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

...I have slipped up on -- the dates of these reports. I have omitted today, the day of 2- -- February 25th. So some of you had the good spirit of writing this report for today: Blake, Bradley, Chomentowski, and Weiss. So I'm -- Mr. Weiss, how -- where did you have the idea that you should write the report? Is he here? Weiss.

(I was, I -- I did for last time, I did two of them. I wasn't sure which one I was supposed to do.)

Beyond the call of duty. Thank you.

[tape interruption]

So -- you see what one can do with a report. One can improve on the lecture.

I have two topics today. One is that the experience of time is a social experience, and that no human being can experience time unless he is con- -- connected with people who have lived before he has lived, and with people who will live after he has lived. That is, gentlemen, the -- experience of time is always a -- a real experience of three generations. That's a big order and it goes contrary to everything you think.

And the second is, of course, that this--because it is a common time experience--has to be established. All times are established times, or times by establishment. Or you may put it down as a formula: time is an abstraction of the individual mind. But the times--in the plural--are the experience which we derive from established order, from something that has been done by human beings to us.

Nobody, I said, as a mere body, gentlemen, can experience time alone. That is -- goes against everything you have in your mind, because--I attacked this already the last time--if you take the abstract moment--a second, a split-second--of the physics time- -- physicists' time-clock; and if you take the thought of endless time, the so-called "eternity" of the Greek philosophers--that's not the biblical ex- -- idea of eternity, as we shall see, but what you think: "God is eternal," "He's just -- doesn't move," "He's just there," "He's some place." Of course He isn't. God is in no place. These two abstractions, gentlemen, tempt you today to think that time is a mental affair. It's -- but the two abstractions, gentlemen, of the moment, and of the eternity, are those time propositions which

cannot be really experienced by any human being. They can be thought. But just as there is no point in mathematics, you see, which is more than a thought--no extension, you see--you can think this, but as you know, on the -- on a blackboard, if I make this point, that's a concrete point, and that has an extension. And that can lead you to consider that, in your mind, you can have this fiction, you see, of a point without extension. But this point is not of this kind. The concrete point has an extension, in every direction. The same with the line, the same with the plane--you learn in mathematics, and you are very proud of your brain--that this is the highest of Amer- -- of a -- human abstractions, that you can think of these triangles, and of these lines, and of these points, you see, as having only one, two, or three extensions. You must always know that reality is better than mathematics. And fortunately, all Go- -- creatures of God have irregularities. And your mathematics break the order of things.

You know this from all public highways. If you -- if the -- in geometry, it is true, that the shortest connection between two points is a straight line. If you would build a highway this way, you would go to sleep on the highway, and you would have no end of accidents. In you -- in reality, you see, no highway must {be direct}. Now that's very important, because it may lead you perhaps to the tempting offer for your personality that perhaps our mind is very -- very coarse. And that mathematics is not better than reality, but worse than reality. My proposition to you is, gentlemen, that something that is only in the mind is less good than the parkway in reality, which is winding. You should not, as the French 19th-century people--especially the French--tried to do, but the Americans, I am afraid, too: break reality under the rules of geometry. Geometry was declared to be better than reality. And that -- what you still think.

And this is one of the reasons why you think the physicists' time--which is the split-second, one millionth of a second, or one ten-millionth of a second--that's the real thing by which you catch time. And the other -- and eternity, where nothing moves, that's such a wonderful abstract idea in geometry or mathematics, that it must be better than all your own real time experiences from one year to another, or of your lifetime. And you think therefore that you know best about time when you work with these tremendous abstractions: point and eternity.

I propose, gentlemen, that you drop this for a moment, that you look into your real experience of time. You begin to think: what's the last event -- or the first event in your life which you can remember? I think we come to an average from 4 to 10 years of age, which is so outstanding that you -- can describe it in detail. Before 4 years, who has memories before his fourth year? Well, are these just pictures, or are they whole scenes? Can you -- you can give the sequence of the event?


What is it?

(I had a fight with {my grandfather} { }. I -- I { }.)

