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{word} = hard to understand, might be this

(Philosophy 10, February 24th, 1954.)

... invocation of the saints in the Romisch Church. But when -- then the disciple of John Calvin, the great reformer, the father of Puritanism and Calvinism, when he die- -- when this disciple wrote his life, he had of course to argue the point: why deal with a man's life if you do no longer believe in the saints of the Romisch cycle, of the calendar of the Church? Obviously Calvin has no day in the Protestant calendar. As you know, the Puritans were so touchy on this point that they even abolished Easter, and Christmas, and Whitsunday, and in this country most people do not even know what Whitsunday means. Do you know what Whitsunday means? What does it mean?


Whitsunday. Whitsunday? What is it? Huh? Do you? It's really lost here, because of the Congregationalists, you see, and the Puritans. They abolished -- wie?

(Isn't there a celebration in England, Whitsuntide?)

Yes, it is a celebration. But who is celebrated? Somebody you are in -- in dire need of. You know? You need this person who -- is worshiped at Whitsunday. Does nobody know it?

Well, the Holy Spirit. You don't have it, of course. No idea. No connection, you see. This country is only a country of the second person of the Deity, only of sweet Jesus. But the Trinity is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the -- Christmas is -- the festival in which it is stressed that the world has been created. Easter is the day on which it is stressed that it is revealed. And Whitsunday is the -- they stress on the fact that it is redeemed, because only when the Apostles had their council and went all over the world began the world to be redeemed. Whereas on Easter, there is -- nothing happens. Everybody suffers. Everybody is in agony. But it becomes clear what it's all about.

So you can also say these are the three festivals of creation, revelation, and redemption. And this country is of course unredeemable, because it doesn't celebrate Whitsunday. So -- you don't even know what it is. It's the third most central festival of Christianity, of Christendom. And the Puritans abolished this, because they wanted to get out of the calendar of the saints. They didn't want to have St. Stephen, and St. Agnes, and St. -- and so on, all the martyrs, you see, in

the calendar.

Well, this -- you see the quandary of a biographer of John Calvin. Here he -- invites every Protestant to read the life of John Calvin, and on the other side, he has to admit that he doesn't want them to build him a -- an altar and to worship at his shrine, you see. And he had a -- has a very wonderful phrase, which I recommend you -- to you, for this, your own task. It is quite serious, gentlemen. Everywhere in the world it is felt that without our spiritual ancestors, our life is bedraggled, is no life. Today you have either the genetics of these physical Mendelians, who tell you how many chromosomes and -- you had to have, in order to get blonde hair. But the result is usually that you just constitute a mutation. And you know -- every exception there is simply -- very simply explained away. They can never prove anything of -- about any quality in these genetics.

I have a friend who always sends me his books on genetics. I find it the most atrocious non-science there is. But -- it's just funny. But -- at least for human beings, because always when it is dif- -- the outcome is different; it is as with the weather, you see. Exactly the same. They predict one thing and then the man who looks different, that is his -- that's a mutation, which means, you see, that is where we don't know.

Well, I -- we have today the saints and their Church, or in the Bible, and we have on the other hand, the genetics. Now gentlemen, to you and me, neither our physical descent is important, nor these far-away martyrs, like St. {Celestia} or what-not, of whom we know very little. What do you know of -- of St. Chlodewig, or St. {Hilphoric}, or St. {Miserability}? But we do need spiritual ancestors. We do -- must know where -- what you have to do with John, and Matthew, and -- and Peter, and Paul whether you are such people like that, or St. Francis. And there are others. There's Shakespeare, there is -- there is Washington, George Washington, there is Lincoln. Everybody in this country is expected to be in -- somehow -- somehow the offspring of Abraham Lincoln's spirit, is he not?

This is very serious, gentlemen. And there is not even a course on this in this college. And that's why I'm offering you this here. You have to find a way between the sock- -- saints put away, you see, in a golden shrine, too far away, and the purely physical ancestry, which has nothing to tell you. It is not explanatory for your future.

Now, which people then have to be invoked? That's what Mr. {Besar}, the biographer of John Calvin, asked. And he said, "Those who will not look up to the stars that rose in our night, deserve to be plunged again into Egyptian darkness." It's a very wonderful saying by a Protestant; as I said, by a Calvinist.

Those who do not wish to look up to the star that has come into the night, they deserve to be plunged back again into Egyptian darkness.

Gentlemen, I have al- -- I still plan to publish a series, "Our Future Ancestors," because gentlemen, you have to choose the heroes which must illuminate your own path into the future. And so the question of -- perhaps the word "saint" is impossible; perhaps the -- word "ancestor" is not good enough, because you think of physical genetics. What we need is the recognition, gentlemen, that some people have lived before us who are still ahead of us. Those people -- you have to come to their rescue and to maintain that their march into the future must take place through you. Your error of a mechanical time is that you think: somebody who has -- lived before you is dead, and you are alive. Now, the whole meaning of the Resurrection is not only this, that these people who believe in Christ say, "We are dead, and the Lord is alive. He is still to come, and we are far less vital, far less living." We are dead in our -- to us -- in our sins, as the Bible calls it.

But that's what is meant, that when something very simple, something quite unecclesiastical, something terribly irreligious, that is Christianity. It's a mundane, it's a worldly insight. When it came into the world, it threw down the temples, it had nothing to do with Sunday service. Nobody was -- was meant to become a confessing Christian at that time. All they had to say is that Christ was -- lived, and they didn't.

I think that's true of you, too, that without some such people to whom you pay your obedience, and your allegiance, by saying "They already lived ahead of us," we are lost. If this is all, that you are younger than we, gentlemen, then the world goes down into the pigsty, as with the prodigal son. Then you waste all the heritage of the past, if you want to live in your own generation. This is it. It's nonsense. Physically you can, you see. It's purely physical. And then death must be the end of your existence, obviously.

As natural beings, gentlemen, life goes -- as natural beings, life goes from birth to death. And as spiritual beings, gentlemen, life goes from death to birth. And that's why I began to say, "At the end, we must leave a name behind." Those who have done this best never die. You however, are in great danger to die when you die, physically, that is. Your physical death might, it's very -- highly probable, coincide with your spiritual death, you see. Many people die even earlier. And many -- most people, I think in 80 percent at this moment in this country, these people die before they are physically dead. There's no hope for them ever to reach posterity.

