Cooper Union forum; 9; Fall 1970
From the Great Hall of the Cooper Union in New York City. National Educational radio presents a lecture entitled empathy. This lecture was recorded for broadcast by station WNYC. Now to introduce the speakers here is the chairman of the Cooper Union forum series Dr. Johnson Fairchild. We have a discussion of something that happened. Well I think you know one thing. I have. To
thank. You. Just a good been here before.
The three gentleman over here flanking the one and all the top of the form from the letter can't. Go out that's very good up from the president has a few things with because of the stunts over and over. Good night.
First of all I mean. I think he's been surprised. I remember one was very hard to write.
We. Met. Anyways. But. I would like to say. I think it.
Not I want to say that. Word. Really I wanted to size. The other but.
You identified with the other identity that rich. I want. That. Much in order.
Thing. I am now
a. Look closer at what I like the second time I play with them I like it. If we break it down and. It
was. My. Best way I can ride to the next person. It's like putting yourself into his shoes and knowing exactly how I feel. This is and. I was the only. Person. It's not an objective it's noncredit where. I'm going to get and I'm to have as a matter of fact one of the things I like. Language with. Its expressiveness. And when I hear somebody say I dig you man. That's.
When you can beg a person before that language can. Be used to say. I understand you. I get it I understand I don't. Understand the verb of the letter or the meaning of the word but this I understand this. Person. Gets me and I get. Direction that's. Able to. Understand without trying to figure out. The courses. Or the process of how that either. Listen our ride as you just saw the know what logic is what a logical thought processes of the person. You know the connection. What. Is God. Like for a person or an immediate wife for the person on the
basis of some kind of empathy. Very often patients ask what a. Pocket for a while understand. What I'm trying to say. You really got me in. My guts here so maybe you know what I'm talking about. I know you must. Have been watching your face. Well now I still don't really understand. It is we live of course. We identify. Somebody. I am aware that I have. A letter. I write the letter the way I was taught to write some
letters. This is I kind of. Identify with it. Cause weather. Gives us power when we identify with a person. With words and empathy you find yourself because you feel that. You find yourself. With.
The consequences and identification as a matter of fact. Quite a person. It was a failure.
The generation. Previously necessary was a status as a media rights. Conflict. There is also. Immediately with.
Certainty there are a lot of lives. So much for. Stock at this point. Right.
Well I'm going to read my one channel of communication before a faceless faceless nameless speechless or audience. I find the organized. Crime. At this point this point.
Where like all issues which bring this together in an attempt to bring some clarity into our affairs of the heart. The meanings we give to end the empathy involved are about. To. Hear is gone. We are in a situation whose very conditions make more difficult the experience of empathy. You are largely faceless nameless and until the question period even voiceless presumably are you are interested in the question of what are the meanings we experts give to the world. Yet how can I empathise with your particular concerns in such a condition of relative anonymity. When I think I remember the guy singing with another person I am usually looking into
his armies as well as listening to his voice as well as trying to comprehend the sense he is making it worse. When they are using the voices are absent. I increase my expectation that the other will provide for me a variety of images more like those of poets and things and this doesn't include my reading and professional technical work. Did you know that Freud one of the great the prize for excellence in writing. Though we had lots going for him. The vividness of his imaginative style was certainly one of the things he had and if you want some evidence of the point that you're making in the fields of the natural and physical sciences where empathy for one's work and fellow being read James Watson's account of how the development of the
model for DNA in his double helix therapy. This is the resonance between the scientists and his material. The feel for it though this may be the mere tricks of words. These do bring us to Amber which is at the heart of creative life. I think I and the guys even more with the other when he in turn actively shows his empathy for me. In brief an empathic situation is best achieved in a personal relationship which is we like to say today partakes of dialogue and mutual self-disclosure though this sounds like I am talking ONLY about such intimate exchanges as occur between lovers or between therapist and persons labelled patients. I am also including the situation of education.
When students protest that their study is white rather they are saying that they experience their instructors who lack empathy but with what is on their mind. The last two years have seen a large interest in the problems and conditions of education from green areas respond to post-graduate work and it seems to me that the central complaint is that somehow the educational institutions are out of touch if not downright downright anti-GM is there for the minds and hearts of the SU. So here I am. Without any clues as to what is on your mind and I'm supposed to make my remarks relevant. What might I do with the time allotted to my intrusions into your perception. I could climb down from this platform and walk among you taking a few moments of time to hold your hand and look without speaking
into your bags if you were not good then articulate something about bees moan. We would have experienced them to exchange even if what we said may sound unflattering. I think that needs and fears and really we learning much more about empathy by exercising war sensors than by relying only on an attempt to abstract or generalize the definition through words. Another device would be for me to just stop talking. And ask you to take the next few minutes to turn to a neighbor whom you haven't met before. And talk together while holding hands. Really. Can you try that. That thought of doing so raising new images of nervousness if you will be the images as well as the nervousness you will be more empathic.
