EXAMINING THE HOSTS
- A transcript from The Hour of Judgment radio series -
Copyright (c) 1995 Kevin Solway & David QuinnGuests:
- Kevin Solway - Sage
- David Quinn - Sage
Host: Dan Rowden - Freelance philosopher
In all of the programs we had done thus far, not one of the guests had challenged us in any sustained way, even though we spent the entire time attacking their values and beliefs. This is perhaps understandable, considering that they were after all our guests. But nonetheless we did encourage them to do so, both explicitly and implicitly. For example, we would tell our guests before each show that it was to be a round-table discussion, a free-for-all, and that they were welcome to question us much as we questioned them. And then, to further facilitate this, we would do our level best on the show to shatter their professional facades and thereby provoke them into human consciousness. It rarely worked.
So Dan Rowden came up with the idea of him interviewing us. He would do what they wouldn't do. He would zero in on our beliefs and put them under the spotlight. He would play the role of the worldly person and challenge us from the worldly perspective, and try to lay exposed the true nature of what we are. Needless to say, this required Danny putting in a mammoth effort of concentration and discipline, for it's a very difficult thing for a human to fill the shoes of an animal. And all thing considered, he did a pretty fine job.
Dan: Hello, and welcome to the penultimate edition in this series of The Hour of Judgment. My name is Dan Rowden, and I'll be your host for this evening. Now through the course of these programs we've heard regular hosts, David Quinn and Kevin Solway, put a number of people under the analytical spotlight - diverse people, eminent people, experts in their given fields of endeavour: priests, professors, Buddhist monks and masters, scientists, psychologists, feminists, and even one who claims to teach the highest wisdom - all of them critically scrutinized by this pair of self-professed sages. Well, tonight it's their turn. It's high time, I think, that their claims of wisdom and spiritual authority were put under that very same spotlight. And so, tonight, good evening to David and Kevin.
Kevin: Good evening to you, Dan.
David: G'day, Dan.
Dan: And should I say, welcome to your program! Now, the first thing I want to ask you is precisely what it is that you value. Why do you have these values, and how did you arrive at them?
Kevin: Well, should I start answering that one, David?
David: Yes, go on, Kevin.
Kevin: Well, being an egotist - a person who desires to be happy - I wanted the greatest happiness of all. This goes back to my early teens. And the greatest happiness is the thing which lasts the longest - the happiness which lasts the longest. Now the thing that lasts the longest of all is, of course, the Truth. You can be a football hero, you can be a pinball wizard, but these things don't last. Some five year old kid will come along, for example, and get the high score on the pinball machine. So you're not going to be the best at ordinary things in the world. But when it comes to Truth . . . Truth is something that never changes. And once you know the Truth, it's something that's with you for the rest of your life. It is insurmountable. So, personally, Truth is the thing I value above all, because it gave me the greatest amount of happiness.
Dan: So, basically, you're saying that you value something that gives you permanent satisfaction.
Kevin: That's right.
Dan: Okay, what about you, David?
David: Well, I value Truth above all as well, but I think I came to it differently to Kevin. I was more motivated in a negative sense, rather than any striving for perfect happiness, because I never conceived of that in my younger days. I was more motivated by a fear of being in error. I didn't like being insecure about being uncertain in my knowledge. I was brought up to be a total moron. For the first twenty years of my life, I was a moron. I was fully into sport, and I didn't have any intellectual aims in any way. It was only when I reached about twenty that I began to explore away from sport. I began getting more into aesthetics - exploring sunsets, music, drugs, and all that sort of thing. In fact, I was becoming a bit of a dropout. And then I began to think philosophically. So the first time I began to think philosophically wasn't until I reached about twenty, and it was like I was being born at that stage. It was around that time that I met Kevin, and it was through Kevin that I heard ideas about cause and effect and the spiritual path. And in an instant flash I saw the totality of the spiritual path, Ultimate Reality, the whole thing, and I haven't looked back since.
Dan: So, basically, what you're saying is that for both of you this philosophic path, in many respects, was just a flight from suffering.
Kevin: For sure. For me anyway, yes.
David: Yes, definitely, but I didn't have this conception of perfect happiness. I mean, I was brought up with no ideals at all. I met nobody who had any ideals. I was brought up in the Catholic tradition, and the Catholic priests were just incredibly mediocre people. I mean, I remember one Catholic priest in particular - and there are many examples in my schooling from which I could choose - and his aim in life was to go to Heaven so he could play golf all day! This didn't inspire me at all. I mean, I was already playing golf all day in my teens! So I met nobody in my childhood who taught me to have ideals.
Dan: Yes, okay. This concept of the flight from suffering was certainly my experience. I just couldn't handle people's inconsistency, their irrationality, the general insanity of the world. And the only way I could escape from that, I intuited, was to actually understand it.
