thus, 3) when, why, what for?(1 & 2) are contradictory,of course,just as life is filled with contradictions (i.e. we are masters of our homes, but with guests, we wait on them and provide what they want).

4.In order to really stay alive, vital and aware that is, we must bow to certain rules for the development of our thinking. Most people are seldom aware of different types of experience and what it means day-to-day.ONLY THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT, WHICH IS TO SAY CIRCULATION OF THOUGHT DO, WE COME FULLY ALIVE.”…thought is only our temporary guest, …every one of us at times must sleep, and God has obviously ordained sleep to warn us that we are not thinking machines.” (p.4/1)

5.We can go through life without being “spiritually” or “thoughtfully” alive. Thought at times meets no resistance, and at other times considerable resistance. What blocks and opens circulation will be addressed. Narrow, unchanging attitudes would be an example of a blocked “canal” of thought, i.e. people who, for the best reasons, claim to stand for “morals,” but seem to have a narrow interpretation of some concept. What is moral, for instance, is a subtle notion; in one instance some act, say punishment, may be moral, and in another context a punishment may be inhumane. Killing is recognized as acceptable in self-defense, for instance.

6.Thought is frail and easily breaks down, as for instance the ease in which misunderstanding occurs. Propaganda, false advertising, political rhetoric are examples of where gross mistrust occurs, and thus channels of communication are cut off.Connecting an abstraction like trust and love and honesty with specific situations can be difficult, often vague, and perhaps only very indirectly conveying meaning.

…thought is so much alive that it comes and goes as life does. (p.9/1)

7.The library is a graveyard of past events, of abstractions (principles), of stories that must be related to our present and future actions (i.e. these ideas have no meaning until brought to life by our actions).

8.Thought untempered by our own evaluation means the thought of others is the real governor of our thinking. Thought proscribed by the F.B.I., or a religious group, or any profession, is the same.We are free to borrow it, of course, but if we are not to be tyrannized by it we must be conscious of its possible value and proclaim it accordingly – either rejecting or accepting its validity.BUT WE ALSO HAVE A RIGHT TO LAY CLAIM TO OUR OWN ORIGINAL THINKING.

Most people are, probablyunconscious of the fact that they live off borrowed thought, thought never made their own by being annealed by their own careful testing and judgment.

9.It is this process of personal evaluation that allows us to participate in the circulation of thought and therefore in our own “coming to life.”

Today the mass media dominates or manipulates our thinking. Media has blocked many channels of thinking, or has presented barriers to one’s ability to think for one’s self. Half truths, false or wrong assumptions, speculation, introverted logicwith little if any supporting evidence, dominate all advertising, bureaucratic pronouncements, and political dialogue, resulting in corrupting or degenerating all circulation of thought. We are deluged by the media with subjects not worth thinking about.

10.What are the consequences of all of this? Is our future to be one of manipulation, of control by demagogues?Is our inability to understand our experience resulting in more and more individuals with fruitless or ruined lives?There is abundant evidence that the divorce rate, the crime rate, the drug addiction, bigotry, war, degeneration, can be attributed to a depressed ability to understand our experience.


11.One of the primary problems reflecting fruitless thought is the speaking in generalizations, a habit rife today. Political speeches and religious sermons are excellent examples.Not that generalizing is wrong, but when it is detached from specifics it loses its meaning.What does love mean?Shakespeare’s love of England makes the term movingly profound and directional.

…God became one man, (Jesus) in order to show that a real thought is something utterly specific.It’s a mysterious way of proving to you the point of the circulation of thought, that Christianity had to take God out of the realm of your universal, abstract thinking…this one child in the cradle gives you a better idea of what thought has to become – flesh, you see – than all your wonderful generalities…(p.22)

12.Circulation of thought does not occur by our playing with ideas and never putting them to the test, or by endless dialogue.It is too abstract, nothing is tested, and ideas fail to come alive, to become manifest in concreteness.They merely float around inside our heads.LIVING IS CONCRETE.Thought, in order to have meaning, must have a counterpart in concrete events.

For instance, the idea that all people are, or should be, born free and equal is an idea that should be acted on, that should become true – where the “word should be made flesh.”At first maybe one person believed it, then a few more, and eventually it must become commonplace in all people’s behavior.

13.To get an idea to come true may require wars, certainly sacrifice, frustration, or debate, and certainly the path will have many barriers; some progress, then retrogression. Prejudices must be set aside, minds changed.It takes time, perhaps a thousand years.The path from idea to reality may be mysterious, but the channels of thought must be kept open in order for it to happen.Only then can progress occur.

No idea is worth anything if it cannot become true.

14.Logic is only one form, one system of thought.But our most important, meaningful decisions are not based on logic:whom we choose for friends, whomwe marry, what profession we enter, etc.

Lecture 2

1/2Three aspects of thought: 1) what an individual thinks, 2) what the world thinks of that thought at that moment, and3) what the world may think about it at some time in the future. All people who speak, participate one way or another in this process of circulation.

2/2There are two ways in which people speak of others – what is said in one’s presence, and what is said in one’s absence. Some are praised more in their absence than in their presence, and more commonly praised in their presence, and criticized in their absence. Our thoughts are judged to be wise or foolish, flippant or serious, reliable or imaginative..THE BIBLE says, “Judge not…” because this type of judgment is dangerous; we are very likely to misunderstand.To judge tends to mean we don’t think about the other’s speech any more.

Another dimension of circulation is not to reveal our true thoughts to others, so we either refrain from speaking or mislead.

3.Still another dimension of communication is when people value politeness over truth, which of course becomes a barrier to communication. To speak the truth in spite of consequences should not be interpreted as giving a person license to be nasty,  but simply that one way or another, communication is enhanced by truth.

4.The conclusion here is that what we think about ourselves andothers and what they think of us, is always interdependent.That is, we gain self-knowledge by listening to what others say about us;we can never be indifferent because their behavior toward us affects us.Here ERH quotes Goethe, “If you want to have joy in yourself, you must attribute value to the world outside.” (p.8/2)What we think of the world “recoils in us.”

5.PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS, AND RELIGION: Our own inner thoughts represent our philosophy. What others say about us is politics.When people speak truthfully to each other about their inner, deeply held thoughts that is religion. To be merely kind reflects no passionate thought.To speak the truth oftenraises passions, but in the long run truth leads to “heaven,” to more peace.

6.Four points about circulation relating to philosophy, art, politics, and religion: 1) the thought inside us, 2) the expression of that thought (which ERH calls art), 3) the judgment of your thought from others (politics), and finally 4) what we owe our community, to be truthful and thoughtful in our response to others (education and religion).To be “secular” doesn’t require truthfulness in our response to others.To be honest can be dangerous to us, and this is why it must be called “religious.”

…in every thought, there is an element of philosophy, an element of religion, an element of politics, and an element of art. (p.11)

7.Obviously, this is why we desperately need a few friends so that we can find the truth about ourselves as the world sees us.

8.THE POINT OF ALL THIS IS THAT IF COMMUNICATION IS TO OCCUR, the quality of thinking must attain a common standard within the community. OTHERWISE THERE CAN BE NO PEACE.This is why philosophy was opposed by Christianity, because philosophy is narrow, limited, it cannot be the standard for peace.Muslims cannot convert the world, nor can Platonists or Buddhists or Jews, or Communism or Capitalism.As long as there is no universal religion (as is Christianity which advocates “all of the above”), there can be no peace. And no peace means no progress because all dialogue degenerates into defensiveness.


By the end of one’s life of having lived well, one has proved this principle (demonstrated by living out one’s beliefs) and thus deserves recognition and a memory of having been true to his ideals. Also, we assume that the person has contributed what he/she could to the community.THIS IS, OF COURSE, RARE; MOST DIE WITH UNFULFILLED EXPECTATIONS.

10.When a person stops learning and developing, one dies spiritually.For the remainder of life one is then simply filling space with no purpose. [RF, is it not a common source of regret whenreflecting on some event that we failed to speak truthfully?]

11.Martyrs have and deserve such approbation for their beliefs because they were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for them. Martyrdom unifies people’s opinions, while teaching cannot achieve this. p. 23The wayof one’s death has deep meaning, determining the way others are likely to evaluateone.

12.Mental commandments, thought, have a spiritual life.Physical life begins and immediately sets on a course of degeneration.Spiritual life is the opposite – it begins as zero and evolves – and spiritual life begins with death in the sense that through education the child inherits from the past and is thus potentially capable of moving toward humanness. A good life means that one leaves a “good” name (reputation) behind.Most don’t wish to leave a “stinking” name at their death.

13.The essence of teaching is that one makes a distinction between what is the rule and what the exception; to learn what has been accidental in the teacher’s life, and what one believes is true as a rule of life. (p.26)

To teach is to make one feel old (regardless of one’s physical age) and the student feel young (a novice in the subject, regardless of age).

One cannot only teach by example, therefore one must state one’s thought, one’s intent, reveal one’s inner and very personal view of the subject. [RF – conditioning psychologists seem to have forgotten this necessity of making the inner life concrete through speech.This also helps students separate accident from intention. Such separation is also a subtle but important element of teaching, whereby new questions can arise about the subject.]

To teach therefore means that one must, as far as possible, understand the meaning of one’s experience, articulating that meaning in the process.

Teaching therefore is not merely drill, teaching involves, dissatisfaction with one’s fulfillment (perfection). TEACHING THEREFORE SHOULD RECEIVE THE HIGHEST RANK IN THE COMMUNITY.

Teaching is not merely quoting the thoughts of others.This practice cannot reach a student’s spiritor impassion him/her unless the student has the ability to judge experience in the light of the subject matter.ERH believed that there was little teaching in the America, it was mostly quotation and drill.

To teach, one must have become a master at some activity in life, as a motor mechanic, as a doctor, as a poet, etc.(p.30)

14.Philosophy is the beginning.Politics, and religion, and art are the results of living. (p.32)

This statement seems to summarize the essence of real teaching, as distinct from merely quoting others and eliciting memorization from students.And it is essential for the circulation of thought.

Lecture – 3

1/3The safest way to think of some individual is to ascertain what others have thought of them. ERHidentifies several stages of our lives, correlating personal development,”soul” and age – age being defined in terms of social role (types of authority), not by physiological measures.

ALL THOUGHT PROCESSESDIVIDE ONEINTO WHAT YOU THINK OF YOURSELF AND WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU. (p.6/3)What others think of us is important because that, also, is how we gauge ourselves for the most part.Ideally we should be able to separate our perception of what others think of us from our personal thoughts about ourself. Of course, what we think of ourselves is important and affects the opinions of others about ourselves, but probably the primary influence on our self-concept we derive from others’ opinions of us.

2.One of ERH’s primary points is that public opinion represents a unanimity, a uniting that makes for peace and is thusvery important.IT IS NOT THE INDIVIDUAL OPINION, BUT THE COMMON OPINION that is crucial to social developmentto the maintenance of language, to peace, etc.True revolution, for instance, is created when many people discover their common beliefs and act on them against the oppressive institution.

STILL ANOTHER IMPORTANT POINT IS THAT THE OPINION OF OTHERS CAN REINFORCE OUR OWN OPINIONS, which may be very tentative, but when we are reinforced by others we have confidence there is truth in our thoughts. EVERYONE WANTS – NEEDS – TO BE RECOGNIZED, AFFIRMED, AND RECEIVE AUTHORIZATION.ERH points out how elevating it is for us to unexpectedly discover someone loves us.

3.We never feel superior to thosewe truly love.”…love means to despair of oneself, and to need somebody else to restore one’s own self-confidence.” (p.11/3)

ERH points out that true despair occurs when our self-confidence runs out and when we are unaware of how others value us. Suicide is forbidden precisely because we never know ourselves who we really are. NO DOUBT THIS IS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL FOUNDATION FOR THE NOTION THAT ULTIMATELY “Jesus loves us.”


4.Knowledge is affirmed when validated in a particular situation.”…virtue isnice at the right time, and a vice is a virtue at the wrong time.” (pp.14,15)

5.More definitions or dimensions of knowledge,a distinction between the importance of the thought and its content.If we believe in an idea and tell the world,are uninfluenced by what others think, and are willing to take the consequences of our utterances, then that is important thought – it should be listened to.(p.18,19)People recognize and are influenced by persons who “stick their neck out” for what they believe.

A speaker’s influence is based in part on his/her reputation; is he thinking his own thoughts or reflecting those of others, is he thought to be insightful or a fool, what is his thought relevant to?

6.Science – logic – does not rule our thinking about social event, because to be scientific means we believe in the rule of law (laws of nature – which are absolute).However, no society would ever hang together if we did not allow for exceptions, for forgiveness, for acceptance of breaking a rule. This is because we all make stupid mistakes, or misjudgments through lack of awareness, or insensitivity and THEREFORE MUST BE FORGIVEN.And to be forgiven means that we need the opinions of others regardless of some rule of law.Thus, many who proclaim a belief in science actually deny its validity every day in their social life. (p.21)

7.Religion consists of three elements: what I think, what the world thinks of my thoughts, and what my neighbors think.And some people tend to have three religions (rules for behavior), a different one for each of these three elements. In other words, we have faith that we deserve to be forgiven, faith that we can will justice for ourselves, and faith that there is lawfulness in a “dead universe,” (that is, order in natural science).How often do we believe in one form of justice for ourselves (where others should forgive us for our transgressions), and another justice for others who should be judged strictly by a rule of law.

…religion is an attempt to make the three into one.That’s why I believe in the Trinity.The father, who is the world; Christ, who is we ourselves; and the Holy Spirit, who are our neighbors.And that in these three forms, everybody has religion. (p.24/3)

8.To repeat, circulation of thought has the four elements, what one individual thinks, (philosophy), what others think of these thoughts (politics), how well (effectively) one speaks one’s thoughts (art), and the social significance in terms of an expectation for being acted upon – a faith that a true (worthy) thought will bear fruit one day (religion).

9.In some ways any one of these four elements could dominate in a specific situation.To have a philosophy is to sit in judgment. To bend to politics is to respond to popular demand, to have religion is to put truth and significance in the driver’s seat.The priest has his arts ( ceremony, candles, incense, architecture).

10.His point is that everyone participates in these four roles throughout life; everyone must rule themselves and perhaps others at some time, must have a point of view (philosophy), be concerned with what others think, etc., and therefore these four elements for the circulation of thought are universal throughout humankind.

Another way of expressing these ideas is that we serve four basic roles, as governor (at least of ourselves and families), teachers (of ourselves, families, neighbors) , upholders of laws and speakers truth (priests).And finally, that these rules apply to groups as well as to individuals – there is no distinction between the individual and the group in this latter aspect. The same for great and famous teachers and rulers as for the lowest citizen.

11.  Thinking is that power in the universe which overcomes gravity.And that’s why it is right to put this in form of a tree.Just as the sap rises in a tree, in the same way human thought rises.And we call this therefore “the spirit.”The spirit is always the combination of more than one form of thinking.Philosophy alone, that’s not spirit.Ruling alone, policeman — no spirit, you see. That’s just the law.Teaching, I’m afraid no spirit.But when you all (have) ritual, just pomp and forms; no spirit.But the combination of these three faculties, they make an inspired being…Lincoln, in the Second Inaugural, or the Gettysburg Address, you know that he is inspired, don’t you?

Why? Because he oversteps the bounds of one form of thought…There is something more than thinking.That’s the integration of thinking.(pp.31,32)

Lecture – 4

1/4We must learn to speak for ourselves, express important occasions for ourselves.

…the more central a truth is, the greater is the variety of ways in which it must be expressed by everybody in his own terms. (p.1/4)

A proposal of marriage, expression of one’s honest opinion, one’s philosophy, one’s insights, a response, an expression of friendship are examples. Ultimately, “all truths must be personalized.”

The highest moments of life are the most personal moments.And the greater your power to live is, the more untranslatable will be what you have to say…I call it `a journey into one’s own speech’.” (p.2)

2.To describe events is to make them a part of our inner world, to remember them and consider their importance. The corollary is, that is to also turn the “inside out.”That is, to act on an idea that is likely to improve (create a future for) the community.

…you can only have a divine spirit in you if the Word takes a special form inside of you. (p.3)

[RF – I believe the best comment to interpret this quote is to add another one, that “spirit” refers to our inner strength, the root of our being, our aliveness. In another text ERH defines God as, “The power within us which makes us speak the truth.” (See PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE SOUL, Argo Press)All of these expressions reflect the crucial role of language in our becoming alive to our potential.]

3.ERH despairs of the degeneration of language, and therefore of the culture.This is use of language to mask, to distort, to lie, or not to use it at all.THE WHOLE THRUST OF THIS LECTURE SERIES IS TO MAKE THE POINT THAT FOR LANGUAGE TO BE VITAL TO US, IT MUST BE USED, IT MUST CIRCULATE!

4.To expand the idea of the vitality of language ERH uses the metaphor of water welling up from a spring and how it must take on some soil and minerals if it is to nourish us.Just so, language takes on vitality when it is recreated by us in our personal speech. Knowledge is rendered truer by this process. “In social science something is truer in the more various ways it is expressed.” p.5Contrary to science (mathematics in particular).

5.ERH gets into a long discussion of government and power, the sum of which seems to be that the “church” and government are different,separate entities, and that government cannot be controlled by the church.This is because religion is an inner spirit of people, and government is an entity that must be based on fear of losing its power.The more people instilled with true religion, the less government is needed because government is for those who conduct themselves in a way that destroys the community, i.e. murder, theft, assault.THIS IS WHY THE ULTIMATE MEANING OF RELIGION IS TO MOTIVATE THE NECESSITIES TO CREATING A TRUE COMMUNITY.

6.The Communion in church, the service, illuminates or is intended to illuminate, the meaning of our acts. And forgiveness for our transgressions is a necessity, freeing us to “…start life again.” It is a gateway to revelation of life to ourselves.

Supplication breeds more government, faith breeds peace.Nothing is more expensive than war, nor as cheap as peace. “War is normal when we don’t behave as human beings.” (p.18)It is when we expect to get something for nothing that we germinate wars.

America (and most other countries?) ERH claims is based on cheating, on selling people things they don’t need, or misrepresenting (Let the buyer beware) and all that!This is why we need so many laws, so much government. We act this way because we lack real religion.

7.This section essentially describes the “12 tones of the spirit,”the commands for learning, for coming alive, for fulfilling life;

1) Listen, accept one’s name, learn from the past, receive first commands from parents. 2) Read, expand beyond one’s own family into society and history. 3) Playwith the ideas, early on when one is learning (when one has no social burden to perform), test, experiment,suspend judgment,wait to be called. “The playing is only important if you have something to live for which is serious.” (p.23)4) Doubt, to raise the question, “Does the present situation call for applying the rule, or an exception?”At one time or another almost everything must be open to doubt.Life is not nice, war the rule, peacethe exception.

8.Perhaps our most fundamental doubt isasking ourselves, “Are we loved?”By our family, our friends.We have reasons to be happy when people love us; then we are reverential, worshipful, poetical, lyrical and peaceful.Doubt is always this side of fulfillment, or certainty.Ideally, what we think of ourselves should coincide with what others think of us (and vice versa one might say; what others think of us is largely influenced by their perception of how we think of ourselves). Cynical doubt, especially of how others love us, leads to jealousy.Thus, we need friends, family, colleagues. We must always be joining up with something for a sane and fulfilling life. To be isolated because of individualism is a terrible fate.

Lecture – 5

1/5The holy days in Christianity – Christmas commemorates the creation of the world, Easter commemorates a revelation of the world (social world?),and Whitsunday (fiftieth day after Easter) that the world is redeemed.Here again lies an example of a secular foundation of religious holidays. In the end, religions seem to point to the creation of communities voluntarily at peace.

The implication is profound, that genetics is an inadequate explanation for the creation of human social life; all of which leads to the conclusion that some accommodation needs to be found in our thinking for the spiritual foundations of creation. This is to say, the spirit of creativity. What we need is to overcome the dominant physical science orientation of present thinkers. Without knowledge of our spiritual ancestors our lives are non-creative and certainly non-regenerative.

