THE PUBLIC BENEFIT PRESS
For the Ascendancy of Justice and Wisdom
over Injustice and Ignorance
We are surely in the midst of a conscious transformation, as shown in the first book of our human-transcendent book series, The Conscious Transforma- tion Culture at the sidebar.
These books, though titled by the author, include extensive passages by eminent and perceptive persons from all times and places in support of the ideas and ideals of this conscious transformation culture as centered in this website.
These books consolidate the various human-transcendent ideas and ideals that otherwise appear randomly disconnected.
These books, though each thematically different, are nonetheless collectively of one underlying purpose, which is: to free out minds effectively so that justice and wisdom will gradually take the ascendency over injustice and ignorance, both personally and socially.
THE FEATURED BOOK
THE PUBLIC BENEFIT ASSOCIATION
A Concept of Mutuality
The Idealistic Perspective
The Realistic Perspective
4. Transconsciousness: Our Love-Within Personalreligion Transconsciousness: A Love-Within Personalreligion
1 Our time is here to take it now.
2 Let us come together in justice and in wisdom.
3 Let us work for the good of the one and for the many.
4 Let us be here, there, and everywhere.
5 Let us give everyone good a chance, a second chance, an ...nth chance.
6 Let us lessen human suffering, both physical and mental.
7 We have now to serve ourselves for the first time in history.
7:1 What our society cannot, or will not, do for us, we will do for ourselves.
8 Let us infiltrate injustice and ignorance turn the tables on them take the
8:1 Where there is a need, there we strike.
Where there is an injustice, there, too, we strike
Where there is ignorance, there, as well, we strike.
8:2 To Arms! Wisdom is to be our weaponry.
Contributions our munitions.
Injustice and ignorance our enemy.
Consolidation our good fight.
Mutual benefits our victory.
9 What we want is a public benefit for those who want, or need, and
9:1 Whoever receives a benefit, earns that benefit.
9:2 Everyone contributes to the public benefit either by giving or by
9:3 Insofar as recipients deserve a benefit they are contributors.
9:4 Such a public benefit is a concept: a concept of mutuality.
9:5 Such a public benefit is public in two senses: for the public, and
made public nothing to hide; no secrets.
9:6 Integrity, grace, and cheer are the earmarks of such a public benefit.
9:7 The public benefit's motto: For each his own, for all the whole.
9:8 No leaders, no authority figures, no politics, no bureaucracy, no
capital, no "ism," no possessions, no boundaries, no legalities Only
people for people with their exemplars and heroes for inspiration.
9:9 Individuality within a collective framework is an ideal for which to aim.
9:10 Freedom is the heart and blood, of the public benefit freedom from
fear, from poverty, from isolation, from despair, from malice, from
ridicule, from intimidation, from rejection, from the Man or the Woman.
9:11 The good will of the public benefit belongs to everyone. There will no
longer be any reason to be forced to demean or compromise oneself.
9:12 It is not only a personal freedom we want, but a self-freedom as well.
10 Let's take the best of what we have now and integrate it all into a unity
of purpose and action.
10:1 Let this unity of purpose and action advance a high civilization of cul-
ture, services, and security.
10:2 What kind of culture? A goodwill culture interlaced with wisdom and
justice. What kind of services? Those which mutually benefit those who
serve and those who are served. What kind of security? The fundamental
securities: financial, psychological, philosophical, spiritual and the
most elusive security of all: the wisdom of insecurity.
10:3 Let this unity of purpose and action be linked by a common goal and
10:4 Let this link accrue by the public benefit's publication, which will
express and convey its common goal and philosophy.
10:5 Let the credo of this common goal and philosophy be simply: good will
toward those of like mind and caution toward all others.
11 For those of ill-will toward us, let us take the offensive instead of
tarrying always on the defensive.
11:1 The "ill-will" we're to take the offensive against is the injustice and
ignorance not only of others, but of that in ourselves as well.
11:2 What offensive are we to take against these two ogres, injustice and
ignorance? Obviously, one would think, their contraries: justice and
knowledge. It's not that simple, though. Knowledge is power, true
yet is especially true in the minds and actions of the unjust; and, as for
justice, who can be more seemingly just (self-righteous) than the unjust
in their schemes. So where are we? As always, darkened by ignorance
and controlled by injustice.
12 Something more than knowledge is needed to insure the ascendancy of
justice. And that "something more" is wisdom a new wisdom for our
times: a human-transcendent wisdom.
12:1 Let us, in wisdom of a new perspective, reverse this time-worn pattern
of human encumbrance. Let us begin the long, tortuous climb to control
of our lives. Let us change the direction of history. It is our time! Let us
seize it, shape it, and live it. It is the summit we are reaching for. We
will never reach it, but we will draw closer to it. It's like the infinity of
numbers: the count increases limitlessly; yet each higher number
increases the potential for complexity and diversity.
12:2 Come, let us not forever be limited by injustice and ignorance, our
own as well as of others. They have had their day for far too many
days. Nothing is happening. We're mired in the rut of monotony, and
we're going nowhere. All the potential in our minds and character
must inspire us to break out, break through, to the bracing strength of
freedom freedom in the mind through wisdom and justice.
13 We're losing control of our lives. We can't put our finger on it; but we
know something is amiss somewhere, somehow. The computer-internet-
smartphone age is here; and we're under surveillance. We'd better get
hold of our lives before someone else does.
13:1 Let us take the ascendancy! And now!
THE PUBLIC BENEFIT
1 Our Public Benefit acts as an invisible thread holding together the
visible links of its variable social and inter-personal relations, ideas,
2 Our Public Benefit recognizes no boundaries of effect. To be everywhere
is its ongoing perspective.
1 Our public benefit's centralization is twofold: its philosophy and its
a. Its philosophy is disseminated through its publications, and
educational programs and functions.
b. Its treasury is the resource of funds provided and disbursed by its
contributors, for mutual benefits.
2 Our Public Benefit is a concept not a bureaucracy a concept of mutuality.
3 Nothing is owned by our Public Benefit, only by its contributors.
4 There are no members of our Public Benefit, only its contributors and
5 The Public Benefit is the safekeeping of trust by its safekeepers through
the just and wise function of its treasury.
I: THE TREASURY
1 The treasury is the public depository of whose responsibility belongs to
all the contributors of the Public Benefit.
1:1 The treasury is the safekeeping of funds provided by our contributors.
