Robert S. Hartman

Levels of Value

I am a professional philosopher. I think I owe you an explanation how a sane person can go into this
profession. I was raised in Germany. I was born on January 27, 1910 in Berlin – on the Emperor’s
birthday. Not only was I born on that imperial holiday in the capital of the German Empire, I was
born in the very street which housed the War Ministry, Bendlerstrasse. As a matter of fact, my birth
house was right opposite the entrance to the War Ministry. I always say, a metaphysical umbilical
cord connects me with the latest German history.

I grew up in Germany, went to primary school and high school and very early saw the National
Socialist movement beginning. There was a national socialist club at our school. When I was invited
to this club from time to time, I saw what was going on there; between you and me – we are all men
here – it was a homosexual outfit, and didn’t appeal to me. To my great astonishment, in the course
of my youth, this movement grew into a large political movement, and the leader of this movement
was slated to become the Chancellor of the German Reich. So I wrote articles and papers already in
high school against this. One article I remember was entitled “Die Frau Hitler” – “The Woman
Hitler.” I showed that the Nazi movement was a movement of perverts and homosexuals. I lit into
it. I said it was not so much a political as a psychiatric phenomenon. I still have this article. The
Nazis didn’t like it. I left Germany right after high school, in 1927, studying in France, Spain and
England, returning only in 1932 to finish up my studies in Berlin – and in 1933 Hitler did become
the Chancellor of the German Reich.

What Is Value?

Observing this whole development as a young fellow – starting out when I was about thirteen,
witnessing the Munich trial of Hitler which was a great event to us kids in Munich – and having to
make up my mind what I would do in life, I thought, here is the very core of evil being organized into
a political movement, and into a movement that is capturing the whole of Germany – their big song
was, as you know, “Today we own Germany, tomorrow the whole world” – “Heute gehoert uns
Deutschland, morgen die ganze Welt. ”

I had no doubts that if this man with his tremendous power for hate could organize the million
Germans into a military organization, as he promised, then there would be another war, and the
Nazis might win it. They might really become the masters of the world. And I thought to myself,
what guarantee is there that this evil will not win? I saw it winning in Germany, and I thought to
myself, if evil can be organized so efficiently, why cannot good? I decided I would organize good.
But then I had to find out what was good – and what was evil? I had to find out what was value. So
I studied law. I thought, in the law, the judges always say what is right and what is wrong; they must
know what is good and what is evil. I got my law degree – and didn’t learn a single thing about good
and bad. For the law does not tell what is good and what is bad. The law tells what is legal and what
is illegal. I learned the one great lesson from my law experience – that the law is nothing but an
instrument that can be used for good or for evil in the hands of either good or evil people. That was
an important thing to learn. The law is just like any other instrument. A hammer can be used to drive
in a nail and to bash in a head. Law is like science. Science is neither good nor evil – but it can be
used for good or evil in the hands of good or evil people. With the atomic power we can make the
Sahara bloom and we can make the world into a desert. Science is morally neutral, it is, as we say,
amoral. It is neither moral nor immoral – it is amoral, morally neutral. And so is the law. This was
an important lesson to learn.

As an example of this moral neutrality of the law there was a few years ago a famous law case in
Germany, the so-called Remer case. It made crystal clear the purely instrumental nature of the law
for good or for evil There was in Germany a neo-Nazi party led by a man by the name of Remer.
Remer was the fellow who, by an accident, turned the day of the conspiracy against Hitler, the 20th
of July 1944, into a disaster for the conspirators. Maybe some of you saw the movie made about that
day – a fabulous movie. When the attempt was made, by Colonel Schenk von Stauffenberg at Hitler’s
headquarters in Rastenburg in East Prussia, the bomb was put by accident on the other side of the
table, blew up the table and some of the men opposite of Hitler, but to Hitler himself nothing
happened. Stauffenberg, who had seen the building blow up, went back to Berlin and told his fellow
conspirators Hitler was dead. Unfortunately, the conspiracy was badly organized. It seems the good
people have never had, so far in history, the efficiency of the bad people. Our task is really to make
the good people as efficient in the world as the bad people. The good people at that time, both the
military like Stauffenberg and the civilians, like Goerdeler, were extremely inefficient. Among other
things, they didn’t even have the foresight to cut off the telephone switchboard in Berlin or
efficiently to cut off Hitler’s headquarters from the rest of the country.

Thus, when Stauffenberg came back to Berlin and said Hitler was dead the conspirators started to
take power and to give the corresponding orders all over Germany. Remer was in charge of the guard
battalion of Berlin and got the order to arrest the Minister of Propaganda, Goebbels. But on the way
to Goebbels a fellow told him that Hitler was not dead. Remer got confused; as a soldier he had to
follow order; but whose orders? He marched his men into Goebbel’s office; Goebbels was sitting
at his desk, and Remer said, “I am here to arrest you.” Goebbels says, “Man you’re mad. Hitler’s
alive.” Remer says, “I have the order.” Goebbels says, “The Fuhrer lives.” Remer says, “Show me.
So, by golly, Goebbels takes the telephone, gets the connection with Hitler, puts Remer on the
telephone, and Remer listens, “Mein Fuhrer!” He recognized the voice immediately. “Yes, sir!” And
instead of arresting Goebbels he goes back to arrest the people who gave him the order to arrest

That was Remer. He was very young at that time. After the war he built the neo-Nazi party in this
Germany of today, which is our so-called ally. And in the course of an election speech he called to
one of the people present, who was the son of one of the conspirators against Hitler’s life, “You son
of a traitor, shut up!” That young man brought a law suit against Remer, saying Remer had slandered
him, calling him the son of a traitor. The German law court then had to decide whether Remer had
slandered that young man, or whether he had said the truth; whether the young man was the son of
a traitor or whether he was, the son of a patriot. And that meant to decide whether the men who made
the attempt against Hitler’s life were traitors against Germany or were patriots; and this in turn meant
to decide whether the government of Hitler was an honest-to- goodness government or a murder
gang. If it was an hones t-to-goodness s government then the rebels were traitors and the plaintiff
was the son of a traitor, and Remer had not slandered him but said the truth. But if Hitler’s
government was a gang and a non-government, so to speak, then Remer would have slandered him
because then it was the patriotic duty of a German to get rid of Hitler, and the father of the young
man was a German patriot.

That case went all the way up to the Supreme Court in Karlsruhe. The German judges, very thorough
as they are, got opinions from priests and pastors and rabbis, from professors of philosophy, and
professors of political science, and theologians, and all the opinions were gathered in a book entitled
“The Remer Case” which is absolutelyfascinating. The judgment was as follows: Remer had
slandered the young man.The government of Hitler was no government. It was a gang which had
ursurpedpower like a gang of criminals. To get rid of Hitler was the duty of every German; the father
of that young man had done that duty, and therefore Remerhad to go to prison for three months.

Now, you understand very well that if Hitler had been in power again, which is impossible of course,
on the date of that Supreme Court decision, then those very same judges, with the very same legality
would have said exactly the opposite. That is the law. The law is morally neutral. It does not tell us
a thing about good and evil – and this I learned at the end of my law studies. But I didn’t learn what
I had set out to learn: what is good and what is bad. I wouldn’t say I had wasted four years because
I went into business later, and it helped me a great deal in making contracts and the like. It also
helped me to think with precision in philosophy, which I studied next. In philosophy, I was sure, I
would find what I was looking for. So I became a philosopher. By that time I was in America, went
to Northwestern, and got my doctorate.

In philosophy, the situation was even more interesting than in the law, and in a way even more
frustrating. However, I did find eventually what I was look ing for. Now we have to go a little into

Our problem is, what is good and what is bad. For how can we organize goodness if we don’t know
what it is?

Now what is goodness? Plato started out with the question and said the following. The interesting
thing about goodness, he said, is that it is very difficult to find a common denominator for all the
things that are called good. If I have a concept, let us say, of fruit, I have no difficulty in defining
what makes the different things that are fruit to be fruit. Oranges are fruit, apples are fruit, pears
are.fruit, plums are fruit and they all have something in common which makes them to be fruit. But
how about good things? Now I give you my own examples, not Plato’s. Here is a good microphone,
this is a good desk, this is a good lamp. I am a good person. You are a good person. God is good.
TWA is a good airline. Swiss cheese is good Swiss cheese – now what have all these good things in
common? It must be goodness, but what is that? The goodness of this microphone, the goodness of
this desk, the goodness of myself as a person, of yourself as a person, the goodness of God, the
goodness of TWA.- what have all these goodnesses in common? These good things must have
something in common in their goodness if they are all called good. At Plato’s time, the Sophists and
others bothered about good things like usefulness, pleasure, satisfaction, purpose; but these, said
Plato, were kinds of goodness; they were not Goodness itself; just as oranges and apples and pears
are kinds of fruit, but they are not fruit itself. You cannot say that oranges, plums, pears, and apples
are strawberries. You cannot say that the kinds of fruit have in common another kind of fruit. They
must have in common the genus fruit, the nature of fruitness. Thus, the good things cannot have a
particular kind of goodness in common like usefulness or pleasure. I cannot say that pleasure,
satisfaction, purpose are all usefulness. I must say they are all good; they are all valuable; but what
then is this goodness they have in common? Here we have different kinds of fruit

0            0               0                     0              000000
oranges   apples         pears          strawberries        etc.

thousands of them. We now put them all together and call them “fruit”.

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Kinds of fruit

“Fruit” is the concept that “grasps together” – “con” means “together” and “cept” means “to grasp” –
all the kinds of fruit in the genus fruit. So, says Plato, we mus t grasp together the kinds of good
things in one concept, goodness. Thus, here we have the different kinds of good things

0                        0                    0                         0                        0                      0
good microphones     good cheese     good persons     useful things     pleasurable things      etc.

–all the good things we can think of. We now grasp them together in the concept “goodness”:


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Kinds of good things
(or of goods)

Now, what is this goodness, this concept that all good things have in common? Or, for that matter,
what is badness, the concept all bad things have in common?

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Kinds of bad things

And, how are the concepts of goodness and of badness related?

Well, there is a famous passage in Plato’s dialogue, The Republic. Glaucon says to Socrates: “Now,
old man, you have talked about the problem aplenty – now tell us the solution.” And Socrates says,
“My dear Glaucon, the solution does not belong into this dialogue. For this we have to have another
dialogue. I can’t tell you what goodness is, I can only tell you what it is like. It is like the sun that
radiates every thing, that warms every thing, that makes every thing fertile and brings forth every
thing.” And Glaucon says, “That’s a poor answer.” And so did we poor students of philosophy. So
we looked for that other dialogue where Plato gives the answer, but it was never written. It doesn’t
exist. Well then the poor student goes to Aristotle. And Aristotle, in the sixth chapter of the first
book on the Ethics, says, there are many good things and they may or may not have something in
common which is goodness; in any case, this is a problem that does not belong into this particular
treatise, but into another one. In this treatise, he says, I only speak of human goodness; and then he
goes into ethics – what is a good man? So you’re stuck again. You look for that other treatise, and
again, it was never written. Believe it or not, you go through the whole of philosophy, and nowhere
do you find the answer to the problem, what is goodness in general?

The Axiom of Value

In the year 1903, an Englishman by the name of George E. Moore wrote a book entitled Principia
Ethica. He followed, in his title, that of Newton’s book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathe-
matica,  The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, 1687. You know that this book is the
basis of our whole technological civilization, including the atomic bomb. It was Newton who made
out of natural philosophy, natural science. Before Newton there was no natural science, there was
natural philosophy. What is the difference between natural philosophy and natural science? It is the
difference, for example, between alchemy and chemistry. Or between astrology and astronomy.
Alchemy and astrology were natural philosophies. In Newton’s time you had more astrology than
astronomy. Newton’s great predecessor, Kepler, wrote a book on astrology, but in that book you find
the three laws of the revolution of the planets, on which Kepler, so to speak, stumbled in the middle
of all kinds of abstruse reasonings. Kepler tried with life-long persistency to apply mathematical
reasoning to the motions of the stars. He finally found the famous three laws. But it was Newton who
generalized Kepler’s laws and made astronomy out of astrology by making mathematics available
to the observation of the stars. He found a general law, that of gravitation, that was applicable to all
natural phenomena. You remember the famous apple falling on his head. What pulls that apple on
my head, he said, is the earth; the earth pulls the apple and the apple pulls the earth; as the earth pulls
the apple so it pulls the moon, and so the sun pulls the earth and all the planets. Well, it wasn’t as
easy as that, although he did it when he was 24 years old.

Now then, G. E. Moore wrote Principia Ethica as the prolegomena, the introduction and basis, to a
science of ethics. He never said it but he may have thought – as I did later – that the world is in a mess
because we don’t know what goodness is. If we knew goodness as scientifically as we know nature
then we could be as efficient in goodness as we are in natural science. In any case, he did write the
basis of the future science of ethics. First, negatively, by showing that in the whole history of
philosophy, the philosophers had made a grave mistake: they had taken kinds of goodness for
goodness itself. They had mixed up two different logical levels, genus and species. These two levels,
said George E. Moore, must not be mixed up. There are the good things, and there is goodness itself.
He called the confusion of these two levels a fallacy. To show this fallacy was his great negative
achievement. It cleared away the philosophical garbage of ages. Positively, he had a more difficult
time. What is goodness itself? Well, he said, goodness itself is undefinable. I don’t know what it is,
nobody knows. I can only say that it is but not what it is. So his book is very short. Yet it is
fundamental, because he at least shows that fallacy of mixing up kinds of goodness or values with
the notion of value itself.

That was in 1903. Of course, George E. Moore was never happy with that book, and all his life he
tried to figure out what in the world goodness could be. About twenty years later, in 1922, he wrote
a little essay – he wrote very little but libraries have been written about him – entitled “The
Conception of Intrinsic Value” – where he said: While good is still undefinable, I can now give an
exact determination of it. Good – now listen carefully to this – Good is not a sensory property – it has
nothing to do with the senses. It is not a descriptive property, such as tall, green – any-property that
you can see, hear, smell or touch. Good is none of those things that you see, hear, smell or touch.
And yet, he said, though this is so, Good depends entirely on the sensory properties of the thing that
is said to be good.

Now let us see what this means.

Here is a thing that is good. Let’s say cheese – Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese has a certain smell, it has
holes, it has a certain kind of density, it has a certain taste, etc. These are the descriptive properties
of Swiss cheese – the way you recognize Swiss cheese as Swiss cheese. Of course, other things have
entirely different descriptive properties. TWA, for example, has an entirely different set of such
properties. It has pilots, mechanics, planes, terminals, etc. So everything has its own set of
descriptive properties – its definition. These sets of properties or descriptions can be found in the
Webster by looking up the thing in question. For example, this table – if we are too lazy to figure out
its definition we look it up in the dictionary. There, under “table” we find: “a piece of furniture
consisting of a flat top set horizontally on legs”. The Webster is full of sets of properties or
descriptions of things. Now, says George E. Moore, goodness is not any one of these properties – you
can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t sit on it or stand on it, you can’t handle it in any way, you
can’t describe it, nor can it describe anything. Yet, he says, it depends entirely on that set of
properties. In other words, take our Swiss cheese. The goodness of Swiss cheese, he says, depends
entirely on the descriptive properties of Swiss cheese. So, here we have the set of descriptive
properties and the property good.

Set of Descriptive Properties           Property Good




Now, says G. E. Moore in 1922, the property good depends on the descriptive properties. But, says
he, I don’t know how it depends. Thus, in 1903 he says there is goodness. In 1922 he says goodness
is a non-descriptive property, but it depends on the descriptive properties of the thing. Another
twenty years later, in 1942, he said “If I knew in which way goodness depends on the descriptive
properties then I would know the nature of goodness. And I would have solved the old Platonic
problem..” Then he died. So there we were, poor fellows in philosophy, especially me who wanted
to find out what goodness is, left up in the air.

Now, first I.want to explain to you as clearly as I can what Moore means. You all have your cars
outside. Now suppose you have forgotten something inside. You hand me your key and you say:
“Bob, here’s the key to my car. In there is a book. You just open the door and get it out.” I say:
“Well, which is your, car?” “Oh,” you say, “it’s a good car.” Will I ever find your car? I will never
find it because you didn’t describe it to me. Goodness is a non-descriptive property. Now then, say
some philosophers, the positivists, since “good” doesn’t describe, it doesn’t mean a thing. It doesn’t
say anything. But that is false. For you did say a great deal to me by saying that your car was good.
You have said it has a motor, it has brakes, when you push the brakes it brakes, when you push the
gas pedal it accelerates. You told me that it isn’t the other way around – when you push the gas pedal
it brakes, when you push the brake it accelerates. That would not be a good car. I have learned a lot
about your car, even though you haven’t described it to me. So what have you done? Well, we
figured out how this goodness was connected with the properties of the thing that was good. Finally,
we did a very simple thing. We did this.

Descriptive Properties   Connection     Goodness





This means that a thing is good if it has all the properties it is supposed to have. And with this we
founded a new science called value theory or, in Greek, axiology, from axios, meaning value. A
thing is good if it has all the properties it is supposed to have.

Now let us go back to the various things we mentioned. This is a microphone -what’s a good
microphone? A thing that is called “microphone” and has all the properties that microphones are
supposed to have – obvious. What is a good table? A thing that is called “table” and has all the
properties that tables are supposed to have. What is a good airline? A thing called “airline” that has
all the properties airlines are supposed to have. So far so good. But now here I am. What is a good
I? I am good if I have the properties I am supposed to have. Now we are getting into trouble. We
know how to define a microphone. We look it up in the Webster. We know what a table is or an
airline – we look them up in the Webster. So let’s stop for a minute and take stock.

We now have the general principle of goodness. A thing is good if it fulfills its definition. We also
have the relation of goodness to badness. A thing is not good, that is, bad, if it does not fulfill its
definition, if it does not have all its descriptive properties. A fourlegged table with only three legs
is still a fourlegged table, but a bad one. With.this general principle we had axiom of a new science,
the science G. E. Moore foresaw and prepared but did notbring about.

We now have the following set of sciences today. We have the natural sciences – for example,
physics with its atomic bomb. We have chemistry – astronomy, etc. All these are sciences because
they are mathematically ordered. Today we know that mathematics is a kind of logic. This was
proved in.1903 – the same year that Moore published Principia Ethica – by Bertrand Russell, the old
man of 90 today [in 1962] who is against nuclear armament. Thus, science has three levels: logic,
mathematics, and the specific sciences in question.

What is true of natural science must be true of the social and moral sciences, politics, ethics,
management science, sociology, psychology, religion, and so on. These disciplines until recently had
no framework according to which they could be ordered. They were philosophies, not sciences.
Therefore, we had on the one hand Einsteinian physics, and on the other hand, Aristotelian ethics.
What is still taught in high schools and universities today as ethics is Aristotle’s kind of ethics.
Aristotle wrote a book about physics, but anybody who would teach Aristotelian physics in a physics
course today would be crazy, for Aristotle’s physics is all wrong. Today we learn Newton’s and
Einstein’s physics, and even they are already passé. But what do we learn in ethics? Aristotelian
ethics. And the Aristotelian ethics is just as wrong as the Aristotelian physics. So we are extremely
advanced in natural science and completely behind in moral science. We know very well how to
make nuclear bombs, but we don’t know how to make ourselves good men. And to find out what
good men are we read Aristotle, and what is written there is commonplace trifles. So my students
come to me – I don’t teach it anymore, just for that reason – they came to me after the classes in
ethics – and said,“Well, do I know now how to be a good man?” “Well, “ I said, “you’re supposed
to.” “But,” they said, “we don’t.” “Of course you don’t,” I used to say, “I wasn’t supposed to teach
you how to be a good man; I was supposed to teach you Ethics. That is, what philosophers of ethics
have said. And they haven’t said much.” College students are very intelligent; they want to know.
You give them that old stuff and they become depressed. So, of course, they try to get ethics by :

Mathematics   Axiology
Natural                                                    Value
Sciences    000000                        000000   Sciences

Natural                                                                                           Value
Situations    000000                          000000   Situations

reading Lord of the Flies and the like, which are truly moral treatises. Aristotelian ethics doesn’t fit
the world of Einstein’s formula, E = mc2, the energy of something is equal to the product of its mass
times the square of the velocity of light. Since the velocity of light is 186,000 miles a second -you
square that times 186,000, and you multiply it with this piece of chalk and you can drive a battle ship
for ten years. With this powerful physics, we put the silly ethics of all these silly philosophers.

The remedy, and the only remedy, is to lift the social and moral disciplines, the so-called humanities
– to the level of science. The so-called social sciences today are no science at all; they are non-
sciences – philosophies and ideologies. How can they become exact sciences? By being ordered
logically. So we need another kind of logic which orders these disciplines and makes them exact.
As a result, we would know with exactness what a good man is and how a good man can be good,
and how goodness can be organized. This ordering logic is the science of axiology, or value theory.
It orders the social disciplines as mathematics orders the natural discipline . The total schema of the
sciences of the future then looks as in the preceding diagram.

What is a Good Man?

Once I had the axiom of value I tried to apply it. A thing is good if it has all the properties it is
supposed to have. This was very simple for apples, oranges and pears, and chairs and tables and
airlines. All I had to do was to look up their definitions in the dictionary. When a thing had all the
properties that the dictionary said it should have, it was a good such thing. But then I asked myself,
“What in the world is a good man?” What is it that makes me good? I am good, according to the
definition, if I have all the properties I’m supposed to have. Well, then I had to ask myself, what are
the properties that I’m supposed to have?

Now the trouble started. To begin with, how do I get a definition of myself? Who gives me my
definition of myself? Of course, nobody can give me the definition of myself but myself. So, I
defined man as the being that has its own definition of itself within itself. This is the difference
between man and anything else. Man is the being that has its own definition of itself within itself.
The poor chair here doesn’t know that it is a chair. It is I who gives it the definition. That table
doesn’t know that it’s a table. I make it a table. But I am I only when I know I am I. lam a man by
being a self-conscious being, a being conscious of myself; and any being conscious of itself is a man.
It makes no difference how it looks. Suppose there are beings on Mars that look like chairs. If they
can say “I” and they can define themselves – then they are human beings. There was once a cartoon
in the New Yorker – very funny I thought. It was a restaurant, a space station. At one table were
sitting people like you and me. At another table there were sitting people with antennas, looking like
ants. But the funniest thing were two doors. One door said “Martians” and the other said
“Terrestrials” – which showed that the biological set-put was different. But it made no difference –
both were humans in the sense of being able to say “I am I.” To have consciousness of one’s self or
conscience – to have one’s own definition of oneself within himself – that is the definition of the

Now we have advanced already a large step. What I am telling you is called existential philosophy,
but forget the name right away for it may remind you of beatniks and the like and that is not what
I am talking about. Let’s call it value theory.

Now, then, I know I am human if I have my own definition of myself within myself. What then is
the property I have to fulfill to be a good myself? Precisely this: to be conscious of myself, to define
myself – for to define myself to be conscious of myself – that is the definition of myself. The more,
therefore, I am conscious of myself, the more, and the more clearly, I define myself – the more I am
a good person.

Now this was a hard thing for me to learn. I was raised in Germany, and that meant a very peculiar
education. When I was in grade school, in German called Volksschule, they still beat us, frequently,
regularly, and systematically, in the German way, prophylactically and kind of scientifically. We
called this discipline. I was raised by disciplinarians as a disciplinarian. My father, bless his soul, was
a good Prussian. I don’t think he would mind me saying this – he was and he knew it. He had the
same system – disciplinarian. I was raised as a disciplinarian, a perfectionist – but you see, I never
knew it. I thought that’s the way things are and things have to be. You do your duty, you do what you
have to do, come hell or high water. There is no higher value but this. My poor wife – she never
thought that way. But I never knew what she suffered until I tried to define myself. What is the
definition of myself ? I asked myself, “What am I?” Well, I am a professor philosophy; I was at that
time and still am. But, is that me? That is a member of the class of professors of philosophy. That
is not myself. It’s only a part of myself. There are thousands of professors of philosophy. What then
is I – that which is uniquely Robert S. Hartman? Ah, I said to myself, as the Prussian disciplinarian,
the perfectionist – I do it all as best I can, it just can’t be done better. But then I thought to myself,
first, that’s not true. Secondly, if it were true, so what. Then I would be the best philosopher in the
world. But that’s not myself. That’s not what my wife married. When my wife married me she didn’t
even know I was a philosopher. I was a jurist and a businessman – and not much of either, maybe,
I was 25 years old. And anyway, there were millions of jurists and businessmen – but she married me!
What did I have that nobody else had?’ Who was I? I suddenly saw that the question, “What am I?,”
didn’t work. Philosopher? Well, sure, I am a philosopher, I’m a husband, too. I’m a commuter, I’m
an eater, I’m a smoker – at that time – no more – I want to live. I’m a speaker – I’m a Rotarian – I was –
good Lord, I was a million things. So, when I tried to put down what I was in order to define what
would be a good me, I had to draw a circle with a thousand fractions; and I am together in society
with other such fractions, all of which together form the web of society.

[Hartman’s figures are not reproduced here].

I’m a professor. As a professor I’m in the American Association of University Professors, and there
I am together with ten thousand other professors. I am a commuter. I commute from Lake Forest to
Chicago among the other commuters. I am a husband among husbands. I’m an eater among eaters.
I’m a sleeper among sleepers. I’m a teacher among teachers. I’m a walker, a driver. Well, I’m a
collection of a million fractions. Where’s me – Where’s I? What is that which all these things have
in common? Where’s the core of the whole works? So I said to myself, the whole question is wrong.
I must not ask what I am – I must ask who I am. Who am I? And then I had to answer myself, who
am I? I am I. I am the one I am. And this is precisely the property I have to fulfill, the property of
self-consciousness, which I define myself. Whatever I said – I’m a so and so – I always became
fractioned up. I had to say, “I am the one I am. I am I.” Now strangely enough, I found in the Bible,
when Moses asked God, “What is your name?” God answered, “I am I. I am the one I am, Jehova.
The definition showed me that I am made in the image of God.

But now who is the one I am? Well, go back and apply value theory. The definition of me is that I
am the one who defines himself. Thus, what I have to do to fulfill my definition is to define myself,
to answer the question:”Who am I?” And who am I? I am I. This is my definition of myself – pure
self awareness: I am I. The concept I have to fulfill is “I”. or, “I am I,” and when I fulfill this I am
a good I. How do I fulfill this concept? The first thing I found – and many found this is just common
philosophy – is that I must not confuse my own intrinsic or moral self with my extrinsic or social self
– my inner being with the roles I am playing in society, my fundamental I and the social fractions of
me. That’s at the bottom of it all. What are the properties that I must fulfill to be I? Well, very simple
– be myself. And you? Be yourself. And that’s what every ethics book actually says or should say:
“To thine own self be true,” as Shakespeare says, and he adds, “It must follow as the night the day
thou canst not then be false to any man.” All the words of ethics mean that you should be yourself
-and not fool around being anybody else. Sincerity. What does it mean? That you are yourself.
Honesty – that you are yourself. Integrity? That you are yourself. Authenticity – “He is an authentic
person” – that you are yourself.

Is it possible not to be yourself? Oh, my God, most of us are not ourselves. We play roles. The word
person in Latin meant having a mask in front of yourself. “Personal” means “mask.” You play a role –
we say we play our role in life. I play the role as professor. You play your role whatever it is. But
that’s not you. That’s playing a role. The you that is yourself is that core of sincerity within you. Now
you may, with that core of sincerity, play that role sincerely and then you and your role are one. But
there are plenty of persons who play a role that is not themselves. I know a woman of 55 who plays
the role of being a girl of 18. And she walks like that, she dresses like that and she’s ridiculous – but
she doesn’t know it – her self is stunted. There are persons with a fractional or with a stunted self.
There are sicknesses within the self, just as there are sicknesses within the body and within the mind.
So we are really three parts. There is the Self, there is the body and its social situation, and there is
the mind. Each of these three parts of ourselves has its own values – and the total value pattern is the

The Three Levels of Value

We can symbolize this total pattern in terms of a cone, with a little flag on top.


The. Self is the vertical dimension within us. That’s why we speak of “depth” psychology. We are
of infinite depth because we can clarify our self-awareness to infinite clarity – to complete
transparency. The more we do it the more we become ourselves and the more power we can summon
at our disposal in the world. The Self is our reservoir of power. We have infinite power within us,
infinitely deep down within us. It is not easy to tap this power. We can only tap it if we get rid so to
speak of the horizontal dimension, that of society and even the little flag on top, thinking. We are
like icebergs. Most of us is underneath and the horizontal part is on top, swimming on the water like
the top of an iceberg, or even better, like a water lily, very fragile. This horizontal part is our social
self, the Me rather than the I. It is connected socially with other such selves – and the web of
connections is called Society. Thus, we have the horizontal dimension of society where we have
social intercourse with people, and we have the vertical dimension of the self where we might say
we have intercourse within our own Self. These are two dimensions of our personality – the social
and the – well, we call it the existential – but let us call it the human or the spiritual dimension of the
inner Self.

