"If you deem all of this utopian, I beg you to reflect on the reasons which render it
utopian" (Bertolt Brecht)
"The feeding gorilla comes in peace" (Bubba Freejohn)
Leisure is neither idleness nor busyness; it is
both productive and refreshing. Josef Pieper's fine
essay, Leisure: The Basis of Culture (Pantheon, 1952; Random House, 1963), which,
appropriately, is out-of-print in our unleisured time, has much of
value to say about leisure, as does the quotation, immediately below, from Walter Ong's
Preface to his book: Interfaces of the word: Studies in the evolution of
consciousness and culture (Cornell University Press, 1977).
I think Ong's statement well
describes some necessary conditions for genuinely human life
(leisure), although I feel these conditions
need to be realized more generally, and not only temporarily for only a few senior professional scholars.
Even as a child, they were what I needed.
[Please see my web page: The piety of communication, for some
thoughts on how we can best handle those misfortunate situations in which circumstances
beyond our control preclude this blessing.]
Some of these studies were worked out during a wonderful
year, 1973-74, when I was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the
Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, California. Here... I learned the term "disambiguate,"...
and labored to disambiguate my own utterances or mutterings under challenge from
various other Fellows... -- all under the benign incitation of the Center's director,
O. Meredith Wilson, who told us, "You have been invited here as Fellows to do your
own work as you please, with the understanding that the only pressure on you is what
comes from within each of you." He did not add, though he might have, that he
had brought together at the Center the forty-four most inner-driven characters he
could find at that moment across the face of the earth. I am grateful to all at the Center
and to those responsible for its existence.... W.J.O. (p. 13)
always bound up with gratitude; if this gratitude is deeply felt
it includes the wish to return goodness received and is thus the basis of generosity.
There is always a close relation between being able to accept and to give, and
both are part of the relation to the good object [prototypically, the nurturing mother]
and therefore counteract loneliness. Furthermore, the feeling of generosity underlies
creativeness, and this applies to the infant's most primitive constructive activities as
well as to the creativeness of the adult. (Melanie Klein,
Envy and gratitude and other works, 1946-1963, 1975, p. 310)|
|The night of 02-03 September 1998, I dreamed I found myself among
some college students, moving into a dorm room, being confused about registration, etc. Somehow
I thought I was again entangled in the, to me, always anxiety-producing details
of "starting school". In fact, however, I was there on a special grant to spend the coming year
studying ethical dimensions of the role of architecture in our society. I
had no reason to be afraid, for I was not being subjected to the student regimen, but
rather had been granted an opportunity to pursue my own interests within the institutional
structure. I should have been happy, and only have felt badly for the "incoming students" around me.
Instead, I was almost in danger of losing my opportunity, since, before coming, my discouragement
about "returning to school" had led me
not to make preparations, and now, having arrived, I was unsure how to
connect with the persons who were welcoming me. --One message of this dream is: When
a person has been mistreated and become accustomed to such mistreatment (e.g., my having
been a student, tested, etc.), even if the person knows the mistreatment is wrong and
has struggled against it, if more appropriate conditions of life
become available, the person may need rehabilitative help to overcome the continuing
effects of what was done to them, in order to become freely able to adapt to and participate in
their new life situation.
to Edmund Husserl's observation on the dependence of the life of the mind upon
safe daily life circumstances; See also: more reflections on this quote from Husserl:
Philosophy and Daily Life.]|
|There are some new members...
of a small tennis club I used to frequent as a Rome-based correspondent more than 20 years ago....
They come and play at 1 o'clock, because, you know, they have to work in the morning.
Yes, I know, morning work, an unfortunate thing....
Globalization has no place for "dolce far niente" -
the pleasurable idleness woven into Italian life.
No wonder, then, that globalization is a contested process, here and in other less
sunlit places with their own particularities of style and work and habit.
(Roger Cohen, "In Face of Change, Italy Cleaves to 'la Dolce Vita'",
International Herald Tribune, NYT on the Web, 15Apr06)
[See also: Quote #63.]|
"DO WHAT YOU WILL" (--The rule of Rabelais' abbey,
Read Rabelais' description of Thélème.
Read the real story about The Tower of Babel.
|| about Katsura villa, Kyoto
(location of hand-washing basin at top of this page).|
Slow down! Go to "slow food" website. Enjoy!
"Shipwreck with Spectator" (Life as a journey...).
|| about the role of philosophy in daily life (and the role of daily life in philosophy!):
The vulnerability of the human spirit.|
|| Jan Szczepanski's ideas concerning Individuality and Society.|
|| Edmund Husserl's lecture: Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity (1935).
Learn why a city can deserve to exist (Louis Kahn).
|| about The Decline of The West: Is the adventure of Univeralizing emancipatory Culture over?|
|| to reflections on my doctoral dissertation process: Toward a place for study....
|| about my introduction to the history of art as a Yale freshman
(Abbot Suger and the cathedral of St. Denis).
|| to one student's unleisured education at Harvard.
|| five kinds of schooled fools (from Sebastian
Brandt's Ship of Fools, 1494).|
|Return to my essay: Against ambivalence.
|| some Contemporary Communication Challenges.|
Discover a big secret about secrets.
|| my page on Freud's Civilization and its Discontents.|
What I believe
|| about the role of myth in your life (and
in culture and society in general).|
|| Garrett Hardin's classic essay: The Tragedy of the Commons.
Return to Dreams and reveries.
Return to essays page.
|Return to Design for a Psychotherapist's Office.
|| to Brad McCormick's childhood page (The Sorrow and the Pity).
Go to website Table of Contents.
Return to Brad McCormick's home page.
Return to site map.
Copyright © 1998-2002 Brad McCormick, Ed.D.
16 April 2006CE (2006-04-16 ISO 8601)
|Each person needs to be a peer member of a world, a family and a community: cosmos,
oikos and polis.|