2 Contributors provide the funds for the treasury.
2:1 Safekeepers safekeep the treasury's funds.
2:2 A contributor can be a safekeeper; or a safekeeper can be a contributor.
3 Contributions are voluntary and open.
3:1 All funds received for our public benefit are to be used for its general
purposes, or for its particular undertakings.
3:2 A strict account of all funds, receipts and expenditures, is to be kept on
record by the safekeepers of the treasury for both the treasury and its
3:3 All contributors and safekeepers have access to an accounting of the
amount and disbursements of the treasury's funds in all or specified
4 Procedure of an undertaking : A person, or association, has an idea for
a project. The treasury's safekeepers review it. If approved, necessary
steps are planned for its undertaking and achievement.
4:1 Contributors can form associations for the establishment and organiza-
tion, for the policies and procedures, for the management and monetary
distribution, of a mutually beneficial undertaking.
4:2 The treasury will consist of various checking accounts for each associa-
tion's undertakings, or for the individual's undertakings. For instance, a
contributor can contribute funds for education in general: as a contribu-
tion to each association involved in educational benefits; or can contri-
bute funds to one particular association established for a particular
undertaking; or can contribute funds for both.
4:3 There is to be no accumulation of monies in the treasury other than the
budgets for designated disbursements. For instance, an enterprise is
advanced, its purpose and format established, and its funds determined
and canvassed for its realization.
4:4 Funds contributed to the treasury are received for an undertaking
determined by the fixed and ongoing needs of the undertaking.
4:5 All proceedings for an undertaking are to be recorded and preserved.
4:6 Receipts are issued to contributors for each and every contribution made
to our Public Benefit.
4:7 A financial statement issued by the treasury is sent periodically to each
individual person and/or association regarding its budget assessment.
4:8 Each association or person is accountable to the treasury for its means
5 The treasury's jurisdiction is determined equally by the principles of the
Public Benefit document, by its safekeepers and by its contributors.
5:1 Representatives for our contributors choose safekeepers to monitor the
best interests of our Public Benefit.
5:2 Safekeepers for the Public Benefit safekeep either (1) a particular
undertaking, (2) the treasury, or (3) the philosophy.
5:3 Safekeepers consist of 1. treasurerers 2. originators 3. developers
4. coordinators 5. specialists 6. observers
6 The treasury is under its own jurisdiction; and so accordingly is not
affiliated with any existing banking organization other than for legal
II: THE PHILOSOPHY
1 Philosophy, proper, means "love of wisdom." [Gk-philos . loving + Gk
2 Wisdom means the "quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is
true and right coupled with just judgment as to action." It means "sagacity,
discernment, or insight."
2:1 Wisdom is both practical and contemplative: practical in living, and
contemplative in thinking.
2:2 Sound judgment characterizes practical wisdom; intuitive insight,
characterizes contemplative wisdom.
2:3 Coupled with sound judgment is right action; coupled with intuitive
insight is effective expression.
3 For the Public Benefit to succeed in its immense task, wisdom, foremost,
must accompany it in all its undertakings.
3:1 For wisdom to succeed in the Public Benefit enterprise, it has to be
open, eclectic, and practical "open," in that it is accessible to as many
people as possible; "eclectic," in that it must consist of the best of all
wisdoms; "practical" in that it must be founded on a well-rounded human
4 Philosophy, as the love of wisdom, is the love of (attraction to) right action
and intuitive insight. Love integrates a sensitive state of mind with a
4:1 Philosophy integrates the sensitive dynamics of love with wisdom.
Accordingly, philosophy is both a state of wisdom and a study of wisdom
the "study" of wisdom being the integrating love with wisdom.
4:2 Philosophy is both a sensitive state of mind and a dynamic activity : the
state of loving wisdom; and the activity of living wisdom.
4:3 It is the task of philosophy proper to inspire in an individual the love of
5 Philosophy is an enquiry into the meaning of life, human life, and of the world.
5:1 Philosophy asks the life-eternal question: Why? and attempts to answer
5:2 Philosophy concerns itself with such universal, eternal queries as: What
is life? What is time? What is the mind? What is the meaning of life? Why
are we here? Where are we going? What is the right way to live? What is
justice? What is Love?
5:3 The answers to these questions make up the body of wisdom that one
6 Wisdom is our grace-of-being.
6:1 Our grace-of-being is Love.
6:2 Love is Transcendence.
6:3 Transcendence is the consciousness of grace-of-being.
6:4 Consciousness of grace of being is our transconsciousness.
6:5 Transconsciousness is the state of mind evoked by the will to act and
think in Love.
7 Love is the will to unity the unity of everything. Or otherwise stated:
Love wills unity.
7:1 Love attracts and binds unity; or otherwise stated: Love is the bond of unity.
8 Love is the concern for everything - from good to evil, beyond good and
8:1 Good and evil are within the scope of Love and beyond the scope of Love.
9 It is the unity between any two persons, or more, that evokes sentiment.
9:1 Human love evokes, a passionate-affectionate sentiment.
9:2 Human love is not a sentiment; but the power of sentiment.
9:3 There is willing, and there is the power-to-will not as separate realities
but within the same one Reality.
9:4 The power of sentiment Love is, otherwise stated: the will to unity.
Accordingly, Love is the power-to-will unity; or simply the power to will.
10 Inward to the power to will is the Meaning of that power.
10:1 Part of the Meaning of that power is its will to love : Love as the
attraction to, and unity (bond) of, one entity or mind to another entity or
10:2 As to the ultimate Meaning of Love why there is love or of anything for
that matter, remains forever unknown to us in life: the ultimate mysterium.
We may have intimations of the ultimate of things, but that is all for our
state of mind as it is now in its present development.
11 Love is the intimation, or image, of Meaning. The closer we are to living
and understanding Love, the closer we are to its Meaning.
11:1 Living in wisdom is living in the intimation, or image, of Meaning.
12 Philosophy teaches us, leads us, to wisdom.
12:1 The wisdom unto Meaning is twofold: psychological and transcendent
psychologically bound to our ego-self; transcendently free from the ego
13 Our human makeup is both psychological and transcendent, relative to
the particular individual.
13:1 In the most general terms, Psychologically we are motivated by pleasure
and pain, needs and wants, and self (the "I" in all its human aspects).
Transcendently, we are motivated by truth, right, understanding, grace
and being (selflessness) These are the qualities that help balance the
psychological part of us, and make us receptive to Meaning.