There is a third dimension – the intellectual – which builds systems and imposes them on society and
often upon the Self. It is our systemic dimension. The Germans are particularly strong in this. They
push the systemic to the last consequence – discipline, remember. That’s their highest value – or
wascome hell or high water, and even if it meant the end of the world. You read about Eichmann.
Was Eichmann a bad man? Oh, not at all. He did his duty. He said, “I never killed anybody. I am a
transportation specialist. My work was to make schedules – railroad schedules. That’s all I did. I
followed my orders. It wasn’t my business to know who was being put into those railroad cars. I
never put any body in. It wasn’t my business where they went to. My orders were to make railroad
schedules and that’s what I did. I transported people.” Well, he transported them to the fire, but that
was incidental. He did it with great thoroughness and was proud of it. He was a very systematic man,
and the system was his life. In his cell in Jerusalem he made every morning at the appointed hour
so many steps in one direction and so many in another. He smoked exactly four cigarettes a day. He
mopped his floor with exactly the same number of strokes each day. Once, when he was interrupted
and lost count he was upset all day. Order, that was his value, in both senses of the word. His trains
went on schedule, and that is all that counted for him. Well, you might say, that is German. But how
about this one? “I’m the captain of a submarine. My submarine has 16 nuclear bombs. Every single
one of these bombs has more fire power than all the bombs ever fired in all wars together – every
single one of them. And when I get my orders I push the button and fire my bombs. That’s my duty.
That’s what I live for. I follow orders. I am a Polaris captain. I transport the fire to the people. I’m
a member of a system and I do what the system says I should do.” What’s the difference with
Eichmann? As long as you are the member of the system, you are the member of a system. You do
what the system tells you.

This is systemic value. It is amoral – as is the law and as is science. Both are systems. This amorality
maybe immoral, and it may also be moral. It all depends how the system is being used. We can’t live
without systemic values – but we mustn’t overdo them. This is what my own value theory taught me.
All the other value s are more important than systemic values, no matter how important are systemic
values. Once there was something wrong with my railroad travel card. I go to the office to complain
and the man calls: “Miss Jones, bring me No. B33725.” That was me. For him I was a number, and
rightly so. Railroading is a big system. Life is full of systemic values. In the army you are a number –
in prison you’re a number – in the hospital you’re a number. One nurse says to the other, “I’m giving
a wash to No. 382″. No. 382 is not even you -that’s the room you’re in. The world is full of systemic
values. But at times, systemic values may collide with your own individuality. People have a fine
sense for this, but not fine enough. They rebel against new telephone numbers without letters, but
they don’t rebel against nuclear bombs. They seem to be rebelling against flying jets, for the airlines
are losing money due to low traffic. I myself don’t like to fly; those planes they are too systemic for
me. I know the thing is so exactly figured out that if the slightest thing goes wrong I’m down. And
I know that if a little screw of 1 inch is lost in the tail assembly of a 707, that’s my end. A plane is
a mental construction – it’s up there by the pure laws of physics. It has a million parts put together
by man and man simply isn’t up to the perfection of systems. From time to time something must go
wrong.. That’s what you in the insurance business live on. You live on the fact that man is very good
systemically but not quite good enough. Most planes stay up but enough fall down for you to get
business. You would be out of business (a) if no plane ever would come down and (b) if all would
comedown. So there’s a very subtle balance in the universe between the perfect and the imperfect
which can be figured out by statistical laws. Most people are alive but all of us will die one day.
Most of us are healthy today but 1/64 percent of us will be sick tomorrow. Catastrophes are not a part
of your insurance contract – always there is that fine print for the so-called acts of God, which
actually are acts of the Devil. Of course, if it’s not too huge a disaster you get together and call that
reinsurance. It’s all figured out. All roads, automobiles and many other hazards. You can figure out
exactly – not when some thing will happen but that something’s got to happen.

A friend of mine came to Mexico this summer with his family; they rented a beautiful house which
had nothing but glass doors and glass windows. Such perfect glass that you didn’t see there was
anything. They had six children and they came in the beginning of June. I said to myself, by
statistical necessity with six children, four grown-ups and all these glass walls and windows, there
is bound to happen something. I said to them, “Listen, with all these kids you better put some paper
or some warning signs on those doors and windows. Otherwise, one of those kids, or you yourself
will just walk through – it happened to me almost.” “Oh, no,” they said, “We are very intelligent” –
college presidents, you know, university presidents. “We are very careful.” Sure enough, on their last
day when they wanted to leave, one of the little girls walked through the door and had to go to the
hospital. This is absolutely statistically certain. If it hadn’t happened to them it would have happened
to others. All the cars are going beautifully on the highway, but you know that every big week-end
385 drivers will die. Then comes in the actual statistics and it was 386. Nobody wanted it. The world
is perfect but it has a little flaw of contingency, as we call it, which is not so perfect. The human
mind is simply not up to complete perfection. Therefore, this.terrific danger of an accidental war.
By 1965 there will be 65,000 buttons, any one of which can start a war. It’s statistically certain that
it must happen. “Fail safe” must sometime fail – read the novel by Burdick and Wheeler – and a
failure in that system is like a pilot’s failure – it can only be made once.

So this is the statistical and systemic dimension of value. It is very necessary. When your wife goes
to the hospital to get her child, she gets a number, and the child also gets a number, and you hope
they’ll both get the same number. The systemic is very important for very important things in our
life but it is not all-important.

Now the social dimension. Here we get together with our so-called fellow man in the so-called
society for so-called fellowship. The insurance people get together – I bet you have an Insurance
Association of America where you. are together with your insurance fellows as insurance men. But
I bet your wife very seldom goes with you, or if she does, she won’t understand what goes on. If I
would go with you I won’t know what is going on. And if you would go with me to my philosophy
association, you wouldn’t understand a word. So the world is split up socially into classes; and when
Karl Marx spoke of classes he meant social classes, but they are also logical classes. People get
classified; everyone is in his own section and valued as a so-and-so. This we call social value or
extrinsic value. We are extrinsically valued. You are valued as good insurance men. I am valued as
a good teacher. We are valued by the railroad or airline as good commuters. The more tickets we
buy, the more they value us. They make us “Ambassadors,” give us “The Red Carpet” treatments
etc. Usually money values are extrinsic values. They are limited values – you wouldn’t sell your baby
or buy a wife. The intrinsic value level which is you in your own depth is infinitely more important
than all systems and all money in the world.

Now to give you an example of how all three levels get together. Let’s say that a young fellow goes
into a store to buy a package of cigarettes. There is a vending girl and he says, “I want a package of
Marlboros.” She says, “Here you are.” “How much,” he says. She says, “27 cents.” She gives it to
you, you give her 27¢, you say, “Goodbye.” She says, “Goodbye, thank you.” What kind of a
relationship was that? That was a purely systemic relationship, a legal sales contract. You paid 27¢,
and she gave you a package of cigarettes. Now she could have been a vending machine. You didn’t
need a girl for that. I think they have machines now that say, “Thank you.” It could have been a
machine – you put in 27¢ and out popped the package – and it was exactly the same contract – mind
you, girl or no girl.

So that was a systemic relationship, there wasn’t much to it. Next day you go into that same store
and there is that same girl and you say, “A Marlboro,” and she says, “Oh, yes, you want a Marlboro –
27¢.” And you say, “Yeh, 27¢ ,”and then you look at her. My gosh, she’s a girl. And you look at her
again and you think, “My, she looks pretty nice.” And you say, “How long have you been in
Columbus?” “Oh,” she says, “Three months,” and you say, “Where do you come from?” “Oh, I come
from Detroit.”Before you know they talk to each other about the weather, of course, then about father
and mother and so on. They make conversation. That’s also a relationship. It’s also a give and take,
but it’s a social one, not a legal one. It’s a social relationship. You have moved from the systemic,
which has no properties except one, to a social relationship which can have an infinity of properties.
Because you can talk to her for a whole day. By gosh, you like her. So there’s a little sofa there, and
you sit in the corner and just see how she does her job, and when there are no customers she talks
to you. One day, you say to her, “Let’s go out to have dinner at the Inn in Worthington of

“Boy,” she says, “Are you that rich?” Well, they go there and they have a wonderful time. Now
imagine how they have added to their relationship. Their relationship has become richer. We can
define value as “enrichment of properties. The richer in properties something is, the more value it
has. The poorer in properties something is, the less value it has. They enriched their properties. It’s
like a cake. You can make a very lean cake and you can add and add and add and at the end it’s a
humdinger of a cake – tremendous, whipped cream and God knows what – as they make them in
Austria. Enrichment of properties. The two have that evening at the Inn and others like it – all the
time enriching their relationship – until it takes in their whole being. And one day, as they meet he
says to her or she says to him, “When do we marry?” And before you know it they stand in front of
the minister, and one says to the other, “I stay with you in sickness and health, richness and poorness,
till death do us part.”

Well, they’ve come a long way from the vending contract. Now they’re husband and wife, and a true
marriage, love, has nothing whatsoever to do with a social relationship. It is a relationship from inner
core to inner core. Love is this relationship here.

And she doesn’t give a hang how much money he has and who his father is or his mother – not
perhaps even his race – she’s a very sensitive girl wide awake to herself and her world. And he
doesn’t give a hang about her background, her money, her career. He loves her, she loves him and.
they get together. How do they know they love each other? Because- they have gone within
themselves and they have inquired within and they have asked themselves.- I speak of a real love
marriage, where people are really clear about what they do – “Who is this person” – not “What is this
person?” And he sees that person, that young girl of 18, as the grandmother of his own grandchildren
– when his own children haven’t even been conceived yet. That inner Self leaps over space and time,
it sees the whole of life at one glance. It has happened that you saw a girl and in the first glance you
knew that it was your wife. I don’t know whether that happened to anyone of you, I had a girl in my
class at MIT – there are some girls there too -she told me this. “I was sitting in your class and in came
a boy. I looked at him and I said to myself, there is my husband. Well, he sat down with a friend of
his at the other end of the room.” After my class she followed him. He went with his friend to a
drugstore, sat down and had ice cream. And she said, “I sat down right beside him and after three
months we were married.” And they’re still very happily married.

An immediate intuition is the main characteristic of that inner self. It is born from transparent clarity
of oneself. I tell you how I met my own wife. When I was 25, I was invited to a friend’s house, some
older gentleman, and he had a glass cabinet with dishes in it. Very nice, Rosenthal and so on, which
had a glass door. I was admiring these sets of glass – I was standing in front of it, my back to the
room, looking at the glass cabinet. Suddenly I see in that glass door, among the dishes, the face of
a girl, who was standing behind me. And as truly as I am standing here in front of you, I was there
looking at that girl in the mirror, and I said to myself, “There’s my wife.” And then I remember like
today, I said to myself, “You’re crazy, man, you’re 25. Men don’t marry, onlv women do. That is
not your business – I mean, to give up your freedom at 25 years of. age. Let the women do that. But
not me.” And then I said to myself, “How do I know that this is, my wife?” And my answer was this,
and I remember it like today. I said to myself, “Just as this is your little finger, this is your wife, and
you can’t do a thing about it.”

Now I was standing with my back to the room. So she saw me only from the back. And at the same
moment she said to herself, “There’s my husband.” And when I left she said to her mother, “I’m
going to marry that guy.” Her mother said, “You’re crazy” – and she was. For I told you how I was
raised, a disciplinarian, a perfectionist, systemic value was my value. She had a rough row to hoe.
But when I found out that this disciplinarian, professional efficiency was not all there was to me, I
found that the love of my wife and my love to her was more important than anything. I found that
out through George E. Moore and through trying to define myself according to value theory. I
became a different person. Much better to live with says my wife, and that’s true. I found the real
value. Let us now go into the depth of this self dimension.

The Infinity of the Self

First, let us remember my original question: What is goodness and how can we make goodness as
efficient in the world as badness. The answer is that goodness is richness of qualities, that these
qualities must be those of the thing in question, that is, those which define the thing – if I have a boil
in the middle of my face, my face is not richer in (face-) qualities than without a boil – and that,
hence, a thing has value in the degree that it fulfills its definition. I have moral value in the degree
that I fulfill my own definition of myself. This definition is: “I am I.” Thus, in the degree that I am
I, I am a morally good person. Moral goodness is the depth of mans own being himself. This is the
greatest goodness in the world. If everyone of us and everyone in the world would just be himself
and follow his own inner self or, as we say, the voice of his conscience, then everything would
straighten itself out, all the problems would just fall by the wayside. We wouldn’t listen to false
prophets, to politicians, to those who want to use us for their own ambitions. We would just be
ourselves. We would know the true values. As Larissa, in Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago says to her dead
friend Zhivago at the end of the book, “The riddle of life, the riddle of death, the enchantment of
genius, the enchantment of unadorned beauty – yes, yes, these things were ours. But the small worries
of practical life -things like the reshaping of the planet – these things, no thank you, they are not for
us.” Little things like the reshaping of the planet! The whole world is nothing compared to the value
of the infinite Self, the riddle of its life and death, its awareness of beauty, its genius.

This does not mean that we must not be social and not be intelligent. On the contrary, the more we
are ourselves the more we have both social and intellectual power – in a free society. I am still a
philosopher and I am still a disciplinarian and I am still a systematic thinker. This is how I make my
living. I try to think with absolute exactness about these deep values, and I try too make them
intellectually articulate. The trouble has been that these deep values have been known vaguely,
intuitively, in a shallow sense of the word, that we haven’t been able to articulate them. My job in
the world is too make these previously vague and intuitive things intellectually clear. The method
of axiology or value theory looks very cold but is awfully hot inside. We always say that the
difference between us and the Russians is that we believe in the value of the individual. That we
believe that man is made in the image of God. That man is of infinite value. But the Communists
always say with great justification – and I don’t think anyone in this room has had so many
discussions with Communists as I have – they way with great justification, “What do you mean by
that? This is all words. At best it is sentimentality.” And when you look at our politics in the world –
where we give tit for tat to the Communists – it is awfully hard to see how we put these intrinsic
values into politics. The larger the situation the harder it is to deal with it intuitively. In order to
actualize moral values in the world we absolutely need an instrument of clear intellectual thought
that will make these values transparent to everybody; or, at first, at least to the minds of the
intelligent people everywhere, or even the intellectuals, which is not the same as the intelligent.
Some of the most intellectual people I know are the most unintelligent. An intelligent person is really
a person who can mobilize his inner resources, the infinite power within him, for the management
of his own life. An intellectual is a person who merely knows how to think. Communists outside of
Russia are usually intellectuals. They want to understand the laws of society; and Karl Marx was an
alchemist who gave them some pseudo-laws. They are content with them for there is really nothing
of comparable intellectual vigor in the Western world. Thus, we have to make at least intellectually
clear what we mean by the value of the individual. Communism in Latin America, as it was in China,
is not a matter of the people, of the workers or peasants; it is a matter of the intellectuals.

I meet Americans all the time who say, me, I am so and so. I have a newspaper in this and this city
and I do everything to propagate our values, the value of the individual. When I ask, “What do you
mean by the value of the individual?” usually these guys either don’t say anything, or it turns out that
what they mean is their own right to make a lot of money. They really mean money value. I get
disgusted with these people. They play into the hands of the Communists. So my job is to articulate
these things. What is the value of the individual and in which sense is it infinite?

The first who divined the infinite value of man was the psalmist who said that man was made just
a little lower than the angels. The first who articulated this infinite value of the human person – not
in the language that we use, in the language that I am talking to you now, but in a different kind of
language as we shall see tomorrow – was Jesus. He saw and demonstrated the infinite value of the
individual. The first man after Jesus who clearly described this same infinite value was a young man
in Italy by the name of Pico della Mirandola who, at the height of the Renaissance, discovered the
new world of man’s infinite spirit, at exactly the same time, around 1492, that Columbus discovered
the new world of America. Pico write a speech entitled “On the Dignity of the Human Being.” There
he describes man in a very wonderful parable: When God had created the earth and had made the
animals and the vegetables and the minerals and put all the parts of the world in their places, there
was missing one being which would not be bound to any position at all but could take any position
and could mirror the whole creation within himself, including God. This being was man. And so God
created Adam as the one who would be able to appreciate God’s own creation and be able to take
any place in creation that he wanted, who could live like a vegetable or like an angel, like a rapacious
animal or like a saint. Ours is the whole range of creation. We can just vegetate, or we can rise on
the wings of the spirit almost to God. There is no limit whatsoever to our capacity. We are infinite
and of infinite power.

I always say too the students when they ask me, “What’s a genius,” “You are a genius.” For a genius
is nothing but a person who can put all his power into one thought. And when a student says, “But
I have no power,” I said to his neighbor, “Try and strangle that guy. You’ll see what powers he
develops.” There is infinite power in us even physically. Have you heard the story of that little ole
woman, weighing 110 pounds, whose son was lying in the garage under a Buick of 2 ½ tons when
the jack broke; and the little woman of 110 pounds – and I think she was asthmatic too – went into
the garage, lifted that 2 ½ ton Buick from that boy, put her leg under the car, pulled him out, and
broke her own back in the process? Well, that’s what we c all a miracle. A miracle is nothing but
summoning the infinite resources within us. That we have these infinite resources can be proved as
a fact, empirically, actually, and it can be proved logically. I hope none of you will ever have to go
through a situation when you have to prove it actually. But if you have a crisis in a deep sickness it
depends on your own power whether want to be healthy or not. And this is true of pulling through
any crisis. After the war, I saw those skeletons of the concentration camps, men weighing 50 and 60
pounds. They were talking to me and they told me how they had walked a hundred and two hundred
miles before they were liberated, the Germans were chasing them out of the concentration camps
when the Americans were coming, everyone was shot who stumbled. They said, “We heard the
American planes over us and whenever we heard them we got more power and we could walk and
walk. There was a power that sustained us that came from somewhere – I don’t know where. And
we had it as long as we needed it.” These are crisis situations when you get your power. A genius
is a man in a continuous crisis. He gets his power all the time.

So it is empirically, by experience provable that we have infinite, truly infinite power. Whenever you
read the stories of science, like Newton, or of art like Bach or Michelangelo, whenever these men
are asked how they could produce such beautiful works day in and day out, they always gave the
same answer throughout the ages: “Anybody can do it who doesn’t do anything else day and night.”
As Newton said, “I keep the problem continuously before my eyes.” He lived it. Galileo said, when
asked how he could find the law of movement, “I became a falling body,” meaning that he converted
himself into a falling tone and thought as a falling stone. A genius is a person who puts his whole
self into a problem. That’s not necessarily a good person from a moral point of view – he’s just a
genius you see. Newton was a pretty mean customer. But he was a great man.

A great good man is a Saint. Now a saint is a person who puts his whole power, all the resources of
himself, into his own goodness, a man who has discovered his oneness with all creation, all men, all
animals, even all things. He lives within the depth of everybody else. He is a man of infinite
compassion. This is the deepest intrinsic goodness – infinite compassion. To live so deeply and
transparently within ourselves that we live deeply and compassionately within every human being,
indeed every living being – indeed, every being. As St. Francis said to Brother Leo when he tried to
extinguish the fire on St. Francis’ coat, “Brother Leo, be careful with Brother Fire.” As Albert
Schweitzer who feels pain at having to kill the bacteria when he does an operation. Compassion is
the touchstone of moral value.

I am not talking Bible here. I mean it as an actual experience in the very sense that whenever you see
someone happy or someone suffering, some of your fellow-man in trouble, that it eats your heart out.
Now I hope there are some people like this in this room. If you feel with the suffering fellowman and
you can’t tear yourself away from him and you suffer as he does, then you know what I mean. I mean
the sensitivity that is the intrinsic value of your being one with all humanity. For – and now comes
the main thing – this infinity within us means that with our intrinsic self we are not in space and time.
Space and time are finite. Infinity – the infinity of your inner self – means that you are not bound to
anything in space and time, you are outside of space and time. That’s why we can immediately intuit
that this girl is our wife. We see the whole of our future in just one glance – we are not in time. Love
is not in time – years with the beloved are just a second – and a moment with her can be eternity.

]Friendship is not in time. I once happened to come through Sao Paulo in Brazil. I had nothing to do
in the evening and just leafed through the telephone book. Suddenly I see a name that was exactly
like the name of a boy I had seen last about 35 years ago in my class in Munich. Well, I though, call
him up. I was then about 50, and when I left Munich I was about 15, so it was some 35 years ago.
I call him up. I said, “I am so and so.” He said, “what – are you the one I went to school with in
Munich? Yes! My god, my best friend!” He came with his car, and 35 years were erased like nothing.
Friendship is not in time. Nor is it in space. Love and friendship are outside of space. I came to
America with my family in 1938 at the day of Munich when I was the representative of Walt Disney
in Scandinavia. I went to Hollywood to Walt Disney and said, “ I’m through with Europe; there will
be a war.” He didn’t believe me but finally give me his representation in Mexico and Central
America. I go back to Sweden to liquidate the business, leaving my wife and the baby in Hollywood.
One day I am sitting in the house of my parents-in-law in Stockholm reading the paper when it
flashed through my mind, “My wife is sick.” I take the telephone call from Stockholm to Hollywood,
an nurse answers and says my wife is in a crisis, but she’ll be all right. Love is not in space and time.
I bet many of you have had similar experiences.

The infinity of the Self is a fact of experience, an empirical fact that is proved by experience. It is
also a mathematical certainty. It can be demonstrated intellectually. I will give you two of the many
proofs of the infinity of the human being. These intellectual proofs are completely undeniable. What
I have said so far, somebody can say, “Well, it isn’t so. People can say what you about I don’t
understand. I’ve never had such an experience. I am from Missouri. Show me. So far, what you have
said is nonsense.” Now I shall give you two proofs nobody can deny. The first is the proof from the
Identity of the Self, the second is the proof from the Infinite Regress of the I.

First the proof from Identity. What is the I? The I is that which makes one person out of the infinite
fractions of my life in time and space. I’m standing here before you, 1962, August 30 (which
happens to be my Wedding Day). I was born on January 27, on the Emperor’s birthday in
Bendlerstrasse near the War Ministry in Berlin. When I was born I looked very different from what
I look now. Every moment of our lives we are different. Now you are sitting out there and then you
go home, then you travel somewhere else. You were boys in high school, you were babies. You will
be old men. Now, all these moments must belong to you, the self-same person. You must be able to
say, “I was born 40 years ago there and then. And it is I who is now here. Thus I pull together our
moments in space and time. It is the concept which makes out of my space-time moments one whole.


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Me at Birth                                            Me now                                            Me at Death

There are primitive tribes who are like babies; they cannot say “I.” When Molubabeba speaks of his
childhood he does not speak of himself or of “I” but of “Molubabeba child.” That was another one.
The sun of today is another sun from the one yesterday. It takes abstract thinking to grasp together
our moments in time. All the me’s together are the I. “I” is the concept of the me’s. It is the concept
of my moments in time and space. It is my concept of identity in time and space. How many
moments do I have? 52 years. How many days do I have? 52 times 365 -18, 980 days. How many
hours do I have? 455,520. How many minutes? How many seconds? There is an infinity of sub-
divisions I can make. My boy once asked me, “Daddy, what’s a hemisphere?” “Well,” I said, “A
hemisphere is half an earth.” Well,” he said, “Which half? Where does the half run?” I said, “You
stand like this, spread your legs.” He did. And I said, “It runs right between your legs.” Sure, you can
make the cut of the hemisphere anywhere you like, an infinity of cuts. So you have an infinity of life
moments, and all of these have to be put together. As a matter of fact, you didn’t begin with your
birth. You started with your conception. But, of course, once you go back that far then you didn’t
start there either. You started really with your father and mother. But they had to be conceived too;
hence you didn’t start there either but with the grandparents, and so on back and back – actually you
began with the beginning of creation. That’s what Walt Whitman says in “The Song of Myself.”
Immense have been the preparations for me,
Faithful and friendly the arms that have help’d me.
Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen,
For room for me stars kept aside in their own rings,
They sent influences to look after what was to hole me.
Before I was born out of my mother generations guided me,
My embryo has never been torpid, nothing could overlay it.
For it the nebula cohered into an orb,
The long slow strata piled to rest it on,
Vast vegetables gave it sustenance,
Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths and
deposited it with care.
All forces have been steadily employ’d to complete and delight me,
Now on this spot I stand with my robust soul.

I’m a result of evolution. Whitman didn’t know that word. I’m the result of creation. I began in
infinity, and where do I end? Do I end with my death? Well, there’s my son, there’s my
granddaughter. I am a link in the chain of generations on earth. But moreover, I am immortal. My
Self, my spirit, we said, is not in space and time. How then can it die in space and time? It cannot
die. Body and mind may fall away, but the spirit, my awareness of my own Self within the whole of
creation, must continue. I come from infinity, I go to infinity. The German poet Goethe has said,”
I am immortal in the degree that I have lived immortally” – that I have lived wide awake in the
fullness of my own awareness. I am a prodigy of creation – Whitman is right. And if I live like a
vegetable I have let down creation.

Thus, when I say “I”, I encompass all creation. I am, says Kierkegaard, anchored with my own Self
at the source of creation itself. I not only express the infinitely many moments of my terrestrial life,
I express the whole span of all life between the infinity that was and the infinity that is to be.

This was a philosophical proof of my infinity. Still, someone might deny it, though this is hard to
do. Even communists must acknowledge the infinite causal chain from which they came. Even they
must acknowledge that the Self is what puts me together, integrates me, and that there are sicknesses
in the self which arise from the sick self’s incapacity to put the me’s together. They have their
schizophrenics just as we do. Such people are split within themselves, schizoid – apart. They are two
in one, or three in one. Some of you have seen the movie or read the book Three Faces of Eve. Let
me give you an experience of myself. I have a seminar of psychoanalysts, depth psychologists, who
want to know about value. They tell me about their cases, and we analyze these from the point of
view of the value of selfhood and of axiology. One case was the following.

A lady married with a banker, having a very lovely family, beautiful house in one of the suburbs of
Mexico City, lovely husband, lovely children, a good housewife and a good mother – but every
Tuesday and every Thursday she goes, as she says, to play canasta with her girl friends. Actually she
goes behind the slums of the city as a prostitute. Gets $2.00 for each prostitution. Comes home at
4 in the morning, says she won at canasta, and wonders what has happened. She vaguely feels there
is something wrong with her, so she goes to the psychoanalyst. Now what’s the matter with that
woman? She’s a schizophrenic. She’s two, you see. She has a self-contradiction within herself. Her
self-definition is not “I am I” but “I am not I.” And fulfilling this definition she splits apart. She can’t
live, she doesn’t want to live. Her giving herself to these bums is her way of killing herself, and in
order not to kill herself physically she kills herself morally. And the money gives her a special
satisfaction, a token of appreciation, which she has never gotten before. Her husband has no idea of
that, nor have the children, nor has she in a way because she doesn’t know when she does one thing
what other thing she does. She has no identity. The same with Eve. Eve Lancaster was the wife, or
is the wife, of a farmer in Alabama. On certain days she went to the city, all made up beautifully and
prostitutes herself. Then, finished with the business, she went back to her farmer and became a firm
woman. She was so exactly split that the psychiatrist could call forth the different persons within her.
He called the one “black Eve” and the other “white Eve.” When she was the firm girl he said, “I want
to talk to black Eve,” and immediately she changed and became a prostitute, and she talked as black
Eve. When he said, “I want white Eve,” immediately she became a farm woman and was white Eve.
When we don’t put ourselves together then we are no one but many, split up in our space and time
sections without connection, and almost physically many although we are one body.

The Self is the integration of ourselves, that which gives us integrity, that which pulls us together.
This then is the first proof of the Self’s infinity – it can pull itself together into one, concentrate itself,
or it can fall apart into an infinite number of fragments, and “we go to pieces.” Our time and space
fragments stay apart. The self pulls these fragments together, in the awareness of itself, and the
knowledge of me within the space-time world. The self, in other words, has remembrance, and it has
anticipation. It remembers who I was yesterday and it anticipates who I will be tomorrow. In order
to do this it must be beyond space and time. For space is only now and here; so in order to have
memory I have to be outside of time. In order to have anticipation and project the course of my life,
I have to be outside of time, too. In order to have imagination I have to be outside of space and time.
All this the I does, not the me, not my body, not my mind. My inner self uses my body and my mind.
In the first proof I have shown you how the I uses my body, my corporeal presence, in order to
express itself as one in time, pulling all the separate moments of this presence together into one. In
the second proof I shall show you how it uses my mind.


My self is, as I said, aware of itself and knows me. Now let us see what this means. We come now
to the infinite regress of the I.

