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Collective Experiments

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

Caleb Gattegno


vol. XVI no. 1

September 1986

First published in 1986. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright Š 1986-2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 978-0-87825-326-5 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, N.Y. 10003-4555

In a previous issue of this Newsletter entitled “Man Must Experiment,” we treated succintly the way Man met his “need to know.” We hinted in passing, that such a viewpoint implied that individuals and collectivities interacted and that perhaps it was possible to find a deeper meaning to the historical unfoldings of large collectivities which in recent times are called by various names: cultures, nations, societies, etc. This issue is dedicated to this challenge. To do justice to its reality will require teams of researchers and scholars. The initial hint, however enlarged, will remain a hint here. In that respect, the sketches presented, in order to become a motivation for others to join in the research, must hold enough reality to be found convincing to the readers. Maybe we can succeed in this work of seduction and that the sketch will acquire colors and depth of perspective, thanks to the readers mental contribution. News items close this issue.

Table of Contents

Posing The Question ............................................................. 1 Two Past Experiments .......................................................... 5 1 The Greek One ................................................................................ 5 2 The Turkish-Ottoman Experiment .............................................. 10 News Items ..........................................................................15 1 New Publications .......................................................................... 15 The Generation Of Wealth (Restricted Edition) ........................ 15 Chapter 5 Of The Science Of Education: Memory And Retention ................................................................................ 16 2 Summer Seminars In France ........................................................17 3 Coursewares For Apple IIs ...........................................................20 Infused Reading For German.....................................................20 Infused Reading For English......................................................20 Writing English, A Study Of Spelling ......................................... 21

Posing The Question

Our personal memory is needed to make us come to a judgment of what we did with ourselves and with the time of our lives. But this individual privilege is not passable to a collectivity. Collectivities don’t have that sort of memory. But they have historians who act as their consciences and as their recorders. Ultimately, it falls upon individuals to keep track of what collectivities have done with their time. According to how they relate to collectivities, individuals’ conclusions may have attributes which commend them or suggest that they can only be trusted to a certain point, or not at all. Thus, I am the one who will be speaking on behalf of collectivities which either are still functioning or have lost their title to say they are still existing. Whatever I might say is perhaps as trustworthy as the sayings of astronomers receiving light sent a million years ago by a star about which we may be talking now as we receive its light, as if it still is what we can find out now. At the back of our minds is the feel that we are in time, and that time runs uniformly and has done so for as long as we can conceive. It is on that same time line that we place the evolution of galaxies, stars and systems, the evolution of life on earth, the evolution of Man since Man separated himself from the third realm or animal kingdom. On that time line we place in chronological order, the various civilizations and cultures we know of, or are capable of knowing of when we sort out some components needed to make sense of what has been left behind and which we find through our excavations.


Collective Experiments

Now, is it possible to see men of each generation and of successive generations as being involved in a collective attempt at sorting things out in their personal and community lives, so that each generation may have said: “We did this or that?” or asked: “Had each generation been conscious of its contribution to the collective involvements of the peoples they belonged to?” For a long time this consciousness did not need to have been explicit and it is necessary to wait for someone or some members of the collectivity in question, to take upon themselves the function of making explicit where that collectivity has reached in its collective experiencing. It becomes therefore, much easier to start in the “middle” of a stretch of time used by a collectivity in attempting, through a multitude of means, to achieve something which satisfies it, than to look at its origins and guess at the embryonic forms that “something” may have taken. From this “middle,” it becomes possible to move in two directions: its past and its future and find material illuminating to all. This we used as an approach to understand the intricate work of evolution at the individual and the collective levels and we shall use here for our proposals concerning the reasons for civilizations and cultures to flourish and then to fade: “how they flourish?” and “why they wane?” One thing we are sure of about humanity, and that is that generations follow generations, none living long enough to be responsible for what a collectivity did over centuries. Two dynamics work at the same time: one at the individual level, and one at the collective level and we have to develop the instruments which account for what actually happens at these two levels. Such instruments are “models,” in which words and diagrams allow communication to take place between their judging of their verisimilitude and usefulness. Intellectual equipments and breadth of experience are the guarantors that some useful job had been done, on behalf of everybody. But it remains that it is not an easy job. This writer, who started on it in 1940, still feels that much remains to


