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VOLUME XIX, NO. 1 JANUARY 5, 1966 THE LONELY FREE THE stubborn resistance of individual ways of reaching the good life to codification or standardizing procedures is a fact we acknowledge with the greatest reluctance. Even this fact itself, when turned into a formula—as, for example, by the anarchists—seems to work against its own practical meaning, since freedom and self-rule require a recognized context of order before they can have social value. True human freedom, we might argue, is not a condition, but the capacity to do the right thing in imperfect and continually changing conditions. For this reason, the free must by definition always be at odds with at least some of the rules men have made to ensure freedom for all. If we believe in freedom, then, it follows that there is an individual wisdom appropriate for every imperfect situation, this being the only possible explanation for the fact that, if carefully sought out, free men can be found in every walk of life and under the most unlikely circumstances. In the abstract, this analysis has an unfailing accuracy. If you take the extreme case, the worst possible situation known to us—say, a Nazi death camp—there is the practical wisdom, indeed the freedom, which Viktor Frankl found within himself, enabling him to endure the ordeal and later to make its rare fruit in therapeutic insight available to others. Let us see, however, if we can make the analysis break down. It points to a kind of categorical imperative for individuals, considered as subjects. The individual undertakes to find wisdom, and therefore freedom, in the worst possible conditions. But if we set another sort of problem, one in which human beings appear as objects, not subjects, how then would the analysis work? Take for example the conditions described in Julius Horwitz' book, The Inhabitants—which deals with the 350,000 people on relief in New York City, and with the hopelessness and loss of the elements of self-respect of so many of these impotent poor. The subject/object ratio of these people is very bad. Yet when wounded in their humanity, they scream. Their pain is real. What is wisdom in relation to these people? How do you start out to help people who, except for their capacity for anguish, have become objects instead of subjects? How do you nurse their potential subjectivity back to a rudimentary exercise of selfreliance and freedom? Another instance of this problem was given in the recent MANAS (Nov. 24) Letter from Venezuela. Speaking of the poor in the environs of Caracas, our correspondent wrote: The great mass of people have no spirit of enterprise or initiative. I do not mean "initiative" in the sense given to this term by hallowed American tradition and mythology. I mean rather that there exists a sort of fatalism, a general expectancy of help from the outside—be it God or government handouts. However, even external economic aid is useless unless there exist the necessary infrastructures upon which one can build. This implies a prior organization or, at least, some sort of community spirit. Here, there is nothing. Not that these people are more egocentric or egoistic than anyone else —quite the contrary. But they have been shaped by a tradition —religious, political, etc.—which was not conducive to the formation of a faith in oneself and in human potentiality in general. What, we should ask, are those "necessary infrastructures" upon which the task of human reconstruction depends, and what if they do not seem to exist at all? But we cannot admit that they do not exist. The basic core of humanness must be stipulated as real, as open to the right kind of help, in all human beings, however externally degraded. The question is, how shall this seed of human dignity and freedom be helped MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 to swell and grow? How, from being objects, do men become subjects? This was the question which confronted Gandhi early in this century, as he regarded the plight of his countrymen in South Africa. The course he chose was to identify with them in their objective condition, and then to show that a life of principle and self-respect, a life of subjects, was nonetheless possible for them. Years later, when an African leader from Johannesburg asked Gandhi what he could do to arouse the African people, who were, he said, "crushed down by a power that is pitiless and inexorable as fate," Gandhi replied: You have not, as far as I am aware, a band of Africans who would be content to work and live in impecuniosity. Among those who are educated there is not that absolute selflessness. Again, while most of your leaders are Christians, the vast mass of the Bantus and Zulus are not Christians. You have adopted European dress and manners, and have as a result become strangers in the midst of your own people. Politically, that is a disadvantage. You must not be afraid of being "Bantuized" or feel ashamed of carrying an assagai or of going about with only a tiny clout around your loins. A Zulu or a Bantu is a wellbuilt man and need not be ashamed of showing his body. He need not dress like you. You must become Africans once more. When the African Christian said that the African leaders do not last, either becoming ambitious or succumbing to drink, Gandhi observed: The problem is not peculiar to you. Your leadership has proved ineffectual because it was not sprung from the common people. If you belong to the common people, live like them and think like them, and they will make common cause with you. If I were in your place, I would not ask a single African to alter his costume and make himself peculiar. It does not add a single inch to his moral stature. Gandhi's discussion of the proposal that Indians and Africans ought to form a United NonWhite Front in Africa is of interest. He told the African leader: It will be a mistake. You will be pooling together not strength but weakness. You will best Volume XIX, No. 1 help one another by each standing on his own legs. The two cases are different. The Indians are a microscopic minority. They can never be a "menace" to the White population. You, on the other hand, are the sons of the soil who are being robbed of your inheritance. You are bound to resist that. Yours is a far bigger issue. It ought not be mixed up with that of the Indians. This does not preclude the establishment of the friendliest relations between the two races. The Indians can cooperate with you in a number of