I think I told you of a man who had been a spiritual leader in this co- --

community, and he died 20 years before by taking up bridge instead. And at his death only -- didn't I tell you the story? I must have told you the story. It's still rankling in my mind. I still can ar- -- argue with our maker that such a wonderful man lost his soul before he died, and lost nothing behind -- left nothing behind.

So these things are very simple and very sober, unfortunately by our strange Protestant refrigerator called the "Protestant Church" -- the -- I am one in this -- the refrigerator. I don't feel at ease there, because they have managed these Sunday services to think that this is -- has to do with what you call "religion." It has to do with fact, with truth, with your own -- with our secular life. It has absolutely nothing to do with something separate from our daily existence. If in your heart of heart you have no connection with some grandparent of the spirit, you have no future beyond your own grave. And most of you don't, you see. The only person you look up to is Mr. {Hogan}.

You think that if -- if a superintendent of schools in the state of New York cannot be appointed unless he knows all the football heroes of '33, '34, '35, '36, '37, '38, and '39 that this is a country in which people have any claim to lasting -- value? They don't.

Well, when Chesterton came to this country, the great Englishman, G. K. Chesterton, he -- he said -- the widows said, "Isn't this the finest city in the world?" New York, of course.

And -- "Oh," he said, "Oh, it's very nice, but will it be here tomorrow?" You see. That's your question. You won't be here tomorrow.

This is -- I'm trying to tell you, if you want to be here tomorrow, you must have a yesterday. Now, in order to -- however to show you that I fully understand your difficulty by beginning with the end, by beginning -- let's today be very solid and just put down the experiences which you have already made about your own existence. Let's put down the first seven commandments in the order in which you run into them from child, to boy, to man.

I -- we -- we had them already. Let -- let me put them in this sequence now once more: listen, read, learn, play, doubt, protest, win. We have already explained a little bit about this. We said there are three intellectual commands: listen, read, and learn. And then comes play, to make out the difference between our readiness, intellectual readiness, and the time at which we get going. Play fills -- if this is real, serious life, here on top, and we are the children in the cradle, we come up with our intellectual training here to this point. That's by and large where you stand. After 20 years, you have reached this level of responsible action. But there is -- are still five years during which you have to wait perhaps

until any real action is, you see, required from you. Or it may be two years, or maybe half a year. And this interval by which we try to equalize our intellectual preparation and the opportunity for action is play. It may not consist in your going to the tennis courts. You can travel. You can -- you can drink. You can carouse. I mean play -- I mean not just a sport, obviously, you see, but I mean fooling around, and waiting -- biding your time.

Roosevelt -- Theo- -- F.D. Roosevelt is a great case in point, that he had this great power really to play until he was governor of New York, and only then got the -- politics. You may take this down, gentlemen: the political leader must play longest, because he must be totally coined by his time. That's why a president of the United States is put on a stamp, because he belongs exactly to the time of his office. Now, the less he has done before, the better for him. Eisenhower's whole game was that nobody knew where he stood in politics. So he is just now learning, so his acts now are quite new.

This country has always been very charitable to the politician by allowing him to fool around and only to show his {head} after he is in office. We don't take experts into the political {campaign}. We don't elect Mr. -- Mr. Wilson to be president, or Mr. -- you see, any great -- scholars, because they are already what they are all the time. They have not played. They have been serious already at the age of 20, you see. So then they are misfits for politics, for rule, because a man who wants to be a ruler must haven't done too much in the previous seven stations of life, which I have put down here, you see. He mustn't have been too much of any one of this. If he's just a learner, he may be a scholar. If he's a great player, he may be an artist. But he cannot be a very good president of the United States, because a president of the United States is a -- belongs to that class of man who must be made in the eighth 7-year period of his life, the world must be governed by the man between 55 and 65, because that's the 7th commandment.

As the world has the best teachers between 63 and 70, when you pension them off, because you don't understand what teaching is, you have teachers 20 years of age in our schools. And the old teachers, which would be the normal, natural ones, you -- you retire. It's so absolutely silly, because to every type of work there belongs a different station, just as a mathematician usually is the eternal boy of 18. You find many mathematicians who after 30 can no produ- -- not produce anymore any original mathematics, because that's a special fever of the brain, you see, that goes with a certain age.

There are very many famous examples of this, that it's -- production of a great mathematician suddenly stops at 30, 35, or 40. There are even tragic cases -- the leading mathematician of Germany at one time couldn't at 50 -- the age 50 no longer understand what he had produced at 30, when real genius, you see, had

been with him. Genius had left him. He was still perfectly normal. He was not stupid, you see, but this ingenuity, you see, of looking into the secrets of mathematical creation that belonged, you see, to the play period of the human mind. And the best mathematician is the man between 20 and 28. Has anybody interest in mathematics? You may know that {Ewald}, for example, and the great { } -- were such, you see, young -- young men, produced their greatest stuff before they were 30. That's not true of a statesman, of a president of this -- country.

Now, may we now take up one of these chapters after another. I -- promise you that you will find it quite important. First of all, this is a complete list. If you change the order, as this country has tried to do, and put Number 2 at the beginning, and 3, and omit 1, you get a very strange country.

What does "listen" mean? A child learns by listening what its own name is, what the configuration of this name in the society is in which it lives. If you know that you are Mr. John Smith, Jr., you are suddenly related to John -- Smith, Sr. You know that your mother calls you "Johnny." You therefore learn that you have two names. One in the community, and one with regard to your mother. That is, there are two worlds: one serious, and one playful, the home and the world outside. So you learn for the first time the separation of Church and state, because you learn that there is a world of love and there is a world of suspicion and of law. "John Smith" you are with the sheriff, when you get a passport, or when you get any -- any testimonial, any document that has to be signed "John Smith." But if you -- if he goes, your father reports, you see, your birth, he cannot introduce your nickname there, but it has to be a legal document. It has the -- to be the name that the state, in its suspicion of all the abuses parents can, you see, produce, has imposed on the parents. By asking for the full name, "John Smith," the sheriff says in so many words, "Father, we have you now. From now on, you have to support your child." And you have also recognized that this woman is not a harlot, but that she did right by you, that you promised her to recognize her as the mother of your children. This is, you see, all done in a worldly fashion, in a statesman-like fashion, in a legal fashion.

