Mark Twain and Spinoza
  
     (1835 -1910)                         (1632-1677)  

A Spinozistic Commentary on 

Mark Twain's What is Man? 
 
by 
 
Joseph B. Yesselman 

 
Browser Notes—Use 800 x 600 resolution and medium size text for all pages.

 



JBY Notes:

1.  WHAT IS MAN? by Mark Twain was taken with kind permission from a free e-Book
     download from CyberRead; June, 1993 [Etext #70]. To them I express my thanks and
     appreciation.

2.  I chanced upon Mark Twain's What is Man? and was startled to see how many Spinozistic
     Ideas he expressed—so much so, that I was moved to write this commentary.
I was
     surprised to learn later that no Spinoza books were found
in Mark Twain's personal library. 

3.  This unabridged HTML version is available, abridged and formatted, for conversion to an
     eBook. The abridged version is available to be read on various eBook Readers.
 

4.  Links are by JBY.

5.  {Comment by JBY}.

CONTENTS: 

JBY Endnotes
 



TP1:(1:4:2):288TPI:Bk.XIB:157: Spinoza's Dictum:

                                A Sort of ComputerROM and RAM, Dawkins:276, Parallel Computers,
                                Genomes—Hardware—Aging;
Experience—Software, The Gene Book—Spirituality
1a.   Man the {Computerized} Machine,     { A  robot  caused  by  G-D: 
               See Robot Rat
Nazi-Germana watchWatts consumed.   { Helps to understand human actions. } 
                          Boeing 747
ConsciousnessMusic Appreciation                         { See Letter 62—Even a stone. } 
   
                  
Is Consciousness Computable? Is the Brain a Digital Computer? Dawkins:276, Stace:125, Ridley:49,

[The Old Man and the Young Man had been conversing. The Old Man had asserted that the human being is merely a machine, and nothing more. The Young Man objected, and asked him to go into particulars and furnish his reasons for his position.]                Dawkins2:Genes

 Mark Twain 1907; as an old man; three years before he died.
Old Man.   What are the materials of which a steam-engine is made?             Potter's clay.

 Mark Twain as a younger man.
Young Man.   Iron, steel, brass, white-metal, and so on.

O.M.    Where are these found?

Y.M.    In the rocks.

O.M.   In a pure state?

Y.M.   No—in ores.

O.M.   Are the metals suddenly deposited in the ores?

Y.M.   No—it is the patient work of countless ages.

O.M.   You could make the engine out of the rocks themselves?      {Julien Offroy de La Mettrie}

Y.M.   Yes, a brittle one and not valuable.

O.M.   You would not require much, of such an engine as that?

Y.M.   No—substantially nothing.

O.M.   To make a fine and capable engine, how would you proceed?

Y.M.   Drive tunnels and shafts into the hills; blast out the iron ore; crush it, smelt it, reduce it to
       pig-iron; put some of it through the Bessemer process and make steel of it. Mine and treat
       and combine several metals of which brass is made.  

O.M.   Then?

Y.M.   Out of the perfected result, build the fine engine.

O.M.   You would require much of this one?

Y.M.   Oh, indeed yes.

O.M.   It could drive lathes, drills, planers, punches, polishers, in a word all the cunning
          machines of a great factory?

Y.M.   It could.

O.M.   What could the stone engine do?

Y.M.   Drive a sewing-machine, possibly—nothing more, perhaps.

O.M.   Men would admire the other engine and rapturously praise it?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   But not the stone one?

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   The merits of the metal machine would be far above those of the stone one?

Y.M.   Of course.


1b. Personal Merit:    Hampshirelibido and conatus, no praise / no blame. 

O.M.   Personal merits?

Y.M.   PERSONAL merits? How do you mean?  {Would you praise or blame a robot?}     Popkin:71

O.M.   It would be personally entitled to the credit of its own performance?

Y.M.   The engine? Certainly not.

O.M.   Why not?

Y.M.   Because its performance is not personal. It is the result of the law of construction. It is
       not a MERIT that it does the things which it is set to do—it can't HELP doing them.

O.M.   And it is not a personal demerit in the stone machine that it does so little?   {Sin}

Y.M.   Certainly not. It does no more and no less than the law of its make permits and compels
       "working up to the matter" is it your idea to work up to the proposition that man and a
       machine are about the same thing, and that there is no personal merit in the performance
       of either?

 
{JBY:   In like fashion, a man is a sophisticated robot; both, made-up of hardware and software.

Y. M.   That is disgustedly outrageous, how can you say that?
            
Robinson5:14, Is consciousness computable? 
 
JBY:    I say it as an analogy and only as an analogy.
His hardware is his genes, high or low
        I.Q., he is skinny or fat, tall or short, he runs fast or slow, etc.heredity. His software is
        his culture, language, training, religion, prejudices, reading, experiences, etc.
        environment. Heredity and environment, like hardware and software, each is nothing
           without the other.
Language is software (a wordprocessor language) used on his
           born-with hardware.
Take a look at Dennett, pages 433 and 302. Likewise accounting is
           software
(a spread-sheet) used with his born-with hardware.
              FunctionalismStorage Technologies, Genes and Memes,

Y. M.   I think I see what you mean, give me another example.

JBY:   Take these twins; assume they have the same genes, I.Q., built, athletic ability,
        etc.—hardware. One was given as a child to a college professor to raise; the other to a
        gangster—software, how they were programmed, their databases.  

Y. M.   Yes. OK.

JBY:    The first turns out to be a college professor; the second a gangster.

Y. M.   It could be the opposite.

JBY:    True. }

O.M.  Yes—but do not be offended; I am meaning no offense.
What makes the grand difference
       between the stone engine and the steel one? Shall we call it training, education? Shall
       we call the stone engine a savage and the steel one a civilized man? The original rock
       contained the stuff of which the steel one was built—but along with a lot of sulphur and
       stone and other obstructing inborn heredities, brought down from the old geologic ages—
       prejudices, let us call them. Prejudices which nothing within the rock itself had either
       POWER to remove or any DESIRE to remove. Will you take note of that phrase?

Y.M.   Yes. I have written it down;
"Prejudices which nothing within the rock itself had either
       power to remove or any desire to remove." Go on.  

O.M.   Prejudices must be removed by OUTSIDE INFLUENCES or not at all. Put that down.

Y.M.   Very well; "Must be removed by outside influences or not at all." Go on.   {TEI:[47]}

O.M.  The iron's prejudice against ridding itself of the cumbering rock. To make it more exact,
       the iron's absolute INDIFFERENCE as to whether the rock be removed or not. Then
       comes the OUTSIDE INFLUENCE and grinds the rock to powder and sets the ore free.
       
The IRON in the ore is still captive. An OUTSIDE INFLUENCE smelts it free of the
          clogging ore. The iron is emancipated iron, now, but indifferent to further progress.
An
          OUTSIDE INFLUENCE beguiles it into the Bessemer furnace
and refines it into steel
          of
 the first quality. It is educated, now —its training is complete. And it has reached its
          limit.
By no possible process can it be educated into GOLD. Will you set that down?  

Y.M.   Yes. "Everything has its limit—iron ore cannot be educated into gold."

O.M.   There are gold men, and tin men, and copper men, and leaden mean, and steel men,
       and so on—and each has the limitations of his nature, his heredities, his training, and his
       environment. You can build engines out of each of these metals, and they will all perform,
       but you must not require the weak ones to do equal work with the strong ones. In each
       case, to get the best results, you must free the metal from its obstructing prejudicial ones
       by education— smelting, refining, and so forth.  

Y.M.   You have arrived at man, now?

O.M.   Yes. Man the machine—man the impersonal engine.
Whatsoever a man is, is due to his
       MAKE, and to the INFLUENCES brought to bear upon it by his heredities, his habitat, his
       associations. He is moved, directed, COMMANDED, by EXTERIOR influences—-he
       ORIGINATES nothing, not even a thought.  

Y.M.   Oh, come! Where did I get my opinion that this which you are talking is all foolishness?

O.M.   It is a quite natural opinion—indeed an inevitable opinion—but YOU did not create the
       materials out of which it is formed. They are odds and ends of thoughts, impressions,
       feelings, gathered unconsciously from a thousand books, a thousand conversations, and
       from streams of thought and feeling which have flowed down into your heart and brain
          out of the hearts and brains of centuries of ancestors. PERSONALLY you did not create
       even the smallest microscopic fragment of the materials out of which your opinion is
       made; and personally you cannot claim even the slender merit of PUTTING THE
          BORROWED MATERIALS TOGETHER.
That was done AUTOMATICALLY—by your
       mental machinery, in strict accordance with the law of that machinery's construction. And
       you not only did not make that machinery yourself, but you have NOT EVEN ANY
 
      COMMAND OVER IT.

Y.M.   This is too much. You think I could have formed no opinion but that one?

O.M.   Spontaneously? No. And YOU DID NOT FORM THAT ONE; your machinery did it for
       you—automatically and instantly, without reflection or the need of it.

Y.M.   Suppose I had reflected? How then?

O.M.   Suppose you try?

Y.M.   (AFTER A QUARTER OF AN HOUR.) I have reflected.

O.M.   You mean you have tried to change your opinion—as an experiment?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   With success?

Y.M.   No. It remains the same; it is impossible to change it.

O.M.   I am sorry, but you see, yourself, that your mind is merely a machine, nothing more.
You
       have no command over it, it has no command over itself—it is worked SOLELY FROM
          THE OUTSIDE. That is the law of its make; it is the law of all machines.
 

Y.M.   Can't I EVER change one of these automatic opinions {paradigms, world-view}?

O.M.   No. You can't yourself, but random EXTERIOR INFLUENCES can do it.           TEI:[47] 

Y.M.   And exterior ones ONLY?

O.M.   Yes—exterior ones only.

Y.M.   That position is untenable—I may say ludicrously untenable.

O.M.   What makes you think so?

Y.M.   I don't merely think it, I know it. Suppose I resolve to enter upon a course of thought, and
       study, and reading, with the deliberate purpose of changing that opinion; and suppose I
       succeed. THAT is not the work of an exterior impulse, the whole of it is mine and
          personal; for I originated the project.
  

O.M.   Not a shred of it. IT GREW OUT OF THIS TALK WITH ME. But for that it would not
       have occurred to you. No man ever originates anything. All his thoughts, all his impulses,
       come FROM THE OUTSIDE.  

Y.M.   It's an exasperating subject. The FIRST man had original thoughts, anyway; there was
       nobody to draw from.  

O.M.   It is a mistake. Adam's thoughts came to him from the outside. YOU have a fear of death.
       You did not invent that—you got it from outside, from talking and teaching. Adam had no
       fear of death—none in the world.  

Y.M.   Yes, he had.

O.M.   When he was created?

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   When, then?

Y.M.   When he was threatened with it.

O.M.  Then it came from OUTSIDE.
Adam is quite big enough; let us not try to make a god of
       him. NONE BUT GODS HAVE EVER HAD A THOUGHT WHICH DID NOT COME
          FROM THE OUTSIDE. Adam probably had a good head, but it was of no sort of use to
       him until it was filled up FROM THE OUTSIDE. He was not able to invent the triflingest
       little thing with it. He had not a shadow of a notion of the difference between good and
       evil—he had to get the idea FROM THE OUTSIDE. Neither he nor Eve was able to
       originate the idea that it was immodest to go naked; the knowledge came in with the
          apple FROM THE OUTSIDE.
A man's brain is so constructed that IT CAN ORIGINATE
       NOTHING WHATSOEVER. It can only use material obtained OUTSIDE. It is merely a
       machine; and it works automatically, not by will-power. IT HAS NO COMMAND OVER
       ITSELF, ITS OWNER HAS NO COMMAND OVER IT.  

Y.M.   Well, never mind Adam: but certainly Shakespeare's creations—

O.M.   No, you mean Shakespeare's IMITATIONS. Shakespeare created nothing. He correctly
       observed, and he marvelously painted. He exactly portrayed people whom G-D had
          created; but he created none himself.
Let us spare him the slander of charging him with
       trying. Shakespeare could not create. HE WAS A MACHINE, AND MACHINES DO NOT
       CREATE.

Y.M.   Where WAS his excellence, then?

O.M.   In this. He was not a sewing-machine, like you and me; he was a Gobelin loom. The
          threads and the colors came into him FROM THE OUTSIDE;
outside influences,
          suggestions, EXPERIENCES (reading, seeing plays, playing plays, borrowing ideas, and
          so on),
framed the patterns in his mind and started up his complex and admirable
          machinery, and IT AUTOMATICALLY
turned out that pictured and gorgeous fabric which
          still compels the astonishment of the world.
If Shakespeare had been born and bred on a
          barren and unvisited rock in the ocean
his mighty intellect would have had no OUTSIDE
          MATERIAL
to work with, and could have invented none; and NO OUTSIDE
         
 INFLUENCES, teachings, moldings, persuasions, inspirations, of a valuable sort, and
          could have invented none;
and so Shakespeare would have produced nothing. In Turkey
          he would have produced something—something up
to the highest limit of Turkish
          influences, associations, and training.
In France he would have produced something
          better—something
up to the highest limit of the French influences and training. In
          England he rose to the highest limit attainable
through the OUTSIDE HELPS
          AFFORDED BY THAT LAND'S IDEALS, INFLUENCES,
AND TRAINING. You and I are
          but sewing-machines.
We must turn out what we can; we must do our endeavor and care
          nothing at all when the unthinking reproach us for not turning out Gobelins.
 

Y.M.  And so we are mere machines! And machines may not boast, nor feel proud of their
         performance, nor claim personal merit for it, nor applause and praise.
It is an infamous
         doctrine.

O.M.   It isn't a doctrine, it is merely a fact.

Y.M.   I suppose, then, there is no more merit in being brave than in being a coward?

O.M.   PERSONAL merit? No. A brave man does not CREATE his bravery. He is entitled to no
           personal credit for possessing it. It is born to him. A baby born with a billion
           dollars—where is the personal merit in that?
A baby born with nothing—where is the
           personal demerit in that? The one is fawned upon, admired, worshiped, by sycophants,

           the other is neglected and despised— where is the sense in it?  

Y.M.   Sometimes a timid man sets himself the task of conquering his cowardice and becoming
           brave—and succeeds. What do you say to that?
 

O.M.   That it shows the value of TRAINING IN RIGHT DIRECTIONS OVER TRAINING IN
           WRONG ONES.
Inestimably valuable is training, influence, education, in right
           directions—TRAINING ONE'S SELF-APPROBATION TO ELEVATE ITS IDEALS.
 

Y.M.   But as to merit—the personal merit of the victorious coward's project and achievement?

O.M.   There isn't any. In the world's view he is a worthier man than he was before, but HE
           didn't achieve the change—the merit of it is not his.
 

Y.M.   Whose, then?

O.M.   His MAKE, and the influences which wrought upon it from the outside.

Y.M.   His make?

O.M.   To start with, he was NOT utterly and completely a coward, or the influences would
           have had nothing to work upon.
He was not afraid of a cow, though perhaps of a bull:
           not afraid of a woman, but afraid of a man.
There was something to build upon. There
           was a SEED. No seed, no plant.
Did he make that seed himself, or was it born in him? It
           was no merit of HIS that the seed was there.
 

Y.M.   Well, anyway, the idea of CULTIVATING it, the resolution to cultivate it, was meritorious,
          and he originated that.
 
 
O.M.  He did nothing of the kind. It came whence ALL impulses, good or bad, come—from
         OUTSIDE.
If that timid man had lived all his life in a community of human rabbits, had
         never read of brave deeds,
had never heard speak of them, had never heard any one
         praise them nor express envy of the heroes that had done them,
he would have had no
         more idea of bravery than Adam had of modesty,
and it could never by any possibility
         have occurred to him to RESOLVE to become brave.
He COULD NOT ORIGINATE THE
         IDEA—it had to come to him from the OUTSIDE.
And so, when he heard bravery extolled
         and cowardice derided, it woke him up. He was ashamed.
Perhaps his sweetheart turned
         up her nose and said, "I am told that you are a coward!"
It was not HE that turned over the
         new leaf—she did it for him. HE must not strut around in the merit of it—it is not his.
 
         {Determinism, Free Will, Free Choice, Ridley:309.}  

Y.M.   But, anyway, he reared the plant after she watered the seed.

O.M.  No. OUTSIDE INFLUENCES reared it. At the command— and trembling—he marched
         out into the field—with other soldiers and in the daytime, not alone and in the dark.
He
         had the INFLUENCE OF EXAMPLE,
he drew courage from his comrades' courage; he
         was afraid, and wanted to run, but he did not dare;
he was AFRAID to run, with all those
         soldiers looking on. He was progressing,
you see—the moral fear of shame had risen
         superior to the physical fear of harm.
By the end of the campaign experience will have
         taught him that not ALL who go into battle get hurt—an outside influence
which will be
         helpful to him;
and he will also have learned how sweet it is to be praised for courage and
         be huzza'd at with tear-choked voices
as the war-worn regiment marches past the
         worshiping multitude with flags flying
and the drums beating. After that he will be as
         securely brave as any veteran in the army—and there will not be
a shade nor suggestion
         of PERSONAL MERIT in it anywhere;
it will all have come from the OUTSIDE. The
         Victoria Cross breeds more heroes than—
 

Y.M.   Hang it, where is the sense in his becoming brave if he is to get no credit for it?

O.M.  Your question will answer itself presently. It involves an important detail of man's make
          which we have not yet touched upon.
 

Y.M.   What detail is that?

O.M.  The impulse which moves a person to do things—the only impulse that ever moves a
          person to do a thing.
 

Y.M.   The ONLY one! Is there but one?

O.M.   That is all. There is only one.

Y.M.   Well, certainly that is a strange enough doctrine. What is the sole impulse that ever
          moves a person to do a thing?
 

O.M.  The impulse {
his self-interest} to CONTENT HIS OWN SPIRIT —the NECESSITY of
          contenting his own spirit and WINNING ITS APPROVAL
{its peace-of-mind}.

Y.M.   Oh, come, that won't do!

O.M.   Why won't it?

Y.M.   Because it puts him in the attitude of always looking out for his own comfort and
          advantage;
whereas an unselfish man often does a thing solely for another person's
          good when it is a positive disadvantage to himself.
 

O.M.   It is a mistake. The act must do HIM good, FIRST;
otherwise he will not do it. He may
          THINK he is doing it solely for the other person's sake, but it is not so;
he is contenting
          his own spirit first—the other's person's benefit has to always take SECOND place.
 

Y.M.   What a fantastic idea! What becomes of self-sacrifice? Please answer me that.

O.M.   What is self-sacrifice?

Y.M.   The doing good to another person where no shadow nor suggestion of benefit to one's
          self can result from it.

{Scroll down and continue for "Story of a Quarter."}  


II. Man's Sole Impulse—the Securing of His Own Approval {Conatus} 
{It is that which he decides (as a computer does), what best serves {his self-interest} to bring him
Peace of
 MindBlessedness; hence the enormous power of religion or alcohol.  If he loses
all hope
and is left with despair, he will contemplate suicide.}  
 

Old Man. There have been instances of it—you think?

Young Man. INSTANCES? Millions of them!

O.M.   You have not jumped to conclusions? You have examined them—critically?

Y.M.   They don't need it: the acts themselves reveal the golden impulse back of them.

O.M.   For instance?

Y.M.   Well, then, for instance.
Take the case in the book here. The man lives three miles
          up-town.
It is bitter cold, snowing hard, midnight. He is about to enter the horse-car when
          a gray and ragged old woman,
a touching picture of misery, puts out her lean hand and
          begs for rescue from hunger and death.
The man finds that he has a quarter in his
          pocket, but he does not hesitate: he gives it her and trudges home through the storm.

       
There—it is noble, it is beautiful; its grace is marred by no fleck or blemish or suggestion
          of self-interest.
 

O.M.   What makes you think that?

Y.M.   Pray what else could I think? Do you imagine that there is some other way of looking at
          it?
  

O.M.   Can you put yourself in the man's place and tell me what he felt and what he thought?

Y.M.   Easily. The sight of that suffering old face pierced his generous heart with a sharp pain.
          He could not bear it.
He could endure the three-mile walk in the storm, but he could not
          endure the tortures his conscience would suffer
if he turned his back and left that poor
          old creature to perish.
He would not have been able to sleep, for thinking of it.

O.M.   What was his state of mind on his way home?

Y.M.   It was a state of joy which only the self-sacrificer knows. His heart sang, he was
          unconscious of the storm.
 

O.M.   He felt well?

Y.M.   One cannot doubt it.

O.M.   Very well.
Now let us add up the details and see how much he got for his twenty-five
           cents.
Let us try to find out the REAL why of his making the investment. In the first place
           HE couldn't bear the pain which the old suffering face gave him.
So he was thinking of
           HIS pain—this good man. He must buy a salve for it.
If he did not succor the old woman
           HIS conscience would torture him all the way home.
Thinking of HIS pain again. He must
           buy relief for that.
If he didn't relieve the old woman HE would not get any sleep. He
           must buy some sleep—still thinking of HIMSELF, you see.
Thus, to sum up, he bought
           himself free of a sharp pain in his heart,
he bought himself free of the tortures of a
           waiting conscience, he bought a whole night's sleep—all for twenty-five cents!
It should
           make Wall Street ashamed of itself.
On his way home his heart was joyful, and it  
          sang—profit on top of profit!
The impulse which moved the man to succor the old woman
           was—FIRST—to CONTENT HIS OWN SPIRIT; secondly to relieve HER sufferings.
Is it
           your opinion that men's acts proceed from one central
and unchanging and inalterable
           impulse, or from a variety of impulses?
 

Y.M.   From a variety, of course—some high and fine and noble, others not. What is your  
          opinion?
  

O.M.   Then there is but ONE law, one source.

Y.M.   That both the noblest impulses and the basest proceed from that one source?

O.M.   Yes.

Y.M.   Will you put that law into words?

O.M.   Yes. This is the law, keep it in your mind.
FROM HIS CRADLE TO HIS GRAVE A MAN
           NEVER DOES A SINGLE THING WHICH HAS ANY FIRST AND FOREMOST OBJECT

           BUT ONE—TO SECURE PEACE OF MIND, SPIRITUAL COMFORT, FOR HIMSELF.
                                                             {
The wherefore for Religion.}

Y.M.   Come! He never does anything for any one else's comfort, spiritual or physical?