13:2 In both cases our psychology and our transcendence the wisdom we
are concerned with is humanly grounded. Accordingly, it is a human-
transcendent wisdom that we seek and strive to live by.
14 The philosophy of our Public Benefit is the study and advancement of
(love of) a human-transcendent wisdom.
14:1 This philosophy is a philosophy of Love in both its human and
15 This philosophy is taught to adults, youth, and children through an education
15:1 This education in understanding is both academic and psychological.
15:2 As academic, it is a critical-creative thinking education contextual
understanding; as psychological, it is a human-transcendent education
15:3 Understanding can be considered as the other side of love; for through
understanding comes the sentiment of unity which is human love.
16 Understanding evokes love.
16:1 Love can be experienced narrowly or broadly. To love narrowly is to love
only one aspect of reality; for example: the good, or beauty, or pleasure.
This is to love humanly, and is natural. To love broadly, is to love not only
good, but evil, not only beauty, but the ugly, not only pleasure but pain,
and so forth. This is to love transcendently, and is supranatural.
17 Our philosophy is to be a study and a living of a human-transcendent
wisdom a realistic idealism .
17:1 This realistic-idealism philosophy is to be the cornerstone of the Public
Benefit's treasury and all its enterprises and undertakings.
18 This realistic-idealism philosophy will be presented in the Public Benefit's
18:1 The purpose of our publication is to disseminate and promote the
philosophy and treasury of the Public Benefit.
18:2 The contents of the publication will consist of (1) brief capsulation of
major social, political, cultural, and scientific news stories; (2) literary
passages on all significant topics by great and by noted minds of all
countries, of all times; (3 contributions of writings, art, etc. from
contributors and safekeepers; (4) services information; (5) the Public
Benefit's financial update; and (6) calendar of events.
19 The elusive specter of deceit is all about us. Let us be wary!
Assume there could be a society within, complementary to, a governmental society whose members were affiliated by a common objective; namely, an independent community of interests. And assume further that these interests were beneficial to each and every member at his-her own behest in matters of education, culture, wisdom, recreation, entertainment, information, and services. And still further, assume that a periodical magazine served as the tangible link in which each and every member of this independent-beneficial society believed themselves a viable part of its function, whether or not they took part in it, whether or not they felt themselves a part of it.
On the basis of these three assumptions, could such an independent-beneficial society suc- ceed, not just temporarily, but perennially; not just locally, but nationally perhaps in the distant future, globally? What fundamental concept would assure its success? That concept would have to encompass the reality of human nature in an ideal situation: hence a psycho- logical realism within a philosophical idealism a realism that is stark and common, and an idealism that is approximate and workable.
And what is this reality of human nature? What is this ideal situation?
The reality is that human nature is both of good and of evil; and so, both constructive and destructive, both loving and hating, both selfish and selfless, both rational and irrational; has complex needs and wants, both normal and abnormal; has driving energy, yet in good part is subject to inertia; has its price: which are security, success, and power at the expense of right and truth, and understanding; is governed largely by sex, self, and stimulation; is sub ject to fluctuating moods, fatigue, fear, ignorance, misunderstandings, hatreds, anger, social and familial conditioning, expectation of others, one's own individual nature ... and on and on, with both weaknesses and strengths, with the best and worst intentions of which the best frequently do not materialize. Concerning this reality of human nature, one dictum says it all, and must be kept in mind at all times: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Simple as that.
Concerning the ideal situation: this reflects the transcendent factor in, to, us which projects situations, both personal and interpersonal, both spiritual and social, beyond the limitations of our failing human nature: our all-too-human selves. This transcendent, or ideal, in us is as much a part of us in some people more than in others as the human: the psychological. It seeks always the situation of least resistance with maximum results: for good or for ill; for ideals are modes of perfection: the perfect act, whether it be an act of justice or an act of theft; the perfect society, whether it be a utopian society or a totalitarian society; the perfect state of being, whether it be a state of grace or of chaos.
What is obviously emerging from these preliminary remarks so far is a series of dualities: the real and the ideal, the human (all-too-human) and the transcendent (more-than-human), justice and injustice good and evil, to the point. Life, and human life, as any reflective person knows, are a commingling of dualities more often than not contradictory and conflicting dualities that separate, estrange, alienate individuals personally and inter-personally from a comparatively consistent harmony and goodwill or as some would say: from complacency; which is just as well lest we become as contented, grazing cattle.
The obvious conclusion here is that are no absolutes regarding human affairs; and there need be no defense for this truth any longer in our age of relativity and uncertainty.
Yet there does remain embedded in the human psyche ideals to quest for regardless of the unattainability of their absolute realization. The next best thing, so long as ideals will ever continue to "plague" a certain large segment of humankind, is to seek and work toward a relative, or an approximate, idealism: an idealism that works in, not only a human, realistic framework, but in a transcendent framework as well since ideals are transcendent of the merely human element to us: our ego-sensual selves.
Let me term this form of idealism a realistic-idealism the balance between the reality of our humanness and the ideality of our transcendence . This realistic-idealism is first and foremost an individual, personal, matter, and only secondarily a social matter; since as we all know by now, from Plato's time to ours, it is the individually, singly and collectively, that ultimately determines the social structure of any given civilization. The great evil that hap -pens to man is when this individual-to-society process reverts upon itself as a society-to-individual process. hence the authoritarian state. And an authoritarian state is not simply the obvious fascist dictatorship or communist regime, but can be covertly, insidiously, sublim- inally, instilled in a so-called people's government, such as in a democracy, a republic, a socialist state. and this state of affairs prevails when a people's or citizen's government has lost its organic, vital lifeline to its citizens. Yes, they have the vote, and through their collective efforts, can add or delete a constitutional amendment here and there. And this is good. We can effect our government toward progress and the betterment of the citizen politic and ethic.
This is the mighty and cherished freedom that a people's government proffers its citizens. Yet something gargantuan gradually seeps into the system in the course of events and human nature, and that is a vast bureaucratic machinery of power and politics that lands in the lap of the privileged few -- the democratic "nobility," "aristocracy." This elite political class, with high finance behind them, while professing to be executing the people's will, in fact separ- ates, and consequently alienates,the people's concerns from the government's concern in the name of the people's concerns! and how do they do this in general? By distancing the debate of an issue from its execution so far apart, and through such a nexus of resistance, that only the few can persevere with very few issues unless these individuals can mobilize hundreds of thousands in their support. Only then will the government heed the people's voice and sentiments.
