- Part 7. Rulings and Agreements
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Speculative minds drew ambitious plans for a thorough reform and reconstruction of society. The more modest were satisfied with a collection and systematization of the data of historical experience. But all were fully convinced that there was in the course of social events no such regularity and invariance of phenomena as had already been found in the operation of human reasoning and in the sequence of natural phenomena. They did not search for the laws of social cooperation because they thought that man could organize society as he pleased.
If social conditions did not fulfill the wishes of the reformers, if their utopias proved unrealizable, the fault was seen in the moral failure of man. Social problems were considered ethical problems. What was needed in order to construct the ideal society, they thought, were good princes and virtuous citizens.
With righteous men any utopia might be realized. The discovery of the inescapable interdependence of market phenomena overthrew this opinion. Bewildered, people had to face a new view of society. They learned with stupefaction that there is another aspect from which human action might be viewed than that of good and bad, of fair and unfair, of just and unjust. In the course of social events there prevails a regularity of phenomena to which man must adjust his actions if he wishes to succeed.
It is futile to approach social facts with the attitude of a censor who approves or disapproves from the point of view of quite arbitrary standards and subjective judgments of value. One must study the laws of human action and social cooperation as the physicist studies the laws of nature. Human action and social cooperation seen as the object of a science of given relations, no longer as a normative discipline of things that ought to be—this was a revolution of tremendous consequences for knowledge and philosophy as well as for social action.
For more than a hundred years, however, the effects of this radical change in the methods of reasoning were greatly restricted because people believed that they referred only to a narrow segment of the total field of human action, namely, to market phenomena. The classical economists met in the pursuit of their investigations an obstacle which they failed to remove, the apparent antinomy of value. Their theory of value was defective, and forced them to restrict the scope Edition: current; Page: [ 3 ] of their science. It dealt with human action only to the extent that it is actuated by what was—very unsatisfactorily—described as the profit motive, and it asserted that there is in addition other human action whose treatment is the task of other disciplines.
The transformation of thought which the classical economists had initiated was brought to its consummation only by modern subjectivist economics, which converted the theory of market prices into a general theory of human choice. For a long time men failed to realize that the transition from the classical theory of value to the subjective theory of value was much more than the substitution of a more satisfactory theory of market exchange for a less satisfactory one.
The general theory of choice and preference goes far beyond the horizon which encompassed the scope of economic problems as circumscribed by the economists from Cantillon, Hume, and Adam Smith down to John Stuart Mill.
It is the science of every kind of human action. Choosing determines all human decisions. In making his choice man chooses not only between various material things and services. All human values are offered for option. All ends and all means, both material and ideal issues, the sublime and the base, the noble and the ignoble, are ranged in a single row and subjected to a decision which picks out one thing and sets aside another.
Nothing that men aim at or want to avoid remains outside of this arrangement into a unique scale of gradation and preference. The modern theory of value widens the scientific horizon and enlarges the field of economic studies.
Part 7. Rulings and Agreements
Out of the political economy of the classical school emerges the general theory of human action, praxeology. No treatment of economic problems proper can avoid starting from acts of choice; economics becomes a part, although the hitherto best elaborated part, of a more universal science, praxeology. In the new science everything seemed to be problematic. It was a stranger in the traditional system of knowledge; people were perplexed and did not know how to classify it and to assign it its proper place.
But on the other hand they were convinced that the inclusion of economics in the catalogue of knowledge did not require a rearrangement or expansion of the total scheme. They considered their catalogue system complete. If economics did not fit into it, the fault could only rest with the unsatisfactory treatment that the economists applied to their problems. It is a complete misunderstanding of the meaning of the debates concerning the essence, scope, and logical character of economics to dismiss them as the scholastic quibbling of pedantic professors.
It is a widespread misconception that while pedants squandered useless talk about the most appropriate method of procedure, economics itself, indifferent to these idle disputes, went quietly on its way. The real issue was the epistemological foundations of the science of human action and its logical legitimacy. Starting from an epistemological system to which praxeological thinking was strange and from a logic which acknowledged as scientific—besides logic and mathematics—only the empirical natural sciences and history, many authors tried to deny the value and usefulness of economic theory.
Historicism aimed at replacing it by economic history; positivism recommended the substitution of an illusory social science which should adopt the logical structure and pattern of Newtonian mechanics. Both these schools agreed in a radical rejection of all the achievements of economic thought.
It was impossible for the economists to keep silent in the face of all these attacks. The radicalism of this wholesale condemnation of economics was very soon surpassed by a still more universal nihilism. From time immemorial men in thinking, speaking, and acting had taken the uniformity and immutability of the logical structure of the human mind as an unquestionable fact. All scientific inquiry was based on this assumption. In the discussions about the epistemological character of economics, writers, for the first time in human history, denied this Edition: current; Page: [ 5 ] proposition too.