O.M.   No. EXCEPT ON THOSE DISTINCT TERMS—that it shall FIRST secure HIS OWN
           spiritual comfort. Otherwise he will not do it.
 

Y.M.   It will be easy to expose the falsity of that proposition.

O.M.   For instance?

Y.M.   Take that noble passion, love of country, patriotism. A man who loves peace and dreads
           pain,
leaves his pleasant home and his weeping family and marches out to manfully
           expose himself to hunger, cold, wounds, and death. Is that seeking spiritual comfort?
 

O.M.   He loves peace and dreads pain?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   Then perhaps there is something that he loves MORE than he loves peace—THE
           APPROVAL OF HIS NEIGHBORS AND THE PUBLIC.
And perhaps there is something
           which he dreads more than he dreads pain—the DISAPPROVAL
of his neighbors and
           the public.
If he is sensitive to shame he will go to the field—not because his spirit will
           be ENTIRELY comfortable there,
but because it will be more comfortable there than it
           would be if he remained at home.
He will always do the thing which will bring him the
           MOST mental comfort—for that is THE SOLE LAW OF HIS LIFE.
He leaves the weeping
           family behind; he is sorry to make them uncomfortable,
but not sorry enough to sacrifice
           his OWN comfort to secure theirs.
 

Y.M.   Do you really believe that mere public opinion could force a timid and peaceful man to—

O.M.   Go to war? Yes—public opinion can force some men to do ANYTHING.

Y.M.   ANYTHING?

O.M.   Yes—anything.

Y.M.   I don't believe that. Can it force a right-principled man to do a wrong thing?

O.M.   Yes.

Y.M.   Can it force a kind man to do a cruel thing?

O.M.   Yes.

Y.M.   Give an instance.

O.M.  Alexander Hamilton was a conspicuously high-principled man. He regarded dueling as
          wrong,
and as opposed to the teachings of religion—but in deference to PUBLIC
          OPINION he fought a duel.
He deeply loved his family, but to buy public approval he
          treacherously deserted them and threw his life away,
ungenerously leaving them to
          lifelong sorrow in order that he might stand well with a foolish world.
In the then condition
          of the public standards of honor
he could not have been comfortable with the stigma
          upon him of having refused to fight.
The teachings of religion, his devotion to his family,
          his kindness of heart, his high principles,
all went for nothing when they stood in the way
          of his spiritual comfort.
A man will do ANYTHING, no matter what it is, TO SECURE HIS
          SPIRITUAL COMFORT;
and he can neither be forced nor persuaded to any act which
          has not that goal for its object.
Hamilton's act was compelled by the inborn necessity of  
          contenting his own spirit;
in this it was like all the other acts of his life, and like all the acts
          of all men's lives.
Do you see where the kernel of the matter lies? A man cannot be
          comfortable without HIS OWN approval.
He will secure the largest share possible of that,
          at all costs, all sacrifices.
 

Y.M.   A minute ago you said Hamilton fought that duel to get PUBLIC approval.

O.M.   I did. By refusing to fight the duel he would have secured his family's approval and a
          large share of his own;
but the public approval was more valuable in his eyes than all
          other approvals put together—in the earth or above it;
to secure that would furnish him
          the MOST comfort of mind, the most SELF-approval;
so he sacrificed all other values to
          get it.
 

Y.M.   Some noble souls have refused to fight duels, and have manfully braved the public
          contempt.
  

O.M.  They acted ACCORDING TO THEIR MAKE. They valued their principles and the
          approval of their families ABOVE the public approval.
They took the thing they valued
          MOST and let the rest go.
They took what would give them the LARGEST share of
          PERSONAL CONTENTMENT AND APPROVAL—a man ALWAYS does.
Public opinion
          cannot force that kind of men to go to the wars.
When they go it is for other reasons.
          Other spirit-contenting reasons.
 

Y.M.   Always spirit-contenting reasons?

O.M.   There are no others.

Y.M.   When a man sacrifices his life to save a little child from a burning building, what do you
          call that?
  

O.M.   When he does it, it is the law of HIS make. HE can't bear to see the child in that peril (a
          man of a different make COULD), and so he tries to save the child, and loses his life.
But
          he has got what he was after—HIS OWN APPROVAL.
 

Y.M.   What do you call Love, Hate, Charity, Revenge, Humanity, Magnanimity, Forgiveness?

O.M.   Different results of the one Master Impulse: the necessity of securing one's self approval.
          They wear diverse clothes and are subject to diverse moods,
but in whatsoever ways
          they masquerade they are the SAME PERSON all the time.
To change the figure, the
          COMPULSION that moves a man—and there is but the one—is the necessity
of securing
          the contentment of his own spirit {
peace of mind}. When it stops, the man is dead.  

Y.M.   That is foolishness. Love—

O.M.  Why, love {
need} is that impulse, that law, in its most uncompromising form. It will
          squander life and everything else on its object.
Not PRIMARILY for the object's sake, but
          for ITS OWN.
When its object is happy IT is happy—and that is what it is unconsciously
          after.
 

Y.M.   You do not even except the lofty and gracious passion of mother-love?

O.M.  No, IT is the absolute slave of that law. The mother will go naked to clothe her child; she
          will starve that it may have food; suffer torture to save it from pain; die that it may live.

          She takes a living PLEASURE in making these sacrifices. SHE DOES IT FOR THAT
          REWARD—{
that perpetuation}, that self-approval, that contentment, that peace, that
          comfort. SHE WOULD DO IT FOR YOUR CHILD IF SHE COULD GET THE SAME PAY.

Y.M.   This is an infernal philosophy of yours.

O.M.   It isn't a philosophy, it is a fact.

Y.M.   Of course you must admit that there are some acts which—

O.M.   No. There is NO act, large or small, fine or mean, which springs from any motive but the
          one—the necessity of appeasing and contenting one's own spirit.
 

Y.M.   The world's philanthropists—

O.M.  I honor them, I uncover my head to them—from habit and training; and THEY could not
          know comfort or happiness or self-approval if they did not work
and spend for the
          unfortunate.
It makes THEM happy to see others happy; and so with money and labor
          they buy what they are after—HAPPINESS, SELF-APPROVAL.
Why don't miners do the
          same thing? Because they can get a thousandfold more happiness by NOT doing it.

          There is no other reason. They follow the law of their make.  

Y.M.   What do you say of duty for duty's sake?

O.M.  That IS DOES NOT EXIST. Duties are not performed for duty's SAKE, but because their
          NEGLECT would make the man UNCOMFORTABLE.
A man performs but ONE
          duty—the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
If  
          he can most satisfyingly perform this sole and only duty by HELPING his neighbor,
he
          will do it;
if he can most satisfyingly perform it by SWINDLING his neighbor {sin}, he will
          do it.
But he always looks out for Number One—FIRST; the effects upon others are a
          SECONDARY matter. Men pretend to self-sacrifices {
Altruism}, but this is a thing which, in
          the ordinary value of the phrase, DOES NOT EXIST AND HAS NOT EXISTED.
A man
          often honestly THINKS he is sacrificing himself merely
and solely for some one else, but
          he is deceived;
his bottom impulse is to content a requirement of his nature and training,
          and thus acquire peace for his soul.
 

Y.M.   Apparently, then, all men, both good and bad ones, devote their lives to contenting their
          consciences.
  

O.M.  Yes. That is a good enough name for it:
Conscience— that independent Sovereign, that
          insolent absolute Monarch inside of a man who is the man's Master.
There are all kinds
          of consciences, because there are all kinds of men
{or, at times, different consciences in the same
          man}. You satisfy an assassin's conscience in one way, a philanthropist's in another, a
          miser's in another, a burglar's in still another.
As a GUIDE or INCENTIVE to any
          authoritatively prescribed line of morals or conduct
(leaving TRAINING out of the
          account), a man's conscience is totally valueless.
I know a kind-hearted Kentuckian
          whose self-approval was lacking—whose conscience was troubling him,
to phrase it with           exactness—BECAUSE HE HAD NEGLECTED TO KILL A CERTAIN MAN—a man whom
          he had never seen.
The stranger had killed this man's friend in a fight, this man's
          Kentucky training made it a duty to kill the stranger for it.
He neglected his duty—kept
          dodging it, shirking it, putting it off,
and his unrelenting conscience kept persecuting him
          for this conduct.
At last, to get ease {peace} of mind, comfort, self-approval, he hunted up
          the stranger and took his life.
It was an immense act of SELF-SACRIFICE (as per the
          usual definition),
for he did not want to do it, and he never would have done it if he could
          have bought a contented spirit and an unworried mind at smaller cost.
But we are so
          made that we will pay ANYTHING
for that contentment—even another man's life.

Y.M.   You spoke a moment ago of TRAINED consciences. You mean that we are not BORN
          with consciences competent to guide us aright?
 

O.M.  If we were, children and savages would know right from wrong, and not have to be
          taught it.
 

Y.M.   But consciences can be TRAINED?

O.M.   Yes.

Y.M.   Of course by parents, teachers, the pulpit, and books.

O.M.   Yes—they do their share; they do what they can.

Y.M.   And the rest is done by—

O.M.  Oh, a million unnoticed influences—for good or bad: influences which work without rest
          during every waking moment of a man's life, from cradle to grave.
 

Y.M.   You have tabulated these?

O.M.   Many of them—yes.

Y.M.   Will you read me the result?

O.M.   Another time, yes. It would take an hour.

Y.M.   A conscience can be trained to shun evil and prefer good?

O.M.   Yes.

Y.M.   But will it for spirit-contenting reasons only?

O.M.   It CAN'T be trained to do a thing for any OTHER reason. The thing is impossible.

Y.M.   There MUST be a genuinely and utterly self-sacrificing act recorded in human history
          somewhere.
  

O.M.  You are young. You have many years before you. Search one out.

Y.M.   It does seem to me that when a man sees a fellow-being struggling in the water and
          jumps in at the risk of his life to save him—
 

O.M.   Wait. Describe the MAN. Describe the FELLOW-BEING. State if there is an AUDIENCE
          present; or if they are ALONE.
 

Y.M.   What have these things to do with the splendid act?

O.M.  Very much. Shall we suppose, as a beginning, that the two are alone, in a solitary place,
          at midnight?
  

Y.M.   If you choose.

O.M.   And that the fellow-being is the man's daughter?

Y.M.   Well, n-no—make it someone else.

O.M.   A filthy, drunken ruffian, then?

Y.M.   I see. Circumstances alter cases. I suppose that if there was no audience to observe the
          act, the man wouldn't perform it.
 

O.M.   But there is here and there a man who WOULD.
People, for instance, like the man who
          lost his life trying to save the child from the fire;
and the man who gave the needy old
          woman his twenty-five cents and walked home in the storm—there are
here and there
          men like that who would do it. And why?
Because they couldn't BEAR to see a
          fellow-being struggling in the water and not jump in and help.
It would give THEM pain.
          They would save the fellow-being on that account.
THEY WOULDN'T DO IT
          OTHERWISE. They strictly obey the law which I have been insisting upon.
You must
          remember and always distinguish the people
who CAN'T BEAR things from people who
          CAN.
It will throw light upon a number of apparently "self-sacrificing" cases.  

Y.M.   Oh, dear, it's all so disgusting.

O.M.   Yes. And so true.

Y.M.   Come—take the good boy who does things he doesn't want to do, in order to gratify his
          mother.
 

O.M.   He does seven-tenths of the act because it gratifies HIM to gratify his mother. Throw the
          bulk of advantage the other way and the good boy would not do the act.
He MUST obey
          the iron law. None can escape it.
 

Y.M.   Well, take the case of a bad boy who—

O.M.   You needn't mention it, it is a waste of time. It is no matter about the bad boy's act.
          Whatever it was, he had a spirit-contenting reason for it.
Otherwise you have been
          misinformed, and he didn't do it.
 

Y.M.   It is very exasperating. A while ago you said that man's conscience is not a born judge of
          morals and conduct, but has to be taught and trained.
Now I think a conscience can get
          drowsy and lazy, but I don't think it can go wrong; if you wake it up—


A Little Story: 

{Religion is an  hypothesis designed to achieve PEACE-OF-MIND. When  fleetingly achieved, it is called Bliss,  Blessedness, Grace, Salvation, etc.   Hampshire:206b, James:129, Anti-Semitism}

O.M.   I will tell you a little story:

Y.M.   He was a miscreant, and deserved death!    

O.M.   He thought so himself, and said so.

Y.M.   Ah—you see, HIS CONSCIENCE WAS AWAKENED!

O.M.   Yes, his Self-Disapproval was. It PAINED him to see the mother suffer. He was sorry he
          had done a thing which brought HIM pain.
It did not occur to him to think of the mother
          when he was misteaching the boy,
for he was absorbed in providing PLEASURE for
          himself,
then. Providing it by satisfying what he believed to be a call of duty.  

Y.M.   Call it what you please, it is to me a case of AWAKENED CONSCIENCE. That
          awakened conscience could never get itself into that species of trouble again.
A cure like
          that is a PERMANENT cure.
 

O.M.  Pardon—I had not finished the story. We are creatures of OUTSIDE INFLUENCES—we
          originate NOTHING within.
Whenever we take a new line of thought and drift into a new
          line of belief and action, the impulse is ALWAYS suggested from the OUTSIDE.
Remorse
          so preyed upon the Infidel that it dissolved his harshness toward the boy's religion
and
          made him come to regard it with tolerance,
next with kindness, for the boy's sake and the
          mother's.
Finally he found himself examining it. From that moment his progress in his new
          trend was steady and rapid. He became a believing Christian.
And now his remorse for
          having robbed the dying boy of his faith and his salvation was bitterer than ever.
It gave
          him no rest, no peace. He MUST have rest and peace—it is the law of nature.
There
          seemed but one way to get it; he must devote himself to saving imperiled souls.
He
          became a missionary. He landed in a pagan country ill and helpless.
A native widow took
          him into her humble home and nursed him back to convalescence.
Then her young boy
          was taken hopelessly ill, and the grateful missionary helped her tend him.
Here was his
          first opportunity
to repair a part of the wrong done to the other boy by doing a precious
          service for this one
by undermining his foolish faith in his false gods. He was successful.
          But the dying boy in his last moments
reproached him and said:

Y.M.  The man's conscience is a fool! It was morbid. It didn't know right from wrong.

O.M.  I am not sorry to hear you say that. If you grant that ONE man's conscience doesn't know
          right from wrong, it is an admission that there are others like it.
This single admission
          pulls down the whole doctrine of infallibility of judgment in consciences.
Meantime there
          is one thing which I ask you to notice.
 

Y.M.   What is that?

O.M.  That in both cases the man's ACT gave him no spiritual discomfort, and that he was quite
          satisfied with it and got pleasure out of it.
But afterward when it resulted in PAIN to HIM,
          he was sorry.
Sorry it had inflicted pain upon the others, BUT FOR NO REASON
          UNDER THE SUN EXCEPT THAT THEIR PAIN GAVE HIM PAIN.
Our consciences take
          NO notice of pain inflicted upon others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to US.

          In ALL cases without exception we are absolutely indifferent to another person's pain
          until his sufferings make us uncomfortable.
Many an infidel would not have been troubled
          by that Christian mother's distress. Don't you believe that?
 

Y.M.  Yes. You might almost say it of the AVERAGE infidel, I think.

O.M. And many a missionary, sternly fortified by his sense of duty, would not have been
          troubled by the pagan mother's distress—Jesuit missionaries in Canada
in the early
         French times, for instance; see episodes quoted by Parkman.
 

Y.M.   Well, let us adjourn. Where have we arrived?

O.M.  At this.
That we (mankind) have ticketed ourselves with a number of qualities to which
          we have given misleading names.
Love, Hate, Charity, Compassion, Avarice,
          Benevolence, and so on.
I mean we attach misleading MEANINGS to the names. They
          are all forms of self-contentment, self-gratification {
An unfaced truth}, but the names so
          disguise them that they distract our attention from the fact.
Also we have smuggled a
          word into the dictionary which ought not to be there at all—Self-Sacrifice {
Altruism}. It
          describes a thing which does not exist. But worst of all,
we ignore and never mention the
          Sole Impulse which dictates and compels a man's every act:
the imperious necessity of
          securing his own approval, in every emergency and at all costs.
To it we owe all that we
          are.
It is our breath, our heart, our blood. It is our only spur, our whip, our goad, our only
          impelling power; we have no other.
Without it we should be mere inert images, corpses;
          no one would do anything,
there would be no progress, the world would stand still. We
          ought to stand reverently uncovered when the name of that stupendous power is uttered.

Y.M.   I am not convinced.

O.M.   You will be when you think.



III.  Instances in Point:

Old Man.        Have you given thought to the Gospel of Self-Approval since we talked?

Young Man.   I have.

O.M.  It was I that moved you to it. That is to say an OUTSIDE INFLUENCE moved you to
          it—not one that originated in your head. Will you try to keep that in mind and not forget it?

Y.M.  Yes. Why?

O.M.  Because by and by in one of our talks, I wish to further impress upon you that neither
          you, nor I, nor any man ever originates a thought in his own head.
THE UTTERER OF A
          THOUGHT ALWAYS UTTERS A SECOND-HAND ONE.
 

Y.M.   Oh, now—

O.M.  Wait. Reserve your remark till we get to that part of our discussion—tomorrow or next
          day, say.
Now, then, have you been considering the proposition that no act is ever born
          of any but a self-contenting impulse—(primarily).
You have sought. What have you
          found?
 

Y.M.   I have not been very fortunate. I have examined many fine and apparently self-sacrificing
          deeds in romances and biographies, but—
 

O.M.  Under searching analysis the ostensible self-sacrifice disappeared? It naturally would.

Y.M.   But here in this novel is one which seems to promise. In the Adirondack woods is a
          wage-earner and lay preacher in the lumber-camps
who is of noble character and deeply
          religious.
An earnest and practical laborer in the New York slums comes up there on
          vacation—he is leader of a section of the University Settlement.
Holme, the lumberman,
          is fired with a desire to throw away his excellent worldly prospects
and go down and save
          souls on the East Side.
He counts it happiness to make this sacrifice for the glory of God
          and for the cause of Christ.
He resigns his place, makes the sacrifice cheerfully, and
          goes to the East Side and preaches Christ and Him crucified every day and every night

          to little groups of half-civilized foreign paupers who scoff at him. But he rejoices in the
          scoffings, since he is suffering them in the great cause of Christ.
You have so filled my
          mind with suspicions that I was constantly expecting
to find a hidden questionable
          impulse back of all this,
but I am thankful to say I have failed. This man saw his duty, and
          for DUTY'S SAKE he sacrificed self and assumed the burden it imposed.
 

O.M.  Is that as far as you have read?

Y.M.  Yes.

O.M.  Let us read further, presently.
Meantime, in sacrificing himself—NOT for the glory of  
         G-D, PRIMARILY, as HE imagined,
but FIRST to content that exacting and inflexible
          master within him—DID HE SACRIFICE ANYBODY ELSE?
 

Y.M.   How do you mean?

O.M.  He relinquished a lucrative post and got mere food and lodging in place of it. Had he
          dependents?
  

Y.M.   Well—yes.

O.M.   In what way and to what extend did his self-sacrifice affect THEM?

Y.M.   He was the support of a superannuated father. He had a young sister with a remarkable
          voice—he was giving her a musical education,
so that her longing to be self-supporting
          might be gratified.
He was furnishing the money to put a young brother through a
          polytechnic school and satisfy his desire to become a civil engineer.
 

O.M.   The old father's comforts were now curtailed?

Y.M.   Quite seriously. Yes.

O.M.   The sister's music-lessens had to stop?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.  The young brother's education—well, an extinguishing blight fell upon that happy dream,
          and he had to go to sawing wood to support the old father, or something like that?
 

Y.M.   It is about what happened. Yes.

O.M.  What a handsome job of self-sacrificing he did do! It seems to me that he sacrificed
          everybody EXCEPT himself.
Haven't I told you that no man EVER sacrifices himself; that
          there is no instance of it upon record anywhere;
and that when a man's Interior Monarch
          requires a thing of its slave for either its MOMENTARY or its PERMANENT contentment,
          that thing must and will be furnished and that command obeyed,
no matter who may
          stand in the way and suffer disaster by it?
That man RUINED HIS FAMILY to please and
          content his Interior Monarch—
 

Y.M.   And help Christ's cause.

O.M.   Yes—SECONDLY. Not firstly. HE thought it was firstly.

Y.M.   Very well, have it so, if you will. But it could be that he argued that if he saved a hundred
          souls in New York—
 

O.M.  The sacrifice of the FAMILY would be justified by that great profit upon the—the—what
          shall we call it?
 

Y.M.   Investment?

O.M.  Hardly. How would SPECULATION do? How would GAMBLE do? Not a solitary
          soul-capture was sure.
He played for a possible thirty-three-hundred-per-cent profit. It
          was GAMBLING— with his family for "chips."
However let us see how the game came
          out. Maybe we can get on the track of the secret original impulse, the REAL impulse,
that
          moved him to so nobly self-sacrifice his family in the Savior's cause
under the
          superstition that he was sacrificing himself.
I will read a chapter or so. . . . Here we have
          it!
It was bound to expose itself sooner or later. He preached to the East-Side rabble a
          season, then went back to his old dull,
obscure life in the lumber-camps "HURT TO THE
          HEART, HIS PRIDE HUMBLED."
Why? Were not his efforts acceptable to the Savior, for
          Whom alone they were made?
Dear me, that detail is LOST SIGHT OF, is not even
          referred to,
the fact that it started out as a motive is entirely forgotten! Then what is the
          trouble?
The authoress quite innocently and unconsciously gives the whole business
          away.
The trouble was this: this man merely PREACHED to the poor; that is not the
          University Settlement's way;
it deals in larger and better things than that, and it did not
          enthuse over that crude Salvation-Army eloquence.
It was courteous to Holme—but cool.
          It did not pet him, did not take him to its bosom.
"PERISHED WERE ALL HIS DREAMS
          OF DISTINCTION, THE PRAISE AND GRATEFUL APPROVAL—" Of whom?
The
          Savior? No; the Savior is not mentioned. Of whom, then? Of "His FELLOW-WORKERS."

