WHAT IS SENSE-PERCEPTION?
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
September 16, 2010
Creativity, whether expressed as physical-scientific, or Classical-artistic, is always lodged within what is, according to relevant principle, a commonly shared domain of Classical artistic composition. So far, today, few currently leading spokesmen for either of those two phase-spaces, currently share that actual view, a fact which explains the greater part of their frequent, systemic failures in performance.
Nevertheless, the most effective cure of that fact, can be found, as a matter of principles, within the specific domain of Classical tragedy in the tradition of Aeschylus, Plato, William Shakespeare, Gotthold Lessing, and Friedrich Schiller, most notably. The same principle is met in physical science in the legacy of such as Plato, Eratosthenes, Filippo Brunelleschi, Nicholas of Cusa, and of such followers of Cusa as Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, Gottfried Leibniz, Bernhard Riemann, and, then, of such among Riemann’s followers as Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and V.I. Vernadsky.
Unfortunately, we must reject the currently prevalent, but false presumption that art and science are essentially different categories. That, unfortunately, popular view prevents those indoctrinated in such a view from understanding either the role of the discovery of universal principles of science, or, knowledge of the fact, that the relatively deepest principles of creativity are expressed, interdependently, in both physical science and Classical artistic composition. The passion required for effecting such discovery, lies, principally, on the side of Classical artistic discovery: it lies there among the ambiguities of that common domain defined by the creative imagination.1
There is a crucial reason for the seemingly almost universal lack of the intellectual capacity to comprehend this fact, so far, still today. For the language of most of today’s physical science, the root of this systemic quality of prevalent difficulty, lies in the same axiomatic error of presumption which prompts many otherwise gifted science professionals, even among the work of followers of Bernhard Riemann and V.I. Vernadsky, to cling to a literal reading of the periodic table of chemistry, a reading in the terms of a stubbornly reductionist’s notion of elementary particles of space and time, rather than recognizing the singularities of a continuous, cosmic domain.
Take the celebrated ambiguity of the customary view of the so-called field-particle paradox, for an example of the widespread failing to which I have referred implicitly above.
In the domain of the subject which I have placed, thus, as now immediately at hand in these following pages, it is precisely that still persistent error in elementary presumptions, such as the notion that art and science are separate categories, an opinion which tends to ruin attempted insights into that domain of Classical artistic composition which is indicated by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s concluding summations in his A Defence of Poetry, as also by the notion of William Empson in his Seven Types of Ambiguity, and by the fundamental principles underlying my own unique achievements within the realm of a science of physical economy.
For those who listen very carefully, a top-down view of the principle of creativity in the terms of a unified process of self-development of humanity, is available; Classical tragedy itself enjoys the particular advantage of expressing this most emphatically. This is a principle which is expressed, for example, as a challenge by a competent crafting of Classical tragedy; it is a challenge which is in systemic coherence with Johannes Kepler’s uniquely original discovery of the principle of universal gravitation. In short, as the work of Johannes Kepler has demonstrated in his The Harmonies of the Worlds, and as Albert Einstein has confirmed that, there is no separation of great artistic composition from valid approaches to physical science.
I devote this present report to a representation of that specific case, a case of what I consider the most appropriate illustration of the unity of those creative powers of true discovery which are shared among both Classical tragedy and the breadth of social and physical science.
We must not avoid the issue of the presently commonplace incompetence of those putative scientists who have erred crucially in falsifying the matter of Kepler’s unique originality in this matter. I have more to say on the source of the indicated, widespread error of presumption, later in this report. In the meantime, keep that forewarning in view, as it will be emphasized in a deeper way, at a more suitable, later point in this report.
I have emphasized repeatedly, that to understand a certain, unique principle, which is common to both Classical artistic composition and any competent sort of relevant practice of physical science, the most efficient method presented thus far, has been a showing of the appropriateness of the case of Nicholas of Cusa follower Kepler’s uniquely original discovery of the principle of universal gravitation. I have insisted, that any competent discussion of Kepler’s discovery, must proceed from recognizing the explicitly stated fact by Kepler, that he had chosen to contrast the evidence of the faculty of sight (vision) to that of harmonics (hearing). As Albert Einstein later affirmed, Kepler has shown, thus, that Kepler’s own discovery of gravitation, as developed in this way, is the uniquely appropriate one, a discovery which Einstein identified as defining a universe which is both uniquely finite, and, yet, also unbounded.
What is defined in that way, is the existence of a true cosmos, rather than the reductionists’ mechanistic presumption of particles speckling the spoiled purity of an otherwise empty space.
That Kepler discovery, as grasped profoundly by Einstein, expresses the fact that the principles which govern our universe, are not defined by sense-perception as such; rather, by discoveries of universal principle: such as Kepler’s uniquely original discovery of universal gravitation, become known to human practice through viewing that evidence which is the domain of sense-perception, as being no better than a domain of mutually contradictory shadows which have no inherent substance in and of themselves. It is, therefore, left to the creative artistic powers specific to the human mind, which are required to adduce the principle, which accounts for that unsensed reality which lurks behind the perception of those mere shadows.
