Issuu on Google+

The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment Collective Experiment Series – #3

Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.

Caleb Gattegno


vol. XVII no. 4-5 Double Issue April/June 1988

First published in 1988. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright Š 1988-2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 978-0-87825-332-6 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, N.Y. 10003-4555

The first issue of Volume XVI was devoted to a brief examination of two collective experiments in the spirit of this series, which will explore a certain number of them. Although we did not receive enough direct feedback on its value to our readers to decide that they are of interest to them, a few collective experiments will be taken up because a deeper acquaintance with them may benefit the public. It does not seem that this subject has received the attention it deserves in view of its importance for human evolution. The readers of this Newsletter have been given occasions to look at two kinds of evolution: one we called “horizontal,” in which we can follow over a long duration the unfolding of a way of working of energy, and which can produce the well-known realms (cosmic, vegetable and animal, for instance); and one we called “vertical,” which accounts for a change in the ways of working of energy allowing us to understand, in particular, that new realms can come into existence. Human beings through a vertical leap left the animal kingdom. Over two or three million years of use of awareness of awareness, human beings did many things — most of them lost forever, it seems — but in the last hundred thousand years some of the things they did, remained reachable in one form or another and are attributable directly to human evolution. The sciences, the arts, the religions, languages, the cultures and civilizations are studied as horizontal evolutions of certain groups of humans located in certain places on earth. The two already considered in Volume XVI were used as examples of how such collective experiments have served mankind — including the present generation of human beings — by telling: 1) what a succession of generations can live passionately in the process of producing a certain culture and, 2) how what was found in doing so, could serve as a set of warnings to the following generations in other places; that there are impasses in the experiments which perhaps may well be avoided for the overall evolution of mankind. In other words, we are looking at collective experiments for two things: one, the horizontal evolution each represents, and the other, what is to be extracted from each on behalf of the subsequent collectivities that have some connectionswith the first, e.g., follow in their footsteps. On top of this we may manage to give ourselves today the means of

understanding a number of the functionings of human groups aware of awareness, according to the possibilities of this awareness. In particular, considering all these collective experiments which can be the characteristics of some future ones. *** In selecting the Hebrew-Jewish collective experiment as the third to work on, we set the scene for a bridge between the experiments which are no longer with us (like Ancient Egypt and Roman) and those which are of relatively recent origin. Recent can mean a number of centuries, and could be: Islam, the capitalist societies, the colonial nations, the industrial societies, etc. Our treatment of the experiment selected for this double issue will have all the defects of a fast painted fresco leaving out too much, but also perhaps the advantange of inspiring some new thinking. News Items close this issue.

Table of Contents

1 Defining The Setting For The Study ................................... 1 2 Abraham, The First Man Aware Of His Awareness ............ 5 3 Moses And The Integration Of Time As An Attribute Of The Divinity. The Development Of Conscience............ 11 4 The Phenomenon Of The Prophets And The Return To The Fold .....................................................................17 5 The Evolution Of The Collective Experiment ................... 23 6 The Experiment In The Exile ........................................... 25 7 An Estimation Of The Cultural Intercourse To Our Times ............................................................................. 31 News Items ......................................................................... 37

1 Defining The Setting For The Study

A short study like the one undertaken in the following pages cannot claim to be scholarly, although it may still be valuable or even inspiring. Years of reflection on the unique source represented by the Old Testament — on which so many minds worked for millennia — may lead to insights which can only be considered new or original through a thorough examination of all that the literature contains. This has not been done, and by proposing the insights offered here we make no claim to an absolute originality although the readership, with its varied backgrounds and erudition, may come to a valid conclusion on this matter. It seems easiest to leave it at that. Since it is well known that the Old Testament is the sacred book of the religions Jews and has served as a basic platform 1) to the many generations of learned people called Rabbis among the Jews; 2) to the Fathers of the Christian Churches, particularly of the Protestant Churches in the last five centuries; and 3) to the writer of the Qoran and to Islamic scholars, it is possible to return to it for some other purpose. The one purpose we choose for this writing can be expressed as follows: it is not because a tribe of Hebrews moved over the plains of Mesopotamia and settled in the plain of Canaan, that a civilization was established — which is still being lived by millions — but because among those tribesmen there were some who left behind signs that


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

they had reached a stage of evolution which translated itself in new human experiences. That they also were capable of recording it for posterity, is an extra bonus for those, like this writer, who wish to know how a civilization begins and how it unfolds its potential. The Bible can be read, and is being read, in many different ways and provides different crops. Voltaire’s is in such strong contrast to that of any Hassidic contemporary of his. The searchlight for my reading is an experience of mine of 1939, which made me aware that I was aware of awareness. This allowed me to look at everything with a fresh light capable of perceiving awareness at work. That experience was new to me and with it came the question: ‘Who and where are those people who may have preceded me in such a realization?’ Decades of study which took me to a large number of writers of all kinds rendered my searchlight more penetrating and revealed some of the many ways humans looked at themselves and at the worlds they lived in. For instance, it allowed me to understand why the Athenians let Socrates be condemned to death for corrupting the Greek youth. Or, why Karl Marx when looking passionately at the Jewish question, in the middle of the last century, could only offer complete assimilation with the European hosts who were ignoring the religious attribute to stress the intellectual one which seemed to him independent of the historical background of the various peoples who were creating the commercial industrial society in the West. Or, how Charles Darwin could shake his prejudices away to reach an understanding of the contents of creation (in the vegetable and animal kingdom) as a continuum of changes over billions of years through the intellectual light of natural selection and adaptation. And many other contributions of thinkers in various spatial and temporal contexts. In particular, that it was possible not to become aware of awareness of the awareness, as had been my case for almost 30 years, and had been such a prevalent state for so many contributors to cultural and spiritual wealths. This awareness alone allowed me to look at the Chinese and Japanese societies as examples of that which can be found and lived without that awareness. This fact that one can live without awareness of the awareness of awareness and still be aware