And still what always remains in a classless society, is a division of the elite political-economic class from the populace: an moral and humanitarian division.
Pinpointing this division between government and populace is by no means lodged as a criticism against a people's government; for such a government makes possible a mostly free, mobile, society; and compared to world governments historically, such a government will always remain a sacred gift of life. But even so, the tenor of our times demands not only social and personal freedom, but a self-freedom, as well; and this level of freedom far trans- cends both the capabilities and interests of a populace government. It solely is mostly an individual matter, and collectively. The governing body is concerned with the populace as a whole within a framework of vested, private and corporate interests. Their main concern is to maintain the status quo in matters of national and inter national interests. And this status quo is largely determined by a collective moral-social-political-economical-religious con -sciousness that is handed down generation after generation mostly intact even though the seams of the tradition are slowly coming apart. Very few are acutely aware that these seams are coming apart, and still very few can do anything about it within or without the political caucus. And why can hardly a thing be done? Because there is essentially no plan or schemata effective enough to make even a dent in the gigantic bureaucratic scheme of things. Surely there are beneficial changes enough in matters of social equality and justice once the people collectively clamor loudly and threateningly enough. Yet it is always such a major struggle to wake the government up to the injustices, inequities, negligences, inaccur- acies either it or the private sector of the wealthy perpetrate upon the people. Its eyes are closed so long as the people's eyes are closed; and it makes sure that their eyes remain closed, if not violently as in authoritarian states, then subliminally in matters of social and personal benefits, of pleasant media diversions.
And yet it is not only a free government that subliminally exploits, misleads, and oppresses its people, but the people themselves do so even more than the government. The private sector of the wealthy and not-so wealthy can be the worst exploiters of the people; they are the ones who influence and determine mainly in their own interests not only political and economic policies, but attitudes, styles, trends, values, beliefs, mannerisms all of which are designed to enhance and secure their status as the "beautiful people." Yes, they do give to charities and institutions, but no more than would even come near to jeopardizing their financial or social status.
This is the Great White Lie; which says, in effect, that profit, power, and pleasure are what rule the world of men and women; and if you enter our ranks and believe me we will not make it easy for you you too will be an exceptional person who is admired and who can rule your own little world; and perhaps society if you go into politics. Those of the wealthy who are not so highly ambitious for the office of affairs, then they can be content with the prom- ise that all their desires will be granted The Great White Lie. And why is it the Great White Lie? Because wealth and power, and certainly not least of all, pleasure the three "pillars of society" do not make the exceptional person, do not satisfy one's every desire, do not make one "beautiful, except at cocktail parties and premiers and lecture circuits; and every sensible, experienced person, whether rich or poor, knows the truth of this without need of demonstration.
Then why are they so powerful an influence over almost everyone and everything? Because money buys, power controls, and pleasure delights. Little more need be said in their defense and for their reason for existence. The more money, obviously the more you can buy; the more power, obviously the more you can control; and the more one has, possessions and control the more pleasure one experiences.
Little wonder then why almost everyone if given an opportunity will strive first and foremost for this tripartite of human endeavors regardless of the personal and interpersonal price it exacts from its disciples; despite the negative tags attached to this tripartite: that power corrupts, that power dehumanizes, that pleasure degrades each in their extreme, of course.
Let's not take the extremes of high positions of power, high finance, magnified pleasures, and rather look at the everyday man and woman with their little corner of power, profit, and pleasure. Are these the unfortunate of the world, since they in effect never "made it big?" They may have their little shops, their little jobs, their little families and friends unassum- ing, all of it. Are they the good people, the exploited people, the "salt of the earth?" Let us not delude ourselves. Given half the chance, many of these "little" people would be no less corrupt or possessive of their high position in society than those who have it already. They just didn't have "what it takes," or the opportunity, to make it in a big way. It is not that they are any the more noble, or just, or humanitarian than those who "made" it.
My point is that regardless of social class, the same personal differences and similarities in people can be found in any class, in any society. There are the basically moral minded, or the basically amoral-minded, or the basically immoral-minded in whatever class. It just so hap- pens that the amoral and the immoral form a larger segment of a given population than the moral. And no judgment is made here; only a fact. And to give a clearer picture of these three types in the briefest fashion: in matters of justice and sympathy, the moral minded are very concerned; the amoral-minded are hardly concerned; and the immoral-minded are not at all concerned. And seeing that our tripartite of power, profit, and pleasure, far outweigh moral considerations when in conflict, the obvious conclusion confronts one with hardly a doubt.
Yet it is matters of justice and sympathy (or humanity) that in a free society balances and checks injustice and apathy, rampant as they are. and it is issues of justice and sympathy that advance the culture of a free society so that the intellect, reason, does not predominate abstractly, remotely, from human affiliation.
The lower classes in general (and I speak always in general), though not possessed, nor obsessed, with power, profit, and high pleasure, are nonetheless predominantly controlled by a lesser trio of compulsions, which are: sex, self, and stimulation. While the elite classes are involved with all six psychic outlets, but with power, pleasure, and profit in the extreme; the lower classes are involved with the six oppositely, that is, with hardly any power or profit, and many fewer pleasures than the elite classes.
The main point not judgment being made from these comments is that man in general, is not a too admirable biped, that we are mainly a race of voluptuaries; and in a phrase: not to expect too much good to come out of him. There will always be certain definite patterns he will follow that are more self-serving than altruistic or loving, due to his basic ego-sensual nature. And this is true of most men and women (not "in general"). After all, is it not a natur -al truism that one must take care of his own interests (family and other loved ones included) before those of others. Yet, this truism is wrought with so many complications that one must trust his or her own moral, sympathetic, judgment when these complications arise. For this, a far-reaching wisdom is necessary; and is there such a wisdom? I would say, yes, but scat- tered all over the place, that one does not know where to turn.
And yet there is a saving grace: that transcendent part of us that displays itself in ways and works of love: in sympathetic understanding; in acts of justice, generosity, courage, consid- eration, and all the other moral virtues; in shows of affection, care and concern. It is the saving grace that strives to transcend one's sensual-ego nature for one's own benefit as well as others. It is the grace that refuses to submit to human frailty altogether, that continues the heroic struggle for self-freedom which is a relatively strong freedom from the limited confines of the ego sensual nature. It is a grace that is an expression of the eternal in us ("God has put eternity in man's mind") struggling to make itself conscious mainly through the morally, sympathetic minded individuals. and it is these individuals in the bulk who are misled into thinking that all or most people are inwardly, however camouflaged it may be, seeking the good of this eternal element dwelling in all men and women. What they fail to understand, or to be able to deal with, is that approximately two-thirds of mankind have not the slightest inkling or interest in such an eternal element, however implanted in them it is. They want life here and now enshrouded, enshrined even, in the misty illusion-delusion of the paramount self that means life and everything to them. Self is what they know and what they want more and more of. Self is their identity, not some otherworldly eternal element, call it soul, if you will. It has no value for them here and now; if it did, then they would consider it but from the vantage point of their dear self.