Within the bounds of the presently known history of European culture, and its drama, there are four principal avenues of discussion of this subject to be brought together as a single topic at issue. First, there is the correct one, which I emphasize in this report. Second, on the scale of the relatively most pitiable of them all, we have what is to be identified fairly as “crudely superstitious materialism.” Third, there is the Aristotelean type. Fourth, there is the moral “indifferentism” of that axiomatically irrationalist form of Liberalism traced from the influence of Paolo Sarpi and the Anglo-Dutch Liberalism of such among Sarpi’s followers as the dupes of Adam Smith. Finally, after all else is considered, there remains the first of these four types, once again, the modern scientific outlook traced, appropriately, from the De Docta Ignorantia of the founder of modern science, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.2
The latter category, that of the modern science traced systematically from the work of Brunelleschi and Cusa, is also the secret of the tragic principle, a principle which the contending figures within Shakespeare’s tragedies failed to discover; hence their tragedy. However, there is, nonetheless, the genius of Shakespeare’s ability to define the principle of tragedy in practice. Such, hopefully, might become your own discovery.
The most common delusion of peoples of those failed cultures which are well known to me today (for our purposes here, the British empiricists are least tolerable),3 is centered in a peoples’ blindly religious devotion to the foolish pagan’s fear and wonder of pleasure and pain: preferably, for him, other peoples’ pain. To address that delusion with the intention to cure it, I refer your attention to an illustrative argument which I made in a recently published writing.4
I had, earlier, addressed the same popular illusion I point to here, at those times in respect to the challenges confronting all expressions of physical science. Today, I present here the same subject as met in the domain of drama, with emphasis here on the subject of a true Classical tragedy presented in the tradition of Homer and Aeschylus. I reference Aeschylus and Shakespeare as being essential types of subjects of any such investigation of European civilization; but, here, I define the principles of that subject from the vantage-point of explicit insights provided, or prompted, by the work of Friedrich Schiller, and by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry.
Here, I not only treat these principles of composition as equally common to Classical tragedy and competent physical science; I point to the proof of the case, as a matter of the subject of principle.
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF TRAGEDY
All of great Classical tragedy, since, implicitly, that of Homer, and, explicitly, by Aeschylus, as also by a decent appreciation of Classical artistic composition and performance generally, is an expression of the same powers of discovery and development of those principles upon which actual scientific progress presently depends. Tragedy is not the expression of an error in the behavior of some person, or group of persons; it is, rather, as for Aeschylus, Shakespeare, and Schiller, the expression of a systemic defect in an existing culture’s apprehension of the nature of the human species.
Such failures are never merely the error of some persons, but, rather, represent the systemic folly of the prevalent, ruling world-outlook of entire cultures, or, stated otherwise, the capitulation of the leaders of a society to a system of what is often treated as a revelation obtained from the curiously irrational domain of what is merely “reigning popular opinion.”
The principle of tragedy, as presented by the Classical dramatic stage of spoken drama and Classical musical composition, is also typified by the role of the principle of dramatic irony expressed in the graphic compositions of Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt van Rijn. The latter are typical, because of the way in which those great intellects feature both the human individual and his, or her relationship among individual persons, to a systemic form of principled composition of society. Leonardo da Vinci’s development of the implications of the catenary and tractrix, and echoed, in turn, later, by Leibniz and Jean Bernouilli, is exemplary of the expression of this within the domain of physical science.
However, to understand this specific quality of connection of Classical artistic composition to true physical science, we must take into account, such matters as the respective roots and failures of most of the popular forms of visible attempts to define the Classical, theatrical or musical, stage, and those in a clinical fashion. The solution for that challenge, is to be discovered within the role of the creative imagination in the domain of an efficient physical scientific progress in society, a domain represented by the men and women assembled on that virtual theatrical stage which is society as captured, in essence, by the great tragedians.
Poetry imagines the future; science is thereby moved to create it, willfully, on a demonstrable basis.
For this purpose, I shall bring back an example which I have used for this purpose at several times during the recent several years.
The principal obstacle to insight into matters such as these, is to be discovered from any successful approach to a competent insight into this area of subject-matters, as being cast in systemic contradiction to the actually, virtually axiomatic, and deeply embedded presumptions inherent in the combined set of Aristotelean, Liberal, or crudely materialist presumptions. To restate this point I have just made: people often insist, foolishly, on explanations which are premised upon what they consider their underlying, intrinsically reductionist, presumptions of belief, that respecting almost anything at all which they might choose to believe on this or that occasion.
The essential problem is, that none of the generally accepted sets of belief, in either ancient or later cultures, such as those to which I have referred, above, as representing defective categories, allow for an efficient understanding of the ontological implications of what is actually human creativity. That error in belief, which is motivated by blind faith in sense-certainty, is nothing other than a failure to recognize the truly creative nature of our human species, as it is to be contrasted with both the nature of beasts and the inclinations of modern liberalism. Therefore, we must proceed with a deep insight, digging deep into our civilization’s ancient history, as, for example, into the dictum of the Olympian Zeus of Aeschylus’ Prometheus Trilogy.