Every social class has a logic of its own. This polylogism was later taught in various other forms also. Historicism asserts that the logical structure of human thought and action is liable to change in the course of historical evolution. Racial polylogism assigns to each race a logic of its own. Finally there is irrationalism, contending that reason as such is not fit to elucidate the irrational forces that determine human behavior.
Such doctrines go far beyond the limits of economics. They question not only economics and praxeology but all other human knowledge and human reasoning in general. They refer to mathematics and physics as well as to economics. It seems therefore that the task of refuting them does not fall to any single branch of knowledge but to epistemology and philosophy.
This furnishes apparent justification for the attitude of those economists who quietly continue their studies without bothering about epistemological problems and the objections raised by polylogism and irrationalism. The physicist does not mind if someone stigmatizes his theories as bourgeois, Western or Jewish; in the same way the economist should ignore detraction and slander. He should let the dogs bark and pay no heed to their yelping.
However, the situation is not quite the same with regard to economics as it is with mathematics and the natural sciences. Polylogism and irrationalism attack praxeology and economics. Although they formulate their statements in a general way to refer to all branches of knowledge, it is the sciences of human action that they really have in view. They say that it is an illusion to believe that scientific research can achieve results valid for people of all eras, races, and social classes, and they take pleasure in disparaging certain physical and biological theories as bourgeois or Western.
But if the solution of practical problems requires the application of these stigmatized doctrines, they forget their criticism. The technology of Soviet Russia utilizes without scruple all the results of bourgeois physics, chemistry, Edition: current; Page: [ 6 ] and biology just as if they were valid for all classes. The behavior of people of all races, nations, religions, linguistic groups, and social classes clearly proves that they do not endorse the doctrines of polylogism and irrationalism as far as logic, mathematics, and the natural sciences are concerned.
But it is quite different with praxeology and economics. The main motive for the development of the doctrines of polylogism, historicism, and irrationalism was to provide a justification for disregarding the teachings of economics in the determination of economic policies. It was precisely this frustration that prompted them to negate the logical and epistemological principles upon which all human reasoning both in mundane activities and in scientific research is founded. It is not permissible to dispose of these objections merely on the ground of the political motives which inspired them.
No scientist is entitled to assume beforehand that a disapprobation of his theories must be unfounded because his critics are imbued by passion and party bias. He is bound to reply to every censure without any regard to its underlying motives or its background. It is no less impermissible to keep silent in the face of the often asserted opinion that the theorems of economics are valid only under hypothetical assumptions never realized in life and that they are therefore useless for the mental grasp of reality.
It is strange that some schools seem to approve of this opinion and nonetheless quietly proceed to draw their curves and to formulate their equations. They do not bother about the meaning of their reasoning and about its reference to the world of real life and action. This is, of course, an untenable attitude. The first task of every scientific inquiry is the exhaustive description and definition of all conditions and assumptions under which its various statements claim validity.
It is a mistake to set up physics as a model and pattern for economic research. But those committed to this fallacy should have learned one thing at least: that no physicist ever believed that the clarification of some of the assumptions and conditions of physical theorems is outside the scope of physical research.
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The main question that economics is bound to answer is what the relation of its statements is to the reality of human action whose mental grasp is the objective of economic studies. It therefore devolves upon economics to deal thoroughly with the assertion that its teachings are valid only for the capitalistic system of the shortlived and already vanished liberal period of Western civilization.
It is incumbent upon no branch of learning other than economics to examine all the objections raised from various points of view against the usefulness of the statements of economic theory for the elucidation of the problems of human action. The system of economic thought must be built up in such a way that it is proof against any criticism on the part of irrationalism, historicism, panphysicalism, behaviorism, and all varieties of polylogism.
It is an intolerable state of affairs that while new arguments are daily advanced to demonstrate the absurdity and futility of the endeavors of economics, the economists pretend to ignore all this. It is no longer enough to deal with the economic problems within the traditional framework. It is necessary to build the theory of catallactics upon the solid foundation of a general theory of human action, praxeology. This procedure will not only secure it against many fallacious criticisms but clarify many problems hitherto not even adequately seen, still less satisfactorily solved.
There is, especially, the fundamental problem of economic calculation. It is customary for many people to blame economics for being backward. Now it is quite obvious that our economic theory is not perfect. There is no such thing as perfection in human knowledge, nor for that matter in any other human achievement. Omniscience is denied to man. The most elaborate theory that seems to satisfy completely our thirst for knowledge may one day be amended or supplanted by a new theory.