And any child that learns to listen, without knowing it, enters the real world. He enters the real world. But he doesn't enter the real world as you think you enter the real world by going to the museum, or to the zoo, or by being a radio ham, or by reading books on stratosphere. You com- -- you think that's very realistic. Gentlemen, that's all abstract, because whatever you do now in college, you are just one out of 2,700 Dartmouth boys. That's very cold. That's -- some- -- you are here only in general. Even in this class, I try to know most of you. I do know quite a number of you, but when I talk here, I have to talk to you in general. I have to make statements that are true for any one of you, relatively speaking. Yes, you well know that I only hit some under the belt really, at this moment,

because some are, at this moment, personally hit. They are ripe. They are ready. Others are not. This cannot be helped by teach- -- in teaching and learning, but it is not in existence when you listen to your parents.

The state of the baby, gentlemen, if you want to see it enlarged, is the situation of the soldier who is given a command. The soldier who is given a command, an order to carry -- to march to { }, knows that there's nobody else to do it. He has to do it. A child that listens to its parents, gentlemen, is much more alive than you can be here in this classroom, because he is singled out. This whole country's theory of education goes the way from the abstract, into the never-happening personal. That's why most educated people in this country are so -- are so annoying, so boring, so general, so uninteresting. That's why the poetry that is written in America by college people is so im- -- impossible, you see, because it only consists out of generalities. If you don't go to a college and have a good family upbringing, you see, it's all personal. In every one moment, you are in a specific situation, which nobody else is in, because you have this rowdy of a brother, and this terrible sister who tyrant- -- tyrannize you. And one teases you, you see. And this is very unique. It cannot be compared to any other situation.

Gentlemen, the listening stage makes man experience the incomparable, unique situation in which we can only can become humans. A man in a -- in an abstract, in a general situation is -- a student in Dartmouth is like one stone, one brick, ends up as a goldbrick. A son of his mother cannot, because there's nobody else who has been spoken to by this woman in the same way. And if she has 10 children, if she is a good mother, she will still speak to all the 10 in a different way, as you well know. This -- the diversity with which parents can deal even with a -- with a crowd of children is amazing. Any one child gets -- if it is a good family -- its due. Where not, then of course, you get the wrongdoings which have brought this -- this distorted picture of the family which you now learn in textbooks and in psychoanalysis as though children were always treated unjustly by their parents. I don't think that's true.

I think that -- that we come back today generally, and reasonable people have never doubted it, that children need motherly care. You know that has really happened, this aberration in America: that 20 years ago, parents were forbidden to hug their children, to caress them. They had to be depersonalized. They had -- were put as you know between a glass wall, the babies newly born. And the mother was allowed to see them once a day. They have changed that now. Now they put the cradle again with the mother, you see, and they have committed a real crime for 20 years. I think you all are neurotics for this reason, probably, because the -- the scientists said, "We generalize. All -- every baby is like every other baby. Every mother is like every other mother," so, you see, out they go.

Here are the babies. There are the mothers. { } {here} are the nurses.

And at Yale U- -- medical school, they published a -- long-winded investigation, ten -- five, six, seven years ago. And Harper's magazine, this great journal of platitudes, is -- published an article by a leading doctor, Dr. {Binger} in New York, on the new discovery that really children thrive under specific care given them by their parents. And that the Yale clinic now allows mothers to -- to be with their babies after the birth. And this astounding discovery of the truth ended with the sentence, "It can no longer be doubted that children need motherly care."

And when I told this -- the first year that it had happened -- it had been written up in Harper's -- to the class, there was a very sturdy, young gentleman here who said, "Well, it had to be proven scientifically. Before, the mothers had no right to have their children."

Gentlemen, as long as you believe this nonsense, that it has to be scientifically proven that children need motherly care, if you assign this role to science, you are read- -- ready for science -- that is, for medical treatment. But you do, all. You all believe that such nonsense is the topic for a research and a million-dollar grant by the foundation. That's what you believe in. You believe that science is first-rate. It's always second-rate. The experience of parents and children come first, and then scientists can sit down and ponder at -- what to make of it. But if you abolish this first contact, you see, of two real people who say, "You are mine, and I'm thine," then there is no way of learning.

Yesterday I had a talk with an -- with a professor of French. And we talked about this Russian research center in Harvard where a man who had studied the Navajo Indians is the head of -- an anthropologist. And I said, "Now, tell me," I said to the French professor, "You have written a book on France. Didn't you go there? Didn't you make friends? Did you love this people first before you could read -- write the book?"

"Of course," I said -- he said.

"Now do you think it's right -- with our -- with regard to Russia to offend and insult this great nation by allowing an anthropologist to head -- head the Russian research center and by -- thereby telling the Russians that you don't have to be -- have to be -- been in Russia, that you don't have to have a Russian wife, or Russian friends, that you don't -- are -- have not to be able to sing Russian songs, that you don't have to admire Russia -- Tolstoy or Dostoeyevsky, that you can do this kind of research just, you see, with the second and third commandment, this never having happened, this personal listening to the song of Russia, the voice of

Russia with a loving and yearning heart?"

We insult the Russians by such an undertaking. And we do this, officially. That's the Harvard research center. I've -- probably one of them came up here and -- and lectured. I think Mr. {Cluckhorn} has been here in the geo- -- general -- great issue course. He is the head of it. He is an anthropologist who first studied the Indians for their superstitions. Now he studies the Russians for their superstitions, gentlemen. But I think we should study Mr. {Cluckhorn} for his superstitions. And his superstition is that you can read on people and learn about people before you have listened to these people. This is a scandal.

