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THE QUEST FOR SYNTHESIS
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VOLUME XVIII, NO. 46 NOVEMBER 17, 1965 THE QUEST FOR SYNTHESIS IN the nineteenth century, those who wrote about the conflict between science and religion (John W. Draper and Andrew D. White) were skillful chroniclers of the triumph of scientific rationalism over stubborn religious assumption and dogma concerning the nature of the physical world. The encounter was reported in institutional terms, science being represented by the impartiality of the experimental approach, and religion by various polemicists who supported their arguments with traditionally accepted readings of Christian Scripture. The outcome was evident almost from the first, since the scientific side had the facts and the religionists only supposition and special pleading. Moreover, the scientific case was mainly critical, without having to fill the void in human belief which was left after the scientific attack. No scientist felt obliged to replace the fallen structure of religious cosmology and creation, which had served as the setting for the drama of Salvation. In the twentieth century, aspects of this controversy have been revived, although in somewhat different terms. C. P. Snow's discussion of the "two cultures" involves a comparison between scientific ways of thinking and the humanities, and Jacob Bronowski (Science and Human Values) draws a similar contrast, a chief point of his argument being that the poetic element and even a kind of mystical enthusiasm are not absent from the practice of the sciences, while classical humanists, on the other hand, are without awareness of the spreading foundations in fact of the scientific viewpoint and of the enrichment in values which scientific progress is held to provide. So far as we can see, both Snow and Bronowski miss the meaning of the humanist critics, since, whatever the merit of their defense of science, they give little or no attention to the question of the nature of man, and it is here, and nowhere else, that the issue must be resolved. Almost to a man, the champions of (old-style) "objective" science base their claims on the importance of knowledge of the external world and what that knowledge has contributed to man's material welfare. They are interested almost entirely in the public result of the institution of science, not its private result in influence on individual character and behavior. The real issue, therefore, has hardly been joined, although a serious attempt at open-minded inquiry into the similarities and differences between science and art has been begun by the Vision + Value Series, edited by Gyorgy Kepes, now in publication by George Braziller (of the three volumes already in print, one, Structure in Art and in Science, was discussed last week in these pages). Speaking of this effort, the editor declares the view that: "The world as a set of structural systems does not divide into the two territories of scientific knowledge and artistic vision. Rather, both our scientific understanding and our artistic grasp of the physical world exist within a common structure of motivation, communication, and knowledge." Investigation on assumptions of this sort is likely to be uniquely fruitful. It opens the way to another and perhaps more important approach. It ought to be possible to neglect entirely the institutional side of the controversy between science and the humanities (or philosophy) and to look more closely at the psychological realities behind these institutional stances, in individual man. Since the present effort is to draw the two institutions together in some kind of synthesis, why not avoid the conventional abstractions altogether? After all, the more men work with limited, abstracted aspects of reality, the greater the temptation to turn the separate part chosen for MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 attention into some kind of spurious "whole." Thus, for centuries scientists (not all, but a significant number) have disdained to acknowledge that they were leaving out anything important in drawing their picture of the physical world and its dynamics. It is only now, as we react in horror to military technology—the miscegenate offspring of valueless science and partisan politics—and as we experience the insatiable drives of productive technology in harness with industrial acquisitiveness, that we are attempting to restore to science what the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries very carefully excluded—namely, regard for essentially human ends. And we are finding, to our sorrow and deep frustration, that the institution of technology, developed to high efficiency in its own terms, but wholly without the control of moral sensibility, simply refuses to behave the way we want it to. Its requirements are identified, now, as amoral, and we don't know how to change the rules of massive technological operation. Meanwhile, it is apparent that the trap we have built for ourselves with this kind of science has been recognized by artists and humanists for many years. Artists and technologists do not make the same readings of structures in the world, whether natural or manmade; and when they look at the same structures, they see different dimensions. We need, not reconciled institutions, but multi-visioned men. If it be argued that the truly great scientists have indeed been men of this sort, the reply must be that individuals are often better than the institutions they serve, and that the problem is not for a few leaders or pioneers to be better than the institutions, but to change them. Isaac Newton was no mechanist in philosophy, as his letters to Bentley make abundantly clear, but he left to his successors and scientific beneficiaries the Newtonian World Machine. More recently, we have seen what happens to individual scientists who try to add a factor of moral awareness to the practical operations of science in the service of the State. Robert Oppenheimer was practically read Volume XVIII, No. 46 out of the political Establishment for his qualms about nuclear weapons, and Linus Pauling has been widely castigated for his outspoken condemnation