1 Defining The Setting For The Study

of what awareness can do, did — and still does through millions of humans in the arts and the sciences — give me a more shaded view of mankind and posed to me so many important and fruitful questions. In this writing there is no need to delve further on this fact. Instead, one question that occupied me for almost half a century will be; ‘Can one find whether the first human who realized within himself that awareness of awareness was as much a reality as sun’s rays and hunger, left evidence of his realization for us to attribute it to him? In the manner we speak of the Principle of Archimedes enunciated by a specific man 2500 years ago?’ Since I had realized this awareness within myself I knew I was not the first to do so, but where would I go to find the first? The reading of some passages of Genesis gave me the answer I was looking for: Abraham was that man. My being convinced of it did not move me to stop my study which had become much more complex, nor to propagate my conviction. Forty or so years later I reached the point where I could look at collective experiments for what they contributed to human evolution and attempted to specify this contribution in the case of the Hebrew-Jewish people. Since many centuries passed between Abraham’s day and today, we can expect that the horizontal evolution of the generations of peoples involved in living that evolution will be more plural than singular. Perhaps this collective experiment will be better understood if we see in it three or four horizontal evolutions in succession integrated into one but sharing clearly the turning points which may look like radical transformations of the previous course. Thus, we shall first be concerned with what Abraham gave his tribe and through it, to the world. Then we shall examine what Moses did with that inheritance within what he had become when educated outside the tribe. Then we shall be concerned with the singular phenomenon of a


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

succession of prophets who acted as the conscience of the people at various crises. Following that we’ll take a look at the centuries of exile and how they could deepen the original experiments and prepare Jewry for its modern contribution of the last two hundred years. Within the overall study of the meaning of that experiment for mankind, it will be permitted to close with a projection of how in a pluralistic earth, Jews can continue their experiment and find in themselves their place in the overall evolution of mankind.


2 Abraham, The First Man Aware Of His Awareness

This is not a theorem to be proved by reasoning in a certain strict logic. It is a statement made by someone who claims to have had a similar experience to that of Abraham but did not follow the same path after the experience. While Abraham’s is only reachable through the words in Genesis and some work on oneself, my own, for me, is full with a multitude of awarenesses which allowed me to imagine Abraham’s as a concrete human experience. For me, today, every human being has access to his awareness of his awareness. This as extended to Abraham is that of a singular person who, when it happened to him, seems to have been overwhelmed by the happening and by its content. Overwhelmed like anyone would be who, out of the blue, finds the meaning of his humanness as distinct from all the other presences each carries in the job of living in what is one’s position in one’s environment. Abraham had no doubt that he was in contact within himself with the ways of working of consciousness, his consciousness, which made him relate to himself as a person, and to consciousness also as a person he could converse with in his own language. In this relating was copresent some awareness of the dynamics of being. It is Abraham who addresses God as another himself, the source of the personal God which will become the seal of the monotheistic religions. When we read those bargaining moments with God about Sodom and Gomora, we see


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

on one side a daring person, Abraham, showing how God should think on such matters which translate righteousness, as he sees it as a human and, on the other side, an almighty God listening and changing his mind in agreement with Abraham. This very short passage of Genesis is the single clearest indication that Abraham related to his awareness of himself and projected it, in the words of his own language, as if he knew with certainty that God spoke Aramaic. It is told, in Hebrew, in Genesis and the dialogue is of two people: one argues with his own logic and feelings, that the righteous should not be taken with the sinners and the other acquiesces as if the argument is valid and convincing at once. For Abraham to build his plea, he begins with a certain number of righteous men large enough to justify in his own eyes that the cities should be spared. But he goes on reducing that number and finding God acquiescing again and again. It all begins within Abraham and is given the form of a dialogue with an outsider. An outsider given powers as God but also reasonableness as Man. The whole story in that passage, contains additional elements which do not permit us to say that the above interpretation is more than an interpretation. Still, this interpretation makes the God of Abraham have more of Abraham than the latter has of God, as made in this image, which is to be true of the “generic man� that Adam was at the beginning of creation. Through Abraham, God receives some attributes only inferable from the events preceding the command to Abraham to leave Ur and move West with his nomadic tribe of which he is the leader. By letting the echoes in the readers of the naming of God vague, there is room for everyone to give his meaning to the concept which can be found to have been in circulation among all human groups wherever they were for millennia. God becomes something more precise, something different from the gods molded by the hands of men or associated with the forces of nature and the events which shake them and make them want to rationalize what is essentially concerned with the inner life of this man, 6

2 Abraham, The First Man Aware Of His Awareness

although once it is given an objective reality it gains some of the attributes of the other gods. Abraham seems to have been at peace with the coexistence in God of the supernatural powers of gods (as conceived by so many tribes on earth) and of the human attributes which Abraham could reach in himself by awareness of his awareness. The passage of the sacrifice of Isaac leaves us with more room for speculation than the bargaining passage mentioned above. But it gives us a chance to see how the Bible treats the new and difficult problem of the dialogue of Abraham’s consciousness with some of its contents. The transcendental God can order a man to prove the strength of his belief in the personal God by obeying and give up what has been built as perhaps the most signifcant event of his life: that he had a son from his true wife and tell no one about this sacrifice. So no one could interfere with this test of his belief, not his dear and wise Sarah, nor the other elders of the tribe. The God of Abraham was his singular inner property not to be shared with anyone. God spoke to others through Abraham, but Abraham could not objectify his grasp of Him except when talking to himself. So no one could have a representation of God and only Abraham as the social authority of the tribe (which had an existence before him and therefore had already established many rules of communication and of transmission of command, from top to bottom to obtain action by the tribe) could be permitted to keep to himself his intuitions and relate to Him in his own ways and to the members of the tribe in traditional ways. So tribal life would continue at the same time as Abraham was reaching more and more of his God-awareness by living with himself. For our purpose of understanding how a religion is born, what makes it what it is, and what it is not (which is easier than what it is, in this case, because there have been all sorts of religious manifestations in that region where Abraham was born and led his people) we can pursue his overwhelming experience of being wiht one’s awareness of one’s awareness, without any other instruments of study than those found in awareness itself and mainly as a new experience. We all know the impact of an overwhelming experience such as a calamity that befalls on us. Unable to understand what it might be, how


