W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for this Volume What is New
Spiritual Determination and Biological Determinism
A Matter or Mutter of Education - which ?
THIS WORLD, FLAG FURLED,
FLIES TO THE FUNERALS IT CREATES
IN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, COLLAGES OF SOCIETY ...
IF GIVEN THE MEREST OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO!
But God is free and gives liberty to those who love Him!
Australian Council for Educational Research, Media Release, February 16, 2009
The Australian, Feb. 28th-March 2nd, 2009
Spirit, Man and Animal Life
I was lying on my bean-bag, on the back lawn, amidst the trees, with the rain indolently spitting, and heard the noise of doves cooing, and then a more energetic sound impacted on my consciousness. What was it ? busy, sonorous, constant, at action stations ? Bees, of course. I had thought of removing them, but after all, though I had been stung lightly once, months ago, why act ? It was nice to have such an industriously felicitous group of creatures, so organised, with such information sharing modes, such gathering of data facilities, such geometrical hives, such daring and such exploits, such dances to impart information and such attractive modes, like pollen-bags fitted by no visible artisan, into the backs of their legs, so presumably giving basis for "the bees' knees", which like so much of them, is a streamlined, function-thrusting, exquisite piece of performance.
It is rather like sea-gulls flying, or magpies, and others much higher and faster, but what is better in aerodynamics than the sea-gull flying with seeming effortlessness, almost directly into a heavy wind, feathering here as it descends, and with such delicacy of pilotage as to arouse astonishment and admiration, jointly, for the information provider, who gave it such facilities, and with this, by transmigration of thought into biologically programmatic mode, for the bees with their industrious artistry.
What a strange thing, a bird! They can be tame, or flighty, frisky or quiet, resolute or dreamy without being fey; but normally, so fast in flitting are they, so extremely agile in action, so excellent in choice of paths while flying fast in confined spaces, that the term 'bird-like' has come into a constrained currency of language.
Their little spirits can be so agilely intelligent. They assess - with magpies one can almost interact with them, as they wonder whether to fly as one walks near them on some grassy place, or not; one can talk to them in such a gentle and non-intrusive tone that one can almost see the thoughts of contentment vying with concern, as they do not fly away anyway. They gain confidence with watchfulness, and then gentleness with assurance. As to the magpies' bringing up of their young, while most patient, the mother can at times decide unlike the secular monstrosities which have displaced education in so many places, that it really is time to discipline, directly, forcibly and deftly. As you can see almost directly as they educate their young, at times the point is reached when discipline they must. The spirit of it is obvious, the method of it is artistic if direct, the result of it is learning and willingness to learn, or to develop.
The young one in the extreme case, being given initial indications of displeasure, rolls onto its back, plaintive, pleading, helpless as a form of action, reverting to baby-birdhood, ready for the not so solicitous peck, until the desire to discipline withdraws itself, and a contented co-operation can proceed, renewed in felicity; yet for all that, the size of the young, like that of some human 16 year olds, can be at least as great as that of the parent on whose nurture it so diligently depends, making noises of supplication, at times, with considerable continuity, while one can almost feel the parental forbearance as the dual necessities of feeding and faring for the young descend like heavy rain on its head. .
So their spirits - but no, the word would be debased to apply it to a bird when its fantastic scope in humans is so vast in connotation, so incremental in comprehension, so voyaging in contemplation, so deep in delving, so abstract in consideration, so multiple, like the colours of the rainbow, in hue and mood and emotional attachment, in zeal a flash of light, in understanding a torrent from the snow of reality. No, not for birds is the term 'spirit'.
Rather then let us call the empirical facility in the magpies, an operative ectype or anima then: that facility which makes it a magpie instead of an assemblage of capacities, and able to choose when and how much to discipline, what to trust and what not, when to chortle and when to carol, and with what degree of intimation in the process: let us indeed name it differently. The term 'anima' from the Latin suggests itself. A life feature, an essential life: if life it is, then let it be life. Let us forget for the time psychological jargon, and use the term for life, in Latin in order to make it more specialised in connotation, meaning that entirety outside equipment, but inhabiting it, in any creation able to do more than react to stimuli in programmatic ways; and to manifest personality ? to do this ?
It is not that entirely, but an ultra-typical individuality. The source ultimately is Spirit, that of God as proven in SMR, for example, and on that explicatory and verified basis, there is this trend to having some kind of classifiable mentor, mode or matrix in life which gives to equipment, what a pianist gives to the piano.
