What Is Man?
Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.
vol. XV no. 1-2
First published in 1985. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright ÂŠ 1985-2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 978-0-87825-325-8 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, N.Y. 10003-4555 www.EducationalSolutions.com
This eternal question has been asked again and again for millennia; mainly by those who were called philosophers, who have influenced mankind for very long, and continue to do so even if their very interesting and fascinating answers leave the challenge open for a new thinker to take it up. Each generation felt entitled to reopen the question, and have done so more than once. Philosophers felt entitled to suggest that science had very little to contribute to this quest while metaphysics, logic, even linguistics, could. Psychology, sociology and anthropology even more; not as sciences but as contributors to the stress on individuality and collectivity, investigating to what extent each defined Man. Man the unique, concrete being and man as any one of the many concepts of him proposed by profound thinkers â€” religious or secular â€” pull in opposite directions and prevent a tackling of the problem in its reality. There are too many sensitivities involved and too many premises to choose from, to develop a unique and final approach to the question, yielding Man as a fully comprehended entity. Each of us ends up selecting the definitions which please our temperament most, and identify with them the whole of our self, believing we are the closest to the actual reality of Man, although very soon we are jolted by many behaviors we read about in the news which reduce our theory to nothing or almost. In this issue of our Newsletter, we shall take the plunge and add one more theory for people to consider, believing that it is new, comprehensive, true and practical, like no previous one has been, even if it is less poetic, less well expounded than several others and hence less attractive. Its place in the set of definitions will be decided by others, provided they give it a chance comparable to the one they prefer. News Items close this double-issue, the first of Volume XV.
Table of Contents
1 Why A Definition? ............................................................. 1 2 Man As Evolving Energy..................................................... 5 3 Pre-Humanity And The Emergence Of Man......................15 4 A Vision Of Homo Telluricus And Homo Cosmicus ......... 23 News Items ......................................................................... 31 1 The Subordination Of Teaching To Learning For The New York City Department Of Correctionsâ€™ Education Branch. ........ 31 2 The Summer Silent Way Workshop............................................. 32 3 The Generation Of Wealth Seminar In France ............................34 4 The Ojibwe Training Course In September ................................. 37 5 Visible & Tangible Math II ...........................................................39
1 Why A Definition?
An entity as wide and varied as Man could perhaps be best understood through an approach which is equally wide and varied, and yet will lead us to a definition of Man which is inadequate. The need for a definition is more important than the definition itself, if this is ever reached. The need comes from an intense desire of Man to understand himself, and to make sense of what he retains of his own life which presses him to do so, and what comes his way in his experience as glimpses of others. These, through encounters, through love, through inspiration, through information and the lingering of stories heard in all sorts of circumstances. Without that intense desire to know himself and others, how could anyone stand the emotional, intellectual and physical strains of going through vast writings of people as different Plato, Aristotle; authors of the sacred books of religions, of saints like Augustine, Thomas, Theresa, John of the Cross; philosophers like Descartes, Spinoza, Hobbs, Hume, Kant, Hegel and scores of others yielding their messages only to the most persistent and keen readers going to them full of respect, goodwill and that intense desire to know the truth about Man? Clearly, if all these messages, ancient and new, are still in circulation today, it proves that Man really wishes to know himself, generation after generation, and is not discouraged by â€œfailingâ€? to find the satisfactory answer. Clearly, Man sees that every effort at definition may help someone at grasping something vital of his condition,
What Is Man?
however small a fragment it is when compared to the intuited whole. No one will discourage all men engaged in this quest, even if it is in the nature of that mystery to elude us forever. *** Having accepted that whatever would come the way of any one of us, would only fall far short from giving full satisfaction of having found what matters most, the present state of affairs represents for me progress and proves the quest as having been worthwhile after almost 70 years of looking and probing. When my search yielded something important, I took solace in it and found encouragement to go on questioning and probing, turning things around and experimenting with that which could burn me or soothe me, leads me to impasses or to triumphant moments of enlightenments. Knowing that these were doomed to be temporary but my need to know, not so. It never left me from the moment I remember my first conscious and eager question which came to me in September 1918, and turned itself into zillions of others, many still lingering in me. Slowly I examined the effect of such or such a lighting on the whole and what it revealed of it. Only lightings were at my disposal, and they did reveal each time new things about the whole. That was the essence of my search, not my eagerness to find the whole lit in its entirety, when the ultimate light is found which will leave nothing in the shadows. Thus I gathered sayings of others which put my search in its place; like Goethe’s statement (which I try so often to pass on to others): “To live the whole of Man we need the whole of humanity;” or Bergson’s: “Men form species having only one member each,” or Marcault’s: “In every human being the whole of humanity is potentially present,” or “All the potential of humanity is immanent in every human being.” (In words perhaps different from the original ones, but as they remained in me for many years connected with these authors.)
1 Why A Definition?
In my own thinking, I found that, although very different from each other and unequally attractive to others, â€œevery life is equivalent to any other, each as a single experiment in living affirming one of the possibilities available.â€? Who am I to say that such or such a life is worthless and such or such is a true expression of our humanity? So long as I do not know what Man is, I feel compelled to consider each life as an experiment to know, all equally valid. Sensing that a definition is beyond my reach and seeing that all attempts had been assailed by critics justifying their refusal to accept each and all the definitions offered in history, I came to look at this challenge to me as one which might lead me to a new kind of search while accepting all of the definitions as contributing to my understanding. A search in which evolution forced the presence of a general relativity and relativity the presence of a dual universe: my own and that of others lumped together â€” though each of them could play a similar role to mine in a general theory of human relativity. The question for me was no longer to find a definition of Man but of understanding men in their concreteness and possibilities, both within my own concrete living and within a vast schema produced to accommodate in an abstract manner every possible kind of life which had the power of making itself concrete. This openness forced my model of Man and Mankind to be instantly and always revisable; to be imposed by the amount of truth it contained and acceptable by the number of new insights and applications it permitted. A model as definition (and a dynamic model, explicitly created as a function of time, changing itself with each finding and capable of doing just that) seemed to me to provide a stage of progress in my quest. Others would find it useful for them according to the main stress of their own quest: totally useless at one end, and at another end, valid because, by integrating theirs, it expanded beyond their hopes and expectations. From the start evolution contributed its two components: heredity and variation. The first to force awareness of some sort of permanences which gave the impression of stability and timelessness to institutions. 3
What Is Man?