Posing The Question

be done to articulate individual and collective contributions so as to do justice to those two dynamics and their various connections. We shall not be concerned with that challenge in this issue of the Newsletter, but we shall make use implicitly of as much as is needed to take us to a better understanding of what can be seen as being the functions of civilizations and cultures on our planet for a few thousand or even hundred years. What we are trying to convey in that there are deep connections between lives of humans placed in some regions of earth at certain times and therefore that these lives are not without some structures of which we can become aware if we work in certain ways. Seen as a collection of people exchanging the time of their lives into experiences, we may speak of collective experiments and attempt to capture these objectivations, of which archaeological remains are only a small part. In a space-time referential, experiments can be described provided the definitions and the axioms are explicit and the links between them, under control. Hence we can attempt to bring forth for example what the Ancient Greek did and why it could have an impact felt by us up to this time and most likely beyond this time. History tells us of Sumerians, Ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Hebrews, Aryan Indians, Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Barbarians, Arabs, Mongols, and other self-contained collectivities stretched over chronological time. While within each, some things happened and mattered to each, some contrasts and variations can become conspicuous if we know how to grasp them. To call experiment each of these collective extended endeavors, may introduce a new opportunity to understand human evolution in the grand scale. It may also offer us unsuspected opportunities to find what none of the prevailing approaches to mankind gave us. This alone would justify the attempt, whether specialists support it or not. In other words, we consider as part of the dynamics of groups (of whatever size) that their members adhere to some items which can be seen as “invariants� for them, like their language, their mode of thought, their religions or arts and their refusal to alter their behavior and conduct in order to exhibit that of other groups. This is illustrated


Collective Experiments

at once by the exaltation of some social ingredient like “the American dream,” against “the classless society of communism;” or some belief in one deity as against that in many or none, with no room in one for the other. Individual adherences lead to collective stands and each group, because of those adherences, develops alternative ways of being to which, now, the group develops its own adherence or allegiance and calls it its own culture, its distinctive and valuable culture. In fact, all cultures have the right to be what they are and serve mankind best if they are seen as prolonged and valuable experiments which teach this or that — still needing to be defined; teach all of us; inhabitants of the earth. That we really face experiments to know what can be reached beyond what single individuals can do with their time — and in a cumulative fashion when generations replace individuals — can be made more forceful by noting that there are no repeats of cultures or civilizations on earth, only new and different ones. When the English took themselves to other parts of the world like India or Africa, they could try to keep their ways only in their homes or clubs, if ever, but preferred to be home generally to live them fully. English culture to survive outside England had to be thoroughly modified to the point of not being recognizable or to leading to different kinds of “apartheids.” For some time it was fashionable to look at different cultures as curious and interesting, and to collect their collectable items. Now we can look at them for what they did so that we do not have to do it again knowing what was achieved on everyone’s behalf and what needs to be avoided as countering human evolution. This criterion of evolution restores the dynamics to their rightful places.


Two Past Experiments

1 The Greek One Western civilization is inconceivable without the Greco-Roman heritage. At least that is what we have been told for 400 years by philosophers. Three hundred years ago there was a long and vigorous fight between two factions of thinkers called “the Ancient” and “the Modern,” who wanted one, to put the stress on the heritage and be loyal to it, and the other, to shake off the yoke and take off solely on the basis of a new freedom of thought and other ways of using one’s mind. The latter prevailed, and Western science is its result. Greece influenced many collectivities from India to Spain through their own actions and conquests which established footholds still visible today. Later, the conquests of the minds of Europeans used the work of Arabs and Jews and made Western Europe, emerging from the Middle Ages, accelerate its evolution in assimilating those teachings compatible with the grip of the Catholic Church. The migration of Byzantine scholars to Italy ahead of the advancing Turks, brought a fresh occasion to expose Europe to the Greek civilization. Printing presses; easy and free travel of European scholars, among what became future nations, disseminated the finds and the work done between a thousand and two thousand years earlier in Athens and the Greek islands, by thinkers capable of seducing minds and opening them up to something new. This coalesced into the Renaissance in the following 150 years.