of the inhumanities of technological war. Yet, to give the element of personal balance its due, we may note that Newton admittedly owed much, even in physical theory, to Jakob Boehme, that he read devotedly mystics such as Jane Lead and Thomas Vaughan, and that he is said to have written as much on theology as he wrote on "natural philosophy." Robert Oppenheimer is a student of the Bhagavad-Gita, which he often quotes, and Einstein spent an hour every evening reading aloud in Sophocles, Thucydides, and Æschylus. Einstein said to Niccolo Tucci: "How can an educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have always been far more interested in them than in science." But such personal balance is not the same thing as actual synthesis in the practice of either science or philosophy, and it is this synthesis we are after. In what, then, precisely, would such synthesis consist? Science, you might say, is definition of the "what" and the "how" of the natural world. Philosophy is concerned with the "why," or the meaning of the what and the how. Science accumulates knowledge-of/control-over the structures exhibited by nature, in both forms and processes, while philosophy distills meanings. Were we to speak of humanistic/philosophical science, we would be talking about a kind of knowledge that remains fragmentary so long as it involves information about structure without grasp of the meaning of that structure, or if it declares meanings without being able to show the intimate, moment-to-moment relationship of that meaning to the forms and processes of nature and life. Obviously, by this criterion, very nearly all our knowledge is of a fragmentary sort. In pursuit of the object of synthesis, let us consider some of the problems involved. There is at least a parallel in the creation of a poem, which mounts, so to say, upon the structure of a MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 3 practical medium, prose, or at any rate uses the same basic materials as are found in prose. Paul Valery makes an extraordinary analysis of this distinction: Poetry is an art of language. But language is a practical creation. It may be discovered that in all communication between men, certainty comes only from practical acts and from the verification which practical acts give us. I ask you for a light, You give me a light: you have understood me. But in asking me for a light, you were able to speak those few unimportant words with a certain intonation, a certain tone of voice, a certain inflection, a certain languor or briskness perceptible to me. I have understood your words, since without even thinking I handed you what you asked for—a light. But the matter does not end there. The strange thing: the sound and as it were, the features of your little sentence come back to me, echo within me, as though they were pleased to be there; I, too, like to hear myself repeat this little phrase, which has almost lost its meaning, which has stopped being of use, and which can yet go on living, though with quite another life. It has acquired a value; and has acquired it at the expense of its finite significance. It has created the need to be heard again. . . . Here we are on the very threshold of the poetic state. This tiny experience will help us to the discovery of more than one truth. It has shown us that language can produce effects of two quite different kinds. One of them tends to bring about the complete negation of language itself. I speak to you, and if you have understood my words, those very words are abolished. Consequently, the perfection of a discourse whose sole aim is comprehension consists in the ease with which the words forming it are transformed into something quite different: the language is transformed first into non-language and then, if we wish, into a form of language differing from the original form. In other terms, in practical or abstract uses of language, the form—that is the physical, the concrete part, the very act of speech—does not last; it does not outlive understanding; it dissolves in the light; it has acted, it has done its work, it has brought about understanding; it has lived. Volume XVIII, No. 46 But on the other hand, the moment this concrete form takes on, by an effect of its own, such importance that it asserts itself and makes itself, as it were, respected; and not only remarked and respected, but desired and therefore repeated—then something new happens: we are insensibly transformed and ready to live, breathe, and think in accordance with a rule and under laws which are no longer of a practical order—that is, nothing that may occur in this state will be resolved, finished, or abolished by a specific act. We are entering the poetic universe. This is a long quotation from the French poet, but it seems worth while since some instructive substitutions may be made in his propositions. For example, for the prose communication substitute simply a scientific communication. It tells, we may say, how to do something practical (science is prediction and therefore often, or usually, control). The information is incorporated into a body of practical knowledge and is eventually converted into some kind of technology—either the technology of service to human wants or the technology of extended perception, concerned with finding other things out more efficiently. Like the prose statement, it is abolished in the achievement it brings about. The statement dies, but is reborn as an electric light. Now if you say, but science is more than this—that it is made up of increments of truth about the world—then you must go further and explain what you mean: Is it instrumental truth or final truth—a truth concerned with what and how, or a truth which illumines why? And if then you say, but science is far more than instrumental truth, since it enriches the human capacity to imagine and to create, and this is a good in itself, it must be answered that in order to make this statement science must borrow from the humanities and butter on top of its great accumulation of objective determinations the philosophic decision that man is a being with the power of imagination, and then add the value judgment that it is good to use and extend the use of this