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VOLUME XV, NO. 2 JANUARY 10, 1962 THE DYNAMICS OF FREEDOM IT is difficult, these days, to keep from discussing the ideas of M. K. Gandhi. So much of what he thought and did applies directly to the allengrossing problems of the present. Take for example the paraphrase of Gandhi's view of how to work for a free society, quoted last week (in Review) from Horace Alexander's book, Consider India. While Gandhi was concerned with the freedom of a people whose land was occupied and controlled by a foreign power, the principle behind his thinking should serve in all circumstances. In Mr. Alexander's words: The best way to begin working for your country is to act as if it were free today; in other words, begin to build up all the useful mutual services that will give true dignity to the country when it does achieve its freedom; ignore the alien government as far as possible, and build alternative organs of common action. To build world peace, begin by acting peacefully towards your neighbor today; show understanding of his point of view; try to meet his demands, even if they do not seem reasonable; approach him, whether he is your neighbor, or a remote foreigner living across an armed and dangerous frontier, as if his aspirations were similar to your own. . . . And again with poverty; you will not destroy poverty by destroying the rich; better to set a good example by making friends of the poor, by sharing what you can from your own surplus, by trying never to use for your own selfish enjoyment what others need for the bare necessities. Such living may help to commend peace and social justice to others. This outlook is remarkable in three ways. First, it wholly ignores the struggle for political power. Second, it directs the attention of the individual to his own behavior instead of that of others. Third—and this is what is new in Gandhi's thinking—it proposes that the rejection of conventional means to power and the concentration of one's efforts on his own personal attitude and behavior in relation to others can have far-reaching social effects. There is stronger habitual resistance to this point of view in the West than in the East. The West differs from the East in that the alienation of Western social and political thinking from any sort of moralistic or religious thinking has been practically complete. In Western politics, any attempt to divert the emotional energies of men from the drive to power has been regarded as a practical betrayal of the movement for political reform or revolution. The phrase first used by Marx, "Religion is the opium of the people," has been made to suggest that preoccupation with personal morality is a weapon of the status quo, by means of which the masses are persuaded to be content with the injustices under which they live. For Western political thinkers, therefore, the Gandhian idea of seeking social reform by inner regeneration comes as a major and at first quite unpalatable switch. Fortunately, there is a growing body of literature, beginning with Richard Gregg's classic, The Power of NonViolence (Fellowship, $2.50), and broadening out into an almost continuous stream of books and articles, which examines both psychologically and historically the social consequences of Gandhian or nonviolent action. The influence of these works is manifest in a passage in Martin Luther King's book, Stride Toward Freedom: As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi . .. I came to see for the first time its potency in the area of social reform. Prior to reading Gandhi, I had about concluded that the ethics of Jesus were only effective in individual relationships. The "turn the other cheek" philosophy and "love your enemies" philosophy were only valid, I felt, when individuals were in conflict with other individuals; when racial groups and nations were in conflict, a more realistic approach seemed necessary. But after reading Gandhi, I saw how utterly mistaken I was. Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale. MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 It seems at least possible that the old dilemmas of the "relationship between the individual and society," so long discussed by Western thinkers, and to such little effect, attain a measure of resolution in Gandhian thinking. But the line of inquiry we should like to pursue here concerns the first idea in the quotation from Horace Alexander—the idea that the man who would be free ought to begin by acting as if he were already free. This suggestion has certain consequences. One almost obvious result of taking this suggestion is the discovery that the individual has a lot more freedom, right now, than he had supposed. The possibilities in Gandhi's proposal of building up "all the useful mutual services that will give true dignity to the country" are practically endless. In the Gandhian context, the individual can no longer shove off the responsibility for undertaking such work on the State. If you think something ought to be done, do it. This can be a fruitful, if also painful, confrontation. Suppose you are convinced that the public school system in your community is wasteful of the children's time and energies as well as of the taxpayers' money. There are dozens of families in the United States which have undertaken the task of self-education. In some instances the parents involved have won in the courts the right to teach their own children. While it is no doubt true that many parents are not competent to do this, this particular avenue of the exercise of freedom is open to the parents who are competent. If all such parents who are disgusted with public education would move in this direction, instead of creating a din of endless controversy in school board meetings, even the public schools would eventually benefit by the resourcefulness and inventive methods that would inevitably result. Other parents might band together to start experimental schools—as, for example, a group of parents in Berkeley, California, have joined to start the Walden School Volume XV, No. 2 