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The algebra of infinite justice
[Articles] > The algebra of infinite justice
As the US prepares to wage a new kind of war, Arundhati Roy challenges the instinct for vengance
In the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, an American newscaster said: "Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don't know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee." Then he broke down and wept.
Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle.
The trouble is that once Amer ica goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.
What we're witnessing here is the spectacle of the world's most powerful country reaching reflexively, angrily, for an old instinct to fight a new kind of war. Suddenly, when it comes to defending itself, America's streamlined warships, cruise missiles and F-16 jets look like obsolete, lumbering things. As deterrence, its arsenal of nuclear bombs is no longer worth its weight in scrap. Box-cutters, penknives, and cold anger are the weapons with which the wars of the new century will be waged. Anger is the lock pick. It slips through customs unnoticed. Doesn't show up in baggage checks.
Who is America fighting? On September 20, the FBI said that it had doubts about the identities of some of the hijackers. On the same day President George Bush said, "We know exactly who these people are and which governments are supporting them." It sounds as though the president knows something that the FBI and the American public don't.
In his September 20 address to the US Congress, President Bush called the enemies of America "enemies of freedom". "Americans are asking, 'Why do they hate us?' " he said. "They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." People are being asked to make two leaps of faith here. First, to assume that The Enemy is who the US government says it is, even though it has no substantial evidence to support that claim. And second, to assume that The Enemy's motives are what the US government says they are, and there's nothing to support that either.
For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it's an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it's reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America's economic and military dominance - the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon - were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things - to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)? It must be hard for ordinary Americans, so recently bereaved, to look up at the world with their eyes full of tears and encounter what might appear to them to be indifference. It isn't indifference. It's just augury. An absence of surprise. The tired wisdom of knowing that what goes around eventually comes around. American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated. They can't possibly doubt that they themselves, their extraordinary musicians, their writers, their actors, their spectacular sportsmen and their cinema, are universally welcomed. All of us have been moved by the courage and grace shown by firefighters, rescue workers and ordinary office staff in the days since the attacks.
America's grief at what happened has been immense and immensely public. It would be grotesque to expect it to calibrate or modulate its anguish. However, it will be a pity if, instead of using this as an opportunity to try to understand why September 11 happened, Americans use it as an opportunity to usurp the whole world's sorrow to mourn and avenge only their own. Because then it falls to the rest of us to ask the hard questions and say the harsh things. And for our pains, for our bad timing, we will be disliked, ignored and perhaps eventually silenced.
The world will probably never know what motivated those particular hijackers who flew planes into those particular American buildings. They were not glory boys. They left no suicide notes, no political messages; no organisation has claimed credit for the attacks. All we know is that their belief in what they were doing outstripped the natural human instinct for survival, or any desire to be remembered. It's almost as though they could not scale down the enormity of their rage to anything smaller than their deeds. And what they did has blown a hole in the world as we knew it. In the absence of information, politicians, political commentators and writers (like myself) will invest the act with their own politics, with their own interpretations. This speculation, this analysis of the political climate in which the attacks took place, can only be a good thing.
But war is looming large. Whatever remains to be said must be said quickly. Before America places itself at the helm of the "international coalition against terror", before it invites (and coerces) countries to actively participate in its almost godlike mission - called Operation Infinite Justice until it was pointed out that this could be seen as an insult to Muslims, who believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice, and was renamed Operation Enduring Freedom- it would help if some small clarifications are made. For example, Infinite Justice/Enduring Freedom for whom? Is this America's war against terror in America or against terror in general? What exactly is being avenged here? Is it the tragic loss of almost 7,000 lives, the gutting of five million square feet of office space in Manhattan, the destruction of a section of the Pentagon, the loss of several hundreds of thousands of jobs, the bankruptcy of some airline companies and the dip in the New York Stock Exchange? Or is it more than that? In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it". Albright never lost her job for saying this. She continued to travel the world representing the views and aspirations of the US government. More pertinently, the sanctions against Iraq remain in place. Children continue to die.
So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerised, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world's superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world, whose ruling Taliban government is sheltering Osama bin Laden, the man being held responsible for the September 11 attacks.
The only thing in Afghanistan that could possibly count as collateral value is its citizenry. (Among them, half a million maimed orphans.There are accounts of hobbling stampedes that occur when artificial limbs are airdropped into remote, inaccessible villages.) Afghanistan's economy is in a shambles. In fact, the problem for an invading army is that Afghanistan has no conventional coordinates or signposts to plot on a military map - no big cities, no highways, no industrial complexes, no water treatment plants. Farms have been turned into mass graves. The countryside is littered with land mines - 10 million is the most recent estimate. The American army would first have to clear the mines and build roads in order to take its soldiers in.
Fearing an attack from America, one million citizens have fled from their homes and arrived at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The UN estimates that there are eight million Afghan citizens who need emergency aid. As supplies run out - food and aid agencies have been asked to leave - the BBC reports that one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent times has begun to unfold. Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they're waiting to be killed.
In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way. The American people may be a little fuzzy about where exactly Afghanistan is (we hear reports that there's a run on maps of the country), but the US government and Afghanistan are old friends.
In 1979, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA and Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. Their purpose was to harness the energy of Afghan resistance to the Soviets and expand it into a holy war, an Islamic jihad, which would turn Muslim countries within the Soviet Union against the communist regime and eventually destabilise it. When it began, it was meant to be the Soviet Union's Vietnam. It turned out to be much more than that. Over the years, through the ISI, the CIA funded and recruited almost 100,000 radical mojahedin from 40 Islamic countries as soldiers for America's proxy war. The rank and file of the mojahedin were unaware that their jihad was actually being fought on behalf of Uncle Sam. (The irony is that America was equally unaware that it was financing a future war against itself.)
In 1989, after being bloodied by 10 years of relentless conflict, the Russians withdrew, leaving behind a civilisation reduced to rubble.
Civil war in Afghanistan raged on. The jihad spread to Chechnya, Kosovo and eventually to Kashmir. The CIA continued to pour in money and military equipment, but the overheads had become immense, and more money was needed. The mojahedin ordered farmers to plant opium as a "revolutionary tax". The ISI set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets. The annual profits, said to be between $100bn and $200bn, were ploughed back into training and arming militants.
In 1995, the Taliban - then a marginal sect of dangerous, hardline fundamentalists - fought its way to power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old cohort of the CIA, and supported by many political parties in Pakistan. The Taliban unleashed a regime of terror. Its first victims were its own people, particularly women. It closed down girls' schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government's human rights track record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its civilians.
The desolate landscape of Afghanistan was the burial ground of Soviet communism and the springboard of a unipolar world dominated by America. It made the space for neocapitalism and corporate globalisation, again dominated by America. And now Afghanistan is poised to become the graveyard for the unlikely soldiers who fought and won this war for America.
And what of America's trusted ally? Pakistan too has suffered enormously. The US government has not been shy of supporting military dictators who have blocked the idea of democracy from taking root in the country. Before the CIA arrived, there was a small rural market for opium in Pakistan. Between 1979 and 1985, the number of heroin addicts grew from zero to one-and-a-half million. Even before September 11, there were three million Afghan refugees living in tented camps along the border. Pakistan's economy is crumbling. Sectarian violence, globalisation's structural adjustment programmes and drug lords are tearing the country to pieces. Set up to fight the Soviets, the terrorist training centres and madrasahs, sown like dragon's teeth across the country, produced fundamentalists with tremendous popular appeal within Pakistan itself. The Taliban, which the Pakistan government has sup ported, funded and propped up for years, has material and strategic alliances with Pakistan's own political parties.
India, thanks in part to its geography, and in part to the vision of its former leaders, has so far been fortunate enough to be left out of this Great Game. Had it been drawn in, it's more than likely that our democracy, such as it is, would not have survived. Today, as some of us watch in horror, the Indian government is furiously gyrating its hips, begging the US to set up its base in India rather than Pakistan. Having had this ringside view of Pakistan's sordid fate, it isn't just odd, it's unthinkable, that India should want to do this. Any third world country with a fragile economy and a complex social base should know by now that to invite a superpower such as America in (whether it says it's staying or just passing through) would be like inviting a brick to drop through your windscreen.
Operation Enduring Freedom is ostensibly being fought to uphold the American Way of Life. It'll probably end up undermining it completely. It will spawn more anger and more terror across the world. For ordinary people in America, it will mean lives lived in a climate of sickening uncertainty: will my child be safe in school? Will there be nerve gas in the subway? A bomb in the cinema hall? Will my love come home tonight? There have been warnings about the possibility of biological warfare - smallpox, bubonic plague, anthrax - the deadly payload of innocuous crop-duster aircraft. Being picked off a few at a time may end up being worse than being annihilated all at once by a nuclear bomb.
The US government, and no doubt governments all over the world, will use the climate of war as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, deny free speech, lay off workers, harass ethnic and religious minorities, cut back on public spending and divert huge amounts of money to the defence industry. To what purpose? President Bush can no more "rid the world of evil-doers" than he can stock it with saints. It's absurd for the US government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out terrorism with more violence and oppression. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Terrorism has no country. It's transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their "factories" from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multi-nationals.
Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven's sake, rights. Instead, when Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, was asked what he would call a victory in America's new war, he said that if he could convince the world that Americans must be allowed to continue with their way of life, he would consider it a victory.
The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America's old wars. The millions killed in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982, the 200,000 Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled and supplied with arms. And this is far from being a comprehensive list.
Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn't exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI. In the course of a fortnight he has been promoted from suspect to prime suspect and then, despite the lack of any real evidence, straight up the charts to being "wanted dead or alive".
From all accounts, it will be impossible to produce evidence (of the sort that would stand scrutiny in a court of law) to link Bin Laden to the September 11 attacks. So far, it appears that the most incriminating piece of evidence against him is the fact that he has not condemned them.