power. Only human subjects can praise MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 4 and enjoy the accumulated knowledge of objects. So, in the appreciation of science, there is always a covert admission of the prior importance of philosophic truth. But the champion of science as a complete theory of knowledge always demands as his right the privilege of using, as, if, and when he wishes, generally accepted philosophic intuitions, and he does this at the same time that he insists that philosophy is in itself unreliable, unverifiable, and of little more than decorative importance to human beings. Actually, science has said practically nothing of ultimate importance about man until quite recently, in the deliveries of the humanistic psychologists, and it should be noticed, in this case, that humanistic psychology involves revolutionary implications for science—its outright philosophicalization. (See Abraham Maslow's "Science and Self-Actualization, MANAS, July 28, 1965, and his paper, "Isomorphic Relationships Between Knower and Known," briefly reviewed in MANAS for April 21, 1965, and to appear in the forthcoming Braziller volume, Sign, Image, Symbol, of the Vision + Value series.) Maslow finds a "sacred" (aspiring-to-meaning) dimension in all phases of scientific investigation and practice, and proposes that the spiritual/moral/philosophical/selfactualizing quality of the individual is a decisive factor in what he sees and understands. Dr. Maslow says in summary: As Emerson said: "What we are, that only we can see." Only we must now add that what we see tends in turn to make us what it is and what we are. The communication relationship between the person and the world is a dynamic one of mutual forming and lifting-lowering of each other, a process that we may call "reciprocal isomorphism." A higher order of persons can understand a higher order of knowledge, but also a higher order of environment tends to lift the level of the person, just as a lower order of environment tends to lower it. This means that an investigator who is "on the side of life" will evolve a life-loving kind of science, with even elements of reverence in it, and as teacher he will create a milieu of learning Volume XVIII, No. 46 suffused with similar qualities. In these terms, science begins to resemble alchemy, and to be dedicated to the same high, transcendent ends. Pursued in this spirit, the practical work of science would take on the mood of those Chinese peasants who, as Richard Hertz put it in Man on a Rock, "moving into the mountains every morning to gather tea, sang a hymn in honor of their enterprise, which they compared to a pilgrimage to the Western paradise." How different a science that cuts its teeth on atomic warfare tests which dissolve Pacific atolls! Writing of the Bikini shots in 1946, Edmond Taylor (in Richer by Asia) tells how Indians schooled in Eastern philosophy might have explained, if they had been asked, how they felt about this kind of "science": The Indians could have explained to us why our guilt was real, not superstitious, why Bikini, though it lacked the element of sadism, constituted the same basic blasphemy which is what really shocked us most in the showerbaths, the gas chambers and the crematoriums of Belsen, in Goering's grotesque experiments with frozen prisoners and naked gypsies in the researches of Nazi medicine aimed at discovering the ideal poisons for injecting through the eardrums of children. The Indians would have told us that our blasphemy, like the Nazi ones, arose from an idolatrous worship of the technique of science divorced from any ethical goals, that the man-made cataclysm of Bikini was a black mass of physics as the German experiments were a black mass of medicine, that it was a mob-insurrection against the pantheistic sense of citizenship in nature, which we share with the Hindus in our hearts, but consider a childish foible. Returning to Paul Valery's analysis, we might say that if the prose communication happens to be a metaphysical treatise, then it is not science but the bare bones of philosophy, yet it might become science since it has to do with structure—the structure which ranges between objective and subjective reality. And if one were able to add to its metaphysical logic the evocative quality of a poem, what would it be then? A scripture? Would it become less scientific by this transformation, or possibly more so? It would still have a prose function—reciting the facts of MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 5 structure—but, lodged in the poetic feeling of the scripture, the facts would seem but necessary furnishings, the material ladder, of a drama of resolve. The facts would convert to scientific reality only as the ladder is climbed, and the art of the poem would be lost in the exultant realization of some high subject-object reality. It is possibly for some such reason that great Scriptures do not die out from the memory of men. They are all we have of the synthesis of science, religion, philosophy, and art. Embedded in scriptures, we may find, is the kind of science that has built-in protection against cultural lag, since to understand it, the philosophy must be practiced as well as intellectually grasped, and the practice turns the facts into a learned-from-doing kind of scientific knowledge. But how do we know? We don't, of course. However, one of the reasons we incline to be so skeptical about all such suggestions is that ordinarily we recognize only dichotomized truth (science over here; art over there, and it's not going any place; philosophy way out where you can hardly see it at all) as having the familiar kind of validity we are willing to accept. Yet this may be a validity that we can no longer use in our lives, except for the most trivial matters. Volume XVIII, No. 46 MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 6 representative of whatever else besides that God that there be, who are absolute others of one another. REVIEW CHRISTIAN POLEMICS, NEW STYLE IN a lecture inaugurating a series of studies presented by University of California Extension, under the heading "Man's Religious Quest," J. Wesley Robb, University of Southern California, indicated