Theory and Practice:
Theory is a Secular form of Belief
Sorry this has become such a long exposé, becoming more of an article than an issue of the day. I just wanted to give the subject matter justice for any one wanting an educated understanding regarding the issue of "theory and practice" (what is now being put into praxis in the workplace, and everywhere else, for the 'purpose' of 'change'). Concerning 'change' Karl Marx explained it this way: "The philosophers have interpreted the world in different ways, the objective is to change it." (Karl Marx, Feuerbach Thesis #11) In other words: "Those dissatisfied with the way things are have their opinion on how the world ought to be, that is, how everyone should believe and behave, but, according to Marx, the object is to make sure no one person's opinion becomes the "opinion" for all (becoming a belief). The issue being: "How can you 'change' belief into theory, so as to initiate and sustain 'change,' and keep theory from turning to belief, inhibiting and/or blocking the 'change' process?" Dialogue! Dialogue! Dialogue! (dialogue our opinions or theories, how we "feel" and what we "think") ..... without end (not giving belief or knowing or "certainty" a foothold to rule the day again). "Then both parties recognize their rigidified position in relation to each other as the result of detachment and abstraction from their common life context. And in the latter, the dialogic relation of recognizing oneself in the other, they experience the common ground of their existence." (Jürgen Habermas, The Idea of the Theory of Knowledge as Social Theory)
We either act on our belief or we act on a fact or we act on a theory. In other words we either act on something we believe, something which we have accepted as fact, responding to it as being certain, which was presented to us from somebody else (preached and taught), i.e. a position we accept as ours which was not derived from our own "sense experience" or "reasoning ability," which was accepted by faith in the person presenting it (trusting in a higher authority than our own "sense experience" and 'reasoning' ability). Or we act on something we know is certain, which is a known fact, responding to it as being certain, which was presented to us as fact, by somebody else (preaching and teaching), i.e. a position we accept as true which was derived at by accepting someone else's "sense experience" or "reasoning ability," which we through our own "sense experience" and "reasoning ability" (through experimentation and proof checks) have come to confirm as true. Or we act on a theory (something that is uncertain), not a know fact, responding to it because it has the "potential" of being true (we have something to gain from it being true), trusting in and acting on it as true according to our opinion, i.e. according to our "feelings" and our "thoughts," i.e. our "sense perception" and "sensuous needs" in the 'moment' (orchestrated according to our faith in other's who have the same "feelings" and "thoughts," i.e. trusting, not in the facts or what is known itself, but rather in the "sense experience" and 'reasoning' abilities of ourselves and others of like interest at the time).
Therefore theory is only a secular (self engendered) form of belief. Instead of trusting in (having faith in) God or established laws, worshiping that which is beyond nature, we trust in (put "faith" in) our own opinion (and the opinions of others, on that which we can agree on, i.e. come to consensus on―anything we disagree on we can not call wrong or our opinion becomes a belief, it is just not relevant, not "appropriate information" to the situation and therefore the person is not rational if he persists in inhibiting the dialoguing of opinions in the 'moment' by insisting on his opinion, making his opinion a belief instead of), worshiping that which is of nature itself, in the mystical sense, the unknown becoming, i.e. 'discovered' and sensually known ("experientially" known) only through the "sense experience" of speculation, "human reasoning," dialectic 'reasoning,' i.e. engendering "divine spark" unity (the collective "mind melt" 'moment' of consensus where theory is 'liberated' from belief and put into social action, i.e. praxis).
Theory ties all things to material life, to nature only (comparing all things through our "sense experience" only, as the women did in the garden in Eden, Genesis 3:1-6). As Carl Rogers wrote: "Neither the Bible nor the prophets, neither the revelations of God can take precedence over my own direct experience." "Experience is, for me, the highest authority." "The individual in such a moment, is coming to be what he is. He has experienced himself. He has become what he is." "Existential living is to say that the self and personality emerge from experience. It means that one becomes a participant in and an observer of the ongoing process of organismic experience." (Carl Rogers, On becoming a person) Not only ourselves relating with ourselves (how we "feel" and what we "think" personally, experientially) but our relationship with others become subject to "sense experience" as well, making all relationships subject only to nature. Karl Marx wrote: "All social life is essentially practical [from nature, relatable to our "sense experience"]. All the mysteries which lead theory toward mysticism [toward belief, i.e. toward that which is not of nature] find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice [in theory uniting with practice and practice united with theory, i.e. in opinions or theories or thoughts or "sense perceptions" that are practical, beneficial to the situation]." (Karl Marx, Thesis on Feuerbach #8) Sigmund Freud also recognized man's connection with the material world and the forces which move him towards relationship with it (via others): "Psychoanalysis is the heir to a mystical tradition which it must affirm (The ‘magical' body of occidental mysticism, and the ‘diamond' body of oriental mysticisms, and, in psychoanalysis, the polymorphously perverse body of childhood [the natural 'drive' of the child to be at-one-with, i.e. unite with the world (with nature) in pleasure, in the sensuous 'moment' (unrestrained by external, i.e. unnatural, AKA super-natural rules), in what is called "mimesis"―"Impulse, the primary fact, back of which, psychically we cannot go." (John Dewey, "Social Psychology," Psychological Review, I ); "Universal Reconciliation relies on a reason that is before reason-mimesis or 'impulse.'" (Jürgen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action); "'the realm of freedom lies beyond mimesis.'" (Herbart Marcuse in Stephen Bronner, Of Critical Theory and Its Theorists), in other words there is some unknown force in nature 'driving' man to become one with nature, 'purposed' in making mankind and nature (the world) "one."]