2/5The memory of saints from history is crucial to this reconsideration.They were dropped from religious recognition with the advent of Puritans. The saints represented those who lived the Christian way, (i.e. in a way to create peace in the world).Without this memory of what has to be paid to live in a better world we are very likely to degenerate, a common condition of our day.

ERH asserts that we must therefore choose which heroes from the past to give recognition, as reminders of how we must live, of the “…people who lived before us who are still ahead of us.” (p.4)

3/5Another message is here – that those who live only in their own generation, who do not recognize necessities for survival from past experience, are bound to perish.Physical life goes from birth to death, spiritual life goes from death to birth (from inherited knowledge), and it is the spiritual life that raises us above animals.

ERH estimates that 80% of the people are spiritually dead, unable to grow because of this deficit, and that the meaning of religion has to do with our daily secular life.

…our strange Protestant refrigerator called the “Protestant Church”…these Sunday services to think that it has to do with “religion”.It (religion) has to do with fact, with truth, with our secular life.It has absolutely nothing to do with something separate from our daily existence. p.5

4.First seven commandments for knowledge circulation:

1) listen2)read3)learn4)play5)doubt6)protest7)win (rule?) – (in IMPURE THINKER, he defines #6 as analysis & criticize , and #7 as protest, see p. 73)

Intellectual steps are the first 3.

Persons who are to rule or be in politics cannot have done much in their lives in the first 7 steps.This is becauseif they are too well known they become and are seen as prisoners of their own ideas – their ways are set, they are known as “experts.”Scholars do not make good rulers for this reason, nor is it easy for them to become elected. The president should be one who finally develops during and after an 8th stage (to legislate). (p.7)

5.The essence of “listening”is that one is brought into the real world, one is called by his/her name. By contrast, with reading and learning one is addressed “in general.”To speak only in generalizations is boring and unreal.To be spoken to and to listen to another calling your name makes one unique, and the world in this process becomes personal. THIS IS WHY CARING PARENTS ARE SO CRUCIAL. Parents are there to govern their children!(Contrary to what happens in the USA,where the prevailing attitude is to give children freedom too soon).

Children obeying andlistening to parents is not to be understood as enslavement, but rather as preparation for the carrying out of thinking of others so that they learn first to begin to participate in the community. Thinking for one’s self, doubting, comes later, only after this preparation. IN THE USA WE ALLOW CHILDREN TOO MUCH LICENSE, OR BURDEN THEM WITH DECISION MAKING TOO SOON.

Therefore this first step is crucial therefore.The child should be made to understand that it is a privilege to be a member of the family, and to be allowed to do dishes, or rake leaves. (see anecdote p.19 bottom)

6.Cultures are held together by understanding the important acts in life. To be introduced into the basic practices for survival is to learn what life is about. Household chores are the child’s first introduction into this fact, and he should be helped to experience this. Doing something for the first time, i.e. preparing a meal, making a box to hold tomatoes, cleaning one’s house,makes one a member.Celebrations of holidays are a recognition of an event that should be re-experienced so that the culture is reminded of what is important. It is a memory ofthe first time it happened. Thus, to celebrate a hero who sacrificed, to celebrate a revolution, a harvest,mothers’ and fathers’ days are vital.(See pp.20-22,3 for details about the origin of culture (secular) as it is derived from cult (religious).THE POINT IS THAT THE CHILD MUST BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENS IF THE JOB IS NOT DONE.

The first stage of the circulation of thought is not intellectual, but of emotion, of awe for these reasons.

7.The sequence is important; listening begets reading, which begets learning, etc.As a parent, all of this is difficult; a child is emotional, illogical, self-centered, impatient. The parent must be patient, severely sticking to discipline with love, by commanding.But this will not work unless the child knows that the parents look up to an authority above them as well.

8.These stages remain with us all our lives, although the process of maturing means that one gradually takes over command of one’s self. At any age, for instance, one must listen to doctors or others who are authorities on some needed information. Obviously, to listen and follow is much easier thanhaving to decide.

9.Reading, on the other hand, is the discovery of the world on one’s own. It is an amplification, or correction, of what has been learned by listening. Our great intellectual insights come from experiencing and learning from our own mistakes.

10.Listening to commands from authority (parents first) helps us learn what is worth doing, what is necessary. THIS IS WHY ERH IS AGAINST PROGRESSIVE SCHOOLS, “DISCOVERY” ETC. All that has its place, but for the most part in the USA we err in the direction of burdening children with decision making too soon. Thus, listening, we learn values.

11.One learns from listening when one understands that there are things in life that must be done, and this is why the child must discern as part of their experience that the authority practices what he/she preaches!

Lecture – 6

1/6Our behavior must be governed one way or another by “authority,”either our own or someone else’s, or the “Holy Spirit.”We should decide which is which, but any novice, including the child, must be under someone else’s command, or be doomed to failure, reinventing reality for him/herself.ANOTHER VALUE of being put under the authority of another engenders the feeling of being wanted. It is crucial for a child to feel it was expected.

In a very different context, expectation is also important for one coming to a new job.If the manager is wise, he/she acts accordingly, as treating subordinates humanely will evoke their creativity to the job.

2.The ten commandments of the circulation of thought meets resistance in an environment where “Greek thinking” (the mind) dominates,where one’s will reigns supreme.To “obey” another seems to gall the humanist,who believes one must obey one’s own mind.

To beget children, to expect them and have expectations for them,is the same for parents as for teachers,and for all good managers as well, teachingas a basic process of administering.

3.Our mind is not our own to be cavalier about.We should have been taught by parents to reflect the highest norms and expectations of our culture. We have obligations.To listen and obey means that a leadership aspect of authority is lending some of that “higher” authority.

Aculture with expectations of us for citizenship means that THERE IS UNITY(A CENTER TO OUR THINKING), which is to say, a foundation for mental health.Otherwise one becomes schizophrenic.

Our mind does not begin with us, it has been put into us by our parents, and in time by others in the community.To teach and manage is seeingone’s students as future replacements as future parents, governors, managers, artists.THIS IS THE PROCESS IN WHICH ONE IS CALLED (BY NAME) TO INHERIT SOME SOCIAL ROLE. And this is a great honor, giving meaning to one’slife,bringing us to life.

4.Reading is self-exploration.One can read under orders or read under one’s own motivation.The former is obeying, the latter is in the spirit of reading.By the time one reaches high school and certainly college, one should not have to be told to read.IN MY OWN UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE MOST STUDENTS DO NOT READ, THEY WISH TO BE TOLD, which is not reading.And they will never come to much.

To be in command, to be an authority, should mean to engender spontaneity.No one can command or authorize arbitrarily IF THE COMMUNITY IS TO BE SERVED.True authority, the right to command, can only be motivated by necessity.Perhaps most of all, real teaching does not create an automaton. To teach requires love of students (not liking necessarily), and this in turn means spontaneity.

5.The dialectics of listening and reading and the other eightcommandments must be in balance.As suggested above, each stage begets the next, but one always practices the previous commands to some extent in each act.To command, or listen, or obey, or doubt,once one reaches maturity, will depend on what the situation may require of you at that point in time. IF one has not first learned to listen, one is stifled in any attempt to read.

6.One cannot know what freedom is if one has not had to obey first.We are not born free, our thoughts are put into us in the beginning; thinking for one’s self begins slowly after a time, and only slowly increases with time.Most people believe they respond to their own thinking when actually they are “using” the thoughts of others without knowing it. Those who have not learned to obey in youth usually end up being blind followers later in life.

“..if you do not listen from the first to the seventh year, then you will have to listen from the 20th to the 70th year.” (p.7)

7.To learn anything, one must begin with a reference point which is specific, meaning unique, coming from one’s own experience.One cannot learn in general.One can memorize generalizations, but that is not learning in a sense of being able to apply the information.Only specific situations give one reference points.

Lord Charnwood:”Every religious experience begins with a command. Now a command is always specific.” (p.10)

8.”In the mental process harkening comes first, thinking comes second, speaking comes third.”Most believe that thinking comes first and speaking second.

9.Play is an important interval in our lives.In a subtle way it follows a command, “There is time, rest, relax, play.”It is like silence in music, a rest in music.

Memory is a promise, a waiting for when something is needed, to be fulfilled. An anticipation of something needed in the future.

On happiness – not very important.What we look for is meaning and fulfillment; only then will we find some modicum of inner peace.And all achievement must be paid for, sacrificed one way or another for.What happens one day is unimportant, because happy or not, it will pass.Life is one whole fabric.Things that should be remembered are things we should do something about at some time in our lives.

If we remember what we wish to do, where we want (or must) go in life,then when opportunity presents itself we will be able to respond.

Learning is necessary to prepare ourselves to become elders eventually; this is an example of the end determining the beginning.By contrast, listening and reading relate for the most part to our present states. Always, of course, with implications for the future.

10.To a great extent we do not know the meaning of what we do in the present.We cannot be sure of what our actions will lead to.We can know each other. We can’t know ourselves. (p.23)

(p.24) -ERH launches into the issue of the depths of one’s soul, admonishing us that we are much deeper than we believe, that we usually want to be superficial, but really are not.We should, but usually do not think of long years ahead for which we must also prepare, and be patient for.

(RF – I present the following extensive quotes because they seem to summarize the points he makes most succinctly.)

11.  It is utterly indifferent what is in front of your consciousness at this moment.I don’t care what dirty, or what clear, or what clean, or what nice ideas you haveof the world in general. I’m terribly concerned with that which is planted into you as going to come true in 50 years.It’s the only part of you that’s interesting to me.What do I care what you think of me?You may think I’m a fool.Please.Go ahead, do this.

As long as you listen to what I say, this will have been forgotten in 50 years that you were down on me.But what I have said, if I had said it with conviction and with truthfulness, it will come home.It will come back…That’s the great power of truth, you see, that always first he who says the truth has to be despised and ridiculed, but the thing that is true comes back on you, and tells you once more that you knew this, and you should have known, and you should have remembered it.

The relation — between the person who tells you the truth, that is, your teacher, and the truth is, that the teacher may get the beating, but don’t beat down the truth.And the truth of the matter is without cultivating your memory, you cannot connect your childishness with your memory. p.25

12.The important things of life are important for three generations of your own being.And you discover by learning that you are expected not to be a child, but that you are expected to be at the same time always a child, a man and an authority, if you’d prefer that word. Every one of us is asked to be all three….You will not believe a man who cannot show proof that he meant business in the three different ages of his life. (p.27)

13.  Most people live on borrowed convictions.A conviction is that which develops by learning in your youth, by verifying in your middle age, and by teaching in your old age the same truth.Otherwise there is no conviction, if you don’t do all three things.The rest is opinion. The rest is just ideas.Who cares for ideas or opinions?…I don’t.I want to see people who embody the truth, because it has stayed with them in three forms of life.

…only those mental things are really essential which reappear in your youth, in your own mature life, and in your own old age. (p.28)

14.  The mind is given us for conviction.But only very few thoughts, and very few contents reach this degree of density…

…typical is a poor, poor second, because to be typical means not to live, but to be lived by other people’s minds.

The decision in your own lifetime at this moment is: whether you will live by other people’s minds or whether you will really have a mind of your own. And you don’t have a mind of your own by having ideas.You have a mind of your own if that which you now learn will appear so real that you will do something about it in your manhood, and you will make other people do something about it in your old age.These are three phases of the mind, and that it means to have one’s own mind. (p.29)

15.  approval.That’s why I cannot hamper your life…We are not a state of which contents where I have the right to judge your future, but you have not the right to judge t he whole human past which I represent here to you.I must give you 10, 20, 30 years to do something, to find out if what I say is true.That’s why I need the authority of this college to be appointed.They find out who has something to say that is worthwhile listening to…Authorities of the college must know this.You cannot know. (p.31)

Lecture 7

1/7One must, today, bring together the beginning and the end of the mental life.The middle section is unseen and invisible from the beginning as well as from the end.

To analyze a thing is fine, but that does not mean to know it,and to analyze means to “kill” it, to draw a conclusion about it.To analyze means to doubt.(p.2)

2/7To doubt means to have divine power, to kill, and to have divine power means also the power to bring back to life, i.e. when we validate, practice, and teach ideas.

3.Children(and perhaps adults) need to be turned in the right direction, otherwise they become delinquent.

One must become absorbed by the first 4 commandments (for circulation of thought), so that in taking the next step (doubt) one understands that this must be done seriously, as a sacred event. Mental processes reflect our spiritual movement toward our destiny. p.6Those people who deserve admiration are those who change the direction of humanity.

4.To take the trodden path (in difficult decisions), to apply common sense thoughtlessly, is cheap and lazy.TO THINK FOR ONE’S SELF IS HARD WORK, TO ACT ON THOSE THOUGHTS IS ALWAYS RISKY. Most of life is living the thoughts of others. (RF – this is not bad because we don’t have time to reinvent reality when this is unnecessary.)

5.Infollowing the thoughts of others, one aspect of our lazy thinking is to oversimplify ideas, to take them out of context and disconnect them from their author. Out-of-context ideas are worthless distortions. ERH cites the example of USA in the thirties, where the bankers had no idea what to do. This was when many of FDR’s welfare programs were instigated and strongly criticized by these same. Not to see these New Deal measures in this context, as we tend to do today, completely distorts their meaning and usefulness.

6.Divine power is not only represented by the ability to doubt; to decide when to kill and when to give life is reflective of what we do every day.We raise animals, then kill and eat them. TO KNOW WHEN TO CONTRADICT ONE’S SELF is also part of divine doubting.

God is the unity of our contradictions.And you cannot live with any man unless you and he can agree that you are free to contradict what you said yesterday, and to do it peacefully and honorably. (p.17)

7.We must not have too much faith in ourselves.To do so means we don’t need God. To have faith in one’s self (i.e. self reliance) “…lasts until the next bankruptcy.” p.18

To doubt, to really doubt, seriously, is to rise to the level of the person whose thoughts one is doubting, to wrestle with angels so to speak. To doubt seriously is the only route to developing one’s individuality.

8.The next two commands for mental development are protest and wait.Doubt precedes protest.Doubt is either of one’s self or of the world, or obviously some combination of the two. And our doubts are constantly changing because the world (social) is changing. To wholly doubtone’s self is to go into deep despair of one’s courage.To doubt the world is to go into deep arrogance.

The highest doubt is of the existence of the God, the power that makes the world and us one. Doubt of God is comprehensive; to think of a new hypothesis of your own that would underlie a creative act, or certainly to doubt our ability to be creative, to doubt our ability to keep peace with our neighbor and doubtthe good will of the other fellow to keep peace with us – all of this is to doubt God.

9.In sum, doubt has the purpose of settling the issues you lovedAre you in love (either with another, or with some cause), and can you make others love you?

People always think as though their thought rules the world.It doesn’t. It always is mediated through this very great filter; (doubt).(p.25)

10.Constant doubters are just as extreme as the worst tyrants.Scientists who cannot relate to people, who treat everything and everyone as a “thing” are anexample.

Love is a compound of total doubt and total bliss, of the agreeable and disagreeable, of slavery and freedom.Love is the sum of all emotions. To be so split in mind and body, temporarily, is normal. Doubt and to analysis are permissible intermediaries, temporary suspensions of one’s unity.

We must doubt as part of the process of growing from one stage to another in our lives. To do this is against the grain of our lives; it reconciles our present or former beliefs with what we must (or are about) to become.

…when you are really desperate.When your doubt hits you hard, then you must know that this is nothing but life itself appearing to you from its two aspects of life lived and life to come.And both have to find their lawyer inside of you, their advocate.

As long as you know it, then you can doubt anything.Something is right formerly, and something has to be right tomorrow.That’s your real question. (p.28,29)

11.Thus, fruitful doubting is the process of change, at that crucial time of before and after, when our sense of identity disappears in the sense of a realization that we can no longer be what we were, but are not yet what we must become. It is the eternal process in all lives of new beginnings, which bring on new endings, of the Phoenix rising from the ashes, of resurrection and death, of our lives beginning all over again.

Lecture – 8

Doubt – the beginning of maturity and the 5th commandment for thought:

1/8The doubter is always a protester and a sufferer. To doubt means to stick one’s neck out, and this is especially difficult when one doubts commonly held values.To doubt is to take exception to some rule. To rule means to put the rule before the exception. Thus, to teach is both to doubt and to rule at different times.

2.The doubter can never succeed unless he/she learns to stand alone, to become an exception to the rule.

The doubter can never succeed in disabusing another of his strongly held ideas. For example, one could prove logically that a person (say a humanist) never practices humanism, but rather, lives by faith, love, and hope- but he will never admit this.

The humanist believes he is an “independent” thinker, self-made, and that dialogue benefits (circulates) for others, but not himself. (p.4) He tends to claim that all people are “good,” that criminal acts are accidents of a situation; he denies evil in the world.”We are all very evil…It’s better to admit it.” (p.7)

3.Persons who do not doubt their own thoughts at times, do not really wish to know the truth. ERH claims that most people hate the truth because it is often too painful. Likewise, the humanist also does not really seek the truth; no one does who is not a doubter of his own most coveted values.

We all carry doubts about ourselves inside us, if we will only admit it.We suffer shame, bashfulness, hypocrisy, fear, and vanity inside ourselves.THE ONLY TIME WE ACT TRULY AS INDIVIDUALS IS WHEN WE OVERTHROW THE RULES AROUND US AND RISK STANDING UP TO TRADITION. p.9In this instance, one declines to repeat what others do.

We do not exist (mentally) when we are born, we only become individuals in our own right when we begin to doubt conventions.

4.To doubt truth, then, is also to possibly learn by experience that our doubts were wrong, reinforcing a traditional truth.This step is necessary for true learning, of course. For example,one may practice monogamy out of habit, but only when one will stand up and declare, from practice, that it better fulfills life, will the practice be reinstituted every generation. To doubt truth in this way is not a negative, but rather a positive.One has demonstrated ability to learn and change with experience.

5.The doubter, by taking upon himself the risk of sinning, also acquires the first capacity for becoming a saint. How to transform sin into sanctityis your and my problem. (p.11,12)

For instance, to elope and live together without legal recognition may break the law; but then, if the marriage lasts 40 or 50 years a law has been reestablished. In this instance the man may say to the girl’s parents, “I eloped with your girl because you are just excessively strict, and we have to start a new life.” He may not be believed today, but will be tomorrow.

6.   I believe so that I may understand. (Anselm)

All great advances in life originate with doubters who are willing to live by their doubts, to say “I believe.”And this is to risk being a sinner. THIS IS WHY CHRISTIANITY ALLOWS REDEMPTION.To be redeemed is to doubtthe reason of advancing our knowledge and our models for behavior. To realize guilt.

To live this way is to become a person, an individual, to achieve a step in developing one’s soul, to acquire personal power in the process of renewing our life. This type of action renews the community as well, in the long run.

7.We are given life by our community.We first take orders from our parents, and our older brothers and sisters, and from authorities in the community.To be told is not acting in the first person singular, it is the second person singular.Only when we begin to doubt do we act in the first person.

We are, in this sense, acting as stages of grammar; to accept a command, “you” or “thee,” is second person. To doubt is first person, we say then “I”, believe.

8.Physical pain is abnormal and we avoid it, but mental suffering is a basic part of life that must be tolerated.All great inventors and thinkers have suffered the lag between the advancement of their new beliefs and the acceptance thereof. This is a gestation period for the community, as necessary as the wintering seed in the ground before spring flowering.ALL TRUE ADVANCES IN THOUGHT REQUIRE THIS TYPE OF SACRIFICE.

9.Time-span!There is a long time between being a “you” and acquiring the power to say “I.”There is a long time between being a student and a teacher, between listening to authority and being an authority.In mental life, the future always imposes itself on the present, driving the present in a basic way. We will not always (or should not always) be what we are at this moment.We should strive to become a future better person. The present and future are thus always in tension. If one lives one’s life only following the thinking of others,never doubting, one does not create a real future for himself. One remains spiritually stagnant.