various ways in which the educated Christian can participate in the perspectives of existentialist-humanist literature. Dr. Robb pressed the view that essential Christianity is "known" only through individual involvement and commitment—that meaning comes to man only when he has assigned to himself the responsibility for both discovery and decision. These observations invite attention to a book particularly recommended by Dr. Robb. The God We Seek by Paul Weiss, a distinguished teacher and polemicist who rationalizes much of Christianity in sophisticated fashion, embodies some of the existentialist-humanist points of view. For instance, Dr. Weiss says in his Introduction: God is at once outside all of us, singly and together, ennobling all that is, and immanent, qualifying whatever there be. Here and now He provides evidences of His existence, and agencies by which one can come closer to Him. But it is no easy thing to attend to those evidences, and no easy thing to make use of the agencies He has made possible. Dr. Weiss feels that true Christian perception compels us to see that "God is experienced by men in their privacy"—even though in another way He "is also experienced by them when they together constitute a religious community." Then he goes on to a statement which may be regarded as either provocative or confused: Just as private individuals are made publicly contemporary by the forces of existence, are forced into groups by being subjected to the prescriptions of common prospects, and are placed on a footing with all other actualities because with them they are rooted in a single Actuality, so they, in their privacies, are affiliated with other actualities through the compelling mediation of a spiritual force. That effective spirit and I are relative others of one another. It is only God, the ultimate Being, and I, as Volume XVIII, No. 46 God as an ultimate being is outside the scope of the religious effort, and apparently of its interest, though it is possible to reach and to know Him in other ways. So much for Dr. Weiss's contribution to one trend of thought in the revision of Christian theology. Yet in The God We Seek elements of traditional Christian bias seem to work against the comprehension of non-Christian religions. For example, in treating of the Hindu and Buddhist doctrine of Maya (illusion) Dr. Weiss rather summarily disposes of the underlying meaning of "Maya": A rather common view in the East is that what is sensed or known in daily life is an illusion. This position cannot be maintained. Since the illusion is recognized to have a being distinct from the supposed reality beyond it, it must have some reality of its own. Also, it must be related to the reality supposed to be beyond it; otherwise it would provide no warrant, no premise, no evidence, and no occasion for leading one to move from it to that reality. And because the rejection of daily experience would have to occur in the realm of supposed illusions it could not, according to the theory's own argument be effective in getting us to the real. Since common sense, perception, politics and even religious institutions (not to speak of the instruction on how or why one should free oneself from illusions) are known in part through the aid of the senses and in the course of daily life, the theory that all we daily experience is illusory also would, strictly speaking, make us reject almost everything we know. And it would evidently also stand in the way of our seeing how the theory could be true or could be used. The experienced, to be sure, is to be distinguished from what is real, in and of itself. But this does not make the experienced unreal, nor disconnect it from a reality beyond it. It is not wise to put all we encounter aside, particularly since the encountered can lead us to what is beyond it. These contentions give opportunity to take notice of Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, by Lama Anagarika Govinda (Dutton, 1960), a work that will illustrate how the "pure reasoning" of the Christian polemicist today, as in medieval times, can be misleading. Lama Govinda discusses the MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 7 concept of Maya as a means of perceiving the relationship of the creative principle to various dimensions of consciousness. He insists that Maya is not simply an Eastern version of subjective idealism, but rather is "founded upon the reality of the mind and its deepest experience." He explains: If we call maya a reality of a lower degree, we do this because illusion rests on the wrong interpretation of a partial aspect of reality. . . . Maya in the deepest sense, however, is reality in its creative aspect, or the creative aspect of reality. Thus maya becomes the cause of illusion, but it is not illusion itself, as long as it is seen as a whole, in its continuity, its creative function, or as infinite power of transformation and universal relationship. As soon, however, as we stop at any of its creations and try to limit it to a state of "being" or self-confined existence, we fall a prey to illusion, by taking the effect for the cause, the shadow for the substance, the partial aspect for ultimate reality, the momentary for something that exists in itself. Buddhas are conceived as embodying or emphasizing different qualities or characteristics, and why different special positions are symbolically assigned to them. In this sense, individual character is not a fetter, a karmic bondage, in which the samskaras [egocentric tendencies] of the past hold sway over the present and the future. In an Enlightened One, the conflict between law and free will does not exist any more, because in the light of full knowledge, the own "will" and the laws governing the universe coincide or complement each other. One's own nature, if properly understood and freed from the illusion of egohood, proves to be a modification and conscious embodiment of universal law (dharmakaya) or the harmony of universal forces (a living, continual process of readjustment), as it might be called as well. The basic appeal of Buddhist metaphysics is the way it involves the individual in a process of self-development, instead of a set of beliefs. In this