Durant 1926: The Work of Aristotle

Reference: The Story of Philosophy

This paper presents Chapter II, Section 2 from the book THE STORY OF PHILOSOPHY by WILL DURANT. The contents are from the 1933 reprint of this book by TIME INCORPORATED by arrangement with Simon and Schuster, Inc.

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.

.

II. The Work of Aristotle

It was not hard for the instructor of the king of kings to find pupils even in so hostile a city as Athens. When, in the fifty-third year of his age, Aristotle established his school, the Lyceum, so many students flocked to him that it became necessary to make complicated regulations for the maintenance of order. The students themselves determined the rules, and elected, every ten days, one of their number to supervise the School. But we must not think of it as a place of rigid discipline; rather the picture which comes down to us is of scholars eating their meals in common with the master, and learning from him as he and they strolled up and down the Walk along the athletic field from which the Lyceum took its name.

[The Walk was called Peripatos; hence the later name, Peripatetic School. The athletic field was part of the grounds of the temple of Apollo Lyceus—the protector of the flock against the wolf (Iycos).]

In the fifty-third year of his age, Aristotle established his school to conduct research and teach.

The new School was no mere replica of that which Plato had left behind him. The Academy was devoted above all to mathematics and to speculative and political philosophy; the Lyceum had rather a tendency to biology and the natural sciences. If we may believe Pliny, Alexander instructed his hunters, gamekeepers, gardeners and fishermen to furnish Aristotle with all the zoological and botanical material he might desire; other ancient writers tell us that at one time he had at his disposal a thousand men scattered throughout Greece and Asia, collecting for him specimens of the fauna and flora of every land. With this wealth of material he was enabled to establish the first great zoological garden that the world had seen. We can hardly exaggerate the influence of this collection upon his science and his philosophy. 

The main areas of research were biology and the natural sciences.

Where did Aristotle derive the funds to finance these undertakings? He was himself, by this time, a man of spacious income; and he had married into the fortune of one of the most powerful public men in Greece. Athenaeus (no doubt with some exaggeration) relates that Alexander gave Aristotle, for physical and biological equipment and research, the sum of 800 talents (in modern purchasing power, some $4,000,000). It was at Aristotle’s suggestion, some think, that Alexander sent a costly expedition to explore the sources of the Nile and discover the causes of its periodical overflow. Such works as the digest of 158 political constitutions, drawn up for Aristotle, indicate a considerable corps of aides and secretaries. In short we have here the first example in European history of the large-scale financing of science by public wealth. What knowledge would we not win if modern states were to support research on a proportionately lavish scale!

[The expedition reported that the inundations were due to the melting of the snow on the mountains of Abyssinia.]

We have here the first example in European history of the large-scale financing of science by public wealth.

Yet we should do Aristotle injustice if we were to ignore the almost fatal limitations of equipment which accompanied these unprecedented resources and facilities. He was compelled “to fix time without a watch, to compare degrees of heat without a thermometer, to observe the heavens without a telescope, and the weather without a barometer. … Of all our mathematical, optical and physical instruments he possessed only the rule and compass, together with the most imperfect substitutes for some few others. Chemical analysis, correct measurements and weights, and a thorough application of mathematics to physics, were unknown. The attractive force of matter, the law of gravitation, electrical phenomena, the conditions of chemical combination, pressure of air and its effects, the nature of light, heat, combustion, etc., in short, all the facts on which the physical theories of modern science are based were wholly, or almost wholly, undiscovered.” 

However, a fatal limitations of equipment accompanied these unprecedented resources and facilities. 

See, here, how inventions make history: for lack of a telescope Aristotle’s astronomy is a tissue of childish romance; for lack of a microscope his biology wanders endlessly astray. Indeed, it was in industrial and technical invention that Greece fell farthest below the general standard of its unparalleled achievements. The Greek disdain of manual work kept everybody but the listless slave from direct acquaintance with the processes of production, from that stimulating contact with machinery which reveals defects and prefigures possibilities; technical invention was possible only to those who had no interest in it, and could not derive from it any material reward. Perhaps the very cheapness of the slaves made invention lag; muscle was still less costly than machines. And so, while Greek commerce conquered the Mediterranean Sea, and Greek philosophy conquered the Mediterranean mind, Greek science straggled, and Greek industry remained almost where Aegean industry had been when the invading Greeks had come down upon it, at Cnossus, at Tiryns and Mycene, a thousand years before. No doubt we have here the reason why Aristotle so seldom appeals to experiment; the mechanisms of experiment had not yet been made; and the best he could do was to achieve an almost universal and continuous observation. Nevertheless the vast body of data gathered by him and his assistants became the groundwork of the progress of science, the text-book of knowledge for two thousand years; one of the wonders of the work of man. 