Dialectic 'reasoning' is based upon man's quest to overcome division (belief) and find "oneness" with nature, i.e. with his own nature and the nature of the world, i.e. with others, becoming as "one" in the "experience" of pleasure, with man's "feelings" and "thoughts" continuously being preoccupied with that union becoming manifest in the experience of "pleasure" (Freud), "enjoyment, (Hegel), "lust" (the scriptures). "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:14, 15 It is theory (man's opinion, how he "feels" and what he "thinks") that 'drives' (initiates and sustains) him on the pathway of the sensual (material). It is belief that leads him on the pathway of the spiritual. Apart from God, the spiritual is taken captive to the sensual, i.e. with man's thoughts and actions, his "natural inclinations," his "human nature" and 'reasoning' abilities, subject to the cosmos, i.e. the world, what Norman O. Brown calls the "dialectic imagination" and the scriptures call the "imagination of man's heart" (being continuously evil, i.e. subject to the world and not to him). "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5 After the flood saying: "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done." Genesis 8:21 It is in the "dialectic imagination," in the "imagination of his heart," that man is drawn man away from belief (what God says to man) into theory (what man says to himself), "lusting," according to his nature, after the things of the world. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 John 2:17 Therefore, universality can not come through belief (which divides man from his nature) but only through theory (which comes from his nature), for it is only in men's opinions, man thinking according to his carnal nature, that he can find common ground with all men. (Why nations which follow after those of dialectic 'reasoning' become so immoral, following after the way of abomination.)
Brown wrote: "Psychoanalysis, mysticism, poetry, the philosophy of organism, Feuerbach, , Freud, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Marx – the unseen harmony is stronger than the seen. Common to all of them is a mode of consciousness that can be called the dialectic imagination. Whitehead constantly draws attention to the dialectical patterns in mystical thought [the drawing of things together to become as "one" in the 'moment']." "The only valuable things in psychic life are the emotions [which draw us to the world, see my article on Dopamine, when being 'liberated' in theory and practice, the person becomes dependent upon "the approval" of the one (the one's, plural) initiating and sustaining 'liberation,' when being restrained in belief, the person becoming dependent upon "the approval" of the one (singular) doing the restraining]." It is in only "Eros" that theory and practice ("human reasoning," "human nature," and the world) can find unity. "Eros is fundamentally a desire for union with objects in the world. Eros is the foundation of morality." Therefore psychology, with its language of "feel" and "think," is the venue to reunite man with himself and the world, making all one again (before belief, i.e. Demiurge showed up―a gnostic concept). "Psychoanalysis is the heir to a mystical tradition which it must affirm." "Psychoanalysis must treat religion [belief] as a neurosis [belief dividing theory from action, preventing man from becoming one with the world, preventing him from 'changing' with the world and 'changing,' i.e. initiating and sustaining the world according to his "human nature"]." (Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History)
It is the sound of the father's belt passing through his belt loops that puts the fear of God in the child and thus detaches a child from his carnal thoughts and action. Chastening prevents the child from uniting with the world through Eros or rather prevents Eros from uniting the child with the world. Chastening, according to dialectic 'reasoning,' engenders "neurosis." "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous [having not hope of initiating or sustaining union with the object of gratification]: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby [being no longer 'driven' by the things of the world, according to nature, but directed by God or the Father, according to his righteousness]." Hebrew 12:7-11 emphasis added. Hebrews 12:7-11 is the formula (the life experience of the child) which those of dialectic 'reasoning' must negate from the thoughts and actions of mankind (and the children) if world unity is to become a 'reality,'
What better way to do it, negate belief, i.e. create 'change,' then get the child's opinion of the Father's chastening (restraining) of him for or from doing that which he wanted to do, according to his own natural desires. "Have you ever been told to do that which you did not want to do or told you can not do that which you wanted to do?" "How did that make you feel?" "What do you think should have happened instead?" These "How did you feel?" and "What do you think?" type questions will get the children (and adults) into the process of 'change' every time. By responding to the question you participate in the outcome of 'change.' The trickery is in the questions. The answers (or types of answers) are in the questions. Knowing type questions "What is the right answer?" engenders belief or knowing answers. "How did you feel?" and "What do you think?" type questions engender opinion (theory) answers.
According to dialectic 'reasoning (according to those who seek to unite theory and practice), it is in human thought comprehending (reflecting upon) human action that morality (universality) comes into being. "... the aesthetic dimension and the corresponding feeling of pleasure ... is the center of the mind .... [which] link the ‘lower' faculties of sensuousness, (Sinnlichkeit) to morality ... – the two poles of human existence" (Herbart Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: a philosophical inquiry into Freud) Thus when we think and act upon how we "feel," (and how others "feel"), becoming more at-one-with the world (in consensus, i.e. a "feeling" of "oneness" with "the group," with "the village," communitarianism) rather than upon what we "believe" (or are told to believe) we are becoming less "neurotic" (divisive) and more human (becoming at-one-with the world in the "mystic" sense). According to Abraham Maslow the 'purpose' of life is "To identify with more and more of the world, moving toward the ultimate of mysticism, a fusion with the world, or peak experience, cosmic consciousness, etc." (Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management) In The Holy Family, Karl Marx (talking about the many fruit and The Fruit) referred to this "cosmic consciousness," as a product of the "ether of the brain," where man can comprehend the universality of the many parts, identifying with that which all the parts have in common and thereafter seeing all the parts in the "light" of the "one" and therefore see the "light" (the divine spark") of the "one" in all the parts (in their sub-conscious seeking unity, i.e. "oneness" with the world, for Karl Marx, "only of nature").