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

it involves us and what we must do to survive it, we take our time in silence, in grief, in a kind of paralysis in a number of fields of nonautomatic action. We seek intensely for some light to help us in the darkness which surrounds our mind, light which may not materialize or materializes when it does, independently of our will, So Abraham walked with Isaac to the place of the sacrifice not uttering a word but no less involved in seeking the meaning of this momentous event. His will could make him obey the command, not oppose it. He left to God to sort that problem in His way. He only answered his son that God will procure the sacrificial lamb in due time. As He did. The due time was God’s choice not Abraham’s. As Isaac could not fathom any of this episode, he remained with its mystery the rest of his long life, perhaps as his way of understanding the God of his father and appropriate Him for himself. Hence giving a meaning to the phrase, “the God of Abraham and of Isaac.” A personal God. Isaac did not learn from his father how to be in the presence of the Almighty which had not been given a form and could not be given a form. He was much more the head of the tribe of the Hebrews than someone who could add to the comprehension of his father’s inner move which made him the possessor of a divinity all internal and manifesting itself in a new realm, that of the inner life, invisible to all but oneself. Abraham was the first among the Hebrews who could do it and did it to the point of generating the inner reality of a personal God. Isaac served as a bridge between his father, the originator of the new religion, and his son Jacob, who too, had personal dealings with Him. We are told nothing about how Abraham educated his tribesmen about this reality which that tribe was supposed to make more explicit to itself and to others. The imposition of circumcision of the males was a tribal stigma which distinguished its members from other tribes. The form of worship, the places of worship are left vague until Moses regulated every detail of them, fifteen hundred years later. Abraham had the hardest job, but the jobs of his successors were not easy. The divinity they worshiped in their ways had a name which made it clearly a personal God, that of Abraham, then that of Abraham 8

2 Abraham, The First Man Aware Of His Awareness

and Isaac and finally that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. No other name was added with the successive generations, although Joseph was given a considerable place in the unfolding of the story of Israel. In the evolution of the people of that first monotheistic tribe there is nothing we can specially consider as essential. The obvious interest in genealogy and in a close accountancy of the generations, may mean something special for this tribe but it does not throw any light on the movement of awareness of awareness when one generation follows the other. Perhaps the maintenance of the contact with such a search, avoiding to lose it and to fall into the ways of the past, were sufficient tasks for this newly constituted human collectivity to work on and form the contents of the history of the Hebrew tribe from Jacob’s offspring installation in Egypt to their “liberation� of Moses.


3 Moses And The Integration Of Time As An Attribute Of The Divinity. The Development Of Conscience.

If we have to guess a lot about Abraham and his immediate offspring, and his, because so little is said about them, we have so much material concerning Moses that guessing is considerably reduced. Four books of the Ancient Testament are about him and his work to mold those who agreed to leave Egypt with him away from servitude and into the desert — where they spent forty long years before reaching their habitat in Canaan — that we now have the difficult task of summarizing rather than that of expanding. So much repetition goes on in the various books that the essence of Moses’ impact can be done in far fewer words just by ignoring repetitions. But even this would produce too much written material. Instead, we shall consider Moses’ contribution to the collective Hebrew experiment under three headings: a) he gave a new name to the divinity; b) he acted as the human agent of God, c) he transformed Abraham’s finding into an organized set of behaviors centered on one aspect of consciousness we call conscience, and made the tribe of Israel into the objectifier of conscience in history.


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

Moses was a son of Israel but from early childhood he was part of Pharoah’s household and assimilated more the spiritual climate of the palace than the traditions of the tribe of his origin. When God ordered him to talk to Pharaoh he asked him to go with his brother Aaron who lived in the midst of the other descendants of the tribe of Abraham. Moses hesitates a great deal to obey God’s orders during the time he learned to know Him, as the God of Abraham to whom promises were made centuries earlier in a Covenant. This Covenant was spoken by God to Abraham and passed on by him to his tribesmen and offspring. If the Covenant is about real estate and the future of the next generations of the tribe, it is only binding in the realm of the spirit. Moses must have had some doubt about how this Covenant could be kept since all the descendants of the tribe were slaves in Egypt. For years, Moses must have worked on this fragile link between a personal God, only accessible within and the people in flesh and blood who had the responsibility of remaining faithful to an abstract entity while slaving in Egypt. His Egyptian upbringing gave him a singular position in how to work on the traditions of Israel. He could be original but had to remain respectful of Abraham’s spiritual legacy. The first original step was in adding a name to God which translated an attribute compatible with the earlier names of EL, ELOHIM, ADONAI, used traditionally for several centuries. He called Him the eternal, or JAHVE, a word which is the blending of the past and the future forms of the verb to be. But he forbade the utterance of that name except on one occasion every year, and then everyone had to hide under a shawl as if the call might produce a reality which transcends man’s realization and it may be dangerous to relate to. The inner God of Abraham had to have an outer representation compatible with the original one and Moses found that time can serve admirably that requirement. Time is known only within; men can conceive of it but have no means of concretizing it beyond feeling its existence and some of its attributes. Human consciousness, independently of Abraham or Moses, can reach the reality of the past and that of the present or the future. Therefore, the concept of time going on and on or of eternity, is reachable by all humans after a certain age, if they decide to entertain it. Moses having reached this universal awareness in himself, knew he could make the


3 Moses And The Integration Of Time As An Attribute Of The Divinity. The Development Of Conscience.

Hebrews give their personal God that attribute and find them agreeable to this addition. From then on the traditional names of God triggered the concomitant property of His being eternal as well as almighty. Moses knew that magicians among the Egyptians were able to perform “miracles” of the caliber God (the almighty) was performing in Egypt to get the Hebrews out of serfdom and on their way to the promised land. He asked for other miracles that no human could perform and got them. Because of them he obtained the right to take as many of the Hebrew slaves who agreed to go with him, across the Nubian desert to the Red Sea and by parting this, to the desert of Sinai. Only Moses and few other elders were grateful to God for what he made possible. On a number of occasions the people lamented the loss of the material security which they experienced back in Egypt and could not believe that it was for their own good that all these trials were befalling them. Moses had known the appearance of God as a fire and in a cloud in which He used to manifest Himself to His intermediary to the people. These had to believe Moses and the devices he used to convince them. It had not reached the depth of acquaintance of God which was mainly Moses’, and to a lesser degree, those closest to him. Such an experience was only transmitted through words and therefore could be effective or not. Moses’ tribulations all those years are those of a teacher who cannot always make his charges understand what he is telling them that he knows to be true. Again and again he invites the people to remain with the attributes of God demon-stated while they were still in Egypt that forced Pharaoh to yield to Moses’ request: “Let my people go.” The powerful arm He had, the care He demonstrated by letting them have water to drink and food to eat in the barren desert, the choice He made of them as the Chosen People to whom He promised again what he had promised Abraham: the Promised Land. Moses on so many occasions had to rationalize for the people that God loved them although their actual living did not make much sense of such love and care. Moses had to let the people know that God was Himself, even with contradictory attributes: caring but also irritated by what the complaints of the people meant; jealous and vindictive when the people turned away from Him; threatening with harsh punishments some misdemeanors. Even when he taught the Hebrews that they should not


