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

Today is the first. And when do the comprehensives begin?

(The 21st.)

Wie? The 21st? What?

(Three weeks from yesterday.)

Three weeks from yesterday. Quite. What I thought. So that will be on the 21st. So we will only go on till -- to the Thursday before, and you will write a report on the next fortnight -- on all these classes and hand it in by the end. Are you -- I'm willing to accept it on the 21st. That is, on the day the comprehensives start. We will have no finals. I'm go- -- leaving, and the committee on educational policy has allowed this class to go without finals. So I'm -- so we have to create our own calendar. But I wish you would understand that I have to base my judgment then very much on your reports. And I told you beforehand that my -- the reports were the really important work you had to do. So this comprehensive report you -- will then decide your -- be decisive. So please do a good job.


(Excuse me, Sir. You want a report on all the following classes --?)

Ja. We write to sum- -- a summary, so to speak. I've -- we will -- I'll -- we'll even determine it more closely at the end today when you see the -- what we have -- still have to do in the remaining short time.

(For those of us who will be taking the comprehensives in philosophy, will we be also responsible for the reports?)

Obviously. Obviously. That's just your second term paper, I mean. It's nothing else.

(But --)

But yes.

(If we're getting -- if we were getting the final, we wouldn't be taking the examination.)

Sir, if you want to bargain, go to Macy's. I mean, it isn't -- it isn't really worth it -- such a remark. Be ashamed of yourself. I have asked too little from you. Not too much, as you well know.

(Sir. I don't understand what you meant before -- on the entire course or --)

No, only on these -- from beginning, from here on.

Now, my friends, we have today to try to free ourselves from the necessity of -- of sticking with the -- Israel and Greek, and pave the road to our own era, this strange era in which, as in a kaleidoscope, occasionally the Jews, occasionally the Greeks, occasionally the Egyptians, and occasionally the tribes, play the outstanding role.

The American history, to say this in advance, is a very strange story. It begins with the revival of Israel. It goes on to a revival of Greece and Rome. It is now the problem of the Great Feeder and of prosperity. That is, we are back to the fleshpots of Egypt. And it is already signed -- very definite signs on the horizon that the racial issues will become also paramount. So we are living history backward. Christians came to this country. The Church came to this country. And then it has emphasized, this country of America, one of the elements which led from antiquity into the Church more and more. When Judaism became intolerable, the Puritans were thrown out and the Revolution happened. And we -- you got the capitol, and you got all the Greek and Latin of the liberal arts college of the 19th century. And now -- I've mentioned this before, but it is obvious -- that today the corporations are the new pharaoh, and everybody is very happy, it seems, with the fleshpots of Egypt. That is, a -- quite a new problem has arisen in the last 50 years, with which America never before has been identified. There was -- if you -- if you sing the songs of the 19th century, "let freedom ring," that was all Greek, the Greeks fighting the Persians. Today, you hear "security." That's the Egyptian song, if it is a song, and not a dirge.

And this is very strange, and it is not accidental. Gentlemen, mankind goes forward by looking backward. The riddle of our Christian era has been all the time, that in order to get intensity and faith for the future, man, in his great mind, has looked backward. And this brings me back to what I have tried to tell you about the Greek mind. The Greek mind in antiquity compared notes about the Persians, about the -- about the many peoples with whom the Greeks lived. I mentioned to you that in the catalog of the ships, in The Iliad, you have the classic of a Greek pluralism -- many tribes, many cities. And I told you that Aristotle wrote a comparative work of the 158 constitutions which he could find on the globe to compare their merits. And we all have -- have inherited from the Greeks the meaning of the word "encyclopedia": to overlook the cycle of all events, you

see, and to be utterly instructed by the Brit- -- Encyclopaedia Britannica, published in Chicago and ruined there, every fact under the sun, that's Greek. Comparison.