When I say, “I know myself” – or “I know me,” to make it easier – what does the I know? The I
knows me. But who knows the I? The I who does the knowing only knows the me; it doesn’t know
itself. There are two roles in me: I am a knower and I am a known. I am a subject and I am an object.
But the knower is the I and the known is the Me. The I knows the Me by applying itself to the Me –
my situation in space and time, my emotions, my thoughts, etc. – and the I can do this by its own self-
awareness. But just as the optical eye seeing cannot see itself, so the self knowing cannot know itself.
If I want to know the I, I have to make a met out of it. I have to say, “I know me knowing me.”
knowing me,” Now I know the first I as a me; but there appears another I that does the knowing and
is not known. I can make a me out of it and say, “I know me knowing me knowing me,” and thus
know the second I as a me – an object of knowledge; but there appears a third I as subject of
knowledge, and it is not known. And so on ad infinitum. There is always another self that cannot be
known. Thus, there are infinite levels within the self. There is always a residue which is unknown
to me and has to be known by something else than self-knowledge. I can only be aware of this final
residue of myself. This awareness is a very different thing from knowing.

Some people know everything but are aware of nothing, others are aware of everything and know
nothing. The first are informed fools, the second uninformed sages. The first are intellectuals who
have no moral insight, the second are simple people with moral insight. Some of the most
“remarkable characters I have known” were of this second kind – and usually what the Readers’
Digest calls such characters are these kind of people – simple but of great insight and dignity.

In Mexico we once had a maid by the name of Maria. She was just a girl and a housemaid. She came
with us at the age of 16, bare feet, and it took me a long time to get her used to shoes. She was with
us for 15 years. She ran the house, she ran us, she was aware of everything – she was wide awake –
but she didn’t know a thing. She hardly knew that 2 plus 2 equals 4. Yet there was a radiance and
a spirit in her that made everything around her true and real. When she was not around the world
wasn’t as it should be, and my wife and I were depressed. She knew exactly what she wanted. There
was a continuous struggle between her and my wife. My wife put the lamp here, the next day it was
there. My wife put it back here, the next day it was back there. That went on for years. She knew
exactly what she wanted, that girl – she still does. We imported her to the United States, and finally
she decided she wanted to marry, unfortunately. But then she was 31 and had a right to marry, but
we were sad and tried to dissuade her. But again, she knew exactly what she wanted. She got herself
a fellow from Mexico, married him; we imported him, too; but he couldn’t find work in Columbus
and didn’t want to live in our house, so finally they moved to Chicago.

Now, our friends in Chicago are long-hairs, eggheads, professors, lawyers, and so on. We told them
Maria was coming and please let her work for you one day a week and so we wrote to six of them,
for Maria wanted to work with a different one each day in order to be independent and make more
money. Then my wife and I leaned back and wondered what was going to happen, for that girl had
something. It didn’t take more than three weeks when the wife of one of our friends, a great
corporation lawyer, wrote too my wife, “What kind of a girl have you sent us? Whenever she comes
into the house everything becomes radiant, and it becomes so peaceful that my husband only goes
to the office when she has left. Complete awareness – and she knows nothing. But she lives
completely, she lives in the vertical dimension – she LIVES. That is why we call this existentialism.
All you have to be is to be. To be fully. This is called awareness, and it is a different thing from
knowing. You are aware of yourself and if you are not aware of yourself you don’t live. You may
be a big shot, but you don’t live. You may be a whiz, you may be the best in your profession, and
you’re dead. Kierkegaard called this The Sickness unto Death: to be completely alive to the world
and completely dead to the spirit.

Maria was completely alive to the spirit and alive to the world only within her small circle of
cleaning houses. But if you are completely alive to the spirit you have all you need, and your
knowledge of the world will grow by itself in the degree you need it.

Maria’s circle gradually widened. Her husband got a good position, she had her own household, and
they prospered. One day, here in Columbus, when we had a lot of guests invited, suddenly, about 9
p.m., drives up a Buick as long as a telescope – convertible, automatic windows, a big flower bouquet
sticking out of it. We thought, who’s that, who did we miss – when out climbs Maria, with the flower
bouquet very elegant, with her husband. They had come over from Chicago to pay us a visit. Maria
comes in, gives us the flower bouquet, sees we are having a party, puts on an apron, and immediately
takes over everything. “I take charge of this.” So, my wife could be a hostess, which American
women usually can’t be because they have to be in the kitchen. Maria served, with complete grace
and elegance, washes the dishes, cleans the ash trays, and everything goes wonderfully. When the
party is over, about 12 or so, she says they go back to Chicago. They had just wanted to visit us. But
before she left, she pushes me into a corner and she says, “Senor, I really came to tell you the
following. We Are pretty well off, We’re making a lot of money and you are just a professor – I want
you to know that whenever you are in trouble you call on us,”. Well, thank God,. she’s back in
Mexico now, having her own house and running her own business with her husband.

Now that person is so fully herself that she doesn’t have to give herself another thought. Her self is
not in the way of her Self. She is, as we call it, transparent to herself. I Hence, she can pour all her
energies into serving others – she lives for others. She gives herself fully to others. A person who is
so transparently herself that she lives only for others we call a saint. Maria’is a small-gauge saint.
A great saint is a person who matches the depth of his own .being with the width of his intellectual
horizon. Such a person was Jesus. Such a person, perhaps is Albert Schweitzer. There is a slight
approximation to this kind of person-in every Most Remarkable Character I’ve Met in The Readers’
Digest. You will find that these most remarkable characters are never big bankers or politicians but
always small people who give themselves to others.

Thus, the best combination of being a real person is to be completely alive to the world outside of
us and completely aware of the spirit within us. Unfortunately, our intellect often blocks our self-
development. The more intelligent you are the more cocky you become, and you think you are the
boss of creation. This hinders you to be aware of yourself because to be aware of yourself you have
to be humble. You have to be and nothing else – and that’s the hardest thing to do for you have to
forget about your achievements in the world – you have to give up your worldly pride. So when the
students ask me, “Now what in the world is that being,”I say, “It’s awfully hard to explain. You just
be – don’t be cocky, don’t be smart this or don’t be that. Just Be. Your smartness is in the way of
your being.” “Well,” the student says, “if I’m not smart you give me bad grades.” “Ah,” I say, “I’m
your teacher in a course in philosophy, I’m not your teacher in Being. However, I can also be your
teacher in Being. But then you’ll get no grades at all, everything in Being is infinite.” Some do
understand, but most of them do not. So I finally say, “Well, look here, your inner self, your humble
being is that which makes dogs lick you. That’s all.” What I mean is that with our inner self we go
down, down, down, to the bottom of creation. We have oneness with dogs, we have oneness with
the whole of creation. So the dogs think they are people or you are a dog. So they come and lick you.
Another symptom of this is the reaction of children. My wife can’t go into a room with children
before they are all over her. With me, they are a little more reserved. You all have had the experience
in grade school and even in high school that a teacher came into the classroom and either the whole
class broke loose with noise or it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Children sense the self-

awareness of a person; and in the degree that the person respects himself he is respected by others.

Another symptom of the Self is conscience. You have done something bad, nobody saw you, not a
soul was there. Then you come back among people and, by golly, you feel everybody knows the bad
thing you have done. None of us has ever done a really bad thing, but even the little bad things we
do now and then give us a bad conscience. And a bad conscience means you are afraid everybody
knows with you – con-science. The classic on this feeling-that-everybody-knows is the novel by
Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment. A student, Raskolnikov, slays an evil old woman for money.
It’s the perfect crime, yet he feels that everybody knows, for seven hundred pages. He finally gives
himself up, he cannot live with his terrible guilt. None of us has ever done a horrible crime like that,
something irreversible, irreparable. The little things we do, we can always say, tomorrow I’ll stop.
We might never stop, but at least it’s a possibility.

Now, why do we have the feeling that everybody knows? Because the inner self is not in space and
time. So where is it? Everywhere. In other words, in that inner core of our Self we are intrinsically
one with every other Self. The cones of our Selfhood all meet at the vertex. There is one community,
one core, of all mankind. This realm is what Jesus calls the Kingdom of God that is within us. We
are all one; and when we do a bad thing everybody has done it with us because I intrinsically we are
all one. So in my self everyone has done the bad things and that is why I am afraid that everyone
knows. Everyone has really done it with me. So I am responsible for everybody else and everybody
else is responsible for me. This is the meaning of love. You are connected much deeper than in space
and time with the ones you love. And you may hurt them intrinsically although they may never know
it. That is why Jesus says that it is not evil deeds that count but already evil thoughts and desires. “Ye
have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not kill…’ But I say unto you, That
whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Ye have
heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.” But I say unto you, That
whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his
heart.” (Mat. 5) In the depth of the Self is the true reality – and here you hurt and you help those you
love. And those you love ought to be all your fellowmen. Therefore, another symptom of your own
being fully yourself is compassion – compassion with every living being, compassion, the very
touchstone, as we said, of your being yourself – and thus being one with every other being.
Compassion, suffering within you the suffering of the other, is “the greatest of them all,” as says St.
Paul; greater than faith and hope is charity. Hence the abysmal evil of the great states -Christian and
otherwise – who prepare suffering for millions of human beings today – and our abysmal guilt in
condoning these preparations for monstrous suffering, ane even abetting them. “The State,” said
Nietzsche, “what is that? Well! open now your ears to me, for now will I say unto you my word
concerning the death of peoples.” We do not live in the intrinsic world of the Self. We life mostly
in the extrinsic world of things and he systemic world of dogmas and ideologies. And they threaten
to engulf us.

What we have to do is to combine all three levels of value, to live in all three worlds. It will not do
to just live in the intrinsic, as it will not do to just live in the extrinsic or the systemic. It will not do
just to be intrinsic or sensitive and then be a bum. That is possible. It is possible, as I say, to be aware
of everything and to know nothing. And, as we shall see, Jesus, who emphasized the intrinsic nature
of ourselves, did not entirely deny the other natures, although he denied them to a certain degree. But
he said we should be smart as snakes, and he did many actions, such as riding into Jerusalem, which,
though symbolic of the Eternal, were yet actions within the finite. I must be sensitive, I must be
compassionate, but I must be intelligent also, I must be a disciplinarian. I can’t be an accountant
without discipline. I can’t be an airline pilot without discipline. When I take a plane I’m not
interested in the pilot’s compassion and intrinsic nature. I want him to know that plane backward and
forward. I am interested in his systemicness. I’m not interested in the fidelity of my surgeon to his
wife. What I’m interested in is that he knows how to put that needle exactly where it belongs.

The Integration of the Three Levels of Value

However, and this is the important thing, you cannot fully be systemic or extrinsic unless you are
fully intrinsic, fully yourself. In other words, the moral man will also be a better accountant, pilot,
or surgeon. The value dimensions are within each other. The systematic, the social, and the human
envelop each other. The human contains the social and the social the systematic. The lower value
is within the higher. The systemic is within the extrinsic and the extrinsic within the intrinsic. The
more fully you are yourself, the better you will be at your job and in your social role, and in your
thinking. Out of your intrinsic being you summon the resources to be anything you want to be. Thus,
the intrinsic, the development of your inner self, is not a luxury. It is a necessity for your own being
yourself in all three dimensions. Suppose you are an accountant. You will be a better accountant the
more you are intrinsically yourself. It is an amazing thing how mistakes are being made. Mistakes
are being made when you are not summoning all your resources to the job at hand. On the other
hand, if you do, you will accomplish things you never dreamed of. You will make creative errors –
“errors” which turn out to be just the thing you had to do – even though you did not know that at the
time. Such creative errors are errors extrinsically and systemically but not intrinsically. Almost all
great inventions and discoveries are results of such creative errors. This is called Serendipity – the
capacity of reaching one’s goal against one’s intellectual knowledge – from a tale by Walpole, The
Three Princes of Serendip, Serendip is the. old name of Ceylon. The three Princes always found
more than they were looking for – for they were on the right-road, and their unconscious worked for
them unbeknown to themselves. For this reason also it is so stupid to always be busy. Some people
think unless they do something nothing will be achieved. So they hustle and bustle, and actually with
their busy-ness spoil things which should be left ripening by themselves – through one’s letting. go
and relaxing.

Thus, we must live on all three levels, sometimes more on one, sometimes more on the other, but
always enforcing the one by the other. The most difficult is to live on the level of our own intrinsic
Self. We are born into a world that is technologically and socially organized. There is no difficulty
in our systemic intellectual schooling and behavior and there is no difficulty in our social schooling
and behavior; Our conscious effort must be made on that level. All the rest is easy, there are schools
and organizations for it. But there are none for our inner Self. We have to make the effort to become
our own self, ourselves. And since we are all in corporations and organizations we have to combine,
to integrate our inner Selves with our job, with our intellectualism, with our social and intellectual
being. As a guide for us to do this I have formulated the following four questions.

The first question is the intrinsic one. What am I here for in the world? In Mexico City I am a
consultant to a firm where executives are tested as to their capacities of leadership. When I ask them
this question, “What are you here for in the world?” I get the most amazing answers. Usually, they
are suddenly brought face to face with something they have never thought about before. What should
they answer? You see, now we are right back where I was when I had to ask myself, “Who am I? –
What am I here for in the world?” To be a good agent for Nationwide? Well, no dog would lick you
for that. To make a lot of money? That is very unsatisfactory once you know what the nature of the
world is. The universe is too big for money. Money is a very recent invention. There have been times
when there was no money, and there will be times when there will be none. What will you do with
money when you get to the Planet Mars? What is money worth in a cosmic society with space ships
cruising regularly between Earth and Venus, Earth and Mars? Money is a fetish. It’s nice to have but
not so important that you have to be born for that.

What are you here for in the world? You are here for in the world to enrich the universe. That is my
answer. I am here in order to give myself to the full, by using my body and mind for purpose: to
enrich the universe. My purpose was to find out what is goodness and to articulate as clearly as
possible the realm of value. This is my answer, not yours. You must find your own answer. And the
answer will be the more true, the more fully you are yourself. For then you will come to the
conclusion that you represent a divine capital and that you were born to make this capital grow and
bear fruit. You can only have this feeling if you feel your body and mind to be the servants, the
instruments, the organon, as the Greeks said, of your deepest inner Self. If, as we said, you are
transparent to your own Self. Transparent means like glass, you don’t see it. Your body is transparent
if it is an unseen, unfelt instrument for your purpose.

Last time I couldn’t talk to you because I had a laryngitis. My throat obstructed my purpose. My
body was not transparent. I couldn’t talk. If you had a stomach ache you couldn’t be sitting there.
The body must not be felt, must be transparent to our purpose. This is called health. Our mind must
be transparent, it must not obstruct us, as it does in rationalizations and illusions and plain stupidity.
It must serve our purpose. This is called mental health. .We either can adapt our purpose to the
strength of our body and mind or our body and mind to our purpose. The higher we set our purpose,
the greater we feel the enrichment to be we can offer the universe, the more we will have to develop
our body and mind. . This greatness of purpose will make us great, but not better morally than the
person who fully gives himself or herself to a limited purpose, as did Maria. It is the quality of
purpose that counts morally, not the quantity. Quality of purpose means complete dedication of my
total Self to my task. It means using my body and mind for a purpose beyond my Self. Transparency
leads to transcendence. I transcend myself. I become a symbol for a meaning beyond myself. A,
symbol is both transparent and transcendent. It is something that has a meaning outside of itself.
When I drew this symbol “City” you don’t think of the curves and angles of these lines, you think
of the meaning of it. You hardly see the letters. They don’t obstruct but carry their meaning. They
are transparent, and they are transcendent. If you don’t know the meaning you only see lines and
curves and they mean nothing to you, like “zopog.” This is pronounced “gorod,” and means the same
as “city.” Only it’s Russian – foreign to you. So your body-and-mind must be more to you than lines
and curves, they must be transparent and transcendent, a symbol for a meaning. Otherwise, your
name will be as foreign to you as Russian. You will be a foreigner to yourself, a stranger or, as we
say, alienated to yourself. You must make the body meaningful, a symbol of a purpose in the world.
You must have the feeling that you are put into this world for a purpose. You are not an accident,
your birth is important for the universe, you are put here by God. If you have that feeling you have
intrinsic depth, if you don’t have it, well, then,. you have to develop it.

Now, second is the extrinsic question: Why do I work with this organization? Here I am, employed
by Nationwide, by the First National Bank of Manhattan, by the University, by whatever. Why do
I work with this organization? It has to fit in with my purpose. If it doesn’t I am either a fake or
unhappy or both. I cheat myself. I waste the divine capital I am. I sell myself to the world, for the
world, and in the world. And I will pay for it by neurosis, by drinking, even by smoking, which is
slow and deliberate suicide – as if- I were saying: “I am not worth the gift of life.”

Once I have answered the second question satisfactorily I can proceed to the third: What can this
organization do to help me fulfill my meaning in the world? In other words, the organization I work
with is here for me, it has to be an instrument for my divine mission. It has to be just like my body
and my mind, a vehicle for myself within the universe. It is to me a small universe and a small world,
a microcosm, and it has to nourish my inner self, give me confidence, give my spirit strength and
sustenance. Of course, many problems can arise here.

I once was in the following situation. I was hired as a professor at a University by a head of a
department who was a wonderful man. I had a wonderful time and had. all the suppqrt by the
organization I needed. Then, after some seven years, the head of the department who had hired me
retired. And in came a stinker -a morally evil person – he drank, he was dissipated, he was a bad
human being. I was so sensitive to his evilness that I almost vomited whenever he came into the
room. I became as unhappy as can be. I couldn’t go into my office without feeling disgusted. I
couldn’t go to the campus without feeling depressed.. My teaching became bad. Not only that, I
became physically sick and I had an operation. They have made studies in hospitals, as you probably
know, why people go to hospitals at that particular time, and over 90 percent of the time it was a
problem of an intrinsic nature which had nothing to do with the physical sickness. So finally I said
to my wife, and she said to me, “You can’t go on.” Now he couldn’t get rid of me. I had tenure. But
neither could I get rid of him. So finally, we decided we quit. I had no job at the time, but I got one
soon after.

There are times when you have to be true to your own Self, and that’s all there is to it. And come hell
or high water you have to have faith that the world is really the structure that I have described to you,
so that the badness of the moment will turn out well in the long run. Otherwise, you will curse
yourself to the end of your days and go down. It is so easy to destroy yourself. You have to have a
feeling of your own integrity. Now, mine was an exceptionally bad situation. In the business field
conditions are much more dynamic than in the academic field, and you can always hope to outwit
or outlast such a situation. So, what can this organization do to help me fulfill my meaning in the
world? It must support and further me, and it must not obstruct me.

Usually, we think of the business organization we work with. But we are also members of larger
organizations, such as the state. How about when it turns evil? There are situations so powerfully
against you that you simply cannot overcome evil by good, but have to quit if you don’t want to be
a part of the evil – and thus you do overcome evil by good – by remaining true to your own Self. It
happened to me in Germany. I had just finished my law exam when Hitler became Chancellor of the
Reich. For one week I walked through the woods of Berlin and asked myself, “Who is crazy? Are
you crazy or 60,000, 00 Germans? Is everything that you have written wrong? Is my whole thinking
wrong? Or is it right? If I am right the whole of Germany is wrong, they are mentally sick. In that
case, there is no choice for me but to leave everything, my family and all I have and to get out of
Germany.” My family is a mixed family – Jewish, Catholic, Protestant – all of them except my
brother stayed in Germany. But I had to go because I saw I couldn’t bust this evil, this Hitler. Should
I make my peace? Should I become a traitor to myself? Now this is a situation that can happen to all
of us any time. People at this moment are emigrating from Argentina. People are leaving China. And
you all know of the Berlin Wall – people want to leave East Germany. All’these are evil
organizations which some people cannot tolerate any more. There are even some people who are
emigrating from the United States because they feel the country has turned toward evil and they want
no part of a nuclear war. Imagine what tortures of conscience, what clarity of vision, what
determination are necessary for such a course. And so with any case of quitting, or overcoming an
evil in an organization to which one belongs.

Once I have answered the third question to my satisfaction and have found that the organization is
the right environment for me which nourishes my inner Self and encourages me to my own self-
development, I can proceed to the fourth question: How can I help this organization to help me fulfill
my meaning in the world? This means that I with all my powers and good will reciprocate the good
will of the organization towards me. That I am not like one of those workers in a shop who “only
work there,” and do the minimum with which they can get away, and hold back 40 percent of their
powers, thus hurting themselves, their inner selves, much more than the organization they work for.
That I fulfill my own self by fulfilling my duty, and more than my duty, toward the organization.
That the organization becomes the creative instrument of my own self-fulfillment. There is no
happier relationship in all the world than such a relationship toward and with an organization in
which one works – and if the wives complain saying that you are married more to your work than to
them they really mean it as the highest accolade both to you and your organization. My wife often
says she wished she were a class – for there I really give myself and am truly myself.

If I can answer all four questions to my satisfaction, I have integrated my life, my job, my intellectual
interests all into one, and I am a harmonious human being in the right spot. My world is complete.
And, of course, no executive can do his job as an executive unless he answers, to his own
satisfaction, these four questions.

Moral Types

I think it is clear by now that we are living in three worlds. We live in the world of the mind, we live
in the world of the senses, and we live in the world of our inner selves.

We live in the world of the mind. It is in our mind we think, we build systems. Here are all the
sciences, all mathematics, astronomy, cosmogony, physics, biology – here is the arsenal of our
technological world. And there are people who live in the systemic world of the mind as their real
world – the scientists. They live in the world of systemic value. Sometimes, in their delight over the
systemic beauty of this world, they forget the world of everyday reality and of intrinsic values. They
appear then in a spectrum of types from quiet absent-minded professors to noisy proponents of
bigger and better bombs.

Secondly, we live in the world of the senses. This is the world of space and time, our social world.
Here we, are with our colleagues, in our professions, our business, in the world we know. Ninety-five
percent of the people in the developed countries, both in the West and in the East, both in capitalist
and in communist countries, live in this world, the world of extrinsic value. The vast majority f them
believe this is the only world there is, and they neglect their inner being, as does Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilych
in the old Russia, or the heroes of Vladimir Dudintsev’s Not By Bread Alone in the new Russia –
where man does not live by bread alone either – or as do we in the technological society of the West.
But outside the capitalist-communist block of developed countries, there is the vast mass of
humanity living by no means in the world of extrinsic value, of social classes and functions. They
live either in a primitive world of strict ritual – systemic values – or in the world of their inner selves –
intrinsic value; and the encroaching Western world throws them into turmoil, as did the first
missionaries the innocent savages of the South Pacific (as in Somerset Maugham’s Miss Thompson)
and as does the Western way of life today many of the people in other continents. The so-called
“under-developed” peoples are underdeveloped only on the level of extrinsic value; on that of
intrinsic value we are at least as underdeveloped as they, and often more. We need a spiritual Point
4 Program in reverse.

Thirdly, each of us lives in his own depth, up to a certain point. None of us lives all the way down
to the bottom of the cone of our Self – in eternity. If we did we would be Saints. But we do not even
live as deeply as we could and ought to.

Now, the peculiar thing is that not even in the field of the mind do we live as fully as we could and
ought to. We are experts only at social living – and that is only one world among three. Thus we
really live a very limited life. The full human being would be the one who knew all of science, had
all the experiences of society, and lived in the fullness of his inner depth. This perfect -human being
doesn’t yet exist. We are still on a low stage of evolution. Compared to man in a billion years – if
there is man in a billion years – we are like monkeys. Man in a billion years will be that full human
being. Systemically, he will know everything that Einstein knew, and more. You and I and most
people know practically nothing of physics. We know nothing of relativity or quantum theory. We
are scientific morons – systemic morons. Yet we live in this world that is the way the scientists say
and prove it is – and yet we know nothing about it. Of a huge part of this great world of ours, we are
ignorant – we haven’t learned it. That man of the future – he will know – he will just have this

There is already one such type in existence, the French peasant boy Jean Fréne, who was drafted into
the army and on testing was shown to have such tremendous inborn capacity for physical science that
now he works with one of France’s great physicists. One of his teachers in nuclear physics at Lyons
said of him: “Fréne has the most remarkable mind I have encountered. It leaps from mountain peak
to mountain peak, while the rest of us have to think our way laboriously down the side of one
mountain, across the valley and up the slopes to the final conclusion. When we get there we find Jean
Fréne has been there waiting for us for some time.” The knowledge of this boy grows out of his deep
intrinsic self and complete self-sufficiency. He is still a peasant “so comfortable with himself and
with the world into which he was born that he may never be moved to employ fully his great gifts.
But if he does use them, we may see another Einstein,” as somebody else put it (in The Readers’
Digest, October 1962). This man lives so fully within himself that he did not even know he had this
intelligence of genius until he was tested. Most of us live so fully in the social world that we don’t
know the spiritual gifts we have – until we are tested, as in the crises of our lives. In the social world
of extrinsic value we are experts. We are pretty adept at it. We are social animals – we are smart, that
is, we have social intelligence. What we call a moron is really a guy who doesn’t know how to get
along in society – but he is a moron only in this extrinsic sense. He is a moron in certain respects, he
is dumb in certain respects which we know. But in other respects he might be better than you and
I – as was our Maria. He is a social moron, and we are just as much scientific and spiritual morons.

Thus, in the social field we are very adept. But we fall far short of living in the full depth of
ourselves. We live more or less fully horizontally, but not vertically. We live rather shallow lives.
We are not fulfilling ourselves. We are only living a small fragment of ourselves. We are not really.
We don’t live what we could be. And that is as moronic in the moral field as not knowing what could
be known about the universe is in the scientific field, or not knowing what society is about in the
social field. In other words, of the full spectrum of man which is this here

we don’t live more. than a fragment. We look, maybe, like this

like plates rather than like infinite cones, like tops rather than like universes. And as children whip
around their tops, so circumstances whip us round – till our heads spin. Only if we summon the
resources that are within us do we summon the whole spectrum of what man could be. We develop
ourselves intellectually more and more and we develop ourselves morally more and more. And that
is the task that the future has for man, and.each of us has for himself. Great men such as Leonardo
da Vinci, St. Thomas of Aquinas, or Goethe are prototypes which we could, if we wanted to,

The most important development is in the depth dimension. I told you about that new chairman of
my department whom I couldn’t stomach. What was wrong with him, from my point of view? The
only thing that was wrong with him was that he had a different moral pattern from me; he was a
different moral type. Suppose you live all in depth – there are people who do this -and there’s another
guy who lives all on the surface. He’s a social being, a great backslapper, with lots of columns in
Who’s Who. He is a member of a hundred clubs, he is a great extrovert, and you are a great introvert.
You are here and he’s there:

[Hartman here gives two cones, like those above, with one colored to a greater depth than the other.]
You have very little in common. He speaks with great force about what you regard as trifles. Every
word he says hits you in the stomach. And you just sit there, a quiet reproach to him. You can’t stand
him and he can’t stand you. For him you are the bore of bores, and slightly dullwitted. Because
you’re just sitting there looking at your navel – say you are sitting beside each other on the plane. The
more attempts he makes to draw you out, the more you draw back into yourself. “Boy,” he will say,
“What a bore I have been flying with.” And you will say, “What a pompous fool, what a chatterbox.”
In the few hours of the flight a sound antipathy has grown up between you. Now imagine you have
to sit beside him day in and day out, in meetings and all kinds of occasions – you have to sit through
life with him. The situation just becomes intolerable. On the other r hand, imagine two like him meet
on the plane or in life. No matter how different in their interests they may be, they are both social
beings. One, suppose, is a banker, the other a professor. Well, they get a drink together, they talk all
the way about all kinds of things. But if two like you meet on the plane nothing happens at all. And
if you meet in life it will take a long time to warm up and to discover each other.

Thus, there are moral types, and the differences and similarities between them are more important
than any other kind of differences and similarities. Thus, it is absolutely, mathematically, certain that
there must be people in this world that you can’t stand and that can’t stand you – a discovery young
people make to their consternation. It is in the intrinsicness of our being, our spiritual Gestalt, the
different form or pattern of our character, the very inner psyche, where the deepest differences are
between us.

Now, in order to test yourself as to where you stand in this inner pattern, let us make a self-test. This
test can also serve for your moral judgment of others. It will contain the set of moral properties of
the Self.

A Self -Test

If you live in the depth of yourself you are a world for yourself and you need nothing else. Not only
that, you are anchored with the totality of your own being in the totality of the world. You feel at
home in the world. The world is your home – you feel at ease. And the strange thing is, everything
comes to you even without any specific effort – everything is added unto you, as it says in the Bible.
You have the great property of Faith. Faith is the complete repose in the world as a whole, You are
living in this world as if lying in a comfortable bed. You. are, as we say, well born. You feel
wonderful to be alive. Faith is exactly this – to feel good in the world and to feel that the world is
good. You are not only made in the image of God and you bear intrinsically His name – “I am I” –
you also see the world with the eyes of God: “And God saw everything that He had made and,
behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31) You are not letting God down by feeling the world is rotten.
You have the deep trust, fides – the Latin word from which derives “Faith” – that God is good and
that the world is His creation; and you have the humility, as did Job, to trust in the goodness of God
and the world even though at times you are unable to understand either the one or the other.

