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VOLUME XII, NO. 34 AUGUST 26, 1959 SOME EDITORIAL WONDERINGS THE wondering began during a reading of a Nation article on La Gangrene, a book that the French police have just suppressed. La Gangrène has contents similar to Henri Alleg's The Question, also suppressed by the French a year or so ago. Alleg, who was editor of an Algerian newspaper, told how he was tortured by French paratroops. La Gangrène is a report by seven Algerian intellectuals on how they have been tortured by the French police, in Paris, in recent months. Late in June the police invaded the offices of the publisher and destroyed the plates of the book, which were being prepared for another edition. The only defense made by the French Government for its action is that the contents of La Gangrene are false, a communist fabrication. However, no liberal or radical French paper accepts this explanation. The satirical weekly, Canard Enchainé, observed: We can't speak of La Gangrène; the censors will not allow it. We can't give details of the book's contents. But we can at least say this—whoever reads this book will not be able to sleep any more. So we won't speak of gangrene—we're in good health. Such good health that we're probably going to die of it. When, last year, Alleg's Question appeared, Sartre wrote a review for the French weekly, l'Express. He recalled that during the German occupation of France, Frenchmen could be heard crying out as they suffered tortures inflicted by the Nazis. But now the French were doing the torturing. Sartre said: Plunged into stupor, the French have uncovered a terrible fact. If nothing protects a nation against itself, neither its past, its integrity, nor its laws—if fifteen years are enough to change victims into executioners it means that the occasion alone will decide. According to the circumstances, anyone, anytime, will become either the victim or the executioner. Now comes La Gangrène, suggesting that torture has become a confirmed practice among the French—that is, among a few of the French who have the power, through governmental authority, and the inclination to do this sort of thing. So one must wonder—wonder if Sartre is right in proposing that given the circumstantial setting, anyone might become either a victim or an executioner. Is it true that laws, the moral tradition of the past, and the human integrity of the present are not enough to protect a nation against itself? That there is no inward restraint against excesses dictated by "national interest"? There is the question, also, of order in one's sense of moral indignation or feeling of crisis. What should we become excited about? Is it time for "action"? What sort of action? Action for what? For or against whom? The Nazis tortured in the name of national security. The Communists tortured in the name of human solidarity. The Cuban Batista tortured to preserve his authority. And now the French are torturing to save Algeria for the French empire. Is there something that could make the British torture? The Americans? If we eliminate the element of "directness" in physical torture, then it is possible to find guilt everywhere—the guilt of indifference to suffering, the guilt of the injustices worked by the very mechanics of "justice," the guilt of casual displacement of whole cultures by great powers who have to mount their defensive weapons to protect their "civilized" populations. Modern military states cannot conduct their affairs without becoming guilty in a number of ways. The United States, for example, is held to be guilty by the Spanish who would like to see the downfall of Franco, since American money is supporting the Franco regime. Name a State with strong military power and you name a State that is unequivocally guilty from the point of view of some minority or MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 weaker national power. There is no national innocence, any more, but only degrees of guilt. There are other sources of moral disturbance to the conscientious individual. At home in the United States the anxiety over the pollution of air, water, and food has reached a point where the New Yorker each week runs a "fever chart" made up of reports from miscellaneous sources on various threats to human health, due to the preparations for nuclear war and related efforts. Less dramatic symptoms of moral confusion are found in magazines like Life and the Ladies' Home Journal. Writing in the latter magazine of December, 1958, Dorothy Thompson tells of a Michigan farmer, Stanley Yankus, Jr., who is in trouble with the Federal Government because he has refused to cooperate with the Department of Agriculture. He has defied the ASC (Agricultural Stabilization program). The ASC tells the wheat farmers of America how much wheat they can grow. It told Mr. Yanhus he could plant twelve acres. Now Yankus is not a wheat farmer, but a poultry farmer. But he figured he could grow poultry feed himself, for less than the governmentsupported price of poultry feed, and since he had the land he went ahead. He violated the ASC rule of how much land he was permitted to plant. Miss Thompson relates what happened: And in walked the FBI. And followed the penalties. Mr. Yankus never had a trial, let alone a jury trial. He never even had a formal hearing. Part of his bank account was seized by court order. Under this allotment plan a Federal agent can invade a farmer's premises without a warrant, measure off his acreage, investigate his assets in the bank, and go around and warn his customers that he is under surveillance. The local banker who divulged Mr. Yankus' assets to an FBI agent, and the local distributor who showed his books to the FBI agent, did not need to do so. But an FBI badge is a mighty persuader. Nobody wants to be in trouble with the FBI or "mixed up" with anyone who is. Stanley Yankus decided to grow his own chicken feed in 1954. Since that time he has accumulated fines totalling nearly $5,000. Miss Thompson comments: Volume XII, No. 34 In this space we have repeatedly warned of the powers that have been granted government, powers that become more and more arbitrary, and powers that can eventually make it a crime for almost anyone to stand on his own feet, mind his own business, and ask no favors from his fellow citizens and tax