The Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Fund and its work, including the ongoing expansion of this website, are entirely dependent on private contributions, which are fully tax-deductible. We welcome your support of our efforts. Please consider making a donation to the Fund here.

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Live! »

Cross of Reality (1953)

Lecture 24 (1:28:58)

The power to make peace or war is divine.
The power to wage war, or to work in peace is human.   

—October 4, 1953


{ } = word or expression can't be understood
{word} = hard to understand, might be this

...this special chapter of the men of faith, and their effect on us. And the thir- -- the second is, of course, to bring this whole course to an end. And we must distinguish. I want to have some time for the -- looking over the whole. And I want to be as brief as possible about these four religious leaders: Buddha, Abraham, Lao-Tzu, and Jesus. I only mention -- talk to you really on Lao-Tzu because he's the most foreign to you.

And unfortunately, as you know, such people are -- have been treated always as Chinese, or as Jews, or as Christian. Now obviously their whole meaning is that they do not belong to China, or to India, or to -- or to Juda- -- Israel, but that they are -- have anticipated our destiny. And human destiny certainly is not concerned and not interested in our background or our origins. But it is interested, as the name it- -- itself says, in a time in which we will have fulfilled our role within humanity.

So I want to be as brief as possible once more about these men, because personal love is nothing to be divulged and to be talked about. I asked you to read on these men, because I do not see why I should here stand in class and pronounce my sympathies or my affections publicly. That's everybody's own business.

Religion is nothing to be talked about in public. That's why on campuses the soul and God are no topics of conversation. But that doesn't mean that they do not exist. It only means that the college exists very little; that is the playground for empty brains and lazy hearts. And it's a playground for exercise of your mind, but not for the exercise of decisions. And you cannot speak of these men without deciding for yourself how they speak to you and how you have to answer their question. And since we can on -- not possibly on a campus be really serious, because nothing is going on except examinations, and they aren't serious, it is impossible to speak in the proper language of religion. This you must learn. Because it is a perversion today of people that they think they can have courses on religion. And we do more than just hint at the fact that classrooms are not the places where to talk religion. That's all we can say negatively: this is not the place to make personal decisions. But it is the place to prepare yourself for personal decisions.

As soon as you confuse the thing, then you get bull sessions on the existence of God. And they are ridiculous, these bull sessions. Utterly ridiculous. And the whole de- -- deprivation of the liberalism of the 20th century comes from this reason that the liberals, the humanists have one dogma, as you know, the En-

lightenment, that your mind can be taken everywhere, at any moment.

Now it cannot. If you just think of our cross of reality, the soul in her despair has to change her mind, and just say -- must say, "My mind isn't good enough." And that's the moment in which you are alone.

All these four men, and that much I want to say for this first duty of -- of today -- all these four men, you may remember, anticipate the role of death in our life as a fruitful thing, as something which directs us. If people had not died for us, we wouldn't know how to live. So the difference between a life lived in -- as created by people who have gone before us, and the natural man is that you think you're born somewhere, and live somewhere, and die somewhere. Any man who has his heart moved knows that some people have died so that he may live. That is, we -- you and I all have some death -- meaningful death behind us. The difference, gentlemen, between the animal and between the human being has always been from the very beginning, that man, you will hear of -- when -- if you come to 58, we will speak of this even -- much greater length, you can -- I can prove by the documents from the Stone Age on, that man felt that he was something special, because he could fructify, inherit something of the dead, and that his meaning, his own existence depended on the fact that he was second, and that somebody's death preceded his life.

So in nature, gentlemen, in philosophy, in mathematics, and physics, you think that life is there in itself, and it is the beginning. Bor- -- birth is birth. But already in every marriage, you know very well that your father has d- -- died to his passion, has given up his Don Giovanni existence as a bachelor when he married -- not more -- in order to stand by until you were born and could grow up. And he has died to his will, to his arbitrariness. That is marriage. Marriage is the -- renunciation of a part of a man's possibilities. Any man can -- could love many -- have many mistresses. -- That's why the -- in Moslem -- in Islam this is still placed before our eyes, as the great temptation of men. You have one wife, you can have a second, a third, and a fourth.

But in -- in order that your children may inherit life, you yourself have to die to a certain extent, to your possibility. You have to cut off something. You have to resign yourself. And some state of nature has to go, and with regard to marriage, it means -- that you say, "From now on, I shall not produce wild -- not sow anymore my wild oats."

It looks very simple, gentlemen, and yet it is a very pathetic performance which no animal can perform, this act of saying "no" to a part of one's own life. And it is this becoming conscious of the necessity that in order that the next generation may live more -- and more properly and more directed that death

enters your own life in the midst of it. It's a great saying of antiquity that death comes to man under the mask of love. Perhaps you take this down: death comes to man under the mask of love. Everybody knows this. Nobody -- draws any conclusions in his philosophy. Because everybody does -- knows what marriage is, and what the condition of -- of a happy childhood is. The -- only if the parents are one, and if it makes no difference, the sex -- if all these psychoanalytical non- -- nonsensical stages are -- can be forgotten and obliterated in a family do you have childhood -- a happy childhood and two parents.

I can honestly say that my parents never appeared to me as two people. But my mother told us what my father had decided. She was the mouthpiece of the two, as it very often is with children. And -- but they were one. Mysterious things went obviously on between them, mentally, all their counseling, and all their advice. But we didn't -- only receive a uni- -- unified order. These were still happy days when the poor women didn't have to go into business and be so tired that they appear to their children as individuals. Parents are not individuals. The sacrifice of the husband is made -- you remember, our multiformity of man -- the sacrifice of his arbitrary freedom is made so that children may inherit a finality in the previous generation. These men appear to parents -- appear to the children as final. Nothing more can happen. They are not -- they are secure. Final is always death. You see, the end of a thing is also its death. The perfection and death, gentlemen, is the same thing.

When Spengler wrote his famous Decline of the West, a -- a man -- friend said -- said to him, "You could also have called it The Perfection of the West."

He said, "Yes, I -- the same."

Parents are final. And finality means death. You and I are not final be- -- as far as we are still alive.