And that's done all over the place in the United States, that people talk about things which they have not been loved by, which -- to whom they have not obeyed. That's how pacifists talk about the army. Or how Mr. McCarthy talks to Mr. {Zwigart}. You think you can have an army -- a morale of an army in this manner? People sit from the outside and say, "Obedience is terrible"? Obey first, and then you will know that obedience of the soldier is carrying out the first stage of any child's life into the whole life.

Gentlemen, every one of these stages has to be lived by some people all the time. What we call a "specialist" is a man who intellectually occupies one of these stages forever. We've -- I told you already that the mathematician is such a man, who a certain in- -- who, at a certain intellectual stage, takes over and stays in this groove, you see, and doesn't rule. Never be ruled by a mathematician, you see. That would be terrible. And never -- that's -- mathematics, you see, is good for certain things. And for others, it is not good.

In the same way, gentlemen, soldiering is listening, ennobled to a profession. But it is the baby's, the young child's, the boy's eagerness to believe in elders, in their word. I must say that I have put -- there was no greater honor for me with my first seven years than to obey. When my son at -- when he was 10 was asked, "What's your father for?" you know what an answer he gave? He said, "My father is there to govern me." And if you admit that there must be government, you must also have people who think it is a great honor to carry out the orders of government. Otherwise you can't have government. Isn't that true?

So no American child would have ar- -- given this answer. But I think it's a wise answer. It's the truth. Parents are there to govern their children. They certainly are not there to play with them. That's the bus- -- children's business. But in this country, the parents are terribly interested to say they -- oh, they only wish to play with their children. Gentlemen, you can make the parents childish, but that doesn't help the children: then they have no parents. That's the situation by and large in this country, or -- or they are chauffeurs, taking your children


But I mean -- parents have nothing to do with chauffeurs, and they have nothing to do with -- with playing. But they are parents. That is, they have to allow children to listen, because children want to listen. They're terribly anxious to listen. They certainly are not there to -- the children to make choices.

The difference between listening, gentlemen, and the later stages of life is, that in the listening stage, life is not doubtful. Will you take this down? It is not doubtful. It is not split. There is no either-or. There is no alternative. But there is security. There is direction. And a child that hasn't received this direction is un- -- miserable for the rest of its life. What people call "the golden age," as you know, this dream that there was once a golden age, is anyone's memory of the first seven years of life, where he was unsplit. Anybody who has lived a good childhood has in his own heart a definite evaluation of what the golden age is, of what paradise is, because paradise is the time of no doubt, no wavering, no ambiguity.

Now you can only have this under guidance, otherwise too dangerous. If -- if you can -- otherwise you can burn up the whole house. I mean, you cannot have this unsplit situation for a child if it is allowed to -- to do anything it likes, because it does nine- -- 90 percent of what a child would do, that would be destructive. It would burn the house in the first place, would it not, by playing with matches.

But you -- that's what you try to do. You have created a fool's paradise, and it is only a fool's paradise. And everybody -- a child can only remember this with shame, because you ask the children to do as they please, so they are very unhappy, because they are everywhere frustrated in their beginning.

(What if you want to guide your children this way, and they listen more closely to what other children say, which is what happens in { }.)

Well, you have -- of course any reform, any change in attitude will start with a minority. I -- of course I would recommend that you just -- you don't send your child then to school if you can possibly help it. I think you spoil -- most of the time in our schools is wasted, totally wasted. But that's another question.

Gentlemen, there is a deep reason why, in the listening stage, there must be undivided attention given to the direction to be achieved, why the steps must be final, definite, unevasive, unambiguous. We all want to return to this innocence, to this completeness. That is the dream of man, to be whole, not to be torn between mind and body. Gentlemen, that doesn't exist. I'm not mind and body.

I'm this, what I am here, in perfect union. I talk. That's something physical. And yet, my mind is in this, and it's in my body, and I am body. And there -- I do not -- I recognize for one minute that there is such separation, as we shall see later, of mind and body. Just another aspect, can arrange the elements of my being, so that you first think of what I say, and then tolerate that I look this way as I look; or you can begin, as with an athlete, with his muscles and forget what he thinks, because that's usually not very important.

But the arrangement of the athlete and of the philosopher is exactly one whole; it's the same integrity of the whole man. And this -- the re-arranging of -- of the -- what we call "body and mind" is still always dealing with the whole iden- -- the whole man in identity, only a re-arrangement of his -- the sequence of what you're looking at in me.

Since the great problem of our time is schizophrenia, division of man, doubt, lackadaisical, skepticism, cynicism, indifference, boredom, degenerat- -- degeneracy, in general, lack of direction -- however you call all these -- generations of vipers, however you call all these -- these terrors of our days, it always means that man has lost all belief that he's essentially one, and that he has {begun} already in him before he wakes up to doubting his direction.

Gentlemen, when you now at this moment of your life with the year -- at the year -- you are 20 now, 19, 18 -- when you begin to doubt, there must be something to doubt. That is, you must have experienced direction before you can doubt your direction. I'm -- grant that you have to re-direct your course. But gentlemen, doubting is secondary to living. And there has been a general underestimation of the -- tremendous distance you have traveled already, the moment you go to a college. You have lived for 20 years, and you don't have lived -- must not have -- say that you have lived in vain, and that now for the first time, you begin to think, you see. Only when you obeyed orders, gentlemen, you experience thought in your system and the sys- -- the thought had originated in other people. But the command that your parents and your educators, or your nurse gives you, they are not unthought. They are not thoughtless. You have only, you see, been allowed to participate in their -- their thinking processes by your being -- having been made parts of it, members of it. Your legs move when they se- -- gi- -- send you with a message to the doctor. But that you were sent with a message around the corner to the doctor, that was a thoughtful utterance of something real, serious, of a decision made, or resolution passed by the family, that somebody had to call the doctor.

Now, you had the great honor of being this message's messenger. Does this make you an unintellectual slave? Not at all. It makes you the organ through which the organism of the family implements itself for interaction. And you have

the great art -- honor, as a page at a -- has at a -- at a court, to serve in this orchestra, and play a -- a smaller fiddle -- second fiddle first. Ja?

(When should this rule end, then? When he starts to read? When the child begins to read?)

Give me one second. Ja? One moment. You are right with your question, but it will be answered in the process automatically.

