thumbnail of Seminar: Big Sur; Contemporary images of Man, part one
Hide -
This transcript was received from a third party and/or generated by a computer. Its accuracy has not been verified. If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+.
Within a single lifetime our physical environment has been changed almost beyond recognition. Yet there's been little corresponding change in how we as individuals relate to the world and experience reality. New tools and techniques of the human potentiality are now at hand presenting to us an exhilarating and dangerous from two year renewing in our minds the old questions what are the limits of human ability the boundaries of the human experience. What does it mean to be a human being and. Seminar Big Sur are a series of discussions focusing attention on the front tiers of human development presented in cooperation with the Aslan Institute of Big Sur California a Center which studies those trends and religion philosophy and the behavioral sciences which emphasize the
potentialities of human existence. This week you will hear the summary discussion from residential seminar held at the Aslan Institute by Maurice Freedman the principal interpreter of Martin Buber in the United States. For many years Friedman has encouraged a dialogue between existentialism and psychotherapy and made a significant contribution to this dialogue through his writings. They subject matter for this discussion. The contemporary images of man. Maurice Freedman. I think a little. It was not a member of the number of divergent trends are concerned with existentialism is only in terms of the image and then some accidental but after that have been so abstruse but rather make very interesting because the understanding of the conditions of man. I do not in fact give us an image of man
Martin Heidegger would be the case and you have many perhaps. Closer to an image of the not so it's been nothing this is very significant. In many rows. It's not an image on the other hand. It's true that neither of these are. Images in the sense that they are more concrete. So the move that unites. Existentialism. Or temper is that a reaction against. The static toward the dynamic. Of a row from against is a good word because it's not a matter of choosing one of the other. These are just directions of movement reaction a road from the static or the dynamics of a world from the abstract. For the concrete. A rope and the. Going to rule. To the particular. And an emphasis upon
person not just as when the subject of Descartes. But as the. Person in situation someone knows that he will drive to the rates that other people who. Are in a certain time in history. Certainly who is also a nurturing person but is know it takes place from where he is. From that. Branch point. He cannot any longer claim the loss of her to be up above. As far as who is the rational never looking. Who is where he is and that there. His knowledge is not relativize out of existence there is something quite absolute. About. It. But it's under the absoluteness of the here I really am against. Something else. And I know that from here I am not. Nothing because the stars there. But the star is not in me that. I exist in relation to a fact
existence is already transcending myself were of. Less emphasis on the person their premiums that one doesn't prefer one's humanity simply through melanin or through figuring it out or. Perhaps really willing to include knowing and feeling. Is the fullest expression of the existential those in various rows emphasize decision commitment involvement in Grossman and of course they emphasize the distinction between the authentic and the meaning that matters and makes a difference. When they do so I was man of the writing and I know he doesn't mean any abs every people has its own character and he doesn't mean that the anthropologists. Or the behavior of our cards might mean that he studies people's values from the outside. Humans rather than each man and each people and those from
within that value in his name that you valuing it was. It was our. Ruling discovering raise to meet the challenge of our situation. I criticized because he never loses in situation. His values seem to come from the relation of the south to the south. Now this temporary. Very important issues that divide the existentialists. And some of them are really important for the image of man. One is that many existentialists. And the arsis of the human condition. This is a viable thing. Whether it's here to go sickness and breath in the despair of being oneself or of not being oneself. Or.
Categories of losing oneself in the road or the other in ambiguity. And. I will talk into reality whether it starts off a nation between the South and within becoming in the south as I do it. There are the looks of ontological anxiety and the courage to be where he says to be is to be centered in relation to what is not as after that means to be threatened by being because love or changing and becoming. Their. Anxiety is not something simply. Psychological. As for how that sort of repressed which is a rock to the consciousness. That. Or is that sort of thing but there is another. Existential anxiety which grows out of our very situation a condition as a breath of
contingency. Iraq never happened then they search. If we were as we did with the killers for their support. So the grafter in there. Are in fact subject to contingency and we were constantly trying to make something meaningful out of our push for them. And right at any moment subject to stupidity with an engineer on the bridge to go with it. James as we learn from the cries of the wounded I don't particularly help with. This is our human life. Even to think that by this time the earth about contingency is breath. If you're going to have a
lab death a person is over that's really beautiful. That's the way to go out again. The trouble with most libraries particularly better than I would with another pet and I have some of that are with him to. A second type of. Anxiety is that of meaninglessness. Here at TELL IT DOES NOT just mean that I don't have a meaning of any particular thing but that I have gone out of this. Suddenly the very thing that gets to keep it going from day to day. There are things that give it impetus. If they had to pick up and get going Jack London has a story of a young working you know and working in other that had child labor those that would work 13 hours a day. In some sort of factory winding up these enormous drowning them to live.