David: Totally. I found golf was a great teacher. Golf was my first teacher. I was a member of a golf club, quite a prestigious one in Brisbane, and there were politicians and doctors and lawyers and so forth with whom I played rounds with every weekend. I got to know some of them quite well, and I just found them to be incredibly mediocre people. They puffed themselves up - they thought themselves to be great men, successful men - but their lives were incredibly petty. All they thought about was from one week to the next. It was very disappointing.
Dan: Yes, all they thought about really was running away from suffering. The point that I want to make is that, in a qualitative sense, it seems to me that everyone is trying to escape suffering. So what makes you guys better or superior to anyone else?
Kevin: Well, I think I had a bigger ego. I wanted to avoid suffering more than everybody else. I'd seen that nobody else had done a very good job of it. Even those people who had largely escaped suffering, and who do live very happy lives - still, even they seemed incredibly fragile to me. I could see a thousand ways to upset their apple cart. And I wanted to place myself in a position, egotistically, that was perfectly safe, that had absolute security, that nothing in the whole universe could upset. And, of course, there is only one thing that is like that - and that's Truth. But, of course, the closer and closer I came to Truth, the less and less egotism was a factor in my desiring it.
David: So by the time you reach this goal of complete security you no longer have any need of it.
Kevin: Exactly. The egotism is so powerful it has consumed itself in its greed for perfection.
Dan: Okay, that's fine. Now you guys talk about the ideal of "Truth" . . . you use the term "Truth" a lot. Some might say, "Sure, sure, sure, everyone does. I mean, I've heard it a million times. Big deal. What a load of garbage!" So what is this Truth? What is the substance and the essence of this Ultimate Reality that you keep talking about?
Kevin: Well, the Truth is what is real. And what is real is Infinite. In other words, it's unbounded. Full stop.
David: Yes, that says it quite well. I concur. [ laughs ]
Dan: Is this some kind of objective reality?
David: Alright. I always saw Truth, the very concept of Truth, as something that has to be unchanging and permanent. Nothing would satisfy me as being Truth if there was any possibility it could be changed. That was my working definition, always. So I began to look at everything in the Universe to see what was permanent, and there is only one thing that is permanent and that is change. So I began to examine the nature of change. What composes change? Cause and effect. So in this way you're heading down towards Ultimate Reality.
Dan: Okay, but from an empirical point of view you can't make those claims. You can't talk about what everything is like in the Universe, because you haven't got a clue! You'd have to know what everything is like in the whole Universe. So how can you say there's nothing in the Universe that is permanent?
David: It's a logical truth. Anything that exists exists because we conceive it to exist. So if we stop conceiving a thing to exist, then it ceases to exist.
Kevin: Hmm, that's a pretty big change, isn't it!
David: It applies to everything, so I don't need to experience everything in an empirical sense. But I can understand the very concept of "thing" and the concept of "finiteness" in order to understand everything.
Dan: Okay, but you seem to be creating definitions to provide that understanding. I can handle, and I think most people can handle, the idea that you can't empirically know everything, so you do have to get into the logical realm. But you seem to be defining this Reality for your own purposes. Is Reality just a matter of definition? And if so, who says your definitions are the correct ones?
Kevin: Well, Reality is a matter of definition. An ignorant person has certain definitions and has a certain reality, and a wise person, a person who understands Truth, also makes definitions and has a certain reality. And each of us, as individuals, has to choose which of those two we're going to go for. Either we're going to live in an ignorant reality, or we're going to live in a wise reality. Now both of them are perfectly natural, in that they happen in Nature, and we can go one way or the other. Ultimately, as far as Nature is concerned, it doesn't really matter whether we're ignorant or wise; but as individuals, as individuals who have potential to understand Ultimate Truth, it's our decision which way we're going to go.
Dan: Yes, but someone could easily say that you're simply putting the tag "wise" onto your definitions, and the tag "ignorant" onto other people's. At what point did you discover that your definitions were the correct ones?
Kevin: Well, it comes down to our definition of "wise". Now you know the saying, "Ignorance is bliss." Clearly, to a lot of people ignorance is actually wisdom, and the more ignorant you are the more wise you are! For example, if you don't claim to know anything at all, then it's hard for anybody to disagree with you. So it's a way to be happy. It's a form of safety. But I, personally, define wisdom to be a very particular thing - which is my choice - that's how I define it, as a wise person. End of story. Reality is definitely a matter of definitions, and it all depends on whether a person has a conscience as to which reality they're going to choose, and how they're going to make definitions, and what they're actually going to call "wise". Are you going to call ignorance "wise"? It's your choice.
David: But you haven't given any reasons, Kevin, why your conception of reality is the wise one.
Dan: And that's what I'm pressing at.
Kevin: Well, wise means insurmountable by using correct reasoning.
David: So you've defined wisdom in this way - that it's unchanging, insurmountable, that sort of stuff.
Kevin: That's right. Wisdom is unable to be defeated by correct reasoning.