Collective Experiments

While very many people were being influenced by Greek thinking, the truth is that no one needed to become a Greek to effect mental changes compatible with one’s civilization and culture. People were selective; those who needed Aristotle adopted his concepts, those who needed Plato his, to cite the main two trends made available by the Arabs over a stretch of three or four centuries. But now there were many more sources and more choices. These were made by the recipients not the originators, and Greek influence was felt and acknowledged but no one said it was necessary to throw out Christianity and adopt Greek Pantheons to be able to adopt concepts in philosophy, the arts and the sciences. Still the Greek experiment stretching over a thousand years and more is essentially defined by the identification of humans to a way of being — however complex and rich — which weaved the fabric of their day to day living as happens to our contemporaries wherever they are and lets them say with conviction, “I am French” or “Welsh” and so on. Language is not sufficient for that identification, for Athens did not attempt like Sparta to create a collectivity stressing malehood and physical fitness, to dominate others, and Spartans spoke Greek. In fact, the Greek heritage is reserved to Athens and its city culture, because it was there that men (and occasionally women) made explicit, a view of life which was worth living and defending to the point of getting into wars. In Athens, Homer’s impact was far more pervading than Plato’s or any other single individual. Although Socrates was valued very highly by many Athenians, he was eliminated as a corrupter of the youth and not a true representative of the city’s view of itself. Socrates still lives for us, and no one cares for his detractors and judges. This fact adds an item of distinction between just humans and those identified to an absolute, to a culture or a civilization. Humans can transcend absolutes and generate new cultures. Those who identify with one absolute help us recognize the existence of collective experiments and to involve ourselves in making their description explicit.


Two Past Experiments

It is not what we think Athens or Greece gave us which will tell us what people in them did with themselves, for themselves and also ultimately for us, so that we do not need to repeat their experiment to know it as true and valid. This is in contradistinction to the physical sciences where only repeatable experiments are truly scientific and a source of truth. In fact, we contend that all collective experiments serve us by allowing us not to go over the same experience in the way they have been gone through. Because of that, collective experiments contribute to human evolution as unique attempts to try out to its end what can be tried within definite human conditions. Romans who borrowed their Pantheon from the Greeks did what no Greek could conceive of and that was, to add to it men or women who would be nominated as Gods or Goddesses and voted for by the Senate. The Greeks genuinely lived in a universe which they believed was in the hands of their gods. Gods permeated everything, and human events were the appearances making their reality perceptible in the way marionettes exemplify the puppeteers’ intentions and interventions. We must understand that that which happened in life could only be possible via the detour through the Gods. The depth of life was in the layers of this dynamic between perceptible appearances and an assumed reality. One could not understand anything of Reality by stripping it of the games of the gods. The meaning of objectivity as we modern Westerners define it, could not emerge in such a community. The gods were not in the hands of people, it was the other way around. Man’s will had little to do with what happened but what happened could be understood, i.e. had a meaning, if gods (specific and special gods) became involved. Chance was the appearance of their actual intervention. So nothing happened by accident. Thus when made its appearance and shattered the Pythagorean world of harmony, instead of rethinking their foundations of arithmetic, the Greeks abandoned their endeavors and devoted their thinking in mathematics to the perception of geometrical relationships which resulted from continuous transformations rather than the discrete ones which apparently displeased their gods.


Collective Experiments

When Socrates suggested to his listeners in the marketplace that there was another kind of reality accessible through his method of scrutiny and for which there was not a specific deity in the Pantheon, he was clearly out of step with the majority of the Athenians and wrong in terms of what governed their collective psyche for which they had all the necessary divine support. Rejecting Socrates’ suggestions by making their expression punishable by death, protected the spiritual status quo and hence social peace and harmony. No one showed up in subsequent generations to reintroduce his proposals until mystics like Plotinus and other scholars from Alexandria, and later Christian gospel writers, found a bridge between some Greek proposals and some Jewish monotheistic presence in everyone that gave sense to Socrates’ inner voice. The Greek experiment kept Athenians from seeing that their magnificent cultural contribution could be expanded beyond their city democracy, and also from seeing themselves as anything else but the exclusive embodiment of their view of the world; the only valid and possible view of them and for others, though these were excluded from their numbers. So, this “pearl of a civilization,” which Athens represented, did not survive in its own ground because it did not generate the men and women who could renew it while keeping its foundations. This continuation which happened in say Judaism, a contemporary religion (without a Pantheon) is still around as it was then. Within monotheistic Europe, Greek inheritance is not equivalent to the collective experiment we are interested in here. In so far as Europeans found that the intellectual achievements of Greece spoke to their own minds and did not require idedntification with the religion of Athens, they adopted their conclusions and concepts and generated a sort of cultural continuity. They did a similar thing with the Arabs without adopting Islam. But they could not do that with the Chinese whose minds work so differently from theirs. The Greek experiment is coextensive with what Man can do when his world view does not place him at the center of things and does not make him the cause of what happens in the space-time of perception.