Science does not give us absolute and final certainty. It only gives us assurance within the limits of our mental abilities and the prevailing state of scientific thought. A scientific system is but one station in an endlessly progressing search for knowledge. It is necessarily affected by the insufficiency inherent in every human effort. But to acknowledge these facts does not mean that present-day economics is backward.
It merely means that economics is a living thing—and to live implies both imperfection and change. The reproach of an alleged backwardness is raised against economics from two different points of view. There are on the one hand some naturalists and physicists who censure economics for not being a natural science and not applying the Edition: current; Page: [ 8 ] methods and procedures of the laboratory. It is one of the tasks of this treatise to explode the fallacy of such ideas.
In these introductory remarks it may be enough to say a few words about their psychological background. It is common with narrow-minded people to reflect upon every respect in which other people differ from themselves. The camel in the fable takes exception to all other animals for not having a hump, and the Ruritanian criticizes the Laputanian for not being a Ruritanian. The research worker in the laboratory considers it as the sole worthy home of inquiry, and differential equations as the only sound method of expressing the results of scientific thought.
He is simply incapable of seeing the epistemological problems of human action. For him economics cannot be anything but a kind of mechanics. Then there are people who assert that something must be wrong with the social sciences because social conditions are unsatisfactory. The natural sciences have achieved amazing results in the last two or three hundred years, and the practical utilization of these results has succeeded in improving the general standard of living to an unprecedented extent.
But, say these critics, the social sciences have utterly failed in the task of rendering social conditions more satisfactory. They have not stamped out misery and starvation, economic crises and unemployment, war and tyranny. They are sterile and have contributed nothing to the promotion of happiness and human welfare. These grumblers do not realize that the tremendous progress of technological methods of production and the resulting increase in wealth and welfare were feasible only through the pursuit of those liberal policies which were the practical application of the teachings of economics.
It was the ideas of the classical economists that removed the checks imposed by age-old laws, customs, and prejudices upon technological improvement and freed the genius of reformers and innovators from the straitjackets of the guilds, government tutelage, and social pressure of various kinds. It was they that reduced the prestige of conquerors and expropriators and demonstrated the social benefits derived from business activity.
None of the great modern inventions would have been put to use if the mentality of the pre-capitalistic era had not been thoroughly demolished by the economists. British political economy and French Physiocracy were the pacemakers of modern capitalism. It is they that made possible the progress of the applied natural sciences that has heaped benefits upon the masses. What is wrong with our age is precisely the widespread ignorance of the role which these policies of economic freedom played in the technological evolution of the last two hundred years.
People fell prey to the fallacy that the improvement of the methods of production was contemporaneous with the policy of laissez faire only by accident.
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Hence the abolition of capitalism and the substitution of socialist totalitarianism for a market economy and free enterprise would not impair the further progress of technology. It would, on the contrary, promote technological improvement by removing the obstacles which the selfish interests of the capitalists place in its way.
The characteristic feature of this age of destructive wars and social disintegration is the revolt against economics. The economic policies of the last decades have been the outcome of a mentality that scoffs at any variety of sound economic theory and glorifies the spurious doctrines of its detractors. Edition: current; Page: [ 10 ] The blame for the unsatisfactory state of economic affairs can certainly not be placed upon a science which both rulers and masses despise and ignore.
It must be emphasized that the destiny of modern civilization as developed by the white peoples in the last two hundred years is inseparably linked with the fate of economic science. This civilization was able to spring into existence because the peoples were dominated by ideas which were the application of the teachings of economics to the problems of economic policy. It will and must perish if the nations continue to pursue the course which they entered upon under the spell of doctrines rejecting economic thinking. It is true that economics is a theoretical science and as such abstains from any judgment of value.
It is not its task to tell people what ends they should aim at. It is a science of the means to be applied for the attainment of ends chosen, not, to be sure, a science of the choosing of ends. Ultimate decisions, the valuations and the choosing of ends, are beyond the scope of any science. Science never tells a man how he should act; it merely shows how a man must act if he wants to attain definite ends.
It seems to many people that this is very little indeed and that a science limited to the investigation of the is and unable to express a judgment of value about the highest and ultimate ends is of no importance for life and action. This too is a mistake.
However, the exposure of this mistake is not a task of these introductory remarks. It is one of the ends of the treatise itself. It was necessary to make these preliminary remarks in order to explain why this treatise places economic problems within the broad frame of a general theory of human action. At the present stage both of economic thinking and of political discussions concerning the fundamental issues of social organization, it is no longer feasible to isolate the treatment of catallactic problems proper.
These problems are only a segment of a general science of human action and must be dealt with as such. Human action is purposeful behavior. Such paraphrases may clarify the definition given and prevent possible misinterpretations. But the definition itself is adequate and does not need complement or commentary. Conscious or purposeful behavior is in sharp contrast to unconscious behavior, i.