When it comes to man, what is the excellence of the scope provided, for he can choose to be an ass, or be thrust into it by academic conformity, till his asininity surpasses that of the donkey, and he 'believes' that matter made him, or that mind is a complex coercion somehow proceeding from bits of matter than convey messages - themselves coded information, which matter can never be made to DO and yet is assumed to accomplish. What is it like ? It is like the old valves in a 'wireless'. These fascinatingly complex looking things would begin after a little to glow, little filaments doing work transmitting electrons, and finding it hot work, except of course that they did not actually 'find', a metaphor and personification aspect here, but merely WERE hot.
How elaborate! what a piece of machinery man had thereby made! How admirable his application of mind and inventiveness of spirit*1, not satisfied with much, but insisting on more, more, more penetration to the simplicities of matter by the complexities of mind with the elevated marvel of a free spirit, able to decide to so act, or not, to respond to the flame which sends him out into this world to discover, or not, to deploy resources for months to the detriment of the body, in order to subdue 'nature' or ... not, to deny God or not, to defy God, or not, to act as Lord of the planet, as if the race were regal by some sort of divine right of Mings, or not, to imagine volatile rubbish, or to return to reason!
But then, let those of us old enough to do so, remember when we heard, through the operation of these radio valves, these configurations of matter, so delicate, so complex, so many, so glowing, so equipped with transient energy, what ? It was the voice of a great singer, so did we conclude that somehow the methodical had become creative ? that matter had achieved personality, so that mood, and thrust of thought, the scornful whip of irony in the voice heard, or the tantalising or seductive note of the ill-adviser charmer ? Assuredly we did not. It does not do so. That is not the empirical, but the hysterical. The mind evaporates from reason's surface at such twaddle.
The voice has componential qualities, assessable physical aspects, and these, taken each one, can be recorded and transmitted until a PERSONAL RECIPIENT is able to be informed by a PERSONAL TRANSMITTER, whose notes are not controlled by voice, but actuated from the mind through the voice, the physical a mere conveyor. Then the result, of such personal inclinations, activations and dispositions of thought and desire, moves through the recording device to the transmitting option at the other end, so that the person in receipt can in an individual, spiritually and emotionally assessive mode, contemplate the work of of the singer.
Not for one moment would the sane imagine that the speaking box, the radio, had acquired professional singing capacity, had learned the finer points of musical appreciation, the aesthetic niceties and the emotional profundities, and summoning thought, had subordinated these to the needs of the part or persona (if in opera for example), so that the characterisation in music could be conveyed, through these many layers of physical apparatus, whether the platonic or the insurgent were in view, or the idyllic or the intransigent. It was to be sure person through means to person, and the means involved multiple configurations of matter in order that the recipient could by such means, be informed of the machinations, the vocalisations, the spirit soaring or abhorring, in the one who produced the artistries in the first place.
What then ? Matter can be USED to do many things; but to make itself is not found to be one of them, to make man is not found to be another, and even with intelligent assistance from man, to make protein is not another. Systems of thought, to arouse, create or abort, and on the one hand, and on the other systems of matter, to respond and exhibit the systematic ingredients of the molecule, its structure, its micro-particles and participatory elements, its capacities in a given system of other elemental and compound ingredients: these are as diverse as babies and their corpses (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9)..
So what do we think when we hear that some equipped with these spirits, people in fact , teachers to be more specific, in some alliance of teachers, are having a finding*2. In education theory they do this sort of thing with a fascinating sort of regularity, inventing so many absurd theories, touching truth very often only tangentially, as if they were adolescent students trying to impress some indulgent teacher.
The Spirit of Education
A review made when one was studying Education, was one of my courses in which I was allowed to survey the scene historically, and what insights, partial and sometimes in part ludicrous, but in part stimulating, they made. Extremes were the norm, reality was all but an intruder. Children were to be disciplined with expectation, were to be indulged with naturalistic expectation of self-creativity, were to be honed from kindergarten, or were to be left wild as the child became the man, the woman. They were to be of Rousseau or of Sparta, but whatever they were, they were to be given attention philosophic, be the discipline microscopic, or a substitute for creativity, as in Dickens' Hard Times, an alternate mode to that of participation and thought.
Now we find that literature is in principle tarnished with motivation's undesired.
You can't have this sort of thing, or at the very least, it must be guided out, it must stop its petrifyingly, appallingly, despotically, dynamically intrusive mode. It must cease its illicit work of fashioning morals where vacuum is to be preferred, it must end its way of indicating modes of thought to which the didactic thumb would point down. It must jump to attention at the tirade of the literary teacher, and not have liberty. Openness must go; discipline by teaching philosophy must come. The technicalities of assorted, advanced modes of literary intent and thought nuance must be hidden as bidden; these are NOT to be in view. Such at least seems much of the thrust.
Literature! Here is an insidious, invidious, if not murderous, an authority, that is it, nothing less than an authority masquerading as art, insulting the open-ended spirits of wonderful children, whom NOTHING can contain, just as they are dedicated to NOTHING as their own source. It is a marvellous way of helping them to amount to NOTHING in the end, in conformity to their imagined source. Is this then the core of it ?