David: So it's still a conception.
David: And . . . I'm sorry, Danny, I'm taking over your role here.
Dan: That's fine, you're doing a good job there. Yes, people will hear that, and they will think, "Oh well, fine. If he wants to define reality in that way, and call it wise, then good luck to him. I'll define reality a different way and I'll call that wise." So all these qualitative judgments you make about people being inferior and all that sort of stuff doesn't hold water, if definitions are arbitrary . . .
Kevin: Well, at this point, I would try to appeal to what conscience people have in them. Some people do have a small element of conscience - just the tiniest spark. And that conscience suggests to them that they are responsible for the future of the human race, and for the younger generation. So I will put to those few people, that handful of people who have a conscience, "Look, what kind of a world do you want for people in the future? Do you want them to be slaughtering each other with machine guns, wife-bashing, you know, the whole thing, battle of the sexes, sex games,--"
David: Cuddling in the park.
Kevin: --cuddling in the park, jealousy, fighting, cheating at exams, the whole thing, the whole of life. Turn on the TV and you see pain and suffering--
David: You're talking about the very stuff of life here, Kevin!
Kevin: Yes, I'm talking about the stuff of life.
David: And you're referring to a very boring world if all that's eliminated.
Kevin: It'll be boring to the majority of people, but the people with conscience will think to themselves "No, hang on, I don't want us to go on the way we are." We now have a population that's getting close to six billion people, climbing rapidly towards ten billion, and the total destruction of our planet - all because of the way we are living now. People with a conscience will say, "This can't go on. I don't want to be responsible for what's happening to this planet."
Dan: Okay, let me just move on a little bit. You also talk a lot about reason. You obviously place a great deal of value on reason. You seem to make this inexorable, inevitable link between wisdom and the faculty of reason, and you basically dismiss everything else as not having as much value. Why?
Kevin: Well, I don't dismiss intuition, because intuition is something which is just hard-wired into the consciousness.
Dan: The intuition experience provides us with data to work with, doesn't it?
Kevin: Exactly. And then with reason we can then verify whether that data is correct or not. So reason is essential to find out whether our intuitions are correct.
Dan: A lot of people would say that reason is limited, and that you can't have a complete faith in it. How do you know that your reason isn't faulty? I mean, most philosophers who have ever lived would say that they are totally dedicated to reason, that it's the only faculty they really value, and yet you would dismiss about ninety-nine percent of them. So how do you know that your reasoning is correct?
David: Well, regarding these philosophers that you're referring to, I would say that they didn't go far enough in their reason. So even though all through the Western tradition of philosophy, we had all these so-called rational philosophers who had all these different points of view and so forth, what you find is that they actually had attachments to certain points of view, and they used reason to justify these viewpoints. Now, the difference between them and myself, and Kevin, is that we go all the way and we use reason fully, through the whole spectrum of life. And I'm motivated by this idea that I don't want to be deceived in any way in the slightest degree. I want to have Truth and I want to know that I have Truth, for sure. So I think if anybody has that sort of motivation, they will definitely come to understand what is ultimately real.
Kevin: Yes, a lot of people - I think it's just a human quality - have an ability to compartmentalize their mind. So they may appear to be an extremely rational person in many areas of their life, but in other areas of their life they're not reasonable at all. So, in fact, they've partitioned off parts of their mind which reason can never enter into. And for this reason, I wouldn't call such people rational. A rational person, to my view, is a person whose reason is totally integrated with the whole of their mind. So there's no thought that the person who has that doesn't find a place within his reason and his reasoned view of the world.
David: An obvious example is Descartes. Now, interestingly, he started off with the premise that he didn't want to be deceived. He wanted to question everything in order to eliminate "the Demon", as he put it, the demon of doubt. So he questioned perceptions, and everything in the Universe . . . until, that is, he came to the concept of self, which he didn't question.
Dan: Well, his starting point, his philosophical starting point, Cogito ergo sum, "I think therefore I am", necessitates the reality of a self, so he didn't question anything at all!
David: Precisely, and then he went on to deduce the existence of God! Obviously, he was motivated by an attachment to the concept of God in order to do what he did. So he was an incredibly corrupt person.
Kevin: In fact, reason only took up a very small part of Descartes mind - I'd say of the order of about one percent, with ninety-nine percent of his mind being totally devoid of any reason at all.
David: The same with Kant and all the heroes of academic philosophy - they were very, very poor in their reasoning.
Dan: Well, that's a scary thought considering that a lot of academics would say that Descartes actually began the true Western analytical tradition.
David: Which proves my point!
Dan: You also suggest that those people who say there are limitations to reason are actually being kind of arrogant, because they're not saying, "There are limitations to my reason." They're actually projecting their limitations onto everyone else in the entire world and saying, "Oh well, if I have limitations, then everyone must."
