{ } = word or expression can't be understood
{word} = hard to understand, might be this its real, ancient meaning. We saw that it meant admiration for opposite orders of societies, or the men moving in these un- -- inimical orders. And we said admiration then is a philosophical virtue, because it means that we live in separate worlds, but admire the fellow who does his part in the opposite world. It is the relation towards enemies who at this moment have to behave as enemies.

Gentlemen, this is today -- on you the term "humanities" and "humanism" is mostly lost. You think it has to do with fiction, or music, or the arts. But humanism is that faculty of you and me in the encircling gloom while the world is not finished. And while we are -- of course weak in spirit and really devote all our efforts to -- make our own country, for example, or own profession win, to keep a yardstick of behavior toward those who oppose our ends is very important. Christian love does not fight, so that ends the whole problem of the struggle. But humanism adheres to the fighting here and now, and says, "On the other hand, this man is admirable." And so it creates the code of chivalry. All chivalry, all international law, all behavior of truth between -- between modern lobbies, farmer's union, Re- -- Republican Party, bankers' interest, are still based on this humanistic creed that there will be a limit to their mutual slander and the pursuit of their interest.

So gentlemen, it is one of the most important things that you see that human- -- humanism has something to do with mutual admiration. And this virtue in ethics is never mentioned. I read all the textbooks of my friend { } and others here in this country, and oh, the -- in Europe it's even worse. Admiration is considered usually a poor virtue. Gentlemen, it's a central virtue for everyday living. People who do not admire cannot be educated. You cannot a chi- -- educate a child without admiration. If a child doesn't know what -- whom to admire, you cannot raise his sights. Then you can only speak in the abstract, of all the powers that are invisible, and there is nothing in between which at this moment already raises his sights. You cannot educate a child without admiration. They try hard in the last 40 years, so the children remain uneducated, and become juvenile delinquents. Well, whom do they admire? The robbers. If you do not make them admire the right people, they will admire the wrong people. That's what they do in this country. They admire Al Capone, or wild Western films, and all these comic strips. And -- it's very terrible, gentlemen. You have, in this country, just a wrong scale of admiration. And for what reason? Because it has been so- -- said to you, "Don't admire." Well, nobody can live that way. So then the people go and admire something -- the Hollywood stars.

So -- since you have no women whom you are allowed to admire, you

admire the pseudo-women. That's what they are, the pin-up girl, and so on. It's nothing to admire.

So -- we have done something terrible to this whole sense of admiration. And it is fundamental, gentlemen. If you become scientists instead of philosophers, as you all try to be, then you throw out all admiration for people, and you only wonder -- have a sense of wonder perhaps about facts. And you want to learn the facts and buy the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Or you -- subscribe to Science, or you subscribe to Life, to be posted about the newest facts.

I told you I could tell you that this is a very one-sided misunderstanding of the sense of wonder. The sense of wonder is triplicate. It is -- you have to admire the power that makes you understand. You have to admire the thing which stops you, because you don't understand it. And you have to admire the power that makes you able to communicate with others this admirable faculty that we are meant to understand the universe, to move in it with clear-headedness, and do something about it.

But I come back to my tripartition, logos, ethos, and phusis, of course, here once more. But I thought the last lecture tried to show you that Homer instituted for these envious knights of Greece, these -- they were, of course, barbarians as anybody else, the code of wonder, because he drew them out -- of their small, little confines of Podunk, and Delaware, and Rhode Island, and Vermont, and New Hampshire, and put them in this mighty, you see, wide world of a common enterprise. Like the Crusades, something like that, in the Middle Ages. You must -- may compare the Crusades with the same spirit. And just as the Crusades created the code of the Pilgrim, which you still have in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and the code of the crusader, of the code of the knight in shining armor -- there were no such things before. But this great common enterprise of the Crusades drew people out into this new humanity. So Homer did this for the first time in human history, that he drew the people out, and he did so well that he did better than the Crusaders, because he made them admire their foe. He made them admire Priam. And Achilles and Priam look at each other -- behold each other with aston- -- astounded eyes.

Now gentlemen, for all the future of you- -- of the Greek spirit, and humanism, it has remained then equally important that the philosopher remain somebody to be admired than wha- -- that what he says. The philosopher himself is an object of admiration. Alternatingly. The mo- -- simpler the world which he explains -- like if you explain the whole world to be atoms, then the world is not very admirable. But all the more the mind is admirable who can say to you, "The world is very simple." So when Democritus said the whole world consisted of atoms, the sense of wonder migrates to the {philosopher}, you see, and rests

upon him.

All realists, all factualists, gentlemen, in philosophy, all the people who say, "This is nothing but" simply mean to tell you that you shall admire them more than the things, you see. And all the people who say, "Really? This is great. The galaxy of the heavens is really the expression of this -- harmony of the spheres, is divine," as Plato said, this makes you concentrate your sense of wonder on phusis, on the things of the world, you see. And therefore, you may be allowed perhaps for a while to forget the philosopher, or your sense of admiration for the philosopher.

So gentlemen, the sense of wonder migrates, or shifts, or oscillates, according to any system of philosophy, because you -- the wonder is something of a limited -- limited -- how shall I say { }? -- existence. You have not unlimited power to admire. Either you admire the riddle of the universe, or you admire the man who explains to you the riddle of the universe, or you explain the power that asks us to move in a hidden universe with our simple brains. You are either, you see, overwhelmed by the wonder of God, or by the wonder of society, or by the wonder of phusis. And you cannot -- this is very difficult for you to believe, gentlemen. You cannot have endless admiration. Admiration is not unlimited. No power of the human soul, even love, is unlimited. You cannot love your neighbor more than yourself, for example. That's a sin very often committed in this society. People try to love their neighbor more than themselves. It never works. That's idolatry. Husbands worship their wives more than themselves, you see -- than they love themselves. So of course it ends in disaster. It's not good for a woman to be adored. She has to be told the truth.

So gentlemen, admiration, as all great powers in life, are -- how do you say? -- limited -- is that the right word? -- confined, restricted. They are not available in abundance. You live in a fools' paradise, because you do not know that your mind and your body, and we all live in a wonderful economy of powers. "Economy" means that every post in the budget is limited. You are told by na‹ve ideas that you can make friends with everybody. Gentlemen, don't believe it for a minute. Friendship is limited. If you try to make friends with everybody, you can't be friends with anybody. But that's a to- -- modern gospel, that you can make friends with 2 billion people on this globe. Don't try it.

It's nonsense. The foun- -- the powers, gentlemen, which are -- come to play in your life in this universe are -- ja -- give me the right word -- are economical forces. That is, you have to economize them. You have to know -- you see, there are problems of distribution. They -- they are not -- there in -- in unending measure. The man who has imagination -- in his -- for his -- at great -- in -- in great wealth, he cannot have the same sagacity as a usurer. The usurer has no

imagination, but he has sagacity. Sagacity and imagination usually exclude each other, you see. You -- and you must not then bargain one for the other. Either you are a poet, and use your imagination and write Shakespeare's play, Shakespeare -- as I think, the man who inspired Shakespeare's plays, was a great waste- -- spendthrift, and never -- never had enough. I don't think that Shakespeare, the -- sober citizen of -- of Stratford-on-Avon is the author of these plays.