From what is known about the location of Bin Laden and the living conditions in which he operates, it's entirely possible that he did not personally plan and carry out the attacks - that he is the inspirational figure, "the CEO of the holding company". The Taliban's response to US demands for the extradition of Bin Laden has been uncharacteristically reasonable: produce the evidence, then we'll hand him over. President Bush's response is that the demand is "non-negotiable".
(While talks are on for the extradition of CEOs - can India put in a side request for the extradition of Warren Anderson of the US? He was the chairman of Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas leak that killed 16,000 people in 1984. We have collated the necessary evidence. It's all in the files. Could we have him, please?)
But who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark doppelgänger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns, bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while. (The Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA. The heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on drugs"....)
Now Bush and Bin Laden have even begun to borrow each other's rhetoric. Each refers to the other as "the head of the snake". Both invoke God and use the loose millenarian currency of good and evil as their terms of reference. Both are engaged in unequivocal political crimes. Both are dangerously armed - one with the nuclear arsenal of the obscenely powerful, the other with the incandescent, destructive power of the utterly hopeless. The fireball and the ice pick. The bludgeon and the axe. The important thing to keep in mind is that neither is an acceptable alternative to the other.
President Bush's ultimatum to the people of the world - "If you're not with us, you're against us" - is a piece of presumptuous arrogance. It's not a choice that people want to, need to, or should have to make.
Strive
Strive. Strive to realise God. This is the purpose of human birth.
The perfection of the realisation of absolute knowledge, supreme
from the round of births and life in eternity is the goal of man.
Till self-realisation is attained, man is subject to the law of karma
O man! Wake up from this slumber of ignorance. Why do you waste your
the pearl of atman. You will be freed from birth and death here and
Remember the goal every moment of this life. Strive incessantly to
realize it by living a life of detachment, dispassion, devotion, deep
In simplicity is the secret of real beauty. Simplify your life. Be
Seek the company of saints and devotees. Control the mind. Control
Why is love so painful?
([source|http://www.barnett.sk/software/osho/askosh63.htm])
Hence, fear arises, and leaving the old, comfortable, safe world, the world of convenience, pain arises. It is the same pain that the child feels when he comes out of the womb of the mother. It is the same pain that the bird feels when he comes out of the egg. It is the same pain that the bird will feel when he will try for the first time to be on the wing.
The fear of the unknown, and the security of the known, the insecurity of the unknown, the unpredictability of the unknown, makes one very much frightened.
And because the transformation is going to be from the self towards a state of no-self, agony is very deep. But you Cannot have ecstasy without going through agony. If the gold wants to be purified, it has to pass through fire.
It is because of the pain of love, millions of people live a loveless life. They too suffer, and their suffering is futile. To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain. To suffer in love is creative; it takes you to higher levels of consciousness. To suffer without love is utterly a waste; it leads you nowhere, it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle.
The reflection that you will find in the other of your own self may be ugly; that is the anxiety. Avoid the mirror. But by avoiding the mirror you are not going to become beautiful. By avoiding the situation you are not going to grow either. The challenge has to be taken.
One has to go into love. That is the first step towards God, and it cannot be bypassed. Those who try to bypass the step of love will never reach God. That is absolutely necessary because you become aware of your totality only when you are provoked by the presence of the other, when your presence is enhanced by the presence of the other, when you are brought out of your narcissistic, closed world under the open sky.
The truth is that there is no person at all in the world; there is only presence. You are not -- not as an ego, separate from the whole. You are part of the whole. The whole penetrates you, the whole breathes in you, pulsates in you, the whole is your life.
Love gives you the first experience of being in tune with something that is not your ego. Love gives you the first lesson that you can fall into harmony with someone who has never been part of your ego. If you can be in harmony with a woman, if you can be in harmony with a friend, with a man, if you can be in harmony with your child or with your mother, why can't you be in harmony with all human beings? And if to be in harmony with a single person gives such joy, what will be the outcome if you are in harmony with all human beings? And if you can be in harmony with all human beings, why can't you be in harmony with animals and birds and trees? Then one step leads to another.
Love is a ladder. It starts with one person, it ends with the totality. Love is the beginning, God is the end. To be afraid of love, to be afraid of the growing pains of love, is to remain enclosed in a dark cell.
Modern man is living in a dark cell; it is narcissistic. Narcissism is the greatest obsession of the modern mind.
If you don't go into love, as many people have decided, then you are stuck with yourself. Then your life is not a pilgrimage, then your life is not a river going to the ocean; your life is a stagnant pool, dirty, and soon there will be nothing but dirt and mud. To keep clean, one needs to keep flowing. A river remains clean because it goes on flowing. Flow is the process of remaining continuously virgin.
That's where modern man finds himself, and because of this, all kinds of neuroses, all kinds of madnesses, have become rampant. Psychological illness has taken epidemic proportions. It is no more that a few individuals are psychologically ill; the reality is the whole earth has become a madhouse. The whole of humanity is suffering from a kind of neurosis.
And that neurosis is coming from your narcissistic stagnancy. Everyone is stuck with one's own illusion of having a separate self; then people go mad. And this madness is meaningless, unproductive, uncreative. Or people start committing suicide. Those suicides are also unproductive, uncreative.
This is no way to live, and the reason, the fundamental reason, is we have forgotten the language of love. We are no more courageous enough to go into that adventure called love.
Hence people are interested in sex, because sex is not risky. It is momentary, you don't get involved. Love is involvement; it is commitment. It is not momentary. Once it takes roots, it can be forever. It can be a lifelong involvement. Love needs intimacy, and only when you are intimate does the other become a mirror. When you meet sexually with a woman or a man, you have not met at all; in fact, you avoided the soul of the other person. You just used the body and escaped, and the other used your body and escaped. You never became intimate enough to reveal each other's original faces.
It is painful, but don't avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow. Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born. Yes, you will have to die as an ego, but if you can die as an ego, you will be born as God, as a Buddha. And love will give you the first tongue-tip-taste of Tao, of Sufism, of Zen. Love will give you the first proof that God is, that life is not meaningless.
Let there be pain, let there be suffering. Go through the dark night, and you will reach to a beautiful sunrise. It is only in the womb of the dark night that the sun evolves. It is only through the dark night that the morning comes.
My whole approach here is that of love. I teach only love and only love and nothing else. You can forget about God; that is just an empty word. You can forget about prayers because they are only rituals imposed by others on you. Love is the natural prayer, not imposed by anybody. You are born with it. Love is the true God -- not the God of theologians, but the God of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the God of the Sufis. Love is a tariqa, a method, to kill you as a separate individual and to help you become the infinite. Disappear as a dewdrop and become the ocean, but you will have to pass through the door of love.
And certainly when one starts disappearing like a dewdrop, and one has lived long as a dewdrop, it hurts, because one has been thinking, "I am this, and now this is going. I am dying. " You are not dying, but only an illusion is dying. You have become identified with the illusion, true, but the illusion is still an illusion. And only when the illusion is gone will you be able to see who you are. And that revelation brings you to the ultimate peak of joy, bliss, celebration.
Osho, The Secret, chapter 2
Mudda Moopan
A tribal chief in southern India believed to be more than 120 years old says he has fathered far too many children to remember all of them.
The Hindustan Times reports Mudda Moopan, the king of the primitive Karumba tribe in Kerala, can only remember the names of 16 of his 23 wives.
Locals believe him to be among the oldest men in the world. Last year a group of students from Kochhi University collected a sample of Moopan's hair to work out his age and discovered that he had passed a century long ago.
The old man says the secret of his longevity and virility lies in a paste made of 10 rare medicinal herbs that he takes three times a day, but he is unwilling to reveal what they are.
He said: "Once an English woman came and stayed with me for days together. She was spying on my treatment methods. One morning she disappeared. I don't trust any of them now."
An unnamed agricultural scientist at the Thrissur Agricultural University said: "He can identify more than 1,000 rare medicinal plants. He is a living legend - a treasure trove."
Wendell Berry
The farmer, poet, novelist, essayist, and teacher, Wendell Berry, is a lover of the land. His appreciation and love for the land is expressed in both his life and works.
Berry was born at New Castle, Kentucky, in 1934. He grew up in this Henry County locale among "the cycle of the tobacco growing, cultivation, and marketing, so the romance of Kentucky's green gold is a living part of him" (Browning 191). In 1956, Berry graduated form the University of Kentucky with a B.A. degree in English and received his M.A. degree there a year later. During the summer of 1956, Berry studied at Indiana University School of Letters. From 1957 to 1959, he taught at Georgetown College. Later, under a creative writing fellowship, he went to the creative writing Center at Stanford University and taught creative writing for a year. While at Stanford, he wrote his first novel, Nathan Coulter.
In 1963, he taught at New York University. When Berry was offered and accepted a teaching position in the English Department at the University of Kentucky, the Berry's came home to Henry County in Kentucky. He lives on a 125 acre farm where his family has lived since the early 1800's. According to Bryan Wooley, "Berry is the fifth generation of his father's family and the sixth of his mother's to farm in Henry County, in the neighborhood of Port Royal" (8). Although his wife, formerly Tanya Amyx, lived in the city all her life, she and her husband raised their two children, Mary Dee and Pryor (Den) Clifford, on the farm. In the article "Wendell Berry, A Kentucky Writer Tries to Strengthen the Ties Between Man and the Land," Wooley discusses Berry's farm life. Berry did not initially intend to live on this farm but intended to use it as a vacation place. Instead the Berry's renovated the house and moved in around July 4, 1965. "It is a real farm, not a writer-professor's country estate. Its chores include milking cows and currying horses, and mucking out stalls and mending fences and mowing hay and all other time-consuming sometimes back-breaking, labor that family agriculture requires" (10).
Most of his farm was previously neglected, but Berry is fascinated with making this abused land productive. Oddly, he does not have a modern toilet; instead he has a clean white privy in the backyard. The wastes deposited there are made into compost. Tractors are not used to plow his fields, either. Berry uses a team of draft horses in replace of "Exhaust-stinking, engine-roaring, gasoline-guzzling tractors" (11). Berry feels he is doing his part by not harming the environment any further.