payers. There is a lot more in Miss Thompson's article on who gets the major profits from the restriction of wheat crops, but this is another subject. Here the point concerns the idiocy of the application of the restriction to Stanley Yankus. He is a victim of Big Thinking, of Total Theory. The Life article (clipping undated) tells about Tommy Kral, and his mother and father, of Hastings, Minn., who took Tommy out of school in order to teach him themselves. Mr. and Mrs. Kral were sentenced to 30 days in jail for breaking the Minnesota law on compulsory school attendance. Tommy's parents didn't think much of the school their seven-year-old was attending. They felt his time was being wasted. "Since Mrs. Kral had been a teacher and Mr. Kral a mathematician," Life reports, "they decided to educate Tommy at home on the farm (there are no private schools within 25 miles) ." At their trial, "four professors from the University of Minnesota praised Tommy's home curriculum." At seven the boy studies fractions, formal grammar, German, geography, mythology, poetry and chess. He studies about six hours a day and reads books thirteen-year-olds read. He is bright, but not a prodigy. Life notes the difference between the right of parents to educate their children and irresponsible truancy, adding: The Kral standards are superior to state standards of education, not in defiance of them. The Krals know what they are doing and would mortgage their farm sooner than give up their legal fight. They want to establish this right not only for themselves but for all parents. "Most of the advances and reforms that have been made in education and everything else have not been made by 'togetherness' but by rebels," says Mr. Kral. The Life story makes its defense of the Krals an occasion for some sideswipes at Progressive education. We eliminated this material since it has little to do with the fundamental issue. (MANAS MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 3 has more than one family of readers who have been moving around, seeking a region in the United States where they can educate their own children without being harassed by truant officers. They and many others will be glad to know that the issue is again being tested in the courts.) Last month, acting on the advice of military and nuclear fall-out experts, Nelson Rockefeller, governor of New York, proposed legislation for the compulsory construction of fall-out shelters by the people of that state. The law would apply to individual homeowners as well as other property owners and would include provision for long-term loans to persons unable to finance these structures. A MANAS reader wrote the following letter to the New York Times: Since Governor Rockefeller is contemplating legislation which would compel everyone to build fall-out shelters against nuclear attack, I don't see why he doesn't go all the way and make it illegal for a citizen not to wear rubbers in the rain, impose penalties on anyone careless enough to be infected with a virus or the common cold. . . . I see no objection to disseminating information to the public on what measures people can take to protect themselves against nuclear attack, nor do I see any objection to making it compulsory for all public buildings, government or private, to construct safeguards against fall-out. But when it comes to the individual homeowner, I see here an invasion of individual liberties more dangerous than anything which has yet threatened us. Certainly every individual who wishes to protect himself will do so, and those who do not wish to do so, whether from an act of faith or a lack of desire to survive in a world of rubble, should not be compelled by law to raise a finger in their own defense. We can be forced to die, in this efficient and technological world we have built for ourselves, but we cannot and should not be forced to survive. In line with the unrealistic reasoning which gave birth to this new concept, we have the equally unrealistic figures, supplied by "experts," on the financing of this forced survival. By what process of reasoning do they arrive at a figure of $150 for existing structures and $1500 and up for new structures? Don't these "experts" know that many modern houses have no cellars, and that to dig one after the house is up is far more costly than when Volume XII, No. 34 starting from scratch? Have they added the cost of carting away the dirt, once you have dug it out? And don't they also know that there are zoning laws which would have to be repealed if any of these structures are put up as independent units. . . . It would be an absurd and unenforceable law, and only open the door to bribery and corruption. . . . What disturbs me most about this is why the state administration does not simply offer to make it possible for those wishing to borrow money for the purpose of constructing these shelters, to obtain it. Why make it compulsory? If this is the best our statesmen can come up with, then we are doomed indeed. I find it difficult to believe that "survival" is their real objective. For a little "local color" on this proposal, we refer to Nation editorial (July 18), in which it is noted that despite the warnings of the Rand Corporation, New York business men continue to erect sky-scrapers "which an atomic war would flatten in a matter of minutes, showing how much stock they take in a future atomic war." The Nation summarizes the details on the proposed fall-out shelters: If you have a basement and are handy with mortar and cement blocks, you can do the job yourself for $150. The newspapers simultaneously come out with stories of shelter-togetherness in a 7 x 7 cubicle, holding a family of four with their Conelrad radio, Geiger counter, a survival kit and, presumably, twoweeks' accumulation of excrement. A firm of industrial designers specializing in such matters suggested the addition of a library of tapes simulating the normal sounds of the house—the refrigerator going on and off, motor traffic and the sighing of the wind in the trees. The feature writers made it sound rather pleasant, and the only dissenting voice was that of the builders, who were worried that the added cost might discourage buyers of new homes. On the matter of "dissenting voices," we note that the Times did not print our subscriber's letter, giving the excuse of too