for children. Experience shows that there is no end to the cultural cross-fertilization which results from serious work of this sort. Even the most bureaucratized of public institutions are susceptible to being affected by persistent personal effort. For example, we know of a psychiatrist of some eminence in his field who found that a large state hospital was administering some ninety electric shock treatments a week. Having had reason from his practice to conclude that shock treatments were by no means the panacea which this policy seemed to suggest, he offered to provide a program of clinical education in psychiatry for the resident physicians in this institution. He gave his time. He had no "status" as an administrator in the hospital. What he could do, however, was to ask questions. Time after time, he would say, "Why was shock indicated in this case?" After about three years, the rate of administration of shock treatments had fallen to only twelve a week, with much more intelligent diagnosis on the part of the physicians making such decisions. This, one may say, is a fragmentary instance. But it is also an impressive illustration of "what one man can do"—a man without legal authority in a situation where legal authority is commonly supposed to be all-important. It was, of course, the right man in this situation. He had the authority of his knowledge and his experience, which he exercised somewhat as Socrates used his knowledge and experience—by asking questions. Yet it seems pretty obvious that any change for the better, in any human situation, will have to grow out of individual knowledge and experience. Our point is that there was a change in this institution simply from the exercise of his freedom by one individual. No laws were passed. Nobody was fired for unimaginative practice of medicine. Actually, you can't punish anyone for being unimaginative and you can't hire anyone to be imaginative. Imaginative acts are beyond the radius of bureaucratic or legalistic control. And the true good of man depends upon imaginative MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 3 acts. This is one way of stating Gandhi's principle. To concede this principle is to launch a new epoch of history. To concede this principle is to stop waiting for Godot. Any serious discussion of Gandhi's thinking leads, eventually, to a discussion of Tolstoy's thinking. Reading Tolstoy, today, one cannot help but be impressed by the fresh flavor of what he says. He is like Thoreau in this respect. Both Tolstoy and Thoreau speak directly to our time, and of the men of our time, Gandhi heard their voices first. With the universal quality so rare in any age, Tolstoy addressed both heroes and ordinary men; that is, his fiery intelligence exposed what seemed to him the plain realities of decent human life, and while he was an exhorter of his fellows, he left each one to determine the measure of his heroism. The Kingdom of God is the book in which Tolstoy discusses the issues of war and peace. Among the closing paragraphs of this book is his advocacy of the practice of what freedom men already possess. This passage, written in the 1890's, is even more moving today: You are told to believe that in order to maintain an ever changing system, established but yesterday by a few men in a corner of the globe, you should commit violent deeds that are against the fixed and eternal order established by God or reason. Can it be possible? Do not fail, then, to reflect upon your position of landowner, merchant, judge, emperor, president, minister, priest, or soldier—associated with violence, oppression, deceit, torture, and murder; refuse to recognize the lawfulness of these crimes. I do not mean that if you are a landowner you should forthwith give your land to the poor; or if a capitalist, your money or your factory to your workmen; or if a czar, a minister, a magistrate, a judge, or a general, you should forthwith abdicate all your advantages; or if a soldier, whose occupation in its very nature is based on violence, you should at once refuse to continue longer a soldier, despite all the dangers of such a refusal. Should you do this, it will indeed be an heroic act; but it may happen—and most probably—that you will not be able to do it. You have connections, a family, subordinates, chiefs; you Volume XV, No. 2 may be surrounded by temptations so strong that you cannot overcome them; but to acknowledge the truth to be the truth, and not to lie—that you are always able to do. You can refrain from affirming that you continue to be a landowner or a factory-owner, a merchant, an artist, an author, because you are thus useful to men; from declaring that you are a governor, an attorney-general, a czar, not because it is agreeable or you are accustomed to be such, but for the good of men; from saying that you remain a soldier, not through fear of punishment, but because you consider the army indispensable for the protection of men's lives. To keep from speaking thus falsely before yourself and others—this you are always able to do, and not only able, but in duty bound to do, because in this alone—in freeing yourself from falsehood and in working out the truth—lies the highest duty of your life. And do but this and it will be sufficient for the situation to change at once of itself. Only one thing in which you are free and allpowerful has been given you; all others are beyond you. It is this,—to know the truth and to profess it. . . . Whence we turn to another of Tolstoy's works, his Christianity and Patriotism, for how he regards the bearing of the individual's freedom to think for himself upon "public opinion": One free man says truthfully what he thinks and feels in the midst of thousands of men who by their words and actions are maintaining the exact opposite. It might be supposed that the man who has spoken out his thoughts sincerely would remain a solitary figure, and yet what more often happens is that all the others, or a large proportion of them, have for long past been thinking and feeling exactly the same, only they do not say so freely. And what