Another technology he does not convenience himself with is a computer, which Berry explains in his essay "Why I Am Not Going To Buy a Computer?" He writes his works and then his wife revises and types then on a manual typewriter. Berry gives three main reasons for not buying a computer: (1) He would hate to think that his work could not be done without a direct dependence on strip-mined coal. (2) He does not want to replace the close bond between him and his wife with an expensive unnecessary piece of equipment. (3) He does not want to "fool himself" by owning a computer, a tool that itself does not make his writing any better than the writing he does with a pencil. His first reason is in regard with his awareness of the land being striped to produce the electricity to run the computer. For the same reason, he writes in the daytime without electric lighting (179-171). By not participating in the "rape of nature," he shows his concern for the environment.
In Berry's novel, The Memory of Old Jack, this same appreciation for the earth is portrayed through the main character, Jack Beechum. Within this novel, the love for the land can be seen as a means of fulfillment. Although other prominent relationships are evident in Beechum's life, the most important relationship that he has is that with the soil and land.
Beechum remembers going though "a tormented marriage,... a jaded relationship with a hired black hand, and a tender love affair with a young widow... Through it all, Beechum is sustained by his farm, the paramount love and labor of his life" (Borries 26).
Beechum's marriage failed during courtship as Berry explains on page 54 and 55. His wife, Ruth Beechum, expected and wanted more of a business man instead of the farmer he was. The two, even though they were husband and wife, were strangers to each other. "She remained to him an unknown continent" (58). Beechum spent much of his time in the fields with the land, not with his wife. He could not fail with the land nor disappoint it, and it could not hold any expectations for him. So, he had more of a bond with the land than his wife.
Beechum and Will Wells, his Black hired hand, were originally like brothers, working on and caring for the land together. However, they grew weary in their relationship with the roles they fell into. Wells "was a man laboring for no more than his existence," while Beechum had "an increasing resentment of his dependence and a jealous remembering of the days when he had worked alone...when in his solitary work he had been so free" (81). Beechum had a greater need for the land than his hired hand.
Beechum's love for the land can be seen through faithfulness, his death, and his community. He is faithful to the earth, "Promising the return of what has been taken from it" (157). On the other hand, Jack also felt that the land was faithful to him by giving him "exactly what he put into it" (Borries 26). As death is at his door, he sits in a chair in his room, but his last visions are as though he is sitting at the roots of a tree on his farm (Berry 190-192). It is almost like his last request is to be with the wilderness. Moreover, Mat Feltner thought Beechum should have been buried secretly, only known to the ones who loved him best, at the edge of one of his fields so that: "when the last of them who knew its place (Beechum's grave-site) had died, Old Jack's return would be complete. He would be lost to memory there in the field, silently possessed by the earth on which he once established the work of his hands" (Berry 207). Therefore, he grew to love the soil and its natural surroundings greater than all else since his other relationships failed to give him satisfaction.
Another of Berry's works that displays a true love for his homeland is his poem "East Kentucky, 1967" included in his collection entitled Openings. The poem invites two questions concerning the environment. The first six lines challenge the awareness of what industrialization has done to the land. The waste produced by machines in the air and streams are at the expense of the lives all of the earth encompasses. The last six lines challenge the awareness of the future of our children. The next generation holds no hope for the reason they are "helpless." Since the children can only witness what we have shown them in this industrial period, they cannot "vision" and are "blind" to the land when it is beautiful and plentiful.
Wendell Berry expresses in his own life and in his works, a fondness, a love for the land and community. In my opinion and understanding, he wants us to realize our modernization is damaging the earth. It is killing the environment. Berry is not trying to tell us to "Save the World." The difference we make does not have to be large scale but local, individually taking part in preventing further damage. Berry explains in an interview with Bluegrass, "I think that changing yourself by doing the best work you can is of major importance" (27). In other words, if we worry about the part we can do locally, instead of thinking that we cannot do it all, then together we can make a noticeable difference.
- - -. the Memory of Old Jack. Harcourt, Brace, and World: New York, 1974.
Nathan Coulter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960. A book of fiction.
The Broken Ground. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1965. A book of 27 poems.
The Memory of Old Jack. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1965.
A Place on Earth. Boston: Harcourt, Brace, 1967. A book of fiction.
The Rise. Lexington, Kentucky: Grave Press, 1968. A book of nonfiction.
Findings. Iowa City, Iowa: The Prairie Press, 1968. A book of eight poems.
The Long-Legged House. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1972. A book of nonfiction.
The Hidden Wound. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970. A book of nonfiction.
The Country of Marriage. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973. A book of 37 poems.
Farming: A Handbook. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973. A book of 55 poems.
Sayings and Doings. Lexington, Kentucky: Gnoman Press, 1975. A book of 55 entries.
Three Memorial Poems. Berkeley, California: Sand Dollar Press, 1977. A book of 3 poems.
A Part. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1980. A book of 54 poems.
The Gift of Good Land: Further essays Cultural and Agricultural. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981. A book of 22 nonfiction essays.
Recollected Essays, 1965-1980. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981. A book of 10 nonfiction essays.
Standing by Words. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1983. A book of 7 nonfiction essays.
The Collected Poems, 1957-1983. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1985. A book of 203 poems.
The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1986. A book of 6 fiction stories.
Home Economics: Fourteen Essays. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987. A book of 14 nonfiction essays.
Sabbaths: Poems. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987. A book of 45 poems.
Remembering. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1988. A book of fiction.
* source : http://www.tipiglen.dircon.co.uk/wendellberrybooks.htm - "I do have an interest in this book, which is for sale. (If you have bought it, dear reader, I thank you. If you have borrowed it, I honor your frugality. If you have stolen it, may it add to your confusion.) Most of the sale price pays the publisher for paper, ink, and other materials, for editorial advice, copyediting, design, advertising (I hope), and marketing. I get between 10 and 15 percent (depending on sales) for arranging the words on the pages.
* [Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky|http://brtom.org/berry.html]
[Articles] : [Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer], [The joy of sales resistance]
Sudarshan Kriya
[Art of Living] > Sudarshan Kriya (part of [The Art of Living Course])
[Sri Sri Ravi Shankar] : "We need to do a cleansing process within ourselves. In sleep we get rid of fatigue, but the deeper stresses remain in our body. Sudarshan Kriya cleanses the system from the inside. The breath has a great secret to offer."
http://www.artofliving.org/c-kriya.html
[Scientific Aspect of Sudarshan Kriya|http://www.healthlibrary.com/reading/yod/dec/chap3.htm]
Important note : Donot spend too much time trying to understand... Attend [The Art of Living Course] and feel it :-)
Guru
the word "guru" consisting of the aksharas "gu" and "ru" stands for a teacher - one who dispels darkness (ignorance) of the the mind (person). "gu" means darkness and "ru" means the act of removal.
[Kularnava Tantra] : At the root of dhyana is the form of the guru. At the root of puja are the feet of the guru. At the root of mantra is the word of the guru, and at the root of all liberation is the grace of the guru.
[Gurudeva] : The satguru is like the sun. He is just there, radiating this very pure energy like the sun evaporates water.... It is hte seeker who opens himself to the great accumulated power of [darshan] which the guru inherited from his guru and his guru's guru, as well as the natural darshan he unfolded from within himself through his evolution and practices of [sadhana] and [tapas].
[The Tantrik Guru|http://www.shivashakti.com/guru.htm] : ...Because the guru gives mantra to a disciple and because she or he embodies the spirit and life of that mantra in an unbroken lineage to the Rishi who first perceived it, she or he is held in the utmost regard in the tantrik tradition.....This tradition of the "crazy" guru is embedded deep in the lore of the tantriks and the Nathas and has its value in shaking the conditioning of someone who aspires to be a Kaula, the tradition avers. For similar reasons, some elements of the tantrik tradition in India, such as worship in cremation grounds, the consumption of pig flesh and some sexual practices, were intended to rattle orthodox tendencies in tantrik pupils. (For a full exploration of this topic, see Holy Madness by Georg Feuerstein, Arkana 1992)...
Michael Murphy in a 'New Age' interview : We do need teachers, and there is such a thing as true authority - a person who really knows something. But the trouble is what they used to call in psychology "the halo-effect": a person's authority is overextended, and you get people going to, say, Einstein for political opinions - or to a guru on every matter. Independent judgement is a fairly rare quality among human beings. Part of being alive and growing and the whole art of living is to refine that independent judgement - to learn a kind of courage to stand up for one's inner voice and to be able to say when the emperor has no clothes.
[Ram Dass] in [Journey of Awakening] : Some people fear becoming involved with a teacher. They fear the possible impurities in the teacher, fear being exploited, used, or entrapped. In truth, we are only ever entrapped by our own desires and clingings. If you want only liberation, then all teachers will be useful vehicles for you. They cannot hurt you at all. If, on the other hand, you want power, a teacher may come along who talks about liberation but subtly attracts you by your desire for power. If you get caught and become a disciple of such a teacher, you may feel angry when this teacher turns out to be on a power trip, not leading you to enlightenment. But remember: at some level inside yourself, you already knew. Your attraction to this teacher was your desire for power. Your anger is nothing more than your anger toward yourself.
[About Gurus and their Teaching|http://www.theorderoftime.com/spiritual/index.html]
[Chinmaya Answers - The Guru|http://www.chyk.net/onlinemagazine/july2003/chinmaya_guru.htm] : ...The relationship between the teacher and the taught is exactly like the relationship of the gardener and the flowers on the bush. The gardener does not create the flowers from the soil and the manure; the flowers must themselves come from the bush. The gardener can only tend its roots, water it, protect it, see that it has the correct amount of sunlight and shade -- all these externals he can provide. But no mere gardener can guarantee the blossom; it can come only from the bush itself...
[HH Shri Gurudev Mahendranath|http://www.carnatic.com/karmasaya/index.php?Dadaji] ([Dadaji]) : In [The Magick Path of Tantra] ...A disciple asked, "Dadaji, is it better to be reborn as a woman or as a man?" Dadaji answered, "It is better not to be reborn at all."...