          Why did he want that? Because the Master inside of him wanted it, and would not be
          content without it.
That emphasized sentence quoted above, reveals the secret we have
          been seeking,
the original impulse, the REAL impulse, which moved the obscure and
          unappreciated Adirondack lumberman to sacrifice his family
and go on that crusade to
          the East Side—which said original impulse was this,
to wit: without knowing it HE WENT
          THERE TO SHOW A NEGLECTED WORLD
THE LARGE TALENT THAT WAS IN HIM,
          AND RISE TO DISTINCTION.
As I have warned you before, NO act springs from any but
          the one law, the one motive.
But I pray you, do not accept this law upon my say-so; but
          diligently examine for yourself.
Whenever you read of a self-sacrificing act or hear of one,
          or of a duty done for DUTY'S SAKE,
take it to pieces and look for the REAL motive. It is
          always there.
 

Y.M.   I do it every day.
I cannot help it, now that I have gotten started upon the degrading and
          exasperating quest.
For it is hatefully interesting!—in fact, fascinating is the word. As
          soon as I come across a golden deed in a book
I have to stop and take it apart and
          examine it, I cannot help myself.
 

O.M.   Have you ever found one that defeated the rule?

Y.M.   No—at least, not yet. But take the case of servant-tipping in Europe. You pay the
          HOTEL for service; you owe the servants NOTHING,
yet you pay them besides. Doesn't
          that defeat it?
 

O.M.   In what way?

Y.M.   You are not OBLIGED to do it, therefore its source is compassion for their ill-paid
          condition, and—
  

O.M.   Has that custom ever vexed you, annoyed you, irritated you?

Y.M.   Well, yes.

O.M.   Still you succumbed to it?

Y.M.   Of course.

O.M.   Why of course?

Y.M.   Well, custom is law, in a way, and laws must be submitted to—everybody recognizes it
          as a DUTY.
 

O.M.   Then you pay for the irritating tax for DUTY'S sake?

Y.M.   I suppose it amounts to that.

O.M.  Then the impulse which moves you to submit to the tax is not ALL compassion, charity,
          benevolence?
  

Y.M.   Well—perhaps not.

O.M.   Is ANY of it?

Y.M.   I—perhaps I was too hasty in locating its source.

O.M.  Perhaps so. In case you ignored the custom would you get prompt and effective service
          from the servants?
  

Y.M.   Oh, hear yourself talk! Those European servants? Why, you wouldn't get any of all, to
          speak of.
  

O.M.   Couldn't THAT work as an impulse to move you to pay the tax?

Y.M.   I am not denying it.

O.M.   Apparently, then, it is a case of for-duty's-sake with a little self-interest added?

Y.M.   Yes, it has the look of it. But here is a point: we pay that tax knowing it to be unjust and
          an extortion;
yet we go away with a pain at the heart if we think we have been stingy with
          the poor fellows;
and we heartily wish we were back again, so that we could do the right
          thing, and MORE than the right thing, the GENEROUS thing.
I think it will be difficult for
          you to find any thought of self in that impulse.
 

O.M.  I wonder why you should think so. When you find service charged in the HOTEL bill
          does it annoy you?
 

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   Do you ever complain of the amount of it?

Y.M.   No, it would not occur to me.

O.M.  The EXPENSE, then, is not the annoying detail. It is a fixed charge, and you pay it
          cheerfully, you pay it without a murmur.
When you came to pay the servants, how would
          you like it if each of the men and maids had a fixed charge?
 

Y.M.   Like it? I should rejoice!

O.M.  Even if the fixed tax were a shade MORE than you had been in the habit of paying in the
          form of tips?
 

Y.M.   Indeed, yes!

O.M.  Very well, then. As I understand it, it isn't really compassion nor yet duty that moves you
          to pay the tax, and it isn't the AMOUNT of the tax that annoys you.
Yet SOMETHING
          annoys you. What is it?
 

Y.M.   Well, the trouble is, you never know WHAT to pay, the tax varies so, all over Europe.

O.M.   So you have to guess?

Y.M.   There is no other way. So you go on thinking and thinking, and calculating and guessing,
          and consulting with other people and getting their views;
and it spoils your sleep nights,
          and makes you distraught in the daytime,
and while you are pretending to look at the
          sights you are only guessing and guessing and guessing all the time,
and being worried
          and miserable.
 

O.M.  And all about a debt which you don't owe and don't have to pay unless you want to!
          Strange. What is the purpose of the guessing?
 

Y.M.   To guess out what is right to give them, and not be unfair to any of them.

O.M.   It has quite a noble look—taking so much pains and using up so much valuable time in
          order to be just and fair to a poor servant to whom you owe nothing,
but who needs
          money and is ill paid.
 

Y.M.   I think, myself, that if there is any ungracious motive back of it it will be hard to find.

O.M.   How do you know when you have not paid a servant fairly?

Y.M.   Why, he is silent; does not thank you. Sometimes he gives you a look that makes you
          ashamed.
You are too proud to rectify your mistake there, with people looking, but
          afterward you keep on wishing and wishing you HAD done it.
My, the shame and the
          pain of it! Sometimes you see, by the signs, that you have it JUST RIGHT,
and you go
          away mightily satisfied.
Sometimes the man is so effusively thankful that you know you
          have given him a good deal MORE than was necessary.
 

O.M.   NECESSARY? Necessary for what?

Y.M.   To content him.

O.M.   How do you feel THEN?

Y.M.   Repentant.

O.M.  It is my belief that you have NOT been concerning yourself in guessing out his just dues,
          but only in ciphering out what would CONTENT him.
And I think you have a self-deluding
          reason for that.
 

Y.M.   What was it?

O.M.  If you fell short of what he was expecting and wanting, you would get a look which would
          SHAME YOU BEFORE FOLK.
That would give you PAIN. YOU—for you are only
          working for yourself, not HIM.
If you gave him too much you would be ASHAMED OF
          YOURSELF for it,
and that would give YOU pain—another case of thinking of
          YOURSELF,
protecting yourself, SAVING YOURSELF FROM DISCOMFORT. You
          never think of the servant once—except to guess out how to get HIS APPROVAL.
If you
          get that, you get your OWN approval, and that is the sole and only thing you are after.

          The Master inside of you is then satisfied, contented, comfortable; there was NO OTHER
          thing at stake, as a matter of FIRST interest, anywhere in the transaction.
 


Further Instances: 

Y.M.   Well, to think of it; Self-Sacrifice for others, the grandest thing in man, ruled out!
          non-existent!
  

O.M.   Are you accusing me of saying that?

Y.M.   Why, certainly.

O.M.   I haven't said it.

Y.M.   What did you say, then?

O.M.  That no man has ever sacrificed himself in the common meaning of that phrase—which
          is, self-sacrifice for another ALONE.
Men make daily sacrifices for others, but it is for
          their own sake FIRST.
The act must content their own spirit FIRST. The other
          beneficiaries come second.
 

Y.M.   And the same with duty for duty's sake?

O.M.   Yes. No man performs a duty for mere duty's sake; the act must content his spirit FIRST.
          He must feel better for DOING the duty than he would for shirking it.
Otherwise he will
          not do it.
 

Y.M.   Take the case of the BERKELEY CASTLE.

O.M.   It was a noble duty, greatly performed. Take it to pieces and examine it, if you like.

Y.M.   A British troop-ship crowded with soldiers and their wives and children. She struck a rock
          and began to sink.
There was room in the boats for the women and children only. The
          colonel lined up his regiment on the deck and said
"it is our duty to die, that they may be
          saved."
There was no murmur, no protest. The boats carried away the women and
          children. When the death-moment was come,
the colonel and his officers took their
          several posts, the men stood at shoulder-arms, and so, as on dress-parade,
with their
          flag flying and the drums beating, they went down, a sacrifice to duty for duty's sake.
Can
          you view it
as other than that?

O.M.  It was something as fine as that, as exalted as that. Could you have remained in those
          ranks and gone down to your death in that unflinching way?
 

Y.M.   Could I? No, I could not.

O.M.   Think. Imagine yourself there, with that watery doom creeping higher and higher around
          you.
  

Y.M.   I can imagine it. I feel all the horror of it. I could not have endured it, I could not have
          remained in my place. I know it.

O.M.   Why?

Y.M.   There is no why about it: I know myself, and I know I couldn't DO it.

O.M.   But it would be your DUTY to do it.

Y.M.   Yes, I know—but I couldn't.

O.M.  It was more than thousand men, yet not one of them flinched. Some of them must have
          been born with your temperament;
if they could do that great duty for duty's SAKE, why
          not you?
Don't you know that you could go out and gather together a thousand clerks
          and mechanics and put them on that deck and ask them to die for duty's sake,
and not
          two dozen of them would stay in the ranks to the end?
 

Y.M.   Yes, I know that.

O.M.  But you TRAIN them, and put them through a campaign or two; then they would be
          soldiers; soldiers, with a soldier's pride, a soldier's self-respect, a soldier's ideals.
They
          would have to content a SOLDIER'S spirit then, not a clerk's, not a mechanic's.
They
          could not content that spirit by shirking a soldier's duty, could they?
 

Y.M.   I suppose not.

O.M.  Then they would do the duty not for the DUTY'S sake, but for their OWN sake—primarily.
          The DUTY was JUST THE SAME,
and just as imperative, when they were clerks,
          mechanics, raw recruits, but they wouldn't perform it for that.
As clerks and mechanics
          they had other ideals, another spirit to satisfy, and they satisfied it.
They HAD to; it is the
          law. TRAINING is potent.
Training toward higher and higher, and ever higher ideals is
          worth any man's thought and labor and diligence.
 

Y.M.  Consider the man who stands by his duty and goes to the stake rather than be recreant
          to it.
 

O.M.  It is his make and his training. He has to content the spirit that is in him, though it cost
          him his life.
Another man, just as sincerely religious, but of different temperament, will fail
          of that duty, though recognizing it as a duty, and grieving to be unequal to it:
but he must
          content the spirit that is in him—he cannot help it.
He could not perform that duty for
          duty's SAKE, for that would not content his spirit,
and the contenting of his spirit must be
          looked to FIRST.
It takes precedence of all other duties.  

Y.M.   Take the case of a clergyman of stainless private morals who votes for a thief for public
          office, on his own party's ticket, and against an honest man on the other ticket.
 

O.M.   He has to content his spirit. He has no public morals; he has no private ones, where his
          party's prosperity is at stake.
He will always be true to his make and training.


IV.  Training:  {Reprograms the Data Base}

Young Man.   You keep using that word—training. By it do you particularly mean—

Old Man.       Study, instruction, lectures, sermons? That is a part of it—but not a large part.
          I mean ALL the outside influences.
There are a million of them. From the cradle to the
          grave, during all his waking hours, the human being is under training.
In the very first
          rank of his trainers stands ASSOCIATION.
It is his human environment which influences
          his mind and his feelings, furnishes him his ideals,
and sets him on his road and keeps
          him in it.
If he leave that road he will find himself shunned by the people whom he most
          loves and esteems,
and whose approval he most values. He is a chameleon; by the
          law of his nature he takes the color of his place of resort.
The influences about him
          create his preferences, his aversions, his politics, his tastes, his morals, his religion.
He
          creates none of these things for himself.
He THINKS he does, but that is because he has
          not examined into the matter.
You have seen Presbyterians?

Y.M.   Many.

O.M.  How did they happen to be Presbyterians and not Congregationalists? And why were
          the Congregationalists not Baptists,
and the Baptists Roman Catholics, and the Roman
          Catholics Buddhists,
and the Buddhists Quakers, and the Quakers Episcopalians, and
          the Episcopalians Millerites and the Millerites Hindus,
and the Hindus Atheists, and the
          Atheists Spiritualists, and the Spiritualists Agnostics,
and the Agnostics Methodists, and
          the Methodists Confucians, and the Confucians Unitarians,
and the Unitarians
          Mohammedans, and the Mohammedans Salvation Warriors,
and the Salvation Warriors
          Zoroastrians, and the Zoroastrians Christian Scientists,
and the Christian Scientists
          Mormons—and so on?
 {All these are properties of a Religion; not the essence of religion. The essence,
            common to all these Religions, is the hope it brings peace of mind.
}

Y.M.   You may answer your question yourself.

O.M.  That list of sects is not a record of STUDIES, searchings, seekings after light; it mainly
          (and sarcastically) indicates what ASSOCIATION can do.
If you know a man's nationality
          you can come within a split hair of guessing the complexion of his religion:

       
English—Protestant; American— ditto; Spaniard, Frenchman, Irishman, Italian, South
          American— Roman Catholic; Russian—Greek Catholic; Turk—Mohammedan; and so on.
          And when you know the man's religious complexion,
you know what sort of religious
          books he reads when he wants some more light,
and what sort of books he avoids, lest
          by accident he get more light than he wants.
In America if you know which party-collar a
          voter wears,
you know what his associations are, and how he came by his politics, and
          which breed of newspaper he reads to get light, and which breed he diligently avoids,

          and which breed of mass-meetings he attends in order to broaden his political
          knowledge,
and which breed of mass-meetings he doesn't attend, except to refute its
          doctrines with brickbats.
We are always hearing of people who are around SEEKING
          AFTER TRUTH.
I have never seen a (permanent) specimen. I think he had never lived.
          But I have seen several entirely sincere people who THOUGHT they were (permanent)
          Seekers after Truth.
They sought diligently, persistently, carefully, cautiously, profoundly,
          with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted judgment—until they believed
that without doubt
          or question they had found the Truth.
THAT WAS THE END OF THE SEARCH. The
          man spent the rest of his life hunting up shingles
wherewith to protect his Truth from the
          weather. If he was seeking after political Truth
he found it in one or another of the
          hundred political gospels which govern men in the earth;
if he was seeking after the Only
          True Religion he found it in one or another of the three thousand that are on the market.

          In any case, when he found the Truth HE SOUGHT NO FURTHER; but from that day
          forth, with his soldering-iron in one hand and his bludgeon
in the other he tinkered its
          leaks and reasoned with objectors.
There have been innumerable Temporary Seekers of
          Truth—have you ever heard of a permanent one?
In the very nature of man such a
          person is impossible.
However, to drop back to the text— training: all training is one from
          or another of OUTSIDE INFLUENCE,
and ASSOCIATION is the largest part of it. A man
          is never anything but what his outside influences have made him.
They train him
          downward or they train him upward—but they TRAIN him;
they are at work upon him all
          the time.
  

Y.M.   Then if he happen by the accidents of life to be evilly placed there is no help for him,
          according to your notions—he must train downward.
 
 
O.M.  No help for him? No help for this chameleon?
It is a mistake. It is in his chameleonship
          that his greatest good fortune lies.
He has only to change his habitat—his
          ASSOCIATIONS.
But the impulse to do it must come from the OUTSIDE—he cannot
          originate it himself,
with that purpose in view. Sometimes a very small and accidental
          thing can furnish him the initiatory impulse and start him on a new road, with a new idea.

          The chance remark of a sweetheart, "I hear that you are a coward," may water a seed
          that shall sprout and bloom and flourish,
and ended in producing a surprising fruitage—in
          the fields of war.
The history of man is full of such accidents. The accident of a broken
          leg brought a profane and ribald soldier under religious influences
and furnished him a
          new ideal.
From that accident sprang the Order of the Jesuits, and it has been shaking
          thrones,
changing policies, and doing other tremendous work for two hundred
          years—and will go on.
The chance reading of a book or of a paragraph in a newspaper
          can start a man on a new track
and make him renounce his old associations and seek
          new ones that are IN SYMPATHY WITH HIS NEW IDEAL:
and the result, for that man,
          can be an entire change of his way of life.
 

Y.M.   Are you hinting at a scheme of procedure?

O.M.   Not a new one—an old one. One as mankind.

Y.M.   What is it?

O.M.  Merely the laying of traps for people. Traps baited with INITIATORY IMPULSES
          TOWARD HIGH IDEALS. It is what the tract-distributor does.
It is what the missionary
          does. It is what governments ought to do.
 

Y.M.   Don't they?

O.M.  In one way they do, in another they don't. They separate the smallpox patients from the
          healthy people,
but in dealing with crime they put the healthy into the pest-house along
          with the sick.
That is to say, they put the beginners in with the confirmed criminals. This
          would be well if man were naturally inclined to good,
but he isn't, and so ASSOCIATION
          makes the beginners worse than they were when they went into captivity.
It is putting a
          very severe punishment upon the comparatively innocent at times.
They hang a
          man—which is a trifling punishment;
this breaks the hearts of his family—which is a
          heavy one.
They comfortably jail and feed a wife-beater, and leave his innocent wife and
          family to starve.
 

Y.M.   Do you believe in the doctrine that man is equipped with an intuitive perception of good
          and evil?
  

O.M.   Adam hadn't it.

Y.M.   But has man acquired it since?

O.M.  No. I think he has no intuitions {not based on impressions} of any kind. He gets ALL his ideas,
          all his impressions, from the outside.
I keep repeating this, in the hope that I may impress
          it upon you that you will be interested to observe and examine for yourself
and see
          whether it is true or false.
 

Y.M.   Where did you get your own aggravating notions?

O.M.  From the OUTSIDE. I did not invent them. They are gathered from a thousand unknown
          sources. Mainly UNCONSCIOUSLY gathered.
 

Y.M.   Don't you believe that God could make an inherently honest man?

O.M.   Yes, I know He could. I also know that He never did make one.

Y.M.   A wiser observer than you has recorded the fact that "an honest man's the noblest work
          of God."
  

O.M.   He didn't record a fact, he recorded a falsity. It is windy, and sounds well, but it is not
          true.
G-D makes a man with honest and dishonest POSSIBILITIES in him and stops
          there. The man's ASSOCIATIONS develop the possibilities—the one set or the other.

          The result is accordingly an honest man or a dishonest one.  

Y.M.   And the honest one is not entitled to—

O.M.   Praise? No. How often must I tell you that? HE is not the architect of his honesty.

Y.M.   Now then, I will ask you where there is any sense in training people to lead virtuous lives.
          What is gained by it?
 

O.M.  The man himself gets large advantages out of it,
and that is the main thing—to HIM. He
          is not a peril to his neighbors,
he is not a damage to them—and so THEY get an
          advantage out of his virtues. That is the main thing to THEM.
It can make this life
          comparatively comfortable to the parties concerned;
the NEGLECT of this training can
          make this life a constant peril and distress to the parties concerned. {
Organic, Morality.}.  

Y.M.   You have said that training is everything; that training is the man HIMSELF, for it makes
          him what he is.
 

O.M.  I said training and ANOTHER thing. Let that other thing pass, for the moment. What were
          you going to say?
 

Y.M.   We have an old servant. She has been with us twenty- two years. Her service used to be
          faultless, but now she has become very forgetful.
We are all fond of her; we all recognize
          that she cannot help the infirmity which age has brought her;
the rest of the family do not
          scold her for her remissnesses,
but at times I do—I can't seem to control myself. Don't I
          try?
I do try. Now, then, when I was ready to dress, this morning, no clean clothes had
          been put out.
I lost my temper; I lose it easiest and quickest in the early morning. I rang;
          and immediately began to warn myself not to show temper,
and to be careful and speak
          gently.
I safe-guarded myself most carefully. I even chose the very word I would use:
          "You've forgotten the clean clothes, Jane."
When she appeared in the door I opened my
          mouth to say that phrase—and out of it, moved by an instant surge of passion
which I
          was not expecting and hadn't time to put under control, came the hot rebuke,
"You've
          forgotten them again!"
You say a man always does the thing which will best please his
          Interior Master.
Whence came the impulse to make careful preparation to save the girl
          the humiliation of a rebuke?
Did that come from the Master, who is always primarily
          concerned about HIMSELF?
 

O.M.  Unquestionably. There is no other source for any impulse. SECONDARILY you made
          preparation to save the girl,
but PRIMARILY its object was to save yourself, by contenting
          the Master.
 

Y.M.  How do you mean?

O.M.  Has any member of the family ever implored you to watch your temper and not fly out at
          the girl?
  

Y.M.   Yes. My mother.

O.M.   You love her?

Y.M.   Oh, more than that!

O.M.   You would always do anything in your power to please her?

Y.M.   It is a delight to me to do anything to please her!

O.M.  Why? YOU WOULD DO IT FOR PAY, SOLELY—for PROFIT. What profit would you
          expect and certainly receive from the investment?
 

Y.M.   Personally? None. To please HER is enough.

O.M.  It appears, then, that your object, primarily, WASN'T to save the girl a humiliation, but to
          PLEASE YOUR MOTHER.
It also appears that to please your mother gives YOU a
          strong pleasure.
Is not that the profit which you get out of the investment? Isn't that the
          REAL profits and FIRST profit?
 

Y.M.   Oh, well? Go on.

O.M.  In ALL transactions, the Interior Master looks to it that YOU GET THE FIRST PROFIT.
          Otherwise there is no transaction.
 

Y.M.   Well, then, if I was so anxious to get that profit and so intent upon it, why did I threw it
          away by losing my temper?
  

O.M.   In order to get ANOTHER profit which suddenly superseded it in value. {Waves}

Y.M.   Where was it?

O.M.  Ambushed behind your born temperament, and waiting for a chance. Your native warm
          temper suddenly jumped to the front,
and FOR THE MOMENT its influence was more
          powerful than your mother's, and abolished it.
In that instance you were eager to flash
          out a hot rebuke and enjoy it. You did enjoy it, didn't you?
 

Y.M.   For—for a quarter of a second. Yes—I did.

O.M.  Very well, it is as I have said: the thing which will give you the MOST pleasure, the most
          satisfaction, in any moment or FRACTION of a moment, is the thing you will always do.

          You must content the Master's LATEST whim, whatever it may be.  

Y.M.   But when the tears came into the old servant's eyes I could have cut my hand off for what
          I had done.
 

O.M.  Right. You had humiliated YOURSELF, you see, you had given yourself PAIN. Nothing
          is of FIRST importance to a man
except results which damage HIM or profit him—all the
          rest is SECONDARY.
Your Master was displeased with you, although you had obeyed
          him. He required a prompt REPENTANCE;
you obeyed again; you HAD to—there is
          never any escape from his commands.
He is a hard master and fickle; he changes his
          mind in the fraction of a second,
but you must be ready to obey, and you will obey,
          ALWAYS.
If he requires repentance, you content him, you will always furnish it. He must
          be nursed, petted, coddled, and kept contented, let the terms be what they may.
 

Y.M.   Training! Oh, what's the use of it? Didn't I, and didn't my mother try to train me up to
          where I would no longer fly out at that girl?
 

O.M.   Have you never managed to keep back a scolding?

Y.M.   Oh, certainly—many times.

O.M.   More times this year than last?

Y.M.   Yes, a good many more.