But that is a minor matter, and I don't hold a brief for this. But only to show -- tell you that I think that wherever you have great passions and great virtues, you cannot have the same energies also in the opposite camp. You understand this. But it is one of your illusions that you can.

Now philosophy is -- the history of philosophy is the revelation of this great law of economy. The whole history of Greek philosophy shows you that you have to choose what to admire most, phusis, logos, or ethos, you see. And you can't have it all three ways.

The second thing about humanism then, next to admiration, was that humanism is a second hammer throw, because first we are thrown into our own group -- family, state, community, church. Humanism tries to widen this group. And the problem then -- the second problem of humanism is not this problem of distribution of admiration, but: how far can we go in forgetting our first impressions, our first loyalties? How far is this transfer to a wider circle, you see, permissible? How far is it not destructive of our first bonds?

You see this very clearly when you ask our attitude of a cosmopolitan philosopher in times of war. He knows both sides, he -- obviously many people in this country knew very well that there was a relative right on all sides of the question in 1917. Yet, when the war breaks out, everybody has to stand, you see, behind the decision of the president who takes the country into war. So all their cosmopolitan knowledge, all their philosophy, for the time at least, is suspended, you see, and put in waiting. This is the question that faces, of course, every man who uses his mind, gentlemen, that at one moment in his life, his mind is no good. That is, his mind has no right to command his actions. With -- this I mean by "his mind is no good." So where is the limitation for philosophy?

This is the second problem al- -- immediately put by the very fact of philosophizing. Philosophizing, we said, generalizes primitive, first-rate loyalties. Now the question is: how far can this generalization do without the first loyalty? You all live in a -- this fools' paradise. Most people talk in abstractions, as -- for example, friends. But gentlemen, if you have never made a friend, the buying of the book of Dale Carnegie, How to Make Friends, won't help you. The first friend must already have occurred in your life before you can transfer this same

experience to others, you see. And that's an immediate experience, and it can't be made on a -- basis of a book, because if it is only by the book, you will never know whether it is a real friend or not. You have to go buy Dale Carnegie, and I think he has only customers, and no friends.

Well, you live however -- most of you live in this second-hand world, with your mind. Fortunately not in reality, gentlemen. Your mother writes, "You come home for Thanksgiving," and you do. Why, you don't know. You are -- may be disgruntled because you wanted to go elsewhere, but you just go. And he -- she is an authority. And no philosophy helps against that. But where's the limit? Philosophy of course then, gentlemen, has to solve this second problem: how much to first impressions? How much to generalizations? That's the second topic, also clearly already developed in Homer.

Now I got this question from one of you. It's a good question. I want to start in with this right now. After we had dealt with the catalog of the ships, as the great example of generalization, of living generalization which did not kill the patriotism of the local group, you see, but took them -- all the groups, you see, in a common enterprise, every one, however, retaining his identity. We went over to the scene between Priam and Hec- -- and Achilles over the corpse of Hector. And we saw that great passions there were overcome by this admiration, by this astonishment that a greater thing could have happened, that Priam could return alive from the tent of the sla- -- slayer of his son. And we saw that the creation of this admiration was possible by the appeal to the fatherhood in -- in Achilles' father. And you see therefore that in humanism there is something third present always between two men. In America, you have this example when a rich man meets a beggar. Good America, you see -- in good America, the rich man treats the beggar -- so nicely, humanly, because he doesn't exclude the possibility that one day he might be a beggar himself.

As soon as the rich man doesn't do that, you see, he will treat the beggar inhumanely, because the functional approach will not be there, that he can, in his imagination, take the place of the beggar. You have two classes of rich in this country. You have the unfeeling rich, who think that this can never happen to them, and they will always have enough. And you have the good rich, who never forget that from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves, there are three generations; and one day he himself may need the same appeal. Do you understand the great difference on attitude? To one, his social status hangs around lightly, and he doesn't give a damn to the fact that he earns a million dollars a year, at this moment, you see, because he foresees the vicissitudes of fortunes. And I always think that if you want to melt a -- a manufacturer's heart, even of the National Association of Manufacturers, you just have to remind them that their -- their dau- -- own daughter may have to become a secretary and a typist. And that

should melt everybody's heart about labor conditions. The -- your own daughter is involved in the game. There is no -- no security. Nobody can say that his daughter may not have to earn a living herself. Nobody can protect in modern times any mem- -- a member in the next generation against such necessity.

Now if this is so, gentlemen, then the question is -- is legitimate: how much is Homer a philosopher? And what right do we have to say that Homer is not a philosopher, that he is a poet? This was my -- the question. After all, we found in Homer already these ty- -- typical two situations which we have -- you see, determined as philosophy. The answer is, I think, at this moment, as far as I can give it to you -- you know a little -- not enough yet about the whole story -- is complex. And I don't see why I should oversimplify it. It is the beauty of del- -- dealing with real texts and real people, gentlemen, that things aren't so simple as you would like to have them for a final examination.

Homer is the teacher of all the Greeks. To teach is always to generalize. You cannot teach without going beyond the immediate moment, with specifici- -- specificity, as people say today, the specific moment, you see. When a mother says, "Bring me this basket from the attic," that's a specific command. The child will obey. But when the mother teaches the child, and tries to say, "Commands of parents have to be obeyed," you will understand that's always a philosophical element, you see, because it generalizes. You can see this.

So teaching is always philosophical. There is no other way of teaching, except example. But example has to be interpreted, you see. And the interpretation then will have this -- this generalizing element, always. The command, the example, and the teaching -- the indoctrination are threefold, and the indoctrination is always a philosophical element. In all instruction, in all teaching, you cannot help it.

Modern scientists are -- enemies of philosophy, great enemies, and destroyers of philosophy, because they only want us to deal with things, you see. And want to be objective. They do not want to cultivate the cult of the -- the admiration of the person. But gentlemen, you cannot teach mathematics mathematically. You have to teach mathematics enthusiastically. Otherwise it won't stick, you see. If a mathema- -- teacher of mathematics cannot make you thought -- and feel good about mathematics, he cannot teach it. You see the difference? Science cannot be taught scientifically. Will you take this down, gentlemen? You either have to admire the teacher, or you have to love mathematics. Both are simply emotional situations. It's one of the dreams of America that -- you see it with these objective examinations, but I hope that one day there will be riot and they'll all be destroyed. That's a scandal. These so-called "objective" examinations, they -- they -- they seduce you to believe that the learning process is

something quite different from what it is. It makes you think that you can do without these translations. That's a widespread -- superstition at this moment, in this country. But without somebody interesting you, and getting you interested in mathematics, there are no mathematics. Don't you see the difference?

So gentlemen, there is in all teaching a philosophical element, because we have now learned already that the sense of wonder may also apply to the teacher. If he has a very boring subject, and he can keep you interested, you begin to admire him, you see, instead of the boring subject. But it works. It keeps you together; it keeps you awake.