1/9People, with rare exceptions, don’t want to see or tell the truth for whatever the reason, weakness, or unwillingness to face the pain. We often know, down deep what is wrong with ourselves, but we don’t face up to it. No longer does the confessional seem to serve the purpose of having us face up to it. THE POINT IS THAT IT TAKES GREAT MORAL COURAGE TO SEEK AND FACE THE TRUTH AND ACT ON IT WHEN APPROPRIATE.

There are many “enablers” to our blindness, psychoanalysts, palmists, graphologists, ministers, bar-tenders all help us avoid the truth, or make money off our willingness avoid it.

2.What is the sequence of public acceptance and why is doubtingso painful?1) The doubter is usually thought a fool, 2) others may say, “He didn’t discover it, someone else did” (reminds us of the adage, “No one is a prophet in his own land,” and 3) eventually others believe: “I knew it all along, there’s nothing new in that idea.” In other words, one is not taken seriously, or one is plagiarized, or denied originality.One only rarely gets credit for one’soriginality.

3.One must not mistake “newness” for significance.It is important to say something that is true, that is important in some context, and to say it for the first time.It may be important to tell one’s best friend, even, that he has bad breath.But one must do it correctly, in the right context and at the right time (when he is willing to listen).It is the same in proposing to a girl, or seeking a job, or attempting to influence the group.

4.Once one gains a reputation as a listener, as a thinker, and as a speaker of the truth, one begins to mature and become influential.One gains the reputation of rising above mere opinion.And one must also be willing to be quoted. “The whole difference between the devil and God is only this: that when you speak divinely, you are ready to be quoted.” (p.5)

5.Other facets of promulgating circulation of useful thought: OF RULING AND TEACHING.Veracity and verification.Veracity means one is willing to be quoted, willing to stand behind one’s statements. Verification comes with experience, with applying and testing the usefulness of an idea. Both are necessary in order to earn the right to be listened to and taken seriously.

Thus, truth splits into an subjective element (veracity), and an objective one (verification).

At times, one may come to believe something perhaps intuitively or believe that something must become truth, such as honesty. One may be willing to live the idea, and stand behind his words, but not have time to verify, leaving that to others.THE POINT IS, TO ESTABLISH TRUTH AND PROGRESS IN THE COMMUNITY ALL THREE STEPS MUST BE TAKEN, to speak out and have others to listen, to stand behind one’s speech, and finally to subject it to verification.

6.IT IS CRUCIAL TO UNDERSTAND THAT ALL TRUTHS FROM THE PAST MUST BE REINVENTED BY US ALL IN THE COURSE OF OUR MATURING.Thus, one must doubt the old truths, to re-establish them, or to prove them inoperable at some given point in time.Also, in the process of renewing old truths,meaning is given to them throughliving them out, being skeptical, and re-establishing their validity.One may believe one has discovered a new truth, only later to discover it is out of the past. This is often the process of renewal.

7.One must not refrain from speaking out something that is perhaps not understandable to the listener, if it is the truth.The listener must receive the truth, then learn its meaning.

We are all children throughout our lives, in the sense of having to constantly learn something new that we had not known before.One cannot begin this learning process by only dwelling on what the “child” or novice might understand.It is essential in the learning process to initially take new information on faith, follow it (assuming the speaker is valid or authoritative), and then verify it when possible.

And no member of any one age can afford to mask his own style, his own way of thinking by hiding it from the others.It is impossible to let the child believe that the parents just believe like the child.And it is impossible for the parents to let the child know that it is not allowed to think like a child. (p.13)

8.The child is not prepared to doubt, and must not be led to believe doubting acceptable.Only upon maturity does one become capable of doubting usefully. Anyone might doubt arbitrarily, stupidly, or destructively.That is not real doubting, it is mere ego operating.

Emotional states, such as doubt, or cynicism, or obedience or loyalty should not be exaggerated.They are passing moods and only partly related to finding truth.

You begin to be a person when you admit inside yourself this great ambition to understand what you have been told, which is very difficult; to speak up when it doesn’t seem to be true; and to verify the two things – that which you have kept, and that which you have found, in your own application to your own business…p.15

9.Education and language – carriers of the spirit

Education is enormously expensive in any context, at any age.The community cannot afford to educate us for our own personal use per se. It is assumed therefore that we are thus obligated to receive and circulate our thought for the benefit of the community.

It is important to distinguish between “speaking” and “talk.”We talk all throughout the day, about weather, about chores, etc. To speak is to need to influence others on some significant issue, to commit one’s self on some issue (i.e. marriage, or in giving evidence.)Only much more occasionally do we truly speak by this definition, as compared to mere talking. Talk is less than speech!

“When the president of the United States says to Russia, `We’ll go to Berlin,’ he speaks.In the mean time, we all have talked about the possibilities about the encounter with the Russians. (p.22)

“As long as you think that your thought is just your private business, you don’t see this wonderful universe of the mind in which at every moment there is either right teaching or wrong teaching.Right ruling, or wrong ruling.And your talk is the premeditation to replace anything wrong in the teaching and ruling of the world by the right.That’s why it is so important that you should see that your preparation for the mind — mental life at this moment leads into some stream that is streaming all the time, because all the time the world is ruled and taught.There’s no cessation. You are the contributory stream, but you are brought up to this terrible fiction that what you think is your private business, and that it has no consequences.” (p.23)

10.  “Whether you decide you are (in a) blind alley (in your thoughts), or whether you decide that the world is waiting to be refreshed by your more correct and more recent, more vigorous speech makes all the difference for the treatment –for the way you will treat your own mind.If it is all just within this skull of yours, immured, then you have no reason to make any effort…If it is only your private property, then the children only must be kept happy.But if learning, as I told you, is the promise of your one day teaching, then you have to learn something. (p.23)

11.Just as our umbilical cord at pre-birth connects us with our physical heritage, our mind is an umbilical cord to the mental life of the community. Ultimately, we should strive to become a teacher and ruler in the most general sense (even of a small group, or of our household), and this “umbilical cord” to the community spirit is maintained. Thought is circulated to preserve the vital spirit of the community, just as our blood circulated to vitalize our physical bodies.


13.Referring to the difference between speech and talk, we can only truly speak and expect to be listened to when the spirit moves us, which is to say, not all the time.

14.Different divisions of labor means different roles in the community.The artist is the eternal child,describing his/her emotional response to experience of the world as he finds it. He functions in the present always, but not in the future. Artists are thus untiringly plastic. They are impressed by the miraculousness of the world, accepting it as is.

The soldier is untiringly protesting, resisting, contradicting and thus untiringly hard in his attempt to change the world. The priest attempts to overcome prejudices (inflexible attitudes), the plastic nature of artists,or the hard boiled rigidity of the soldier. He cares not whether what he uses is old or new. Old or new makes no difference. Prejudice is the opposite; it takes the same approach constantly. In the circulation of thought, one must see the appropriate method at the appropriate time.

15.(RF – This notion of the priest, the soldier, and artist represents condensations of not ten but what he later expanded into twelve “commandments” or “tones of the spirit” by 1961. What he called the artist represented the four qualities descriptive of both childhood and one’s behavior when entering a new field. In both instances one is the novice, where the role is to listen, read, learn, and play (experiment). Then in the next stage where “idea” is merged with action; this then is what he calls the role of the soldier here, the fighter. This role combines the actions of doubter, critic, protester, and sufferer.

Finally he defines the role of “priest,” to combine the roles of leader or legislator, teacher, prophet, and bestower.The three primary roles then represent the main functions in the circulation of thought and spirit. Of course, any thinking person at one time or another participates in all 12 functions, but the primary roles are the most emphasized by these persons.That is, the beginning stage of new thought (represented by the image of the child), the active stage of putting into practice in the community (the adult stage) and the final stage of “elder.”)

…everybody who wants to obey God’s will must find out what in his own good time is needed most.At this moment I think in this country teaching is needed, and saintliness is needed, much more than politicians. (p.31)

16.Finally ERH points out that, at every moment of life there is some activity that requires mentality and action. At each time when a decision needs to be made, someone’s idea must be used, someone must lead, must speak out, must educate, must fight. In the right sequence of actions, the 10 commandments are to be employed. THERE IS NEVER A VACUUM.

Lecture – 10

1/10The meaning of significant acts is not visible or apparent except in retrospect. This is one reason why most TV and especially sensationalism is so devoid of meaning, so inconsequential. Important decisions are identified by being followed up through sustained actions that demonstrate that meaning.Thought by itself is impotent.

“Jesus was invisible before he was resurrected.”

2.In a like way, differences in Christian sects are inconsequential, what is important is, “does humankind have a future.”Catholic, Protestant, Fundamentalist notwithstanding. The seed of potential is sown in the dark inside of the spirit, and only becomes known (outside) in time.

Here again he supports the notion that there is no heaven separate from earth. “God created one world only.”

Values can only be represented by those who have gone before us; only looking back can we discern their meaning. TRUTH AND OTHER ABSTRACTIONS MUST BE EMBODIED IN CONCRETE EXPERIENCE – OTHERWISE THERE IS NO UNDERSTANDING.

Goodness is the quality of a man, or of a woman, or of a human being.Truthfulness, the same. Otherwise we don’t know what it is…Whenever you use an adjective, it has to be derived from a noun.And the noun is a living (character). And we have nothing else to go by. (p.7)

3.The history of our schools, colleges and universities is based on the idea of regenerating the 10 commandments of learning, on the notion that teachers must beget students and all values must have forbearers. [Dartmouth is “Greek” in spirit because students live together, their associations based on an unintellectual communion. The University of Paris and others where students do not live in have communionbased only on the intellectual.

Doubt, the 5th commandment, is the basis for all higher learning. Thus, the 10 commandments (later to be called “the 12 tones of the spirit” are the basis for educating the population. (pp.8-10)

4.The evolution of new thought goes through three stages.Stage 1 of cycle: the promulgator of a new idea stands alone, nobody to back him up. Socrates is put to death, Nietzsche goes insane because nobody understood their new thought. This is the plight of all original thinkers. Stage 2, a small group makes a science of the idea (organizes it). Stage 3, the idea becomes commonplace, the science is accepted and finds its way into examinations. (p.13)

So the cycle of new ideas, first, one, next a few, next many, and finally commonplace (all).This cycle ERH asserts is universal for all new thought. For example, the Reformation was the point when theology became commonplace, the Bible was translated into the vernacular.”To have, to begin a new cycle takes the whole life of a person…” (p.17)

5.In the next few pages ERH shows how different stages of the cycle are emphasized by the culture of four countries. In France the individual (expert) is venerated, in Germany the small group of experts (scholars). In England learning (for the elite) is venerated, and in America, the single genius, the few scholars, and education is assumed to be within reach of everyone (and therefore none are venerated. In each of these countries, the (select) cannot sin.(Except in America, where only the athletic hero,or man-in-the-street cannot sin.) These values reflect to a great extent the mental life in each of these four cultures.

6.The so called “Western” countries are defined less by geographic boundaries, but rather a spiritual life – which incidentally is in danger of extinction. This is because no one country embraces the whole cycle. p.24All cultures attempt to achieve life everlasting, but the vital circulation of thought in Western Society is in danger because each of the four countries specializes and therefore isolates itself from the complete process of the regeneration of thought.

Lecture – 11

1/11These stages must be carried out in sequence to define a completeness by which the progress of thinking can be achieved.Any break in the chain precludes growth.The danger in these countries is that they tend to venerate only one part of the chain. In America little is venerated but the common man, and this results in little respect for genius, scholarship, or education. Observe, for instance, the lack of respect teachers receive and how poorly public schools are funded.

2.We are called to action either by someone else, or by self-determination. By listening to and obeying either commands from others, or commands from inside us.Both are valid, but we must be sensitive to which we are doing and which the community needs.

The phrase “thank you” means someone else has done something for me, something I need and cannot do without. This illustrates our own thinking comes from outside us at times, producing “electricity in the brain.”Our independence is not an independence from others, but an independence to think, to be creative.

3.The point being that there are higher powers which may determine what we do, as opposed to our own will, higher powers being a calling, an authority, leadership, inspiration, intuition.

4.During the next several pages ERH provides numerous examples of the cultural traits of French, German, English, and Americans trapped in their narrow view of their culture as described above.

He applauds these differences, BUT WARNS, no one stage is complete in itself, and the fullness of life can only be realized where there exists an opportunity to realize the power of all. Example, physicists in Europe theorized about automobiles, while Ford made cars for “everyman.”No one in Europe thought of that!It is only the sum of the creativity–

The connection of the four countries that have produced what you call “Western Civilization.” (p.16)

And each country seems blind to the fact that its view of life is not universal, but only a part of the larger system. (p.18)

5.There is a time factor crucial to understanding the stages.It takes time for each stage to unfold. The more people to be influenced for change, the longer the time needed.”It takes 30 years to change a college,”or perhaps a lifetime of one person.

Lecture – 12

1/12To illustrate the “insane veneration” of individualism in America, of everybody for himself, and few ever acting for the community ERH cites the phenomenon of McCarthyism. Example, the Republican party in Wisconsin could not do anything about McCarthy (during the l950’s), although everyone thought he was a scoundrel. In England, the elite would never have allowed such individualism.

MAJORITY RULE, as in America (if and when practiced) is open to gross errors

because the majority is fickle and can change from one week to the next. Majority rule is impossible.

2.The basic principle working for minority rule is that only a minority of some type is willing to sacrifice, and the spirit of sacrifice is necessary to solve the difficult problems of society and social change. .


One must live under the influence of another point of view for some time in order to get a feel for its advantages and disadvantages.Then and only then can one devise a system that includes the strengths of all.

4.ERH likens a decline in thought to “soil erosion” in wasteful farming.He calls it “soul erosion,” or mind erosion.To live only for one’s self would orient us to attend to our momentary passions, an attitude which is not only selfish, but destroys the future.Any future must rise with a community spirit, otherwise there is anarchy. Thus, the attitude venerating the”commonness” of the common thinker only is bound to destroy the community.

5.The phrase “thank you” means someone else has done something for me that I need and that cannot do without.What illuminates our own thinking comes from outside us, producing the “electricity of the brain” (inspiration).Our independence is not an independence from others, but an independence to think, to be creative.

6.Education, language, and a community at peace:

Education is a public activity, to prepare students to participate in the community, which is to say, to sacrifice for the community!The community does not exist to make people independent or happy, it is the other way around. And happiness, or a sense of fulfillment, comes as a side effect.

Community peace is brought about by a cooperative spirit.Cooperation and participation in the community in turn is brought about by a mutual respect for the integrity (sacredness) of language.

7.Aware, intelligent, sensitive people can see that the common occurrence in the community is that most of the time its condition goes from better to worse. It is the great thinkers, the prophets who are willing to act on their knowledge and who to sacrifice, who to endow future communities with a regenerative spirit,who are able to turn this situation around.

Lecture – 13

1/13The idea goal for Dartmouth College, after four years, is to know what to do, how to act, and what to read, “…and how to keep going with your reading, because it’s a long life.” (p.7)Reading cannot be accidental (this is the fourth level or commandment).

2.It is too easy to allow ourselves to drift in some backwater of life, spiritually undeveloped.Sin is embedded in an unwillingness to participate in the community. One must learn to identify the “type of waters they swim in.”Swimming (living) in brackish, shallow, or putrid or stagnant water suffocates; one is cut from the stream of vital life.

ERH claims we are the best informed people in the world, but we lack wisdom about the meaning of that information. We lack basic knowledge, and most of all, have not been taught the 10 COMMANDMENTS OF THOUGHT DEVELOPMENT.

3.Movements rise and fall. We must be aware of these pulses of human endeavor.

The same fact can strike us in four ways, as a curiosity, as presenting hard work for us, as a need for education, or as a new enthusiasm and inspiration.

“What I owe you, is to tell you that your own life must bestride all four of these dimensions.” (p.18)

4.Primary Dimensions of Thought

The life in the community involves three basic dimensions: theology (unifying our thought), philosophy (ordering our thought), and sociology (acting on our thought). These questions in antiquity were represented by plurality, many gods, many worlds, and many peoples.TODAY (and since 1100) we accept the notion that there is one god (or none), one world (that is, one science for describing it) and one humankind. (p.18,19)

The latter (one mankind) is not commonly resolved yet, but we in this country tend to believe that the characteristics of all people are the same.

The “believer” says there is one God and he looks down on me, the Atheist says, “I look down on god, I create god from my rationalism.”


5.Anselm founded the science of theology, reached, not by faith alone, but also by logic. (p.22,23) Abelard wrote the first book on theology.The revolutionary idea was that knowledge of God could be achieved outside the “faith.”

The ancient gods of humanity were inventions of mankind.

Anselm started the new theology by saying that one living God of Christianity was so much alive that He always was greater than any concept of God developed by any of the believers so far; that the first statement of God, or about God in theology therefore had to be: God is greater than your concept of God. (p.25)

He concluded this because all people who came to confessionwere sinners and needed absolution in order to remain functional in the community.The argument is:

that if a man has the courage to be — that is, to accept his own follies and weaknesses — he will find that he can be forgiven, but he has to accept them.He cannot say, “I am faultless.” And he cannot say, “God is narrow.”He has to admit the two paradoxes of the Anselmian theology: that your sins are as scarlet red, and that God is greater than all mind can register about His judicial, so to speak, capacity, and His mercy.” (p.26)

6.In other words, the beginning point of this logic is that God is a dynamic being which is always greater than your ability to understand experience.

The difference between theology and religion can be described this way: Anyone who has lived 20 years, who has been cared for, loved, taught language, passed examinations, been spoken to (given orders), has believed (in the existence of the world, of society, and of love).He has believed for 20 years. THAT’S RELIGION.

“It’s your religion that a teacher in Dartmouth College is not going to cheat you, or to do you special harm, or disqualify you for the future.That’s all faith.” (p.28,29)

Theology then is the science of those values we are willing to sacrifice for. There are many religions, some weak, some incomplete, some non-regenerative. Science is a religion to many, as are love, lust, money, or power.

Lecture – 14

Principles of Science and Christian Theology

1/14Anselm, Abelard, and Thomas Aquinas heraldeda new age, they changed the meaning of theology from a science of the gods, to a knowledge of one living God. The difference is fundamental because it meant a change from the gods as abstractions, to a God which was manifest through human behavior; this in turn meant that the state of society was to be controlled by humans. This knowledge was brought about by analyzing our doubts about ourselves.Doubt, despair, despondency has enlarged our vision of God. p.2

2.It is not possible to love all people, as we are admonished to do in a democracy.Many people have closed themselves to listening and learning how to be humane contributors to the community.

…the males in this country have lost the integrity of their minds.The women have lost the integrity of their bodies, and they (both men and women) go fumbling on.They seemingly are alive, but they aren’t alive, because the greatest powers that bind them into the process of the human spirit is already killed, already dead.Absolutely dead.They seem to live, but they live like weeds.They live from birth to death, but who cares?They are burdens on the community. (p.3)

They all have a religion (one’s religion is whatever one will sacrifice for), but these chosen religions are “second rate,”weak, inadequate, or the religions of the devil. They destroy the regenerative spirit of the community). IN SHORT, THEY ARE RELIGIONS THAT PUT THE CREATIVE PART OF ONE’S SPIRIT FOR SALE.Note how, for instance, the values of commerce determine so many major decisions, especially political decisions.

Examples: resistance to raising the minimum wage because it “costs too much,” we can’t afford clean air, or water because it costs too much; destroying the living environment for wild animals is justified because it creates jobs; we will not tax ourselves to repair schools, roads, bridges, or to enforce laws, or protect our national parks.We are the richest country in the world, but we make many judgements on the basis of dollar value RATHER THAN WHAT WILL CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR THE COMMUNITY.

The religion of commerce seems to dominate in this and other countries.It is this type of religion to which ERH refers.