Now the difference between us and the Greeks is a very important one. The Greeks compared what was contemporary: everything they could reach in these islands of the Mediterranean, in this many-folded -- these many-folded countries around the Mediterranean: Asia Minor, Egypt, Africa. If you read a Greek tragedy, you will always find that they prefer exotic {courses}. We have Egyptian women in one, Persian women in the other. The Athenians wanted to be entertained with foreign orders of life, foreign ways of life. And the essence of the Greek tragedy is -- perhaps you take down this definition, gentlemen, of a Greek drama. I had just a talk to somebody about drama in your -- this class, and I got quite nervous, because he thought a movie was a drama. A Greek drama differs from a liturgy, from a -- divine service, only in this respect: that in a Greek drama, a hero could be of any city. And it was just the same given in Athens. If you think of -- of Oedipus, he is the hero of Thebes. Yet it was enacted at the Dionysian mystery plays in Athens. If you think of Agamemnon, he's at home in Argos, in the Peloponnese. And yet the play is given in Athens. It's a very small thing which, of course, is beneath your dignity to consider. Yet the whole difference between a tragedy and a liturgy is that in a liturgy you can only have your own faith enacted, as -- as in the Catholic -- Mass, or in any service on Sunday, where the body of Christ is assembled in the faithful, or should be. They shouldn't listen to a sermon, but they should be the body of Christ, alive, at this moment. And the Puritans still knew this. It's gone out of business under your -- in our time. People think they listen to a -- to a lecture when they go to church. They don't. They are enacting the Church.

Now in the Greek tragedy, you have one step to comparison, that there were perhaps 75 cities in Greece, or more, hundred and -- oh, hundreds. And that any mythological hero, you see, from any city, could be brought before the ma- -- on the marketplace in Athens, you see, before the Athenian audience, and would also be applauded, you see. And this is the change from seriousness of -- the human soul's worship to mental curiosity, to mental interest. The mind can go outside his own life, you see, and look at others. You remember what we said about this, all the time in the last week. That's why the Greek tragedy has created the theater, the place where you only look mentally at a thing, without being able to say, "This is my hero," you see. It's just a hero. This little step, gentlemen, from my father to a father, from my hero to a hero, is the story of Greek philosophy. All Greek philosophy and all science, gentlemen, transforms the pro- -- possessive pronoun "mine" or "ours," into the indefinite pronoun, "a," you see. My God -- "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Christ couldn't say on the Cross, "A god has forsaken me" or "One god has forsaken me." But you can say

this in philosophy, where you talk, you see, about God in general. So there is no God.

The Greeks have everywhere transformed the singular into the plural. We, in our history today, gentlemen, in our renaissance, and in our revival, have a compromise between Greek and Jewish spirit. We have renaissances. That is, we do not only stray over the globe and imitate the Negro plastics or the dances of Bali. We may do this, but it isn't -- it is an additional thing. But if you look into the history, as we live it today, with the prosperity, the great promise at the election, we have an Egyptian problem, the feeder. Everybody has to get a job, everybody has to be in this division of labor, you see, and you have to be -- have get -- to be given a chance to become vice-president, or junior executive. And this is the new religion. It is a renaissance of things 3,000 years ago.

So what's the difference between the Greeks? We try to find the elementary steps -- stages outside our own world which at one time, were expressing this new -- need of today in the most absolute fashion. When you look at the famous Renaissance, of which you hear so much in this country, you see -- "Renaissance spirit" -- what is it? When the people tried to form national states, they went to Greece and learned how the Greeks went about it, so to speak, and imitated it, because this was the finest flower of citizenry and freedom, and political independence. And when independence was here was -- was chimed in, all the buildings had a Greek and Roman style. Every pillar in the Wash- -- it's called "the capitol" to this day in Washington. Isn't that strange? It's the renaissance idea.