Intrinsic Faith is the fundamental property of the morally good man. From this property derive all
the others; and Intrinsic Humility is the first derivative property,

On the other hand, there is the unfortunate fellow who is not well born, who has not found himself,
who has not anchored himself deeply within the world as a whole. That poor fellow is ill-at-ease in
the world. He feels that his birth was an accident, that he is an error of the universe. He really should
not have been born, he thinks. He does not like himself, he wishes he were not. He lives in spite of
himself – and in spite of everything. He is defiant – intrinsically at odds with himself, with the whole
world – and with God. God to him is not a beloved and trusted Father. He is a fearful and mistrusted
master – as believes the unfaithful servant in the Parable of the Talents. This man lacks faith. His
whole life is one great suspicion or fear. He is thrown into the world like dropped by accident from
a plane over a strange country. He does not know where he is and what he is up to. He is intrinsically
bewildered – and hence afraid. Intrinsic Fear is the fundamental property of the morally insecure
person. And Intrinsic Defiance, Spitefulness, is his first derivative property.

There are then two great fundamental properties that characterize two fundamentally different kinds
of people, the morally secure and the morally insecure, the strong Selves and the wobbly Selves, the
wide awake and the sleepy – as St. Paul called them – the aware ones and the wary ones. The man
of faith is aware, wide awake to ‘ everything the world offers him. The world is right, and God is in
His Heaven watching it. The man of fear is wary, he has not faith, either in God or the world. He has
heard of it but he cannot make himself believe it. He is world-wary, always on the lookout; he sees
all the bad things in life, all the suffering, and he says, “How is God possible with all this misery
around. It would be blasphemy to believe in a God who created this world.” He is a cosmic
pessimist. And the man of faith is a cosmic optimist. There are many bad things in the world, but
they are flaws of the design, or the execution. of the world, but they are not its essence. They belong
to the realm of contingency, and this realm is. a small part – a statistically calculable small part – of
the grand design. The pessimist does not see the whole for the parts, and thus, as the American
philosopher Pierce has said, is a little crazy.

Now, let us look at the derivative properties of Faith and Fear.

Defiance, Spitefulness, mean Superiority and Pride. The man of intrinsic fear and suspicion cannot
trust the world, he can only trust himself. All he has is himself, his own power. He has to be the one
who commands for otherwise everything would go awry. He has and needs a feeling of superiority
and indispensability for he is the only one who can make order in the universal chaos. In business
he is the one around whom everything has to circle. He has to keep a tight reign. He cannot delegate
authority. If he did everything would go wrong; the world itself would fall apart. He is the one who
keeps it together, precariously, by its seams. He is the boss of creation. God was just lucky that he
came around. In politics, this is the megalomaniac, like Hitler with his anti-Jewish Messiah complex,
Castro with his Jesus beard. I saw pictures of him in Cuba comparing him to Christ. Or Kwame
Nkrumah, the Osagyefo or Redeemer of Ghana, of all Africa,, if not the world. In business, as in
politics, we still take thesetypes seriously rather than regarding them as. crazy – although Sewell
Avery, the late boss of Montgomery Ward, was regarded as slightly touched when he had to be
carried out of his office by soldiers of the Federal Government. Defiance is a vice that can grow to
monstrous proportions. The British caricaturist, Low, once had a cartoon of Hitler, standing in the
palm of God, stretched down from the sky, and shouting, with his fist raised up against God: “You
may have begun man, but I am going to finish him.” He defied God, threatening massive retaliation
against creation itself. What Lucifer, what the Devil, what Mephistopholes, what the Antichrist has
not been able to do, that he, Hitler attempted to do. He failed, as did his predecessors. The deed may
finally be achieved by the gentle aristocrats and the well-intentioned peasants of the Anglo-Saxon
and Russian governments. They start where Hitler left off. They prepare to do the ultimate deed of
the Devil in the name of duty. Defiance with them has taken the form of national supremacy –

The man of faith does not need defiance; he is cradled within the universe as a child in the arms of
his mother. He trusts God as does the child. He has intrinsic Humility. He is the “poor in spirit, “the
ptochos to pneumati – “he who bends humbly to the spirit,” as is the literal meaning of the phrase,
the humble-minded, as in the translation of J. B. Phillips, the best translator of the New Testament –
whose will be the Kingdom of Heaven. He is the meek -the gentle, as is the literal translation – who
shall inherit the earth. He is the pure in heart who will see God. His humility is intrinsic or cosmic
humility. He does not bend his back to any man but to the spirit, “to pneumati;” he is humble in spirit
toward God, and gentle toward man. He has Serenity – and this is the second derivative property of
the morally secure man – serenity of spirit. This means a deep joy at being alive and around. A serene
person makes everyone around him feel good. Nothing touches him who is serene. He is spiritually
happy. The original meaning of the Latin serenus is clear, bright or unclouded, like a serene sky. He
is transparent within himself.

The fearful fellow, on the other hand, since upon his activity depends everything, is Aggressive and
Combative. Aggressiveness, Combativeness is the second derived property from Fear. He is
intrinsically on the defense, both aggressive and Defensive. He is, and that is the third property,
Competitive, whereas the faithful man is Cooperative. To him, his fellow is a helper in a cooperative
world. Everyone is a friend. For the competitive, everyone is a potential enemy, who has to be

The faithful man is Expansive. His spirit is as large as the whole world and it takes in everyone:
“This kiss to all the world,” as Beethoven sings at the end of the Ninth Symphony. He is
continuously in love with the world and with everything in it. As God has His arms around him, so
he has his arms around everyone and everything. The fearful man, by contrast, is Restrictive. He is
like the fellow in Steig’s organ box who is cowering in that box and gasping, “People are no damn
good.” He is narrow. He wants to shrink the world, whereas the faithful man wants to expand it. He
wants to shrink himself, he wants to be nothing in order not to be touched by anything. The faithful
man, on the other hand, wants to open up his soul wide to take in every experience. The spirit of
creation moves in him, and the spirit of destruction in the other. The faithful man, since he is
expansive, is Humane. He,will never say a bad  word about anyone, no matter who. The fearful man
is a Cynic, he will tear down everyone and everything. The word “cynic” comes from the Greek word
“kyon” or “dog.” The fearful man feels himself to be a dog and makes a dog out of everyone –
although I don’t want to offend dogs. The cynic. sees everything and everyone as evil, whereas the
humane gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. He always builds up the other, he always finds
something good in everyone. He sees the human in everything.

The faithful man, since he sees the best in everything and everyone, is Magnanimous. He has a great
soul. The fearful man is Sanctimonious; he pretends at greatness of soul, but his praise is tinged with
superiority. He is condescending, talking down to everyone, even when he praises. The magnani-
mous man praises with a full heart, every praise is a praise of God’s creation and thus of himself. For
the sanctimonious, in his cosmic fear, every building up of the other means a tearing down of
himself. Thus, when he praises he has to do so with condescension so that his own merit will not be
obscured. He praises rarely since few things or people appear to him praiseworthy. He has the
Holier-than-thou attitude of the dogmatic and the fanatic.

Cynicism and sanctimoniousness are properties of restrictiveness and narrowness of soul, just as
humaneness and magnanimity are properties of expansiveness of soul. Another property born from
restrictiveness is Greed, which is the seventh derivative property of fear. The fearful man must be
greedy because unless he takes his, somebody else will take it from him. The faithful man, on the
other hand, is Generous. He can afford to give because he knows that when he throws his bread on
the water it will come back to him manifold. Money, and indeed all material goods, mean little to
him; yet, he values them in their place and is not prodigal or wasteful. He respects the economy of
the world.

The fearful man is Vain. Vanity is a property that is bound to restrictiveness and to superiority. On
the one hand, this man has to improve on creation, including his own appearance, and thus has to
squeeze himself into things and tie himself down to forms which his nature may dislike. On the other
hand, he uses his handsomeness in order to be effective and beat others who are not similarly
endowed. Thus he builds up his self. He looks at himself in the mirror and his finery makes him feel
good. The faithful man, on the other hand, is Unpretentious. He may be a little sloppy, but he will
never be dirty. He follows nature in his outer appearance and does not force nature to follow it.
Vanity is the outward appearance, it is the ornament of pride. The humble man who is gentle and
natural cannot be vain.

Another property of restrictiveness and the desire to shrink is that the fearful person is Easily Hurt,
he is Touchy. This at bottom makes him a Coward. He is born cowardly toward the world. He was
born in spite of himself; he is not fully born and thus he is scarred in his spirit, and scared. He is, as
we say, Thin-skinned. He is born, so to speak, without a skin against the world. I mean a spiritual
skin, not a sensory skin. He is not overly sensitive in general but only where he is himself concerned.
He is, you might say, cosmically spoiled. He thinks the world owes him a living and, more
importantly, owes him loving. He is love-starved. Since, so to speak, he did the world a favor in
being born, much against his will, the world ought to reciprocate and pamper him. Thus anything
that goes against him is exaggerated because it is so unjust, and anything that goes for him he takes
for granted. He is a spiritual cry-baby, and it is this that makes him a coward. He will not venture,
in either thought, feeling, or action beyond certain limits. Few things appear to him possible. He is
a man of the present, a conservative, trying to conserve what he has rather than risking it in great
enterprise – like the unfaithful servant in the “Parable of the Talents.” The man of faith is the very
opposite. He is a man of Boldness and Courage. Nothing appears to him impossible, every problem
resolvable, every deed achievable, every difficulty superable. And indeed, obstacles melt under his
onslaught as do hills under a powerful car. He takes everything in stride, never getting overly
agitated either in failure or in success. He is well-balanced, poised, the man of Equanimity. He is
Not-Easily-Hurt. He never expects anything from the world but takes whatever he receives as grace,
as a gift from the bounty of God’s goodness, for which he is grateful. The man of fear never is
grateful. He is always afraid that something might go wrong. Therefore he must always be sure it
does not; and instead of being grateful for good fortune he is Resentful in case of bad fortune. He
is unforgiving, vindictive; in his thirst for Vengeance he will not rest until he has wrought his
revenge. Since he is the navel of the universe, anything done against him is done against the world
itself; and it is up to him to righten this cosmic evil. The most tremendous example of this kind of
vengefulness was Hitler, who had films made of the death of the rebels of the 20th of July, 1944. In
his study, he reveled at their death agonies as they were strung up on piano wires. The faithful man,
with his great heart is Forgiving. He knows that vengeance is the Lord’s. He pities rather than hates
the malefactor.

The fearful man, since he was born by accident, thrown into a bad and hostile world, has what I call
the Heavy Touch. Everything is very, very difficult for him. He has to work so hard, harder than
anyone else, and nothing comes of it. Hitler always said he worked day and night for the German
people and they did not thank him. The faithful man, on the other hand, has the Light Touch. He
bounces through life, as Kierkegaard says, having within him the powers of infinity. He plays on the
instrument of the world like a virtuoso on his piano, seemingly without effort; yet behind this light-
handed and light-footed performance is his effort of acquiring the power of eternity.

The fearful man with his heavy touch always takes the longest road. He is Complicated. He, regards
complication as a virtue and a sign of profundity. The faithful man is Uncomplicated; he has an
innocence of spirit and purity of heart that sees through the chaos of a situation to its very core. Such
persons are Billy Budd in Melville’ s novel; St. Bernadette in the novel of Franz Werf el, who winds
all the great theologians around her little finger; and such persons are the true scientists, the men of
genius who see the simple solution of complicated; the true scientist knows it is false and that he has
to continue the search. Only that which is not intellectually controlled is complicated; and the fearful
man, as he is deficient in spirit, is also deficient in mind. He lacks Common Sense, which the faithful
man has; the capacity of seeing things as they are and not as he would like them to be. Thus, the true
scientists must be a man who is well born. If he is not he may erect very complicated systems, but
they do not have essential truth within them. There is a famous passage in Bertrand Russell’s book,
My Philosophical Development, where he tells of his discovery of the logical principles of mathe-
matics and establishes what he calls “logical common sense. “ This passage is worth quoting.

“While I was looking for a solution, it seemed to me that there were three requisites if the
solution was to be wholly satisfying. The first of these, which was absolutely imperative, was
that the contradictions should disappear. The second, which was highly desirable, though not
logically compulsive, was that the solution should leave intact as much of mathematics as
possible. The third, which is difficult to state precisely, was that the solution should, on
reflection, appeal to what may be called ‘logical common sense’ – i. e. that it should seem,
in the end, just what one ought to have expected all along. Of these three conditions, the first
is of course universally acknowledged. The second, however, is rejected by a large school
which holds that great portions of analysis are not valid as they stand. The third condition is
not regarded as essential by those who are content with logical dexterity. Professor Quine,
for example, has produced systems which I admire greatly on account of their skill, but
which I cannot feel to be satisfactory because they seem to be created ad hoc and not to be
such as even the cleverest logician would have thought of if he had not known of the
contradictions. On this subject, however, an immense and very abstruse literature has grown
up, and I will say no more about its finer points.

As is seen, Russell opposes logical dexterity to logical common sense, cleverness and abstruseness
to naturalness. The true scientist, by his correct reasoning, stumbles upon problems and
contradictions which then the dexterous and merely skillful scientist uses to produce ad hoc
solutions. The latter knows all the answers but he does not understand the question. He is a second-
hand or derived scientist whereas the true one is first-hand and original. He may not be as clever as
the other, but he is more relevant.

This leads to the next property. The faithful man, primarily, sees the Relevant, the fearful man,
primarily, the Irrelevant. The fearful man, since he has little direction, takes everything for equally
important. He thus confuses the important with the unimportant, giving importance to the
unimportant and no importance to the important. The faithful man, being grounded in the essence
of the world, sees the important as important and the unimportant as unimportant. He takes the
important seriously and values it accordingly, and takes the unimportant not seriously and disvalues
it accordingly. He has, in a word, a Sense of Proportions, which the fearful man lacks. The latter
exaggerates trifles and dismisses weighty matters with a wave of his hand. Thus, Edward Teller, the
master gadgeteer of the hydrogen bomb, dismisses the whole of civilization. He says in his book The
Legacy of Hiroshima:

“Our gross national product … now is more than 500 billion dollars a year. But the total value
of everything that exists in this country – all the houses, clothes, food, factories, minerals,
farms, services, cars, everything that can be bought or sold – is only about 1,500 billion
dollars. Everything we have, in other words, could be produced by our present industrial
complex in only about three years …

“This also means that survivors of an all-out nuclear attack, given food and the bare
minimum of essential tools, could rebuild our industrial complex … to its pre-attack capacity
within five years.

What Dr. Teller does not see here is the millenia it took to build up a technological society that can
produce 500 billion dollars worth of goods and services in one year. He exemplifies what Ortega y
Gasset, in his book The Rebellion of the Masses, calls the specialist barbarian, who because he is
adept at one phase of civilization believes he is adept at all. He is the “mass man” who unwittingly
lives in the society of the 20th Century as a savage does in the jungle; taking it all for granted. “The
mass man,” says Ortega, “believes that the civilization into which he was born and which he makes
use of, is as spontaneous and self-producing as nature, and ipso facto he is changed into the
primitive. Civilization, for him, is the primeval forest… The principles on which the civilized
world…is based simply do not exist for him.” Thus it makes no difference to Teller whether a society
is at the height of its development or in the primeval – and worse – conditions after a nuclear attack.
This slaughtered and poisoned “society,” he believes, will produce its hundreds of billions of goods
right off the bat. One is reminded of Jefferson’s saying, in his ‘ Notes on Virginia (Query XXII) that
“never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject as that which has been employed to
persuade nations… to go to war.”  Or, as another nuclear scientist, Ralph E. Lapp, in his book, Kill
and Overkill says, in commentary on Teller and his friends:

“One can only admire the elegant simplicity of the gentlemen’s arithmetic. On Dr. Teller’s
reasoning, with just the know-how and a few essential tools, ancient Greece might have leaped
into the twentieth century in five years, – or China or darkest Africa might today. His glib
analysis disregards what it would take to rebuild the complex fabric of an industrial society –
an economy in which an electronic gadget produced in a Hoboken plant is made up of a steel
chassis fabricated in Chicago, plastic parts from California, gears from New Hampshire, relays
from North Carolina, and special transistors from Texas. It has taken a series of five-year plans
for the Soviet Union, with its wealth of manpower and raw materials, to build an industrial
capacity which does not begin to app rioach that of the United States. It took Europe a decade,
with considerable help from the United States, to get rolling again after the comparatively minor
damage of World War II. A nuclear war would not only tear to pieces the organization of our
economy but also destroy much of its foundation – including the means of harnessing sources
of energy, without which the most sophisticated technology is powerless to rebuild.”

Teller is an extreme but unfortunately not rare example of the fearful man not seeing the relevant for
the irrelevant, the whole for the part, the forest for the trees. We shall later find other examples of
this kind of pseudo-arithmetic. It mixes up, with a show or erudition, the important and the
unimportant, mind and matter, spirit and ideology, and its systems, ingenious though they may be,
are yet distortions of reality.

This means that the fearful man is at bottom Irrational. His defective self interferes with the clarity
of his vision. He uses systems in order to bolster himself. The faithful man, on the other hand, is
Rational. He uses reason in conformance with the structure of the world itself. Therefore, true
science, although nothing but a construction of the human mind, can yet account for what is going
on in the world.

The fearful man is Systemic. He uses systems as a crutch and is lost without them – as was Eichman.
He is Rigid. The faithful man, on the other hand, is Spontaneous and Flexible. He plays upon and
with systems as a virtuoso with and upon his instrument. He is sovereign above systems; the system
is not sovereign over him. For the fearful man, since he is always more or less at odds with the
world, things never quite turn out the way he wants. He will never make the creative errors of
serendipity but will make uncreative errors which work against him. Thus he will become Impatient,
another property of the fearful man. The faithful man, on the other hand, since he knows that he is
in the current of things, will have infinite Patience. He knows that in the long run things will work
out the way he wants. He can afford to wait. The fearful fellow has to be impatient for he thinks
everything depends on him and every counter-stroke against him is due to his failure to keep on
guard. Therefore, a further derivative property of fear is Frantic Activity, bustling busyness. The man
of faith is relaxed, his dynamics is quiet like that of a noiseless Cadillac and therefore much stronger
than that of the bustling busybody who sputters like a scooter and takes extrinsic activity for intrinsic
dynamics. The activity of the fearful man is like that of a child squirting water pistols; the dynamics
of the man of faith is like one of the underwater currents that change the climate of continents.

Since the man of faith is in tune with the universe he has dogged Persistence and Perseverance. He
feels within himself the strength of the universe. He never stops for a moment on his way but he is
never obtrusive. He is a still water that runs deep. The fearful man, on the other hand, although he
may seem persistent has yet an intrinsic Inconstancy within him, a profound Hesitation about his
work. Since he does not have enough faith and has not enough strength for the whole universe, he
only goes up to a certain point and then stops, looking for another direction. He is, and that is a
further property of his, Short-sighted, Myopic. Since he lacks complete awareness, he has a certain
Dullness of vision, and of feeling, a coldness of heart which, coupled with his trifling acuteness and
fastidiousness, his attention to detail without seeing the great line, makes him a deadly bore. The
faithful man, on the other hand, has complete awareness, wide Vision, warmth and wisdom. Since
the fearful man is the hub of his universe, yet lacks vision, he must exaggerate the small and
denigrate the big. His dullness, coldness, and fastidiousness are consequences of the irrelevancy of
his activities.

This leads to the final and most important difference between moral types. The fearful man, since
he lacks a sense of proportion, is Indifferent towards what really counts, especially toward the
infinite gr eatness of the human being. Since he is weak inside and hates to be touched by anything
unpleasant, he is indifferent against suffering. The deepest trait of the man of faith, on the other
hand, is Compassion. He suffers with the sufferer. Every suffering is his own suffering. He manifests
within himself the intrinsic oneness of all creation. Compassion, as we said, is the touchstone of

These then are the twenty properties derived from the fundamental properties of Intrinsic Fear and
Intrinsic Faith. The following is the list of these properties.


Trust in the World, Being Well Born

1. Humility

2. Serenity
3. Cooperation

4. Expansiveness

5. Humaneness

6. Magnanimity

7. Generosity

8. Unpretentiousness

9. Not Easily Hurt, Equanimity
10. Boldness, Courage

11. Forgivingness

12. Light Touch

13. Uncomplicated, Purity, Innocence, Com-
mon Sense

14. Relevance, Sense of Proportion

15. Rationality

16. Spontaneity, Flexibility

17. Relaxed Dynamic

18. Perseverance, Patience

19. Awareness, Vision, Warmth, Wisdom
20. Compassion


Suspicion, Insecurity, World Wariness

1. Defiance, Spitefulness, Superiority

2. Aggressiveness, Defensiveness,

3. Competitiveness

4. Restrictiveness, Narrowness

5. Cynicism

6. Sanctimoniousness, Holier-than-thou Atti-

7. Greed

8. Vanity

9. Easily Hurt, Touchiness

10. Cowardice

11. Vengefulness

12. Heavy Touch

13. Complicated, Lack of Common Sense
14. Irrelevance, No Sense of Proportion

15. Irrationality

16. Systemicness, Rigidity

17. Tense, or Frantic, Busyness

18. Inconstancy, Hesitation, Impatience

19.Non-awareness, Myopia, Dull-ness,
Coldness, Trifling Acuteness, Fastidiousness

20. Indifference
This list will help us to judge ourselves and others. In the degree that we have developed our Self
we will have the properties on the left side. In the degree that we have not.we will have those on the
right. None of us, of course, has all the properties on either the one or the other side. We are all
mixtures of the two.

Now let us take a few examples to test this list. In the book by Emmett John Hughes, Eisenhower:
A Political Memoir, the former presidential assistant opposes Eisenhower and Dulles. He writes as

“No anomaly of all the Eisenhower years would prove so remarkable in nature and so historic
in consequence as the improbable flourishing of the comradeship of this President and this
Secretary of State. For their differences in temper and outlook attained an almost
unblemished study in contrasts. Where the one was expansive, the other was suspicious;
where the one was occasionally vague, the other was fastidiously precise; where the one
valued the thrust of “instinct, “. the other lived by the rigor of logic; where the one might risk
credulity, the other might risk cynicism. Nervously sensitive to this great gap between
himself and the President – and occasionally confessing privately his fear of the President’s
‘naivete’ – Dulles practiced through the years, a, relentless vigilance over all officials,
American or foreign, who sought direct access to the President.

“As Secretary of State, Dulles conceived his task to be the fulfilling of two roles – both
equally inconceivable for an Eisenhower. He would be a lawyer and he would be a
theologian. As a lawyer, he viewed himself as charged with the most historic litigation of the
twentieth century -the indictment and punishment of the Soviet Union for its crimes against
freedom. In the same legalistic spirit, he tended to view the President rather as a client too
malleable for his own best interest, requiring the shield of stern professional counsel. From
this followed logically the fiercely proprietary spirit with which Dulles viewed all American
foreign policy; essentially, it was his case – to argue, lose, or win. And it was in his arguing
of this ‘case’ before the world at large that the Secretary felt compelled to become a
theologian, as well. By – the terms of his moralistic orthodoxy, the promise of political
salvation lay in a kind of excommunication of Soviet power. The contaminating stigma of
sin therefore attached to all acts of normal diplomacy that, by direct touching the unclean
enemy, gave countenance to his damning offenses. And so any such diplomacy came to
appear as evil and unthinkable as selling indulgences.”

Here we have in Dulles a great number of the properties of the man of intrinsic fear and in
Eisenhower those of intrinsic faith. Suspiciousness against expansiveness, rigidity against
spontaneousness, cynicism against credulity – which is an exaggeration of humaneness – naivete
against complicatedness, and the sanctimoniousness of the inquisitor, the holier-than-thou attitude
of the fanatic. In other reports on Dulles we find other properties of the morally insecure man. Thus,
in a review on the biography John Foster Dulles: A Reappraisal, by Richard Goold-Adams, in The
New Republic of December 1, 1962, Louis J. Halle writes about Dulles:

“Mr. Dulles was without personal charm. The corner of his mouth turned down by nature
almost to the vertical, so that when he had to meet a latter-day requirement of our political
life, that of laughing for the press-cameras, the effect was rather ghastly. He could do it with
only half his mouth. His seriousness was absolute, for he belonged to that special type of
humanity whom I shall call the single-minded concentrators, In the narrowness of his
attention to only one objective at a time… he betrayed allies, for instance, because he was not
looking their way at the moment.

“If the first impression of Mr. Dulles was that he was built of granite, a later impression
equated him with the King in Hamlet. Mr. Dulles gave the same impression of uneasiness
and suffering. One felt unhappiness in him, and he had a constant nervous twitch on one side
of his face which suggested that he was not at ease inside.”

Dulles, in a word, was not well born. Yet, he lived a life pretending that he was. His inner
uneasiness, Halle explains, was due to the fact that Dulles did not live himself but a myth he had
created. He was a “living lie.

“It was the tension he was constantly under to live up to the myth of himself that he had
spent his life creating. Hamlet’s uncle, had realized his ambition to be king by foul means,
while Mr. Dulles had realized his ambition to be Secretary of State by creating the Dulles
myth. In this sense, both were living a lie (as all of us live lies, although on a less heroic
scale). According to the myth, he had been born to be Secretary of State as Hercules had been
born to amaze the world with feats of strength, and no one else could equal the experience
and the knowledge of international affairs that were his from the beginning.

“The reality, however, was different. Before he became Secretary he had been intermittently
involved in specialized international negotiations at which he had showed his notable skill
as lawyer and concentrator alike; but he had nothing like the broad experience which Dean
Acheson before him, and Dean Rusk since, brought to the office. When.’ as the new
Secretary, he first addressed the Foreign Service Of the United States at a private luncheon,
undertaking an Achesonian tour d’horizon before what was perhaps’the most knowledgeable
body of men in the world, he betrayed points of ignorance that came as a shock to those who
had assumed the validity of the myth.

“Is there any moral strain greater than that of having constantly to live up to requirements
that are beyond one’s capacity, whether the requirements of a job or the requirements of a
legend? This surely explains why Mr. Dulles could not be at ease in the presence of
knowledgeable subordinates.

“One part-of the myth that he was at particular pains to cultivate was the image of the strong
man, and this always threatened to betray him as the N apoleonic myth had repeatedly
betrayed Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. Before his first year as Secretary was well over he had
thrice struck strong-man attitudes which he would be forced to abandon: he had proclaimed
‘liberation’ instead of ‘containment:’ he had threatened France with an ‘agonizing
reappraisal’ of American policy toward Europe if she did not join the European Defense
Community; and he had threatened ‘massive retaliation’ for such local aggression as the
Communists serenely continued to practice in Indo-China. His policy often seemed to be that
of talking toughwhile cutting down the big stick by restricting the military budget. A like
policy had at last trapped Louis-Napoleon, causing him to fall into the disaster of the Franco-
Prussian War.

“Among his weaknesses was a psychological obtuseness that caused him repeatedly to be
taken by surprise when others reacted to his words in a way that a more sensitive and
intuitive man would -have anticipated.

“John Foster Dulles was not an attractive man. He was not a success as a diplomat because
his bad faith in dealing with allies, whether real or apparent, all but broke up the Western
coalition – most notably in’the Suez crisis of 1956.

“Mr. Dulles was not a ‘good man.’  The incessant public proclamation of his own moral
principles was always associated with his political advantage, while the principles
themselves were not conspicuously translated into scruples when it came to the means of
realizing his objectives.

“Under circumstances one would prefer, for his biographer, not a good man but someone
who knew human corruption. When the time comes, however, to write the definitive
biography, no one less than a Shakespeare will be big enough for the job.”

Dulles was a morally insecure man of gigantic proportions. His personal traits were magnified and
came to form the image of America. All the shortcomings of American foreign policy today are to
be traced to the unreal character of Dulles. They are the traits of Fear.

There is in Hughes’ book another confrontation, between the former Secretary Humphrey and
Dulles. This again shows the moral perceptiveness of the author.

“The long dialogue between Humphrey and Dulles illuminates an odd but common enough
fact of political life: the anomalous inconsistency and contrast, within each man, between the           personal and the political temperaments. For it fell to the cool and withdrawn Secretary of
State, a man of parochial spirit in many respects, to speak for a relatively more open, aware
and responsive view of the world at large. And the Secretary of the Treasury, a man of un-

usually warm and expansive personality, served as the uncompromising spokesman for a
world view peculiarly grudging and parochial. So open and receptive a personality was
Humphrey, so largely free of intellectual vanity, that it seemed unlikely that much time could
pass without his acquiring a wider vision. And the fact that no such change would occur
probably offers as much commentary on the political environment in which he found himself,
as upon the individual.”

It is interesting to analyze political figures in the light of this test. The book of Nixon, Six Crises,
is a treasure-trove in this respect. Its analysis confirms what Eisenhower said about him: “I watched
Dick a long-time, and he just hasn’t grown.” Nixon suffered, says Hughes, “the anguish of
irresolution.” Having no moral security and directive within himself, principles for him were only
instruments of his advancement. “Was a clear-cut stand on civil rights really worth the loss of that
shimmering vision of all those Southern electoral votes?”