was yesterday the new opinion of one man, becomes today the public opinion of the majority. And as soon as this opinion becomes established at once, gradually, imperceptibly, but irresistibly, men begin to alter their conduct. But the free man often says to himself: "What can I do against this whole sea of wickedness and deception which engulfs us? What use is it to express my opinion? What use is it even to formulate it? "Better not to think of these obscure and tangled questions. Perhaps these contradictions are the inevitable condition of all the phenomena of life. And what is the use of my struggling alone with all MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 4 the evil of the world? If anything can be done, it is not by one alone, but only in association with other men." And, abandoning the mighty weapon of thought and the expression of it, which moves the world, every man takes up the weapon of social activity, regardless of the fact that every form of social activity is based upon those very principles with which it is laid upon him to struggle; regardless of the fact that when he enters on the social activities existing in the midst of our world, every man is bound at least to some extent to depart from the truth, and to make concessions by which he destroys the whole force of the mighty weapon which has been given him. . . . For the old, outlived public opinion to make way for that which is new and living, it is necessary that men who recognize the new requirements of life should speak of them openly. Yet the men who recognize these new requirements—one for the sake of one thing, another for the sake of something else— not merely refrain from speaking openly of them, but in word and deed maintain what is in direct opposition to these requirements. Only the truth and the free expression of it can establish that new public opinion which will change the out-of-date and pernicious order of life, and yet, far from freely speaking the truth, we know we often even directly state what we regard as false. If only free men would not rely on that which has not strength and is never free—on external power—but would believe in what is always powerful and free, in truth and the expression of it. If only men would boldly and clearly speak out the truth that has already been revealed to them of the brotherhood of all nations and the criminality of exclusive devotion to one's own nation, the dead false public opinion, upon which all the power of Governments and all the evil produced by them rests, would drop off of itself like dried skin, and make way for the new, living, public opinion which only waits that dropping off of the old husk that has confined it, in order to assert its claims openly and with authority, and to establish new forms of life that are in harmony with the consciences of men. The citizen of one of the Western democracies is confronted by contradictions in respect to the problems of violence and human freedom. It is hardly a generation since he was able with some justification to think of his country as representing both the forms and the spirit of human progress. The wars participated in by the Volume XV, No. 2 democracies during the twentieth century have been, for the most part, regarded as wars against inhumane systems and tyrannical governments. This puts the man of liberal politics who despises war and violence in an equivocal position. The facts of current history are beginning to oblige him to recognize that what Tolstoy calls "the weapon of social activity" does in fact do exactly what Tolstoy says it does—the armed might of the state, any state, by its very existence threatens the well-being of all. In a few short years—the years since 1945—the events of the development of nuclear weapons have heaped upon him the awful responsibility of abandoning his faith in righteous violence. He has, so to say, to reach the maturity of a saint like Gandhi, without any preparation but the compulsions of the times. If non-violence constitutes the next step of social evolution, contemporary history is surely a super-heated hothouse for forcing this growth, almost against the will and the ordinary "common sense" of most human beings. The pressure is almost unendurable, and there is small wonder that some of it is escaping in the form of what is now termed the "radical right," and in other manifestations of frantic rejection of the bitter necessity of finding new rules of collective behavior and collective "defense." Actually, it might be said that the present is a time of extreme novelty in the historical experience of the human race, in that it is a time when the best men of the age are confronted by the sudden need to recognize the crisis as one of internal decision for individuals. The other alternatives are very nearly exhausted; or the folly of pursuing them is evident to all but the willfully blind. Fortunately, we live in an age which has not been without prophets who came before us. MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 5 REVIEW "HIDDEN CHANNELS OF THE MIND" THIS most recent Rhine treatise on the steadilyexpanding subject-matter of ESP or "psi" phenomena is by Dr. Louisa Rhine (William Sloane Associates, 1961). The material here is not the same as that in previous volumes written by Dr. J. B. Rhine, or by him in collaboration with Dr. Louisa, the difference lying chiefly in the fact that the earlier works have dealt mainly with experimental data whereas this work deals with "testimonial data" in relation to experimental data. Here are presented, from a large collection of accounts received by the Rhines over a period of twenty-five years, selected stories of phenomenal experiences which were entirely "spontaneous." It has apparently been Dr. Louisa Rhine's chief work in later years to classify this sort of material, to reject or provisionally accept, as the case might be, and Hidden Channels of the Mind is the result of this long sifting process. Dr. Rhine points out in her first chapter that the particular sort of "folklore" which has to do with spontaneous psychic phenomena