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

kill, He threatened death on all those who behaved in some cases contrarily to His ordinances. The personal God of Abraham was becoming a living God manifesting Himself with more and more human attributes which thickened the mystery of the relationship. Moses found that he could relate to human conduct more easily than to the dynamics of awareness and he discovered that aspect of consciousness which we call conscience and did all he could to make the Hebrews identify with it rather than to the mystical movements of Abraham and Jacob. He succeeded to a considerable degree. The abstract “awareness of the awareness” became awareness of one’s behaviors and of their dynamics. Moses regulated behaviors to such an extent that he replaced freedom by discipline, a discipline of obedience, of only doing what is permitted explicitly and not doing what is forbidden explicitly. He created a prototype of the Jew and suggested that to be like that prototype was what God wanted of every Jew. The “orthodox” are those to whom all this made and makes sense. When consciousness is of one’s behaviors it gains an inner content which can be remembered, evoked, related to and spoken about. Moses educated the tribe through a hierarchy of teachers: the top echelon learning directly from him and the successive ones learning from the ones above. In ths way he managed to pass on the messages from God who spoke directly to him and only to him, to every member of the tribe. Because there was a content in everyone’s consciousness and this concerned itself with conduct and behavior, all the Hebrews practiced acquaintance with that inner dynamic content objectifying what we call conscience. Consciousness of observing or not observing statutes and commands, of feeling tension or absence of tension, of obeying specific ordinances, of the inner movements which could be objectified or not, according to one’s cooperation or not, all affected consciousness in specific manners. One of them was acknowledged as special and labeled sin. Moses wanted everyone to know when they had sinned and 14

3 Moses And The Integration Of Time As An Attribute Of The Divinity. The Development Of Conscience.

which consequences followed from that. He spelled out a multitude of circumstances where one could say to oneself, “I sinned” and gave a name to that feeling, “guilt.” One could be guilty of misconduct with respect to God and the contents of his commandments. Or be guilty of trespassing over the rights of others. Or be guilty of negligence, greed, not telling the truth, of cheating, of fabricating something hoping to save one’s skin. Conscience works as consciousness attached to inner dynamics of that kind. But it can also become the totality of one’s consciousness of oneself not letting room for other moves of awareness aware of awarenesses. To understand anything that happens to oneself one must go through the very elaborate system which occupies one’s consciousness which automatically triggers items learned through the numerous occasions, social or individual, when one heard the commandments reiterated. A people, made of the tribes of Israel, began in the desert of Sinai a long apprenticeship of living day in day out, in every one of one’s actions by oneself or in the group, in every one of one’s thoughts, stemming from readings, from hearing tales or commentaries, to refer what is perceived as happening to oneself to what can be quoted from the books of Moses, the Pentateuch or the Torah. Slowly to live as a Jew meant to let the will of God prevail and to know that it alone was operative in the final resort. What was with Abraham a conscious life, now, after Moses, is an ethical or moral life, where the dynamcics pre-exist and all the criteria are given in advance. Moses conditioned that people through the creation of a collective conscience to which everyone must obey and which everyone must change into one’s own conscience, the guide of one’s active living. That conscience is planted in everyone by the will of God in the form Moses found acceptable to the tribes of Israel. Generation after generation it was necessary to recreate the actuality of the links with God beyond the numerous rites and rituals Moses dictated that filled every day and every one in the year, with nowhere to escape. 15

Such an identification of one’s living with a fully ascribed life forms the collective experiment of the Hebrew-Jewish people.


4 The Phenomenon Of The Prophets And The Return To The Fold

A people who has been molded so much and in such details, has also been told that God cannot be taken for granted. Another dimension of the Hebrew-Jewish experiment is that of a people which has a Covenant with God but does not quite know what this entails. God decides independently of the wishes of the people, whether He is to be by its side and to favor it in its historical actions, or to forget it altogether. When He is by its side life is smooth and happy, when it is abandoned there is no way of regaining his favor and life can be utterly miserable and not even materially guaranteed. Guessing what God thinks of his chosen people, at any moment, is a most hazardous game. One can as easily not believe that God chose that people in view of what has happened to it, in Egypt, Babylon, under the Romans and in the general exile of the last two thousand years. But for the “chosen people� conflicting thoughts and experiences occupy their minds. Beliefs seem sometimes as strong as facts and to make one inclined to reduce the force of a fact and enhance a belief as the basis of the reference to the times when God was on the side of Israel. As in the case of one’s father (or mother) who not only punishes but oftentimes generates a sense love and gratitude much more conforting and therefore preferred. In the long history of the Jewish people, the personal God is very much like a father. When there is no feeling of being watched, and life offers


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

its temptations, or one’s need to know is at work, some individuals embark upon their own adventures at their risk. When too many individuals are taking what is obviously endangering the future of the nation, someone or the other emerges as capable of working on the group as a whole to re-awaken their conscience and convince them that a return to the fold is the best for them and for everyone else. That someone is called a prophet. According to the magnitude of a crisis the prophet is called great, or not given a label or called small. Among the latter there were many who attempted their luck at making those around them become aware of the danger of their actions (or to stir their conscience) but were not noted for posterity. Prophesying covers a spectrum. In the phenomenon itself we see that someone has an enhanced awareness of what is happening at a certain historic moment to a few or many of his contemporaries and can conceive of it as a deviation from the course expected from those who behave as Moses prescribed that they should to please the Eternal. Such awareness is a necessary condition. To have one which is also sufficient, that someone must feel selected by God for this task so that it is not one one gives to oneself but one commanded from above and stamped with the highest authority: that of God Almighty, the same one intimately related to the whole history of the Hebrews from Abraham on. But even this delegation would not guarantee efficacy; for the prophet needs to be heard and believed. The prophet has to reach in himself the resonance board present in all those he attempts to touch. He has to reach the conviction, and perhaps even the certainty, that his consciousness is akin to that of the others and that the levers of his conscience are similar to those at work in the consciences of others. All this requires also that he finds the language, the images, the emotions and feelings he can use every day to stir with more efficacy,