So it goes. English ? When I first taught in a College, I saw need, ignorance, hope, intelligence, spirits of reception, of enterprise and initiative, young beings ready to find out, to rove, to move, and treated them with energy to the scope of art, the needs of discipline to attain to its rigours, and HENCE spelling, grammar, literature, the value of words, the magnificent of literary enterprise, creation, the joy of creativity. When the Inspector came, his response to what he found was most interesting.
Congratulations! he declared. There has been, he continued, a movement away from spelling and grammar, but now there is a movement back (1960), and it is well that you are giving this, their need. Such at least, was the tenor of his communication.
To me, in my relative innocence, foul was the very thought of denying them the tools of trade, that discipline of mind for art forms, those sparkling joys of literary creativity which did not misuse the tools because of ignorance, that duly honed knowledge of the thing called the English language
(ah! what a language, is it one of a million words! such one hears, not of 75,0000, the estimate for a major European language - and what a deliverance from a mass of noun and verbal forms, this our language provides!),
so that they could use it with will, skill and wed intuition with erudition, to create with wisdom ...
What then of the very thought ? What of this seemingly sublimated negativity, despoiling the untaught before they receive! using political concepts to invade English!
This approach ? One leaves it as it were, up in the air, preferably in the stratosphere.
The thought of intentional deprivation was like the dismemberment of a foetus at 7 months. Here were children with much inherent background, little foreground and much potential, and what shame if one did not give them the best available, the greatest skills, knowledge and spirited participation in the utmost that conveyed things of the spirit, the mind, the world in all its facets, with accuracy and understanding!
To deprive and not arrive ? To have them ready and to deny such a varied diffusion of expertise and accomplishment, stirring them to the utmost in their own, innate literary and linguistic, yes communicative capacities ? Was this a form of insanity, inanity or some kind of pathological philosophy, that not of removing deprivation, but inducing it! Was it a form of depravity with gravity! Such would be the sort of response one would have had to the deprivation, seemingly inert approach which would put some philosophy into English, rule it, and then what ? Why then, the result would be to proceed not to teach the language and its exemplifications, with a happy view to new Ages of attainment, but rather supinely allowing the degradation through demission of the very charter of language in its multiplicity of form and wonder.
The initial response would not differ greatly from the perspective of experience now.
As to English, there indeed appears to have been in schools and colleges, as one has tasted education modes from time to time, as a sideline to being a Christian Ministry, where fidelity to the word of God makes for neither riches nor popularity, what ? It is a notable movement. To what then does there appear to have been an incessant, or variable, movement ? It has been one of decline. It has been marked.
On one almost too hilarious occasion, in a lecture to teachers, there was someone of the socially pathetic type speaking with a kind of quiet and respectful grace of the fact that although after years of training in Primary School, children might, ah well! might auch weil! might not understand quite about the full stop (forget about semi-colons, elevated swine), yet they knew ONE OR TWO things, and that was a thing for which one ought to be receptive. They had after all, learned SOMETHING. That at least, was the tenor of the lecture.
The pathetic lack of understanding, the willingness to co-operate with low expectations, plodding expectations, flitting moments of interest, became like chloroform, in which perhaps social disadvantage would be in mind, as if it were some kind of anaesthetic, instead of challenge. Is this to congratulate lack of what is needed ? Of course it is not; but it IS to ask to make the MOST of what IS available, and before the millenium when this is all sorted out, to show the glow of desire, and incite the latent treasuring of knowledge, to incite, to ignite what one might, and to watch zealously and nurture what might be found.
As we saw in The Australian last month, Professor Dinham of the Australian Council for Educational Research, indicated that there is a mountain of evidence to dissociate reality from the concepts which would make socio-economic determinism to have the ludicrous sway which the mere sentiment of some people would impart..... Many teachers, he indicated, still subscribe consciously or unconsciously , to various forms of biological social determinism, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. What students can achieve, he continued, is not predetermined by heredity, where they live, their socio-economic background or family background.
A teacher can see such transformations before his eyes, as the dull-hearted if not drab and dismal student can take heart, find spirit, meet a challenge, be alerted to reality, or on the contrary, in obscene fascination with negativity, resolve to follow every trick or trap in order to frustrate what is good and developmental, in the interests of low cunning or febrile pursuits. It is quintessentially a matter of one's spirit, not one's equipment, and hence many of the least advantaged can rise to eminence, of the most misused, to notoriety worthy of acclaim, while the nestling nursery child of every advantage of gift and upbringing, can lapse into a self-centred morass of immorality, lunging at everything which could possibly interfere with self-fulfilment in any self-appointed direction, or self-destruction with whatever relish.
