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MIND IN SEARCH OF A PURPOSE
@author: Manas Reprints
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VOLUME VI, NO. 43 OCTOBER 28, 1953 MIND IN SEARCH OF A PURPOSE AT their worst, the ancient Greeks, historians make clear, were selfish, fickle in politics, emotional in national decision, and, toward the end of their cycle of greatness, much given to enervating indulgences which made critics so far apart as Socrates and Aristophanes agree that they would lead to disaster for Greek civilization. The economy of the Greek City States depended upon slavery and the Greek practice of democracy, where it prevailed, was an unstable affair which sometimes appeared to be little better than mob rule. Yet if one wanted to make a single big generalization about the Western civilization developed in Europe and America, it would have to begin, and perhaps would end, with an appreciation of the rational spirit which Greek thinkers brought to relative perfection. In the matter of social organization, for example, the Greeks were the first to separate the idea of "our" social organization from the idea of the best social organization. This is what we in modern times term "objectivity," which is the method of scientific investigation, and in Plato's dialogues we find almost endless working illustrations of how the mind may free itself of the blinders of habit, preconception, and prejudice, and begin to think in rational terms. We have from the Greeks sublime ethical conceptions, but it is easy to see, even without the help of modern psychologists, that ethical ideas can never develop very far unless avenues for their growth and application are opened up by the rational spirit. It is not too much to say that the rational spirit supplies the technology of effective ethics. Whenever ethical or moral ideas are divorced from reason—the criticism of reason, as well as its synthesizing power—you get something like the angry religiosity of South African white men who, while claiming the inspiration of the Sermon on the Mount, also insist that Divine Authority justifies their treatment of native Africans as an inferior race created to be "hewers of wood and drawers of water" in the service of the master species. Such triumphs, then, as the West can claim to its credit are triumphs of rationalism—of the capacity to be impartial and to weigh impersonally the elements involved in decision. This is certainly the basis of modern scientific achievement. If we allow that the cycle of scientific progress began for the modern West with Copernicus, we find that the Copernican Revolution originated in a study of the Greek attitude toward the Cosmos. The ancients, Copernicus said, reasoned about the motions of the heavenly bodies, so why should I not do likewise? This method led Copernicus to abandon the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic tradition in favor of the Pythagorean view of celestial motion. Copernicus made a hypothesis and then endeavored to verify it by observation. His proposals were gradually vindicated by the testimony of other observers—Galileo, Kepler, and Newton—and the most rational of all intellectual methods, mathematics, became the foundation of nearly all scientific demonstrations. Mathematics, we may note, was especially cultivated by the Greeks. Euclid belonged to the Platonic School and the heliocentric theory received extraordinarily complete formulation by Greek mathematicians and astronomers of Platonic persuasion. From a philosophic point of view, the great merit of mathematics is its severe indifference to any claim of private truth or unique revelation. A mathematical truth is by nature universal in that anyone who masters the method can reach the conclusions which are possible through mathematics. The difference between what Allah said and Jehovah said can have no effect on the factoring of an algebraic equation. And the MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 beautiful agreement in the answers obtained by two men who set out to solve the same problem by mathematical means is sometimes enough to convince them that what Allah said and what Jehovah said can not have been half so important as the things which men can work out for themselves and agree upon, without either help or confusion from a supernatural source. Our big generalization about the Greeks is that they were literally the creators of modern civilization, through their discovery and practice of rationalism. Rationalism liberates the mind from the rule of inherited belief. It cuts the roots of reverence for what is, simply because it is, and sets men to thinking about what might be. Further, it supplies the only enduring foundation for what is today spoken of in hackneyed repetition as "the dignity of man.” For the dignity of man does depend, after all, on the human ability to break out of all historical conditionings and to think anew about what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, what is intelligent and what is unintelligent in human behavior. This ability is the practical expression of the rational spirit. It is the fashion, nowadays, to complain about the shortcomings of rationalism. Modern Christians see in the Humanism born from the Renaissance a manifestation of hubris—the overweening arrogance of men who imagine there is no moral law, no limit to be set to "merely human" achievement. Catholics find new arguments to support their contention that the Reformation, which for Protestants ended the authority of the Roman Church, was a terrible mistake. Even non-sectarian moralists are worried by the lack of measure or discipline which has characterized the rise of modern technology. Among the results of this new spirit of questioning have been the revival of the old Christian doctrine of the inherent sinfulness of man, a brilliant critical attack (Reinhold Niebuhr's, for example) on the conventional "idea of progress" accepted as a matter of course by most Westerners, and a general stimulation of religious wondering and investigation. Volume VI, No. 43 So, if only to get into the mood of our