Greek science straggled because the Greek disdain of manual work kept everybody from stimulating contact with machinery and from direct acquaintance with the processes of production.

Aristotle’s writings ran into the hundreds. Some ancient authors credit him with four hundred volumes, others with a thousand. What remains is but a part, and yet it is a library in itself—conceive the scope and grandeur of the whole. There are, first, the Logical works: “Categories,” “Topics,” “Prior” and “Posterior Analytics,” “Propositions,” and “Sophistical Refutation”; these works were collected and edited by the later Peripatetics under the general title of Aristotle’s “Organon,”—that is, the organ or instrument of correct thinking. Secondly, there are the Scientific works: “Physics,” “On the Heavens,” “Growth and Decay,” “Meteorology,” “Natural History,” “On the Soul,” “The Parts of Animals,” “The Movements of Animals,” and “The Generation of Animals.” There are, thirdly, the Esthetic works: “Rhetoric” and “Poetics.” And fourthly come the more strictly Philosophical works: “Ethics,” “Politics,” and “Metaphysics.”

Aristotle wrote voluminously on Logics, Science, Esthetics and Philosophy.

Here, evidently, is the Encyclopedia Britannica of Greece: every problem under the sun and about it finds a place; no wonder there are more errors and absurdities in Aristotle than in any other philosopher who ever wrote. Here is such a synthesis of knowledge and theory as no man would ever achieve again till Spencer’s day, and even then not half so magnificently; here, better than Alexander’s fitful and brutal victory, was a conquest of the world. If philosophy is the quest of unity Aristotle deserves the high name that twenty centuries gave him—IlIe Philosophus: The Philosopher. 

It was essentially the compilation of an Encyclopedia.

Naturally, in a mind of such scientific turn, poesy was lacking. We must not expect of Aristotle such literary brilliance as floods the pages of the dramatist-philosopher Plato. Instead of giving us great literature, in which philosophy is embodied (and obscured) in myth and imagery, Aristotle gives us science, technical, abstract, concentrated; if we go to him for entertainment we shall sue for the return of our money. Instead of giving terms to literature, as Plato did, he built the terminology of science and philosophy; we can hardly speak of any science today without employing terms which he invented; they lie like fossils in the strata of our speech: faculty, mean, maxim, (meaning, in Aristotle, the major premiss of a syllogism), category, energy, actuality, motive, end, principle, form—these indispensable coins of philosophic thought were minted in his mind. And perhaps this passage from delightful dialogue to precise scientific treatise was a necessary step in the development of philosophy; and science, which is the basis and backbone of philosophy, could not grow until it had evolved its own strict methods of procedure and expression. Aristotle, too, wrote literary dialogues, as highly reputed in their day as Plato’s; but they are lost, just as the scientific treatises of Plato have perished. Probably time has preserved of each man the better part. 

Instead of great literature, Aristotle gave us technical, abstract, concentrated science.

Finally, it is possible that the writings attributed to Aristotle were not his, but were largely the compilations of students and followers who had embalmed the unadorned substance of his lectures in their notes. It does not appear that Aristotle published in his life-time any technical writings except those on logic and rhetoric; and the present form of the logical treatises is due to later editing. In the case of the Metaphysics and the Politics the notes left by Aristotle seem to have been put together by his executors without revision or alteration. Even the unity of style which marks Aristotle’s writings, and offers an argument to those who defend his direct authorship, may be, after all, merely a unity given them through common editing by the Peripatetic School. About this matter there rages a sort of Homeric question, of almost epic scope, into which the busy reader will not care to go, and on which a modest student will not undertake to judge. We may at all events be sure that Aristotle is the spiritual author of all these books that bear his name: that the hand may be in some cases another’s hand, but that the head and the heart are his.

[The reader who wishes to go to the philosopher himself will find the Meteorology an interesting example of Aristotle’s scientific work; he will derive much practical instruction from the Rhetoric; and he will find Aristotle at his best in books i-ii of the Ethics, and books i-iv of the Politics. The best translation of the Ethics is Welldon’s; of the Politics, Jowett’s. Sir Alexander Grant’s Aristotle is a simple book; Zeller’s Aristotle (vols. iii-iv in his Greek Philosophy), is scholarly but dry; Gomperz’s Greek Thinker. (voL iv). Is masterly but difficult.]

Aristotle is the spiritual author of all these books that bear his name. The hand may be in some cases another’s hand, but that the head and the heart are his.

.

DIANETICS: The Clear

Reference: Hubbard 1950: Dianetics TMSMH

These are some comments on the chapter “The Clear” from  DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH.

.