And so if it's a choice between self and soul, let us assume that two-thirds of the human race would choose...you know what. and there is hardly any contending this brute fact of reality. And if it is true, as the philosopher Leibnitz once said, that this is the best of all possible worlds, then moral idealists have to eventually acknowledge that this present empirical reality depends more on the promotion of self than on soul.
And this fact of reality is why so many philosophies and moralities, and utopian ideals fail, and always will fail. This includes religion as well; because however most people may pay deference, and biases, to organized religion, the fact of the matter is that very few so-called religious people are actually truly religious in their daily lives. Everyone knows this, and everyone can spot religious cant or pretense if they are not blinded by some psychological dysfunction, and in need of a surrogate bond that they cannot get from another human being or from life in general.
What then is to be concluded from this basic premise, or assumption, that two-thirds (more or less) of the human race are ruled by self overtly or covertly and the other third (more or less) are ruled by soul? Simply this: most people, however they may profess to the con-trary, are more selfish than selfless. No great revelation in this truth; yet a truth that is so dis- guised, so misunderstood, that a great many of the selfless ones suffer irreparable psychic harm. They are the ones that find it almost impossible to feign selfishness because of their almost single-minded devotion to truth and right and grace; whereas the great majority of the selfish have no prob- lem whatsoever in feigning selflessness to attain their ends. And the selfless ones are almost invariably seduced into the web of their pretense, or out and out guile.
We have an idea, now, that as to the dictates of human nature, there is not much improving the race in matters of love, peace, and virtue (or morality); for overall, Self predominates over soul; and the bulk of those who are amoral and immoral far outweigh the moral-minded. Schopenhauer put this state of affairs in the last century in a similar fashion when he placed people into one of three categories: that of egoism, malice, and loving-kindness. In my scheme, egoists are the amoral persons, the malicious ones are the immoral persons, and the loving-kind individuals are the moral persons.
So much, then, for human nature. Why then the unending struggle to improve its lot, when two thirds of the people are either not worth it or don't want it? Well, there is the other third of whom the majority are either lost, confused, isolated, disoriented, searching, and/or are enmeshed in the value-belief system of the other two-thirds. And one-third of, let us say, 10 million people is three and one-third million, which is quite a number of people, who, on the whole, are more concerned for people and human relationships than for money and all its trappings. Not that they turn their backs on, or their noses up, at money and success (many do, of course), but that they will not compromise their personal values or relationships for them. Not to say that this type of person is not vain nor acquisitive, nor sensual, nor unpleas- ant, lustful, nor aggressive, nor has not a share of all the negative human traits that human flesh is "heir to." The difference is that these traits do not predominate in their nature overall; and if they do, such individuals are emotionally and psychologically disoriented, fragmented, and they suffer. The moral individual is continuously striving, struggling for self-realization in both the psychological and transcendent sense of the word. Their ultimate concern for themselves is a kind of heroism: the day-to-day struggle to gain the inner strength to bear the "vicissitudes of outrageous fortune" which in good part, more or less, is the process of being alive, living and interacting with others; and their ultimate concern for others is to promote as far as he or she can their happiness: the alleviation of physical,and emotional, and soul pain. Now these others are not only those who are of the good and worthy, but are for anyone who is in need or is suffering. And it is this trait,which in particu- lar, which make the do-gooders lose the proper perceptive in discriminating between those who are worthy, and those who are not those who will bite the hand that feeds them.
Certainly there is no problem overall in helping and caring for those who are worthy; there is a problem in helping and caring for those who are unworthy, and that problem requires careful discrimination and judgment in the help and care given to such people. Not that they are not to help even the unworthy at times and in the right circumstances since the unworthy might very well be one's own relatives or associates, fellow workers, and the like; it is just that one must keep ever vigilant to such persons, realize that they can be nothing but unworthy, and most importantly, that one is helping and caring because of the type of person one is, whose main concern is for humanity, good or bad, worthy or unworthy. As for those who will naturally bite your hand for your help, well, your efforts with such people would be as dangerous to your well-being as attempting to embrace a shark. So if you want the very likelihood that your help and concern will turn against you at your own detriment, then by all means do such a rash, blind act of goodness.
So we see that human interaction in a beneficial, progressive way is not a futility, or meaningful only to the very few. One third of a given population is not the very few. And surely if there is benefit and progress for a majority of the one-third populace, then surely that benefit and progress will spill over to the other one-third of those who are mainly indifferent to and fearful of matters other than what concerns them personally (the amoral type). And as for the remaining third (the immoral), they will be the ones who will oppose all such benefit and progress, and will struggle with all their might to discourage and strangle any that is made.
The amoral are capable of siding with either the immoral or moral. It is the task of the moral-minded to not only keep themselves and their own intact, but to win over as many as they can of the amoral to the side of union and harmony; whereas it is as much the task of the immoral-minded to keep everyone, their own class included, as separated and fragmented as possible. They thrive on disorder just as surely as the moral-minded thrive on order. So this is the true fight between good and evil for the moral-minded: to protect and promote not only one's own identity whether predominantly good or predominantly evil but to enlist as many as possible of the amoral (or indifferent, overall) class on one's side. There is no way that the immoral will ever be reformed or transformed into moral, just agents; just as it is impossible for the moral ones to ever change into immoral, unjust agents. It is the amoral class: those for whom self predominates, that can be molded into one or the other class according to their own advantage, and not from conviction or sentiment. They can be just as stirred to commit crimes as they can to commit acts of benevolence if they are motivated from fear or duty or greed or lust, or profit. Whatever extreme act they may commit, it is not done primarily from loving-kindness nor from malice, but from egoism self-interest.: "What am I to get out of it: what control or profit or vanity will I accrue by doing this act? What will enhance my love of self? what will make others love, admire, fear, need me?" And if they do not commit the worst deeds, it is mainly from fear, of self-vanity, of being needed, that curbs them, not justice nor love. And if they do commit the worst deeds, then they do so free from this fear, and in promise of self-aggrandizement. In either case, they are neither basically good nor basically evil, but basically self-directed; and according to the particular physical and psychological makeup of the individual, he or she will be more inclined to immoral or moral acts. In the end, what is right for them is the preservation and promotion of their self; just as what is right for the moral-minded is the preservation and promotion of justice and love, and for the immoral-minded the preservation and promotion of injustice and hatred.
