9.8 Summary



(1) Psychologists recognize that the conscience or superego has a dynamic unity; and a strength in individuals partly contributed to by innate components and partly by the moral strength and affection of upbringing, especially in infancy. But in the complex modern world it needs to develop various specialized emotional attitudes, and will encounter different value conflicts, in some three main areas: man to man within the culture; society to society; and man to his cosmic environment. Such behaviors as personal affection, hostility, conformity, frankness, compassion, self-assertion, will receive quite different values in different settings. In this respect the education of conscience is today relatively primitive. Actually, when the full roster of role relations for the individual in connection with the above three areas is worked out there are over two dozen different "relations-of-obligation."


(2) Corresponding to the internalized values in the branches of conscience there are in the external world group institutions and their contractual requirements and legal forms. The latter include relations to government, to fellow citizen in the same culture, to fellow citizen under federated world government, and to a united nations organization. Finally there is what we have called the transcendental conscience which is to the individual conception of cosmic purpose as it exists outside any human group. Both social organization and education still have to sort out these obligations.


(3) Since the value system in each is in need of continual development a necessity arises, not yet recognized in any formal establishments, for research centers devoted to interpreting evolutionary goals in terms of the specific mechanisms of interaction discovered by social science in each.


(4) This would indicate the need to inaugurate (i) research institutes for which the individual national or other community is a trustee and supporter, and which concern themselves with the most desirable moral behavior of individuals within a group (a) with respect to any group whatever, and (b) with respect to the particular experimental goal values of the given unique group. (ii) Research institutes attached to the world federation of united nations, and concerned with discovering the best rules (for evolutionary purposes) governing the relation of group to group. These would also coordinate comparatively the data from the numerous specific group research institutes and offer advice and direction on the specific interactions in what we have called the Grand Experiment. (iii) Independent research institutes, depending on private capital, free to work out theoretical positions in relation to the transcendental conscience.


(5) Since such institutes cannot exist in an anarchic world, this description of research implies a corresponding political power structure. The central federated world power structure will facilitate data gathering (since both within and between countries official support will be needed to obtain data otherwise reluctantly given) and the implementation of recommendations for international adjustments. The United Nations, and its auxiliaries, e.g., U.N.E.S.C.O., do not at present extend to the conceptions here proposed. Their conceptual span is limited both by taking a legalistic aim of preservation of the status quo rather than a dynamic view of adjusting to growth and in not having reached the conception of a very great emphasis on research here proposed.

The research institutes in morality the king of sciences in its complexity and breadth of required knowledge must not be viewed as routine, civil service, bureaucratic organizations, but as recruiting individuals of genius to pursue pioneer trails in research in social psychology, economics, sociology, genetics, social medicine, etc. For progress in social thought still depends on individuals, though they are not able as in previous times to achieve their creations alone in a garret, but need teams of helpers, computers, and laboratory facilities. It is vitally important that so far as research on the values of the transcendental conscience is concerned, such equipment, and the finances to maintain it, shall not prohibit the complete freedom of the single investigator possessed of genius.

(6) By any historical standard of what constitutes a cultural revolution, Beyondism is revolutionary. However, both in its inauguration and in its running it introduces mechanisms which make revolutionary degrees of change possible by peaceful though vigorous evolutionary steps, which begin in scientific, intellectual progress at the top. These mechanisms are, first, that a research institute in the socio-moral area needs to be linked to the legislative-executive political government of each society, thus assuring that change starts from above. Secondly, that secular education needs to deal more extensively with social science, providing a means for educating public opinion to a continuously rationally changing verdict of science.

Nevertheless, if reaction in religion (which now holds the endowments) should prove too obstructive, an evangelical force for a Beyondist viewpoint may become necessary. The energy of youth here needs to be enlisted, though realistically one must recognize that its revolutionary idealism is always dangerously mixed with reaction against normal, socially-inevitable restraints. In the complex world of today evangelical youth has to drop those whose persistence extends only to "instant satisfaction" and to cultivate that gifted fraction which carries its activism into a mature, scientific, technical examination of issues. This youthful group is indeed the Vanguard that will carry Beyondism into effect.