This is correct only as far as it is sometimes not easy to establish whether concrete behavior is to be considered voluntary or involuntary. But the distinction between consciousness and unconsciousness is nonetheless sharp and can be clearly determined. The unconscious behavior of the bodily organs and cells is for the acting ego no less a datum than any other fact of the external world. Acting man must take into account all that goes on within his own body as well as other data, e. There is, of course, a margin within which purposeful behavior has the power to neutralize the working of bodily factors.
It is feasible within certain limits to get the body under control. Man can sometimes succeed through the power of his will in overcoming sickness, in compensating for the innate or acquired insufficiency of his physical constitution, or in suppressing reflexes. As far as this is possible, the field of purposeful action is extended.
If a man abstains from controlling the involuntary reaction of cells and nerve centers, although he would be in a position to do so, his behavior is from our point of view purposeful. The field of our science is human action, not the psychological Edition: current; Page: [ 12 ] events which result in an action. It is precisely this which distinguishes the general theory of human action, praxeology, from psychology.
The theme of psychology is the internal events that result or can result in a definite action. The theme of praxeology is action as such. This also settles the relation of praxeology to the psychoanalytical concept of the subconscious. Psychoanalysis too is psychology and does not investigate action but the forces and factors that impel a man toward a definite action. The psychoanalytical subconscious is a psychological and not a praxeological category. Whether an action stems from clear deliberation, or from forgotten memories and suppressed desires which from submerged regions, as it were, direct the will, does not influence the nature of the action.
The murderer whom a subconscious urge the Id drives toward his crime and the neurotic whose aberrant behavior seems to be simply meaningless to an untrained observer both act; they like anybody else are aiming at certain ends. It is the merit of psychoanalysis that it has demonstrated that even the behavior of neurotics and psychopaths is meaningful, that they too act and aim at ends, although we who consider ourselves normal and sane call the reasoning determining their choice of ends nonsensical and the means they choose for the attainment of these ends contrary to purpose.
The term unconscious, as used by praxeology, and the terms subconscious and unconscious, as applied by psychoanalysis, belong to two different systems of thought and research. Praxeology no less than other branches of knowledge owes much to psychoanalysis. The more necessary is it then to become aware of the line which separates praxeology from psychoanalysis. Action is not simply giving preference. Man also shows preference in situations in which things and events are unavoidable or are believed to be so. Thus a man may prefer sunshine to rain and may wish that the sun would dispel the clouds.
He who only wishes and hopes does not interfere actively with the course of events and with the shaping of his own destiny. But acting man chooses, determines, and tries to reach an end. Of two things both of which he cannot have together he selects one and gives up the other. Action therefore always involves both taking and renunciation. To express wishes and hopes and to announce planned action may be forms of action in so far as they aim in themselves at the realization of a certain purpose.
But they must not be confused with the actions to which they refer. They are not identical with the actions they announce, recommend, or reject. Action is a real thing. On the other hand action must be clearly distinguished from the application of labor. Action means the employment of means for the attainment of ends. But this is not always the case. Under special conditions a word is all that is needed. He who gives orders or interdictions may act without any expenditure of labor. To talk or not to talk, to smile or to remain serious, may be action.
To consume and to enjoy are no less action than to abstain from accessible consumption and enjoyment. The vigorous man industriously striving for the improvement of his condition acts neither more nor less than the lethargic man who sluggishly takes things as they come. For to do nothing and to be idle are also action, they too determine the course of events. Wherever the conditions for human interference are present, man acts no matter whether he interferes or refrains from interfering. He who endures what he could change acts no less than he who interferes in order to attain another result.
A man who abstains from influencing the operation of physiological and instinctive factors which he could influence also acts. Action is not only doing but no less omitting to do what possibly could be done. But this would not add anything to our knowledge. We call contentment or satisfaction that state of a human being which does not and cannot result in any action.
Acting man is eager to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory. His mind imagines conditions which suit him better, and his action aims at bringing about this desired state. The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness. He would have neither wishes nor desires; he would be perfectly Edition: current; Page: [ 14 ] happy.
He would not act; he would simply live free from care. But to make a man act, uneasiness and the image of a more satisfactory state alone are not sufficient. A third condition is required: the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness. In the absence of this condition no action is feasible. Man must yield to the inevitable. He must submit to destiny. These are the general conditions of human action. Man is the being that lives under these conditions.
He is not only Homo sapiens, but no less Homo agens. Beings of human descent who either from birth or from acquired defects are unchangeably unfit for any action in the strict sense of the term and not merely in the legal sense are practically not human. Although the statutes and biology consider them to be men, they lack the essential feature of humanity.