It is Maslow who wrote: "I have found whenever I ran across authoritarian students [believers and knower's] that the best thing for me to do was to break their backs immediately." "The correct thing to do with authoritarians [believers and knower's] is to take them realistically for the bastards they are and then behave toward them as if they were bastards." (Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management) Irvin Yalom wrote: "One of the most difficult patients for me to work with in groups is the individual [the believer or knower] who employs fundamentalist religious views in the service of denial." "Communication toward a deviant [a believer] is very great initially and then drops off sharply as the group rejects the deviant [the believer or knower]. Eventually, the group will extrude the deviant [the believer or knower]. They may smile at one another when he speaks or behaves irrelevantly; they will mascot him, they will ignore him rather than invest the necessary time to understand his interventions." (Irvin Yalom, Theory and Practice and Group Psychotherapy) In a "theory and practice" encounter session, the believer or the knower is regarded as a deviant, the ones practicing theory are regarded as being or becoming moral.
It is therefore the engineer's frustration to find himself in the work environment trying to solve problems or make things work, acting on known facts, when the application of theory (how he "feels" or what he "thinks"―social-psychology, i.e. "mysticism" or "voodoo science") is brought into his work environment, forcing him to participate in the secular religion of humanism or "naturalism" (which he did not sign up to participate in, and can not participate in if he wants to remain a knower and/or a believer). Do you want to fly in an airplane, or cross a bridge, whose maker says "I know it is safe ...," or who says "I feel like it is safe ..." or "I think it is safe ...?" The first one is certain the second two are not. When it comes to faith we either believe (sacred―subject to that which is higher or greater than the material, above the sensual) or we theorize (secular―we are subject to that which is only material, i.e. to the sensual only), when it comes to known facts or truth (sacred and secular), we know.
Forcing theory into knowing creates confusion (engenders cognitive dissonance, where a person is caught between what he believes and how he behaves, i.e. his natural behavior being his desire to have or need for "the approval of others," pressuring him to choose between the two, especially when it is done in a social setting). It's 'purpose' is to make it easier for people to 'change, i.e. to become "adaptable to 'change,'" "tolerant of ambiguity" ("adaptable to" and "tolerant of" uncertainty), two things belief and knowing do not handle will.
Why train up a generation to treat theory as a fact and act on it? (The reason America has become so dumb.) The reason is, if you hate belief and love secular humanism (Godlessness, i.e. "human nature" without the restraints of righteousness), by getting people to act on or experience theory and treat it as though it is fact or truth for the moment (in the workplace, in education, in government, at home, and even in the church), you can more easily facilitate 'change.' By getting people to move away from the preaching and teaching of facts to be accepted "as given" (which engenders a system of belief and augments religion, there is either right or wrong and there is no in between, which those in the classroom then accept as the best way to learn, because it works), to the dialoguing of opinions instead (which engenders a system of theory and augments secular humanism, how you "feel" and what you "think" in the 'moment,' creating a world of gray, a world re-created according to the persons limited knowledge of the subject at hand, facts being less important than feelings and thoughts, and then acting on them, i.e. acting on opinions), creates a world of Godlessness, i.e. engendering worldly peace and socialist harmony, i.e. a world of 'change,' a world of theory and practice uniting as one in the consensus process, forever negating righteousness (absolute truth) as the issue of life.
And you thought education was just education, as in "How can you vote against education. " "Concerning the changing of circumstances by men [changing a persons paradigm, how they think and act, i.e. changing them from acting upon belief to acting upon theory], the educator must himself be educated. The changing of circumstances and of self [from the acceptance to preaching and teaching to come to know the truth to the dialoguing of opinions and putting them into action to 'discover' the truth―truth being not in the object but in the experience of trying to 'discover' it] can only be grasped and rationally understood as revolutionary practice." (Karl Marx, Thesis on Feuerbach # 3) Hegel called it "purposiveness without purpose, and lawfulness without law," where the object in and of itself is not important other than as a means to experience (make manifest and utilize) dialectic 'reasoning,' thus by putting theory into praxis (putting men's opinions into social action) righteousness (that which is not of the "quality" of "human reasoning") is negating, which I won't go into here.