The second to force awareness that only through change can we account truly for the reality of our experience of ourselves and of that which is of others than ourselves. But even those two enormous and enormously effective instruments for model-making could not yield a view of Man which could be interpreted as an answer to, “What is Man?” Other instruments had to be found, tried out, tested for adequacy and validity, integrated so as to deliver aspects of Man recognizable empirically and existentially as true and real and serving the purpose of a “better” understanding of single individual human beings. This test by the singular of the general approach to the question, “What is Man?” is the acid test. It makes the approach stand or fall, be kept among other approaches still examined in our times or forgotten. It gives every reader the right to accept or reject it on the basis of his own introspections and his assessment of his life. Thus it asks for little tolerance of the metaphysics in it, if some still lingers. It asks for the cooperation of everyone in its validation and adoption. It actually makes the singular the arbiter and the collective a follower however important the collective is found to be. The difference between, on the one hand, the concrete living each individual is capable of (while sensing it as such) and, on the other, the abstract handling of all the rest, is part of the dynamics which permeates the model. It leaves to concreteness the last word, making each single life capable of toppling the whole theoretical edifice and showing its hollowness in so far as it attempts to say what Man is but is unable to put any light on what one Man did or does. Such model-making makes use of all the sciences relevant to its subject: Man; all the arts as individual expressions of the active immanents influencing human behavior over long stretches of time; all attempts at answering the question: “What is Man?” and all skills available in translating vision into act and action. Therefore it may be difficult to watch how it evolves and gains its right to life. 4
2 Man As Evolving Energy
In the last hundred years, Man has acknowledged that energy exists and has followed its evolution. By so doing, he has understood his environment and his connections with it. But more than this, he has found that essentially he was and has always been himself an “evolving energy system.” To attach some definite meaning to these words we must elaborate further how Man himself as part of an evolving universe, evolves and how such evolution translates itself into a grasp by Man of what he is. That “is-ness” will become a beginning for a new way of looking at himself and finding attributes of himself which could not be found by any other approach. Thus knowing himself beyond what has been revealed by instruments less powerful and less far-reaching, used by him in his knowing of himself thus far. In the sciences, Man knows himself, though they are not created for that purpose but rather to pursue as far as possible some aspect of some of his awarenesses. It is not customary to look at the sciences in that way. They exist because some minds dedicate themselves to knowing something about what strikes them as worthy of that use of their time of life. By knowing the world and its contents, Man knows himself while making the world to his image. It is remarkable that in that process of knowing himself he states that he is knowing what already exists as objective reality calling subjective reality the one which would lead him to knowing himself. Still when he indulges in the studies called the histories of the sciences, all he finds is that men have
What Is Man?
uncovered what could only be seen when uncovered by him in his dialogues with himself contemplating the universe within. Man could not say that he was partly made of matter until he had reached in his mind what he called matter and found it everywhere in the environment. He is more precise today and says that he is a soma made of molecules plus. Man’s soma contains all the atoms and molecules he is made of and the molecules of the environment he takes in temporarily as air he breathes and food he has ingested. Philosophers do not study the soma and its energy dynamics and histories. Even when they want to know really what Man is. They leave it to the sciences and happily dismiss it as not needed to reach actually a reply to their quest about who Man is. Still no Man has existed and done any work of any kind without being a dweller of his soma. Including philosophers. They could not be without a soma; they could not study without a soma; could not write about their findings without a soma. Man without a soma is known as an angel and even then is assumed to have a form to permit its movements and identification. So to reach Man in his concreteness requires that his somatic attributes be not forgotten and become part of his knowing of himself. Borrowing from the sciences — needed to know the soma — what they have found which is recognized as real and true, Man can say that he has restored his soma as one of parts needed to know himself and to answer the question, “What is Man?” He will not say that he knows Man if he restricts himself to any of the studies of these sciences, but neither will he be able to say that he can know Man without their essential findings. This quest therefore includes knowing the place of the soma in all human manifestations which include his philosophizing about Man. The soma is not only matter. It is involved in energy transactions within itself and what is not itself. Some energy “seems” locked up in the structures of the soma and some other is available in a number of forms in the functionings which keep the soma alive.
2 Man As Evolving Energy
Matter as such is the total content of the dead body of Man and it, at death, joins the chemistry on the earth. Man is an earthly creature. He can know himself when he fathoms his connections with the habitat which sustains him but also has made possible his appearance on it. His soma is clearly earthian and suggests links with the environment beyond matter, one is that he is structurally cellular — as are all plants and animals. Man can only know himself alive and through his living life, as part of the phenomena of life on earth. From the sciences of life he will gather what is significant for that knowledge and say that as a living earthian he has attributes and limitations which are needed in order to grasp what he is. As form made up of an organization of tissues and organs, he will know himself as having their possibilities and their limitations and reach a little more accurately the concreteness of being, if he takes them into account. Man is clearly not a plant. He can know plants from outside and uncover their evolution on earth as energy systems maintaining themselves through the processing of the physico-chemical energy found on earth. Plants link life to the cosmos of which the earth is a particle. Man is alive somewhat in a similar manner. He could not know himself unless he keeps himself or is kept, alive at that level. His form alive owes something to the evolution of plants and if he knows the way life maintains itself he can say that he knows himself at that level. He owes to plants’ evolution, which has tested the viability on earth of tissues and organs, that he breathes and perspires; that he grows cellularly in numbers and sizes; that he can reproduce through sexual interchanges and gestation; that he can process cosmic energy to make himself and keep making the molecules and storing the energies which permit his maintenance and growth. Man’s energy transactions are in a sense the vegetable part of himself and without them he cannot begin to arrive at the stage where he can ask, “Who am I?” But Man has so integrated the evolution of forms that it is stamped in his soma and does not require concentration on what it is and what it does, except for those few interested in actually knowing that and who 7
What Is Man?
become the scientists of the sciences of life. Still Man will not be if this profound connection with life on earth, its emergence and evolution is not integrated in what, in Man, integrates. But life on earth has also taken another path. While the evolution of form requires all the experiments in plant formations and constitutes the material of botany, form has been captured by another evolution to attempt to produce all that which is feasible on earth when the captors attempt to find out what is viable on earth when energy directs form to give it its domain. Animals are not forms trying to explore a certain link with the cosmos when vital energy rides upon cosmic energy to make it produce a certain plant capable of maintaining and reproducing itself â€” though they too take form as their starting springboard. Animals relate to the cosmos indirectly, via the organisms already formed which may themselves directly thrive on the cosmos. Not being essentially synthesizers like plants, they are analyzers breaking down existing organisms to extract the energy, and the bricks which go to make possible the remaking of their form special to its field of behaviors. A form moved by a special energy we call instinct, is what an individual animal is in essence. Zoology studies these manifestations of vital energy which has become animal energy by not restricting itself to the remaking of itself as form, but rather to exploring what is possible for an animated form, seeking its subsistence in ready-made organisms rather than directly in the cosmos and rather increasing its chances of not making it since organisms are few compared to the molecules of the cosmos used to make forms. Animals evolve as one instinct attempts to go further in its finding of which constellation of behaviors is conditioned by its existing and animated form. While various instincts can be used to define as many animal species, it is the change of instinct which forms the domain of animal evolution. Here again, while it is specific forms which are passed from one plant to its descendants and new botanical species are created by finding which form can exploit a cosmic environment, specific animals can both perpetuate the exploitation of an organic environment to keep the species going, and encounter a variation in
2 Man As Evolving Energy
that exploitation proving it viable. A new animal species is evolved because greater possibilities for the energy of one instinct manifest themselves in the environment. By attempting to explore these new possibilities rather than perpetuate the species, an instinct discovers the extent of the domain of behaviors which went with it. By selecting to explore the new rather than restrict itself to the proven, an instinct discovers that it is other than what it was by total identification with the old set of behaviors. It can now generate a new species linked with the previous one by its form but essentially different in its pursuits of other behaviors. Because form is energy it can evolve and create the second realm of manifestation of energy which on earth, is the vegetable kingdom. Because instinct is energy it can evolve and create the third realm of manifestation of energy, which on earth, is the animal kingdom. Energy has evolved in the cosmos in creating all the forms of matter which in the stars, as laboratories, have become the various nuclei, atoms and molecules known to Man, first on earth and found to be those which dwell in stars and galaxies. Energy, discovered by Man on earth, has become the most pervasive component of all reality. Through it and its evolutions, it became possible for Man to know all that which has precipitated as reality in the cosmos and on earth and he has tried to see how energy itself evolves within each realm and from one realm to another. In less than one hundred years a multitude of appearances have become aspects of energy in its various coagulations and Man has learned to handle at the same time that which seems different and that which unites. Heat, radiation, gravity, magnetism, electricity, work, were known for what they are: forms of energy, different to our perception but interchangeable in both directions when conceived as identical in that they are energy. Our modern technology results from that understanding, which from waterfalls and turbines include irons producing heat to press our clothes, for example, or engines to move our elevators in their shafts.