See? Well. Child prodigy. But it was a fight; it broke up the harmony and the established rhythm, you see. And such a break would of course make an indelible expres- -- impression. Which is very good, gentlemen. Breaks in the continuity of time are our first meeting with the time.

Now such an event, as in this case--I think it's a very good example--breaks the stream of time. And nothing -- if he had -- if you had had to go to your father's house--was he your grandmother, that was at it?--and you perhaps had to stay there -- such a transfer would have made a constant break in your memory. Did you really?

(Uh, no.)

Wie? You didn't. You laugh.

Gentlemen, the first experience of time which we really make, is the experience of two times which break apart, that something is different afterwards than it is before. We do not experience a second. That is all nonsense. We can only experience two times which are -- differ. One, from the time before you come to college; and now you are in college. That's an experience. It is different, because the two environments differ. Therefore, what we experience is a break in time which splits time into something that has gone on before, and something which is to come. And if you realize at this moment, where you are in college, you have three experiences: home life, college, and the future. And you have very clearly three time experiences, you see. What you call "the present" would all be connected with the existence here in this college. And the -- what is the college? A college is a time in which you slough off the family traditions at home, and which -- will prepare for life. As I put it always, your experience of time is an experience of the present with regard to the past and the future. The past is still here, because most of you still are entertained by their parents. And the future is already moving here with a certain selection of your courses. If you would go to a professional school, it would all be preparation--you see, preparation--for the future. The -- monthly check is the postparation of your family life, and the lear- -- what you learn in these classes is the preparation for the future, and that's why you have a present.

The present, gentlemen, is the impingement of future and past on a

period of time. And this is the experience in -- in -- I asked for a scene--although the scene of this fight, my dear man, was only five minutes long--yet it did not consist of six times 60 seconds, you see. But it was a -- one unit, the fight. And why was it? Because it was all the difference between what had gone on before, and what was to come. And therefore, gentlemen, the present is not a second -- a split-second in real experience. But it is that time which is necessary to clear up the conflict between past and future.

Any present, gentlemen--these four years in college, you see--wind up the discussion between the future man inside your- -- yourself, and the past man in yourself: the student, the pupil, the -- the child, the -- the boy. You should leave this as a man, and you enter it as a boy. And you call -- we call today this, "He is a student in college." Former people called it "adolescent." And that is a very good w- -- beautiful word, because in this syllable, "adolescent," the participle of becoming is contained. Any word in Greek -- in Latin that ends in e-s-c-e-n-t -- can you give me another? Crescent moon -- a crescent, you see, means gro -- means growing, you see. All the words in "escent" are the participle of becoming, of being in process. Now "adolescent" therefore was a much pure -- clearer expression than "student" today, as being a man in between boy and -- in adolescence, of course, you have the final results. What a -- do you think somebody who has been an adolescent has to become? You can see it in the word -- in the Latin word.


"Adult," you see. It's a very beautiful -- adolescent is he who is not yet an adult, but is on the way of becoming an adult. Therefore, I'm very sorry that the word has gone out of business, because any adolescent knew that he was in the present of his future and of his past.

So let me day -- lay down one law, gentlemen: common life -- common time is experienced with regard to past, present, and future, always. You have no time experience if you have no future and past at the same time, because the experience of time is based on a conflict of times. All time experience puts the ti- -- the times which you experience in the plural of future, past, and present. And the future is not the th- -- a thought of yours, but is a reality for which you prepare. The -- the future is acknowledged by your time experience as a power, not as something which you cause. Quite the contrary. Gentlemen, why are you here in college? Because you are caused by your fear of the future, to prepare yourself for the future. Now that is the hardest thing for any American to admit. I am afraid of all {modern} men, that the future is the power that controls you, and the future is not a power that you control.

You all have this in- -- fantastic arrogance to say that the future is made by you. I can only say that any man who has any destiny, and any vocation, and any talent, and any gifts received from his Father in Heaven, is made by his future, because he feels very definitely what he is all -- expected to do. So he prepares himself for it. He gets ready.