case, however, self-development means selftranscendence. Whether we call a being who has attained comparative freedom from the bondage of "illusion" a Buddha, a Dharmakaya, or whatever, there are certain characteristics to be noted which have much in common with the "self-actualized" individual of the existentialist-humanist psychology. To quote Lama Govinda again: In Buddhist parlance, karma loses its power and is dissolved in the light of perfect knowledge. As long as karma remains the force of the dark and impenetrable past, it is a fixed and unalterable magnitude, which we feel as "the power of fate," against which we struggle in vain. In the moment of profound intuition or enlightenment, the past is transformed into a present experience, in which all the moving forces and circumstances, all inner and outer connexions, motives, situations, causes and effects, in short the whole dependent origination, the very structure of reality, is clearly perceived. In this moment the Enlightened One becomes master of the law, the master-artist, in whom the rigid necessity of law is transformed and dissolved into the supreme freedom of harmony. This explains why each Buddha, in spite of the essential sameness of Buddhahood, preserves his particular character, and why even the Dhyani- Volume XVIII, No. 46 MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 8 universe, and the spiritual or beyond-good-andevil universe. The story has to have storeys. COMMENTARY WHO ARE THE MYTH-MAKERS? PEACE-MAKERS must be myth-makers. That is the sense we get from Louis J. Halle's radio broadcast (see Frontiers). If the myths we live by and form our decisions by lead to war, then we need new myths—life-supporting instead of lifedestroying myths. But the project of making myths is not for just any moralist who thinks the world has had enough of war. To make a viable myth, you need a Vyasa, or a Homer—someone who is able to touch the life of mankind in all its parts. The myth is the "lifting-lowering" agency of the cultural environment, but before it can either lift or lower, it has to be believed. You don't believe a myth simply because it lifts; you believe it because you think it is true. What seems to be the case in the present is that we can't accept our myths at the hands of others, as we could in the old days. And the myths invented by the moralists have only the one kind of strength, which is often reduced because of tough-minded men's suspicion and dislike of piety. Our great need is to forge—not invent or "accept"—new myths which are threaded by the undying meanings in very old ones, with some subtleties added to accommodate the experiences of our own time. That is the main trouble with the new myths of the peacemakers. Their moralizing purposes are transparent. They are offered to us because they promise to give us a lift—not because they are filled with multi-dimensioned truth. And if you complain of this to the peace-makers, they tell you that art is long, truth mysterious, and that there is no time for fancy cultural matters. We have to stop war now. It is a fact of incalculable importance, however, that the peace-makers of our time include men of ultimate commitment, heroism, and self-sacrifice. They will not pretend to know the whole truth, but they are completely certain that war can no longer be a part of it. For this certainty they will give up all that they have and much of what they are. Out of their activities has come a special, peace-makers' myth—the myth of non-violence and self-sacrifice. It fits some of the crisis aspects of the common life. The trouble is, a myth built around crisis gets little attention except at times of crisis. An authentic myth has to fit the facts of human experience in three great relationships—the physical universe, the moral Volume XVIII, No. 46 MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 9 old patterns. We can learn to live, even with this acting-out, perhaps wryly, perhaps sadly, but, one hopes, with an alertness to the causes and effects of our behaviour which will help modify it. CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves THE MOTHERING ONE: II I WOULD like to describe a little more clearly who the Mothering One is—this person not defined by age, condition, or sex. The Mothering One is someone who unconditionally (not uncritically) accepts another. He cares for the other; he does not judge or condemn. He listens and observes and responds. In our culture, the good psychiatrist often assumes this role. He is the one with whom we can feel no guilt and no blame. In his listening, non-judging presence, we can look at our anxieties, our fears, our hurts, and our hurting of others without self-loathing and disgust. He can help us to know our valid needs and our often strange responses to them. He can teach us to be curious and interested in what is going on within us, encouraging us to understand instead of to condemn. Ideally, he really cares for us. In this accepting environment, most of us can drop our defenses and face ourselves honestly. If he Mothers us well, we can come to know ourselves without fear and loss of face. In the beginning of this new growth effort, it is only when the threat of condemnation is gone that we can expose ourselves to ourselves and to another. Only by exposing ourselves to another can we know who we really are. Only when we know who we are, and what we are doing, can we free ourselves of our compulsions, our accidentproneness, our irrational anger, and what goes by the name of cruelty. The first person to whom we must become the Mothering One is ourselves. We must become aware of ourselves, aware of our urges, our unfulfilled needs, our wants, our anxieties, our hostilities. We must learn to live with these manifestations of our personalities without condemnation, but with an affirming interest. For a while we may have to continue to act-out our Volume XVIII, No. 46 Next, we must become indulgent toward ourselves, cherishing of our own unique personalities, seeking to understand what we're trying to express, in what direction our innate longing for more life is pushing us. We must try to discover when and how we make automatic, psychologically-conditioned reactions, and become