As soon as he (any man) begins to think that the creative part of you and me, is for sale, and he treats me as somebody who can be bribed…anybody who declines to call a spade a “spade” and says all men are venial, all men are for sale, everybody can be talked into anything — he is the devil. (p.4)

3.Our Will to Power

ERH goes on to suggest that the plumber needs power to fashion a steel pipe, or the leader to govern needs power, but the power of the spirit required to lead any group into the future comes from other things.Any elected official who wants to be elected to acquire power should be voted out of office.

Power without function and accountability always leads to monopolies and dictatorships.

The religious experience begins with the prayer, “Thy will be done” and not “My will be done.”The prayer of the man who seeks power is, “Give me that, so that I can do my will.” (p.7)

4.You are your mother’s son.You are your father’s son. You are your children’s future father and begetter….These are the things that mold your will.You must learn what to will. (p.7)

Power varies. In one situation you will and should have power, in another, not. Power can disappear at a moment’s notice . Danger increases power, and dictators are necessary in emergencies. No rule follows in all situations.

5.Other aspects of our experience: at times we are right and our will should be done, we are in tune with the “divine,” and superior to a situation.At others we are wrong and need to be opposed as inferior to a situation.

Religion is the way in which you split yourself into service, or obedience, or suffering, or passivity, and acceptance of what comes to you, and obstinacy, and upheaval, and rebellion.This religion every man has…Where is God? Partly He’s in us, partly He’s against us.

Some experience is not what it seems to be; natural science centers around this type of experience, that nothing is what it seems in the world of things. All natural science looks behind appearances.

6.The point ERHis driving at is that when any action functions properly we need no theories, we just accept it for what it produces.But the moment things go wrong, we need theories to help us take action to correct (as far as possible) phenomena, or at least understand them better.The weather, for instance.”Science is always the answer to an experience of incompetency. Religion, as long as it functions, doesn’t need theology.” (p.11)

7.Science begins with prophets of doom. Marx predicted the end of free enterprize. And Republicans, terrified, especially after the 1929 crash, have made the state of the economy in the US into a collective enterprise.Therefore we no longer have free, private enterprize in this country, we have collective enterprize. Economics is a questionable science!

Prophets of doom serve the purpose of warning society, of rendering it capable of inoculating itself against the danger.This is why we control inflation so closely.THERE CAN BE NO SCIENCE OF SOCIETY THAT CAN’T PREDICT ITS OWN.In Biblical terms:

What the Bible always says: they have ears and can’t hear; they have eyes and can’t see.All Americans have eyes and can’t see at this moment….You boast of its statistics, of its productivity, of its wealth, of its standard of living. Don’t you see its weaknesses? (p.18)

ERH asserts in many essays that at present there is no “recognized” science of society. Science in any field demonstrates its viability when it shows it can cope with any crisis. (p.12)

You may have a science of politics when the first sentence of this politics book will read, “All societies come to the end of their rope.There is no state that will not be superseded by another state.”(p.14)

When we foresee downfalls of societies it means we might prevent it from happening. So science is a vaccination against defeat.

8.It was the breakdown of the church, a realization of its weaknesses that created a science of theology.What was the doubt in the year 1100 which motivated the creation of theology?A realization that man was so weak that no God would tolerate him.Therefore the existence of God was thrown into doubt. Theology is useful only as long as mankind despairs of itself.Psychoanalysis has been a substitute for theology only for the last 60 years.”…psychoanalysis is the negative aspect of theology with the answer, “There is no answer; there is no God.”(p.21)

9.Any science always needs three persons, or stages to be created: 1) the person who cries out passionately, “THERE IS A PROBLEM, I AM IN DESPAIR, I CAN’T STAND IT ANY LONGER.” 2) The person who hears the cry and comforts him, and cries out in turn for help. “Where is the expert?”3) Then comes that endeavor of the human spirit to inform the comforter and give him the competent answer for the special despair.These stages apply to all sciences;”…the growing forest, the forester on the spot, and the science of forestry.” (p.23)or in medicine, thepatient, the doctor, and the medical researcher for the disease.

And in church, the minister does not have to know theology as long as he/she is successful in helping members of the congregation. But when things break down, the theologian (theoretician) is to be called in.

The church lived happily without theology for 900 years, then its load of contradictions began to break it down, causing doubts.The whole history of Christianity, ERH asserts, is rife with contradictions. There are four Gospels and they all contradict each other.ONLY CHRISTIANITY ADMITS TO THIS CONDITION. No other religion has more than one Gospel, not Chinese, not Japanese, or Islam.

10.Thus, from the Bible, “the letter killeth.” (Our spoken contradictions). And therefore we must find the common spirit among these contradictions. (p.27,8)

ERH eloquently describes how this “Christian religion of despair” is a religion of progress, of creating a future by way of understanding the common denominators of the exceptions to the rules. For instance, one cannot protect one’s children at the expense of other children in the community. One must find balance. As situations change, rules change. Scientific principles change as new evidence requires. But this does not destroy science, because it is the spirit of the scientists that persists.In a like way, principles of a social order will change; what was right yesterday is not right today or will not be tomorrow.It is the love of people, a faith in their spirit that will build on changes.Thus, science and faith are not contradictory, they require each other; the scientists has faith in his method even though he knows that today’s theories will be disproven tomorrow.

11.Abelard was the first to apply this concept in Christianity; he discovered the principle of scientific progress.One makes progress by forgetting (setting aside) what has been learned,that is no longer relevant.

In this sense, any scientist must be willing to dismiss the theories of his own time if evidence and his logic indicates this must be done to understand some new event.


1/15The many contradictions between different groups in the Catholic church at the turn of the first millennium motivated Abelard and Anselm (of Canterbury) to organize the many “ideas” about Catholicism in these groups into some unity. In other words, create a scienceor theology to unify church doctrine. WHAT CAME OUT OF THIS WAS THE UNIVERSITIES OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

2.Whenever there exists contradictions between different units of any practice, or generally speaking, whenever contradictory data appears in any field, it means that present theories are inadequate to explain those contradictions.THIS MEANS THAT A NEW, MORE BROAD FRAMEWORK OR THEORY NEEDS TO BE DEVELOPED TO UNIFY AND THEREFORE EXPLAIN THOSE CONTRADICTIONS – rendering them compatible. Such a new framework exceeds the previous conceptions.A classic example of this in modern science would be Einstein’s new theory of relativity, which assumed a new conception of the universe.

The primary effect of such new thinking is to indicate what, of the old theories, explains only unique events, and what is to be retained as generalized knowledge.

3.This is precisely what happened in the Catholic church.That which was previously “known” had to be replaced by what was presently unknown.

Obviously, the pioneers in this process are always thought to be crazy or heretics, regardless of the field of study.

The man who’s not polite, who is tough, and gruesome, and quarrelsome, is probably the man who has the real ideas. (p.3)

The first principle of new thinking is:

Progress is done at the risk of abandonment, abandon the old securities.You cannot have progress without sacrificing safety. (p.5)

The second is the principle of higher logic. Relativity and calculus in mathematics represent such jumps in logic.

4.Such a jump in the Catholic church at this time (1100) began with an attack on the logic of the Aristotelian syllogism: all men are mortals, and Socrates is mortal; therefore he must die.THE NEW TWIST WAS TO RAISE THE QUESTION, “What about the fact that Socrates’ spirit didn’t die?”But physically he is dead!

THIS IS THE MEAT OF PARADOX, AND WHEN THIS OCCURS THE CONTRADICTION BECOMES IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND.Socrates is both dead and alive.Reconciling such a paradox creates new and important insight into our understanding of experience.Both statements are true, but seem to contradict. We both love mankind and hate mankind. The soldier must kill the enemy, and also be compassionate toward him. (International code speaks against shooting prisoners of war.) In this example, the solder is asked also act like a civilian at the same time. Individually, we are sinners and saints at the same time.

5.ERH points out that we can grow only if we can understand such paradox in social science. “This is Abelard’s discovery, that the same thing may be true and not true at the same time….A university,…is a place where at the same time opposite truths are taught on the same subject.” (p.10)

6.Any action that is to be fruitful can only function when one point of view as to method is employed.One point of view at a time.As is indicated above, life is never so simple that one rule will apply at any given situation. Therefore, when several methods or points of view prevail, only one can be used at a time.

We can conclude also that any single point of view is enriched (rendered more understandable) when one is conscious of an opposing view. Plato calls for Aristotle, conservatism calls for liberalism (no change calls for change). THIS, ERH CALLS HIGHER LOGIC. p.11

We know that it is the heart of life, that our minds are so tyrannical, so absolutist, that the mind must be opposed by mind.

It is no merit to have unanimity in mental cases.The hearts must be united, and the minds must oppose each other…Your heart must be united, but not your mind.

You remember…that soul and mind are totally different. Here you discover the practical need for dialectics,…One person saying, “This illness comes from this reason,” and the other saying the very opposite.And they must not stone each other, but they must invite opposition in the mind.As long as their souls remain united…The soul is one, the heart one.The hearts of man must remain one. (p.12)

Lecture – 16

1.To become human, to rise above the purely animal state, we must attempt to find a true conception of the world, and of our experience.One early step in this process is distinguishing the characteristics of phenomena so that we can find some modicum of order to understand our experience.Otherwise we end up with any number of mental complexes and frustrations that create barriers to any fulfilling life.

Classification is fundamental to the process of “ordering.” The most fundamental events in our lives are our own nature, the nature of things, and the nature of the powers that control nature. Another way of putting these questions would be, the nature of humankind, of things, and of God.The second step is to identify not only general characteristics but also uniqueness of events, and to ascertain the meaning of each as related to our daily decision making. For instance, what are the universal qualities of all humans, and what is unique about Abraham Lincoln, orJimmy Smith; what do we carry into the future and how do we interpret events in the present?

To classify “rightly” is always controversial, but controversy, when entered into in the spirit of finding truth, is the essential key to growth and change. All important issues are controversial by definition until some modicum of agreement settles the issue (at least for a time).

2.The true university must bring out the opposing (controversial) logic to any problem.We progress only when, confronted with powerful, convincing logic and evidence against our own beliefs, we are willing to renounce those principleswe hold to be most obvious. This is accomplished in a spirit of acceding to a “voluntary ignorance.” Willingness to doubt is crucial for finding truth.

For example, when Max Planck in 1900 said there was no gradual increase in quantity, he opposed common logic. His opposing view had never been investigated before,but “quanta” bunches are now commonly accepted as true. He developed a higher logic to explain both apparent gradual increase and quantum increases in energy.

3.We must constantly remind ourselves that growth comes only with our capability to change, to become free of our own out-dated dogmatism and prejudices. A celebration of Easter is the celebration of the notion of the ability to change, to be reborn.

Those who do not dare to disagree with the opinions of the majority have no hope in achieving progress…”The higher logic consists of a higher step than that of the syllogism. In a true university, paradoxical truth must be taught, for it is only by this method that progress can take place.”(pp. 5,6)

“…By abandoning the old securities and sacrificing safety, the new principles can be brought forth…Each side (in a debate) is convinced that it is wholly right and denies the existence of a grain of truth in the opposing argument.The result is a distortion of truth by each side….Disagreement is the heart of university life…Abelard discovered the same thing can be true and not true at the same time. (p.6)

The essence of this insight is thatevents may possess two apparently opposing qualities, the general and the particular.

4.Accurate classification is necessary in order to determine cause and effect. For instance, the French revolution represented the secularization of the University of Paris, which had begun as a Christian institution. The revolution was a “religious event, more than a political event.” (p.11-16)This secularization indicated a major shift in thinking in France at the time.

5.We often go astray in our thinking by over-generalizing which leaves us at best with only half-truths. Paradox occurs when we find contradictions in our explanations of events. Paradox then signals the need for some higher truth that will render opposing theories compatible.For instance, before 1950 the properties of light were seen to have two distinct properties, with no single theory rendering one compatible with the other.Eventually the broader theory evolved, integrating the two.

The Trinity is another paradox of two opposing, simultaneous truths so that at each moment we must think and act with three time-frames in mind -past, present, and future.

The Romans fought for their civil peace.And Christ fought for the future…the Jews represented the holy past…The university is an image of Christianity, of this paradox that the Father is right, and the Son is right, and the Holy Spirit is right, although we think they speak different truths. (p.7)

The Jews were with the Father, and therefore the Son is blasphemous.The Christians said they were with both Father and Son. And the Romans wanted civil peace in the present. “Not the Holy Spirit, but the good spirit of the Rotary Club” (i.e. some agreement that would maintain civil peace). All sides are right. That we must attempt to consider all three time frames in making significant decisions is the lesson. In practice, one or another may need to be emphasized, depending upon the situation. But establishing a unity (peace) across time is essential to progress.

Antigone’s situation is the same, i.e. both Antigone and Creon are right. ERH goes on to describe how the University of Paris was begun by Abelard in 1170 and incorporated in 1180. This institutionalization cast it into the political arena, and this in turn created a bureaucrat to whom Abelard must report. Abelard however, represented another school of thought opposing the government authority (Bishop of Paris). The paradox is, of course, that we must have stability in our thinking, yet be willing to doubt and change. In each of these cases, higher principles are to be found that unified the opposing authorities.

THIS WAS THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTION OF THE MEDIEVAL PRINCIPLE, that progress is established by allowing for opposing points of view. The University of Paris was the first formal manifestation of this new idea in the church.

6.The principle was not to allow anyone to hold a vested interest in his own view to the exclusion of other views. Thus, at the University of Paris, the archbishop was a life-time appointment, but the influence of Abelard (his first student became Pope Alexander III), eventuated in faculty being elected that the Bishop could not overrule.To this day the administration represents one point of view, usually opposed by faculty.Democracy lives by election, monarchy lives by inheritance.

7.It is a truism that any government or point of view BECOMES DISTORTED WHEN LEFT BY ITSELF, UNOPPOSED.Thus, everything needs to be open to doubt at some time.Government always becomes oppressive, and can only function humanely when checked.

8.The new Christian dogma, discovered at the time of the formation of the medieval university, was that evolution and growth occurs when apparent opposing truths are reconciled with the discovery of higher principles.

“…that new truth has to be discovered every moment…that although God created the world, man became free in the middle of time.”(at the birth of Jesus)(p.16-16)

Free, that is, by being allowed to correct error in thinking. By doubting. This principle is inherent to Christianity.

(RF -This phrase, “…became free in the middle of time,”in essence refers to the integrating characteristic of Christianity. That is, the recognition that the truths of opposing religions from the past were partial truths.And to invoke the powers of all of these truths freed humankind from the bondage of narrower points of view. ERH expands on this idea in another essay.)

9.Evidence and logic can establish laws of nature, but can never anticipate human actions because humankind is capable of change.

“…we are not to be deduced by logical reasons in our best quality of being new, of being somebody for the first time…In as far as you are capable of a new thought, you are a new creature.”Growth usually comes from the unexpected. (p.17)

We are thus not slaves of stimulus response (except at the lowest automatic elements of our nervous system)- our freedom is proven by new thought.

10.The second dogma of Christianity is the separation of mind and soul.Mind, the logical part of our thinking, is different from soul (that part of our psyche that motivates a decision and prompts action on that decision. This is because new thought conflicts, by definition, with our “old” common sense, from our old logic.IN OTHER WORDS, NEW LOGIC, A HIGHER, MORE COMPREHENSIVE LOGIC, IS AT WAR WITH OUR OLD HABITS OF THOUGHT, and therefore cannot derive from the same source as the old “mind.”One part of our being must overcome another part.It is natural for us to wish to agree with others, and at times difficult and even dangerous to disagree.To what extent would you avoid disagreeing with some authority with the power to destroy you? This (second dogma) implies the higher power or strength or courage it takes at times to change! (p.18)

11.The Augustinian definition of this principle runs:

In necessaries, unity; in doubtful, freedom — liberty; in all, charity.” (p.19)

In a school of higher learning this dictum must be the guide. In elementary school learning is largely by rote.The essence of the life of themind is contradiction and freedom, while still living together in peace.

The peace of mankind depends on chaotic and explosive power of diversification AND on the peace-making power of the human heart.Mind in conflict with love, an integration of both mind (your logic at war with the logic of another) and soul.

12.The social qualities necessary to carry out this principle are faith, hope and charity. These cannot be willed by us directly:

They either surround us, like the atmosphere, or like the water in which we swim, or they don’t…(p.22/16)

This is why, to become truly human, one must participate in society; one cannot learn to swim by standing on land.

13.Necessity, doubt, and faith (charity) become manifest in three ages of living: 1) the elder represents authority, necessity, determination of what must be learned, 2) middle age represents doubt, when “authority,” the old ways no longer work, and finally 3) the child symbolizes the acceptance of authority, and love, unifying both authority and doubt.These three elements – the child, the adult and the elder – establish the power of the whole human race to progress. Here is yet another dimension of the Trinity.

14.The Trinity is manifest in our levels of education.In the university is represented the three profiles (generations) necessary for the circulation of thought in the direction of human progress: authority, the fighter (of authority), and love; or the elder, the adult, and the child. These principles, in terms of professional roles carried on past formal schooling, are the priest, the soldier, and the artist. The priest represents the ultimate moral authority, the soldier (meaning the fighter for new ideas) is the doubter.The artist (ERH asserts) is child-like in his drive to express his emotional response to events, unconcerned with past or future.

In contrast to higher education, in the elementary school only two generations are represented; there is no distinction between authority and doubt, as the child has no logical basis to doubt.

15.Another Christian discovery was that, since humankind begins as an animal with only the CAPABILITY for rising above a purely animal state, new-borns must change not only physically and mentally, but spiritually as well. This capability for change occurs only through language, and when it occurs we say one begins the journey to “human.” In Christian terms this means capable of being creative (thinking for one’s self) and acting on one’s thought to participate in improving the community. Clearly, such evolution requires freedom to seek truth and act on it.

16.To acquire these “human traits” allows one to rise above “natural” pettiness, jealousy, greed, and cowardice, while engendering a potential for creativity, courage, willingness to sacrifice for the community.A community voluntarily at peace is evidence that these principles are being practiced that “…the word becomes flesh.”

…when the whole man — child, adult, and elder in you and me come to life together, the world is as new as on the first day of creation.Something tremendous happens. Cathedrals are built.Cities are built. Kingdoms — nations are rising. (p.30)



1.The problem with education inAmerica today is that it is directionless; a common dogma is that education is good for its own sake. But the question arises, “What is to be its direction?” It concentrates on facts, on data, and even some analysis, but when there is analysis it is arbitrary.(RF – ala Whitehead, THE AIMS OF EDUCATION, 1923, p.18)In all levels of education there must be three elements:

1) Necessity and therefore authority, 2) Freedom to doubt andfight for new insights when the old ones no longer seem to explain our experience. 3) Faith – a willingness to obey, to accept authority (until the stage of doubt sets in.) These levels are representative of social roles – the elder, the adult, and the child – and also reflective of three time-spans – past, present, and future.

God is the power that makes us speak at this moment, andHe commands us to listen as well; and that gives us common understanding with each other.The goal of education must be to create students who will listen to necessity, who will doubt and fight for truth, and who will respond (obey) commands towardcreating a future.Of course there are trade schools for working skills. BUT HOW DO WE MAKE A COMMUNITY? That must be the integrating goal of education, and trade schools, language, the classics, science and math are a subordinate part.

2.Knowledge is not education, because knowledge cannot decide what is necessary, what is dubious, and what is the charity between (us)… (p.5)

Why charity?Because, to create a community one must conquer jealousy, greed, and avarice, and know what friendship is. Otherwise, in our differences,we kill each other!

We must have unity between generations as to what is necessary. Community-building takes generations, and societies go in circles and tear themselves apart by disciplines going in different directions.There must be some stability in basic values.And of course we must doubt, in order to correct error. This trinity of purpose must unite all traditional subject matter.

3.The educated person rises above his own time, and his own animal instincts; the uneducated person is the slave of present demands and emotions. Only with such unity and sustaining of curriculum can education create the power to raise one above the temperament of the chimpanzee.

The educated person translates his own time in the context of history; in the context of past and future generations. One’s own “time” is always corrupting!