Two Past Experiments

He can do a lot as is proven by the arts, the theater, the theoretical sciences such as geometry, mechanics (except that acceleration was not an Aristotelian concept), anatomy and astronomy (except in Alexandria with Ptolemeaus), some theorizing about matter, the law and government. But they could not develop the applied sciences which raise the collective standard of living corresponding to the level of their fine intellect. Their inner satisfactions led them to create values on the level of truth, beauty and goodness in harmony with the presence of their gods in every aspect of life. Making money was not one of them; freeing slaves and extending democratic rights to all, neither; attempting to give itself an empire to test the humanness of their view of the world could not stand the sudden death of its young founder, Alexander the Great, a Macedonian. In the Greek experiment Man has tested an individuality of each human when individuality is not stressed, or rather is subordinated to an a priori dynamic which is represented by an ideal society of their gods and goddesses. As such it teaches us what follows from the acceptance of such premises, as well as what cannot follow. Greeks could use their own language to translate the Old Testament and to write original gospels and other Christian Scriptures, but they could not have produced either within their own culture. The Septuagint proves that the Greek language had all the means which can convey all the concepts developed by a totally different civilization and culture; the gospels broke new ground and found in the Greek language the vehicle for the edification of the gentiles who could belong to any religion. Hence, the Greek had created an instrument in their language which had the potential of being extended beyond the content of their spiritual experiment and thus taught us that language — as a product of a culture — overtakes this on its boundaries. At the same time we see that there is more to a culture and/or a civilization than that which we can extract from a language and its spirit. There is need for intuition to transcend the intellectual tenor of a language, i.e. the concepts it refers to. In the case of Greece, to imagine oneself in a world only marginally inhabited by humans and thoroughly soaked in one where the gods dwell and manifest themselves in specific dynamics only adopted by humans to a certain extent, and this because they are not gods.


Collective Experiments

The Greek Experiment (which has many facets we did not concern ourselves with) started as the unconscious project of some people living at a certain time in a certain spot on earth and has been lived through two thousand years by a succession of generations who deepened both the meaning and the extent of the project. To the point where it lost its momentum and allowed its inspiration not to inspire anymore, but to become the basis of another civilization which followed it in what became Rome and the Roman Empire. This pattern seems to have been repeated a number of times, at least in the cultures and civilizations which stopped their evolution and existed as beacons for other peoples to relate actively to them. 2 The Turkish-Ottoman Experiment The Turks were Muslims before they moved to occupy the lands of the Byzantine Empire, so their religion came with them and was not locally grown. A very different setting for their experiment which lasted less than 500 years and ended recently. Converted to Islam long before they started their marches which stopped at the gates of Vienna, the Turks were tolerant of Judaism and Christianity as they had been instructed by the Koran. So in the lands they occupied from the Balkans to the Sudan and from Syrian to North Africa only occasionally did they force conversion to Islam. The Ottoman Empire was essentially a loose administrative experiment in which little happened which represents a central force which fires the individual souls and makes them create a new culture. It is permissible to say that the Turkish-Ottoman Experiment did not produce a distinctive culture. It produced an empire in which tolerance can be studied as a minor and ineffective absolute. A similar experiment can be found in the 18th, 19th, and 20th century British Empire in which trade and commerce were the ideology, unable of becoming a source of creative energy leaving behind new art and architecture. Both experiments have history. They may even have