The -- that is, gentlemen, "listen" is the only way by which we can inherit philosophy and the mental processes of the race. Many of you cannot listen to such a course like this. They sat in judg- -- sit in judgment, want to find fault with this when -- with the first sentence said by me. Well, gentlemen, you can't learn anything this way. It's impossible. If you cannot listen long enough so that you find out in which way you are introduced in certain thought processes that have gone on for several thousand years after all, you certainly are inept. "Inept" means unable to participate in thinking. Most of you, gentlemen, you never learn to think, because they -- you want to jump over these first four commandments. And yet you sit here in this class and you doubt what I say. Perfectly valueless, you see. You would have to wait four steps before the fifth moment you can begin to doubt. I'm all for doubting, but in its proper place.

Now this country by and large, as you know, has disallowed listening. We have great trouble with the army system. You {know} what Mr. McCarthy can do to a general. That's rather funny. Other nations would gather from this that the United States are quite unable to fight a war, unless the other fellow is practically already beaten, as in the last two wars. That it is of course easy to do the little fighting with some tanks. The glory of the American victory is not very great in the eyes of the rest of the world, gentlemen. The blitz over London, that was something. I mean, that -- the English won this war, obviously, because when it was black, you see, then -- then to stand up and get -- take the beating. But you -- we want to do it all without obedience. Blind obedience is scolded here. It's -- the mark of the slave.

And you know the story of the British officer and the American majors standing together in England. And the English colonel says, "Major, you'll never have an army. No discipline, no discipline."

"Oh," he said, "No, that's all right. The boys are all right."

In comes the private and says, "Major, I want to go out with a girl. May I take your car?"

The colonel pales, the British colonel, and says when the private has left. Of course the major says, "Yes. Take it."

And so the colonel says now, "There you see. Isn't this terrible? He didn't salute you. He just said, `Major can I have your car?'"

"Well then," the major said, "Well, at least he did ask, did he not?"

You try to teach people by reading. I mean, if this college had its way, we would all be dismissed, and you would have a big cable fixed in the administration building, you see, and we would listen to some central teaching agency in New York, or somewhere, you see. They would save all the salaries, you see. And you would all be, you see, taught without having to listen. You see the great difference. You would learn, but you wouldn't first feel that -- not even in this moderate way, I was addressing myself to real people for whom I have felt some responsibility. If it comes over the cable, you see, the speaker has no responsibility for anyone who happens to learn -- take his course.

Now here is already a watering-down of responsibility, but still I have to undergo some of your questions. And I have to suffer from them. You know this, Mr. {Orr}. And so I have to be patient. Now, anybody who's patient enters into a process in which he allows a -- like a mother a child. A child can only listen to somebody who is patient, because to listen means also not to -- yet to understand. It means "misunderstand."

The whole process of -- of listening is -- what is it, gentlemen? We -- listening, we are singled out to be unique beings. When a child is put in an orphan asylum, it has not a good chance of an edu- -- education for the simple reason that in an orphan asylum, it is a number. And a child cannot grow without having the feeling that it is the only important being when it is addressed by a word, by a command. If he -- if the child is not so singled out that Mary has to do it, you see, then it cannot feel that to do something is an honor. Then it feels it is a chore. And then it goes depressed. And then it must throw off obedience, and say, "To hell with obedience, because I'm only abused. I'm exploited." You can see this.

As soon as the order given to a child is not in the eyes of the child a privilege, an attachment to the family, a recognition of its in- -- indispensable role within the family, something is wrong in the family order. Any parents who act right know this, that they have to make the children feel that they are, you see, so excellent, so distinguished that they are allowed to wash the dishes. That's not a chore. That's a privilege.

I know of a family who were -- had a great problem in introducing the prayer.

They didn't want to make it a formality, but they -- on the other hand felt very deeply about the fact that the children should know that their parents wanted to praise the Lord. So the mother was inventive enough one day to make a special dish in the kitchen, and allow the child to help in the cooking. It was a better dish than usual, and was done with much excitement. They had to find out how it would be cooked. Wasn't sure that it would come out right, so it was risky, which is a part of -- important living that something isn't quite safe, that it is not routine, because it may go wrong. And when all was done, the mother had no difficulty in persuading the child that this was extraordinary enough to give thanks to the Lord. And so they introduced the prayer at table, with this experience of the child, that it was something miraculous to cook food, and to prepare a new meal for the first time. And the child had no doubts about the necessity of mentioning this in so many words when sitting down at table.

Now that's the origin, gentlemen, of every cult. Children are the ones who should remind you yourself, gentlemen, that every great new thing in life, when it was introduced, was a miracle. The cult -- c-u-l-t -- belongs to the childhood of any action, that is, to its first stage. And listeners to the miraculous character of life are the people who understand why we have cult. The word c-u-l-t is so unknown to you, gentlemen, that you talk today big of culture. Would you kindly cross out the -- quite unnecessary word -- syl- -- letters, u-r-e from "culture"? Culture is the secular translation of "cult." When people had no cult anymore, or wanted to fight the old cult of Rome, they began to talk about "culture." But gentlemen, "culture" makes no sense without "cult," because the cult is the form in which a new culture is introduced. "Cult" is the birthday form of "culture." If you have no prayer about cooking, you have no place for cooking in the -- your culture. In France, they understand this very well. To -- to cook is in itself a cult. In this country, as you know, people have no relation to their food. They call it "calories," and "vitamins," because they're all chemists, drugstore people. You have no relation to your food. You want to -- only to keep healthy. But in France, that's a poem, the cooking. And therefore it is a cult, an act of the cult.

Now gentlemen, you can never understand all this talk about civilizations and cultures -- that's -- what is this t- -- sense? Arbitrary. It's like buying a candescent lamp-bulb or so, somewhere in a -- in a cheap sale. You can't buy civilization, but you can be introduced to life by learning how it happens. Now any child that learns to cook a meal and then sit down and eat it, has a full understanding of the cultic character of life, that it is every social form which we have has to be given a place by a word said about it.

The cult reminds us, gentlemen, of the introduction of any way, of -- for new way of life in its first miraculous hour, when people discover it for the first time.