ways. They can help you by always acting on the square with you. They may not put themselves in opposition to your legitimate aspirations, or run you down as "savages" while exalting themselves as "cultured" people, in order to secure concessions for themselves at your expense. In principle, Gandhi's method was utter simplicity itself. It was to awaken the moral power of exploited and disenfranchised people and make it felt as the expression of subjects. He would not use their weight as objects, manipulated by leaders with violent intent. He sought to compel recognition of the prior reality of the subjective qualities of human beings, and he would accept no other tools with which to accomplish social change. A commonplace Western criticism of Gandhi is that he did not take into account the ugly fact of the evil in the world. This is really nonsense. Those who make this claim have never bothered to inform themselves of Gandhi's thinking, which is erected on the foundation of a total philosophy of life. Gandhi may be fairly characterized as the toughest, most uncompromising thinker the twentieth century has so far produced. His ideas for obtaining justice issue from deep, principled conviction concerning the nature of things. Explaining the basis of his struggle to win justice for the Indian peasants and factory hands, he said: We invite the capitalist to regard himself as a trustee for those on whom he depends for the making, the retention and increase of his capital. Nor need the worker wait for his conversion. If capital is power, so is labour. Either power can be used either destructively or creatively. Either is dependent on the other. Immediately the worker realizes his strength, he is in a position to become a co-sharer with the capitalist instead of remaining his slave. If he aims at MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 3 becoming the sole owner, he will most likely be killing the hen that lays golden eggs. Inequalities in intelligence and even opportunity will last till the end of time. A man living on the banks of a river has any day more opportunity of growing crops than one living in an arid desert. But if inequalities stare us in the face the essential equality too is not to be missed. Every man has an equal right to the necessaries of life even as birds and beasts have. And since every right carries with it a corresponding duty and the corresponding remedy for resisting attack upon it, it is merely a matter of finding out the corresponding duties and remedies to vindicate the elementary equality. The corresponding duty is to labour with my limbs and the corresponding remedy is to noncooperate with him who deprives me of the fruit of my labour. And if I would recognize the fundamental equality, as I must, of the capitalist and the labourer, I must not aim at his destruction. I must strive for his conversion. My non-cooperation with him will open his eyes to the wrong he is doing. . . . The whole reason why Labour so often fails is that instead of sterilizing Capital, as I have suggested, Labour (I am speaking as a labourer myself ) wants to seize that capital and become a capitalist himself in the worse sense of the term. And the capitalist, therefore, who is properly entrenched and organized, finding among labourers candidates for the same office, makes use of a portion of these to suppress Labour. If we really were not under the same hypnotic spell, every one of us, men and women, would recognize this rock-bottom truth without the slightest difficulty. Having proved it for myself through a series of experiments carried on in different departments of life, I am speaking to you with authority (you will pardon me for saying so), so that when I put this scheme before you, it was not as something superhuman but as something within the grasp of every labourer, man or woman. Again, you will see that what Labour is called upon to do under this scheme of non-violence is nothing more than what the Swiss soldier does under gun-fire, or the ordinary soldier who is armed from top to toe is called upon to do. While he undoubtedly seeks to inflict death and destruction upon his adversary, he also carries his own life in his pocket. I want Labour, then, to copy the courage of the soldier without copying the brute in the soldier, namely the ability to inflict death; and I suggest to you that a labourer who courts death and has the courage to die without even carrying arms, with no weapon of selfdefense, shows a courage of a much higher degree than a man who is armed from top to toe. Volume XIX, No. 1 Central in all Gandhi's contentions is the idea that justice and freedom must be preserved for all men, and that this can be accomplished only nonviolently. He did not accept the idea of class war. "It can easily be demonstrated," he said, "that destruction of the capitalist must mean the destruction of the worker; and as no human being is so bad as to be beyond redemption, no human being is so perfect as to warrant his destroying him whom he wrongly considers to be wholly evil." In the foregoing passages, it seems clear, Gandhi is speaking of action against economic injustice and labor conditions which were characteristic of the early days of the industrial revolution. The fact that, today, one can find theories of industrial management based upon principles very similar to those Gandhi asserts gives an anachronistic tone to the foregoing. But the issues of subsistence and sheer survival were very real to the "poor, plague-ridden, illiterate and as yet unorganized labor force" in Ahmedabad, where Gandhi first applied his methods in India, in 1918. Gandhi's claim is that if men want to be treated as subjects by other men, they must use the powers of subjects to win their recognition as subjects. This is the non-violent revolutionary method. But how would this objective be gained in another sort of situation—in the framework of education or even enlightened business management? It may come as a surprise to some readers to find that businessmen are sometimes interested in the "freedom" of their employees, yet this is unmistakably the case in some instances of modern management. In fact, it is not too much to say that by a kind of empirical-practical-ethical approach, there are entrepreneurs who combine, with both honesty and success, good educational principles and sound business practice. It hardly needs to be added that such businesses are no doubt rare and that the "trusteeship" principle, although applied in some