His mother makes him his favorite dessert but he won't eat it and he goes and sits under a tree and tries to count it is that. This is a rather. Naive ready of representing that happens. Usually not in childhood but later there is a third anxiety and this is very important too. And that is where guilt. And condemnation who condemns you who judges you. One thing the people who like to say you know who's to Jack. Say I am and that I know that they didn't do it. But as you yourself. Are both the person you are and you are also in a sense over again is that. To exist is to exist. Undergraduate writers in the sense that we can be called to account. As persons a part of the meaning of the person point out and very helpful in the spirit and ambiguity of the truth. Good and Evil and trying to accept the
anxiety of guilt and condemnation and I have two different ways. One there is legalism. If they can so order their lives that everything is told of them dressed so. Remember that scope the question that is addressed to them without their existence and act as a king in the trial. Who is going to be a successful bank managers and they get on the road to it and he's ordered his outer life in a way that satisfied him perfectly. Well when he was arrested. It seems that is. His or her actions but his existence itself. From which those actions and he can never understand. Or accept. That it was existential and that. The. Prison chaplain tells him the story of the. Parable of the man from the country and comes any less to enter the door of the law.
But there was a ferocious terror. Brad there was you can't get in there you can try to push away past me but there's a further bird down there with those other guys that work there. Tiger hat to them and ferocious doorkeeper behind him every bit of the row 33 Naturally the man thought it. More prudent to sit and wait. And so he bred and he stopped in time to time to sort of the rudiments of string inextinguishable the thumb on the door of the wall. And he wrote it and he waited and waited. Minutes. Or. Weeks of yours and. And. Because the doorkeeper over to him and he says everyone wants to enter. Into the wrong how is it that in all these years no one has ever come here except me and the doorkeeper service or was it for you and now I am going to go because a CO doesn't like that story at all and doesn't make that universal principle. But the piece points out that there is nothing. Contradictory necessarily about the statement you
cannot enter now. And the other statement which says. This door is meant for you only the best the ration of having to break through all at once makes a person insist that. Their every moment and he's got to get it to it and also they know we live in a time and time is sometimes worth please. Sometimes we're not so much there. And living in time. We accept the fact that sometimes something which addresses us we're there for it and other times. We are not. This can become a person as in Kafka's castle. Who has been trying and in the most heartbreaking way to get in contact with the castle is that midnight to the castle in the castle the tape into the room
sleeping official whose name is verbal and sort of an endless. Circle the happier class of it is as. Well. Now really you sort of you've cut your way through all the red tape is gone or the bureaucracy. It's just here waiting for you. Anything you want. Is yours now. Any request and this is what he's been fighting for her. I don't want to do something in clans they don't want to get the clan the official behind him to the castle directors. Burgle says. And it's official and this happens to. Make this quite clear. Then he says that then you can do that with the weight of the other than half of. That. And knows that what is being said concerns him very closely. But he's much too sleepy. To really be interested in anything that concerns him very closely and so powers asleep and dreams that he's wrestling with through a secretary was a Greek god now
and Iraq sat by the pounding on the other official really sending them out and demanding him that he give up. His mistress and Brutus says to him well after all. It's perhaps. For the best to keep the order established that happened that way even if in other respects that I mean from the standpoint of OK it was isn't. That might sound like a rather despairing view of time. It's a realistic he were running a stop out so much trying to reach the castle turning every moment into a means to the future that naturally he couldn't see when it came but in the rest extreme sense the demand of socializing with contact with being a desperate inhuman demand it is madness. To live in a time without simple restraints which where we.