O.M.   More times last year than the year before?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   There is a large improvement, then, in the two years?

Y.M.   Yes, undoubtedly.

O.M.  Then your question is answered. You see there IS use in training. Keep on. Keeping
          faithfully on. You are doing well.
 

Y.M.   Will my reform reach perfection?

O.M.   It will. UP to YOUR limit.

Y.M.   My limit? What do you mean by that?

O.M.  You remember that you said that I said training was EVERYTHING.
I corrected you, and
          said "training and ANOTHER thing."
That other thing is TEMPERAMENT—that is, the
          disposition you were born with.
YOU CAN'T ERADICATE YOUR DISPOSITION NOR
          ANY RAG OF IT—you can only put a pressure on it and keep it down and quiet.
You
          have a warm temper?
 

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.  You will never get rid of it; but by watching it you can keep it down nearly all the time.
          ITS PRESENCE IS YOUR LIMIT.
Your reform will never quite reach perfection, for your
          temper will beat you now and then, but you come near enough.
You have made valuable
          progress and can make more. There IS use in training. Immense use.
Presently you will
          reach a new stage of development,
then your progress will be easier; will proceed on a
          simpler basis,
anyway.

Y.M.   Explain.

O.M.   You keep back your scoldings now,
to please YOURSELF by pleasing your MOTHER;
          presently the mere triumphing over your temper will delight your vanity
and confer a more
          delicious pleasure {
better PcM} and satisfaction upon you than even the approbation of
          your MOTHER confers upon you now.
You will then labor for yourself directly and at
          FIRST HAND, not by the roundabout way through your mother.
It simplifies the matter,
          and it also strengthens the impulse.
 

Y.M.   Ah, dear! But I sha'n't ever reach the point where I will spare the girl for HER sake
          PRIMARILY, not mine?
 

O.M.   Why—yes. In heaven.

Y.M.   (AFTER A REFLECTIVE PAUSE) Temperament. Well, I see one must allow for
          temperament.
It is a large factor, sure enough. My mother is thoughtful, and not
          hot-tempered. When I was dressed I went to her room; she was not there;
I called, she
          answered from the bathroom.
I heard the water running. I inquired. She answered,
          without temper, that Jane had forgotten her bath, and she was preparing it herself.
I
          offered to ring, but she said, "No, don't do that;
it would only distress her to be confronted
          with her lapse, and would be a rebuke;
she doesn't deserve that—she is not to blame for
          the tricks her memory serves her."
I say—has my mother an Interior Master?—and where
          was he?
 

O.M.  He was there. There, and looking out for his own peace and pleasure and contentment.
          The girl's distress would have pained YOUR MOTHER.
Otherwise the girl would have
          been rung up, distress and all.
I know women who would have gotten a No. 1
          PLEASURE out of ringing Jane up—and so they would infallibly have pushed the button

          and obeyed the law of their make and training, which are the servants of their Interior
          Masters.
It is quite likely that a part of your mother's forbearance came from training.
          The GOOD kind of training—whose best and highest function is to see to it that every
          time it confers a satisfaction upon its pupil a benefit shall fall at second hand upon others.

Y.M.   If you were going to condense into an admonition your plan for the general betterment of
          the race's condition, how would you word it?


Admonition: 

O.M.  Diligently train your ideals UPWARD and STILL UPWARD toward a summit where you
          will find your chiefest pleasure in conduct which,
while contenting you, will be sure to
          confer benefits upon your neighbor and the community. {
Organic}

Y.M.   Is that a new gospel? {Cash Value of the Gospel.}

O.M.   No.

Y.M.   It has been taught before?

O.M.   For ten thousand years.

Y.M.   By whom?

O.M.   All the great religions—all the great gospels.

Y.M.   Then there is nothing new about it?

O.M.   Oh yes, there is. It is candidly stated, this time. That has not been done before.

Y.M.   How do you mean?

O.M.   Haven't I put YOU FIRST, and your neighbor and the community AFTERWARD?

Y.M.   Well, yes, that is a difference, it is true.

O.M.   The difference between straight speaking and crooked; the difference between
           frankness and shuffling.
 

Y.M.   Explain.

O.M.   The others offer you a hundred bribes to be good, thus conceding that the Master inside
          of you must be conciliated and contented first,
and that you will do nothing at FIRST
          HAND but for his sake;
then they turn square around and require you to do good for
          OTHER'S sake CHIEFLY;
and to do your duty for duty's SAKE, chiefly; and to do acts of
          SELF-SACRIFICE. Thus at the outset we all stand upon the same ground—recognition

          of the supreme and absolute Monarch that resides in man, and we all grovel before him
          and appeal to him; then those others dodge and shuffle,
and face around and unfrankly
          and inconsistently and illogically change the form of their appeal
and direct its
          persuasions to man's SECOND-PLACE powers
and to powers which have NO
          EXISTENCE in him,
thus advancing them to FIRST place; whereas in my Admonition I
          stick logically and consistently to the original position:
I place the Interior Master's
          requirements FIRST, and keep them there.
 

Y.M.   If we grant, for the sake of argument, that your scheme and the other schemes aim at
          and produce the same result— RIGHT LIVING—has yours
an advantage over the
          others?
 

O.M.  One, yes—a large one. It has no concealments, no deceptions. When a man leads a
          right and valuable life under it he is not deceived as to the REAL chief motive
which
          impels him to it—in those other cases he is.
 

Y.M.   Is that an advantage? Is it an advantage to live a lofty life for a mean reason? In the other
          cases he lives the lofty life under the IMPRESSION that he is living for a lofty reason.
Is
          not that an advantage?
 

O.M.  Perhaps so. The same advantage he might get out of thinking himself a duke, and living
          a duke's life and parading in ducal fuss and feathers,
when he wasn't a duke at all, and
          could find it out if he would only examine the herald's records.
 

Y.M.   But anyway, he is obliged to do a duke's part; he puts his hand in his pocket and does
          his benevolences on as big a scale as he can stand, and that benefits the community.
 

O.M.   He could do that without being a duke.

Y.M.   But would he?

O.M.   Don't you see where you are arriving?

Y.M.   Where?

O.M.  At the standpoint of the other schemes: That it is good morals to let an ignorant duke do
          showy benevolences for his pride's sake, a pretty low motive,
and go on doing them
          unwared, lest if he were made acquainted
with the actual motive which prompted them
          he might shut up his purse and cease to be good?
 

Y.M.   But isn't it best to leave him in ignorance, as long as he THINKS he is doing good for
          others' sake?
 

O.M.  Perhaps so. It is the position of the other schemes. They think humbug is good enough
          morals when the dividend on it is good deeds and handsome conduct.
 

Y.M.   It is my opinion that under your scheme of a man's doing a good deed for his OWN sake
          first-off, instead of first for the GOOD DEED'S sake, no man would ever do one.
 

O.M.   Have you committed a benevolence lately?

Y.M.   Yes. This morning.

O.M.   Give the particulars.

Y.M.   The cabin of the old negro woman who used to nurse me when I was a child and who
          saved my life once at the risk of her own,
was burned last night, and she came mourning
          this morning, and pleading for money to build another one.
 

O.M.   You furnished it?

Y.M.   Certainly.

O.M.   You were glad you had the money?

Y.M.   Money? I hadn't. I sold my horse.

O.M.   You were glad you had the horse?

Y.M.   Of course I was; for if I hadn't had the horse I should have been incapable, and my
          MOTHER would have captured the chance to set old Sally up.
 

O.M.   You were cordially glad you were not caught out and incapable?

Y.M.   Oh, I just was!

O.M.   Now, then—

Y.M.   Stop where you are! I know your whole catalog of questions, and I could answer every
          one of them without your wasting the time to ask them;
but I will summarize the whole
          thing in a single remark:
I did the charity knowing it was because the act would give ME a
          splendid pleasure,
and because old Sally's moving gratitude and delight would give ME
          another one; and because the reflection
that she would be happy now and out of her
          trouble would fill ME full of happiness.
I did the whole thing with my eyes open and
          recognizing and realizing
that I was looking out for MY share of the profits FIRST. Now
          then, I have confessed. Go on.
 

O.M.  I haven't anything to offer; you have covered the whole ground. Can you have been any
          MORE strongly moved to help Sally
out of her trouble—could you have done the deed
          any more eagerly—if you had been under the delusion
that you were doing it for HER
          sake and profit only?
 

Y.M.   No! Nothing in the world could have made the impulse which moved me more powerful,
          more masterful, more thoroughly irresistible. I played the limit!
 

O.M.  Very well. You begin to suspect—and I claim to KNOW —that when a man is a shade
          MORE STRONGLY MOVED to do ONE of two things
or of two dozen things than he is to
          do any one of the OTHERS, he will infallibly do that ONE thing, be it good or be it evil;

          and if it be good, not all the beguilements of all the casuistries can increase the strength
          of the impulse by a single shade
or add a shade to the comfort and contentment he will
          get out of the act.
 

Y.M.   Then you believe that such tendency toward doing good as is in men's hearts would not
          be diminished by the removal of the delusion that good deeds
are done primarily for the
          sake of No. 2 instead of for the sake of No. 1?
 

O.M.   That is what I fully believe.

Y.M.   Doesn't it somehow seem to take from the dignity of the deed?

O.M.   If there is dignity in falsity, it does. It removes that.

Y.M.   What is left for the moralists to do?

O.M.  Teach unreservedly what he already teaches with one side of his mouth and takes back
          with the other:
Do right FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, and be happy in knowing that your
          NEIGHBOR will certainly share in the benefits resulting.
 {need}

Y.M.   Repeat your Admonition.

O.M.  DILIGENTLY TRAIN YOUR IDEALS UPWARD AND STILL UPWARD TOWARD A  
         SUMMIT WHERE YOU WILL FIND
YOUR CHIEFEST PLEASURE IN CONDUCT
          WHICH, WHILE CONTENTING YOU,
WILL BE SURE TO CONFER BENEFITS UPON
          YOUR NEIGHBOR AND THE COMMUNITY.  {
Golden Rule, Organic Interdependence}

Y.M.   One's EVERY act proceeds from EXTERIOR INFLUENCES, you think?

O.M.   Yes.

Y.M.   If I conclude to rob a person, I am not the ORIGINATOR of the idea, but it comes in from
          the OUTSIDE? I see him handling money—for instance—and THAT
moves me to the
          crime?
 

O.M.  That, by itself? Oh, certainly not. It is merely the LATEST outside influence of a
          procession of preparatory influences stretching back over a period of years.
No SINGLE
          outside influence can make a man do a thing which is at war with his training.
The most it
          can do is to start his mind on a new tract
and open it to the reception of NEW
          influences—as in the case of Ignatius Loyola.
In time these influences can train him to a
          point where it will be consonant with his new character to yield
to the FINAL influence
          and do that thing.
I will put the case in a form which will make my theory clear to you, I
          think.
Here are two ingots of virgin gold. They shall represent a couple of characters
          which have been refined
and perfected in the virtues by years of diligent right training.
          Suppose you wanted to break down these strong and well-compacted characters—what
          influence would you bring to bear upon the ingots?
 

Y.M.   Work it out yourself. Proceed.

O.M.  Suppose I turn upon one of them a steam-jet during a long succession of hours. Will
          there be a result?
 

Y.M.   None that I know of.

O.M.   Why?

Y.M.   A steam-jet cannot break down such a substance.

O.M.  Very well. The steam is an OUTSIDE INFLUENCE, but it is ineffective because the gold
          TAKES NO INTEREST IN IT. The ingot remains as it was.
Suppose we add to the steam
          some quicksilver in a vaporized condition, and turn the jet upon the ingot,
will there be an
          instantaneous result?
 

Y.M.   No.

O.M.  The QUICKSILVER is an outside influence which gold (by its peculiar nature—say
          TEMPERAMENT, DISPOSITION) CANNOT BE INDIFFERENT TO.
It stirs up the
          interest of the gold, although we do not perceive it;
but a SINGLE application of the
          influence works no damage.
Let us continue the application in a steady stream, and call
          each minute a year.
By the end of ten or twenty minutes—ten or twenty years—the little
          ingot is sodden with quicksilver,
its virtues are gone, its character is degraded. At last it
          is ready to yield to a temptation which it would have taken no notice of,
ten or twenty
          years ago.
We will apply that temptation in the form of a pressure of my finger. You note
          the result?
 

Y.M.   Yes; the ingot has crumbled to sand. I understand, now. It is not the SINGLE outside
          influence that does the work,
but only the LAST one of a long and disintegrating
          accumulation of them.
I see, now, how my SINGLE impulse to rob the man is not the one
          that makes me do it, but only the LAST one of a preparatory series.
You might illustrate
          with a
parable.


A Parable:

O.M.  I will. There was once a pair of New England boys— twins. They were alike in good
          dispositions, feckless morals, and personal appearance.
They were the models of the
          Sunday-school.
At fifteen George had the opportunity to go as cabin-boy in a whale-ship,
          and sailed away for the Pacific.
Henry remained at home in the village. At eighteen
          George was a sailor before the mast,
and Henry was teacher of the advanced Bible
          class.
At twenty-two George, through fighting-habits and drinking-habits acquired at sea
          and in the sailor boarding-houses of the European and Oriental ports, was a common
          rough in Hong-Kong,
and out of a job; and Henry was superintendent of the
          Sunday-school.
At twenty-six George was a wanderer, a tramp, and Henry was pastor of
          the village church.
Then George came home, and was Henry's guest. One evening a
          man passed by and turned down the lane, and Henry said, with a pathetic smile,
"Without
          intending me a discomfort,
that man is always keeping me reminded of my pinching
          poverty,
for he carries heaps of money about him, and goes by here every evening of his
          life."
That OUTSIDE INFLUENCE—that remark—was enough for George, but IT was not
          the one that made him ambush the man and rob him,
it merely represented the eleven
          years' accumulation of such influences,
and gave birth to the act for which their long
          gestation had made preparation.
It had never entered the head of Henry to rob the
          man—his ingot had been subjected to clean steam only;
but George's had been
          subjected to vaporized quicksilver.


V.   More About the Machine: 

Note.—When Mrs. W. asks how can a millionaire give a single dollar to colleges and museums while one human being is destitute of bread, she has answered her question herself. Her feeling for the poor shows that she has a standard of benevolence; there she has conceded the millionaire's privilege of having a standard; since she evidently requires him to adopt her standard, she is by that act requiring herself to adopt his. The human being always looks down {Mocking} when he is examining another person's standard; he never finds one that he has to examine by looking up.

The Man-Machine Again: 

Young Man.  You really think man is a mere machine?

Old Man.       I do.

Y.M.   And that his mind works automatically and is independent of his control—carries on
          thought on its own hook?
 

O.M.  Yes. It is diligently at work, unceasingly at work, during every waking moment. Have you
          never tossed about all night, imploring, beseeching,
commanding your mind to stop work
          and let you go to sleep?—you who perhaps imagine that your mind is your servant
and
          must obey your orders, think what you tell it to think, and stop when you tell it to stop.

          When it chooses to work, there is no way to keep it still for an instant. The brightest man
          would not be able to supply it with subjects if he had to hunt them up.
If it needed the
          man's help it would wait for him to give it work when he wakes in the morning.
 

Y.M.   Maybe it does.

O.M.  No, it begins right away, before the man gets wide enough awake to give it a suggestion.
          He may go to sleep saying, "The moment I wake I will think upon such and such a
          subject,"
but he will fail. His mind will be too quick for him; by the time he has become
          nearly enough awake to be half conscious,
he will find that it is already at work upon
          another subject.
Make the experiment and see.  

Y.M.   At any rate, he can make it stick to a subject if he wants to.

O.M.  Not if it find another that suits it better. As a rule it will listen to neither a dull speaker nor
          a bright one. It refuses all persuasion.
The dull speaker wearies it and sends it far away
          in idle dreams;
the bright speaker throws out stimulating ideas which it goes chasing after
          and is at once unconscious of him and his talk.
You cannot keep your mind from
          wandering, if it wants to; it is master, not you.


After an Interval of Days:

O.M.  Now, dreams—but we will examine that later. Meantime, did you try commanding your
          mind to wait for orders from you, and not do any thinking on its own hook?
 

Y.M.   Yes, I commanded it to stand ready to take orders when I should wake in the morning.

O.M.   Did it obey?

Y.M.   No. It went to thinking of something of its own initiation, without waiting for me. Also—as
          you suggested—at night I appointed a theme for it to begin on in the morning,
and
          commanded it to begin on that one and no other.
 

O.M.   Did it obey?

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   How many times did you try the experiment?

Y.M.   Ten.

O.M.   How many successes did you score?

Y.M.   Not one.

O.M.  It is as I have said: the mind is independent of the man. He has no control over it; it does
          as it pleases.
It will take up a subject in spite of him; it will stick to it in spite of him; it will
          throw it aside in spite of him. It is entirely independent of him.
 

Y.M.   Go on. Illustrate.

O.M.   Do you know chess?

Y.M.   I learned it a week ago.

O.M.   Did your mind go on playing the game all night that first night?

Y.M.   Don't mention it!

O.M.  It was eagerly, unsatisfiably interested; it rioted in the combinations; you implored it to
          drop the game and let you get some sleep?
 

Y.M.   Yes. It wouldn't listen; it played right along. It wore me out and I got up haggard and
          wretched in the morning.
 

O.M.   At some time or other you have been captivated by a ridiculous rhyme-jingle?

Y.M.   Indeed, yes!

O.M.   And the new popular song?

Y.M.   Oh yes! "In the Swee-eet By and By"; etc. Yes, the new popular song with the taking
          melody sings through one's head day and night, asleep and awake, till one is a wreck.

          There is no getting the mind to let it alone.  

O.M.  Yes, asleep as well as awake. The mind is quite independent. It is master. You have
          nothing to do with it.
It is so apart from you that it can conduct its affairs, sing its songs,
          play its chess, weave its complex and ingeniously constructed dreams, while you sleep.
It
          has no use for your help, no use for your guidance, and never uses either,
whether you
          be asleep or awake.
You have imagined that you could originate a thought in your mind,
          and you have sincerely believed you could do it.
 

Y.M.   Yes, I have had that idea.

O.M.   Yet you can't originate a dream-thought for it to work out, and get it accepted?

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   And you can't dictate its procedure after it has originated a dream-thought for itself?

Y.M.   No. No one can do it. Do you think the waking mind and the dream mind are the same
          machine?
 

O.M.  There is argument for it. We have wild and fantastic day-thoughts? Things that are
          dream-like?
  

Y.M.   Yes—like Mr. Wells's man who invented a drug that made him invisible; and like the
          Arabian tales of the Thousand Nights.
 

O.M.   And there are dreams that are rational, simple, consistent, and unfantastic?

Y.M.   Yes. I have dreams that are like that. Dreams that are just like real life; dreams in which
          there are several persons with distinctly differentiated characters—inventions of my mind

          and yet strangers to me: a vulgar person; a refined one; a wise person; a fool; a cruel
          person; a kind and compassionate one;
a quarrelsome person; a peacemaker; old
          persons and young; beautiful girls and homely ones.
They talk in character, each
          preserves his own characteristics.
There are vivid fights, vivid and biting insults, vivid
          love-passages;
there are tragedies and comedies, there are griefs that go to one's heart,
          there are sayings and doings that make you laugh:
indeed, the whole thing is exactly like
          real life.
 

O.M.  Your dreaming mind originates the scheme, consistently and artistically develops it, and
          carries the little drama creditably through—all without help or suggestion from you?
 

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   It is argument that it could do the like awake without help or suggestion from you—and I
          think it does.
It is argument that it is the same old mind in both cases, and never needs
          your help.
I think the mind is purely a machine, a thoroughly independent machine, an
          automatic machine.
Have you tried the other experiment which I suggested to you?

Y.M.   Which one?

O.M.   The one which was to determine how much influence you have over your mind—if any.

Y.M.   Yes, and got more or less entertainment out of it. I did as you ordered: I placed two texts
          before my eyes—one a dull one and barren of interest,
the other one full of interest,
          inflamed with it, white-hot with it.
I commanded my mind to busy itself solely with the dull
          one.
 

O.M.   Did it obey?

Y.M.   Well, no, it didn't. It busied itself with the other one.

O.M.   Did you try hard to make it obey?

Y.M.   Yes, I did my honest best.

O.M.   What was the text which it refused to be interested in or think about?

Y.M.   It was this question: If A owes B a dollar and a half, and B owes C two and three-quarter,
          and C owes A thirty- five cents,
and D and A together owe E and B three-sixteenths of
          —of—I don't remember the rest, now,
but anyway it was wholly uninteresting, and I could
          not force my mind to stick to it even half a minute at a time;
it kept flying off to the other
          text.
 

O.M.   What was the other text?

Y.M.   It is no matter about that.

O.M.   But what was it?

Y.M.   A photograph.

O.M.   Your own?

Y.M.   No. It was hers.

O.M.   You really made an honest good test. Did you make a second trial?

Y.M.   Yes. I commanded my mind to interest itself in the morning paper's report of the
          pork-market,
and at the same time I reminded it of an experience of mine of sixteen years
          ago.
It refused to consider the pork and gave its whole blazing interest to that ancient
          incident.
 

O.M.   What was the incident?

Y.M.   An armed desperado slapped my face in the presence of twenty spectators. It makes me
          wild and murderous every time I think of it.
 

O.M.   Good tests, both; very good tests. Did you try my other suggestion?

Y.M.   The one which was to prove to me that if I would leave my mind to its own devices it
          would find things to think about without any of my help,
and thus convince me that it was
          a machine,
an automatic machine, set in motion by exterior influences, and as
          independent of me as it could be if it were in some one else's skull. Is that the one?
 

O.M.   Yes.