The newborn child too is not an acting being. It has not yet gone the whole way from conception to the full development of its human qualities. But at the end of this evolution it becomes an acting being. A more adequate description of his state would be that he is happier than he was before. There is however no valid objection to a usage that defines human action as the striving for happiness.
But we must avoid current misunderstandings. There is no standard of greater or lesser satisfaction other than individual judgments of value, different for various people and for the same people at various times. What makes a man feel uneasy and less uneasy is established by him from the standard of his own will and judgment, from his personal and subjective valuation. Nobody is in a position to decree what should make a fellow man happier.
To establish this fact does not refer in any way to the antitheses of egoism and altruism, of materialism and idealism, of individualism and collectivism, of atheism and religion.
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There are people whose only aim is to improve the condition of their own ego. There are other people with whom awareness of the troubles of their fellow men causes as much uneasiness as or even more uneasiness than their own wants. There are people who desire nothing else than the satisfaction of their appetites for sexual intercourse, food, drinks, fine homes, and other material things.
There are people for whom the ultimate goal of the earthly pilgrimage is the preparation for a life of bliss. There are other people who do not believe in the teachings of any religion and do not allow their actions to be influenced by them. Praxeology is indifferent to the ultimate goals of action. Its findings are valid for all kinds of action irrespective of the ends aimed at.
It is a science of means, not of ends. It applies the term happiness in a purely formal sense. It does not imply any statement about the state of affairs from which man expects happiness. The idea that the incentive of human activity is always some uneasiness and its aim always to remove such uneasiness as far as possible, that is, to make the acting men feel happier, is the essence of the teachings of Eudaemonism and Hedonism.
In the face of the grandeur of this cognition it is of little avail only that many representatives of this philosophy failed to recognize the purely formal character of the notions pain and pleasure and gave them a material and carnal meaning. It is true that the writings of many earlier champions of Eudaemonism, Hedonism, and Utilitarianism are in some points open to misinterpretation.
But the language of modern philosophers and still more that of the modern economists is so precise and straightforward that no misinterpretation can possibly occur. One does not further the comprehension of the fundamental problem of human action by the methods of instinct-sociology. This school classifies the various concrete goals of human action and assigns to each class a special instinct as its motive. Man appears as a being driven by various innate instincts and dispositions.
It is assumed that this explanation demolishes once for all the odious teachings of economics and utilitarian ethics. However, Feuerbach has already justly observed that every instinct is an instinct to happiness. Whereas praxeology says that the goal of an action is to remove Edition: current; Page: [ 16 ] a certain uneasiness, instinct-psychology says it is the satisfaction of an instinctive urge. Many champions of the instinct school are convinced that they have proved that action is not determined by reason, but stems from the profound depths of innate forces, impulses, instincts, and dispositions which are not open to any rational elucidation.
However unfathomable the depths may be from which an impulse or instinct emerges, the means which man chooses for its satisfaction are determined by a rational consideration of expense and success. He who acts under an emotional impulse also acts. What distinguishes an emotional action from other actions is the valuation of input and output.
Emotions disarrange valuations. Inflamed with passion, man sees the goal as more desirable and the price he has to pay for it as less burdensome than he would in cool deliberation. Men have never doubted that even in the state of emotion means and ends are pondered and that it is possible to influence the outcome of this deliberation by rendering more costly the yielding to the passionate impulse.
To punish criminal offenses committed in a state of emotional excitement or intoxication more mildly than other offenses is tantamount to encouraging such excesses. The threat of severe retaliation does not fail to deter even people driven by seemingly irresistible passion. We interpret animal behavior on the assumption that the animal yields to the impulse which prevails at the moment. As we observe that the animal feeds, cohabits, and attacks other animals or men, we speak of its instincts of nourishment, of reproduction, and of aggression.
We assume that such instincts are innate and peremptorily ask for satisfaction. But it is different with man. Man is not a being who cannot help yielding to the impulse that most urgently asks for satisfaction. Man is a being capable of subduing his instincts, emotions, and impulses; he can rationalize his behavior. He renounces the satisfaction of a burning impulse in order to satisfy other desires. He is not a puppet of his appetites. A man does not ravish every female that stirs his senses; he does not devour every piece of food that entices him; he does not knock down every fellow he would like to kill.
He arranges Edition: current; Page: [ 17 ] his wishes and desires into a scale, he chooses; in short, he acts. What distinguishes man from beasts is precisely that he adjusts his behavior deliberatively. Man is the being that has inhibitions, that can master his impulses and desires, that has the power to suppress instinctive desires and impulses. It may happen that an impulse emerges with such vehemence that no disadvantage which its satisfaction may cause appears great enough to prevent the individual from satisfying it.