Param Poojya (His Holiness) Swami Chetanananda Saraswati - He hails from the Siddha lineage of Avadhoot Nityananda and Paramhansa Muktananda of Vajreshwari - http://www.siddha-loka.org : ...DIVINE LIGHT, the indweller of all beings, illuminates the universe. Realizing this truth through the grace of the Sadguru is the goal of human life. The secret of a successful life lies in meditation on the SELF. [Meditation] occurs spontaneously through Shaktipat [Deeksha]. Only a Siddha Guru is capable of giving Shaktipat Deeksha by HIS divine word, touch, glance and thought...
The Master welcomed the advances of technology, but was keenly aware of its
To his disciples he later said, "The aim of life is the flowering of
persons. Nowadays people seem concerned mostly with the perfectioning of
The University of Hard Knocks
[Books] > The University of Hard Knocks
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The University of Hard Knocks
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
MORE than a million people have sat in audiences in all parts of
the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard
kinds of audiences. Ralph Parlette is kept busy year after year
of many deliveries.
shake the hand of every person who has sat in my audiences. And I
wish I could tell the lecture committees of America how I
appreciate the vast amount of altruistic work they have done in
bringing the audiences of America together. For lecture audiences
The warm reception given "The University of Hard Knocks" by the
public, has encouraged the publishers to put more of Mr. Parlette's
are now in preparation as this, the third edition of "The
University of Hard Knocks" comes from the press.
The University of Hard Knocks
I. THE BOOKS ARE BUMPS--Every bump a lesson--Why the two kinds of
bumps--Description of University--"Sweet are the uses of
II. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDLESS KNOCKS, the bumps that we bump
into--Getting the coffee-pot--Teaching a wilful child--Bumps make
III. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDFUL KNOCKS, the bumps that bump into
ones shake up and the little ones shake down--The barrel of life
people--A glimpse of Gunsaulus
VI. THE PROBLEM OF "PREPAREDNESS"--Preparing children for
children--The story of "Gussie" and "Bill Whackem"--Schools and
Menace of America not swollen fortunes but shrunken souls--
Helping the turkeys killed them--the happiness of work we love--
Amusement drunkards--Lure of the city--Strong men from the
Must save the home towns--A school of struggle--New School
VII. THE SALVATION OF A "SUCKER"--You can't get something for
experience--Theory and practice--Tuning the strings of life
VIII. LOOKING BACKWARD--Memories of the price we pay--My first
school teaching--Loaning the deacon my money--Calling the roll of
my schoolmates--At the grave of the boy I had envied--Why Ben Hur
but stop--Few go on south--The plague of incompetents--Today our
principle, not praise--Doing duty for the joy of it--Becoming the
"Father of Waters"--Go on south forever!
you some of the multiplication table of life--not mine, not yours
lecture go differently before every audience. The kind of an
audience is just as important as the kind of a lecture. A cold
When I was a boy we had a barrel of sorghum in the woodshed. When
the woodshed to get a bucket of sorghum from that barrel.
I have brought a barrel of sorghum to this audience. The name of
the sorghum is "The University of Hard Knocks." I can only pull the
of this audience. You can have all you want of it, but to get it to
it. How much any one gets out of a lecture depends also upon the
size of the bucket he brings to get it in. A big bucket can get
That often explains why one person says a lecture is great, while
the next person says he got nothing out of it.
Here is a great mass of words and sentences and pictures to express
two or three simple little ideas of life, that our education is our
promote mental digestion like more bulk in the way of pictures and
discussions of these truths. Here is bulk as well as nutriment.
I believe in the Angel of Good inside every block of human marble.
I believe it must be carved out in The University of Hard Knocks.
see more of the Angel in you.
The University of Hard Knocks
THE greatest school is the University of Hard Knocks. Its books are
matter with us, so that we do not learn the lesson of the bump we
Some of us learn to go forward with a few bumps, but most of us are
The tuition in the University of Hard Knocks is not free.
Experience is the dearest teacher in the world. Most of us spend
our lives in the A-B-C's of getting started.
There are two kinds of people--wise people and fools. The fools are
The playground is all of God's universe.
The Need of the Bumps
"Sweet are the uses of adversity;
get preachers to preach sermons, and they build houses out of
happy that I am learning the sweet tho painful lessons of the
University of Adversity. I am happy that I am beginning to listen.
preaching and every running brook the unfolding of a book.
But if you will remember some of these things, they will feel like
two kinds of bumps--bumps that we need and bumps that we do not
We discover, in other words, that The University of Hard Knocks has
two colleges--The College of Needless Knocks and The College of
The College of Needless Knocks
There comes a vivid memory of one of my early Needless Knocks as I
That day they had the little joy and sunshine of the family in his
high-chair throne right up beside the dinner table. The coffee-pot
I became enamored with that coffee-pot. I decided I needed that
coffee-pot in my business. I reached over to get the coffee-pot.
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
how I desired that coffee-pot. "One thing thou lackest," a
coffee-pot--
I stopped it. I got the coffee-pot. I know I got the coffee-pot. I
got it. I got about a gallon of the reddest, hottest coffee a bad
applebutter on me--and coal oil and white-of-an-egg and starch and
anything else the neighbors could think of. They would bring it
over and rub it on the little joy and sunshine of the family, who
pleased. She told me not to get the coffee-pot and then let me get
the most kind and effective way to rear one stubborn boy I know of.
The neighbors and the ladies' aid society often said my mother was
kind of an insect mother was trying to raise. Mother did know. She
"side of the house."
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
coffee-pot would spill upon me. I cannot remember when I disobeyed
my mother that a coffee-pot of some kind did not spill upon me, and I
got my blisters. Mother did not inflict them. Mother was not much of an
And thru the bumps we learn that The College of Needless Knocks
runs on the same plan. The Voice of Wisdom says to each of us,
"Child of humanity, do right, walk in the right path. You will be
We get off the right path. We go down forbidden paths. They seem
It wasn't my fault--all my bumps and coffee-pots! I was just
to learn the lesson of the bump and find the right path, so that
The other day I watched a blind man go down the aisle of the car to
get off the train. Did you ever study the walk of a blind man? He
And so with our own lives. Real living is conscious effort to go
line of least resistance, depend upon it you are going downward.
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
getting in the way of the pushers.
brave minority of thinking, self-sacrificing people that decides
the tomorrow of communities that go upward. Majorities are not
Human life is the story of the Prodigal Son. We look over the fence
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
Down the great white way of the world go the million prodigals,
They just must get their coffee-pot!
The last thing Mamma Fly said as Johnny went off to the city was,
several minutes. But when he sees all the smart young flies of his
right, of course, but she isn't up-to-date. We young set of modern
You see Johnny fly back and forth and have the time of his
so soft and soothing!"
First he puts one foot down and pulls it out. That is a lot of fun.
flypaper. It is a fine place to stick around. All his young set of
Most of them stay. They just settle down into the stickiness
The tuition in The College of Needless Knocks is very high indeed!
The world loves to write resolutions of respect. How often we
There is a good deal of suicide charged up to Providence.
The College of Needful Knocks
BUT occasionally all of us get bumps that we do not bump into. They
were bumped. Some of you in this audience are just now wondering
are lessons in The College of Needful Knocks. They point upward to
most of these knocks--who have faced the great crises of life and
have been tried in the crucibles of affliction. For I am learning
The Sorrows of the Piano
see you. You are so shiny, beautiful, valuable and full of music,
Did you get the meaning of that, children? I hope you are green.
The Sufferings of the Red Mud
One day I was up the Missabe road about a hundred miles north of
hole--about a half-mile of hole. There were steam-shovels at work
throwing out of that hole what I thought was red mud.
"Kind sir, why are they throwing that red mud out of that hole?" I
of this same red mud. It had been moved over the Great Lakes and
of which being The College of Needful Knocks for Red Mud.
Then they pulled the plug out of the bottom of the college and held
Some of the pig iron went into another department, a big teakettle,
Some of the sophomore steel went up into another grade where it was
roasted yet again and rolled thin into a junior. Some of that went
If a ton of that red mud had become watch-springs or razor-blades,
the price had gone up into thousands of dollars.
a larger life. The diamond and the chunk of soft coal are exactly the
of Needful Knocks more than has her crude sister of the coal-scuttle.
crucibles of affliction. There is no gold that has not been refined
right down to the foot of the platform. The subject was The
University of Hard Knocks. Presently the cripple's face was shining
said. "I have been in pain most of my life. But I have learned all
well-gowned. She lived in one of the finest homes in the city. She
What would you have said? Just on the spur of the moment--I said,
The cripple girl had traveled ahead of her jealous mother. For
Schools of Sympathy
When I see a long row of cots in a hospital or sanitarium, I want
precious lessons of patience, sympathy, love, faith and courage.
more than tables of logarithms. Only those who have suffered can
sympathize. They are to become a precious part of our population.
are truly new chapters of our education if we are willing to learn
We think this is true of the good things that come to us, but we do
not want to think so of the bad things. Yet we grow more in lean
prosperity do not often travel hand-in-hand. When we become
materially very prosperous, so many of us begin to say, "Is not
Think of what might happen to you today. Your home might burn. We
look out! Some of your friends would say, "I am so sorry for you.
for it is not true. The old enemy of humanity wants you to believe
The truth is, another chapter of your real education has been
opened. Will you read the lesson of the Needful Knocks?
Out of the trenches of the Great War come nations chastened by
sacrifice and purged of their dross.