degree, may not be MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 4 thought of in exactly these terms by the managers who use it. An exploration of the facts of this development in industry in the United States is made possible by a new book by A. H. Maslow, Eupsychian Management: A Journal, published as a paperback in the Irwin-Dorsey Series in Behaviorai Science by Richard D. Irwin, Inc., Homewood, Ill. This book is termed a "journal" because it is based on notes made by Dr. Maslow during a summer (1962) "visiting fellowship" spent at the voltmeter manufacturing plant of Non-Linear Systems, Inc., at Del Mar, California, at the invitation of Andrew Kay, the president. Dr. Maslow explains that his book is not the study of any particular plant, although the summer's experience at Non-Linear Systems, he says, opened up "a body of theory and research which was entirely new to me and which set me to thinking and theorizing." He read Peter Drucker's Principles of Management and Douglas McGregor's The Human Side of Enterprise, which helped him to see what Mr. Kay was attempting to do. The broader motivation for the book is outlined in the first chapter. Dr. Maslow writes: I gave up long ago the possibility of improving the world or the whole human species via individual psychotherapy. This is impracticable. As a matter of fact it is impossible quantitatively. (Especially in view of the fact that so many people are not suitable for individual psychotherapy.) Then I turned for my utopian purposes (eupsychian) to education as a way of reaching the whole human species. I then thought of the lessons from individual psychotherapy as essentially research data, the most important usefulness of which was application of eupsychian improvement of educational institutions so that they could make people better en masse. Only recently has it dawned on me that as important as education, perhaps even more important, is the work life of the individual, since everybody works. If the lessons of psychology, of individual psychotherapy, of social psychology, etc., can be applied to man's economic life, then my hope is that this too can be given a eupsychian direction, thereby tending to influence in principle all human beings. Volume XIX, No. 1 After reading the texts on modern management (there were others besides the two named), Dr. Maslow's discovery that the conclusions he found there were quite familiar, made him exclaim: The fact that Drucker comes to approximately the same understanding of human nature that Carl Rogers has achieved, or Erich Fromm, is a most remarkable validation of the hope that the industrial situation may serve as the new laboratory for the study of psychodynamics, of high human development of ideal ecology for the human being— this is very different from my own mistake, which I fell into automatically, of regarding industrial psychology as the unthinking application of scientific psychological knowledge. But it's nothing of the sort. It is a source of knowledge, replacing the laboratory, often far more useful than the laboratory. It will hardly be possible to convey here the impact of a chapter in Eupsychian Management which illustrates the common ground between these emerging conceptions of business administration and the Gandhian view of human potentiality. First of all, the parallel is fundamental, not superficial. Further, the Gandhian statement—as quoted earlier—is heroic and concerns the ultimate stand of human beings for their rights and their dignity, while business undertakings are not all that desperate, or shouldn't be. Further, the ground of the Gandhian philosophy of action is religious-philosophical, while these new conceptions of management are intuitive-practical. Yet in final implication they are the same. In a chapter entitled "Notes on Eupsychian Economics and Management," Dr. Maslow sets out the assumptions underlying the management theories of men such as Drucker, Likert, McGregor, Argyris, and some others. They are all assumptions of a positive character, expecting the very best of other human beings. Yet these assumptions are not made in a Pollyannish mood, but as means to call out the highest potentiality of people by expecting it of them. Following, for example, is one of the assumptions early in the list MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 5 (thirty-six in all), with qualifying notes by Maslow: Assume that there is no dominancesubordination hierarchy in the jungle sense or authoritarian sense (or "baboon" sense). The dominance is of the "chimpanzee" sort, olderbrotherly responsible, affectionate, etc. Where the jungle view of the world prevails, eupsychian management is practically impossible. If all people are divided into hammers and anvils, lambs and wolves, rapists and rapees etc., then brotherhood, sharing of goals, identification with team objectives becomes difficult, limited, or impossible. There must be an ability to identify with a fairly wide circle of human beings, ideally with the whole human species. The ultimate authoritarian can identify with nobody or perhaps at best with his own blood family. It follows that this is another principle of selection of personnel for the eupsychian organization. Authoritarians must be excluded or they must be converted. Another: Assume an active trend to self-actualization— freedom to effectuate one's own ideas, to select one's own friends and one's own kind of people, to "grow," to try things out, to make experiments, mistakes, etc. This follows the same principle that psychotherapy or growth are conceptually impossible unless we assume such an abstract variable. We must assume the will to health or to grow, etc. This can be seen concretely rather than abstractly in the Carl Rogers kind of data from psychotherapy. Dr. Maslow's book, and some of the others, need to be read for full recognition of how these assumptions are underpinned with sagacity and practical understanding of ever-present human limitations. You don't ignore the limitations, but you do your best to create situations in which they have a chance to be transcended. The hardheaded side of the picture appears when the situation is stacked against the administrator. Drawing on educational experience, which includes a kind of "management," Dr. Maslow discusses the problem of having nothing but "authoritarians" in a class: I think it's fair to say that we know that handling authoritarian students, of the type found in Germany right after the war, requires a very