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Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements As Recounted By Him

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

Caleb Gattegno

Newsletter

vol. XVI no. 5

June 1987


First published in 1987. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright Š 1987-2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 978-0-87825-328-9 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, N.Y. 10003-4555 www.EducationalSolutions.com


Can anyone assess his own legacy and be vindicated by future investigators of the same corpus of work? It seems worth finding out and this writing is a summary of such an assessment of a long life dedicated to shedding some light on what challenged that writer since 1927 when he acknowledged that his thinking was truly his own. The general public was rarely involved, and so there exist very few references to some of what seems most salient in this assessment. In accepting to be a cat that walked by himself, and in neglecting to please anybody, such state of affairs was inevitable. A self-taught, self-made man, but not too successful, will attempt to look at that which ultimately is in the public domain — without being in the limelight — and show it as it appears to him. The order of significance may not be as clear to others as it is to him mainly because the criterion of completeness is not used in such decisions. Nor is the criterion of brilliance which remains elusive to date, though there is a clear example of it somewhere on the road. News Items close this issue.


Table of Contents

The Field Of Study ................................................................ 1 The Discovery Of Electromagnetic Man ................................ 1 Sleep As A State Of Consciousness ........................................ 3 That A Science Of Education Can Be Started And The Technologies — Derived From It — Used To Assist Human Evolution .............................................................................. 5 That Public Time Can Be Constructed From Living Time ...... 8 Discovering Homo Economicus In Me And In Others .......... 11 Evolution And Its Impasses .................................................15 News Items ......................................................................... 25 Ten Days In Haiti With Infused Reading For Creole ........... 25 Announcement ................................................................... 30 A Week In Tahiti ................................................................. 30 A Week In Hawaii ............................................................... 32


The Field Of Study

The field of study in my life has essentially been my life and all that happened in it. It spite of this it is not self-centered nor restricted to the thoughts which originated strictly in me, though it is clear to me that what others gave me I received through all my filters and I interpreted with what was my experience and my sensitivities at the time. Some of my questioning and experimenting lasted a very long time. Some other findings were immediate. In both cases one thing emerges and that is that, until I made myself vulnerable to the reality which struck me, I was unable to see a beginning of work in me, nor its continuation, in the case of prolonged enquiries.

The Discovery Of Electromagnetic Man, I place first in the contributions I made to my enlightenment and that of others. It came to me in 1951, in Hampton Hill, a suburb of London. It was an immediate vision of something which struck me to be correct and far reaching. And this in a number of directions. One was in creating a bridge between Western science and Chinese Medicine. Another was in eliminating the obstacle Western science encountered in the acceptance of a cutaneous system of points and meridians the Chinese knew as a reality for thousands of years, and that no one in the West could find under the microscope. Yet another was in allocating to our earthian environment a dimension which clearly belonged to it but had been left out for unclear reasons: that ourselves, on our earth, are drowned in electromagnetic fields which fill the cosmos and, somehow, we must know how to cope with their vagaries. One more direction objectified itself when a vast program of research unfolded in front of me having to do with important challenges concerning medicine, 1


Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements

treatments and cures, the reality of the soma at the molecular and cellular levels, the possibility of offering, at a negligible cost, the maintenance of health of vast populations. On two occasions, in writing, I described that discovery (cf. Part II of “The Mind Teaches the Brain” and Chapter 6 of “Who Cares About Health?”, as well as reference to it here and there in articles published in Educational Solutions’ Newsletters), and I shall not say much here about this. Only that there were two elements which were operational in the springing of that thought and its label, namely: 1) the actual system of Chinese points and meridians as they are shown on the statues of humans found everywhere, and 2) the fact that histological cuts failed to demonstrate their existence while electrodynamic instruments brought them out so clearly. The proposal to see an electrostatic shield (as conceived by Coulomb, almost 200 years ago, and in the shape Faraday gave it 150 years ago) as a functional cutaneous system, having its own laws of behavior connected to the vagaries of the cosmic and earthian electromagnetic fields, took care of the reality of the Chinese system and of its invisibility to the researchers with optical instruments. In passing, it also took care of the effects of needlings at the points of least electrodynamic resistance, with metal needles pouring selective beams of electrons inside the electrically protected space of the soma behind the skin. I found no resistance in me when this vision came to me, since it managed to harmonize so many ideas scattered in the literature. Since then (36 years later), I am as convinced as I was then that this view is correct but I wonder why it is not given its chances while more fantastic ideas are taken seriously. (Another phenomenon must be at play here, more concerned with the miracle of communication than anything else.) Man is electromagnetic as much as he is chemical and mechanical, but mankind is resisting acknowledging this reality. In fact, it is not only man which is electromagnetic, for all the living are in the same laboratory, our earth. 2