It’s the essence of religion to do this….to get man outside his own mere time…That’s why education without religion and religion without education is impossible. (p.16)

The jump in terminology from community building to religion is an accurate

description of the purpose of both religion and education. Our only indicator of a religious accomplishment is a community in which people live together voluntarily, and in peace.Our present communities are full of violence between warring social groups, within and without. That is why religion is inconceivable without education and action.

4.Democratic government is insufficient as a goal for education. The minimum requirement for government (secular law) is to organize people to get along with a minimum of agreement (to have a modicum of social unity and live in peace.)It deals with crime, inheritance, taxes, regardless of existing religions.

The purpose of Canon law assumes the necessity of finding the maximum of agreement between people, between the parts of their lives, because living is more than mere government.It deals with our attitude, our willingness to act, to support causes, to rise above our animal nature for survival. Only participation and sacrifice builds humane communities. Mere government does not motivate for such sacrifice.There is no possibility of progress without religion.

5.Even churches must compromise (sacrifice). In Bologna the medieval church compromised with the emperor regarding the division between secular and divine authority – the government having authority over physical property and the church determining who could marry. The Renaissance mentality was a secular shift in the medieval attitude, making no distinction between Canon law and imperial law, thus representing a strong Protestant influence.


1.Compromise is essential between institutions because, as stated above, any idea or institution left by itself will eventually get out of hand. THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF DEMOCRACY IS A BALANCE OF FORCES. At this time in America there is no higher education in law; there is only a discussion of cases – as in the journals.This is to say, there is no discussion of the merits of cases, no discussion of justice – it is all politics sans the balance of direction (religion). Observe in any daily paper the absurd judgments laid down by the courts at times.

ERH gives a vivid example of how a superb medical institution was created in Medieval times through doubting and compromise between medical theories and practices. Norman princes ruled Sicily, Genoa, Naples, and Salerno. Any European travelers to the Holy land (including Crusaders)journeyed back to Salerno when sick or injured because it was a “friendly” port.A great hospital was there. Its success was attributed to its location at the cross-roads of knowledge in medicine, to the testing of different points of view.Different points of view were constantly in conflict. The practice was to test competing theories and methods against each other – resulting in sharpening the of medical knowledge.

All science constantly changes because new things are discovered, and thus by definition there is always conflict between proponents of old and new ideas. Advance begins with the contradiction of the “common sense” of the time.In medicine there are conflicts between giving drugs, surgical procedures, and other therapies. Today, surgery and drugs dominate most procedures, as contrasted with “other” therapies. In the middle ages, the “other” (internal therapies) were dominant. Of course, in the middle ages the great challenges lay in curing disease, as contrasted to cutting it out today.

2.Traditions of public health, hygiene, quarantine were begun then.Salerno, as a leading medical center, originated and taught these things.

In antiquity (pre-Christian), there was little concern for human rights. No right of rebellion; one had to obey the law regardless of the justice of it. One lived under only one authority.Rebellion against this type of oppression was a revolutionary Christian notion.

3.In the university there arose a fourth faculty.In addition to religion, medicine, and law, Arts and Sciences were added.At this time great battles arose between nominalists and realists.Nominalists believed words were arbitrary, and with no absolute meanings for expressions of real experience. Today sales people and politicians tend to be nominalists. ERH placed his own beliefs with the realists with a qualification, “…we are all both obviously.Nominalists at times, and realists at times.”

The problem is to determine when and where there may be essential meanings, and where names can be arbitrary. Only with such decisions can we establish even a modicum of truth and understanding between people.

4.Some type of logic can be concocted to explain almost any event, no matter how unfounded it may be,so we need a more broad discussion of these important issues of nominalism and realism.Naming (classifying) creates reality in the sense of creating a consciousness of an event at hand.Naming “things” can be arbitrary. People, on the other hand, have both general and unique characteristics, so naming becomes more complex.

This is to say, to consider persons as “Japanese,” or “enemies,” or “Baptists” is an example of thinking of real people in terms of objects, of “classes of things,” which dehumanizes them.This is the tendency of the academy, to treat humansthe same as intelligent animals (as “natural” things, in other words). This tendency in turn means there is no thought to recognizing personal characteristics of a particular individual.

5.One then can deduce what happens when the nominalist view is applied to two very different entities:1) The names of dead “things,” e.g. chemical elements, dirt, steel. 2) The names of people, who are dehumanized by being characterized by the same principle, i.e. of general characteristics.

6.ERH concludes that we live today in a time of sophists (salesmen who use words arbitrarily – no connection with reality). The question of how we use generalizations is therefore just as serious as in the middle ages. The common practices of taking no responsibility for one’s words, of using language to misrepresent, of stating half-truths, are examples of modern sophistry.Obviously, such use of language leads toward the destruction of community.

Lecture – 19

1.The PROBLEM with universals in social science is the failure to distinguish BETWEEN INDICATING A UNIVERSAL QUALITY OF AN INDIVIDUAL AND INDICATING PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION. To call another personas a class is to dehumanize the person. THE SOLUTION in social relations is to use the general term (such as Jew) as an adjective and never as a noun. For instance, one could say without fear of affront, “He is Jewish.”

The problem with thinking of an individual only in terms of the universal in social science is that the practice precludes an opportunity to create peace by treating him/her as a human toward whom one must be capable of relating. “So, today this question of the universals again is loaded with dynamite.” (p.5)

2.When a person is classed as a noun, such as saying he is ” Russian,” it infers that the name tells one all one needs to know about the person.Obviously this is never true, so to say, “He is Russian … X” implies unknown characteristics, therefore establishing a basis for possible future salutary relations.

3.From 1100 to 1500 we lived in an era where theology dominated thought; from 1500 to 1900 we lived in an era dominated by natural science (knowledge about things).Since 1900 we live in an era of social science, but the method remains that of natural science applied to mankind – treating individuals as things. (p.7)

4.In science no universal is valid permanently; knowledge changes constantly. ONE THEREFORE CANNOT BE EITHER A NOMINALIST OR A REALIST ONLY, ONE MUST ASSUME THERE IS SOME TRUTH IN BOTH CONCEPTS.Lying (falsifying) is using words with no truth behind them!The question is, “How are we to address each other so that our relations might be civil and engender mutuality?”

5.If God is merely an arbitrary name with no meaning, no manifestation in reality, then He doesn’t exist. In life, in social relations it is important that we use universals, i.e. titles such as teacher, or boss, or president, and when appropriate, personal identification, e.g. Mr. Smith, or George. We need the options of both modes of identification in order to speak properly.

6.This question of proper addressing of others also relates to the powers we invoke. By what authority do we speak, by authority of the president, or of the law, or of “my mother?”The next question is, “Who is speaking?” and the next, “Who is being spoken to, and what authority do they possess?”A criminal has certain rights before the law, for instance.

ERH goes on, “…in 1500, there was a declining interest in realism – and an ascending interest in the world of things.” p.15/19Today we tend to be completely dominated by thinking of everybody in nominalist terms.

7.The question of the universal for God is to be used quite differently than with people or things. Initially, both people and things were named arbitrarily.But the power of the creator can never be used or thought of arbitrarily. “God is the problem to have one name through all ages.” (p.17)

8.One can of course reject God,reflecting the assumption of a cynic, or skeptic, or atheist.This ERH calls a de-generate, “…a man who lives only in his own generation without connection with the past and the future.” (p.18)This is a person who is unconscious of the creative powers in life.

9.THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE MUST ABSOLUTELY ASK AND FIND ANSWERS TO if we are to make available to ourselves the power of language to make critical distinctions between the most fundamental experiences of living,i.e. how to deal with the divine, how to deal with things, and how to deal with humankind.

a.Universals have three methods, of the nominalist, of the realist, and of the “mutualist” (one who utilizes either of the two methods, or a mixture thereof, in each situation). To invoke the divine, one is dedicated to serving the truth, such as the Trinity. Only this power unifies the three different elements of life.

b. Invoking the divine unifies other attitudinal elements of social life as well, differentiating and applying the necessary, and the doubtful, and having faith so that one can believe and understand.

c. The nominalist (Platonist) classifies things in the world to bring order, but he is functioning after the things already exist.The attitude is applied post rem (after the fact).But since the nominalist believes thought is superior to concrete reality, words were assumed to be arbitrary.

d. The realist (Aristotelian – and also post rem) recognizes that any object has two qualities, a universal (such as a concept of a chair) on the one hand,and that of a particularchair.So one would say that he thinks also in terms of “in rem” (in the present), recognizing both after the fact, and during the fact, seeing both the universal and uniqueness of things. Since realism believes in the superiority of concrete objects from which thought followed, words were not understood to be disconnected from reality.

e. The medievalist believed in God, and was first a Realist, then in 1500 the notion of nominalismwas introduced. Ockham introduced this idea and heralded the age of modern science. Post rem treats everything as transient.

f. The final problem, the third solution, then addresses human society and the need to recognize a concrete reality, and the need for peace. In society people must learn to get along with others whom they may dislike, or with whom they disagree, or with whom they might be at war. The primary social problem then is to create peace, before which there can be no language,no human development.

To be creative in bringing about peace one needs to do several things: 1) change our human (animal) nature into one which is truly human (above animals),2) prepare one to have the ability to create a vision of WHAT OUGHT TO HAPPEN, AND THEN, 3) ACT TO MAKE THE REALITY HAPPEN. That is what the founding fathers in the U.S. did.American has become a reality, freedom became a reality, equal rights became a reality (or at least we have moved a good distance in that direction).In these instances one is acting in “anti-rem.” One imagines what should become a reality, then works to make it so. Only humans then have this capability to function in three time stages – before, during, and after the fact.Both nominalists and realists function to describe the world as they find it.Christianity therefore goes beyond mere philosophy toward integrating other fruitful methods.

America resulted from a historical decision. A reality was created by historical decisions over the generations and can now be verified – its ideals were not truth in 1776, but have since moved in that direction.

10.This is another example of the truth of the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to live in the whole of time, invoking the authority from the past, the authority the present, and the authority of the future.

Every great event in history – the US Constitution, the Magna Carta, Roman law – every great name – Caesar, Jesus, Michael Angelo, Einstein – all of those were the result of considering authority from the past, a vision of the future, and action in the present. The events were real – no figment of a historian’s imagination. ALL OF THESE EVENTS WE LEARN ABOUT REFLECT THE TRUTH OF THE MEANING OF THE TRINITY as a method for the creativity of mankind.

11.All of these events can be verified and defined because they are finished, they have happened.But future social events cannot be definitively predicted, because we are capable of doing something different, something which could nothave been anticipated. The human potential for this type of power is our reflection of the divine, of our capability for creativity that must be our goal.

So every human being is half definable, and half indefinable…By the power you have to speak to me, you can add life. And in bringing this life to bear on that, without …. something new enters which has not existed five minutes before.After you have spoken, there is a new spot in the universe. (p.29)

This is the argument to explain why God cannot be defined, because he is always alive, always there, always beyond definition and beyond our methods of proof.But divine power can be invoked.

12.Since God acts only through humans, and since part of human nature is indefinable, God is indefinable. And this is the argument against suicide – that since God is within all of us, giving us his power, we have no right to kill this Godly part of us.

13.To allow our acts and names to live after us, we must understand and practice that we speak in three “languages.”That is, one must speak differently about God, humankind, and things.

Lecture – 20

1.When we need “higher powers” than those within ourselves, must seek (invoke) higher “authority” for validation. (p.1)It might be the authority by which our college degrees are given, or the authority by which professional methods are given. Of course, we assume our own authority when we are creative and “break a mold.”

2.Something in natureforces us to seek order in reflecting its majesty, by naming and classifying events and things. ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IN NAMING IS TO SEPARATE SAMENESS FROM UNIQUENESS, for instance,identifying separate species on the one hand, or on the other, identifying uniqueness within a species.

3.There is the same problem in social affairs or ceremonial events, when one must address and be addressed by the appropriate title, Mr./Mrs., Judge (your honor). Senator. The distinction between the general and particular must be recognized in other events,teaching for instance. One can only teach when one appeals to the right instincts in specific students.Of course one needs to know the subject, but to teach, one must also communicate, taking the student into the spirit of the subject.At best we only teach sometimes. The teacher attempts to appeal to a specific student’s love for truth. (RF – my cynical side leads me to add, if any exists within the student. If not, then the teacher must step back and appeal to the student to come to life!)

This whole area of appealing language, of invoking, persuading, convincing language is neglected today. (p.5)

4.This is important and difficult to do, to find effective language for a given situation.The invocation (search for the right words), makes all the difference. In this situation to invoke is to search for those words with power.Invoking therefore is a call for power to persuade.

This is why the laws of learning as put forth by psychologists can never make more than a small and partial contribution to teaching.

Titles are important in this process. The purpose of titles is to insure that we speak to the right person for the right reason. The right words are names; and to call something by the “right” name is crucial as it is possibly disastrous if by the wrong name!(RF – I once heard a teacher address a black person in his class as “you people,” incensing the student.The teacher discredited himself in the eyes of the student by way of separating himself.

5.Authorities, names, powers are transient.When such powers are invoked, one is taken out of one’s own time, from the past and into the future, as is the case when all knowledge from the past is used. To so invoke the past ERH calls “bringing the knowledge to life.”In the middle ages men prayed, invoking the power of God for the purpose of invoking his authority to achieve their ends. They called this adhering to God’s spirit. Today, “God talk” is out, people want to continue to discover and name new things in the concrete universe.

In the middle ages the academy was appropriate for studying how to invoke the “spirit.” Today, the university is the opposite, to engender new truth by gathering different schools of thought together.

ERH asserts it is wrong to blame the Catholic church for violence against science.The Protestants attack Copernicus, he points out. “They were the fundamentalists of the time.”(RF – However, the Pope didshow the instruments of torture to Galileo, convincing him to recant his scientific conclusions.)

6.The academic world and the religious world are separate.The religious world’s purpose is to plant the spirit of God in people.After these methods and conclusions had been established, the university could turn to “discover” the concrete universe, developing new methods for describing it. The purpose of religion is to guide; that of science is to describe. To mistake religion for natural science is to create Bolshevism, Hitlerism, fascism,racism.

To denigrate religion or to mistake it as only philosophy is to eliminate direction for humankind (RF – or if not to eliminate, certainly to grossly narrow one’s view of the world).THUS, EDUCATION MUST HAVE THESE TWO PARTS (direction and description) – natural science for concrete reality, and guiding that knowledge toward building community.Mistaking natural science for the dominant focus of study leads human society in circles, emphasizing concrete nature, physical consumption, technology and production as goals in themselves, while humanity goes to destruction.

7.The concrete world is in constant change.To mistake religion for natural science is also to mistake for mere fashion that which must persist through ages of humans.

The world of nature is reality minus speech.The sciences investigate everything and everybody minus what he says about himself…The first thing you know of your real existence is that you are a named person to whom someone has lovinglyspoken. (p.18)

8.ERH describes the patient/doctor relationship.It is a crucial step for the patient to tell someone in authority (the doctor) what is wrong. At this moment the doctor becomes a part of a community dedicated to restore the health of the patient, and the patient “turns him/herself over to the guidance of the doctor.” Through speech, they instill confidence in each other.

If this doesn’t happen, that the patient feels that the doctor now has taken over, if this implantation of the doctor into the soul of the patient hasn’t happened, he cannot be cured. All the rest is minor. That’s only dealing with his body.That’s not a very important thing.And there the doctors make all the mistakes. (p.19)

(RF – I would generalize that the same relationship applies to all education, counseling, ministering, leadership.)

9.THUS, IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT HAS THE POWER TO CURE, TO EDUCATE, TO INSTILL THE CORRECT POWERS INTO THE PATIENT/STUDENT.This is not science, but it depends upon the power of speech.It comes from a uniting into one spirit.That is where our real power derives – where the love of science or love of the community, or the love of art originates.This origin is totally different from the product of action.

10.The power of the university comes from a clash of different opinions, BUT THERE IS UNITY IN THE PURPOSE OF FINDING TRUTH, doubting (and fragmenting) while being unified (at peace with their objectors) at the same time.The great advances in the great universities have come from this paradox of fragmentation and unity, of simultaneous warring opinions and peace.

THIS IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT KNOWLEDGE AND SPIRIT MUST BE KEPT SEPARATE ON THE ONE HAND, YET UNITED ON THE OTHER. The term “research” means to turn over old knowledge, to give it a new look.To re-search!

11.The surest knowledge we have about anyone is that we speak with them, and they with us. Actions cannot be separated from intent if you wish to understand another.Only by speaking truly and respectfully listening with one another do we reallyknow our fellow human.

12.Nature teaches us that the objects of the universe can become expendable.When humans are treated as natural animals they become the same; thus the torture chambers, concentration camps, “ethnic cleansing” of late.

In living experience when commitments are declared, such as war, marriage, revolution, and degeneration, these four thingscan never be “experimented with” without risking disastrous results.

[Experimentation, like sports, is a class of activity that is meant either to be reversed or set aside, or done over and over again without effecting society. It is the difference between seeking truth and acting on it.Once knowledge is applied to serious events, like marriage or war – the results are permanent.]

This is why we can never make lasting peace, because people have confusednature with religion, thus constantly experimenting with those events that can never be reversed.

13.In sum, the academic mind deals with nature, the religious mind deals with authority.The academic mind collects knowledge, the religious mind considers what to do with it as it effects society. Nature describes things that have existed before.Individual human beings have never existed before; he/she is, of course, half species and therefore knowable, but the other half is by definition a singularly unique soul and potentially unpredictable.

Lecture – 21

1.[Some distinctions can be made between schools, academies, and universities.]In schools one learns some information, but has no obligation to use the knowledge in any specific direction.In an academy, one is dedicated to deepening one’s understanding of a specific subject related to some specific method, for instance the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Arts. In the university one expands the knowledge of some subject by doubting, by encouraging different points of view about the subject.

In the academy the time to explore a subject is not controlled by the world outside, rather by the “those inside” who will declare when they believe there is sufficient knowledge to pass on to others. The academy of Plato, and subsequent similar institutions don’t change the world because they only ask that they be left alone to their researches.(p.5)

2.In antiquity the academician (Plato, Aristotle etc.) should be called a theologian because their use of the word physics included a study of God, men, and things. Beginning in 1450, our present date for the beginning of modern science, “nature” means a study of things only.

In 1450, with the onset of the Renaissance and rebirth of Greek thought, the understanding was not the same as in antiquity because the Renaissance concept of “nature” didn’t include politics and religion.

3.To speak means to transcend nature, to rise above the life of animals,

…in the moment where we can speak, we fight the death, the natural world.The natural world ends with death.And speech is in the world to fight death.That’s why you get an education, because you must help us to overcome the dying society of America at this moment, because everything merely natural is doomed.There is nothing natural that can last. (p.9)

4.Higher education is essential to any society because their spirit is to say to themselves, “We don’t know enough, we are ignorant and must begin again.” THE MIRACLE OF MODERN SCIENCE IS NOT THE PRODUCTS OF SCIENCE, BUT THE SCIENTISTS THEMSELVES.They engender the creative spirit, and creativity is a miracle. WITHOUT CREATIVITY THERE IS MERE REPETITION.

5.It takes a long time for creativity to be accepted.People haven’t experienced the new idea and are reluctant to accept new ideas until they have been tested beyond doubt.This gap is an incubation.

6.The incubation usually takes three generations to become commonly known and accepted.America didn’t really begin in the eyes of the world until it was discussed in Europe100 years. after the Plymouth landing.

7.The founding fathers (1776) were the product of an incubation in their family life for three generations. The true founding spirit of the first Pilgrims had been dulled because of their privations; and it was again revived in the founding fathers 150 years later.

8.All significant writing from the past by definition speaks to us today. Modern philology treats great texts as something written by somebody else, for somebody else. (p.30)In fact those great texts must be revived by assuming that they speak to us today, and were written with that intent.The Bible, for instance, treated as “literature” is treated as dead.To assume that it was written for us and is alive MEANS THAT WE MUST GIVE MEANING TO THE IDEAS, REINTERPRET THEM, RESURRECT THEM.

