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Thread: Alfred North Whitehead

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Alfred North Whitehead

    Alfred North Whitehead

    Alfred North Whitehead is a panentheist luminary and philosophical genius with the heart of a true mystic like the great sages and alchemists of the dark and hidden past. I especially like these brief words of his.
    "Mathematical physics presumes in the first place an electromagnetic field of activity pervading space and time. The laws which condition this field are nothing else than the conditions observed by the general activity of the flux of the world, as it individualises itself in the events."
    When he spoke to the students of Harvard in 1940 he identified the issues facing the difficulty of getting a real education just as Joseph Campbell did around the same time in a speech to his Sarah Lawrence students. I often quote his address titled Permanent Human Values and I highly recommend or insist that everyone read it. It can be summed up in these words often quoted from Whitehead by Ralph Nader.
    "Duty arises from our potential control over the course of events. Where attainable knowledge could have changed the issue, ignorance has the guilt of vice."

    Mr. Whitehead's close association with one of my childhood heroes named Bertrand Russell is something I have wondered about as I became aware that Russell, like JFK, had gone against his Merovingian family. Reports say they went different directions or parted company after many years for uncertain reasons and I know Whitehead was interested in the affairs of secret societies and their impact on the governance of the world as the above quote certainly would allow me to speculate. Could Whitehead have known about Joseph Kennedy and his nefarious involvements in the Pilgrims, Corsair Club or other Illuminized efforts? I may never know for sure, but it is clear to me he was at Harvard during the critical period leading up to many of the events including an association with Kennedy advisor (and Merovingian) and handler John Kenneth Galbraith. I must again make it clear that the Illuminati cannot be simply negated with words like Satanic or 'global corporatists'; their vision for the world has a lot of merit as Weishaupt defender Thomas Jefferson once noted.

    I am sure Whitehead and I would enjoy talking about these thoughts I have on making questions more important than black and white answers.


    The body armor that protects the sword fodder in Middle Eastern war efforts today allows an expanded bureaucracy of money-tree management to grow; while providing a few willing sheep an opportunity to endure a life with no limbs or other serious complications of that war effort. I wonder why there were no questions on my exams in school that read like this:

    1. Does religion foster war - give examples throughout the Middle Ages for your contentions.

    2. Does justice and morality apply to large bureaucracies including churches and states? Provide two examples of situations where you can support both sides of the issue.

    3. When propagandists convince us something is for the Greater Good, does this mean for the greatest good for all sentient life on earth? Are you responsible for the actions of your elected officials and the agents they pay to do things that ultimately support the lifestyle you are accustomed to?

    4. If we say we believe in an immortal soul and that this soul comes back to the material plane, how can any man abuse any woman or sell her for monetary gain?

    5. If you think there was an agenda or plan by the governing bodies that allowed and enforced the abrogation of women and children's rights give three examples other than in religion when you think this might have started. (If you do not think there was a plan or that anyone benefited from what happened please write an essay explaining why we should waste our effort in trying to teach you.)

    Please propose five more questions for consideration to be on future examinations that will be considered for our immigration departments and the social governance of institutions that are not taxed. If any of those questions is used by any party you will be compensated handsomely for your diligent input.

    Bastards and Unwed Mothers:

    It was not until the mid-1990s that the last charnel house to take care of unwed mothers and their children as slaves was shut down in Ireland. The unmarked graves are a testimony to the real nature of priestly interest and greed.
    Last edited by R_Baird; 11-24-2015 at 06:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Alfred North Whitehead said a lot of things of great importance to society - few have yet been acted on. We are all responsible for making change and guilty evermore when presented with wisdom we do not act upon. He said it this way. "Ideas won't keep, something must be done about them."

    “I have suffered a great deal from writers who have quoted this or that sentence of mine either out of its context or in juxtaposition to some incongruous matter which quite distorted my meaning, or destroyed it altogether."

    "It does not matter what men say in words, so long as their activities are controlled by settled instincts. The words may ultimately destroy the instincts. But until this has occurred, words do not count. - from Science and the Modern World"

    "It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious."

    "Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it."

    "Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language."
    Last edited by R_Baird; 12-08-2015 at 02:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    William James and Whitehead as well as Bertrand Russell are all worthy of constant inspection. I should love it - if the afterlife allows me to meet and have discourse with them. It is too bad that Harvard also produces all the Wall Street Felons.