contemporaries, let us go along with this fashion for a bit. Time Magazine—always a good source of evidence on what "most people" are thinking, while supposing themselves a cut above the average recently reported a development in modern technology which may be taken as representative. The United States, Time (Oct. 5) announces, is on the verge of assembly-line production of "thermo-nuclear bombs.” The account continues: The new weapon will cost but a fraction of the price of the Eniwetok model (which retails at an estimated $100,000,000 f.o.b. Hanford, Wash.). On the conveyor belt, the super-bomb will come in a handy new size. Last year's test bomb was too crude and cumbersome to be delivered by air. The new model will fit snugly into a B-52. It is surely an odd sort of sophistication which enables a writer to refer to the "handy new size" of a device that is probably the most murderous instrument yet evolved by human ingenuity. In such ways as this, Time exhibits how much at home it feels with the special talents of science. No doubt caterers to the Borgias strove for this aplomb in offering a new style of poison rings, or stilettos with retractable blades especially recommended for surprise assassinations. Time's casual reporting is evidence enough of the hubris of modern man. Science, so applied, is rationalism run amok, without any measure or control other than a more efficient—still handier in size, perhaps—bomb in the hands of someone else. While investigating the achievements of science, it should be pertinent to note the latest in mechanical brains, described in a news note in Science for Sept. 18: Construction and operation of the world's fastest highspeed general-purpose digital computer (electronic brain) has been announced by Argonne National Laboratory. The computer, known as the ORACLE (Oak Ridge Automatic Computer, Logical Engine), was designed and constructed at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratory under the MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 3 direction of J. C. Chu. It will be installed at Oak Ridge early this fall, . . . The new computer, built at a cost of $350,000, contains three features that make it superior to other computing devices. First, its internal memory system has the greatest capacity of any highspeed general-purpose computer ever built. It can receive, retain, and process as many as 2,048 twelvedigit decimal numbers, which is twice that handled by computers of this type and about eight times that of the earlier machines. Second, the ORACLE is provided with a remotely controlled auxiliary memory system (magnetic tape) that provides for the memorizing or storing of four million words. This is the largest memory system ever contemplated for a computer. Third, ORACLE is the fastest of the general-purpose computers. It can multiply twelvedigit numbers such as 999,999,999,999 by 999,999,999,999 in less than 1/2000 of a second. The addition of two twelve-digit decimal numbers takes place in about 5/1,000,000 of a second. A difficult mathematical problem that would take about 5 to 6 years for two mathematicians to solve with the use of desk-type electric calculators could be completed in about 20 to 30 minutes by the ORACLE. Socrates had his Oracle, and now we have ours, and even if the Oracle of Socrates had wisdom, while ours has only skill, it is still a fact that this extraordinary machine calculator represents a brilliant secularization of the spirit of impartiality. It shows what the engineers can do, given time, materials, and a knowledge of what other engineers and scientists have done before them. We see no reason to make light of this achievement. In a way, the calculator, instead of being a character in search of an author, is a mechanical mind in search of a purpose. Since it is being installed at Oak Ridge, we can imagine the purpose to which it is currently being turned, yet, as a machine applicable to many of the techniques of science, it has a reputable moral neutrality; it is not yet dedicated to a devastating finish in the way that "thermo-nuclear [H] bombs" are dedicated. But people are sometimes almost as frightened of the calculating machines as they are of the "H" bombs. There is something horrifying about a machine that can do so many things that used to require human intelligence. Or is it really "human" intelligence? Here, perhaps, is the real point. These machines are not "rational" at all; Volume VI, No. 43 they simply exhibit extensions of rational techniques. We can be proud of them so long as we recognize what they won't do, and what we have not bothered to do, ourselves, for too long a time. The machines cannot establish ends for rational techniques to work on. This we must do ourselves. It has been natural enough for Western rationalism to neglect the question of ends. The development of the rational spirit has taken place in the midst of a great struggle with the partisan claims and ends of organized religion. The dogmatists made their ethics relate to the next world, so that the devotees of impartiality, the rationalists, insisted upon working out their theories in this world, where everyone could see and judge the results. But now we are back at the beginning again; we need, that is, the same kind of progressive impulse which the world received from Plato. We have learned the lesson of impartiality about matter and its forces and laws. Can we now make ourselves ready to be impartial, rational, that is, in relation to values? This would be more of a revolution than we may at first suppose. For it would mean that men would move in the direction of becoming philosophers. Here and there in the world, even in high places, may be discerned at least the beginnings of such a movement. Consider, for example, what Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Vice President of India, told the Canadian radio audience in his recent farewell broadcast: We have no faith in power politics. War solves no problems but creates more problems. We believe in peace politics and in peace based upon justice. War is not an evil means to a good end. It is evil by itself. It baffles both