The list shows many interesting items. Take for example, the peculiar combination of Cowardice,
Aggressiveness, and Superiority. Maybe all of you know people who have this combination. The
minute you scratch off that superior surface and that aggressive pseudo-dynamic, out pops the
coward. Therefore you can always beat such people with courageous frankness, by calling their bluff.
The greatest and almost cosmic example of this kind of fearful and aggressive cowards – note the
double meaning of the word “fearful” – were the Nazis. When these brutal, aggressive, people of the
super-race sat in their cells in Nuremberg, much of the time they cried. Here is a passage from the
report by the U. S. Court Psychiatrist, Dr. D. M. Kelly:

“After he had been in jail about six months and just shortly before the trial was to begin,
Kaltenbrunner (Himmler’s deputy) became extremely depressed. I visited him frequently in
his cell. Almost every time he broke down and cried. He was frightened and wanted to be
comforted. He was sure he would not receive a fair trial. It was a true case of the crybaby
who is convinced that ‘everybody picks on me.’ All the toughness had melted away. The
hardness of character which marked him as an executioner had been replaced by this soft,
sobbing personality who eagerly sought reassurance as to his future.”

The Nazi, of course, is the typical man of fear, of insecure morality, the authoritarian personality who
needs the crutch of the system to sustain his defective self.

Not all examples have to be so crass. Here is a very subtle one. I know a fellow who is an engineer.
He is one of the most lovable persons I know. He has many of the properties of Faith: Humility,
Cooperativeness, Humaneness, Magnanimity., Generosity, Unpretentiousness, Courage, Naivete,
Relevance, Rationality, Spontaneity, Flexibility, Patience, Perseverance, Vision, Warmth, and
Compassion. But he has a very deep-seated intrinsic Fear. He lacks Serenity, he is often on the
Defensive, he is not Expansive but Narrow, he is Easily Hurt, he has the Heavy Touch, and no one
works as hard as he and has so little to show for it. Actually he is extremely successful, has a
beautiful home and is down to his last three Cadillacs. He is bustling all the time and Tense, always
fearing to lose all he has tomorrow. There is nothing anyone can tell him. to change that. He says he
is no good – he is an accident – he shouldn’t have been born, life isn’t really worth all the trouble. If
the Bomb does away with us all, that’s all right with him. He is not worried. Yet, he is very much
afraid of losing his money. And since he has no time to think ofmoney he- has to think of electrons
and metals. He married a wife who thinksof nothing but her banking account. And she has added and
added to it; and, he says, that gives him a lot of security. We often marry what we think we lack and
need. You cannot say that this is a bad man; on the contrary, he is a good man. But he is morally
insecure. It seems that Serenity, Expansiveness, Equanimity, and the Light Touch are the properties
that most deeply reveal our inner Self. Although this person is extremely lovable he has not
developed within himself the totality, the depth, the infinity that he has within himself. It is perhaps
for this reason that he is lovable. A saint is not lovable, he isloved – and a little awe-inspiring. None
of us are saints. All of us are morally defective to a larger or smaller degree. To develop ourselves
intrinsically is the task of our lives. We all have to achieve as much of it as we can in our life time.

How to Develop Our Self

How do.we do it? There are, as far as I can see, six ways in which we can develop.

I. The first is through Crisis. In crisis, as in a deep sickness, the loss ofa beloved, or a horrible
experience like a concentration camp, we are forced to delve into the depth of ourselves and there
find our strength. This is a .pretty rough way to self -development. It cannot be voluntarily brought
about. And when a crisis strikes we may just as well go under than triumph. It may break us rather
than make us. One of the greatest examples of self-development through crisis is the ordeal of
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the thirty-four months from the day he was stricken with infantile paralysis
at Campobello, on August 10, 1921, to the day, June 26, 1924, when on the platform of Madison
Square Garden, he nominated Al Smith as the Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party –
standing on his two legs, holding the podium with his left hand, and waving with his right hand to
the screaming and cheering crowd – a man triumphantly and almost miraculously emerged from the
depth of despair to a new life.

II. The second way is through conscious effort, the always continued sensitizing of our Conscience,
the continuous refinement of our sensibilities. Our conscience is the organ of the self. It is, so to
speak, the barometer of the soul, the measure of its spiritual pressure. In the degree that we register
normal sensitivity, especially compassion, our conscience is sensitive; in the degree that we do not,
it is insensitive and undeveloped. We have to register in our conscience all the twenty properties of
the self-test, check ourselves almost every moment as to how we measure up.

III. The third way of improving ourselves morally is to follow the Example of Sensitive Persons,
especially our wives. A wife who loves is usually more mature than a man. Women, having to deal
with the creation of life, are usually more sensitive to the true values than men. Men are often lured
by their intellectual and social power to insensitivity and disregard of the moral. To women both the
intellectual and – if they are true women – the social play a relatively small role, and love and
compassion play the main role.

IV. However, women value intuitively and do not articulate their value pattern consciously. If we
can do this we may be able to use our. intellectual power to develop ourselves morally. This is the
fourth way to self -development, One can develop himself morally by intellectually. learning about
the Self and growing instep with one”s knowledge. This is the way it happened to me, although it
must be said that I was helped by a previous experience of crisis which expanded my awareness at
one almost shattering stroke. ‘ Yet, it was my life-long endeavor to find a rational account for this
experience, and I did find it eventually in the precision of formal axiology. In the same way the
learning of axiology has helped others who have steeped themselves in this new science.

One of the most striking cases is that of one of my former students. When I taught axiology at M.
I. T., the semester started in October and by Christmas we had gotten to intrinsic value. I asked the
boys to write a term paper during the vacation and analyze any situation or text they wanted, in terms
of axiology. One of them who was the editor of the school magazine, analyzed hi s own articles – you
can analyze with this method with great precision, the value of words – a nice thing, for example, for
advertising – and found much more in them than he had ever thought he had put into them. Another
analyzed a drama. by T. S. Eliot. A third one came to me just before we left for home and said, “Sir,
I want you to know that the writing of this paper is the most important thing in my life.” I said, “How
do you mean?” He: said, “You just wait till you get that paper.” After the vacation I got the paper.
It was entitled “Homecoming of a Son.” The story was this. He was a very bright fellow, on a four
-year scholarship at M. I. T., and his parents were Polish immigrants, working in a G. E. lamp
factory, and he was ashamed that they were just workers. Now by learning value. theory, he knew
very clearly what he had only known vaguely, that a person is what he is and that it is not important
what he does, and that his parents were wonderful persons. So he wanted to go home and tell them
how he loved them. But how could he do that without showing them at the same time that he had
never loved them before? The paper was the method he evolved to show them his love without
showing them that he had never loved them. He just produced one value situation after another and
poured love into it. The whole household changed, laughter and happiness prevailed, it was an
entirely new family.

I got this paper and it was a wonderful thing to read, a miracle consciously brought about. After
about three weeks he comes into my office with a letter from his mother. She wrote that such strange
and wonderful things had happened during the vacation that she and his dad had been thinking and
talking about what it was, and they had come to the conclusion that they had never really loved him.
“I have felt for years that somewhere along the line Daddy and I failed you in some way… Life is sure
funny, isn’t it? You go through the years while life is passing you by thinking you are doing what’s
right and yet you are blind to what really is happening around you.”

Now just imagine what happened here. Nobody talked to anybody and yet the logic of value worked
itself out to such a degree that the parents were able to put into words, from their own side, what the
boy had started out with in the first place. What this young man had done was consciously to put his
knowledge of value to work. He produced experiences of love in one situation after another and thus
changed the whole atmosphere in his family. Thus we can change our lives; by consciously applying
our knowledge of value, either in existing situations or by producing situations of love and of other
peak experiences, at home or abroad – in concerts and church, museums and lecture halls, in reading
a book or walking through a woods.

V. This leads us to the fifth way of self -development: through the conscious pursuit of Peak
Experiences. Peak experiences, in the terminology of Abraham Maslow who has studied these
experiences experimentally, are experiences in which we feel ourselves at the peak of life, in the
fullness of our powers and the maximum depth and width of our awareness – as in love, in musical
and other aesthetic experiences, in experiences of creation and inspiration, and of religious insight
and rapture. People who are able to make their whole life into a peak experience are called by
Maslow “self- actualizing” people. Such people live in the depth and width of their consciousness,
and throughout their lives strive to deepen and expand their awareness. They work at their Being,
and not primarily at their doing, their awareness rather than their. activities. Their cognition
gradually becomes sharper for the things that matter and weaker for the things that do not. They
fulfill the prayer that Kierkegaard put as motto to his-book, The Sickness unto Death: “Herr. Gieb
uns bloede Augen fuer Dinge die nichts taugen, und Augen voller Klarheit in alle Deine Wahrheit.”
– “Lord, Give us weak eyes for things that matter nothing, and eyes of clarity for all thy truth.” This
transparent cognition of Being is called by Maslow, B-cognition. B-cognition has the following
characteristics, in which we shall recognize our properties of faith and of intrinsic valuation.
(Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being, Princeton University, 1962, pp. 70 ff)

1. In B-cognition the experience of the object tends to be seen as a whole, as a complete unit,
detached from relations, from _possible usefulness, from expediency, and from purpose. This means
that the object in B-cognition is a world in itself and has nothing to do with extrinsic values. It is
pure intrinsic value.

2. When there is a B-cognition the percept is exclusively and fully attended to. This means that
we are completely involved in it and that we and the object are one, This kind of perception, says
Maslow, is in. sharp contrast to normal perception. It is seen embedded in its relationship with
everything else in the world. In ordinary cognition the object is seen not so much per se but as a
member of a class, extrinsically, rather than intrinsically. In this kind of absorbed, fascinated, fully
attended cognition, he says, we may expect richness of detail and a many-sided awareness of the
object. All this confirms empirically what formal axiology states theoretically.

3. B-cognition sees the difference  between external objects as relevant to human concerns and
as irrelevant to human concerns. In other words, in the peak experience there is a sharp distinction
between the relevant and the irrelevant. The peak experience gives us a sense of proportion.

4 .B-cognizing makes perception richer. It is, in other words, valuation, which we defined as
an enrichment of experience.

5. B-cognition is relatively ego-transcending, self-forgetful, ego-less. This is what we call
transparence and transcendence. The self gets out of its own way. One is, says Maslow, so absorbed
and “poured into” the object that the self in a very real sense disappears. The perceiver and the
perceived are one unit.

6. The peak experience is felt as self-validating, self-justifying moment which carries its own
intrinsic value with it.

7. The peak experience is outside of time and space. In all the peak experiences studied by
Maslow he found a very characteristic disorientation in time and space. “It would be accurate to say
that in these moments, the person is outside of time and space subjectively. A day may pass as if it
were a minute but also a minute so intensely lived may feel like a day or a year.”

8. The peak experience is only good and desirable and is never experienced as evil or.
undesirable. This proves empirically that the world is good; for Being-cognition penetrates into the
very essence of the world. Evil is then only a partial phenomenon, a product of not seeing the world
whole and unified and of seeing it from a self-centered point of view (p. 77). In this kind of
experience, we can articulate values, B-values, as Maslow calls them. They are, as he himself states,
the same as our intrinsic values. These B-values are Wholeness, Perfection, Completion, Orderliness,
Aliveness, Richness, Simplicity, Beauty, Goodness, Uniqueness, Effortlessness – which he also calls
Ease, Grace, Perfect, Beautiful Functioning, and which we call the Light Touch – Playfulness,
Honesty, Self -Sufficiency.

9. Peak experiences are absolute rather than relative.

10. B-cognition is passive and receptive rather than active.

11. The emotional reaction in the peak experience has a special flavor of wonder, of awe, of
reverence, of humility, and of surrender before the experience as before something great.

12. In the peak experience either the whole world is seen as a unity or the experience, as one
small part of the world, is perceived as if it were for the moment all of the world.

13. In the peak experience there is the ability simultaneously to abstract without giving up
concreteness and the ability to be concrete without giving up abstractness. This is the synthetic
capacity of the creative scientist of grasping the core of a vast field of phenomena in terms of a
formula. This formula- the axiom – gives rise to a system, and this system accounts in detail for the
whole field. This capacity of the scientist of seeing the whole field at a glance and penetrating to its
core, is the capacity of genius in any field. There is a famous letter by Mozart where he describes
how his works grow within him, “And the thing, however long it be, becomes indeed almost finished
in my head, so that I afterwards survey it at a glance, like a. goodly picture or a handsome man, and
in my imagination do not hear it at all in succession, as it afterwards must be heard, but as a
simultaneous whole. The peak experience is the everyday experience of genius, and insofar as we
have the peak experience, even momentarily, we are geniuses. “The concrete perceiving which takes
place in B-cognition,”  says Maslow, “is a perception of all aspects and attributes of the object
simultaneously or in quick succession.” If it is the experience of the Self it is the experience of the
Self as the totality of all extrinsic aspects. This means that B-cognition is much more acute in the
perception of one’s Self and of others. It penetrates to the core both of ourselves and of other
persons. A person who systematically applies B-cognition to himself is a genius of the Self.

14. The peak experience fuses dichotomies, polarities, and conflicts transcends or resolves them.
The reason is that dichotomies, polarities, and conflicts are the result of classification, of rubricizing,
in Maslow’s term, and that B-cognition is non-classificatory and unifying (see 16). It always finds
the synthesis of the conflicting antitheses. Thus it overcomes evil by good.

15. The person at the peak is god-like, particularly in the complete loving, uncondemning,
compassionate, and perhaps amused acceptance of the world and of the person. He is relaxed and
therefore detached.

16. Perception in the peak moment tends strongly to be non-classificatory. This means, it tends
to be non-extrinsic valuation (see 14).

17. One aspect of the peak experience is a complete though momentary loss of fear, anxiety,
inhibition, defense, and control. It is, in a word, the giving up of f ear.

18. As the essential being of the world is perceived by the person so also does he concurrently
come closer to his own being . In other words, in the peak experience we are one with the whole
world. There is, says Maslow, a kind of dynamic parallelism or isomorphism between the inner and
the outer world.

Peak. experiences, says Maslow, have a therapeutic effect, they are conversion experiences. “They
can change the person’s, view of himself in a healthy direction. They, can change his view of other
people and his reactions to them. They can change more or less permanently his view of the world.
They can release him for greater creativity, spontaneity, expressiveness. He remembers the
experience as a very important and desirable happening and seeks to repeat it. The person is more
apt to feel that life in general is worth while” (p.15).

VI. A sixth way of moral development is to bring about peak experiences by Psycho-drugs.
Here the peak of peak experiences can at least be experienced temporarily, which by mystics, saints
and creative geniuses are experienced continuously. Psycho-drugs provide a short-cut to such
experiences, which otherwise occur only as a result of continuous and highly concentrated effort.

The effects of these drugs are n * ow being investigated in many parts of the world. In the forefront
in the United States is the Center for Research in Personality at Harvard University. They experiment
with three drugs, lysergic acid diethylamide – 25 (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin, the latter
synthesized  from the sacred Mexican mushroom. Psilocybin was administered to over 200volunteers
– graduate students, professors, creative artists. Questionnaires were filled out by the subjects and
analyzed. The results were published by Timothy Leary and Walter Houston Clark in an article
entitled “Religious Implications of Consciousness-Expanding Substances.” First of all, no adverse.
physiological reactions were observed. “The experience is dramatically intense, plunging the subjects
into a realm of infinitely heightened reactivity and usually demanding a long period of re-evaluation,
but no one seemed to have been hurt by the experience.” On the contrary, most subjects claimed to
have been helped. Sixty-two percent stated that their lives were changed for the better; fifty-five
percent reported “learning a great deal” or “dramatic insights.” Surprising was “the frequent use of
religious terminology to explain the reactions. Less than ten percent of our original sample were
orthodox believers or church goers, yet such terms as ‘God,’ ‘divine,’ ‘deep religious experience,’
‘meeting the infinite’ occurred in over half of the reports. “ The experience is one of expanded
consciousness, a state of ego-suspension or self -transcendence. “Such ancient concepts as faith,
belief, trust” seemed to describe it best.

The most dramatic use of the drug so far made was in the rehabilitation of criminals.

“To check on this possibility we undertook a rehabilitation project in the Massachusetts
Correctional Institution, Concord. A representative group of six maximum security inmates
were originally selected by the correctional officials.

“The first psilocybin session was held on a grey, cloudy day in March, 1961.The setting was
a hospital conference room equipped with six cots, a large table and a record player. The
surroundings were grim – barred windows, drab painted walls. The atmosphere (in spite of
the encouraging orientation) was heavy and anxious. The first person to take the drug was
the senior investigator. (The practice of having the investigator ‘join the subject’ in the
experience is a hotly debated issue. Participation by the researcher is not necessary and in
many cases not desirable. The general advantage of investigator’s participation has to do with
the ego-transcendental, expanded consciousness state. A person operating on the level of
routine space-time-conceptual reality is usually unable to communicate with the transcendent
subject. In the prison situation where distrust, suspicion, and mutual manipulation are so
intense, the deep empathetic rapport of mutual transcendence is particularly necessary.)
Three inmates then followed. Two graduate students and the three remaining inmates acted
as observers in the morning and switched roles in the afternoon.

“After one hour the drug took effect and the nature of reality became sharp and
microscopically clear. The nature of this particular reality was, however, painfully harsh –
three criminals and a psychologist locked behind forbidding bars. Suddenly stripped of his
ego protection – role, status, conceptual machinery – the psychologist felt-frightened and
helpless. With their ego defenses gone, the three prisoners were equally helpless. One inmate
– a former jazz musician – murmured ecstatically and fell on a cot to listen to the recorded
music. Melody was his trusted thread to the transcendent and he later reported the deepest
aesthetic experience of his life, but his raptured gasps were interpreted by the others as

“The psychologist wanly asked another inmate how he felt. A weak forced smile, O.K., I
guess, Doc.’ The psychologist replied, ‘Well, I’m scared, I feel lousy!’ The two pairs of eyes
met. ‘Well, Doc, now that you mention it, I’m scared, too!’ Then laughter, relaxation, trust
flooded the room. The oldest human experience – caught together in the dark, limitless space
and then the recognition of the basic paradox and the basic resolution – we are all one – we’re
all in it together – trust and share, it’s the only way out. The sun was suddenly out and
another long night of the soul was ended. The participants smiled at each other, closed their
eyes and moved onto their own form of transcendental experience.”

“Since that session we have shared over one hundred individual ingestions with prisoners.
While there have been rare moments of panic and distrust, the overall behavior of this group
of maximum security prisoners has been more serene, illuminated and serious than any other
occupational group with whom we have worked.

“A classic aspect of the psilocybin experience is the awakening to broader perspectives – the
sudden insight that one has been living in a narrow space-time-self context. ‘It’s all a game,
Doc, -cops and robbers – we’re such tough guys! We take it so seriously as though that’s all
there is to life.’ This illumination when shared with other group members becomes a
powerful instrument for maintaining philosophic expansion. Men who have been through a
psilocybin session together can perpetuate some of the transcendental flavor. Most of us
would really prefer to operate with the selfless ecstatic freedom of a Buddha or a saint. We
don’t because we fear: that the others won’t take it as seriously, that they will continue their
self-games, will ridicule or take advantage.

“The phenomena of mystical insight occurred so frequently in our studies as to deserve brief
illustration; for instance, death-rebirth experiences as illustrated by. comments like these: ‘I
went into the john and sat in the shower and died;’ or ‘I was out there looking back at my
body lying on the bed, free of that whole -business;’ or ‘I felt helpless and wanted to murder
you guys who did it to me; then I realized it was my own mind doing it; it’s always been my
own mind imagining trouble and enemies;’ or the semi-literate tough guy leaping off his cot
shouting, ‘Doc, this is it! This is what life is all about! We’ll never live more than we are
right now, this minute!” or ‘I saw fire everywhere. All of life was fire, I was scared. Then I
knew it was all right; I was part of it. I relaxed and went with it.’

“In their own words and without religious terminology about one half of these ‘hardened’
cynics reported classic mystic, conversion reactions. ‘All is one!’ ‘Th y will be done.’ Many,
of course, reached this point and drew back. ‘My mind. My will be done.

“During the last three thousand years rebirth experiences have been induced by practitioners
of every religious and therapeutic persuasion. The traditional appraisals are: How long does
it last? What effects does it have on observable behavior?

“The problem here is more social than individual. To those of us who became (somewhat
accidentally) deeply identified with the rebirth and rehabilitation of thirty-six criminals it
became disturbingly clear that society is not ready for dramatic changes in our criminal class.
Powerful forces operate to thrust the ex-convict back into the criminal role. However
negative were the environmental pressures before incarceration one can rest assured they are
worse after release. When as thoughtful citizens we read about this situation a sociology text
or a Harper’s article, we wince. When we see these pressures operating qn comrades, on men
who have become part of ourselves, in whom we have seen divinity reflected – then it really

“With these frustrating limitations in mind, let us look at the objective results of our work.
First, the psychological test changes: there were,.statistically significant increases in
socialization, tolerance, responsibility, insight, and significant decreases in psychopathic
tendencies, hostility, cynicism. Ratings by prison officers showed improvement in the
institutional adjustment.

“More important than changes in test forms is the recidivism rate. Where are these prisoners
located in space-time after their release? Back in prison? On the street? While it is premature
to draw conclusions, the results so far look hopeful. Twenty men have been on the street an
average of eight months. There have been no convictions for new crimes. Five men have
been returned for technical parole violations – drinking, failure or inability to find and hold
a job. Seventy-five percent are holding their own against stiff winds and treacherous currents.
(The expected return rate of ex-convicts to this prison after eight months would be more than
fifty. Of the twenty-five percent who actually did return, none were convicted of new crimes,
but were accused only of technical parole violations.)”

In summary, the consciousness-expanding effects of the drug are similar to those experienced by
mystics. “The exact nature of the experience is usually felt and reported to be ineffable, while the
figures of speech used to describe it and the language used is reminiscent of the mystics. Psilocybin
seems to mediate an experience of self-discovery – an awareness of who one is – to a degree never
before enjoyed. ‘This is what life is all about!”

Insofar as a person is already religious, his spiritual sensitivity expands. “Biblical passages or
religious terms formerly meaningless or pale have suddenly acquired vivid meaning. Like the
renegade who, through conversion experience, suddenly finds himself in possession of the meaning
of the term ‘salvation,’ so he who ingests psilocybin may find this or similar terms illuminated for

It may be repulsive to some to combine religion with chemicals. But why should it be? Many things
which to people of earlier ages were grace or accident – good health, long life, economic security –
are today commonplace in the developed societies. Many things that were of ultimate importance
in earlier ages, such as witchcraft, are today laughed at. Why should the experience of expanding
consciousness – of which the mystic experience is only one – be reserved to the fortunate few if a
means is available to bring it to many? It may not be an accident that these drugs were discovered
at precisely the time when the only salvation from collective death is the deepened awareness of life
of the individual. Perhaps these drugs releasing the power of the individual are the antidote to the
nuclear power released by the nations.

At present, discussions are taking place between the Harvard Center and the Food and Drug
Administration in Washington, concerning the availability and distribution of the drugs, their use
as research substances, the licensing or authorization of responsible institutions to make them
available, etc.

For the science of value, the discovery of these drugs and their effects are a striking confirmation of
its own results. Often people who take these drugs report their experiences in literally the same
language that is used by formal axiology. Here is one such account, from Newsletter No. 1, Research
Program on Consciousness-Altering Substances, of the Harvard Center:

“The atmosphere could hardly have been made more pleasant and congenial, The freedom,
spontaneity, and personal warmth within the group and between members of the group
became very meaningful. In these moments the psychology vs. theology business dropped
off, the faculty-student barrier just did not matter, even the friend-stranger game was
minimized. For these few moments we interacted not as role players of status seekers but as
human beings – men who share common sorrows and common joys, some of which we

Things going on. inside me took all my attention. Early in my session I fastened upon the
question of the distinction between knower and known, recalling Allport’s and Hall and
Lindzey’s discussion of whether the self should be conceptualized in terms of the processes
of knowing (self-abstractions by which one defines himself (self-as-object, proprium). It
seemed to me that these were being dissociated in me, and I as knower was unable to confirm
my knowing or to sustain my sense of identity by referring to any stable elements of myself.
I recall looking at a Buddhist symbol, a circle divided into two S-shaped parts, one black and
one white, with a center in each of the semi-circles which formed the S. I struggled to bring
the two centers together, as if ‘the I’ had to do so to survive. I can remember twisting and
straining with all my might, saying I-I-I-I-I-I and somehow being aware that the matter of my
universe was to maintain the I while all else was stripped away.

“Two related feelings were present. One was a tremendous freedom to experience, to be I.
It became very important to distinguish between I and me, the latter being an object defined
by patterns and structures and responsibilities – all of. which had vanished – and the former
being the subject experiencing and feeling.”

The experience makes clear the nature of the Self as the organ of valuation.

“I. regard the experience as a personal ‘shaking to the foundations.’ The radical facing of
myself forced – or perhaps I should say released by the drug – was a trauma the depth of
which was totally unexpected. I would describe the experience as a conversion experience
of the most. radical nature rather than a mystical experience of the classical variety as Stace
has defined it. Yet, though without many of the indications of mystical experience, I know
I will understand the mystics much better, having had the experience.

“Another very basic discovery was a clear sense of values – I knew what was important in
my life and what was less important more clearly than ever before. I saw clearly how certain
fatuous and confused ideas were leading me in wrong pathways; so some of my senti-

mentalities were pierced.

Finally, the experience confirms the need for structuring infinities. The subject experiences infinities
heaped upon infinities, and gets confused about their mutual relationships. Axiology can serve as
an Ariadne thread in this welter of ineffable immensities.

The experience of infinities upon infinities in the Self makes this experience appear god-like, divine,
a religious experience. It is, indeed, the generic experience of which the religious experience is one
species and of which the other peak experiences are other species. What we find within us when we
penetrate to the roots of our Selves, no matter what route we take, can only be described as God. For
it has all the characteristics by which we define God. Thus, the Self and God are closely connected,
indeed identical. God is within us. It is no accident, therefore, that the properties of Faith are the
properties of the Beatitudes. The experience of the Self, no matter which of the six methods we
employ, leads us to God; and, since we know best the religious aspect of God – rather than the
aesthetic, the ethical or any other – we come to regard the experience as a religious experience.

The Great Commandments

The one who proclaimed the religious experience as an experience of the Self and the Beatitudes as
properties of the Self was Jesus. Although his sayings have been elaborated by Christian theologians
throughout the centuries, they have never been followed with historic efficiency by Christians.
Christians have always regarded the Christian Virtues theoretically rather than practically, as
obstacles rather than as impulses to successful living on earth. They have never fully expanded to
live in the infinite realms of faith but restricted themselves to the narrow tunnels of fear. They have
lived like moles rather than like men. Today these moles have mined the hill in which they burrow
and thrown up frantic fortifications against each other. Unless they rub the dust of the earth from
their blind eyes and face the light of day, these sappers will blow up with their little hill – the planet.
Earth on which they revolve around the Sun. Today, to live in the infinity of the spirit has become
a necessity of man’s survival. We either live eternally or not at all. The Scripture is being fulfilled
by man’s cosmic power. We have conquered the world around us with our minds. We must now
conquer the world within us with our spirits. We must go back to the map of the Self that Jesus drew
for us.

Jesus was the one person who for the first time in history has most deeply articulated the infinity of
the human being. We were all raised in the Hebrew-Christian religion – unless we have a
Mohammedan or a Buddhist among us. The religious difference between the Jew and the Christian
is that the Christian accepts Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Son of God. The
Christos, whereas the Jew does not. The Christians are, as you know, originally Jews who accepted
the Messiah nature of Jesus. And the Jews are Christians who do not accept it and for whom Jesus
is just another prophet. Actually, very few Christians accept Jesus as the Christ, and thus most
Christians have the Jewish rather than the Christian view of Jesus. For us, there is no difference
between the two views. We see Jesus as that person – I say not “man” but “person” because I believe
he is more than a man, but this is my personal belief – as that person who for the first time in human
history articulated exactly the nature of the infinity of man. But he has articulated it in sayings and
parables which are difficult to understand and have come down to us in a book which almost nobody
has learned to read.

The Bible is written in a very peculiar language, a language which is not the language of everyday,
and it deals with a very peculiar subject, the subject of infinity. Where there is no space and no time –
what is there? There is, for Jesus, the human Self.

Everything we have said so far has been expressed by Jesus in what he called the two great
Commandments – and which are found in both the New and the Old Testament: “Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy
strength,” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Since God is within us, the Commandment
says that you must live yourself fully: intrinsically – with all thy heart and with all thy soul;
systemically – with all thy mind; and extrinsically – with all thy strength. When you do this, you not
only live your Self, you love your Self. And the second Commandment says that once you do this
you will love your neighbor as you love yourself. For, as we know, in the depth of the Self we are
all one. Thus, says Jesus, in the depth of the Self we find not only ourselves, but also our fellowman –
and God. The vertices of the infinite cones, we said, that are we symbolically, all meet in one point.
At this point there is unity of all men in God. It is a community which is not in space and time. Jesus
calls it The Kingdom of God.