In this case too there is choosing.
Man decides in favor of yielding to the desire concerned. Since time immemorial men have been eager to know the prime mover, the cause of all being and of all change, the ultimate substance from which everything stems and which is the cause of itself. Science is more modest. It is aware of the limits of the human mind and of the human search for knowledge. It aims at tracing back every phenomenon to its cause. But it realizes that these endeavors must necessarily strike against insurmountable walls. There are phenomena which cannot be analyzed and traced back to other phenomena. They are the ultimate given.
The progress of scientific research may succeed in demonstrating that something previously considered as an ultimate given can be reduced to components. But there will always be some irreducible and unanalyzable phenomena, some ultimate given. Monism teaches that there is but one ultimate substance, dualism that there are two, pluralism that there are many. There is no point in quarreling about these problems. Such metaphysical disputes are interminable. The present state of our knowledge does not provide the means to solve them with an answer which every reasonable man must consider satisfactory.
Materialist monism contends that human thoughts and volitions are the product of the operation of bodily organs, the cells of the brain and the nerves. Human thought, will, and action are solely brought about by material processes which one day will be completely explained by the methods of physical and chemical inquiry. This too is a metaphysical hypothesis, although its supporters consider it as an unshakable and undeniable scientific truth.
Various doctrines have been advanced to explain the relation between Edition: current; Page: [ 18 ] mind and body. They are mere surmises without any reference to observed facts. All that can be said with certainty is that there are relations between mental and physiological processes. With regard to the nature and operation of this connection we know little if anything. In all great movements you have some thought or aggregation of thoughts cast into the minds of the so-called idealists by the Great White Brotherhood.
The idea is sounded forth by Them. They choose a man or a group of men and cast into their minds some idea. There it germinates and is embodied by them in other thoughts, not so pure or so wise but necessarily colored by the individuality of the thinker. These thought-forms are, in their turn, picked up by the concrete thinkers of the world who—grasping the main outline of the idea—crystallize it and build it into more definite shape, into one more easily apprehended by the general public. It has therefore now reached the lower levels of the mental plane, and a further development becomes possible.
It is then seized upon as desirable by those who are focussed upon the astral plane; to them it makes an emotional appeal, becoming public opinion. It is now practically ready to take shape upon the physical plane, and we have the practical adaptation of an ideal to the needs of the physical life. It has been stepped down; it has lost much of its original beauty; it is not as pure and as lovely as when first conceived, and it is distorted from its original shape but it is, nevertheless, more adapted to public use and can be employed as a stepping-stone to higher things.
A vision is given of tremendous possibilities and indications are also granted of the manner in which these possibilities may become facts, but beyond that the Great Ones do not go. The detail and the method of concretizing the ideal and the necessary work is left to the sons of men. To the disciple who is an organizer and transmitter of the Plan falls the work of filling in the details and of taking the necessary action.
At this point it is wise for him to remember that he comes with his little plans under the same law as do the Great  Ones in Their large endeavours, and that it is in his dealings with people and his manipulation of the human equation that the difficulties arise. The first group the Masters can contact. They work with these units of the human family and expect fair promise of average success. These both hear the sound, and vision the Plan. The second group have to be utilized as best may be, by the disciples of the world.
The final group are frequently to be offset from the energy standpoint, and only used when necessary. One of the primary conditions that a disciple has to cultivate, in order to sense the plan and be used by the Master, is solitude. In solitude the rose of the soul flourishes; in solitude the divine self can speak; in solitude the faculties and the graces of the higher self can take root and blossom in the personality. In solitude also the Master can approach and impress upon the quiescent soul the knowledge that He seeks to impart, the lesson that must be learnt, the method and plan for work that the disciple must grasp.
In solitude the sound is heard. The Great Ones have to work through human instruments and the plan and the vision are much handicapped by failure on the part of these instruments. In conclave wise They make Their plans; with judgment, after due  discussion, They apportion the tasks; then, to those who offer themselves for service and who have some measure of soul contact, They seek to transmit as much of the plan as possible.
They impress the plan and some suggestion as to its scope upon the mind of some man or some woman upon the physical plane. If that mind is unstable or oversatisfied, if it is filled with pride, with despair, or with self-depreciation, the vision does not come through with clarity of outline; if the emotional body is vibrating violently with some rhythm set up by the personality, or if the physical vehicle is ailing and concentrated attention is therefore prevented, what will happen?
The Master will turn sadly away, distressed to think of the opportunity for service that the worker has lost through his own fault, and He will seek someone else to fill the need,—someone perhaps not so fundamentally suitable, but the only one available on account of the failure of the first one approached. It might incidentally be of value here to remind aspirants to service that much work done by many is the result of over-zealousness and is not a carrying forward of the Master's work.