In teaching then, there is also this element of wonder, either for the teacher or for the subject. And in as far as Homer is a teacher of the Greeks, we cannot get around the fact that he is partly a philosopher. That's one perplexity, or one -- one co- -- and Plato says of himself that Homer has been his teacher. Thereby he admits that there is an element of philosophy in Homer. Then he turns against him in this 10th book, which I asked you to read, and where he says, "I turn against the imitator" -- as he calls the poets -- "the imitator." Homer imitates. And that is, of course, the poetical element. And we shall s- -- call this element, gentlemen, "the element that lets things be called by their own name." I call the process of pure philosophy, Platonic philosophy, with a hard word, but I think a word which is drastic enough to stick in your mind: all philosophy scalps names from things, you see. If -- if I say, "It makes no difference whether a man comes from Thebes or from Athens, you see, they're both citizens," I have killed, I have murdered, I have shorn citizenry of Athens and of Thebes, you see. And therefore I have impoverished the citizens of Thebes and the citizens of Athens of their feeling towards their one and only city.

All philosophy, gentlemen, scalps. This Homer does not do. In this sense, then, I would like to insist that Homer is not a philosopher. In as far as he makes us see wider than in our own city we have been looking, he is a philosopher. In as far as he demands from us to give still every one item its own name, the name of its first impression, of its first community, he is not a philosopher.

Now the third step, gentlemen. Homer is more a philosopher with regard to the gods, as with regard to men. With regard to men, he is a poet. That is, he makes men great. But Homer makes go- -- the gods small. And -- has always been reproached -- he has always been reproached with this irreligion -- also Plato does it -- because the gods look funny at times in Homer. They look small. There's a simple reason for this, gentlemen. In order to inspire the Greeks with this one spirit of all being Greeks, of all being allowed to participate in this one great enterprise of one humanity, he could take every one out of his confines and give him a larger scope. He could not enlarge the scope of the gods. The gods

were gods. And gods are always transcending your and my confines, your and my bailiwick, you see. They are always gods, which means they have -- participate in univers- -- in the universe. All gods in -- all tribes, never believe anything else what the textbooks say; all gods have represented, of course, the whole to us little members of -- the fragments of the universe.

And therefore, Homer could not aggrandize the gods. But he wanted to talk about them. So, as you may -- those of you who have read Homer -- The Odyssey for example -- know, at places he is ha- -- rather irreverent of the gods. He shows that he thinks that the gods are envious, jealous, wrathful, and just -- human beings allowed to live forever, so to speak, and therefore immune against death. The nondying quality is the essential quality for Homer's gods, because he cannot add anything to the cult.

The poet, you see, has one stumbling block. What is the social -- social situation of a singer, of Homer? Where does he appear? And this is important for us. The social situation of Homer is an -- that of an after-dinner speaker. Now after dinner, nothing is serious. So Home- -- Homer is handicapped with regard to the gods, because the gods are the one aspect of reality whom we can only entreat when we are serious. And Homer is in the desperate situation that he has to speak of a -- gods in a situation which is on principle, by establishment, not serious. After dinner, nothing is serious. Ever heard an English speaker after dinner? It's just terrible. It's as bad as a comic strip. I mean, there is no seriousness after -- in an after-dinner spe- --. Have you heard a typical after-dinner speaker? Who has? Well, there are even -- as you know, books who give you all the off-color stories you have to tell then.

So no wonder that Homer also tells an off-color story about the gods in -- where is the famous off-color story on the gods in the -- in The Odyssey.

({ }.)

Right. Which book is it, do you remember?

(In the first book, { }.)

What? Well, you'd better look it up right away at home. And bring it next time to class; we'll have a look at it.

Well, I mean to say, gentlemen. The poet is in a nonserious situation. He cannot help this. His public is relaxed. His public doesn't want to act. His public doesn't want to go to battle -- when he -- while he sings. It does want to digest. And it is just as little serious as The Reader's Digest. That's Ho- -- all pieces of

literature are -- have -- are -- live in a second-rate reality.

So Homer can speak of man and things in the right style. It -- they are not harmed if you look at them with a sense of relaxation, recreation, distance, and even humor. But as soon as you speak of the cult of your city, gentlemen, with a sense of humor, you are no longer contributing to the lifeblood of the cult. And gentlemen, who is a god? God is a power that is present at this moment in this classroom. If God is omnipresent, I cannot blaspheme. And I hope I do not blaspheme. I am serious. I am aware of the fact that -- even our playful classroom here is under His augury.

The poet must try to get the gods into his speech, into his -- into his fireside talk, and so he speaks playfully about them. And in -- with regard to his theology, I would then say -- sum it all up: Homer is a philosopher. That is, he speaks of God -- of the gods as his second impressions. They are all afterthoughts, his thoughts about the gods. They are not his first thoughts. They are not the words of prayer, you see. They are not the words of the -- of -- of Revelation. They are not the words of -- of -- out of a Book of Psalms, but they are the -- you see, the -- the off-color stories. They are the second-rate, the anecdotes, the legends, you may say, about the gods.

So with regard to the gods, Homer is a philosopher. And he has made it inevitable that the Greek philosophers distance, remove themselves from the cult of their individual city. When we come to Plato and Aristotle and ask ourselves: whose cult was important for them, was central for their own existence? -- you will come to the strange answer, gentlemen, that the cult of friendship was the serious substitute for the cult of the local gods, for a Greek philosopher. Aristotle prayed to his friend. That's a great example of the seriousness of friendship, gentlemen. Whenever you get into po- -- the arts and sciences, you will find that they are not serious about the religion of the tribe, or of the country. But they must have some {full} devotion. And it is usually the devotion to their friends, which knows no bounds and where they go to any sacrifice.

If you look at the French, gentlemen. In 1789, as you know, France built in the two religions. One, the religion of the republic, and the other the religion of the Catholic Church. It's the tragedy of France that you have no Protestants in France. You only have free-thinkers, so-called, and Roman Catholics. It's -- the country has perished, by and large, from this split between red and black.

Now if you want to define the cult of these two groups, it is very easy. The -- all the free thinkers of France have a cult of friendship. And an absolute, infinite one. I mean, there is an absolute solidarity which you do not know. On Montmartre, or in the salons of France, the one thing that is absolutely reliable is

friendship. People who are poor themselves will pay rent to a friend so to support his work and his genius. And they will say nothing about it. And it will be concealed in him. There is a solidarity and a taking care of talent and friends in -- in -- in France. Quite unknown in this country. Here there is general charity, yes. But there is specific cult. My friend is given me, you see, as a unique creature. It cannot be replaced by 10 other friends, you see. At a- -- not at all. This creature is not a generalization. It's still a religion.

Will you t- -- take it down, gentlemen: that where philosophy does play around with the gods in Heaven, over the -- in the sky over a city, of a local community, there still is the cult of friendship. And that goes through all Greek philosophy, and is, of course, meant, what I called to you the dedication. But we have an altar built by Aristotle to his friend. We have of course the cult of Plato himself in his Academy. We have the cult of Socrates to which Plato dedicated himself. And if you read the -- the best elucidation of this cult of friendship as a serious business, not a sense of humor and friendship, gentlemen, all what you think is necessary. Friends -- there's no sense of humor. I mean -- a friend who goes astray makes you cry. You can't laugh about him. It costs you heart-blood, if you see him perish. Now this cult of friendship, which is lost in this generation, on yours -- I always pity you. I see thousands of Dartmouth graduates graduate without having a friend, you have only classmates.