The Field Of Study

***

Sleep As A State Of Consciousness, required a very long study, over almost four decades. It did not come as a vision. Instead it was the result of a large number of rejections of hypotheses which offered themselves as related to the challenge and were found to be unable to throw any light on such an ordinary phenomenon as sleep. Still, because it applies to all mankind (and more) it ranks second in the rearrangement of my contributions. When I finally realized where the challenge was, I began to see why my previous attempts had little chance of succeeding in giving me the key to my question: “Why did I need to sleep every day?� In fact, I learned much more than this, I understood what prevents progress from taking place in important researches. I lacked the open-mindedness demanded by this challenge. I had already worked with self and objectivations before 1940, but because I could not in the state of wakefulness know directly anything about my sleep, I was tempted to arrange things so that I felt I was moving on some of them connected with sleep, like dreams and their symbolisms, or fatigue and rest and so on. My self awake was the only one I considered because, in the state of wakefulness, it was the only one I could find answers from. Like everybody else, I was ready to call what happened in sleep unconscious, thus mortgaging forever the state of sleep. What was required to break the grip on me of such an identification which was sterilizing me, came to me when I looked at the difference between days and nights: during the day I am open to the impacts of the outside world and forced to do what it imposed on me, while during the night, having shut off all entries from that world, I returned to a state of being which had been with me at least since I was born. This awareness provided me with two states of consciousness for the self, the only link between them. The self, to know the outside world, must be in the state of wakefulness, but to integrate experiences it must be in the state of sleep. 3


Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements

Once I had accepted — in the state of wakefulness — that there was another state of the self, sui generis and having its own ways, the one we all called sleep, and that in that state the self knew itself as a continuous entity — the only continuous entity, because it was cut off from distractions while, in the state of wakefulness, it was the plaything of an unpredictable set of impacts — I saw that I could make sense of sleep. But not only of sleep, since sleep does not exist by itself alone. I could recast my history, my Experience beyond my experiences, and give to the self its two states of consciousness, to the psyche, to my evolution over the years and many other entities (I and others had considered already), their meaning and their place in my actual, concrete life. The self, to be able to construct a meaningful inner life, gave itself sleep and its numerous functions and ways of being. They could all be reached through the self conversing with itself and not through the biased and engaged state of wakefulness, as I had presumed for so long. The self knows itself in some ways in the state of wakefulness, when it allows the energies outside to impact it, and in some other ways, when all the energies are inner energies woven together into the fabric of all that has remained valuable to the self from the past Experience and experiences. Therefore we are more ourselves when we are asleep, although this is a remark made by the self in the state of wakefulness. We need sleep to determine which of the day’s experiences deserve to be retained and made part of the inner reality which will constitute our wealth of Experience. We sleep on most things gathered during our hours of wakefulness and of our actual relating with the environments, natural and social. One state is for being charged, and for that, we need to be present in our sense organs, our image of ourself and the many thoughts connected to happenings, events, stories; and the other state is for protecting our integrity, for remarking our psyche in contact with the lessons and demands of the previous day so that we remain whole and functional. Because we slept before we learned to speak or to relate deliberately with other people in our environment, the functionings in our sleep do

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The Field Of Study

not replicate those of the waking state. The self through the successions of sessions of sleep, interleaved with sessions of wakefulness, gives itself without any fuss and any premeditation, those ways of being which cannot be questioned in sleep because they are the self’s, nor in the awake state, because they are inaccessible to the ways of working of that state — where outside energies are let in by a self present in its receptive senses. Connected through the self which made them for its own purpose, those two states occupy our whole life and instead of dividing it, as appearances suggest, unify it so well that there is no need in one state to use the functionings belonging to the other. Most of us sleep and only have a cursory thought about that repeated fact of life, except when we refer to dreams, and we are fully identified with each of the states when we are in one of them. Since for almost forty years of inquiry the meaning of sleep had escaped me, and now I know that to do justice to my reality, I must invoke the self and the two states it gave itself, I say I know that sleep is for learning and for spiritual growth, and wakefulness is in order to be charged by the realities of the non-self and to return to it again, every day renewed and perhaps even refreshed, by the work in one’s night’s sleep. ***

That A Science Of Education Can Be Started And The Technologies — Derived From It — Used To Assist Human Evolution. This work started as World War II began and is still going on. Before a new science can be named, someone must be aware of some reality accessible to oneself in oneself and made plain to others in terms of “facts” also accessible to others. A study of many sciences, made between 1940 and 1950 confirmed the finding that man can only make the science of some of his own awarenesses. A classification of the sciences was proposed in 1952 in a chapter of the first edition of

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“Conscience de la Conscience” (Paris, 1954). Of what must man be aware in order for a science of education to exist? If man is defined as a being aware of his awareness, whenever a man is aware of that, he can embark in the study of the “facts of awareness” which will constitute that science. Once enough facts are gathered it may be possible to attempt their presentation as a system which not only respects the reality of each of them, but enhances some of their interrelations. We can associate to every science what is called its technology. Some engineering is associated with physics, another with chemistry, another with biology and so on. A technology justifies a posteriori the existence of a science which is one intellectual system among many others. It becomes easier to decide which among a number of theories is preferable, if we look at their respective technological outcomes besides the aesthetic and the logical aspects of each theory. For that reason the publication of the treatise on “The Science of Education,” was postponed and only some of its chapters made available since 1974 while technological counterparts were put in the press or on film and on video, since 1954. What in this writing is considered as the third contribution, in order of importance, is selected for that place because first, it concerns large populations all over the world; second, it offers an opportunity to look at the elaboration of new science; third, it states categorically that only awareness is educable in man and fourth, it shows how technologies replace such a general statement by a multitude of proposals concerned with how to carry out that education in various fields. Since these applications can be tested rigorously they will lend credence to the way this science is developed. To present the technologies, a number of monographs, under the overall heading: “The Common Sense of Teaching . . . ,” spell the approach to awareness in the classroom for areas traditionally accepted as essential to the preparation of the young generation to take its place within the culture of one of the various constituted groups on earth. 6