Kevin: Yes, I'd say it's extremely negative, extremely pessimistic, extremely arrogant, extremely judgmental--
Dan: And very, very harmful. The damage that academic philosophers have done is incalculable, because, nowadays, people believe that reason is limited, useless, crippled--
Kevin: A joke.
David: So everyone's turning towards the emotions - because that's the only thing that's left - and it's due directly to these academic philosophers. Because they're the ones who are saying that they're using reason, when they're not using reason - not in the proper full-on manner - and so they're giving reason a bad name.
Kevin: We live in a world where if you use the word "Truth" people just laugh at you. This is the world which we live in! This is the world that we're bringing children into!
David: And you get the young people who go and do a first year course in philosophy, and they go through all the arguments . . . I remember attending a first year course down in Tasmania, and the Professor would sum-up the various arguments on various issues, and he'd say, for example, that there are certain arguments for free-will and certain arguments for determinism and so forth, and he'd sum up by saying, "The real solution to these problems is a mystery. I don't think the human mind can ever come to know it. Philosophers have been debating these issues for thousands of years and no-one has yet come up with the answer."
Kevin: They should be shot.
David: Yes, definitely.
Dan: Even wearing my Devil's advocate hat, as I am tonight, I have to admit I find that kind of stuff bordering on evil.
Kevin: Bordering on evil? . . . you're having a bit of compassion there, Danny!
Dan: A bit of compassion, yes. I'm sparse with my use of the word "evil". . . . Yes, I see this fear of the word "Truth" to be understandable, given that it has been used by so many fanatics, so many dangerous and violent groups. The scepticism about it, I would of thought, was kind of understandable.
Kevin: That's right. It actually would be a crime for many people today to use the word "Truth". It would be a slander of the word. But it would be nice if people were intelligent enough to use the word "Truth" with some validity, and some respect.
David: Yes, you'd have to put the religions into this box as well. Together with the academic philosophers they make a powerful foe. Christians, for example, make a claim for Truth, but they're not the slightest bit interested in understanding anything.
Dan: What? You've got an enormous theological institution in the world, which is constantly examining theological and philosophic issues, so how can you say that they're not pursuing this Truth?
David: They're like the academic philosophers. They have a particular viewpoint, and they use their reasoning to try and bolster this viewpoint.
Kevin: What's the saying? "A theologian is like a blind person in a dark room, looking for a black cat which isn't there - and finding it." That sums it up perfectly, I think.
David: That's right. It's a lost cause.
Dan: Would you say also that a person who really values Truth could not possibly exist within a belief structure? That the two things just can't go hand in hand?
Kevin: Certainly, that's true for the belief structures like we find in the churches we have today, yes.
David: What about any belief structure?
Kevin: Well, true belief structures are true, by definition.
David: But submitting to any belief structure is wrong. A particular belief structure could well be true, but someone who just accepts it unthinkingly is actually committing a false act. So, for example, the Tibetan Buddhists that we meet up the North Coast at Chenrezig have quite a good traditional canon of teachings about Emptiness and so forth, but the people we meet there just submit to these teachings unthinkingly. They worship the teachers up there as gods. They just accept the teachings uncritically. So even though they might mouth the right words about what is real, because they have no understanding of it, it's actually false.
Kevin: And it's actually blasphemy. Whenever these people who call themselves religious mouth any words to do with Truth or God, or anything like that, it's the worst form of blasphemy.
David: The more a person appears to be good, and actually isn't, the more damage he does.
Dan: So you're basically saying that, without a complete knowledge of Ultimate Reality, no statements of belief can possibly be valid.
David: Exactly. Yes . . . I don't need to add to that, do I?
Kevin: In the scientific area, in empirical science, words like "truth" can be used, but it has to be understood that they're scientific truths.
Dan: But the word "truth" isn't really used in science. They call them "facts".
Kevin: Yes, but they do sometimes speak of reality. Science believes that it's getting closer and closer to a correct model of reality - they have some sort of ideal that they're hoping to reach one day. So they do have some sort of a concept of truth or reality, even though they may not use those words. But as I say, they have to understand that what they're aiming for is not Ultimate or Absolute Truth, which is the only real truth.
Dan: Well, isn't this also one of the great delusions of modern culture? And this is one of the reasons why philosophy is no longer seriously valued, because everyone has this twisted view of science: that science is actually working towards what philosophy used to be about.
Kevin: Yes, the attitude, "We don't need to do anything because the scientists are doing it all, and we'll get there eventually because the scientists are doing a very good job, and we're doing our part by paying them through our taxes."
Dan: Quite so. But it only takes a couple of sentences and a couple of thoughts to demonstrate that science has got nothing to do with Ultimate Truth. So what's the problem? Why do people think this way? Do they not value Truth or what?