The best description of this friendship of antiquity is in the -- I think I mentioned it to you already, in Montaigne, the {28th} chapter of the first book of his essays, the great Frenchman. He is -- has given the simplest expression to the cult of friendship. That is, when you throw out the sense of wonder in the logos, of the whole universe, or of your city, in the cult of the Catholic Church or of the pope, you have to r- -- introduce another cult. And all -- never believe a free thinker when he says he has no god. They all pray for their friendship. And all France is in -- then in these two parties: the cult of friendship on the one-hand side, and the cult of Mary and her Son on the other hand.

And you must know this. Otherwise you are betrayed. You think there are atheists in the world, gentlemen. That doesn't exist. I've never seen an atheist. A Communist, doesn't he believe in the party? I mean, everybody has his cult, you see. It is one of the greatest nonsenses. You can, of course, have a cult of yourself, I mean, a narcissic -- you can have a mirror on your -- on your -- on your desk. And the famous saying about a chancellor of the Russian Empire in the old times, he's -- they said he -- he has such a cult of his own personality, that he -- il se mire dans son l'encrier. That is, he uses his ink stand as a mirror for the beauty of himself, you see. He looks even into an ink stand, as -- only to get his own picture there, aggrandize.

Gentlemen, cult -- the cult is a necessary ingredient of life. And you can test this, gentlemen, when you ask yourself: what keeps you going for- -- between the start of a difficult enterprise in your own life, and its end? That's the god who then -- whom you worship. Take a -- somebody who decides that he wants to woo the daughter of a -- of a rich house. And he's far from being sure that she wants to marry him. She may spend a weekend with him, but marriage is a different matter, as you know. What keeps him going? What gives him the faith to carry through this, while nobody is allowed to know it, nobody else -- that's always the test, you see, makes -- is then the god whom he worships. That's either his own beautiful self. He's a movie star who thinks he's just irresistible, you see. Well, then he's his own divinity. Or it is -- another conviction. His good star. That's an astrological deity, a very minor deity. But -- or you write a book. You begin in 1956 to plan this book. You can only publish it in 1963. Gentlemen, what keeps you going during these seven years? All these seven years everybody thinks you are a fool. You cannot prove to anybody that the book will be a success, you see. The people think you should invest in something better than your own manuscript, you see. You -- you -- you destroy your career, perhaps, because you have to write this book. Now, the power that keeps you alive in these seven years, you see, that's of course your divinity.

So only a -- it is -- it is simply a lack of -- lack of intelligence if a man says there are people who do not worship a god. The difficulty is only: which god? You can worship a very limited god, or you can worship the true God. That's the only distinction.

Now in Homer then, there is this great problem, that since he is an afterdinner poet, he does diminish the reality of the -- the seriousness of the gods. That is, the first impressions of the cult in which we grow up, you see, are reduced there; and some people have felt, as Plato, that they are reduced to shambles. And Plato's hatred of Homer comes from this fact, that he said, "This teacher is not a teacher," you see, "of good things," because by imitating, by becoming an after-dinner speecher -- speaker, he makes the gods out to be foul creatures. And so he -- so Plato's hatred comes from the lack of reverence of Homer for the gods.

The strange thing is, gentlemen, that Plato of course is not deeply interested in the Homeric gods, that you cannot get a lesson in polytheism and the cult of Athens when you read Plato. And most of you will think that after all, philosophers never worship. I warn you against this. It is not true about antiquity. We have already seen this about Lucretius. The thing is much more complex, gentlemen.

Perhaps at -- in the end -- at the end of this course, you will understand that cult and philosophy are like breathing in and breathing out, that you can't

have one without the other. Just as your friend believes in you while you are despondent, and inspires you in this sense, you -- still you can get your breath back, so the cult always enters your life when you are weak. And you always dismiss the cult when you are strong. When the god enters you, and you are inspired, you feel good, then you are philosophize -- and you are in power. But we aren't always in power. Most of the time, we are sound asleep. So then we must hope that somebody else looks after us. The -- another Frenchman -- all Frenchmen know about the cult of friendship so well, the famous Exup‚ry. What's his first name?




Antoine d'Exup‚ry, yes. He has written that the simplest cult of friendship was in the fact when one pilot -- and another were together, and one was -- has fallen asleep, that his friend would simply push his arm under the other's neck so that he might not get -- wake up with a stiff neck when -- when he wakes up from sleep -- and that this gesture of sympathy, or of help, you see, was the tenderest expression of his -- his cult of friendship. A very important notion. Don't look too far for your own cult, gentlemen. It's much nearer to your heart than you think. You don't have to join a mighty church of 400 million faithful so that you have religion. Everybody has religion. There is just nobody who hasn't.

So the relation of Homer to philosophy perhaps has been clarified. It is complex. With regard to the gods, he does philosophize more than with regard to things, and to men. But now comes the fourth point. The fourth point about Homer is, gentlemen, that he introduces to you and me something which we take today for granted, but which is an invention of Greece. That is the metaphor. There are -- Homer's poetry is famous for its comparisons. We have already read one ourselves, that Achilles gets up, compared to whom? Anybody remembers last time?

(That was Agamemnon --.)

(The lion.)

Like the lion. Now you -- you say, "Well, that's just a simile," or a metaphor, whatever you like to tell it. A simile. And the similes are strewn like diamonds throughout Homer. And the similes are much longer very often than just the -- this, you see, we have already heard of the simile in the catalog of the

ships, where man is compared to what?




To the bees. Or to the leaves, or to the buds. Gentlemen, you all use in English these -- these similes. And I think they -- in creative writing, you are probably taught quite a bit about it. Now will you kindly understand that first impressions never speak in similes, but mean what they say. The language of the cult, which calls -- speaks of God's heart, or God's wrath, or God's right finger, means exactly what it says. God's right finger and nothing else. That's not a simile. That's not a sublime figure of speech. I always would like to kill the man who speaks in -- of -- of the liturgy as figures -- sublime figures of speech.

I -- I read yesterday a sermon of a friend of mine, a good liberal, good enligh- -- a good man of the Enlightenment. And he shouldn't have become a preacher, because he destroys the liturgy, if -- if these are just figures of speech. We speak of God as we must speak of Him, or we shouldn't speak of Him at all. There's no embellishment about Go- -- God ha- -- God's right finger is pointing towards you, or we shouldn't speak at all.

There are no such figures of speech, gentlemen, in our first-impression society. In the group in which we grow up, it is simply so that we have to use these terms and there are no others. Gentlemen, in any real society, there are no synonyms. Will you take this down? In all real societies, there are no synonyms. You cannot s- -- call the president of United States a "great chief." He is the president of the United States. The great chief is not a synonym for the president. Don't you see that? If you don't call him the president, you make him into a tyrant, perhaps, or the king of England, or what-not. He is the president, and that's the only legitimate expression.