(7) The problem of authority is confused by popular stereotypes, e.g., that since creativity is deviation, deviation must be creativity. Toleration of deviation is partly justified by the need to experiment partly by our ignorance of precisely true moral values. As far as the latter is concerned, the only logical justification for "liberal" permissiveness is ignorance. If morality becomes a branch of science it has the authority of truth; and then should be enforced in practice as "tightly" as the degree of approximation at that point of scientific advance of the subject permits. The objections frequently raised to authority are actually to a dogmatic, non-explanatory and unprogressive authority, and these vanish if authority itself has a built-in machinery for research movement and is more closely in touch with scientific advance than is the general public. Authority connotes the possibility of censorship or restraint which, though resisted by mass media in the name of "freedom of the press," constitutes the as yet missing "frontal lobes" in the institution we call the press and T.V. Either an internal or an external censorship has as important and legitimate a role here notably in relation to misrepresentation of fact, biased choice of what is news, and pollution of young minds, as it does already in respect to other professions and other goods supplied to the public. The press has no more right to be free of democratic "quality" controls than education, medicine, the legal profession or business. In the end an objective evaluation of a questionable deviation in manner of life consists in asking it to prove its capacity to maintain a viable, non-parasitic, experimental splinter culture composed solely of persons with those beliefs.


(8) The arts, being based like revealed religion upon intuition, cannot offer the reliably checked inferences and inventions in moral values that a scientifically-based Beyondism can offer. In the process of adjustment including moral adjustment feeling must adjust to reality thinking not thinking to feeling. The role of the arts toward Beyondism remains what it has been to other moral systems accepted with authority, namely, that of subtly and sympathetically educating the emotions of the common man to the new and better adjustments demanded. (Not that this is the sole function of the arts, the roles of which cover catharsis, consolation, and condenser action also, these being present, for example, definitely in the functions of "art for art's sake.")

Unfortunately, though drama, music, art, architecture and literature have had their historical golden ages of harmony, powerfully interpreting great spiritual value movements, their activity in this role has become enfeebled in the last century as the credibility of traditional religion has declined. Although they have been given no chance as yet to discover how they would interpret Beyondism, since its creed has not hitherto been expressly developed, their relation to science, which is the parent of Beyondism, has so far been inauspicious. Glancing at science without any real education therein, they have been able to see it only as "mechanical knowledge," whereas in fact science has brought into the world a spirit previously absent an austere spirit, commanding a basic integrity of thought; a patient spirit demanding a loving respect for factual realities; an undaunted, adventurous spirit conferring faith in the future of mind, and a generous spirit responsible for most of the improvement in man's lot in the last five hundred years. The arts of the present century have hitherto failed to tune themselves to this new message; but the work of a few pioneers now gives hope that they will soon create the emotional education and insight needed to enrich a Beyondist adjustment.


(9) The emotional life which Beyondism offers is very different from that of the traditional religions, which are concerned more with palliating failure and supplying consolations for frustrated instinct, by what are often intellectual illusions, e.g., of personal immortality and a personally loving deity. By contrast, Beyondism, while offering consolation to misfortune, gives emotional support to aspiration for human advance, supplies the means for an engrossing group adventure, and presents us with the deep satisfaction of an integrated vista of the universe, and our true part therein.

The two main contrasts: (a) Beyondism's argument that a gross love of man is not the whole of religion, and (b) its occupation of this extensive new world of evolutionary endeavor more than compensate for the loss of an illusory type of immortality and the dangerously misleading concept of a Providence in the universe benevolent to man. As to the first, some revealed religions, it is true, have had an inspired perception that "love of God" is as important as love of man; but they have not been able to find operations, as in science and evolutionary social experiment, whereby this concept can be given service, other than by love of man. Although the individual needs to move from self love to love of mankind, the latter has to be intelligently interpreted in a Beyondist framework, else it is mere mutual narcism and subject to many hedonistic perversions. Indeed, there is almost as much need for research, education and control regarding agape as of eros or even of such perennially destructive emotions as pugnacity and envy. Yet more refined research is needed to find what the Beyondist position should be on extending love and succorance (as Christianity feels it should) to the deliberate, planful parasite and criminal.


(10) The passing of the individual human life, as well as that of noble races and great cultures, though not a meaningless tragedy, is yet an ever-grieving loss to the human heart. The abstract splendor of man climbs toward the empyrean, but the rose that scented a June night, and the face that meant for us the depths of human understanding sink back into the dusk into which all precious particular human memories crowd and fade. All that our present understanding permits us to see is that each individual has his rendezvous with life, in which he succeeds, according to his aspirations, in linking with the immortals of the past, participating in the drama of his hour and contributing by the immortality of his acts to the ever expanding racial and cultural stream. Meaning and emotional warmth are given to his life as it is lived by what he can share with equally dedicated companions in the adventure of Beyondism, passing the present horizons of our world.















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