much other mail. Too bad. On the editorial page, the Times raised a few practical questions, but had nothing but praise for the Governor's courageous effort to "jolt" the population into awareness of the danger of nuclear explosion. A really good "jolt" might be provided if the Times would print in full the Omaha Action MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 4 pamphlet, This Is the Missile. But this is not, we suppose, the sort of jolt that the Times has in mind. As recently suggested in these pages, the central problem represented by these various instances of misapplication of state power and confusion of moral issues is the failure of the imagination. We do not know what to do about all these things except to endure them. It is not that we have suffered an invasion of "bad people" in authority. The people in authority today are as good or better than the people who were in authority a generation ago. It is not a problem of organization. We are already organized up to the hilt. In fact, the prospect of having inspectors come around to see whether or not we have built our 7 x 7 bomb shelters is more offensive than the practice in Calvinist Geneva of having church elders periodically inspect the number of petticoats worn by the women of the town and look into the cupboards of the housewives to see that they had been properly dusted and that domestic industry was proceeding at a pace consistent with Calvinist morality. It is a failure of the imagination because we can think of nothing to do about all these ugly tendencies. Every time we have a problem we look around to see what else we can make compulsory. Our chief industry, these days, is to affront and affright the human spirit. That what is needed is a genuine rediscovery of individual morality is difficult to recognize, for the reason that the first step in finding an individual morality is not in doing something, but in starting to look at things differently. People who insist upon "doing" something are often people who feel that it is necessary to prove to others that they believe in the Right Things. They are not content with an inner feeling of doing the best they know. They want to be admitted to the company of the righteous. They want to belong. we'll eventually have torture chambers in every police station and missile mounts in every secluded glen. Individual morality is sometimes said to be "selfish." Sometimes it is. The kind of individual morality we are talking about relates to the things that a man is determined to do, no matter what anybody else does, and the things he is determined not to do, no matter what anybody else does. His ethics gives the reasons for his determinations. Individual morality of this sort is not selfish for the reason that it is the only way that any morality can be preserved. Morality is action out of regard for what one thinks is right. It is not action out of regard for what somebody else says is right. When the demands of an external authority so confine individual decision that a man loses his sense of right and wrong by obeying the external authority, then the time has come for the use of the imagination. It is necessary, then, to stop extending any moral credit to such demands. You have to begin to pick and choose in what you do. Perfect individual morality will not be possible. It is a question rather of the tendency of one's life. The ideal society is not a society of perfect people, but of people who are doing their best to make their own moral decisions. This sort of behavior can be begun anywhere, in any sort of situation. Sometimes it means that a man will say, "I don't belong here," and will walk away. Sometimes it means that he will look at what he is doing to make a living with less disgust than before, and start making his work a vehicle for another kind of effort and feeling—and do this without supposing that he is making a Great Contribution. This kind of morality is an inward thing, but it has outward effects. It is the strongest force for change in human affairs that exists. But this is what gets us into trouble. The unwillingness to settle, in the beginning, at least, for individual morality, is the real "do-nothing" attitude in our time. Wanting to organize for righteousness is to do exactly what we have been doing for hundreds of years. If we keep on organizing for righteousness, Volume XII, No. 34 MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 5 REVIEW "SCIENCE-FICTION" METAPHYSICS IT has become almost trite to say that the "new physics" has led us further away from older conceptions of "reality," and closer to the imponderables. Politicians, businessmen and religionists, therefore, are actually much less apt to be genuinely interested in metaphysical questions than the man who, through his participation in the rarefied thinking of the physicists, finds himself always on the verge of new revelation. Currently available science-fiction reflects this trend—a kind of new look at metaphysics. For example, one of David Duncan's stories, Dark Dominion, ends with the destruction of the world as we know it, yet adds a touch of mystic prophecy. The prophecy is simply that the death of everything physical will not mean the death of the soul. Dark Dominion ends: It may be that mankind has now finished with his task on earth and understands this well enough to try no more. But that's a melancholy note on which to end. Let us think rather that Aaron was wise, and that by lifting men's eyes to the stars he will lead them to forget their differences here on earth. Let us believe that in the vastness of space man will once more recognize the divinity of his origin which upon other worlds will permit him to grow until his soul is a proper temple for the god that fills him. Another mind-stretcher in the direction of metaphysics is Fred Hoyle's The Black Cloud. Mr. Hoyle is a leading astronomer and his book is itself an education concerning astronomical science, but he is concerned with more than the vastness of the heavens and the physical interplay of planets, suns and stars. The "Cloud" has entered our solar system, earth astronomers finally discover, because of a conscious decision on the part of the somewhat "cosmic" intelligence which animates it. But the "Cloud," though it has its own identity, is composed of individual centers of