Kevin: I think people are just afraid. Once people get over the age of about twenty-five - in men, about twenty-five; in women, about sixteen - they are committed to a certain lifestyle, and any kind of knowledge that there's some Truth which is much bigger than anything they already know threatens to overturn everything in their life - their whole personality, their whole identity. And this is why they will not accept anything which is more than what they already are and what they already know.
Dan: Right, you're talking about attachments.
Kevin: Yes, they are attached to their opinion of themselves.
Dan: So attachments are a major stumbling block to any pursuit of real knowledge.
Kevin: Attachment is the only stumbling block.
David: Well, I'm coming to the opinion that there's a window of opportunity in a person's life, and probably in every person's life, though I'm not too sure. Young children have short phases where they learn new skills - they might be speaking skills, or some new emotional conception of the world, for instance. This phase comes abruptly and lasts for only a short period, and if the child doesn't exercise this new skill during this time then it doesn't become a part of them. So I think that in a person's life, perhaps somewhere between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five, there's some sort of philosophic phase, where suddenly their brain flourishes for a little while and they begin to have a serious question about existence. And if they're not brought to favourable circumstances during this period - if they don't meet the correct person, or happen to read a good book, or if they don't happen to make a breakthrough in their thinking during this period, then they're lost - forever.
Kevin: Because they become committed to their attachments after that stage.
Dan: It's long been my view that teenagers, say, from about thirteen through to about seventeen, have a clarity of insight into the reality of the world that is really quite astounding in some respects, and they look around for some sort of verification of what they're feeling, some sort of support, anything, some sort of consistency in the world, and they generally don't find it. And they hit the age of about eighteen, and that's when they're forced out into the world to become part of the world, so they hit this point of resignation, where just to survive they have to abandon all this clarity of thinking - what adults see as cynicism - and they have to resign themselves to being part of the world.
David: That's right. The opportunity is lost because they're living in a society where people don't give a damn about Truth at bottom, and don't even believe it is possible to achieve. So young people aren't given any encouragement. So it's only a matter of luck--
Kevin: I must say I feel very fortunate living in this country where we can, to some degree, cut our own path. When I finished high school I knew I didn't want to enter the world, and I had lots of things that I wanted to sort out in my mind. So I thought the best thing I can do is go to Uni for four years, where I can do nothing, and spend all my time thinking. And even when I finished Uni I had the opportunity to go on the dole. And it was through those processes that I became a thinking person.
David: Well, I definitely think the welfare system is the greatest invention of mankind to date.
Dan: Yes, but the arguments against that are so obvious! Everyone can't just turn around tomorrow and become philosophers--
David: Why not?
Dan: Society obviously couldn't sustain it.
David: I see. If we all became philosophers, the economy would collapse and we'd all starve to death.
Kevin: It'd be a nice way to go out though, wouldn't it!
Dan: Let's face it, people on the dole still have to live. They have to have income, and products, and so someone has to supply all those things.
David: Yes. But there's not going to be some kind of spiritual revolution like that. The whole process of wisdom is a gradual thing.
Kevin: We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Dan: In other words, if society began to value Truth more the economy would evolve towards that.
David: The economy would change. But there's no chance of a spiritual revolution in the near future. So to all of you out there: Don't be alarmed!
Kevin: There's no chance we'll have a whole world of sages, so we're safe.
Dan: Well, I agree with that totally. We might take a bit of a break at the moment . . . and afterwards I want talk about what is actually human, and what is the animal, in man. And also part of that discussion will be the feminine and masculine aspects of mind. And to facilitate that discussion we've got a piece of music here which could be very interesting.
Dan: Welcome back to the one and only Hour of Judgment. I'm Dan Rowden, and I'm speaking with Kevin Solway and David Quinn. Now, after that wonderful piece of music--
You've got to be crazy.
Gotta have a real name
Gotta sleep on your toes
When you're on the street
Gotta be able to pick out the easy meat
With your eyes closed.
Then, moving silently, down wind and out of sight
You've got to strike when the moment is right
And after a while
You can work on points for style
Like a club tie
And a firm handshake
A certain look in the eye
And an easy smile
You have to be trusted
By the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.
You gotta keep looking over your shoulder
You know it's going to get harder
As you get older
And in the end you'll pack-up
Fly down South
And hide your head in the sand
Just another sad old man
Dying of cancer.
David: That's very professional of you, Danny. We never do that on this show - reintroduce the guests after the music.
Dan: It's just to help me get my thoughts together, really. No other reason for it. Now one of the other things that you gents spend a lot of time talking about, and you seem to place a great deal of importance on, is the issue of what is truly human - in other words, psychology. You talk about women a lot, about the feminine and masculine aspects of mind. Why is this particular issue so important to you?