What Is Man?
Through the same period Man has harnessed the sources of great energies as in the nuclear weapons and the minute amounts which move photons into atoms of luminescent stuff on screens, and change their vibrating states. While Pascal trembled 350 years ago when contemplating the immensity of the universe and minuteness of the microscopic world, we, of this century, contemplate calmly the two scales and try to merge them into one. We wield the destructive power of the atom and the “nothing” of the electron, more inclined to use “nothings” in everything and to ban forever the sudden bursts of nuclear weapons of which we have so many at hand. We have become experts in the mental handling of nothings and found them useful to help us understand among other things that Man could evolve from the third realm of the instincts to the fourth realm, in which instincts can be recalled as instruments of understanding but no longer order us around. In that perspective, Man happened, when, in the evolution of instincts, one individual chose a life in which instincts no longer would be allowed to rule his life. Man opened the fourth realm while still integrating the first three which were distinguishable in him but were subordinated to the new adventure of creating the universe of consciousness. *** No Man is without a soma, nor without a psyche; the soma being witness of the cosmic (or molecular) constitution of his being subordinated to the cells involved in the tissues and organs; and the psyche being witness to the evolution of the third realm, it too subordinated to the expression of being human. To know Man, we must never forget those two aspects which condition all others even if they do not determine them. Man is a soma rather
2 Man As Evolving Energy
than have one. For, he is not given one, and has to live on it parasitically! At one stage, in his development from the original egg, all he did with himself was to know from within what he was doing with his time and that was, to objectify his soma where he dwelled all the time, integrating what had been objectified by subordinating it to the newest layers of his nervous system. To conceive Man without a soma can only lead to an unreal being, a puppet in the hands of a puppeteer. To know what Man is, is to reserve an important place for his objectified self, his soma without which he only has an abstract reality. But within the soma there are contents which tell us what they are when all the human sciences join hands to let us know what each and all have gleaned about Man since their constitution. A psyche, as human energy left behind at each moment of the somatic elaboration in order to keep it alive and functioning, dwells in the soma as its home. A psyche which grows every day by the work done by the self to meet the demands of the present. A psyche so intimately blended with the structures of the soma that it is called â€œphysiological functioningsâ€? by biologists when they stop at the challenges put to them by the soma and refuse to follow it in the events outside it. These will be conceived by other scientists, among them anthropologists, psychologists and sociologists, in terms of cultures, of behavior at the individual and collective levels. The psyche in Man is the transform of instincts in animals, there to make the past of the individual operative and as much as possible failproof. In animals, instinct regulates life as well. In Man, the psyche makes possible the free-flying individual looking for what is new and for what is unknown that can get known. Man has left the third realm when he became aware of his awareness. Animals remain in that realm, to constitute it, because they are aware, but of things and actions only. They have to be aware to take some initiatives as they do as soon as circumstances are hostile or difficult. But they do not work at maintaining initiative as a way of being, which Man did and does.
What Is Man?
To lead a human life, Man has made his main trait awareness of his awareness, to know these separately and specifically and to give himself awareness as a field of being recognized as existing beyond the instances of awarenesses of that which he can hold in his memory. Man has evolved as far as his awareness of his awareness has and now he is also aware that his distinctive human attribute is awareness of that. He can know Man and say what he is because precisely he has attained this stage of being aware that he is essentially aware of awareness and hence of awarenesses. This vertical evolution not only yields to Man all that which the sciences yield, all that which the arts yield, all that which religions yield, but also that, in order to operate all the time as a human, he has to be at the helm of his inner life and of the dynamics of nothings which characterize the passage of time in that inner life. As an energy system, Man is susceptible to being upset, like all very sensitive instruments he has created, by the slightest shifts, the nothings of human life. This he has cultivated in every truly human life over the millennia and passed on to others producing both the accumulated collective experience and the access to it through the access to the meaning of experience to oneself and to others. Man is human in many ways, because he is free to take up whatever strikes his awareness and to polarize his inner energies to use for this end what his psyche contains as well as what a “collective psyche” makes available. For example, to dwell on “What is Man?” Man is human, i.e. an individual of the fourth realm integrating the other three, when he knows himself as energy using all the forms of energy he has apprehended and changed one into the other to make sure they are one with diverse appearances. This profound acquaintance of energy because he is energy, led him to know it at all scales from the cosmic one where events consume enormous amounts
2 Man As Evolving Energy
to the subtle intellectual one where only nothings can function in order to respect reality. Man is human for some, because he knows his place in the universe at the same time as insignificant since he is a speck, and most significant since nothing can know itself which does not go through Man’s spirit, let it be energy, sound or light. Man is human for others, because of his memory and the maintenance of Experience (collective and individual) to serve experiences in the here and now. Still for others, because of his vulnerability to the concrete existence of others and his dedication to the reign of love on earth. Still for others, in that, he transcends the immanents and enters into new ways of being recognized as “more” human by “outlookers” and aspired to be lived by them. Man’s humanness is thus looked into as forming the fourth realm, separated or not from the previous ones and assumed to be a thickness of time, a duration needed to go from a faint perception of the possible to the objectivation of all the possibilities into instances of lives. Some “greater” than others, some “better” than others, some “more effective” than others, but all human in that they do not simply repeat others as clones would do. Among all the inner instruments Man gave himself, his sensitivities are the more powerful, because they are each the source of one of the various instruments and because sensitivity has become sensitive to itself. A very special form of awareness of the awareness of awareness. Man is his sensitivities. But not only that. He also is the user of their findings and the promoter of how to give these a reality through the use of all the energies accessible and made available. 13
What Is Man?
Energy plunged into energies, Man has learned how to relate to and how to project a future which will be human throughout. every human life will be an experiment in living, making all of different, and valuable for what they bring forth for the rest to from and illustrating Goetheâ€™s grasp of humanity requiring all past and future, to live the whole Man.
them In it, them learn lives,
Man, potential and realized in all lives, cannot be known once forever. He is not a metaphysical entity, though so often handled as such. He is not ever finished, achieved, as some hope he could be. He is on the contrary, testing himself constantly on that which was not yet dwelt in, not known for what it could or would be. The continuous creation of human layers, generations and their objectivations, instead of exhausting the potential seems to generate new chances in indefinite numbers for Man to manifest himself as other than he was, but, clearly, how he can be for himself and others to see or contemplate.