Y.M.   I tried it. I was shaving. I had slept well, and my mind was very lively, even gay and frisky.
          It was reveling in a fantastic and joyful episode of my remote boyhood
which had
          suddenly flashed up in my memory—moved to this by the spectacle of a yellow cat

       
picking its way carefully along the top of the garden wall. The color of this cat brought the
          bygone cat before me, and I saw her walking along the side-step of the pulpit;
saw her
          walk on to a large sheet of sticky fly-paper and get all her feet involved;
saw her struggle
          and fall down, helpless and dissatisfied,
more and more urgent, more and more
          unreconciled, more and more mutely profane;
saw the silent congregation quivering like
          jelly, and the tears running down their faces. I saw it all.
The sight of the tears whisked
          my mind to a far distant
and a sadder scene—in Terra del Fuego—and with Darwin's
          eyes
I saw a naked great savage hurl his little boy against the rocks for a trifling fault;
          saw the poor mother gather up her dying child and hug it to her breast and weep, uttering
          no word.
Did my mind stop to mourn with that nude black sister of mine? No—it was far
          away from that scene in an instant,
and was busying itself with an ever-recurring and
          disagreeable dream of mine.
In this dream I always find myself, stripped to my shirt,
          cringing and dodging about in the midst of a great drawing-room throng of finely dressed
          ladies and gentlemen, and wondering how I got there.
And so on and so on, picture after
          picture,
incident after incident, a drifting panorama of ever-changing, ever-dissolving
          views manufactured by my mind without any help from me—why,
it would take me two
          hours to merely name the multitude of things
my mind tallied off and photographed in
          fifteen minutes,
let alone describe them to you.  

O.M.  A man's mind, left free, has no use for his help. But there is one way whereby he can get
          its help when he desires it.
 

Y.M.   What is that way?

O.M.  When your mind is racing along from subject to subject and strikes an inspiring one,
          open your mouth and begin talking upon that matter—or—take your pen and use that.
It
          will interest your mind and concentrate it, and it will pursue the subject with satisfaction.
It
          will take full charge, and furnish the words itself.
 

Y.M.   But don't I tell it what to say?

O.M.  There are certainly occasions when you haven't time. The words leap out before you
          know what is coming.
 

Y.M.   For instance?

O.M.  Well, take a "flash of wit"—repartee. Flash is the right word. It is out instantly. There is
          no time to arrange the words.
There is no thinking, no reflecting. Where there is a
          wit-mechanism it is automatic in its action and needs no help.
Where the wit-mechanism
          is lacking, no amount of study and reflection can manufacture the product.
 

Y.M.   You really think a man originates nothing, creates nothing.

The Thinking-Process:  {Robinson4:156}

O.M.  I do. Men perceive, and their brain-machines automatically combine the things perceived.
          That is all.
 

Y.M.   The steam-engine?

O.M.  It takes fifty men a hundred years to invent it. One meaning of invent is discover. I use
          the word in that sense.
Little by little they discover and apply the multitude of details that
          go to make the perfect engine.
Watt noticed that confined steam was strong enough to lift
          the lid of the teapot. He didn't create the idea, he merely discovered the fact;
the cat had
          noticed it a hundred times.
From the teapot he evolved the cylinder—from the displaced
          lid he evolved the piston-rod.
To attach something to the piston-rod to be moved by it,
          was a simple matter—crank and wheel. And so there was a working engine.
One by one,
          improvements were discovered by men who used their eyes,
not their creating
          powers—for they hadn't any—and now,
after a hundred years the patient contributions of  
         fifty or a hundred observers
stand compacted in the wonderful machine which drives the
          ocean liner.
  

Y.M.   A Shakespearean play?

O.M.  The process is the same. The first actor was a savage. He reproduced in his theatrical
          war-dances, scalp-dances, and so on, incidents which he had seen in real life.
A more
          advanced civilization produced more incidents, more episodes;
the actor and the
          story-teller borrowed them.
And so the drama grew, little by little, stage by stage. It is
          made up of the facts of life, not creations.
It took centuries to develop the Greek drama. It
          borrowed from preceding ages; it lent to the ages that came after.
Men observe and
          combine, that is all.
So does a rat.

Y.M.   How?

O.M.  He observes a smell, he infers a cheese, he seeks and finds. The astronomer observes
          this and that;
adds his this and that to the this-and-thats of a hundred predecessors,
          infers an invisible planet, seeks it and finds it.
The rat gets into a trap; gets out with
          trouble; infers that cheese in traps lacks value, and meddles with that trap no more.
The
          astronomer is very proud of his achievement, the rat is proud of his.
Yet both are
          machines;
they have done machine work, they have originated nothing, they have no
          right to be vain;
the whole credit belongs to their Maker. They are entitled to no honors,
          no praises, no monuments when they die, no remembrance.
One is a complex and
          elaborate machine, the other a simple and limited machine,
but they are alike in principle,
          function, and process, and neither of them works otherwise than automatically,
and
          neither of them may righteously claim
a PERSONAL superiority or a personal dignity
          above the other.
 

Y.M.   In earned personal dignity, then, and in personal merit for what he does, it follows of
          necessity that he is on the same level as a rat?
 

O.M.  His brother the rat; yes, that is how it seems to me. Neither of them being entitled to any
          personal merit for what he does,
it follows of necessity that neither of them has a right to
          arrogate to himself (personally created) superiorities over his brother.
 

Y.M.   Are you determined to go on believing in these insanities? Would you go on believing in
          them in the face of able arguments backed by collated facts and instances?
 

O.M.   I have been a humble, earnest, and sincere Truth-Seeker.

Y.M.   Very well?

O.M.   The humble, earnest, and sincere Truth-Seeker is always convertible by such means.

Y.M.   I am thankful to God to hear you say this, for now I know that your conversion—

O.M.   Wait. You misunderstand. I said I have BEEN a Truth-Seeker.

Y.M.   Well?

O.M.  I am not that now. Have you forgotten? I told you that there are none but temporary
          Truth-Seekers;
that a permanent one is a human impossibility; that as soon as the
          Seeker finds what he is thoroughly convinced is the Truth,
he seeks no further, but gives
          the rest of his days to hunting junk to patch it and caulk it and prop it with,
and make it
          weather-proof and keep it from caving in on him.
Hence the Presbyterian remains a
          Presbyterian, the Mohammedan a Mohammedan,
the Spiritualist a Spiritualist, the
          Democrat a Democrat, the Republican a Republican, the Monarchist a Monarchist;
and if
          a humble, earnest,
and sincere Seeker after Truth should find it in the proposition that
          the moon is made of green cheese
nothing could ever budge him from that position; for
          he is nothing but an automatic machine, and must obey the laws of his construction.
 

Y.M.   After so—

O.M.   Having found the Truth; perceiving that beyond question man has but one moving
           impulse—the contenting of his own spirit— and is merely a machine
and entitled to no
          personal merit for anything he does, it is not humanly possible for me to seek further.
The
          rest of my days will be spent in patching and painting
and puttying and caulking my
          priceless possession and in looking the other way
when an imploring argument or a
          damaging fact approaches.


VI.  Instinct and Thought: 

Young Man.  It is odious. Those drunken theories of yours, advanced a while ago—concerning
                      the rat and all that—strip Man bare of all his dignities, grandeurs, sublimities.
 

Old Man.       He hasn't any to strip—they are shams, stolen clothes. He claims credits which
                      belong solely to his Maker.
 

Y.M.   But you have no right to put him on a level with a rat.

O.M.   I don't—morally. That would not be fair to the rat. The rat is well above him, there.

Y.M.   Are you joking?

O.M.   No, I am not.

Y.M.   Then what do you mean?

O.M.  That comes under the head of the Moral Sense. It is a large question. Let us finish with
          what we are about now, before we take it up.
 

Y.M.   Very well. You have seemed to concede that you place Man and the rat on A level. What
          is it? The intellectual?
 

O.M.   In form—not a degree.

Y.M.   Explain.

O.M.  I think that the rat's mind and the man's mind are the same machine, but of unequal
          capacities—like yours and Edison's;
like the African pygmy's and Homer's; like the
          Bushman's and Bismarck's.
 

Y.M.   How are you going to make that out, when the lower animals have no mental quality but
          instinct, while man possesses reason?
 

O.M.   What is instinct?

Y.M.   It is merely unthinking and mechanical exercise of inherited habit.

O.M.   What originated the habit?

Y.M.   The first animal started it, its descendants have inherited it.

O.M.   How did the first one come to start it?

Y.M.   I don't know; but it didn't THINK it out.

O.M.   How do you know it didn't?

Y.M.   Well—I have a right to suppose it didn't, anyway.

O.M.   I don't believe you have. What is thought?

Y.M.   I know what you call it: the mechanical and automatic putting together of impressions
          {
ideas} received from outside, and drawing an inference {the process of deriving from assumed
          premises either the strict logical conclusion or one that is to some degree probable} from them.

O.M.  Very good. Now my idea of the meaningless term "instinct" is, that it is merely
          PETRIFIED THOUGHT;
solidified and made inanimate by habit; thought which was once
          alive and awake, but it become unconscious—walks in its sleep, so to speak.
 

Y.M.   Illustrate it.

O.M.  Take a herd of cows, feeding in a pasture. Their heads are all turned in one direction.
          They do that instinctively; they gain nothing by it,
they have no reason for it, they don't
          know why they do it.
It is an inherited habit which was originally thought—that is to say,
          observation of an exterior fact,
and a valuable inference drawn from that observation and
          confirmed by experience.
The original wild ox noticed that with the wind in his favor he
          could smell his enemy in time to escape;
then he inferred that it was worth while to keep
          his nose to the wind.
That is the process which man calls reasoning. Man's
          thought-machine works just like the other animals',
but it is a better one and more
          Edisonian.
Man, in the ox's place, would go further, reason wider: he would face part of
          the herd the other way
and protect both front and rear.

Y.M.   Did you say the term instinct is meaningless?

O.M.  I think it is a bastard word. I think it confuses us; for as a rule it applies itself to habits
          and impulses which had a far-off origin in thought,
and now and then breaks the rule and
          applies itself to habits which can hardly claim a thought-origin.
 

Y.M.   Give an instance.

O.M.  Well, in putting on trousers a man always inserts the same old leg first—never the other
          one.
There is no advantage in that, and no sense in it. All men do it, yet no man thought
          it out and adopted it of set purpose, I imagine.
But it is a habit which is transmitted, no
          doubt, and will continue to be transmitted.
 

Y.M.   Can you prove that the habit exists?

O.M.  You can prove it, if you doubt. If you will take a man to a clothing-store and watch him try
          on a dozen pairs of trousers, you will see.
 

Y.M.   The cow illustration is not—

O.M.  Sufficient to show that a dumb animal's mental machine is just the same as a man's and
          its reasoning processes the same? I will illustrate further.
If you should hand Mr. Edison a
          box which you caused to fly open by some concealed device he would infer a spring,
and
          would hunt for it and find it.
Now an uncle of mine had an old horse who used to get into
          the closed lot where the corn-crib was and dishonestly take the corn.
I got the
          punishment myself,
as it was supposed that I had heedlessly failed to insert the wooden
          pin
which kept the gate closed. These persistent punishments fatigued me; they also
          caused me to infer the existence of a culprit, somewhere;
so I hid myself and watched the
          gate.
Presently the horse came and pulled the pin out with his teeth and went in. Nobody
          taught him that; he had observed—then thought it out for himself.
His process did not
          differ from Edison's;
he put this and that together and drew an inference—and the peg,
          too; but I made him sweat for it.
 

Y.M.   It has something of the seeming of thought about it. Still it is not very elaborate. Enlarge.

O.M.  Suppose Mr. Edison has been enjoying some one's hospitalities. He comes again by
          and by, and the house is vacant.
He infers that his host has moved. A while afterward, in
          another town, he sees the man enter a house;
he infers that that is the new home, and
          follows to inquire.
Here, now, is the experience of a gull, as related by a naturalist. The
          scene is a Scotch fishing village where the gulls were kindly treated.
This particular gull
          visited a cottage; was fed;
came next day and was fed again; came into the house, next
          time, and ate with the family; kept on doing this almost daily, thereafter.
But, once the gull
          was away on a journey for a few days, and when it returned the house was vacant.
Its
          friends had removed to a village three miles distant.
Several months later it saw the head
          of the family on the street there, followed him home,
entered the house without excuse or
          apology, and became a daily guest again. Gulls do not rank high mentally,
but this one
          had memory and the reasoning faculty, you see, and applied them Edisonially.
 

Y.M.   Yet it was not an Edison and couldn't be developed into one.

O.M.   Perhaps not. Could you?

Y.M.   That is neither here nor there. Go on.

O.M.  If Edison were in trouble and a stranger helped him out of it and next day he got into the
          same difficulty again,
he would infer the wise thing to do in case he knew the stranger's
          address.
Here is a case of a bird and a stranger as related by a naturalist. An
          Englishman saw a bird flying around about his dog's head, down in the grounds,
and
          uttering cries of distress.
He went there to see about it. The dog had a young bird in his
          mouth—unhurt.
The gentleman rescued it and put it on a bush and brought the dog
          away.
Early the next morning the mother bird came for the gentleman, who was sitting on
          his veranda,
and by its maneuvers persuaded him to follow it to a distant part of the
          grounds—flying a little way in front of him
and waiting for him to catch up, and so on; and
          keeping to the winding path, too, instead of flying the near way across lots.
The distance
          covered was four hundred yards.
The same dog was the culprit; he had the young bird
          again, and once more he had to give it up.
Now the mother bird had reasoned it all out:
          since the stranger had helped her once, she inferred that he would do it again; she knew
          where to find him, and she went upon her errand with confidence.
Her mental processes
          were what Edison's would have been.
She put this and that together—and that is all that
          thought IS—and out of them built her logical arrangement of inferences.
Edison couldn't
          have done it any better himself.
 

Y.M.   Do you believe that many of the dumb animals can think?

O.M.  Yes—the elephant, the monkey, the horse, the dog, the parrot, the macaw, the
          mocking-bird, and many others.
The elephant whose mate fell into a pit, and who
          dumped dirt and rubbish into the pit
till bottom was raised high enough to enable the
          captive to step out,
was equipped with the reasoning quality. I conceive that all animals
          that can learn things through teaching and drilling have to know how to observe,
and put
          this and that together and draw an inference—the process of thinking.
Could you teach
          an idiot of manuals of arms,
and to advance, retreat, and go through complex field
          maneuvers at the word of command?
 

Y.M.   Not if he were a thorough idiot.

O.M.  Well, canary-birds can learn all that; dogs and elephants learn all sorts of wonderful
          things.
They must surely be able to notice, and to put things together, and say to
          themselves, "I get the idea, now:
when I do so and so, as per order, I am praised and fed;
          when I do differently I am punished."
Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a
          Congressman can.
 

Y.M.   Granting, then, that dumb animals are able to think upon a low plane, is there any that
          can think upon a high one? Is there one that is well up toward man?
 

O.M.  Yes. As a thinker and planner the ant is the equal of any savage race of men; as a
          self-educated specialist in several arts she is the superior of any savage race of men;

          and in one or two high mental qualities she is above the reach of any man, savage or
          civilized!
 

Y.M.   Oh, come! you are abolishing the intellectual frontier which separates man and beast.

O.M.   I beg your pardon. One cannot abolish what does not exist.

Y.M.   You are not in earnest, I hope. You cannot mean to seriously say there is no such
          frontier.
  

O.M.  I do say it seriously. The instances of the horse, the gull, the mother bird, and the
          elephant show that those creatures put their this's and thats together
just as Edison
          would have done it and drew the same inferences that he would have drawn.
Their
          mental machinery was just like his, also its manner of working.
Their equipment was as
          inferior to the Strasburg clock, but that is the only difference—there is no frontier.
 

Y.M.   It looks exasperatingly true; and is distinctly offensive. It elevates the dumb beasts
          to—to—
  

O.M.  Let us drop that lying phrase, and call them the Unrevealed Creatures; so far as we can
          know, there is no such thing as a dumb beast.
 

Y.M.   On what grounds do you make that assertion?

O.M.  On quite simple ones. "Dumb" beast suggests an animal that has no thought-machinery,
          no understanding, no speech, no way of communicating what is in its mind.
We know that
          a hen HAS speech.
We cannot understand everything she says, but we easily learn two
          or three of her phrases.
We know when she is saying, "I have laid an egg"; we know
          when she is saying to the chicks, "Run here, dears, I've found a worm";
we know what
          she is saying when she voices a warning:
"Quick! hurry! gather yourselves under
          mamma, there's a hawk coming!"
We understand the cat when she stretches herself out,
          purring with affection and contentment and lifts up a soft voice and says, "Come, kitties,
          supper's ready";
we understand her when she goes mourning about and says, "Where
          can they be?
They are lost. Won't you help me hunt for them?" and we understand the
          disreputable Tom when he challenges at midnight from his shed,
"You come over here,
          you product of immoral commerce, and I'll make your fur fly!"
We understand a few of a
          dog's phrases
and we learn to understand a few of the remarks and gestures of any bird
          or other animal that we domesticate and observe.
The clearness and exactness of the
          few of the hen's speeches
which we understand is argument that she can communicate
          to her kind a hundred things which we cannot comprehend—in a word,
that she can
          converse.
And this argument is also applicable in the case of others of the great army of
          the Unrevealed.
It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb
          because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. Now as to the ant—
 

Y.M.   Yes, go back to the ant, the creature that—as you seem to think—sweeps away the last
          vestige of an intellectual frontier between man and the Unrevealed.
 

O.M.  That is what she surely does. In all his history the aboriginal Australian never thought out
          a house for himself and built it.
The ant is an amazing architect. She is a wee little
          creature,
but she builds a strong and enduring house eight feet high—a house which is
          as large
in proportion to her size as is the largest capitol or cathedral in the world
          compared to man's size.
No savage race has produced architects who could approach
          the air in genius or culture.
No civilized race has produced architects who could plan a
          house better for the uses proposed than can hers.
Her house contains a throne-room;
          nurseries for her young; granaries;
apartments for her soldiers, her workers, etc.; and
          they and the multifarious halls and corridors
which communicate with them are arranged
          and distributed
with an educated and experienced eye for convenience and adaptability.

Y.M.   That could be mere instinct.

O.M.   It would elevate the savage if he had it. But let us look further before we decide. The ant
          has soldiers—battalions, regiments, armies;
and they have their appointed captains and
          generals, who lead them to battle.
 

Y.M.   That could be instinct, too.

O.M.   We will look still further. The ant has a system of government; it is well planned,
           elaborate, and is well carried on.
 

Y.M.   Instinct again.

O.M.   She has crowds of slaves, and is a hard and unjust employer of forced labor.

Y.M.   Instinct.

O.M.   She has cows, and milks them.

Y.M.   Instinct, of course.

O.M.  In Texas she lays out a farm twelve feet square, plants it, weeds it, cultivates it, gathers
          the crop and stores it away.
 

Y.M.   Instinct, all the same.

O.M.  The ant discriminates between friend and stranger. Sir John Lubbock took ants from two
          different nests,
made them drunk with whiskey and laid them, unconscious, by one of the
          nests, near some water.
Ants from the nest came and examined and discussed these
          disgraced creatures, then carried their friends home and threw the strangers overboard.

          Sir John repeated the experiment a number of times. For a time the sober ants did as
          they had done at first—carried their friends home and threw the strangers overboard.
But
          finally they lost patience,
seeing that their reformatory efforts went for nothing, and threw
          both friends and strangers overboard.
Come—is this instinct, or is it thoughtful and
          intelligent discussion of a thing new— absolutely new—to their experience;
with a verdict
          arrived at, sentence passed, and judgment executed?
Is it instinct?—thought petrified by
          ages of habit—or isn't it brand-new thought,
inspired by the new occasion, the new
          circumstances?
 

Y.M.   I have to concede it. It was not a result of habit; it has all the look of reflection, thought,
          putting this and that together, as you phrase it. I believe it was thought.
 

O.M.  I will give you another instance of thought. Franklin had a cup of sugar on a table in his
          room.
The ants got at it. He tried several preventives; and ants rose superior to them.
          Finally he contrived one which shut off access—probably set the table's legs
in pans of
          water,
or drew a circle of tar around the cup, I don't remember. At any rate, he watched
          to see what they would do. They tried various schemes—failures, every one.
The ants
          were badly puzzled. Finally they held a consultation,
discussed the problem, arrived at a
          decision—and this time they beat that great philosopher.
They formed in procession,
          cross the floor, climbed the wall, marched across the ceiling to a point just over the cup,

          then one by one they let go and fell down into it! Was that instinct—thought petrified by
          ages of inherited habit?
 

Y.M.   No, I don't believe it was. I believe it was a newly reasoned scheme to meet a new
          emergency.
 

O.M.   Very well. You have conceded the reasoning power in two instances. I come now to a
          mental detail wherein the ant is a long way the superior of any human being.
Sir John
          Lubbock proved by many experiments
that an ant knows a stranger ant of her own
          species in a moment, even when the stranger is disguised —with paint.
Also he proved
          that an ant knows every individual in her hive of five hundred thousand souls.
Also, after
          a year's absence one of the five hundred thousand she will straightway
recognize the
          returned absentee
and grace the recognition with a affectionate welcome. How are these
          recognitions made? Not by color, for painted ants were recognized.
Not by smell, for ants
          that had been dipped in chloroform were recognized.
Not by speech and not by antennae
          signs nor contacts,
for the drunken and motionless ants were recognized and the friend
          discriminated from the stranger.
The ants were all of the same species, therefore the
          friends had to be recognized
by form and feature— friends who formed part of a hive of
          five hundred thousand!
Has any man a memory for form and feature approaching that?  

Y.M.   Certainly not.

O.M.  Franklin's ants and Lubbuck's ants show fine capacities of putting this and that together
          in new and untried emergencies
and deducting smart conclusions from the
          combinations—a man's mental process exactly.
With memory to help, man preserves his
          observations and reasonings,
reflects upon them, adds to them, recombines, and so
          proceeds, stage by stage,
to far results—from the teakettle to the ocean greyhound's
          complex engine;
from personal labor to slave labor; from wigwam to palace; from the
          capricious chase to agriculture and stored food;
from nomadic life to stable government
          and concentrated authority;
from incoherent hordes to massed armies. The ant has
          observation, the reasoning faculty, and the preserving adjunct of a prodigious memory;

          she has duplicated man's development and the essential features of his civilization, and
          you call it all instinct!
 

Y.M.   Perhaps I lacked the reasoning faculty myself.

O.M.   Well, don't tell anybody, and don't do it again.

Y.M.   We have come a good way. As a result—as I understand it— I am required to concede
           that there is absolutely no intellectual frontier
separating Man and the Unrevealed
           Creatures?
 

O.M.  That is what you are required to concede. There is no such frontier—there is no way to
          get around that.
Man has a finer and more capable machine in him than those others, but
          it is the same machine and works in the same way.
And neither he nor those others can
          command the machine—it is strictly automatic,
independent of control, works when it
          pleases, and when it doesn't please, it can't be forced.
 

Y.M.   Then man and the other animals are all alike, as to mental machinery, and there isn't any
          difference of any stupendous magnitude between them, except in quality, not in kind.
 