different type of Volume XIX, No. 1 management from teaching or managing American students in that same year. The authoritarian students preferred and required and functioned best under an authoritarian teacher. Any other kind of teacher was regarded as not quite a real teacher, and was taken advantage of, couldn't keep control, etc. . . . I have found whenever I ran across authoritarian students that the best thing for me to do was to break their backs immediately, that is, to affirm my authority immediately, to make them jump, even to clout them on the head in some way that would show very clearly who was boss in the situation. Once this was accepted, then and only then could I become slowly an American and teach them that it is possible for a boss, a strong man, a man with a fist, to be kind, gentle, permissive, trusting, and so on. And there's no question about it, that if the authoritarian disease has not gone too far, this kind of management will actually change the world outlook and the character of these people and reform them, at least some of them, over toward becoming democratic rather than authoritarian. To those who suggest that this procedure sounds a little un-Gandhian, it may be pointed out that the idea was to help these students, not kill them. There is hardly any analogy left in modern war for any normal-life situation. Further, the entire matter of both education and business is framed by a civil code and authority which make actual violence wholly uncalled-for and illegal. In the context of hostility which runs to violence, the Gandhian stance is another kind of toughness and nonetheless gets the message across. You can't talk to the dead. In ancient times, a man's work was commonly regarded as having a parallel with his spiritual growth. It was a major phase of his encounter with experience and his quest for meaning. This idea has a parallel in one of the final assumptions: We must ultimately assume at the highest theoretical levels of eupsychian theory, a preference or tendency to identify with more and more of the world, moving toward the ultimate of mysticism, a fusion with the world, or peak experience, cosmic consciousness, etc. This is in contrast with increasing alienation in the world. MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 6 Just now, this may sound a little dreamy, when it comes to "running a business." But, just now, if we concede that the businessmen are also running the world, we could do with a change for the better in both. Is there any reason under heaven why businessmen should refuse to think like human beings, and fail to recognize what very nearly every other epoch of history has known— that economic relationships are means, not ends, and that means which have the effect of making the highest ends sound strange or "unreal" are very bad means indeed for human beings. Volume XIX, No. 1 MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 7 REVIEW CHRIST AND ANTI-CHRIST INTERPRETING the potent influence which reached the ancient Mediterranean world by the unorganized spreading of Christian inspiration, Huston Smith, in his Religions of Man, gives an account of its revolutionary spirit. As Jesus himself had explained, "the way of the world"— hitherto unquestioned—was either to seize or to submit to coercive power. Power was wielded in part by the custodians of state religion, who threatened punishment for failure to conform. Then there were local tyrants of varying control, and finally the efficient exploitive rule of the Roman Empire. Power, then, was a synonym for coercive authority, and whatever the average man could discover of goodness, kindness, or sympathy for his fellows played a minor role. To the early Christians, the life and death of Jesus, including the Saviour's total absence of fear when facing coercion, and the symbolic content of his resurrection, meant that there could be power in goodness—a greater power even than that wielded by high priest or soldier. Prof. Smith writes: In Christ's life, the disciples had found pure goodness incarnate. To this goodness, now, was added the supreme exemplification of power. What the resurrection disclosed, therefore, was the juncture of goodness with power—the disciples would not have put it in such abstract terms, but this was its central meaning. If Golgotha's cross had been the end, the goodness Christ embodied would have been tragically beautiful, but how significant? A fragile blossom afloat on a torrent, soon to be dashed—how relevant is goodness if it has no purchase on reality, no power at its disposal? The resurrection completely reversed the cosmic status in which goodness had been left by the crucifixion. Instead of being pitiful it was victorious, triumphant over everything, even the end of all ends, death itself. Thus the resurrection faith did not deal merely with the fate of a good man. Its full referent was the character of God and the nature of ultimate reality. For if Christ's life and death had convinced the disciples of God's love, his resurrection had Volume XIX, No. 1 convinced them of his power, demonstrating conclusively that neither the worst men can do (crucify the one who loves them most) nor even the seemingly inexorable laws of nature (death) can block God's work. Power as well as goodness are completely his. If the disciples' encounters with Christ's perfect life had ended with his death, their whole conception of God would have been left where it rests in most men's thought whether they admit it or not, either God doesn't care or he doesn't count— indifferent power has the last word. As it was, they had . . . experienced Christ's love [and if] this love was backed by a power that was absolute, what harm could possibly befall them? These early Christians, then, felt no need for heavy-handed "organization" against their oppressors. They believed that they could renounce the earthly "kingdom" and enter into the kingdom of which Christ spoke, and this made them able to accept death joyously. Organized Christianity came much later, as we know—when the Roman Emperor Constantine tried to appropriate this inspiration and wed it to the coercive force which the Empire represented. Huston Smith's reading of early Christian history, simple and true as it seems to us, contributes to an understanding of the tribute paid by Milton Mayer to the late Albert Schweitzer (Progressive, November). For Schweitzer, a professing Christian, did not believe in organized Christianity. He knew, however, that it was