Kevin: I think what we talk about most of all is consciousness and unconsciousness. We say that feminine consciousness is unconscious, and masculine consciousness, which is all too rare, is conscious. Now, if we're going to arrive at an understanding of Truth then this requires consciousness. I don't think I need to explain the reasons why. So that's why David and I encourage, above all else, consciousness. I mean, consciousness is the first step on the way towards Truth. Now I was lucky enough to have it during my teens, but most people are not so fortunate. They simply do not have consciousness. And by that I mean a conscious awareness of their existence in the world - a conscious awareness of the relationships between themselves and other things. A curiosity. A responsibility.
Dan: Yes, but the standard line, the standard idea, is that . . . you mentioned the word "relationships". I mean, women know all about that. That's their reality.
Kevin: Wrong. They don't know anything.
Dan: Yes they do! They're constantly in this mode of relationships. They know all about connectedness!
Kevin: I'm sorry. They know nothing about anything. That's the reason why they actually know so much. Because women have no desire to understand the real psychology between the sexes, that's the reason they can say so much. It's the reason why they can produce so many women's magazines, which go over the same material week after week - you know, "How to win that man", "How to be good in bed", and so on. All of these things women have to go continually over and over, because they don't know it. There's nothing inside the feminine consciousness where knowledge can stick and become permanent and have a relationship to anything else.
Dan: So you're saying women have no real steady understanding of anything, and so have to have everything reinforced constantly.
Kevin: It's virtually indescribable. Try to describe the consciousness of a chimpanzee. Try to describe the consciousness of a cat. It's very hard. Such is a woman's consciousness.
Dan: When we talk about "women", you're not suggesting that just because a woman has breasts and a uterus that they necessarily fall into this category?
Kevin: That's an important point. I think most people today are extremely sexist, because they think that anyone with a female body is female. And I think this is a terrible, terrible crime. We should be judging people on the quality of a person's mind, and not on the crude shape of their body.
Dan: So when you're talking about "woman", you're talking about the feminine aspect of mind.
Kevin: Yes, I'm talking about the feminine aspect of mind. That's right. So there are many women out there, or some anyway, who have a masculine mind. And they think of themselves as men. There aren't many of them, but there are some. And it's a great crime to treat those people as though they were women, when in actual fact they are men.
David: I think those type of women that you refer to have it doubly difficult as compared to men. Because in men it's expected of them to have some sort of independence. If a man begins to think about life, it's not so unusual. Everybody thinks of men as having some individuality. But once a woman begins to think, immediately the whole world comes down on top of her - especially her fellow sisters. I find that what women hate most of all is an individual woman - a woman who wants to break away from her femininity and become human.
Kevin: That's why there's such a great amount of animosity these days in the feminist movement towards the older style feminists, like Germaine Greer, who did actually make the first steps towards masculinity.
David: Or Camille Paglia.
Kevin: Yes, they have made the very first steps towards becoming men. And the rest of the feminist movement is basically just stomping on them.
David: That's right. Any woman who is not part of the fashion of the moment, women hate.
Dan: Okay, David, you used the word "human", and you used it in such a way as to exclude women from that category. So what is the human? Is the feminine mind, or the feminine aspect of mind, not the human aspect? Are you associating reason with "the human"?
David: Exactly. I'd call anybody "human" who thinks Truth is valuable, and who wishes to make it a part of their lives.
Dan: Someone who consistently values reason, in other words.
David: Right. And anybody who desires to understand Truth automatically reasons.
Kevin: I'd say that most importantly they have to have a fear, a deep-seated fear, of being in error. David was saying earlier that he was motivated by this fear of being in error. He'd be ashamed of himself if he said something that wasn't true. So this is what is human - a fear of being in error. This is very similar to what Socrates used to say. He's another good example of a human being. But the feminine consciousness has no fear of being in error. It actually has no consciousness of error. It has no consciousness of either truth or error. So there's no fear, no joy - nothing.
David: You could characterize the love of Truth as a sort of love of Nature. I mean, we've been flung into existence, and the most natural question to a human mind is "Why?", and "What is this existence?" I can't think of any more basic, more simple, more important questions than these. So a human is one who wishes to solve these questions.
Kevin: It's interesting to look at the currently popular philosophy. It is a philosophy held by virtually every guest we've had on this program over the series of eighteen programs that we've already done - this is the nineteenth - and nearly all of our guests have been saying that they don't believe Absolute Truth is possible. When we ask them if they're absolutely sure that it's not possible, they say, "No, it's only a matter of probability." They're not sure, they only think absolute truth isn't possible. Yet they're not devoting all their time to find out whether it is possible!
David: That's a good point.
Kevin: So this is a sign that they're not what David and I would call human.
Kevin: If a human being is not sure of something - if he's not sure that Truth is knowable - then he will devote his entire life till he's answered that question. He wouldn't be able to live with himself, he wouldn't be able to sleep until he knows whether he can live a worthwhile life. But most people are unconcerned. They don't really need to know whether their life is worthwhile or not.
Dan: I tend to express it this way - that it's the faculty of reason that differentiates us from all other species. It's reason that makes you human, and so to the degree that you value reason, that is the degree to which you're human. And if you really value reason, then you value consistency of thought and so you necessarily gravitate towards absolute certainty.