"In the eyes of the dialectical philosophy, nothing is established for all time, nothing is absolute or sacred." (Karl Marx) A book used for training teachers reads: "But, as has been pointed out before, we recognize the point of view that truth and knowledge are only relative and that there are no hard and fast truths which exist for all time and places." (Benjamin Bloom, Taxonomy of Educational Objective Book 1: Cognitive Domain) You are not going to acquire a teaching certificate, nor is your school going be accredited unless you learn how to apply Blooms' Taxonomies (Karl Marx, i.e. "higher order thinking skills" used in determining what is the right way of thinking and acting and what is the wrong way of thinking and acting) in the classroom, 'changing' the way the next generation "thinks" and "acts." When you put your faith in, i.e. believe in theory (relativism, 'changingness') you can not put your faith in, i.e. believe in knowing (absolutes, "fixity"). As Jean Piaget stated it: "Any time we teach a child something, we keep him from discovering it himself," (Piaget) William Glasser wrote: "Memory is not education, answers are not knowledge. Certainty and memory are the enemies of thinking, the destroyer of creativity and originality." (William Glasser, Schools Without Failure―get rid of belief and there is no "guilty conscience" for doing wrong, i.e. no "failure" in school)
Carl Rogers, in his book on becoming a person, wrote: "Life, at its best, is a flowing, changing process in which nothing is fixed." "The more that the client perceives the therapist as empathic, as having an unconditional regard for him, the more the client will move away from a static, fixed way of functioning, and the more he will move toward a fluid, changing way of functioning." "Consciousness, instead of being the watchman over a dangerous and unpredictable lot of impulses, becomes the comfortable inhabitant of a society of impulses and feelings and thoughts." "Individuals move not from a fixity through change to a new fixity, though such a process is indeed possible. But [through a] continuum from fixity to changingness, from rigid structure to flow, from stasis to process." "When the individual is inwardly free [has no "guilty conscience" (belief) regarding his behavior, regarding his thoughts and actions], he chooses as the good life this process of becoming." (Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person) As Abraham Maslow stated it: "One is always in the process of becoming." (Ann Robinson quoting Maslow in Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management) Without the theory man can not become, but forever remain as he is, subject to belief, i.e. with knowing fixed instead of ever 'changing' with man's "felt" (carnal) needs. "A natural step in the present study, therefore, was to conceive of a continuum extending from extreme conservatism [believers in believing] to extreme liberalism [believers in feeling and thinking] and to construct a scale which would place individuals along this continuum." (Theodor Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality) Without the practice of theory man would remain subject to belief, caught in a condition of tension between belief and theory, subject to the duality of above-below, spirit-flesh and thereby subject to God and not to man (in the generic sense): "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Romans 8:7
The next few paragraphs are a big dose of a famous social-psychologist, Abraham Maslow. You can skip them if you need but I enter them here for those who want a clearer understanding of where "theory and practice" is taking us. Not only adults in the workplace, but children in the classroom are getting a big dose of this, i.e. in college, as well as in high school, in grade school, and even in pre-school (where they might not hear his name mentioned yet) See the current issue on fathers for the reason why.
"This voice which really isn't you but tells you the way the world works is a direct attack on creativity. We have to work to remove it." "When we learn to silence the inner voice that judges yourself and others, there is no limit to what we can accomplish, individually and as part of a team. Absence of judgment makes you more receptive to innovative ideas." (Michael Ray in Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management) "We must ultimately assume at the highest theoretical levels of enlightenment management theory, a preference or a tendency ... to identify with more and more of the world, moving toward the ultimate of mysticism, a fusion with the world, or peak experience, cosmic consciousness, etc." "Education must be eupsychian or else it is not democratic." "The goals of democratic education can be nothing else but development toward psychological health." "A patriarchal culture is an argument against the higher possibilities of human nature, of self actualization." "The best way to destroy democratic society [socialism] would be by way of industrial authoritarianism [private business], which is anti-democratic in the deepest sense." "We will know that our knowledge of the authoritarian character structure is truly scientific when an average authoritarian character will be able to read the information on the subject and then regard his own authoritarian character as undesirable or sick or pathological and will go about trying to get rid of it." "Salvation Is a By-Product of Self-Actualizing Work and Self-Actualizing Duty." (Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management)
"Self-actualizing people have to a large extent transcended the values of their culture. They are not so much merely Americans as they are world citizens, members of the human species first and foremost." "Self-actualizing people have to a large extent transcended the values of their culture. They are not so much merely Americans as they are world citizens, members of the human species first and foremost." (Abraham Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature)
"In self-actualizing people, the work they do might be better be called 'mission,' 'calling,' 'duty,' 'vocation,' in the priest's sense." "My work on motivations come from the clinic, from a study of neurotic people." "This carry-over from the study of neurosis [the belief-action dichotomy which prevents man from "thinking" and therefore inhibits his "natural inclination" to 'change,' i.e. prevents him from becoming himself in thought and in action] to the study of labor in factories is legitimate ["This is the way we have always done it."]." "... the industrial situation may serve as the new laboratory for the study of the psycho-dynamics [where theory and practice, i.e. man and society are united as one]." "The main support of this theory has come mostly from psychotherapists like Rogers and Fromm." "Work is not about paying the rent anymore―it is about self-fulfillment." "The United States is changing into a managerial society." (Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management)