3 Pre-Humanity And The Emergence Of Man
By placing the fourth realm beyond the other three and making their links functional through integration and subordination, we have not given Man its full due. True evolution requires a beginning and a continuation if not an end. The beginning we placed in the â€œhuman big bangâ€? when one individual decided to walk out of instincts and to start a life without them. His success followed by countless others, forms, in its concreteness, the history of mankind. This history in actuality is only reachable in a small number of histories, recalled by specialists who read the records as if there were only one reading of them. They tell us that civilizations, lasting up to thousands of years, have tried out some ways of being as collective experiments. Ways which were partly conditioned by geography. Men trying human lives within given terms and restrictions, and leaving behind the testimony of what they found out was possible for them. Histories, as testimonies of human collective experiments, makes sense. This position eliminates judgments by people who from a distance look at what Men did actually, involved and engaged by energy to enter into some paths and prohibited to enter others. Each history tells us some of what Man is, when he is actually facing the given, the concrete with the means at his disposal, struggling to make sense of happenings and events as well as of his destiny, of the present
What Is Man?
moments, of pain and joy, of his lot at the moment, drowned in the close happenings which may mean catastrophe or nothing. Experiments in living, collectively or individually, are all there is to go by to know Man in his concreteness and, what we can see will let us know what Man can be and do, but also what he has left to do in the future, some of which already past. What all these experiments — still going on or extinct — teach us, is the role of passion in humans, its necessity in keeping them on track and attempting to go on their horizontal track accepted as the only real and valuable purpose in life. Absolutes exist and in the plural, as frameworks for the collective experiments relived by individuals and forming their lives concretely. Absolutes because of passion. Absolutes capable of being replaced by others but not in random order and not for too short durations. Passion is needed to feed the need to know, which humans hold as their characteristic. Passion means mobilization of energy and its polarization towards certain aims and projections. These become values held with passion to the point of giving one’s life for their realization or maintenance. Working at two levels — the individual and the collective — absolutes allow us to comprehend many human manifestations in the concrete. In the life of one individual, their succession is short-lived compared to the life of a collectivity but still long enough to show why they appear and last for some time to be replaced by another one which depends upon the advances made in the previous one or ones but concerned with totally different aims and projects. In the life of a collectivity, it spans generations needed to give meaning to a profound intuition which must be objectified in its details in order to be transformed into the collective reality gathered and described by historians. Without the successive absolutes and their workings we would be totally unable to account for the numerous civilizations and cultures collected on earth for our edification about what Man is, what he can do with himself to realize himself in certain ways. 16
3 Pre-Humanity And The Emergence Of Man
As distinct as early childhood is from adolescence and adulthood, are the plowings of the land by the first farmers from their established kingdoms with commerce thriving and industry blasting, and from social institutions and democratic societies, taking care of successive injustices. Because Man has no instincts he must learn everything from the start and all through life. But the learning follows a hierarchy imposed by its own constitution. For instance, it is impossible to learn to walk if one has not learned to stand. It is impossible to learn to speak if one has not mastered uttering what one wants to utter and to hear the elements which compose the speech of the environment. Hence, it is easy to go back to individuals and see what their spontaneous learning can teach us about individualsâ€™ evolution. What we find, confirmed by others, is that, if we use the criterion of interest and of passion that makes one pursue such interests, grosso modo we can say that in the Western societies children spend chunks of about five years to live each of four successive absolutes. Being attracted to one absolute because they find that with what they already did, they are ready to get into it, stay in it, to do all the explorations contained in it and move on to the next, knowing the first made them ready for it to rerun the same scenario until the next absolute offers itself. Calling the successive absolutes; that of perception from birth to say 5 years of age, that of action during the next 5 years till 10 or 11, that of effectivity, which includes puberty as one of its outward manifestations, that of the intellect which leads us to independent thought for which we become very keen. Of course, nowadays, adulthood does not begin at the end of this absolute because in the Western world we have rejoined the collective absolute of social awareness and the individual becomes then an active member of society displaying the social absolute which may last till one dies of old age. In the past, the number of individual absolutes was smaller, the first two correspond to adult living in the manner warring barons did more than ten centuries ago. The conscious collective exploration of the 17
What Is Man?
absolute of affectivity corresponds to the period between the first millennium and the Renaissance when the absolute of the intellect took over and for three centuries led Man to dedicate himself with passion to the creation of the sciences culminating in the expression of the absolute of Reason of the Encyclopedists and its acknowledgment as the Age of the Enlightenment. Adults collectively represent the collective experimentation of what happens in every individual life, on the two layers we are looking at which are similar but with a difference of phase. Adults can accept this title because they are the individuals who have raised their consciousness to the point that they can be identified as those who carry further the evolution of the group through their own evolution. The others are “the young” or the youth and live in their present absolute the absolutes of the past. Hence evolutions of the group and of the individuals can be put into a correspondence, we say mapped up (in an abstract way) one upon the other. Because of this, at a certain age individuals can join the adult group being accepted because of their identification with what other adults consider the role and function of that society. It is possible to develop the correspondence above in detail for a number of civilizations and their cultures. Histories provide the collective aspect and education of the individual within each, from birth till adulthood, the impact of the group on its members over the time of their lives. We shall leave this job for other occasions and only request our readers to find in themselves the necessity of such a correspondence in order to end up with a society in which people spontaneously find their satisfaction in the activities of the adult stage which make their lives worthwhile. Childhood and youth are then seen as those periods of life which serve to assimilate the past of that collectivity. *** In each civilization and each culture, the fact that people of different ages live at the same time in one place generates for all “immanents” represented by the latent and actual experiences of all others. The mere 18
3 Pre-Humanity And The Emergence Of Man
contact with some of the contents of this immanent serves as lever for the individual to engage in the horizontal evolution of the group to which one belongs. The one who lives that evolution for oneself gets the inspiration which generates the passion which leads to objectivations forming the concreteness of that life. As these objectivations are actually carried out they exchange time, the given time, into experiences for the individual who does the work and once they are accepted, as acceptable by sub-groups of the group around, they belong to the collective experience, contemporary or of the past. One grows in consciousness as if assimilating the collective experience when in fact only the correspondence of the content of an individual life and the content of collective experience is what we can call in to understand how the individual’s vertical evolution gets absorbed in the horizontal collective evolution. Contemporary search is what generates both the collective absolute as well as the individual’s, though they look very different from outside. Adults’ passion to live their present own absolute prevents them from sensing to what extent it is conditioned, as well as facilitated, by the history of the group — which is made of the remnants of experience of earlier generations of that group kept alive explicitly in the education offered to the young and implicitly by its effects on the common thought, common ethic of the group. While the actions of the adults at the level of their personal involvements in collective activities absorb their time and operate as if within a collective absolute, they prevent them from asking questions about the meaning of growing up in that collectivity. This growing up of individuals because it has aspects which change in time and do not last too long, seems to be made of accidents while the long adult life within an absolute molded by that living, seems stable and truly characteristic of human life. Both livings — adult and youth — are made on the same pattern of changing one’s time for one’s experience but the scales of time give them very distinct appearances. If boys and girls are pre-adolescents, and adolescents are pre-adults, let us call pre-human those adults who do not notice that they are 19
What Is Man?