O.M.   That is about the state of it—intellectuality. There are pronounced limitations on both
          sides.
We can't learn to understand much of their language, but the dog, the elephant,
          etc., learn to understand a very great deal of ours.
To that extent they are our superiors.
          On the other hand, they can't learn reading, writing, etc.,
nor any of our fine and high
          things, and there we have a large advantage over them.
 

Y.M.   Very well, let them have what they've got, and welcome; there is still a wall, and a lofty
          one.
They haven't got the Moral Sense; we have it, and it lifts us immeasurably above
          them.
 

O.M.   What makes you think that?

Y.M.   Now look here—let's call a halt. I have stood the other infamies and insanities and that is
          enough; I am not going to have man and the other animals put on the same level morally.

O.M.   I wasn't going to hoist man up to that.

Y.M.   This is too much! I think it is not right to jest about such things.

O.M.   I am not jesting, I am merely reflecting a plain and simple truth—and without
          uncharitableness.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his INTELLECTUAL
          superiority to the other creatures;
but the fact that he can DO wrong proves his MORAL
          inferiority to any creature that CANNOT.
It is my belief that this position is not assailable.


Free Will:  Ridley:309. 

Y.M.   What is your opinion regarding Free Will?

O.M.  That there is no such thing. {To say there is free-will is like saying a computer is useful without software
          and database.} Did the man possess it who gave the old woman his last shilling and trudged
          home in the storm?
 

Y.M.   He had the choice between succoring the old woman and leaving her to suffer. Isn't it so?

O.M.   Yes, there was a {seeming} choice to be made, between bodily comfort on the one hand
          and the comfort of the spirit on the other.
The body made a strong appeal, of
          course—the body would be quite sure to do that; the spirit made a counter appeal.
A
          choice had to be made between the two appeals, and was made.
Who or what
          determined that {
so-called free} choice?

Y.M.   Any one but you would say that the man determined it, and that in doing it he
          exercised Free Will.
{Wegner, Ridley:309.}

O.M.  We are constantly assured that every man is endowed with Free Will, and that he can
          and must exercise it where he is offered a choice
between good conduct and less-good
          conduct.
Yet we clearly saw that in that man's case he really had no Free Will: his
          temperament, his training,
and the daily influences which had molded him and made him
          what he was,
COMPELLED him to rescue the old woman and thus save
          HIMSELF—save himself from spiritual pain, from unendurable wretchedness.
He did not
          make the choice, it was made FOR him by forces which he could not control.
Free Will
          has always existed in WORDS, but it stops there, I think—stops short of FACT.
I would
          not
use those words—Free Will—but others. {Taylor/Wheeler92:iii}

Y.M.   What others?

O.M.   Free Choice.

Y.M.   What is the difference?

{JBY. There is no Free Will—you cannot stop the rain; but, there is Free Choice—you can get an umbrella.}
From Matt Ridley's Genome; 1999; 0060932902; p. 307Free Choice.

O.M.   The one implies untrammeled power to ACT as you please, the other implies nothing
          beyond a mere MENTAL PROCESS:
the critical ability to determine which of two things
          is nearest right and just,
{true or false. Just like a Computer, it says "yes" or "no" and then makes a
          decision—a "go-to". }

Y.M.   Make the difference clear, please.

O.M.  The mind can freely SELECT, CHOOSE, POINT OUT the right and just one—its
          function stops there. It can go no further in the matter.
It has no authority to say that the
          right one shall be acted upon and the wrong one discarded.
That authority is in other
          hands.
 

Y.M.   The man's?

O.M.  In the {computer and data base of the} machine which stands for him. In his born disposition
          and the character which has been built around it by training and environment.
 

Y.M.   It will act upon the right one of the two?

O.M.  It will do as it pleases in the matter. George Washington's machine would act upon the
          right one; Pizarro would act upon the wrong one.
 

Y.M.   Then as I understand it a bad man's mental machinery calmly and judicially points out
          which of two things is right and just—
 

O.M.   Yes, and his MORAL machinery will freely act upon the other or the other, according to
          its make,
and be quite indifferent to the MIND'S feeling concerning the matter—that is,
          WOULD be, if the mind had any feelings; which it hasn't.
It is merely a thermometer: it
          registers the heat and the cold,
and cares not a farthing about either.

Y.M.   Then we must not claim that if a man KNOWS which of two things is right he is
           absolutely BOUND to do that thing?
 

O.M.   His temperament and training will decide what he shall do, and he will do it; he cannot
          help himself, he has no authority over the mater.
Wasn't it right for David to go out and
          slay Goliath?
 

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   Then it would have been equally RIGHT for any one else to do it?

Y.M.   Certainly.

O.M.   Then it would have been RIGHT for a born coward to attempt it?

Y.M.   It would—yes.

O.M.   You know that no born coward ever would have attempted it, don't you?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   You know that a born coward's make and temperament would be an absolute and
           insurmountable bar to his ever essaying such a thing, don't you?
 

Y.M.   Yes, I know it.

O.M.   He clearly perceives that it would be RIGHT to try it?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   His mind has Free Choice in determining that it would be RIGHT to try it?

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.  Then if by reason of his inborn cowardice he simply can NOT essay it, what becomes of
          his Free Will?
Where is his Free Will? Why claim that he has Free Will when the plain
          facts show that he hasn't?
Why content that because he and David SEE the right alike,
          both must ACT alike? Why impose the same laws upon goat and lion?
 

Y.M.   There is really no such thing as Free Will?

O.M.  It is what I think. There is WILL. But it has nothing to do with INTELLECTUAL
          PERCEPTIONS OF RIGHT AND WRONG, and is not under their command.
David's
          temperament and training had Will, and it was a compulsory force;
David had to obey its
          decrees, he had no choice.
The coward's temperament and training possess Will, and IT
          is compulsory; it commands him to avoid danger, and he obeys, he has no choice.
But
          neither the Davids nor the cowards
possess Free Will—will that may do the right or do
          the wrong,
as their MENTAL verdict shall decide.      Ridley:309


Not Two Values, But Only One:

Y.M.   There is one thing which bothers me: I can't tell where you draw the line between
          MATERIAL covetousness and SPIRITUAL covetousness.
 

O.M.   I don't draw any.

Y.M.   How do you mean?

O.M.   There is no such thing as MATERIAL covetousness. All covetousness is spiritual

Y.M.   ALL longings, desires, ambitions SPIRITUAL, never material?

O.M.  Yes. The Master in you requires that in ALL cases you shall content his SPIRIT—that
          alone.
He never requires anything else, he never interests himself in any other matter.

Y.M.   Ah, come! When he covets somebody's money—isn't that rather distinctly material and
          gross?
 

O.M.   No. The money is merely a symbol—it represents in visible and concrete form a
           SPIRITUAL DESIRE.
Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you
           want it not for ITSELF,
but because it will content your spirit {give you PcM} for the
           moment.
  

Y.M.   Please particularize.

O.M.   Very well. Maybe the thing longed for is a new hat. You get it and your vanity is pleased,
          your spirit contented.
Suppose your friends deride the hat, make fun of it: at once it loses
          its value;
you are ashamed of it, you put it out of your sight, you never want to see it
          again.
  

Y.M.   I think I see. Go on.

O.M.  It is the same hat, isn't it? It is in no way altered. But it wasn't the HAT you wanted, but
          only what it stood for—a something to please and content your SPIRIT.
When it failed of
          that, the whole of its value was gone.
There are no MATERIAL values; there are only
          spiritual ones.
You will hunt in vain for a material value that is ACTUAL, REAL—there is
          no such thing.
The only value it possesses, for even a moment, is the spiritual value back
          of it:
remove that end and it is at once worthless—like the hat.  

Y.M.   Can you extend that to money?

O.M.  Yes. It is merely a symbol, it has no MATERIAL value; you think you desire it for its own
          sake, but it is not so.
You desire it for the spiritual content it will bring; if it fail of that, you
          discover that its value is gone.
There is that pathetic tale of the man who labored like a
          slave, unresting, unsatisfied,
until he had accumulated a fortune, and was happy over it,
          jubilant about it;
then in a single week a pestilence swept away all whom he held dear
          and left him desolate. His money's value was gone.
He realized that his joy in it came not
          from the money itself,
but from the spiritual contentment he got out of his family's
          enjoyment of the pleasures
and delights it lavished upon them. Money has no value;
          MATERIAL value; if you remove its spiritual value nothing is left but dross.
It is so with all
          things, little or big, majestic or trivial—there are no exceptions.
Crowns, scepters,
          pennies, paste jewels, village notoriety, world-wide fame—they are all the same,
they
          have no MATERIAL value:
while they content the SPIRIT they are precious, when this
          fails they are worthless {
TEI}.


A Difficult Question:

Y.M.   You keep me confused and perplexed all the time by your elusive terminology.
          Sometimes you divide a man up into two or three separate personalities,
each with
          authorities, jurisdictions, and responsibilities of its own,
and when he is in that condition I
          can't grasp it. Now when I speak of a man,
he is THE WHOLE THING IN ONE, and easy
          to hold and contemplate.
{Twain's disclaimer.}

O.M.   That is pleasant and convenient, if true. When you speak of "my body" who is the "my"?

Y.M.   It is the "me."

O.M.   The body is a property then, and the Me owns it. Who is the Me?

Y.M.   The Me is THE WHOLE THING; it is a common property; an undivided ownership,
          vested in the whole entity.
 

O.M.  If the Me admires a rainbow, is it the whole Me that admires it, including the hair, hands,
          heels, and all?
 

Y.M.   Certainly not. It is my MIND that admires it.

O.M.  So YOU divide the Me yourself. Everybody does; everybody must. What, then, definitely,
          is the Me?
 

Y.M.   I think it must consist of just those two parts— the body and the mind
          {
the computerized machine}.  

O.M.   You think so? If you say "I believe the world is round," who is the "I" that is speaking?

Y.M.   The mind.

O.M.   If you say "I grieve for the loss of my father," who is the "I"?

Y.M.   The mind.

O.M.   Is the mind exercising an intellectual function when it examines and accepts the evidence
           that the world is round?
 

Y.M.   Yes.

O.M.   Is it exercising an intellectual function when it grieves for the loss of your father?

Y.M.   That is not cerebration, brain-work, it is a matter of FEELING.

O.M.   Then its source is not in your mind, but in your MORAL territory?

Y.M.   I have to grant it.

O.M.   Is your mind a part of your PHYSICAL equipment?

Y.M.   No. It is independent of it; it is spiritual.           {Spinoza-Descartes - Ryle:18}

O.M.   Being spiritual, it cannot be affected by physical influences?

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   Does the mind remain sober with the body is drunk?

Y.M.   Well—no.

O.M.   There IS a physical effect present, then?

Y.M.   It looks like it.

O.M.   A cracked skull has resulted in a crazy mind. Why should it happen if the mind is
           spiritual, and INDEPENDENT of physical influences?
 

Y.M.   Well—I don't know.

O.M.   When you have a pain in your foot, how do you know it?

Y.M.   I feel it.

O.M.   But you do not feel it until a nerve reports the hurt to the brain. Yet the brain is the seat
          of the mind, is it not?
 

Y.M.   I think so.

O.M.   But isn't spiritual enough to learn what is happening in the outskirts without the help of
          the PHYSICAL messenger?
You perceive that the question of who or what the Me is, is
          not a simple one at all.
You say "I admire the rainbow," and "I believe the world is round,"
          and in these cases we find that the Me is not speaking, but only the MENTAL part.
You
          say, "I grieve," and again the Me is not all speaking, but only the MORAL part.
You say
          the mind is wholly spiritual;
then you say "I have a pain" and find that this time the Me is
          mental AND spiritual combined.
We all use the "I" in this indeterminate fashion, there is
          no help for it.
We imagine a Master and King {Observer, Pineal Gland, Soul} over what you call
          The Whole Thing,
and we speak of him as "I," but when we try to define him we find we
          cannot do it.
The intellect and the feelings can act quite INDEPENDENTLY of each
          other;
we recognize that, and we look around for a Ruler who is master over both, and
          can serve as a DEFINITE AND INDISPUTABLE "I,"
and enable us to know what we
          mean and who or what we are talking about
when we use that pronoun, but we have
          to give it up and confess that we cannot find him.
To me, Man is a machine, made up of
          many mechanisms,
the moral and mental ones acting automatically in accordance with
          the impulses of an interior Master who is built out of
born-temperament and an
          accumulation of multitudinous outside influences and trainings;
a machine whose ONE
          function is to secure the spiritual contentment of the Master,
be his desires good or be
          they evil;
a machine whose Will is absolute and must be obeyed, and always IS obeyed.

Y.M.   Maybe the Me is the Soul?

O.M.   Maybe it is. What is the Soul?

Y.M.   I don't know.

O.M.   Neither does any one else.


The Master Passion:  { Conatus }

Y.M.   What is the Master?—or, in common speech, the Conscience? Explain it.

O.M.   It is that mysterious autocrat, lodged in a man, which compels the man to content its
          desires.
It may be called the Master Passion—the hunger for Self-Approval.

Y.M.   Where is its seat?

O.M.   In man's moral constitution.

Y.M.   Are its commands for the man's good?

O.M.  It is indifferent to the man's good; it never concerns itself about anything but the
          satisfying of its own desires.
It can be TRAINED to prefer things which will be for the
          man's good,
but it will prefer them only because they will content IT better than other
          things would.
 

Y.M.   Then even when it is trained to high ideals it is still looking out for its own contentment,
          and not for the man's good.
 

O.M.  True. Trained or untrained, it cares nothing for the man's good, and never concerns itself
          about it.
 

Y.M.   It seems to be an IMMORAL force seated in the man's moral constitution.

O.M.   It is a COLORLESS force seated in the man's moral constitution. Let us call it an
           instinct—a blind, unreasoning instinct,
which cannot and does not distinguish between
           good morals and bad ones,
and cares nothing for results to the man provided its own
           contentment be secured;
and it will ALWAYS secure that.

Y.M.   It seeks money, and it probably considers that that is an advantage for the man?

O.M.  It is not always seeking money, it is not always seeking power,
nor office, nor any other
          MATERIAL advantage.
In ALL cases it seeks a SPIRITUAL contentment, let the MEANS
          be what they may.
Its desires are determined by the man's temperament— and it is lord
          over that. Temperament, Conscience, Susceptibility, Spiritual Appetite, are, in fact, the
          same thing.
Have you ever heard of a person who cared nothing for money?  

Y.M.   Yes. A scholar who would not leave his garret and his books to take a place in a
          business house at a large salary.
 

O.M.  He had to satisfy his master—that is to say, his temperament, his Spiritual Appetite—and
          it preferred books to money. Are there other cases?
 

Y.M.   Yes, the hermit.

O.M.   It is a good instance.
The hermit endures solitude, hunger, cold, and manifold perils, to
          content his autocrat, who prefers these things,
and prayer and contemplation, to money
          or to any show or luxury that money can buy.
Are there others?

Y.M.   Yes. The artist, the poet, the scientist.

O.M.   Their autocrat prefers the deep pleasures of these occupations,
either well paid or ill
           paid, to any others in the market, at any price.
You REALIZE that the Master
           Passion—the contentment of the spirit—concerns itself with many things
besides
           so-called material advantage, material prosperity, cash, and all that?
{the O.M.'s doctrine} 

Y.M.   I think I must concede it.

O.M.   I believe you must. There are perhaps as many Temperaments that would refuse the
           burdens and vexations and distinctions of public office as there are that hunger after
           them.
The one set of Temperaments seek the contentment of the spirit, and that alone;
           and this is exactly the case with the other set. Neither set seeks anything BUT the
           contentment of the spirit. If the one is sordid, both are sordid;
and equally so, since the
           end in view is precisely the same in both cases.
And in both cases Temperament
           decides the preference—and Temperament is BORN, not made.


Conclusion:

O.M.   You have been taking a holiday?

Y.M.   Yes; a mountain tramp covering a week. Are you ready to talk?

O.M.   Quite ready. What shall we begin with?

Y.M.   Well, lying abed resting up, two days and nights, I have thought over all these talks, and
           passed them carefully in review.
With this result: that . . . that . . . are you intending to
           publish your notions about Man some day?
 

O.M.   Now and then, in these past twenty years, the Master inside of me has half-intended to
           order me to set them to paper and publish them.
Do I have to tell you why the order has
           remained unissued, or can you explain so simply a thing without my help?
 { Rationalizers }

Y.M.   By your doctrine, it is simplicity itself: outside influences moved your interior Master to
           give the order; stronger outside influences deterred him.
Without the outside influences,
           neither of these impulses could ever have been born,
since a person's brain is incapable
           or originating an idea within itself.
 

O.M.   Correct. Go on.

Y.M.   The matter of publishing or withholding is still in your Master's hands. If some day an
           outside influence shall determine him to publish,
he will give the order, and it will be
           obeyed.
  

O.M.   That is correct. Well?

Y.M.   Upon reflection I have arrived at the conviction that the publication of your doctrines
           would be harmful.
Do you pardon me?  

O.M.   Pardon YOU? You have done nothing. You are an instrument—a speaking-trumpet.
           Speaking-trumpets are not responsible for what is said through them.
Outside
           influences— in the form of lifelong teachings, trainings, notions, prejudices,
and other
           second-hand importations—have persuaded the Master within you
that the publication
           of these doctrines would be harmful.
Very well, this is quite natural, and was to be
           expected; in fact, was inevitable.
Go on; for the sake of ease and convenience, stick to
           habit: speak in the first person, and tell me what your Master thinks about it.
 

Y.M.   Well, to begin: it is a desolating doctrine;
it is not inspiring, enthusing, uplifting. It takes
           the glory out of man, it takes the pride out of him, it takes the heroism out of him,
it
           denies him all personal credit, all applause;
it not only degrades him to a machine, but
           allows him no control over the machine;
makes a mere coffee-mill of him, and neither
           permits him to supply the coffee nor turn the crank,
his sole and piteously humble
           function being to grind coarse or fine, according to his make,
outside impulses doing the
           rest.
  

O.M.   It is correctly stated. Tell me—what do men admire most in each other?

Y.M.   Intellect, courage, majesty of build, beauty of countenance, charity, benevolence,
          magnanimity, kindliness, heroism, and—and—  

O.M.  I would not go any further. These are ELEMENTALS. Virtue, fortitude, holiness,
          truthfulness, loyalty, high ideals— these,
and all the related qualities that are named in
          the dictionary, are MADE OF THE ELEMENTALS,
by blendings, combinations, and
          shadings of the elementals, just as one makes green by blending blue and yellow,
and
          makes several shades and tints of red by modifying the elemental red.
There are several
          elemental colors; they are all in the rainbow;
out of them we manufacture and name fifty
          shades of them.
You have named the elementals of the human rainbow, and also one
          BLEND—heroism, which is made out of courage and magnanimity.
Very well, then; which
          of these elements does the possessor of it manufacture for himself? Is it intellect?
 

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   Why?

Y.M.   He is born with it.

O.M.   Is it courage?

Y.M.   No. He is born with it.

O.M.   Is it majesty of build, beauty of countenance?

Y.M.   No. They are birthrights.

O.M.  Take those others—the elemental moral qualities— charity, benevolence,
magnanimity,
          kindliness;
fruitful seeds, out of which spring, through cultivation by outside influences, all
          the manifold blends and combinations of virtues named in the dictionaries:
does man
          manufacture any of those seeds, or are they all born in him?
 

Y.M.   Born in him.

O.M.   Who manufactures them {
immanently}, then?

Y.M.   God.

O.M.   Where does the credit of it belong?

Y.M.   To God.

O.M.   And the glory of which you spoke, and the applause?

Y.M.   To God.

O.M.  Then it is YOU who degrade man. You make him claim glory, praise, flattery, for every
          valuable thing he possesses— BORROWED finery, the whole of it;
no rag of it earned by
          himself, not a detail of it produced by his own labor.
YOU make man a humbug; have I
          done worse by him?
 

Y.M.   You have made a machine of him.

O.M.   Who devised that cunning and beautiful mechanism, a man's hand?

Y.M.   God.

O.M.   Who devised the law by which it automatically hammers out of a piano an elaborate
          piece of music, without error, while the man is thinking about something else,
or talking to
          a friend?
 

Y.M.   God.

O.M.  Who devised the blood? Who devised the wonderful machinery which automatically
          drives its renewing and refreshing streams through the body, day and night,
without
          assistance or advice from the man?
Who devised the man's mind, whose machinery
          works automatically, interests itself in what it pleases, regardless of its will or desire,

          labors all night when it likes, deaf to his appeals for mercy? G-D devised all these things.
          I have not made man a machine, G-D made him a machine.
I am merely calling attention
          to the fact, nothing more. Is it wrong to call attention to the fact? Is it a crime?
{I conjecture
          Mark Twain means Spinoza's G-D; therefore I have changed all of Mark Twain's spellings of God to G-D where I
          believe Spinoza's immanent G-D is meant.}

Y.M.   I think it is wrong to EXPOSE a fact {no praise, no blame} when harm {going berserk} can come
          of it.

O.M.   Go on.

Y.M.   Look at the matter as it stands now. Man has been taught that he is the supreme
          marvel of the Creation; he believes it;
in all the ages he has never doubted it, whether he
          was a naked savage, or clothed in purple and fine linen, and civilized.
This has made his
          heart buoyant, his life cheery.
His pride in himself, his sincere admiration of himself, his
          joy in what he supposed were his own and unassisted achievements,
and his exultation
          over the praise and applause which they evoked—these have exalted him,
enthused him,
          ambitioned him to higher and higher flights; in a word, made his life worth the living.
But
          by your scheme, all this is abolished;
he is degraded to a machine, he is a nobody, his |
          noble prides wither to mere vanities;
let him strive as he may, he can never be any better
          than his humblest and stupidest neighbor;
he would never be cheerful again, his life
          would not be worth the living.
{Troubling to Young Man.}

O.M.   You really think that?

Y.M.   I certainly do.

O.M.   Have you ever seen me uncheerful, unhappy.

Y.M.   No.

O.M.   Well, I believe these things. Why have they not made me unhappy?

Y.M.   Oh, well—temperament, of course! You never let THAT escape from your scheme.

O.M.  That is correct. If a man is born with an unhappy temperament, nothing can make him
          happy; if he is born with a happy temperament, nothing can make him unhappy.
 

Y.M.   What—not even a degrading and heart-chilling system of beliefs?