So will you kindly note down for your understanding of why we are dealing with these ancient people at all? In antiquity, the issue with which we are -- today are dealing temporarily, or suddenly, have been solved in an absolute fashion. You were a Greek or an Egyptian, I told you, or a Jew, you see, or a red Indian, and nothing else. We today have to be many things. We can't go Egyptian, I mean. Everybody laughs if I would even mention it. Even in 1850, some people were still Christians, although it became -- God went out of fashion, more or less. And you got universalism, and -- and unitarianism, which is an attempt to -- to have a Greek Christianity. But it didn't go so far. You can still today again insist that Christianity is something more than just a Greek form of Christianity, you see. I think we are through with philosophy -- with Christianity as a phil- -- a Greek philosophy. We can't have a pluralistic universe for our worship. Everybody knows this today, again. But for a hundred years, people tried very hard to go Greek. And why is it good, gentlemen, that today I bring up this Egyptian question, and tomorrow perhaps the tribal question in all seriousness? We are confused, because we have to cope with many issues. We have to do -- be many things. In order to get the one thing that is necessary today in -- in shape again and to kindle your imagination and your devotion, we go backward.

So what's the Greek problem? Here are the Greeks coming over the Balkans. Here is the Olympus mountain. Here is the peninsula, and here are these innumerable islands in the archipelago, and here is Asia Minor. Here is the city of Troy, as you may know. And here is the Bosphorus. And here, down below, is Egypt. And they see these many things and they compare, and they create this encyclopedic survey. We don't do this, gentlemen, but we are running forward. And while we are running forward, we pick out any one of these items of antiquity, where people whole-heartedly dedicated themselves to one of the tasks, and we try to single out at every moment that which at this moment may bring in some intensification. We study, gentlemen, the rest of the world for getting up steam, for kindling the fire, because we are irresolute. We have so many choices. The ancients had not these choices, but they had this absolute 100-percent devotion. We will never get the same oneness and singleness again, because we know better. We have seen the perfect man. We know how wide and -- life is, how rich it is. You cannot make us into red Indian again. It's impossible, you see. Then we would come to human slaughter. And we would have to kill all the other tribes, you see. We would have to wear masks. You would have to believe that the dead hadn't died. We won't do this, obviously. You can see this. And we won't have eternal war. But we can learn from the tribe the intensity of devotion to your family, for example, you see. You can again honor -- learn to honor marriage. For this, we need the great example. Can you see this?

The relation, gentlemen, between antiquity and earth is absolute devotion and relative devotion. And we need therefore the past to intensify, to add to our rather relative devotions some degree of intensity.

Now you get today -- and that's why I begin with today, preferably -- a clear line, gentlemen, where the Greek renaissance is still hovering over us, the Egyptian renaissance is not yet working: you turn to France. France is still trying to be Greece. You see it very clearly in the case of Monsieur Andr‚ Gide, who took his -- he was a pederast, and he took his homosexual sweetheart to all parties in Paris. And when the friends invited him to the country, he insisted that this boy had to go with him. And he broke with his friend, Paul Claudel, who is a Roman -- was a Roman Catholic, over this issue, that Claudel couldn't forgive him for this crime against morality. But Gide said that it helped his poetry, and that he wrote better poems and better novels, because he gave in to this unnatural lust, and as so many homosexuals do, he even was married. And never consummated his marriage, this poor woman -- this poor woman languished, and hid the secret as far as she went, and as in so many cases I know, became just the screen behind which this gentlemen performed his vice.

This is not accidental, gentlemen. If you go the full length of the Greek life, in our modern times, there is no way out. The logic of purely Greek renaissance is

homosexuality. Why is that so, gentlemen? If you divorce the mind from your body, and if you make the mind in this strange fashion, as the Greeks do -- if you have here the body, the soul, the face -- you can call this the person, the mask -- that is the normal man of an Indian, you see. He speaks with the voice of his ancestor. He has a heart of devotion, which he can give to this, and he has his body. The Greek mind is going here eccentric, out on a limb. That's what the Greek mind has added to the uncivilized man in antiquity. But once you allow the mind this free rein outside your real, one and only existence, and you can take in 50 -- 158 constitutions, and 75 religions, and 300 heroes, and go to a movie three times a week, then something happens. This mind tries to create an artificial world, also with a body and also with a so-called soul, which is outside reality. It tries -- this mind tries to live its own ivory-tower existence. And a mind that tries to create its own world, of course will prefer a friend to a woman who has to bear children with great travail, and which is very expensive to run a household; it costs nothing to have a friend, financially. Soldiers, and Greeks, and sailors, are all inclined in the same direction, gentlemen, and that Andr‚ Gide, or Monsieur Proust in his famous Sodom and Gomorrah -- describing it -- go homosexual, is for you a very important -- it means an attempt to go and say, "Antiquity is back. We have no Christianity. That's just -- was just a myth. We are back to the Greeks."