sensitive intelligence which act in unison and from Volume XII, No. 34 this multiple perspective it assesses the culture of the earth. As a method of communication is established between the earth and the Cloud, it becomes possible for the higher Cloud intelligence to converse in the word symbols of earth—because one mark of a higher intelligence is its capacity to identify, at will, with a lesser form and thus "comprehend any language." As the one passage indicates, Mr. Hoyle touches upon transcendental aspects of conventional religion, and then proceeds to leave them far behind. When one of the astronomers asks the Cloud about its "status" as a governing agent in the universe, the reply comes in these words: The answer to your question is difficult for me to explain since it seems to involve a realm of experience about which neither I nor you know anything. On previous occasions we have not discussed the nature of human religious beliefs. I found these highly illogical, and as I gathered that you did too, there seemed no point in raising the subject. By and large, conventional religion, as many humans accept it, is illogical in its attempt to conceive of entities lying outside the Universe. Since the Universe comprises everything, it is evident that nothing can lie outside it. The idea of a "god" creating the Universe is a mechanistic absurdity clearly derived from the making of machines by men. I take it that we are in agreement about all this. Yet many mysterious questions remain. Probably you have wondered whether a larger-scale intelligence than your own exists. Now you know that it does. In a like fashion I ponder on the existence of a larger-scale intelligence than myself. There is none within the Galaxy, and none within other galaxies so far as I am yet aware. Yet there is strong evidence, I feel, that such an intelligence does play an overwhelming part in our existence. Otherwise how is it decided how matter shall behave? How are your laws of physics determined? Why those laws and no others? These problems are of outstanding difficulty, so difficult that I have not been able to solve them. What is clear however is that such an intelligence, if it exists, cannot be spatially or temporally limited in any way. MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 6 As we read these passages, it seemed easier, somehow, to understand why the late Professor Einstein could not sympathize with the Christian concept of Deity. Once after a lecture, Einstein was halted in a college hallway by a freshman filled with religious fervor. The student asked, "Dr. Einstein, don't you feel that all of the things you have discovered are planned and controlled by God?" Einstein paused for a moment, then answered gently, "And should we not have to ask God that?" It is hard for us to imagine a dyed-in-thewool science-fictioneer who could believe in the traditional Christian God. For one thing, a cosmos filled with millions of unexpected developments—infinite possibilities—can only be thought of as animated by some essence which is too big to "believe" in. And since the man who writes science-fiction always branches out into some Deep Thoughts during his sojourn at the typewriter, he would be bound to ask why, if there be a God, there should not be a number of them After all, almost any SF story develops the idea of forms of intelligence presently unknown to earthdwellers. else. But the suggestion, or rather the insistence, is that the old-fashioned Science of Man is as inadequate to account for man himself as Newtonian physics is inadequate to account for the universe in which man has his physical being. Behind the ancient and possibly quite unsatisfactory concepts of free will, individual responsibility and the validity of value judgments, lie some realities without the recognition of which it is not possible to manage a world in which human beings will be either successful or happy. Back in 1937 W. Macneile Dixon explained why the refinements of physical science in the twentieth century have returned us to a search for the "imponderables"—leading, perhaps, to a new definition of "spirit," and even of "soul": The new view maintains that it is not in matter that the energies of nature reside, but in what seem to us the empty intervals, the vacant spaces between objects—it is there that all the activities of nature have their unseen habitation. They reside in the electric, magnetic and gravitational fields, of which we have no perception at all, of which our senses tell us nothing, and of which till yesterday the very existence was unknown. Tangible and visible things are but the poles, or terminations of these fields of unperceived energy. Matter, if it exists at all in any sense, is a sleeping partner in the firm of nature. While many scientific specialists are still orthodox religionists, the temper of imaginative thinking is now pretty well diffused. Joseph Wood Krutch, in his Measure of Man, suggests why the progress of science inevitably revives the old philosophical and religious questions, although on a new basis. The scientific perspective, in terms of the ever-expanding cosmos it reveals, "has resulted in a theoretical picture of the human universe which is both fantastically complicated and startlingly inadequate: complicated because its attempts to explain away the apparent reality behind such concepts as free will and the ethical sense are necessarily very elaborate; inadequate because the most ambitious mechanical man remains obviously a very incomplete one." Krutch continues: The suggestion is not that we must return to theology, to simple Christian belief, or to anything Volume XII, No. 34 MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 7 COMMENTARY THE PESSIMISM WE CAN IGNORE ONCE in a while we meet somebody who says, "This is the age of the supremacy of the State. You can't fight it. Furthermore, people are sheep. They want to be told what to do." Sometimes he adds, "Probably we'll get world Communism. The Communists know more about State control than anybody else." This man calls himself a gloomy realist. He believes in the right things, but, he says, you have to face facts. individual discovery out of account should disturb or weaken us. An age is lifted from fear and passivity by the spirit generated by individuals who discover the good. At