Now, gentlemen, the revelation of these four founders reverses the process. In order to draw the veil from what everybody knows, from your and my eyes, Jesus had to reveal that love could come under the mask of death. In your life, death enters under the mask of love. And so we -- you are still na‹ve. It just comes to you as a passion of love, and you don't mind marrying this girl, you see. You don't know what you're doing. You don't understand that in marriage there is already the first act of finality, of pi- -- of conclusive, you see, last decision, that you cannot go beyond this, if you mean it really.

Sometimes, of course, people do not mean it. I -- had to attend a wedding, in church, of a lady who was married for the fourth time -- was in a Vermont church. And we all had very unhappy feelings about the ceremony. Fourth time,

you can't take it -- quite so seriously. But there was an old man of the village. And he stopped me when I -- we left the church and he said, "Did you s- -- did you notice?"

I said, "What?"

"They didn't ring the bells."

"Oh, yes. I didn't notice."

He said, "I was glad they didn't ring the bell." He meant at least this once -- last stroke, you see, we were spared. The rest of the ceremony was just a joke, anyway. But by not ringing the bells, the minister had at least expressed his disapproval.

Gentlemen, will you kindly see then that revelation is exactly and quite literally dialectically opposed to the veil of the bride, and to the natural life which you all lead when you make a -- make a career, and do not see that this is as much leading to death as it leads to an end, a dead-end, as it leads to the fulfillment of your will. Whenever men do their -- get their will done, they are one step nearer to the grave, and their civilization, too, because we all exploit reality by willing. We only save it by nonwilling. I have to -- just to -- remind you of the paper on the four.

"Revelation" then means to show that we can love by dying. "Veil" means we die by loving. I have to make it so simple and so na‹ve, gentlemen, because this is all forgotten. When people today talk of revelation, they mean something terribly metaphysical, or I don't know what they mean. Sometimes nothing. I'm very doubtful that any one of you thinks that philosophy is not religion, and religion is not philosophy. This is all today one big hodgepodge. Most people think Christianity is a philosophy. If it was a philosophy, it wouldn't -- wouldn't exist. It has nothing to do with philosophy. It is the inculcation into your natural running, running, running of the fact that behind everything you do, the very opposite looms, too.

To show you this in a very practical way. People describing in psychology or sociology the acts of man, they'll say he wants this, he wants security, he wants -- recognition. That is, these are all -- all men act because of their life, will to live, of their lust for power, of their greed, of their sex. That is, always of their vitality. There are, however, four actions, which from time immemorial men have perpetrated as originating and caused by death. One is all asceticism, from Prohibition to monasticism, that people, although still alive, die to one branch of their vitality. Like the monk who does not marry, who remains a child, or a

virgin, the nun -- the monk, they give up part of their life. Because all men must die, they represent this reminder. As you may know, the -- some monks are wearing their garment for the coffin all their lives, to symbolize this. Now monasticism is a great fact. There are even Americans who take to it, which is a -- very hard. And I think they mostly understand it like this poor Thomas Merton. He's going on to write books about it, as a monk. You must have seen his -- his Seven Storeys -- Seven -- what is it? Seven-Storey Mountain?

(Seven-Storey Mountain.)

Well, it has become more or less a Wanamaker.

Monasticism is one way. You anticipate death so much that you say, "What's the use?" Vanity, vanity, vanity. You have the opposite. You build memorials. You build a Baker Memorial, or you build a Lincoln Memorial, a Washington Memorial, you -- build tombstones. You go to the undertaker and waste all your money, and your family's money on this -- on this terrible racket of the undertaker, with 15 percent to the minister. Fight it. Fight it. It's your duty in your community and your family, to fight the undertaker racket. And that's up to the laymen's -- it's just up to people like you to -- to investigate the wrong memorializing of the dead. They don't have to be buried in anything more than six boards of -- of wood. All these steel and -- caskets and so. That's all nonsense. It's superstition. But you see, they have lemons -- you see, these un- -- these onions, these people, these -- the undertakers and they bring their onions, and you -- you weep, and say -- of course, they say you only want the best for your beloved. And so they get a thousand dollars for the coffin.

But there is something serious about this -- what is an abuse with the undertaker. That is nonsense, that you put such a casket into the ground. It is not a nonsense when the justices of the Supreme Court dedicate a Justice Holmes Park, in which the justices can have some recreation and relaxation while they have a recess.

So there are necessities of honoring the dead. That's a necessity, gentlemen, just as necessary as to lust for life, we have to remember death. That's Number 2. The third way of remembering -- of leaving something -- or dealing with death is your last will. You bequeath something. A legacy to somebody, who thereby is allowed to inherit your business, or part of your power, part of your social status. Inheritance is one way of dealing with death fruitfully, meaningfully, on the part of the man who doesn't remember only that he lives, but as much is puzzled by the fact that he dies.

And the fourth action is education. In this country, it is all limited to the

undertaker and to education, our dealing with death. Monasticism certainly in Protestant America hadn't much of a vogue. Asceticism, Prohibition was -- was the secular form of monastic, you see, abstemiousness. Certainly we dismissed this. And we don't know how to honor our dead very well. If you go to the Orozco fresco and see the -- the speech made there by this gentlemen over the corpse of the dead hero -- you remember? -- with the flag spread over it? You shudder and you feel that we have just lost all touch with this whole problem. He just makes a speech. And you feel that this man certainly is more dead than the man who lies -- died on the ground.

What I want to point to you, however, is that in these four examples, which I have quite -- organized quite carefully, you have the demonstration that man in history, man in reality, you yourself, are just as much influenced by the necessity of acting because of death as you are influenced by the fact that you have to act because of life. Now that's new. You find it in no textbook. There is no admission in any book on sociology or psychology, that men are forced to go to great lengths to find reasonable ways of making breaks -- breaches, into the thicket of the unknown after their death. That's called the "beyond." The beyond is not somewhere in any place.

Already Saint Augustine was disgusted with this abuse. When you pray, "Our Father in Heaven," we -- you do not assume God into orthodox Christian doctrine that Heaven is there and you are here. And anybody who assumes that the beyond is in a place is a pagan. There is of course much paganism in Christianity. But you and I are not allowed to say such stuff. Neither can you do it from modern astronomy, nor can you do it in justice from the New Testament. That was never such an idea that the beyond was in a place. Never. Except in these modern times of crude superstition. And the beyond is simply that realm which is created by the fact that we must die. That is the beyond. And that is here. But for children, playboys, millionaires, it is not accessible, because they only think that they want to live. And anybody who knows that he must want to die -- which is a -- big order -- this beyond opens. And you can hardly even use the word "beyond" among us, because people say to you, the 90 percent of the idiots, that the beyond is in some place. I think behind Venus.