Two Past Experiments

significance for human evolution and need to be studied for that purpose. They can teach us that civilizations and cultures do not exhaust the possibilities of collective human experiments. That we have to take into account those lives which individually and collectively are used to test viability per se. In the Ottoman Empire, we find a vast number of collectivities which continued for 500 years to perpetuate a way of life they had before the Turks arrived and subjugated them (i.e. made subjects of them). So long as they observed the peace and paid tribute they could go on being as Montenegrins or Sudanese, as Bulgarian and Carthaginians, as Greek or Armenian, as Arab nomads or Albanian farmers or fishermen, cultivating their past cutoms, rites and rituals, music and arts. In the courts of many Sultans, different ethnic groups could be assimilated because the experiment essentially consisted in maintaining an administrative superstructure on top of social units with deeper roots in their own histories and culture. The Ottoman subjects experienced in general the benefits of their rulers’ tolerance and were incensed mainly when squeezed of their means of livelihood to finance an imperial project which had nothing to do with them. There was no ideological basis for belonging to the Empire. Nationalism as such was a creation of the 19th century. Ethnicity was better defined and locally meaningful. So long as the unfolding of the years of the Empire were peaceful and with minimal pressures, the subjects had no special reason to rebel. Most of the 17th and 18th centuries can be considered in that vein, the Experiment was proving successful if the feedback was that most inhabitants could go with what mattered to them and the source of their inner and community lives. The establishment of the Empire within the boundaries through victories and imposed by defeats, took the first hundred years and there was not really a collective experiment then. Wars of conquest and domination of the inhabitants of many areas around the Mediterranean were not new or unique, even if the Turkish Lords were special in visible ways. The time the Turkish-Ottoman Experiment began was when all was quiet on the various fronts. 11

Collective Experiments

For our understanding of tolerance and its meaning for evolution, the example of the settlement of a half million Spanish Jews — who left Spain in 1492 — in a number of centers of the Ottoman Empire can be particularly telling. In Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, in Egypt, the Balkans, Greece and Asia Minor, numerous families settled and formed “Sephardic colonies” in which their Spanish culture (language, furniture, social habits, even food) was transported as was and kept for almost 300 years as if these people were still in the land of their origin from which they had been banned. The difference between the existing “nations” which had been overrun by the Turkish armies and continued to live as they had before once the swell had passed and the settlement of the Spanish Jews here and there in small numbers with no experience of defeat by the Turks or loss of some previous privilege, tells more clearly what the Ottoman Experiment means for mankind. If history only retells events, it is concerned with abstractions, and cannot help us to understand what is a collective epxeriment. If history is interpreted as having a collective meaning for humanity as a whole, then we can look again at events and ask ourselves how they could have taken place. Since the exodus from Spain is understood in human terms as the stiffening of attitudes which on the one side made the rulers of Spain forget centuries of cohabitation and fruitful cooperation, and on the other made the minority to consider its religion as more important than its material well-being, and the departure inevitable, we could be prepared to find that no other sovereign state would accept them. In fact, few found refuge in the European countries apart from the Netherlands. Most were absorbed by the Ottoman Empire. To understand such acceptance of so many in such a short time, we must refer to an essential ingredient of the empire. We called it tolerance and it is sufficient to explain what happened in so many places at once (or over so few years).


Two Past Experiments

The settlement of the Spanish Jews and their pursuit for centuries of a Spanish culture within the Empire, allows us to attribute an abstract quality to that Empire and even conclude that, since the Turks did not generate a distinctive creative culture comparable in any way to those of many other cultures which lasted as long, their experiment was a manifestation over a number of generations of a mental consensus. This became more explicit as the decades and centuries passed and today can be seen for what we say it was. Characterized by the dimensions of Islam and its tolerance of other religions (at least in theory and in the sacred Koran) it has become an empirical coexistence of the network of the administrators with the nuclei of societies whose realities were different and could be intense. The Ottoman Empire for most of its existence, shows fractions of mankind living their proper lives within a receptacle which to exist did not actually need human attributes of passion. Administrators can become dehumanized and forget the humanity of others in the process. The Armenian people are witness to this dehumanization and its most conspicuous victim. For Armenians cruelty not tolerance, is the main attribute of the Turkish rulers. But it is passed on to the Turks as a people in the process of thinking which creates concepts where, what is true, are specific guilty persons, and indifferent masses overwhelmed by their own lives and needs. To close this brief examination of another collective experiment, let us restate that besides cultures and civilizations, there are less glamorous, though still complex and real, experiments in which what mankind can learn is that trying to find out what tolerance can do does not lead to a forceful lesson. The Turks have tried to live on our behalf sovereignty with deliberate tolerance. It was not always easy nor possible.