has generally been denied relevance in the Western world for some two thousand years—although now the advances made in experimental parapsychology throw the "spontaneous" evidences into a rather different context. The presentday psychologist is provided with a dispensation, as it were, to look over some of the recurring ESP tales of the past with genuine scientific interest. But why the tabu? Dr. Rhine explains: The suspicions of the scientist have a long historical background. In ancient Greece the idea was formulated and considered to be a law of nature, that nothing gets into the mind except by way of the senses. This idea and many other notions about the world and man, in that day, were far from being the tested and tried scientific conclusions we respect and depend on today. They were in no way proven, but were merely statements of belief, belief based on observations of what happens to most people most of the time. Then, ages later, as modern scientific method developed, it was felt necessary to close the door on all types of untested beliefs and claims. No one tested the idea that the mind might have hidden channels, that reach beyond the senses. The door was already closed to that possibility. The idea that knowledge of the external world must come in only by the senses was so firm an assumption that no one had ever attempted to prove it, either. But few people then or Volume XV, No. 2 now, have thought of that. Even today this assumption seems an obvious truth, just as, no doubt, the one that said the earth is flat once did. That one broke down when the globe was circumnavigated. The question here is, is this one too unsound? In practically every age people have reported happenings that one could call instances of knowing without the senses. Such occurrences have sometimes been given a religious interpretation, but in the main they have been discounted by the world in general. And, important as they could be as hints of the larger nature of man, they have remained almost entirely unclaimed by science, almost completely ignored in every area of scholarship except that of the relatively small and few societies of psychical research. The relationship between publicizing laboratory data on ESP and the collection of thousands of "private testimonials" was a most natural one, for the reason that when people in general began to read about ESP experiments carried on in a large university, those who had previously kept quiet about personal experiences came out of their shells and wrote to Dr. Rhine: By 1948 many such reports and inquiries had accumulated. An entirely amorphous and unorganized collection, the letters came, it appeared, from the "high" and the lowly, the rich and the poor, the obviously well educated and those who, often by their own account, had little formal schooling. But of whatever background, it seemed that, just as a patient might tell his doctor his symptoms as clearly and factually as he could, so these people were trying to give a careful account of the events that had puzzled them. Their motives and intentions in fact, seemed curiously uniform considering the diversity of individual backgrounds and kinds of experience. At this point, the Rhines reasoned, the laboratory men should see that their data were only important to the degree that they fitted "into the processes of the natural world." For, "if an effect which had no counterpart in nature were discovered in the laboratory, it would be an anomaly, difficult indeed to account for." And the testimony of hundreds—finally thousands—of men and women all over the world regarding similar psi experiences would obviously help to establish that they are indeed natural phenomena. On this basis, it becomes justifiable to philosophize concerning the meaning of ESP: "These experiences, in conjunction with the experimentally established facts in the background, seem to show distinctly that the human spirit is not to be confined within its sensory limits. MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 6 This much of the project of exploring the wider reaches of personality is now on firm and solid ground." It is hardly ever appropriate to reproduce a book's table of contents in a review, but in this instance it seems a good idea. For one thing, we cannot otherwise give an accurate account of the varying experiences reported in Hidden Channels of the Mind, since they are so different individually and moreover fall into widely differing categories. Thus: Foreword by J. B. Rhine 1. Beyond the Senses 9. 2. Types of Extrasensory Perception 10. The Stamp Personality ESP and Mind Peace of of the FROM OTHER MINDS FROM MINDLESS OBJECTS FROM THE FUTURE 3. The Forms of ESP Experience 11. Can a Precognized Danger be Avoided? REALISTIC FORESEEN CALAMITIES UNREALISTIC PREVENTED HALLUCINATORY FORESEEN INTUITIVE NOT AVOIDED VARIATIONS DANGERS ON THE 12. The Problem Control of THEME 4. The Difficulty Recognition of 5. Space and Time in ESP Experiences 13. The Telepathy Impasse SPACE TIME 6. The Range of Subject Matter 14. Puzzling Effects Physical FROM THE DYING FROM THE DEAD FROM THE LIVING 7. Men, Women and ESP MEN VERSUS WOMEN 15. Communications from Beyond? IN LABORATORY TESTS 8. ESP in Childhood and in Old Age 16. The Large Perspective Suggested Readings IN CHILDHOOD IN OLD AGE Volume XV, No. 2 MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 7 COMMENTARY A SIGN OF HEALTH AT about the turn of the century, Karl Pearson wrote a book called The Grammar of Science, which soon became a classic of scientific thought. The chapter on matter is an engrossing inspection of the obscurity of things which we suppose, upon first looking at them, to be obvious and clear. Mr. Pearson obliges any thoughtful reader to exchange his naive ideas of reality—material reality, that is—for feelings of basic ignorance and wonder. The fact that subsequent discoveries have folded back some of the mystery concerning the nature of matter diminishes not at all the instructiveness of this book, which is essentially a discipline in distinguishing what we know from what we