But that's a superstition. I can show you this chapter and verse in the fathers of the Church, 300 A.D. They knew that they had to fight the superstition just as much as I have to. Neither Jew nor Christian has ever believed that the beyond is in a place.

And it is obviously high time, since all the people seem to be in a conspiracy. The atheists say that the Christians believe that the beyond is in a place. And the ministers are such cowards, because they depend on the superstitious people

that they tell you the same thing. Or let it at least -- they let it in -- in doubt. For children, if you want to bring up your child, you have to speak in these terms which a child cannot yet understand. And that's how -- where the misunderstanding comes. But you aren't children, gentlemen. But you cannot miss the beyond. You cannot dismiss the question that half of your life is -- stems from the fact that you must die. And therefore you must anticipate your death in your actions.

Death is with you from the very first day. And all education is nothing but making you capable of taking over what we are doing. At this moment, you aren't taking over at all. You're just playing. You aren't even told that education means not getting your -- something out of this. I defy you this -- this -- all American education at this moment is going to pot, is a racket of the worst order, because people are allowed to say, "What do I get out of this course?" But "education" means to make you fit to join the army of the -- of the people who are in their shrouds ready to die, apt to die correctly.

How can you get an education, gentlemen? You can't get an education under the principles under which you take the courses. It is impossible. It can only do harm to you. A smattering about everything. And it would be much better if you haven't heard of any of these things, ever. It would be much nicer. Perfectly innocent. I -- I mean, I prefer in this country at this moment any man who hasn't gone to college, by his natural common sense, to a man who has gone to college under the conditions -- prevailing winds of "What do I get out of this?"

If you think that education is giving you something, you treat it as buying and selling. But in the kingdom of Heaven there will be neither buyers nor sellers. Education cannot be sold. Education is participation of the next generation in the great army of the people who count in reality, because they encompass life and death in their consciousness, who are perfectly indifferent, and who are -- because they have overcome this fluctuation of thought, which arises when you want to live forever. You remember the sentence: "Look to act," {Qui semper vivere queret.} You remember what I dictated to you last time? He fluctuates who wants to live eternally. He has no mind of his own. He's pragmatic. Only the man who acts indifferently, whether life or death follows, can act as a free man.

Gentlemen, freedom comes out of your being fearless of the danger of losing your reputation, or losing your existence, or losing your home country, or losing your honor, or losing your money. Not that you want to do this. Everyone -- it would be -- is very pleased if he is spared. Everybody wants to keep his honor. Every- -- want to keep their reputation, but you cannot act because of,

you see. That's impossible. It is not causing your action. Your action must be free. So it must be based, you see, on your indifference to the outcome. But in 90 out of hundred ti- -- times, a man who has -- courageous usually wins, because there are so few. So he always takes the -- the world by storm.

I put in this pamphlet of mine these four people as representing the hub, or the ancient term for this, as you may know. Anybody knows the word "nave," for the center of the wheel? That is really what -- how Lao-Tzu speaks of himself and of every human being. Buddha represents the eye that keeps open and forgets the struggle that is around it. And I have not to tell you that the altar and the cross are the two forms of the Jewish and the Christian revelation. Abraham says, "I'm willing to sacrifice my son, but I won't, because the Lord just -- demand that I sacrifice my will in the life of this child." That's the first -- beginning of an education of a free man, you see. Abraham does not sacrifice his son.

What does this mean? That the son is as immediate to the life's purpose and life's plan as the father. And ever since, family life in Israel has flourished, because the fathers have not asked their sons to do their bidding. It is this immediacy of the second generation which in the Old Testament then forced this declaration of faith, that this was the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is, it was not Abraham's god which was inherited -- could be inherited by Isaac, you see. But Abraham's renunciation, that he was only in his own lifetime the Lord's ally, provoked in this very weak, you know, and rather silly Isaac, who's not a great asset to humanity -- but still, what the strongest Abraham received, the weakest had received to some measure, too, the same immediacy. And that is the great lesson of the Bible, you see, that although we think there are great distinctions between humanity, genius, and -- and id- -- idiot, strong-willed and weakwilled men, that Isaac h„l- -- gets the same privilege as Abraham to call God "the god of Isaac." That's the whole story of the revelation, you see. Death, I said, under the mask of love, is natural man's share. Love, under the mask of death is historical man's share. Abraham, by com- -- by communicating to the children of his -- to the Jews, to the Hebrews, forever this abdication of the hus- -- the father's will makes room for a free people.

The king of Sweden in the year of the Lord 1070, one of these Germanic, blonde beasts, sacri- -- had sacrificed six of his sons for the prolongation of his own life. When the seventh, the youngest, was to be sacrificed so that the old man may -- might go on living -- the idea being that human sacrifice would strengthen, you see, the living king, as the Aztecs { } -- when the -- however, when the king Erik had this bright idea that his seventh son might give him another lease on life, the people threw him out, became Christians and made this king, the seventh son -- this crown prince -- made him king. And that's how the people in the world all became Jews when they became allegedly Christian.

That is, they -- they recognized that the next generation has as much right as the previous.

For you it's hard to understand, because your problem is, as you know, in reverse. You don't have to learn that your generation is entitled to life and the pursuit of happiness. The problem with you is that you have to learn that your parents are entitled to the pursuit of happiness. And that's equally difficult.

But always in your life, too, gentlemen, revelation means that the sacrifice you may make -- have to make now in Korea and in -- and in Berlin, you will see in a few days how critical it is -- for making good your own word, your father's word -- your past gen- -- the past gen- -- the world of the past generation, that it -- may take your life. We are faced today with this great fact that war has been the only form in which the -- your living generation, which has been spoiled, and pampered, and allowed to do its will in progressive education as it pleased, is called back to fulfill promises made in 1917, which is very disagreeable, to s- -- be sure. Which means that you have to admit that the parents' life is as direct in its spiritual authority as your own. We have talked about this, La guerre ce sont nos pŠres, haven't we? After the First World War, there was already this -- in the Western world this degeneracy. The -- the young French people said, La guerre ce sont nos pŠres. The First World War, you see, that are our fathers. La guerre -- the war, are no -- ce sont nos pŠres. It's just our fathers. It's not our business. Once you say this, you see -- are in for trouble.