    "Gertrude Stein Articulates at Last

    By Gertrude Stein.

    Some heartless and incurable skeptics have ventured to express doubt or denial of the existence of Alice B. Toklas. From these followers of the school of Betsy Prig the good will shrink in horror. In this book full justice is done with pen and pencil to the subject of its title, which in a sense is pleasant fiction. In fact, the book is by and about a writer at once famous and obscure, who has a growing audience of the fittest and whose works, in her own language, the world cannot be long deprived:

    About six weeks ago, Gertrude Stein said, it does not look to me as if you are ever going to write that autobiography. You know what I'm going to do. I'm going to write it for you. I am going to write it simply and as Defoe did the autobiography of Robinson Crusoe. And she has and this is it.

    Miss Stein was born in Allegheny, Pa. "of a very respectable middle-class family," not intellectual. She dislikes intellectuals and finds it ridiculous that she "who is good friends with all the world and can know them and they can know her has always been the admired of the precious." Some day, she is sure, "anybody will find out that she is of interest." The newspapers are always interested in her. That consoles her. They say that her "writing is appalling, but always quote it correctly and those they say they admire they do not quote. My sentences do get under their skin, only they do not know that they do, she has often said." She was taken abroad early and lived in Vienna and Paris. She learned to speak French and German, but she never read except in English. Eyes are more than ears, she thinks. Returning, she lived in San Francisco and Baltimore. At Radcliffe, William James was her great friend. She studied automatic writing under Hugo Munsternberg, and her first printed writing was an account in The Harvard Psychological Review ofher own experiments. Henry James, "whom she considers quite definitely as her forerunner," she was late in admiring. William was the least cruel of examiners:

    It was a very lonely Spring day.Gertrude Stein had been going to the opera every night, and going to the opera also in the afternoon, and had been otherwise engrossed and it was the period of the final examinations, and there was the examination in William James's course. She sat down with the examination paper before her and she just could not. "Dear Professor James," she wrote at the top of her paper, "I am so sorry, but really I do not feel a bit like an examination paper in philosophy today." and left. The next day she had a postal card from William James saying, "Dear Miss Stein, I understand perfectly how you feel. I often feel like that myself." And underneath it he gave her the highest mark in his course.

    She studied medicine at his suggestion in the Johns Hopkins Medical School. The first two years she liked. The last two bored her. Osler and all the other eminences, "knowing her reputation for original scientific work, made her examinations matter of form." One professor was less tolerant. She gave up medicine and went abroad where she had already been in the habit of passing the Summer. Without following in detail her travellings and her settlements, it is enough to say that they are almost always amusing. Drop in on Miss Stein -- Alice B. Toklas with her -- anywhere. They were living in Flesole. From Rome they had brought back a beautiful black Renaaissance plate.

    Maddalena, the old Italian cook, came up to Gertrude Stein's bedroom one morning to bring the water for her bath.Gertrude Stein had the hiccoughs. but cannot the signors stop it, said Maddalena anxiously. No, said Gertrude Stein between hiccoughs. Maddalena, shaking her head sadly, went away. In a minute there was an awful crash. Up flew Maddalena, oh signors, signors, she said. I was so upset because the signora had the hiccoughs that I broke the black plate that the signora so carefully brought from Rome. Gertrude Stein began to swear, she has a reprehensible habit of swearing whenever anything unexpected happens and she always tells me she learned it in her youth in California, and as I am a loyal Californian I can then say nothing. She swore and the hiccoughs ceased. Maddalena's face was wreathed in smiles. Ah the signorina, she said, she has stopped hiccoughing. Oh no, I did not break the beautiful plate. I just made the noise of it and then said I did to make the signorina stop hiccoughing.

    The ateller and pavillion in the Rue de Fleurus were full of pictures and of visiting painters, especially Picasso and Matisse. At a lunch one day

    we had just hung all the pictures and we asked all the painters. You know how painters are. I wanted to make them happy so I placed each one opposite his own picture, and they were happy -- so happy that we had to send out twice for more bread. When you know France you will know that that means that they were happy, because they cannot eat and drink without bread and we had to send out twice for bread, so they were happy. Nobody noticed my little arrangement except Matisse and he did not until just as he left, and now he says that it is a proof that I am very wicked. Matisse laughed and said, "Yes, I know Mademoiselle Gerturde, the world is a theatre for you, but there are theatres and theatres, and when you listen so carefully to me and so attentively and do not hear a word I say, then I do say that you are very wicked."