no time, then, need any man feel that the "age" is against him, although he may allow the age to set him against himself. Well, our comment has to be, in such instances, that our gloomy friend is an unreconstructed collectivist. He is still worrying about the morality, the submissiveness, of other people. A man is not called upon to solve the problems of other people. The assumption that he could, if he wanted to, is false. The individual is responsible for his own submissiveness, his own sheep-like behavior, his own lack of invention, not for these qualities in others. The issue, here, is a choice between education and politics. If you choose politics, then you have to be concerned about the behavior of other people. If you choose education, the socioeconomic environment has only secondary importance. Great education has taken place in every conceivable socio-economic situation. Politics works according to goals and timetables, education ignores time. That is, the education worth pursuing has no important end beyond its own process—to know, to understand, is an end in itself. Men who live by educational ideals do not become captives of their times, nor of the prevailing system of their times. They count the good by individual perception of the good, not by votes for a formula that is supposed to produce the good on a mass scale. The good is a discovery by the individual. No social philosophy which ignores this truth is worth any attention. No pessimism which leaves the power of Volume XII, No. 34 MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 8 Letter from SOUTH AFRICA JOHANNESBURG.—Under the heading, Silent Revolution in Native Wages," the Star sums up the reaction of industries, commerce and municipalities to the Trade Union Council call for an immediate rise of 10 shillings per week for all unskilled workers under the £5-a-week line. No one has raised an objection. On the contrary, many concerns had their plans for increases already in work. This includes, of course, all native workers. The Parliamentary session is finished for this year. Most ministers are on holiday, so no fireworks for the time being. Japie Basson has not been removed from the Nationalist Party. A prominent member of the party in South West Africa, after the two-day meeting of the head committee of the party in SWA, summed up: "Not only has David defeated Goliath, but he has also given Goliath much to think about." I am sure that the fact that it was a conscience matter with Basson did a lot to bring that and other issues into the conscience category of many other Nationalists. After his visit to England, the Sunday Times Editor said in a discussion on "Notting Hill, Little Rock and all that": It seems to me that, in the light of their own unhappy experiences, the time has come for the British and American peoples to make proper allowances for S.A. where conditions are immeasurably more difficult. Indeed, when one sees what has happened in these other countries, whose problem is infinitely less complex than our own, one can say that in some respects the S.A. are to be congratulated for a degree of tolerance that, relatively speaking, one would not find in Britain or in America. The enlightened conduct of the Universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand in admitting non-Europeans, for example, ranks as a marvel of tolerance and good-will. . . . Admittedly, our Government is about to destroy their "open" character, but we can claim that they still do exist and that half the electorate admires them and Volume XII, No. 34 wants them to remain . . . We have seen in S.A. too, as recently as a few days ago [paper was of July 12], the phenomenon of the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) coming out in favour of social desegregation in our universities. To me this reveals, relatively speaking, a higher degree of tolerance than one will ever find in Britain or the United States, for the simple reason that those two countries have never been subjected, even remotely, to the fierce tests which press upon us in S.A. as a part of our everyday life. The Sunday Times comments further: I believe that enough has happened in Britain to convince the Labour Party that there is more in this colour business than meets the eye; and that a complex of nine million Blacks and three million Whites contains inherent difficulties which cannot be shouted away by fulmination in Westminster. I have just received from the South African Institute of Race Relations two important books: The Economic Development of the Reserves, and Racialism and the Trade Unions. Both are written by its Technical Officer, Muriel Horrell, who has the reputation of being absolutely factual. The book on the trade unions collates for the first time all the information on the subject, showing how racialism has weakened and divided white trade unions among themselves. It examines participation by African, Coloured and Asian workers in South Africa's Trade Union movement; the realignment since 1954 of co-ordinating trade union bodies; the effect of the Industrial Conciliation Act on racially mixed unions; racial job reservation; inter-group attitudes in the Trade Union movement, and the future of non-white unions in South Africa. Some time after coming to power in 1948, the present government appointed the Tomlinson Commission "to conduct an exhaustive inquiry into and report on a comprehensive scheme for the rehabilitation of the Native areas with a view to developing within them a social structure in keeping with the culture of the Native and based on effective socio-economic planning." The report was released in March, 1956, and has since provided basis for the claim that apartheid has for MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 9 the African people a very definite positive side. Now, after more than three years of observation, the Race Relations Institute has published Miss Horrell's booklet examining the extent to which the Commission's recommendations are being implemented. She examines in some detail land acquisition and tenure, financial measures, agricultural development, mining, secondary industry, commerce, the establishment of rural villages, urban influx control and squatting in "white" rural areas. The conclusion reached is that useful development work is taking place