The Field Of Study

These areas are: mathematics; reading; writing; spelling; foreign languages; various special fields, like the education of the deaf, etc. But of course, it is the fact that we can reach “facts of awareness” which forms the foundation of “The Science of Education.” It was customary to leave to philosophers the study of epistemology or logic, now we can consider as facts the ways of knowing used by the self when it leads to the recognition of them as different awarenesses. Analysis, synthesis, intuition, contemplation, faith, are not only different definitions, they are essentially different states of being which depend on how the self considers mental energy at work concretely. The contribution of one’s past; the actual functionings of memory and its constitution over the years of one’s life; the acceptance of errors and the possibility of correction; the difference between being right and being correct, of individual learning and collective custody of knowledge — once they are acknowledged as facts pertaining to various temporal hierarchies — bring our own self-education, as well as the education of others, to planes of action immediately recognizable as realities. Our own responsibility in our own education now goes hand in hand with having criteria of truth, with remaining in close contact with the learner in us, who is hesitant and uncertain in phase one, deeply involved in practice in a second phase and only satisfied when reaching mastery. To test this the self uses the newly mastered powers to open up new fields for oneself. What the Science of Education does is to look at all learning from the embryonic stage in-utero to that of the lone scientist of genius who opens up new vistas for mankind. All through, awareness is essential and, remaining with it, the way to mastering new functionings. I have given a start to “the Science of Education” by recognizing that I could reach through awareness the awarenesses which were about awarenesses and differed by the quality of their energy content. I have tested the truth of the findings through the techniques and materials which made people (who are aware of awareness because they are human) aware that they could form their own dynamic mental

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structures out of the given which is time and energy. Self-education results from that; the only true education in the case of humans. ***

That Public Time Can Be Constructed From Living Time comes fourth in the hierarchy presented here. It could have been first, but it is set at this rank of importance because, in spite of its fundamentality, it is not necessary in order to sustain other progresses in the study of Reality as this came to me. I knew that time was a very difficult subject to work on and that very few thinkers were ready to meet its challenges head on. Newton and Kant accepted time as a primitive given which cannot be looked into with more primitive instruments. But since they did not try awareness as one of them, their point of departure was outside what can be done with awareness. By starting with the actual awareness of being which the self must have in order to recreate Reality, starting with its psychosomatic aspects, we can say that the contact of the self with its function of objectivation is the germ of the “life time” accessible at first through the transmutation of energy into structure. This, in-utero, will provide the self with a number of awarenesses which become attributes of that time: duration, alternation, contiguity, sequential order, nesting of durations, rhythms, formation of wholes to integrate earlier wholes, constitution of a dynamic past, of an intense present and of a descending future. All are accessible to the awareness of the self at work in-utero in the objectivation of one's psychosomatic reality. The time of life is strictly individual and the different combinations of the above attributes exist as a reality at the level of the structure the self gives itself. Already in-utero the reality exists even if never in one's future life ex-utero there will be a question about time to perturb the individual's peace of mind. In the time of the philosopher or of the physicist, all the attributes accessible in one's experience (as was indicated above) exist, but for the treatment of temporal problems — which are met as intellectual

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The Field Of Study

challenges — there is no need for a temporal hierarchy about time itself. It is a special preoccupation, rarely felt as necessary in one's own general evolution. But if it occurs in one's life, as it did in mine, then the intellectual model of time must be sought in the deep and primitive structurations of one's life from the moment of conception and all through the following years. That is why questions rarely put make their appearance and clamor for answers. Preoccupied by such questions, I made time a central challenge from my adolescence on and in a large work (in four volumes, in 1978) I set them in front of me and of others, to attempt to arrive at a construction of Public Time from the time of my life (or Private Time) which might satisfy the critics among those interested. The given is the time of life not the time of clocks, and this time of the clock must gain its reality and its structures from the awarenesses of the dynamics of the energies expended in one's actions at all moments of one's life. That it was possible to undertake such a study and come out with a coherent and consistent whole, might be considered a contribution, even if it is ranked only fourth here. ***

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Discovering Homo Economicus In Me And In Others

In 1963 I became aware for the first time that I was a generator of wealth. As a writer, I could spend a number of days creating a text and find that there were one hundred thousand people ready to buy its printed form. Somehow, as a writer, I could exchange that short duration of work for fifty years of royalties to my heirs after my death — of my creation kept being attractive at that time. From that personal experience, I went on to asking myself whether I could understand what happened, not only in that transaction, but in all those which have existed for others and at other historical times. Ten years later I had my answer, an unexpected answer, in the form of the discovery that, at work in many people, there was an awareness of a functioning which differed from the need to know (which made us Homo Sapiens) and the need to do or to make (which made us Homo Faber) and which was concerned with yield. I borrowed the expression Homo Economicus of which I had heard, and embarked upon clarifying its meaning. Ten years later I was able to put in words my findings for others to look at, as well as to make applications of those findings in various fields. In particular, I could reach a vision of the future in which the Homo Economicus in each of us would make distinct contributions to the economies of which one is a part. Two different but overlapping texts