I use this as only one example, gentlemen. I could show you that eternal war would be another great issue. When you read any book by Plato or Aristotle, the solution of all political problems is war. Neither Aristotle nor Plato have any vision of any state of affairs beyond war. There is no peace in antiquity possible, because every state is by itself. We said, you remember, that any one of these forces we have talked about is not even able to conceive of any other order outside itself, you see, as to be tolerated. They are Heaven on earth. If they are Heaven on earth, everybody else has to be destroyed, or has to be kept out.

So I -- we have no time, as you can imagine, to go further than to make this point, gentlemen, that I have to shake you into the consciousness that you have to -- today to decide what part of antiquity you wish to revive. The part of antiquity that we call Greece has been revived. If you pursue this direction today, you are in trouble. It is sterile. It has exhausted itself. It has shot its bolt. We have nationalism. We have parliamentary government. We have even democracy. We have all these Greek terms. We have philosophy. And we have of all these things too much, not too little. So to go on with this renaissance is a very precarious enterprise at this moment, because it will then bring up, you see, that which happened in antiquity in -- to such a degree that it has to be abolished. That it was -- went too far in the Greek direction. You understand? And now, what is the Greek direction? Encyclopedic knowledge, pure intellectual curiosity -- therefore all the vices of the sex, which come from mere keyhole peeping -- pluralism

for everything, even for those loyalties which cannot be divided: your wife and your country. Playing with sex and playing with war, and the end: absorption, annihilation, as Greeks -- the Greeks were unable to ha- - hold their own politically or morally. They're just a closed book. They ended.

You -- please understand that I have only used this drastic example of Andr‚ Gide to show you that after 400 years of renaissance, from 1500, from Erasmus of Rotterdam, and Melanchthon, who translated the Greek -- who brought the Greek Bible back into our knowledge and introduced the learning of Greek to your predecessors at Dartmouth College, that from there on, we all the time have introduced elements of Greek life into our own studies, and our own schools. And this is, I feel very definitely, over.

The best example, how these things come to a conclusion is to step from Homer to the pre-Homeric Greece, which at this moment going on through excavations and through books. Robert Graves -- does anybody know who Robert Graves is? A wild genius, but a real historian, besides being a poet -- has written a book, Hercu- -- Hercules, My Shipmate. Does anybody know the book? Well, you do not participate in literature certainly. You are no Greeks, so I really shouldn't -- shouldn't -- shouldn't preach here at all against the Greeks. You have too little of it. The -- gentlemen, the strange story of the Renaissance itself is, in -- in -- in our -- in your own past is that Virgil was re-received into the teaching of young men in -- in -- in the Western world around the year 1100. If you read Dante's -- Dante's Divine Comedy, Virgil is his hero of antiquity. And then they will see Aristotle, which was done, as you know, by Thomas Aquinas in 1300 -- 1250, before Aristotle was forbidden. You couldn't read Aristotle in the Church. Then you went back to Plato in 1450. Then you went -- under Racine and Corneille -- you went to the tragedies. They are 450 B.C. I should put the dates here, because you don't know it. That's the year 0, around the birth of Christ. Aristotle lives in 325. Plato lives around 400. The tragedies are in 450 or { } 480. And Homer is, of course, around 700.