4 The Phenomenon Of The Prophets And The Return To The Fold

so as to obtain the kind of action (inner and/or outer) which restores the peace (inner, for the individual and outer, for the group). Prophets are prophets only when they are accepted. Many righteous people may have tried to alter the coures of life of people they judged as deviants and did not succeed. Their intuitions don’t make them into prophets although they coincide with those of the successful prophets. A wider and deeper study of each of the prophets retained by history and whose activities, thoughts, actions and their expressions are told in the Old Testament, will add new dimensions to the presentation of the Hebrew-Jewish experiment as it unfolded in the times preceding to the New Era, now 2000 years old. Both consciousness and conscience will gain in definition because of the concreteness of the interactions of a number of people with each other in the circumstances in which they find themselves. As a group they accepted what Abraham and Moses had done to give a unique form to their collective life in their tribe and what transformations it had in history. What they added can be summarized with the words: “They chiseled the ‘soul’ above all else.” Each human soul became the reality they pointed at as characteristic of the person of every Jew. It was it which required attention, which was being educated by the original teaching and by each of the new ones, i.e., those every prophet singularly brought to their attention. On the foundations of the behaviors the Torah has spelled out as necessary for anyone to belong to the Chosen People, the prophets built the edifices of the souls with the new aspects of the relationships. As each prophet adds the profundity of his insights, of his grasp of his own consciousness and conscience within the overall legacy of Abraham and Moses and later of the greater prophets, the collective experience gains in depth, width, variety and the people get access to some other aspects of the inner dialogues which are the stamp of their Jewishness. Thus, already in the history of the Jews itself we can see the meaning of the effect on new generations of the work done on themselves by the older ones. Evolution transcends history although it rides on it. This 19

The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

evolution, like all others, maintains what is valid and viable and discards what may hamper it. Prophets are those who point at what needs to be discarded while keeping implicitly and sometimes explicitly, what is characteristic of the continuity. History provides the concrete situations which are filled with emotions, feelings, projects of actions or actual examinations of what seems to the protagonists to have occurred to some or all of those involved in events found dramatic and requiring intervention. Although God the Eternal is also the Almighty, much of what is related about the important members of the tribe seems to exist because of the people, to be at the level of the people and have an existence independent of God. This appearance when it is taken to be the reality makes some people know themselves as estranged from God, no longer exercising His presence among them. The prophets see this as a form of religious tension which though there, does not need to be there and needs to be eliminated. The prophets urge everyone (and thus those out of step) to return to the fold, implying that all can because it is a personal matter mobilizing personal interventions accessible to everyone either because they are in the likeness of God or because God intimated his goodwill to reconsider the people and particularly those who took the wrong turns. The prophets tell us that the Jews have a certain autonomy of being and that their long history has given them opportunities to evolve in contact with it and to demonstrate in their behavior what it is to be a model to mankind since God lives in them and so close to them. All their lives are geared to this demonstration of behavior of the people of God. But there is no desire to share it with others. No proselytism is advocated. The religion is not for sale, it is purely domestic. Punctuated every week by the sanctification of the Sabbath, all the people remain at least one day a week close to themselves and in their small communities only concerned with matters of their souls. The other holy days are a yearly re-celebration of the Exodus from Egypt (one week); a yearly renewal of one’s faith over 10 days, including 24 hours of fasting 20

4 The Phenomenon Of The Prophets And The Return To The Fold

and atonement; a yearly celebration of the liberation from Babylon (2 days), and some other days keeping alive some other collective involvements when God was on the side of His chosen people. Moses ordered the strict observation of the Sabbath, the yearly celebration of Exodus and the ten days of inner renewal by atonement and the feast of the Tabernacles. After him, prophets called for some observance of certain days of remembrance because they maintained the cohesion of the people in the promised land and in exile. The phenomenon of the prophets serves to tell the chosen people of the mystery of the relation to that singular personal God for whom there is other other representation than an inner presence sui generis developed over the whole of one’s life and with the help of all the rituals and the words of the Bible.


5 The Evolution Of The Collective Experiment

In the three sections concerned, 1)

with Abraham until Moses,


with Moses to the prophets, and

3) the time before the exile, with the prophets as the molders of the collectivity, we can see an evolution of consciousness exemplified by ways of being over a few thousand years: the evolution of the consciousness of consciousness and of conscience. With Abraham and up to the appearance of Moses on the scene, we can see that action is not yet directly involved. We can speak of the period of the deepening of perception of the inner life by the dialogues of the patriarchs with themselves and what in that inner life transcends the energizing of actions, and is attributed to a divinity: Abraham’s God. It was Moses who went beyond that mere perception and gave the guidance for action at the collective level, objectified by action at the individual level. While for Abraham and his descendants, God spoke directly to them on special occasions and only concerned Himself with their inner lives, for Moses it was the actualization of Abraham’s intuition at the level of everyday living in each detail of behavior, for oneself and with others whoever they could be. Living is seen as actions 23

The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

and thoughts transmuted into actions. For the first time in history every action of every grownup is to be scrutinized by one’s own perception and that of others and found to agree or not with an explicit command dictated to Moses by God and transmitted by him to the people. The actual living as a Jew did not necessarily agree with the ideal or the rule and a certain number of recalls were necessary from time to time as the circumstances of living changed and new institutions were created. The voices of the prophets were those heard in these new situations. Voices which can be seen as expressing the new selfawarenesses that together are the collective examination of the inner lives. King David’s Psalms, King Solomon’s Eclesiasticus and Song of Songs, are the writings — integrated in the Bible — which tell us that it became part of the collective experience to dialogue with one’s affectivity and to be totally taken by the form affectivity took within the Jewish Experiment. In the modern language developed in the Science of Education, within the pre-exile collective experience there were three absolutes which were in chronological order: the perceptive one (Abraham), the active one (Moses), the affective one (the prophets and some others). Clearly structured within the overall narrative of the Old Testament, as we saw in placing Moses in the middle with an acute polarization on action, and before him as a loose awareness of awareness per se, and after him as a deepening of the acquaintance with the person one is while living with the personal God and accepting to live according to His will. The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment before the exile stopped at that third absolute. It teaches us how a civilization (the one identified with the religion that Abraham, Moses and the Prophets made explicit) produced a culture with no visual arts, almost no music, no artisanery, with some agricultural knowhow and with a unique literature which tells the history of that people and of some of its outstanding members bent on cultivating the inner movements part of one’s conscious life. The only part monument left by that culture — civilization is the Old Testament, made of words which seem to have been able to be read and


read for thousands of years and inspire conducts recognizable in terms of the collective adherences to the Torah.