O.M.   Beliefs? Mere beliefs? Mere convictions? They are powerless. They strive in vain
           against inborn temperament.
 

Y.M.   I can't believe that, and I don't.

O.M.  Now you are speaking hastily. It shows that you have not studiously examined the facts.
          Of all your intimates, which one is the happiest? Isn't it Burgess?
 

Y.M.   Easily.

O.M.   And which one is the unhappiest? Henry Adams?

Y.M.   Without a question!

O.M.   I know them well. They are extremes, abnormals; their temperaments are as opposite as
          the poles.
Their life-histories are about alike—but look at the results! Their ages are
          about the same—about around fifty.
Burgess had always been buoyant, hopeful, happy;
          Adams has always been cheerless, hopeless, despondent.
As young fellows both tried
          country journalism—and failed.
Burgess didn't seem to mind it; Adams couldn't smile, he
          could only mourn and groan over what had happened
and torture himself with vain
          regrets for not having done so and so
instead of so and so—THEN he would have
          succeeded.
They tried the law— and failed. Burgess remained happy—because he
          couldn't help it. Adams was wretched—because he couldn't help it.
From that day to this,
          those two men have gone on trying things and failing:
Burgess has come out happy and
          cheerful every time; Adams the reverse.
And we do absolutely know that these men's
          inborn temperaments
have remained unchanged through all the vicissitudes of their
          material affairs.
Let us see how it is with their immaterials. Both have been zealous
          Democrats; both have been zealous Republicans; both have been zealous Mugwumps.

          Burgess has always found happiness and Adams unhappiness in these several political
          beliefs and in their migrations out of them.
Both of these men have been Presbyterians,
          Universalists, Methodists, Catholics—then Presbyterians again,
then Methodists again.
          Burgess has always found rest in these excursions, and Adams unrest. They are trying
          Christian Science, now, with the customary result, the inevitable result.
No political or
          religious belief can make Burgess unhappy or the other man happy.
I assure you it is
          purely a matter of temperament.
Beliefs are ACQUIREMENTS, temperaments are BORN;
          beliefs are subject to change {
software}, nothing whatever can change temperament
          {
hardware}.  

Y.M.   You have instanced extreme temperaments.

O.M.  Yes, the half-dozen others are modifications of the extremes. But the law is the same.
          Where the temperament is two-thirds happy, or two-thirds unhappy,
no political or
          religious beliefs can change the proportions.
The vast majority of temperaments are
          pretty equally balanced;
the intensities are absent, and this enables a nation to learn to
          accommodate itself to its political and religious circumstances and like them,
be satisfied
          with them,
at last prefer them. Nations do not THINK, they only FEEL. They get their
          feelings at second hand through their temperaments, not their brains.
A nation can be
          brought— by force of circumstances,
not argument—to reconcile itself to ANY KIND OF
          GOVERNMENT OR
RELIGION THAT CAN BE DEVISED; in time it will fit itself to the
          required conditions; later, it will prefer them and will fiercely fight for them.
As instances,
          you have all history: the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians,
the Egyptians, the Russians,
          the Germans,
the French, the English, the Spaniards, the Americans, the South
          Americans,
the Japanese, the Chinese, the Hindus, the Turks—a thousand wild and
          tame religions,
every kind of government that can be thought of, from tiger to house-cat,
          each nation KNOWING it has the only true religion and the only sane system of
          government,
each despising all the others, each an ass and not suspecting it, each
          proud of its fancied supremacy,
each perfectly sure it is the pet of God, each without
          undoubting confidence summoning Him to take command in time of war,
each surprised
          when He goes over to the enemy,
but by habit able to excuse it and resume
          compliments—in a word, the whole human race content,
always content, persistently
          content, indestructibly content, happy, thankful, proud,
NO MATTER WHAT ITS
          RELIGION IS, NOR WHETHER ITS MASTER BE TIGER OR HOUSE-CAT.
Am I stating
          facts? You know I am. Is the human race cheerful? You know it is.
Considering what it
          can stand, and be happy,
you do me too much honor when you think that I can place
          before it
a system of plain cold facts that can take the cheerfulness out of it. Nothing can
          do that.
Everything has been tried. Without success. I beg you not to be troubled
          {
because I conclude that Darwinian natural selection will take care of your troubles}.
 
                                                                                            

     



JBY Endnotes: 


 From Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene"; Oxford University Press;
                  ISBN: 0192860925; Page 2—Machines Created by our Genes.



From Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene; 0192860925; p. 276—Brains and Computers.


 
From Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene"; 0192860925; p. 192—Cultural Evolution.
 


 From Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design; 1996; 0393315703; p. 217—Genes and Memes:  


 
From Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale; 0618005838; p. 546—Altuism.
 


 MT: A Computer of Sorts - From Daniel Dennett's Book XXVII:433. 

 
 From The Teaching Company's Tapes; The Great Ideas of Philosophy,
                2nd Edition
; 2004; Professor Daniel N. RobinsonConsciousness.  

MT: A Computer of Sorts - From Ed Sexton's Dawkins and the Selfish Gene; 2001;
ISBN: 1840462388; p.14:  
Ridley:7, Ridley:49,  

From Matt Ridley's Genome; 1999; 0060932902, p. 49—Structure of DNA: 

  MT: A Computer of Sorts - From Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design; 1996; 0393315703; p.115—Electronic and Chemical Storage Mediums:  

 
 MT: Functionalism - From Joseph LeDoux's Book XXIX96:27
                     Is Consciousness Computable{
See Roger Penrose's "Shadows of the Mind" Page 393}

 
 MT: Functionalism—From The Teaching Company's Tapes; The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition; 2004; Professor Daniel N. Robinson's Lecture 50; Part 5 Transcript, pp. 14 & 15; Alan Turing in the Forest of Wisdom—Functionalism and Problem Solving.  

MT: Neurons and Persons - An insight gotten from Joseph LeDoux's Book XXIX96:139. 


 MT: ROM & RAM - From Joseph LeDoux's Book XXVIII:178
                     {
Is Consciousness Computable?, Cosmides & Tooby, Storage Technologies.}


 MT: ROM & RAM - From Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design; 1996; 0393315703; p.116: 


 From Joseph LeDoux's Book XXVIII:301-2.
                     MT: Brains and Other Parallel Computers:


 MT: Language is Software - From Daniel Dennett's Book XXVII:302. 

The philosopher Justin Leiber sums up the role of language in shaping our mental lives: 

 
{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}
 
From The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. USA - Thursday, May 2, 2002, Front Page. 

Rats Turned Into Remote-Controlled Robots 
Technique's Potential Uses Include Aid to Victims of Disaster or Neural Injuries 

[1]  Scientists for the first time have managed to remotely direct the movements of rats by using implanted electrodes to control their behavior—in effect transforming living animal into robots. 

[2]  The technique has potentially important implications for activities ranging from land mine detection, earthquake recovery and spying to the emerging field of neural prostheses—using electronics to bridge nervous-system gaps caused by spinal injuries, strokes or other physical infirmities.  

[3]  'It's really just conditioning behavior," said physiologist John K. Chapin of the State University of New York's Downstate Medical Center, noting that training an animal to do human bidding is as old as teaching dogs to fetch. "But its different in that you can do it all with remote control," he added. "In theory, you could guide the animal anywhere."   

[4]  In fact, after implanting the electrodes and training a "robot" for eight to 10 days in a figure-eight shaped maze, the Chapin-led team could steer it through any three-dimensional route. It could induce the animal to climb ladders, descend ramps, walk on a pipe or navigate through uneven terrain. The rat would even climb trees or wander around a brightly lit room—alien behaviors for the untrained.  

[5]  "I really like the results," said Northwestern University physiologist Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi: "People have been doing conditioning with reflex behaviors for a long time, but this is the first time where you have control of a whole complex animal."  

[6]  Chapin said the research, reported yesterday in the journal Nature, was inspired by his own and many others' efforts to use electronics to help the disabled bridge the gap between what their brains want to do and what their damaged bodies are able to do.  

[7]  Chapin and others demonstrated in earlier research that rats could be trained to retrieve rewards by operating a robotic arm with neural motor impulses captured by electrodes.  

[8]  But Chapin wanted to do the same thing with sensory impulses. "Imagine a paralyzed person grasping a glass of water and bringing it to his mouth," Chapin said. "But he can't feel the glass when he grasps it, so now we have to work on the sensory side. The rat is the first experiment. Can it discriminate between one stimulus and another?"  
 
[9]  The Chapin team implanted three electrodes in the rat's brain. One was placed in a "generic' pleasure center that records satisfaction whenever needs—for food, water or warmth—are satisfied. The others were implanted to stimulate the whisker bundles on either side of the rat's nose.  

[10]  By triggering one of the whisker implants and then stimulating the reward center, the researchers were able to make the rat turn in one direction or the other and move forward—much as a sled driver can order his dogs to "gee" or "haw."  

[11]  After up to 10 days of training, the rat could navigate practically any landscape, wearing a receiver and a power pack on its back and being steered by a technician issuing commands from a laptop computer up to 550 yards away, Chapin said.  

[12]  The rat thus becomes a living robot, controlled remotely by a human handler but able to go anywhere a rat can go. And its supple anatomy gives it a huge and—at least for now—insurmountable advantage over any mechanical robot, which can be confounded by a pair of shoes lying on a carpet.  

[13]  "This trumps that problem," Chapin said. "The rat is much more adept than a robot at getting around difficult terrain—and it has a nose."  

[14]  The military and public service potential of the project has won funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Army's research arm. Camera-equipped rats may have a future as land mine detectors, or as couriers or scouts searching for human victims trapped in collapsed buildings or mine shafts, Chapin said.  

[15]  They could also be used as the "rat on the floor" equivalent of the "fly on the wall," providing a real-time ability to eavesdrop on sensitive conversations taking place behind closed doors.  

[16]  The implications of the experiment for neural prostheses are far less clear. "The idea is wonderful, and it's really interesting that John has accomplished this," said Rutgers University neuroscientist Gyorgy Buzsaki. "But robotic control is relatively easy, and if you want to achieve complex patterns of behavior'—by training a human brain to react instinctively to an electronically transmitted stimulus—"it gets very complicated in a hurry."   

[17]  Also, Chapin noted, "we're trying to avoid using bigger animals" because of the "big brother" ethical issues involved in developing a technique that in many cases overrides an animal's natural instincts.  

[18]  "The rat looks normal and isn't feeling any pain because he's getting rewards for doing the right thing," Chapin said. "They get very tame. They love to get picked up, and they don't even have to be sacrificed because the longer we use them the better they get. We have one old lady rat that received an implant at the beginning of last September."
 


{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}
 
 MT: Endnote Boeing 747 - From Antonio Damasio's Book XXVI:128-9—Robots. 

{Comments to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}     {Quantum Mechanics} 

 From The Teaching Company's Tapes; The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Ed; 2004; Prof. Daniel N. Robinson's Lecture 54; Part 5 Transcript, p. 84-85; Philosophy of the Mind, If There Is One—Descartes' Error.    {Damasio30:249, Stewart:165.} 

 
 
MT: Descartes' Error - From Damasio's Book XXX:249-50Body and Mind                                     Separation.    {
Robinson5:84, Stewart:165.} 

MT: Descartes' Error - From Matthew Stewart's The Courier and the Heretic, 2006;                                         0393058980; p.165—Dualism - Descartes' Error:  
                                        {Damasio30:249, Robinson5:84, Stewart:165, Cosmides & Tooby.}


 From The Teaching Company's Tapes; The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Ed; 2004; Prof. Daniel N. Robinson's Lecture 54; Part 5 Transcript, pp. 97-98; Philosophy of the Mind, If There Is One—Functionalism.  


 
From Gilbert Ryle's "Concept of Mind"; ISBN: 0226732967: Pages 18, 19—Descartes Error.

         {Damasio30:249, Robinson5:84, Stewart:165, Cosmides & Tooby.} 

From Gilbert Ryle's "Concept of Mind"; ISBN: 0226732967: Page 20—No praise/no Blame.

From "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy"; ISBN: 052148328X: Pg. 108—Category Mistake 


 From Prof. Robert Morris Sapolsky's Tape 2 - CG1:9 Scope of Lecture 2:


{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine. Watts consumed.} 

From Lederman, Leon and Christopher T. Hill, "Symmetry and the beautiful universe", Prometheus Books, 1591022428, 2004, Page 60—We living organisms are also engines. Our bodies are consuming energy to sustain our metabolism, ergo our lives. Here we measure energy in "food calories," usually designated with the uppercase C, as in the word Calorie. A typical (lean) person in the United States eats about 2,000 Calories per day. To convert this into joules we multiply by (approximately) 4,200 {1 calorie = 4.18400 joules}; hence, the average lean person is consuming about 8,400,000, or 8.4 million, joules of food energy per day! In a day
page 61 there are 24 hours and 60 minutes per hour, and 60 seconds per minute, that is, 86,400 seconds total in a day. Therefore the average person consumes energy, and burns off the equivalent energy, at an average rate of about 8,400,000/86,400 = 97 watts. Therefore each of us, as living, functioning, metabolizing beings is approximately equivalent to a 100-watt light bulb in our metabolic power consumption. {watt-- the SI unit of power, equivalent to one joule per second and equal to the power in a circuit in which a current of one ampere flows across a potential difference of one volt.}


{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.} 

From The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. USA - Monday, May 20, 2002, Page A9. 

A New Thinking Emerges About Consciousness      Robinson4:156,169
Descartes Notwithstanding, Some Neuroscientists Find Answer in Chemistry

By Shankar Vedantam Washington Post Staff Writer

[1]  For centuries, philosophers have been bedeviled by this question: What makes people aware of themseIves, and what gives rise to intention and free will? In other words, what is consciousness {Philos. the mind or the mental faculties as characterized by thought, feelings, and volition}?  

[2]  In the 17th century,
the French Philosopher Rene Descartes suggested that consciousness was like an "observer" {pineal gland, Soul} in the head, a higher function, separate from the workings of the physical brain {dualism}. In the four centuries since, no one has done much better in explaining subjective experience—your sensation of the color, red, or a twinge of pain, or your ability to choose your actions. In recent years, philosohers who study cognition {of or pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes} have come to call this 'the hard problem." {See Endnote Descartes Pineal Gland and 2P35(6).}  

[3]  Neuroscientists—data-dependent investigators who map brain function, trace neural networks and explore the biochemistry of neurotransmitters—have traditionally treated the question of consciousness like an unwelcome guest at the dining table. Some have dismissed it as irrelevant to their understanding of the brain, and others have contended that objective analysis can never comprehend a feeling that is entirely subjective.  

[4]  Increasingly, however, some scientists who explore neurons and brain connections
are turning their attention to the philosophers "hard problem." Most have come to believe that Descartes was wrong—that there is no "observer" sitting in the head. Consciousness, they say, is highly organized brain chemistry, just as life itself comprises proteins and cells organized into complex patterns {A useful hypothesis, for it sets the logic for continued study.}.  

[5]  "Consciousness is real, but like stage magic—it has a mundane scientific explanation," said Daniel C. Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Tufts University. It's all just brain mechanisms and their activities. {Joseph LeDoux's FunctionalismComputer}

[6]  "All the work that one imagines being done by the ego are really done by bits of the brain. Those brain tissues are not conscious and do not know who you are or care—but their activity adds up to "conscious you."  

[7]  The most extreme version of this view, which is sometimes called reductionism {the theory that every complex phenomenon, esp. in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon}, suggests that consciousness is an illusion. A new book by Harvard professor Daniel Wegner is titled, "The Illusion of Conscious Will."  

[8]  The feeling you have as you read this sentence, Wegner argues, is an illusion pulled off by a complex machine in your skull. It not only reads and understands this sentence, he says, but also makes you feel as if you have experienced the reading of the sentence. In other words, the brain, not content with being a remarkably complex machine, also convinces itself that it isn't a machine at all.  

[9]  But why would it bother? The brain, Wegner contends, produces consciousness to give itself a feeling of having done something: This feeling helps the brain recognize similar situations when they arise—the next article in the newspaper, for instance. Being aware of its actions, the brain-machine can better decide whether to read another article.  

[10]  When you drive to work, you don't feel there are hundreds of little gears in a machine in your head that make you do this. You think, "I'm going to get up and go to work," Wegner said in an interview.  

[11]  We think the intentions cause the actions, and we get the feeling we have willed what we do. It could be the intentions and actions are being caused by the machinery of the brain."  

[12]  Wegner cites numerous examples to show that intentions and actions are produced by different mechanisms in the brain—while they are timed to occur simultaneously they sometimes don't. During hypnosis, for instance people's bodies act apparently without their will. Yet their movements are still produced by their brains, suggesting that conscious intention doesn't always precede action.  

[13]  Other experiments have shone that people are not aware of most brain activity. Until they focus on it, for example most readers would not be conscious that they were stringing together the words in this sentence, applying the laws of grammar and extracting meaning. Wegner says the relationship between conscious will and action is like that of a magician's wand and the rabbit he pulls out of a hat—it only seems as if the wand made the rabbit appear. But why would the brain ascribe intention to only some of its actions? "Why do certain areas of the brain not produce consciousness and other areas at other times produce experience?" asked Terrence Deacon, an anthropologist at the University of California at Berkeley. Deacon, the author of "The Symbolic Species," disagrees with Wegner's mechanistic explanation. Deacon is exploring a new theory, that the brain has two separate aspects. One part, which handles things it has mastered, is all about computation. The other part, which is consciousness, reacts to the world in a process that mimics evolution {Category Mistake}.  

[14]  In Charles Darwin's theory, species evolve from one to the next without a guiding hand; competition and selection spur adaptation and improvement.  

[15]  "Evolution is information coming out of nothing, information coming out of chaos," said Deacon. The same phenomenon of "emergent" information in our brain is consciousness, he said.  

[16]  This ability, he said, is useful dealing with the unexpected. "When I am outdoors at night and I hear a crackling sound in bushes; it pushes everything else out of the way," he said.  
                                 {
Biology of EmotionsANS}

[17]  In other words, consciousness, helps people pay attention to what's important. But Deacon admits that this theory, which tries to explain what consciousness does doesn't quite get at what consciousness is. Deacon is among the many who quote David Chalmers's description of this as the "hard problem." The hard problem is hard because no explanation of brain processes will explain subjective experience," said Chalmers, a philosopher at the University of Arizona. "I am interested in the perceptual aspects of consciousness. The feeling of pain, the taste of chocolate, the sight of blue—all these are subjective experiences."  

[18]  Chalmers believes scientists will eventually conclude that consciousness, is a fundamental property of the universe—like space, time, or gravity {or process}—and therefore not reducible.  

[19]  Why does the law of gravity hold? No one can explain that," Chalmers said.  

[20]  The neuroscientists all furiously disagree with each other, of course. The reductionists call arguments about new fundamental properties of the universe "woolly-headed" and a back-door return to Descartes' "observer" in the brain. Their detractors criticize them for being "more neural than thou," which is actually the title of one paper. Beyond the hard problem is what New York University philosopher Ned Block calls 'the harder problem"—how to understand consciousness in other creatures, especially those with brains very different from ours. And as technology improves, Block said that question may one day be posed about complex machines, or humans with visual and neurological implants.  

[21]  And so it goes. Despite the neuroscientists' new theories, the hard problem isn't getting any easier.  

{Roger Penrose in his Shadows of the Mind doubts that consciousness is computable and makes clear that when we admire a computer we are really admiring the ingenuity of the hardware designers and the ingenuity of the software programmers.}
 

{
Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}              Is the Brain a Digital Computer?
 
 
From LeDoux's Book XXIX96:281Is Consciousness Computable?
                              The Emotional Brain        {
See Roger Penrose's Shadows of the Mind; p. 393}


{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}
 
From Mexico News, December 16, 2002, Page 25.
 

Researchers Find Brain Center Of Music Appreciation 

By PAUL RECER

Associated Press

[1]  Sounds from the radio slip into a melody and suddenly your mind skips back to an evening of moonlight and romance and happy times. It happens to everybody, but until now science was unsure just why.  

[2]  A new study by researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, suggests recalling that melody is the job of a part of the brain known as the rostromedial prefrontal cortex. it is the part that remembers music and is even able to recognize a sour note in the midst of a familiar tune.  

[3]  A team led by researcher Petr Janata of Dartmouth's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience explored the mind's memory for tunes by studying the brains of eight musicians as they listened to a bit of original music.  

[4]  Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, which detects the part of the brain active in response to specific stimuli, they found the ability to recognize music is contained in a centrally located area just behind the forehead.  

[5]  Janata said that part of the brain also plays a key role in learning and in the response and control of emotions.  

[6]  "Our results provide a stronger foundation for explaining the link between music, emotion and the brain," Janata said.  

[7]  In the study, eight people who had studied music for at least 12 years listened to the music and were asked to pick out specific tones and to detect notes played by a flute-like instrument instead of a clarinet which had dominated the music. As they performed these tasks, the functional MRI tracked which parts of the brain were active.  

[8]  The researchers reported that the brains of each of the subjects tracked the sounds in a slightly different way each time the music was played. This may be the reason the same music, in different times, may prompt different emotions.  

[9]  Janata said the fact that the brain is naturally wired to appreciate and remember music suggests that the pleasant {harmonious} sounds were an important part of the human mind from the earliest of times.  

[10]  "It's not necessary for human survival, yet something inside us craves it {peace-of-mind}," said Janata. "I think this research helps us understand that craving a little bit more."  

On The, Net. Science: www.sciencemag.org

 
{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}
 
From The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. USA - Tuesday, April 15, 2003, Page A6.
 

Genome Project Completed 
 
Findings May Alter Humanity's Sense of Itself, Experts Predict 

By Rick Weiss, Washington Post Staff Writer 

[1]  Thirteen years after its launch as the most ambitious biomedical research project ever undertaken, the Human Genome Project yesterday was declared officially complete, having revealed in exquisite detail the genetic blueprint underlying all life.  

[2]  But citing Shakespeare's famous assertion that "what is past is prologue" project leaders immediately looked ahead, unveiling a formal plan to catapult the genetic findings into every sphere of life—including plans that even proponents said would raise difficult social, ethical and legal questions.  

[3]  That roadmap for future studies calls for new research into the role that genes play in race and ethnicity; in influencing personality traits and behaviors, including mental illness; and in other politically sensitive aspects of the human condition. Experts predicted that the results will have profound societal impacts and will ultimately revamp humanity's sense of itself.  