    Gertrude Stein's cook did not like Matisse. She said that no Frenchman should stay to a meal unexpectedly, especially if he asked the servant what there was for dinner. Foreigners might do this, but not Frenchmen. Matisse had done it. Therefore, Gertrude Stein's cook would fry the eggs for him instead of making an omelette. "It shows less respect, but he will understand." In a hundred little touches like this the desultory reader will find his meat. Think of the "Sunday painters" for instance. These are "the workingmen, hair dressers and veterinaries and visionaries who only paint once a week." Gertrude Stein lived much among painters, sculptors. About Picasso there is most, but there are many well-known and some famous names. Cubism and futurism and African sculpture are dwelt on, but it is the procession of people, eminent or of the obscurest that charms Mildred Aldrich, usually dropping her keys down the middle of the stairs from the sixth story as she was saying good-bye to somebody below; Picasso's wife, quarreling with him because he didn't give her a comic strip; Kathleen Bruce, beautiful, athletic, sculptor, the future wife of South Pole Scott: Andrew Green, great-nephew of the father of New York. Young Andrew can recite all Milton's "Paradise Lost" by heart and all the poems translated from the Chinese that Gertrude Stein loves. Some of the rest of us may love the future Sir Augustus John, "amazing-looking, not too sober." Of Guillaume Apollinaire, Gertrude Stein never got the best, but once, and then the poet was "frightfully drink." His brother was a bank clerk and pretty well-dressed. Anybody in Montmartre who had occasion for conventional or ceremonial togs "always wore a piece" of Guillaume's brother's suit. Of the Americans who used to come to the Rue de Fleurus, Guillaume used to say: "They are not man, they are not woman, they are Americans." Gertrude Stein says of the Americans that they are "like Spaniards, they are abstract and cruel." Here is Spanish Manolo, friend of Moreas, the Greek poet. "He used to make statues for joints in Montmartre in return for meals." By the way, it was in Spain that Gertrude Stein got the idea for her "Tender Buttons.""
    Last edited by R_Baird; 01-09-2016 at 12:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    The psychosis of Bertrand Russell's grandmother was evident in his relations with women as well as his own loss of his mother and sister at an age he could not consciously retrieve. This grandmother wrote in his Bible "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." I had always thought this was excellent advice but looking further into this family has made me wonder if she was recommending to get in front and lead the multitude into more evil. My oldest brother is Russell James and he just told me he had one of his three lifelong visions when Bertrand died. I suspect my father named him after Bertrand and William James - another great scholar at Harvard from the era and in all of our lives.

    "After the father's death a legal battle over custody ensued, with Russell's paternal grandmother determined to save her grandsons from the guardians designated by her son lest they inculcate the values of the deceased parents. To complete the catalogue of losses, the grandfather to whom Russell had developed some affection and attachment died when the boy was six. Thus, the early years of his life were marked by a series of major losses through death.

    The atmosphere in which he was raised was permeated by his grandmother's eccentricities, particularly with regard to sex. According to Russell, she nearly convinced him that marriage, sexuality, and procreation could lead only to death, madness, and the perpetuation of various hereditary illnesses. The grandmother, though decidedly peculiar, did provide some sort of consistent, solicitous care. Also of importance was that the grandmother, though not a pacifist, staunchly opposed England's various imperialist wars in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

    Russell heard her preach these views as he was growing up, and his conversion {To pacifism and against the wars of Empire including the Opium War his kin fomented upon the Chinese.} probably involved an identification with her.
    It is our assumption that these major childhood losses exerted a continuing and profound influence on Russell. They were experienced, particularly the death of the mother, at an age when the verbal, symbolic, and affective capacities of the child could register but not adequately "abreact" or buffer the impact of the experience.6

    The traumatic residue of the experience of the sickness and loss of the parents form one element of our explanation of this episode. His then current needs in relation to Whitehead, Mrs. Whitehead, and his wife Alys contribute the other elements"

    The file which follows seeks to explain how he thought (projected perhaps) his own depressive tendencies upon Whitehead when Whitehead's wife was facing death.

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    by B Simon - ‎1973 - ‎Cited by 2 - ‎Related articles
    Bertrand Russell was well known for his enduring commitment to pacifism. ... staying with Alfred North Whitehead and his family. ..... Part of his falling out with.
    Last edited by R_Baird; 04-19-2016 at 01:19 PM.

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