This threefold schemata of human nature is a viewpoint safe to assume in the main. It is simplified, I admit over-simplified many perhaps will think; but one that, after long years of observation, study, and reflection, on human nature has led me to believe its truth; and one that people themselves in my own experience, other's experience, documented experience, bear out the truth of it. The immense difficulty, of course, is the actual labeling of people as belonging to one or the other class. Human camouflage is such a subtle nexus and labyrinth of conditioning that often to attempt to sift out, or unravel one's true self is as immensely complicated as splitting the atom. One must have to understand oneself and others acutely before a safe judgment can be made; and this often takes years of attentive self-observation and psychological knowledge.
Of course not all people are that difficult to define as belonging to one or the other class if we simply added up the facts; yet our own needs, our own insecurity, our own loneliness, often blinds us to the most obvious conclusions about people. Frequently they are either stupidly or naively obvious whatever the mask or front they might assume. But the moral-minded want or expect everyone to be good; they feel that whatever bad that issues from people, is the result of only unfortunate conditioning or unfortunate situations. These individuals are just as mistaken as the immoral-minded who believe that everyone is basically immoral as they are; and it is just a matter of what price or fear any individual is willing make in order to compromise or corrupt one's so called goodness or self-directedness. This same way of thinking applies to the amoral who believe that everyone basically is selfish; that it all comes down to "me-first" in the final analysis.
My concern in this essay, is however, not to prove my case as regards any theory of human nature, but to consider a fairly representative and realistic approach to human nature as regards the probability of establishing a viably functioning society-within-a-society: a society of benefits, of independents. And I believe that the proposition that people are either predominantly and this is the key word moral, amoral, or immoral is sound. that they are equally distributed: one-third, one-third, one-third is perhaps less tenable and provable; it could be more or less from each class. I don't think that precise statistics has much relevance in the matter; what is important is an approximate division of figures. The important, or I should say, essential point is that there are these three types of individuals, and that perceiving and understanding this division, as well as determining who is what, is what has to be learned in the generations to come. And besides scientific and moral inquiries into this matter, what else is needed is of human interaction a rich field from which to collect data for processing and theorizing toward this understanding of human nature and interaction. and this rich field I am bold to say can come into effective reality not only in a free society but in a free human interaction between people. and for this free human interaction to develop, human beings have to be relatively free from unnecessary fears: psychological fears, economic fears, religious fears, personal pain and fears. John Lennon sums it up lyrically in his song "Instant Karma:"
Why in the world are we here?
surely not to live in pain and fear.
And this free human interaction I venture to say can develop in an inner, apolitical, non-denominational society of mutual interests, benefits, and services; a society in which each member not only belongs as a remote member, but personally participates as he or she wills to maintain and promote the welfare of its members. You might say that the political society of which they belong is their vocation, whereas the beneficial society of which they belong is their avocation.
The first stage, then for such a beneficial society to come into being is to set forth in print its philosophy, plan and purpose. The second stage is simply to begin it on the basis of that plan and purpose. With this in mind, let us begin the first stage of our enterprise.
What is it that will interlock each separate part of our invisible, amorphous, edifice to the whole structure, as though each part invisibly connected to every other part however remote in space, or cyberspace, it lies? And since this edifice is to be a vital, vibrant, living society of human interaction, this interlocking must be a network of ideas and ideals consolidated into a visible format that is the meeting place, so to speak, of all participants. This format will be the public benefit's publication, titled Transition.
Transition is to be a social and cultural periodical divided into five main sections: (1) brief capsulations of major social, personal, cultural, and scientific news stories; (2) passages on all significant topics by both contemporary and classical sources; (3) services' information; (4) a calendar of events within and without the society; and (5) contributions of writings, art, etc. by the society's members.
NOTE: At this writing, and on this site, Transition consists of only section (2), as stated above.
Beyond this website, each member of our inner society will receive a copy of Transition free of charge at each periodical release. This is the vital artery linking each member conceptually to each other member and, to the inner society as a whole. It is not a partisan publication, but one inviting all views not only for the society, but against it as well. All channels will be open so that all views can be considered short of out-and-out degradation or de- pravity, or anarchy, or any ideology or philosophy or psychology that endorses the abuse of human dignity. Diversity of content within a framework of unity is to be the tone and coloration of its purpose. And this framework of unity is a just perspective of human nature in all its diversity within an atti tude of tolerance, acceptance, and understanding in this order of development if necessary.
As an intellectual publication, its function is to disseminate all ideas that will directly or indirectly promote the gaining of understanding that will lead to a growing balance between the all too-human in us and the more-than-human in us; in other words, an understanding that will lead to a human transcend- ence. All views that oppose this state of being, will be considered fairly so long as they are not destructive of the wisdom that holds people together, individually and collectively within our society. Closed minds, authoritarian personalities, fundamentalist distorters, malice bearers, backbiters, name-callers, and all the rest will be free to express their views in Transition in keeping with our principle of being open to all types and diversities of lifestyles, beliefs, and values. The rub, however, is that the admitting of such destructive elements will serve more as a bracing tonic to the fundamental tenets wisdom of human-transcendence than as an influence. Those views will contribute to our further understanding of human nature, its ways and wiles; will strengthen us against their adverse intentions. And what are their "adverse intentions", in short? To paralyze the human spirit into the calcification of dogma and institutionalization, into interpreting the world in their terms only and thereby disregarding, even condemning, all beliefs and values that do not agree or accord with their own. In one manner of speaking, I am making a judgment on all such crystallized views as being detrimental to the progress of human consciousness.
And yet, in another manner of speaking I am not making such a judgment, but rather attempting to apply my own philosophy of openness to the diversity of life and human life, however contrary to my views. And this attempt is to see others who are opposed to an open, eclectic way of seeing and living life as those who live by an ancient biblical code of morals and religion as suited for such a value-belief system. In other words, there are minds which naturally gravitate toward a one-dimensional philosophy or religion of life; one which requires neither thought nor responsibility. These individuals have no other choice but to follow blindly, like sheep what their leading proponent of ideas propound, whether he is an ancient sage, A Christ or a Buddha, or other charismatic leader of ancient or modern, or contemporary times. There are more than enough of these leaders in every age, and certainly in ours.