With wise discrimination He apportions the work and never lays upon one human being more than he can adequately accomplish. He can and does train His disciple so that it appears to the on-looking world as if he accomplishes miracles but forget not that the vast amount of work accomplished by one useful disciple only becomes possible when the control of all his three bodies is co-ordinated and his alignment accomplished. He who has a stable mental body that is strongly positive in reception from above, whilst negative to lower vibrations, he who has an astral body that is clear, uncoloured and still, he who also has a physical body with steady nerves and stable rhythm it will be like a casket, beautiful, yet strong as steel will serve as a vessel meet for the Master's use, a channel  through which He can unhindered pour His blessing upon the world.
They are handicapped and dependent upon Their physical plane instruments and Their main trouble concerns the point of evolution reached by the mass of men in the Occident. Remember that this point is indicative of the success of the evolutionary process and not of its failure but, because much yet remains to be done, the work of the Lodge is often hindered. The point reached at this time might be expressed as a swinging from the rank materialism of the past into a growing and profound realization of the unseen worlds without the balance that comes from self-acquired knowledge.
The forces that have been set in motion by the thinkers—the scientists of the world, the truly advanced religious men, the Spiritualists, the Christian Scientists, the New Thought workers, the Theosophists and the modern philosophers and workers in other fields of human thought—are gradually and steadily affecting the subtler bodies of humanity and are bringing them to a point where they are beginning to realize three things:. The reality of the unseen worlds. The terrific power of thought. The need for scientific knowledge on these two matters.
They must guard against overemphasizing one aspect at the expense of another part of the plan or vision. They must avoid unequal concentration of thought  upon that part of the plan which appeals the most to them personally. They must recognize the inability of the workers to continue to bring through the plans and to work together peacefully and steadily.
Friction is oft unavoidable. They must watch for the creeping in of self-interest and of ambition. They must guard against fatigue, due to long effort in materializing the plan and the strain incident upon high endeavour. They must develop the capacity to recognize those who are sent to help them in the work.
They must above all watch against failure to keep in touch with the higher self and with the Master. Another point that has to be remembered is that the problem to be solved by all who are seeking to co-operate with the Great White Lodge has four objects in view. First, that in the working out of the plan there is also the working out of karma. This karma is not merely individual nor purely national, but is part of the total working out of world karma.
Another object is the preparing of an instrument for service in the inauguration of the New Age during the next two hundred years. The integration of a group of knowers and of mystics is going on steadily in all parts of the world and in all organizations. One group is being gathered but its members belong to many groups. To this group of knowers and mystics is given the opportunity of being the channel through which the Hierarchy can work, and through which the Great Ones can send Their illuminating thought.
Through it also they can work for the uplift in the occult sense of humanity and thus aid evolution on every plane. According to the response of disciples, of mystics and of knowers everywhere, so will be the rapid coming in of the New Age. I would like to emphasize the statement anent "the words of Reconstruction," begging all of you who earnestly desire to hear these words to study the Introduction to the book, Light on the Path. Let it be remembered that if the Great Ones have to change Their plans as to this integrating group of mystics, it will be changed by the mystics themselves—viewed as a group.
The third objective is the development of the intuition and discrimination of the disciples in the world, and their ability to sense the higher vision and to achieve at the cost of the lower, the consciousness of that higher plane. They will have to remember that the lower objective, owing to its proximity, will loom in many ways more attractive, and can only be transcended at infinite cost. Intuition must be developed in many people, and their sense of values adequately adjusted before this group, which must inaugurate the New Age, can measure up to the requirements.
Present day troubles are largely due to the lack of intuitive perception in the past and this fault lies primarily among the mystics of the world and not so much among the lower aspirants. The trouble has not lain in lack of idealism or even in a lack of intelligence and sincerity, it consists in the failure to sacrifice the personality at all times in order to make the intuitive realization demonstrate its realities. Compromise has been permitted and in the occult world compromise is forbidden. When indulged in, it leads to disaster and sweeps away eventually,  in ruin and in storm, the personalities of those who so stoop.
People have sought to adjust the truth to the hour instead of adjusting the hour to the truth, and in diplomacy they have endeavored to bring about as much of the reality as they deem wise. The Masters are looking out for those with clear vision, uncompromising adherence to the truth as sensed, and capacity to drive steadily forward toward the ideal. This entails the following factors:. A recognition of that ideal through meditation.
The Making of Man, A Treatise by St Gregory of Nyssa - Full text, in English - 1
Its application to the present through one-pointedness. Removal of the old and hindering thought-forms through self-sacrifice. A refusal to compromise, through clear vision. A discrimination that enables the disciple always to distinguish between the acts of an individual and the individual himself.