victors and vanquished. The proper aim of political action is not to destroy our enemies but to educate them, to influence their attitudes and behavior. . . . What we want today is not the American way nor the Russian way but the human way. . . . There is a world revolution in progress, and it is utterly independent of communism. Hungry, diseased and MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 4 despised inhabitants who form the bulk of the noncommunist world demand economic progress and development. . . . Having been ourselves victims of political and economic exploitation, we sympathise with people who are struggling to emancipate themselves from bondage. . . . If we find that the great Powers who have leadership in the United Nations compromise with the ideals of the Charter, confuse stability with the maintenance. of present conditions and have a vested interest in the status quo, we feel unhappy. . . . Power corrupts, but conscience redeems. We must crusade for the divine in us rather than against the demon in us. This last idea has almost never occurred to the rationalist, anti-dogmatic West. Even Lord Acton, who coined the phrase about "Power corrupts," stopped with this dark judgment. Perhaps the present is a time just before the dawn of a new cycle of rationalism, in which the spirit of justice and brotherhood will be the chief inspiration. Rationalism has won its war against blind, inherited tradition. It has led the victory against false prophets, but can it recognize the true ones? It can, we think, if the true prophets are able to make themselves heard. How shall we know them? Well, they will at least be rationalists—men, that is, who honor the processes of intellectual decision and make their primary appeal to free minds. Volume VI, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 5 Letter from CENTRAL EUROPE INNSBRUCK.—This is the ninth year since the "liberation" of Austria, but no Austrian finds himself able to regard the "liberators" with a feeling of thankfulness. In consequence of the bitter experiences of these nine years, what gratitude originally existed has been replaced by resentment, and although the relations with the occupying troops are friendly, (an Austrian would never think of making an individual soldier responsible for the acts of his government), hate against the Allies and their policies is growing. There is first the abyss between the promises made to Austrians during World War II as well as immediately afterward. The Allies used large phrases about humanity, lasting peace and the important "bridge between East and West" which Austria was supposed to form, but did little to back up these pretensions. It is still more disappointing to observe that the fate of Austria and its people has become absolutely uninteresting in course of recent years. There have been hundreds of meetings, ostensibly called for negotiating about the State (or Peace) Treaty for Austria. In reality, these meetings served other purposes. They have obviously been taken by the Western Powers as suitable opportunities to determine how far the Soviets, or vice versa, are prepared to advance or to retreat; and to find out which new moves might manage to send the other side home. The Austrians have been degraded to nothing more than ridiculous pawns on the chessboard of power politics, being shoved from one position to another, or—when the players turn their interest to something else thrown into a box, there to remain quiescent until taken out again to be used for some similar purpose. Recently talk about the State Treaty has again filled the papers. President Eisenhower declared that a settlement of the Treaty with Austria might be regarded as a serious step by the Soviets toward ending the cold war. But the Soviets did not respond to the invitation of Churchill, who had already fixed a date for the resumption of the conferences. They emphasized that they would show their good will by abolishing the controls which they have applied to this country since 1945, particularly the traffic controls, which often have led to the disappearance of persons who—months later, if at all—send word or write a Volume VI, No. 43 few lines from a concentration camp in Siberia. But again, even the promises concerning the controls, promises called by Soviet-influenced papers "cornerstones for the building up of international peace," have turned out to be a bluff: the controls were not universally removed, so that many Austrians are still prevented from travelling through those parts of their country where the controls are in effect. In 1945-46 the Western Powers devised in cooperation with Russia a number of regulations as part of the State Treaty. They disagreed about other matters and broke off the meetings just before the last paragraphs had been written down. After a long interval and in recognition of the fact that these regulations were composed under the war-psychosis and the punishment theory, the Western Powers finally offered a new "skeleton-Treaty" which practically awarded Austria, cum grano salis, with full sovereignty. Then, two years ago, the Russians declared that this "skeleton-Treaty" amounted to nothing but the taking over of the whole of Austria— by peaceful means—by the Capitalists of Wall Street. When, this year, the Soviets refused the West's invitation to resume discussions, the U.S. State Department did something that was more deeply depressing to Austrians than any act at any time before. In a further offer to the Russians, the U.S. State Department declared itself ready to negotiate again on the basis of the regulations laid down in the first two years after World War II. A ratification of that kind of "Peace Treaty" would, without exaggeration, mean the final destruction of Austria. It would oblige Austria to abandon large parts of its industry to the Russians, who would administer it in an "ex-territorial" manner, thus leading this country from unemployment and political difficulties into a complete breakdown. And the small remaining prestige of the USA, left over from 1945, would dissolve into nothing at all. MANAS Reprint CENTRAL EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT October 28, 1953 6 REVIEW "EYES ON INDIA`' ALMOST any book or article about India is likely to attract the attention of this Department, and an article about India in the Progressive is practically a sure thing for some notes in review. "Eyes on India" by Sidney Lens in the Progressive for October starts quite properly with an apology for being merely an "article"—India has 362,000,000 people who speak eleven major languages—yet sometimes brief discussions of large subjects are surprisingly informing. We learn from Mr. Lens that poverty still holds India in tight grip; that the land problem, despite government-sponsored reforms and Vinoba Bhave's crusading efforts, has as yet gained only token solution. One is bound to feel sympathy for the struggles of the Indian people to lighten their almost intolerable economic burdens, and to wish that aid from America could be greater—more generously offered, with no strings attached. Interest in India is natural enough. Here is a country which harbored the arts and sciences of civilization when North America was inhabited by nomad tribes and the British still painted themselves blue. Indian civilization was old when the glory that was Greece was still unborn and northern Europeans lived in caves. Unlike Egypt, another ancient culture, India has survived through the vicissitudes of thousands of years of history. Her languages have flooded across continents to supply countless tongues with their basic roots. The name of this magazine, for example, Manas, is taken from a Sanskrit root meaning "mind.” And the word "man" is doubtless a branch on the same tree of meaning. India has given the world two of the greatest epics in literature—the Ramayana and the Mahabharata—and remains unsurpassed in metaphysics and philosophy of religion. From India, across thousands of years, have come periodic impulses of philosophic thinking to the West. Pythagoras, some scholars are confident, Volume VI, No. 43 was one channel for the flow of philosophy from East to West, and in more recent centuries there has been a steady influx of Oriental profundity through translators and travelers and others who have gladly submitted to the peaceful conquest of great ideas, and have turned advocates of the Indian spirit in the search for truth. We of the West watch India of today for the further reason that, having this unparalleled heritage from antiquity, she is unpredictable. Who, in 1910, or even 1920, would have foreseen that the history of modern India could be so changed by a single man—a man like Gandhi? And where is there another statesman of the caliber of Jawaharlal Nehru? India, modern India, has become the home of men of moral vision and great strength of will—both qualities rare enough in themselves, but almost unique in combination. So one watches, and hopes. And those of us who have little more than friendship and encouragement to give, can give that with all our hearts. For the problems confronting modern India are as great or greater than those faced by any modern nation in its years of beginning. But because India is unpredictable because she draws on a tradition which is independent of the lines of Western cultural development—what happens in India may be instructive to the peoples of the West, and to Americans particularly. For example, there is the present-day problem of the competition of ideologies in India. Mr. Lens implies that the Congress Party, which won India its freedom, is becoming less and less the party of freedom and more and more the party of conservatism. As Lens says: Internally, the Nehru leadership is filled with contradictions. The Congress Party, while fighting for independence, was a bloc of all kinds of people, from extreme right to extreme left. The shrewd leader of this movement, Gandhi, wanted to dissolve it after independence, but leaders like Sardar Patel, the strong man of the Congress movement, and Nehru didn't go along. Thus the old Party became transformed into an instrument of vested interests. MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 7 Love of freedom is a broad common denominator. A man may long to be free of a foreign invader, yet not care much about the plight of his underprivileged countrymen. A political instrument which serves the cause of national freedom may not be a suitable instrument in the campaign for justice at home. Perhaps Gandhi saw this, whereas Patel and Nehru saw only a fighting organization welded into apparent unity by the struggle for freedom. Exceptional insight and courage are required to exchange a poor tool for no tool at all, hoping to design the right tool for the job which lies ahead. Lens tells what happened to the Congress Party after independence was won: In each village Patel set up his machine, usually by doling out favors to the richer peasants and village leaders. The center of gravity of Congress shifted quickly towards those disinclined to social reform. As the Socialists and the Kripalani neo-Socialists split away, these elements became even more important. If it were not for the prestige and idealism of Nehru, the Congress Party might have swung far more to the right and it might have been as unimpressive as some of the nationalist movements in other areas of the East. Nehru, as is well known, inclines to socialism in political philosophy, yet has made it plain that he is not attracted by any form of authoritarian government, whether communist or some other brand. Lens reports: Some time ago Nehru invited the Socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan to discuss "coalition.” Political pundits, knowing that the Praja Socialist Party represents only 15 per cent of the electorate, claimed that Nehru—a socialist with a small "s"—needed more leftist Socialists like Jayaprakash as a bulwark against the conservatives in his own Party. The negotiations fell through. But two of the Socialist leader's observations are worthy of serious consideration. In a letter to "My dear Bhai" [Nehru], Jayaprakash wrote: "China and India are the two countries in Asia to which all Asia and Africa are