don't know. This week's review is about a book which, unlike Pearson's volume, starts out with facts which are both wonderful and mysterious, and ends by making them at least friendly, if not familiar—a radical change from the usual experience of scientific investigation, although the difference is no doubt in ourselves rather than in the world around us or in the methods of science. Hidden Channels of the Mind is a survey of the kinds of extra sensory experience that seem to be normal for human beings—for some if not all of us, and while reading about other peoples' prophetic dreams, telepathic communications and clairvoyant perceptions is hardly the same as having the experiences yourself, Dr. Louisa Rhine's deft skill in presenting these accounts removes a great deal of the unreality which the lay person inevitably associates with the abstractions and technical vocabulary of laboratory research. It is not too much to say that the book has an inspiring quality. That is, it may easily begin for the reader a cycle of musing on the nature of man, as given in experience, and this, for one who reflects seriously, is a source of inspiration. Of course, we are more familiar with other sorts of inspiration from the natural world. A man may Volume XV, No. 2 encounter it as he comes to the crest of a mountain, seeing for the first time the splendor of the gorge and other peaks which lie beyond. He may be moved to exquisite feeling by the innocent play of wild animals, the song of a bird, or the silent crash of a sudden cloud formation mingling with the sun's brilliant light after the dark turbulence of a thunder storm. These are the æolian experiences which excite wonder and submit the heart to feelings of consubstantiality with the world of nature. We do not ordinarily think of the inspiration that human beings offer one another as being of this æolian character. It is rather the creative acts of individuals which move us most deeply. The overt achievement of a Bach, a Leonardo, a Clarence Darrow or a Schweitzer grips us by its extraordinary achievement as compared to the works of other men. The peculiar contribution of Dr. Rhine's book is its display of wonders which, we find, are likely to be some day recognized as included among the potentialities of all human beings. They represent æolian experiences possible to ourselves, and while, as noted, they are still at second hand, the sense of wonder cannot be withheld. In his foreword, Dr. J. B. Rhine points out that this sort of book "had to await a certain stage in the developing research on ESP." By this he means that the modern sense of reality concerning such experiences or potentialities had first to be prepared by painstaking scientific investigation such as that pursued by the Duke Parapsychological laboratory and other centers of research. This is no doubt a fact, but a fact which is itself a commentary on modern civilization. If we take seriously the material presented in Mrs. Rhine's book, we begin to see that, for some people at least, paranormal perception of one sort or another is as natural as breathing—a special sort of breathing, perhaps, which occurs on special occasions, yet entirely natural. Why should such experience have to be elaborately MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 8 framed by the self-conscious techniques of science, and tested and verified—studied like a disease or an aberration? What can remain of the "natural," under such artificial circumstances? Louisa Rhine's book may then be taken as an engaging symptom of the return of cultural health, promising that before too long we may be able to regard such happenings in a friendly way. For a century or so, modern man has been beguiled by the notion that Science is somehow our ambassador to the land of Reality, or at least the department in charge of visas for going there. While there has been no sudden breakdown of this idea, it is wearing thin in spots. Readings in intellectual history make it plain that the scientific idea of reality has been by no means the product of "pure research," but rather an image fabricated by men who were continuously occupied in polemics with theology. The fight was more for sovereignty than for truth. And if a lot of truth got into the details of the picture, its moral implication was sheer argument—the special pleading of men anxious to get the better of their opponents in a righteous cause. In the process, some of the more enthusiastic of the advocates of science suffered the same sort of distortion that ardently political people undergo—both having undertaken to compensate for the apathy of the masses. Both became victims of their specialties, and then took revenge on the world by becoming its authorities. What worse misfortune for the world than to be led around by the nose by its scientific and political authorities! While it is true that they only filled a vacuum which needed to be filled, since the apathy was real, men of their sagacity should have known better. Meanwhile, there is some comfort in noticing that, except for the nuclear physicists, the most active branch of the sciences today is psychology, which manifests a definite tendency to take man away from the specialists and return him to himself. Good books on the mind are instances of this trend. Volume XV, No. 2 MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 9 CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves NOTES IN PASSING AFTER a brief evening of cinematic exposure, we have arrived at our choice of the best motion picture of 1961—Peter Ustinov's Romanof and Juliet. This is a delightful bit of spoofing at politics and international affairs at the global level, so well done that any child past the age of ten would probably be stimulated by it to ask worthwhile questions concerning the apparently interminable "cold war." The plot of Romanoff and Juliet is hardly unusual, involving the inevitable romance between the progeny of rival ambassadors. But Mr. Ustinov has a lot of nerve, and in this case the handsome son is Russian and the pretty girl American—on top of