All praxis (men's social actions) are tied to work. If the work is for another (as to God, subject to belief) then it is separated from or inhibits or blocks man's (the workers) "enjoyment." If it is for all mankind, then is must contain "enjoyment" for all men (it must consist of men's opinions and theories, allowing everyone's input and willful participant, as a part with the "whole," making all "stakeholders," having collective "ownership" in the outcome). "Meaningful work comes very close to the religious quest in the humanistic sense." [The] "goal is simply to build group companies where people can self-actualize." (George McCown in Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management) "Enlightened economics must assume as a prerequisite synergic institutions set up in such a way that what benefits one benefits all." "Enlightenment management and humanistic supervision can be a brotherhood situation." "Partnership is the same as synergy. The problem for the accountants is to work out some way of putting on the balance sheet the amount of synergy in the organization, the amount of time and money and effort that has been invested in getting groups to work together." "Theory X and Theory Y were based upon Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory [and] are assumptions which play a large role in the development of management styles. The evidence upon which Theory X management is based is practically nil." "History, almost universally, has dichotomized this higher & lower [belief, establishing right-wrong, above-below], but it is now clear that they are on the same continuum, in a hierarchical-integration of prepotency & postpotency [a spectrum of theory's subject to the process of 'change,' establishing "equality," only possible in the process of 'change'―as long as ever one is 'changing' there is not right-wrong, top-down system in place]." "Human evil is an acquired or reactive kind of response to bad treatment of the individual [having to obey God or parent against one's carnal desires]. At least this is what the Third Force psychologists generally agree upon." (Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management)
"Third-Force psychology is also epi-Marxian in these senses, i.e., including the most basic scheme as true-good social conditions are necessary for personal growth, bad social conditions stunt human nature, material conditions are prepotent over spiritual ones, & SA [Self-Actualized] potentials, religious, laws philosophy, ideology, are in fact all by-products of basic social & economic conditions, while cutting out the dogmatic Marxian a priori crap [Traditional Marxism]. This is to say, one could reinterpret Marx into a self-actualization-fostering Third- and Fourth-Force psychology-philosophy [Transformational Marxism]. And my impression is anyway that this is the direction in which they are going now." (Abraham Maslow, The Journals of A.H. Maslow)
"The person at the peak experience is godlike . . . complete, loving, uncondemning, compassionate and accept[ing] of the world and of the person." "Heaven is available to us now, and is all around us." (Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being) "So it looks as if nudism is the first step toward ultimate fee-animality-humanness. It's the easiest to take. Must encourage it. Yet nakedness is absolutely right. So is the attack on antieroticism, the Christian & Jewish foundations. Must move in the direction of the Reichian orgasm. I certainly enjoy nudism as at Esalen & have no trouble with it. And I certainly think sex is wonderful, even sacred. And I approve in principle of the advancement of knowledge & experimentation with anything [which belief would prevent]." (Abraham Maslow, The Journals of A.H. Maslow)
"The more enlightened the religious institutions get, that is to say, the more liberal they get, the greater will be the advantage for an enterprise run in an enlightened way." "In our democratic society, any enterprise—any individual—has its obligations to the whole." "Tax credits would be given to the company that helps to improve the whole society, and helps to improve the democracy by helping to create democratic individuals." "We don't know the answers to the question: What proportion of the population is irreversibly authoritarian? [believers]" (Abraham Maslow, Maslow on Management)
"This movement can be dignified and Apollonian & can avoid pornography & neurosis & ugliness. I must put as much of this as is possible & usable in my education book, & more & more in succeeding writings." "Marxian theory needs Freudian-type instinct theory to round it out. And of course, vice versa." ". . . I've decided to get into the World Federalists, become pro-UN, & the like." "The whole discussion becomes species-wide, One World, at least so far as the guiding goal is concerned. To get to that goal is politics & is in time and space & will take a long time & cost much blood." ". . . A caretaker government could immediately start training for democracy & self-government & give it little by little, as deserved." "This is a realistic combination of the Marxian version & the humanistic. (Better add to definition of "humanistic" that it also means one species, One World.)" "Only a world government with world-shared values could be trusted or permitted to take such powers. If only for such a reason a world government is necessary. It too would have to evolve. I suppose it would be weak or lousy or even corrupt at first—it certainly doesn't amount to much now & won't until sovereignty is given up little by little by 'nations.'" (Abraham Maslow, The Journals of A.H. Maslow)
In his book, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, Maslow wrote, "We have to study the conditions which maximize ought-perceptiveness. Oughtiness is itself a fact to be perceived. If we wish to permit the facts to tell us their oughtiness, we must learn to listen to them in a very specific way which can be called Taoistic. Discovering one's real nature is simultaneously an ought quest and an is quest. An 'Ought-Is-Quest' is a religious quest in the naturalistic sense. Is becomes the same as ought. Fact becomes the same as value. The world which is becomes the world which ought to be." Karl Marx recognized the same nature in mankind: "In short, philosophy as theory finds the ‘ought' implied within the ‘is', and as praxis seeks to make the two coincide." (Joseph O'Malley, summing up Marx in Marx's work Critique of Hegel's 'Philosophy of Right' ) The idea being the persons 'quest' for how the world "ought" (theory) to be is present in the world (it "is"), only that an authority's "not" (belief) is preventing it (the world that "is") from being.