As long, gentlemen, as you cannot admit that future is a power that makes you, you have still this fantastic arrogance of the abstract mind who says that time is just your idea, and not an experience. That's a great difference, gentlemen. Let me repeat: all real time experiences are longer than a moment, and are shorter than eternity. All real time experiences therefore include the possibility of dividing your experience into future, past, and present. What you really experience -- have experienced all your life, gentlemen, are these three times: the past, which is still making some demands on you. For example, your parents, or your home town, or your high school.

We had a friend here in school -- in -- in -- in this college who, during the four years in college, went back on his -- every weekend to his prep school. He loved it so much. And you can imagine the past was too strong. And he never grew up to be a college student, because he abused his time to go home to his -- the past was still almighty. And he was only apparently here, you see. But the -- the present here did not really catch on with him, because he had a sweetheart in the old school, and all his romantic attachments. And he never grew up. That's a very clear case, where the past, you see, and the future did not work har- -- out harmoniously, as we expect it from the majority of the people to do.

So it is quite important, gentlemen, that you should distinguish between your abstraction of time--that's a pure abstraction, a pure thought, a definition, your concept--and your experience of time. And if you are honest with yourself--which people of course never are honest with yourself--you would find that you have never experienced physicists' time, or eternity. What you have experienced are periods of time in which there is pressure upon you, and you have to solve a contradiction: shall I go? Shall I leave? How long in college? What do I do with the college? Is it just a nice time which my parents let me have here, before I'm -- have to face serious life? Or is it really for my own sake, you see, already the beginning of the future?

So gentlemen, the present is a segment on which two other times bring simultaneously pressure. And this simultaneou- -- simultaneity enables men to experience time. The animal, gentlemen, lives only in -- from moment to moment, and therefore it cannot become aware of the running-away of time. It is only the confrontation, the reflection on two different times that make us timesconscious. I say rather artificially "times-conscious," you see, because the time-

consciousness is not -- not right. You have too much -- lay too much emphasis on this abstraction of time, as a -- like space, as a concept. That has nothing to do with experience. That's -- takes -- stripping time of all its real qualities of experience, you see, and leaving it dangling in the air as a not-experienced time, as a thought.

Most of you are made unhappy, gentlemen, are -- live in this dream world in which you live, because you constantly mistake the abstraction, space and time, from the reality of the times. And it would be good if you would admit to yourself this point--very clear--that what we know of is only that your life is broken up into three times only. Every human being that is conscious of time, and experiences time can only be so by the breaks in time which divide the time into before and after. And you are in the middle, caught in the middle. In time, you can only have an experience if you admit that you are immersed into it. You see, you cannot look at time.

It is this fantastic idea that you all have, because you have too many cameras and lenses. And you think the photographer knows anything of time. But he doesn't. He knows -- only something of space. He does not know anything of time, because the condition for your time experience is that you admit that from your point of view, something belongs to the past, and at the same time, something begs -- becks -- beckons you from the future. If you deny this, gentlemen, I say to you, "You're children." Because gentlemen, the corollary of my law is: children have no experience of time. The more you keep -- yourself happy and in the golden age of childhood--as you all dream to do--the less you know of time. Because time always involves a loss of part of your life, and the gain of another. Come to college, and you lose your home town life. You cannot keep it. And you must not even try to.

In the larger sense, of course, it entails that your parents one day will die -- in a normal process will die before you. And in the normal process, some people will survive you. So that all experience of time is bound up with the ultimate experience of time, the final experience of time, which is death. That people die and are born makes it very real that there is a past and a future. You can experience it, if you say to yourself that you die to your own childishness at this moment, and -- in these moments, and in these years. Most of you are so lackadaisical about life and death, that if I mention death, you go to sleep, and say, "It doesn't -- I'm not concerned with it. I have to live 50 years; otherwise my life insurance will go broke."

People insure themselves against death today in such a manner--I mean this very seriously--that they do not see that all experience of the times is bound up with our experience of death. We all know that we must die. And we all know

that our parents have died, and our grandparents, and -- before us. And therefore the ultimate, serious experience of time, the flow of time is, you see, that something has existed before and has ceased to exist. And something is bound to exist which will live longer than your life. It is not totally -- necessary always to think of the three generations--one that precedes us, and one that follows us--to experience life fully. The ancients, of course, people--the Puritans--they buried so many people. And the life expectation was so short that they couldn't' help connecting always time -- the experience of time, you see, with death, with -- with dying.