6 The Experiment In The Exile

Immersed in numerous cultures of many kinds, the exiled people was only in a very abstract sense made of members of the same civilization and of one culture. This abstractness becomes concretized in the psychological adherence to the devotion to the personal God that was made explicit in the pages of the Old Testament. As the Heberw language was abandoned as the vernacular of the various islands of people, only a selected few remained in contact with the original scriptures. They added their commentaries and a certain number of these, whose qualities made them outstanding and worthy of preservation, formed the Talmud studied only by the scholars in each community. The general population received from these scholars the sayings which became the collective wisdom of the exiled peoples. The Old Testament and the Talmud taught the people how to be the descendants of the Hebrew and how to remain themselves while surrounded by the living cultures of those who allowed them to live separated and to worship according to their traditions. Among the Arabs, after these conquered so much of the Mediterranean countries and established the Islamic empire, there were mostly occasions to relate in symbiosis with them. Only on rare occasions were there tentative efforts by some Arab despot to attempt to eliminate the differences through forced conversion but these resulted in new exiles. For centuries in North Africa and Spain, Arabs and Jews contributed together to the development of their intellectual powers by taking over the heritage of the ancient Greek and molding it for their use and that


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

of the Christians of the Middle Ages. The name of Maimonides was revered by the Jews, as he was one of them, by the Arabs because he had grown and lived all his life among them and also written in Arabic, and by the Christian theologians of the XIIth century and after, because he had made so clear so many of their own challenges and put all under the umbrella of Aristotle and the Bible blended in an original way. When the Arabs were beaten in the battlefields of Spain in the XVth century and either converted or left, the Spanish Jews went into exile in large numbers to try to remain in more tolerant places. This time they took with them two cultures: the Hebrew and the Spanish, and kept both alive over generations when they settled among sovereign Arabic provinces of the Empire and remained there when the Turks replaced the Arabs as rulers. The fate of the Jews who lived in the cultures of Western and Eastern Europe was different. Those in the East developed a bastard language known as Yiddish, in which Hebrew and German are intermingled. They remained isolated in ghettos and small rural communities, only allowed to relate to the host countries according to the policies of the rulers who often burdened them with their own errors and punished the Jews, in what became known as pogroms, instead of themselves. For these Jews exile meant essentially living a dangerous life, full of uncertainties and so different from the one which could demonstrate why God made them His chosen people. Material life was hard for most peoples at that time but it could be lived in peace over stretches of a few years at a time. The Jews were not slaves, they were people discriminated against in variable ways in various communities which tolerated their presence in those territories. The Jews developed mentalities proper to their exile, waiting for the Messiah who will make them return to the land of Israel to resume the living known through the holy books, at the same time as they did their best to adjust to the actual conditions of living afforded them by the Gentiles.


6 The Experiment In The Exile

An extraordinary phenomenon took place among the Jews of Eastern Europe (Poland, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Russia and parts of the Balkans) during the XVIIIth century and even later. It is that of the Hassidim. Difficult to reduce to a few words because it was essentially a human phenomenon and in some respect an organized one, it exemplifies some of the possibilities of the dialogue of Abraham with his personal God. The proposals made by some Rabbis of that region, were that it was possible to make sense of the spiritual life in the exile as a God-sent opportunity to find in oneself all the attributes of being a chosen people in spite of the appearances of the exile. A return to awareness of the awareness as the attribute of Jews that Abraham launched on that path. The real life is the inner life. Outer circumstancs have little to contribute to being a true Jew and could be taken in one’s stride whatever their content. Joy must be the climate because it would accompany the awareness that one was born among the chosen people. Joy means that faith is doing its job, that one’s soul is so rich and so well furnished through the contact with God. The Hassidim could feel the privilege of being a Jew because they knew themselves as living essentially their inner lives. They studied, in many different ways, what that meant and how to educate themselves so that they became more that sort of Jew. They knew it was a new opening for humans who were born within the Jewish people and that it had to be explored as a new opportunity. The orthodox rejected them but they were able to generate their own new orthodoxy, more centered on being fully oneself by being a Jew in contact not with the letter but the spirit of Judaism. There were not prophets among them, but masters and disciples, different masters, equally acceptable in spite of the differences and disciples who joined the masters because of a personal affinity in the affective realm. The Hassidim gave affectivity its free rein and disciplined it in a number of ways according to the form given it by the master as initiator of a new way of being in contact with God, through one’s affectivity. There is no special symbolism in Judaism, its abstractness takes many forms. Recognition of a common source of inspiration is found in the evocations of what is part of the Bible or the Talmud as single items appropriate to the concreteness of the moment.


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

No one given choice of items has ever been proposed, a large number is possible and a large number have been attempted. The Hassidim were a minority, but an important influential one. The Masters among them added significantly to the evolution of the people in the Hebrew-Jewish experiment. Their stories tell of what can happen when humans dedicate themselves to the exploration of what is compatible with the initial terms that launched the experiment thousands of years earlier. The experiment presents the brand of human evolution at the individual and collective scales, which can take place within the frame of reference defined by consciousness, conscience and their intimate presence in each of the acts of the people where conscience colors consciousness. The Jews of Spanish origin had nothing to offer of the kind of the Hassidim did. If Spinoza entered so complete the Western brand of thinking, he was condemned and excluded from his community and called a heretic. He had proved that, at least for one man, the traditions of the Jews did not constitute an insuperable obstacle to operate mentally like the Westerners and to be held by these as a major thinker among them. His example will be generalized in the next generations when many Jews found a niche among their hosts which did not separate one from the other on the basis of religious beliefs but assimilated them through their lay contributions. This was a new yardstick which will make possible what happened in the modern times. In exile the Jews found in the framework of the Old Testament a cozy place to pursue “horizontally” the objectivation of the impulses deposited by the founders of Judaism in their tradition. If there were new items added they were in the form of commentaries, poetry, affirmations of insights already encountered here and there. It allowed the people to look beyond those who enslaved them, those who uprooted them, those who dispersed them, those who wanted to use them for some specific purposes (like money lenders), those who kept them separate and deprived of citizen rights, etc., even those who wanted to annihilate them. But all that does not represent a “vertical” evolution as was the case when Abraham knew awareness per se or


6 The Experiment In The Exile

when Moses made conscience descend in the everyday life of the people. The impact of the Hebrew-Jewish experiment on other people can be found in the opening of the Christian and the Islamic Experiments and in their long evolutions. It remains for us here to take a look at its impact on the lay peoples, mainly in the last two centuries.