Therefore, we must admit that the existence of the same human powers of creativity per se which are specific to mankind’s willfully conscious distinction from the lower forms of animal life, does prompt more or less relevant responses among some of us, as this division has been shown thus far within human history, and as shown by the trends among the beasts today. Those appreciations of actual creativity, reference some among the shadows which are specifically the shadows cast by actual creative insights of men and women, but are often, nonetheless, appreciations wanting any efficient comprehension of the efficient principle of creativity per se.by their proponents. The dogmas of both Aristotle and Paolo Sarpi typify the means of moral and other corruption by which an efficiently willful creativity is often suppressed with a resulting great damage to society, such as that of post-World War II trans-Atlantic culture since the death of President Franklin Roosevelt.
To summarize the case: In the report here at hand, I address this subject as it is situated, for clinical purposes, within the context of the function of Classical drama, especially Classical dramatic tragedy. I do this with the intention of illuminating some of the essential features of the modes of Classical dramatic tragedy. To that end, I proceed here now, by attacking the fallacies usually associated with popular blind faith in notions of sense-perception.
The Mystery of the Human Mind
I have, heretofore, repeatedly used the example of the hypothetical case of the pilot of a space-ship flying from Earth-orbit, to Mars-obit, for the case in which that pilot relies on instruments which serve as surrogates for human sense-perceptions. I have compared this behavior to those such as scientist Albert Einstein’s treatment of the implications of Johannes Kepler’s uniquely original discovery of gravitation, as Kepler presents his proof in detail in his The Harmonies of the Worlds. So, by the same method which I have emphasized here, Einstein defines the universe as being finite, but, without a confinement which suggests the existence of more or less fixed outer bounds, as both the errant Aristotle and Paolo Sarpi do. In other words, ours is a universe which is actually defined ontologically by limitless potential for creative change in and of the universe itself. With man, that universal, anti-entropic power for systemic change assumes a willful expression.
The necessary judgment by the hypothetical, space-ship commander conducting that mission, is to use the ironical juxtaposition of the respectively independent types of instruments, with the intention of reaching a necessary conclusion which does not correspond to the data shown by the selection of any one among those instruments on which he is relying. Such is the paradoxical form of proper principle for defining scientific experience, in general, or in the exceptional cases identified by Bernhard Riemann, as in the concluding, third section of his 1854 habilitation dissertation, as either the very large, or the very small.
I restate the crucial point: the judgment made by that commander of the craft in flight, if it is a competent one, does not correspond to any particular selection of a principle implicit in a specific choice of a single quality of human sense–perception. That is also the crucial principle employed in the approach to the principle of Classical drama, as contrary to usually stated academic or related teachings respecting this matter, as in the particular case being treated by us on this occasion.5
Therefore, let us now treat what are to be recognized as the typical expressions of the commonly acknowledged types of human sense-perceptions. Consider those as being instruments which are ontologically distinct from either any one of those human senses, or any combination of the mere data supplied by them all. What I have just stated, is a conception which does not exist for either the Aristoteleans, or the modern Liberals, and certainly not for those poor, dirty slugs known otherwise as “the materialists.”
What is, then, the basis for the hypothetical commander’s notion of those principles of reality which are distinguished from any such power of sense-perception?
What is the absolute difference, the actual ontological difference, between our sense-perceptual experiences, and the role and product of the human mind’s discovery of a principle of action which is distinct from raw sense-perception as such?
Certain customs exhibited by those with professional, or related insight into the performance of tragedy on the Classical stage, are relevant here, that in a notable degree of importance; the remaining difficulty which this usually leaves to be explored, as in the cases I have observed, is that that appreciation, while sometimes successful in practice, frequently deals only with the shadow of the actual principle involved, only in its aspect as a notable sensible effect, rather than by deriving the appropriate effect, consciously, willfully, in terms of the efficiently underlying principles of the specifically human mind.
Now, review the role of those ordinary human senses which we are accustomed to presume, as by habit, to be a representation of an experience defined in terms of the role of what are ordinarily considered the common sense-perceptions associated with the commonly entertained presumptions of the experience of pleasure and pain.
Now, let it be resolved, first, that what we term sense-perceptions, are distinct, ontologically, from the uniquely specific powers of the human mind. Let us conclude, therefore, that our working hypothesis shall be formulated, clinically, by aid of reference to a relevant, specifically ironical selection of Classical tragedians and comparable Classical poets.
Let us situate the scrutiny of that subject-matter in respect to what must be discovered as the true nature of the human mind of the playwright, director, and players, rather than the usual methods of analysis of developments within themselves as a process, rather than a mere set of individual players. We shall regard the relationship between the drama on stage in terms of their audience’s receipt of such shadows, and the players’ response to awareness of what the shadows attribute for that audience. It is the audience which must be moved as being a crucially significant, active factor in the totality of the effect of the performance upon the audience.