This is the abstemiousness of other people's sacrifice. Abraham learned that he couldn't sacrifice his son. But that his son was a living sacrifice all his life, because he was under the will of God, even where it went against the interests or the program of his papa. The cross is the self-sacrifice; His own life is sacrificed. The Son's sacrifice -- life is sacrificed, because otherwise there would just be a revolutionary, violent change.

Jesus, by sacrificing Himself, makes the peaceful transition from the Old Testament into the New Testament possible. Peter and Paul are Jews who can become Christians. And without the Cross, they couldn't. That's why you still pray the psalms of the Old Testament every Sunday in church, why the whole Christian service is still filled with the Old Testament. That is the peaceful way in which He brought over out of the former generation as Son, this. Son and father, gentlemen, are then -- are the real words to be put here. "Father" -- { }. The world knows what a father should be, since Abraham. And the world knows what a son should be, since Christ.

Most Christians today are at best Jews, because the fathers have learned what they should be, but I'm afraid the sons have not. You have been told too

long that Christ is out of reach, that He is so much the Lord that we don't have to be His brothers. Gentlemen, today the daughters of men especially, even more than the -- the sons, must know that they are demanded the same sacrifice as their lord. That is, that the bringing together of the generations is just as important when it's done by the next generation as in Jewish days when it was done by the previous generation. It's always the same. And I think that the daughters today have a -- a much more urging -- urgent task in this respect than the men.

You see that these two Eastern stages have exemplified their existence in something which is not up to the full human person. That in father and son, the revelation reaches the identity with something you and I can really live fully. These remain metaphors, hub and eye.

Both Buddha and Lao-Tzu therefore are mute. Lao-Tzu had to be forced even to write down the 600 words of his book, little book, Tao, because his resignation, his renunciation of life included, so to speak, speech. He -- he included in -- in that which he had to forgo, his eloquence, his -- his power to convey to others, to impart his will to others. That's why I feel that we here in this classroom, gentlemen, are in this strange situation that we have to bring -- build up an understanding of these Eastern ways. The hub and the eye. But that we still c- -- must retain the knowledge that this axis leads. You can enrich your social functioning by this lubrication of not willing success, of sitting tight, of being relaxed, of keep-smiling, or everything we said about nonfunctioning in a too well-functioning society. You remember?

And I think today you will find increasingly in the next decades much interest in Lao-Tzu, much interest in Buddha, increasingly so. And the temptation of the theosophists, and of the Buddhists, and of the -- these people is of course to tell you that we have had enough of Western civilization and that we now must enrich our lives with the Eastern spirit. May I warn you against this? It isn't so simple. These people are neither Eastern nor Western. The dates of these people are in a strange manner, you see, probably Abraham is 1700, Moses is 1300 B.C. -- whether you take Moses or Abraham, it's the same problem. Moses didn't go into the -- into the Promised Land. And in this sense, he behaved just like Abraham, not interfering with the will of the next generation. This is -- date of Lao-Tzu is by and large 650 A.D. -- B- -- B.C. Buddha is perhaps 350. We are very ill- -- little instructed as to the dates, because neither Buddhism, nor has it -- nor Lao-Tzu have any interest in history. So it's a -- very doubtful. And Christ then comes after another 350 years.

So in these -- those 1200 years, 1200 years before the Lord's coming, to 0, you find the same effort made all over the globe: four men living in such a way that their deaths may be in front of your life, that wherever you go, whichever

tyrants, or whichev- -- demagogues surround your cradle, whichever superstition in medicine, or in chemistry, or in plumbing, which standard of living may prevail -- starvation in Sicily, or plenty in this country, that every one of you can be faced, can set his eyes on some man's death through whose death your life reser- -- receives direction.

There is -- then in the role of these religious founders, gentlemen, a double -- a paradox. They are still ahead of you and me. In as far as you are just nature's creatures, their -- their -- your meeting them means that you find that these people had a farrer-reaching insight into your problem of life than you have yourself up to your 12th day, or up to the day at which you meet them. A man who becomes a Christian discovers that Christ, just 1900 years ago, was all the time waiting for him, only he didn't know it. And the moment you discover it, you feel perhaps ashamed, or perhaps even resentful, because this man knew something about your own life all the time which you do -- did not know.

In this sense, gentlemen, you can only come under their influence by admitting that they are ahead of you, that they are still waiting for you at this moment. And it makes not the slightest difference whether these people happen be called dead or alive, because in a way they are more alive than you, because they have laid the principles of your own future life. And your hitherto life has just been exposed to their eye, to their sermon, to their example in -- in its nothingness, in its silliness, in its nonentity.

Now in most of you this is still waiting. And you have the perfect right to determine the hour at which you will meet these four men, their word, their example, their influence. But please do not forget, gentlemen, that faith begins at the very moment when you can come to admit that dead people can be much more alive than the living. There is no religion possible if you think that because you happen to have your metabolism today and they had it some other day, that this is -- gives you the advantage of saying, "I'm alive, and these people are not alive." You can say of Caesar -- according to Julius Caesar, by Shakespeare, that he really was murdered in 44, but as you know, even Brutus in the Battle of Phillipi has to admit that his ghost was very powerful, and that for the next 2,000 years there had to be a Caesar somewhere in the world, because the office could not be dispensed with. So that even Caesar could not be murdered. His function marches on.

Now all the more this is true, gentlemen. Anybody who says that Jesus, or Abraham, or Lao-Tzu, or Buddha are not ahead of you and me destroys their religious position. That is the real attack, not atheism. Who cares for atheism? That's a phrase of philosophers. And philosophers can't change the world. They are utterly unimportant. But by your saying these people are dead, you do much

-- something much deaden- -- more deadening than if you say they are wrong, you see. A person who is wrong can still be very effective. But a person who -- of whom you say, "Well, he died in 33," or "He died in 325," him you have deprived of his meaning, because these people came into the world to make death meaningful.