Comments on
The Clear

Clear is the goal of Dianetics Therapy. A Clear is a person who is cleared of all anomalies from his body-mind system. Hubbard wrote earlier about the Clear as The Basic Individual

An anomaly is anything disharmonious, discontinuous or inconsistent. All aberrations, such as, psychoses, neuroses, compulsions and repressions, are anomalies. Dianetics focuses on clearing up aberration, such as, the psychosomatics ills. The process of clearing also restores one’s perceptions when the organs of perception are physically intact.

The process of clearing can resolve all anomalies on a gradient.

The dianetic reverie used in clearing is similar to hypnotism. Hubbard takes pains to differentiate the two from each other. Hypnotism or hypnosis has been used for centuries to treat diverse ills, but it went into relative decline with the rise of modern medicine. In the last 200 years it’s been more associated with stage magicians and movie villains than medicine. Just how it works is not clear, and some critics suggest it’s simply a way of relaxing. But practitioners say there’s more to it, and that under hypnosis the patient can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions. See Hypnotherapy Terms and Definitions.

The dianetic reverie is a mild form of hypnotism in which the individual retains enough analytical awareness.

Apparently the process of hypnotism bypasses the “mental filters” to access the intuitive capabilities of the brain. This attenuates one’s analytical capabilities, but not to the degree the person loses control, or does things against his will. A portion of the mind simply returns to a past period of life and re-experiences it. It is an inherent ability of the mind. A person can do it all by oneself. The re-experiencing of the past includes all perceptions. The attention may get absorbed to varying degrees. Due to aberrations this ability to return gets curtailed, and the “memory” reduces to vague impressions.

A person can apply dianetic reverie to oneself to access impression that lie below consciousness.

The anomalies generate fixations that aberrate a person’s thinking and behavior. As these anomalies are resolved the logic circuits clear up. In Dianetics, Hubbard identifies “held down sevens” to be the cause of all aberrations. The mind, otherwise, is inherently incapable of error. We may further explain these “held down sevens” as fixations caused by disharmonies, discontinuities and inconsistencies. A person may either be unaware of these anomalies or he could have accepted them as normal.

Not only somatics but fixations may also be used to enter the search for the impressions that lie below consciousness.

.

The Cleared Individual

When we take the postulates from Buddhism into account we find that Scientology lacks compassion because it is “fixated on the survival of individuality”. We may define a cleared individual as follows:

A cleared individual is not absolutely free of flaws, but he is very close to being completely rational. He has a mind in which perceptions continually break down into fine discriminative elements, and get freely associated and assimilated into an orderly mental matrix providing rational solutions.

The cleared individual does not avoid, resist, suppress or deny any thoughts, emotions, and sensations when thinking; and so he perceives things objectively with clarity. He is able to examine and overcome all prejudices, biases and fixations. He is keenly perceptive and knowledgeable and continues to explore new areas of knowledge.

The cleared individual is universal in his outlook. He rises above any idea of self or individuality. He is not subjective, self-centric, or human-centric. There are no conflicts within him. He would not hesitate to sacrifice himself if need be.

The cleared individual can look from the viewpoint of others as well as objectively from the viewpoint of all life and the environment. He continues to expand his understanding of the physical and spiritual aspects of the universe without resorting to superstitions.

The cleared individual is the first to realize his error and correct himself. Whenever he senses resistance or observes some oddity, he follows it up until it is cleared. If he suffers a painful experience, heavy loss, or confusion he is able to sort it out quietly in his mind.

The cleared individual is in good health and has no psychosomatic illnesses. He is purposeful in his demeanor, and graceful in his movements. He is strong and calm even in adversity. In no way is he trying to win or dominate, but he is passionately engaged in bringing order to his environment.

Above all, he is compassionate.

.

DIANETICS AXIOMS 11 to 20

I am presenting here the axioms of Dianetics, and how they appear when made consistent with Buddhism.

DN AXIOM 11: A life organism is composed of matter and energy in space and time, animated by THETA.
SYMBOL: Living organism or organisms will hereafter be represented by the Greek letter LAMBDA.

Life begins in the form of DNA molecules. A DNA molecule constitutes of energy and matter. It has enough electrons to turn it into a molecular computer energized by inherent impulse. Its static viewpoint of THETA helps it evolve. It is programmed by the environment in which it must evolve.

DN AXIOM 11 (proposed): A life organism is highly complex, self-motivated structure of energy and matter.

.

DN AXIOM 12: The MEST part of the organism follows the laws of the physical sciences. All LAMBDA is concerned with motion.

The inherent programming of the life organism constitutes its emotion that directs its motion. Thus a life organism is a very sophisticated system of emotion and motion. It follows the metaphysical and physical laws that apply to its configuration. The metaphysical laws are those used in computing, and the physical laws are those used by physical sciences. These laws are well integrated with each other.