The key to the kingdom is in the hands of everyone of us: it is love of our own Selves – or, in order
to exclude misunderstanding as if self-love were the same as selfishness – it is liking our Selves.
Unless you like yourself you cannot like anybody else. Unless you feel that you are of importance
nothing can be of importance to you. You must feel that you are important. You must take yourself
seriously. If you take yourself as an accident that just as well might not have happened, if you dislike
your own self, then you are lost. You are a loss to the universe. You cannot enrich the world of God.
God has created. you for the enrichment of His world. If you yourself feel unworthy of yourself then,
of course, you cannot fulfill the mission that you are given by your birth. You must make yourself
worthy of yourself in order, to be worthy of God and worthy of your fellowman. Remember the
tragic case of Marilyn Monroe. She was a lovely and lovable woman – but with a tragic flaw in her
Self. She. always had, she said, a feeling deep down that she was cheating someone, that she was not
genuine. She tried desperately to overcome this deep feeling, to make herself whole, to remedy this
fatal defect in the structure of her Self – and she would have made it had she not fallen victim to one
of her desperate depressions. For her conscience and her consciousness were more sensitive than
those of most other people in her predicament. She tried desperately to love herself and to love
others. Love was showered upon her, but she was unable to respond fully. She left her fortune to her
psychoanalyst – for she was unable to give her heart to one who loved her.

It is perhaps no accident that this woman became a symbol for our time. They called her a sex
symbol. Actually she was a symbol for our spiritual frustration. We gain the whole world and yet
lose our soul. We put our fortunes into soul-substitutes, from churches to father-and-motherlands,
and occasionally psychoanalysts, and we die alone. And, if things go on as they do, we will die by
our own hands, in national suicide. It may even be, if Fail-Safe fails, that we may all die while our
President is reaching in vain for the telephone that might have cleared up the error that is sending
us all down to hell.

Lack of love is the cause of all the trouble in the world. If everyone would love himself and thus his
neighbor, all problems would be resolved. We would live love. This is literally the Gospel truth,
found in both Jesus and the Prophets, both in the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:18) and the New
(Matt. 22:37-40). The Bible is one.

To like oneself, as we have seen, is not an easy matter. Philosophers have tried to give a method of
how to do it, from Socrates to Kierkegaard. What they have said can be systematized in what I call
the Four C’s of Ethics. They are c’s as little as the three r’s of reading, writing, ’rithmetic are r’s. The
first “c” is Socrates’: Know Thyself. You have to find out what kind of a fellow you are, what kind
of properties you have, what is the material that is given to you to live with – to live by, live for, live
of. You have to make the inventory of yourself.

The second “c” is Kierkegaard’s: Choose Thyself. This means that once you have found out what a
louse you are, you have to accept yourself and make the best of it because this is all you’ve got. You
have to choose yourself – you are your own material. And this is the material you have to develop
to infinity, both upward and downward. There is absolutely no limit, from the bottom at which you
start to the height to which you can go. As you remember, Jesus was7crucified between two bandits –
“Murderers” says Luther’s translation – and one of them repented. Jesus said to him: “Today shalt
thou be with me in Paradise.” Mary Magdalene was a prostitute and became a saint, Matthew was
a tax collector, which at that time meant a robber and collaborator with the Romans, and he became
the writer of the Gospel. There is no limit as to the lowness at which you may start. But no matter
how despicable you are to yourself you must choose yourself, accept yourself as the one you are. “I
am the one I am.”

The third “c” is Pico della Mirandola’s and also Kierkegaard’s; Create Thyself. Make yourself into
the very best you can. This process must start very early and must never stop. You are your own
creation. You must start as early as you can, but it is never too late for it. There is more joy in heaven
for one sinner who repenteth than for ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

The fourth “c” is Jesus’: Give Thyself. This means, forget all limitations, be generous with your own
self. Give your own self to your fellow man and to the world. Love your neighbor as you love
yourself. Throw your bread on the water.

To love yourself and within yourself your fellow man is, thus, the end result of a chain of self –
discoveries, from self-knowledge to self-choosing to self-creating, to- self-giving. You can only give
yourself when you have created yourself, in the qualitative process of self-differentiation, to
complete transparency, without obtuseness or opaqueness of soul. For only in that case will your self
not be in your own way and will you be intrinsically free. Only then will you be able to draw freely
from your own resources. The more you thus grow transparently within yourself the more power you
will find within you – as if you had found the key to a treasure house. You will not only be able to
love yourself, your wife, your family, life itself – you will find that your power to love is
inexhaustible. Your love will become deeper and deeper, richer and richer, get ever new facets, so
that what you call love today will appear like playing marbles tomorrow. The same growth will go
on in your thinking process. Roosevelt, after his crisis at Campobello, said, “What I called thinking
yesterday was merely looking out of the. window.” The fullness of Being will be yours. And you will
have made the leap from the finite to the infinite from the quantitative to the qualitative. For, while
the finite is quantitative, the infinite is qualitative. To understand this we have to understand the
logic of the infinite.

The Logic of the Infinite

The Gospel, I said, deals with a very peculiar subject – infinity. What is infinity? Infinity is strange
only for the finite mind. Actually, its laws are as definite, indeed, as mathematically definite, as are
those of the finite. The fundamental law of the finite is: The part is smaller than the whole. The fun-

damental law of the infinite is: The part equals the whole. If you have an infinity and you deduct an
infinity what have you left? An infinity. The one who dis covered this mathematically, was Galileo,
and he who elaborated it was the German mathematician, Georg Cantor, just about a hundred years
ago. If I write down all the numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so-on ad infiniturn, how many numbers do I
have? The last number gives me “the number of all numbers counted up to then. The number 3 gives
me the number of numbers counted up to 3, that is, the number 1, the number 2, and the number 3 –
3 numbers in all. If you take all the numbers, the last number must give  you the number of all the
numbers counted, or rather countable, for no one can actually count them. Cantor invented, the name
of that number, he called it alef zero, ?0. He did not accidentally call it by this name, the first letter
of the Hebrew alphabet, which originally was the image of a bull’s head. Not only did he have to bull
through this new kind of mathematics with his colleagues, he also thought that it expressed
symbolically what the Prophets and Jesus were driving at. He thought it was the mathematical
expression of eternity – and he was right. Formal axiology uses his symbols and operations to
demonstrate the laws of intrinsic value.

Alef zero is the magnitude – or cardinality of all countable numbers. Let us write them down

1 2 3 4 5 . . . . . . . . . . ?0

Now let us write under them

2 4 6 8 10 . . . . . . . . . . ?0

every second number. Obviously, there are half as many even numbers as there are even and odd
numbers. Yet, equally obviously, I can write under every number an even number; so that there are
as many even numbers as there are odd and even numbers together, that is,?0… In other words, one
half of ?0 is ?0. Or, since there are as many odd numbers as there are even numbers (?0) and all
numbers (?0) minus the odd numbers (?0) gives us the even numbers (?0) we have ?0 – ?0 = ?0.
Also, since odd plus even numbers gives all numbers, ?0 + ?0 = ?0. As a matter, of fact, any
operation with ?0. gives ?0, except one, exponentiation with ?0, which gives. a higher kind of
infinity. ?1. Thus, ?0 x ?0 = ?0, but ?0?0 = ?1. What this means we shall see presently. But first
let us look at the importance of infinite arithmetic for value thinking.

You might think it is important only for mathematics or the Bible; but it is important also in industry.
You remember the Hawthorne experiment of the Western ‘Electric Company. In that experiment a
group of girls was taken out of the factory and experimented upon. They got better working
conditions, and productivity increased. They got worse working conditions, and productivity
increased. They got better lighting, productivity increased; they got worse lighting, productivity
increased. They got rest periods, mid-morning lunches, shortened work week, productivity increased.
They got no rest period, no mid-morning lunches, a lengthened work week; productivity increased.
No matter what was, done, productivity increased. Roethlisberger and Dickson, who wrote up the
experiment in their book Management and the Worker, shook their heads, and wondered what kind
of logic was at work. Any particular thing we do, they concluded, is unimportant, the only important
thing is the attention we give them and the cooperation they give us. And this was exactly right.
What was mobilized was intrinsic valuation: “stores of latent energy and productive cooperation”
were uncovered.

In intrinsic valuation, where the human being is seen in its infinity, the only thing that can happen
is addition. Once these girls were given intrinsic human attention everything that happened was
addition. The finite arithmetic of subtraction simply did not apply. It is only one logic of three which
applies to the industrial organization. Roethlisberger and Dickson call it the specialist logic of
efficiency. It is systemic in our terminology; the second is the logic of social relations, extrinsic; and
the third, the logic of human relations, intrinsic. The authors are especially clear on the “limitations
of specialist logic:”

“Each of these specialists is assigned a specific function and occupies a certain position in
the total company structure. In performing his function the specialist tends to select from the
total work situation only those aspects for which he is functionally responsible. The engineer
is likely to be oriented to engineering problems and not to the total organization as such. The
cost accountant is oriented primarily to those aspects of the total situation which can be
included under the symbols of cost. The same is true with all other specialist groups. Each
expert tends to appraise the work situation in terms of his specialty, which means that some
part of the total situation is left out. As a consequence, the total group situation. is never
accurately represented as a functioning whole and the specific relations which obtain between
the various. specialist functions and the total organization are frequently ignored or
inaccurately stated. Some of these specialist agencies fail to take systematic account of the
social organization, particularly that part of the social organization which is informal. This
means that the control which is exercised by management tends to be based upon an
incomplete analysis of the entire situation, and unless that part which is ignored is intuitively
understood and taken into account by management the control exercised is likely to be

A contributing factor to this inadequacy of systemic control is that the specialist becomes
emotionally involved in his rules and makes a fetish out of them, that is, starts to value them
intrinsically rather than the people.

“Another aspect of this problem can best be described as the ‘emotional identification’ which
is likely to occur between the specialist and his ‘logics.’ Theoretically, the logics in terms of
which these specialists perform their functions are merely abstractions from the concrete
situation. If they are so regarded by the specialist and their useful limitations of application
clearly understood, no difficulties arise. Instead, however, these logics sometimes tend to
become dominant in the thinking of the person who uses them, and he comes to regard them
as being ‘right’ for all occasions. As a result of this emotional identification with certain
abstractions an experimental attitude is not achieved. Any evidence not in keeping with these
systems of logic come to be regarded as ‘wrong’ and the possibility of understanding is
thereby diminished. This emotional attachment of the person to his logic comes about in part
because of the fact that by exercising his logic the specialist maintains his position in the
social organization; consequently, any threat to it is interpreted as a threat to his integrity and
security. The logic thereby becomes not merely a tool for investigation but also a weapon of

This kind of transposition of intrinsic valuation f rom men to rules is one of the most unfortunate
features of man’s make-up. We give eternal value to what has only limited temporal value, to the
systems of our minds. We thus become fanatics of one system or another – of the corporation, of a
Church or a State, a dogma or an ideology – and in the name of the system we ride rough-shod over
men. Behind every great historical catastrophe stands a fanatic with fetishistic dedication to a system.
The Hawthorne experiment laid bare the limitation of the industrial system and the need for his
complementation by logics of social and human values.

Another industrial example for a different than the finite logic are the famous coffee breaks. At the
beginning an industrialist got it in his head that his workers should have coffee breaks, one in the
morning and one in the afternoon, of fifteen minutes each. He called in his engineers to ask them
what they thought about the idea, and they were horrified. They got out their slide rules and figured
it out – 10,000 men, half an hour a day is 5, 000 hours a day, 25,000 hours a week,100,000 hours a
month – impossible – “We’ll go broke. Don’t do it.” The valiant industrialist did it anyway, and the
result was that production went up instead of down. The engineers had been wrong with their slide
rules. There was nothing wrong with their logic – only it was the wrong logic. There was nothing
wrong with their arithmetic – if people don’t work for half an hour a day, production is lost. The only
thing wrong was the arithmetic itself. It is wrong to see people and their work as a subject to slide
rules and to the arithmetic of production. There is more to people than this arithmetic. There is also
their feeling and good will – and these are not subject to the slide rules of finite arithmetic – although
they are subject to the slide rules of transfinite arithmetic. In that arithmetic, he who gives gains and
he who gives not loses. In the case of the coffee break, the actual not working of the men for half an
hour a day increased production – for they gave more of themselves -when they did work.

A third industrial example is profit-sharing. A friend o f mine in Ohio had the following equation
in the books of his foundry at the end of the first year of profit sharing: 100 percent – 50 percent =
175 percent. It came about as follows. About twenty years ago this man said to himself, I make a
hellva’ lot of money. I get it from my workers. I think I should cut them in on 50 percent of my
profit. His friends and family said he was nuts, he would lose his shirt, he would have no capital, he
would go broke. But he did it anyway. The workers were so happy with the plan, not only the. money
but especially the attention he gave them that they worked a little harder than before. It is a peculiar
thing that whenever you share the profits in the right spirit, production goes up 40 percent. Always
this same percentage. The reason is that the workers hold back 40 percent of their capacity. This can
be mathematically demonstrated. When you appeal to them as persons rather than as workers you
tap an infinite reservoir of human resources and they give themselves – the fourth “c” of ethics. They
add 40 percent to productivity. Profits then rise much more steeply, in the case of that particular
foundry, 350 percent. This, shared half with the workers and half with management, gave each party
175 percent,

In dealing with human beings, the finite arithmetic, where the part is smaller than the whole, goes
awry, and the transfinite arithmetic, so unfamiliar to us, is just as exact an arithmetic as the finite.
In it, whatever operation you make, you never lose. Once in infinity, you can never lose it. You can
only go on to ever higher infinities. The only operation that changes an existing alef is to put it into
the exponent. The result is, precisely, a higher infinity.

Now let us see what that means. To do so we must look at our definition of value in greater detail.

The-Hierarchy of Values

The measure of value of a thing, we said, is the set of properties which defines the thing. To take our
chair again, it has four properties, “knee-high” “structure,” “a seat,” “a back.” If it is not knee-high,
it is not a very good chair. If it is not a structure, but wobbles, it’s not a good chair but it is a good,
contraption for circus acrobats. If it has no seat it is not a good chair, and if it has no back it is not
a good chair either. Thus, if a particular thing is what it is named to be, for example, something
called “a chair” is actually a chair, and if it has the properties of its concept, “chair,” then we call it
a good such thing. If this thing here having all the. chair properties would be an elephant it would
be a monstrosity.. Anything having the properties of one thing and being called by the name of
another thing is a monstrosity, a freak, a misfit, or simply bad. Thus a four-legged table with only
three legs is still a four-legged table but a bad one. However, it would be a good wobbly three-legged
table. The concepts “wobbly” three-legged table” and “four-legged table” are transposed. The thing
actually is a wobbly three-legged table; but it is not called that. It is called a four-legged table, though
a bad one. Such transposition of concepts, or of frames of reference, is the definition of disvalue.

Let us now use the concept as measure. If the thing has all the conceptual – definitional or intensional
– properties, we call it good. Let us say that the number of properties contained in any conceptual
intension is p, whatever that may be. A good chair, or a good anything, then, has p properties. If it
has half the properties it is a so-so or average thing and has p/2 properties. If it has more than half
the properties it is a fair thing and has p/2 + m properties, where m is less than p/2, and since p = 4,
p/2 is 2, and less than that is 1. The chair would be fair if it had p/2 + m = 2 +1 = 3 properties. In
other cases, of course, fair would have a different number of properties. Bad is less than half p/2 –
m, in the case of the chair with only one property, the chair would be pretty bad. In sum, the four
values of a thing, goodness, fairness, averageness, and badness, can be measured as follows, using
the example where p = 4.

Intension of “chair”

?- – – goodness – – – – – -?    p

?- – fairness – – -?            p/2 + m

?- average -?              p/2

? bad ?                    p/2 – m

All this is extremely simple. But now look what is happening. Let us put a girl on the chair so we get
some differences of opinion; for if four people look at a chair it is difficult to get real differences of
opinion. There she is sitting with four fellows sitting around her. One says, “Boy, that’s a girl!” What
does he mean? She’s got all the girl properties, she is p. Another says, “Aw, I don’t think she’s so
hot.” What does he mean? Well, she’s so-so, not so hot not so bad either. He says she’s p/2. The
other says, “I think she’s pretty  good.”  She’s p/2 + m. The fourth says, “I don’t know what you’re
talking about. I think she’s awful.” She’s still a’girl, but she doesn’t have much of girl qualities. He
doesn’t mean to say she’s a bad girl; that wouldn’t be so bad maybe. No, to him she’s p/2 – m.

The question then is, What is the value of the situation, of the fellows saying this about the girl? Or,
what is the value of the girl in the situation with these fellows? What does what they say add up to?
Very simple. The one said p, the other p/2, the third p/2 + m, the fourth p/2 – m. So let us add up
what they say: p + p/2 = p/2 + m + p/2 – m. The result is 2 ½ p.

This is a peculiar result. Remember, p is the totality of all the qualities. Does she then have more
qualities than she has? Indeed, she does. And this is the core definition of value: Valuation is a play
with pure properties. You abstract from the thing itself a take the properties of the thing as a set with
which you play around. Depending upon how you play you call the thing good, bad, indifferent, and
so on. In other words, Fact is only one of the sets of properties that a thing has and it is that set upon
which people most readily agree. This is a desk because it has all the desk properties. We all agree
on that. However, when it comes to Valuation, you abstract from that factual set and just take the
properties of the thing by themselves, playing around with them, arranging and rearranging them in
your imagination.

Evaluation is an imaginative play with properties and not looking at the thing itself. And fact itself
is only one set of the thing’s properties. This means that valuation is a function of the imagination.
If you lack imagination you see only facts, like the dejected fellow in a Thurber cartoon about whom
the ladies gossip: “He doesn’t know anything except facts.” But, facts being themselves sets of
properties, they are not so factual at all.

To give you an example, one day I was sitting in my study; my wife came in the door and she kind
of coiled back and s aid: “What’s going on, are you here ?” I said, “Sure I am, here I am.”. She said,
“But the car isn’t in the garage.” I said, “What? It must be stolen.” We rushed to the garage and there
big as daylight stood the car. She had been looking in the garage but had not seen it because she had
thought I was out. We see what we conceive to be. Even fact is a part of what we have in our mind.

Valuation then is a play with pure properties; and axiology is the score of that play, just as music is
a play with sounds, and musical science is the score of that play.

Now, let us continue our play. I can do much more with the sets of girl properties or of chair
properties or of any other set of properties than merely add. I can subtract, multiply, divide, arrange
and rearrange these sets in sub-sets, and the result of all this is value. Let us ask ourselves how many
different values a thing can have, Since the given set of properties and each of the subsets of this set
is a different value, and since according to a well-known formula, a set of p items has 2p – 1 sub-sets,
a thing with p properties can have 2p – 1 sub-sets of properties. This number, then, 2p – 1, is the
totality of different values which a thing can have.

Now, look what that means. Our chair, for example, has four properties. Its total value then is 24 1
= 15. A chair with four properties can have 15 different values. Why? Because it can have one value
of goodness; there’s only one set of all properties. In combinatorial analysis 4C4 = 1. There are 6
ways in which the chair can be so-so; it can be knee-high and have a seat but wobble and have no
back; it can have a seat and a back but not be knee-high and wobble, and so on. There are 4 ways in
which the chair can have 3 properties, 4C3 = 4,. hence four ways in which the chair can be fair; and
there are 4 ways in which it bad, for 4C1 = 4. Thus, our chair can have one goodness, 4
fairnesses, 6 averagenesses, and 4 badnesses. In toto, a thing can have 2p – 1 values because every
sub-set of its set of properties is, by definition., a value.

Let us apply this, say, to job evaluation. Suppose you have evaluated a job as so many properties,
let’s say, ten. Then in how many ways can the employee fulfill or not fulfill this job? In 210 – 1 =
1,023 ways. There are 1,023 ways in which the employee can perform or not perform one particular
job which is defined by ten properties. To be exact, there is 1 way of good performance, 385 ways
of fair performance, 252 ways of average performance, and 385 ways of bad performance. By
dividing the possible number of performances in each value through the possible total of all
performances we get the percentage of performance expectation: 0.098 percent for good, 37.64
percent for fair, 24.64 percent for average, and 37.64 percent for bad. The difference between this
theoretical expectation and the actual performance in your shop is an objective measure of your shop

The calculus can, of course, also be applied to gauge the acceptance of your product. If the product,
in the mind of the public, is determined by 10 properties, the theoretical expectation of evaluations
possible of it is 210 = 1,024, adding one evaluation zero; and there are 385 ways in which he product
may appear fair or bad and 252 ways in which it may appear so-so. These ways may in turn be broken
down; of the 385 ways in which the thing may appear fair, there are 10 ways in which 9 properties
may be accepted, 45 ways in which 8 may be accepted, 120 ways in which7, and 210 ways in which
6 properties may be accepted. The corresponding percentages of expectation, are, respectively, 0.90,
4.4, 11.73, and 20.53. Again, the actual acceptance as against the possible acceptance is an objective
measure of your product’s success.

Here we have a calculus of value, measuring much that at present is intangible.

This calculus, however, has much wider scope. The above application is valid only if properties can
be enumerated. But how if they cannot, if you cannot make a list of specifications? In business,
suppose you have too choose an elevator boy. There isn’t much difficulty in doing that because you
can put down in writing the specifications of that job, and if he can push a button and open a door
and smile, or not smile for that matter, he will be a good elevator boy. But how do you choose the
president of a company? What specifications can you write down for the president of a company who
may have to make decisions of hundreds of millions of dollars in terms of hundreds of thousands of
men? How about the specifications for the job of President of the United States? How about
specifications for your wife? How did you choose her? What did you have to go by? You knew very
well that if you would have a list of specifications of possible wives and you would carry that along
when you were looking for girls to marry, it could happen that you would find one with all the
specifications, but you wouldn’t marry her because you wouldn’t like her. There have been cases like
this. Here it seems matters become too intangible for calculation. Yet, even these values can be made
tangible, even they can be measured, if only we apply transfinite rather than finite arithmetic. If we
regard finite arithmetic as only one possible kind of arithmetic and transfinite arithmetic as another
possible kind of arithmetic, then we can arrange concepts according to the number of properties that
define them.

This number of properties can either be finite (n) or transfinite. The first two kinds of transfinite
numbers are ?0, which is the cardinality of all countable or denumerable numbers (integers, fractions,
algebraic numbers), and ?1, which is the cardinality of all non-countable or non-denumerable
numbers (transcendental numbers such as ? ). Thus, we have three kinds of concepts, those defined
by n properties and those defined by ?1 properties. The first are constructed concepts, the second are
abstracted concepts, the third are singular concepts.

So far we. have spoken only of abstract concepts such as “chair” or “girl.” Let us look at these
abstract concepts again. Abstract concepts are concepts which are abstracted from space-time
empirical things. In other words, in the world we have all the chairs or girls or what-not, and we
abstract those properties which all these kinds of objects have in common. . The result is the
properties of the concept “chair,” “girl” or “what-not” (or “X”).

We learn abstract concepts when we learn to speak. Since, as we have seen, the concept of a thing
is also the measure of the value of that thing, when we learn to speak we also learn how to value.
When the child asks mother: “What is this?” mother gives him the name of a thing – and with this
name the child has a measure of value for all things of this kind. All things that correspond to that
name and have all the properties the child has connected with that name, are good such things. A
good chair is a chair that has all the properties the child has learned chairs to have. The child’s mind
is very alive to sets of properties and to extending them to things not yet experienced. My little boy,
when he came to the ocean first, looked in and said, “Daddy, mirror.” I said,“No, this mirror is
liquid.” I added another property. I said, “Such a liquid mirror is called water.” So you learn the
words of the language by learning their meaning as a set of properties, and this set of properties is
the measurement of value for the thing named. Those of you who have read the autobiography of
Helen Keller or seen the play, The Miracle Worker will remember the tremendous excitement of a
child on learning names, when her tutor, Miss Sullivan, spelled into her hand the word W-A-T-E-R.
The excitement is not only because the name names, but also because it values. When we give a child
the concepts abstracted from the world we give him the capacity not only to know the world but also
to value it. We give him the value of the world itself.

Concepts abstracted from sense reality have the following important characteristic: their properties
have been abstracted one by one. You have to take common properties of things and have to learn
one by one, one after another, all of these properties. A set of items which can be identified one by
one is mathematically called a denumerable set. If I could not enumerate and thus identify these
properties I would not know a thing. Denumerability is the essence of discursive knowledge. Now,
how many properties can I abstract that things have in common? If I have a huge number of things,
very few properties will be in common; if I have very few things, they will have very many properties
in common; if I have only two things I can abstract an infinite number of common properties. The
range of the number of properties that can be abstracted, then, is between one and infinity. Or, the
number of properties of an abstract concept is, at most, denumerable infinity, or ?0.

When an abstract concept is fulfilled or not fulfilled there appear degrees of valuation, goodness,
badness, as we have seen. Such values are what we. called extrinsic values. What is valued is not the
thing in itself but its belonging to a certain class. A good chair is good because it is a good member
of the class of chairs.. Extrinsic value is the degree of fulfillment of an abstract concept, that is, a
concept defined by a denumerably infinite set of properties.

Abstract concepts are one kind of concepts. Now let us go to a second kind, concepts not abstracted
from the world but constructed by the human mind – not abstracts but constructs. Have you ever
wondered why there are no bad geometrical circles? Because the geometrical circle is defined with
such precision in the system, of geometry – as “plane closed curve equidistant from a center” – that
if a curve does not have all these properties and lacks just one of them, it is not what it was defined
to be. It is not a bad circle, it is not a circle.

Why aren’t there bad electrons? For the same reason. When a. thing seems like an electron and lacks
an electron property we cannot call it an electron; and the main endeavor of modern physics is to find
out about these “bad” electrons and give them new names, positron, neutron, meson, and so on. Why
are there no bad square roots of minus one? For the same reason. Why is there equity in the law?
Because even in the law there are such exact definitions that when a thing lacks a part of the
definition it is not what it is defined to be, and in order to relieve the tension between the system and
reality, jurists have invented equity and other institutions. If the systemic rule remains unrelieved you
have legal injustices, as in Menotti’s powerful opera The Consul. Again, you have moral injustices
if, for example, you define a human being by a system, say, the system of spectroscopy. If you define
a human as “white,” and all “non-whites” as “non-human” you use a minimum of properties to define
a very complex being.

Such a definition is a transposition of frames of reference and hence, as we have seen, not good.
When people value such systems intrinsically then they become fetishistic of these systems. Sarah
Patton Brown, in The Desegrated Heart (New York, 1962) shows how Americans in the South have
built up a dehumanizing system, an elaborate code for dealing with negroes, and how this system
debases both their own and their victims’ humanity. As we have seen, we may systemically value
anything, even people, and this is all right within its limits. The four fellows who judged the girl on
the chair, valued her systemically. They did not see her as a person but only as a physiological
system. A man who sees all girls exclusively systemically is a girl fetishist. Don Juan is the prototype
of such a fetishist, as Kierkegaard has shown in Either/Or.

Constructs have the following characteristics:

The number of properties is finite.
A construct gives rise to only two values, either perfection or non-existence.
There are no degrees such as good, bad, indifferent, and so on
This kind of value is what we called systemic value.

Now to the singular concept. Let us say I think of my wife. I can think of her systemically, as a
physiological system – in the way’Hans Castorp in Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain looked at the
x-rays of his beloved, Madame Chauchat. I can see her systemically as a cog in the machine of my
life. I can see her extrinsically, as a member of the class of wives, or of women, or of cooks, etc., etc.,
and compare her with other wives, women, or cooks. And finally, I can think of her as she really is,
in her uniqueness, her very Self-hood. In this case “my wife” is.a singular concept. How many
properties does she have? She has an infinity of properties, and I cannot put my finger on any one
of these properties. I see her, as the psychologists say, as a “gestalt” or as the mathematicians would
say, as a “continuum.” I neither abstract from nor construct her. I see her, as Maslow says, concrete
in abstraction and abstract in concreteness. She is the axiom of my life. I live her life, identifying
myself with her. She is an intrinsic value. Logically, this means that the number of properties she has
is non-denumerable infinity, ?1. Intrinsic value is the fulfillment of a singular concept, that is, a
concept defined by a non-denumerably infinite set of properties.

Let us summarize:

1. Value is the degree in which a thing fulfills its concept.

2. There are three kinds of concepts – abstract, construct, and singular. Correspondingly, there
are three kinds of values:

(1) Systemic value as the fulfillment of the construct,
(2) Extrinsic value as the fulfillment of the abstract,
(3) Intrinsic value as the fulfillment of the singular concept.

