Through the examination of the SYMBOLISM in MYTHY, RITUAL and ART, I have attempted to present an integrated view of MAN'S ACTIVITIES, and to show through their underlying associations, that man is part of a unity from which he draws the MEANING of his EXISTENCE.
The greatness of human culture is the depth and power of its attempt to master the COMPLEXITY of EXISTENCE, to bring it to some sort of ORDER and PATTERN, enabling the LIFE PROCESS to go forward in the discovery of its POTENTIALITIES within an acceptance of our weakness as individuals. We can learn from the history of the race what human beings have always attempted, and in attempting, have created and left for us as the great heritage of ART and HUMAN THOUGHT. We can see how every culture has grown out of a STRONG COMMUNAL SENSE of HUMAN SIGNIFICANCE, and how each culture has celebrated this significance, and has used ritual and myth, magic and religion, painting and dancing to create vital images and actions of meaning. And we can see how, always, the great common griefs, joys and fear of mankind have been faced and related to human life and meaning by the use of these IMAGES.
The UNIQUENESS of the HUMAN FACULTY lies in the ABILITY to DISCERN, to SERVE, to INTUITE RELATIONSHIPS; RELATIONSHIPS between MAN and MAN, between MAN and NATURE, and between MAN and GOD. According to the profundity of his awareness of this threefold RELATIONSHIP and of his ability to express it in SYMBOLIC terms, so do we see ART and CULTURE of man blossom magnificently into that of fifth-century Greece and thirteenth-century Europe or the other great cultures of mankind.
It is no paradox that in our most THEORETICAL moods we may be nearest to our most PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS.
Thus RELIGION is SOLITARINESS; and if you are never SOLITARY, you are never RELIGIOUS. COLLECTIVE enthusiasms, revivals, institutions, churches, rituals, bibles, codes of behaviour, are the trappings of RELIGION, its passing forms. They may be useful, or harmful; they may be authoritatively ordained, or merely temporary expedients. But the end of RELIGION is beyond all this.
Accordingly, what should emerge from RELIGION is INDIVIDUAL worth of character. But WORTH is positive or negative, good or bad. RELIGION is by no means necessarily good. It may be very evil. The fact of evil, interwoven with the texture of the world, shows that in the nature of things there remains effectiveness for degradation. In your RELIGIONS experience the God with whom you have made terms may be the God of destruction, the God who leaves in his wake the loss of the greater reality.
And indeed studies have shown that the gradual acquirement of particular temporal coneptions can be closely correlated with the child's acquisition and use of language.
When the relation of the material universe to God is conceived in this way, it is natural to inquire whether there is in it some MEANING for us, which we may hope to understand. A partial answer to this question may be found, I think, when we fix our attention on the ORDER that has been discerned in the cosmos by narural philosophers. The fact that changes in our material universe can be PREDICTED - that they are subject to MATHEMATICAL LAW - is the most significant thing about it, for MATHEMATICAL LAW is a concept of the mind, and from the existence pf MATHEMATICAL LAW we infer that our minds have access to something akin to themselves that is in or behind the universe. And the MATHEMATICAL LAWS were not brought into existence at the time when they were discovered: men lived in the midst of all the POTENTIALITIES for countless generations, unable to use them for want of knowledge. The laws of electricity were as true in the age of palaeolithic man as they are today. The natives whom Darwin found at Tierra del Fuego eating raw shellfish off the rocks might have been supported against the rigours pf th climate in electrically-heated dressing-gowns if they had known more about the LAWS that were already in existence. When even we KNOW now is only a small part of the whole that is to be DISCOVERED.
In the first place, discipline does not include the making of errors. What it does preclude is the retention of an error which has clearly and distinctly betrayed its wrongness. If a theorem is inconsistent, or if a proof refuses to become complete under the greatest pressure which you can exert, cast it from you.
This is the negative side of INTELLECTUAL discipline. There is, however, a positive correlate to this. If a theorem merely looks grotesque or unusual and if your maximum effort cannot discover any contradiction, do not cast it aside. If the only thing that seems to be wrong about a proof is its UNCONVENTIONALITY, then dare to accept it, UNCONVENTIONALITY and all. Have the courage of your beliefs - because if you don't you will find that the best things you might have thought about will be picked up from under your own nose by more venturesome spirits; but, above all, because this is the only manly thing to do.
If therefore I do not desire to PARTICIPATE in the BOMBING or POISONING of DEFENCELESS PEOPLE - and I most certainly do NOT - I MUST TAKE a SERIOUS RESPONSIBILITY as to those to whom I disclose my SCIENTIFIC IDEAS.
I do not expect to publish any future work of mine which may damage in the hands of irresponsible militarists.
It is absurd to divide people into GOOD and BAD, People are either CHARMING or TEDIOUS.
Believe in yourself but don't be overconfident; Be satisfied but know that you can always improve. Accept LOVE graciously.
If a man DIE it is because DEATH has first POSSESSED his IMAGINATION.
These bickerings between two cultures do not deserve a great deal of attention; they are too often a matter of the pot calling the kettle black. . . .
You forgot the one thing missing from your act: Backstage you left your TRICK TOP HAT.
John Brown, motivated by IDEALISM, has set out to abolish slavery in UNISTAT in the nineteenth century. On one of his first raids he murdered a whole family of slave-owners. An associate, who was less idealistic, had suggested sparing the children, but John Brown refused: 'NITS grow up to be LICE', he said.
IDEALISTS were like that. You were much safer falling into the hands of the CYNICS. The CYNICS regarded everybody as equally CORRUPT. That was the attitude, for instance, of Tobias Knight and the other old hands at the FBI.
The IDEALISTS REGARDED EVERYBODY as EQUALLY CORRUPT,EXCEPT THEMSELVES.
ANARCHISM was similar. It had been invented in FRANCE in the nineteenth century and was also based on materialism, skepticism and a fierce demand for social justice. It attracted the same types as NIHILISM and also quickly acquired a bad reputation.
The NIHILIST ANARCHIST HORDE believed that they had chosen that name to refurbish the sane, sound side of NIHILISM and ANARCHISM. Actually, they were kidding themselves. They really enjoyed having the name that scared the bejesus out of everybody.
The BIO-SURVIVALCIRCUIT, imprinted in the ORAL-SUCKLING stage, was chemically bonded onto the autonomic nervous system and brainstem. It existed in null-class neurological time; that is, it acted without any conscious decision-making process, so no TIME was experienced when it operated. 'I just found myself doing it', said the baffled primate as he was being decorated for bravery or court-martialed for cowardice.
The EMOTIONAL CIRCUIT, imprinted in the anal-territorial toddling stage, was chemically bounded into the thalanus. It existed in medium-fast neurological time; that is, primates often reacted mechanically to emotional stimuli but sometimes agonized over emotional decisions, becoming acutely aware of TIME as they hesitated.
The SEMANTIC CIRCUIT, imprinted by hominid speech-forms and artifacts, was chemically bonded into the left hemisphere of the cortex. It existed in medium neurological time; primates were always conscious of themselves thinking as they juggled their verbal categories around.
The SOCIO-SEXUAL CIRCUIT, imprinted by the first mating or orgasm experiences, was chemically bonded into the left neo-cortex. It existed in medium-slow neurological time and caused the primates to plan for the future, to think of old age and death and to have hopes for their children.
The META-PROGRAMMING CIRCUIT, imprinted by disciplined training in neuro-science, was chemically bonded into the frontal lobes. It existed beyond time, giving the primates who had it multiple-choice view of reality and allowing them to understand QUANTUM PHYSICS and the LAWS of MAGICK.