looking. If India fails to present anything but a pale picture of a welfare state . . . I am afraid the appeal of China would become irresistible and that would affect the lives of millions and change the course of history disastrously." This is certainly an accurate appraisal. Almost weekly there is a press debate as to whether India or Volume VI, No. 43 China is making the greater progress. Mao's Stalinists have brought dozens of India's trade unionists and others to Peking for carefully conducted tours, at the end of which are the usual statements—with some interesting exceptions—about "great progress" in China. China, rather than Russia, is the beacon to which gullible Asians look. Only India can dim that beacon and replace it. Jayaprakash and everyone else in Asia who is anti-Stalinist understand that thoroughly. The second observation of the socialist leader deals with the way in which visiting foreigners are "charmed" by their visits to India, finding, instead of "backward" people, "the Parliament, the Central Secretariat, the D.V.C., the polished English. . . ." What is the lesson, here, for Westerners? It is that if we fail to comprehend the interests and motivations of distinguished socialist thinkers and leaders like Nehru and Jayaprakash, history may pass us by without much more than a passing glance. It may be entirely possible for the United States to develop a peaceful, prosperous economy without adopting any major socialist reform, but it is certainly not possible for the United States to get along with the rest of the world so long as most Americans are ignorant of and fear socialism. People refuse to examine with interest and sympathy what they fear. In this case, American fear and ignorance of socialism may have the practical effect of encouraging countless millions of lately freed and soon-to-be-freed peoples to move in a socialist or communist direction. If Americans show only suspicion and contempt for an interest harbored by millions of Indians, millions of Africans, and many millions more in other countries less fortunately endowed than the United States, what are all these millions likely to feel toward the Americans and their famous "way of life"? We are forever recommending books, in this Department, but what better preoccupation for a section devoted to Review? Now, on the subject of socialism, we'd like to recommend Arthur Morgan's life of Edward Bellamy—because Bellamy was an American socialist without Marxist coloration. Then, Irving Stone's life of MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 8 Eugene Debs, Stranger in the House. Two works reviewed in the MANAS "Books for Our Time" series are next: To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson (Anchor, $1.25) and Macdonald's The Root Is Man (Cunningham Press, $2). After reading these books, a person can find his own way in the subject. The important thing is to recognize that a great and lasting humanitarian surge found embodiment in the socialist movement, and the energy of this surge cannot be dealt with by ignoring it or repeating slogans against it. Finally, for one of the most unusual developments of all which have come out of socialism, read All Things Common by Claire Hutchet Bishop—a book dealing with the French "Communities of Work." No thinking person, surely, can be so foolish as to suppose that the economic forms of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—a period which has known the most terrible wars of history, the most incredible mass crimes and injustices of man against man—are to remain without change for the better. Why, then, this neurotic fear of study of the available alternatives in social and economic organization? As the medievalists were affrighted by heresy, so do moderns cringe at the thought of deviations from conventional politics. Let us note that, out of the fear of heresy was born the violent rebellion of modern materialism, from which we are recovering only with pain and puzzled disillusionment. Must we go through a similar cycle of extreme rebellion in the field of politics? We speak with respect of the Founding Fathers of the United States. If we read their writings, we shall find that they were clear reasoners and men of strong convictions, but that they did not fear to examine any socio-political proposition for its merits. In the modern vocabulary, they were not insecure or anxious men: they were mature. Volume VI, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 9 consistently underestimated the Russians let's call it one year, not two. COMMENTARY A STRANGE DILEMMA To suppose that we may soon be confronted with a decision obliging us to choose between acting like a fiend or acting like a Christ would probably appear to most of us as too unreasonable to be worth any consideration at all. Yet, as we read the news, it seems that this kind of decision may be forced upon us by events. The development of small, thermo-nuclear bombs (H-bombs) has already caused high officials of the United States Government to reason that if we can make low-cost bombs of this potency, so can other nations. Speaking before a manufacturers' convention recently, Gordon Dean, former AEC Chairman, asked: Can we as a nation and can the nations of the now free world permit the Soviet to reach the position where, if it chooses, it can completely annihilate this country? Time and the unwillingness of the free world to stop the clock combine to give her this power. . . . What are the assumptions, here? First, if a question of this sort arises from the fact that the United States has already established massproduction techniques for such bombs, then it may be granted that this country is now or will soon be in a position to "completely annihilate" other countries, "if it chooses.” Put bluntly, it is a question implying that the only sure way to avoid annihilation ourselves (short of universal disarmament), is to mortally disable or annihilate any other country which we have reason to suspect might, given the time to develop similar weapons, do the same to us. Mr. Dean makes his point clear: Press a situation of this sort to its logical