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"The Crash You Were Hoping For is Here"
Link To Conference Program
and Webcast Audio-Video
Panel 2a: Drama: West Coast Drama with Robert Beltran (Video)
Panel 5a: Music (West Coast Panell)
In a few moments, we will be concluding this session with a piece from our dear friend, Bill Warfield, which I think you will find appropriate for the occasion, as a closure.
In the meantime, there's one thing which I want to emphasize in retrospect, on this particular moment as an occasion, and on the occasion of this conference as a whole, which will, of course, conclude the public session, but preceding some very interesting activities which will occur tomorrow.
The question is, immortality. The question of the death of a great and worthy person, is more than something we celebrate with joy, because, since we all die anyway, let's not make a great fuss about that. The question is, when we have died, have we embedded in people who follow us, friends and others, something from ourselves, which we pass on, to live still in those who remain, and those beyond? Can we take into ourselves, in looking at a person who's close to us, who's made a contribution to history, can we not call them forth, still, those who can no longer speak? Can we not call them back into existence in our own living tissue? Do they not come to life, and if we are good, do they not speak to others, as they spoke to us?
Look back in the course of history. Now, my particular specialty has been the history of European civilization, since the time of Solon, and the Pythagoreans and Plato. These people, and their successors later, such as Eratosthenes and Archimedes, live within me. They live within me not merely as voices I have heard, because I never heard them speak. They live within me because they made discoveries. They presented to me, the challenge of re-enacting the discoveries that they had made. Not as something I repeated because they had told me, but an act of discovery I had repeated, because they had confronted me with it, and now they live, their living creative moments of mind, live inside me, and I can give you them alive, and speaking; not in their voice, but in mine. - Something Above Life -
Our civilization, for all the good things in it, is so defined. This is the Classical idea. Man is not an animal. Man, as Vernadsky emphasized, is something above all other living things, a completely different category. Yes, we are flesh. We are living bodies. But it is not our genetic inheritance which makes us what we are as people. If our genetic inheritance alone made us what we are, we would be nothing but animals, and who should mourn our passing, except as we mourn an animal?
What we mourn in them, and rejoice in them, is the fact that there's something living in them, which is above life: something higher than life, which we meet in the living person, who's engaged in creativity, or in a noble act for all humanity, as for example, as I've cited the case of Jeanne d'Arc.
The historical record, as well as the representation by Friedrich Schiller, based on the historical record and later documentation, uncovered that which pertains to what Schiller was not informed ofall say that Schiller was right. That his characterization of Jeanne, and his characterization of the manner of her death, was correct. She was faced with doing something which for her was evil, even at the price of life. Her life was characterized by a mission, a mission for all humanity, and for the people of France in particular. She went to a prince, and said, You must be a king. And the prince, being a typical politician, said, Hey, what do you want from me?
She said, I don't want anything from you. God wants you to make yourself a king, a king of the people of France, to free France.
And the king betrayed her in due course, after she had brought him success, and brought him power. He betrayed her to the British, which is really a terrible crime, and the British put her on an Inquisition, like the Spanish Inquisition, and they tortured her, tormented her, accused her of all kinds of things, these evil men in priests' robes. All being directed by the British monarchy. Tortured her. Make her disgrace herself, and then burned her alive.
Then they offered a pitch, a plea bargain. If she would consent not to wear men's clothes, and accept their authority, they'd let her off the death sentence. And for a moment, in point of fact, she relented, and did. Then they tormented her by leaving her no women's clothes to wear, and, to cover her nakedness, she put on the men's clothes they left for her. Then they tried her again, and this time they burned her alive. And she knew that if she did not repudiate herself, did not repudiate her mission, that they would burn her alive. And she did not repudiate her mission, because that mission was her soul, that which was above life. And she was burned alive, as the Inquisition often did these kinds of things.
- The First Nation-State -
But then, because the shame, and the shock, that spread throughout Europe, throughout the channels of the Church, into the councils, the Papal councils in Italy, spread, spread: justice, justice; the people of France arose in rebellion, and threw out the conquerors, and established the independence of France. And out of that, Louis XI established the first modern nation-state; that is, the first nation, which was a true nation, which was dedicated to the proposition that a government is responsible for the general welfare of all of the people, and their posterity.