in the reserves but at a rate which one might term well-nigh infinitesimal in comparison with that advocated by the Tomlinson Commission. CORRIE VAN DEN BOS Volume XII, No. 34 MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 10 CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves THE QUAKERS ARE STILL BUSY ANYONE who, through friendship or circumstance, finds himself on a Quaker list for Quaker literature is automatically provided with a good deal of solid inspiration. For the Quakers, by and large, "quake" less than any denominational group—and perhaps one of the reasons for their courageous approach to all social and ethical issues is that their faith is a faith in commitment. Commitment means work, and the Quakers are always busy. For the first time we have been introduced to a Midwest Friends publication, a four-page monthly, The Concerned Student, which circulates in the universities and colleges of Illinois and Wisconsin. According to the April issue, the "work camp" plan of volunteer action for social improvement is growing in support with each passing year. Some who are not Quakers, nowadays, apparently feel an urge to do something significant in human terms. Teachers, becoming acquainted with projects sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, devote all or part of their summer vacations to work projects. The following paragraphs from The Concerned Student describe current programs: Workcamps (U.S. and Overseas) usually involve hard physical labor in situations of real need. Participants plan their own educational program related to work assignments and engage in cooperative living and recreation. In the U.S., workcamps are planned for Old Town, Maine (conducting a recreation program for Indian children and helping Indians of the reservation fill a swamp for a playground); Berrien County, Michigan (campers will build Child Care Center for a local migrant community); Fort Defiance, Arizona (campers will help young Navajos build 15 bus shelters). Overseas workcamps will be located in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and in the Caribbean area. Institutional Service Units will be held in various institutional settings (schools for the mentally Volume XII, No. 34 retarded, mental hospitals) in Salem, Oregon; Lakeland, Kentucky; Pownal, Maine; Westville, Indiana; New York City; and other places during the summer. Members of Institutional Service Units give needed personal attention to patients and work with and supplement regular staff. A pilot project in milieu therapy will take place at the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan. Volunteers will help launch an experimental program with mental patients. Project members will seek to create within the institution an atmosphere as similar to normal community life as possible. By helping the mental patient adjust to this atmosphere, they encourage him to re-establish contact with the real world. Internes in Community Service projects and Internes in Industry projects will be held in several metropolitan areas. In each case, participants share insights gained from their experiences in their jobs and assignments and study first-hand the problems of our urban society. The work in rehabilitation of the mentally disturbed brings to mind an excellent Pendle Hill pamphlet on this subject. Norma Jacob, in From One to Another, points out that Quaker commitment has always meant identifying with those suffering psychic stress. Mental dislocation, writes Mrs. Jacob, "is a challenge here to those of us who call ourselves Friends." She continues: We cannot ignore it if we are to be faithful to our traditions. Quakers have refused to recognize the existence of artificial barriers cutting men off from one another; they have treated the slave as a fellow human being, the prisoner as one whose feet are also set on the way. They have approached despotic rulers in confidence that the voice of friendship and reason could still be heard by the man imprisoned in the monstrous carapace. And they built hospitals for the mentally ill as an alternative to shutting them in cages like wild beasts, and pleaded for kindness and the striking off of chains in an age when brutality born of fear and lack of understanding was almost universal in the treatment of persons who are deranged. Those same beliefs should lead us now to join the people who are working for what, to them, is a new goal—the bringing of the MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 11 mentally ill out of darkness into full fellowship with their brothers. We as Friends were among those who gave some of the earliest demonstrations that this could actually occur, even in an age when it took place rarely because the physical aspects of treatment were not yet understood. If the doctors are now giving us scientific reasons for what religiously minded people have long instinctively known, validating through their experiments the insight upon which Friends have sought to act over the past three hundred years, it must be that there is a place for us, more now than ever before, among those who are making the door of the mental hospital a door into life rather than a door into death. The Quakers have indeed been ahead of most of us with their "intuitions"—undoubtedly because their lack of dogmatism encourages the sort of human sympathy which brings understanding. It's certainly true enough that the challenge of mental illness is seen to be more and more a challenge which can be met successfully only after discharge from a hospital. Since the Quakers know a good deal about what is wrong with our society, they also sense why former patients should not be expected to be completely "normal" in relation to ordinary social attitudes—for it was probably the attempt to adjust to a society itself neurotic which caused the unbalance in the first place. In the same issue of The Concerned Student, Clark Bouwman, a Quaker who is chairman of the Department of Sociology at Wesleyan University, sums up some of the reasons why the youth of our time find it hard to develop "concern" with ethical values and social responsibilities: Occasionally in advertisements we are confronted with persons who unmistakably possess "middle-aged" characteristics. Although these types differ from the typical image in that they have lived forty