Now, our renaissance, gentlemen, has consisted in a constant going-backward to the older and older Greeks' layers of consciousness. The -- Virgil is received in -- in the Western world in 1100 already, Aristotle in 1250, Plato in 1450, the tragedies in 1650, and Homer in 1850. Now comes Robert Groves and -- Graves and says, "I go before Homer -- pro-Homeric man." And so we have today, 1950, this book by him, Hercules, which tries to develop, you see, the Greek spirit of pre-Homeric man. Pro-Homeric man is no longer Greek. Pre-Homeric man is just native, is just -- there's nothing specific Greek anymore about the pre-Homeric man, because Homer begins Greece. And you -- it's located in Greece, perhaps, this pre-Homeric man, but he hasn't yet the quality, which I tried to show you in Homer -- the power to see the enemy, you see, as much as yourself, you see, and

to list the pluralism with great joy. That's the Greek experience. And in Mr. Robert Graves, we have today the end of the Greek tragedy. If you want to become a writer, gentlemen, your topics are not arbitrary. They are dictated to you by the spirit of the age. And if you want to know what you should write upon today, you must write about pre-Homeric man. You can turn yourself as you like, but that is the only topic in historical novels, you see, that would be creative.

Because the march of man is not arbitrary, we have to go forward to the end of time by bringing out again the -- the achievement of the past. And there is a tremendous order in this. The economy of salvation, you cannot go forward into the third -- 21st century, without discovering the world before the -- Homer. However, by going before Homer, you go before Greece, because you want then to find absolute loyalties, and not -- and not comparison, and not encyclopedia of knowledge, and not liberal arts colleges, and not something about everything and nothing about something -- this unhappy situation in which you find yourself. You know -- have a smattering of everything and it means nothing. Not -- not one of these everythings means anything in your life. That's Greek, in a diluted stage, certainly, in a worthless state. The Greeks still wondered about it. You don't.

Now, I have brought to you one simple line from The Iliad to show you how lawful -- oh, no. That's very bad. Here it is. I told you that the Greeks simply discovered the plurality of things, that one thing -- one order could be right, and another order could be right, too, and that their mind was wandering between all these many spheres. Now if you want to read and enjoy Homer, and I think he is -- still is necessary for all of you -- I read him every year -- you will find that it shows in the smallest little symptoms. I'll give you one. Achilles, in The Iliad, is threatened by his grief over Patroclus. And he's going to have himself killed very soon, because he wants to revenge his friend:

"Suddenly Achilles gave a loud and dreadful cry. And his lady-mother heard him, as she sat in the depths of the sea beside her ancient father ..."

Peleus -- {Hetis} -- Thetis is the goddess of the -- of the flood.

"... Then she herself took up the cry of grief and there gathered round her every goddess, every nereid ..." that's the nymph of the ocean, "... that was in the deep salt sea. Glauce was there, and Thaleia and Cymodoce. Nesaea, Speio, Tho‰ and ox-eyed Halia, Cymotho‰, Actaea, and Limnoreia, Melite, Iaera, Amphitho‰, and Agaue, Doto, Proto, Pherousa and Dynamene, Dexamene, Amphinome, and Callianeria, Doris ..." that's like Do- -- the country Doris "... Panope, and far-using Galatea. Nemertes, Apseudes, and Cal-

lianassa. Clymene came too, with Ianeira, Ianassa, Maera, Orithyia, Amathea of the lovely locks, and other nereids of the salt-sea depths. The silvery cave was full of nymphs. With one accord, they beat their breasts and Thetis led them in their lamentations."

Why do I read this to you, gentlemen? You have here the encyclopedic spirit in its glory. It's not alphabetical. But it is complete. There are 50 names of the nymphs of the sea, which the Greek mind enjoys. The names of these nymphs all emphasize one other aspect of the waves of the ocean. One is the far be- -- farflung, and the other is the salty, and the other is high, and the other is the bleak, and the other is the -- the lightning. I haven't to translate all these names now, in order to make you perhaps realize that the Greeks have the power to admire plurality, to believe in plurality, in the divinity of the -- of the unorderly, manyfoldness of things, is the beauty of this. They don't say, "So what?" But they say, "Even this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and everything is divine." That is Greek polytheism, gentlemen. You must have respect for it. I told you in the beginning today, people who do not know that there are many gods are in -- I suspect do not know who God is. Because if there is nothing divine under God, then I suppose you have no relation to God Almighty, but you mistake Him for a corporation, as the student did in -- in my -- in my house meeting the other day. I told you this story, didn't I? Wie? Didn't I tell you this story?