DN AXIOM 12 (proposed): The structure of a living organism is completely integrated with its inherent impulse.

.

DN AXIOM 13: THETA operating through LAMBDA converts the forces of the physical universe into forces to conquer the physical universe.

DN AXIOM 13 (proposed): The living organisms have accelerated the evolution of the universe.

.

DN AXIOM 14: THETA working upon physical universe motion must maintain a harmonious rate of motion.
The limits of LAMBDA are narrow, both as to thermal and mechanical motion.

DN AXIOM 14 (proposed): The life organism must evolve harmoniously while maintaining continuity and consistency.

.

DN AXIOM 15: LAMBDA is the intermediate step in the conquest of the physical universe.

DN AXIOM 15 (proposed): Life organisms are merely a step in the eventual evolution of the universe.

.

DN AXIOM 16: The basic food of any organism consists of light and chemicals.
Organisms can exist only as higher levels of complexities because lower levels of converters exist.
THETA evolves organisms from lower to higher forms and supports them by the existence of lower converter forms.

DN AXIOM 16 (proposed): Life organisms form a food chain to sustain higher level organisms. The lowest level organism evolves from light.

.

DN AXIOM 17: THETA, via LAMBDA, effects an evolution of MEST.
In this we have the waste products of organisms on the one hand as those very complex chemicals which bacteria make and, on the other hand, we have the physical face of the Earth being changed by animals and men, such changes as grass holding mountains from eroding or roots causing boulders to break, buildings being built and rivers being dammed. There is obviously an evolution in MEST in progress under the incursion of THETA.

DN AXIOM 17 (proposed): Life organisms bring about an evolution of the physical environment on a large scale.

.

DN AXIOM 18: LAMBDA, even within a species, varies in its endowment of THETA.

THETA is simply the static viewpoint. The variable is an organism’s capacity to evolve.

DN AXIOM 18 (proposed): Life organisms, even within a species, vary in their capacity to evolve.

.

DN AXIOM 19: The effort of LAMBDA is toward survival. The goal of LAMBDA is survival. The penalty of failure to advance toward that goal is to succumb.

DEFINITION: Persistence is the ability to exert continuance of effort toward survival goals.

This is a universe of change. A form appears, survives for some time, and then disappears. No form survives forever. Therefore, the natural goal in this universe is evolution. As forms evolve they survive better.

DN AXIOM 19 (proposed): Continued survival of life organisms depends upon their ability to evolve; the penalty of failure is extinction.

.

DN AXIOM 20: LAMBDA creates, conserves, maintains, requires, destroys, changes, occupies, groups and disperses mest.
LAMBDA survives by animating and mobilizing or destroying matter and energy in space and time.

DN AXIOM 20 (proposed): Life organisms evolve by themselves also as they evolve their environment.

.

Summary

11. A life organism is highly complex, self-motivated structure of energy and matter.

12. The structure of a living organism is completely integrated with its inherent impulse.

13. The living organisms have accelerated the evolution of the universe.

14. The life organism must evolve harmoniously while maintaining continuity and consistency.

15. Life organisms are merely a step in the eventual evolution of the universe.

16. Life organisms form a food chain to sustain higher level organisms. The lowest level organism evolves from light.

17. Life organisms bring about an evolution of the physical environment on a large scale.

18. Life organisms, even within a species, vary in their capacity to evolve.

19. Continued survival of life organisms depends upon their ability to evolve; the penalty of failure is extinction.

20. Life organisms evolve by themselves also as they evolve their environment.

Fundamentally, the universe is a continuous, harmonious and consistent subtle energy with innate impulse. This energy is so subtle that it appears as “empty space”. This energy evolves as its impulse (frequency) condenses. This produces the electromagnetic spectrum, and eventually, matter with many different properties. Matter combines to produce complex forms that eventually become self-animated. This life organism continues to grow more complex and eventually becomes the engine for the evolution of the universe.

.

The World of Atom (Part XIV)

Reference: A Logical Approach to Theoretical Physics

THE WORLD OF ATOM by Boorse

PART XIV – NEWER DEVELOPMENTS IN ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR THEORY

.

Chapter 81: Mesons – Cecil Frank Powell (1905 – 1991)

Mesons. In 1947 Powell and Occhialini discovered pion tracks on special photographic plates exposed to cosmic rays. Powell received the Nobel Prize in 1950 for developing special photographic techniques for the study of cosmic rays and applying the techniques to the analysis of mesons found in such rays. This discovery confirmed Yukawa’s theory about the nature of nuclear force.