totally absorbed by the passion of living their own absolute. This passionate living is now seen as the common attribute of all living from birth to death, and is capable of unifying very diverse views of the universe — inner and outer. If the need to know is a good guide to understand the contents of the temporal hierarchies of individual experience and allows us to make place in each individual life of what happens concretely at different ages from conception to adulthood, the need to make sense of the discrepancies of individual and collective living is as good a guide for understanding adult living in the human collectivity one finds oneself in. Neither individual growing up nor individual adult life can be understood without experimentation to reach the unknown. This unknown forms the immanent for the young in that everyone must, to grow up, reach a level of competent living which has been accumulated by previous generations through their successful living and which have been as well put on rails through the rejection of unsuccessful living. For adults, this unknown has a component which makes it truly unknown to all. Adult experiments in living can be — and are for some — an elevation of one’s awareness to that which does not exist yet, but is proved to be compatible with the human condition in the four realms, when it is created as a reality. Pre-humans mostly live within the immanent and find it satisfying oftentimes. Their experiments bring down the immanent and make it actual, perceptible and tangible. Part of the collective reality. All human inventions are of that kind and fill the transactions which fill pre-human lives in society. Pre-humans can teach pre-humans to alter societies in any number of their aspects and components, showing a social evolution on the horizontal planes. Some revolutions are only sudden evolutions but of the same kind. Keeping people in their prehumanity. Looking at the numerous components of history it is easy to see that pre-humanity has spent decades, centuries, millennia to define better 20
3 Pre-Humanity And The Emergence Of Man
for itself what is worth experimenting with, spending one’s time on at the individual level. Homo Sapiens — the aspect of Man connected with knowing — created the sciences of the last centuries, but before that the systematizations of every possible awareness capable of being pursued and known in time. For one example, let us mention the creation of the many many languages found in the valleys of the world. Homo Faber from the start tried to objectify what Homo Sapiens revealed to himself and could become objects. Among them, ideas, thoughts, beliefs concerned with one’s relation to the cosmos, to oneself and to one’s behaviors. Homo Economicus, spurred by the previous Homos, felt that improvements were possible and when needed objectified. History yields at least three histories, those of these three Homos welldefined and well-known empirically. But they do not exhaust human possibilities. Beyond the immanent there is what now appears as the “transcendent” and which to be reached requires vertical evolution — another name for the movement which generates new realities, not new objectivations. To live all of the immanent requires all pre-humans, as Goethe saw it. For the time of life has to be used for each in every experiment in living and once used, it is no longer available. The transcendent being beyond the immanent can only be realized by creation of the new. The kind of creation theologians associate with God and attributed to Him by all those people sensing the existence of the transcendent and who work it out intuitively beyond their present conditioning conditions. Mystics are specialists in that dialogue in all religions, civilizations and cultures. *** 21
What Is Man?
From all this we infer, with all our being, that a different future exists for Man, one we may call truly human, a fifth realm in which Man will realize through constant creation the new as testimony of this vertical evolution. To define it a priori can only make it part of the immanent and hence as belonging to the fourth realm. Hence, no need for definition makes its appearance. No need to convince anybody that it exists and is worth pursuing, which again reduces it to what has come to awareness in the fourth realm. Then what? how does the appearance of a thickness of time allocated by Man to the fifth realm affect prehumanity and lifts it to enter it and live in it? *** All we wanted to do in this article was to hint at the temporal character of Man and at his own realization in the concrete, over the time of his evolutions, both horizontal and vertical. Because we are in time we evolved. Because time is to be exchanged for human experience and there are many possibilities of doing that, we can produce a model of mankind in which there is room for everyone and for all the dynamics of such exchanges. Thus we produce a true general theory of human relativity which not only brings peace in front of all these varieties of human experience, which can harmonize or conflict with each other but at the same time allows for a future and one which can be original and the source of a new universe. Then Man can ask the question, â€œWhat am I?â€? and find as many answers as have been given thus far by each individual manifestation while leaving open the future and the creation of Men by what they do with themselves in the fifth realm.
4 A Vision Of Homo Telluricus And Homo Cosmicus
Awareness of my habitat as being the earth and of the earth as a speck of the physical universe or cosmos, seems so primitive that it does not come to me as a new awareness. But when I use all the instruments accessible in me and which are part of my evolution in this life, I find that I am preoccupied by what is real and true even if I am alone in entertaining the landscape which presents itself to me. From my prehumanity I carry intellectual instruments which are readily usable and I can speak and write about what I think and observe. This tells me that, more than Homo Sapiens in me, Homo Faber in me, Homo Economicus in me â€” whom I know well because I dwelt in them for a long time and they are in me since the conception which started this life of mine â€” is involved in my quest. But I also know that I use a number of ways of knowing according to which of my sensitivities, which of my sets of objectivations, partake in them. My intellect is only one of my endowments, which I can use and do use like several others when it is proper and required by my quest. I know that the many billions of years of evolution are available to me. That I did neither create atoms nor molecules, nor their organization into cells which become tissues and organs in the vegetable and the 23
What Is Man?
animal kingdoms, that all of them are put at my disposal by my making my soma carefully in my mother’s womb. When I left one environment and entered in another to settle into it, I became Homo Telluricus but without a specific awareness of it. Energy in me, plunged in energy as it manifests itself on earth (and it is a sample of the cosmos in its way), does not leave a choice of not being an energy system affected by other energy systems of many kinds and forms. I cannot not relate to my habitat, I am willy nilly earthian, Homo Telluricus and all of us do relate to the world. What we do not all do, is become aware of it and take that awareness as far as our means permit us to do. When we become aware of it, we mold our lives in certain ways. We attempt to live a life of a Homo Telluricus which integrates the three Homos mentioned above and can use them as instruments for the realization of a life of general human relativity in which all earthians are served rather than oneself and one or more of the human groups one feels to belong to: couple, family, clan, tribe, nation, religion. There we have a concrete criterion to apply to oneself and say “I am — or I am not — Homo Telluricus.” Among the problems raised by human relating some belong to the energy nature of ourselves with other energy systems similar or in appearance not so similar, to our own. But some others have gained a different appearance and energy is forgotten and other realities — one or several steps removed from it — are invoked for examination by humans endowed with sensitivity and intelligence. Spiritual love, is one of them. Religious faith is another. Human relating as between Man and Man another. Love can be looked at in terms of energy and its multifarious manifestations. Then love appears as a human possibility not as a necessary attribute of energy. As an attainment of a certain awareness
4 A Vision Of Homo Telluricus And Homo Cosmicus
of how one relates to other humans, equally endowed with sensitivity and intelligence. Love, subordinating the means available (and present in everyone because of the legacies of the previous three realms), can provide a springboard for human evolution which can take one, individually and personally, to the point where it never leaves one. Then loving is a state of being. Then love can permeate all, or almost all, one does, thinks, objectifies involving others. Faith works in the same way, though its working as energy and with some of its attributes remains to be done. Mystics would be the best people to tell us exactly what it is, but they are busy with other aspects of it, often involving the experience itself. Since mystics are found in all religions, the human components, as distinct from the specific symbolisms of each religion, once found, may be attributes of the way Man handles his energy. His spiritual energy defined by what the mystics find in it. Religious faith, studied repeatedly and at length over centuries and millennia, reveals aspects of Man which could be attributes of Man beyond the fourth realm and perhaps more easily brought forth by the awareness of Homo Telluricus in us. Already on our shrunken earth there is evidence that the religions of the past â€” which were essentially antagonistic to each other not so long ago (and still are in some places) â€” are acknowledging a common human base for the experience of finding God where He permits Himself to be found. Essentially in the heart of Man manifesting himself through relative symbolisms. *** Still love and faith are not enough to take prehumans to the fifth realm. A special kind of self-education is required. One in which watchfulness removes the obstacles, subtle or less so, we find interfering in the relation of Man to Man. Watchfulness is necessary but it is not sufficient. Being necessary, only those who know how to exercise it have chances of getting to the stage in which the relationship itself becomes second-nature and the other is never forgotten in whatever one does, thinks, projects, executes. 25
What Is Man?