Since this is their whole -- contribution, you really can frustrate the world by saying of all four, or of any one of these four, "Well, they lived long ago. That's nothing in my life." It is nothing in your life, but it has a terrible consequence, gentlemen. You have nothing in back -- nobody in back of you. Your life has lost direction, because life is not animal life in as far as somebody has already opened the gates and given you direction. If you do not admit this, whoever that is -- you -- you may not -- most people are derivative Christians, or derivative Buddhists. That is, you get it from a minister; or you get it from your good mother; or you get it by indirection, by some saint in the congregation. It isn't necessary that it is Jesus Himself, that -- who influences you, or Abraham. It can be -- for a Jew it can be a living witness of this faith, a rabbi. Or anybody. You must understand that when these witnesses still derive their authority by pointing back to these founders who have given them their own credo, their own creed, and their own belief. After all, they want to -- your mother, or your -- your father, or this saint in the community, or this preacher who -- under -- who confirms you and who makes a great impression on you, after all, they want you to understand that they only know all this, because their eyes are fastened on this first founder of their faith.

This is Point 1, gentlemen. The four founders, before they have talked to you, have to be treated as being ahead of you. The condition for this is that you -- find suddenly -- it is very simple and very true that death or life makes no difference. Dead people may be much more alive than the so-called living. If I look around, I find very few people who are alive today, but I find innumerable people who seem to be dead and are very much alive. And most people who live today, gentlemen, apparently are half-dead or three-quarters dead, in a coma, really live by the -- by the example of people who died long ago, even the wicked ones. They also have some devilish example, model which -- whom they imitate, what they think is a success story. Think of all the failures which are now -- are now produced by the Alger Vernon story. Or what's the man's name? Horace -- Horace?

(Horatio Alger.)

Wie? Horatio -- I always forget it, because I must have some Freudian complex against it.

The second thing is, gentlemen, about these people: once you find them in your life, or before -- in front of your life, in back of you, and they take this terrible burden from you that they have already directed your life into this freedom between life and death, that whatever comes, life or death, is meaningful, because it's a tapestry of both. Actions because of your dying, and actions because of your living are interwoven, as I sh- -- tried to show you with education. And that begins, after all, quite early.

Once you accept this tremendous emancipation, that the world does not begin with you, then everything is very clear, that the road is open to you, a tremendous road of opportunity, and of courage, and of fearlessness. Then the second thing is that you discover that you are the second in this dialogue, in this -- in this meeting of these people, that they come first, that they have placed themselves in a position where their -- what they have to say is heard by you.

Now since the natural man, you and I, first must hear before we can answer, must first learn to speak, because we can speak ourselves, revelation means this second thing. Very literally, gentlemen, that we receive a tongue, a language, an understanding into us before we -- the demand is made on us that we should respond, a language which is universal. A language -- Buddha, LaoTzu, Jesus, and Abraham -- you don't have to know Hebrew, and you don't have to know Greek, and you don't have to know Chinese, and you don't have to know Sanskrit -- in order to be affected by what they say. The greatness of these founders is that they have squeezed, or distilled into their -- course of life, into their path, as they both call it, Buddha calls it so, and Christ calls it so, path, into the movement which their life constitutes, that they have distilled their sermon in such a way that as music, it can be heard by everybody. It's universal. The universal speech, gentlemen, which you receive from these men, goes beyond this English of the King's -- James Version, at which everybody goes to sleep now in this country, which is safest way of not becoming a Christian. If you want to know the New Testament, don't read it in the King James Version. Read it in Weymouth, for example, or read it in -- in { } version, because the King James Version has become an English classic, and what are classics? Classics are for the English department. That is, they aren't taken seriously.

You have the eternal Greek translation of all these sac- -- their sacred texts, gentlemen, has this reason that they must still represent to you the future language of mankind. As soon as these -- books, or texts, or sacred traditions -- all these four founders have become known, they can no longer appear as anything but dead. Then you must relegate them to the past.

Therefore, gentlemen, the retranslation of these four men is the essence of the religious service. In any Christian service, in any Jewish service, the attempt

is made -- it's very bold -- to put the Bible before you as not yet heard. You must forget that it is -- 2,000 years old. If the service doesn't do this, it's no good. That's the meaning of the Catholic Mass, that today Christ is sacrificed, it doesn't help you at all that He was sacrificed -- 1900 years ago. But since His sacrifice is still going to -- step -- between you and your nat- -- merely natural, vital, ali- -- living existence, it has to happen now. Tomorrow, not even today. You're expecting it. As long as you do not expect this coming into your life of these four men, they cannot work.

This is -- against all you believe and all you have been told. You have -- live in a natural universe in which everybody, like any animal, begins life with himself and, of course, then life ends with himself. And that's an accidental life. It just happens. And you are all accidents { }.

I need not tell you that you are not. Everybody knows in his heart that he's not an accident. So when you say so, and when this is the -- really the conclusion of your alleged philosophy, you also must know that this philosophy is very poor, because you don't believe it for a minute. Not one of you believes that you are an accident. Yet if no death directs your life, gentlemen, then it is accidental, everything you do, because life itself has no direction.

I tried to show you that in the arts, and that has to do with our final examination -- so I may remind you of this -- in the arts, it is very obvious that when you have no direction in the divine service, in the sacrifice of the Mass, all the arts must degenerate. I tried to show you that we have today no -- since we have no drama, we have no music, we have no painting, we have no architecture, because the meaning of life comes from the step forward into the beyond, into what we should leave behind. And if you abolish that around -- which in the Middle Ages all art crystallized -- there it was the Mass, and you had wonderful music down to Bach, and you had the Gothic cathedral, and you had Raphael. Well, very simple. The word that came between the natural man and his future life gave his life direction; every one {of -- in the} Church. So they knew what to paint, and they knew how to build, and they knew how it wa- -- sing.

Now today you have atonal music, and you have these Gropius tin cans for people to be squeezed in, and they call this housing developments. I would call it "envelopments." And -- and what have you instead of here? You have the -- the abstract art. It certainly is abstracting. It certainly is atonal. And it certainly is prefabricated. That is, it's dealing with you without direction, in generalities. You are generally packed as meat in Chicago in a meat -- in Armour -- with Armour's and -- and -- what's the other man?


Swift. And that's -- you call "architecture." Call it "techture," but don't call it "architecture." We are all treated as corpses. And how -- one little word of meaning, gentlemen, can cure this.