aware when a response is truly our own. We must examine our feelings of guilt. (They're so prevalent and destructive of spontaneity in our puritanical culture.) We should see whether they spring from valid responsibilities unmet, or whether they are habit responses to unreal expectations. If we're lucky enough to be parents, the next people we learn to Mother are our children. When we're freed from undue anxiety about ourselves, we can listen to our children, become aware of their unmet needs, the deprivations they suffered, the assurances they needed and did not receive. Did we neglect to indulge our child when he was small? We can indulge him now. I know this point of indulgence is a thorny one with many people, but if a sign of maturity is ability to withstand frustration, how do we achieve it? Certainly not by being frustrated as an infant or a child. People have to learn to tolerate frustration; the infant is incapable of it. As his needs are met, he learns patience—and in no other way. He cannot be cajoled into patience, punished into it, or frustrated into it. The child who has been lovingly satisfied in every conceivable way has a head-start on maturity. Were our demands for our child's performances too high, too early? We can drop those demands now. Did we want our child to be an honored extension of ourselves and disapprove him in every breach? We can drop our expectations now and observe him to see what he is and what we can approve. MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 10 Attention is what I'm really talking about— attention to ourselves and to the other. expectation, rarely stopping to discover whether the expectation is valid for us. We may discover we've married a childish husband or wife. (And who of us has not?) When we realize that everyone needs Mothering from time to time all his life and that aberrant behavior often springs from lack of it, our understanding can expand and we greet such behavior as a learning experience instead of resisting it. If we care, if we pay attention, we can often compensate for approval that was lacking, cherishing that was missed, tenderness that was absent at some critical time. If we're lucky, and there's communication between husband and wife, difficulties can often be resolved as they arise, by talking about them, exploring them verbally. If the husband and wife are too immature or too frustrated to be able to take turns Mothering one another, a third party should be sought, one who can mediate the difficulties. There is nothing shameful in this need for a third party; it is a sign one is mature enough to want to work through difficulties instead of escaping from them. Part of becoming a Mothering One means we become open to experience without prejudging its meaning, and we're often able to respond instead of react. We gain confidence in the validity of our own personality, our own ability to be as we are and who we are. Listening, observation, interest and no damaging judgments are some key concepts in this approach to relationship. This does not, however, mean we become inhuman, never fly into a rage, are never irritated or depressed. It can mean that the rages, the irritations, the depressions will last for shorter periods and they won't control our behavior so completely, for we'll be aware of what's happening to us and awareness is its own form of control. Nor does it mean we make high resolves, set new, unreachable standards for ourselves. Excessively high expectations of ourselves and others is one of the most defeating aspects of our culture. Idealism is another form of fanaticism, an escape from self and relationship with others. The need to "justify" our existence is so deep in us. Is it a good seed? I think not. It makes us set value on performance instead of being. Then, we despise ourselves when we don't perform up to Volume XVIII, No. 46 As we become more perceptive and accepting of ourselves and others we discover the truth of the ancient saying that "The child is father (Mother?) to the man." We can become the Mothering Ones to our own parents. If we reach this stage of psychological awareness, we can hardly prevent ourselves from seeing what our parents lacked and become able and willing to try to compensate for it in terms they can accept. This does not usually mean trying to convert them to our new way of living. It can mean we learn to care and extend our indulgence to them. Once we become aware of the deprivations in ourselves and those close to us, it's a short step to being aware of the massive deprivations of others in the world and to do some small thing about them. A charitable, open, inquiring, attitude when we learn of the commission of some heinous crime is an act of Mothering. So much that happens in our society—so much we describe as "evil"—is simply the result of a thwarted need for approval and acceptance. Often the bizarre behavior of ourselves and others is the unconscious act of one seeking his equilibrium, seeking to fill in the unrecognized gaps left over from his childhood. So much aberrant behavior is simply a disguised cry for Mothering: "Prove I'm a worthy being. Love me as I am. Show me I mean something to you—and to myself!" Surely the destructive child, and undoubtedly the destructive adult, is desperately seeking to be recognized, to get someone's cherishing attention. Members of the Society of Friends have demonstrated for three centuries that caring can MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 11 work wonders. The idea is that there is that of God in every man which can be responded to and can respond if enough love is given. Modern psychological studies have added much important knowledge to this concept. They have not disproved it. We can now be more precise about the growth needs of people. We can learn how to compensate for those missed. We can even use the term the Mothering One and say that unconditional acceptance is the key. burn," or "Nigger burn," and more of us might realize that wars and nuclear escalation are vast projections of our inner turmoil and offer no valid solutions to any problems. GENE HOFFMAN Santa Barbara, California But here I must inject a word of caution. Everyone cannot be a Mothering