Realization that, in the occult work, it is not permitted to interfere with personal karma any more than it is permitted to shield from the consequences of action. This entails therefore a refusal to interfere in anyone's business—that is, as regards the personality life, and yet involves a refusal to shirk the business of the larger cause. It is essential that the workers learn to discriminate between the factors which make for personal liberty and those which militate against group liberty. The fourth result to be brought about by the present opportunity to work is the bringing in the new cycle and the new group of participants.
Workers in the new era will be drawn from all groups and the test of their choice depends largely upon the measure of impersonality with which they work and the strength of their  inner contact with the soul. It is not easy for any of you, therefore, submerged as you are in the smoke and roar of battle, to judge results with accuracy or to judge people with perfect propriety. These things have to be dealt with on the inner planes and are noted by the watching guides of the race.
I would like here briefly to point out a few of the things for which the Great Ones look. They look to see whether the inner flame—the result of effort wisely to work and think and do—burns with increased brilliance; they note whether it remains hidden and dim through the whirl of astral currents and by thought forms of personal antagonism, ambition and envy. As a result of world work some will be drawn into closer connection with the work of the Hierarchy, and others will be temporarily set back.
Capacity to dominate the astral and to work from mental levels will largely count. They look to see who can struggle and contend for principle with personalities, and yet keep the link of love intact. This counts perhaps more than men realize and a man who can stand for principle and yet love all human beings—refusing compromise and yet refusing hate—has something rare to offer in these days and the Great Ones can use him.
See to it, therefore, all of you who work, that with clear vision, upright purpose and firm undeviating action you forge ahead. See to it that you deal with patience and forbearance with those of your brothers who choose the lesser principle and the lesser right, who sacrifice the good of the group for their own personal ends or who use unworthy methods.
Give to them love and care and a ready helping hand, for they will stumble on the way and sound the depth of the law. Stand ready then to lift them up and to offer to them opportunities for service, knowing that service is the great healer and teacher. The Great Ones look to see the faculty of pliability and adaptability working out, that faculty of adaptation that is one of the fundamental laws of species which nature so wonderfully demonstrates. The transference of this law to the inner planes and its working out in the new cycle of effort must be undertaken.
FOREWORD TO THE FOURTH EDITION
This law of adaptation involves the appreciation of the need, the recognition of the new force coming in with the new cycle and the consequent bringing together in wide synthesis of the need and of the force, regarding the personal self simply as a focal point for action and transmutation.
It involves the transmutation of the five senses and their extension into the subtler planes so that sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell are welded into one synthetic cooperating whole, for use in the great work. On the physical plane, these tend to the unification of the personal life and to the adaptation of the physical world to the needs of the personal self. On the subtler planes they must be transmuted until they are adequate to the needs of the group of which the individual forms a fragmentary part.
The ability to do this is one of the things that the Great Ones look for in those individuals whose privilege it may be to inaugurate the New Age. Above all, They look for an enlarged channel from the soul to the physical brain, via the mind. This will help you in attracting a diverse pool of candidates. What other information is required? If the position requires special certifications, unusual work hours, travel, or use of a personal vehicle, these items should be included.
How can I make my position stand out? Is your department nationally recognized? Do you have award-winning researchers on staff? Use a headline or lead-in statement that will be enticing. How can I make the job look attractive? This is where you can sell the department and the university. Mention competitive benefit packages and highlight the benefits of living in New Jersey.
Ask current employees what drew them to your department and Rutgers University and use those comments in your ad copy. Content for the recruitment advertisement must be concise, clear, and accurate. Conciseness of copy is especially important for print ads where you will be charged by the word. There should be enough information for the candidate to determine her interest in the position and Rutgers, and information on how to receive additional details. If traditional posting sources have not yielded a diverse applicant pool, consider the use of print and electronic media and recruitment sources that are targeted towards specific populations.
Candidates and Recipients, or the Society of Women Engineers, among others. The position description and recruitment copy can be written in a way that attracts a wider audience of candidates:. Use inclusive language in your ad copy. List qualifications broadly where appropriate.
If qualifications are too rigid, it may eliminate members of underrepresented groups and potentially successful candidates. You may also want to ask questions that will help you determine if the candidate has a strong client service orientation. If you need assistance with interviewing candidates, contact your unit's HR Consultant for the required position. Following the greeting, some "small talk" is usually of value to relax the applicant and help establish open communication. Ideally, the interviewer should talk only about 25 percent of the time. Avoid asking questions that require only "yes" or "no" answers or multiple choice questions, since that means you are leading the conversation.
Ask open-ended questions that encourage the applicant to express ideas and provide information. Ask follow-up questions that encourage further conversation. Open-ended questions start with words like, "Tell me about