The same KIND of gifts and background can be used or abused, be latent or patent, subverted obviously in vanity or converted beautifully with discipline that is neither onerous nor a substitute for leading, imaginative empathy or continuing development. The instruments do not make the user, nor does the user, for that matter, have mere heredity and environment, the physical attributes or encasements for talent, to be concerned with; for in the interstices of barren philosophy, not only has the spirit to be avoided as a mere negation from illusory philosophy, but the God who made it.
To ignore these necessary, operative, demonstrable (cf. SMR) realities in educating children, this is to become a Reductionist Educator, foreign to helpfulness, drably conditioned by impossible mischiefs of the mind, into enchaining children with the products of confusion. Some may with blessed inconsistency, though not understanding, seek to promote it instead of being amoral dictators and conditioning milieu, dressed up as teachers. The spirit of man is crucial; it is this which gives sudden strength to a deadened body (as in Dean Karanazes' Ultramarathon Man), when its physical power is gone, and there is no hope. Its impact is transformative (and it can work both ways - up and down).
Information and Growing Up
New information can bring a release in the very body so that what seemed unquestionably impossible becomes a sudden fact! It is necessary with any action involving man and his upbringing, teaching and edification, to know with what you are dealing, and the spirit of man, its meaning, ways and means, is crucial to the understanding of his ways. Its source is as much presented in literature as efforts to be disdainful toward Him, or to divert, subvert or convert to other things, partial modes, to make kings of components of creation and ignore the source for the crown. All this is in the purvey of literature. The utmost should be expect, sought and given due stimulus. What is available in remedy for man, is from a literary perspective to be given as much emphasis as what is contrary to any such thing. What logic teaches should not be stifled, and propaganda should not replace thought.
Does this nullify concern, sympathy, need to remedy such deprivation ? Far from it: it means that in the meantime, there is ALL THE MORE need
|to use whatever slender resources are available, in order the
MORE to stir, stimulate, activate, actuate the latent reality of spirit and mind
in every child,
and this without treating them as sooks and young rabbits;
bring out what may be of nobility, or art, of literary appreciation,
of variety of format for precision of thought, of power to express the spirit
which is their uttermost in individuality and meaning before their Maker;
|to give enhanced awareness to
whatever substance of logic,
what means for flights of imagination, for adequate refinement of expression;
|to do justice to these and to all needs of communication.|
There is occasion, opportunity to bring to the light what is needed to show and to move with what man is and that of which he is capable, what is possible in the long run, to facilitate movements to greater expression of intelligence through removal of obstruction, clumsiness of expression, imprecision of thought, erraticisms of mind, so that the WORK of education might be repaid by the delight of soul.
What is far better than listless reductionism and declamatory decline, is more enterprising and better for responsibility, than immersion in techniques in terms of philosophic exclusivism.
This is as far from the grim-fact indoctrination of Hard Times, Dickens paradigm in art form of uninventive fact-thrust into the minds of children, as it is on the other side, from the lazy, didactic indulgences of what is debased, deformed or scarcely formed at all, as if knowledge of one's spirit and its powers, of man's receptivities and their scope, of all that is grand and noble and vital and expressible, were somehow a danger.
It is necessary to face the empirical realities and the rational necessities, and to use words in the interchanges in this field: not dumbed-down or diverted into certain contemporary modes, but with respect to the past of our race, and its attainments and understanding, its disenchantments, desires and scope.
In one piece of literary endeavour, "1984", Orwell was eloquent on this wedding of words and ideas, yes and ideals. WORDS had to be removed in order to inhibit thought so that manipulation could be complete. That was the strategy of the power-that-was in that place. In this Orwell was almost prophetic. That seems to be the thrust of this sub-liminal language, this reduction of the stimuli of great literary artists, this liberation from wonder and this movement into what is less.
By all means, impart knowledge of fancy means of giving bucolic text messages or other, if you want to; but don't linger too long on what is natural enough, and pleasant enough as a game.
By all means, show the way of computer skills, and various business and social means of communication, including advertising; but let not vulgarity and the commonplace, infidelity to what man can be in the interests of language-degradation to match the moral mess which defiles man's potential, AIDS being merely one objectivisation of the devastating process!
Yet in the process, remember the child, of what he is a child, of what man is and has been capable, and before dismantling the grandeur of literary art because of reductionist, irrational philosophies*3, not akin to man but to various lusts for liberty from what one is*1, consider that to destroy is easy; to build takes hard work. It is the same in architecture, but in that case, the steel and glass simplicity ... is that the word, the bon mot ? is not hurting the spirit of the building, for the simple reason that it does not have one.