A watchful person, who has acknowledged the many ways the multilayered experiences one has gone through can affect oneâ€™s temperament, oneâ€™s psyche and the sources of behaviors, can work on these components to reduce their impacts and let these come to the surface to be recognized for what they are and taken in hand seriously. That is part of what makes the sufficient condition into a reality. Not all of it and not all at once. Not only under the lighting of intelligence or of the intellect. Not only under any one of the absolutes which made Man perceptive, active, feeling, involved and engaged, capable of generalizations in the sentimental and intellectual universes, capable of particularizations which generate concreteness and uniqueness. All this is part of the necessary and sufficient conditions for Man to relate to another Man in the manner acceptable to both, welcomed by both, cherished by both. Found by both as functional and realistic, part of oneself as belonging to oneâ€™s aspirations and in harmony with what inspires one. Homo Telluricus cannot come into contact with every person on earth, only with a small number of them. But in this sampling which is not selective and particularizing, he sees a reflection of the whole of humanity past, present and future. He knows it is in his awareness that things happen first. That it is in him that echoes of the encounters linger and send their messages of their quality in terms of Man meeting Man. He cannot deny to himself which are the attributes of those encounters for they are energy mobilized and kept dynamic and its own. From these attributes he will infer his own state of being and know love empirically, existentially. He may discover that Homo Telluricus is a climate in him, in which love is incessantly at work with respect for the reality of the others. For their potentials and their aspirations. Respect, blended with involvement in their own realization, and invitation to take advantage of human evolution of which theirs is a part, are human levers which can be brought to the awareness of anyone on earth. This by itself tells that Homo Telluricus actually is active as such and does not need to assert love as a separate entity invoked to justify participation of one party or the other. This new way of being integrates love and all the
4 A Vision Of Homo Telluricus And Homo Cosmicus
byproducts of faith and relating, and put them all at the level of everyday living, as a matter of course, a matter of fact. Homo Telluricus like all previous Homos, comes packaged in a human bag, with all characteristics of the four realms, therefore is destined to remain in this bag. But this instead of being a restriction is a premise of the human condition which allows awareness of what is outside oneâ€™s bag as well as what is in it. In particular, of the way one extends oneself to embrace always more of the various universes he can be made sensitive to. This capacity is educated to the point that one acknowledges that not only the inner and outer realities exist, but also how new ones can be created. As real, as human as the previous ones assumed to be created by other forces in the universe, some extremely large when compared to Manâ€™s. Creative, Homo Telluricus can now see love as a field of practice for getting beyond himself, his bag and how to place out there humans who like him will generate realities in conjunction with him. To accept the bag, while transcending its limitations, is one way Man peoples his environment with other beings who can also call themselves Homo Telluricus. This gives an idea, a feel of what the future on earth could be. All prehumans will have their right to the prehumanity they choose for themselves, but also their right to their evolution, with one first step represented by being Homo Telluricus and practicing it on earth. It may not be true that by being Homo Telluricus one passes the threshold from prehumanity to humanity. It may be possible, as it has been when recognizing himself as Homo Economicus, that only opportunities for going beyond one level of awareness to another present themselves and that one still remains in the fourth realm. But who is there to make such decisions? and to classify human beings as this or that? Only through criteria which do provide objective evidence to me will I know whether I am living through the new awareness all the time or whether I fool myself and take as a permanent state, occasional, accidental moments of insight.
What Is Man?
My evolution tells me quite clearly that I passed through a succession of absolutes in my growth in awareness. That I have been moved by passion for some things for a while and that I lost interest in those things, while feeling new passions for some others. I therefore have no doubt that in my personal life I have been shifting from one absolute into another. Hence I would probably know if my state of being Homo Telluricus corresponds to another absolute or to a new level of awareness. When I know for sure that it is a new level of awareness, I can give myself tests which will feed back whether, when my self (or for that matter anybodyâ€™s) is involved in examining how I function, what I do and how I do it, Iâ€™ll find that Homo Telluricus, in my case, means that indeed I left behind my prehumanity, essentially and existentially. I still keep my soma, my psyche, my connections with my condition, but I know my self as not identical to any of the above. It seems to follow from these experiences and remarks that one of the manifestations of the fifth realm is to act as Homo Telluricus and to know that it is natural and second-nature to be that. In addition, there are opportunities again and again to test whether the state is as permanent as the state of Homo Sapiens is for humans and prehumans. In fact, in my personal work in education over the last forty years, I never considered that any of the beneficiaries of my suggestions would have another status than being humans at such or such a level of awareness manifested by the absolute which mobilizes their passion. A human curriculum emerged dictated by evolution of the individuals concerned in connection with the collective experience which could be retained to help people become more themselves by being Homo Telluricus. Maybe that if such an education is implemented an earthian society will be much easier to set in motion to replace the prehuman societies identified with a priori ideals handed down from the past. As another criterion to know whether a certain absolute has been transcended, consists in finding that it is considered proper to include the corresponding activities in school curricula. For example, when 28
4 A Vision Of Homo Telluricus And Homo Cosmicus
intellectual education in Western Europe (and soon after in North America) became free and compulsory for all, one hundred years ago, it was obvious that no one was suggesting that the intellect was an instrument of a class or a single nation. Rather that it was every humanâ€™s birthright, and that the states were to make it available to all. This equality at the intellectual level did not eliminate individual differences. Intellectual equality was a preliminary to social equality not yet fully conscious nor widely proposed. The next collective absolute which became generally accepted only after revolutions, civil wars, colonial wars etc. took up to this time to become evident to all. Being implemented in our present societies as social, economic and political equality, it is not yet fully understood, though a great deal better than fifty years ago. At the same time as the social absolute is being lived passionately, we see signs of its being left behind and people moving towards another level of consciousness which may or may not become a new absolute. To know that, passion again will be the guide. If it is present and actively used, then it is a new absolute. If instead of passion, the lessons learned through all the previous passionate involvements may create a matter of fact period, where all humans have served to approach challenges, change them into problems and look for solutions which resemble these problems. In the vision of an earth managed by Homo Telluricus, all previous Homos will be subordinated. They will all be integrated in Homo Telluricus and make it more powerful than each of them â€” separately and even all of them blended together. For the presence of Homo Telluricus as integrating them will endow each of them with the new insights and intuitions that none of them by itself could generate. A new civilization will ensue at the scale of the planet as it should be and it has always tended to be projected as possible when empires were built and religions taken out of their places of birth to be offered to all. *** Homo Cosmicus will follow.