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(one in French, in 1985, and the other in English, in 1986, with the title of "The Generation of Wealth") were published for such a purpose. By making the awareness of Homo Economicus in us, the foundation of a discussion of economics and for an education of such an awareness, I was able to bring some new lights in the field of economics considered a reserved turf for specialists only. Among my insights which make that work different from other writings on similar matters, I can cite 1. that every individual is a consumer and therefore participates in the economy, if it were only by making sure that the needs for outside energy, for shelter and for protection from the elements are taken care of. A manmade environment results from the existence of Homo Sapiens and Homo Faber in Man. 2. that every individual, through awareness, can, in every generation, reach more deeply how to use the smooth workings of his inner economy exemplified by all the physio logical functionings which keep our complex structure going and in good health. 3. that the laws of evolution, as exemplified in the cosmic, vegetable and animal kingdoms, maintain that which works efficiently and discards that which really hampers evolution. Hence each generation can pass on to the next what has been tested and found operational. Hence the integrated wholes can represent progress and this can be extended over centuries or millennia. Economics is made of such awarenesses. 4. that by labeling Homo Economicus that part of Man (who already knows himself both as Homo Sapiens and Homo Faber) which is polarized towards replacing what works by something that works better, in all walks of life, we generate a new study of Man-in-the-world which can open up unsuspected vistas. 5. that by following the impacts of Homo Economicus from his remotest history to today, we can trace his working in the successive layers of progress culminating, in the last two hundred years, in making energy and time the most fundamental entities capable of unifying the whole of reality. 12


Discovering Homo Economicus In Me And In Others

6. that improved yields mean many things according to the fields and can cause the creation of the various technologies which reduce Man’s own expenditures to the point that today “nothings” have become what he wants to spend to involve the latent energies of the cosmos in his projects and in whatever quantities. 7. that economics cannot be looked at as the exact sciences are usually seen to be — i.e., Man’s concern for what exists outside and beyond him — but instead see the science of economics as a description of what Man does with himself in his form of Homo Economicus. Economic facts are human facts and are at the level of his awareness of himself. The “blind forces of the Economy” are blind to the extent Man does not reach his participation in the creation of those facts of awareness. Today he can catch himself present in the dynamics generating the economies of the world, past, present and future. 8. that to be correct, this description of the changing world created by Homo Economicus (using Homo Sapiens and Homo Faber which coexist in him) must be able to place Man aware of the complexity of reality at the source of the changes and find which ones restore his true position in his involvements which produce that reality. Only then a universal understanding of the commercial dimension of our lives will be possible. With it the opening of contributions to the generation of wealth by anyone of us, similar to those allowed in the realms where Homo Sapiens (intellectual) and Homo Faber (artistic and technical) have been welcome for a long time. 9. that our public education will be studied in terms of the cost to the students of the acquisition of skills, but reduced to its proper value instead of the huge price everybody pays at present. 10. that the modern electronic and optical technologies will give a magnificient opportunity in the developing countries to cope with their economic challenges without having to repeat the course of Western history which led to the impasses felt today and which must be transcended. ***

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Evolution And Its Impasses

Although the talk on evolution started seriously after Linneus and Cuvier proposed their taxonomies which elicited the questions of why such a huge variety of species existed in the realm of the vital, it was found that it could also be asked in the realm of the atom and of the stars. Prout already in 1807 suggested that all atoms were made of hydrogen and the table of Mendeleev gave it some theorical basis. There was no way in the XIXth century to prove that matter also evolved, although differently from that which Lamarck or Darwin suggested (several decades from each other) in the realm of plants and animals. During this century — which started with radioactivity, or the decay of matter, with the electron and the quanta of energy — the stress was on the discrete linked by the continuity of time, and evolution broaden its scope. In 1940 I recognized myself as being of the four realms (cosmic, vegetable, animal, and human) since I was made of atoms and molecules, was a cellular system linked to plants by anatomy and physiology, an entity capable of behaviors like those of animals, and finally, human, because no definite set of behaviors could define me. My will would allow me to get out of some behaviors even when I had adopted them. Then I began to ask the question: “What is it that evolves in the various realms?” and I came onto two discoveries: one allowed me to

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understand what is meant to be in time (of which evolution is a special aspect) and the other, how to integrate humanity and unify Evolution, from the creation of matter to the future of Man on earth. The presentation in 1980 of this vision is contained in a three-volume work in French: “L’Energie et les Energies.” In the cosmos, it is matter which evolves. It is another form of cosmic energy studied by physicists, astronomers and cosmologists. But it also led to an impasse, made plain by the discovery of radioactivity. Once complexity reached a certain level, the nuclei linked by the strong force could no longer be in equilibrium and atoms would disintegrate. In the cosmos, another way of organizing matter (i.e., particles and atoms) began through the electromagnetic force and molecules appeared. Over time molecules attached to each other and the universe of chemistry unfolded. On earth, where scientists were located, the analysis of the matter scattered on the planet led to a balance sheet of very “few” atoms which are found in the table of Mendeleev. It also indicated that the connections between them are the most numerous in the case of those atoms which form the middle of the table. These include carbon and silicon. Carbon in molecules could form chains whose length was found to be considerable. It happened that chemists found these in what was known as the universe of life and organic chemistry was born which became concerned with finding all those molecules, analyzing them and synthesizing them. There too complexity was very extended but it also came to an end. A second impasse was reached: large molecules were unstable after a certain level of complexity and broke down. Once molecules were formed they could react with each other on earth. Using the sun’s energy, the heat of the decaying radioactive elements found in the crust of the earth, and the energy of exothermic reactions, the extension of matter could go on. The two cosmic impasses coexisted with the continuation of the reactions which kept old things going. I called horizontal evolutions the use of time to make 1) all the possible nuclei, and 2) all the possible molecules, but I had to acknowledge that 16