Kevin: A lot of people think that being able to think intuitively is a sign of being intelligent. But the problem is, all animals have intuitions.
Dan: Yes, but that gets down to definitions of wisdom, doesn't it. A lot of people would say that animals are wise!
Kevin: That's true. But can we say that a pen - I've got a biro in my hand - is intelligent? Can we say that it is wise? Can we say that it is courageous and compassionate and loving? No, we can't. Now you might say that, "Oh yes, but this pen is not an animal". But it is, in a sense. It is an object that acts in the world. It reacts to stimuli, just the same as very simple animals would do. So all things are the same, yet they vary in the degree to which they are conscious. Not all things are equally conscious - if we define consciousness in a particular way.
Dan: Okay, I really want to press this feminine aspect of mind issue. What's really so bad about it? What's so bad about the emotions, for instance? I mean, people value the emotions. It's reality. Everyone has them. What's so bad about the emotions?
David: I'm not so sure that women even value the emotions, unless the fashion dictates it so. But we'll just assume that it's the case.
Dan: Well, they gain pleasure from emotional experience.
David: The feminine consciousness, because it seems pure, and it seems innocent, and it seems godly under some circumstances, persuades men to believe it's on a higher plane to themselves. And there comes a time when men are seeking some sort of higher happiness, and the nearest object that seems to have this is woman. So they get involved with women and in the process they get dragged down by women, because women don't actually possess this purity - it's only an appearance. So women actually drag men down, and that's why I speak against them.
Dan: As you were talking, I was just thinking about how I just said that women gain pleasure from emotional experience. But perhaps that's not really the case because it's so utterly natural to them. It may be more true to say that they don't suffer through emotional experience, whereas men do.
David: It's a bit like asking a fish whether it values water. It doesn't know anything other, so it's a non-question.
Kevin: I think it's important to say, and I think I said earlier in the program, that if a person is happy with their emotions, then so be it. But I'm certainly going to try and make them dissatisfied with what they are satisfied with, purely because that's what I do. Nature has made me the way I am: I want to become perfectly wise; I want to get rid of all false thoughts from my mind. Now when I look at the world I realize very quickly that all other people are not separate from me. Just like my hand is connected to my body, and therefore my hand is a part of my body, other people, too, no matter how ignorant they are, they are connected to me through various means - physically, mentally, in all ways they are connected to me. And therefore other people are literally a part of my own body. So if I want to become wise then I will do my utmost to make other people wise as well. Because I'm only being consistent.
David: That's the point - consistency. It comes down to whether you want to lead a nonsense life. If people want to live in the world of emotions, it's impossible to not lead a nonsense life. Because it is out of the desire for happiness that suffering is brought into the world. So if you want to be happy, and you want your family to be happy, or you want happiness to be brought into the world, then the last thing you should do is actually search for happiness - in an egotistical sense - because all it does is create misery.
Kevin: How noble is it for a man to tell a woman, one day, that he loves her - and she believes him - and then the next day he tells her that he doesn't love her? Because this is what is happening. Everyday in everybody's lives, this is what people are doing. They're being inconsistent. It's something people should be ashamed of, and I plan to make them ashamed of it.
Dan: Well, it may also be possible that one day he did love her and the next day he didn't. I'm not sure what you're saying.
Kevin: This is definitely the case, but the point is that it's not . . .
David: It's not consistent over time.
Dan: Emotions are inherently fickle.
David: They're not even a part of us.
Kevin: It's not absolute. If something is not absolute it's completely worthless. That's what I was trying to say. If love is not absolute, then that love is worth nothing. It takes a human person to be able to appreciate this. A human person, of course, is a person who desires permanence and consistency. So a human person wants love to be forever - total and complete.
David: Emotions are like alien lifeforms that enter the brain from outside and take control and send you off in some direction causing you to do something that you have no real consciousness of doing, and which you'll probably come to regret later. It's a very sad state of affairs, I think. I don't know how people can praise it.
Dan: You seem to be saying that emotions are a type of temporary insanity.
David: Exactly. So if a person is emotional all the time, then he's insane all the time.
Dan: So the emotions undermine reason.
Kevin: It's like being on drugs, I think. They're identical, actually. In our society we don't think it's good for people to be on drugs while they're at work. As it happens we think it's okay for people to take drugs when they're away from work. But with emotions, people are actually high on drugs twenty-four hours a day, and it effects their work. People can't think clearly when they're being emotional. This is another reason why people who are human fear being emotional, because they fear that their minds will be clouded and foggy, and they'll make incorrect judgments.
David: Yes, so it is funny when you hear about people who complain about the wars. There's something like eighty wars in the world at the moment, yet you can see that people do nothing in their lives to eliminate the causes of war. They're busy chasing love, trying to bring more love into the world, causing even more wars to occur.