Now "president" is a metaphor, because it means somebody who sits in front of the table, you see. But it is a necessary metaphor, and that doesn't deserve any more the term "metaphor," because it's the only way in which we can speak.

Gentlemen, all original speech, if you want to have it this way, is metaphorical. And there o- -- is no other speech. If I say that the king has to have a scepter in order to be able to -- to command silence, or that we are under -- his hand, or under his care, that's a necessary way of speaking. There is no other

way of saying the thing. The law says that he wields the scepter of this country. And that's all there is to it.

You will never understand speech, gentlemen, if you do not understand that first impressions have to be expressed in an unshaken terminology. You cannot say to a child that the father of Jesus Christ is a supreme being without poking fun at the fact that you ask this child to pray to "Our Father in Heaven." He is either "Our Father in Heaven" or He's nobody. He's not "the supreme being." That's a philosophical term good for Free Masons. It's a second-rate expression. All philosophy has called God a supreme being. It's always the end of religion. God is not a supreme being. It's a nonsensical expression. I've written a whole book ab- -- on this. And my paper, as you know, which I gave you, contains the reasons why it is not a good idea to call God "the supreme being," because "being" is just a go- -- word good for the nursery. It is not for serious people. Call anything "being."

My paper has just this -- this -- this purpose, of shaking you up so that you know that philosophical language is second-rate. All philosophical language, because it reduces first-rate language, you see, to generalizations, has to admit of poetry as a refresher course, so to speak. After you say that Achilles was just a man, in order to build -- rebuild A- -- Achilles in your estimate, you have to say he's like a lion. However, if you live in a family, and your father is just your father, it is not necessary to tell the child that your father -- his father is like a lion. He knows very much how powerful the father is. He is just himself. He is the father, and that is a lionlike situation, you see. And the metaphor only comes in after the child has heard in school that his father is just a man like everybody else. Then it is very necessary that the mother, when the child comes home and the son is disrespectful of the father, says, "But your father is like a lion," you see, "and watch out. His paw may come down on you."

So gentlemen, metaphors come only after philosophy has entered the scenes. When we generalize, or after we begin to rationalize, you have to bring back by poetry the original power of your first life, of the golden age of youth in which you have no such doubts, and have no such belittlements of your environment, where you don't call your mother, "The Old Woman" but -- or the "Old Lady," but you say, "She's my mother." As long as she is your mother, you see, no room for metaphor.

Metaphor is only -- it is like this, you see. In our first impressions, we are immediately related to the divine as it comes to us in our family or in our locality. The whole divine spirit is upon us. It is not compared with anything else, it isn't -- we aren't frustrated by saying, "Oh, we are just one out of a million." But once you begin to say these blasphemous words, "I'm just a human being," by

which always your -- your philosophizing begins today, "I'm just a human being," there you dismiss yourself out of the whole inspirational environment, you see. What your father and your mother have said, what the teacher has said, and what the church has said, the local church, is always missed, because you now are generalizing and say, "I'm just a human being." In this moment you are powerless. In this moment, you are deficient of grace. And in this moment, poetry enters the scene, and tries by metaphors to bring back, you see, the same.

So we start here on a certain level of power in the family. Then we dismiss it, and poetry tries to rebuild it. Poetry is then, gentlemen, in intimate relation to philosophy. Philosophy is reducing first impressions, you see. Poetry is bringing back first impressions. And the means by which poetry brings back first impressions is metaphor, simile. After Achilles has become "just a human being," he must be compared to a lion to bring him back. But gentlemen, in the first cult -- pick an Indian tribe, the man wears the mask of a lion, and speaks like a lion, and roars like a lion, because he is not like him -- he is the lion, you see, {rages} -- his name is called "Lion." That's not a metaphor. That's a way of trying to say who he is. It's an -- attempt to identify him. Do you see the difference?

Now nothing is more vicious today as your treatment in literature and English departments, and French departments, and humanity departments, of this whole rubrum of simile and synonyms. You all think that man can live by synonyms, gentlemen. Synonyms are second-rate. Every child should grow up with "spade is a spade" and "yes is yes" and "no is no." And "no" is not a synonym for "yes."

You know the famous story of the -- of -- of course, of the lady and the diplomat. Who knows -- who does know this story? Na ja. Will you tell it?

({ } who doesn't know it { }. Sorry.)

Well, that's -- they don't know the -- they think your "yes" is -- is "no" and "no" is "yes." Isn't that true? But everybody laughs because everybody feels that these two people are -- of course, outside the pale.

The diplomat deals with the -- the external society only, you see. Therefore nobody can expect him to speak the truth. He must have synonyms. Well -- is anybody going to -- does everybody know the story?


Well, who is willing to tell it? Oh, many -- 20 or 30. Sir, you tell the story.

(Well --)

Get up and tell it.

(I'm not sure if I remember the context. A lady -- no. A woman, if she says "no," she means "yes.")

No, "perhaps." She means "perhaps."

(She means "maybe." If she says "maybe," she means "yes." If she says "yes," she's no lady. On the other hand, a diplomat, if he says "yes," he means "maybe." If he says "maybe," he means "no." And if he says "no," then he's not a diplomat.)

It's a very great story. Thank you. Let's have a break here.

[tape interruption]

...immediately given in the Greek -- in the Greek world. Once you have to generalize, you have to replace the loss of warmth and energy by poetry. It's very strange. The arts and sciences go hand in hand. If you take sciences in the plural as a force that makes for philosophy, philosophy is the unifying link between all sciences. And the more you generalize, gentlemen, the more you have to build up the energy lost in this way for your first impressions, for your heart, by poetry. And that's why metaphor and simile are the lifeblood of poetry, you see. But don't mistake poetry for first language. A psalm is not a poem. I always read this in liberal literature today. A psalm is not a poem. And a poem is not a psalm. And you can turn your -- stand on your head, and you can never get the two things into the same bracket. A psalm is -- Ja?

(Isn't there a rhyme -- isn't Homer something like { } between a poet and philosopher?)

Ja, ja. It is an incredible creation, you see. And -- but the Greeks, you see -- the tragedy of Greece is that their state and their church were losing in power. And are -- they are the country of ar- -- the arts and sciences. That's why the liberal arts college is based on the -- on the Greeks, you see. They have given us the arts and the sciences. So they -- because they are the greatest poets and the greatest philosophers. And you cannot say that they are the greatest builders of empires, you see, or the greatest builders of churches. Neither have they given us a true religion, nor they -- have they given us a true state. As I said, they have never abolished slavery, you see. They have never been able to make peace, 300 cities. To the end of -- of their Greek independence, they would all go to war

against each other. Even when the Romans were already conquering Greek in 146, the various cities of Greek were at each other's throats. They couldn't unite. They had to be conquered from the outside for this reason.

It's a little bit like Europe today. The Europeans are the Greeks. Beware of the Greeks in this sense. For politics, they aren't -- just no good. You see it in France. You see it in Germany. You see it in all European countries. Not even Holland, and Belgium, and Luxembourg can unite. They cannot. You see, they are full of philosophers. But philosophers are impotent to create first the obedience, the loyalty which come in the first order of life. They cannot. They are only there for generalization.