Presuming to resist the volatility of desire and the animation of aspiration, and to give the minimal, the reduced, the simplified, and so forth, is not a mere manufacturing format for a time. It can readily be merely a format-seduction in which kinds of method become assertions of degradation, indoctrination with anti-morals, and lust commands, be yourself advices in which what little children have to be taught degradingly to avoid, becomes a mast-head of principle, while wild intoxication, as far as lassitude permits, becomes a sort of duet of screeching voices.
Don't expect too much, and don't educate, just liberate from anything, just expose, till something or other happens. Is this to be the principle ? Is this the flag for the epic of what education provides ? In hell, maybe. Here, only by a vast degradation.
It is insidious; invidious; presumptuous and a child-wastage modality. Let us hope that the Lord returns before children, already deprived of much in the literary area, become moral transvestites, their spirits contrary to nature, moulded into some kind of spiritual papier-mâché, glued to imports from philosophy, dulled in mind, quietened in spirit by the drugs of non-diligence and the simplicities of non-attainment, till they are ready to be manoeuvred any way, being defective in understanding, skills of speech. Thus they readily become liable to be taken for rides by every polluted politician and elevated academic.
One says, But this is not really what we are about ? Good. One would be glad to hear it. Then let us abandon those ingredients which are conducive to such designs, and show cause for any movement from the heights of language and linguistic skill, to whatever is in mind. As to that, then, let us see that it is not really a matter of leaving literature more and more, because its highly varied morals are distasteful to social engineers; let us see grounds for the view that such teachers after all, will change and not in fact be depriving the children of thought and ideas, skills and artistry. Has it in fact all been misunderstood ? then let us see the deletion of language that is, alas, all too clear.
Literature is to be made a thing of more intensive stimulus, and NOT any more used as a philosophic subversion unit, in order to introduce Marxism or its concepts, or the deterministic models of any other vaporous and anti-empirical tool of irrationalism ? Great. let us see such a change from current trends, rather than an increment, wrought by educative dictatorship.
Desire and Distortion
One well remembers not long ago in this country, a highly qualified and experienced academic exposing some of the degraded nonsense, found in some School, or system, where Shakespeare was made a base for the discussion of current populist philosophical ideas! What a travesty, and it is one which he castigated with due care. Are students to be manhandled to the point that they are shunted from discussing the text before them, of whatever century, with whatever insights it may have, into making this a prostitute for the lust of discussing some current fashion of thought or pre-occupation of certain pedants! Is force-feeding to replace nourishment, and are children to become the hunting-grounds of reductionism, the play-things, the ploys, the pawns of ideologies that are never satisfied with their clear failure on this earth, but must seek new pioneers through the abuse of English!
This is by no means to seek to remove discussion, but the very opposite. Discussion is apposite. It is the RULING OUT of various aspects, as now already in the curriculum in this State, in the field of creation, which is the inexcusable tyranny of people who must govern thought instead of guide education, an abuse of the utmost gravity.
Are students to be disabled from discussing the generics, the specialties of other times without the abusive intrusion of categorical irrelevancies, neither stated nor evoked in the text concerned ? Certainly this was not the view of the educator noted above, who justly rebuked a case in this country, where the intensively irrelevant was pushed into another milieu, in obvious indoctrination as gross as was the lack of instruction gained from the text before the student. If people want 20th century political theories, let them have them, only let them be varied and representative, not mere nihilism, which from nothing can contribute the same, not mere reductionism, which from slanted perspectives wants to deny primary data which nevertheless continue to work and evince themselves.
Hitler was a specialist in such things, and so was Mao, and admirable is not the word to supply to such practices, culminating in such things as the provision of loudspeakers in China, so that the oppressed and downtrodden workers (ironically so in a Communist State) might be prevented from thinking and made to hear what the mind might not want, but the minders did!
Man's spirit*1 moves across the waters and waterways of life with the predictability of winds, with a liberty that is awesome; and those who want to imagine that this vast variety is in itself some kind of conformist parody of liberty, merely impose a bondage of their own. Determinism in all cases is irrational, since it would be impossible to know if you were not subverted, when you ascribe such moulding forces to ALL, as if to exclude only yourself (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 9, .....) from being informative about actual truth.
What is not irrational, is the desire of Marxists*3 to seduce people from even hearing of the vast scope which is before them, with either the purpose or the result of harassing the servile mentality into imprinted, meaningless parodies of truth: empirically contradicted, while presented in irrelevant reductionisms. There are others with other reasons ? Crimping is not limited to one camp! it is just that this one receives such attestation in the finding before us.
It might be said that tempted or not, not all fall for it ? However temptation is no illustrious art. It is better to educate, and to follow logic in whatever direction, without concern for persecution, though admittedly as one has abundantly found, this may be sure to follow. Conformists who are keen to remove liberty from some, are by no means sure to confer it on their colleagues.