NOW as we learn the lessons of the Needless and the Needful Knocks,
a picture of it.
track was a grocery with a row of barrels of apples in front. There
was one barrel full of big, red, fat apples. I rushed over and got
a sack of the big, red, fat apples. Later as the train was under
All I could figure out was that there was only one layer of the
have reached to the bottom, for he gave me the worst mess of runts
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
need to do it. It does itself. It is the shaking of the barrel that
in the Black Swamp of Ohio we had corduroy roads. Did you ever see
a corduroy road? It was a layer of logs in the mud. Riding over it
was the poetry of motion! The wagon "hit the high spots." And as I
hauled a wagon-bed full of apples to the cider-mill over a corduroy
of my pocket and the little ones would rattle down to the bottom.
big ones and some little things of about the same density in a box
you cannot change the place of one of the objects.
inside of it you see two sizes of objects--a lot of little white
Equality of position demands quality of size. Let the little one
The Shaking Barrel of Life
O, fellow apples! We are all apples in the barrel of life on the
way to the market place of the future. It is a corduroy road and
In other words, all the people of the world are in the great barrel
of life. That barrel is shaking all the time. Every community is
shaking, every place is shaking. The offices, the shops, the
live or work is shaking. Life is a constant survival of the
barrel of life. It is sending small people down and great people
the eternal law of life.
our train of destiny will run off and leave us, and we will have no
Kings and Queens of Destiny
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
creatures of chance. We have it in our hands to decide our destiny
Each person is doing one of three things consciously or
shops, offices or elsewhere, if you want to hold your place you
of people working for me, I would have a jar in my office filled
with various sizes of objects. When an employee would come into the
office and say, "Isn't it about time I was getting a raise?" I
Luck does not depend upon the direction of the bump, but upon the
size of the bump-ee!
to size. Every business concern can tell you stories like that of
the Chicago house where a number of young ladies worked. Some of
girl from the country. It was her first office experience, and she
"Is not she the limit?" they oft spake one to another. She was. She
rules of the union! Without being told, mind you. She had that rare
Within three months every other girl in that office was asking
questions of the little Dutch girl. She had learned more about
the most capable girl in the office.
The barrel did the rest. Today she is giving orders to all of them,
for she is the office superintendent.
Going out of the building, I asked the foreman, "Do you see that
He is one of the kindest-hearted men we ever had in the works, but
So books could be filled with just such stories of how people have
Some of us begin life on the top branches, right in the sunshine of
Some of us begin down in the shade on the bottom branches, and we
do not even get invited. We often become discouraged as we look at
And afterwhile we are all in the barrel of life, shaken and bumped
about. There the real people do not often ask us, "On what branch
of that tree did you grow?" But they often inquire, "Are you big
appear to have about the same round of duties.
routine of life must every day flash a new attractiveness. We must
smaller. The joy and juice go out of our lives. We shrivel and rattle.
The success, joy and glory of life are in learning, growing, going
competitors. The minister must be getting larger visions of the
I shiver as I see the pages of school advertisements in the
We often think the way to get a great place is just to go after it
many of us expect to get ready in "four easy lessons by mail."
rattling. A testimonial so often becomes a crutch.
Many a man writes a testimonial to get rid of somebody. "Well, I
hope it will do him some good. Anyhow, I have gotten him off my
The Menace of the Press-Notice
Now testimonials and press-notices very often serve useful ends. In
lyceum work, in teaching, in very many lines, they are often useful
to introduce a stranger. A letter of introduction is useful. A
kinds of testimonials.
The danger is that the hero of them may get to leaning upon them.
Then they become a mirror for his vanity instead of a monitor
progress by reading my press-notices instead of listening to the
verdict of my audiences. I avoided frank criticism. It would hurt
Alas! How often I have learned that when I did return the hall that
editors of America--God bless them! They are always trying to boost
a home enterprise--not for the sake of the imported attraction but
for the sake of the home folks who import it.
yourself go by"--when you can keep still and see every fibre of you
rejoice, for the kingdom of success is yours.
succeeded by twice as many more. They fail because instead of
The victims of the artificial uplift cannot stay uplifted. They
rattle back, and "the last estate of that man is worse than the
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
hopeless cripple. No doubt he belonged after a few days of the
as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise
Artful Dodger of Section Sixteen. When the whistle would blow--O,
the section-house, why I was not president of that bank. I wondered
why I was not sitting upon one of those mahogany seats instead of
rich wasn't getting richer and the poor poorer, I'd be president of a
Did you ever hear that line of conversation? It generally comes
I am so glad now that I did not get to be president of the bank.
wanted them! They would have been coffee-pots. Thank goodness, we
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
And this blessed old barrel of life is just waiting and anxious to
greatness is merely an incidental reflection of the inside.
in inches, dollars, acres, votes, hurrahs, or by any other of the
Come, let us grow greater. There is a throne for each of us.
the world is in the business of getting--getting great fortunes,
folderol. Afterwhile the poor old world hears the empty rattle of
I weary of the world's pink-sheet extras about "Getting to the Top"
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
a few scrambling over the heads of the weaker ones. Sometimes they
are the story of one pig crowding the other pigs out of the trough
The Secret of Greatness
top." Those two sons of Zebedee wanted to have the greatest places
"Are ye able to drink of the cup?" Then he gave the only definition
of greatness that can ever stand: "Whosoever will be great among
This is the Big Business of life--going up, getting educated,
is little business. Much of it mighty little.
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
to go off to New York or Chicago or go chasing around the world to
are now upward for an infinite number of steps.
We must take the first step now. Most of us want to take the
spectacular stride of a thousand steps at one leap. That is why we
workshop or our office and take the first step, solve the problem
blessings, we find love, the universal solvent, shining out of our
of earth are born; they rush in from the cold lands to the warm
We find our kitchen or workshop or office becoming a new throne
of power. We find the world around us rising up to call us blessed.
Generally speaking, the smaller our vision of our work, the more we
ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." That great ocean is
have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she
of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."
Tho the rich men had cast in more, yet it was only a part of their
Master cared little what the footings of the money were in the
fear of want.
advancement of the kingdom of happiness on earth shall find it
upon the percentage of our output to our resources. Upon doing with
The world says some of us have golden gifts and some have copper
gifts. But when we cast them all into the treasury of right
to make a roster of the great people of a community. You will find
service of God is the service of man.
The great people of the community serve and sacrifice for a better
They rarely get thanked, for the community does not often think of
thanking them until it comes time to draft the "resolutions of
I had to go to the mouth of a coal-mine in a little Illinois town,
the tickets and had done all the managing. He was superintendent of
the Sunday school. He was the storm-center of every altruistic
strut and pose in the show places. Few of them are "prominent
A Glimpse of Gunsaulus
he founded by his own preaching. He is the mainspring of so many
think that a vacation means going off somewhere and stretching out
history of each place, and before dinner he knew more about the
place than most of the natives.
were doing nothing. In every town he would discover somebody of
once ask the price of land, nor where there was a good investment
doesn't the doctor take care of himself, instead of taking care of
the by-products. His life of service for others makes him
This Chicago man gives his life into the service of humanity, and
things he does. Let him stop and "take care of himself," and his
If he had begun life by "taking care of himself" and "looking out
the backwoods of Morrow county, Ohio.
Gunsaulus often says, "You are planning and saving and telling
The Problem of "Preparedness"
THE problem of "preparedness" is the problem of preparing children
for life. All other kinds of "preparedness" fade into
insignificance before this. The history of nations shows that their
strength was not in the size of their armies and in the vastness
of their population and wealth, but in the strength and ideals
of the individual citizens.
living for our children. We are going to give them the best
Then, forgetful of how they became strong, they plan to take away
generally means getting out of his way. Many an orphan can be
will buy any brand they see--buy the home brand of education, or
else send off to New York or Paris or to "Sears Roebuck," and get
a bucketful or a tankful of education. If they are rich enough,
maybe they will have a private pipeline of education laid to their
until they get them full of education. They are going to get them
acquired in a life of struggle." As well expect the athlete to give
them his physical development he has earned in years of exercise.
acquired in years of practice. As well expect the scholar to give
them the ability to think he has developed in years of study. As
in a long life of prayer.
The Story of "Gussie"
great, dirty mill and a lot of little dirty houses around the mill.
The hands lived in the little dirty houses and worked six days of
There was a little, old man who went about that mill, often saying,
"I hain't got no book l'arnin' like the rest of you." He was the
man who owned the mill. He had made it with his own genius out of
The little old man often said, "I'm going to give that boy the best
export, he sent the boy to one of the greatest universities in the
blindness of his love he robbed his boy of his birthright.
The birthright of every child is the opportunity of becoming
great--of going up--of getting educated.
from Texas goes thru Mr. Armour's institute of packnology in
and receives it. There is a row of professors with their sleeves
rolled up who give him the degrees. So as Mr. T. Steer of Panhandle
eternal cold storage, each professor hits him a dab. He rides along
done and the paint was dry. He was a thing of beauty.
crape hanging on the office door. Men and women stood weeping in
a wreck. The monument of a father's lifetime was wrecked in two
had a new kind of boss. If I were to give the new boss a
of the wrecked mill, they simply had to appoint Hon. William Whackem.
fool of Gussie. They said Bill succeeded so well because he never
went to one of "them highbrow schools." I am sorry to say I thought
But now I see that Bill went up in spite of his handicaps. If he
The book and the college suffer at the hands of their friends. They
Gussie was in the position of a man with a very fine equipment of
acquired these elements of greatness in their lives.
That is why they say, "All my life I have been handicapped by lack of
machine from a few bits of junk. But send him to Westinghouse and
just one series of greater commencements.
school of service and write your education in the only book you
ever can know--the book of your experience.
The Tragedy of Unpreparedness
The story of Gussie and Bill Whackem is being written in every
tragedy of our American civilization today.
fine homes and large bank accounts, so often think they can give
A man heard me telling the story of Gussie and Bill Whackem, and he
went out of my audience very indignant. He said he was very glad
has his head bowed in shame over the career of his spoiled son.
I rarely tell of it on a platform that at the close of the lecture
gibbeted in the pulpits as the shocking example of youthful
a man. He seems to have been robbed of his birthright from the
cradle. Yet the father of this boy who has cost America millions in
court and detention expenses was one of the greatest business
generals of the Keystone state. He could plat great coal empires
and command armies of men, but he seems to have been pitifully
ignorant of the fact that the barrel shakes.
the training of their children. Poverty is a better trainer for the rest.