"Even dying can be a philosophically illuminating, highly educative experience." (Abraham Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature) If it's based upon "theory and practice," it's not good news. "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Romans 14:7-12
According to the Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, truth is to be found in "a moment in correct praxis"—sensuous (material) truth can only be 'discovered' and actualized in the "group hug," consensus experience (upon that which ever one has in common, "human nature" and the material world). Therefore, all is uncertainty except the process of 'change' itself. To arrive at any sense of order for the world and for the moment, an inductive analysis of the situation must therefore be conducted (based upon "sense experience"). Any act of deductive reasoning, any evaluation of the current situation from an a priori, any statement of certainty (preached and taught, to be accepted "as given"), any truth which causes group division (prevents dialogue, prevents theory), must be treated as an opinion, or else domination, repression, and objectification continues to exist. Absolute truth must be treated as a theory, as an opinion. "The scientific study of ideology can only be made on the basis of theory." (Theodor Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality) In psychology, as in sociology, every truth, i.e. every belief, must be treated as an opinion. Norman O. Brown, in his book Life Against Death:, wrote: "The basic structure of Freud's thought is committed to dialectics." "His finest insights are incurably 'dialectical.' "
To think dialectic is to bring theory (man's carnal thoughts) and practice (man's carnal actions) together as "one," negating that which is not of man's carnal nature. "Habermas argues that theoretical and practical [theory and practice] are isometric . They are different voices of one and the same reason." (James Gordon Finlayson, Hegel's Critique of Kant's Moral Theory and Habermas' Discourse Ethics) Therefore when someone asks you "how you feel" or "what you think," to come to know the truth, you are locked into the world system of dialectic materialism (Traditional Marxism). Historical materialism (Transformational Marxism) is somewhat the same but different in that it establishes that no solution to a situation can predetermine the solution to the next situation, restraining or preventing the 'change' process from continuation. A famous Transformational Marxists, Karl Korsch, wrote that man's goal in life is "to grasp philosophies and other ideological systems in theory as realities and to treat them as such in praxis." That we must apply our interpretations, opinions, and "beliefs" to social action and force them to conform to the material world (to 'reality'), and if they don't conform they are "irrational" and therefore "irrelevant" in the "light" of the 'changing' times. The dialectic idea being, don't reject the person who claims to know the truth, just recognize he is "deceived" into thinking truth is established for all times and places and treat him as someone who is misled, who is in "denial," and help him to come to the truth that all is relative, that truth is according to man's own "sense experience," and thus subject to "theory" In "group think" every belief must be treated with respect until it prevents theories or opinions from being expressed, i.e. that all facts are "changing fact," (Sherly Mcquine audio), otherwise "the group" can not "think," it can not innovate, it can not 'change.'
Ironically this very thinking will negate its own self, something liberals have a difficulty understanding. Anytime you bring a liberal to an absolute truth they always accuse you of being argumentative (making you the source of controversy) and therefore you are not worth listening to since they have listening skills and you don't. They are ever learning ('changing') yet they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. It would prevent them from participating in dialectic 'reasoning,' it would negate their 'justifying' of their carnal nature as being "normal," thus negate their 'justification' of negating righteousness (belief) as being the 'purpose of life. In essence they become like the Serpent, who, after meeting the truth (meeting God) had no legs to stand on.
Theory is simply secularized belief (demythologized, i.e. humanized Christianity), man putting faith in his dialectic, speculative, 'reasoning' ability, treating it as truth (the more the opinions agree the more 'right' they become) and acting on it, hoping that he is right (in and of himself, collectively), that if he is wrong, someone else, not himself, will have to suffer the consequence (it being more than likely the other person's fault for not applying the 'theory' correctly). The reason you want everyone's opinion in engendering a consensus, is, if the collective opinion is wrong, the one who did not agree with the group (who still has a voice to be heard) can judge the group as being wrong, with impunity (inhibiting the process of 'change,' preventing theory and practice, individual man and the society of men from becoming united as "one" in the process of 'change').
When a person evaluates religion through the eyes of science (according to sensuousness) he ends up with a religion of science (a religion of sensuousness), the worshiping of men's opinions (men's feelings) over and against the truth of God's Word. "But the essential point is to see that the classical Western sense of time, Newtonian time, was a religion, which, like all religions, was taken by its adherents to be absolute objective truth. Once again we see that 'secular rationalism' is really a religion; the new relativistic notion of time is really the disintegration of a religion." (Normal O. Brown, Life Against Death) "In democracy absolute religion does exist, but unstably, or rather it is a religion of nature; ethical life is bound up with nature, and the link with objective nature makes democracy easy of access for the intellect." (George Hegel, System of Ethical Life) In truth the dialectic 'reasoning' person is not an intellectual. He is an emotional, when cornered by the facts, becoming emotional (hateful).
For Hegel it was the nature of the child (human opinion), not the parent's commands (belief), which was the basis of 'reality.' "The child, contrary to appearance, is the absolute, the rationality of the relationship; he is what is enduring and everlasting, the totality which produces itself once again as such." ibid. Only by getting the workplace, the classroom, the government, the church, and the home to focus upon the nature of "the child within," i.e. "human nature," could belief (absolute truth) be replaced with theory (men's opinions) and man be "free" again, to be himself both in theory (in thought) and in practice (in action) without a "guilty conscience." As Karl Marx put it: "Once the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family [both engendering a top-down, belief-action, right-wrong way of thinking and acting], the former must itself be annihilated [vernichtet] theoretically and practically [not only in the individual but in all institutions of society itself]." (Karl Marx, Theses On Feuerbach #4)
You are practicing humanism, a religion of Godlessness, in the workplace when you are asked to act on theory instead of a know fact, being told not to hurt others "feelings," telling them that they are wrong when they are wrong. "When a man has finally reached the point where he does not think he knows it better than others, that is when he has become indifferent to what they have done badly and he is interested only in what they have done right, then peace and affirmation have come to him." (G. F. W. Hegel, in one of the casual notes preserved at Widener.) In the consensus process you must secede your religious beliefs to the collective experience, to the dialoguing opinions in creating worldly "oneness," becoming "tolerant of ambiguity" (tolerant of theories and opinions) when you know that the other person is wrong and that you are right, for the 'purpose' of 'change.'