Evolution And Its Impasses

there was a leap in the way energy worked in those two cosmic subrealms. For molecules there is no need to use the amounts of energy consumed to form new nuclei. A much smaller amount of energy was sufficient to join atoms which only exchanged electrons. When I saw that the universe of the vital had also happened on earth, and that its reality transcended atoms and molecules — though it uses many of them and also makes new molecules — I was forced to find a label for the leaps, sources of new realities, and “vertical evolutions” imposed themselves on me. What matters at this point is that, over time, new kinds of workings of energy appear in the universe (though studied on earth only and by humans only) and the next kind of working is quantitatively much smaller than the previous one. In the cosmos at large, besides the two cosmic evolutions of matter, there is an overall evolution of the celestial bodies which call in two other forms of cosmic energy: gravity and radiation on top of the electromagnetic already mentioned. Gravity results from the presence of matter in space; radiation scatters energy in that space in the form of massive and massless particles (these travel at a speed called the speed of light). Hence, evolution looks very different in these universes studied by specialists who give to it the meaning of the transformations over time of that which takes into account the entities which occupy their minds. Therefore, we are concerned with evolution when we consider explicitly the presence of time in the phenomena we study. All entities in the cosmos are individuals (clouds, galaxies, stars, planets) which are looked at in the light of their being and their becoming. All the sciences of the contents of the cosmos are evolutionary sciences. They all use the same law of complexation (or of making this more complex): to take a new step, the old must be transformed. Evolution therefore means 1) not stopping at what is, 2) creating the new which is compatible with the old. This until the process is no longer possible and an impasse develops. There are rich and varied horizontal evolutions to work on, challenging those humans

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interested in them so that they make sense of what their awareness of these realities bring to them. From the cosmos to the living, the vertical evolution is in the new ways of working of energy and also in the fact that in the realm of the living, small amounts of energy produce considerable changes. By integrating what is possible in the cosmos, life (a new entity found at present only on earth) had to work on what the cosmos had not worked on till then. I called it “form� and it concerns the arrangement of molecules in space not in order to let them react on each other (which they can, since they belong to the cosmos) but in order to enter the architecture of the cells, the entities which can use energy in a new way by maintaining a deliberate proximity of molecules and acting on their spatial arrangement. This can be seen in the many forms unicellular plants have taken. They are all single cells, they are all made of molecules and atoms, but they differ so conspicuously from each other by their forms. So do seeds, leaves, roots, woods, when we take other items belonging to the realm of plants. In this line of thinking on evolution, the vegetable kingdom is formed of all the possible objectivations of form making use of all the molecules that cosmic energy made possible on earth. Because molecules and atoms belong to the material of the earth, found wherever it is, cells as aggregates of molecules will differ in relation to the soils on which they have started that new phase of evolution. Cells remain separate or linked to each other according to various formulae of the working of form. That strand of evolution will create the new on earth and at each level all that which is possible will be tried out. Then the possible is replaced by the viable, since the organizations of cells which provide new forms must be tested for individual compatibility with what is in the environment, including their renewed sources of molecules and available energy. By replacing natural selection by the vision of attempting all that is possible, followed by a test of viability, we eliminate the mystery of why individual plants can reach such a variety of being while remaining plants, synthesizing their substance from the soil and reproducing themselves by cloning. There are flowers with one, others with two, . . .

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others with n, petals; seeds that fall, others that the wind blows, others which are scattered by the explosion of the fruit and millions of different ways of being in the environment. A mathematical combination of attributes can serve as a count of the possible, which will surpass in numbers the actual content of the realm because the test of viability is provided by nature as a sorter of that which, among the possible, is compatible with actual conditions. *** When we attempt to understand the other vital realm — the animal kingdom — we see not only that form exists as the outcome of a cellular structure made of molecules, but that the structure is there to express distinct sets of behaviors. Each animal species is defined by a definite set of behaviors, and conversely a set of behaviors defines exclusively one animal species. The special vital energy which renders these behaviors dynamic is called instinct. There are as many instincts as there are animal species. This energy knows itself in that animals can become aware of their environment and of those energies in it which can serve or can harm an individual member of the species, like food, predators, as poison or as danger. Some say that animals know by instinct what to go for or what to avoid. Every instinct is at the same time individual and collective. Collective it represents the species; individual it represents the energy which is available to give to each activity what is needed in order to exist and to last. When all individuals behave more or less in the same way they display the species behaviors. These can be associated with a single instinct. But individual members find themselves confronted with specific demands. If one of these demands is imposed on one individual which does not find in the original set of behaviors a readymade response but cannot escape acting, and finds that such an action is compatible with that form and that there is energy to move it effectively in that case — a new situation has occurred: that individual has been forced to discover that its instinct had one extra possibility available and can add that behavior to those already integrated. If it 19


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passes on this behavior to some other members of the species, a new species can be generated, close to the original one but differing from it in some respect. Thus it is instinct that evolves in the animal kingdom and the forms that follow are adapted to the set of behaviors characteristic of that new instinct. Modern zoologists stress the set of behaviors of each species and at the margins, of variations compatible with them. According to the theory of evolution they select as their working model, they also select the topics they want to study. But instinct does not seem to be one of them. *** Since only Man objectifies his awarenesses for others and looks at them as the expression of the reality he relates to, when he comes to place himself in the overall evolution of life, he accepts as a fact his resemblance to animals, and states: “Man is an animal . . .” plus something else. But Man has no instincts which regulate his behaviors since these are not all predictable, for example, making himself starve to death or to refuse to have a progeny. A definition of Man which can serve 1) in his study of many of his circumstances on earth and in history, 2) to give us instruments which re-integrate Man in the overall evolution on earth, is that Man is a being aware of his awarenesses. Already in the contribution (which was given the number three earlier) concerned with the science of education, this definition served as the foundation of that science. Here we want to retain that what has evolved from the beginning of Man — i.e., when he left the animal kingdom — can only be his awareness of himself. This, at the individual level first, and then, at the collective, i.e. when Man created cultures and civilizations.