Chapter 82: The Antiproton – Emilio Segrè (1905 – 1989) and Owen Chamberlain (1920 – 2006)

Antiprotons. In 1955 Segrè and Chamberlain discovered the antiproton for which they received the Nobel prize in 1959. The antiproton was predicted by Dirac’s theory, but to produce it required vastly more energy, over a six-billion-volt proton as a bombarding particle. Collisions at this energy produced some 40,000 other particles. The recognition of antiproton required precise alignment of detectors and counters along with the demonstration that these particles annihilate protons and neutrons. The existence of the antinucleon greatly strengthens the belief of physicists that antimatter exists as the normal state of things in a different part of our universe.

Chapter 83: Nuclear Magnetic Moment – Isidor I. Rabi (1898 – 1988)

Quantization in a Gyrating Magnetic Field. I. I. Rabi developed the most precise and elegant method for measuring the size of the magnetic moment of a nucleus that was needed to construct a nuclear model. His starting point was the Stern and Gerlach experiment to which he added a longer path and auxiliary fields that could rotate and oscillate at adjustable frequencies. This finally led to the molecular beam resonance method that could precisely determine the magnetic moments of nuclei. His experiments won him a Nobel prize in physics in 1944.

Chapter 84: Hydrogen and the Elementary Particles – Willis E. Lamb, Jr. (1913 – 2008)

Fine Structure of the Hydrogen Atom. In 1947, Lamb designed a very ingenious and beautiful experiment, based on microwave techniques, to analyze the fine structure of the hydrogen lines for n = 2. The experiment showed that there is a 1000 megacycle-per-second separation between the 2S½ and 2P½ levels, in disagreement with the prediction of Dirac’s theory. This remarkable experiment led to the mass renormalization theories of Bethe, Schwinger, Feynman and Tomonaga, and indicated how the Dirac theory must be corrected to conform to the observed results. Lamb won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1955 “for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum.” 

Chapter 85: Magnetic Moment of the Electron – Polykarp Kusch (1911 – 1993)

Magnetic Moment of the Electron. Another discrepancy from Dirac’s theory detected experimentally was the value of the magnetic moment of the electron. It became clear that the intrinsic magnetic moment of the electron must differ from 1 Bohr magneton by about 1%. This suggested the need of a very precise determination for g-factor associated with spin of the electron. This was undertaken by Kusch. The agreement was about 1 part in a billion. This result is extremely important since it demonstrates the high degree of accuracy of the improved quantum electrodynamics in analyzing the interaction of an electron and an electromagnetic field.

Chapter 86: High Energy Physics – Hans Bethe (1906 – 2005), Julian Schwinger (1918 – 1994) and Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988)

The Electromagnetic Shift of Energy Levels. An error in the Dirac theory arises because it regards the electron as a point without a surrounding radiation field. There is therefore no limit as to how energetic the photons may be with which the electron could interact. This is equivalent to saying that the interaction of the electron with the radiation field surrounding it leads to an infinite correction to its mass. Bethe was the first to obtain a fairly accurate value by an approximate non-relativistic method. Schwinger and Feynman then independently came up with a precise relativistic procedure for mass and charge renormalization.

Chapter 87: The Nuclear Shell – Johannes D. Jensen (1907 – 1973)

The History of the theory of Structure of The Atomic Nucleus. There is a nuclear shell structure similar to the electronic shell structure. For electronic shells the numbers of electrons that completely fill the shells are: 2, 8, 18, 32, etc. For nucleon shells such numbers for neutrons or protons are: 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, 126, and so on. When these nucleon shells are completely filled, we get an extremely stable and abundant nucleus. It was for shell structure theory of the nucleus that Jensen shared the 1963 Nobel Prize.

Chapter 88: Radiocarbon Dating – Willard F. Libby (1908 – 1980)

Radiocarbon Dating. Libby discovered C14, with a half-life of 5,568 years, as the radioactive substance that could be used to date substances in the organic world. The method depends on the fact that all samples of atmospheric carbon dioxide are radioactive and consequently all plants, animals and humans are radioactive in a balanced way. When death occurs the balance immediately ceases, and the radiocarbon atoms become fewer and fewer as time goes on.  Libby was honored by the Nobel Prize in chemistry for 1960 for his development of the C14 dating techniques.

.

Durant 1926: The Historical Background (Aristotle)

Reference: The Story of Philosophy

This paper presents Chapter II, Section 1 from the book THE STORY OF PHILOSOPHY by WILL DURANT. The contents are from the 1933 reprint of this book by TIME INCORPORATED by arrangement with Simon and Schuster, Inc.

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.

.

I. The Historical Background 

Aristotle was born at Stagira, a Macedonian city some two hundred miles to the north of Athens, in the year 384 B. C. His father was friend and physician to Amyntas, King of Macedon and grandfather of Alexander. Aristotle himself seems to have become a member of the great medical fraternity of Asclepiads. He was brought up in the odor of medicine as many later philosophers were brought up in the odor of sanctity; he had every opportunity and encouragement to develop a scientific bent of mind; he was prepared from the beginning to become the founder of science. 