You live in such a smug world, so protected that you never think that when we speak of man as a temporal being, that is, a being in time, we mean just that, that your and my life wouldn't make sense if not some life would be older than ours, you see, and some life would be younger than ours, would follow us. That without predecessors and successors, we wouldn't even be able to speak, that all language is an attempt to bind past, present, and future together so that you can be -- have the past devolving -- devolve on you, and that you can leave to posterity something after you have lost -- left this age, and this day of human existence.

So, I'm at this moment only mentioning this without pressing the point. We'll see that -- whole orders of civilization have been based on this tree- -- three-generation problem, that one can only know of time by placing oneself in one's grandfather's shoes. That's why people, as you know, receive their grandfather's first name, so that the old man can come to life again in his grandson. That's a very common rule in tribes, and even in American clans. And some of you may have received their first name because of this. That's a very wise rule, because it means that the past, you see, which seems to be lost by the death of the grandfather can come to life again as a future, you see. And therefore, the man in the middle, so to speak, faces no total loss. That which he has buried, although he loved it, can be reborn in a younger man. That's the meaning of this inheritance of -- your Christian name.

I want to concen- -- I had to say this, to connect this -- this statement with the -- rest of the course. But at this moment, this is not so important, gentlemen. Take it or leave it. It is very important, however, that you know that the experiences which we have of the times is always pluralistic. Perhaps you formulate it this way: it's always pluralistic. It is not true that anybody, except in textbooks of psychology, experiences time as a sequence in this sense. There are textbooks of psychology, where the time experience is described in this sense: tick-tack, ticktack, tick-tack, tick-tack. That's not real time, gentlemen. That's abstract time. It may be noise time. It may be observed time. You may observe a noise in this way. How often -- how many ticks do you hear, you see? It's not your own time.

Your own time only enters the play when you are immersed, when you do not look at the time-clock of somebody else's life. But if you have the courage to say, "In my own experience of the times, I reckon this to be past, and I reckon this to be future, and I find myself at this moment in a present." And this present, gentlemen, is always double time. It consists of the dialogue of the conversation inside yourself between your past and their future. And the more intense this -- this conversation, the more do you live in the present of your creator.

The omnipresence of God is not an abstraction, gentlemen, but is a realization that man grow -- outgrows his animal existence by having the courage to face in both directions, past and future. That's divine, because it gives him two ages. He has then the character, gentlemen -- if you are fully aware of your own present state, you are in this glorious position that you are not just of the year 1957, but -- the year of your birth, and the wishes of your father about your future--what he meant to prepare you for--and your own desires, as they waken up in you. They meet in you. And there is therefore a conversation between two generations.

Any student, gentlemen, at Dartmouth has this tremendous privilege of conducting two dialogues in his heart. With his future bride, with regard to your feelings, and with regard to your hopes; and with -- with regard to your ancestors and with your children. That is your present. That must decide what -- what profession you choose, what you're going to be. And that decides how much respect you still pay to the penates for -- to the past, and to the mores which your parents have left with you. Whether you say, "That's all over," or "It's obsolete," or "I can mint it again into pure gold."

Gentlemen, men -- you are at this moment in the strange position that you are inside yourself empowered to experience times and spaces. The spaces--I can't go into this now; I have dealt with it in Philosophy 9 at great length. You -- some of you must remember this, that in a family, we learn to speak the languages of two sexes and two generations. You remember? For us here, it is important, gentlemen, that any man who s- -- is a student, for four years in college, can just not help--whether he runs away half of the time to Smith or not--cannot help to constantly shift between the influences from the past that are older than he, and between the influence from the future that determine his final choice. If you escape from it, we say that you have never grown up. And of course, more and more people in this country do escape from this conversation. They're -- they're are too-great cowards. Most of you strike people who -- see you as ghosts of yourself, because you have no present life. It belongs to the full humanity, of a man who has lived in the present-day time, that he doesn't learn by the stopwatch, that he doesn't live for his meals, that he doesn't {love} for the -- schedule here of the classroom, and the next classroom, and the next. But that

he lives by a constant feeling that he outgrows something and grows into something. It's a double feature -- business, gentlemen.