(Could you go back to your distinction between a psalm and a poem?)

A psalm is necessary for my soul. A poem is a delight for my mind. That's a great difference. In a psalm, I find myself what -- gentlemen, oh, you may perhaps -- of course, it's not my business in this course, but perhaps I simply shall define what I mean by this. Very simple, gentlemen. In a prayer, the man who prays, recognizes himself. If you say "Father," you know that you are a son. If you say "Brother," you know that you are a brother. A sister is only a sister as long as there are -- is a brother, for example. If St. Francis prays to -- "O Brother Sun, and Sister Moon," that is for Francis important. That's why we have to pray.

We praise the Lord, gentlemen, so that we know that we are His children. Do not think that you can add an inch to the grandeur of God. But you can add very much to your own grandeur by praying to the -- your creator. That is, gentlemen, man knows in earnestness who he is by the way he speaks to others. Your addressing anyone gives you status. If the -- if these damned representatives from the South dare in a Senate committee to -- or a repr- -- House of -- committee, you see, to talk to the -- to the -- to the dir- -- president of -- Brotherhood of Pullman Porters only by first name, he feels very good about it, you see, because he gains status, this Southern gentleman, by calling any colored person with his first name. That's what they do. That's one way of asserting white supremacy. You see how important it is. If this man had -- would have to say, "Mr. Smith" to this man, he would come down from his pedestal, would he not? Very simple.

And that's how simple life is, gentlemen. You look far too far for your religion. Every day that you talk to a man, you give yourself status. If you say, "Mr." or "Professor" to me, you are a student, you see. And on it goes. Now prayer is an attempt to find our ultimate status. Obviously I cannot depend on my talking to you, or my talking to h- -- Mr. {Prenzler}, or my talking to any one

of you, for getting my status, you see.

Prayer is then the desperate attempt to get out of all these accidental statuses which you give me, and my environment gives me, and the president of this college gives me, and the tax collector gives me, you see, and to find out who I really am. It's a desperate attempt, prayer, gentlemen, to sing yourself into your proper place in the cosmic order. That's why it is inexorable. Everybody prays. The apes pray for their own grandeur. I mean, the -- these atheists, these sociologists, the psychologists whom I know, they are constantly trying to make themselves -- assure themselves that they know better, that they are superior. Nobody knows why. But they all tell you so, that they look into the secrets of human society, don't they? By some trick. I don't know which trick. You find this -- this -- this is the scientist's greatest temptation, then. Because he knows something, he is therefore superior. And sci- -- knowledge is power. It may be power, gentlemen, but it certainly -- usually is also wickedness.

Prayer is a very simple attempt to find one's bearings. Poetry is not this, {Prenzler}, don't you see? A poem is in addition to my status, you see, an expanse of feeling. And it is therefore not my prayer, a poem, but it is written -- it's a generalization on this state of despair, so to speak, in general, you see. I do not expect from a poem what I expect from a prayer. From a prayer, I expect to be answered, my dear man. But for a poem, unfortunately I expect to be read, which is a very different I -- aim and purpose. Prayers are not printed, and poems are. That's the whole difference.

There's a very good law in our churches that a man may publish his sermons, but he may not print his prayers. And yet if he is a good churchman -- I had a friend here. You'll remember him, Dr. Vernon, whose prayers were the excessive greatness in his services here. And he was a preacher here in Dar- -- Hanover. And -- and his sermons were -- well, they were good, but there was nothing extra. But his prayers you could not forget. And he -- I owe it to him that he says, "Prayers are unprintable." They are not to be printed. They come once from the bosom of your heart, and, you see, never again. That's why they are specific. They are not general, you see. And the greatest character, gentlemen, of the specific, of the concrete is that it cannot be repeated. A poem you can -- read 20 times. The same prayer is not the same prayer if prayed at another occasion, you see. It just isn't, I mean. This word comes upon your mouth at this moment, with necessity and urgency. So a -- a real prayer of a real preacher is once forever.

The -- gentlemen, the greatest things are the frailest things. Anything that is as big as a dreadnought is not important. Dreadnoughts are not important. But a baby is important. It's so frail. And that's -- true of a prayer. It's like a

breath of life. And the breath of life cannot be repeated. It's just -- you cannot buy it, gentlemen. You cannot put it in a safe. You cannot have -- a bank account. It's now or never.

All first impressions, gentlemen, then have this quality, that they cannot be repeated. They cannot be put on ice. The proper prayer on Armistice days can only be said once by a nation. And since we didn't celebrate Armistice Day this -- war, we are cursed. This country has not been able to pray for the end of this war, and there is no peace in the world to this day. And this is the curse of -- all over the world, gentlemen, that the two world wars ended without prayer. They have not ended, yet. They are still there in the hearts of men. You are all -- you don't know it, gentlemen, that you are mentally all sick, not in -- as persons, but as members of nations who did not know how to end war. It's a deep mental sickness all over the world for this reason.

You can philosophize about peace, gentlemen. That's not meaning co- -- making peace. That's not concluding peace. Concluded peace has to be concluded by the serious words spoken of the -- by the co- -- political and religious community now. And it was missed. And we have missed -- and we are dragging this chain of not making peace to this day. And the whole world is sick with it. The -- call it the Cold War. But it is much deeper, gentlemen. It is an impotence of your spirit to allow the statesman to say this one word. Everybody had to s- -- some general ideas, gentlemen. That's not how nations live. They don't live by general ideas.

We live in a -- in a philosophical and poetical universe, gentlemen, without the power of creating peace. Very simple. Because peace cannot be made by poets, and cannot be made by philosophers. Once you understand this, you understand my whole course, in the -- the Greek philosophers could not make peace. They had eternal war. And they ended, as you know, as nonGreeks. They were just swallowed up. First by Alexander the Great, and later by the Romans.

The more you cultivate one-sidedly pagan philosophy and art, gentlemen, the more you deprive yourself of your power to educate your children. Because children want the faith, and they want the law. They don't want embellishments, and doggerels, and comic strips, and movies. That's utterly unimportant for children. You all overfeed your -- your youngsters. They don't need this -- these entertainment. A decent child doesn't need to be entertained. Life is so interesting for a young child if you allow him to work, and to participate. The rest is all nonsense. And the child wants to learn, of course. You don't allow the child to learn. You always allow -- force a child to play. A child -- a child wants to enter serious business.

So we live now in -- no, I won't go into it. It's -- doesn't matter.

But it is always -- what I try to do, gentlemen, is to show you the -- the achievements of the Greeks. I'm certainly an -- a great admirer of their achievements for all of us, and their limitations. You have to see both in one, which is difficult.