I attended a conference of architects and engineers in New York a year ago. And I was asked to make my little contribution. So being not an architect, being not an engineer, of course I knew what to say. I had listened for three days to everything they had to say. And they were very nice people, and very hardpressed for immediate solutions. And they had this problem of the technical kitchen, and of the steel furniture, as we have it here exactly. All these problems.

Well, I -- we had different, various questions on the machine. I -- there are certain simple laws when you know life's meaning a little bit, or believe in it. That's all you can do. You discover meaning. These architects were very much relieved when I -- said to them, the -- if you have a four-room apartment, you have a kitchen, a living room, and two bedrooms, or you have a studio and a bedroom -- whatever -- let's only take four types: the studio, the living room, the kitchen, and the bed chamber. They should represent four different -- history -- histories of your life. The kitchen should be the most modern, the most technical, the most perfect factory system, style. The living room should contain as many remnants of past ages as possible. In between, you have the center of love and peace, the bedroom. That should have again an intimate character of your own biographical reminiscences. That would be -- within 60 years. A bedroom is not good if it has just -- army couch, which would be just primitive for one moment. But as in The Odyssey, where Odysseus, as you know, carved his bed for his wife in longtime work, I mean, out of a tree, it has to have the -- make the impression that it is there for one or two generations. But it should not be full of historical reminiscences, as the living room may be with its books.

And they were very much relieved when I showed them that any decent architecture has to do with time, and not with space. That you put into space times, epochs, and that if you move on the spur of a 24-hour working day in the kitchen, this fulfills its purpose, you see, perfectly. When you have the -- the bed chamber, as meaning the life that has to stretch out for thir- -- through 30, 40, 50 years, to the diamond wedding, then you do justice to the furniture and the whole shape, bedr- -- chamber. And when in your living room, you can meet the great spirits of the ages, and you can have a Michelangelo there, and a -- and a copy, you see, and you can have a modern painting that is not in conflict. It's no not -- it's nonsense to have just Picassos, this faker. And -- or all Michelangelo would be equally museum-style. But that in the living room, the illustrious spirits of the ages shake hands, and all join and lift you up into this -- onto this larger platform, where you can overlook the centuries. And even the thou- -- the -- the millennium.

Well, what I -- did I do, gentlemen? I -- you remember, and this you take back with you into the exam, too, architecture, building in the hardest material yet is -- is chained to the triumphant child of time, of man's march through time. It is not space in itself solved. There is no solution for space in itself. That's chaos. But the order comes into the parts of the globe by our marching through this space, and by our remembering all the steps taken to dominate this space, and to make us move through this space.

So when I opened up this four-room apartment to meaning four different time links, four different epochs of human existence, you see, I en- -- encouraged man again to treat himself as a being that has to change his mind, has to discover his soul despite these various forms of existence. And in this very moment, gentlemen, I take this step, which the classroom denies you and me.

In the classroom, gentlemen, you will always collapse into this situation of mind versus body. You will always see, here -- you listen to my mind, and you see the world outside through my eyes or we'll see it together, subjects and objects, opposing. But the man who enters however his living room and his bedroom moves through time. And that's his soul that carries him through, through the various social which he plays. As a cook, he's in one role of society, remember?

We put this word "s-" -- "role" and this word "soul" here. And here I survive one mind, the mind I have in a classroom as a student, you see. That's not good enough for you and me. I -- my soul has many minds. And I have many bodies. Ask any lady at a certain age. She knows it. We all, we -- men stay -- shouldn't forget at all that we have different bodies every seven years. That we don't -- have not one body. I am not -- have not the same body at this moment, you see. You know the only cells that are not regenerated are which? Wie? In a human body. Wie?

(Brain cells { } --.)

Brain cells, you see. And that's why our mind kills us. -- The mind is the organ of death in our -- in your constitution. And you take it to be the organ of life, because the cells of the brain cannot be rejuvenated. All the others can.

Now what is the heresy, gentlemen, out of which I try to preach you in this course, or to rescue you? You all believe 13 hours a day that mind and soul after all is the same. Mind and soul is identified by the people who live in space. The four founders of our existence as human beings, these four men -- in this sense you may treat them as equals -- these four men knew that the mind was the mortal -- agent of mortality, that mind is prejudice, that mind is fixation, that

concepts are deadening, because concepts are -- they stick. And that man, in order to live, must be able time and again to be greater than his own thought. Always suspect your principles. In the name of principles, you can even forget the soul of the prisoners in Korea. For exam- -- we talked about this, I think, here before.

The soul and the mind are worlds apart. And the greatest textbook on psychology in this country by William James begins with the heretic and absolutely pseudo-scientific sentence that the psychology is the science of the mental processes. Now "mental" is the adjective of "mind." And if psychology is the science of the mind, then it is certainly -- it is the opposite from the science of the soul. But when William James wrote this book, he said, "I have no use for the word `soul,' souls do not exist. And so I -- only interested in the mind."

You find throughout the liberal arts college the dogma, and it is a dogma, a very poor dogma, that soul and mind are interchangeable, that this is identical. And I want you to hunt up this heresy wherever you meet it, in a book, in a newspaper, in a lecture, in an examination -- it is wrong! Mind and soul are just as different as role and body. When a man is a priest or a king, you do not think of his body. When the King Elizabeth is crowned -- Queen Elizabeth is crowned, she is a queen. That's important. And she carries this crown on her body. It's true enough. And she has gloves, and she has a mantle of purple. But her role in society is what matters.

Therefore to -- to confound her physical shortcomings -- she's very small, as you know, with the tall role of a queen, is -- would be quite wrong. A small lady, Elizabeth, can be very tall as a queen. Loom very large. It is no proportion between body and role. But gentlemen, there's as little proportion between mind and soul.

But you are all soul-sick, gentlemen, and you go to the mental analyst. He cannot cure your soul. He only knows the mental diseases. But what has the soul to do with the mind? Nothing whatsoever. Or as little as -- I mean, you have to have a body in order to be crowned. But it can be a -- very little of a body. Richard III was a hunchback.

So this should be the result, gentlemen, of this course: that your vocabulary is duplicate, that from now on you will kindly no longer be satisfied when any- -- if anybody talks to you of mind and body. This isn't good enough for any understanding of your place in the reality, in -- you have to live -- on a much wider base. And this brings up the final review of the course.