Near the end of a meeting I was speaking at, a libertarian interrupted me, insisted that the audience should not listen to me because of my use of scriptures, calling them my opinion. I told him that they were not my opinion but the Words of God. He then told me that that was my opinion as well. I then told him that he was a perfect Marxist, treating all truth as an opinion. Such is the mindset of dialectic "thinkers," it frees man (in his thoughts and in his actions) from the fact that his heart is "deceitful above all things" and "desperately wicked." The heart of man is the real problem, which capitalism and socialism can not fix, one only wanting to control the cash and the peoples actions to initiate and sustain pleasure, the other only wanting to control the cash and the peoples thoughts and actions, to control them in initiating and sustaining pleasure (for "all"), both trusting only those who support their cause. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5
You can not "naturally" act in accordance to your belief when your belief is not established upon "human nature," that is, when your belief is established by an act of God, i.e. "Thus saith the Lord," and you are not God. As a believer, you can not "naturally" act according to your belief (why it is called a belief-action dichotomy), which requires faith, belief, repentance, redemption, and reconciliation, which do not come from nature. Therefore, to have faith in or believe in "human nature" you must negate belief in God. You can not negate belief in God unless you make mankind ("human nature") God. It is only through the dialoguing of men's opinions and theories to a consensus (which frees him from belief, i.e. there is no accountability to a higher authority, conviction, condemnation, judgment, etc. in dialogue), that man can collectively experience himself as "one." As mankind experiences himself as God, God (or mankind) experiences himself as man. Engels stated it this way: "Man has only to understand himself, to take himself as the measure of all aspects of life, to judge according to his being, to organise the world in a truly human manner according to the demands of his own nature, and he will have solved the riddle of our time." "But there is no other salvation for him, he cannot regain his humanity, his substance, other than by thoroughly overcoming all religious ideas and returning firmly and honestly, not to 'God', but to himself." (Frederick Engels, The Condition of England A review of Past and Present, by Thomas Carlyle)
Thus both capitalism and socialism become one in thought and in action in the praxis of "man experiencing Godhead," man removing God's head (above nature) and putting his head (of nature, individually and/or collectively) in its place. In capitalism it tends to be "one man" who becomes the object of love, determining the course of direction, in socialism it is love of "the many." The love of "one" over and against "the many" (diverse opinions) engenders belief, while the love of the "one" along with "the many" (diversity) over and against the "one" (belief) engenders opinions and theories seeking "oneness," i.e. a feeling or "quality" of "oneness" over and against belief in the "one." It is in socialism that "Godhead" becomes "collective," "universality." "The dialectic will go on until we reach the absolute whole, that which includes everything within itself, and so cannot possibly depend upon anything outside itself." (Frederick Beiser, Hegel) "There cannot be two kinds of reason and two kinds of Spirit; there cannot be a Divine reason and a human, there cannot be a Divine Spirit and a human, which are absolutely different. Human reason — the consciousness of one's being is indeed reason; it is the divine in man, and spirit, in so far as it is the Spirit of God, is not a spirit beyond the stars, beyond the world. On the contrary, God is present, omnipresent, and exists as spirit in all spirits." (Georg Hegel as quoted in Carl Friedrich, The Philosophy of Hegel) While with God, who's words are categorical imperatives, unquestionable and universal (above nature, unchanging and unchangeable), belief is required, while with man, who's words are "contaminated with belief," therefore who's words are not universal (not only of nature) and thus are questionable, opinion and theories are required. To free man from belief (from rigidity, that that which he is "not)" to become what he "is," "only of nature" ('changeable'), belief must become an opinion, subject to questioning and evaluation according to "human nature." Thus all things must be subject to question ("question authority") or they are not of nature, they are not of 'reality.' Therefore only those opinions or theories which apply universally to all men, which all men can come to consensus upon, feel at-one-with ('real' in the 'moment') are purged of belief.