That's why you celebrate Columbus Day. That's why we celebrate Indepedence Day, the 4th of July -- why? Because at that moment, the event, you see, was miraculous. That's why holidays, gentlemen, are days for the children to be introduced into life. That's not just in the family as you see now, you see. All political holidays try to build up the same excitement that prevailed at the moment when this event for the first time took place, and you cannot keep any event in the human race alive unless the excitement is honored and understood with which it was introduced.

It's very strange, you see, why it should -- otherwise it becomes trite; it becomes contemptible. If not once in the year, or in your lifetime you discover the thing with the same excitement as Columbus did when he discovered America, then you despise it. You won't make the same sacrifices for keeping it. You will not respect famine, for example, as the child that cooks a meal very well can know that it is difficult to get the food in a time of scarcity. Last year, the people very well knew how difficult was to get water. That's a time to introduce a child to the great problem of water, of drinking, as a miraculous thing. Think of people in a boat on a sea who have only salt water, and have to die with all the water around them. Unless, you see -- we have spared the children the excitement of the cult, and we have made them learn and read everything in life, without excitement, from curiosity.

Gentlemen, the knowledge of the human brain does not begin with curiosity. That's Number 3, as we shall s- -- Number 2. It begins with awe, because it begins with the feeling: what would happen if this didn't -- hadn't come about? The child must be told, "What if we had nothing to eat?" Otherwise it cannot understand why we should say prayer. You see, in -- in time -- in a country of plenty, and this country where the food, the bread is thrown down the sink, is given to the pigs, because two-thirds of the food isn't eaten, you can of course have no sen- -- no relation to the necessity for saying thanks for a meal. This is not the country for saying thanks to a meal.

But there is a great novel in Germany, when a -- where a soldier dies in -- out in the colonies of Africa, in this novel, he prays the "Our Father" before he dies. He's wounded, and he knows he's dying. And the -- the writer of this novel, being a very great artist, said the fifth request, "Our daily bread, give us today." He said twice, because he was a child of poor people.

Now you cannot pray "our daily bread give us today" in this country, where you have five quarts of milk for every grownup person, and thereby keeping him childish. But you must understand, gentlemen, that to listen means to learn the human language in the state of excitement, in the state of importance. That's the root of your -- having later the power to write poetry, because the language has

to come to you -- come to you also with the great power of saying something for the first time, something that has never been said before, certainly not by yourself.

All the attempts, gentlemen, to learn the language by doggerels and by -- by photographs, and by pictures, and by blocks, and so on, it's all silly. We abolish always this -- the first stage in which we must, for example, overcome stammering and stuttering. That's a great thing. The stammerers and the stutterers in this country are only the people who testify to our neglecting the first -- the first stage in life. They are nowhere so frequent as in United States, because nowhere do people try to omit the first seven years of life in their mental character. People try to make you speak indifferently, without excitement, not as prayer, not as jubilation, not as sorrow, not as command, given with great poignancy and urgency, but always in this fashion, "Wouldn't this be a nice idea for Johnny if he went there?" Then Johnny says it wouldn't be a nice idea, and that settles it. And in these two sentences there is no language. That is already reading language. That's second-rate. All this talk, polite talk, "Wouldn't it be a good idea," or -- "Don't you think you should" -- gentlemen, that's not a way to talk to a child. The way to talk to a child is, "Go and bring this letter to the doctor." And there's no other way of talking to a child. And if you talk otherwise, you wrong your child. It will never learn English in the proper sense. Damn politeness.

You fool yourself with this whole cream arou- -- cheese around you, of -- of these nonsensical phrases. Of course, the child has to carry the -- your letter to the doctor. It's no good talking as though it didn't have to pay atten- -- carry the letter, and to tell the child a lie, "Wouldn't it be a good idea?" It's not an idea. It's a necessity that the letter has to be carried to the doctor. Otherwise you shouldn't give this order, and all the others, "Don't you think?" The child doesn't think before it is ordered. Doesn't think at all. And you first have to obey before you can begin to think about the command. First you have to receive some content into your thinking before you can make up your mind what commanding is. But that takes years. If you haven't carried out orders for five years, no use your sitting back and having a philosophy about orders. So it's not right, it is not true. It is a lie, it's hypocrisy to say, "Don't you think you should?"

But you live by this second-rate world. It's all second-rate how people talk to each other. Nobody is straight-faced and means -- means what he thinks. He means to say -- any father needs to say to his child, not "Don't you think it's a good idea," or "Shouldn't you," but he says, "I want you to do this," and the child says, "There by the grace of my father, I'm going to do it."

So the listening stage, gentlemen, if omitted, as I said, leaves the child -- speechless, because you -- it can repeat then other phrases, but it cannot coin a

phrase its- -- himself. It -- the speech that comes to you by reading and learning, as we soon shall see, is not creative speech, is not first-rate speech. It's derivative speech. It's diluted. It's not at the degree, at the boiling point, at the mel- -- where you melt by what you are told into a new individ- -- person by understanding for the first time what this other person has -- has to tell you to mold you, to let you partake in the thought process of the community, because gentlemen, listening is based on obedience. That is, on faith. Reading is based on curiosity. The commands of the intellectual life relate to each other in a dialectical fashion. Listening gets into you. Reading goes from you into the world. I mean -- by reading I mean every way by which you discover thought processes outside of you, under your own initiative.

(When this listening stage stops and the reading begins, what are you supposed to do when the child suddenly finds out -- and this happens quite a bit -- that his parents and the people whom he's been taking commands from are not quite up to what he thinks they are?)

That's -- that's you see, I was asked there two questions. Your question and the question before -- when does one stage end and when does the other begin. When a child is allowed through its parents to take part in the mental processes of the community -- that's what listening is. That's why prayers, why cult is introduced, why you celebrate the 4th of July with firecrackers, why you have Christmas celebration. That is the introduction of somebody who listens, you see, to something that has been created with great excitement. If you are participating in this, since we are all deficient in grace, parents -- not every parent is able to convey to the child that the order is not given by an arbitrary power, but by an officeholder, under God's authority. Parents of course give those orders that are necessary. And therefore they are perfectly willing, if they are reasonable parents, to admit that they are doing this as vicars of the higher authority of the spirit.