or fifty years, they invariably belie their ages by vigorously doing "young" things and demonstrating youthful interests. The images created, regardless of social class, occupation, or age, always possess a Volume XII, No. 34 remarkable degree of self-assurance, poise, and sophistication. Workers don't look like workers; they are polished men of the world in workingmen's clothes. Homemakers are never drudges, but club women momentarily apprehended in their kitchens. A soft-drink manufacturer frankly sums up the typically valued image characteristics in one sweeping generalization: an appealing image designed to attract Americans universally. From the ads we learn that in drinking this product we will be regarded as "young, fair, and debonair." This has apparently become the great American image. Regardless of specific social roles we are expected to play in life, above all we must be "young, fair, and debonair." This image is an unfortunate one in many respects. Youth often conveys the impression of irresponsibility. Fairness can be thought of exclusively in terms of physical attractiveness. To be debonair is frequently understood to be synonymous with dilettantism and superficiality, and unwillingness to be identified with any real purposefulness in life. I am afraid that these are the all-too-common associations with the pop brewer's slogan. This unfortunate image of the ideal American prevails on far too many of our college campuses. In prevailing, it keeps the "typical" college student from being a concerned college student. It constitutes a protective shield enabling him to ignore much of what goes on about him and should concern him. It tells him that, as a charming but irresponsible dilletante, he need hardly develop a spiritual compulsion to become active in the major issues of our day. Enough has been quoted, we think, to demonstrate that the Quakers are indeed "Friends" to the causes of education throughout the world— education in human values, education which inspires "concern" and compassion. Every youth should know something about the causes they represent—and perhaps some, once knowing, will come in contact with a Friends "project." MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 12 FRONTIERS Reformers: Go Home IT is not easy to find out about Tibet. The location of this country on the face of the earth is apparently well known, since the boundaries given in reference books match up pretty well. But when you come to the population figures, confusion reigns. The independent Indian socialist, Jayaprakash Narayan, says that Tibet is a country of less than ten million souls, as compared with China's 650,000,000 odds which must be pretty discouraging to the freedom-loving Tibetans who would like the Chinese to go home. But a pamphlet issued by the Indian Committee for Solidarity with Tibet says that the Tibetan population numbers approximately 30 lakhs. A lakh, according to the dictionary, is 100,000, so this places the Tibetans at three million. An old Rand McNally atlas (1935) we have lying around gives the Tibetan population as 3,722,000, but a later Britannica atlas gives exactly the same figure for the Tibetan population in 1948. Either the population is completely stationary, or these atlas people just copy one another. By sudden inspiration, we turned to the World Almanac for 1959, where we found the sentence, "Population was estimated 1,000,000 in July, 1948." Then, an article in the Maha Bodhi journal calls the Tibetan's "a sturdy race of over five million people." This line of research was beginning to look pretty futile, so we gave it up, turning to more interesting matters, such as the fact that "nearly one third of the male population are monks." Why write about Tibet? Well, for one thing, Tibet is the home of Mahayana Buddhism and this alone would make the country deserving of study, since this expression of Buddhist culture has had an extraordinary influence on the religious thought of the world. Further, Tibet is obviously a country which, from a Western point of view, ought to be-called "priest-ridden," yet few travelers to this obscure land lay much emphasis on this judgment. There are too many other Volume XII, No. 34 things to report. For example, Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian who was interned in India as an enemy alien during World War II, but who escaped to Tibet and became a friend and tutor of the present Dalai Lama, has this to say in his recent book: These people impressed me as the happiest nation in the world, naturally gay and uniformly polite and hospitable. . . . The Tibetan scale of values was impressed on me one day at a party in Lhasa when I told my Tibetan friends of the great news I had just heard on the radio; an airplane of a new type had flown the Atlantic some twenty minutes faster than ever before. They could not share my excitement; in fact, they did not say a word. On another occasion a European acquaintance was trying to help a Tibetan then on a pilgrimage in India, to look up the arrival time of his train. The Tibetan saw no reason to develop eye-strain consulting the timetable. He insisted upon going to the station immediately and alone. "I will sit down and wait," he explained. "Some time there will be a train." Several books about Tibet are worth reading. The first Westerners to penetrate this land of mystery were two Catholic priests, the French Abbés Huc and Gabet. Huc reported their experiences (1844-45) in Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China (an English edition of this work was published by Harper in 1928), and was unfrocked by the Church for exposing the great similarity between certain phases of Catholicism and Lamaism. Those with an interest in "occult" lore, of which Tibet has a large supply, might look at Madame Alexandra David Neel's volume, Magic and Mystery in Tibet (University Books), or better yet, read certain portions of Madame H. P. Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled. Whatever one may think of such things, it is obvious that the Tibetans are no mere pretenders in the matter of Eastern psychological disciplines, or what the West has come to call "yogi powers." A more recent book is Peaks and Lamas by Marco Pallis. Mr. Pallis went to the borderland between Tibet and India to climb Himalayan mountains, but remained to study lamaistic Buddhism and to report in some detail on Tibetan MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 13 culture. In general, what he says is a rich confirmation of Harrer's opinion—the Tibetans, though poor, are happy, astonishingly creative, and singularly free from the oppressions which Western social thinkers commonly assume must prevail in the theocratic society. The Tibetan view of their "unprogressive" ways is summarized by Mr. Harrer: Isolation has meant backwardness. In the middle of the twentieth century, Tibetans still find it more convenient to wade through streams than to build bridges and they still use flints to strike fire for the evening meal. Yet for all the lack of amenities, these tough people enjoy life as they know it. Tell them, as Chinese Communist commissars have done, that they are groaning under the dead weight of a medieval system, and they will laugh uproariously. Nevertheless, intelligent Tibetans acknowledge the need for reform. But they feel that the overhauling must be done by Tibetans themselves and that changes must be introduced gradually. In a country where distance and time are still measured by the pace of the yak (two miles an hour), they submit that progress cannot be rushed, least of all by a foreign power. The Dalai Lama, no more than a boy in the days when I was his tutor, taught me this lesson: sometimes I became impatient at the slowness of certain projects I was working on. He would say that no one could come to call on him by jumping 400 feet in one leap to the roof of the Potala, his great palace in Lhasa. The only way of getting there, the Dalai Lama said, was to climb slowly, step by step and storey by storey. One interesting thing about Tibetan culture is that it never excites scorn or ridicule from intelligent Western visitors. Here is a country whose people uniformly believe that they are ruled by spiritual leaders who are embodiments of the Buddha, or different aspects of the Buddha presence. Apparently, there is something about these people which, despite certain childlike qualities, wins the respect of all who have close contact with them. Concerning the Great or Dalai Lama, the Tibetans believe: The Dalai Lama is . . . a reincarnation of Chenrezi (the Bhodisattva Avalokiteshtwara). . . . Only the containing body of the successive Dalai Volume XII, No. 34 Lamas changes. The essential spirit or Presence is the same. So Dalai Lamas are not elected, nor are they subject to hereditary succession. The theory is that when a Dalai Lama dies his spirit immediately enters the body of a new-born child. All male children born at that moment are liable for consideration as the next Dalai Lama, who is selected from among them after various rigorous religious tests. The present 14th Dalai Lama (now 25 years old) was enthroned in 1940, at the age of 5, after satisfying the customary religious tests that he was a reincarnation of his predecessors. Since 1940, he has ruled during his minority through Regents, but on November 17, 1950, was invested with full powers as spiritual and temporal head of the country, in view of the emergency caused by the Chinese invasion. The foregoing is taken from a pamphlet, Tibet—a Few Facts, prepared by a group of Indians calling themselves the Committee for Solidarity with Tibet. The Dalai Lama has taken refuge in India to escape becoming a puppet of the Communists, and Indians, who recognize deep religious and long cultural ties with Tibet, are outspoken in their demand for a Tibet free from Chinese claims of sovereignty. The pamphlet continues: The Dalai Lama is advised in temporal matters by a council of Ministers (Kashag) and a National Assembly (Tsongdu). The latter, a non-elected body consisting of 30 to 40 high officials and abbots of the great Buddhist monasteries, meets whenever important matters are referred to it by the Dalai Lama or the Kashag. The authority of the Dalai Lama is thus secular and administrative as well as spiritual; that of the Panchen Lama is, however, wholly spiritual. It was the fifth Dalai Lama who created the office of Panchen Lama as a reward for his devoted tutor. The Panchen Lama is regarded as the incarnation of Amitabha, "the boundless light." His seat is at Shigatse. Tibet has been without a resident Panchen Lama since 1923 when the holder of that office, the ninth Panchen Lama, fled to China after a dispute with the Dalai Lama and subsequently died in China in 1937. After his death, three youths were put forward as claimants, but the Tibetan priesthood was unable to select a "true" incarnation of the former Panchen Lama owing to Chinese interference which prevented candidates from travelling to Lhasa for religious tests which precede the final selection. In MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 14 1949 the Kuomintang Chinese recognised the present incumbent as the tenth Panchen Lama without waiting for Tibetan decision. Later that same year, the Panchen Lama recognised the Chinese communists, who found the former very much amenable to their influence. The tenth Panchen Lama returned to Tibet in 1951 in the wake of the Chinese army. The Tibetans were thus forced to accept him as their spiritual leader. In the past the Chinese have frequently used the Panchen Lama as an instrument to off-set and checkmate the influence of the Dalai Lama. When the former Dalai Lama took refuge some 40 years ago, the Chinese put up the ninth Panchen Lama as the spiritual and temporal head of the Tibetan people. It is therefore no wonder that the Chinese rulers have found in the tenth Panchen Lama a very pliable instrument and have now declared that he would replace the Dalai Lama as the head of the new "Preparatory Committee for the Autonomous Region of Tibet." We don't know very much about all this, but one thing seems clear. The Tibetans did well for themselves when they were left alone by the rulers and armies of other countries. They would doubtless be able to settle these questions to their own satisfaction, if they were left alone again. Meanwhile, it seems a great presumption for the communists or anyone else to undertake to "reform" a people said to be "the happiest people in the world." Volume XII, No. 34 MANAS Reprint August 26, 1959 ... - [detail] - [similar]
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