We have a choice of stories for his youth. One narrative represents him as squandering his patrimony in riotous living, joining the army to avoid starvation, returning to Stagira to practice medicine, and going to Athens at the age of thirty to study philosophy under Plato. A more dignified story takes him to Athens at the age of eighteen, and puts him at once under the tutelage of the great Master; but even in this likelier account there is sufficient echo of a reckless and irregular youth, living rapidly. The scandalized reader may console himself by observing that in either story our philosopher anchors at last in the quiet groves of the Academy. 

Aristotle was a riotous youth who anchored at last in the quiet groves of the Academy.

Under Plato he studied eight—or twenty—years; and indeed the pervasive Platonism of Aristotle’s speculations—even of those most anti-Platonic—suggests the longer period. One would like to imagine these as very happy years: a brilliant pupil guided by an incomparable teacher, walking like Greek lovers in the gardens of philosophy. But they were both geniuses; and it is notorious that geniuses accord with one another as harmoniously as dynamite with fire. Almost half a century separated them; it was difficult for understanding to bridge the gap of years and cancel the incompatibility of souls. Plato recognized the greatness of this strange new pupil from the supposedly barbarian north, and spoke of him once as the Nous of the Academy,—as if to say, Intelligence personified. Aristotle had spent money lavishly in the collection of books (that is, in those printless days, manuscripts); he was the first, after Euripides, to gather together a library; and the foundation of the principles of library classification was among his many contributions to scholarship. Therefore Plato spoke of Aristotle’s home as “the house of the reader,” and seems to have meant the sincerest compliment; but some ancient gossip will have it that the Master intended a sly but vigorous dig at a certain book-wormishness in Aristotle. A more authentic quarrel seems to have arisen towards the end of Plato’s life: Our ambitious youth apparently developed an “Oedipus complex” against his spiritual father for the favors and affections of philosophy, and began to hint that wisdom would not die with Plato; while the old sage spoke of his pupil as a foal that kicks his mother after draining her dry. The learned Zeller, in whose pages Aristotle almost achieves the Nirvana of respectability, would have us reject these stories; but we may presume that where there is still so much smoke there was once a flame. 

Aristotle, however, maintained his mental independence even at the Academy.

The other incidents of this Athenian period are still more problematical. Some biographers tell us that Aristotle founded a school of oratory to rival Isocrates; and that he had among his pupils in this school the wealthy Hermias, who was soon to become autocrat of the city-state of Atarneus. After reaching this elevation Hermias invited Aristotle to his court; and in the year 344 B. C. he rewarded his teacher for past favors by bestowing upon him a sister (or a niece) in marriage. One might suspect this as a Greek gift; but the historians hasten to assure us that Aristotle, despite his genius, lived happily enough with his wife, and spoke of her most affectionately in his will. It was just a year later that Philip, King of Macedon, called Aristotle to the court at Pella to undertake the education of Alexander. It bespeaks the rising repute of our philosopher that the greatest monarch of the time, looking about for the greatest teacher, should single out Aristotle to be the tutor of the future master of the world. 

Aristotle tutored Alexander, the future master of the world.

Philip was determined that his son should have every educational advantage, for he had made for him illimitable designs. His conquest of Thrace in 356 B. C. had given him command of gold mines which at once began to yield him precious metal to ten times the amount then coming to Athens from the failing silver of Laurium; his people were vigorous peasants and warriors, as yet unspoiled by city luxury and vice: here was the combination that would make possible the subjugation of a hundred petty city-states and the political unification of Greece. Philip had no sympathy with the individualism that had fostered the art and intellect of Greece but had at the same time disintegrated her social order; in all these little capitals he saw not the exhilarating culture and the unsurpassable art, but the commercial corruption and the political chaos; he saw insatiable merchants and bankers absorbing the vital resources of the nation, incompetent politicians and clever orators misleading a busy populace into disastrous plots and wars, factions cleaving classes and classes congealing into castes: this, said Philip, was not a nation but only a welter of individuals—geniuses and slaves; he would bring the hand of order down upon this turmoil, and make all Greece stand up united and strong as the political center and basis of the world. In his youth in Thebes he had learned the arts of military strategy and civil organization under the noble Epaminondas; and now, with courage as boundless as his ambition, he bettered the instruction. In 338 B. C. he defeated the Athenians at Chaeronea, and saw at last a Greece united, though with chains. And then, as he stood upon this victory, and planned how he and his son should master and unify the world, he fell under an assassin’s hand. 

Of course, Alexander’s father, Philip of Macedon, had his own philosophy as a ruler.