possible for a man to practice a pure Christian ethic. So, while appearing to us a sort of modern saint, Schweitzer also challenged our belief in political expediency. For this reason, as Mayer puts it, "he was the unforgivable Hero of our time." Mayer continues: He did not want to change the world—or, to be more precise, he did not seem to want to. He seemed only to want to brighten the corner where he was (and where he had been so long that we found it convenient to forget that he had chosen the darkest corner he could find and had gone there). So he appealed to our old-lady sentimentality while he challenged our pride of massive power. His was the worst, perhaps the only, sin in the modern lexicon: He depended upon himself to do a very little instead MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 8 of depending upon the Great Society to do a great deal. The conventional appreciations of this man of simple nobility which appeared in most mass media, therefore, as Mayer points out, characteristically included little side-notes of querulous criticism. The New York Times, while lauding Schweitzer's character, reproved him editorially because "he saw no absurdity in halting building construction so as not to interfere with an ant colony"—even though the same day's Times noted an all-time record of 567 traffic deaths over the Labor Day week-end, and James Reston reported from Saigon that "there comes a time in every war when men tend to become indifferent to human suffering, even to unnecessary brutality; and we may be reaching that point in Vietnam." Well, Schweitzer was apparently a somewhat un-American man. As Mayer says: He cared too much to wait for Medicare. He was the Unorganizational Man. A ridiculous man in the modern world, he who thought that one could do a little something more than zip out his ball-point pen to sign petitions against colonialism or sit down to a six-course dinner to organize a charity with an embossed letterhead. Ridiculous he went forth, and ridiculously he labored, healing a handful where millions wanted healing. Suffering in soul as a white European gentleman, he may have needed fifty years in the jungle to heal himself—which was said of old to be the physician's true triumph. ladies who adored him in the ladies' clubs would have turned his picture to the wall had they known how acceptable he was (in spite of his nonscientific dialectic) to the Godless Communist killers." So Milton Mayer's tribute to Albert Schweitzer is an unconventional one. Schweitzer demonstrated that the power of love and of goodness did not have to prove its "success," but was its own consummation. Hence the equivocal way in which so many Christians look at Schweitzer's life—a man who did not submit to the compulsions of Christians and Communists alike to find and combat an anti-Christ. Mayer concludes: Odious as Albert Schweitzer was at bottom to Christians and Communists alike—neither of them have any stomach for the one-man revolution—he was especially odious to the modern Christian realists allied against the modern realistic Antichrist of Communism. For the modern Christians wanted him to be like them, sternly separating their Sunday morning lip service from the lives they lead on weekdays and their philosophy of weekday life. The Times frowned at his having "equated his philosophy with religion"—the offense (according to Pravda) of Christianity itself. If politicians had gone to Africa with humane intentions they would have been much more effective than he was, but they didn't. So the nonpolitician went by himself and did what little one man can do to doctor the world. We might have been proud of Schweitzer as a Christian saint, but his last public statement was a condemnation of the war in Vietnam as "a crime against all that is civilized in the family of man." With what political realists might call effrontery, but was not, Schweitzer "injected himself brazenly into all the world's quarrels, national as well as international." "A few years ago," Mayer recalls, "he antagonized the Swiss by urging them unsuccessfully to forbid atomic weapons to their own army. And so, willy-nilly, he became the darling of the Communist world and its professions of peace. I doubt not that some of the Volume XIX, No. 1 MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 9 COMMENTARY BASIC RESPONSIBILITY—IN BIRTH THE first issue of a new volume of a magazine ought to have something encouraging in it—some statement of good reasons for going on. This issue frames several such reasons. They add up, it seems to us, to evidence of a basic change in human attitudes—not an accomplished change, but one obviously on the way. In the past, the popular religions of the world—and more recently, aspects of science— have been largely concerned with giving an account of the forces which control our lives. Men were told who or what was boss, and given instructions on how to get along with the boss, or the boss conditions. The main idea was to escape pain, avoid evil. The big emphasis was on the circumstances and the rules. Today, the spirit of another view is slowly making itself felt. Our endless use of the word "creative"—for all its cliché aspects—is a symptom of that spirit. We are beginning to stress the resourcefulness, the decision-making power, the choosing genius of human beings. The stress is coming to be on what we are, on our undetermined potentialities, and less on the limiting circumstances. The circumstances are still there, and some rules still have to be learned—but there is clear evidence that the rules for a selfreliant, independent, "creative" human being are different from the rules which a fearful, unimaginative, flight-happy individual is obliged to obey. If we take extreme cases of these two sorts of human beings, it is not too much to say that they live in different universes. It is not sentiment, but undeniable fact, that those who develop the power of the initiatory create the world in which they live, or give it its decisive character. Human beings, in short, have latitude in their choice of their world and their works. The subjectively determined component in "reality" is far more important than we have imagined. Volume XIX, No. 1 Of course, you don't just "make up" a world to live in. The chosen world has to match the nature of the subject who makes up his mind. But the choosing subject is not an alien in the world of nature; he may become a collaborator in determining its qualities, even its outward face. This is