I promised you to deal with the individual's role in modern society. And I

have smuggled in the word "role" already in this way, because it has no official status. And we need it. If you take civilized man, as you -- that would be the man with a certain role in society. If you take the working man, or this --; and if you take -- or the plain -- if you take the man as sex, you find a very strange relationship. The man as sex is only one-half. He needs his mate. So the same individual in -- with regard to his natural state as a male or female is one-half. I'm just varying the -- the -- the -- the figures from The Multiformity. But look at it in this way.

Now the strange thing is, gentlemen, a working man must conceive of his work { } -- is the purposive man. This is the passionate man, and he is half. Thinking man, the man of purpose, must be able to talk to himself, he is two, because he can doubt. Is this the right instrument to work with, or is -- is this? Shall I take a tool, a hammer, or shall I take thongs? In the -- in posing this question to yourself, "What shall I do?" you are conversing with yourself. You are two in one. All mind, all mental processes are -- lead to schizophrenia if they are going on un- -- unhampered, so to speak, because they invite all of us to discuss the problem inside of ourselves. Now, isn't this paradoxical? The mind is always two, because doubt is essential to the mind. And doubt means to {dubi- -- dubiis} -- to place a question which can be answered one way or the other. Therefore you retain two voices inside yourself: one pleading one course, one pleading the other. All argument is plaintiff and defendant. And you must be the judge. And that is the -- the terrible thing of the mental processes, that they always end in -- in alternatives, you see. We are torn.

So the thinking man, gentlemen, is two. The passionate man is half, because he's so passionate that he needs this mate, his friend, his lover. Civilized man, gentlemen, in filling his role like the Queen Elizabeth, is one in a star, one in a quincunx, on in an order. I'd hardly know how -- mathematically...

[tape interruption]

...hierarchy, an order in which I am -- oh, I had it, yes. This goes by degrees. You -- who knows the -- the great speech on degree in Shakespeare? Where is it found? Na? Nobody? Well, it's the most obscene play by Shakespeare. Why haven't you read it? Which is it?

(Measure for Measure?)

No, that's still more obscene. You're right. Just the one before. Which is the next best? Troilus and Cressida. I'm -- Troilus and Cressida -- I'm sorry. I should have brought my Shakespeare. In Troilus and Cressida, there is a -- Ulysses makes his great speech on degree. Has nobody ever read it? How dread-

ful! I'll ask Esquire to print Troilus and Cressida.

Well, this is -- perhaps you really make a note. This is one of the greatest utterances of -- of -- on human society. It's the greatest sermon on sociologi- -- sociology, you may say, ever written. It's the speech of Ulysses on degree in Troilus and Cressida. I think it's the third act, probably the fourth act. I'm not sure now. And he says, "Take degree away and we are in the animal kingdom." All roles are in this sense giving you a recognized degree. Take the doctor title, you see, the ritual of the commencement. It gives you a degree in the external -- most external sense. But a mother holds a degree in society. A sheriff, a moderator elected in a -- as chairman, you see, of a -- of a town meeting. All this is degree. Grades. Grading is the -- always the result of any role in society. That's why you hate it, because you don't want to have anything to do with history. You hate degrees. You hate grading.

In the la- -- last catalog of Dartmouth College which came out this fall, all our degrees have been taken away from us, so that we're all just freshmen again. And that's very typical of the American hatred of degree. So the janitor can just as well be professor, and the professor can certainly just as well be janitor. It just happened this year. Very significant of the trend, you see. It draws low-browness in this country. No degrees. They always used to be -- you must have the direc- -- seen the directory, have you? Don't you receive it? Well, you see. We are equal.

So I have no role, no specific role, you see. We are all just one flock of sheep, without degree. We are -- we are prehistoric. That's the e- -- content of this directory. Very interesting. It has never happened before in the history of -- annals of the academic world.

(Do we get degrees in June?)

We disagree. Yes, we de-degree.

(No. No. Do we get degrees in June?)

Oh, you get it. But it isn't printed, you see. Don't you see? I have several degrees unfortunately, you see. So I am old. And so I am rejuvenated by the catalog.

(That's a powerful word.)

It's -- it's quite a story. It's the abolition of the academic institution of Dartmouth College. It is now definitely only for skiing and football.

Do we have a m- -- here a man from The Dartmouth?

I only meant to say, to be editor of The Dartmouth is still a degree. Nothing else I meant to say.

Now gentlemen, I had given you a picture of man in different terms. At the end, I think I should sum however up once more: work -- man thinking, that is, always man filling out -- doing something purposive, you see; is two, in one. That's -- then he is a rational being. Man in passion or in love is half. This is studying enough. Individual just breaks into two different types: man half, man double.

Imagine what -- how contradictory this is compared to your idea that man is a person. Oh, gentlemen, to me a person means to make out of two-and-a-half one. It's very difficult. Person is an achievement. And you are no persons. You claim it. And you want to be treated as persons. And in this anxiety that everybody is a person by birth, we commit all the crimes of modern democracy, because it's a fiction. You have to become persons. And you have to become it every day. And you can lose your personality by selling out to the highest bidder, for example, by corruption. Anybody, as you know, can disintegrate. You say a man has kept his integrity, because you want to say that he is a person. But how difficult it is to keep one's integrity. Because it cannot be kept. It has to be conquered. It's not there. Nobody has integrity. Most people are just gullible. One day they are in love, and the other day they are full of skepticism and doubt. And the one time they pose as a philosopher, you see, and cynic, and skeptic. And the next day they just kneel before the -- the nice dress of a girl.

Degree however, is full of numbers, gentlemen. Degree and numbers is a different way. You are one out of three. You are one member of Congress within a unit of 227 of the mi- -- majority. Or you are one of 96 senators. Then it is very meaningful that there are 96, and that's why we speak of a quorum, and of a majority, and of a minority, you see. That is, gentlemen, numbers have even a higher meaning for man. Wherever you integrate into a role, you represent. And representa- -- -tation, gentlemen, makes you represent large numbers. You can represent all 160 million Americans if you happen to be Mrs. Luce.