If the Bible isn’t written to you and me, don’t read it…It’s much better that you have never heard of it. p.31

9.In a like way, between 1500 to 1900 speech was “…relegated to an observable fact.And therefore has been treated as dead.” (p.31)The world still awaits for significant speech to come true.

When reading texts if you ask yourself, “Is this true?” you bring the world to life.Otherwise you treat it as dead.

There is no Christianity if Christ hasn’t spoken to you.And there is no Bible if it isn’t written for you.And there is no Gettysburg Address if it isn’t addressed to you.And there is no Shakespeare if it isn’t written for you….What have they appealed to,..?They have appealed to the womb of time that you and I must form.(p.36)

10.Indeed, the regeneration of our community and all communities depends upon our being educated andcalled into Church and state (community), to mature and give birth to new creatures of peace.(p.36)

And the world of science has always to be balanced by art and poetry. “If you do not remain unnatural, then science will kill you.” (p.36)A living (truly alive) person is always waiting to be recognized, to be heard, to listen, to be called to a cause.All of this happens because of language.And none of this exists in the world of natural animals.

Science makes us feel as generalizations (of human beings); it is only the arts that can make us feel unique again, make us feel self-conscious. “So, gentlemen, the academic spirit is fatal unless it is balanced.”

Lecture – 22

1.We suffer from our inability to distinguish between and create different methods for analysis of the three basic types of experience – Of God (power outside us), of humankind (including ourselves), and of nature (of things). This shortcoming”has landed us in concentration camps” because social science, especially psychology, uses only the method for analysis of things in its analysis of people.

2.Natural science methods treat all as “objects”, all alike. This is dehumanizing! Nazis treated Jews that way, otherwise they could not have killed them. The analyst feels unrelated to his/her subjects and treats them as numbers. One can see this attitude in all walks of life.A teacher who doesn’t care whether his students learn is the same.A doctor who doesn’t relate to his patients, treating them all as “clients,” the same.This kind of thinking depresses and eventually kills the spirit in any culture.

Buried in this misapplication is the assumption that it is possible to know all about humans whereas the very nature of our ability to be creative, and to grow and change, means that we can never be known fully. This assumption is therefore fruitless.

3.Dead, ineffective teaching means that one is taught skills only, but nothing vital about how those skills might vitalize the community. The education process should change its goal of teaching to allow both teacher and student to grow in the process. There is a contradiction between what is called scientific theories of learning, and the implanting a spirit of learning and living in the student. Students are taught to be automatons, tested only for memorizing.It is the spirit of learning that is necessary for community building.

Natural science method only allows one to look at concrete evidence, that which is outside.In human behavior it can discern actions, but not their meaning. The gauge for learning, whether inside the church, or the classroom or board or factory room is what happens outside these artificial environments. The gauge for learning must therefore be expanded beyond tests and opinion polls toactions in the community that which indicates the true ability of the inner life of people, their thoughts, their courage, their will to act to create a better future.

4.These are some of the misapprehensions about human behavior and community life that lead us astray in the process of thinking about ourselves. When we are treated objectively, we tend to think of ourselves at times as mere “things,” as atoms in nature.

[R.F. – one is reminded ofB.F. Skinner, the famous Harvard psychologist, who advocated “operant conditioning” as the method for teaching. In his research papers he would refer to his subjects, human or animal, as “organisms.”He claimed that psychology was a science in which one must discover how subjects could be “trained” to respond to his imposed manipulation. His method was to work with pigeons, assuming that thiswould give him a clue to the secrets of human behavior. The method never required any intimate communication with the subjects.As Rosenstock-Huessy averred, “Nature is the universe without speech.”That is, humans in this condition would have no past or no future; this would mean that we have an understanding of ourselves based only on our direct experience, having to reinvent reality so to speak, just as do wild animals.]

Articulated dreams of a better future are not of interest to the scientific psychologist because these factors lack the concreteness of measurable data.These scientists accept only their observed data.

5.Speech is the essential difference between nature and humankind.Of course, we begin life as dependent animals, but have the potential for growth and change. That growth comes from learning what it is to be human through a history of human events. Great works of art, great sacrifices, biographies of genius tell us how great societies have come into being. And conversely, what destroys community are greed, avarice, hatred, violence. In the other direction of time, we can dream of a better future, then act to attempt to create that future.Speech (language) allows us to enormously expand our understanding of human experience by extending social memory into the past and out to the future.

6.People who can communicate similar beliefs form the bond of culture. Those beliefs represent their “souls,” their inner life, beyond the reach of natural scientific analysis. What then is the realm of study directed to our inner life?It cannot be psychology or sociology, for the reasons stated above.

It is important here to point out the difference between our concrete experience and the abstract world of our various languages. Our first experiences in life are of movement, hunger, and pain. As a matter of fact, we learn many things about social relationships before abstract symbols like numbers and theories have any meaning for us.Our first experiences in life include commands from parents – love, fear, anger, frustration – in short, social relationships.

7.These experiences teach us, however consciously or unconsciously, about “things” and about “social life including our individuality.”The historical record tells us of the commonality of social life and the price to be paid for different actions. We can understand war, peace, love, hate, etc. History is meaningful to the degree that we can relate to it from our personal experience.

The stories of Jesus, of martyrs burned at the stake, of the accomplishments of genius, and great artists are real events that reflect the existence of a source of inner strength in humankind.

We know we have freedom of thought within us whereby we are capable of making a decision, and of being creative, and rising to great heights, and of having the strength to withstand privation, and to sacrifice.WHERE DOES THAT POWER COME FROM?

But if you know that the flame that’s burning in your heart is the same flame that created the universe and said, “Let there be light,” then you suddenly say, “Well, I have a very noble pedigree.I am the son of God.” (p.19)

This source of inner strength cannot be proven through any method of scientific measurement.But it can be experienced!ERH asserts then that this third element in the universe, the prime mover, the creator, is reflecting the creative power of human beings, and therefore must be part of a different social science.

8.The point of all this is that if we are to come more alive and realize our greater potential, we must realize that we possess withinsomething analogous to creativepowers that formed the universe.A freedom to change, to do new things, to become something more than we are now. WHERE DID THIS POWER COME FROM?

We can understand this power precisely because we have experienced it! It cannot be otherwise proven.One cannot prove with any data similar to that of science, the effect of love on us.It can only be experienced. We can thus relate to (understand) all of the great figures in history because we possess similar experience and the same powers as they.

9.We can understand justice, love, peace, war and sin, greatness and avarice when we admit that we are capable of similar heights and depths. (RF – ERH said to me once, “Be humbled by the fact that you are capable of achieving great heights or committing the most heinous crime ever committed, given the right circumstances.”)

In this way history should affirm some of the characteristics of human beings and empower us to explore further transformation.

10.The difficulties of mere physical survival by itself are considerable. The next step towardmoral and spiritual growth is far more demanding. Languagemaintains vitality only when truth is spoken, yet to speak the truth can be dangerous. Sacrificing individual benefit for the welfare of the community is equally difficult. We are free to decide either way on these issues, and indeed, there seem to be too few who can achieve these levels of behavior.

To “deem” is to think, to judge, or believe.To redeem is to think anew. Only by speaking the truth to each other can we achieve the e redemption essential to growth.”That’s what we mean when we say that Jesus came into the world to redeem the sinners,” which we all are! (p.20)The popular quote from John Donne,”…no man is an island,” comes to mind.

11.Contrarily, when we consider ourselves as mere “things,” as pawns of the forces outside us, we need not think about burdening ourselves with such creative responsibility. And this type of thinking is precisely what our present social science tends to engender.

At the heart of the new social science that is needed is that, “…man has to be told that he’s not a thing.” (p.21)A second aspect of the new science is to say to our fellow humans that peace is aided when we can speak and listen to others, and imagine ourselves in their circumstances.

So three aspects of a new social science are: 1) We must be told we are not “things.”We are capable of thought, and understanding and can change ourselves. 2) we must be capable of re-incarnating, (redeeming) ourselves and others, and are therefore free to make decisions and act.3) We must understand that peace is therefore possible. NONE OF THESE FACTORS CAN BE PROVEN BY THE TENETS OF NATURAL SCIENCE. BUT OUR EXPERIENCE REVEALS THE TRUTH OF THEIR EXISTENCE.

When cultures fail to communicate, and fail to understand that all humankind is one, they remain trapped in their fears and their jealousies, the future of which is always perpetual war, violent revolution, degeneration, and anarchy.

12.When we love and can trust someone, we must tell them. “The affairs of mankind have to be voiced….the highest life is the articulate life.” (pp.23,24) This sharing of the truth “rounds out our sense of reality.”In this sense, the articulate life is the necessary foundation for all community.

13.ERH likens the act of learning from past experience to that of vaccination, whereby learning from the past is a vicarious event, told us by others. The best learning is by real experience, but some learning must be by “vaccination.” For example, it isn’t practical to learn from jumping off a cliff, one would be advised to learn this from others.

14.In the same sense there is a limit to how principles and formulas prepare us for actions.Some useful aspects of understanding come from formulation of abstractions, but their meaningderives only from experience.ERH points out that Hitler, never having experienced peace, couldn’t incorporate the idea in his thinking.

15.Of course the first step of fruitful learning must always come from outside us,originally from our parents – “go to bed,” “eat your carrots,”, etc. So our first experience with the world is as a human being who listens whilebeing spoken to. As maturing takes place one might become an authority, and instead of being addressed as a “you,” in the second person, we are in the role of the first person. To your own children you command, “I tell you to go to bed.”This role of a “commanding person” is analogous to that of a creator, as that of a god, as a personal corner of power in the universe.Then we may experience the world of things, as shaping the world outside us, treating it as “its.”Thus, we must understand these three roles and step into each at the appropriate time.

16.Here ERH describes poetically, I believe, the spirit of the “true” scientist.

Things are not accessible to people who are not at peace with themselves, and with the rest of mankind. The realm of nature is only accessible to scientists.These are people who are without fear,..greed,..jealousy, who know their own prejudices, who are at peace with themselves, and who follow the force of their conscience and of the divine spirit.

…the condition of all science is the belief that peace and incarnation are events that have already prepared the scientist to do his share…that he has been met as a second person by somebody who has loved him and taken him up, and that he himself is able to love others.For the sake of the truth, he’s going to tell them the truth.And for the sake of love, he’s going to help them. And for the sake of hope, he’s going to go beyond what they and he at this moment know or do.Unless he is in such a position, he knows nothing about the steam, or electricity, or granite, uranium, or anything. (pp.20,30)(RF – emphasis mine.)

17.To summarize: The natural cycle of learning is first about ourselves, then where we should go, and only after these experiences can we know how to think about and what to do about natural phenomena.THE PROBLEM WITH SCIENCE TODAY IS IT BELIEVES WE MUST FIRST LEARN ABOUT NATURE, THEN OURSELVES, THEN WHAT OUR GOALS MUST BE. AND THIS IS A REVERSAL OF THE NATURAL CYCLES OF LEARNINGTHAT WOULD CREATE PEACE IN THE WORLD. ONLY THEN CAN WE HAVE CLARITY ABOUT THE “THINGS” OF THE WORLD. As a result of this reversal of cycles, the scientist has disconnected knowledge of nature from our social goals,thereby perpetuating war.

18.As a result, the scientist tends to see all people as “its,” as things,as objects of nature that cannot change. The scientist views evolution then only in physical terms, but cannot understand an evolution of spirit, of cultures.”Things in space” are to be weighed and otherwise numerically measured.But the future of human beings is not predicated on space in this sense.We cannot drive a car into the future; what will be our future is not of space, it is in our minds, our spirit – hidden, BUTREVEALING ITSELF THROUGH TIME. It is absurd to think of time as a fourth dimension of space.

AND ALL OF THIS IS WHY THE SCIENCE OF NATURE MUST BE DIFFERENT FROM A SCIENCE OF SOCIETY. One is predicated on measures of space; the other on measures of time in which change and evolution of the human spirit take place.

Lecture – 23

1.The academic cycle is analogous to the natural science cycle, the reverse of a cycle that would establish a viable social life.It investigates things first, then man, then a purpose for our lives.

ERH asks, “What is wrong with being objective? THE ANSWER IS, IT CAN ONLY APPLY IN A PERIPHERAL WAY TO UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL LIFE. The fact is,we all want to be judged by the circumstances surrounding our actions, and therefore, to be judged subjectively. We wish people to make exceptions for us!ERH quotes Shakespeare, “treat everybody according to his merit, and nobody is safe,” and concludes:

…objectivity means to treat everybody as a thing.(p.2)

Of course objectivity has its place because we must have competence in important positions, but it must be merged with other considerations.

Academic science tries to transform everything into a thing. p.6

2.ERH tells us that suicide means treating ourselves as “things.””Suffering is no reason to take your life; and joy is no reason to stay in life.” (p.3)Otherwise there would be no basis for asking soldiers to be ready to die for their country, or anyone else to sacrifice for the community, for that matter.

He points out that, logically, if one believes in the right to judge the world objectively, there is no reason not to pollute, or set off the bomb.

I have neither the right to blow up created matter, nor have I right to blow up myself. (p.5)

3.It is philosophy that asserts that we rule the world because it believes in the dominance of the mind. Therefore, the philosopher asserts, we have the power to make these types of unlimited decisions.

4.The academic community of social scientists tries to turn everybody into a thing and be objective about it.They call all parts of the universe “natural.” But the natural world is constantly at war.All animal societies are at war.And because human beings are still thought of as the same (especially minorities), human society has been unceasingly at war. The natural animal world has no other direction but conflict, and inanimate elements have no direction except the mercy of other forces of nature.

5.No vital society has ever been created with this type of logic. A fruitful alternative is to view society as having some direction toward peace, peace in an environment of justice.Objectivity is when everyone tries to manipulate everyone else – operating between the sexes, social classes, races, power centers, etc. This prevailing attitude is actually pre-Christian!(p.8)

6.To speak of the scientific attitude leads us also intofactoring (categorizing),finding the common denominator of people as a basis for thinking of groups;e.g. by age, or socio-economics, or values. This is called the “naturalistic” method of social scientific thinking. Churches, ERH asserts, follow the same route, often practicing that which reflects pre-Christian values.

7.Scientists and those who believe in science are not objective about their own basic values, however. The thinking, “let there be science,” or “science exists,” is not scientific, butrepresents a dogma. Useful as science is for describing things, IT OVER-REACHES ITS BOUNDS WHEN IT ATTEMPTS TO ASSUME IT IS AN APPROPRIATE METHODOLOGY FOR SOCIETY AND FOR ESTABLISHING GOALS FOR SOCIETY. (RF – In another essay ERH points out how scientists relegate, and separate moral thought from that of their “science,” assigning morals to religion. Their sin lies thereby in tearing asunder parts of social reality from others.

Similarly, religions overstepped their bounds when they assumed to apply religious concepts to describing nature ( thereby invading the boundaries of science.)

8.The term DOGMA tends to be pejorative, but in fact we could not make any decisions about anything if we didn’t believe in something.However, one’sdogma must be appropriate to the problem addressed.

Science deals with the question, “What is nature?”.Religion deals with the question, “By what authority does man act?”Social science deals with the problem, “How do we create a community that is at peace, with justice for all?” EACH OF THESE QUESTIONS EMPLOYS A DIFFERENT METHODOLOGY, AND ALL ARE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO DISCOVER THE SCIENCE OF SOCIETY. (pp.12,13)

The authority of God is greater than the authority of man, just asthe authority of law and justice is greater than the authority of a king or Pope!

9.In sum, the medieval church made the mistake of believing that to know about God was to know about things,thereby overstepping their boundaries, for instance when they demanded Galileo recant his theories. And modern scientists (beginning with Descartes) believed that to know about things meant also to know about mankind, thereby overstepping the boundaries of science. For instance, they eschew any consideration of the miracle of the scientist’s inner strength and creativity. In other words, they never were capable of explaining their own powers.

10.Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825), the father of modern science, was the first man in modern times to attempt to break the cycle of the physicists and mathematicians as a method of solving social problems.He realized that he couldn’t do it with the “mind” only, that ideas had no power until put into practice and he therefore must live them.(ERH asserts also that he was the first Existentialist therefore) He changed his life and the life of the world by advocating the building of two canals, Suez and Panama, which would help tie the world together. He built a road to the future, and died in poverty in the process.But he generated ardent disciples.

He, along with other great leaders in history, had the courage to risk total failure. Their works were carried on by disciples. Jesus, Saint Simon, Anselm of Canterbury and Abelard of the University of Paris, are cases in point. It was the same with many other great inventors and artists such as Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Rembrandt, and van Gogh, who were such founders but suffered failure during their lives.

The future belongs to those who can be ashamed.And I’m afraid the American prognostication is very poor, because of this shamelessness (of pragmatism).(p.19)

11.Here ERH begins to make the point that we must have opposing experiences to understand life.One cannot understand unemployment and poverty if one is constantly rich.One cannot understand love who hasn’t experienced hate and abuse.One cannot understand enlightenment without experiencing ignorance.There is a time to know and a time to be ignorant (to feel one needs to know more in order to understand). THE IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE IS THAT IN SOCIETY ONE MUST KNOW WHEN ONE NEEDS TO KNOW, AND NOT BEFORE.One cannot fathom the meaning of an event beforehand.One must have some experience of the opposite to compare.

One cannot understand the meaning of peace who has not experienced war.To understand the meaning of peace, then, one may have to go to war or be bullied by tyrants. Pacifists engender tyranny for this reason. (RF – In another essay ERH expands on these ideas, his thesis being that the time to fight against war is during peace, that the madness that is war precludes any listening by either side.)

12.To know these things about society means that at the heart of a social science is a sense of time and timing.

Love, respect, and education point to the past, present, and future.One should be respected for one’s accomplishments, for what one fought for. Lessons are to be learned from such heroes, past or present, as a basis for present decisions. And to build a road into the future one must educate the next generation.Dedication to good causes is always motivated by love (for people, or causes, or community welfare – they are all the same.)All of this becomes manifest through action, a primary part of which is our speaking the truth to one another.

We must therefore speak to the woman we love, to our parents, and to our children about the future in which we must participate in creating, and unifying the three generations of time.

13.There are four forms of speech: epics, lyrics, drama,and then the analysis of prose.The novel observes and analyzes.Lyrics sing of our love, epics speak of generations of lives, and drama is felt in the present experience.

(RF – the weakness of academic writing is its pure description and analysis. To speak as clearly and coherently as possible about our experience requires all four types of speech.)

14.SOCIAL SCIENCE MUST TEACH THE POWER TO SPEAK TO “NATURAL MAN.” Goethe was the father of a new epic in social science for this reason, because he wrote in all four types of speech, and therefore represented what is necessary for completeness in speech, in the circulation (and passing on) of thought. (p.29)

15.We speak to get beyond death (to leave a legacy for the future); we speak (in all four modes) to explain our experience in the present and therefore save our own lives (from insanity). And of course, if one is to speak, one must also listen!

16.Finally, our understanding remains incomplete unless we have listened to past generations.All time, past, present, and future, is therefore united in the act of survival and regeneration of community. “The word has the power to take everybody out of his here and now.And that’s why we speak.” (p.31)

17.To be young in spirit (regardless of one’s chronological age) is also to be a founder. To found something is to be reborn, regenerated, but at times at the risk of shame, defeat, and disappointment.

What is the source of this power to speak?

Lecture – 24

1.Two important questions are addressed in this chapter: 1)”How can a man who breaks new ground survive in a society that doesn’t even know this new ground exists?” and 2) “How does one gain acceptance for a new approach in any one cycle, from one’s colleagues?”

It is like discovering a new continent, if you discover a new way of life, a new way of thinking.When the first natural scientists said that they couldn’t make gold, or that they could prove that the sun was not turning around the earth, or that they could cut up corpses and thereby get an insight into the life of man, or animals — when all this was started, people said they were mad, or they were obsessed. (p.1)

2.Saint Simon tried to commit suicide at 60, and Goethe wrote a book on suicide. Many great thinkers or artists went unrecognized in their life, or died in poverty, or were ridiculed.