Such leaders or charismatics have no religious or philosophical system of their own, so they speak in the name of Jesus or Buddha, or the I Ching,or whoever else of ancient times. They believe themselves to be messengers of these God-men, and so their power of personality perpetrate not the essential message of these mystics of God, but their ritual, their ethical dogma, the catechism of a rigid, orthodox religious institution. These one-dimensional class of people, who neither think for themselves, nor take moral responsibility for their actions require such leaders to tell them how to live, to threaten them with hell fire, to promise them heaven. They are not capable of grasping the essentiality of all world religions; namely that God is at the core and quick of all of us, and so can be realized, not on one's knees but on one's own; not in a church but in one's mind; not only in the hereafter but here and now.
Accordingly, they cling to the creed, the dogma, the ritual, the catechism, of a religion. And if they find their salvation and/or consolation in an institutionalized church or a sect, the do-gooders obviously will want to spread the word to save and console all others without distinction. So with their leaders, evangelists, they spread the word of blind faith, conformity, and obedience, of sin. The same pattern of doctrinization, of leader-followers, applies in the secular world of politics, with the exception that the autocrats themselves demand strict adherence and obedience to the State, and to its leaders as the preservers of this secular deity.
And again, this same pattern applies on a much lower, but no less influential, level of Family, Tradition, Brotherhood, a Philosophy or Psychology of life.
Yet it doesn't much matter what is deified; the point is that in slavishly paying obeisance to a closed system, these adherents close their minds to any merits of other possibilities. this belief value system is a closed, airtight vacuum that maintains their identity, their security, their solace; and so will permit nothing to threaten these. And understandably so, since they cannot think for themselves in such conceptual matters as God, son of God, eternity, State, Economics, the Unconscious, and so forth. And since people overall need a belief or faith in something beyond their limited selves, they must latch on to something solid, certain, of long-standing, such as Christianity, Buddhism, the State, the Family anything or anyone but themselves. This is just the way it is with our humanity in good part in this suffering, enigmatic reality of life and dying. And if one's mind can neither plumb, nor accept, nor deal with, the unknowable, with uncertainty, with meaninglessness, on the one hand; and with the possibility of an eternal world of God as Truth, or Bliss, or Meaning, or Spirit, or Love, and Mind, and so forth, on the other hand, then all the more must it cling to God as a Person: infinitely and eternal perfect, good, wise, and loving who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. This makes sense to the one-dimensional way of understanding anything beyond perceptual reality. They are the children of an all-embracing Deity who will care for them , if not in this life, then in the after-life.
This simplistic religious not spiritual approach suits this type of individual, and it would be not only futile to dissuade such people from this way, but detrimental as well; since overall their minds cannot make the leap from organized religion to pure spirituality. They would be empty vessels were it taken away from them. There is this respect due to them. In their way, religion inspires them to love, to good works, to prayer, even though they may not be genuine or consistent, or live their lives in accord with the ethical and religious principles of their church.
And of course, regarding those who give all obeisance to the State and ruler, or family, and whatever else,they will similarly be subject to the same patterns as the religious minded.
In respect to our publication, this class of people will be free to air their views in keeping with our openness to diversity. And since not all members of our inner society open-minded, progressive individuals, this type of dogmatic mind will be addressing and influencing persons of their own persuasion. This is as it should be for our society. Yet, on the other hand, these dogmatic persons are to show the same respect for views foreign, and even threatening to their own. There is yet another class of individuals, who think, not one dimensionally, but we might say two-dimensionally. They will consider both the dogmatic way of thinking as well as the open-minded way of thinking but predominantly for one purpose: to analyze and criticize. This is the skeptical type, who in his own way, is just as closed minded as the dogmatic type. This is the type of mind that questions rather than answers, who is more concerned with problems than with solutions. They consider their peculiar virtue as being the gadfly who criticizes and analyzes, to take apart and find fault; to take nothing at face value. These are the skeptics, the agnostics, the atheists, the iconoclasts, the nihilists, the cynical. For them, in the main, nothing is absolute only relative; nothing is true, only the facts, what is. They do not understanding or read. nor listen, nor speak, for enlightenment, but to question, deny, disprove.
And then there is a whole class of individuals who in Thoreau's words who live lives, more or less in "quiet desperation"; who overall are a confused mass of contradictions in matters of personal identity and self-realization. They all their lives seek one form or another of wis- dom, whether in a religion, a philosophy, a moral code, or even a psychology. And perhaps for many of these unfortunates, everything helps a little, whatever they may delve into for answers, but never ultimately. They might end up in a religion that earlier in their lives they had renounced for lack of anything more enlightening; or they come to believe that man (or the state, or the family, or whatever else human-devised) is the measure of all things. Or they might simply resign themselves to a life that has no more meaning than merely living and dying. Or they may have given up on all ways and creeds and means to finding any transcendent answers to their lives; and so become just as in different to metaphysical matters as they feel the world is to them, and everyone and everything else as well. Life-as-absurdity is their answer to the meaning of life.
These three main classes of readership of Transition, and as members of our society, will voice their viewpoints in our periodical, and will appeal to mem- bers of their own persuasion. And within these types will be the moral, amor- al, and immoral types as well. In essence, there will be a little something in the periodical for everyone; and is as it is supposed to be.
The key to the success of this eclectic approach is that our periodical is not to be simply an intellectual conveyer of ideas but a sympathetic flow of feelings and sentiments.
And it is this sympathetic element, not only in the periodical, but in the society as well, that will be the great equalizer between its members; certainly not the intellectual element. If anything, the various intellectual factor will tend to separate individuals than to consolidate them. It is the sympathetic flow that will offset the clash between intellectual views, and keep the members together in consolidation, which is the ultimate end of this beneficial society.
The Public Benefit will have no "central office," so to speak; it will be every- where and nowhere, so to speak, in all its endeavors. Its endeavors, however will be centralized in net-space on the internet, and in communities/neigh- borhoods everywhere as Community Educultural Places.
The main purpose of these Community Educultural Places will be to provide an environment complementary to children's and youth's school and home a place of their own which promote an appreciation and enthusiasm for education, culture, play, and interaction. The philosophy of each community educultural center is the development of children's and youths' full poten- tials through contextual understanding and self-understanding.