which neither the antics of the Russians nor of the Americans make any sense, all wisdom and even morality being embodied in the non-violent, gunpowderless principality of "Concordia." Mr. Ustinov, it appears, is a talented playwright as well as a filmmaker and an accomplished actor; he first wrote Romanoff and Juliet as a play; it ran successfully, and was sought for a motion picture; Mr. Ustinov transformed it into a screen play version; it was then produced and directed by Mr. Ustinov, who also played the leading role. * * * A passage in Education Summary (July 12, 1961) emphasizes the need for intelligent discussion in the home as a key to learning. A provocative motion picture, an unusual newspaper story, a dramatic incident in the neighborhood or a school—these are the things the family as a group should gradually learn how to talk about. As many of the champions of the Great Books programs keep reiterating, "good conversation" is almost a lost art; the TV commentators do the conversing for us, and very poorly at that. This issue of Education Summary abstracts from an article in June Today's Health, by Willard Abraham of Arizona State University: Volume XV, No. 2 Teachers can help the child to learn to think, but more can be done in the family setting. Here are a few guideposts that Abraham believes parents can use to stimulate thought, develop ideas and expand horizons: 1. Let children ask, talk and converse. Let them express themselves, repeat ideas, try out new thoughts. 2. Bring up problems of interest to children. Share problems with them, and their solutions may surprise you. 3. Ask questions that dig. "Are you sure?" "What makes you think so?" 4. Take them to as many places as your time permits. Firsthand contacts with many things are valuable. 5. Involve children in your plans. Maybe you can make plans faster and easier without them, but you are leaving out part of the fun—and some creative ideas. 6. Encourage the solution that is unusual. * * * As follow-up on our report of the Emdrup school and Adventure Playground (MANAS, Dec. 20, 1961) we have dug up from an old issue of Time a story about a Japanese violin teacher. Shinichi Suzuki wondered why a four-year-old could not be taught violin, since a child of the same age may easily acquire a working vocabulary of some 1500 words by listening to his mother repeat them. So Suzuki let the children play with musical sounds, listen to them, and become familiar with them long before the time when they would normally be considered ready to be "taught." The Time story continues: Suzuki's method is simple sound repetition. His youngsters get accustomed to the sound of a violin by sitting in a classroom where advanced students practice. The beginners learn to recognize and hum simple tunes, are made to associate the melodies with the movement of a bow and fingers. No technical terms are used; differences are conveyed through analogies—"Loud is like an elephant," "Soft is like a mouse." In the third month of school (two 30-minute sessions a week), the tots are guided into games that teach good playing posture. Finally, the children get MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 10 violins and are taught to play the melodies they already know. "Never force children," warns. Suzuki. "Persuade them." Today, at 60, Teacher Suzuki personally coaches some 20-odd pre-conservatory students, supervises a nationwide network of extension classes with a total enrollment of 4,800 students. Suzuki tries to limit his pupils to children under twelve, encourages most to go on to more advanced schools when they reach their teens. By then, the youngsters have mastered all the manuals in the three-part course. After the first (Book 3, age 6) part, a student is expected to play simplified Bach gavottes; after the second (Book 7, age 8), Bach's Concerto in A Minor; after the third (Book 10, age 10), Mozart's Concerto in A Major. The method works so well that quite a few of Suzuki's students go on to become expert violinists. * * * Paul Rudy, Headmaster of the Stillwater Cove Ranch School (Jenner, Calif.), shares with us a dilemma created by parents anxious to know the Stillwater plans for bomb and/or fallout protection. The dilemma exists because Mr. Rudy, like many MANAS readers, feels there is some sort of betrayal of ethical principle if one accedes to the psychology of immanent atomic war. On the other hand, and from what appears to be a practical point of view—particularly in the wake of so much national magazine publicity— one can hardly blame parents for thinking that their children should be given the best in every protection. In any case, a letter from Mr. Rudy to one parent, who asked his views on fallout shelters, reads in part as follows: Dear Mrs.—. I shall try to answer you as sanely as possible on this question of international insanity. October 28 and October 21. I quote from the one of October 21, "Consider first of all the problem of ventilation. When a hydrogen bomb goes off, it produces firestorms over a vast area. A ten megaton (one megaton is equal to one million pounds of TNT) thermonuclear explosion will set loose firestorms over an area of 5,000 square miles!" Russia has recently spoken of a fifty Megaton Bomb! But let me continue the quotation. "Oxygen is consumed by firestorms. Shelters may be equipped to cool off air but they cannot bring in air if none exists. Unless manufactured oxygen is made available (a difficulty insuperable because of its volatility the article explains) shelters in areas affected by firestorms would become suffocation chambers." It is my opinion that all schools should put the greatest effort on the humanities. As I state in our brochure, "It is the school's belief that the progress of science must keep abreast of humanitarian concepts and that neither should throw its shadow upon the other." After all, this question could be enlarged to that of immortality and certainly to the Socratic concept of life. My personal answer to your question embodies this latter concept. The question really is how to set in motion a