conclusion and you have a world where practically any nation with adequate industrial plant will be able to destroy, almost at will, almost any other nation, perhaps several others. The only nation, then, which would be really "safe" from aggression would be the nation which either destroyed or rigorously policed all the others which could not be "trusted.” And what nations, finally, can be trusted, or would submit to such supervision, in matters involving national survival? A man who goes about killing others because he suspects them of like intent soon acquires the character of a fiend. A man who walks unarmed among others who can destroy him at will follows the example of a Christ. The terrible and strange situation created by modern weapons is that halfmeasures to resolve this dilemma are no longer possible. As Dean says, "the most crushing weapons" must be used. Just what a decision of this sort may mean, for the human species, we hesitate to attempt to say. It could mean the end of human history, as we know it, or it could mean the beginning of a new cycle of civilization. While most of the world is fast becoming aware that it cannot afford war, all of the world is aware that wars cannot be effectively fought by any country whose hands are tied behind its back and that aggressions cannot be crushed without the employment of the most crushing weapons. . . . Russia has the capability today to hurt us badly, and . . . within two years she will have the capability to virtually destroy us if she moves first. Since we have Volume VI, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 10 to high school or college students, to adolescents or their parents: CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves ROBERT ULICH'S Crisis and Hope in American Education (Beacon Press, 1951) reinforces our view that Dr. Ulich belongs with the most constructive educational philosophers of our time. Ulich's History of Educational Thought (1945) has been quoted here on previous occasions. In the opening chapter of Crisis and Hope, Dr. Ulich asks: "To what degree do we renew in our schools the cultural substance on which civilization must live lest it degenerate into training in cleverness? Out of a false regard for the so-called scientific attitude, and partly out of teachers' fear of touching controversial subjects, many of our youth grow up with little knowledge of the great religious and humanistic treasures of mankind. The separation of state and church is a principle that in the course of history has rightly asserted itself against the forces of intolerance and retardation. But none of the great men who in this country fought for this principle, a Jefferson or a Horace Mann, wanted the children of the nation to grow up in a spiritual vacuum where the admiration of a new type of airplane begins to replace reverence for the still greater wonders of man and nature. There is before us the never-ending task of remolding and translating the wisdom of centuries into modern language, and this needs a high degree of interpretative talent and imagination. To what degree is this talent cultivated in our schools of education and our colleges?" From this introduction, we might expect Crisis and Hope in American Education to turn to religious apologetics, but instead Ulich shows (as did Gordon Keith Chalmers in The Republic and the Person) that a bona fide philosopher will always be able to give unsectarian rephrasing to crucial "religious" concepts. In his chapter on adult education, for instance, Dr. Ulich separates the essentials from the non-essentials in religion in a way that makes what he says equally relevant Volume VI, No. 43 Science, which rests on observation and calculations, advances and gives us the most amazing clues to the understanding of the physiological side of nature ant the human person and we have the marvelous discoveries of depth psychology. But in all thought that concerns man and society in their essence and totality, we are uncreative, and we act accordingly. Somehow our culture seems to be desiccating in spite of all its output, like a field from which the water has been drained off. Certainly we should not expect the emergence of a new metaphysical system that would take all mankind into its comforting shelter and give them the feeling of complete rational unity. When did this ever happen? Old China, old India, and Greece, even before Socrates and the Sophists, knew there were differing ways to approach the mysteries in the universe and our own souls. They all had their orthodoxies, their heresies, and their relativisms. How, then, can we wait for the doubtful blessings of uniformity when the wealth of discoveries and new logical designs sweeps over us like waves over an inexperienced swimmer? One may nevertheless dream of a day when we have a better answer than just our shoulder-shrugging sort of tolerance for every and any opinion, a tolerance that in essence is nothing but the subdued sigh of unhappy indecisiveness. "Que sais-je?"—What do I know?—wrote Montaigne under his coat of arms. "Que sais-je?" every decent man has to ask himself day by day, especially the philosopher. In order to appreciate various scientific hypotheses and various cultures we have to believe in pluralism. Yet, is there not behind this multitude of ideas and civilizations one uniting phenomenon: the reflective and self-reflective mind of man which not only mirrors life, but reorganizes it in ever-new concepts and images? When we ponder even superficially about this mind and its capacity of thinking, i.e., of its capacity of relating itself with rationality to worlds near and far away, there emerges before us the greatest of all mysteries. A mystery it is because it is inexplicable, but at the same time it is the greatest of all revelations. It reveals to us that the mental universe in which we live is one of infinite transcendence. There is a continual meeting between the individual human mind and reality, a continual flow and flux, give and take, challenge and response, with all corresponding parts partaking of a greater order. Unless there existed this greater and embracing