The menace of America lies not in the swollen fortunes, but in the
how few of our strong men get their start with steam heat?
take care of me, and when they are gone I'll inherit everything
earn for yourself, is robbing you of your birthright.
insect struggling inside the cocoon. It was trying to get out of
struggle. For it was this struggle of breaking its own way out of
lie down to sleep, then another day of the same grind, then a year
of it and years following until our machine is worn out and on the
of the whip. Such a worker is the horse we used to have hitched to
But getting a vision of life, and working to grow upward to it,
to crack and the little turkeys began to stick their heads out of
the shells. Some of the little turkeys came out from the shells all
right, but some of them stuck in the shells.
hand." So I picked the shells off. "Little turkeys, you will never
Did I help them? I killed them, or stunted them. Not one of the turkeys
was "right" that I helped. They were runts. One of them was a regular
The cards are against him. He must succeed in spite of his "advantages."
character, for the joy of having a larger life. I am pleading with
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
instead of by shaking up.
Happiness is the joy of overcoming. It is the delight of an
expanding consciousness. It is the cry of the eagle mounting
upward. It is the proof that we are progressing.
We find happiness in our work, not outside of our work. If we
me into "taking care" of myself. And I got to taking such good care
of myself and watching for symptoms that I became a physical wreck.
almost every day of the year--maybe two or three times some
day is jam full of play and vacation and good times. The year is
one round of joy, and I ought to pay people for the privilege of
speaking and writing to them instead of them paying me!
If I did not like my work, of course, I would be carrying a
I have never known a case of genuine "overwork." I have never known
of anyone killing himself by working. But I have known of
This is one species of selfishness.
Many Kinds of Drunkards
What a sad, empty lot of rattlers! Look over the bills of the movies,
look over the newsstands and see a picture of the popular mind,
of mental frog-pond and moral slum our boys and girls wade thru!
are a hundred amusement drunkards to one victim of strong drink.
crowd that finds itself back near the caboose, and as the train of
The Lure of the City
jam of people, most of them imitations--most of them trying to look
like they get more salary. Poor, hungry, doped butterflies of the
will arise and go to his father's house of wisdom. But there is no
over to contracting another set of muscles.
Go to the bank president's office, go to the railroad magnate's
office, go to the great pulpit, to the college chair--go to any
place of great responsibility in a city and ask the one who fills
He glows as he tells you of some log-cabin home, hillside or
the weaklings of the artificial life, he rises above them like the
eagle soars above a lot of chattering sparrows.
the farms controls the majority. The red blood of redemption flows
these cities would drop off the map.
for lack of leaders.
But so many of the home towns of America are sick. Many are dying.
It is the lure of the city--and the lure-lessness of the country.
people in this institution and only a score of guards to keep them
insane. No two of them can agree upon how to get together and how
to break out. So a few of us can hold them."
thinking ever since that about three-fourths of the small towns of
A lot of struggling churches compete with each other instead of
out of a hundred of them will jostle with the straphangers all
Ninety-nine out of a hundred of them might have had a larger
spend its years raising crops of young people for the cities. That
is the worst kind of soil impoverishment--all going out and nothing
America is to be great, not in the greatness of a few crowded
cities, but in the greatness of innumerable home towns.
A School of Struggle
Dr. Henry Solomon Lehr, founder of the Ohio Northern University at
Ada, Ohio, one of Ohio's greatest educators, used to say with
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
courses elastic to accommodate them. He saw the need of combining
the school of books with the school of struggle. He organized his
for the military department. His school was one surging mass of
of men and women of uniformly greater achievement.
I believe the most useful schools today are schools of struggle
schools offering encouragement and facilities for young people to
academies and colleges, each with its handful of students around a
teacher, as in the old days of the lyceum in Athens, when the
From these schools came the makers and the preservers of the nation.
to sit in the chairs and speak the last word in every department of
O, how the students of the "dark ages" would have rejoiced to see
this day! Many of them never saw a germ!
personal struggle in the cushions of the "frat" house as back on
not be rows of lithographed cans on the shelves of life. I am
hoping they will not be shorn of their individuality, but will have
All this school machinery is only machinery. Back of it must be
spirit of its teachers are its greatest endowment. And sometimes
The Salvation of a "Sucker"
For that sentence utters one of the fundamentals of life that
underlies every field of activity.
string--the little E string. The trouble is so many of these human
them the full complement of strings for their life symphonies.
lot of discord. The violin is to give music.
the violin must go into the great tuning school of life. Here the
vitalized, what you have written in the book of experience.
All of us are Christopher Columbuses, discovering the same new-old
continents of Truth. That is the true happiness of
idea of them. We hear the preacher utter truths and we say with
little feeling, "Yes, that is so." We hear the great truths of life
consciousness. This joy of discovery is the joy of living.
thing. We could read a thousand descriptions of the sun and not
know the sun as in one glimpse of it with our own eyes.
I used to stand in the row of blessed little rascals in the
hands upon hot stoves and coffee-pots, and had to get many kinds of
taking up a collection of sympathy. "Look at my bad luck!" Fool!
drink from a copper kettle. But I have fed him the fingers of this
of oxen and had said the words. But I have!
barrel always shakes all of one size to one place. You notice
that--in a city all of one size get together.
me out of all I had in about five seconds.
I went over to the other side of the fairgrounds and sat down. That
I am putting these cakes of Wonder Soap in my hat. You see I am
hat. Now who will give me five dollars for the privilege of taking
a cake of this wonderful soap from my hat--any cake you want, gentlemen!"
And right on top of the pile was the cake with the ten wrapped
to lock up. You get the pathos of that--the investments nobody
hear of a rubber plantation in Central America? That was mine.
I had in that drawer my "Everglade" farm. Did you ever hear of the
I had also a bale of mining stock. I had stock in gold mines and
my gold and silver mine stock, I often noticed that it was printed
melon! I have heard that all my life and never got a piece of the rind.
was selling it on his reputation. Favorite dodge of the promoter to
dollar and got back a dollar or two of bonds and a dollar or two of
I pitied his lack of vision. Bankers were such "tightwads." They
had no imagination! Nothing interested me that did not offer fifty
savings into the bottom of the sea.
Then I got a confidential letter from a friend of our family I had
was a friend of our family. "You have been selected because you are
"Because of your tremendous influence you have been selected to go
money for Tom, the friend of our family. But I see now I need not
happened in St. Louis. It is none of your business!
dollars to corner the wheat market of the world. That is all I paid
I have always regarded Tom as one of my great school teachers. I
had made up to that time, for I got the most out of it. I do not
floor. I will not grasp it. Come away, it is a coffee-pot!
Today when somebody offers me much more than the legal rate of
interest I know he is no friend of our family.
If he offers me a hundred per cent. I call for the police!
law of compensation is never suspended. You only own what you earn.
have been selected to receive this bunch of blisters because you
The other night in a little town of perhaps a thousand, a banker
took me up into his office after the lecture in which I had related
some of the above experiences. "The audience laughed with you and
pathetic. It was a picture of what is going on in our own little
I wish you could see the thousands of hard-earned dollars that go
out of our community every year into just such wildcat enterprises
as you described. The saddest part of it is that the money nearly
always goes out of the pockets of the people who can least afford
accumulates by sharp practices or by undue profits never owns it.
The owning is in the understanding of values.
I often think if it takes me thirty-four years to begin to learn
one sentence, I see the need of an eternity.
To me that is one of the great arguments for eternal life--how slowly
that life is one infinite succession of commencements and
decorated and the joy of youth is everywhere. There is a row of
geraniums along the front of the stage and a big oleander on the
"We (hands at half-mast and separating) are rowing (business of
propelling aerial boat with two fingers of each hand, head
up over Alps of difficulty and seeing the Italy of promise and
Did you ever hear a young preacher, just captured, just out of a factory?
But I made the mistake I am trying to warn you against. Instead of
of my experience, I went to the books in my father's library. "As
chunk of Shakespeare and nailed it on page five of my sermon. "List
"cry here." This was the spilling-point of the wet climax. I was to
cry on the lefthand side of the page.
I made my mistake. I got a lot of fine gestures. I got an
grandly than ever to a mirror. Every gesture went off the bat
last man out of the church--and I hurried. But they beat me
out--all nine of them. When I went out the door, the old sexton
peal from that part of your audience unrelated to you.
Out of every thousand books published, perhaps nine hundred of them
do not sell enough to pay the cost of printing them. As you study
been lived. Perhaps the books that fail have just as much of truth
vital impulse. They come out of the author's head. The books that
live must come out of his heart. They are his own life. They come
surging and pulsating from the book of his experience.
The best part of our schooling comes not from the books, but from
But the soul of the artist fainted,
and irrigation and gargling of the throat are merely symptoms of
attended to. She sang that afternoon in the tent, "The Last Rose of
the same tent "The Last Rose of Summer." She had never been to
case of Gussie and Bill Whackem.
cannot sing "The Last Rose of Summer" yet, for you do not know very
much about the first rose of summer. And really, I hope you'll
sing that song, for it is the sob of a broken-hearted woman. Learn
Why do singers try to execute songs beyond the horizon of their
The Success of a Song-Writer
The guest of honor at a dinner in a Chicago club was a woman who is
one of the widely known song-writers of this land. As I had the
"How did you get your songs known? How did you know what kind of
resources. I have had years of struggle. I have been sick and
asks for more of them."
"Just a Wearyin' for You," "His Lullaby" and many more of those
simple little songs so full of the pathos and philosophy of life
No. Books of theory and harmony and expression only teach us how to
the life of the song.
the University of Hard Knocks. She here became the song philosopher
popular heart. And while we have a continual inundation of popular
My friends, I am not arguing that you and I must drink the dregs of
around me in the affairs of everyday life, that none of us will
ever know real success in any line of human endeavor until that
success flows from the fullness of our experience just as the songs
came from the life of Carrie Jacobs-Bond.