The difference between these three concepts is that the number of properties in a construct is finite,
(n), in an abstract is denumerably infinite (?0), and in a singular concept is non-denumerably infinite
( ?1). We thus have a hierarchy of values. Since value is an enr ichment of properties, a value is the
higher a value the richer it is in properties. Since systemic value means a thing with n properties,
extrinsic value a thing with ?0 properties, and intrinsic value a thing with ?1 properties, it follows
that intrinsic value is a higher value than extrinsic value, and extrinsic value a higher value than
systemic value.

The hierarchy of values corresponds to a hierarchy of experiences. The experience of intrinsic value
is richer than the experience of extrinsic value, and the experience of extrinsic value is richer than
the experience of systemic value.

Let us illustrate this with a little story. A student, say, of mathematics at. M. I. T., John, is going on
a vacation trip to Europe, all alone. While he steps on board the Queen Mary he says to himself, “I’m
going to have a good time.” While he thinks this, he has nothing in his mind but a mathematical
curve, a kind of sinus curve, belonging to the concept “girl.” He does not think of any girl in
particular, but so to speak, of the principle of feminity. This is systemic valuation, construction in
the mind. He sets up an ideal of some kind. The next day out on board there’s a little party, quite
formal as it is on European ships. The boys line up on one side of the room, the girls on the other
side. John is standing there, and over there are samples of the class of girls, in space and time. Now
the concept has enriched itself. It is not just a mathematical curve but quite a bit more – the curve has
been filled in, from a sinus it has become sinuous. In looking over there he uses the concept in his
mind, “girl,” with those new properties, to measure what is standing over there, the sample of the
class – he weighs in his mind the members of the class in the light of the concept – and the word
“axios” is our word “axle, “ meaning the axle of a scale. The process of weighing is reflected in his
face. Looking over one he says, “Uh Uh”’ and on another “Mmm” and on a third “Ah!” meaning “p
properties.” He walks over, asks her to dance, and the dancing itself is a continuation of the process
of valuation. He weighs what he has in his arms against what he has in his mind. Let us say he likes
her; let us call her Mary. They keep company and they do have a wonderful time. Extrinsic valuation
– she is the best girl on board in the axiological sense.

One day before the ship arrives in Southampton there happens a most peculiar and you might say
irrational and intangible thing, were it not for axiology. He wakes up in the morning and suddenly
he thinks, “Mary – she’s not a girl’ at all, she’s the only girl in the world.” He knows very well there
are one thousand million girls in the world, and yet he knows with equal certainty that she is the only
girl in the world. So, being a mathematician and very logical, he reasons, “If she is the only girl in
the world and. I’m a man, and I have to live with a girl, then I have to live with her.” So he writes
her a letter, which starts as if he had read axiology: “My one and only.” Uniqueness! And the
language of the letter is as foreign to mathematics as poetry: “My treasure,” “My world,” “Sun of my
life,” and the like. And he adds a “P. S. If you don’t marry me, I’ll jump overboard.”

What has happened? Systemic, extrinsic, and now intrinsic valuation. In intrinsic valuation, since
you do not abstract nor construct, how do you know? By self-identification. He identifies himself
with her.

They marry and after three months or three years the process goes in reverse. He walks down Main
Street and suddenly he sees, “Ah, there are girls.” And then he compares Mary with them; extrinsic
valuation. Then he goes home and there comes systemic valuation. He sees her as his housekeeper,
the soup isn’t ready, the meat is tough, the shirts are not washed, she gets his papers in disorder, she
pushes the toothpaste tube at the wrong end, and he gets mad. He shouts at her, “I’m working all day
and the soup isn’t. ready,” and she cries and she says, “Now you’ re not nice to me,” and he looks
at her and there she is again, the one and only girl in the world, and he goes over and says, “I’m so
sorry, I measured you systemically.” And she says, “Yes, you were very bad. I am unique. I am to
be measured intrinsically. I am I.

So they continue deepening their experience of love; and, as we have seen, they can do so infinitely,
plumbing ever deeper resources of.feeling and dedication, discovering ever new layers of infinity.
Thus, in experience, intrinsic value is not the highest possible. Just as intrinsic value is to extrinsic
value as ?1 is to ?0, so the next higher value after the intrinsic, ?2, will be to intrinsic value as
intrinsic value is to extrinsic value – infinitely higher. And there is no end to the height of values as
there is none to the series of alefs. After ?2 follows ?3, after ?3, ?4, and so on ad infinitum, to ?n
and on to ??, and on. The totality of the alefs is an infinite series of infinities. Cantor called it “The
Absolute” and held it to be the symbol of God. Again, he was right. When one analyzes the series
of alefs in their totality one finds that it has all the properties which theology conn:ects with the name
of God.

Now, finally, we are ready to find out what exponentiation with alef means. Again, let us remember
the nature of value. If we have any given set of properties, n, then any sub-set of this set is a value
of the set. If I have a chair with four properties, then any sub-set of 4, say 3 properties, is a value of
that chair.’ The given set of properties itself is, mathematically, a sub-set of itself. This given set,
seen as a sub-set, is the value good. If the chair has all its four properties it is a good chair. The other
sub-sets are the other values, so-so, fair, bad, etc. Thus,.our first rule is:

1. Any sub-set of a given set of properties is a value of the given set.
As we have seen, there is a definite number of all possible sub-sets of a set, and hence a definite total
value of a given set. If the number of properties in the given set is p, then the total value of that set
is 2P – 1. Hence the second rule:

2. The totality of sub-sets of a given set of properties is the total value of the given set.
This total value of a set is, to repeat, 2P – 1. Now, suppose the given set of properties is infinite rather
than finite, the number of properties in the given-sets possible set is ?0 rather than p. Then the total
number of sub-sets possible is 2?0 and this is equal to ?1. The latter, ?1, is, then, the total value of
the set ?0. In general,

3 A succeeding infinite value is the total value of the preceding infinite value.
If the preceding value is an infinity ?n, then its total value is an infinity ?n + 1.

This is no mere game, it is an ordering, of actual experience. As said before, in the Harvard study on
expanded consciousness, subjects experienced infinities heaped upon infinities. They found, on
progressing from one infinity to the next, that the previous infinity was really limited and thus,
although an infinity, was a limited infinity. There is no other way to order these experiences than
through the Cantorian numbers. Thus, subjects experience the entire world, with its infinity of events,
actions, things, etc., and then rise to a higher state of awareness, where the whole world shrinks and
a new world infinitely richer than the one just left opens up to the marvelling consciousness. One
subject experienced the totality of all works of art, tons and tons of sculpture, acres and acres of
paintings, miles and miles of lace – only to see all this later from a distance as one great activity of
a divine spirit. Unless one knows the hierarchy of alefs, such experiences are intolerable, for they
burst the limited human frame. But once one knows this hierarchy one eagerly follows along the even
richer experience, using the structure of the alefs as a line of support, as Jacob used the ladder leading
up to heaven.

Since in infinity nothing is ever lost, and anything that happens is enrichment, leading up to higher
infinities, the events of, and within, infinity , cannot be understood by the logic of the finite. The
Bible, which deals with the realm of the infinite, uses the logic of the infinite and expresses it in the
language of the infinite.

The Language of the Infinite: The Bible

The Bible is written in the language of infinity. In general, when we speak of languages, we think
of English, German, Spanish, and so on. But that is only, so to speak, the horizontal division of
languages; English, German, Spanish are languages spoken in certain regions of the globe. These.
languages you learn and there are dictionaries for them: English-German, English-Spanish, German-
Spanish, etc. They are the natural or social languages. But within every single one of these languages
there is a vertical division of which we usually know little. Every one of these languages has within
it three entirely different languages, which correspond to the three levels of value. On the level of
systemic value there is the technical language – technical English, technical German, technical
Spanish, and so on. Every science has its own technical language. There are engineering dictionaries
English-German, there are electronic dictionaries Russian- English, and so on. We may know English
perfectly and have no idea of its technical languages. As I said before, if I come to your insurance
convention or you come to my philosophy convention we won’t understand a word. We have each
learned our own technical language, and that’s all. With it we can communicate with our colleagues
but with nobody else. The general means of communication is the social or everyday language. This
is the second of the vertical layers of language, the language that corresponds to extrinsic value – the
language of concepts, descriptions and abstractions, the language that we are speaking in social
intercourse and which I am speaking to you at this moment. When we mean a dictionary we usually
mean a dictionary of the social language. Now, there is a third and entirely different language, the
poetic or metaphorical language. A person may know the social or a technical language, and yet not
know the poetic language of his language. (In Spanish the two meanings of “language” are
distinguished by different words. Language in.general and social language are called “lengua,” or
tongue, while the specific technical and metaphorical languages are called “lenguaje”). On the other
hand, a person may know the metaphorical or poetic language but not know a technical language of
his language (tongue). The former is the case with me in English, the latter in German. I speak
English pretty well and I know its technical language of philosophy, but I don’t understand English
poetry. I can read an English poem but not understand it. I have to analyze the poem word for word
before I understand it. German I learned as a kid but I left Germany, as I told you, very early, when
I was 17. German poetry for me is pure delight. But, strangely enough, I cannot write philosophy in
German because I learned it in English: Once when I signed a contract for a book in German, to be
delivered at sulch and such a date, and when I started to write it, absolutely nothing happened in my
head. I had to write it in English and then translate it into German. And it came out pretty well. But,
I can make poems in German which people find quite beautiful.

The technical, the social, and the poetic languages are then entirely different languages, lenguajies,
within one and the same tongue, lengua. What interests us is the poetic language. It is the language
of intrinsic value; and its vehicle is the metaphor.

What is a metaphor? A metaphor is a word of the social language which means anything but what
it means. It is a word that may mean any other word of the social language. For example, there is a
word in the English language which means anything except what it means, the word “peach.” This
is a peach of an ash tray, she’s a peach of a girl, that’s a peach of a dog. The word “peach” in these
metaphors means anything except peach, for you don’t mean that a peach of a girl is hanging on a
tree and is to be sold in the grocery store. Of course, I can speak of a “peach of a peach,” but here
only the second “peach” is the social or natural word, meaning “the fruit of the peach tree.” The first
is the metaphorical, use, meaning “the fullness of peach qualities.” A peach of a peach is an
extremely peachy peach – a peach having all the peach properties, and then some. Thus, the
metaphorical use is the word as pure concept, as a set of properties – and this set can be transferred
(“metaphor” means “transfer”) to characterize any other thing. It then either values or disvalues that
thing. Any word in the language can be used like this, as a pure set of properties – and we remember
that valuation is a game with sets of properties. I can speak of a peach of a dog, but I can also speak
of a dog of a peach. There ought to be metaphorical dictionaries, but there are none. There are books
of quotations, such as Bartlett’s or Stevenson’s. In these books you find some of the infinite manifold
of meanings that words can have; look up, for example, the word “rose” and see to how many things
that word is applied. A metaphorical dictionary would give equivalent metaphorical meanings of
social words. Thus, in Spanish you cannot say “a peach of a girl.” “Un durazno de una mujer”
wouldn’t mean a thing – it would come out a lemon. In Mexico a peach of a girl is a “mango de una
mujer”. If you know what a mango is, you will find this quite adequate. A mango is a delicious dish.
The mango of a girl is not the fruit that you buy in the market, or eat by sticking a fork into both
ends. It is a metaphorical use of “mango.”

Through metaphor you can express an infinity of things in an infinite manner of ways. Metaphorical
language is the language of infinity. It is the language of the Bible.

Before we analyze the Bible with the help of the logic of metaphoric language let us summarize. We
have the horizontal division of tongues; and we have the vertical division of technical, social, and
poetic languages. To take an example in all three languages, let us use the word “apple.” This is the
social word for a certain fruit in English, bought and sold in the market. Botanists don’t call apples
“apples,” they call them malus pyrus. At a botanical convention to speak of apples would be
unprofessional and dilettante. Malus Pyrus is the minimum set of properties without which no apple
is an apple. It is the technical name for “apple.” There is also a metaphorical name for apple. It is “the
fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” As you remember, that was an apple. But no
theologian would speak of apples at a theological convention. He would speak of the fruit of the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil. In the middle ages, Eve was called bad because she gave Adam
the apple, and apple in Latin is malus which, by accident, is also the word for bad. The three
meanings of “apple” are entirely different and can hardly be confused. Imagine a botanist going into
a store and saying, “I want half a pound of malus pyrus. The grocer will say, “We haven’t got that
thing.” “Oh, yes,” says the botanist, “There it is.” “Oh, no,” says the grocer, “These are apples.”
“Well, that’s what I was talking about,” says the botanist, and the grocer will think he is nuts. Or
suppose the theologian goes to the grocer and says, “I want half a pound of the fruit of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil.” Well, the grocer will throw him out. Or suppose at a theological
convention they say, “Eve gave Adam malus pyrus.” Or that at a botanical convention they speak of
the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All these would be transpositions of concepts
that belong to different languages. These languages can be shown diagrammatically as follows:

LANGUAGES                     TONGUES
(Lenguajes)                     (Lenguas)
English Spanish German  Etc.
Technical Malus Pyrus Malus Pyrus Malus Pyrus Malus Pyrus
Social Apple Manzana Apfel —–
Poetic The fruit of the
tree of the
knowledge of
good and evil Le fruta del
arbor Die Frucht des
Baumes —–
As is seen, the technical language is universal, and that is one of the reasons for its existence . The
word “apple,” of course, has many more metaphorical uses than “the fruit of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil.” This is only one of the infinitely many meanings “apple” can have as
a metaphor. Looking into a dictionary of quotations, we find that apples can also be: swimmers,
quenching the flame of Venus, bittersweet with the moral of time’s vicissitude, a womanis blush,
love-apples that bloom in thy eyes, causes, rotten at the heart, ashes, in her skirt, of gold, of silver,
on the Dead Sea’s shore, etc.

Now let us see what makes metaphor the language of infinity – and indeed of the non-denumerable
infinity, the continuum, ?1. A metaphor, we saw, is a word of the social language that can mean any
other word of that, language. Thus, we have the words of the social language: word a, word b, word
c, and so on. How many words are there? An infinite number of words, if we think of all the words
of all languages ever spoken or to be spoken, ?0. As a metaphor every word may mean every other
word. The word a may mean the word b, or the word c, or the word d, or the word n, ad infinitum.
But b also may mean any other word, a and c and d and n, and so on ad infinitum. An infinity of
words may each mean an infinity of words .Or, to put it differently, any one of an infinity of words
may be combined with an infinity of words in an infinite number of combinations. All such
combinations are metaphors. They are also sub-sets of the denurnerably infinite set of the words of
the social language. Since there are ?0 such words, and every metaphor is a sub-set of this set, the
total of such sub-sets or metaphors is 2?0 which is ?1.


a                b       c   n ?0
bcd n

cbd n

dbc n

ebc n


?1 +
acd n

cad n

dac n

eac n


?1 +


?1 +


?1 +


There are infinitely many more metaphors, name ?1 metaphors, in the poetic language than there are
words in the social language (?0). While the words in the social language are denumerable, those in
the poetic language are non-denumerable. This language is one great continuum. It is an infinite web
of infinite meanings. This is the reason why a true poem is inexhaustible and why there are still
interpretations written of Homer and Dante – and exegeses of the Bible.

The Bible is not written in social language; nor is it written in technical language. It is written in
metaphorical language, in poetic language.

The Elements of the Bible

The reason is that the Bible deals with infinity, and only the language of infinity can do justice to
infinity. There are at least two infinities in the Bible. The first is the infinity of the Spirit, of the
Kingdom of God, of God. The second is the infinity of the world. The world consists of an infinity
of items which constitute the inventory of the universe. This infinity is denumerable, for one can,
theoretically, count all the items and their properties. The spirit continuum is non-denumerable, it
is the infinity beyond the infinity of the world. The world and the spirit are to each other as a
denumerable infinity ?0 is to a non-denumerable infinity ?1. This means the following.

The cardinality of the world and its inventory is that of the denumerable infinity of the series
of.integers, fractions, and irrational numbers, such as  2 . Between any two integers or natural
numbers, 1 and 2, 2 and 3, etc., one can insert an infinity of fractions. Between any two fractions one
can insert an infinity of additional fractions, and between any two of the latter one can insert still
another infinity of irrational numbers. Yet, although the series of cardinality ?0 becomes thus more
and more dense, like a series of dots between which are inserted other dots and between these again
other dots ad infinitum. Yet, no matter how many dots I insert between any two dots, the series of
dots will never become a line but always remain a series of dots, no matter how densely packed. All
I need is a powerful microscope to see that I still have a series of dots and no continuous line. The
dots remain countable, denumerable. And no matter how close they are together, there are between
them infinitely many holes which are filled out by the line itself. Into these holes fit the trans-

cendental numbers, such as ?, whose series is non-denumerable. The continuum, then, of the
transcendental numbers seeps through even the closest pores of the series of the integers, fractions
and irrational numbers. Thus, if the space-time universe repiresents a denumerable infinity and the
spirit represents a non-denumerable one, the world is to the spirit as a series of dots is to a line. This
means that the spirit seeps through even the densest pores of space-time existence and is “within us.”
The whole space-time existence is suffused by the continuum of the spirit.

All we need to do, therefore, is to open ourselves up to the spirit. Once we do, the spirit will flow
into and through us. Experiences as the ones of love and friendship, which are outside of space and
time, are small openings which we have allowed ourselves, small break-throughs from the world of
the senses to that of the spirit. They are rare and short-lived. Usually we are clammed up, dense as
well as tense. Yet, no matter how dense we seem to be, the continuum of the spirit surrounds us and
will flow into us; for even at our densest we are still porous, just as the ever so densely packed series
of fractions is porous with respect to the transcendental continuum.

It is thus more than an analogy to liken the relationship between God and the world to the
relationship between a transcendental continuum (or a non-denumerable infinity) and a denumerable
infinity, to the relationship between ?1 and ?0. Rather there is an identity of form, an isomorphism
between what theology teaches us the relation between God and the world and what Georg Cantor
teaches as the relation between levels of infinity. Cantor was quite clear about this isomorphism; and
so were other mathematicians, such as Dedekind, and philosophers, such as Josiah Royce.

God and the world are two of the elements of the Bible. As man is created in the image of God, so
God appears in the image of man. The logical structure of, the spiritual world is similar to the logical
structure of man. The logical structure of man was the following.


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Me at Birth                             Me Now                             Me at Death

“I” is the concept which pulls together all the stages of me into one unity. It brings about my identity
throughout the changes of space-time existence. As we have seen, in the Proof from Infinite Regress,
there are infinite levels within the I. These levels can deepen themselves infinitely; so that the
cardinality of properties within the “I”, the depth of self-consciousness, can go on from denumerable
to non-denumerable infinity and beyond, from ?0 to ?1 and beyond. The sequence of me’s, on the
other hand, is always denumerable, ?0.

The relation between God and the world is identical in form to tho relation between I and me. God
is the concept that pulls the infinite stages of the spacetime world together and gives this world unity
and self-identity. God is infinite depth of properties, an infinity infinitely remote from all human
understanding. In God there are, in infinite depth, all the properties of Faith, but Faith directed
toward His creation and not, as man’s, toward his creator. God is infinitely good, in the moral and
spiritual sense, as well as in the logical sense. His goodness in the moral sense makes him a Person;
His goodness in the logical sense makes him the source of the world’s goodness, the value predicate
of the world. When the world fulfills its goodness, then this goodness is not a predicate of the world
but a predicate of all the predicates of the world; and as the world progressively becomes richer and
richer in predicates, so the predicate “goodness” becomes increasingly richer. This means that the
world infinitely approaches this goodness, that is, God. God is, potentially, the world’s self-
fulfillment. As the world becomes morally and spiritually better, ever more transparent to its own
self, it becomes more and more God-like. The world is, so to speak, God’s body and mind, and God
is the world’s Self. Thus, in the degree that the world improves and enriches itself, it improves and
enriches God’s creation and thus confirms God’s own goodness and mastery – his sovereignty over
creation. In the degree that the world degenerates, impoverishes, and confuses itself, it lets down God
and makes a mockery of His goodness and mastery – of His sovereignty. False Gods and idols then
assume sovereignty over man’s affairs. The world, in other words, has a responsibility toward God –
it must knock and then God will open Himself to it. It must prove itself. Peace is not promised to all
men but only to men of good will. Only in the advance toward God can the world live in the fullness
of its own Self. Any other way leads to disaster. As long as the world does not follow the, road to
its self-fulfillment, toward God, the world is alienated both from itself and from God – just as a
person going astray is alienated from his own Self. And such self-alienation leads to self-destruction.
The definition of the world-in-God is God’s own definition of Himself: “I am I” But the world
alientated from itself, that is from God, has the definition of the schizophrenic: “I am not I “ And in
the fulfillment of this definition there must come the day when it will not be.

The world is the second element of the Bible. It is the infinite welter of things and events in space
and time. It gets its meaning by the comprehensive force of the concept that.pulls it together, God.
It must, in order to fulfill itself, aspire closer and closer to the goodness which is God. The total
goodness in the world, the maximum possible richness of qualities, can be reached in the world only
by man. A man who within himself succeeds in deepening his consciousness, his awareness to
infinite depth, who encompasses within his spirit the whole world and approaches to the richness of
God, such a man would be a Saint, and a Saint of Saints. He would be the prototypal person whom
every other person in creation would have to emulate. This prototypal person in the Bible is Jesus,
the Christ, the Saviour. Salvation means, as we have seen, “lifting up to a higher level of meaning,”
making more complete. Jesus is “salvus.”God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3: 16) – that the
man of faith should be lifted up from the level of the perishable, the earth, to the level of eternal
meaning. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through
him might be saved” (John 3:17). Jesus’is he who came so that we may live, in the full sense of this
word, in infinite awareness. He is the third element of the Bible. He is the second person of the
Trinity. He represents God within the world, and the world before God. He is the mediator between
us and God. We can only understand Jesus if we have a living relationship to him, as if he were
walking at our side, the eternal contemporary, as Kierkegaard calls him. We need him, for without
him the chasm between us and God would be unbridgeable.

The fourth element of the Bible is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The holy spirit
corresponds to the symbolic nature of man when he has made himself transparent to himself, when
his Self uses his body and mind as a symbol for a higher meaning. He corresponds to man’s self-
transcendence. The Holy Spirit is the Word, the Logos, not made incarnate as in Jesus, but as word,
speaking of God to man. He is the one whom Jesus said the Father would send us, the Comforter
who would teach us anew all that Jesus had said and which the world did not understand. He is the
one who will make understandable the Gospel and, at last, make it lived by men. He is the ever
continuing effort of men of good will to clarify the gospel of Jesus.

These then are the four elements of the Bible: God, the World, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, all four
corresponding to similar features within the structure of men. We could have added a fifth element,
the Devil, the all-destroyer, the dia-bolus who is at cross-purposes with creation, but we shall limit
ourselves to the four elements, and among them to the person of Jesus Christ who has clarified for
us, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the structure of Infinity.

The Juxtaposition of the Finite and the Infinite

The parables of Jesus are situations of infinity. Infinity is called, by Jesus, the Kingdom of God. The
parables articulate for us the features of the Kingdom of God. They elaborate the nature of infinity.
They give details of a realm where there is no space and no time, and where the part equals the
whole. They are expressed in the languages of infinity, the language of metaphor. Each parable is a
metaphor. Its words are those of the everyday social language and of everyday social situations; but
their meanings have nothing to do with the everyday world and its situations. They mean the world
of the spirit, the realm of the infinite. They use finite terms to speak of the infinite. Once we
understand this language we understand the message of the parables.

This message Jesus has put in pithy words, as the moral of all his teaching. When Peter asked him
why he spoke in parables, Jesus answered that if he did not speak in parables nobody would
understand him. So at least the disciples understood him, for: “Whosoever hath, to him shall be
given, and he shall have more abundance: – But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away
even that he hath” (Matt. 13:12). This is the moral of the parables. What does it mean? You cannot
make sense out of it by using the logic of the finite. He who hath to him shall be given and he shall
have in abundance. In finite language, that would mean that Rockefeller will go to the Kingdom of
Heaven. The more money you have, the more you make. And the beggar, to hell with him – he who
has not, from him shall be. taken even that he hath. Is that what Jesus means? Obviously not. For,
he says, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to Heaven.
Or, when the rich young man asks him, Master, I want to follow you, what shall I do? Jesus answers:
Very simple, sell everything you have and follow me. What then does Jesus mean? What is it that
one should have in order to have ever more and which, if one lacks it, will one lose everything? It
is, of course, the infinite spirit.

The parables give us the logic of the infinite. In the infinite, whatever happens is addition; for
subtraction is impossible, whatever you subtract from an infinity leaves an infinity. He who has the
infinite spirit will have ever more spirit and he shall have in abundance. But he who has not of the
spirit what does he have? He may have the treasure of the world, but he will lose it all, of course,
because he cannot take it with him. There was once a cartoon in the New Yorker, a magnificent
hearse and behind it an armored car with guards beside it and the caption, “Who says you cannot take
it with you?” Well, you can’t.

Once you know the language of infinity, what Jesus says becomes crystal-clear. Of course, one must
pay close attention to the text. I have never been satisfied with what I read of Bible exegesis. Thus,
in the splendidly printed Interpreter’s Bible we read this as the meaning of Matt. 13:12: “The
spiritually receptive will get more and more, while others will become more stupid.” Or: “The more
generous you are (in almsgiving or in teaching), the more you will ultimately possess.” This is quite
true: but it is only a part of the parable’s meaning, or of the essence of that meaning. It gives
examples of that meaning but not the meaning itself. It is like George E. Moore’s naturalistic fallacy;
it takes the species for the genus. Once one knows the general meaning of the parables one can then
deduce specific meanings, such as the meanings of almsgiving, teaching, etc. But it is logically
fallacious to try to explain the general meaning by giving examples of it. This is like explaining the
meaning of fruit by saying it is an orange. The general meaning is that he who has of the infinite
spirit will have evermore of it and he who has not will lose even that he has. The latter is not one
who has a little spirit and will become “more stupid” – one cannot have “a little” spirit, as one cannot
be “a little” pregnant. The text says clearly: “Whosoever hath not.” Such a person has no spirit. So,
what does he have? Nonspiritual, terrestrial knowledge and goods. “Spirit,” in this passage means
“knowing the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven,” for this is which is given to him who hath; and
which is not given to him who hath not. Jesus’ entire answer to Peter is: “Because it is given unto
you to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven but to them it is not given. For, whosoever hath,
to him shall be given, and he shall have in abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be
taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables because seeing they see not and
hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Spiritual understanding is given to them who
have, and more and deeper such understanding will be given to them. And spiritual understanding
is not given to the others – seeing they see not, hearing they bear not – and what they do have,
terrestrial understanding and goods, will be taken away from them, for at death they lose both their
intellectual and their worldly powers.

The gospel itself makes very clear the differences between the finite and the infinite, between social
and metaphorical language. It does so in sometimes comical juxtapositions of the two, I have already
mentioned the conversation with Nicodemus. Jesus says to him: “Unless a man be born again he
cannot see the kingdom of God,” and Nicodemus answers: “How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter the second time into his Mother’ s womb?” (John 3:3-4). Jesus uses the word “born”
metaphorically, he means a spiritual birth. Nicodemus does not understand the word as a metaphor
but takes it literally, as the physiological and social process, the birth of the flesh. Jesus is not
concerned with this. The flesh and the spirit, the social and the moral individual, are entirely different
dimensions; in our terminology, they are those of extrinsic and of intrinsic value, respectively. Each
dimension has its process of “birth,” but “birth” in one is an entirely different thing from “birth” in
the other: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John
3:6). This difference has been made clear by a modern philosopher, Nicolas Berdyaev, in Slavery and
Freedom: “Personality is an axiological category, a category of value…. The entire world is nothing
in comparison with human personality, with the unique person of man.” Man as personality, as
intrinsic value, is in a dimension which inakes him not more valuable – for the intrinsic value is not
comparable – but incomparably valuable in comparison to the whole extrinsic world, the physical
universe. This world is nothing compared to the intrinsic value of one person. This is the same
thought expressed in different words by Pico, Pascal, Bergson, and others; quantitatively man is a
minute Particle in the universe, qualitatively he incomparably exceeds the whole universe. “If man
were not a person then he would be like other things in the world and there would be nothing unusual
about him. But personality in man is evidence of this, that the world is not self-sufficient, that it can
be overcome and surmounted. Personality is like nothing else in the world, there is nothing with
which it can be compared, nothing which can be placed on a level with it. When a person enters the
world, a unique and unrepeatable personality, then the world process is broken into and compelled
to change its course, in spite of the fact that outwardly there is no sign of this….”