Youth Camp or Revamp
But what ? Is the meat of the thrust really sound ? Is liberty the desire, after all ? If this were the actual 'meaning' of the apparently utterly contradictory, then two things would arrive. One would be a regret that the language could so be used to bring an opposite impression; and the other would be an insistence on seeing evidence that the philosophy evoked was not insidiously, or surreptitiously thrust in, as if English were an abode for New World Youth Camps, and not a discipline and a wonder where variety and elevation, thrust and counter-thrust, this mode and that could be considered, could evoke response and could be CHOSEN by the student BECAUSE ...
Because then what ? Why of course, because informed! That is at least one of the things education is about, not the production of human mastiffs, deprived, and ready butts for verbal manipulation, lacking means of their own.
And what of this world itself, which with flags furled, oversees the funerals of the minds of their young - with some exceptions, torn from between their teeth, or even from their yet outstretched grasp, as it indoctrinates*4 with what is left after its prohibitions, which mount and are mouthed with increasing accolade, teaching fairy stories without elves, in which what lacks is given power by the imagination! This, it is provided like poisoned pap for children who do not lack potential, but are given goat's milk instead of steak, with which to grow, and even that, it is sour.
The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Without that, there would be a weird rewiring, conspiring, assault on the Lord and THEREFORE not only on HIS people, but on all who are offered for sacrifice. In the meantime, access is essential so that things of vast significance should not be aborted by pre-selection, removal of Class discussion or mere authoritarian insistence.
It is not only in the trenches, or in the prisons of China, nor is Siberia the only festering mess of murder by degrees, to extract cheap labour with hatred, that atrocities of mismanagement and mis-manning occur. It is in the academic premises of broken promises, promise for truth becoming the premise of devastating lie, fastidiously unfactual*5, as promise in youth becomes slowly, more and more the repository of fantasy. They move from the despotic to the chaotic, making more and more, the robotic for the manipulators. But it will end; and THEN the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, where knowledge and wisdom are endemic with the Creator, will bring salvation to its proper place, man to his actual God, when through the power of truth and the application of the Gospel, the modus operandi for lost man, is found and functional at last.
Just as there are 'designer clothes' for what meets with specific felicity the way our bodies are (that is perhaps the intention), so this can be applied to designer living. Thus you do not smoke, since our designs do not make this apt for the organs required for breathing; and you do not copulate in ways which divert from the function of race-making and the love which precedes it in a union not of distaste but desire, because this is not the provision, nor has it the protection. That is a sort of pre-moral consideration.
On the other hand, you MAY ignore these considerations. That is a result of the glorious provision of liberty to man, so that he may deny truth, himself, his design, his nation, race or anything at all, for fun, for ulterior motive or any other reason. Liberty does not annul the option; it merely provides reason for not using it when it is wrong, and may include exhortation, as it natural when the natural is unnaturally used.
Those who object to such a perspective or responsibility, may equally object away, and continue. They do. They do not even have to supply a reason, which would form part of their own protection, if they thought ... These freedoms to act, provide occasion for liberty in this Age of opportunity. People may veer this way or that, and answer in Class this way or that (in theory, but in practice this is being already denied as the author has repeatedly and at cost found, in lapses from liberty so profound as to occasion a danger of academic dictatorship, such as Hitler abused).
It is undesirable that scope and substance, heights and depths be consigned to the flames in advance, although to be sure, this could lessen the strain on those who interest lies in propaganda rather than truth. Alas, such is man, that misusing liberty he often imagines he is serving truth when he has veered so much from it that his body may become limp, his mind confused and his hopes dispelled, and he ... sees it not!
Meanwhile, however, to a degree, in this land, there is still some liberty; and here our concern is that it be not with authoritarian hand, reduced at the outset, by curricular manipulation. In this State at leas, this has already happened to an appalling degree, as if children were the Forests of some State Nobility, who are deer in their pastures (cf. TMR Ch. 8, Government Composite). It is in this not alone, but it appears, eminent!
While those who deny design, may speak and act accordingly, this does not alter the fact that its definition is abundantly met in our very own selves, and that to a pre-eminent degree among visible things, and indeed precociously! However the maker of design is already mature, and it is only what for man would be precocious that this involved. For God, it is normal!
On this, see Deity and Design ... Introduction, and Section 2, esp. the following:
Dig Deeper 2 (unity of creation, history, past, present and future before God, and survey of design as scientifically required, with reference to the definition of design, on which also see Section 8 ).
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and
the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth
(listing of critical failures in reductionist methodology and result, and includes rank and file failure of naturalism, at every chief philosophic turn, a mere outcast that casts out data to live it vagabond death).