For example, as Friedrich Schiller emphasized on this account, the true hero of the tragedy is not found among the parts played on stage; the needed hero must be found in the members of that audience itself (as by the playwright, and, hopefully, the director); that hero “off-stage,” is found by those members of the audience who resolve to cure the sickness of mind which permeates the society presented on stage. It is the relation of the mind of the actor’s perceptible performance of the drama, to the apposited mind of the audience itself, a relationship which is to be judged as being the reality of the experience of that occasion.
In that sense, that usually exceptional volunteer from the audience becomes the actively creative factor within the audience for the play.
What makes an Achilles run?
II. “ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE . . .”
For our purposes here, the implied intention of that passage from Shakespeare’s As You Like It,6 were better served by what was uttered by the character “Chorus” in the opening of Henry V.
The essential, even implicitly sacred mission of the use of the stage, since the Iliad and Odyssey, or by the voices of actors behind the masks, as in the theater of the exemplary Aeschylus, is to bring the consenting, borrowed souls of those imagined men and women of a real-life drama, to take over the bodies of the actors seen and heard on stage, as if by incarnation of the spirit of the drama for this occasion. This exercise must be conducted with a high regard for the actual history of the culture which supplies the palette on which the drama depends. As Friedrich Schiller demonstrates this principle, a drama which is not premised upon an historically truthful palette, can not be worth much.
Above it all, all society is, already, essentially a dramatic stage, not only as Shakespeare argued, but from the higher vantage-point which I shall continue to employ throughout the following pages of this present report.
As in the tragedies of real-life societies, such as our United States and Europe generally today, the tragedy lies in the form of corruption which says, in effect: “I must not act against the currently reigning, or emerging trends of prevalent opinion within my society”–the “fads” of current opinion, so to speak. Just so, the person who is genuinely the criminal in society, is often a product of the same influences inhering in the society which that criminal is accused of offending.7 Just so, is the leading figure of a real-life national, or even global culture, which is destroyed by its act of will shaped by faith in what is attributed to be the inevitable consequence of prevalent popular dispositions.
The true moral impulse which is able to defeat the popularity of submission to an evil named “popular opinion,” acts as did Frederick the Great on one particularly famous occasion, against the Austrians, in Frederick’s famous strategic triumph at Leuthen: to take the enemy by what is fairly distinguished as a principle of strategic surprise, usually contrary to currently approved opinion as to conduct.8
The performance on stage must locate itself as if written on the indicated page of history, amid the costumes of the time and place in actual history to which the drama is assigned. However, the drama as performed, as Friedrich Schiller insists, for one, must be an historically truthful image of the development of the events within that indicated time on stage, but as presented within a place in space and time as seen and heard currently on the stage of the audience’s imagination during the living audience’s own place and time.
The fact of the abstraction thus expressed, is not inherently a source of a defect in the function of that drama. On the contrary, it is a device, when properly employed, which serves as a principled advantage to both the drama’s truthfulness, and its audience. Since all sense-perceptual experience, when believed by the conventionally inclined persons of that occasion, is fallacious in its own fashion (all sense-certainty is) , truth must be found within those powers of the imagination which carry us up and away from the experience of belief in sense-certainties, into the domain in which the creative initiatives of the mind itself may dwell. Truth lies in that which should have been done, had that culture’s morality not been critically flawed, flawed as in the case of the stubborn supporters of failed Presidents such as George W. Bush, Jr., and Barack Obama, and in the case of the morally failed majority which selected and defended such mis-choices of Presidents. Truth, rather than what a prevailing opinion represents, must be preferred. The experience of perception by the audience must not blur the truth which is the proper intent of the drama’s performance.
So, the United States of today has been destroying itself by means of nothing so much as the thrust of what have been, usually, the currently reigning popular intentions of the time since President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. Most great tragedies in life are the product of submission to the sway of nothing as much as what has come to be considered popular opinion in that time.
Certain lessons from Friedrich Schiller’s Don Carlos, as it happened to be set for the stage by Giuseppe Verdi, provide an exemplary demonstration of this point. It is exemplary, that Schiller, as author, condemns the character of Posa as a most evil figure, as expressed by that Rodrigo’s witting complicity in the reshaping of the conflict between Philip and Don Carlos.
In the field of opera, again, a notable butchery of Mozart’s intention in typical performances of Don Giovanni, is shown by the disgusting, but often staged, humorous rendering of Leporello’s “Catalog” aria. The subject is comparable to the Iago of both the original and later versions of Verdi’s Otello.9 The entire opera Don Giovanni is Mozart’s attack on the systemic evil of not only the satanic Don Giovanni himself, but, rather, an intrinsically decadent culture as a whole, a decadent culture, that of Hapsburg Austro-Hungary which, as Mozart shows, asserts its habitually corrupt grip on society even after Don Giovanni had been then recently thrown into Hell.