One to everyone. Often we cannot have this relationship with our own child, our own spouse, our own parents. As with sexual attraction, Mothering has its own chemistry. No psychiatrist can work with every patient who comes to him. No mother can invariably feel empathy with her own child. Often husband and wife have been driven so far apart by their unfulfilled needs they cannot respond to each other. But everyone can learn about the human being's need for being Mothered. And everyone who isn't a psychopath can probably find someone to Mother—to listen to. If we cannot Mother our own child, we must live with that knowledge without guilt and anxiety and we must search out someone who can. If we cannot meet the needs of ourselves, our husband or wife, we'd better speed off to someone who can help us. Of this I am sure, once this process of listening, awareness, and attention begins to take place, relationships are improved and life gains enormous meaning. So, if we must give up our child to the ministrations of another, instead of feeling guilty, we should rejoice that there is another who can and will minister to him. We are one another's keepers. As we open ourselves to this knowledge, we learn how to accomplish it. If this chain of Mothering one another can begin to forge a few links, there might be some astonishing changes. Someone will not need to mutilate because he feels mutilated. There might be one less angry voice shouting "Whitey Volume XVIII, No. 46 MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 12 FRONTIERS The Conceptual Roots of War and Genocide [This article is a Radio Free Europe broadcast given by Louis J. Halle, Professor of International Relations at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva.] VIRTUALLY the whole of mankind is agreed in principle, today, on opposition to such practices as genocide, racial persecution, and war. While denouncing genocide, persecution, and war, however, we tend to neglect the fundamental popular attitudes, in all countries, that lead to them. We inveigh against the symptoms while neglecting the disease. Yet the disease is not obscure or complicated. One hardly needs to be a doctor in order to understand it. In every country, civilized or uncivilized, children are brought up to a concept of society that I shall call "the concept of the two species." According to this concept, all mankind is divided between the good people and the evil people. In tales of the American West the two species may take the form of the cowboys and the Indians, or of the vigilantes and the horse-thieves. In adventure stories for boys they take the form of the cops and the robbers. In traditional fairytales there is the good princess pitted against her wicked sisters. So all of us are brought up on the concept of the two species, the good and the evil; all of us grow up to regard the world as a vast battleground upon which the two opposed species of mankind engage in perpetual combat. Children reading books of history automatically ask about any particular king: Was he a good king or a wicked king? They assume that he has to be the one or the other, that he has to belong to the one species or the other. Reading about a war, they ask: Which was the virtuous side and which the evil? In this concept of the two species we naturally identify ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors with the good species; we think of the Volume XVIII, No. 46 good species as composed of "people like us." We think of the bad species, on the other hand, as composed of beings who are foreign to "us"— hardly human at all. In the course of our upbringing, this concept of the two species becomes established as a fixed pattern in our minds, a pattern that we consistently impose on the outer reality, a pattern that governs our thinking and our conduct throughout our lives. I need not labor the point, here, that this concept of the two species is completely mythical. Neither anthropology nor the social sciences nor any other field of scholarship can properly find any place for it in the world of human reality. Sophisticated individuals from Socrates to Sigmund Freud have understood that, in reality, both good and evil reside together in every individual, as well as in every race or society— that the conflict between them is an inner conflict, within each individual and within each society, rather than an outer conflict between good and bad races, good and bad nations, good and bad social classes. See, however, what a fundamental role this concept of the two species has played, and continues to play, in the affairs of mankind! It has been and is a principal source of persecution. It has been and is a principal obstacle to peace. Let me give just one example of how it is an obstacle to peace. From the outset of World War II, the leaders of the Western nations resorted to a rhetoric in which the War was identified as a contest between "aggressor nations," on the one hand, and "peace-loving nations" on the other. According to this particular application of the mythology of the two species, the German people, the Italian people, and the Japanese people were, by their essential nature, "aggressor" peoples. By this essential nature of theirs they were bound always to commit aggression when they had the means to do so. It followed that these nations must either be destroyed, once and for all, or disarmed and kept disarmed in perpetuity. MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 13 On the other hand, the Americans, the British, the Russians, and the Chinese were, by their essential nature, "peace-loving" peoples. Consequently, they could always be relied on to cherish peace, they would never aggress, and they might properly be entrusted with a monopoly of world power. The way to get peace for all time was to disarm the "aggressor nations" and keep all power, forever after, in the hands of the "peaceloving nations"—namely, the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China. (France was later added to the list.) Note that this conception identified the German people, rather than Hitler, as the evil enemy. Consequently, it forbade the making of a peace with the German people even if they should succeed