And there are fewer and fewer people in this country who wish to undergo this very painful process of leaving one shell, or one womb--their mother's womb, their ha- -- family's womb, you see--and grow into this wider womb of the time to which they really have to belong in the future. That's your process, gentlemen. You are not one person at this moment; are a double person. And instead of saying that leads to a -- schizophrenic -- state, you have to affirm it. You have to enjoy it. You have to say that's your greatness.

The human greatness is that he is different from an animal, because he's allowed to compress within his own present existence the -- past and the future. Corollary to this, gentlemen: children have no time experience. That is why it is so ridiculous to tell -- try to tell children history. You have to tell children fairy tales. The abolition of fairy tales in this country is a crime against children. Sexual enlightenment is a crime for children, because they don't live -- have no time sense. You cannot explain to a child what it means to fall in love, that this is a long story which takes a year before you are quite sure that she's the right person. And if you tell her just -- him just the result, how the children are born, he misses the whole point of how this melting of your -- resistance against love, and against this overwhelming passion, how this is brought about. A child does not remember what was last year. A child hardly remembers what was yesterday.

Don't you see that time has been more harmed by your wrong philosophy than any other thing, because you have allowed children to be the norm for humanity? And the idea has become: "Let's become childish"; "Let's remain childish." If you are a child of 12 years of age, you are unable to make a time experience, because the essence of an experience in time is hidden from the children. It me- -- to -- what it means to grow up, gentlemen, is to acquire the power of knowing what a year is, what a decade is, what a lifetime is, you see. That's a long time. Or what a century is. You can tell a 10-year-old child what a century is, but it cannot understand it. Don't you see this immediately? It's quite unreasonable to tell children about history. You can tell them sagas, because in sagas, it doesn't matter when something begins, and when something ends. It was "some time," you see. "Once upon a time," every good fairy tale begins, because we recognize that most people cannot know when something happens. They have no connection for their time order. And since you have not been fed on fairy tales in your youth, in yous- -- yourself, you have to fight this ghost, gentlemen. You are now at 20 still in the psychological state of fairy tales. That is, real history to you is perfectly disordered -- disorganized.

I have seen people write in their examination paper after a course in the

history of philosophy, where they mistook 500 B.C. with 500 A.D. So gentlemen, then you just give up. This man will not know the -- the march of events. And he just lives in -- in a fairy tale. "Once upon a time." It doesn't matter.

Most of you have these shavings in your brain, about chronology, gentlemen. You say, "It doesn't matter." "Oh this was" -- I mean, "Columbus discovered America in 1777." Why not? And "Washington ruled from 1492 to 1504." It makes no difference. That's by and large how history looks to you.

And therefore, gentlemen, my whole course here is an attempt to get you out of this childish state where the sequence of events does not matter. The sequence of events does not matter for people who have no time experience, who cannot distinguish between the past and the future. Now what is a fairy tale, gentlemen? A fairy tale is an attempt to obliterate the distinction between past and future. You aren't quite sure when it happened. And it doesn't matter. It's -- you see, "Once upon a time." It can be a projection of your dreams and desires into the future. Cinderella? When did it happen? Can happen tomorrow, happened yesterday, you see. And Walt Disney is making every effort to deprive you of your own experience of times -- of the times. It's "some time."

So in America, we have nature films -- where again, it's no time, you see. And we have fairy tales. And that is, you can -- translate of course "Anastasia" into a fairy tale. It is a fairy tale -- the movie, you see. It doesn't matter when it happened.

And so gentlemen, you live in a mythical time. And the myth of America is that children can experience time just as well as adults. The result is that adults in this country experience time as though they were children. Because you can't have it both ways. If you insist that everything can be so represented that the children can enjoy it and fill the movie theaters, the result is that you can only present things in such a manner that you people too get mythical time.