That opera is a true tragedy in which there are no actual heroes or heroines, but only predators and other criminals, from the beginning to the end of the performance, and, as Mozart himself emphasizes, in the conclusion, beyond. It is a true representation of the principle of tragedy in real-life history, as was to be shown in Mozart’s foresight into the outcome of a Habsburg Emperor Joseph’s folly for all of Europe, even as echoed in two so-called “World Wars,” and still, yet, today.10
The only hero of the tragedy which is named “Don Giovanni,” is to be searched for among the audience, hopefully with one or two cases which are willing to become the hero which is not to be found among the roster of characters presented on stage.
Thus, the needed hero is not to be found among the characters played on stage, but only in those citizens, off-stage (or the composer of this tragedy), who rise to the challenge represented by the common folly of all of the principal characters in the drama on-stage. Such are the morally hopeless cases of Shakespeare’s dramas Macbeth, Lear, and Hamlet, or the folly of all of the Latin characters of Julius Caesar as seen by the Cicero whose wisdom was Greek to the doomed. The plays were crafted by Shakespeare with the intention to show precisely that effect. If a contrary opinion on these dramas is displayed, do not blame Shakespeare for that; the blame, in that is the expression of the incompetence of either the director, the audience, or the exertions of them both.
So, there are no heroes among principal characters of a tragic culture. Nor are any of the doomed to suffer because of some particular mistake. The characters on stage, are the thoroughly corrupted figures of a morally corrupted society at large. The force of evil in a tragedy, is the culture of the people, not some local error. So, it was a nation’s submission to the evil intention of a nasty President Harry Truman, which has been the curse of the United States, as a nation and a people, since the time that Truman was received with “respect.”11 It has been the citizens who defend the “honor” of a President who has committed the crimes of a Barack Obama in office, such as Obama’s promotion of British drug-pushing policy in Afghanistan, who are the criminals off stage.
It is in this way that a properly conceived performance of drama, may convey a sense of the truth of history, on occasions when the day-to-day experience away from the stage, leads customarily to moral error.
Jeanne d’Arc & Lazare Carnot
For an illustration of this point, consider the case of Friedrich Schiller’s dramatic presentation of Jeanne d’Arc.
I have drawn upon the scholarly knowledge of others, as is provided in respectively, Schiller’s compositions, as added to my knowledge of the history of the historical Jeanne d’Arc, which shows us, that, excepting Schiller’s employment of dramatic licence in substituting an element of an apparent attraction to a boy, a factor absent from the historical Jeanne d’Arc, which Schiller does as a substitute for the real-life the issue of compelling the real-life Jeanne to wear men’s clothes, Schiller’s account is nonetheless, as is usual for him, true-to-life in its essential expression of the actual history of that time and place.
Shortly after she had been baked alive, and then the corpse burned to ashes by the English party, her case was brought to the attention of the Councils of the Catholic Church, a development which led to her relatively early canonization, as such matters go. Furthermore, her case played a crucial part, as inspiration, in the founding of the first true French nation-state, that of the great Louis XI whose leadership had inspired England’s Henry VII.
The contrary influence of the good expresses itself in a specifically contrary way. So, in the real history of France, the body of the great scientist-hero, and “Author of Victory” of France, Lazare Carnot, was brought from Magdeburg, Germany, where he had been honored with his earned rank of Major-General and “Author of Victory,” by first a full military deployment of, first, a German military guard, and then borne through France to the Paris Invalides by a French military guard, where he rests, today, near the body of his adversary, Napoleon Bonaparte, but also near to that of a dear friend of mine, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, hero of the Resistance.
Thus, as such examples merely illustrate the point, truly Great drama is never merely fiction of the sort which was the stock-in-trade of the disgusting Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater–especially not that disgusting notion of theater. Honest drama honors history in the place which it has actually inhabited, thus letting heroes, fools, and demons, each, secure a proper niche in their proper place, each in its proper niche in its place on the stage of the actual history of mankind. All great drama is crafted by those who are true historians, first, and, only secondly, writers and players for the performance on stage. This demands a true insight into the history which must be brought, as truthful insight into real history, onto the living present stage, brought from whatever past and place, to be considered in a time and place where the audience sits today. The moral authority for staging a drama is its moral quality of not only the historical truthfulness of that which is played, but also of the truthfulness of the manner in which it is presented.
These precautions, do not, in any way, detract from what must be conveyed as the most essential truth of those circumstances and procedures. To grasp this set of distinctions, compare the situation of the Classical modes of drama with the situation of that commander of the spacecraft who is forced to rely on the fallacy inherent in the design of the instruments of sense-perception, or instruments for a kindred purpose.
III. THE PASSAGE OF TIME
Albert Einstein’s appreciation of the uniquely original discovery of universal gravitation, by Johannes Kepler, illustrates the same universal principle which I have assigned to the function of drama here.
Implicitly, Einstein’s view of Kepler’s discovery was, that there is no “empty space.”12 That is the implication of their combined and related work as I am enabled to recognize those implications from the vantage-point of what has been accumulated as a fresh view of this ontological question from the standpoint presently available.