qualitatively different psychology—different from the one that prepares for war and therefore expects it. One example of an outstanding change in outlook is provided by a New York Times News Service story: A California housewife, Mrs. Wayne Elwood of Palo Alto has taken the $1,000 it would have cost her family to build a fallout shelter and has given it to the United Nations. She describes it as a pledge of her faith that the world organization offers the best protection and hope for man's survival. Twenty-eight other individuals and families in North Carolina also pledged to contribute to the UN the money a shelter would cost. It is true that one must face reality and it is up to each one of us to determine the feasibility of such protection as our limited intelligence warrants. First, let me say that much of the projected plans one sees currently in our magazines and newspapers produce a mass hysteria which is difficult to overcome without unemotional concentration. Second, I wish to refer you to two Editorials from the Saturday Review by Norman Cousins for Volume XV, No. 2 MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 11 Following questions: FRONTIERS The Organization of Thought are Mr. Borsodi's fourteen I—PROBLEMS IN ACTION WE have a letter from Mildred Loomis, director of education of the School of Living, which makes a justifiable comment on the catch-phrase, "180degree turn," and provides a useful set of questions which are intended to box the compass of the human situation. The questions are set by Ralph Borsodi, who might be identified as a Decentralist, but whose varied contributions to contemporary thought and criticism have been much richer and more important than any familiar classification would suggest. While Mr. Borsodi has written larger and more comprehensive volumes since, we prefer to recommend his first book, Flight from the City (1929), as embodying a seminal quality which has provided inspiration to the many who have endeavored to put aspects of his thinking into practice. In her letter, Mrs. Loomis says: The 180-degree turn to which you have been referring recently interests me a good deal—and the added 360-degree turn. These expressions are provocative, but, like many phrases, when you get down to asking what they mean, you find they are not too helpful. For when one is talking of social and cultural matters, the turn implies a multiplicity of actions—not merely turning and going back along a straight line. So one naturally asks: What would a 180-degree turn mean in economics, in politics, in health, in philosophy, etc., etc.—in all areas of living. And since we don't ask very fruitful questions in most of these areas, we won't even know what we are looking for, if we do turn. Of course, anything which suggests only two alternatives—forward or backward, or right angles—won't be much help either. The either-or is pretty well discredited in actual experience. So I take the liberty of enclosing an analysis of life which Ralph Borsodi has developed. At least he asks very pertinent operational questions about experience, and then catalogues most of the ways men have dealt (or could deal) with these problems. . . . Altogether, this kind of analysis is something of a chart for that 180- or 360-degree turn, in specific aspects of living—which I have found useful. Volume XV, No. 2 1. 2. 3. 4. How educate human beings? What institutions should be maintained? How organize to deal with coercion? How should land, money, and other goods be owned or held? 5. How should enterprises be organized? 6. How should a human being spend his time? 7. What constitutes health and how achieve it? II—PROBLEMS IN VALUE 8. How do we learn, how validate action? 9. What is my purpose in living? 10. What is my basis for right and wrong? 11. What is my basis for beauty and ugliness? III—PROBLEMS IN POSTULATION 12. What is the nature of human nature? 13. What causes events? 14. What is the nature of the universe? After reading these questions, the first thing that comes to mind is that no one will ever be able to reproach Mr. Borsodi for neglect of the Socratic maxim, "An unexamined life is not worth living"! In the material sent by Mrs. Loomis, the ways in which men have worked on answers to these questions are classified under three headings, but the labels provided for these various efforts would in many cases require more explanation than we have space for here. Readers interested in that sort of analysis should write for their own copies to Mrs. Loomis at Lane's End Homestead, Brookville, Ohio. We would, we suppose, have arranged the questions differently, on the theory (which may not be especially important) that if you put first things first, the Problems in Postulation should be at the top of the column. The reasoning here is that if you are going to say something about how to educate human beings, you need first to examine the question of "the nature of human nature" and also the question of "how we learn." MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 12 Mr. Borsodi's Problems of Postulation are just about the most far-reaching questions that an individual can formulate. They represent practically all the substance of the Great Dialogue and cover either directly or by implication every important philosophical issue. More basic, perhaps, than listing or comparing the various answers returned to these questions, over many thousands of years, is the observation that it has never been possible to obtain uniform agreement on any decisive answer to any one of them. By "decisive" answer, we mean an answer which has direct consequences for human behavior and value judgment. This is a fact which has some implications. It suggests that there are important differences among humans. While we may start out with the proposition that there is a crucial identity among human beings, demonstrable from the fact that all men—or all men who try to think—have found it worth while to pursue these questions and to offer what answers they are able to find, they do arrive at different answers. There are both wide agreement and