News Items

1 New Publications The Generation Of Wealth (Restricted Edition) Under this title, Dr. Gattegno offers readers a study of the impacts on each of us of the discovery that HOMO ECONOMICUS exists in us and can take its place in our lives beside HOMO SAPIENS and HOMO FABER. The successive chapter-titles are: Preface Introduction 1

Finding Homo Economicus

2 Homo Economicus in Modern History 3 Homo Economicus: The Generation of Wealth in History 4 The Task of Today 5 Always Getting More From Less: the Economics of Education 6 Education, Homo Economicus and the Emerging World Economy 7 Homo Economicus and Bureaucracy 8 A Swift Beginning for the Earth 15

Collective Experiments

9 Other Kinds of Wealth 10 Summing Up This new outlook on economics opens many vistas which can give to the Generation of Wealth a meaning needed to face the demands of the future. This book has been edited by Mr. Harris Dienstfrey who also edited (between 1968-71) Towards a Visual Culture, What We Owe Children and The Adolescent and His Will, and therefore makes The Generation of Wealth much more readable than other works of Dr. Gattegno’s. If you wish to obtain a copy, send U.S. $14.95 (plus $2.50 for shipping if you are located in North America, slightly higher elsewhere; include New York sales tax if applicable). Chapter 5 Of THE SCIENCE OF EDUCATION: Memory And Retention One more chapter of Part I of this treatise which has been appearing in segments since 1974 is now available. It is hoped that Chapter 6 and Chapter 1 which complete this theoretical part of the work will be available between now and June 1987. A more extensive treatment of memory appeared as a separate publication in 1975 under the title Evolution and Memory. It was too extensive to form a single chapter of The Science of Education, although it was started as the content of such a chapter. There were too many matters to consider to justify the evolutionary angle essential in its treatment, but not necessary within a presentation of education of awareness. In this chapter, one important distinction is made between “retention” which is an attribute of the self and “memorization” which corresponds to an expenditure of mental energy to retain that which is arbitrary and cannot be invented.


News Items

The main headings are: •

Some Important Distinctions




Local and Global Organizations


The Contents of One’s Psyche

The DNA and Memory


If you wish to obtain a copy, send U.S. $3.00 (plus $2.00 for shipping if you are located in North America, slightly higher elsewhere; include New York sales tax if applicable).

2 Summer Seminars In France (Both seminars were resident in an old chateau called CHAPEAU CORNU where the 1980 summer seminar on “Energy and Energies” took place.) July 21-29 On Being Freer August 3-10 On Love The transcripts of these seminars (in French) will be available as soon as possible from the “Association pour 1’Education de la Conscience” in Besançon, probably early in 1987. The studies contained in these transcripts have little to do with the contents of the two English books with the same titles of 1974 and 1978. In fact, there was a deliberate move to avoid linking the new


Collective Experiments

studies with what had been done earlier, unless it imposed itself as the adequate response of today. The richness of these seminars cannot be done justice to by simply summing up the proceedings in a few sentences. Only the verbatim report can do it, and mainly for those who participated in them and lived in their special climates. Here we can share with our readers some of the key differences in treatments by mentioning only those of the recent seminars. 1 Freedom was introduced as an attribute of the human self, as one of the movements compatible with the human condition, while love was presented as not being an attribute of the self and an individual invention of each human being. All the time needing to make sure that the instruments above do help to further our understanding of both freedom and love, was fortunately available in the durations of the seminars. Only seven participants registered for both, so it was necessary to keep them separate for the others. In the human condition originating the fourth realm of evolution on earth, Man is by definition aware of awarenesses. Since the other three realms are integrated in the fourth, Man can only be free in compatibility with a soma and a psyche. Thus it was possible to find as many instances as were needed to show that the self can come out of involvements in activities to enter new involvements. This attribute of the self is present from the start, so Man can become aware of his freedom within his condition from babyhood as he learns say, to stand, from being on his four, or to walk after standing, or to run after walking, every time experiencing that the “leaving and getting in� is his birthright, hence, an attribute of his self. All our spontaneous learnings do confirm this. To sense that that freedom of being, inherent in early childhood, also belongs to us later, it was necessary to examine the dynamics of our inner life and how hindrances are generated in the coping with the non-self identified as the environment, both natural and social.