Kevin: And the horrible thing is that wars are actually good for the TV ratings. That's why all the news and current affairs is about wars. All the movies are about violence and sex and rape. All of these low, low, low things are the things that the TV companies know people want to watch.
David: Yes, people enjoy all the emotional ups and downs.
Kevin: The more pain there is, the more people enjoy it! How noble is that!
Dan: What's this stuff about "love causes wars"! There are thousands of people fainting right now, thinking, "What sort of an idiot would say that? How does love cause wars?"
David: Well, if you love your wife, for example, and someone enters your home and tries to rape your wife, then the first impulse is to pull out the shotgun and shoot the intruder.
Dan: So, basically, you're saying love produces attachments, and it's attachments that produce violence.
David: If you didn't love anything at all, then you'd have no reason to shoot people.
Kevin: Some wars are justified. For example, the war against ignorance, which we're carrying out right now, is a justified war. And I definitely want to make something extinct. Now I know it's not politically correct to make things extinct, but I want to make ignorance extinct. Now this is a war, and it's a justified war, because it's a wise war. There's no emotional attachments involved in this particular war. But the kind of war that everybody enjoys, unfortunately, is not that war.
David: No, the kind of war people like is to do with promoting the self. For example, the attack that Australia has made on France in the last few weeks - you can see the euphoria; people have become hysterical over what the French are doing. It's all totally out of proportion, I think, to what the French are doing. It's emotional. It's a drug.
Kevin: It's conceivable that the reaction of Australia recently, may, down the track, trigger the Third World War. It's possible. Australia could be responsible for the flaring- up of another world war through their emotional reaction to France.
Dan: I guess there is a certain law and order/punishment hysteria in Australia at the moment, and statistically there's no real basis for it. But doesn't it get down to the fact that people just get bored? Isn't it because there are no ideals? And why have the ideals disappeared?
David: There's nothing like a good war to clean the slate. A man might be bored with his job; he's fighting with his wife at the moment; he's feeling a bit insecure; he's having a bit of a squabble with the neighbours or something - and along comes a good war and the whole thing is gone! Suddenly, you're bonding with everyone in the country--
Kevin: There's so much love during a war, isn't there!
David: You join the army, get a new rank, new status, pleasure, attention--
Kevin: Lots more babies are born.
Dan: Lots more purpose.
David: And that's why there are so many wars about, because people love them.
Dan: But why has idealism disappeared from society? What's the major element of that?
David: Love and wars.
Kevin: And it's partly because of the size of the human population, I think. Even though the population has been growing, the world has been shrinking, and there are no frontiers any more. So men have largely been made redundant. They are no longer really needed to protect women. Women can pay police forces to do that for them, or security firms and alarms and so on. So strength, these days, has become largely redundant. We've virtually consumed all the resources this world has to offer, and until we start going to other planets there aren't going to be any more frontiers.
David: The world has kind of "matured" in a way, hasn't it? In the last century, it was still young and naive.
Kevin: It had some testosterone, didn't it?
David: Yes, but now we've entered middle-age.
Dan: Yes, but a lot of people would say that when you look at history, and political imperialism, you see that frontier breaking has caused an incredible amount of misery and has destroyed civilizations - it's caused nothing but harm really.
David: It's created civilizations as well, as well as destroyed them.
Dan: I guess that gets down to how you want to define civilization as well.
Kevin: I think a lot of it is basically the uprising of the feminine consciousness--
Dan: That's what I was getting at, actually.
Kevin: It's to do with the lack of frontiers. That's the way the feminine consciousness has got a foothold. Today we live in an age which is probably more feminine than any other in history. I think it's basically the end. If we can't get out of this state we're in, we're doomed as a species.
David: Well, there is a bit of hope for the future. I see that they've recently discovered the ion-thruster rockets which will make space travel much more efficient and faster. So there's a chance we'll survive yet.
Dan: I'm kind of troubled by this frontier concept. To me the one important frontier is the frontier of philosophic understanding. And that's the only frontier that should be pushed.
David: Okay, I might close off the show actually, Danny, because this is our second last program and next week we have The Banquet by Kierkegaard. I'd just like to say that all our programs are on tape, and anybody can get in contact with us if they want copies of any show in the past: that's PO Box 207, St. Lucia, 4067. And I might also add that we're compiling all the transcripts of the programs, all twenty programs will be on paper, and we're compiling them into one big book. And I must say that reading through some of them, they make very good reading: there's a lot of humour, and a lot of wisdom. So if you want to enquire about copies of that you can contact us at the address I just mentioned. Do you want to close off the program, Danny?
Dan: Thanks very much, I thought you were going to do that yourself. Well, it's been very interesting talking to you and to have the chance to clarify, to some degree, in the space of an hour, which is fairly limited, what you guys are on about. And I think that's been one of the better things. Thanks.