25 January 1957
[Note: In the notebooks, this is dated as if it were a continuation of 24 January 1957. It may be, but it seems somewhat more likely that it was written on the following day and simply mis-dated.]
In a way, church teachings as practiced in various houses of religion, since religion is the melting pot of human spiritual beliefs and indicated, expected practices, is the cell from which emanates the greatest possibilities of improvement and change. Religion is the thought symbol, mirror, and reflection of man’s unseen spiritual and material progress and growth. From religion is radiated the influences and impressions on all the liberal arts and sciences. Religion is a two-faced coin. Upon it, if you look upon it as a solid substance, is concentrated the findings of the factual sciences. There has always been, however, a delayed reaction. First facts, then a slow, sometimes ricocheting attack on religious centers of learning.
Then, at times, almost a forced acceptance of facts by religious teachers; at last a spreading of factual knowledge to the man in the street. Religious teachers, knowing the role they play, have often jealously guarded their role; appearing at times like witch doctors, medicine men, or dragons of the status quo, often vainly playing up their role of disseminators. (To scatter abroad like seed; propagate; diffuse).
Religious teachers as a whole species, having no particular factual genius of their own insofar as new truths, material or otherwise, are concerned too often jealously guard their ineptitude. They, in obtaining new facts, desperately attempt to keep the status quo of all creative knowledge (the last of which they have just repeated as the final truths), which are in danger of being upset by new creative facts. New dangers are constantly causing them to spew about Death and the Devil, Hell and Destruction.
They are often the storybook dragons guarding the status quo, the medicine men, the witch doctors, the magicians of human society. Always on the alert, they take their magic-like stands very seriously, making certain nothing filters into their brew which does not enhance their powers. They give up their secret accumulated news quite reluctantly. If the news seems to be of great consequence, possibly challenging their positions of power, they may even let truth stand bleeding at the door – Galileo, Copernicus – But they never want to disclose the tricks of their trade. They even hide their tricks from themselves. It isn’t until they are forced to, that new facts are, with their approbation, sold openly in the marketplaces and the many, many temples throughout our world.
Religious teachers, with their ears cocked to every human doorway and garbage can, are the great accumulators and disseminators; the Dragon like guardians of the “faith”. Like guardians of the faith they are they see all – they hear all – they are supposed to tell all!
But, the printed and spoken word of the modern communication systems is giving them a hell of a run for their money.
P.S. Eventually life itself will be the great teacher – and that is as it should be.
Never a liar or storyteller be, except in the case of an emergency. The truth is always the best way. Even stories can tell the truth.
It does not have to be crucifixion, it could be a coronation – Each man a king, living in his own spiritual, creative castle – guardian of his own creativity, guardian of his own moral concepts.
He is anyway. All he has to do is recognize it.
There is only one word and that word and that law emanates from the Creative Designer of all things.
When the label “intelligent” is tacked on a person, what is meant is an individual who is curious and interested in some activity or knowledge. How “intelligent” a person is depends on how curious he is, and how well and how deeply he absorbs the gleanings of his curiosity.
Paul Townsend, if he is a widower or a bachelor, could be a good match for Blanche Schwartz. They could kill each other or cure each other but they would have a lot of things in common.
I got kind of a lesson I’m working on called the “theory and application of a full life: – release of potentials of power to,” a scientist might call it.
What may help the “spiritual” 20th century man is to give him an accurate appraisal, not of the queer eccentrics in their midst, but of themselves – what prompts or contains them as individuals trying to function as a “whole” person in a world of things and other people, – mostly other people for the time being. “Things,” have been and are getting the full treatment. The social behavior of the Human Race is almost embryonic, it’s so out of date. Practically – not in quality but in quantity. Come to think of it, what I’m saying is social behavior is out of date in the road signs pertaining to quality. There is plenty of quantity.
Dictionary definition of eccentric: not in the center; peculiar in manner or character, as, and eccentric person; erratic; irregular; not having the same center; a circle or sphere not having the same center as another circle.
Cheer-up write! You show signs of becoming one of the normals but there are plenty of “eccentrics” around you can talk to, not as a psychiatrist but as a writer. Who knows, maybe if you are good enough you can earn some of the good things in life while you’re “writing-talking” to them. It could be built up into a good business.
This is brought on by some more damn dictionary jazz: Synonym for eccentric: adj. irregular, singular, odd, abnormal, peculiar, strange. Antonym: (see regular, ordinary).
Billy said to me this morning, after a discussion about my careless housekeeping, and my absorption in my notebook, “If you were a millionaire you could afford to be eccentric.”
I said, “I don’t know about that.”
Einstein was not a millionaire, still people accepted his eccentricity.
Maybe if the wheel turns right I can hire a maid with my earnings as an eccentric writer writing for other eccentrics. If I make money at my writings, I can have a house cleaned by a maid and continue my writing without being necessarily a millionaire or an Einstein! A successful businesswoman on my own terms; doing what my husband wants me to do; doing what I want to do; doing what my children want me to do; and the story can be a story with a very happy ending.
The stock market can be an extracurricular hobby to my regular hobby of writing.
Now, I better get back to my house work or Billy will begin to think I didn’t hear a single thing he said this morning.
It isn’t that I don’t care what my family thinks, I just have trouble calling all my shots. It’s all a question of individual and collective values. The wheel doesn’t always turn just the way we want it to turn. Therefore, all verdicts or judgments must be preceded by proper appraisal, if we would extol the highest virtues.
Perfection leads us to and leaves us at – “dead center”. It isn’t winning that counts so much – it’s playing the game. Although, most of us don’t believe it.
There is nothing wrong with religion, but there is plenty wrong with how it is taught, by whom, what is taught, and in what manner.