wide disagreement among the answers found in the record of human thought. Oddly enough, it seems likely that if we could explain how and why these differences occur, we would achieve the "correct" answers to the questions, almost as a by-product. But "correct," in this context, seems a bad word to use. To speak decisively about what is or is not "correct" in matters of philosophy is tantamount to declaring one knows the "thing-initself," as distinguished from phenomenal appearances. So one should avoid such presumption. On the other hand, the longing to know things-in-themselves is the very heart and dynamic of philosophical inquiry. We put off discussion of this dilemma to another time! We cannot go any further with this discussion without making a judgment—the judgment that human beings, singly and collectively, move from one range of perception to another; that some of these ranges reveal more of the nature of things Volume XV, No. 2 than others; that it is legitimate to speak of the passage from a limited to a more extensive range of perception as Progress. We are now in a position to look more closely at the seven questions listed under the heading, Problems in Action. It seems evident that workable answers to these questions cannot be returned without fairly thorough awareness of the range of perception which is characteristic of the culture to be served by those answers. This rule is more obviously valid if you transpose it to application to a growing child. In this case, each answer must be modified by considerations developing from the age of the child. A democratic institution, guided by Roberts' Rules of Order, has very little relevance to the needs of a two-year-old. A nursery-school teacher or a wise parent may try to find means which have emotional correspondence to the respect for human beings represented by those rules, in dealing with a two-year-old, but the means will be very different from the rules, except in terms of the most radical generality. If you now bring the rule back to application to the adult social community, all sorts of persistently unpleasant questions and decisions arise. The questions are unpleasant in the way that the decisions of the United Nations concerning what to do about the contest for power in the Congo are unpleasant. Who is competent to design, select, and endow with political authority and power the ruling institution of the Congolese? On the other hand, has a body like the UN the right to withdraw from the situation—like a modern Pilate asking, What is truth?—leaving the Congolese to shoot at one another until they are all killed off, or until a demagogue fills the power vacuum with conveniently supplied jets and other modern armament? You don't know what is the right thing to do, so you do the best you can, without righteousness, and without much excuse for being there at all, except the mistakes of our forefathers, the Colonialists. MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 13 This may be called the Anarchist Dilemma. It has no easy and unpainful resolution. It is obvious that the more responsible and self-reliant the individuals who go to make up a particular society, the less heavy-handed will the institutions which order their lives need to be. And where there is love and conscious fellowship, the association may be governed more by intuitive perception of right and justice than by clearly articulated laws which set limits to forms of behavior and declare punishment for the offenders. Is there a scale of human development in individual responsibility and self-reliance? Is it conceivable that there is a "normal" rate of progress in these qualities? The answers to such questions plainly rest with broad theories of human nature and even human evolution. We do not have acceptable theories of this sort today. Eighteenth-century optimism concerning the progressive march of man's evolution has suffered serious setbacks in the twentieth century, illustrated by what can only be called the diabolism of the Nazi outbreak and rise to power, the irresponsibility and even fear of authentic freedom generated by reliance on the services of the welfare state, and finally the brutalization of human beings by warmaking techniques which are increasingly horrible, yet justified in the name of the political system they are intended to maintain in existence. of supposedly desirable political ends is what leaders fall back on when they lack any substantial or worthy theory of human development. What we are leading up to, in this discussion, is emphasis on the transcendent importance of finding at least tentative solutions, or working hypotheses, for the problems in the second and third groups, before spending our energies too generously on the first set of problems. We are of course daily confronted by problems of action; it is apparently part of the general human situation to have to act before we feel "ready" to act. It is even possible that no sound theories will ever be brought forth except by men who are also under the practical compulsion to act. But it hardly seems possible that wise or enduringly fruitful action can be undertaken except in furtherance of at least partially clear ideas concerning values and basic assumptions regarding the nature of things (Problems in Postulation). So long as we lack a theory of human development with which one may equate answers to the first set of Mr. Borsodi's questions, the answers we do propose will have no theoretical ground, but will issue from intuitions or longings about what ought to be, or from astute estimates of the responses of people to psychological manipulation (propaganda), such as were the basis of Hitler's program, or such as the calculations which guide experienced managers of political campaigns in the United States. The responses of masses of human beings to the tricks of public relations experts is not, of course, a measure of human progress, but this sort of activity in behalf Volume XV, No. 2 MANAS Reprint January 10, 1962 ... - [detail] - [similar]
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