Berdyaev contrasts the intrinsic value with the extrinsic value of man, calling the intrinsic personality
and the extrinsic individual.“Personality is not a biological or a psychological category, but an ethical
and spiritual one…. Personality is not a part of society, as it is not part of a race…. Only an existential
philosophy, and not a sociological or a biological one, can construe the true doctrine of man as
personality…. The individual is a category of naturalism, biology, and sociology…. The individual,
is closely linked with the material world; he is brought to birth by the generic process. The individual
is born of a father and a mother, he has a biological origin, which is determined by family heredity
and also by social heredity. There is no individual without the family and no family without the
individual. The individual is found entirely within categories which distinguish what belongs to the
species from what is of the individual. The individual carries on a struggle for existence in the
family, the. biological and the social processes. Man certainly is an individual, but he is not only an
individual…. Man is also personality. The idea of man, his vocation in the world are bound up with
his personality. And here everything is changed. Personality is not a naturalistic but a spiritual
category. Personality is not born of the family and cosmic process, not born of a father and a mother,
it emanates from God, it makes its appearance from another world. It bears witness to the fact that
man is the point of intersection of two worlds, that in him the re takes place the conflict between
spirit and nature e, f freedom and necessity, independence and dependence. Everything that is
personal in man is set in opposition to any kind of automatism which plays such a part in human life,
automatism both physical and social. There are not two separate men, but one and the same man is
both an individual and a personality. That is, not two different beings, but two kinds of
qualitativeness. In other words, two kinds of value.

The most explicit passage in which the Gospel juxtaposes these two kinds of values and their
respective languages is in the conversation between Jesus and the woman of Samaria. The metaphor
here used and misunderstood by the one Jesus talks to is that of “water.” “Water” for Jesus is a
metaphor for “spirit.” Again, he uses a word of the natural world to describe a feature of the
Kingdom of Heaven. No wonder the woman misunderstands him. But the comical thing is that after
the woman has seen her error and comes to understand the metaphor the disciples come back from
shopping, and make the very same error, now with reference to the word “meat.” Let us read the
passage (John 4:7-39):

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
(For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of
Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew asketh drink of me, which am a woman
of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to
thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee
living water.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from
whence then has thou that living water?

Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave  us the well, and drank thereof himself,
and his children and his cattle?

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that
I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman
saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said,
I have no husband:

For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband; in that
saidst thou truly.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men
ought to worship.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this
mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit
and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is
come, he will tell us all things.

Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

And upon this came His disciples, and marveled that he talked with the woman: yet no man
said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?

The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,

Come see a man, which t~ld me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him.

In the meanwhile his disciples prayed him, saying Master, eat.

But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift
up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that
soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.

I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour; other men laboured, and ye are
entered into their labours.

And many of the Samaritans, of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which
testified, He told me all that ever I did.

In this story we see the characteristic difference between extrinsic and intrinsic language, and the
sometimes comical transpositions between them. “Jesus saith unto her” – already this is an act of
intrinsic valuation. Usually, Samaritans are not spoken to by Jews; the individual Samaritan is never
valued as a person but always as a member of the class of Samaritans. But Jesus speaks to the
woman, not as a Samaritan, but as a woman and, indeed, as this particular woman, as will become
clearer at the end, He speaks to. her in everyday language, but in an intrinsic meaning, that is, he
speaks metaphorically: “Give me to drink.”

The woman answers correctly to the act of intrinsic valuation, but not to the intrinsic language, which
she does not understand and takes at face value, extrinsically. “How is it that thou being a Jew,
asketh drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the
Samaritans.” Jesus answers by showing her the intrinsic meaning of what he said: “If thou knewest
the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink: thou wouldest have asked of Him,
and he would have given thee living water.” Both he and the woman are in the realm of value, and
she could have asked of him as well as he of her. The water he wants in communion with her is not
empirical water but living spirit. She does not understand and applies the language of the world. to
his metaphor: .”Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with and the well is deep…” Jesus continues to make
clear the two kinds of value: “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever
drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” Thirst is of the body, of the empirical
world, where there is space and time and hence subtraction and longing for satisfaction. In the
kingdom of intrinsic value, there is no space and time, everything is added unto us, and all are in
creative unity: “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into
everlasting life.”

The woman begins to understand vaguely. She asks for this water. Jesus counters by drawing
attention to her own life situation, and connecting the living spirit of this water with her life, and the
value in it. “Go, call thy husband and come. hither.” To have a husband and love him is intrinsic
value and belongs to the realm of the living water. But the woman has no one husband; she has five
“husbands” – Jesus brings home to her the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic valuation. “Thou
hast well said, I have no husband; For thou hast had five husbands.” Husband is an intrinsic term and
refers to one and only one in a life time. “And he whom thou now hast is not thy husband; in that
saidst thou truly.”

The woman now begins really to understand, but she understands in her own primitive way. The man
who speaks intrinsic value is something outside her own world, and all she knows of such a man is
that he is a prophet. The prophet worships at a certain place and time. But Jesus makes clear that God
is not of this world but within us and may be worshiped accordingly; “But the hour cometh and now
is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.- for the Father seeketh
such to worship him. – God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and
in truth.

Now. the woman divines the whole truth; she calls him the Messiah, and Jesus confirms it.

At this moment the disciples return from the city where they had bought meat; and how the whole
theme of the conversation is repeated in a different key. The disciples wonder why he spoke to the
woman but say nothing. Finally, one of them asks him to eat, and now Jesus repeats the metaphorical
game: “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” The disciples, as the woman before them, take the
intrinsic meaning for the extrinsic: “Hath any man brought him ought to eat?” And now Jesus makes
his whole meaning clear using not only the metaphor of meat but of anything that grows and is
created: seed, harvest, fruit, wages – recurring themes of the parables.

The Samaritans, however, begin to believe in him because he had intrinsically valued the woman by
giving her his love, and giving it to her the way she was: “He told me all that I ever did.”

With respect to understanding the Bible we are a little like Nicodemus and the woman of Samaria
and, for that matter, the disciples in the beginning of their divine career. We take it literally and thus
don’t understand it – seeing we see not, hearing we hear not. Our spiritual understanding is still rather
inarticulate. We are not poetic.

I have met people who told me they had read Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak and found it a bore.
They have not understood it. The novel is one great metaphor about the Spirit, and the main
metaphor used is that of “water” – “water” meaning “eternal life.” The title itself is metaphorical.
“Zhivoy” in Russian means “alive,” “living,” from “zhizn,” “life,”and Zhivago means he who has
eternal life, he who survives forever. The book is about human life, about death and resurrection.
Edmund Wilson, in his fascinating essay in the New Yorker of November 15, 1958, calls it “a kind
of religious parable.” And that is exactly what it is. It shows the life of the spirit against the system
of bureaucrats and revolutionaries – petty revolutionaries of earthly circumstances. I believe men like
Berdyaev and Pasternak are more representative of the Russian people than the mouthpieces of the
Communist Party. But we can understand those great spirits – as any great spirit – only when we get
used to the metaphorical, the poetic meaning of everyday words.

There is in the Gospel another, more subtle and more fundamental juxtaposition of the finite and the
infinite, not in language but in substance. This is the juxtaposition of good and evil. Jesus’ sayings
about good and evil are as puzzling as his other “secrets of the Kingdom of God.” They have not
been understood, much to the detriment of our world. The Good, morally, is your infinite depth our
infinitely being ourselves. Not to be infinitely yourself but living in the world is evil – morally bad:
Jesus states the relation between Good and Evil world is in what we may call his third Great
Commandment: “Resist not evil” (Matt. 5:39) or, in Paul’s formulation: “Overcorne evil by good”
(Rom. 12:21). Jesus illustrates this Commandment by some curious examples: “Whosoever shall
smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” I once heard a sermon in Texas where the
preacher said: “The way Jesus meant this is that when someone smacks you on one cheek turn to him
the other cheek to see exactly how he did it, and smack him back.” This is not Jesus’ meaning. He
meant what he said: Offer the other cheek for him to smite it too. This, Jesus implies, will take the
wind. out of the sail of the other’s anger, for there is no greater incentive for evil than. resistance to
it. If you do not resist evil, much of the fun of evil goes out of it. In the German concentration camps
not to show fear and pain under torture was regarded an insult against the torturer. There is nothing
worse for evil than have it run in open doors. There is nothing more disconcerting for a ruffian than
being polite to him. “If any man will sue thee at the law, and take thy coat, let him have thy cloke
also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a  mile, go with him twain.” What does it all mean?

It means we should overcome the finite by the infinite. We should overcome the logic of finite
thinking with the logic of infinite thinking. We should lift what is evil up to a higher level of
meaning. We should save the evildoer and show him, by our example, the spirit of the Kingdom of
God. Here, as in Maslow’s peak. experience, polarities, dichotomies, conflicts are resolved in a
higher meaning.

How can it be done? Very simply, if you know the trick. Take Abraham Lincoln. When somebody
reproached him saying, “Why are you so kind to your. enemies, why don’t you annihilate them?”
Abraham Lincoln said; “Don’t I annihilate my enemies by making friends out of them?” There was
once a cartoon in Esquire. Two cavemen in their bear skins, leaning on their big clubs, looking on
in amazement at a third, grinning happily, bouncing along with a little flower bouquet in his hand.
The caption: “Boys, I’ve revolutionized love.” Instead of bashing in the “head of the competitor he
wins the heart of the girl. Another, example, the philosopher Immanuel Kant, a little fellow of 5 feet,
was walking on the walls of the city of Konigsberg when there came toward him a huge guy 6 feet
tall, a butcher with an apron and a big knife, ready to slaughter the little philosopher. Immanuel Kant
looks up to him’ and says,“But my dear man, butchering day is Thursday, and today is Monday.”
“Oh, excuse me, said the big fellow.”

What is the trick? You have to find a logic that is different from that of the evildoer and which
includes both him and you as a common denominator. Since his logic is one of the finite where the
part is smaller than the whole, and where part is opposed to part – namely he on the one side and you
on the other – the surest way is to insert the logic of the infinite into the situation. This will let him
save face and will both bring you over to his side and him to yours. The capacity to use this logic
seems to be inborn in people. I remember once my brother and I – he was in New York, I was in
Columbus – planned to meet at Niagara Falls with our families. My brother’s boy was then about 11
or so and my boy about 13. My brother’s boy was a very wild guy and my boy was very mild, a real
little Buddha. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. So, when my brother called me up at the meeting I said,“Fine,”
and we made the date. But then suddenly remembered – my, God, that wild guy. What’s going to
happen? And I-said to my brother, “What are we going to do? You know your boy, you know my
boy. I mean before you know there’ll be a huge fight and maybe my boy will be thrown into
Niagara.” “Well,” says my brother, “I have thought about that, but just let’s see what happens. After
all we have some strength left ourselves.” So, we met at Niagara – his family comes this way and our
family comes that way. Hello – hello. And before you knew, we had hardly shaken hands, my
brother’s boy kicks my boy in the shinbone. My boy crouches, hobbles along on the other leg, and
cries, “Ouch, I’m wounded.” And immediately that wise guy puts his arm around my boy’s shoulders
and says, “And I’m the medic.” And they played wounded and medic in the best harmony, and had
a wonderful time. The logic of the infinite, the brotherhood of man, it can be used if you know how.

The most tremendous example of this is the following, a: true experience told me by a former
member of the German Embassy in Mexico City now in the Foreign Office in Bonn. When he was
a young fellow he was at the battle of Stalingrad. The battle, as you know, went very bad for the
Germans. This fellow – he was about 19 years old then – lost everything he had, his gun, his bayonet,
ammunition, even his coat, everything. He jumped into a shell hole and was sitting there, shivering
in the winter – cold, the battle raging all around him when suddenly he sees a huge shadow and a
Russian with full equipment, machine gun, heavily dressed and equipped, jumps right upon him. My
friend, Hans, looks up, all puzzled, and he told me, “Suddenly I saw myself alone in the whole of
creation with that crazy guy jumping upon me. I couldn’t help it, but I laughed at him. And that
fellow, he looks at me, comes down, grins, puts his arm around me and by sign language we agree
that he who loses the battle will be the other’s prisoner.” A smile suddenly took away the whole
madness of the war. Since then I have heard similar examples from other theatres of war. Do you
know what dogs do when they are in real danger and are smaller than the other? They stretch out on
their back, all four legs up – and the aggressor does nothing.

Evil is always a fragmentary, a defective action compared to the good. There is always a possibility
for the good to absorb this action within itself. The only trick is to steep oneself in the logic of the
infinite, to make, as Kierkegaard says of the Knight of Faith, at every moment, within the finite, the
movements of the infinite. Many of us do this as a matter of course, as an innate ability, like my boy.
It is a logic followed every day in all kinds of situations: by the mothers of the world when they defy
the laws of arithmetic and love the second child just as much as the first, without for that matter
diminishing their love for the first child. They can love a dozen children, each one of them one
hundred percent, for their love grows with every child. It is the logic of the teacher who gains the
more he gives of his knowledge to his students, and whose greatest sorrow would be not to have men
equalling him in understanding and inspiration. It is a logic of all places and all times. It is practiced
by the African tribe that condemns a murderer to marry the widow of the murdered in order to
produce a life for the one he has taken, and by the Chinese restaurant owners who were ruining each
other by competition in the same street, until they found the following ingenious solution: they
swapped management but retained ownership – cooperation by competition and competition by
cooperation. It is the logic of overcoming evil by good. To sum it all up in the words of a wit: “If
someone hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” It is in the last instance, nothing very mystical. It is
plain common sense. For common sense is, precisely, to see the traces of the infinite in the finite

The Structure of the Infinite: Jesus’ Parables

A parable, I said, is a situation in infinity. It is a situation where there is no space and time, and where
the part equals the whole. It is a tale where words of the social language of the finite world are used
in a metaphorical sense iepicting the infinite. The moral of the parables is, “Whosoever hath to him
shall be given and he shall have in abundance and he who hath not from him shall be taken even that
he hath.” Every single Parable illustrates this moral. Let us begin with the Parable of the Vineyard,
which shows so clearly that a situation of the spirit is not in space and not in time. You all know this
Parable. The workers work in the vineyard, they work all day in the hot sun, twelve hours. The
master of the vineyard goes out from time to time – time to time – remember that -to the square where
the loafers are lying in the sun. He goes to the men and says, “Why don’t you work?” They say,
“Nobody has hired us.” So he hires them for work in the vineyard, and he does so all day long; even
a few minutes before the end of the day he goes out and asks a few loafers to come in, They sit
around a little, doing a little work, and at last the bell rings and everybody goes to the cashier’s
window; and the cashier gives everyone a dollar. Everyone, those who have worked ten minutes,
those who have worked 30 minutes, those who have worked an hour, those who have worked two
hours, three hours, and those who have worked twelve hours in the hot sun. Those who have worked
all that day get mad, of course, and say to the master of the vineyard, “Sir, that isn’t fair. We work
all day in the hot sun and get a dollar, and these loafers come in for ten minutes in the shade and get
a dollar too.” Says the lord of the vineyard, “What’s it to you? What have we agreed?” “Well,”  they
say, “a dollar.” “Did you get your dollar?” “Yes.” “Well, then, what do you want from me? What’s
it to you? Does it make you worse off that I am good? Many are called, few are chosen. The first will
be last and the last will be first.”

What in the world does it mean? It looks unfair, And from the point of view of finite arithmetic it
is unfair, There isn’t a business in the world that is constructed this way. But this is infinity business –
this is the Kingdom of Heaven where is no space and there is no time. If there is no time, what
difference does it make how long a fellow has worked? Everybody is there in eternity. And one
eternity is as eternal as another eternity, and the so-called 10-minute eternity is as eternal as the so-
called l2-hour eternity; there are neither minutes nor hours. And.there is no space either. If there is
no space, then there is no separation because what separates you and me is the space between us. If
there is no separation between you and me then there are no separate pockets. If there are no separate
pockets what I have everybody has. And what I don’t have nobody has. So it makes no difference
who gets what. The dollar that goes to anyone goes to everyone. We are at the bottom of ourselves
one cornmunity. All of us are one Self. So these people were foolish. They didn’t understand the
logic of the infinite – what one has all have, what one has not none has. Every action is addition –
remember the alefs never change, they only build up. The goodness of the master to anyone makes
all good and cannot possibly make anyone worse off – for in the Lord’s grace to one all benefit; he
who has received the grace will radiate to all. The last in the value scale on earth, the children, the
poor, the meek and humble, they will be first in the Kingdom of Heaven; and the first on earth, the
mighty, the rich, the powerful, the important, they will be last in the Kingdom of Heaven. For many
are called but few are chosen: few succeed in sloughing off the empty idling of the world in order
to be pure enough to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, the vineyard. But if they enter, they enter, no
matter when. It is only the if that counts, not the when.

For this reason, it was possible for the murderer, the bandit who was crucified with Jesus, to be in
Paradise with him. In that last moment of his life he saw the whole of Life. He became eternal. He-
saw his eternal guilt and repented. “Lord,” he said, “remember me when thou comest into thy
kingdom.” This repentance lifted him to the dimension of eternity and made good for the whole of
his finite sin. The whole of finite life is really nothing but one moment in eternity. He who in the last
moment repents is as good, and indeed is better, than he who has passed his whole life as a so-called
good man who needs no repentiance. As we have seen, there is more joy in Heaven for one sinner
who repenteth than for ninety-nine just men who do not need repentance. What does it mean? It
means that man may be moral and he  may be immoral, but he must not be amoral, he must not be
indifferent. Even if you do bad you make yourself sensitive to evil and in making yourself sensitive
to evil you will eventually become sensitive to good – just as in being sensitive to good you will
eventually become sensitive to evil. Good and evil belong together, and sensitivity to one brings
about sensitivity to the other.

There was never a lovelier man than Mozart, but he fathomed the whole evilness of a fiend like Don
Giovanni. Goethe said: “There is no crime that I could not have committed.” But he did not commit
any; he wrote it in his dramas. So did Dostoyevski vicariously live the crimes and terrors of
conscience of his creatures. Since we were not good enough we were not bad enough to imagine all
the horrors of Hitler’s evilness. And because we did not, millions perished – unnecessarily. Thus, the
road to the ethical goes either through moral evil or moral good, both consciously lived. Repentance
is the way from evil to good, through the horrors of the soul to the depth of our own eternal being.
It is a terrible road and a precarious one; but it is more certain of success than not living morally at
all, amorally, indifferently. If you have conformed all your life, have never done anything particularly
bad or anything particularly good, have lived according to the rules and customs, systemically and
extrinsically, you will never even know what moral depth you have. You have never developed a
sensitivity for either good or evil. You were a social machine, and there cannot be much joy in
heaven for a zombie. In the words of Kierkegaard, the ethical choice is a choice for both good and
evil, for the whole dimension of the ethical, both the moral and the immoral – against the amoral,
against indifference. The only meaning of life is for us to develop our spiritual being. For this the
universe needs men. For anything else animals would do. The universe, you might say, is a great
metabolism of which we are the material. The universe takes us in by making us be born, then it is
up to us to enrich the. universe, as the good enriches the body. Our death is what you might call the
fecal process of the universe. We are thrown out – our body decays – death is a filthy, stinking
business, but our spirit by which we have enriched the universe, remains; the universe is so much
stronger through our spirit. If we do not develop our spirit through sensitivity to good and evil we
have contributed nothing to the universe, we pass through it like a bone passes through our system.

Repentance is the result of a long journey into ourself – and toward God. There is a meaning in the
Catholic rite of ultimate unction. It is symbolic for the internal, infinite Self finding itself – its Self-
recovery, its being born again, its redemption. Its meaning for the universe; its Salvation.

Now let us read the Parable of the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16).

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early
in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers
for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and
saw others standing idle in the market place. And said unto them: Go ye also into the
vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went
out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went
out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all day idle?
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the
vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of
the vineyard saith unto his. steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning
from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they
received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have
received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received
it, they murmured against the good man of the house, saying, These last have wrought but
one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of
the day. But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not
agree with me for a penny? Take that Thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even
as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil,
because I arri good? So the last shall be the first, and the first last; for many be called, but few

Another Parable where the infinite meaning of the finite words is so obvious is that of the Talents.
Again a very peculiar story. The lord goes away and gives an amount of talents to each of his
servants – five to the first, two to the- second, one to the third,  according to their ability. “Make the
best of it.” So the first invests everywhere. Buys gasoline stations, supermarkets, and God knows
what. He really becomes a rich man. When the master comes back he has 10 talents, which then was
a lot of money – a talent waii 3, 000 shekels, a shekel was 4 denari, or 4 days wages, so a talent was
12, 000 days wages, or better than thirty years wages. Taking the average annual wage at $5, 000,
a talent was $150, 000, and ten talents $1,500,000. The first servant was worth a million and a half!
The second, wasn’t quite that smart – he bought a grocery store – made a go of it, and when the
master came back he had three talents – $450,000, not bad either. But the third was afraid. He had
no courage – he lacked faith. He wanted to play safe. When the master came back he did not want
to have lost the talent. So he buried it in the ground. And when the master came he rejoiced in the
courage and faith of the first two. But when the third gave him his talent back, “Here it is, I didn’t
lose a cent,” the master got mad, “You unfaithful servant, to hell with you where there is outer
darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.” Well, the poor guy didn’t know what hit him. He didn’t
know his Master. He was scared of him for he did not understand him. He was a.hard man, he
thought, exploiting his servants, reaping where he sowed not, and gathering where he strawed not.
Everything was easy for him, but life was hard for the servant. Thus, better not risk anything.

The third servant looks at infinity from the point of view of the finite. It all seems puzzling, hard, just
not right, fishy. Better stick to what one knows and has. He is not saved, not lifted to the higher level
of meaning, to the understanding of his infinite value. He buries his own self into the earth, lives like
a mole. The talent is our potentiality of spirit. If we do not invest it and let it grow, chose ourselves,
create ourselves and give ourselves, without hesitation and with spiritual boldness, we let the Lord
down and we actually squander our good, let it decay and degenerate, let it putrefy in the hell of the

Now let us read the. Parable of the Talents (Matt. 24:14-30).

For the Kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own
servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another
two, and to another one; to every man according to his several abilities; and straightway took
his journey. The one who had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and
made them other five talents. And likewise he who had received two, he also gained other
two. But. he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those, servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that
had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst
unto me five talents; behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto
him, Well done, thou good and faithful. servant; thou been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee’ruler over many things; enter thou into’the joy of thy lord. He also that had
received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst.,unto me two talents; behold, I
have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faith-

ful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things;
enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which received the one talent came and said, Lord,
I knew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering
where thou hast not strawed. And I was afraid, and went and hid my talent in the earth; lo,
there thou hast what is thine. His lord answered and said unto him: Thou vficked and slothful
servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
thou oughtest, therefore, to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I
should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it
unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall
have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And
cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of

As you see, here reappears the moral of the parables. Unto every one who has shall be given. If we
use the spiritual treasure within us we can only gain. But if we do not use it we shall lose all, even
our earthly possessions.

You will find the same moral in every parable. Reading the parables with this moral in -mind they
will make new sense to you. They will be like a revelation of a new dimension. They do give you the
map to the realm of infinity. The moral in summary is:

(a) Part equals whole, or, an infinite part of an infinity is an infinity.

(b) What one person does spiritually all persons do spiritually; what one person does not do
spiritually no person does spiritually. One spiritual event stands for, and is, all spiritual
events; and one spiritual omission is all spiritual omission.

My brother, who for many years was an armament engineer, once said to me, “As long as you teach
ethics I can make guns.” He kind of felt redeemed by my action. This was the positive aspect of all
our spiritual unity. Unfortunately, today the negative aspect prevails. Those who make guns, nuclear
ones, will drag those who pray down to extinction. We must lift them to a higher level of meaning,
or all perish.

Jesus not only spoke – in parables and similes – he also lived and acted. His whole life is a symbol
of infinity, a metaphor of the spirit. And so are his miracles – they are practical metaphors. When he
changes water into wine he changes the terrestrial into the spiritual – in this metaphor water does not
stand for spirit but wine does. When he awakens the dead he awakens the spiritually dead to spiritual
life, when he heals the sick he heals the spiritually sick – those who have what Kierkegaard calls the
sickness unto death. Kierkegaard took this title from John 11:4, the story of Lazarus. To be physically
dead is not the sickness unto death; to be spiritually dead is.

“Humanly speaking, deaih is the last thing of all; and, humanly speaking, there is hope only
so long as there is life. But Christianly understood death is by no means the last thing of all,
hence it is only a little event within that which is all, an eternal life; and Christianly
understood there is in death infinitely much more hope thah merely humanly speaking there
is when there not only is life but this life .exhibits the fullest health and vigor.

“So then in the Christian understanding of it not even death is the sickness unto death, still
less everything which is called earthly and temporal suffering: want, sickness, wretchedness,
affliction, adversities, torments, mental sufferings, sorrow, grief. And even if such things are
so painful and hard to bear that we men say, or at all events the sufferer says, “This is worse
than death” – everything of the sort, which, if it is not a sickness, is comparable to a sickness,
is nevertheless, in the Christian understanding of it, not the sickness unto death.

“So it is that Christianity has taught the Christian to think dauntlessly of everything earthly
and worldly, including death. It is almost as though the Christian must be puffed up because
of this proud elevation above everything men commonly call misfortune, above that which
men commonly call the greatest evil. But then in turn Christianity has discovered an evil
which man as such does not know of; this misery is the sickness unto death.” (Kierkegaard,
The Sickness Unto Death, Introduction).

The sickness unto death is the sickness of the earthbound spirit. Jesus’ miracles are the delivery of
this spirit.

Jesus’ miracles are practical metaphors, they show the transposition of the finite and the infinite, and
how to use the logic of the infinite within the finite how to overcome evil by good. To interpret a
miracle we have to find the mechanics of the infinite within it. One of the most spirited
interpretations is Lloyd Douglas’ interpretation of the feeding of the five thousand (At the end of
Chapter XV of The Robe):

“It was growing late in the afternoon. I had been so moved by the things I had heard and seen
that I had not thought of being hungry. Reuben and I, knowing there would be nothing out
there to eat, had stopped at a market both in Capernaum and had bought some bread and
cured fish. In any other kind of crowd, we would have eaten our luncheon. But now that we
had begun to feel hungry, I was ashamed to eat what I had, before the faces of the men about
me; for, as I have said, Jesus had been talking about us all being of one family, and how we
ought to share what we had with one another. I should have been willing to divide with the
man next to me; but I didn’t have much more than enough for myself. So I didn’t eat; nor did

“‘I dare say there were plenty of men in the crowd who faced the same dilemma,’ answered

“‘Well the disciples were around Jesus telling him he had better dismiss the people, so they
could go to the little villages and buy f ood. Justus told me afterward that Jesus only shook
his head and told them that the people would be fed. They were much bewildered and
worried. There was a small boy sitting very close and over hearing this talk. He had a little
basket, his own lunch, not very much; just enough to feed a boy. He went to Jesus with his
basket and said he was willing to share what he had.’

“Marcellus’ eyes lighted, and he leaned forward attentively. ‘Go on,’ he demanded. ‘This is

“‘Yes, it really was wonderful, sir. Jesus took the basket and held it up for the people to see.
And then he told how the boy wanted to share his food with all of the people. And he looked
up and thanked God for the little boy’s gift. It was very, very quiet, sir. Then he began
breaking the small loaves into bits, and the fish he tore into little shreds; and he gave these
fragments to his disciples and told them to feed the people.’

“‘Did the crowd laugh?’ asked Marcellus.

“‘Well, no sir. We didn’t laugh, though almost everyone smiled over such a big crowd being
fed on almost nothing, as you might say. As I told you, I had been ashamed to bring out the
food I had, and now I was ashamed not to; so I unwrapped my bread and fish, and broke off
a piece, and offered it to the man next to me.’

“‘Wonderful,” shouted Marcellus. ‘Was he glad to get it?’

“‘He had some of his own… But there were plenty of people who did not have any food along
with them, sir. And everyone was fed, that day. After it was over, they gathered up a dozen
basketfuls of fragments, left over!’

“‘This is really a marvelous story, Hariph!’

“‘You believe it, sir?’ Hariph was happily surprised.

“‘Indeed, I do. And I believe it was a miracle.’ Jesus had inspired those stingy, selfish people
to be decent to one another! It takes a truly great man to make one harmonious family out of
a crowd like that.’”

Jesus, Douglas shows us, is not concerned with miracles in space and time; he is concerned with
miracles in the human soul.

Considering what I have said so far you will understand how poor is our religious education. Both
church and Sunday school are usually social affairs with only a faint echo of religious relevance.
There is even a danger in them in that by attending them we may believe that we are religious, and
instead become self-righteous. As Kierkegaard has said: “The trouble with Christianity are the
Christians.” We can become religious only by discovering our own inner depth. The Bible can help
us in this process only if we know how to read it, and we can learn how to read it only if we know
the difference between the social language of everyday life and the metaphorical language of the
Spirit. If we know this difference the Bible will become a living book to us – the true Biblion – and
will enable us to link the infinity of our spirit with the infinite meaning of its sacred text.




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