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Evolution And Its Impasses

In scores of articles and larger texts, this has been spelled out as well as I could on those occasions of writing; in particular, through the medium of this Newsletter. Here, we only wove together evolution seen as the expression of the possibilities of energy becoming aware of itself at its various levels: as cosmic energy, as vital energy, as instinct, and finally, as human or spiritual energy, and saw it reaching impasses after doing a great deal which filled our universe with the contents of the horizontal evolutions. The vertical leaps are characterized with doing more with less, so much so that today we can see as the next stage of evolution on earth, the one based on “nothings.� The awareness of Man as Homo Economicus (a very recent phenomenon) can also be seen in the light of the division between a pre-human evolution, leading to an impasse in our own present, and a human evolution which is allowing the future on earth to descend and of being capable of integrating all the pasts and all the presents of the four realms in an earthian unity. Both, the vertical evolutions and the impasses of the horizontal are needed in order to be true to what evolution actually is, and to Man’s awareness of himself. *** MY DEATH, is placed here last among the achievements of this life of mine, although it could be given an earlier spot. By shifting from death to my death, in the effort of understanding that phenomenon which looms so large in pre-human consciousness, I gave myself both an epistemological edge and the chance to find something important and essential for those concerned with that challenge. Indeed I brought together the two ends of the duration of a life, its beginning and its end, making each illumine the other.

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Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements

To account for my awareness of myself at any age and at this moment of this life, I had to give the self a sufficiently small energy to lodge it in the initial microscopic fertilized cell which became my soma that accompanied me in this life. I called it a “quantum” and was able to see it at work, first in-utero, to produce the working soma and the accompanying psyche which will keep it going all through life and then, ex-utero, to produce all these facts of awareness needed to furnish my rich and varied life. My self, aware of itself, discovers what it can do with the energies which are latent in the environment and are taken to one’s “bag” to keep one’s life thus generated so as to make it one’s own life. During this process of living a specific and unique human life, the self can become aware of the evolution allowed by one’s gifts and the evolution precluded by one’s lacks. My death will allow me to do once more what I did at the very beginning of this life, i.e., give myself a soma and a psyche as well as a different environment, which will provide new opportunities to give myself a new stretch of human life in which what I could not evolve this time will be possible, and what I did do in this life which helped my evolution, be done more thoroughly. So my death is the gate to my rebirth and the start of a new life for my quantum to direct and energize, integrating in its attributes all my specific evolutions which translate themselves that way. So, when I return I need not remember anything of this life, in the manner a new species does in the third realm when it lives its new instinct, this integrates the previous one without acknowledgment of the old instinct as an entity in itself. In fact, this understanding of my death has had the effect of making me understand this life and some of my previous lives without any memory of them, to the point that like most people, I did not suspect my previous lives until I asked about what it was not possible to have learned in this life but is an integral part of me. For instance, my will, my sensitivity and sensitivities, my presence in awareness, my patience, my discriminations and engagements in some aspects of life, and my ability at being myself at any age.

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Evolution And Its Impasses

At the same time, I felt the well-being of someone who knows something very important about himself, something only very few are lucky enough to meet without paying the price of dedicating every moment and for years, to such a quest. Understanding my death has been understanding my life and what went to make it what it has been. It also tells me that this is the question everyone should ask of oneself and not see death as a frightening abyss whose contemplation can create panic. *** To close — what one of my friends who read this manuscript called my obituary — I wish to add that I restricted myself to what today seems to me to be my main achievements in this long and varied life. There is much that others may have chosen instead of what stands out for me. I have been a man of action and worked with thousands of people for many years; I have started working groups which developed into social forces; I let thwarted individuals who were brought to me for remediation, blossom under my very eyes and go on becoming persons with confidence and a purpose for their lives; I thrashed out, in many long seminars and workshops, challenges to our generation(s) and seen them yield something important to our scrutiny; I have found that the charging environments in which I lived could become sources of limitless investigations which would help evolution at this juncture; I have encountered my strengths and given them full rein while recognizing my many weaknesses which needed attendance in my next lives; in particular, I saw clearly that a bright future awaits humanity if we can cooperate in its descent among us, and that summarizes indeed my whole life.

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News Items

Ten Days In Haiti With Infused Reading For Creole Twenty years ago a young Haitian (Gladys Heraux) who had witnessed “Words in Color� in French at the International School in Geneva, came to New York to enquire whether it was possible to contemplate producing similar materials for the language of the natives of her country, named Creole. At that time, Dr. Gattegno had almost no experience of that language but was interested in exploring the challenge. A Fidel was made with some half-baked innovations that were conceived to assist newcomers who had had to schooling at all to master reading. In Haiti itself there was little interest for this then. After the February 7, 1986 revolution, the same lady found that there were new reasons to attempt to introduce Words in Color in Creole to authorities in her country or origin and contacted Dr. Gattegno on the subject. Ms. Heraux, now Mrs. Doebli and a resident of Geneva, Switzerland, made up a number of word charts with Creole words cut out of French Words in Color charts. They were looked at last November and examined from the point of view of the Haitian people, to determine whether closeness to the French as was offered was needed this time. During that discussion of the classroom materials already prepared, it appeared that there might be a place for a Haitian version of the Infused Reading program. Dr. Gattegno, in December 1986, found the time and means of giving this project a realization which was sent to