The world is full of theorists, dreamers, uplifters, reformers, who
or trampling upon their fellow men they dream of helping. Their
the anvil of experience.
Many of the most brilliant theorists have been the greatest
anything you could think of was discussed, and perhaps the page. He
His conversation was largely made up of classical quotations.
But he was one of the most helpless men I have ever seen in
himself. He could quote a page of John Locke, but somehow the page
a misfit on earth. He was liable to put the gravy in his coffee
of the things in his memory. Since I have grown up I always think
of that man as an intellectual cold storage plant.
The greatest book is the textbook of the University of Hard Knocks,
the Book of Human Experience the "sermons in stones" and the "books
Note the sweeping, positive statements of the young person.
Note the cautious, specific statements of the person who has lived
Tuning the Strings of Life
of Human Experience. Each has a different fight to make and a
different burden to carry. Each one of us has more trouble than
I know there are chapters of heroism in the lives of you older
ones. You have cried yourselves to sleep, some of you, and walked
A good many of you were bumped today or yesterday, or maybe years
Maybe some of you are naturally bright!
of you are going to know the keen sorrow of having the one you
You will see all that seems to make life livable lost out of your
These bumps and tragedies and Waterloos draw the strings of the
unworthy go out of our lives and as peace, harmony, happiness, love
Memories of the Price We Pay
That "Last Day of School"
I walked thirteen miles a day, six and a half miles each way, most of
old back-country "last day of school exhibition"? The people that
great baskets of provender and we had a feast. We covered the
school desks with boards, and then covered the boards with piles of
fried chicken, doughnuts and forty kinds of pie.
Then we had a "doings." Everybody did a stunt. We executed a lot of
back of the ears! And into them! So many of them wore collars that
I can see them speaking their "pieces." I can see "The Soldier of
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
mouth, it was a great opening, but nothing came out. It came out of
was "such a good man" and a "pillar of the church." I used to wonder,
"due at corncutting," as a souvenir of my first schoolteaching.
of its own household.
And he has gotten his lecture out of that home town. The heroes and
half the night living it over. Time was when I thought anybody who
could live in that hotel was a superior order of being. But the
time had come when I knew the person who could go on living in any
hotel has a superior order of vitality.
a picture of the school in that town that had been taken twenty-one
I got a truer perspective of life that night. Did you ever sit
alone with a picture of your classmates taken twenty-one years
A class of brilliant and gifted young people went out to take
charge of the world. They were so glad the world had waited so long
on them. They were so willing to take charge of the world. They
not the one you may be thinking of! No, it was Jim Lambert. He had
As commencement day approached, the committee of the class
appointed for that purpose took Jim back of the schoolhouse and
on the stage back of the oleander commencement night.
goddess at the general delivery window and superintendent of the
stamp-licking department of the home postoffice. The boy who was
wife was speaker of the house.
Most of them were doing very well even Jim Lambert. Jim had become
the head of one of the big manufacturing plants of the South, with
a lot of men working for him. The committee that took him out
They hung a picture of Mr. Lambert in the high school at the last
a bit of cheer from the story of Jim?
the barrel, and now as I called the roll on them, most of them that
Out of that fifty-four, one had gone to a pulpit, one had gone to
almost every note on the keyboard of human possibility had been
struck by the one school of fifty-four.
yet most of them seemed already to have decided their destinies.
that the foolish dreams of success faded before the natural
unfolding of talents, which is the real success. I saw better that
work as a man. The boy who went to the bottom of things in school
was going to the bottom of things in manhood. Which had helped him
to go to the top of things!
Jim Lambert had merely followed the call of talents unseen in him
him! Why was it he could always get the better of me? Well, he went
on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one
teacher's model boy. All the mothers of the community used to say
to their own reprobate offspring, "Why can't you be like Harry?
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
believe Mr. Webster defines a model as a small imitation of the
I have said little about the girls of the school. Fact was, at that
way. But I naturally thought of Clarice, our social pet of the
her. Most of the girls who shone with less social luster became the
happy homemakers of the community.
But as I looked into the face of Jim Lambert in the picture, my
heart warmed at the sight of another great success--a sweet-faced
her grace and sweetness thru it all, and the influence of her
a loving father, plenty of money, opportunity and a great career
the town proud of him.
I was the janitor of the schoolhouse. Some of my classmates will
the careers of Frank and the rest of them seemed to begin. They
were going off to college and going to do so many wonderful things.
But the week after commencement I had to go into a printing office,
Many a time as I plugged at the "case" I would think of Frank and wonder
Twenty-one years afterward as I got off the train in the home town,
I had the story of a tragedy--the tragedy of modern unpreparedness.
It was the story of the boy who had every opportunity, but who had
all the struggle taken out of his life. He never followed his
It revived the memory of the story of Ben Hur.
trial at the hands of this world. That is why the great Judge has
he pulls on the oar. Day after day he writhes under the sting of
the lash. Years of the cruel injustice pass. Ben Hur is the
helpless victim of a mocking fate.
office, or wherever we work we seem so often like slaves bound to
the oar and pulling under the sting of the lash of necessity. Life
seems one futureless round of drudgery. We wonder why. We often
stronger forearms. They are bands of steel that swell in the
forearms of Ben Hur. They swing those flying Arabians into the
mistakes in the bookkeeping. As we pull on the oar, so often lashed
interest in the bank account of strength. Sooner or later the time
galleys of life by pulling on the oar.
That is why I thanked God as I stood at the grave of my classmate.
I thanked God for parents who believed in the gospel of struggle,
I am not an example of success.
But I am a very grateful pupil in the first reader class of The
University of Hard Knocks.
THERE is a little silvery sheet of water in Minnesota called Lake Itasca.
"Ole!" you will exclaim, "the lake is leaking. What is the name of
So even the Father of Waters has to begin as a creek. We are at the
It wabbles around thru the woods of Minnesota. It doesn't know
to the place where all of us get sooner or later. The place where
Paul came on the road to Damascus. The place of the "heavenly vision."
get out of the county." That is a fact, but he is not trying to get
out of the county. The Mississippi is only trying to go south.
The Mississippi knows nothing about the Gulf of Mexico. He does not
know that he has to go hundreds of miles south. He is only trying
My friends, here is one of the best pictures I can find in nature
of what it seems to me our lives should be. I hear a great many
Value of a Goal in Life." But the direction is vastly more
we flow. All of us can start! And then go on south!
not at the end of the journey, for there is no end. Success is
It is a divine call--the call of our unfolding talents to be used.
direction he would never have been heard of.
As long as people keep on going south, they keep on living. When
That is why I am making it the slogan of my life--GO ON SOUTH AND
education--and religion. And the only business of life.
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
canned. They think they have gotten to the Gulf of Mexico when they
have not gotten out of the woods of Minnesota. Go on south!
The Plague of Incompetents
But contentment with present achievement is the damnation of the race.
The mass of the human family never go on south far enough to
Nine out of ten stenographers who apply for positions can write a
think that is being a stenographer, when it is merely a symptom of
Nine out of ten workmen cannot be trusted to do what they advertise
efficient. Many a professional man is in the same class.
Half of our life is spent in getting competents to repair the
botchwork of incompetents.
is the opiate that Nature administers to deaden the pains of mediocrity.
Just because our hair gets frosty or begins to rub off in spots, we
A-B-C's. I do not utter that as a bit of sentiment, but as the
great fundamental of our life. I hope the oldest in years sees that
of your gray hair or baldness. If they get on the inside of the head,
to employ gray-headed men? They have found that so many of them
are the most valuable, for they have the vision and wisdom of many
years and the enthusiasm and "pep" and courage of youth.
person in the pulpit, in the schoolroom, in the office, behind the
"Please don't throw it up to me now. I am just as ashamed of it as
the people on the platform who were contented with their offerings,
were not trying to improve them, and were lost in admiration of
From what I can learn of Methuselah, he never grew past copper-toed
The spectacle of Sarah Bernhardt, past seventy, thrilling and
gripping audiences with the fire and brilliancy of youth, is
acting, for she remains the "Divine Sarah" with no crippling of her
work. She looks younger than many women of half her years. "The
ninety-two was working as hard and hopefully as any man of the
the Odd Fellows' Home near Elkins, where he lived. On the porch of
the home was a row of old men inmates. The senator shook hands with
the face of seven thousand failures. Today he brings forth a
even get on the back page of the Egyptian newspapers till he was
If Moses had retired at seventy-nine, we'd never have heard of him.
pitching horseshoes up the alley and talking about "ther winter of
Imagine Moses living today amidst the din of the high school
orations on "The Age of the Young Man" and the Ostler idea that you
are going down hill at fifty. Imagine Moses living on "borrowed
time" when he becomes the leader of the Israelite host.
You are liable to drop off any minute. Here is a pair of slippers.
And keep out of the night air. It is so hard on old folks."
what to do. Watch things happen from now on. Children of
Thursday. They get ready the resolutions of respect--
to General Moses' private office. It is his busy day. They have to
man. You are eighty-five years old and full of honors. We are the
to hold that funeral until I get this work pushed off so I can
irreverence. It is joyful reverence. It is the message to all of
All the multitudes of the Children of Israel died in the Wilderness.
They were afraid to go on south. Only two of them went on south--
Joshua and Caleb. They put the giants out of business.
So another crop of Americans came into the limelight. If we modern
They say nobody loves them. Which is often a fact. Nobody loves the
They say, "Only a few more days of trouble, only a few more
child and I'm not happy now. Them was the best days of my life
the horrors of childhood could not be hired to live it over again.
I wish I could forget many of my childhood memories. I remember the
I often wonder how I ever lived thru my childhood. I would not take
my chances living it thru again. I am not ungrateful to my parents.
nurture and admiration of the Lord. I am not just sure I quoted
Elder Berry always stayed for dinner. He was one of the easiest men
at the last donation. We had one of those stretchable tables,
I would see mother put on the tallest pile of mashed potatoes you
wonder why we never could have a big dinner but what a lot of
The hungriest one of that assemblage would have to go in the next
was only one piece of chicken left. It was the neck. O, Lord, spare
to another piece of the chicken?"
boy?" He would come over to the remains of Brother Parlette's boy.