Creation of new ideas requires wealth, or a wealthy benefactor who would support their work.Maecenas was a sponsor, a protector of Horace.

“Government can never protect new life….Government only has laws.And the laws only deal with the known — can only deal with that which was yesterday.” (p.3)

…Goethe and Saint Simon, Abelard and Anselm, and Paracelsus and Copernicus…the beginners of new cycles (of life) had to look for a special sponsor….in the Middle Ages freedom was protected by the great abbots.They had the power to make exceptions…to invest, as our modern foundations can…so Abelard survived there this persecution, only with the help of an abbot. (p.4)

3.Paracelsus (1493-1541) was the first of modern scientists, his work were first published 1589,was supported by non-experts.

This reflects an important principle, that one does not improve and grow if one participates only in an activity for which one expects to get something directly.

You can’t get anything here, (in the classroom), if you do not surrender your own prejudice and your own will here.And that is the only right you acquire by sitting in a course.You can become better men, but you can’t get anything out of it. (p.7)

4.All of this presents the justification for private capitol and private enterprise, and private property.These are the only sources of new life, of protecting new ideas. “You can be protected by the powers that have been,..”

Anselm and Abelard were protected by abbots as we said above, Paracelsus was protected by rich and powerful friends, Saint Simon survives through his students, andJesus through his disciples.

5.To speak truthfully one must be free. These sponsors or protectors created an atmosphere of freedom for those theymentored.

Progress (in new thinking) is also based upon the competition between accepted authorities – a free debate.It was this free debate that allowed the Catholic church of the Middle Ages to become free from its contradictions, which were so destructive at that time. Abelard, in creating such a forum, was radical in the extreme. The division of labor in our government between judiciary, legislatures, and administration is the basis of all democracies, as Edmond Burke asserted in his comments on the French Revolution in 1789.

6.Another gift of these protectors was to provide leisure for genius to think.In other words, a gift of time.

7.Still another element of risk of creativity is that in one time new ideas may be idolized, and in another punished. Newton and Descartes, were recognized for their genius, while Paracelsus, Abelard, and Anselm were punished for theirs.

8.Four stages of evolution of new thought follow each other by a generation or more. First, the new idea (Copernicus and Paracelsus). Second, a new method or formal language for description (Newton and Descartes); Third, the experts accept the idea, (the Royal Society of Science was formed before Newton’s death in 1727 and served in judgment); Fourth, the idea is commonly accepted in the community, (perhaps even taught in the schools!!).

9.ERH points our that 150 yrs after Saint Simon, social scientists have not heard of his new method for that field. They still apply the method of natural science to explain social events.

10.Anselm asked the questions: “How do I constantly renew my notion of God? And how can I continuously pursue new definitions?”His answer was the incarnation of thinking, but he had no method for carrying this out, and he speculated that the answers were always beyond reason and beyond proof (at the time). In other words, the theologian had to be free to doubt orthodoxy.Abelard practiced the method, but Aquinas and Bonaventura formalized the method, which is to take all opposing (extreme) views of recognized authorities, then compare, factor, and deduce truth, which lies somewhere in the middle. They were the founders of the science of theology. (p.21)The ideas of Aristotle could be compared to the those of Augustine (one pagan and one Christian).

11.Bonaventura laid down another principle of new thought, that it must be listened to, if for no other reason than it represented genius. He also said that growth comes only from an excess of the spirit.Which is to say, great works are wrought by a passionate affection for the love of passing on the truth.Thus teaching can not be scientific.If students aren’t interested and passionate, they will simply memorize, which is not learning.

12.What is genius? “The life of the spirit lies in a sense of the important.” Where this is lacking, there is no worthwhile knowledge, logic, or education.

Bonaventura asserted that relevant truth is always urgent and therebyimportant.For one thing, the life of the spirit ERH called “learned ignorance” is always importantto be always ready to doubt one’s most closely held ideas.To search is to make initial investigation in any subject. To research is to reconsider previously held knowledge. Most people confuse research with search, then seldom doubt in the process.

13.In sum then, three stages of learning: 1) the attitude of learned ignorance, 2) the excess of the mind – a sense of urgency, of feeling the world will come to an end if truth is not found – and 3) the way of life, to go from research to research, to be constantly,mentally on the go, doubting, reformulating, reevaluating. p. 27

14.The greatness of the human mind is not that all of us could possibly understand abstruse propositions, like how the atom bomb works, but rather that some minds can follow these methods and agree. (p.28)Progress in thinking is quite unexpected, and initially seems illogical.ONLY IN RETROSPECT DOES THE LOGIC OF NEW THINKING FALL INTO PLACE.

15.Looking forward, some as yet-unknown solution seems impossible, and often new hypotheses seem illogical.Looking backward, all logic falls into place.BUT THE POINT IS THAT NEW THOUGHT NEEDS ALL THE HELP IT CAN GET.Which is to say all of us must participate in attempting to inform ourselves as to what must be in the future, and to become willing to promote new, hopefully fruitful ideas.

…you should say, “I must do it.I must help it.I must wait for it.I must yearn for it.I must proclaim it.I must defend it.I must get these people up, and put other people down.”Then it may happen.Otherwise it won’thappen.(p.29) (Italics mine – RF)

Thus, all of us have a part, a responsibility to participate in advancing solutions to all social problems.AS YET THESE PRINCIPLES FOR A NEW TYPE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE ARE NOT COMMONLY ACCEPTED.

16.ERH’s final admonition in this chapter:

…your (traditional) ideas of adjustment (to social norms) is so ridiculous, because it would mean that no progress could ever be made. p.30

Lecture – 25

1.Both Catholicism and Protestantism have a place in the circulation of thought, but employ different approaches in their theology.This is a related issue to the purpose of this course, which is THE SOCIOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE. It deals with society and the processes of education and teaching, which are neither philosophical nor religious problems.


2.The philosopher attempts to explain or rule the world.He/she purports to have a system of thinking which will explain our experience, however narrow it may be. He therefore claims authority, and begins the day by saying “I” (will do or command, or preach or influence).

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT, ALONG WITH THIS ROLE, THERE GOES THE OBLIGATION TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE’S ACTIONS.Although wemust act in this role of the authority at times,unless speaking is accompanied by LISTENING, and accompanied by PLAY (rest),one is led to human cruelty. That is, authoritativeness all the time leads to tyranny.      ERH says, that Hitler could neither play nor listen, therefore he could approve the death camps. He was the supreme example of an egoist!

Teachers need to be authorities in their field of teaching; but this is a role that is assigned by society formally, or acquired by consent informally.

3.THE TERM “PHILOSOPHY” IS DEFINED TO MEAN ONE WHO KNOWS ALL THAT IS KNOWN ABOUT SOME SPECIFIC ISSUE. One then can claim the authority to philosophize about that issue, but not others. This is in sharp distinction with merely having a set of opinions about some subject. For example, in the formal sense the philosopher would be the recognized authority to speak philosophically about some subject.The term philosophy, then,is intended to describe a truly unique and specific role.

The true philosopher legitimately assumes this daunting position.He can be said to speak with a capitol “I” in his field.

4.The “I” or authority role is that of a minor god, and what goes along with it is objectivity, evaluation, and setting him/herself outside the situation at hand.”Any physicist who goes into his laboratory leaves his personal life at home.” (p.7)

5.His listeners, those to whom he may speak authoritatively, are in the second person pronoun, “you.” THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION is simply that in religion, God is assumed to be the creator of the universe,above everyone as “the” authority.

6.”Philosopher” is analogous to “scientist” in that both set themselves outside the subject they study, and ASSUME THE SUBJECTS WILL NEVER CHANGE, general principles being eternal.(“A” must always be “A”.)

BUT LIFE IS NOT LIKE THAT BECAUSE TOMORROW WE HUMANS MAY HAVE CHANGED, AND THEREFORE A SCIENCE OF SOCIETY MUST BE DIFFERENT FROM A SCIENCE OF “THINGS.”(Reflect on the structure of speech; in real life we can change from moment to moment from the role of a “you” to an “I” to “we” and,even to an “it” when we try to be objective about people. That is, the analytical role is by definition one that steps outside that which is being observed.

7.In theology and social science, as well, one is inescapablyboth subject and object at the same time.

8.What should be the basis, whether one is object or subject? At times the methods of natural science might be of help, but whenever the issue involves the status of relations between people, then values must take over.

Religion is the basis by which these decisions are made, when the role must be that of subject. In the subject role, one ismaking decisions about the status of one’s self.THUS, EVERYONE HAS A RELIGION OF SOME TYPE. It may be a weak religion, or a religion of death and destruction, but a religion unavoidably. (p.12)

9.One cannot assume to know everything. One’s philosophy tells one to act on one’s own, as an “I,” as a god.Arrogance leads to overdoing one’s own authority, however, and this in turn leads to superstition and self serving.

10.We live under two authorities, one from our man-made laws and another from powers outside us, which tell us what is just and right.Justice cannot be written into universal laws. All rules must be interpreted when applied, considering the circumstances. Law attempts to consider some circumstances, but social change always leads far ahead of legal revisions.

If we bind ourselves to follow rules, sans interpretation,we shrink from making refined decisions, which in turn reduces our freedom to be fully human.To follow rules strictly is to act as a mechanic, as a machine.A science of society must therefore not be based on laws of nature (which is to say philosophy), but on laws that will improve society,with justice, freedom,and respect.

When decisions are made, one must determine which authority is to be imposed, that of nature or that of some power outside us that tells us what is just and good.

…you need a theology and not a philosophy to interpret the relation of authority to the people who have to obey. (p.17)

11.Religion means —

“…the ties which work with the rest of the world, with our children, with our friends, with the government, with society…Theology improves religion. Science improves practice.” (p.17)

There is another important distinction to be remembered. With philosophy there is no admonition to act, only to think. It is the life of the mind that makes up that world. With religion one must act, get involved, participate in the community life.

In science one discovers the laws of nature. In theology one establishes concrete goals and strives to change in conscious ways. That is, in religion one both discovers and establishes rules. For instance, a scientific psychologist attempts to discover how humans “will” act.A religiously oriented person attempts to discover how humans “ought” to act.Because humans are part animal (i.e. natural), and part capable of being creative (i.e. part god), our behavior will be derived from both sources. But consciousness of the difference is crucial.

It seems obvious there is no separation betweens the authority of theology and that of secular rules. Most decisions should follow part of each.For instance, the Council of Nicaea in 787 determined that the state has the right to determine rules governing inheritance and other aspects of the disposition of physical property.The church was to decide who would get married and to pronounce the moral legitimacy of certain types of relationships.

12.There is little fundamental difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. Protestantism began at that moment in history when the correction of theology was put into the hands of all the members of the group.It represented a new approach, a sociological one if you will, as to the how basic religious doctrine would be interpreted. The Christian content, however, remains the same in both.

“We cannot afford any longer in the year 1954 to believe in the eternal separation of Roman Catholics and Protestants. …In a world in which nine-tenths of the people believe in nothing, the one-tenth cannot split itself into 10 different groups and say of each other they don’t believe in anything.(p.22)

…put Protestantism and Catholicism in its time sequence.The time sequence is that Protestantism completes, not the religious, but the theological cycle that was started with Anselm of Canterbury, that what Anselm and Abelard did was done by the few for the priests, that was given, in Protestantism, to everyone. (p.23)

12.Religion and theology constantly need improving, just as science and practice need it.

Another important distinction between religion and theology is that to know theology (theory) does not mean to have religion. To know about something does not mean one has experienced it first-hand. It may have come from a friend of his third cousin’s maid.

13.ERH also makes a distinction between a common spirit and an individual spirit. Without common spirit there is social anarchy, war, and decadence. Individual spirit is two things, the ability to exercise freedom of thought and practice. (p.30)

14.He asserts that teaching children too much theology arrests their ability to have a sophisticated view of religion.Their beliefs remain childish because children cannot understand theoretical arguments.Much earlier in this series of lectures he states that most Christians harbor the religion of a 6 year. old.

“the yardstick of a civilization is the obedience to that which cannot be enforced.” Lord Woolton.(p.31,32)

In other words, to have religion we freely make the decision that when made the other way, weakens both the individual and therefore the community.

Lecture – 26

1.To have an education separatesone from the community.To educate means to make one self-conscious of generalizing, capable of seeing objectively (and subjectively), to learn from the past and to anticipate and move toward a future development of society.

There is a dichotomy between thinking and doing.One who is very good at doing things usually lives only within his own time period, believing that individuals and society were always as he has experienced them. Education, if it is of quality, teaches one to grossly expand one’s experience from the beginning of recorded history, through the present and into the future. These perceptions do not necessarily prepare one to withstand the battering of everyday community life.

As a matter of fact, one’s excellence usually interferes with becoming more excellent. Although we must attempt to practice some humility, we need to understand this dichotomy.

2.To educate means to spread ideas, to stretch someone out in extending their knowledge in scope and depth and at the right time. TO EDUCATE MEANS ONE LEARNS TO INTERPRET KNOWLEDGE AND APPLY IT IN CONSIDERATION OF PRESENT AND FUTURE NEEDS FOR THE COMMUNITYWELFARE.

3.To educate means that one needs not only the knowledge of natural science, but also of a social science that provides guidance for decision-making.This must include a sense of social processes and the time they take to be fruitful.

ERH asserts that we are not now educated to understand these things.Just look at the state of our society and the others around the world.There seems to be no end to the states of poverty, crime, degeneration, anarchy, war, and the like. Natural science methods do not warn us against damage done by trying to change the time and timing of these processes. Children grow up too soon, kill, take drugs by age 10.Children bear children by age 10. Marriages are short-lived, as are many professional relationships.These and other social processes are out of kilter, and natural science methods have nothing to say about our conception of mis-timing in these matters. We instigate technology that constantly unbalances society, and no one is saying STOP.

4.ERH credits Jean Gerson with inventing the grammar school; his dream was that every child of Christendom should have schooling. He was the chancellor of the University of Paris, presiding at the Council of Konstanze in 1415. He said:

…it is more important to teach the children than these damn (older) students and the Ph.D.’s(p.9)

5.Considerable anarchy reigned within the church at that time. The theologians were split. Anselm and Abelard came on the scene 75 years. later.

Social change, progress, the evolution of institutions, the establishment of a common spirit among people that would be the foundation for peace in a community – all take timesometimes hundreds of years.But our present social science, applying the methods of natural science, does not allow us to understand or even see the timespans of these events.

6.To be sure, some things in society can be predicted by mathematical calculations. Probabilities of election results, the occurrence of certain diseases, the numbers of school drop-outs.But this tells us nothing of what “individuals” are likely to do.Society is treated as an inert mass of things, as predictably reacting automatons. Creativity does not occur en‑mass, it is individual. WHAT SHOULD A MORE VIABLE SOCIAL SCIENCE DO?

7.1), much of our social knowledge can only be empirically known.We cannot understand concepts that we have not already experienced. 2), It must account for the fact that all researchers cannot possibly position themselves outside society, therefore they cannot possibly be unbiased, or objective, or undogmatic about people.The very questions they raise for study are biased. All social research must therefore take into account the researcher. This is not true for research in natural science. 3), Nature is not rational; it has characteristics that can be learned. But mutations always occur, neverpredicted. 4), Natural science has no direction, but human societies do (or must if they are to become viable) – which is to say, we all desire peace, justice, equal treatment under the law as elements of our goals. 5), A principle social goal is to change and grow, to become something we have never been before, and to create social progress from generation to generation.”…the first thing you have to admit in the social sciences is that they imply the possibility of change.” (p.24)

6) With interpersonal relations there is always some authority – of parents, of managers, of professions that certify.In the natural world there is no authority directing phenomena. 7) In human relations our very social existence is founded on speech, on our ability to communicate, and therefore a viable social science must include speech as one of its principle elements.There is no speech between elements in nature. In social relations, the existence of peace or war, animosity or love explains much.There is no such concern in natural science.

8) A viable social science must be one in which the social scientist him/herself will be changed before he can hope to articulate something that is new and convince others of its truth. (p.31)

Such a social scientist must be a judge. He “…must be so taken with the issue at hand that he himself first remodels his own way before he can say to others what they should do.He is the test case in whom the response must work itself out into reality.” (p.32)In other words, social scientists must passionately believe that the welfare of society depends upon their work, and be willing to act on it. They must know and practice the value, that to speak the truth may require sacrifice on his part, and be willing to suffer the risk.

In natural science, we make the atoms move.In the social sciences, the scientists themselves move. (p.33)

8..In short, a viable science of society must require that all events, including his own, involve the whole man.In natural science only the scientist’s analytical and descriptive skills are required.

9.Finally, in natural science, laws (of nature) are discovered.In social life, laws are created through agreement, negotiation, and trust in order to create peace.Of course, those laws are constantly changed as man changes.

10.To repeat once again, a new type of social science must be centered on speech, on the articulation and circulation of truth, in the process of gaining lasting agreement as to the best rules for governing social relations and mores.

End of Lecture Series


Lectures 1-6
Feringer notes
Notes started: 4-97
Last edited: 12-98


Lecture 1


1/1″The Holy Spirit” always ties together two times, father & son; B.C.-A.D.; Old and New Testament; this is clearly expressed in the Trinity and in the law and grace. This means it takes two generations for change (ideas to be accepted by others, even if “others” means a small group).

2/1IF ONE IS TO CHANGE, one must divest him/her self of the old ways by acting on new ideas, “…the thinker must deliver the goods before he’s paid for them…”

Founders are those who take the first step before anyone else knows.  Often, perhaps always, one pays a heavy price of slander, persecution, being called insane. Abelard, Paracelsus, Jesus, Einstein are examples.

3/1Natural science is to be differentiated from teaching by the fact that the teacher teaches accepted (traditional) knowledge while searching for something new. The idea of research is just that (re-search) for new knowledge. THE IMPLICATION OF THIS  NOTION IS FUNDAMENTAL, that with teaching, students must be taught that at any moment knowledge might be overthrown.

4/1Theology is different from natural science.  THE DIFFERENCE IS IN  THE MEANING OF PARADOX. Theology, addressing only issues of social science, is filled with paradox; we are cruel and loving, we curse and forgive, we gain lasting social order (peace) by allowing one freedom ( only when one does something voluntarily will it last – in other words, only when one has accepted an idea into one’s spirit). The constant battles of life are between issues such as good and evil, between acceptance of a government and resistance, between war and peace, between punishment and forgiving, between just and unjust laws.  THESE ARE THE BASIC TYPES OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS EVERY GENERATION FACES.   THEOLOGY IS THE SCIENCE OF BRINGING CONCORDANCE  (RECONCILIATION) TO CONTRADICTIONS.

5.Teaching must be centered on what is important and what is unimportant, otherwise the next generation will have to learn by themselves, by re-inventing the foundations of society.

…the question of importance always involves a distinction between eternal values and immediate values.  You have always to pause if you wish to give importance to a legal question. (i.e. between the eternal and the temporary)  (p.6)

6.In the medieval university (1100 A.D. -1500) the teaching was between two opposing sides to an eternal social questions (for instance, how to resist tyranny). Eternal questions are in constant battle against the temporal (immediate) questions.

7.To deal with eternal questions  representing eternal values is to take a risk because the outcome of our actions is never known.  Our neighbor may respond to our love and tolerance by tyrannizing us, or even killing us.  We may give a stranger shelter, not knowing if he will rob us.  BUT WHAT TYPE OF  WORLD DO WE CREATE IF WE DO NOT FOLLOW THE ETHICAL MANDATES?  To take on and live such mandates is the essence of being “alive” spiritually. ERH contends that most people don’t live, they don’t face life’s problems, they merely exist physically as consuming organisms, using resources.