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Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements

Geneva for correction, in the form of an Apple IIe diskette. Before it reached there, Dr. Gattegno resolved to go to Port-au-Prince to investigate whether indeed projects were viable in the circumstances. Mrs. Doebli decided to use some of her New Year vacation to be present in Haiti at that time and to facilitate contacts with people in the state and the churches’ hierarchies whom she knew personally to be keen, at least to consider proposals. Hence on January 4 (a Sunday), a meeting with a few leaders was organized in Haiti, to hear the reasons for being optimistic in the campaign against illiteracy in Haiti which at present looks urgent, costly and demanding. The conclusion was that as many people as possible should be involved in witnessing demonstrations, organized a few days earlier both by the Methodist Church leaders and the Minister of Education who was present at that Sunday evening meeting. Monday and Tuesday were devoted to three groups of illiterates: a group of 5 to 7 year olds, a group of adolescents (on Monday) and a group of adult illiterates brought to the capital from a rural community (on Tuesday). Wednesday morning was given to two groups of 9 year olds who spoke Creole but read only French which is the language of instruction at their school. On Monday morning a few of the ten young children made sense of a few vowels but could not show much of the value of the courseware for their age group. On Monday afternoon, four of the five adolescents had had no schooling at all, and one had had four years. So, the day did not bring out enough evidence that Infused Reading was an answer for such groups. Still the numerous witnesses brought there to be assessors of what was happening, were impressed by:

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News Items

1. the attentiveness of everyone to what was happening on the screen; 2. the amount of information on their language that at least a few of the students in both groups had extracted when so little intervention was provided by the teacher; 3. the adaptability of a program, made in New York by a non-speaker of Creole (only assisted by an old book now considered inadequate on a number of counts); 4. the fact that such a program grew on the observers who had not been given the privilege of previewing it fully. (This only took place on the Tuesday p.m.) But Tuesday morning with the adults was a revelation to all present. None of them had any schooling but could make immediate sense of the fact that some signs on the screen were triggers of sounds for them. In less than 50 minutes the first part of the Infused Reading (proper) segment of the program, had been sufficient to obtain from them that the nine Creole vowels be distinguished and recognized whenever they appeared on the screen: on their own, or surrounded by increasing numbers of others. A break for rest was inserted at that stage. It seemed likely then that the easier part which was to follow would be plain sailing. But it was not. And mainly because the teacher alone could not convey to the students what there was to do with every addition of a new consonant and the assistant to the teacher, when called upon to assist using the native language, did not always manage to get across what was required. When these adults were invited to express themselves on the experience of these two sessions, they were unanimously positive, saying that they knew they could learn to read in this way and hoped they would be invited again. Every one of the observers concurred with their assessment, but there was no consideration of their wish at that time. This meeting with the adult group was effective in opening a chance for the serious consideration of Infused Reading as an instrument for meeting the immense challenge of illiteracy in Haiti.

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Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements

The Wednesday classes were in a school (K-12) of which the Minister of Education had been the principal for some time. Two groups of 9 year olds (12 in one and 15 in the other) were part of a class for 9 year olds whose teacher was the senior of those taking that age group. Both groups took exactly 50 minutes each to complete the five sub-programs of the courseware. They were speakers of Creole but they had only been exposed at school to French which they could read well, it was said. The second group performed better in that they enjoyed better the exercises proposed as their smiles and laughter proved. Neither themselves nor the one or two teachers present, believed the job had been done. Still it was clear that they were spontaneously saying the phrases presented to them by the computer at speeds which were slightly above their own normal French reading. There was no one there to prompt them, only the events on the screen. These held their attention and were compelling in that they triggered the proper utterances, in the proper order and rhythms. On the Friday morning at the “Institut Pedagogique National,” another demonstration of the courseware was offered to a group of fifty or more teachers, teacher trainers and investigators who had been quickly gathered for a meeting with Dr. Gattegno so that he could tell them what he knew about literacy through the computer. To save a little time and, for such a literate audience, some boredom, the Infused Reading (proper) program was started with the last vowel and concentrated on the consonants for fifteen minutes of work. There were in the audience a few adults who, although speakers of Creole, had not to date learned to read it. They went through the rest of the programs in another ten to twelve minutes and completed the course in 27 minutes. Those few were delighted, but the “pundits” of the IPN were mainly interested in defending their turf and their pet theories. Most of the time left was not used to examine what was brought to them, and the meeting ended in a protest by those who wanted to learn more. For the following Monday and Tuesday still left to be filled up, there were too many takers. On Monday a group of 15 kindergarten boys and girls (5 to 6 year olds) sat for 45 minutes in front of the screen to attempt to learn to read French with the Infused Reading program. For a while the readiness seemed remarkable and total so that even ambiguities could be