in overthrowing the rule that Hitler and his Nazis had established over them. In fact, the Germans who heroically did try to overthrow Hitler, so far from receiving help and encouragement from the anti-Axis governments, found the appeals they made to those governments for support brutally rejected. The War was against the German nation, against people like them, not against Hitler in particular or the Nazis in particular. And so we had the doctrine of Unconditional Surrender, whatever régime held power, and we had the creation of a power-vacuum over the extent of the German territory at the end of the War. As we now know, when the war was over the supposedly "peaceloving" Soviet state under Stalin was to extend its own power, represented by the Red Army, into this power-vacuum—and so, instead of peace, the Cold War to contain the imperial expansion of the Soviet power was to ensue. The false concept on which the War had been fought had prevented the making of a real peace. In Marxism, the mythic concept of the two species has been given another formulation than that of "peace-loving" and "aggressor" nations. It has been given the formulation of a drama in which the good Proletarian is opposed to the wicked Capitalist. In this drama of class-warfare, Volume XVIII, No. 46 the proletarians, together with their élite leaders of the vanguard, are devoid of the evil in men that would otherwise make it dangerous to entrust them with supreme power, with dictatorial power. Supreme power is corrupting to the evil species, but not to the virtuous species. So a Stalin is allowed to achieve supreme power in the name of the proletariat, as the representative of this mythic hero—with the consequences that we all know. On the other hand, the capitalist of bourgeois class, the villain of this mythic drama, is the representative of all human wickedness, a heartless monster dedicated to war and exploitation, to the torture of the virtuous class for its own satisfactions. The bourgeoisie is not really human in the sense that "people like us" are human, and is therefore not eligible for humane or considerate treatment. The fate that is properly meted out to it is liquidation by violent means. It is all right for little children to be slaughtered in this process if they are bourgeois-imperialist children, enemies of the people. A related version of this myth is now cultivated by the cynical leaders of some of the newly independent but still backward countries. According to this other version, the world is divided between the virtuous anti-colonialist peoples and the wicked imperialist or neocolonialist peoples. In the eyes of many who have accepted this myth, it was quite all right to murder or debauch Belgian nuns in Africa a few months ago, because those nuns belonged to the wicked species, they were colonialist-imperialist nuns. Persecution and genocide (which is the most extreme form of persecution) have their roots more directly in a concept closely related to that of the two species—the concept of collective guilt, a doctrine that has been used to justify massacre and genocide since the day when the population of Sodom was exterminated in retribution for the offenses committed by some of its members. Thus, according to the concept of collective guilt, all the members of a nation or a race or a social class share the guilt for misdeeds MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 14 that may have been committed by individuals among them. Because an excited crowd of Jews in the market-place of a Middle Eastern town two thousand years ago clamored for the death of a distinguished individual, little Jewish schoolchildren to this day find themselves accused by their schoolmates of having crucified Christ. This is the doctrine of collective guilt. The Jews, by the false mythology of this doctrine, are identified as the evil species—to be persecuted, to be fed into the furnaces of Auschwitz or Belsen. Let me give one final example of the direct connection between the concept of collective guilt and genocide. During the Second World War a book was published in London called The Behavior of Nations. It purported to be a detached scientific study of the nature of human societies. In it the author, Mr. Morley Roberts, identified the whole German nation as a collective monster, without distinction of individual men, women, and children (whom he referred to as "protoplasmic units" of the German body-politic). Hitler, he said, was merely a representative agent of this monster. Consequently, said Mr. Roberts, it must be held that, when the War was won, "the massacre of a whole population is justifiable if no other means can secure an inoffensive nation or nationality." ought to stop associating real individual men, women, and children with abstract mythological monsters called the Capitalist or the Proletarian, the Negro or the White, the Jew or the German, the Colonialist or the Anti-Colonialist. And we ought to stop using the concept of collective guilt as an excuse for punishing the innocent. The roots of genocide, of persecution, of xenophobia and of war are in mythological falsehoods that we men have always cultivated. And it is only at their roots that we can deal with them effectively. It is only by coming to grips with the mythological falsehoods on which they are based that we can put an end to genocide, persecution, xenophobia and war. LOUIS J. HALLE Geneva I return to what I said at the outset. It is not enough to condemn genocide and denounce persecution. Genocide and persecution are essentially symptoms of a deeper malady. They are manifestations of childlike or primitive attitudes that all of us, in all our countries, absorb from earliest childhood. As long as these attitudes maintain their sway among us we will have persecution, and as long as they maintain their sway among us we will not have peace among nations. We ought to labor, then, to discredit these mythical concepts that we have allowed to dominate us. We ought to stop making virtuous or monstrous abstractions of this social class or that, this race or that, this nation or that. We Volume XVIII, No. 46 MANAS Reprint November 17, 1965 ...
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