Alexander, when Aristotle came, was a wild youth of thirteen; passionate, epileptic, almost alcoholic; it was his pastime to tame horses untamable by men. The efforts of the philosopher to cool the fires of this budding volcano were not of much avail; Alexander had better success with Bucephalus than Aristotle with Alexander. “For a while,” says Plutarch, “Alexander loved and cherished Aristotle no less than as if he had been his own father; saying that though he had received life from the one, the other had taught him the art of living.” (“Life,” says a fine Greek adage, “is the gift of nature; but beautiful living is the gift of wisdom.”) “For my part,” said Alexander in a letter to Aristotle, “I had rather excel in the knowledge of what is good than in the extent of my power and dominion.” But this was probably no more than a royal-youthful compliment; beneath the enthusiastic tyro of philosophy was the fiery son of a barbarian princess and an untamed king; the restraints of reason were too delicate to hold these ancestral passions in leash; and Alexander left philosophy after two years to mount the throne and ride the world. History leaves us free to believe (though we should suspect these pleasant thoughts) that Alexander’s unifying passion derived some of its force and grandeur from his teacher, the most synthetic thinker in the history of thought; and that the conquest of order in the political realm by the pupil, and in the philosophic realm by the master, were but diverse sides of one noble and epic project—two magnificent Macedonians unifying two chaotic worlds. 

Alexander’s wild nature and ancestral passions were barely influenced by the philosophy of Aristotle.

Setting out to conquer Asia, Alexander left behind him, in the cities of Greece, governments favorable to him but populations resolutely hostile. The long tradition of a free and once imperial Athens made subjection—even to a brilliant world-conquering despot—intolerable; and the bitter eloquence of Demosthenes kept the Assembly always on the edge of revolt against the “Macedonian party” that held the reins of city power. Now when Aristotle, after another period of travel, returned to Athens in the year 334 B. C., he very naturally associated with this Macedonian group, and took no pains to conceal his approval of Alexander’s unifying rule. As we study the remarkable succession of works, in speculation and research, which Aristotle proceeded to unfold in the last twelve years of his life; and as we watch him in his multifold tasks of organizing his school, and of coordinating such a wealth of knowledge as probably never before had passed through the mind of one man; let us occasionally remember that this was no quiet and secure pursuit of truth; that at any minute the political sky might change, and precipitate a storm in this peaceful philosophic life. Only with this situation in mind shall we understand Aristotle’s political philosophy, and his tragic end. 

Aristotle approved of Alexander’s unifying rule, but his philosophic life was not very peaceful; this lead to his tragic end.

.

The Scope of Dianetics

Reference: Hubbard 1950: Dianetics TMSMH

These are some comments on “The Scope of Dianetics” from  DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH.

.

Comments on
The Scope of Dianetics

Let’s answer the questions posed by Hubbard in this chapter with the help of Buddhism.

  1. The goal of thought is to integrate all that is experienced. One does that by resolving any and all anomalies. 
  2. The single source of all anomalies are impressions in the mind that one is not aware of. 
  3. An integration occurs automatically the moment one becomes aware of the impressions related to an anomaly, thus bringing its resolution.
  4. That awareness comes from patiently confronting the anomaly without avoiding, resisting, suppressing or denying any experience (past or ongoing) connected with it. 
  5. To prevent any likelihood of mental derangement, one is careful not to interfere with the contents of the mind by ransacking them randomly.
  6. The above points provide us with an outline for curing all psychosomatic ills.

Resolution of the anomalies that we experience then cures the psychosomatic ills. It also produces a condition of ability and rationality and enhances vigor and personality. A person’s behavior is always good after his anomalies are resolved. He has easy access to all his memories. The integration in the mind assimilates the literal recordings of memories into smooth multi-dimensional narratives. A workable model of the mind starts to come into view.

.

DIANETICS AXIOMS 1 to 10

I am presenting here the first ten axioms of Dianetics, and how they appear when made consistent with Buddhism.

DN AXIOM 1: The source of life is a static of peculiar and particular properties.

The static is actually the reference point for all motion, just like zero is a reference point for all numbers. Hubbard is looking at life as being full of motion. One can become fully aware of motion only from a viewpoint relatively static to it.

DN AXIOM 1 (proposed): Life is fully experienced from a viewpoint relatively static to it.

.

DN AXIOM 2: At least a portion of the static called life is impinged upon the physical universe.

There is no such thing as “portion of the static” since static is not a thing. All we have is a static viewpoint. From this viewpoint we can see interactions within the body; and the body interacting with its environment. We see “life” and the “physical universe” as part of the universe that we experience. They are not separate from each other.

DN AXIOM 2 (proposed): Life evolves from very simple properties to increasingly complex properties

.