1 The subordination of teaching to learning for the New
York City Department of Corrections’ Education Branch. Educational Solutions Inc., has a contract with John Jay College (part of CUNY) which has a contract with the Correction Authorities in New York City, and the main educational responsibility for 3,000 men and women in the City’s institutions. This cooperation is at the moment only for the fiscal year which started last July. Educational Solutions’ responsibility is to train a dozen teachers in the techniques which subordinate teaching to learning in the basic subjects. Dr. Gattegno spent 9 days of workshops with these 12 teachers (8 men and 4 women) and they seemed to find the climate congenial which allowed them to see that they can help the special population in the correction institutions. Because no one knows how long the students will attend classes and therefore each lesson must be considered as a unique opportunity to affect positively those present by giving them something they may treasure, the approach seemed right for them. Because also, everyone experienced the activities they went through not only as beneficial to themselves but also to those adults who will be in their charge, they liked all of them. Because the ways of working studied have virtues they appreciated on behalf of those who failed at school but must be intelligent and alert 31
What Is Man?
and would love to do in weeks what escaped them over years, they welcomed the economy of time. They saw the subordination of teaching to learning expounded at Educational Solutions, as beneficial as a whole. Because mathematics and language have been intimately linked in all the work done during those days and so much of the mystery of math, and of spelling could be dispelled in a very short time, their own ideas on teaching changed altogether. The 9 days of 8 actual hours each, were all of exercises for remedial work in the language arts (reading, writing, spelling, comprehension, creative writing etc.) in mathematics (as it appears in elementary and high school curricula and is tested at those levels of schooling) and in foreign languages (mainly ESL for Hispanics and Haitians). The virtues which struck students most were: directness, relevancy, clarity and the game-like qualities of the approaches which cannot fail to motivate adults with chips on their shoulders. But it was not until the last 16 hours of the first 7 days that most felt the desire to take the plunge and use the arsenal of means put in their hands. The last 2 days of the seminar, a month later, were when questions from the teachers were considered and additional work done to widen the scope of the earlier meetings when too much that was new had been put in front of them. The contract also envisages a few days of visit to the institutions to see the trained teachers at work with their students of that time and to provide whatever help to them each occasion provides.
2 The Summer Silent Way Workshop In 1985, only one summer 20-hour workshop was offered instead of the usual two: one of 40 hours and one of 20. Twenty-eight people gathered to look into the Silent Way, seven of whom had had some exposure to it. Not all were teachers. This made an interesting variation from the usual courses, for this time the stress 32
could be put on the students’ states which favored language acquisition by them in order to see how these states are achieved at both ends, those of the teacher and the students. The demonstrations were telling and generated a high level of excited study appreciated very much by all. Particularly, that that level was maintained the whole time. The discipline of learning and the notion of presence, not only made sense to all but became a steady reference whenever success was achieved and difficulties were met. It became possible to give more attention to the actual mental movements which constitute learning and to magnify the “nothings” involved. Thus it became clear that there were occasions in which payment of ogdens is emphasized; others in which forcing awareness is the main job of the teacher; others in which time for practice, its duration and kind, are made evident and properly assessed. The difference between retaining and memorization became particularly clear; so were the powers of the first and the weaknesses of the second. Hence, the importance of working with nothings exemplified by the presence and use of colors when retention is maximized and the insistence on fully paying the required ogdens for what cannot be invented by analogy or by the expansion of earlier experience. The language selected to demonstrate how the studies undertaken at Educational Solutions on acquisition made a difference in how fast and how joyful a language was learned, was Arabic. It happened that two highly intelligent, motivated and cultured participants had spent some time trying to acquire that language could share their progress over months against that of the whole class in about three hours and state they they had to revise altogether their views on language learning. In particular, the ease with which a correct and expressive pronunciation was achieved in the first hour by-passing hearing, drilling and repeating, thanks to the Sound/Color Chart. Even an allegedly very difficult sound, only found in Semitic languages, was forthcoming with great ease and was produced properly at the beginning, the middle or end of words to everybody’s satisfaction. On the morning of the second day, Japanese was the language used to demonstrate “transfer,” an important notion which shows that some
What Is Man?
learning in which ogdens were paid or awarenesses reached, could serve when coming to another language. At the same time new material was utilized widening the unfolding of a curriculum. The three Japanese teachers present were both amazed at the flow of words achieved and delighted to hear their language used correctly and with ease by newcomers to it. Since meaning could be conveyed at once — in some cases, when colored rods were used — the ease of speech and the approach which takes advantage of the intelligence of the students, made possible a very swift way of acquiring much language for a small number of ogdens paid. The dynamics of expansion was made plain and easy to apply. With the discipline of learning enhanced and with the systematic use of transfer, the studies which followed over the sessions of Saturday p.m. and all day Sunday could be broad, more profound and capable of taking the participants beyond the beginning classroom lessons covered that far. The language was English but references to teaching other languages opened the techniques for Spanish and French. “Infused Reading” on the computer illustrated solutions which make the anatomy of learning evident while hiding altogether the teaching entrusted to the machine.
3 The Generation of Wealth Seminar in France The 8-day seminar near Bordeaux and the Atlantic Ocean attracted almost 70 people, half that number not teachers; a new feature in the summer-long seminars in France. Business people and people in businesses were there attracted by the title. There were four sessions every day, each of about 90 minutes, two in the morning and two one-hour after lunch. It was a residential course in a village appropriately called Oxygen, with complete small chalets for families but this time used by 2 or 3 of the participants. The weather on this end of August was beautiful and dry. The food excellent, copious and various.
In such pleasant circumstances, the work could be intense and indepth to the point that no one felt the group was too large for a seminar type of meeting. Everyone was working on himself or herself and finding that much was left for solitary reflection and examination or for small group discussions. The first three days were devoted to make sure that everyone recognized that he or she was indeed Homo Sapiens (one whole day on that) also Homo Faber and finally Homo Economicus (a new awareness for most). The temporal hierachy was that the discovery of awareness of oneâ€™s awareness (which defines Man in evolution) will never cease whatever Man does with himself. So in the work of Homo Faber (the maker of things) there is always present that of Homo Sapiens. When we try to discover Homo Economicus in us we discover that both Homo Sapiens and Homo Faber are present too. The criterion retained for the recognition of Homo Economicus was an interest in doing things best and at the lowest cost (not necessarily in money). Homo Sapiens can become aware and is needed to establish the existence of the criterion, but the emergence of the criterion requires a different lighting on what is being contemplated and hence provides a place for a new Homo, called Economicus. All the exercises undertaken served to force awareness that everyone has been, from the start, a Homo Economicus who is unaware of himself. Now, everyone could reach that dimension of oneself and see how frequently it is invoked by everyone in everyday experiences. From then on, it was clear that everybody could become aware of it to make use of it more consciously. The fourth day was devoted co the economics of education, a new concept for almost everyone. Two applications served to illustrate its actual working in the classroom and for showing the improvements such awareness could bring to the field. A first lesson in Spanish was given to a class of 8 adult men who knew no Spanish. The second a two-hour examination of some segments of disks 11 and 12 of Visible and Tangible Math, on multiplication and division. Both seemed to meet the expectations of
What Is Man?