order in the connection between human reason and the cosmos, how could MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 11 there be thinking that somehow can be tested? For every test, however imperfect, refers to a relationship not only between idea and idea, but also between an idea and the reality it wishes to express. How could there ever be change, for without some inherent continuity change would immediately degenerate into chaos? How, despite all uncertainty, could we look back into the past and forward into the future? How could we be "persons" retaining ourselves from infancy to old age? The moment one is deeply penetrated by such a consciousness of the nature of man and his relation to the universe, he will be extremely tolerant in regard to almost all things pertaining to knowledge; he will deeply enjoy its ever-moving and progressing character. It makes no difference whether he forms his Weltanschauung as a result of systematic philosophical search, as happens only with a few, or whether he arrives at it without conscious formulation. Whoever feels the inner search will combine his reverence for the thousand-fold appearances of life with a profound belief in a deeper principle behind all its plurality. In all uncertainty he will have one certainty: that man receives his stature, dignity, and freedom from his power of mental self-transcendence; that there is a brotherhood of men because they are participants in life's continual self-creation. These paragraphs, we submit, are sufficient to justify the entire volume. Wherever "religion versus science" debates take place, they should be read aloud, then read silently, and then read again. Our extreme praise for this passage stems from our feeling that it invites a continually enlarging concept of consciousness in man. Such a view of the problems of philosophers, moreover, tends to entice one away from comfortable provincialisms—and unless American education can eventually destroy many comfortable provincialisms our hope for a peaceful world is at best a forlorn one. Among the implications of Dr. Ulich's writing is the suggestion that the supposed issues between nations, or between ideologies, or between "religion and science" are all of the same psychological substance. Democratic Society. 12): Ulich writes (SRL, Sept. I am not surprised to find that I agree with most of the basic tenets of Robert M. Hutchins's new book, "The Conflict in Education in a Democratic Society.” Like him, I am critical of pragmatism, though I would not dare decree arbitrarily that it is not a ''philosophy." In my own teaching and writing I have always criticized the three current pedagogical doctrines which Mr. Hutchins chooses as his target, namely that the goals of education should be the student's "adjustment to the environment," the "meeting of his immediate needs," and "social reform." Later, however, Dr. Ulich criticizes what he terms Hutchins' "narrow concept of education.” What Dr. Ulich objects to is represented by Hutchins' sentences such as "Education deals with the development of the intellectual powers of men. Their moral and spiritual powers are the sphere of the family and the church.” Ulich has a point, here, we think, but in our experience the context of Hutchins' statements of this sort usually reveals that his emphasis on the "intellectual" is meant to clarify the debate presently raging between those who wish to see modern educators play the role of indoctrinators in Christian virtues, and those who prefer that a sharp line of demarcation be maintained between church and State. It is simply, perhaps, that Dr. Hutchins does not approve of fuzzy moralists among the educators, and is concerned with reducing the vague moralizing to which students are sometimes subjected, so that when they do turn to assessment of ethical values, they will turn with minds sharp and clear for this difficult task. Dr. Ulich often reminds us of the basic contentions of Robert M. Hutchins and so we are not surprised that Ulich was asked by the Saturday Review of Literature to comment on Hutchins' The Conflict in Education in a Volume VI, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 12 FRONTIERS Psychiatrists Replace "Intellectual” BEING presently in possession of three consecutive reports on "Human Relations in Germany," issued by the Josiah Macy, Jr., Foundation of New York, we should like to call the attention of our readers to the availability of this interesting material. The first conference of the Foundation (1950) secured the cooperation of the Children's Bureau and the National Institute of Mental Health (U.S. Public Health Service). The Macy Foundation sought this help to establish better communication between leading American psychiatrists and sociologists and their European contemporaries—both groups facing the difficult task of advising on educational and other reconstruction programs for Europe. German psychologists and educators participated in the discussions, which set out by regarding Germany as (1) a very important "character study" of the fate of authoritarian cultures, and as (2) a geographical locality peopled by millions of human beings in dire need of help. Apart from the specific accomplishments made possible by three consecutive yearly conferences—the last of which was held at Hiddeson near Detmold in Germany—these efforts of the Macy Foundation and cooperating German and American educators are perhaps representative of a significant trend towards a new sort of "internationalism.” The conferences were, for instance, apparently less interested in a sympathetic study of contrasting cultures than in a conscientious probing of the psychological origins of both American and German culture. Numerous psychiatrists were invited and participated enthusiastically, indicating that the intellectuals of the future from whom we are likely to hear the most, have backgrounds in therapy rather than in intellectual gymnastics. We are here reminded of a passage in Liddell Hart's Why Don't We Learn From History?, providing an illuminating view of the importance of the transition from old style intellectualism