Now many parents however are not able, because they are -- get angry, they get furious, and so on -- and impatient -- to convey the purity of this canal, of this -- of this cable which leads into the child. You have to be -- a par- -- as a parent strict, and severe, and commanding. But you have also to watch out that the child knows that you look up to another authority. That's for example, your own prayer. That's why you can't give a child religion if you don't have any. It's nonsense to send a child to Sunday school if you don't go to church. It doesn't work. The child knows exactly whether his parents obey higher orders or think that they are self-made people. You understand? And ev- -- for each sin of every mental state of life, there has to be a remedy. Reading is the right of the child- -- child that obeys, to find out himself, you see, what's behind the parents. Can you see this? But it is a response, a reaction.

I only want to -- you see, now comes the whole interesting province of reading, which goes on for all of life. And now comes my second answer. Any one of these commands is planted at one time, for the first time in a child, and then it must go on forever through the whole of life. A person that couldn't listen at 70 to any proposition, would be dead, you see, soul-sick. You can see this. But at 70, you cannot of course obey all the commands -- given by others. You will be in command yourself, partly. Isn't that right? But there must still be somebody who can tell you the truth. Even if you are 90. You will listen to your doctor, for example, you see. And you will take orders from your doctor, which means that you, in this respect, remain a child, remain in the first {phase}. Can you see this? On the other hand, reading, you see, must come in at a certain stage and then again stay for -- with you for the rest of your life. And so it is with all the commands. Does that satisfy you?

Gentlemen, the great thing about humanity, quite different from nature, is that new qualities are actually created at one time for the first time, and then they go on forever. There have been no United States of America before July 4th, 1776. It's actually true that this was a creation out of nothing. All the things before were not the United States of -- of America, and you could not mathematically prove that there had to be the United States of America on July 1st, 1776. That's why we have to celebrate by a cult this first miracle, you see, when we suddenly had to listen to this new authority. You understand? And yet, now we hope that the United States of America may go on forever. So there is no contradiction in something that no scientist can understand. Science says, "Everything has been there forever. Everything is evolution. Everything is deduced from what was there before." If -- if not, it's inexplicable. Anything that comes in, like a manufactured chair or so, that can also disappear. We in our lives however believe the very opposite every day. We believe that we get married, and that we can stay married, until death parts it, which is quite obnoxious. Anything done once, you see, you can also dissolve today -- tomorrow, can you not?

The nation is born. Well, according to the -- to the natural thinking, it -- it must -- it must end very soon. For Americans, I mean, after all, we are obsolete. We are 190 -- -80 years old. You wouldn't -- you wouldn't wear a fur coat for such a long time, and you wouldn't wear a car- -- have a carpet in your room for such a long time. Why do you have -- want to have the Constitution for such a long time? Well, we want it, because it was really genuinely born, you see.

Man gives to new things eternity. He -- we realize that they once did not exist, and we realize that although we -- they were created at one time, we want them to last forever. That's a contradiction in terms, which you have just to stomach. The fact that we celebrate July 4th says -- tells us that there at one time were no United States. But we do not draw the logical conclusion that therefore there

must -- one day we must give up the United States, you see, because it's a genuine birth. And anything nobly born can remain in life.

Christ came into this world in the middle of time. So the pagans come today -- Mr. Hitler and Mr. Molotov -- and say, "Christianity is over. It's obsolete." No Christian will agree with this, we said. The reason that Christ came in the midst of time, you see, is just that He -- from now on, He must stay with us. He must never leave us. Take your choice. That's a decision every man has to make himself, which of the things created in the midst of your life you want to carry on. And now I tell you. Listening is such a miracle which you have to rediscover. Without abuse and without slaver- -- enslavements, I mean. But go back to -- in your memory to the happy days when somebody was still good enough to give you an order. Then you were safe. Now you poor people have to make all your decisions yourself. It's terrible. They're all wrong. They aren't any better because you make them. It's obvious.

This is an illusion to think that because -- in itself is nothing therefore better because you do it. You -- every other thing you are very impersonal and say, "It doesn't matter who does it. O- -- it must only be done." But in the case of your personal life, you are told that it is the only important thing that you ...

[tape interruption]

... but one thing is very doubtful, gentlemen, to think that a man acts best for himself. I think that any -- in your own home -- family, you will agree that the mother acts best for her -- your -- her -- the father, and the father acts best for the mother. Otherwise there would be no birthday presents. She makes birthday presents, because we can know better what this person should have than the person itself would dare to buy. Don't you give -- make birthday presents which the recipient would never dare to -- to claim for himself? He would say, "I don't deserve it." Isn't that true? Or you always think you deserve more.

Now we have already this pair. Let's now think out reading. Reading is based on the discovery of the world under your own steam. It is a word that is -- has nothing to sell you, but you want to look into it. It's looking through the keyhole, peeping through the keyhole and trying to find out what it's all about, around you. The World Around Us is the name of a book, you -- you remember. The Sea Around Us, isn't that the book? Good title for this second stage of intellectual curiosity, as it's called.

Now I'm very anxious -- I'm a voracious reader, and what I -- what I have to build into me is the first and the third commandment. The second, a reader, I was by nature. That isn't enough. If you misplace the acti- -- action of reading into --

and have it intrude into the field of listening and into the field of learning, you are {late}. What's the difference, gentlemen? To say it's -- briefly in -- in a personal slogan, reading is indiscriminating, indiscriminating, because we cannot know ahead of time what we are going to find. Therefore, they say, "He's an indiscriminate reader." Well, gentlemen, inasfar as reading goes, we are all indiscriminate readers, because we open a book, we haven't read it, yet. So we go on reading and then we find it is, you see -- we shouldn't have read it.

One of the most famous reviews written by one of the most famous scholars of all times runs this way: the assertion of the author of this book, that he has written it under the blue sky of Italy, doesn't compensate for the loss of a quarter of an hour. That's a joke, of course. But it was a very cruel review. You can see that the young man who had written the book didn't -- wasn't heading for a great career. You understand what this sentence -- well, what do I mean to say? Even the great scholar could not know ahead of time that it was a loss of a quarter of an hour. He had to read the book, first. So therefore, reading is always indiscriminate.