7 An Estimation Of The Cultural Intercourse To Our Times

It is clear from statistics that there are many Jews doing well in some walks of life since 1800; in proportion to their absolute numbers they managed to obtain the attention of the mass of their hosts more than other distinguishable groups. Can we understand this occurrence in relation to their long horizontal evolution? Although there are sociological and historic reasons (like the separation of church and state as in the USA Constitution) which did not require conversion of the Jews to be allowed a place in the societies of Gentiles, we shall mainly be concerned here with reasons which precede the social impacts. We are doing this because it seems that the dynamics inside individuals must be their starting point on their new roads. When Jews were kept separate from their hosts, their main distinction was clearly their religion. In such cases the definition of a Jew was a religious one which carried with itself adherence to the behaviors received from the past. But such “ethnic� distinction became diluted when Jews could be found in many places among peoples of all sorts of origins. Also because so many Jews dropped their religious allegiance and took on lay ways of being remotely connected with their original ones or not at all. One was a Jew if his or her mother claimed to be one. The Nazis went even further and labeled Jews those converts whose parents had been converts but not their grandparents. In fact,


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

Jewishness can only be defined in terms of adherence — a psychological label. If one adheres to the label, then one clearly does not require that origin be proved. But if one states not to be a Jew, even if all ancestors were, then one is not that for oneself. Whether the others agree, the Nazi and fascist definition takes away that right from the individual to state that which one is for oneself. The confusion in the definition of Jews is understandable because there is not a clear biological, nor a clear cultural, nor a clear national definition as say for Japanese or English, or Ethiopian, etc., where adherence is not an issue. Circumcision has stopped being a stigma for the chosen people since Muslims adopted it (with a variance since it is not performed on the eighth day after birth, and has been extended to females) and modern Westerners claim to adopt it for males for health reasons. To be accepted in the State of Israel as immigrant, one can state to be a Jew because one’s mother was a Jewess, not because of any other reason: one can be totally irreligious and be given the label of Jew which becomes Israeli once registered. The State of Israel was secular from the start. “Israeli” is only in part synonymous with “Jew,” while Israelite remains a synonym. From that confusion which is not doing more than suggest that we leave to individuals the freedom to associate or not with the descendants of the chosen people, we must move to another kind of determination of how Jews belong to the modern world in a distinctive manner. Their very long experience over many generations in exile taught them the reality of ideas and of their dynamics. Where the various groups of Gentiles in their various collective experiments entered their own absolute in which the intellect had to be explored to produce a horizontal evolution, the Jews too met a tolerance from anyone who was as dedicated as they were to the intellectual absolute. In Western Europe this occurred during the XVIIIth century — the century of the Enlightenment — and it was then that some Jews joined 34

7 An Estimation Of The Cultural Intercourse To Our Times

the ranks of the enlightened. The XIXth century saw their numbers increase enormously. In all the fields of study, Jews found a place, often a prominent one. Many non-Jews made oustanding contributions which were taken in stride, but when they were made by Jews there seemed to be an element of strangeness attached to them as if they were not supposed to have a basis for their occurrence in the mental dialogues in one life — where all such dialogues resembled those of the Talmudists which were not those concerned with the working of nature in itself, as was the case in the Western sciences. Was it that Jews excelled in fields where the thinker asked questions of himself, about his own thinking on this or that rather than put these questions through material instruments? Thought experiments were more at hand to those who could not be funded to equip their own laboratories and Jews got into them more readily. Einstein’s work is obviously of this kind, though he is called a physicist; Karl Marx studied the world at the British Museum; Bergson, at his desk, made intuition the instrument of study of various aspects of time and aesthetics; Freud found his models for the workings of the components of the mind in being close to his own mind first, and sought later confirmation in what his patients brought to his office — to take few examples between 1850 and 1920. Durkheim, who wanted at one time to become a rabbi, gave French sociology its major impetus at the turn of the century. His influence on French public education is still felt today and is the hardest to shake off since it belongs to the social absolute at which adults everywhere in the West still live. Durkheim, even more than Auguste Comte, can be considered the man who gave the adult social absolute its factual foundation when he forced awareness of the social character of the contemporary relationships among people. In a way he acted as a modern Western prophet telling people what they should do with themselves if they wanted their own evolution to be at the level of the collective one which he, before anyone else, perceived as coming. Freud, as it has been pointed out a number of times, found in his model of the ego and the superego an occasion to laicize the ancient relationship of the Jew and his God. The importance of the father in his model derives from the same source.


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

Besides these well-known contributors to the progress of the Western civilization, by Jews who had been for so long not allowed to be part of it, there were many who found that they could have unified life by remaining a believer in Judaism and by taking part in the Western cultures through their institutions. They found no contradiction in being, during the week, a contributor to the work of lay institutions as were their hosts, and, during the Sabbath, a practicing Jew. So much so that soon the Gentiles too added Saturday to Sunday as a day not given to work, creating the weekend for rest. All this tells that assimilation in the larger group has changed character in this century. Karl Marx, 130 years ago, could only imagine a solution to the Jewish question, as posed in his time, by asking the Jews to stop being Jews and apply themselves to being acceptable to the majority around them. Evolution in the West did not any longer demand such a radical transformation, because the West had itself evolved through the two absolutes of the intellect and of society and kept State and Church separate. Except in the Soviet Union where the State is the church, and communism the official religion, Jews did not even need to mention their religion to occupy almost any post in most institutions of the nation. Such affiliation became irrelevant in those cases. Particularly in the USA whose population was essentially mixed and the Constitution protected the right of the individual to exercise his or her religion as felt fit. In a way Jews cannot act as Jews upon the collectivity. Only in so far as they behave in the public social areas like all the others, are they able to be contributors to the society at large. In the areas of living qualified as private, they can exercise their religion, like everyone else. The intellectual and social attributes have been found compatible with the demands of all religions in so far as they address the individual property of being a person, while the adherence to any one religion makes others incompatible with it, as has been the case in many countries for centuries (except the Muslim nations). In other words, Judaism does not need to evolve in order for Jews to have a place for themselves among others (either by making everyone 36