Regarding the education aspect of these community/neighborhood edu- educulural places in particular, it is a critical-creative thinking education which teach students to understand what they are reading at the same time as they read. They do not receive this training in their regular schooling. The name of this in-depth education is Studies in Meaning.
NOTE: For a complete overview and samples of this education and its related Educultural Places, click on the URL below.
Studies in Meaning:
A Critical-Creative Thinking Education
OUR CONSCIOUS TRANSFORMATION CULTURE
The Ascendancy of Justice and Wisdom
over Injustice and Ignorance
Written, Compiled, & Arranged
A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive
and move towards higher levels.
No Problem can be solved from the same level of conscious-
ness that create it.
Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
PERTINENT QUOTES ON CULTURE
1. Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they under- stand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.
- Paulo Coelho
2. Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.
- Cesar Chavez
3. Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
4. Sexual, racial, gender violence and other forms of discrimination and violence in a culture cannot be eliminated without changing culture.
- Charlotte Bu
5. All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.
- Noam Chomsky
6. Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.
- Albert Camus
7. You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
- Ray Bradbury
8. The first step - especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money - the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the mu- sic. Shoot the films. Paint the art.
- Chuck Palahniuk
9. They stared at each other, wanting each other, drawn to each other, but their silent shout of love went unheard in the roar of misunderstanding, and the clatter of culturally ingrained beliefs."
- Jean M. Auel, The Mammoth Hunters
10. The stronger a culture, the less it fears the radical fringe. The more paranoid and precarious a culture, the less tolerance it offers.
11. Our culture has filled our heads but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets but starved our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts but not for meaning or mystery. It produces "nice" people, not heroes.
- Peter Kreeft
12. The imagination is the goal of history. I see culture as an effort to literally realize our collective dreams.
- Terence McKenna
13. While much psychology emphasizes the familial causes of angst in humans, the cul- tural component carries as much weight, for culture is the family of the family. If the fam- ily of the family has various sicknesses, then all families within that culture will have to struggle with the same malaises. There is a saying cultura cura, culture cures. If the cul- ture is a healer, the families learn how to heal; they will struggle less, be more reparative, far less wounding, far more graceful and loving. In a culture where the pred- ator rules, all new life needing to be born, all old life needing to be gone, is unable to move and the soul-lives of its citizenry are frozen with both fear and spiritual famine.
- Clarissa Pinkola Estés
14. One of the most effective ways to learn about oneself is by taking seriously the cul- tures of others. It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them from you.
- Edward T. Hall
15. No human culture is inaccessible to someone who makes the effort to understand, to learn, to inhabit another world.
- Henry Louis Gates Jr.
16. It must be recognized that in any culture the source of law is the god of that society.
- Rousas John Rushdoony
15. When I was a child, when I was an adolescent, books saved me from despair: that convinced me that culture was the highest of values [...]."
- Simone de Beauvoir
(1) It sounds like a fairy-tale, but not only that; this story of what man by his science and practical inventions has achieved on this earth, where he first appeared as a weakly member of the animal kingdom, and on which each individual of his species must ever again appear as a helpless infant... is a direct fulfilment of all, or of most, of the dearest wishes in his fairy-tales. All these possessions he has acquired through culture. Long ago he formed an ideal conception of omnipotence and omni- science which he embod- ied in his gods. Whatever seemed unattainable to his desires - or forbidden to him - he attributed to these gods. One may say, therefore, that these gods were the ideals of his culture. Now he has himself approached very near to realizing this ideal, he has nearly become a god himself. But only, it is true, in the way that ideals are usually realized in the general experience of humanity. Not completely; in some respects not at all, in others only by halves. Man has become a god by means of artificial limbs, so to speak, quite magnificent when equipped with all his accessory organs; but they do not grow on him and they still give him trouble at times. ... Future ages will produce further great advances in this realm of culture, probably inconceiv- able now, and will increase man's likeness to a god stIl more.
(ii) It is my opinion that the main reason why we rebel against war is that we cannot help doing so. We are pacifists because we are obliged to be for organic reasons. And we then find no difficulty in producing arguments to justify our attitude.
No doubt this requires some explanation. My belief is this. For incalcula- ble ages mankind has been passing through a process of evolution of culture. (Some people, I know, prefer to use the term 'civilization'.) We owe to that process the best of what we have become, as well as a good part of what we suffer from. Though its causes and beginnings are obscure and its outcome uncertain, some of its characteristics are easy to perceive. It may perhaps be leading to the extinction of the human race, for in more than one way it impairs the sexual function; uncultivated races and backward strata of the population are already multiplying more rapidly than highly cultivated ones. The process is perhaps comparable to the domestication of certain species of animals and it is undoubtedly accompanied by physical alterations; but we are still unfamiliar with the notion that the evolution of civilization is an organic process of this kind. The psychical modifications that go along with the process of civilization are striking and unambiguous. They consist in a progressive displacement of instinctual aims and a restriction of instinctual impulses. Sensations which were pleasurable to our ancestors have become indifferent or even intolerable to ourselves; there are organic grounds for the changes in our ethical and aesthetic ideals. Of the psychological characteristics of civilization two appear to be the most important: a strengthening of the intellect, which is begin- ning to govern instinctual life, and an internalization of the aggressive impulses, with all its consequent advantages and perils. Now war is in the crassest opposition to the psychical attitude imposed on us by the process of civilization, and for that reason we are bound to rebel against it; we simply cannot any longer put up with it. This is not merely an intellectual and emotional repudiation; we pacifists have a consti- tutional intolerance of war, an idiosyncrasy magnified, as it were, to the highest degree. It seems, indeed, as though the lowering of aesthetic standards in war plays a scarcely smaller part in our rebellion than do its cruelties.
And how long shall we have to wait before the rest of mankind become pacifists too? There is no telling. But it may not be Utopian to hope that these two factors, the cultural attitude and the justified dread of the consequences of a future war, may result within a measurable time in puttingan end to the waging of war. By what paths or by what side-tracks this will come about we cannot guess. But one thing we can say: whatever fosters the growth of civilization works at the same time against war.
17. Culture had worked in her own case, but during the last few weeks she had doubted whether it humanized the majority, so wide and so widening is the gulf that stretches between the natural and the philosophic man, so many the good chaps who are wrecked in trying to cross it.
- E.M. Forster
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