not to suggest that such ideas concerning human potentiality have been absent from the teachings of great religious reformers— great breakers of the mold of habit and human submission to external rule. Today, however, the idea of man as an agent of independent action, who shapes his own nature, chooses his own rules, is actually taking root. It is developing slowly, of course. Haste would mean only the spread of half-baked instructions informing us of how to shape our natures, and what to accept and what to reject. The Greek rule, "Man is the measure," is taking on new meaning. That is, we are learning to judge the value of an idea, a fact, a truth, by how it affects, or may be used by, human beings, not by whether it fits in with the "word of God" or the latest scientific reading of the external world. The true "word of God" is ineffable, all scientific readings are variable, and, as Carl Rogers says, our choices are prior to scientific readings, our values inalienably our own. There need be no egoism in all this. It happens to be simple honesty. For have not human beings invented all the ideas and conceptions of value they know? The present seems to be the time when we are beginning to accept responsibility for our inventions. MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 10 CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves EDUCATION AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE TRANSCRIPTIONS of a discussion between B. F. Skinner and Carl Rogers concerning the "control of human behavior" are currently being circulated by a Guidance Service for teachers in the Los Angeles area. Despite the castigations of Dr. Skinner, author of Walden Two, as a man who proposes to do away with "spontaneity" and "individual freedom," this material makes clear his humanitarian intentions. The basic issue is the extent to which a "good society" can help people develop their best sensibilities—and the extent to which any society, no matter how Good, will tend to over-control and discourage individuality. Since we have criticized Dr. Skinner's position on various occasions, it is only fair to present his own words: Science is steadily increasing our power to influence, change, mold—in a word, control—human behavior. It has identified conditions or variables which can be used to predict and control behavior in a new, and increasingly rigorous, technology. The broad disciplines of government and economics offer examples of this, but there is special cogency in those contributions of anthropology, sociology, and psychology which deal with individual behavior. The dangers inherent in the control of human behavior are very real. The possibility of the misuse of scientific knowledge must always be faced. We cannot escape by denying the power of a science of behavior or arresting its development. It is no help to cling to familiar philosophies of human behavior simply because they are more reassuring. The new techniques emerging from a science of behavior must be subject to the explicit counter-control which has already been applied to earlier and cruder forms. If the advent of a powerful science of behavior causes trouble, it will not be because science itself is inimical to human welfare but because older conceptions have not yielded easily or gracefully. We expect resistance to new techniques of control from those who have heavy investments in the old, but we have no reason to help them preserve a series of principles that are not ends in themselves but rather outmoded means to an end. What is needed is a new Volume XIX, No. 1 conception of human behavior which is compatible with the implications of a scientific analysis. All men control and are controlled. The question of government in the broadest possible sense is not how freedom is to be preserved but what kinds of control are to be used and to what ends. Control must be analyzed and considered in its proper proportions. No one, I am sure, wishes to develop new masterslave relationships or bend the will of the people to despotic rulers in new ways. These are patterns of control appropriate to a world without science. They may well be the first to go when the experimental analysis of behavior comes into its own in the design of cultural practices. Dr. Skinner points out "controls" which our present culture imposes upon people who really do not know what "freedom" is and seldom exercise it. For example, a man who feels "free" to buy a certain make and model of car may have been thoroughly conditioned in the direction of this choice by an advertising technique which appeals to his (also conditioned) personality structure. As Skinner says: "The concept of freedom that has emerged as part of the cultural practice of our group makes little or no provision for recognizing or dealing with these kinds of control. Concepts like 'responsibility' and rights are scarcely applicable. We are prepared to deal with coercive measures, but we have no traditional recourse with respect to other measures which in the long run (and especially with the help of science) may be much more powerful and dangerous." Dr. Rogers puts his challenge to Dr. Skinner's basic "conditioning" approach in these terms: A world in which people are wise and good without trying, without "having to be," without "choosing to be," could conceivably be a far better world for everyone. In such a world we should not have to "give anyone credit"—we should not need to admire anyone—for being wise and good. From our present point of view we cannot believe that such a world would be admirable. We do not even permit ourselves to imagine what it would be like. Dr. Rogers explains that his criticism of Dr. Skinner is on grounds of oversimplification: MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 11 Skinner and I are in agreement that the whole question of the scientific control of human behavior is a matter with which psychologists and the general public should concern themselves. As Robert Oppenheimer told the American Psychological Association last year, the problems that psychologists will pose for society by their growing ability to control behavior will be much more grave than the problems posed by the ability of physicists to control the reactions of matter. I am not sure whether psychologists generally recognize this. My impression is that by and large they hold a laissezfaire attitude. Obviously Skinner and I do not hold this laissez-faire view. The word Control is a very slippery one, which can be used with