On this account, so, just as Johannes Kepler’s original discovery of the principle of universal gravitation, was premised on recognition of the implications of the systemic conflict between the sense-perceptions of the Solar system’s organization, from the respective standpoints of vision and of harmonics, implications which defined a verifiable set of values, values which conformed to neither of those two senses, for all cases of mere sense-perception’s experience. Truth lies, thus, not within the bounds of the senses, but, rather, in the contradictions among them, that within an alleged “empty space” which had never actually existed in that substance and form.
Just so, on the living stage, it is the image of a third, either present, or, more likely, momentarily absent character of the drama, by more than two others, which serves as the minimal “unit of interaction” on stage, which tends to define what may tend to serve as both an estimate of the character of a third. The interaction of the summation of these pair-wise and comparable juxtapositions, defines the relatively truthful insight into both the relevant characters and of the drama as an entirety.
For purpose of illustration, take the case of the dialogue between King Philip and Posa, in Giuseppe Verdi’s setting of the pair, as conspiring behind the back of Carlos; and, consider, conversely, a judgment of that pair which may follow from the ultimately assigned sense of the reality of the effect of the pair’s judgment on the third, such as that Carlos.
So, comparably, as Kepler was enabled to define the principle of universal gravitation, the interactions among persons addressing the subject of a targeted person’s mental processes, are enabled to discover that person’s identity as a mind. The notion of the third person, who is the implied subject of the dialogue among the pair, is a crucial concept of principle for expansion into the form of a tensor-like, properly conceived Classical tragedy, and, implicitly, Classical modes of drama generally.
It is through the contradictions among the sundry commentators on the subject of a commonly selected subject, that the Classical drama on stage is brought to life, that according to a principle comparable to Johannes Kepler’s contrast of the paradoxical junction of the vision and harmonics of the Solar system, to define a fact which is neither of those two, the principle of Solar gravitation.
It is through the general principle which this image evokes, that the identity of the character on stage is given substance, as in the same way as the paradoxical juncture of different sense-perceptions of the same subject-matter defines the actuality of the universal principle of gravitation. So, does the Classical stage provide the idea of the person behind the mask on stage, as since Aeschylus.
On the Classical stage, especially in respect to Classical tragedy, it is the same principle employed by Kepler for his uniquely original discovery of the general principle of gravitation: the comparison of the view of a subject character or the like, is presented to the comprehension not only of the director and playwright, but of each, in turn, who plays the part of the on-stage, or referenced personality, or the like.
The required method of reading and performing the drama, here, is comparable to the role of the human mind, as distinct from human sense-perceptions.
The Human Mind
Still today, it remains the popular custom of even the allegedly literate classes generally, to consider the powers of perception shown by the human individual, as if the human individual’s mind were virtually nothing more than a summation of sense-experiences. This presumption is shown to be a failure whenever the matter of an actually universal principle of physical science is taken duly into account. Discoveries of the latter, universal such type are immortal, in that their role in society outlives the person who generated such a principle. This evidence is exposed in a crucial way when we are dealing with the work of an original scientific thinker, such as Nicholas of Cusa, Leonardo da Vinci, et al. More importantly, the role of the scientific progress which is due to an orderable succession of such discoveries functions as an “hypothesis of the higher hypothesis” in the matter of properly defining Academician V.I. Vernadsky’s employment of the concept of the Noösphere as specific to mankind.
This notion of the principle of supra-sensory powers of hypothesis as specific to the human mind, rather than to sense-perceptions as such, serves us as the exemplary definition of the conception of truth.
The same approach, which, on the one side, is typical of fundamental scientific truthfulness, is also characteristic of the Classical stage since the Homeric epics and their reflection in the dramas of Aeschylus: “the truth behind the mask” in the Classical Greek theater and its precedents, as at the site of the theater at Taormina, Sicily.
Just as the discovery of the principle of gravitation and its mathematical expression was effected by Johannes Kepler as lodged in the location of cross-sectional tension between the notions of vision and harmonics, so all that is relatively true as a matter of principle arises from a specific quality of ironical juxtaposition among two or more differing statements of apparent fact. So it goes on the authentically Classical stage.
So, the Classical stage employs the image of the trans-oceanic navigator’s relationship to the stars, as the model to be compared with, and also contrasted with the relations of motion among the planets and stars. So do such men and women imagine themselves to be, relatively speaking, as like “gods.”
Benet’s Case in Point
Stephen Vincent Benet’s “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” is a convenient reference to a modern model of the principled generalization of this approach to the stage. So, does Shakespeare bring us, through successive apparent experiences in the drama, to a crucial insight into the real Hamlet, in the soliloquy which begins:
“Or, not to be? …”
In the instance of Benet’s The Devil and Daniel Webster, the product is no mere parody of Goethe’s Faust. The American jury of the assembly of the defamed deceased, in the story, has added a uniquely crucial quality of new element to the legacy of Marlowe’s theme: the American spirit which grips the jurors, despite themselves, to defy that infernal tease, Adam Smith’s British Satan who is the dispenser of temporary pleasure or pain!