to Volume VI, No. 43 grounding in psycho-therapeutic insights. Mr. Hart explains why such enterprises as the Health and Human Relations conferences must be recognized as more and more necessary in the future. He writes: An early consequence of war has been the development of a widespread attack on what are called the "intellectuals.” The parallel with the still earlier attack on this thinking element in the Fascist States is noteworthy, showing how easily the effect of fighting is to infect men with what they set out to fight against. The attack, however, gains force from the fact that it has a basis of reasonable justification. The cause of such oscillation is largely emotional. Neither these intellectuals nor their critics appear to recognize the inherent dilemma of the thinking man, and its inevitability The dilemma should be faced, for it is a natural part of the growth of any human mind. An intellectual ought to realize the extent to which the world is shaped by human emotions, emotions uncontrolled by reason—his thinking must have been shallow, and his observation narrow, if he fails to realize that. But having once learnt to think, and to use reason as a guide, he cannot possibly float with the current of popular emotion, and fluctuate with its violent changes—unless he himself ceases to think, or is deliberately false to his own thought. And in the latter case it is likely that he will commit intellectual suicide, gradually, "by the death of a thousand cuts." A deeper diagnosis of the malady from which the Left Wing intellectuals have suffered in the past decade, and more, might suggest that their troubles have come, not from following reason too far, but from not following it far enough—to realize the general power of unreason. Many of them, also, seem to have suffered from failing to apply reason internally as well as externally—through not using it for the control of their own emotions. In that way, they unwittingly helped to get this country into the mess of the present war, and then found themselves in an intellectual mess as a result. Now for some samples from a "Report of Committee III," submitted to the first Macy conference in 1950. Committee III paid particular attention to the "special psychological problems in German personality structure"—with reference to the sometimes corresponding problems of Americans. The Committee recognized that a "diminished capacity for MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 13 choice-making" was notable in both societies, and speedily discovered that one could not study the "German" as some sort of special species without also studying himself and his own cultural situation. Here is an example of how the psychiatrists attacked these problems, drawing on their own clinical experience: Some light has been thrown on choice-making by the study of post-hypnotic behavior. When a person who has been hypnotized carries out the socalled post-hypnotic suggestion, he has no conscious memory that his possibly bizarre behavior has been required of him through suggestion given during hypnosis. To account for his behavior both to the onlookers and to himself, he produces a "rational" explanation (sometimes quite fantastic). He has carried out, in fact, a "forced choice.” Much behavior of individuals and groups is, to a greater or less degree, similarly pre-determined by the forgotten or repressed past. In democratic countries, where choice is more free, there is vagueness and confusion in the rationalizations; in totalitarian systems, where there is more unconscious ambivalence, the rationalization is likely to be well-defined and aggressive. The German member said that some insight is also to be gained from a re-examination of certain historical developments. Authority in Germany has descended from God to the church, from church to government, and from government to anyone in authority. Hitler directed to himself all the unconscious allegiance to authority, even though Hitler himself was anti-christ and therefore completely in opposition to the original but forgotten source of the allegiance to authority. Hence the beginnings of Nazism antedate Hitler by many generations, just as the beginnings of Russian Communism long antedate Marx. In each case the roots must be sought in the historical development of the particular subculture. a substantial part of their wages in church dues. Something in them is not free. To understand the situation in Germany in regard to choice-making it is necessary to understand the complete authoritarianism of church, family, state, and Roman law. We must educate the parents in order to educate the children. As said elsewhere in the text of this report, "People who are allowed to make choices for themselves are most willing to allow others to do the same." Also useful is a report of studies on "Suspicion in Human Relations," the conclusions reached indicating the necessity for well-meaning Americans of removing the mote from their own eyes as necessary preparation for diagnosing the ocular troubles of Europeans: It was pointed out by other members of the group that suspicion in human relations is a universal problem. It is a major problem in many governmental international conferences. Three reasons were suggested for this: (1) the fact that representatives of nations in such conferences act only upon instructions from their governments, (2) the fact that a struggle for power between blocks of nations nearly always develops; (3) the fact that nations participating do not hold the same values. In connection with what some readers have regarded as a lack of sympathy in MANAS articles for most things about traditional religion, we note that the German member of the Committee asked that special attention be given to "the role of the Church in this question of free will and choosing.” "This is not a question of choosing, alone," he wrote, "but of the unconscious as well.” He continued: Ninety-eight percent of the members of a certain welfare group in Germany belong to a church and pay Volume VI, No. 43 MANAS Reprint October 28, 1953 ...
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