I came here to -- Cutter House, and we have a discussion. And one of the first question I am asked -- you will be interested, Mr. {House}. It's the -- "Don't you think that now, when the -- where the -- the corporation takes ov- -- corporations take so good care of us, we can can ruly -- really rule out religion?" And he meant it. He was quite serious that God had to -- had to give way to the corporation. Only to show you that this Egyptian business of the fleshpots of Egypt is right among us. This was a serious boy. And he thought he had a very good question. He thought that religious revival of the last ten years was just filling a gap until General Motors had gotten into -- in their own.

Well, just look at the salaries they offer you. Isn't that enough? Why -- what else can you pray for? You can pray for not accepting the salary, you see. That's the most difficult prayer.

Well, to come back to -- this is quite serious, gentlemen. We are in the midst of this fight betw- -- over your soul are hovering -- these two onslaughts of the Egyptian spirit of prosperity, and the Greek spirit of plurality. You still are fighting both wars. In your love affairs, in your sex, in your literature, in your studies, you are absolutely pluralistic. And you are down to cynicism, and skepticism, and boredom, and indifference, because you have so many possibilities, that you don't care. On the other hand, you are already integrated into a monolithic system, in which you have no choice whatsoever. Everything is prescribed,

including the quality of your car. You are a vice-president, and you are allowed the Cadillac. If you are -- what's the next -- Chrysler? Pontiac. And these are overlapping, and you, unfortunate products of this -- of this twilight, you have two scales of value today. One -- with one mouth -- your mouth and your mind you still live in your free choice is that you can read every pornographic scripter -- scripture in the world, and the other, you are already absolutely so moral that you can only marry with the assent of the boss, because that will -- otherwise may harm your career. Yes. They try to interfere with this. They will soon do more in this direction, you may be sure of that.

And you have to know where you stand. You stand in this fascinating moment, where the renaissance of the human spirit has reached the year 1100 B.C. In 1184 allegedly, the war against Troy was fought -- be fought. Homer himself wrote the poem probably in 8- -- 700 or 800. That's very uncertain. My guess is 800, other people say 700; other people say 600. And it doesn't matter for our practical purposes that the Greek renaissance, you see, which has carried you, and your readings -- material, you see, and your choice of books, and your choice therefore also of tastes and opinions, has today shot its bolt, because we now go into pre-Greek topics. And they des- -- demand, like The Plumed Serpent, by Mr. D. H. Lawrence, absolute loyalty. You read D. H. Lawrence, he is a prophet of this -- of this new order of things. The Woman That Rode Away -- who knows it? We talked about it yesterday night. That's why it has a kind of magnificence, you see, because he knows at least what the hour has struck.

So I read to you this pluralism, and I will now end this story of the Greek mind by telling you what the Greeks have done in order to defend themselves against this over-weaning impression of a many-fold, polytheistic, polydemonic universe -- many ideas, many people, many ways of life, any number of habits -- this and this, everything good. Nothing then good, you see. Of course, as you know, many Greeks became stoics, and skeptics, and cynics. They said, "Nothing is true, because everything is possible."

But the other solution is the great story -- the story of the Greek mind. The Greek mind purged itself by a counter-action, which is called Greek philosophy, against Greek art. The Greek artist Homer brings to you the full width of all cities of men. The Greek philosopher generalizes and gives to the mind this peace of mind, which today is even advertised in -- in such a great book. The author was -- was a rabbi, but today, the rabbis are the real Greeks, you see. Some Greeks are real Christians. You never can trust today a title. Religion has become very Greek indeed. The -- a book, Peace of Mind, is a great book, because philosophy is out for the peace of mind, not for the peace of the heart, of the soul. That's a different thing. The "peace that passes all understanding" is not the peace of mind. But the peace of mind of -- what was the man's name? He's dead by now.