any one of several meanings. I would like to specify three that seem most important for our present purposes. Control may mean: (1) The setting of conditions by B for A, A having no voice in the matter, such that certain predictable behaviors then occur in A. I refer to this as external control. (2) The setting of conditions by B for A, A giving some degree of consent to these conditions, such that certain predictable behaviors then occur in A. I refer to this as the influence of B on A. (3) The setting of conditions by A such that certain predictable behaviors then occur in himself. I refer to this as internal control. It will be noted that Skinner lumps together the first two meanings, external control and influence, under the concept of control. I find this confusing. The major flaw I see in this review of what is involved in the scientific control of human behavior is the denial, misunderstanding, or gross underestimation of the place of ends, goals or values in their relationship to science. This error (as it seems to me) has so many implications that I would like to devote some space to it. In sharp contradiction, I would like to propose a two-pronged thesis: (1) in any scientific endeavor— whether "pure" or applied science—there is a prior subjective choice of the purpose or value which that scientific work is perceived as serving. (2) This subjective value choice which brings the scientific endeavor into being must always lie outside of that endeavor and can never become a part of the science involved in that endeavor. There is no argument between Skinner and Rogers, then, about whether the "scientific method" affords means by which men may achieve a better life. However, Dr. Skinner in Walden Volume XIX, No. 1 Two not only shows a kind of behavioral engineering which helps people transcend aggressiveness and achieve empathy, but makes it quite clear that the "genius" who designs the utopian society skillfully conceals the fact that he has been the initiator and planner. The happy companions of Walden Two are seen as enjoying the state of mind exalted by Lao-tze in the Tao Te King when he says that whenever the best relationship existed between the governor and the governed, "the people did not know that they had rulers." Rogers, on the other hand, is doubtful if we know enough about the qualities that make a "sage" who is capable of this kind of rule. Meanwhile we need to remember that Albert Schweitzer, whose practical wisdom we profess to admire, was not in the least concerned with "behavioral engineering," nor did the qualities which appeared in Socrates or Gandhi develop because a previous "sage" had set up environmental conditions favorable to inner growth. So Rogers, with such thoughts in mind, argues that two approaches to human betterment must be made concurrently: Behavior, when it is examined scientifically, is surely best understood as determined by prior causation. This is one great fact of science. But responsible personal choice, which is the most essential element in being a person, which is the core experience in psychotherapy, which exists prior to any scientific endeavor, is an equally prominent fact in our lives. To deny the experience of responsible choice is, to me, as restricted a view as to deny the possibility of a behavioral science. That these two important elements of our experience appear to be in contradiction has perhaps the same significance as the contradiction between the wave theory and the corpuscular theory of light, both of which can be shown to be true, even though incompatible. We cannot profitably deny our subjective life, any more than we can deny the objective description In conclusion then, it is my contention that science cannot come into being without a personal choice of the values we wish to achieve. And those values we choose to implement will forever lie outside of the science which implements them the goals we select, the purposes we wish to follow, must always be outside of the science which achieves them. To me MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 12 this has the encouraging meaning that the human person, with his capacity of subjective choice, can and will always exist, separate from and prior to any of his scientific undertakings. Unless as individuals and groups we choose to relinquish our capacity of subjective choice, we will always remain persons, not simply pawns of a self-created science. Volume XIX, No. 1 MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 13 FRONTIERS Unfinished Diagnosis THE reader of George Braziller's Vision + Value series, edited by Georgy Kepes, has little hope of putting the material in these volumes into his private intellectual blender and getting out of it a potion of unified meaning. The ingredients are too disparate in origin, the approaches too unreconciled in mood. And while the editor, a man of extreme sensibility, is horrified by the mindless hurry of the modern technological environment—our lead article of two weeks ago borrowed a long passage from his introduction to the present volume, to convey the nerve-wracking effects of aimless acceleration—he seems to think we must in some sense submit. "We have to accept," he says, "the condition of our time if we are to reach the real present." Try to understand, perhaps, but why "accept"? Should a mass psychosis become acceptable because it is our own? The Nature and Art of Motion (Braziller, $19.50) has twelve essays. The contributors include a physicist, psychologists, painters, an architect and urban designer, art teachers and critics, a museum director, a scholar of motion picture technique, an innovator in film-making, and designers. The book itself is beautifully made—a milestone of unanswered questions and apprehensions put together in a visual unity that belies the irresolution of the whole. Nor is the brave new worldish note occasionally struck by a contributor a calming influence. The entire volume cries out the need of norms and a reviewer who longs for synthesis has little choice but to pick a contributor with elements of wholeness in his view and let the rest go. In short, Motion, as a principle of integration, is not enough, although there may be some virtue in doing a book which makes this plain. Our choice is Gillo Dorfles, professor of æsthetics at the University of Trieste. Early in his essay, Prof. Dorfles satisfies the reader's need for elementary definitions. He writes: Volume XIX, No. 1 Motion, we know, relates to dynamics. Dynamics is