[4]  "We are learning at a very rapid clip how we are all the same and how we are different," said Francis Collins, chief of the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, which spearheaded the U.S. part of the international effort along with the Department of Energy.  

[5]  The project's formal completion, announced at a celebratory scientific meeting in Bethesda, occurred at 2 a.m. last Tuesday, Collins said—two hours after the project's self-imposed deadline—when scientists at the project's 16 laboratories around the world e-mailed final bits of the genetic code to a centralized database.  

[6]  The final sequence, completed at a cost of $2.6 billion, provides the exact order of virtually all 3 billion letters of the human genetic code. It fills in holes and corrects errors in a "working draft" that was feted at a White House ceremony in 2000.  

[7]  The end came two years ahead of its initially anticipated completion, $400 million under budget, and 50 years to the month after James Watson and Francis Crick, published their historic determination of the three-dimensional structure of DNA—a seminal discovery that revealed for the first lime how DNA might serve as the chemical basis of heredity.  

[8]  "This structure has novel features which are of considerable interest," Watson and Crick wrote in that article, in what has since come to be known as one of the great understatements in scientific history.  

[9]  Yet even as Watson and other scientific luminaries reveled in the project's success at yesterday's meeting on the NIH campus, project leaders conceded there was far more still to learn.  

[10]  Perhaps the biggest and simplest unanswered question is how many genes it really takes to make a human being, genes being the stretches of DNA within the overall sequence that carry instructions to grow a body. So central was that question that the researchers themselves had started a betting pool on the numbers of genes, with the goal of "opening the envelope" and declaring a winner this month.  

[11]  As it turned out, it has been difficult to create a computer program that recognizes discrete genes within the immensely long double helix of DNA that carries the code of life. Current estimates range between 25,000 and 30,000—far fewer than the 100,000 that scientists initially expected—but that could still change.  

[12]  Richard Gibbs, director of the Baylor College of Medicine Genome Center, one of a handful of U.S. labs that dedicated themselves to the genome project, said he expects the number to grow to perhaps 40,000. But Eric Lander, who directs the genome sequencing center at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge. Mass, said he could imagine the number shrinking.  

[13]  What is important, Lander said, is that "starting today, the real serious analysis of things can begin."  

[14]  The genome project's roots reach back to 1984, when scientists meeting at a Utah resort first focused on the problem of how to identify genetic mutations in the survivors of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.  

[15]  An Energy Department advisory committee followed up with a 1987 report that urged the nation to begin an effort, "extraordinary in scope and magnitude," that would allow a "reading of the ‘Book of Man."  

[16]  The idea was endorsed in a pair of 1988 federal reports, and Congress began funding the effort in 1990, with the goal of completing the project in 2005 and making all findings public along the way.  

[17]  Not everyone thought it could be done. The necessary technology was mostly non-existent, so the first several years of the project were devoted largely to developing gene analysis methods and making advances in computational biology and information storage.  

[18]  At the beginning of the project, it cost $10 to definitively identify a single base pair—or "letter" of DNA code—and a highly trained technician could scan perhaps 10,000 base pairs in a day. Now the equivalent cost is 5 cents and lightning-fast robotic sequencers routinely process 10,000 base pairs a second.  

[19]  The project accelerated ever more quickly starting in 1999, when Celera Genomics Corp., a Rockville biotechnology concern, injected a dose of competitive pressure by announcing its own plan to sequence—and then sell—human genome data. The two groups jointly celebrated completion of their respective draft sequences in a June 2000 White House ceremony.  

[20]  That was just one of several milestones in the life of the human genome project, which gained a reputation over years for repeatedly announcing that it was almost done. Even now, though the project is formally over, the sequence is not 100 percent finished. For reasons that remain mostly mysterious, about 1 percent of the genome has proved impossible to sequence, and will remain so until new technologies emerge that are up to the task.  

[21]  Still, the final product beats the 2000 draft handily, scientists said. The frequency of errors, which was one in 10,000 bases, is now about one in 100,000. And the average distance one can go along the genome before coming to an unreadable gap in the sequence has grown from 82,000 bases two years ago to 27 million today.  

[22]  Moreover, the project found time and money to sequence the genomes of other organisms along the way including the mouse and the fugu fish—offering invaluable comparative data that will help scientists figure out what various human genes do. Hundreds of thousands of information requests are flowing into the genome database every day from researchers around the world.  

[23]  Congratulations arrived yesterday from President Bush and the leaders of the five other countries hat participated in the project: Britain (whose Wellcome Trust funded about a third of the project), Japan, France, Germany and China. And scientists expressed an enormous measure of satisfaction.  

[24]  "I stand in awe at this joyous occasion," said Ari Patrinos, who led the Energy Department's contribution.  

[25]  But Patrinos and others said they were already focusing on the future. The Energy Department has begun an initiative called Genomes to Life, which will use technologies developed for the genome project to work on environmental cleanups, climate change and the search for new energy sources.  

[26]  The new roadmap for NIH genomic research released yesterday—a consensus document forged by more than 600 scientists at a dozen workshops—is reminiscent of the 1990 genome initiative in that it looks beyond the horizon of what is immediately possible.  

[27]  It sets major goals in applying genomics to medicine and health, including an ambitious effort to find new gene-based drugs and genetic tests to predict diseases before they occur.  

[28]  The plan, to be published in the April 24 issue of the journal Nature, also calls for a focus on "heritable human genetic variation," including how race and ethnicity influence people's susceptibility to disease and affect their responses to medicines—and how such information affects people's sense of identity and kinship and their perception of what is "normal."  

[29]  It also calls for more research in behavioral genetics, the complicated, nascent and controversial field that looks for "inborn" {hardware} propensities to certain behaviors.  

From Matt Ridley's Genome; 1999; 0060932902, p. 7—Genes: 

{Definitions below are from RH, unless noted.} 

genome (jee'nohm) n. a full haploid (simple) set of chromosomes with all its genes; the total genetic constitution of a cell or organism; a full set of chromosomes; all the inheritable traits of an organism. 

gene (jeen) n. 1. the basic physical unit of heredity; a linear sequence of nucleotides along a segment of DNA that provides the coded instructions for synthesis of RNA, which, when translated into protein, leads to the expression of hereditary character. 

DNA 1. deoxyribonucleic acid: an extremely long, double-stranded nucleic acid molecule arranged as a double helix that is the main constituent of the chromosome and that carries the genes as segments along its strands: found chiefly in the chromatin of cells and in many viruses. 

Watson-Crick model n:. a model of DNA structure in which the molecule is a cross-linked double-stranded helix, each strand is composed of alternating links of phosphate and deoxyribose, and the strands are cross-linked by pairs of purine and pyrimidine bases projecting inward from the deoxyribose sugars and joined by hydrogen bonds with adenine paired with thymine and with cytosine paired with guanine.
Etymology: J. D. Watson & F. H. C. Crick Date: 1958

chromatin (kroh'muh tin) n. 1. the readily stainable substance of a cell nucleus that consists of DNA, RNA, and various proteins, and forms chromosomes during cell division. 

chromosome (kroh'muh sohm) n. 1. one of a set of threadlike structures, composed of DNA and a protein, that form in the nucleus when the cell begins to divide and that carry the genes which determine an individual's hereditary traits. 

RNA 1. ribonucleic acid: any of a class of single-stranded nucleic acid molecules composed of ribose and uracil, found chiefly in the cytoplasm of cells and in certain viruses, and important in protein synthesis and in the transmission of genetic information transcribed from DNA.

progeria (proh jeer'ee uh) n. 1. a rare congenital abnormality characterized by premature and rapid aging, the affected individual appearing in childhood as an aged person. 
 


{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}
 
From The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. USA - Thursday, April 17, 2003, Page A6.
 

Genetic Error Causes Rapid-Aging Syndrome
 
Discovery Offers, Hope for Treatments

Reuters

[1]  Two teams of scientists reported yesterday that they had found a genetic mutation that causes children to die of old age, and said their research offered both a way to find a cure and insights into normal aging.  

[2]  Children with Hutchinson-Gilford, progeria syndrome age at a rate five to 10 times faster than normal. They lose their hair, their skin wrinkles and they die of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, by their early teens.  

[3]  The disease strikes about one in 4 million. There is no known cure, and until the two teams finished their work last year, no one knew the cause.  

[4]  Now, French and U.S. teams have traced the defect to a gene that controls the structure of the nucleus, the part of the cell that holds most of the genes and chromosomes. The teams reported their findings in the journals Science and Nature, respectively.  

[5]  The mutation, found in children with progeria, causes the nucleus to be unstable, affecting virtually every cell in the body apart from the brain.  

[6]  The nucleus is usually a nice, round structure," said Leslie Gordon of Tufts University in Boston, of the U.S. team. "There are these bubbles that form because of this defect. That most likely causes the instability that leads to cell death."  

[7]  It may now be possible to look for a cure for those children, she said.

[8]  "I feel like the door has just flown open," Gordon, who has a 6-year-old son with progeria, said in a telephone interview. "It's going to be a springboard for a lot of exciting research for aging and heart disease and, obviously, will be a big step for a cure for these children."  

[9]  The mutation seems to be carried in sperm, because it only affects half a patient's DNA. The mutation causes production of an abnormal protein that takes over the formation of the nucleus.  

[10]  The mutated gene, called LMNA, controls a protein called Lamin A. A separate team led by Nicolas Levy of the Faculte de Medecine de la Timone in Marseille, France, found the same mutation.  

[11]  "We have shown we can find the shorter, defective protein causing all these problems and leading to this disease in children," Gordon said. "So we have a place to start now."


From The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. USA - Saturday, November 13, 2004, Page B9. 

Is the Capacity for Spirituality Determined by Brain Chemistry?
Geneticist's Book "The God Gene" Is Disputed by Scientists, Embraced by Some Religious Leaders

By Bill Broadway:  Washington Post Staff Writer

[1]
Dean H. Hamer has received much criticism for the new book "The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired
Into Our Genes."       {Storage Technologies.} 
[2]
Evangelicals reject the idea that faith
might be reduced to chemical reactions in the brain. Humanists refuse to accept that religion is inherent in people's makeup {Psychology}. And some scientists have criticized Hamer's methodology and what they believe is a futile effort to find empirical proof of religious experience. 
[3]
But Hamer, a behavioral geneticist
at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, stands by research he says shows that spirituality {seeking PcM}the feeling of transcendence {going beyond the universe}is part of our nature {conatus}. And he believes that a universal penchant {a strong inclination, taste, or liking for something, seeking} for spiritual fulfillment {i.e. Peace of Mind} explains the growing popularity of nontraditional religion in this country and the presence of hundreds of religions throughout the world. 
[4]
"We think that all human beings have an innate {
inborn, hardwired} capacity for spirituality and that that desire to reach out beyond oneself, which is at the heart of spirituality {seeking PcM}, is part of the human makeup," Hamer, 53, said in an interview at his Northwest Washington townhouse. "The research suggests some people have a bit more of that capacity than others, but it's present to some degree in everybody."
[5]
"The God Gene," published in September, 2004,
and featured in Time magazine's Oct. 25 cover story, is a sequel to "Living With Our Genes," a 1998 book in which Hamer examined the genetic basis of such behavioral traits as anxiety, thrill-seeking and homosexuality. Hamer said his previous research, most notably his work on anxiety, encouraged him to look into the genetic propensity for religious belief. 
[6]
What he found was that the brain chemicals
associated with anxiety and other emotions, including joy and sadness, appeared to be in play in the deep meditative states of Zen practitioners and the prayerful repose of Roman Catholic nunsnot to mention the mystical trances brought on by users of peyote and other mind-altering drugs.
[7]
At least one gene,
which goes by the name VMAT2, controls the flow to the brain of chemicals that play a key role in emotions and consciousness. This is the "God gene" of the book's title, and Hamer acknowledges that it's a misnomer. There probably are dozens or hundreds more genes, yet to be identified, involved in the universal propensity for transcendence, he said. 
[8]
Furthermore,
the scientific linkage of a gene with chemicals that affect happiness or sadness does not answer the question "Is there a God?" but rather "Why do we believe in God?"
{
Answer: to find Peace of Mind.} 
[9]
"Our genes can predispose us to believe.
But they don't tell us what to believe in," said Hamer, whose current research involves HIV/AIDS. 
[10]
Critics in the scientific community
argue that Hamer's conclusions are simplistic and speculative, relying too much on anecdotal {based on incidental observations or reports rather than systematic evaluation} evidence and too little on testing of the VMAT2 gene to determine other possible connections to behavior. They also wonder whether his findings can be replicated {duplicated}, a necessity in scientific research.
[11]
"The field of behavioral genetics
is littered with failed links between particular genes and personality traits," said Carl Zimmer, a science author who reviewed the book in last month's Scientific American.  
[12]
Some religious leaders welcome the idea
of a genetic basis for spirituality and say it validates long-held teaching.
[13]
"I wondered for a long time
why [the concept of] a genetic implant hasn't been put in print or been part of a conversation in the broad theological community," said Bishop John B. Chane of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Chane associates Hamer's findings with the Apostle Paul's statement, "There are a variety of gifts but the same spirit." 
[14]
Chane also welcomes the notion of genetic universality
as a new, deeper way of promoting understanding among people of different faithsparticularly Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all of which trace their beginnings to the same father, Abraham. 
[15]
Others, such as Bishop Adam J. Richardson Jr.
of the Washington area district of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said that it's hard to quantify matters of the spirit and that attributing behavior to one's genetic makeup "can be a frightful thing." By analogy, saying that people are predisposed to be spiritual also means that criminals are genetically wired to be criminals and have no hope of rehabilitation. 
[16]
"Why not just put them in prison and throw away the key?" he asked.

[17]
Richardson said there's also the danger of people losing hope,
of believing their genetic makeup limits their development and personal growth. "In my own system, we do have choice. We always have choice," the bishop said.
[18]
Hamer said his own religious development began in a Congregationalist church,
which he abandoned when he became a scientist. But he discovered new spiritual meaning when he began researching this bookthrough, in part, Zen meditative practices he learned at a Zen center near Kyoto, Japan.
[19]
He likens spirituality to the capacity for language:
Humans are genetically {hardware} predisposed to have it, but the language people speak and the religion they practice are learned {data base} rather than inherited characteristics. {Genes and Memes} 
[20]
People are designed to communicate through language,
but they speak English, French or
Chinese because of the part of the world they grew up in.
Similarly, genetic makeup urges people to believe in a Creator or find spiritual fulfillment {i.e. Peace of Mind}, but culture, history and environment determine whether one is a Christian, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist or Muslim. 
[21]
Although people can change or abandon that religious affiliation,
they cannot rid themselves of the genetic propensity to be spiritual. But people can build on and develop that innate spirituality through meditation, prayer and creative arts such as music and painting. These practices can be done inside or outside organized religion, he said. 
[22]
Hamer said he has received numerous comments from people
who say that the dichotomy
{
division into two exclusive, opposed, or contradictory group} of spirituality and religion makes sense. "I always knew this, that I was inclined to be spiritual, even though I've always had a problem with {scriptural theology} religion," they tell him. 
[23]
"I see more and more people doing things like yoga,"
Hamer said. "They do it initially because they want to get more flexible and look good and feel great. Then they find that once they spend some time sitting on a mat, doing nothing but concentrating on their body and clearing their mind of everything else, they say, 'That feels kind of good.'"
[24]
Such feelings can lead to an intuitive sense of God's presence,
Hamer said. "We do not know God; we feel Him." 
[25]
Organized {
scriptural theology} religion can become so codified, so caught up with learned rituals, that the focus on spirituality gets lost, Hamer said. The resurgence of Pentecostalism {noting or pertaining to any of various Christian groups, usu. fundamentalist, that emphasize the activity of the Holy Spirit, stress holiness of living, and express their religious feelings uninhibitedly, as by speaking in tongues; <tongues> speech, often incomprehensible, typically uttered during moments of religious ecstasy} and other emotion-based religions is one sign of the staying power of inherited spirituality, he said. 
[26]
Megachurches,
too, are part of this phenomenon and have widespread appeal because of the emotional aspects of worship, he said. "They have lots of music, video screens, the whole multimedia thing going on," he said. "They're tapping into that [innate spirituality]. It's fun and allows people to get into that spiritual frame of mind." 
[27]
Hamer said more research has to be done
to determine whether there is a genetic basis for other religion-related phenomena, including the existence of arche-types, the similarity of creation stories in various religions and the common characteristics of fundamentalism in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. 
[28]
Also left hanging is why women score much higher than men on transcendence tests.

[29]
"I'm not completely sure about that,"
Hamer said. "I just know that it's true. Women are more attuned to their emotional connections, and that's at the heart of spirituality."


 William James, "The Reality of the Unseen," reprinted in Robinson;
               ISBN: 0872202224.
 

From Professor James Hall's Lecture 29 - CG3:16—{technological advancement}. 


 Endnote Descartes Pineal Gland -
From Antonio Damasio's Book XXVI:187-9Pineal Gland.
 

From Antonio Damasio's Book XXVI:28—'Emotion' versus 'Feelings', Biology of Emotions: 


{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}   Is Consciousness Computable?
 
From The New York Times, New York, NY, USA - Saturday, April 19, 2003.
 

I Feel, Therefore I Am 
 
By EMILY EAKIN

From Harcourtbook Web Page, March 23, 2005:
 Looking for Spinoza / Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain
Antonio Damasio
 Interview 

Completing the trilogy that began with Descartes' Error and continued with The Feeling of What Happens, noted neuroscientist Antonio Damasio now focuses the full force of his research and wisdom on emotions. He shows how joy and sorrow are cornerstones of our survival. As he investigates the cerebral mechanisms behind emotions and feelings, Damasio argues that the internal regulatory processes not only preserve life within ourselves, but they create, motivate, and even shape our greatest cultural accomplishments.

Biography 

Antonio R. Damasio is the Van Allen Professor and head of the department of neurology at the University of Iowa Medical Center and is an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute in San Diego. DESCARTES' ERROR was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and has been translated into twenty-three languages. His most recent book, THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and has eighteen foreign editions. He lives in Iowa City and Chicago.

Interview 

Q: Much of the work you have done in the lab and with your previous books explored the role that emotions play in decision-making and in the construction of the self. In your new book, LOOKING FOR SPINOZA {2003} you seem to be presenting a progress report on our understanding of the nature and significance of feelings. What is new here? What have you found out?  

Q: What value does understanding the difference between emotions and feelings have?

Q: Are there neurobiological foundations for Ethics? 

Q: Why bring Spinoza in to this? 

Q: Are there any case studies that illuminate your argument? 

Q: Is it possible to locate the spiritual {desire for PcM—i.e., that is nothing less than conatus at work} in the human organism? 

Q: People who have read Looking for Spinoza were surprised to find it hopeful. Do you think it is hopeful? 


{Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.}   Is Consciousness Computable? 

 
From Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2003:  Soul-searching science Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, Antonio Damasio, Harcourt: 356 pp., ISBN: 0151005575. 

By Margaret Jacob, Margaret Jacob is the author of "The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans." She is a professor of history at UCLA. 


Comment to 1a. Man the {Computerized} Machine.
 
 
Mark Twain 1907
From "The Complete Essays of Mark Twain." Edited and with an introduction by Charles Neider; 1963 by Charles Heider. p. 484 "The Turning-point of My Life" by Mark Twain, written in 1910 {the year Mark Twain died}.  

[1]  Circumstances do the planning for us all, no doubt, by help of our temperaments. I see no great difference between a man and a watch, except that the man is conscious and the watch isn't, and the man tries to plan things and the watch doesn't. The watch doesn't wind itself and doesn't regulate itself—these things are done exteriorly. Outside influences, outside circumstances, wind the man and regulate him. Left to himself, he wouldn't get regulated at all, and the sort of time he would keep would not be valuable. Some rare men are wonderful watches, with gold case, compensation balance, and all those things, and some men are only simple and sweet and humble Waterburys. I am a Waterbury. A Waterbury of that kind, some say.  

[2]  A nation is only an individual multiplied. It makes plans and Circumstance comes and upsets them—or enlarges them. Some patriots throw the tea overboard; some other patriots destroy a Bastille. The plans stop there; then Circumstance comes in, quite unexpectedly, and turns these modest riots into a revolution.  

[3]  And there was por Columbus. He elaborated a doeep plan to find a new route to an old country. Circumstance revised his plan for him; and he found a new world. And he gets the credit of it to this day. He hadn't anything to do with it.  


 Mark Twain 1907
From "The Complete Essays of Mark Twain." Edited and with an introduction by Charles Neider; Copyright 1963 by Charles Heider: p. 585 "Corn-pone Opinions" by Mark Twain, written in 1923.  

The outside {exterior} influences are always pouring in upon us, and we are always obeying their orders and accepting their verdicts. The Smiths like the new play; the Jones go see it, and they copy the Smith verdict. Morals, religions, politics, get their following from surrounding influences and atmospheres, almost entirely; not from study, not from thinking. A man must and will have his own approval first of all, in each and every moment and circumstance of his life—even if he must repent of a self-approved act the moment after its commission, in order to get his self-approval again: but, speaking in general terms, a man's self-approval in the large concerns of life has its source in the approval of the peoples about him, and not in a searching personal examination of the matter. Mohammedans are Mohammedans because they are born and reared among that sect, not because they have thought it out and can furnish sound reasons for being Mohammedans; we know why Catholics are Catholics; why Presbyterians are Presbyterians; why Baptists are Baptists; why Mormons are Mormons; why thieves are thieves; why monarchists are monarchists; why Republicans are Republicans and Democrats, Democrats. We know it is a matter of association and sympathy, not reasoning and examination; that hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics, or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. Broadly speaking, there are none but corn-pone {corn-pone - corn bread, esp. of a plain or simple kind} opinions. And broadly speaking, corn-pone stands for self-approval. Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people. The result is conformity. Sometimes conformity has a sordid business interest—the bread-and-butter interest—but not in most cases, I think. I think that in the majority of cases it is unconscious and not calculated; that it is born of the human being's natural yearning to stand well with his fellows and have their inspiring approval and praise—a yearning which is commonly so strong and so insistent that it cannot be effectually resisted, and must have its way {obeyed}.  

From Matt Ridley's Genome; 1999; 0060932902, p. 309—Free Will, Determinism, Sin: 

End.

 


Since October 31, 2000  hits.
 

Mark Twain and Spinoza 
Revised: September 18, 2006

josephb@yesselman.com


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