({Lee Cleveland.})

Ja. That's a very Greek book because, gentlemen, when these 50 nereids marched up before the intoxicated eyes of the blind poet, which you must remember, why the Greeks gave Homer this -- this blindness, because in -- the blind man is even more intoxicated with the discovery of the colorful universe. It's more painful to him, because he's deprived of it. But he is a Greek in his blindness. He lists them by their wonderful, tempting, alluring names. There came the counter-action. What is Greek philosophy, gentlemen? To strip all these miraculous names of the gods, of the plants, of the animals, and just call them with general terms, "plants," "animals," "gods." They are -- these words are abstractions, gentlemen. If you don't believe in -- in a -- the living God represented by the god-man or by the people -- the children of Israel, God is an abstraction. God is nothing in itself. It's just a word, and it's -- can be made into an abstraction, and has been made by the scholastics into a mere abstraction. The -- "plant" is an abstraction, and I'm afraid even "man" for you is an abstraction. And if you speak of yourself as, "I'm a human being," that's an abstraction. You are not a human being. You are William Miller. And if you are not William Miller, and try to hide behind being a human being, you are usually excluding -- excusing some weakness in you. Because you got intoxicated, you say, "I'm just a human being."

It is not enough to be a human being, but it was enough for the Greeks. And to give you the most famous example of their generalizations: here there were 50 impressions of the salt water. Then they had other impressions of the sweet -- fresh water. They had nymphs of the wa- -- wells, of the springs, of the rivers, of the lakes, of the ponds, of the rain, of the dew, of the hail, of the snow. That is, at first, they were totally overwhelmed by the magnificence of all these watery visions, because man lives by water. The Bible says he doesn't live by bread alone. But it could also have said that it lives -- man lives by water. Water is for -- for us the first experience of life, strangely enough. If you see a spring, if you see a river after the freshet, you know what life is, long before there is any green, long before there is any sprouting of plants. If you are in the high mountains, and you have lived in the glacial world as I have for weeks, and you come down, the first sign of life is water. Running water. That is much more alive to you than -- than anything that might grow. You can use this water, but you cannot use this -- the other things there, up high -- the -- the fir. And climb -- even in Mount Washington, you can realize the importance of the drop of water there in the -- in the ravine. And what do you care for these -- for these -- for these hunchback firs? But you do care for the water.

Now the Greek mind, gentlemen, and the Greek philosophy in a strange manner began to muse over the identity of all these many forms of water. They came, as you remember, face to face with the Egyptian and the Mesopotamian worship of the rivers. Here was sweet water fertilizing the soil. They were exposed to this fact that they couldn't adopt this religion. And yet their own migratory spirits didn't carry them into agriculture, into settlement. They wanted to settle. And their first task, therefore, was to discover in their new environment that which could correspond to the Nile. It was the rain. Their god Osiris became Zeus, the god of the rain. They put him up in -- on high, while Osiris had been on earth.

And therefore, the first outcry of Greek philosophy was: everything is water. Everything is water. You may have heard the man's name, Thales of Miletus. To you that is just the kind of abstract statement that Mr. Thales in -- about the year 585 should have shouted full of joy, "Everything is water." Gentlemen, it is the first formulation of a generalization of worldwide importance, because it means that rain and river water and ocean water, and dew, and snow, and hail, and springs, and wells, and all these goddesses, which I read you here, of the sea, and the god -- great goddess Isis of the Nile, and Osiris -- that they are all one, that the world is full of gods, but they are all one family. The family of gods is the great discovery, gentlemen, the unity of this life. And of course, if you have not realized it, water means life, you cannot understand that the Greeks discover in the form of water the old generalization of the animistic tribes: the tribes had thought, what is breathing, what is moving as we ourselves? The Greeks felt, what is like this fertilizing water, on which these great countries have built their wealth, their civilization?

Well, they found that they could worship a well, just as much as the Nile, or the rain of -- which fertilized their fields. And on it goes, gentlemen, ever since from generalization to generalization, if you understand Thales' outcry, "Everything is water," you will understand the glory of Greece, the glory of Greece, of making different appearances, you see, finally one, by stripping them of their specific name, of "Nile," or "river nymph," because if you call the ocean, you see, with the name of a god, and if you call the Nile with the name of a god, they remain separate. If you form a general concept, "water," which is an abstraction, there is no water, gentlemen. You must understand this. There is only fresh water or salt water in reality, you see. Water is not -- doesn't exist. You think it exists. You are so abstract that you have never realized that water just doesn't {exist}, because it is predicated whether it's sea water or land water, you see. That's already a generalization.