7 An Estimation Of The Cultural Intercourse To Our Times

into a Jew, or in abandoning their peculiar spiritual heritage), they can actually have that place because they and the others have allowed evolution to take them to a level of being which relativizes behaviors and makes most of them acceptable. The Hebrew-Jewish experiment had in it this dimension which permits the intellectual and the social absolutes to be made compatible with all their previous evolutions although these absolutes were not special creations of Judaism per se. Because of this assimilation of the trends found in the Western civilization without requirement of alteration of one’s spiritual outlook, Jews can live without strain in the societies of the West which separate State and Church. But they are not able to add to these societies anything which their old traditions were able to add hundreds of years ago, i.e., those which had become part of Christianity. Hand in hand Jews and Gentiles can enter into the future not by what distinguishes them but by what makes them indistinguishable: a reliance upon a neutral, scientific, objective way of looking at the events in the world and a temporal outlook on lives which gives evolution a central place in them. Of course, all this is too abstract to be waterproof and the exercise of this writing has only been successful in so far as it has provided one example of a collective experiment which served humanity a long time ago by giving two worldwide religions at the present time, a launching platform found in the Old Testament. It may still serve humanity in its present and future evolution to the extent these acquire awareness as an instrument of knowing and as this is used in the everyday life of more and more people.


News Items

1 A video-cassette showing a first French lesson using the Sound/Color Chart. During the February 4-6 workshop on the Silent Way in New York City, four of the participants who did not know any French formed “a class within the class.” Dr. Gattegno taught them during almost three hours which were videotaped by Mr. Jean Marc Raynal using two cameras, one stationary and recording the students and one movable and manipulated by Mr. Raynal. Later he edited the lesson so that it did only last for 95 minutes, taking out only that which was not necessary (1) in order to understand the technique and the chart, or (2) in order to give viewerteachers the chance to remain in contact with the subtleties of the approach and what makes it so successful. 2 A video-cassette recording 40 minutes of an exposition by Dr. Gattegno of the progress he has made in the study of language acquisition. During the same workshop mentioned in #1, Dr. Gattegno chose to start with a presentation of his work on the acquisition of L1 and how it might affect the acquisition of any L2. Since very little progress to date in that area has been made by people who say they are investigating that subject, but do not feel they need to generate for themselves the instruments of study of this most important challenge to students of language learning, that that talk was welcome by the 30 participants, most of whom encountered it for the first time. Much of what was brought to people’s attention has already


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

been the object of publications since 1963, but these are ignored systematically although no one other than Dr. Gattegno has made equal studies in that field. The tape has been edited slightly to permit viewers to take it in in one sitting. Mr. Raynal was responsible both for the taping and for the editing and seems to have done a very good job. Both cassettes can be rented, in North America from Educational Solutions, Inc. in New York City, and in Europe from Une Ecole pour Demain, in Besançon, France. *** 3 A second series of 1/2˝ VHS cassettes represent lessons given in October 1977 in Dallas, Texas to a class of eight first graders who had very little exposure to any reading approach since the schools had resumed that fall. Four boys and four girls selected from various ethnic groups (including Blacks, Caucasians, Hispanics and Indians) were taught by Dr. Gattegno as a pilot supported by Ralph Rogers and taped at KERA, the PBS station of that region, while 40 or so other first graders were watching the lessons in a room next door on a large TV screen, monitored by teachers of the district and a member of Educational Solutions’ staff. This second large group was also made up of non-readers from first grades in order to learn on the spot whether reading through these Words in Color sessions made for the video, had merits for young spectators watching them. Three cameras directed by the person who had directed two series of Video language lessons in New York: for English (140 lessons), and for Hebrew (40 lessons) — capture many extremely useful moments of the learning process and make this pilot of great value to scientists open to the reality of learning to read, only proposed by Words in Color to date. For 10 years this precious document remained shelved. Mr. Jean Marc Raynal was commissioned to produce a two to three hour edition (out


News Items

of 16 cassettes) which could serve as a document for TV stations or video systems owned by various institutions. He did a most commendable job which is now made available on one 1/2˝ VHS cassette. An opportunity, we missed for all these years is now at hand, to appreciate the profundity of the approach, the Science of Education spelled out for teachers of reading and through a technology worthy of it. Watching it carefully is an education very few teachers of reading and students of reading have ever received. *** 4 The Mind Teaches the Brain, was first issued in three separate parts in 1974. Now a new edition appears as one volume having the same three parts reorganized so that readers reach an understanding of why the brain cannot be more than an instrument of the creative self we all are. At first, close to the brain, the self gives it the education which will make it do its jobs best only so that the self is freer to tackle the open unknown universe of experience. The functions of the human brain are human before they display their biological manifestations, and we all fail to see how they can become what they are not by themselves. From such a close contact, the self moves a certain distance to involve the brain so long as it is helpful, and so long as the “spiritual” attributes of the self can accommodate themselves to the physical attributes of the brain which scientists want to impose as the basis of man’s spiritual life. Finally, an independent spiritual life can be seen to exist which keeps the brain contributing that minimum without which no human can manifest itself, since a soma is always present as a substructure as soon as a human is being considered. The brain cannot then be called an instrument anymore because the self is, in these manifestations of itself, twice removed from the substance.


The Hebrew-Jewish Experiment

When we entertain that it is the human self which is the only empowered part of ourselves to humanize our lives, we stop putting into a piece of biological tissue, however complex, the know-how to do a transcendental job. This re-issuing of a text which has been requested by many people may have something to say to the numerous investigators deeply concerned about the body-mind challenge. 5 The second part of the treatise The Science of Education will be published in sections made of chapters related to each other so that a large theme is presented under various lightings. The first ready for the printers is on The Awareness of Mathematization which may see the light of day at the end of this summer, and is composed of three long chapters numbered in the treatise as Chapters 10, 11 & 12. The second will be dedicated to The Awareness of One’s Native Language and may not be ready before the end of 1988. “Reading, the Social and Human Problem” (numbered Chapter 7 in the treatise), is one of three which compose this part (Chapters 7, 8 & 9) and is already written. There will be a part concerned with The Awareness of Non-Native Languages of which Chapter 13, already in print since 1985, is the first of three which it is hoped will appear as one volume early in 1989. The treatise may be completed at the end of that year when one or two parts will provide the summary of the rest of Dr. Gattegno’s work on the Science of Education which started in 1940.      


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 Series #3 - The Hebrew Jewish Experiment