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.
“THOUGHTS ARE NOT UNDER OUR CONTROL IF WE DON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM. ANY THOUGHT MUST BE PUT THROUGH THE STRAINER OF REALIZATION.”(p. 21/1)
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.
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.
9.This is why teaching is so important, so that there can be agreement on some common standard.THE IDEAL AT THE END OF ONE’S LIFE, IF ONE HAS LIVED “WELL,” IS TO HAVE ONE’S SELF-OPINION, THE RECOGNITION ONE RECEIVES FROM THE COMMUNITY, AND WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK OF ONE AFTER DEATH ALL IN CONJUNCTION. (p.15)
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.”
(RF – IN SHORT, KNOWLEDGE IS CREATED BY VOTE, AND IS THEREFORERESULTS FROMPOLITICS.)
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)
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.
12.We believe that to have a mind and use it is a natural phenomenon.IT ISN’T. WE DON’T NEED LANGUAGE IN THE COMPLEX SENSE TO SURVIVE PHYSICALLY AS ANIMALS DO. WE COULD GET ALONG WITH GRUNTS AND PURRING.BUT FOR HUMANKIND TO PROGRESS MEANS THAT IT BECOMES SUPER-NATURAL, BEYOND NATURE, LEARNING FROM PAST GENERATIONS AND PASSING ON OUR KNOWLEDGE.THAT CAN ONLY BE DONE THROUGH THE SPIRIT AND THOUGHT, THROUGH SPEECH AND ITS CIRCULATION, IS THE ONLY METHOD BY WHICH WE BECOME HUMAN, “SUPERNATURAL.”
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. .
3.HOW DO WE LEARN TO APPRECIATE THE POSITIVE VALUE OF IDEAS OF OTHER GROUPS AND THEREFORE LEARN BY SEEING OURSELVES AS OTHERS SEE US? Obviously this is a significant need for all cultures.
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.”
WE WILL NEVER HAVE A SCIENCE OF SOCIETY UNLESS WE CAN SAY ONE GOD, ONE WORLD, ONE HUMANKIND. p.20
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.
LECTURE – 15
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)
LECTURE – 17
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.
LECTURE – 18
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 …..plus 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.
ERH ASSERTS THAT THE READER NEEDS THE INSIGHT TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION AND THEOLOGY. (p.1)
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