It is to be observed, that it is actually Benet’s shift of the time and place of the Faust theme, which provides an historically, systemically truthful setting in history for that story and its drama, rather than some arbitrary whim of a playwright or literary critic: for Benet’s change in the treatment of the Faust theme is qualitative, precisely because it is truthful historically as to its central principle. Yet, apart from that crucial, historical quality of principled change of Benet’s tale from the spirit of Marlowe’s Faustus, and Goethe’s Faust, in the cellar, the principle of historical specificity specific to all three is not violated.
It is the communication of the principle expressed in the drama which is its nature, its identity, its mission.
Turning to a related aspect of the same subject-matter, Helga and I had once visited the historical area in southern Germany which contains the residence of the relevant historical Faust; but, taking the matter of Goethe’s version duly into account, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus will suffice, short of an historical specificity such as that employed by Benet. However, that once said, Faust, considered in the context of actually known real history, is used by Marlowe, Goethe, and Benet’s “Scratch” as an artistic embodiment of a principle of human corruption consistent with Mozart’s demonstration of the principle of evil within his model of Casanova used for Don Giovanni, and, from a different aspect, the Satanic figure of Marlowe’s image of Mephistopheles from that Venetian marriage-counsellor to Henry VIII, Francesco Zorzi, who brings Cardinal Pole and Thomas Cromwell on stage, and, later that Satanic type of Abbé Antonio S. Conti, met in Goethe’s Faust.
Such is the Satanic figure of Mozart’s Don Giovanni from a Habsburg Hell. There are neither saints nor heroes in a Habsburg Hell, but only the rubbish remaining when the subject-matter of the experiment has been used up for that occasion.
That much said on background, now turn to the meat of our subject-matter, the principle of what is the truly Classical principle of drama, the Classical tragedy most emphatically. Take the crucial case of Johannes Kepler’s discovery of the principle of universal gravitation.
The Search for the Human Soul
So it is in the tragedy from the domain of Classical drama, as in the character of Achilles in Classical tragedy, or the Olympian Zeus of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Trilogy.
Evil brought on stage must be palpable evil, as we see prancing upon the political stage under the likes of George W. Bush, Jr. and Barack Obama. Under such reigns, each holding public office, is fated to do evil, not because they are evil, but because a momentarily reigning figure of reigning evil is holding the political mortgage, like that on King Henry VIII’s ill-fated wives, on their soul. Giuseppe Verdi’s Marquis of Posa is plunged with a cry of despair, like that of Wolfgang Mozart’s Don Giovanni, into Hell, as Friedrich Schiller warned, at the close of his part in the tragedy of Don Carlos.
Truly great drama, especially truly great performances of drama, depends on what should become a desire for escape from the habits of that dungeon which is better known for its prevalence as “sense-certainty.” Consider that principle in the light of what I have referenced, earlier in this report, as the hypothetical commander operating from within the confines of his space-ship. He shall serve our requirements as the passing putative hero of our drama, here.
As I have already indicated, earlier in this report, as in publications uttered earlier, no sense-impression is actually true in and of itself. The method employed by Kepler, in his uniquely original discovery of the universal principle of gravitation, is exemplary, as Albert Einstein pointed out.
In a fashion which is comparable to Kepler’s method, the existence of experimentally provable physical principles lies in the contradiction between, or among, two or more forms of sense-perception, either of the usually given human senses, or by resort to other sense-perceptual powers which are comparably efficient, but outside the domain of the customary notion of sense-perceptions.
Notably, this notion does not exist at all within the so-called “Liberal” system traced to the “Ockhamite” dogma of Paolo Sarpi and his followers among the British (or, should we rather say, “brutish”) ideologues of empiricism.
Notably, the empiricists do not insist upon any principle of experimental proof of universal principle, but, rather on a public, or, perhaps, pubic doctrine of mere pleasure-pain.13 Such is the essential form of the moral depravity expressed as conventional “popular opinion.”
Actually, the common underpinnings of each among the cases of crude sensory materialism, Aristoteleanism, and modern Liberalism, all converge upon some sort of a-priori, or pragmatic expression of an implied belief in sense-certainty, upon an arbitrary sort of convention of such a sort, rather than any actually scientific principle of human reason.
Among the best approaches to get to the root of the difficulties so presented, the Classical drama is typical of the best. The case of our choice of hero for our drama of the moment, the commander of the suggested space-ship, provides what may be regarded as among the better approaches for dealing with the controversy which I have just outlined.
Therefore, let us now place the case of that space-commander on the stage of the Classical theater. We must, therefore, consider the challenge faced by the commander of that vessel, as I have stated that same case earlier. Reference Albert Einstein’s conclusion respecting Kepler’s uniquely original discovery of the principle of gravitation, once more, as the “model” for attacking the crucial quality of ontological issue so presented.