Now, the second -- the -- the -- phase from Homer, gentlemen, to Plato is a very precise phase. The Greeks' philosophy, the first half, consists -- or the first third -- consists in the attempt to try: how far they can do without first impressions. How far can they reduce -- can they scalp all first impressions? And how far can then generalization go? It's like a great intoxication, gentlemen. From the first philosopher, Thales of Miletus, around 500 A.D., to Plato, 200 years are devoted to the problem: how far can we do only with generalizations? And the entering -- the -- the -- the high point of this period is the name Parmenides. Parmenides is a great man. You know it already from my paper, and you have to read it still next time, please, every one of you, so that I can base my next lecture on this assumption, on the fact that Parmenides says, "I will talk to people who forget their first impressions. I can only talk to people who forget their first impressions. I shall talk about being. That is, I shall scalp all verbs, all men of their proper title or name. I shall only talk in -- in pronouns." Well, only say, "he" and "she," and "it," and we'll see how far we can get.

It's an attempt, gentlemen, to erase the political community from the minds of the thinker. And is an attempt you all make to make a clear -- have a clear slate in your mind and begin from scratch. A great temptation. The first man who tried to do this is Parmenides. So compared to Homer, it's just the opposite, Homer is in love with all the Greek cities, and says, "Forward to unity." Parmenides says, "My unity is only to be had under the condition that none of you is a member of any one city in his memory any more, you see." That we have a clean slate. It's just your { }. You are all Parmenideses, { }, every one of you, I think, is produce- -- as a product of an American high school or college has this vast -- vague idea that it would be best if his mind would be made into a clean slate, so that all his new concepts are correct. And -- just as Montaigne has written the high song of Greek friendship, so there is a famous biography of D‚scartes, D‚scartes, in his little booklet, the great Frenchman Cartesius has said, "If I only could have a mind swept clean from all the cobwebs which I lear- -- put -- were put on it in the first 20 years of my life." That's a very good ex- -- explanation of the Greek ideal, you see, to have not lived in the first 20 years under the erroneous first impressions.

Now anybody who can fall for this and doesn't laugh at poor Mr. D‚scartes, gentlemen, is a real Greek. I laugh at D‚scartes. I think he's ridicu-

lous. I owe everything to my first 20 years. And I wouldn't give it for anything in the world. And to say that I should awaken to my thoughts to -- 20 years, would -- I know that I would just be a brute, terrible man, a monster. And -- like mathematicians, they're usually human monsters.

And it is an incredible idea, that these first wonderful 20 years should not have allowed me to enlist the impressions of the morning star, and of morning glory, and of my parents and of my sisters, and my -- this is just incredible. I can't understand even -- the man is insane to me. But there is -- are two parties, gentlemen. I think in this room, if we take an impartial vote, 98 percent of you would vote that D‚scartes and the Greeks have a good idea -- Parmenides, in this attempt to wipe clean the slate from the impressions of the polis, of the community. What is the polis? Environment. Everything that has worked on you, and to begin from scratch, you see. You would have nothing to work with. In order to generalize, gentlemen, you have had to have particular impressions. Otherwise you don't know what you're talking about. A generalization, gentlemen, without a root, a stem on which it is built up as the bud of this stem, you see, and has no roots, is -- lunacy, real lunacy. Most people, gentlemen, whom we call "lunatics" have generalities in their minds without the first experience, you see, the first impression. "Lunacy" is a very good word for this, a moo- -- you see, the lu- -- moon is up in the air. It has no roots in reality.

This is a very practical question for you, gentlemen. For all your decisions, can generalizations be arrived at without experience? That's the problem of Greek philosophy. And in the first 200 years, they -- people think they can. The idealists: we will create a world of generalities without experience. And Plato is -- and Socrates is the breaking point, so to speak, in which this flood, this tide is stemmed, and there comes the sobering up. And then they say, "Look, there is a limit," you see. "Man must be good if he -- his exper- -- ideas shall have any value." That is, what is goodness: first impression, first attitude, a direct relation to life, you see. Not a secondhand one.

So the history of Greek philosophy, gentlemen, runs from Thales to Socrates in the attempt to forget first loyalties. I will now not say "first impressions." You will understand why not. To make a man a member of the sect of philosophers, you see, by erasing his membership in the previous community of his little hometown, by saying, "Forget that you once were coerced by the policeman of your little town, and learn that you couldn't make a noise at midnight in the street. That's not necessary for your philosophy." Gentlemen, it is necessary. I assure you. You must have made the experience of a police force first, before you can judge about the best state, whether it should have a police force or not. You don't know what you're talking about, {otherwise}.

Now the practical question, gen- -- gentlemen, is: what was the fruit of this tremendous assault of the sons of man, of these titans of the mind, to do without their city? It's a great story. And to give you today only an introduction, I want you then -- of course, we will deal with Mrs. -- here Miss, the lady's very good book. We know very little of these first thinkers. But they must have made an admirable impression in the great plight of the Greek cities against this tr- -- great power of Persia, and the Oriental empires, these many cities of the Greeks. As we find in the battle of Troy -- war of Troy, try to build up something that would unify them. You must understand that this is a political aim, although it seems that it is only an aiming for truth. But if I replace my Miletian religion, or Ephesian religion, or whatever the city is from which they come, by some generalization, I still say it in Greek that I want to appeal to all the Greeks that we can agree, and of course then also come to common action similar to the Trojan War, and resist the Persians. And you must never forget that from 582 to 410, the battle against the Orient ennobles the -- the -- the -- the zest for a Greek philosophy. The Greek philosophy seems to be able -- all this time to replace the little home city, you see. "If we can get a common doctrine, if we can -- got a general philosophy," these people feel, "then we are Greeks against Persia." That is, this little group of 500,000 people, perhaps, you see, can then feel that it has a front against these millions on the mainland of Asia.

So philosophy, of course, is at that time a political force. And to prove you my point, I -- going to give you my explanation of the philosophy of Thales. If you open book -- the book here by Mrs. {Freeman}, on Page 18, you will find that we know very little. But we know one thing, that he must have said that everything is water, that he reduced then all the distinctions of the universe to one source element. Just as we would say today, "everything is electronics." The people say it without understanding what it is. Nobody knows what an electron is, but it sounds very good if you -- you are up to date, if you say everything today is electron. Nothing is said with it, to tell you the truth, you see, except that you create a common religion for Russians and Americans. If everybody says, "Everything is electron," you see, we are outside the polis of Russia and America, are we not? We talk about something third. That's very helpful, you see, because we can do this without hitting on each other's head, you see. The Russians say, "Everything is economics," I don't know what Americans say. They think everything is dollars. It's not much difference in my mind. But it -- still it sounds different. But if you say, "Everything is electronics," you have already a common vocabulary.

Now gentlemen, with Thales, who said "Everything is water," it is not only the greatness of the conception that the whole world was one, but I'll tell you very practically how important this was. The Greeks lived around the salty sea. The great civilizations of Babylon, Assyr, and Egypt, who had invented all

the sciences -- writing, and reading, and astronomy, and agriculture, plows, the building of temples, the stone masonry, all the surveying power, all the arithmetic and geometry known in 700 to the rest of the world, that was all Egyptian, and Assyrian, and Babylonian. And it was all based on civilizations that cultivated fresh water -- civilizations, rivers, you see, river civilizations.