The unique verification of Biblical premises as contradistinct from unbased philosophies (cf. Deity and Design Section 8), is to be seen in LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST, WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS.
*1 See It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 7, Ancient Words ... Ch. 9, Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2, Christ, the Wisdom of God ... Ch. 7, SMR pp. 348ff..
*2 In this article, our concern is with issues in themselves. Below there is some attention given to a particular event in the news, which leads to thought on these issues.
In The Australian, Feb. 28th-March 2nd, 2009, one reads the headline, "Teachers bid to downgrade literature." The topic is a submission by The Australian Association for the Teaching of English. This body, we learn in the article, "is purporting to represent the view of the nation's English teachers", and its ideas appear in a submission to the National Curriculum Board's framing on the English curriculum.
We find reported that it disputes the concept configuration of school English as literacy, literature and language. 'Meaning-making' it avers, should be the core consideration. One should have thought that meaning making would include examples (literature), ability so to act (language and literacy) and disciplined thought (so that there IS meaning). However, they have their ideas.
It appears that phrasing is more important, so far, than function.
Literature as a discrete element is to end: that appears to be the view. This interesting diversion from the excellence (or otherwise, depending on choice) of expression and meaning-making to what is more muted is of course in the generic direction that has been operative in this land, in particular in English teaching, as seen by observation of many cases and results, for decades. Grammar has been downgraded till the point comes that students seem all but amazed when they meet this facilitation of expression and clarity. Knowledgeability about literature has been reduced in terms of sometimes banal examples, till the use of literature as a substitute for living and an imbuement with 'alternative life style' approaches has become a question at issue. Show revolting perversion from designer living*A, in accord with facilities provided, and make a welter of it, use animals, do anything. It is 'literature'.
What then is this terminal point relative to the downgrading of the language in its most advanced expressions, have to offer ? One should have thought that the devastation of skills already seen would be more than sufficient to appease those who want to use it for a special kind of 'moral' or immoral purpose; for there are two sides in such questions.
There has to be some excuse rather than diverting phraseology for this intolerant seeming denigration of the normal emphasis on literature, so what is it ?
The excuse seems to run along Marxist lines showing that military action (as in Europe 1945-1991) is not the only way to invade: you can inveigh at another level, this by statements, however irrational, instead, and some will listen.
Thus rather than the aesthetic approach studying literature, this body would assert, according to the report, that studying literature is "inherently a political action that is about 'nation' building through dissemination of a 'national' culture'."
To think and one would never have guessed such a proposition. So Oscar Wilde's works were about nation building, not decadence of the moral structure; and Dickens was not so much about people and their needs and sympathy, compassion, pity, awakening, with harsh strictures on traditional rigidity, but about the nation as something established with its sanctions and morals, and contributing to this regime ? One would never have conceived so opposite a view to the tenor of his highly critical works, not least an exposé on the flaws of the nation! The fact that literature can be in favour of what is established, or against it, dissecting folly or augmenting it, irrationally diffuse in thought while aesthetically clever or psychologically eruptive (as with Marx) seems forgotten in the flavour and savour of disdain.
Continuing their apparently Marxist accolade, they find no joy in such exposures as Animal Farm, looking it seems in vain in any endeavour to find in this work, any aesthetic value. Here of course they move more broadly. Is aesthetic value to be found only where reductionist fallacies about mankind are favoured ? Animal Farm like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, has a certain literary style, to be sure. It is ironic, devastatingly ruthless in exposing the pretensions of human puppetry when it seeks to shove mankind about because of idiotic and unempirical theories about matter, nations or anything else. It is an antidote to anaesthetic and an awakening, by simple and imaginative means, enriched by allegory, in which one literary mode is made subservient to a vision presented in those communicative particles called words, in that stylistic clarity which offends those who reject such concerns.
Thus Animal Farm becomes ONE of the motions of literature, equipped with its own individuality, that elevates it above mere ranting.
If like works of Bernard Shaw, his plays, it tends as one puts it, to be ideas on legs, in its characters, yet it is not only that; and if it were, who are these who compute what is acceptable who would call unliterary or anaesthetic, or communicatively remote, what is a torrent of imagination pouring through carefully controlled words in an epic of allegory to invite to thought and to warn the unwary! Who are these who determine what is enriching to life, so capable of being frozen by culture, and what is aesthetic ? (to use some of the verbiage they attack). Or is the aesthetic the ONLY consideration in the existing view of some ?
Does not even the verbiage they attack, speak of literature as moving into art-related and arts-enriched learning experience, which in turn relates to aesthetics. Is this intended to means that aesthetics is all ? or that it RELATES to it. It SAYS the latter, it seems from the article.