Yes. She is representative of all these, and of no other. She is not representative of hu- -- humanity, fortunately. But she is representative of numbers, of large numbers. So is the mayor of a town. Or so is a doctor who comes to your house. He represents the whole medical profession. That's why he can only do what is professionally right. Because he is not an individual, a "one," you see. He is the medical profession as of today. He is representative of his profession. This is overlooked today completely. But a man by -- of degree represents a numerical

order. But gentlemen, this is then represen- -- recognized representation, or recognized degree. This is thinking inside yourself. This is sway -- being swayed by your natural passion, by your halfness, by your incompleteness.

Gentlemen, when it comes to destiny, and that brings back the last chapter of the four religious founders, then you are unknown; you are unique; and you try to act without anybody else yet knowing it for the whole of the race. Anybody who is doing something of destiny, the man of destiny as we say -- or who is fulfilling manifest destiny -- usually it isn't very manifest, real destiny is not manifest, I'm afraid. Man is unique. He's -- cannot be numbered. Man is the -- numberless with regard to destiny. It's no use to call him "one," because he's meant to be all.

Abraham, Jesus, Lao-Tzu, and Buddha, that's we all. It's no use to say they were one man, because the meaning of their action is that they had to become all. All religion claims that they have discovered a path which you and I have to follow. Otherwise they are freaks. They are -- may -- they may be hermits. They may be saints. But they certainly are not founders of any binding, you see, path. A path called -- "universal."

So all religion, gentlemen, claims that it is -- begins with one and goes to many, and goes to all, but makes no difference. The question -- main question of destiny is that all and one are at one moment unknown to the yet-created universe, that they are living deep incognito. The degree is recognizable. That you are a doctor, I can telephone you. You are in the book, you see. You are known for your service. The saviors of mankind are never known. They c- -- always come out of the unknown. Woe if you co- -- if you go to the certified -- how do you call it? -- classified ads in the new- -- in the -- Manhattan if you need a real friend in need, you see. You can go to -- to the drugstore, and you can go to the furniture store, but you can't get the one man who is the man who knows what -- what you should do. For this you have to go into the dark, you see, and fish for a man who is only in the -- one case the man who can help you. And he didn't know it before, and you didn't know before that you would need him. Preferably a girl.

So gentlemen, we have here once more a picture of numbers. But the real result is rather stunning. This supersedes the whole distinction of one and many. Any man who, in the dark of an emergency, acts, is not acting himself. And he's not acting for others. There is no distinction between Jesus and mankind in the moment He goes to the cross. If you cannot see this, you haven't understood Him. He hasn't acted for you in the sense that you were somebody else. But it was you waiting to be already taken to the cross, so that your other paths may follow.

Man is representative in the future to such an extent that he can act in the name of all, which he -- that's why we still in church say, "in his name." It's the only meaning of this. Because in this word "in the name" is -- abolishes numbers. Will you take this down? Society makes man think of his purposes as a dual. Sex makes him split into two, or -- or into one-half only of the race. Wherever your faith is at stake, and you act because you cannot help it, because you feel that somebody must do it -- that's perhaps the criterion -- somebody, after all, has to do it, you see, so I'll do it. You are neither "I," nor "we," nor "you." There are no numbers. Numbers disappear.

And what takes its place, gentlemen? Why do we speak of Buddha or LaoTzu, and Jesus and Abraham? Because they have replaced the curse of mere numbers by their personal name. Where you have a personal name, gentlemen, you no longer make the distinction whether these are two, three, four, five, six. Named life is redeemed life. Sa- -- numbered life is under the shadow of death. Names survive. Numbers perish.

The three parts of your existence, gentlemen, which I have tried to show you -- man at work, man at play, men in sex, man in society and civilization, man in services of a distribution of la- -- a division of labor, that's all our mortal part. That's our life. But the eternal part of you and me is that which we have done for which we go to Heaven. We do not go to Heaven for our good deeds. Heaven knows nothing of morality. I think God is utterly indifferent to your -- what you call "morals," because your morals change every day. But what He cares for is whether you have done one thing to save life on this earth, by forgoing a possibility, by not going into a blind alley, by taking a new -- by just doing the next necessary thing so that life -- among humanity may go on.

I said yesterday, it is a very simple criterion for the next best action {under} destiny. When numbers shall disappear, gentlemen, and this anonymous life of modern statistics, and modern economics, and modern newspapers, when you shall become unique and named, and when it makes no difference for a good man whether he is -- lives, or whether he was killed in action, when you enter this realm of the eternal, where life and death have both one-half of the thrones of the saints around our creator, at this very moment, gentlemen, when names enter the picture, and numbers disappear, every one of you acts for the whole humanity and reveals, and that is the mean- -- last meaning of religion, revelation, and of the good life, reveals what? The solidarity. In this moment, gentlemen, when any one of these four men came forward, he acknowledged, which in your highest moments you acknowledge, too, that God did not create two men. He didn't create many men. He didn't create millions of men. But He created as his only partner, m-a-n, man. The whole problem, gentlemen, of all sociology, of all history, of all economics is: how can you and I form one living

being, which is the son of the father, or which is the creature of the creator?

As long as you and I sit here, everybody on his fannies, and are separate, we certainly know nothing of destiny. We certainly know nothing of uniqueness. We certainly know nothing of any meaning of our existence. As long as every one tries to have his meaning inside himself, he won't find it. You cannot find your meaning in your good health. You cannot find your meaning in your digestion. You cannot find any meaning inside the skin of your body, around your body. You can only find meaning in your act if you say, "Any one man in my place would, and should, and I hope, will do this. And that's what gives me the courage to do it myself." Can you see this?

The watchword in modern times for this has been "solidarity." They call it "unity." But the unity and the solidarity of mankind is something every one of you is expected to achieve by being not satisfied with his role in society; by being not satisfied with his mind, which is torn to pieces; by not being satisfied with his physical endowment as a sexual being, but by knowing that what is mattered -- whether you act as a lover, whether you act as a worker, or whether you act as a lady of society, to do in this moment that which will testify to the solidarity of the human race.

And in this very moment, gentlemen, you will know that the individual in the modern society is just a spook. You and I fortunately are not individuals. You must give up this term, except for passing usage. I hope I have made you look through the variety of human existence, and that the greatest moment occurs when you can no longer differentiate between the individual acting and humanity acting as one great man.

Thank you.