Now for a man who lived on the Mediterranean, the first attempt had been to imitate these civilizations, and to build temples to Zeus for his rain, as giving water to the earth, Hera, and to imitate the cult then, in some form or other, I won't go into details. In my course in 58, we go into it in great detail, but we can't do it here. To imitate these freshwater cults, so to speak, of agriculture in the smaller way, in Athens, and in Sparta, and everywhere. Anybody who reads a Greek tragedy will find vestiges of this imitation in their religion. Also in Homer, there is a great story, the great metaphor in The Iliad -- will you do me the favor this -- these four people there and look up the place in Il- -- The Iliad where -- where Hera and Zeus are in the terms of Homeric poetry entering their sacred marriage? That is, the embrace of Heaven and earth so that the earth may bear fruit. That's a cult of the -- Egyp- -- Egypt. Now Thales breaks with this cult, because he says that the saltwater, and the ponds, and the rain, and the freshwater -- it's all one.

That's -- is a tremendous achievement, I think, which is never stressed in our modern books, on Thales and the Greeks, that to call all these waters fundamentally one is already one great logical achievement. Because originally, of course, the water of the Nile is a totally different water from the water of the sea. It's just a different -- it hasn't even the same name. If you live in -- ever come to Egypt, gentlemen, you will be impressed by the fact that wherever the Americans dig a well in Cairo, or somewhere else in Egypt, they assume that this wonderful sanitation will impose on the Egyptians so that these poor fellahin will run and get the artesian water, because it's sterilized, and is -- has no bacteria. Oh, lo and behold! Not one of these Egyptians is ever going to touch artesian well water. They run down to the River Nile, with all the dead crocodiles in it, and drink it, because it's sacred. Because Nile water cannot be replaced by any other water.

In other words, gentlemen, the Egyptians to this day are pre-philosophical. They cannot generalize Nile water by putting it one category with other water. Its just is itself -- a thing by itself. And I mean this. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have talked to these men. I have tried to persuade them to drink the water of the Chicago House in Luxor. And they laughed at us, and said we were just these barbaric fools. We didn't know the qualities of Nile water, you see. Nile water is just not water.

To you this is very difficult, gentlemen. But if you want to understand real, human thinking, you cannot distinguish sharply enough, you see, between concrete experience and your -- what you call "experiences." Yours is all abstract. You go to 16 countries in Europe. So you never go to any one of them, of course. Because if there are 16, you never have the quality of every -- any one of them by its own name, you see. Austrian -- Austria, you see, it's not the 16th country of Europe. But for an American, it probably is the 16th country of Europe.

And you know the two Americans { } back, they got quarreling. Had they been to Austria? And the one man said, "Yes, we have been."

"And how can we prove it?" said the other.

"Because the porter at the hotel wore a blue cap." That was the only specific notion they had of Austria, you see.

You can't think in specific terms. To you, the whole world, gentlemen, is just a philosophical universe. To you, the generalization comes before the specific. We live in a -- we are a strange humanity, gentlemen. We are a second growth. Chesterton -- once said, you see, we are children of a second birth. We are post-philosophical. The wor- -- world of the Greeks has perished, in which second thought, you see, came after first thought. You are all brought up in all our schools by first -- not -- no, by second thoughts. So you think, "All men come first, you see, and then there is United States." But for the child of the Nile water, you see, the water of the Nile is something that is clearly a different item, a specific, you see. You cannot subsume it under "water."

If you cannot understand this, you cannot understand the driving force of Greek philosophy. It has given us this aloofness. That even what your five senses perceive to you is no longer a swallow. It's just a bird. It's not a swallow, you see. But for a Greek, of course, a swallow is not a nightingale. A nightingale is not a swallow. And the general expression "bird" -- hmph -- very doubtful, you see. They don't care for that, you see. They speak of real -- real animals by their own name. An elephant and an insect cannot be both lumped together as animals. That has to be learned, you see, and can only be carried to a certain point. Otherwise it becomes meaningless. To you, that isn't true. You call everything a "thing." You are already thing-thinkers, aren't -- you not? You see.

Therefore, we all -- I too -- have a trouble in -- in knowing that we owe it to Thales that the generality "water," you see, was created out of the water in the sky, and the water on the -- in the -- in the pond, and the water in the ocean, and the water in the sea. He made one, which already abstracts, don't you see? That this is already an uprooting of man's religious relation to the god of water, to the

god of the ocean, who was the greatest god, even in Greek religion. He was the father of everything else, you see. But that was all saltwater. Very specific water. It had nothing to do with the Zeus water, which was rain. Okeanos, o- -- the ocean, was the first god of the Greek theogony of the explanation of the order of the universe.

So this is what I have to say today, gentlemen. I cannot go into all these first Greek philosophers with the same eagerness, so to speak. I cannot admire them quite so much as Thales. But Thales had been to Egypt. We know this. And Thales had studied Egyptian priest lore. And Thales knew the importance of the Nile water, which is a great mystery, because it rises in the summer, when all other rivers dry out. It never rains in Egypt. You must know this, too. So for a man who came home to Miletus, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, you see, he brea- -- brought a great news: "Gentlemen," he said, "We do not have to think that the Egyptians have an -- a total advantage of us. They have a world by themselves. We can look into their laws, and priest lore, you see, and try to get something we have in common. Because if I have discovered that when { } everything to the Nile, you see, they would have to -- we have similarities. We can penetrate into the common denominator."

So gentlemen, Thales discovers what you take for granted, that there is for all things a common denominator. Perhaps you take this down, gentlemen, that you should learn, from the first philosopher of whom we have the name and the personality, what it means to create a common denominator, where there hasn't been one before. Nobody had before dared to call Nile water and rain water with the same name, really, because one was Zeus', you see, gift, and the other was the gift of the Nile. One was from the sky, and the other was from the bottom up.

The common denominator gives you, I think, a good label, a good emblem for the first achievement of philosophy. Therefore for us, and you and me, it doesn't matter that he calls "water" the common denominator. Obviously the important thing is the idea of a common denominator. Can you see this? You can shift then. You can say something else is the common denominator. But you still have now the notion that you can reduce all concrete things to one common background, to one common denominator.

And there you see the scalping of names. The Nile goes, you see. Down to Thales of Miletus -- let me finish this as a -- a very flagrant example. The Greeks had tried to imitate the Egyptian cult, and had given to a little river, for example, a little brook in Boeotia, near Thebes, the name "Nile." That is, as you have "Norwich" here, and -- and "Hartford," you see, and you have it in Connecticut, you have it in Ohio, the same name was made to migrate. The -- Thales said, "Don't do this anymore. You don't have to call the river in Thebes `Nile.' The -- it

just doesn't play the same role as the Nile in Egypt. That's just an -- an -- an illusion. Look. In Boeotia, the rain from Heaven gives you the fertility. Therefore, arrange your cult in a different manner," you see. "Do not cultivate the cult of the Nile."

The common denominator then, gentlemen, indeed frees from imitation. And when you read in the -- Plato's Republic, in the 10th book, that he turns against the imitators, you see now why. An imitator in Miletus, another man like Thales, would have said, "We must have a Nile in Miletus if we want to have the wisdom and the quality of the Egyptians." A man who invents the common denominator can ask, "Which other form of water plays the role of fertilization, you see, that the Nile does in Egypt?" And so you penetrate behind the word "Nile." Can you see this?

Thank you.