Whatever be the intention of what is being criticised, what then is to be made of the concept of having a political exclusion zone in which what offends reductionism or some other philosophy is obviated, and in which one finds ludicrous theories about the place of literature as a conveyor belt for this or that idea, establishment oriented, rather than an ebullition of artistry with point, sharing experience or insight with facility. The content or purport or implication, whichever or all, may be moral or immoral, flagrant or light-hearted, dissipated or of spiritual strength, using imagination with verbal facility and precision, knowledgeability and exemplification of the heights to which language can reach, in its volatile or sedate forms, or even parodies of this ?
Is this simplistic mis-assessment by pre-occupation with morals and politics, a just thrust ? Is the concept that studying literature "historically had an ethical function" and that it was "contributing to the shaping of a certain sort of person that societies have found desirable" anything remotely like empirical fact ? Has not such literature as Marx's deadly boring work (some may find its literary qualities different - the opportunity to read is not excluded) been of a somewhat different kind ? or that of Schopenhauer ? or of Hume ?
In fact, revolutionary thought whether in aesthetics or in politics, in spiritual understanding and for or against established (or semi-established) mores has been no uncommon ground of appeal to imagination in much literature. Some books are wildly anti-Christian, anti-Communist, anti-establishment, marvels of irony, not always delightful but barbed indeed, as in Trollope's contribution, a sheer torrent of irony and sardonism, of exposure and criticism, as if he had heard what the current theory had to say, and was out to falsify it in the grand mode.
Such delimited and selective views of literature are the sort that Marxism proposes in its strange and obfuscatory pre-occupation with what institutions and establishment, and what he wants, which the USSR tried to demonstrate with its depersonalising dynamics, so directly apt for the actual production of strewn millions of murdered people in its midst, slowly and systematically, or in more heated manners.
Man is constantly arising above the awful follies of his race, to counter them, or woefully to continue them, with theories and theorems, just or unjust, rational or irrational, and as he thinks, often revolutions occur, so that the institutions are not proof at all to the realities which literary means can the more sharply expose, or seek to impose! That is where clear thinking has a prime place in any reasonable education system, for otherwise it is like teaching people to drive without any thought of action one can take when confronted with drunken driving, or a skid (or to return to the case in view, in logic, a slide as it is called).
Institutions can be oppressive, as can the sword, the bullet, the scimitar or the ruthless, revolutionary despising of blood, in lieu of attention to just argumentation. To despise the most multi-form and multi-purpose literature in mere denudation of artistry, delimitation of philosophy, depopulation of instruments of understanding. It at least appears an endeavour to make the present generation even MORE independent of the ideational history of our race, of the fact that there are lessons to be learned by the diverse dynamics of literature as encapsulating with communicative skill, some of the experience, endeavours, verbal outreaches, subjectivites and attempts at objectivity which our race has managed to contrive.
That however is only one side. There is another exposed in the article noted, one not closely related, but which has its own importance in communication.
The stress of the English teachers association on other and developing modes of communication is an entirely different matter. If there are new forms of expression, and it is important that students be aware of the existence of such so that they may make informed selections when older, or even when young, that is an information exercise. If any one of these tends to the reductionist views of morals, which make of them a social creation rather than a social input, as if men were so insane that they could not distinguish between a moral putsch and a moral reality to fit what they are, then that has to be considered: for example a push to make terrorism. But in this land, we tend to view freedom as important, not wanting for example to extinguish or even more greatly to reduce the literature which is so vast in scope, intention and enterprise, and historicallyl we have tended to conceive that its study can inform and amuse, entice or revolt, and one can respond at will.
This has superiority at having it vetted, de-compartmentalised, reduced in scope and significance by someone ELSE'S will! That, it is intrusive. Where it is the mere expression of logically untenable and unempirical views of literature, it is worse.
See the following on this intellectual misadventure, reductionist parody of man and social enchainment.
Tender Times for Timely Truth
The Grating Grandeur ... Ch. 2; SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty for Ashes
(and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern),
with News 98, News 37.
A useful larger selection:
Aviary of Idolatry, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 5,
News 37. 44, 69, 97 (the exploiters, the fanciful,
the Communists, the de-godders and the realities), 98,
News 150 - Taiwan,
The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of Man,
and the Meekness of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 2
Beauty for Ashes
Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a
Tender Times for Timely Truth
SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty of Holiness
(war and force, rising downwards, Tiananmen and truth),
Ch. 4 (liberty, Tiananmen, worship and its direction in time, its terms and code of truth); History, Review and Overview Ch. 1,
Impossible to Men, Open to God Ch. 5
Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2.
See also Lord of Life Ch. 8.
See for example, Ch. 5 above, Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, TMR Ch. 8.
Ch. 1, SMR Chs. 1 -
2, The gods of naturalism have no go,
SMR pp. 140ff..