the action of a force on an object, an organism, an event. Through this dynamism developed in time, motion implies another fundamental concept, that of tempo. (Let us not forget—to go back to works of older philosophers— that for Aristotle [Physics, 219a], time "is the number of motion, according to what is before and what is beyond," and that for Hobbes time is "the representation of motion in that one imagines in it a first thing and an after thing, or a succession.") Such considerations might seem—and are, in fact— obvious. One could also note that the concepts of time and of dynamism, as well as that of kinetics, have always existed, and that, from Heracleitus on, man has been considered to be immersed in an incessant stream of moments relentlessly following each other, conditioning his existence and his Weltanschauung. What is it, then which distinguishes present-day motion from that of the past? I believe that it is a question of its artificiality, of the intervention of mechanical and technological forces to produce a tempo different from the natural, physiological and cosmological tempo. The motion of an airplane, of an automobile, of a jet, of a missile—that is, of motorized machines—has nothing whatever to do with man's physiological motion, where the impetus of his movement is implicit in his physical constitution and not extrinsic to it. I believe that many of the artistic manifestations of our day—and not only the artistic ones—relate to this new aspect of "life in motion." . . . Motion—and this is the point that interests us— is capable of favoring and intensifying the empathetic element (which surely exists also in many static phenomena) because, through the transmission of a peculiar rhythm, it "sets in motion" the innermost rhythmic structures of the human constitution. But while man has been conditioned ever since his appearance in the world, and is constituted in all his physiological structure to obey and respond to a "cosmic rhythm" (bound obviously to breathing, to cardiac pulsation, to the mysterious rhythms of the universe, alternating like day and night, the tides, the months, etc.), it is probable that only in our era has he found himself in contact with mechanical rhythms which interfere profoundly with his interior rhythms. From this originates the trauma caused to the cellular or micro-colloidal connections of his brain, and also the probable induction of states of consciousness and MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 14 of emotional pressures which are unfathomed and even dangerous. After taking note of the psycho-physiological effects of looking at a movie or television, Prof. Dorfles says: . . . cinematography is based substantially on the "manipulation of motion," not only because it has made motion the medium of its artistic language, but also because it has given motion a particular intensification and a particular capacity for metamorphosis; we can say that the cinema has taught us much about the possibilities of our motor perception. There is no doubt that such an upsetting of our common visual and kinetic perceptions is destined to cause some disequilibrium and some modification in our mode of conceiving "reality." The future will tell us at what point there may be a real peril for us—both ethical and æsthetic—in these manifestations. We implied that no normative principle was offered in this book, but obviously Prof. Dorfles has both physiological and ethical norms in mind. Yet when he anticipates that "the future" will tell us when the environment we have created brings us into "real peril," we wonder a bit at his confidence. How, exactly, will we know? Is pain the indicator? Pain certainly indicates something, but it also equivocates. There is sick pain and promethean pain. There are growing pains and pains which paralyze and confine. What contribution to human progress is made by space medicos who spend their careers trying to help the organism of an astronaut to tolerate the conditions of airless expanse and endure the incredible speed of projectiles? When a man comes out into the street after sitting for four hours watching a horror picture double bill, and says to his friend, "I'm okay, Jack," is he right? What is the ultimate "cosmological tempo"? We hardly know, but warnings are possible. Georgy Kepes says, withdrawing some of his "acceptance": the bang of a firecracker or the swoops of a rollercoaster ride. Mere identification with the novelty of immediate visual dynamics without an understanding of their roots and their direction of growth only prevents us from finding the way out of our present blind alleys. Some attempts to come to terms with the impacts of our explosive world have bogged down in just such easy-to-come-by excitement. The question of norms remains. It remains pre-eminently in the world of art. Here Kepes speaks with some authority: ". . . most of the mushrooming art movements have forgotten the essential role of artistic creation." This world, he says, "has become the scene of a popularity contest manipulated by appraisers and impresarios who are blind to the fundamental public role of the artistic image." Perhaps we should admit that the establishment of norms is too much to ask of our time and this book. The very diversity of the material—from a discussion of how modern art ought to be displayed in museum galleries, to the balancing of various elements of value in the plan for a city— from Gerald Holton's tough-minded acceptance of Galileo's abstraction of the mathematically measurable as the real in the natural world, to Katherine Kuh's sympathetic account of contemporary creators of "kinetic art," and art in which the viewer becomes a "participant"—is a measure of the total empiricism of our times. The book is a mixed bag, but so is the culture which it represents. For a proper setting of problems, the unfed hungers of the reader—of this reviewer's, at any rate—are probably inevitable, and perhaps an intended consequence of the volume. So regarded, The Nature and Art of Motion may be a worthy member of' the Vision + Value Series. The illustrations, of which no mention has been made, are striking, informing, and many. The challenge of the new cannot be met merely by giving three cheers for whatever is new. Grownups cannot be satisfied by the hot-rodder's aimless pavement-scorching, nor be as happy as a child with Volume XIX, No. 1 MANAS Reprint January 5, 1966 ... - [detail] - [similar]
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