Gentlemen, if we would begin life with the first commandment -- with the second commandment, instead of having our parents between reality and ourselves, we would burn our fingers. We would waste our time. We would pollute our imagination. We would be ruined. This country, however, has tried -- that's they call "progressive education" -- to give the child, from the very beginning, the experience of intellectual curiosity.

Gentlemen, intellectual curiosity is a correction of the food given us by listening. It's an amplification. It's a supplement. You cannot make the supplement into the foundation of the intellectual life. It's a complete misunderstanding of the functioning of the brain, because first you have to get direction. Then you can have -- get material, but it must be put under the controlling influence of experience -- wisdom. Anybody who has carried a letter to a doctor around the block -- this example I used before; let me repeat it -- when he reads in a book that the child was sent to the doctor, knows what it means, how much muscles, how much time goes into this. If he hadn't done it, he wouldn't understand a word of what this all imply with regard to af- -- effort, with regard to obedience, to loyalty. He wouldn't evaluate the story of a young boy who does go around the block and bring the letter to a doctor. If you have no such experience of listening, the words in a book poison you. They poison you. And that's why you lear- -- read The Iliad and The Odyssey with such complete lack of sympathy and understanding.

In order to read great poetry, gentlemen, you must have suffered yourself under the inadequacy of your way of carrying out orders, because in not carry-

ing out orders, or in -- in -- in spilling the milk, so to speak, man makes his greatest experiences, his greatest intellectual insight. He learns the difference between intention and execution, for example, you see. He understands Churchill's "There is nothing that I can offer you but blood, sweat, toil, and tears." However, if a man in a progressive school, fool's paradise, in a crib -- mother -- nursery school, is allowed to discover the world under his own steam, sitting there in the middle of the room, as with the idiotic Montessori playthings, this is a -- most criminal. Who has undergone Montessori treatment? I'm glad to hear it. You know who she is, this Italian lady who -- who invented something for the feebleminded and then for every normal child was introduced, too?

Well, that was an idea. You set -- sit a child into the middle of the room, and you allow it to crawl into every direction and discover the world. That was, by and large, the theory, you see. And you have no yardstick what you discover, because it ha- -- is not -- has not been ennobled by an ex- -- adult telling you it's worth doing. The command, however, when a -- the mother says, "Wash the dishes, clean the --" you see, "roo- --" gives a selectivity of facts which have to be done, which belong to the great things of life, you see, without which we cannot live. Well, so the child -- the poor child that in this country begins with reading the word -- even asked to be curious, has absolutely no distinction {about} what deserves to -- curiosity and what doesn't.

So gentlemen, in listening we learn "values," as you call it, values. We learn to distinguish the important and the unimportant, the necessary and the arbitrary, the indispensable and the wanton. In curiosity there is no such discrimination. We read indiscriminately because we cannot know what deserves to be read and what does not deserve to be read. In reading, we have no -- in -- from reading itself we do not gain any insight into the distinction of important and unimportant. To listen means to learn the difference between important and unimportant. And he who has not learned the difference between important and unimportant cannot read. He can never read.

This is why most people in this country cannot read. You only -- it's fictitious reading, what you do. Everything is distorted about reading in this country. You know, this remedial reading tries to tell -- help these -- tal- -- tell these -- slow readers not to move their lips. That's a crime. I move my lips when I read. I'm one of the fastest readers certainly in town. And I still innervate, because I still hold onto the connection of listening and reading. Nobody can hear without allowing that which is said to resound, to echo in his own system. You hear by innervating that which I say at this moment. You hear by speaking with me, by speaking to, although, you see, inside of you. That means the reverberation here of your membrane. What is a membrane, other than a field of induction in which what I say reverberates? That you call -- we call "hearing," isn't it? But now these crimi-

nals come and say -- tell to these poor readers, who should be made to open their lips, and to articulate by -- in reading, even more to skip it.

Well, these people have -- live then in -- in a world which is quite unnatural. Reading becomes absolutely separate from speaking, from hearing. It becomes an art by itself, a magic. These words make no sense to such a person. Of course, he -- he can read quick, you see, but he can only read to his harm, to his destruction. Who has undergone that treatment? Throw it up! Throw it out! Go into the public speaking department. Deliver an address every day. Speak, Sir. And listen. And then you will be able to read. That's the way of learning how to read. But not this business. It's very dangerous. It all comes from this absolute dogma in this country, because America is the most dogmatic country in the world, as you know, in these intellectual things. And it's a wrong dogma. It's a so-called "naturalistic dogma" which is based on the assumption, "Here is man. He has a brain. He begins to read up the universe. He discovers the universe."

Gentlemen, this is all nonsense. The important and the unimportant has to be learned first, and then we can fill out, by bringing new facts, and can classify these new facts away under the two headings "important" and "unimportant." And reading then means, gentlemen, to fill your two classes of important and unimportant facts with innumerable specimens, which your parents, and your school, and teachers, could not bring into your ken, into your environment themselves, in person, because not so much happens in a household, you see. Therefore the books, the radio, all these things, bring it in.

Gentlemen, there is this condition attached to importance. Well, gentlemen, how do we know what's important? Going back to the listening stage one moment again. We know what's important when it means the investment of the whole person. Unimportant -- I -- you don't have to do anything about it. Important -- you have to move in, you see. You can't leave it alone, because in listening, we know that if you don't bring the letter to the doctor, the patient is still in agony, and the doctor must be called in and right away. The same with a car that breaks down on the road, and you have to run to the next filling station, you see, to get the wrecker. If you don't go, you see, the life is interrupted. That's how we know what's important, gentlemen.

We only know it when we have -- have learned when we have to do something about something. All those acts become important. All this knowledge becomes important. That is connected with our having to go and to do something about it. You know very well when you begin to read that the first great relief you have nothing to do about. If you sit there from 2 o'clock in the afternoon to 9 o'clock in the evening reading, reading, reading, and you haven't to do --- nothing about it, you see. It's so interesting. And the only thing you have

to do is sit on your fanny, as you have done here again.

Thank you.