p. 69 referring to the word kin/kind
'Old word, so ancient it's almost drowned out. What a change through the centuries. Now anybody can be 'kind'. And everybody's supposed to be. Except that long ago it was something you were born into and couldn't help. Now its just a faked up attitude half the time, like teachers the first day of class. But what do they really know about kindness who are not kin?'
p. 77. Am I more romantic than classical, visa versa or equal parts?
'A romantic understanding sees it primarily in terms of immediate appearance. If you were to show an engine or a mechanical drawing or electronic schematic to a romantic it is unlikely he would see much of interest in it. It has no appeal because the reality he sees is its surface. Dull, complex lists of names, lines and numbers. Nothing interesting. But if you were to show the same blueprint or schematic or give the same description to a classical person he might look at it and then become fascinated by it because he sees that within the lines and shapes and symbols is a tremendous richness of underlying form'
p.104. There are good words before and after this paragraph, but
'To speak of certain government and establishment institutions as 'the system' is to speak correctly, since these organisations are founded upon the same structural conceptual relationships as a motorcycle. They are sustained by structural relationships even when they have lost all other meaning and purpose. People arrive at a factory and perform a totally meaningless task from eight to five without question because the structure demands that it be that way. There's no villain, no 'mean guy' who wants them to live meaningless lives, it's just that the structure, the system demands it and no one is willing to take on the formidable task of changing the structure just because it is meaningless. But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systemic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which is produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systemic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in succeeding government. There's so much talk about the system and so little understanding'
p.109. Yes yes you all know that
'Two kinds of logic are used, inductive and deductive. Inductive inferences start with observations of the machine and arrive at general conclusions....reasoning from particular experiences to general truths. Deductive inferences do the reverse. They start with general knowledge and predict a specific observation.....Solution of problems too complicated for common sense to solve is achieved by long strings of mixed inductive and deductive inferences that weave back and forth between the observed machine and the mental hierarchy of the machine found in the manuals. The correct program for this interweaving is formalised as scientific method'
p 120 I think he is referring to when he was approaching from a classical standpoint that ( and remember it was written in the 1970s)
'The cause of our current social crisis...is a genetic defect within the nature of reason itself. And until this genetic defect it cleared, the crisis will continue. Our current modes of rationality are not moving society forward into a better world. They are taking it further and further from that better world. Since the Renaissance these modes have worked. As long as the need for food, clothing and shelter is dominant they will continue to work. But now that for huge masses of people these needs no longer overwhelm everything else, the whole structure of reason, handed down to us from ancient times is no longer adequate. It begins to be seen for what it actually is - emotionally hollow, esthetically meaningless and spiritually empty. That, today, is where it is at, and will continue to be for a long time to come.
'It's a problem of our time. The range of human knowledge today is so great that we're all specialists and the distance between specialisations has become so great that anyone who seeks to wander freely among them almost has to forego closeness with the people around him. The lunchtime here-and-now stuff is a specialty too'
'He became aware that the doctrinal differences among Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism are not anywhere near as important as doctrinal differences among Christianity and Islam and Judaism. Holy wars are not fought over them because verbalised statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself. In all the Oriental religions great value is placed on the Sanskrit doctrine of Tat team asi, 'Thou art that', which asserts that everything you think you are and everything you think you perceive are undivided. To fully realise this lack of division is to become enlightened. Logic presumes a separation of subject and object; therefore logic is not final wisdom.
''Peace of mind isn't all that superficial, really...it's the whole thing. That which produces it is good maintenance; that which disturbs it is porr maintenance. What we call workability of the machine is just an objectification of this peace of mind. The ultimate test's always your own serenity. If you don't have this when you start and maintain it while you're working you're likely to build your personal problems right into the machine itself.''
'But if you have to choose among an infinite number of ways to put it together then the relation of the machine to you, and the relation of the machine and you to the rest of the world, has to be considered, because the selection from among many choices, the art of the work is just as dependant upon your own mind and spirit as it is upon the material of the machine. That's why you need the peace of mind.
'The craftsman isn't ever following a single line of instruction. He's making decisions as he goes along. For that reason he'll be absorbed and attentive to what he's doing even though he doesn't deliberately contrive this. His motions and the machine are in a kind of harmony. He isn't following any set of written instructions because the nature of the material at hand determines his thoughts and motions, which simultaneously change the nature of the material at hand. The material and his thoughts are changing together in a progression of changes until his mind's at rest at the same time the material's right...sounds like art...well it is art...this divorce of art from technology is completely unnatural.'
'It isn't just art and technology/. It's a kind of a noncoalescence between reason and feeling. What's wrong with technology is that it's not connected in any real way with matters of the spirit and of the heart. And so it does blind, ugly things quite by accident and gets hated for that. People haven't paid much attention to this before because the big concern has been with food, clothing and shelter for everyone and technology has provided these. But now where these are assured, the ugliness is being noticed more and more and people are asking if we must always suffer spiritually and esthetically in order to satisfy material needs. Lately its become almost a national crisis - anti pollution drives, anti technological communes and styles of life, and all that.
'The only ones who are solving it are solving it at a personal level by abandoning "square" rationality altogether and going by feelings alone [like the romantics]. And that seems like a wrong direction too. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that the solution to the problem isn't that you abandon rationality but that you expand the nature of rationality so that its capable of coming up with a solution'
'Like the realms beyond reason. I think present-day reason is an analogue of the flat earth of the medieval period. If you go too far beyond it you're presumed to fall off, into insanity. And people are very much afraid of that. I think fear of insanity is comparable to the fear people once had of falling off the edge of the world...our old flat earth of conventional reason becomes less and less adequate to handle the experiences we have...real experiences'
Anyway this is only halfway through the book and we take all this information for granted until the apple cart is overturned and we feel a little unbalanced. Continual learning and maintenance easier said than done.