Are back and forth between being there and not. Being more fully there and where we are sometimes responsible for not being there as much as we should. Nonetheless. We must accept the fact that we can't ours and shouldn't. Terms of the thought that there is no office as you are. But I had a relationship back those are opposite you are not always have. To live with the living alternation between the eye and the readiness to respond insofar as you can for your resources go and there may not be enough resources in the situation which is what you will have it you cannot get through Saturday you cannot will both sides. Either that is really there like a great coming to meet you. You cannot just take a person and his head against the wall and sort of this is going to mean that I have to be to the death of one of my friends are and who used to be very strong. This is as expected of
apathy when I am dealing with my patients as I have them up against the wall in the room with them. This is a valuable. And it's it's very good but there is also existentialism as a pointing to the concrete to the unique literature as I was being more existential in philosophy in that sense. And this I think is a very real issue and Guber says in the tapestry for the sake of Heaven I have no teaching other than that a pointing you expects of me or any other teaching like a docket system will always be disappointed. That is because it is not the meaning that one can be finding another meaning that one generalizes an abstract about but rather the concrete to which one can point. That which can say something to someone we sometimes make the profound error of assuming that a meaning to be universal must be general. And therefore the right to sort of get in order to speak to everybody we want to speak to nobody.
Whether they want to get something so thin and abstract that it becomes a universal method for an unreal man. We can get psychological man an economic man and. Sociological manacle of a man and so on but we can't get an actual person. The great thing to me about the image of man is that the tension it can be someone quite eccentric like Prince Miskin or Alyosha. But he says there might be an age in which every man of the age has been. Swept around in the universe and through this one man the wind of the universe will still go that means that the only access I would have to the universe. That is offered in this particular concrete image of man would be through a concrete relationship in which. You point and I really look into not just as an observer but I respond. I enter into it with it. I let it speak to me as at that as it can and then it transcends its particularity letter of the general but to me
it enters into me. I make it my own. Not in the sense that I am going to dent a fad with it but exactly as begs and put that into sort of the morality of religion. The word. Which we have heard becomes then the world within ourselves. That we make our own. It becomes part of our in our dialogue and he's speaking here I remember based upon the image of man with such and such a warm. Feel of this occasion or do or think of me. Or what have you. We make this our own that's what it means to be a person that has to be something that you're expressing but to be and engage in this constant. Dialogue. That's run issue. There are two other issues about existentialism that divide them. Which I don't agree on too much as the atheist. Versus religious thing. Let me say
to begin with that that is a terribly over simple definition that people have accepted from Sacket is untrue. In the words of accidentals and I have savings of 17 different thinkers. And a ruthless humanist. Imminent as mystical to. Religious and theological. We've had it. However a toast to the atheist the real difference. Between the religious and the theological. And I deal with this no one else's. Has made this distinction of the things that important want to make it necessary to make is that the magical existentialist as part of excess is in the situation that is the perfect human condition and the actual historical situation he finds the existential question there and of course that question give the new meaning to the answer but the answer he finds. In the theological tradition and the essential. Religious existentialist in
contrary In contrast it seems to me does not like to let or to God. Sort of analyze the human condition the fear and trembling of the end then end up with a theological proposition you have to accept being accepted in order to approach to be. And this means Christ. But rather his answer is circumstantial as well as his question. Accidental here does not mean. What that means is that he's inventing something out of the blue. It only means. That. It means two things. You may get his answer from tradition in the sense of his own unique relation to tradition. I don't mean something subjective here but the tradition can only speak to him not of its past but if it becomes present again speaking to him in his situation and his response and that means also there for the purpose of the question the single ONE GOD tears up the question but not the answer the answer is you were given fear and trembling
but be sure it comes out of that depth where hearing passes into being in the Hinder is the man who hinder someone from answering in the depth of personal responsibility. Or the fear of God that you should avoid the crowd in order to be a single one. But he says. Nonetheless you have to have a limit. So that the crowd or the party or the state or what have you never takes from you the ultimate responsibility. You never threw my party right or wrong. That was it. Friday her win but more than that. I have to be that some people's conception of royalty but it wouldn't be. An accidental list here. To my mind this distinction between the religious and the theological is very significant because of. The illogical existentialism and I speak as a person who is profoundly non-theological since I feel that we're just not given time not given access to any
truth about what God is in and apart from. Man. But somehow that seems to me less existential than accepting the responsibility we're says in religion ethics he says rather. Values. The religious is something that a person comes through on himself or receives through tradition. Nonetheless it must be refurbished in the fire of his own personal relationship to the apple. Is this anti traditional I don't believe self I think our great religious tradition has always known precisely that. And dualism it says it quite explicitly. Deuteronomy is not your father's But you hear the living standard they receive the covenant and in the service and Passover read the group for us when he brought it out of the land of Egypt in the ads and says What did he do for them. That is to put it past and says that. The.