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News Items

handled by some with ease and understanding, one and the same sign could have several sounds given to it, one sound could be represented by several signs. When two or three consonants were introduced only two children managed to make the transfers needed to accommodate other vowels in the syllables or to reverse the syllables already met. The lesson was stopped soon, the teachers saying it had been twice as long as usually. The principal and the classroom teacher were impressed by what their children had done that went against the previous beliefs about child behavior and intellectual capacity. A second lesson at another school (grades K-8) was on English also using the Infused Reading program. There were 20 students aged 7, two or three speaking English. Here too, for a while, all seemed well but the consonants offered included the two “th’s” unknown to most. Letting the three who spoke English be the class within the class showed that more time would be needed with such groups to complete the task. Two teachers of French asked to try that same group on the French program which revealed that phrasing in their language had not yet been introduced to them. They learned it through Test 1 which presents all the phrases of text one as a random sequence at speeds slow and fast. The teachers agreed then that it might be preferable not to postpone its introduction. In the afternoon about thirty-five principals and teachers came to a private school hosting a meeting with Dr. Gattegno. For half the time (75 minutes), the classroom materials of “La Lecture en Couleurs” were used with a student who was a 19 year old Haitian woman, working in a house as domestic, who did not really speak French but had had in all, one year of schooling when she had been exposed to that language of instruction. She had had four hours of teaching by Dr. Gattegno with those materials as she joined a boy of 7 (son of that family) with great reading and writing problems (diagnosed as dyslexic by his school) but both made meteoric progress. Not only did that young woman astonish everybody by all the qualities she displayed in picking up words among 29


Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements

many others which covered fifteen word charts, remembering their order after the pointer left every one of them, then saying them in a fluent flow which indicated she understood what she was saying and in pointing herself, at that sequence of words scattered on a number of charts. There were few skeptics left after that demonstration and on the spot, ten classroom teachers decided to move towards adopting La Lecture en Couleurs for themselves. An interesting experiment, tried for the first time ever in that situation, was to introduce that same woman to the French Fidel which she had never seen before. Two examples were sufficient to make her understand the game and she both read the sentences presented to her on the Fidel and could remake the sequences, of signs in words, and of such groups of signs, to compose sentences. One school in Port-au-Prince owning an Apple micro-computer and now Infused Reading for Spanish and for English could start work from that day. Tuesday did not contain any teacher. It was kept aside for one or more meetings with highly placed Haitians interested enough to consider follow-ups. As it happened the director of the IPN and a gentleman involved in many areas of education (scout movement, Creole literacy, international schools, etc.) were empowered by those who could not attend to discuss future plans. The one-hour meeting served to produce a number of suggestions on which they would take action either soon or next summer.

Announcement The Infused Reading series has now been increased to include four Polynesian languages: Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan and Tahitian. The five European languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) will be extended in the near future to include Hungarian and Catalan. The three American Indian languages (IĂąupiaq, Lakota and Ojibwe) might also be added to at the end of this year.

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News Items

A Week In Tahiti Here too Dr. Gattegno knew no one personally and was known indirectly by only one person, a newcomer to The Silent Way who taught English as a foreign language in clases offered by the Chamber of Commerce. The reason for going was that the Tahitian language could be treated like three other Polynesian languages through The Silent Way and the Infused Reading approach to literacy. Hawaiian, Maori and Samoan have already been considered during the last twelve years, but now all of these could be worked on as a group, thus generating a new opportunity to do research capable of yielding new insights into language learning and teaching. There remains much to be done to offer a neat package to the public. Still, what has already been achieved can be judged both as promising and useful. In particular, it suggests that the Philippine languages, needed by masses of people in their own country, could be hand-died in the same fashion and save much time, frustration and money for the government there. Tahiti has a very small population (160,000 scattered over many islands covering a huge area in the South East Pacific) half of which is on the island of this name. It is a French Territory, held because of France’s need to test its nuclear weapons. It may one day be an independent country. Tourism is its main source of additional income. As in Haiti, the French language is a second language, and Tahitian, like Creole, is growing in importance since it is the natural language of these islands. An Academy, established recently, issued an official grammar only last December. It seems that people are taking seriously the prospect of making this language the vehicle of instruction in the public elementary schools, while giving to French or English the role of international languages needed to link the territory to the rest of the world. While politics seems essential to all, the technical aspect lags behind; and it was in this respect that Dr. Gattegno’s proposals could become more appealing when known by more people. A nucleus of excited men and women resulted from the few demonstrations, meetings with officials, and a weekend seminar of twenty hours which shook those

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Caleb Gattegno’s Achievements

present enough to want to go on looking at education and teaching in the terms known to the readers of this Newsletter. Mrs. Kaethe Bessou took it upon herself to arrange the schedule of the visit and must be thanked for her efforts and for accepting to add more work to her already heavy load as a parent of two young children with a full-time job. Mr. Bessou also helped generously. A Week In Hawaii Between the West Coast and Japan, a detour including Tahiti made it possible to stop for six days in 50th State of the Union. Ms. Virginia Lee was the main contact. An ESL teacher in a Honolulu High School, she works with refugees, preparing them to be assimilated in the main stream of this 6,000,000 community of Hawaii. As a summer session student at SIT in Brattleboro, Vermont, she had met with Dr. Gattegno and was an enthusiast of The Silent Way. She agreed to try to make his visit in her state a profitable one mainly among those she could touch. Four of the six days were filled with meetings, demonstrations, a lecture at the University and a weekend seminar. Because there were accesses to Apple II e’s, the Infused Reading disks had a showing which convinced participants that they offered a line attack on the problems of teaching some difficult aspects of language with a clear chance of success. Besides this, the use of The Silent Way materials showed another approach also successful, and more easily immediately expandable. In Hawaii, also, a nucleus of people has been formed which can continue to work creatively and with a sense of achievement.

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Caleb Gattegno's Achievement  
Caleb Gattegno's Achievement  

Caleb Gattegno's Achievement

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