News Items

A return to the attribute of the self appeared possible though only experienced as easy or difficult in the concrete, on situations we enter into as part of our living within the human condition. Special sessions served as experiments on becoming freer. One on jealousy taxed everyone since most participants knew it in their own lives and knew how difficult it is to be free of it. When resistances were studied and later, how to become free of one’s loved ones, the work on jealousy paid and everyone seemed ready to acknowledge that there existed ways of freeing oneself, at the adult stage, of a number of hindrances, inhibitions, involvements, dependences even if the paths were full of obstacles demanding time, will, persistence. 2 As to love, the studies in detail of its components as revealed by awareness, showed that every baby can be sure of love received or absent, by remaining within his own “bag.” If love is defined as the transformation of oneself (enclosed in a bag) into someone who can sense that there is room in that bag for another person, and is concerned with the freedom of that person in oneself, then how is one to know that one loves? To know that one is loved or not is immediate and can take place in very early childhood. To know why, is another matter and often is not decided. To learn to know that one loves requires an additional awareness which takes the route of friendship. It is there that each of us makes the apprenticeship of letting a person live as he or she is within our affectivity without demands and dedicated to maintaining as legitimate all the changes required to know that relationship as unique and idiosyncratic. Love can be statified and become attachment, but it can also not be mortgaged, if we are vigilant and give it the chance of being realized fully. This requires attention not only to our own inner movements but also those of the other. Sensitized to the other we may change the “one and one” into a new unit called “the couple” and give our time of life to know what it is and how it objectifies itself in the two lives. Thus everyone has to “invent” again love to be true to the components which come to life with every couple as “one and one.” Humans do not allow all loves to become involved with sexuality. This means that sexuality in humans can be kept in check because it is not


Collective Experiments

really a biological function, although sex is a biological structure inherited from the second and third realms. Someone said that humans “make” love, in the sense of creating it, as makers of it, not as drawn into it by psychic trends which take the name of pleasure. Love in humans is not imposed by instincts (like reproduction or preservation) simply because Man has no instinct. Because the “couples” are not predefined as male and female only, no two couples make the same demands on the partners. A new invention is required every time. Of course these “abstracts” are abstract, and at the end of the second seminar, all knew there is as much to learn about love at that stage as when all got started, except that now criteria existed, depths or insights were available and essentially a new humility generated when confronted with the immense universe of love.

3 Coursewares For Apple IIs Infused Reading For German This is the fourth European language put into the format of a microcomputer courseware. Like the previous three (Spanish, French, and Italian) it permits non-readers to master the transmutation of their spoken language into its written form in a very short time: less than two hours, in this case. In fact, in less than one hour the secrets of the transmutation become plain and second nature and the rest of the time is used to ensure outsiders that the desired mastery is indeed achieved. Cost of the disk is U.S. $100.00, Notes for teachers $5.00 (plus $2.50 for shipping, other requirements same as for the books). Infused Reading For English The 23 vowels and 35 consonants of English (as inventoried in the Fidel for English) require that the computer program be treated at 3 levels, like French and in contrast to Spanish, Italian and German handled at only one level. The format remains the same: 1

Infused Reading proper,


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2 Test 1, 3 Test 2 4 Further Reading 1, and 5 Further Reading 2. The time it takes to complete this course is under three hours and this augurs well for the struggle against illiteracy in the United States where millions need help. Cost of the disk is U.S. $100.00, Notes for teachers $8.00 (shipping same as above). Writing English, A Study Of Spelling is a microcomputer courseware which may in as little as three hours, both force awareness of all the problems of the English spelling and give enough practice to make a marked difference in the status of students with respect to spelling. All those who saw it in the United States and abroad, were enthusiastic and ordered their own copy when they had access to an Apple II computer. In its simplicity and thoroughness, it is a good example of what the contribution to education of the microcomputer could be. Cost of the disk is U.S. $150.00, Notes for teachers $8.50 (shipping same as above).


About Caleb Gattegno Caleb Gattegno is the teacher every student dreams of; he doesn’t require his students to memorize anything, he doesn’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.

Collective Experiment One & Two  
Collective Experiment One & Two  

Collective Experiment One & Two