Then you see what the Greeks have done. Will you kindly take it down? The Greeks have stripped everything of its first name, and have replaced the proper

name by a concept, by -- where you can define your term -- terms. You can say, "I define God as such-and-such," and then there is no Zeus, and no Jehovah, and no father of Jesus Christ, but just -- just God. And "God" is an abstraction. "God" is a generalization, gentlemen. "Water" is a generalization. "Man" is a generalization. Here, you say we are all human beings, gentlemen. I protest. We may be -- human beings, but we are this outside our what-we-are, isn't that true? The mind can see the generality in us, but my heart must conceive of every one of you, you see, as totally different.

Now the worst part the Greek thing -- I think has done to students of theology and philosophy is that you do not know when you think abstractly, and when you think concretely. The Greek mind is so absolutely dominant in you, that I have never seen such an abstract world as yours, gentlemen. You live in pure abstractions. You no longer know what is what, because you think really that water is water. If you are thirsty, you know it isn't. If I give you a glass of sea water when you are thirsty, you would say it is not water. You would throw it away. And if I bring you a boy when -- you would like to see a girl, you would also do something, I hope. There are no just human beings, no just men. That's all nonsense. That's a necessity under pluralism, when you are exposed to many impressions. In your own family, gentlemen, there are no human beings. There is only your brother Bill, and this brat, you see, your -- brother John, whom you would like to slap in the face, because he's so naughty. And you don't attribute the treatment of one to the other, at all. They're just as different as can be.

But I doubt -- gentlemen, this is one of the reasons why I think the Greek genius has shot its bolt. You are dying from abstractions, from generalizations. The League of Nations is such an abstraction, for example, and that's dying. It cannot work, because not one nation is there -- what it really is. It is just there as a human being. Now nobody -- you don't want to be treated as a human being. You want to be treated in your -- on your own at your own merit, you see.

It has therefore tremendous applications. When you try to have any political problem, where there are loyalties and allegiances at work, when you try to replace them by an abstraction, you enchain tremendous -- tremendous passions. That's we have today by the American Legion this desperate attempt of a loyalty day. I think it's a pure -- also a -- replacing one abstraction by the other. But how come? If you have United Nations Day, you get Loyalty Day. Throw them out, both. It's just Greek. They have no right to find a place in the calendar, gentlemen. Into the calendar, events belong. And the Greeks have nothing to do with events. The Greeks have to do with ideas. And an idea is the transformation of names into concepts. That's what any idea does. You have an idea, and you say, "That's really something else from what it is called. Or it's something besides this name. My father, well, he's also an American. My mother, she's not just her

mother, she is also a woman." As soon as a person thinks of his mother, not as his mother but as a woman, already the family is breaking down, and he has to go to the psychoanalyst. That's concept. That's a concept. I have never thought of my mother as a woman. That doesn't -- I -- I -- it's an offense. My mother is my mother. She is not a woman. Other people may say so, but I resent it, because I have still this old-fashioned idea of my mother. She is not a mother, either.

And therefore Mother Day is such a -- most unfortunate invention of the human business animal in this country. It's destructive, because you generalize mothers. Now, how can you? If you generalize mothers, it's the end of the world. And it is, I mean. This is -- we have a Mother Day as a replace -- substitute for the family. No real family needs Mother Day. The -- haven't the mother a birthday? Hasn't she a wedding day? Hasn't she an engagement day? And -- isn't that enough to celebrate her? Mother's Day is good for people who sell carnations or postal cards.

Everywhere Greek. Wherever I go, I -- I just see this ghost of generalizations, gentlemen, on -- which kills America. It is like a blight on all your souls, gentlemen. You cannot experience anything real, because you always already say, for example: "the experience 'God.'" Be careful before you name that what you experience. Give it time. How do you know that it isn't a demon? Very cheap the way we -- you commute with the -- with the unknown and the unnamed.

Now we turn therefore to the other side, gentlemen. We -- I finish today the story of the Jewish spirit in comparison. Let's have a break.

[End of tape]