He would often put his hand in benediction upon my head.
you are seeing the best days of your life right now as a child."
The dear old liar! I was seeing the worst days of my life. If there
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
days. Of course, you can be happy as a child. A boy can be happy
more like mine like a piece of sandpaper. There are chapters of
happiness undreamed of in his philosophy.
A child can be full of happiness and only hold a pint. But
must hold a barrel! Go on south. Of course, I do not mean
living as long as God lives.
And I have to say that to many questions, "I do not know." I often
They have built a great concrete obstacle clear across the path of
you see the struggle of overcoming the obstacle develops light and
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
We develop our light and power. We are rivers of light and power,
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
Thank God! You are blessed of Providence. They do not waste the
obstacles. The presence of the obstacles means that there is a lot
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
The fact that we are not buried is no proof that we are alive. Go
storeboxes. There they are blocking traffic at the postoffice and
the guests stand up. There they are--rows of retired farmers who
They block the wheels of progress and get in the way of the people
trying to go on south. They say of the people trying to do things.
because they "take money outa town." They do not take any of their
last glimpse of the book in the running brook.
is the supreme test of character. That is, Why go on south? Not for
The Mississippi does not resign. He does not tell a tale of woe. He
alchemy of Nature, the Mississippi has taken over all the poison
made it a part of himself. And he is greater and farther south!
Day by day the Father of Waters goes on south, taking them over and
purifying them and making them a part of himself. Nothing can
along such a heart full of the injuries that other people have done
us, that sometimes we are bank to bank full of poison and a menace
we ought to forget. We need schools of memory, but we need schools
of forgettery, even more.
you help the most often are the least grateful in return?
teacher, the editor, the man in office, the business man, the
father and mother--every one who tries to carry on the work of the
valley for praise or blame, for appreciation or lack of it. You do
it to live. You do it to remain a living river and not a stagnant,
for outside thanks instead of inside thanks. They were trying to
streamlet starting southward thru the forests of Minnesota, there
writing the first chapter of this wonderful book in the running brook.
life. Father of Waters, you have fought a good fight. You are
conquering gloriously. You bear upon your bosom the commerce of
you get in the right channel, saw you learn the lessons of your
And may we read it into our own lives. May we get the vision of
getting the lessons of the bumps, the strength from the struggle
and thus making it a part of ourselves, and thus growing greater.
Where shall we stop going south? At the Gulf of Mexico?
And when he comes to the end of his physical banks, he pushes on
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
into the great Gulf of the Beyond, to go on south unfolding thru eternity.
HOW often we say, "I wish I had a million!" Perhaps it is a
O, the problem is not how to get money, but how to get rid of
If the burden were lifted from most of us we would go to wreck.
When you hear the orator speak and you note the ease and power of
his work, do you think of the years of struggle he spent in
preparing? Do you ever think of the times that orator tried to
When you hear the musician and note the ease and grace of the
performance, do you think of the years of struggle and overcoming
necessary to produce that finish and grace? That is the story of
the actor, the author and every other one of attainment.
I have builded?" says the Belshazzar of material prosperity as he
that some of us will have to go to jail to do our best work.
Do you remember that Saul of Tarsus would have never been
remembered had he lived the life of luxury planned for him? He had
rising from the ashes of defeat?
Then, children, when you stand in the row of graduates on
O UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS, we learn to love you more with each
that you are saving us from ourselves. But O, how most of us must
I know no better way to close this lecture than to tell you of a
tho twelve years of my life had dropped out of it, and had been
why I was living. I thought I had nothing more to live for. When a
triangular car that hoists them out of the hungry chasm thirty-five
hundred feet up the side of a granite cliff, to the top of Echo Mountain.
Here they find that Echo Mountain is but a shelf on the side of
Every minute a new thrill, and no two thrills alike. Five miles of
lift. There is a wooden shelf nailed to the side of the perpendicular
rockwall where his life depends upon the honesty of the man who drove
He looks over the edge of the shelf downward, and then turns to the other
side to look at the face of the cliff they are hugging, and discovers
at the summit of Mount Lowe is to get a picture so wonderful it
feet, more than a mile, into the orange belt of Southern California.
It spreads out below in one great mosaic of turquoise and amber
field-glass sweeps one panoramic picture of a hundred miles or more.
forty miles is the blue stretch of the Pacific Ocean, on westward
the faint outlines of Catalina Islands. The ocean seems so close
And Mount Lowe is but a shelf on the side of the higher Sierras.
This is one of the workshops of the infinite!
down upon clouds. I thought of the cloud that had covered me in the
over me, and there were millions of miles of sunshine above me. I
the clouds of trouble today, BUT THE SUN IS SHINING!
clearly the plan of a human life. The rocks, the curves and the
struggles fit into a divine engineering plan to soften the
steepness of the ascent. The bumps are lifts. The things that seem
know it was one of the greatest blessings of my life. It closed one
Late that day I was clambering down the side of Mount Lowe. Down in
lower and lower until his red lips kissed the cheek of the Pacific.
The glory of the sunset filled sea and sky with flames of gold and
fountains of rainbows. Such a sunset from the mountain-side is a
promise of heaven.
The shadows of sunset widened over the valley. Presently all the
up to the summit. The beams of the setting sun were yet gilding
Child of humanity, are you in the storm? Go on upward. Are you in
Some day my night will come. It will spread over all this valley of
shall be in the new day of the mountain-top, forever above the night.
I shall find this mountain-top just another shelf on the side of
the Mountain of Infinite Unfolding. I shall have risen perhaps only
the first mile. I shall have millions of miles yet to rise.
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
The Big Business of Life
This book proves that the real big business is that of getting our
Dr. J. G. Crabbe, President of the State Teachers College,
"The Big Business of Life is a real joy to read. It is big and
where. It is truly `A Book of Rejoicing'."
"In The Big Business of Life we have the practical philosophy
secret of living to the full. And happiness is to be sought
a smile, and beneath each one is a bit of wisdom it would do us
a world of good to learn. It recalls the saying of the wise man
Many who have read The Big Business of Life
University of Hard Knocks," which, they add, is
The Salvation of a Sucker
chapters in "The University of Hard Knocks."
John C. Carroll, President of the Hyde Park State Bank of Chicago,
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
friend. I would rather be author of it than president of the bank."
Employers in every line of business are buying quantities of "It's
William Jennings Bryan says of the booklet "Go On South": "It is
one of the great stories of the day."
Charles Grilk of Davenport, says: "My two children and I read the
Instruct us to send one of these booklets to your friends. It will
End of Project Gutenberg etext of "The University of Hard Knocks"
Secret of Living
[DLSMD] > Secret of Living
brought about by agencies outside yourself. Disease is the result of
the kickings of life. Health alone exists. It is life alone that
makes a man live. Disease is only a sign of health. It is the
reaction of life to the entry of foreign matter into the system.
and that is dis-ease, or no-ease. This means it is the struggle of
life to get rid of foreign matter. This disease ought not to be
suppressed with toxic drugs. Leave nature to get rid of it in her own
The first and foremost aid is fasting. Digestion of food is one of
stomach during disease, the vital power - which is in the process of
cleansing the system of foreign matter - is diverted from its
The only result is a worsening of the condition.
This life-fire is God Himself. Man should wait for the appearance of
this God within and only then offer Him some food. But nowadays
people mistake the cravings of the palate for hunger. Perhaps hunger
Real hunger, as it is in the form of the Lord Himself, is
Robert Blackwill
US AMBASSADOR’S EMOTIONAL SIGN-OFF
Unfortunately, Brahma and Saraswati, because of my own
follow Krishna’s wise words, “Be thou of even mind.”
persistence of Maya, the ever-present veil of
Delhi to Mumbai to see and feel the land and people of
read out by an official with the deepest voice on the
Visiting Humayun’s tomb with US Secretary of the
erected, those living on my continent had built no
source of the Ganga. Like so much of India, alpha and
omega provide conflicting context. The vale of
rest of my life. Someday, I am going to drive from
with a professional local dance group outside on a
offer to join that dance team. I can only conclude
of that evening.
All of Rajasthan entrances me. The noble Rajput
favourite, the medieval walled city of Jaisalmer, land
of the Bhatti princes, born of the moon. Parapets into
wonders of the world. As has been so often the case
courage of the Gujaratis as they recover from the
breathing pure oxygen. I cannot get enough of it.
paintings of people who felt all of the emotions that
especially the elements of abiding love.
weapons of mass destruction. Ancient Christianity in
near Mysore where I first heard of the Columbia
Kalpana; the blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture
exquisite culture of Kolkata; the flowers and forests
of Sikkim and the border at Nathula with no shortness
of breath; the Northeast, Kaziranga and the
experienced any of it.
ever so slightly. The form and function of Indian
wish I owned two dozen of the originals. Or one.
the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech
of speech, the breath of breath, and the eye of the
day in this country. The living symbolic power in this
ancient civilization, the abiding aura, of — the tree.
Of the circle. Of the triangle. Arranged marriages.
The fourteen hundred years of Islam in India. Friday
and therefore of particular meaning and comfort to me.
least when he is in sight of them and it isn’t a
home, and have sent them an email with a job offer.
as the drops strike the parched earth. Like so much of
any of this, the remembrances of the character of the
people of India, which I will take back to America
with me - of countless individuals over these two
anti-terrorist convictions of my President, George W
devastating fact of terrorism against India. Sitting
in my office at Harvard, I began to keep a daily count
of those killed here by terrorists. Three on Monday.
human beings murdered as a systemic instrument of
I left the United States for India in the summer of
Places to go. Things to do. Prayers to offer. All
snuffed out by the killing hand of terror.
murders of innocents. And yet, they go on. But, my
said, “the most sublime purpose of religion is to
challenge from a variety of perspectives for several
these two years to experience, and to profit from,
these profound wellsprings of Indian spirituality.

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