making the notion of economics more familiar and hence more acceptable. The next two days were devoted to a better grasp of the notion of the generation of wealth in Man’s history and pre-history. First, participants searched what might have generated a wealth which did not exist and found that the domestication of animals, the use of fire in cooking, slavery, farming, could all qualify as generators of wealth. By now generation of wealth did not only mean making some people richer, but also and mainly finding the sources which made possible something not yet possible and that could be integrated in, or integrated the existing economy. Several such examples were proposed and investigated. For instance, conceiving of credit and seeing its impact on the economy; replacing one’s energy spent in producing goods in factories by paying for the time workers gave to their employers. Time as wealth. The first principle of thermodynamics, which guided thinking about energy in physics, is replaced in economics by having more produced by less. And less and less is the present trend when “nothings” are becoming important. New thinking, new ideas, as the universal sources of new wealth, can make us look at the future, and that of the Third World in particular, with more optimism in spite of all the negative components wellknown by many, such as high rates of unemployment and worse to come because of automation; depletion of fossil fuels; dangers in using nuclear power plants; insufficient food for a rapidly growing world population; pollution and the disposal of refuse; growing bureaucracies costing more and not very productive etc. etc. The optimism can result from an understanding that the need for a continuous increase in wealth can be met by recognizing Man’s intelligence and inventiveness as the greatest source and increasing its supply around by having for the peoples of the Third World, a dramatic increase over ten years of their brain power through an overhauled of their public education. Because the study took place in France, where intellectual analysis is culturally promoted and socially valued, it was possible to spend two sessions in examining history as the collective investigation of what Man can do with himself and how progress in awareness takes place.
Now that Man is in the process of creating a global new civilization which will replace all the previous experiments on earth which formed the various cultures or collective living, new parameters and new paradigms are susceptible of being considered. Homo Economicus, educated in every earthian will attend more creatively to a world economy articulating, in one large whole, all the recent conquests which generated certain wealths. The present generation of wealth consists in having more local people available to direct and guide their own economics within a larger economy, using more creatively the “nothings” which become every day more important.
4 The Ojibwe Training Course In September In the last three issues of the Newsletter (Volume XIV) we kept our readers informed about the connection of Educational Solutions and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation for the production of a satisfactory set of classroom materials for Ojibwe the Silent Way, and also for the production of a microcomputer courseware, “Infused Reading in Ojibwe” for the Apple II series. These materials had been ready and used during the four-day training course (September 16-19) at the Anderson Lake Jesuit Spiritual Center. In contrast to the June 3-5 course reported in the last issue, where 9 hours of teaching 15 non-Ojibwe adults to use some of that language, this time all the students but 5 were Ojibwe teachers and if teaching the language to those was attempted, it was mainly as illustration of the main points of the training. This training was straightforward, making the teachers appreciate the great value of working on the Sound/Color Chart first, and following that by the study of numeration. This took one of the four days and achieved its aim, although many found the retention of the connection color/sound rather hard. The next day was used first for a review of the work already done and the extension of numeration to asking and telling time, and then for an introduction of Chart 1 in connection with
What Is Man?
the colored rods. The small number of words needed to make statements involving three action verbs used in commands, and the large number of sentences which can be constructed, illustrated, the importance of the functional vocabulary in the acquisition of the structures of Ojibwe. Most courses in that language use a vast vocabulary concerned with objects in the environment, but with unsatisfactory results, while here it was clear that the â€œclass within the classâ€? could take the initiative and form correct statements with one noun, several adjectives, three verbs and few particles and adverbs, well uttered, fully comprehended and most naturally. Teachers were duly impressed, particularly because no word in Ojibwe was uttered by the teacher or his native assistant. Among the students of the language were two Ojibwe Indians who do not speak their language, middle-aged and suffering from the belief that it would be hard for them to acquire it. In the course of the four days, the deeply buried language heard 40 years or so ago, started to climb up to consciousness and to become available. Their yield was not as high as that of the white woman and the Mohawk teacher who did not have to struggle with preconceptions and prejudices, but it increased considerably on the last day when the inhibiting dynamic was noticed and countered. Every teacher had a try at teaching a short lesson composed by each of them, some using a dialect at variance with that one adopted for the coloring and the spelling on the charts. But it did not seem to be as much of an obstacle as it had been in June. When more charts were added and the teachers were asked to compose sentences incorporating the new words it became clear that the great yield noticed in the Sound/Color Chart, plus numbers 12 and 1, would be followed by still greater yields that could serve as motivation in the actual lessons to come. When all the charts were hanging on the wall, and the Silent Way spirit was hanging in the class, the participants saw the wealth behind the very few hundred words of the functional vocabulary and preferred this
to the ordinary set of words about the environment, which usually cannot remove a sense of paralysis in the students. At the final feedback session, satisfaction was expressed with what had been witnessed as well as requests for copies of the charts to start to experiment at once. *** The 20th of September was spent at Brantford at a center which caters for six tribes with six languages. An exposition of the Silent Way (using the Ojibwe language as an example) was all that had been requested.
5 Visible & Tangible Math II Since last Septepmber (‘84) a few words here and there announced the continuation of the microcomputer courseware for elementary mathematics with the title above. The Roman II is concerned with it. Two disks (#11 and 12) treat multiplication and division and end up with the classical algorithms made much clearer than they are for many. Here are a few words from a reviewer in England, extracted from a letter: “. . . . . The main topic is of course your remarkable discs. I know how much trouble you have had with these, but it has been a very rich experience to work at them at leisure on two occasions now with M’s Apple. You gave us a glimpse of the multiplication treatment in Bristol (October ‘84) but it was quite different to sit at the console with the whole thing and to work through the various steps. I felt I really understood about “forcing awareness” and about a real foundation of mathematics. I could relate the multiplication sequences to things I already knew; but the division ones left me giggling with the shock of the new and that curious amazement that accompanies something so simple yet so previously hidden. I had never come across the notion that you didn’t have to subtract as much as possible each time in division and the glorious freedom the program offers was a delight and a release. . . .” 39
What Is Man?
The two disks form Scenario One of Visible & Tangible Math II and can be purchased with the Notes for Teachers (if you already own an Apple II micros) for U.S. $148 plus shipping from Educational Solutions Inc., New York. The following scenari are written but no work in programming started to date. When completed this series will offer a true entry into mathematics at the elementary level to all students anywhere on earth. Also professional mathematicians are presented with an alternative to the foundations of mathematics which does not come from logic and tradition, but from the working of awareness and the temporal hierarchies found in all learnings.
About Caleb Gattegno Caleb Gattegno is the teacher every student dreams of; he doesnâ€™t require his students to memorize anything, he doesnâ€™t shout or at times even say a word, and his students learn at an accelerated rate because they are truly interested. In a world where memorization, recitation, and standardized tests are still the norm, Gattegno was truly ahead of his time. Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1911, Gattegno was a scholar of many fields. He held a doctorate of mathematics, a doctorate of arts in psychology, a master of arts in education, and a bachelor of science in physics and chemistry. He held a scientific view of education, and believed illiteracy was a problem that could be solved. He questioned the role of time and algebra in the process of learning to read, and, most importantly, questioned the role of the teacher. The focus in all subjects, he insisted, should always be placed on learning, not on teaching. He called this principle the Subordination of Teaching to Learning. Gattegno travelled around the world 10 times conducting seminars on his teaching methods, and had himself learned about 40 languages. He wrote more than 120 books during his career, and from 1971 until his death in 1988 he published the Educational Solutions newsletter five times a year. He was survived by his second wife Shakti Gattegno and his four children.