8.There is an important distinction here between academies and universities. With academies the battle is between old and new knowledge,  which compete. There must be a commitment to one or the other.  In the university the battle is between different points of view about eternal questions, and  here  disputation and concordance are taught.

Lecture 2

1/2From 1600 to 1800 universities (teaching) and academies (research institutions) were separate, then in 1800 research entered the university.  Here ERH points out the phases of new information from new idea to commonplace.  1) One man dares to have the laboratory, 2) this spread to scientific institutions with  research laboratories, 3) then universities build laboratories, and  4) finally, everyone can have a laboratory. (p.4)   [RF – in modern times these phases have just been reflected  in the evolution of the computer, but the time-span was much faster.]

3/2In social science the phases will be repeated, but by different methods. One can’t find human nature in the abstracted atmosphere of the laboratory, but it may be by “camps”, work service camps, summer camps, exploration camps.  (p.4)

3/3In the middle ages (500-1450) the old logic of Aristotle held forth, of syllogism (what ERH calls “lower logic”).  Higher logic is concordance:

…the concording is done where two minds think differently, but in unity of heart overcome their discord. (p.5)  (the principle of dialectical concording)

Lower logic begins with an assumption that cannot be proven (all men are mortal),   and proceeds, (Socrates was a man, therefore Socrates was mortal).  There are, of course as many logics as there are people who put forth assumptive premises, and there is no way to solve differences between the assumptions, except by commonly agreed – upon methods of proof over time.

4.ERH contrasts higher and lower logic with areas in the natural sciences, lower mathematics (arithmetic),  and higher math (the introduction of infinity and zero).  In another essay he contrasts lower grammar (vocabulary, rules of semantics, spelling, etc.) with higher grammar (the phases of social roles as  between thought and action, and  between speaker and listener). When the speaker gives orders he is acting as a god. The “I,” role ERH calls it. In the parlance of this higher grammar, the listener is “you.” When one addresses dead things, or things outside society,  the subject is treated as an”it.”  Parallel of the “it,”  in social science, is the third person,  objectively treated as the “outsider.”

5.The power to speak has 3 aspects, 1) theological, reflecting the role of  a truth-seeker,  2) a material aspect,  the content of the message, and 3) social,  the willingness of the speaker to address someone.

Lecture 3

3/1The church was not necessarily opposed to natural science; from 1450 to 1650 the Catholic church embraced the new science.  There was a  distinction between the academy (research, but not teaching) and university (teaching, but not research).  There was also a distinction between the future (new knowledge) and the past (what should be preserved).

(RF – I interpret ERH’s assertions to mean, That the  natural sciences grew out of the Middle ages (Catholic church), because previous to 1450 the churches created the university, which was teaching only about  past liturgical knowledge.   The academy, dedicated to creating new knowledge based on objectivity,  was a very different creature.

In 1550 the Jesuit universities taught the natural sciences, to identify the miracles of the natural world.  Today, (beginning in 1600)  the tendency is to go back to the pre-Jesuit phase of the university, which was theological only, as in the time of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Since the evolution of academies, which were subsumed by the modern universities, the focus of universities shifted away from teaching.  THE UNIVERSITIES TODAY, ASSERTS ERH, HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT THEY EVOLVED FROM A CONCERN FOR ETHICS AND THEOLOGY.

2.If to live in the future is to be liberal, and to live in the past is conservative, either of these extremes is impossible.

They (liberals), have denied their own tree out of which they have grown…a liberal today is the most unhealthy creature in the world.  He has a background of only a hundred years; and that’s too short for any mind to be healthy…Liberalism…in this country means that a liberal can be without the conservatives.  Now that’s impossible.  (p.3)

In other words, modern liberals fail to make the distinction between what should be preserved from the past and carried forward, and what should be forgotten. That is why their prescriptions are impossible!

He goes on to say that the modern liberals force a choice between atheism and the old religion, this isolating each from the other.

3.The evidence of liberalism is all around us.  Liberals send their children to Sunday school or church, but don’t go themselves.  Knowledge in the university is taught with no references to the ethical considerations for practice.  There is little or no willingness to make sacrifices for principles. Little is sacred, thus, there is little motivation to make the extraordinary effort (sacrifice) to establish peace, or to save a marriage, to save the environment, or to concern oneself with the plight of the homeless.

In other words, the practice of ethics in an effort to create a better community takes an “infinite effort,”  and that  liberals are no longer inclined to do.

4.For instance, it is a very traditional thought to suggest that change, the creation of a new future and  human growth, can be achieved:

…without an infinite investment.  Because the three powers by which we create — love, faith, and hope — when they are treated as parts of space and time. (p.6)

In scientific and technological thinking, liberalism dominates and guide our values today. And at the other extreme, the so called super-religionists (fundamentalists?) separate their beliefs from the consequences of practice, believing that all will be right in heaven.  WHERE THEN IS THE MOTIVATION TO ACT “WITH INFINITE INVESTMENT” IN EITHER CASE?  “Doing God’s work,” as traditional religionists spout, is too abstract, and infers absolute guides for action out of the context of our everyday life.   Liberalism, on the other hand, sets human judgement, with all its frailties as an absolute standard.   (i.e. growth only in terms of physical amenities). After 1789, the scientific curriculum in the universities was considered totally sufficient. (p.10)

5.Academies of the middle ages, as research institutions, were intolerant of the religion of their member;  they would not tolerate science being guided by ethics.  The Liberals say, “You are the captain of your Soul.”  On the other hand, belief in the Holy Spirit posits, “The Holy Spirit is captain of your Soul.” Before 1789, the Catholics were not hostile to research, but they couldn’t tolerate the beliefs of non-Catholic researchers.  THE RESULT WAS A SEPARATION OF THEOLOGY FROM SCIENCE. (p.9)

Nobody is captain of his soul, or he has no soul.  Soul is your part in God. And how can you be the captain of your soul, the one thing with which you are not yourself, but better than yourself…”I am captain of my soul” condemns a man not only to loneliness and isolation, but it condemns him even to supervise his only growing point, his soul…from the point of his mind. (p.12)

Inspiration, intuition, the source of creativity does not derive from logic.

“The decision is whether the mind, which is fixed, shall govern growth, or whether it shall not…The mind is insufficient for making peace and for begetting children. (p.13)

6.The result of this separation was a continuing atomism of knowledge into separate compartments, between disciplines, and especially between science and values.

7.Three sources of enmity between science and religion:

a.1500 – 1640: Protestants say salvation comes from purifying the church. (Luther)  Protestants were against science.  Then, beginning with Descartes, the scientists said,  “purify the mind to better see the world around us.”

b.1640 – 1789: Catholics oppose cooperation with Protestants. “They don’t want to let their sheep lie with the wolves.” (p.15)

c.1789 – 1940:  the liberal mind of the scientist wants to subjugate the soul,  and the soul is lowered to the position of the “psyche.”

8.The anticipated consequence of accepting the basic tenets of science as a guide to social analysis:

aBrotherhood of all scholars.

b.The right of all men to benefit by the findings of this brotherhood.

c.Progress in science meant progress in life.

d.The public will sacrifice for scientific truth.

The actual consequence was:

a.This belief was exploded along with the atomic bomb (after 1940); some stayed with science, some were guided by ethics first.

b.All mankind did not benefit from every discovery because unprincipled people can use the knowledge for evil.

c.Monopolies formed and technological progress did not necessarily benefit mankind.

d.The masses don’t like truth, they preferred their legends.


9.The tenets of the chapel are:

aMankind is one; the human race must be seen in solidarity.

bProgress is possible if guided by the Holy Spirit.  Mankind can better itself by this method.

cProgress will benefit mankind when its end is peace based on voluntarily accepted ethics.

dThe clergy and laity are identical in their purposes.  Scientists can be bought by governments or private interests.  This could never be accepted as valid for churches.


10.There must be mutual dependency between science and the chapel. Ethics, ungrounded in concrete behavior and observation of consequences are just as unthinkable as knowledge unbridled by standards.

ERH asserts that today the basic tenets of the chapel are unpracticed, and we see other races and socio-economic groups as different.  He gives an example in law of the relationship between the judge and judged to show the principle of the solidarity of the human race is essential for justice.

Lecture – 4

1/4The goal of human effort is to bear fruit, to create a society at peace.  A fruitful individual (a person whose thought bears fruit in others) is a person who can serve three basic roles, as a teacher, as a ruler and as a parent. (p.1/4)

2/4Knowledge devoid of charity and love is poison!  Here ERH makes the point that knowledge, put to use by and for greed destroys the society.

The idea is that scientists, and by inference all persons who create new knowledge must be guided by the four  dogmas of the chapel described in the previous chapter.

3.Creating new knowledge is always a risk to one’s own reputation, but if truth is sought in charity and love, one is willing to take such risk.  Thus, ethical belief always must control one’s dogma, as it “…prunes the tree of knowledge…”  Pruning  just as with trees, directs and engenders finer growth.  This occurs with:

…only people whose knowledge is so pruned, so ennobled, so cultivated that they will bear the brunt of slander, of false appearances, of misunderstanding. (p.4)

A man who has never been misunderstood has never said anything important. (p.5)

Man is at his best when he is in danger, second best when at work, third best with friends, and fourth best when alone without anything to do.  “The modern fiction is that man at leisure is better than at work.  That’s the opposite..” (p.5)

4Science will not survive if the four tenets (and a 5th, “let there be science”) are not followed.  These are ethical tenets, not from science but from theology, and supported by the Catholic church before 1500.  Without them science would collapse, rotting from the inside out, raising questions that do not bear fruit, cutting off communication between scientists, eliminating trust between the laity and the scientists. WHEN THE FIVE  TENETS ARE PRACTICED, THEY ARE COMPLETELY COMPATIBLE WITH CHRISTIANITY!

ERH contends that every one of the 4 are abandoned in this country.

5″…a decent man in the circulation of thought always tries to make himself superfluous.”  Thus, a good scientist always shares his discoveries with others.

6The circulation of thought, by its very process as described by these tenets, transforms thought. It is the seed of the apple, the link between the old and new tree.

One should manifest this idea by speaking on an important issue,  saying  in public what needs to be said and what nobody else is saying. For instance, in a city Council meeting one might need to say:

“I have to tell you that you are corrupt.”  That’s not intellectual,..but that is taking upon yourself in a personal expression…what before you thought everybody knew, and which has not been forgotten, and which you now have to bring back into circulation. (p.13)

7.”The miracle in creation is man.  And the miracle of man is that he grows.  And the miracle of man is that he grows in season, when the time has come in his life.” (p.15)

By this ERH means that we grow when we speak the truth at the right time, at the time when it will impress others to act in the right way, in a way that allows others (the community) to benefit.

8.St. Augustine said there are four ways to love; love above himself, love himself, love that which is like himself, and love below himself (people and creatures over-which he has power).  These four tenets must underlay our thought. Loving those below us gives us humility and also admits we must be wards of those we can control, such as children and animals and other life. Love truth and believe in its importance.

a.To love truth means also that we are willing to be guided by our teachers and by the Holy Spirit, and to listen to authorities, who by definition speak the truth.

b.To love ourselves means that we are willing to speak out, to respect ourselves, to see ourselves one day as authority.

To awake every morning and have to look at the world as though we had never seen it before, is to be willing to renew ourselves and grow.

Uninteresting is a man who thinks he is already in existence.  Interesting is a man who thinks he has never existed before today. (p.18)

You can’t love yourself if you have no secret.  You need to say “I know something which other people don’t know about me…The only interesting people are those who still  don’t know who they are.” (p.18)  That is, they are still growing.

We love ourselves most when we give to others, when we sacrifice for the community.  And we must love ourselves before we can love others.

9.In sum, we must love authority (above us), we must love ourselves, we must love our comrades, and we must love below us. (When we fall, we are “below” our normal selves, and to resurrect ourselves we must be willing to love ourselves in this state; as we do with others.

Lecture 5

1/5A “concept” or a “sphere of thought” or an “arena” within which some theory functions (what ERH calls a “cycle”) is always unique to any “problem,” and the method cannot exceed those boundaries. e.g. The laws for arithmetic cannot comprehend infinitely small, or infinitely large conceptions, these must be handled by a new system called “higher mathematics”.

THE POINT HE MAKES IS THAT EACH CYCLE IS UNIQUE AND REQUIRES ITS OWN METHOD, AND THERE IS NEVER A LOGICAL CONNECTION BETWEEN THESE GAPS. The rules (logic) for one level of thought in a given system never leads us to rules for the other. One must make a “jump” mentally.  [RF, -These concepts have everyday application. They are consistent with some of my own work focusing on criteria for problem formulation.]

2/5Logic is always based on a founding proposition that cannot be proven, but must be assumed. Thus, there are as many “logics” as there are propositions. ERH points out that in society, there are an infinite number of individual “logics.”  Syllogisms therefore have no power to answer the larger question of HOW TO INTEGRATE CYCLES. Such principles always derive from specific situations.

For instance, examining the commonly known  Socratic syllogism; All men are mortal… ERH CONTRADICTS THIS LOGIC BY POINTING OUT THAT SOCRATES IS MORE THAN MERE FLESH AND BLOOD.  His spirit has lived on. “You are a man plus something else.” (p.3)

3/5ERH also points out that labeling an individual tends to associate him/her within a logical context from which it is difficult to escape. He cites the case of an accused person in danger of being found guilty, solely because of the accusation.

ERH proceeds to show how the great achievement of the middle ages was to find a (CONCORDANCE), a method of freeing individuals from these labels.  The simple method is to place one’s self in the position of the other, then judge their behavior. (p.4)

The super-logic of the conscience means that the man whom I am judging is inside myself.  As soon as you have this conscience, you have two starting points to judge any event in the world,…the man as he appears from the outside. And you have the man as you identify yourself with from the inside. (p.5)

4THIS POINT OF VIEW MAKES AN ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY ONE JUDGES EVENTS IN LIFE.  One sees an event from both inside and outside.  In one instance the inside may be most important, and in another, the opposite.  TO LIVE A MORAL LIFE, TO EVOLVE A SOUL, TO HAVE ONE’S SPIRIT LIVE INTO THE FUTURE, one must apply super logic and assume that physical death is only one factor in one’s entering eternity.  Conscience and evidence must be weighed and balanced in decision making.

From the year 1100 on there were distinctions made between evidence (outside) and intent (inside).

5.The phrase, “the brotherhood of man” is not empty, but an indication of our relations with our fellow humans.

ERH points out that today in the U.S. we are reverting back to evidence only. [RF – For example, the persistent, seemingly indiscriminate practice of judgment in American courts of   “not guilty by virtue of technical error”  in cases where the defendant is guilty of a crime.

Likewise, any evidence of social separation, by race, creed, etc. between churches, is an example of grouping by (outside) criteria only.  Originally the Catholic Church saw Christianity as the universal religion.  Concordance teaches us to see from both inside and outside.

The brotherhood of early scientists (before 1500) “…had to be prepared by the development of a highly refined conscience…scientific progress in the Middle Ages, is based on the identification with all men. (p.8)

6.Anselm of Canterbury laid down four propositions for Concordance:

a.Paradox:  Although Anselm prayed to God, he admitted to only knowing the absence of God. Thus, his application of super-logic, that at times we act “in the presence of God,” (morally), and at other times we do not. Or at times we act from conscience, and at others, by our logic (of self preservation). “So the paradox is, that God is omnipresent and omni-absent.” (p.10)  So, also, we must conclude that the evidence of God on a purely physical level is not enough.

“God is not to be seen in our consciousness.  You can only have Him in your conscience.” (p.13)    The mind can only grasp things which are “beneath man.” (p.14)

b.Progress is possible only through super-logic. The law of concordance in science is that we go from knowledge to ignorance, that we set aside (forget) the known and begin again with a clean mental slate.  All great leaps in science have followed this method.  THIS IS CROSSING THE GREAT GAP MENTIONED ABOVE, THE ABYSS OF IGNORANCE, IN ORDER TO PROGRESS.  As the old propositions are never broad enough to solve the new problem at hand, the old proposition is therefore “primitive logic.”  And such creativity is the meaning of the term RE-search.

Lecture – 6

1/6Continuing the #b proposition of concordance, all of work exists in the context of other persons with different points of view. Doubting, leading, teaching, protesting, etc. all take place in relation to other people.

2/6Regarding timing, teachers, leaders (founder of new institutions) must suspend hope for acceptance for their ideas in their own life times.

3/6We never possess “our own mind”.

“The mind is our participation in the social process of thinking.  What you call your mind, is only the reflection of your relation to the thinking of humanity.” (p.3)

Once we discover that our thinking makes us a part of the thinking of mankind we are set free. [RF – I am reminded of Hegel’s aphorism, “Freedom begins with a recognition of necessity.”]  This forms a unity of mankind because humans at their best wish to think “the” truth, about valid (significant) things. This is a social concept, not a scientific one.

4.Religious truth, or eternal truth takes a lifetime to come true.  Mathematical truths are unrelated to time.

Social truth (eternal truth) cannot be proven by what had gone on before, because it is constantly evolving to the end of time. It must “grow into” the thinking of people. It must be re-proven each generation.  [RF – Racial prejudice, for example, is still acceptable in most of the world, recently renewed in Serbia and Croatia.

In order for social truth to have universal participation, everybody must be ready for it. It only becomes part of our lives when we put it into practice.

5Fruitful thinking, creative thinking begins when self-interest has been set aside. We must admit that we are cowards, that there is a struggle to find truth, that we must overcome our cowardice  by being indifferent to danger (of speaking and acting on our truth), by overcoming our fear and trembling.

6Today the rules of eldership are threatened; we need to look for those powers that create the relation between one man and the seed of an idea, and the next man in whom that seed is likely to bear fruit.  THIS IS THE PURPOSE OF TEACHING.

7[RF – ERH now touches on “super-grammar,” the grammatical method, whereby, in the context of this lecture, the first stage for us (listening to authority), engenders the next stage (action, transforming the listening “you” into an acting “I”), then the next stage, acceptance by others, when the “I” turns into a “we”.]

8These three stages of “setting down roots” are analogous to the trilogy — the father, son and Holy Spirit. The role of the son is to  listen when addressed as “you,” of then later acting as god “I,” and of instilling the idea into others, “we.”  These three stages are reflected in a circulation of thought:

His youth, where he must trust in something waiting for him eternally; the adult man’s interest in manipulating in the world around him and mastering it; and the necessity of bearing fruit in future times when we ourselves are no longer alive, of surviving in our thought, since we cannot survive in the flesh. (p.13)

In carrying through these stages we achieve the goals of teaching, to pass on the keeping  of all of the features that universities, academies, and future social thinking require.  BUT THEIR PURPOSE IS TO DEVELOP CONSCIENCE IN THE INDIVIDUAL. THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS “MEDIEVAL CYCLE.” (p.13)

9These stages are difficult to achieve, but they represent fruitfulness. Fruitfulness in the individual means devotion to seeking the truth and having the courage to speak it at the right moment.

But fruitfulness does not only depend upon the individual, it also depends upon  responses from the rest of mankind, on laity, and rulers.

10The scientist needs three disciplines to be fruitful – law, theology, and politics. In addition to science, he requires  a super-grammar and a super-logic, as described above.

11.(p.19) ERH confirms the centrality of the problem statement as the fundamental basis for organizing all knowledge.

Circulation of Thought – 1949 – Review

It is a truism to point out that how we think effects every corner of our lives. In this essay Rosenstock-Huessy raises the question, “How can we make our lives fruitful?”  His answer is through circulating thought.  But the statement raises many more questions than it answers.  Thought becomes transformed into helping us see and understand our experience more clearly when it proceeds through certain stages and those stages are not based on logic, but rather Concordance.  The thrust of this essay is to provide a detailed description of how Concordance is to take place.  The issues covered overlap considerably with those covered in his UNIVERSAL HISTORY, that is, teaching, theology differentiated from science, how we change, the university differentiated from the academy, the centrality of time, and of speech and the like.  But the cast of these issues are given meaning as they relate to how a society at peace with itself is to be created, and in turn, how thought must be  regenerated to achieve that end.