This was echoed through the example of Louis XI, in Richmond, one of the contending Tudor heirs to the English monarchy. And Richmond led, and overthrew the evil Richard III, who was the satanic embodiment of everything that the medieval period of Venetian-Norman tyranny called ultramontanism, had represented. And established the second modern nation-state, dedicated to the proposition that government has no legitimacy except as it is committed to the general welfare, and to posterity.
Now, crazy Henry VIII changed that, but nonetheless, despite Henry VIII and other traitors to humanitywho was a crazy man, and a beast-man, literally a beast, a beast to mandespite that, something survived, as typified by Will Shakespeare, who was a continuation of the spirit of Henry VII and More, of Sir Thomas More and others. Whose histories were represented in the Shakespeare of the Shakespeare English history series, and the method expressed by the English history series of Shakespeare went on, to the great dramas, to the Julius Caesar, of a Shakespeare who was not putting on a play as entertainment, but a Shakespeare who was conveying the principle of tragedy, and also, in a sense, the principle of the sublime, as later brought to fulfillment through the influence of Shakespeare on people like Lessing, later in the 18th Century in France. And from the rebirth of Shakespeare in Germany, through the hands of people like Lessing, who was a protégé of the same Kaestner who informed Benjamin Franklin, of the principles of Franklin's notion of society.
So, we're all tied together, back from the most ancient we know. Wherever we have relived the cognitive experience of discovering a principle, as a great Classical drama conveys that, that which has been transmitted to us, as re-enacted as a living experience inside our cognitive processes, becomes an organic part of us. And our living body may speak while those who are deceased are silenced, and thus they speak within us. - Great Classical Art -
The progress of mankind, insofar as there has been progress, progress of society, not just progress from individual to individual, is precisely that. The function of great art, of great Classical art, is to capture that sense of the transmission of the act of discovery, of a unique creative act, within the living space, the flesh, of the audience. And thus, those of us who have, in various ways, relived the great moments of discovery of principles, ideas, from the pastas for me, especially, since the ancient Greek Classical periodall of them live in me, as living persons, using my flesh to speak their thoughts again to you. And I must add something to the treasure-store which I have acquired from them.
You have just experienced, in this presentation of a dear friend of ours, a creative person, who was a descendant of slaves, as most of the people associated with her, at Fisk, or the Fisk tradition, were descendants of slaves. In her, speaks the aspiration of her grandparents' generation, her parents' generation, the aspirations which were embedded in the fetters of slavery. And they come forth, in a living form, expressed in the medium of modern Classical musical culture. And nothing is lost. Everything that is great that is transmitted from the children of slaves, grandchildren of slaves to today, lives still in such persons as this, as everything that is good in the struggle to make the United States good, is similarly expressed by Martin Luther King, who, in the manner of his dying, achieved a greatness, greater than anything else he'd achieved in life.
Because he, embodying a descendant of slaves, like our dear Sylvia, transmitted all the greatness not only of the tradition of former slaves, but did not beg for this for former slaves; he did not beg for that for former slaves; he made no special pleading! He moved to save this United States, to bring it back to what it was to have become, and asked us to do that, in memory of all those who had lacked the justice, which the United States represented, for the people of the United States, and for the people of the world. He was not a black beggar. He was a man of superb, sublime dignity, who rose above the circumstances of persecution, in order to speak to all of us, and his voice for many of us today, still resonates within our living flesh. - They Live Within Us -
For us to find ourselves, and have a sense of our own immortality, we must reflect upon the immortality of those like Sylvia who've been taken from us in the flesh. We have her. We have her inside our flesh. She lives on within us. We must transmit this as a trust to those who come after us.
We mustin this time of great danger for this nation and civilization, we have a mission. Our mission is to transmit hope, to transmit an opportunity for life, for a better world, for those who are coming after us. We are making, in a sense, a revolution to save a revolution, a revolution to save the American Revolution from the hands of a poor idiot, a simpering idiot, in the White House, and his evil controllers; to save this nation from Hell, and civilization as well.
Therefore, we may be staking our life on this mission. Therefore, let us not be like Hamlet, who said he could not face the responsibility of the state, but he would rather choose death immediately, than reflect upon that which comes after death. Let us be assured of the meaning of our life, of our real person, in such times of crisis. Then we will have the strength and confidence, to realize that for which we are struggling, lies not in what we sense in the flesh, but lies in what we can foresee, within our living flesh, of the extension of our spirit, into times to come.
Now we will hear Warfield.
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