Revelation is not Mt. Sinai or the burning bush it is the present moment of receiving that the burning bush. Right because Revelation is always present it is always to the living. It's not to the bad that the better hand of history over it. Another and perhaps the most important. Issue. Driving the existentialists that doesn't divide immediately is that of intersubjectivity better existence times its touchstone in the self and accept Kirkegaard recognize that there is interest objectivity the relation of other selves step many existentialists such as bigger and. To some extent or another to let. The many acts of Tantalus relation to ever serve as a dimension of the self. But through a central
point of existence is the self other existentialist however who say I know the concrete is not the self. The concrete in the sense of that which is really must immediately begin because that the sap. Is the. Medication and the relationship between selves there in between the seemingly insubstantial thing you can't get her about. You can't object you can't have any security about. Then I'm the last man to man. And I believe as the promised example of this was by no means alone that I ever. Heard that at. The time and a number of others that fit into this other thing and this is a very basic issue. Even when you are not you see the reaction of others at the dimension of your sad effect of what the ultimate reality as for Heidegger is your own most non-relational moving to death
that becomes And that's the ultimate is that. Your aloneness forever existentialist. The ultimate is rather the between the meeting members as I and our real living is meeting. Means that in every sense it doesn't mean that there is only meeting any means by meeting not just casual bumping into each other but. What he calls the relationship the relationship of mutuality directness openness. Present this. Brought here by no means says it's possible or desirable to live only in mutual duration ships couldn't have any civilization we couldn't have man if he didn't also have the structuring read of it in which my relation to the other people is one of knowing and using them.
Yes man if you remain alone in the indirect relationship which is our sort of act of. Passive sort of thing never really reciprocal where the other was never really present to you as a unique person in years but only in terms of his categories as comparison as a social role or what have you. If you remain only in that then you are not a man. Meaning you have not. Become really human weapon as the path of becoming as overseas that it was to bring. It again and again into the I-Thou to compare those to the first listen the better life. The man whoever it is that a fourth the eyebrow again and again becomes an eye at the personal level best in the world comes and it's for you the next moment and shouldn't be. You say well you know how tall is your wife what color is her hair or
if she sees it too and the Marquis and 3 an ectomorph Ian they can be or something like that. That's all right. But and that's not evil. But then it happened and it should again go into the file and it's read what's been happening in more and more in our world the sort of thing we were talking about yesterday about the observer. It is when somehow the stance that we get of knowing and using becomes so much that you have no other relation better Brock's going back to the I-Thou at that point we have that which prevents us from becoming really speaks about doing to others where you allow the other really to be there. He is only there as the content of your experience. Therefore a genuine dialogue doesn't necessarily have it have to do with having much to do with others. And it doesn't have to be a matter of tone.
Sometimes the very best form of that and the present enormous amount of reps seems to be dialogue is really a monologue people waiting. For the other person to finish speaking through his throat. Some of them are that he regrets what he says the most of what we call. Speech in our culture is really speechifying. But because. You know. It means. That. That's right there is none of which allow you to be there in your otherness. That is there. Other than that they're able not to be there. You cannot command.
Seminar: Big Sur
Contemporary images of Man, part one
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-t727fr08).
Episode Description
This program, the first of two, features Maurice Friedman, the principle interpreter of Martin Buber in the United States.
Series Description
Discussion and lecture series from Esalen Institute at Big Sur, Calif., headed by Michael H. Murphy devoted to exploring the psychological nature of man.
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producer: Esalen Institute
Speaker: Friedman, Maurice S.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-30-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:53
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Seminar: Big Sur; Contemporary images of Man, part one,” 1967-06-13, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “Seminar: Big Sur; Contemporary images of Man, part one.” 1967-06-13. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Seminar: Big Sur; Contemporary images of Man, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from