DN AXIOM 3: That portion of the static of life which is impinged upon the physical universe has for its dynamic goal, survival and only survival.

We see the following from the static viewpoint: Forms have been evolving in this universe since the supposed Big Bang. Life forms appeared at some point later in this evolution. The life forms survive for a period, and then they die to make room for more evolved forms. No life form survives permanently. The life form evolves by interacting with its environment.

DN AXIOM 3 (proposed): Individual organisms are surviving, but the universe as a whole is evolving.

.

DN AXIOM 4: The physical universe is reducible to motion of energy operating in space through time.

The substance of the universe is energy. Energy has an inherent impulse. The higher is the frequency of this impulse the denser is the appearance of energy, and the more it shrinks and gains endurance. The shrinkage of energy appears to slow it down. The dimensions of energy appear as space, and the duration of energy appears as time.

DN AXIOM 4 (proposed): The substance of the universe is energy, its extent is space, and its duration is time.

.

DN AXIOM 5: That portion of the static of life concerned with the life organisms of the physical universe is concerned wholly with motion.

Motion of energy seems to decrease as its density increases. Thus patterns of density in energy also appear as patterns of motion as viewed from the static viewpoint.

DN AXIOM 5 (proposed): As energy condenses it slows down; this gives the impression of relative motion.

.

DN AXIOM 6: The life static has as one of its properties the ability to mobilize and animate matter into living organisms.

Inanimate matter, with increase in complexity, evolves into living organisms. An organism is mobilized by its own inherent impulse.

DN AXIOM 6 (proposed): Energy evolves into self-animated living organisms.

.

DN AXIOM 7: The life static is engaged in a conquest of the physical universe.

There is no “spiritual agent” engaged in the conquest of “physical universe”. In fact, the separation of physical and spiritual universes is just an assumption. The static viewpoint sees the natural process of the universe evolving from electromagnetic radiation to quanta to atoms to minerals to living organisms.

DN AXIOM 7 (proposed): The universe evolves from electromagnetic radiation to quanta to atoms to minerals to living organisms.

.

DN AXIOM 8: The life static conquers the material universe by learning and applying the physical laws of the physical universe.

SYMBOL: The symbol for the LIFE STATIC in use hereafter is the Greek letter THETA.

The “Life Static” is simply a viewpoint that allows full perception of motion. From this viewpoint all laws governing motion can be perceived in their entirety. Therefore, THETA is a static viewpoint.

DN AXIOM 8 (proposed): THETA is the static viewpoint from which all the laws of motion are fully perceived.

.

DN AXIOM 9: A fundamental operation of THETA in surviving is bringing order into the chaos of the physical universe.

THETA is simply a viewpoint. This viewpoint observes that all motion in the universe is evolving from chaos toward increasing order.

DN AXIOM 9 (proposed): As energy evolves it becomes increasingly structured in an orderly manner.

.

DN AXIOM 10: THETA brings order into chaos by conquering whatever in MEST may be pro-survival and destroying whatever in MEST may be contra-survival, at least through the medium of life organisms.

SYMBOL: The symbol for the PHYSICAL UNIVERSE in use hereafter is MEST, from the first letters of the words MATTER, ENERGY, SPACE and TIME, or the Greek letter PHI.

Hubbard uses THETA as a symbol for a purely “spirtual agent”, and MEST as a symbol for a purely “physical universe”. Both are assumptions that lead to an erroneous hypothesis. THETA may describe a static viewpoint from which motion is perceived in its totality. MEST may simply describe the universe. Thus we observe that life organisms are bringing order to chaos according to a law of harmony. This harmony is manifested in the form of continuity and consistency.

DN AXIOM 10 (proposed): Order evolves from chaos according to the law of harmony that manifests in the form of continuity and consistency.

.

Summary

  1. Life is fully experienced from a viewpoint relatively static to it.
  2. Life evolves from very simple properties to increasingly complex properties. 
  3. Individual organisms are surviving, but the universe as a whole is evolving.
  4. The substance of the universe is energy, its extent is space, and its duration is time.
  5. As energy condenses it slows down; this gives the impression of relative motion.
  6. Energy evolves into self-animated living organisms.
  7. The universe evolves from electromagnetic radiation to quanta to atoms to minerals to living organisms.
  8. THETA is the static viewpoint from which all the laws of motion are fully perceived.
  9. As energy evolves it becomes increasingly structured in an orderly manner.
  10. Order evolves from chaos according to the law of harmony that manifests in the form of continuity and consistency.

This universe is the play of the static and the kinetic, the viewpoint and the view, the observer and the observed, the subtle and the condensed, and the chaos and the order; and the overall harmony is expressed in the continuity and consistency of the laws of nature.

.