So mythical time, gentlemen, does not contain this conflict between before and after. It is very clear, gentlemen, that after the coming of Christ, the whole world was changed for those who know what Christianity is. For you, it isn't. You -- most of you live before Christ. Because you think it makes no difference. All people were good from the very beginning, and you cannot understand that anything ever is really changed in human nature. That's too much for you. You -- you live in a mythical time, gentlemen. Anybody who puts time in the singular, and speaks of time just in this abstract manner lives in a mythical time, because he does not resolve to say where he stands, in time. If I ask you, "Do you live before Christ or after Christ?" you may say, "I live after Jesus." But that's not the idea. Because after Christ, we expect different things of the future, you see,

and very different things in the past. The Christian era is a very severe era, because it means that we have given up certain potentialities, you see, which we had before. For -- example, human sacrifice, or certain superstitions, you see. And we now cannot afford them.

So of course, most of you have idols. The most American idol -- are -- is science and the sports. They are just as terrible idols as the old gods of the Greeks, because you -- cannot make up your mind whether you live in the Christian era or not: it's a fairy-tale, Christianity; it's a philosophy; it's an idea. It's a nice idea, isn't it? The -- one of the many good ideas, you see. And -- and any one of you has the privilege of despairing whether he at times will caress this idea or will -- or not, gentlemen. I live in 1957. That's a very severe order. Certain things have been done before me, and I must make sure that they are not repeated. I am -- you are bound, gentlemen, to prevent this country of hav- -- ever having concentration camps. If you proceed as you do, we will have in 10 years concentration camps. It is in- -- unavoidable. Because you do nothing against it. You live in a mythical time. I live post-Hitler, gentlemen. And therefore I know that I -- what I have to do. You don't. You say, "Oh, that happened somewhere." You don't know how many Americans had Hitler in their heart, and worshiped him.

[tape interruption] you all know -- all know the ideal position of any American in diplomacy or in the United Nations: to be an observer, you see. They had an observer -- the United States had an observer in Geneva for 17 years until the United Nations -- the League of Nations went to pot. This observing destroyed the United -- the League of Nations. We observe. Gentlemen, time cannot be observed, in the abstract sense. Times have to be observed in the constant sense of obedience. You may know that if you sign your letter, "Your observ-" -- "Your obedient servant," that's observance, you see. And -- to observe means of course to do what is needed, you see. It doesn't mean just to look at, to stare. But there is a very -- from the word "observatory" unfortunately, in astronomy, we have now taken over this -- stupid idea that you can observe life.

Here was a senior fellow in this college, gentlemen, a rich mother's son. And he was asked 20 years ago what he was going to do with his brilliant talents, and his money. And he said, "I'm going to buy -- ask my mother to buy me a farm in Woodstock, and there I will sit at the doorstep and observe funny characters."

That has left a great impression on me, you see, that a man of 21 was -- had decided to observe funny characters. And that he call -- called "life." It's remarkable, you see. And -- outside the living he placed himself, you see, outside time. You can see this. And the sentence I think is remarkable: "I shall sit there on

the doorstep and observe funny characters." But it shows you what the abuse of the word "observe" can do to a man, because this man is counted out. I mean, he is in hell for the rest of his life. He has missed this great offer of his own lifetime, which is a unique thing. You are offered your lifetime only once. If you decline to take it, you see, you have ceased to be in time, to be alive. You can have your muscles working, and your stomach; but you have ceased to live. Because you have declined to say that you have a past, and you have a future, and at this moment, they are trying to come to grips inside of you, you see, and you have to decide what you want to carry into the future from the past, you see, and what you want to bury, and how much room you have to make for the future decisions which are needed to keep the world going.

So I must say, this sentence, "I observe funny characters" could be written large, gentlemen, at the entrance hall of Dartmouth, where you meet at the ravine camp, as freshmen. I think this should be the ultimate of -- of decadence, and infamy that the outcome of a college education might be that a man says, "I'm going to observe funny characters."

Such a man cannot {love}, of course. He has made himself impotent. And therefore, gentlemen, with observation, always sexual impotency goes hand in hand. If you observe, gentlemen, you -- you constantly deprive yourself of the courage to fall in love with something, because love is the constant decision as -- between more life, you see, and less life, between past and future. That's what love is.

({ }.)

Oh, you all have to run. Pardon me. Go. The future is impinging on the past.