But if your nervousness is of such proportions as to set you to protect yourself from further intrusions from the other and yourself you will be flowing out of anger and the other will have to exert himself more to maintain maintain contact. Or give up of course. The kind of nervousness that I'm referring to which occurs in public places is written with another in our culture. Where we presumably are encouraged to show empathy only in such safe places as there are lists of us and yet there is strongly for hope. In the growth in recent years of the tolerance for various expressions of beliefs and feelings in public in a sense. Psychotherapy has gone public. I'm not only referring to the various styles which are poor but group therapy. Remember this summer's Woodstock Festival.
I think it surprised most of us that so large a massive person could display and track the movements and meeting each other under stressful conditions which were in other places have been disastrous for the region from each other is persons which some have criticized as the cult of intimacy has become a value supported by more and more individuals. We do of course need to be mindful of the group pressures which develop so that a person somehow gets the thing that is just the hunger of fellow when he doesn't wish to display himself on the whole However the movement toward the bag of meeting each other as persons rather than as representatives of bros and status is an occupation is a good thing. It is the democratization of feelings as well as political opinions. I can really emphasize emphasize that the
possibility. I am mainly emphasizing that the possibility of an Arabic relation between any two persons is inextricably involved with the tone of the larger groups. In other words the social tone within which we live the quality of communal life as influencing our readiness to hear and be heard needs this emphasis. Since I find that all too often we experts neglect to say those to those we try to educate. That is yet to be open market with another Marques you want non-conformist honest expression is still a minority position and a small minority about the open heart. And an open society is a very grand vision and I hope not in the least.
Obviously I decided not to try any stage device. But to do my bit within the expected. However you can exercise your anger toward this trio before you. You have been listening and inspecting them. What are you hearing yourself. Listen to those first impressions and try to formulate them as they come. If these impressions are fragmentary Perhaps you needn't worry. An exercise in monitoring your experience as you try to get the sense of hours. At least the first impressions will be brought to your attention. And these I think are significant in the deepening of any type of relationship which when achieved as a reality into itself. I stopped where I began. That probably empathy occurs more in the situation of interaction where each person can speak his mind and both
wish to go on and are in a a you. Thank you very much and I do agree with you. Oh. Well this is the world where you find a great love and. I have found over what you want to come to relate to each other or you and I would like to see them sort of.
Martyrs. Why did we. Meet. I don't think you would be back here.
And you know. Me. This doesn't mean that we didn't try our best. I just kind of drive our way that we are all aware that and
I know that that is all and all I believe or some thing that will end the size of the start with the end that seems to me really. But between child and the master. And show you need to be
between. My wife and child now. There is a mismatch. For that. Try to empathize and they are the ones who say arise because you know what they mean are you trying to say that but I was not there
so that was one thing. Or and.
Well I don't know I think the common denominator category of the mechanism for survival. Person with his growth. I'm very leery of. The law. I don't doubt that every child has. But I'm not sorry for it. I don't think we have that with. So that there are damn. Relationship. Actually yes.
I didn't hear it away from the flying amp but in terms of human beings I used the word bad incest and bad rather than. Because any person can set the tone for anybody else. Otherwise you couldn't have Harriet you couldn't create some person and empathetic relationships you couldn't have switches that and have a say. And I think. That they're going to process the growth process as a lengthy process. And lot of learning and part of the I that part of the empathy that surface a viable are not always that we gather from being able to share an experience when I say I dig you man. I am an experience that I have had and that is that I can now empathize with the person who is expressing a certain town
by gesture by word by luck by I. By a movement or by draft. There are some people in this audience with some of my peer group would not be able to empathize with I don't see any tears at the surface on the subject of the earth as a view. He would not be able to empathize with this simply on the basis of the existence of a beer and a confrontation with such a parent when such a person. On the other hand the very first gun man I saw that was in any way connected to me whether I said My that's Hanson that really does things for you or whether you grow up and I will I back up immediately. Now what is the relationship here. It's not there yet it is not anything except when your relationship between people. And I think we have to recognize this as part of I think we have
the comprehension we have biologically and that. I think everybody has everything a little bit more or less some more and some lies and those who have. Have to. Do something about. Thanks for very much empathy. I'm sorry. There are certain people. In many different ways. And I think this is very
cortex. Of the brain. Just. There are brain centers. It's a biological. There isn't time and my two colleagues may be that I. With that I don't feel I understand. Whether. I think I have a point. You know we we were essentially from what I heard Commons speaking very similar concept that it
was now essential argument among ourselves that the level of abstract ideas. Yet I agree with you we are not yet feeling for each other in two weeks. And I with what I think my special imagery that I was trying to get across lets say the very conditions of our situation make this less possible. That is I end up with all my fantasies of trying a new approach to. Generating among ourselves an exercise and empathy. I end up giving in effect a lecture even though I think my imagery may have been vivid in trying to get away from my stride. That is how we leap across to one.
You have been listening to a discussion on that they would let it carry a greater freedom burn oxidizer. This was one of the 1970 series of lectures recorded at the great hall of the Cooper Union in New York City by station WNYC. The chairman for the Cooper Union was Johnson a Fairchild. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
- Cooper Union forum
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- Fall 1970
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- APA: Cooper Union forum; 9; Fall 1970. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-057cw670