The Principle of the Stage
The great lie, which is the chief offender against that principle of the Classical stage which I have sought to qualify here, is the kind of anti-historical presumption which is typified as it were axiomatic for both Aristotle and Sarpi.
The elementary fact of the existence of human society, is that man’s continued productive development tends to exhaust the quality of the resources of the planet which are immediately available to us. To the degree that beliefs such as the prohibition against man’s use of fire, or nuclear power, are imposed upon society, society is doomed to yet another new dark age for all humanity, with man’s resulting slide into a horrid form of debasement.
Just as nature itself has brought living, formerly dominant species to selective extinction, progress in man’s self-imposed conditions of life and its mission, is the imperative of all decent societies, all decent nations. This, however, is not always the honored objective of societies, as the case of the thoroughly evil World Wildlife Fund (WWF) of the late Prince Bernhard and his crony, Prince Philip illustrates the point, or, similarly, the Laxenberg, Austria-based organization of the British foreign intelligence services’ International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), exhibits the same principle of evidence specific to the WWF, or to the wild-eyed, anti-nuclear fanatics of today’s Germany and elsewhere. Constantly higher levels of energy-flux density in modes of basic economic infrastructure and prevalent modes of production, are the essential precondition for the continuation of civilized life among human beings.
Classical drama, notably, as we know it from the line of European history from Homer through Friedrich Schiller and his followers, has an essential, complementary role to perform in parallel with scientific progress in mankind’s power of production to higher states of human existence. There are two great principles, among all other useful ones; one is the principle of progress, from relatively lower “platforms” of productivity, to higher; the other, is the comparable advance in society’s conception of the roles of both society itself, and of the individual member of society. It is through insight into the danger of permitting society to decline on either and both accounts, that we should call upon Classical artistic composition, as expressed by Classical drama, to supply critical insights into the nature, and remedy for those qualities of social interrelations which tend to hold us back, or, worse, send society reeling backwards, as the U.S. has declined with such special ferocity of moral decay since our nation condoned the crime of attributing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to a pathetic creature cast in the part of a lone assassin.
So, we must view and judge ourselves, as Friedrich Schiller prescribed the relevant citizen in the audience as an essential remedy for the follies of an established social order.
1E.g., William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity.
2For this purpose, we must recognize the discovery of the fact that the catenary is the expression of a physical principle, that in contrast to the incompetence of the Aristotelean dogma expressed as the a-priorism of Euclid’s Elements.
3It is “the least tolerable” for reason of the global extent of the evil which the globally extended practice of Liberalism embodies.
4How Adam Smith Fooled You Suckers: Most of the Time. EIR, Sept. 24, 2010. Also www. larouchepac.com.
5This, implicitly, states the case for the existence of the “human soul” which is not defined by sense-perception, but which employs sense-perception as a subordinated part of the functions expressed by the inherently creative powers specific to the human mind, i.e., the notion of the “human soul.”
6Jacques in Act II, Scene VII of As You Like It.
7Sometimes it is the judge in the case who is actually the criminal, and sometimes the jury in the trial of the case.
8Frederick’s Austrian adversary of that occasion, had deployed a perfect echo of Hannibal’s devastating victory against the Romans. However, Frederick had added a superior dimension of Hannibal’s model case, by use of a strategic device fairly identified as “scamper” for the success of what had been his virtually exhausted, and vastly outnumbered troops of that occasion.
9For a revised version of Verdi’s Otello, Boito inserted a famous soliloquy for Iago (“Credo in un Dio crudel”), which is certainly appropriate for the character of Iago, but overdoes the point in a way which encumbers the original intention of the opera as a whole.
10Among the most notable of the devices employed by Jeremy Bentham’s “secret committee” of the British Foreign Office, for the destruction of France, was the operation known as “the affair of the Queen’s Necklace.” This had numerous effects on her brother Joseph, including that deployment of troops deployed by the Emperor against the people of France. Thus, the Napoleon who inherited the situation thus created, conducted those Napoleonic wars against Europe, a “New Seven Years War,” which resulted in the consolidation of the British empire over the world at large. The case of the Thirty Years War, as treated by Schiller, expresses the same principle of strategy.
11The most disgusting, morally, if also childish, characterization of Friedrich Schiller’s Wallenstein Trilogy was promoted by some silly former associates on the fringes of my own association, who proposed the meaning of that Trilogy to be located in the “tragic error of Wallenstein’s violation of his oath to his emperor.”
12The issue of the distinction between time in physical space, and the physical space-time, of general relativity, need not be considered at this stage of the argument here. Compare the somewhat celebrated paradox associated with the name of Louis de Broglie.
13Although, the founder of modern empiricism, Paolo Sarpi, did have, actually a special kind of belief in a quasi-Aristotelean doctrine of the type made familiar by the Twentieth-century dogmas of the late Bertrand Russell. Nonetheless, for what are sometimes called “the mickeys,” the simple belief in a crude pleasure-pain principle like that of Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham were considered sufficient