If "human reasoning" (philosophy, theory, opinion) is the means to "God" becoming and therefore the end to (the 'purpose' for) all things, then any hostility against "human reasoning" (men's opinions) is hostility towards "God." As Hegel wrote: "Philosophies [man's dissatisfaction with the way things are, i.e. expressed in thought] spring from the same spirit in man [the "divine spark" of reasoning] which gives rise to his practical works [the praxis of negating, i.e. destroying any authority that restraints the "divine spark" from becoming one with the world―concept realizing itself and self actualizing itself in universality―as Carl Rogers, in his book on becoming a person, wrote: "The direction which constitutes the good life is psychological freedom to move in any direction [where] the general qualities of this selected direction appear to have a certain universality." "The major barrier to mutual interpersonal communication is our very natural tendency to judge, to evaluate, to approve or disapprove, the statement of the other person, or the other group." "[T]he whole emphasis is upon process, not upon end states of being … to value certain qualitative elements of the process of becoming, that we can find a pathway toward the open society."]. Philosophy [human reasoning] is not outside the world; it simply has a different kind of presence in the world. The world is its ground; it is the spiritual quintessence of its age. The world is the object of its enquiry and concern; it is the wisdom of the world." (comments by Joseph O'Malley, translator of Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right)
Immanuel Kant, elevating "human reasoning" (theory) to "equality" with faith (belief), negated faith (since theory and belief, "human reasoning" and faith, material and spirit, can not be "equal"). Jürgen Habermas stated: "In Kant we find the authority of divine command reestablished in the unconditional validity of moral duty [the building of "human relationship" into a state of unity, i.e. "oneness" (with a sense of justice and beauty for all) becoming the spirit]. In this we hear an unmistakable resonance. With his conception of autonomy ["human reasoning" liberated from the restraints of Godly authority], Kant certainly destroyed the traditional conception of being "a child of God." "God remains a 'God of free men' only as long as we do not erase the absolute difference between the Creator and the created. In other words, only as long as the gift of a divine form to man is taken to mean that no hindrance be placed on man's right of self-determination [no restraint be placed upon man in creating the world in his own image]." (Speech by Jürgen Habermas accepting the Peace Prize of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association Paulskirche, Frankfurt, 14 October 2001)
What Karl Marx lamented over in his day, man's un-freedom from an education system which inculcated belief (and facts) only, has been turned around in the practice of theory. He wrote of his day: "Education as yet is unable and unwilling to bring all estates and distinctions into its circle. Only Christianity and morality are able to found universal kingdoms on earth." (Karl Marx, The Holy Family) Habermas knew the answer to Marx's concern lay in moving the classroom, as well as all social institutions, away from the preaching and teaching of belief (away from presenting "God's eye view") to the dialoging of opinions (to presenting man's eye view, as Marx put it "having eyes which are human eyes, and ears which are human ears.") Habermas wrote: "With the devaluation of the epistemic authority of the God's eye view ... moral practice is no longer tied to the individual's expectation of salvation and an exemplary conduct of life through the person of a redemptive God and the divine plan for salvation ..." "The shift in perspective from God to human beings has a further consequence. 'Validity' now signifies that moral norms could win the agreement of all concerned, on the condition that they jointly examine in practical discourse [sharing their opinions or theories] whether a corresponding practice is in the equal interest of all." (Jürgen Habermas, Communicative Ethics The inclusion of the Other. Studies in Political Theory)
All those of dialectic 'reasoning' would agree with Paul Tillich: "Humanism asserts that the test of human conduct must be found in human experience; . . . concern for man replaces concern about pleasing God." (Leonard F. Wheat, Paul Tillich's Dialectical Humanism Unmasking the God above God) Concerning "human reasoning,' the "divine spark" in man (according to dialectic practitioners, that which is in all of us seeking expression), Obama stated: "So let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls." (Part of Obama's speech while receiving the Nobel Peace prize, December 12, 2009) underline added. That world "that ought to be" can only be reached through dialoguing of theories and opinions (to a consensus, to a "universal oneness"), putting "oneness" into practice, tearing down the walls of belief, negating that which divides man from man. Obama stated it in this way in Berlin, July 2008: "That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic can not stand." "The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least can not stand." "The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christians and Muslims and Jews can not stand. These hallowed walls we must tear down."
Anyone familiar with Gnosticism knows the pattern, i.e. "God 'discovering' himself, coming to know himself, as the many parts ("divine sparks") become 'one,' negating that which is not of God, i.e. negating that which is not of man," negating that which is not of "human nature." According to dialectic 'reasoning' (those wanting to unite theory and practice) "[t]he dialectical method was overthrown―the parts were prevented from finding their definition within the whole" when man turned to belief in God and not to his own nature, belief preventing man from create "oneness" with himself and the world through his own 'reasoning' abilities. (György Lukács, History & Class Consciousness What is Orthodox Marxism?) The "divine ideal" is man working together as "one," "consciousness" becoming "self-conscious" (in man's dissatisfaction with "the way thing are," thinking about how things "ought to be" but not able to act on it), becoming "cosmic-conscious" through dialectic 'reasoning,' in praxis creating a "better" world with and for "all," by negating that which is not of the world, not of "human nature." It is here that "human thought" and "human action," united as one, negates faith, belief, obedience, and the right for God, the parent, the boss, etc. to chasten for disobedience (which engenders a top-down, patriarchal world order), negates the system of righteousness which divides man from God, where belief and action can only become one through man's repentance for his sins (repenting of his "human nature," repenting for his "natural inclination" to unite with the world, "lusting" after the sensuous moment of pleasure, repenting for trying to 'justify' himself) before God, his salvation from judgment and hell made possible only through the work of God alone, through His word alone, His only begotten Son's death and resurrection alone, and the power of the Holy Spirit alone, i.e. why righteousness has to be imputed by God to man of faith, not being of "human nature." But that is another article.
If you are thinking and acting according to "theory and practice" (according to dialectic 'reasoning' and praxis) you can not be a "child of God." "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6 As an engineer put your knowing into action. It works, planes fly, boats float, tv's televise, etc. Keep your theories in a laboratory until they work, become a known fact. Share your belief, in love, that those who will hear will hear and believe. "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels." Luke 9:23-26 "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." 1 John 2:28, 29
Keep theory and practice in the laboratory (using it on rocks, plants, and animals as it is intended, not using it on man) and when theory becomes a know/proven fact, then apply it to public, putting it into action, building planes, cars, and other gadgets for men's pleasure and convenience. The only reason it is brought into the workplace for group participation is to negate belief, i.e. negate righteousness. Know you know.
© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2012-2015