This is partly due to innate tendencies or what the Bhagavad Gita calls guna or prakrurti:“We all contain a measure of dark and light, of good and bad; we all have the potential to hurt each other as much as we have the potential to love,” write Ed and Deb Shapiro in Be the change: How meditation can transform you and the world. “The greed, hatred, and ignorance in another person can cause great damage, but within each being is also the potential for kindness, generosity and selflessness.”So, how does one ensure that dialogue, not discord, is the result of our interpersonal, familial or even corporate communication?First of all, do not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness, advises the late American humourist James Thurber. Half-empty or still to brim over?The Shapiros carry the principle forward with the story of the scorpion stinging the frog that was ferrying it across a river.
This article appeared in the Christian Century, October 28, 1981, pp. There have been at least three major explanations for the presence of the ugly in art: 1. The transformational theory. The electronic church so often both depicts evil and implicitly denies its seriousness, the pleasure theory best articulates the core of the electronic church’s aesthetic and sensibilities. I suggest that the presence of such accounts in the church’s programming indicates nothing less than an aesthetic of evil. By this I do not mean that the aesthetic is evil in itself but that attention to evil is an integral part of the electronic church’s sense of what is beautiful.
A variation of the transformational theory attempts to shift attention from the ugly itself to the skill with which it has been captured or conveyed. The transformational theory of the ugly in art has its counterpart in the aesthetic of the electronic church. In the aesthetic of the electronic church, every condition of evil is either potentially transformed, and thus temporary, or insignificant in light of a Christian context.
The second major theory explaining the ugly in art is the educational or didactic theory. Yes, there are ugly aspects in art, but these are present only because they reflect a corresponding ugliness in the real world. Occasionally an account or story is morally educational in the sense that the presence of evil is interpreted as a sign of God’s displeasure.
Evil’s reflection of the world, as well as its morally instructive value, contributes to the electronic church’s adoption of an educational aesthetic. This last theory, pleasure in the ugly, best articulates the essential aesthetic of the electronic church.
For each of the classic explanations of the ugly in art, there is a corresponding explanation of evil given by the electronic church. Depending on the theory employed, evil is either transformed by a larger Christian context, slighted in favor of focusing attention on a saint, or justified in terms of an educational or moral function. No one would readily admit that the study of evil is pleasurable.
Nevertheless, because the electronic church so often both depicts evil and implicitly denies its seriousness, the pleasure theory best articulates the core of the electronic church’s aesthetic and sensibilities.
Is it not one and the same “I” who is now doubting almost everything, who nonetheless understands some things, who affirms that this one thing is true, denies everything else, desires to know more, is unwilling to be deceived, imagines many things even involuntarily, and is aware of many things which apparently come from the senses? Current conscious experience is generally the last refuge of the skeptic against uncertainty. Both the meditators and Titchener, though, express optimism about introspection “properly” conducted – so they hardly qualify as general skeptics or pessimists. I won’t say much to defend (i), which I take to be both common sense and the majority view in philosophy. That is, we can and should consider the kinds of mistakes that people make about their stream of experience before we construct a detailed theory of introspection; it is only in light of conclusions about reliability that theories of the mechanisms can properly be developed. Think of introspection as you will, then, as long as it is the primary method by which we normally reach judgments about our experience in cases of the sort I’ll describe.
I don’t know what emotion is, exactly. Is surprise an emotion?
But here’s one thing that’s clear: Whatever emotion is, some emotions – joy, anger, fear – can involve or accompany conscious experience. Now you’re interested, presumably, in philosophy and psychology, in introspection, consciousness, and the like, or you wouldn’t be reading this book. So tell me: Are emotional states like joy, anger, and fear always felt phenomenally – that is, as part of one’s stream of conscious experience – or only sometimes?
Is their phenomenology, their experiential character, always more or less the same, or does it differ widely from case to case? You’ll agree that someone – maybe even you yourself – could be mistaken about some of them, despite sincerely attempting to answer them, despite a history of introspection, despite maybe years of psychotherapy or meditation or self-reflection.
but introspection itself. The questions challenge us not simply because we struggle for the words to describe a patently obvious phenomenology. Still, you might suggest, when we attend to particular instances of ongoing emotional experience, we can’t go wrong, or don’t, or not by far. – to imagine my being wrong about my ongoing conscious experience right now, as I diligently reflect.
Let’s try an experiment. Reflect on, introspect, your own ongoing emotional experience right now. I reflect; I sincerely attempt to discover whether I’m angry – I don’t just reflexively defend myself but try to be the good self-psychologist my wife would like me to be – and I still don’t see it.
But I’m wrong, of course, as I usually am in such situations: My wife reads my face better than I introspect. Or do you think that every time we’re wrong about our emotions, those emotions must be nonconscious, dispositional, not genuinely felt?
To that extent, it’s less than ideal as a test of my claim that, even in the most favorable circumstances of quiet reflection, we are prone to err about our experience. Maybe, though we err there, we are generally quite accurate in our judgments about other aspects of our phenomenology. Suppose I’m looking directly at a nearby, bright red object in good light, and I judge that I’m having the visual phenomenology, the “inward experience”, of redness. Here, perhaps, even if not in the case of emotion, it seems rather hard to imagine that I could be wrong (though I could be wrong in using the term “red” to label an experience I otherwise perfectly well know).
Some aspects of visual experience are so obvious it would be difficult to go wrong about them. Generally, philosophers have supposed, with Descartes, that such thought experiments don’t undermine judgments about visual phenomenology. (See Chapter 1 for more skepticism about color in dreams.). If we exclude radically skeptical worries, then we’re left with judgments on a par (“red phenomenology now”, “book in my hands”) – judgments as obvious and secure as one could reasonably wish. Consider your visual experience as you do so. Does it seem to have a center and a periphery, differing somehow in clarity, precision of shape and color, richness of detail?
Without moving your eyes, slowly rotate the card toward the center of your visual field. Most people are quite surprised at the result of this little experiment. By itself, this says nothing about our visual experience.
Our visual experience depends on the recent past, on general knowledge, on what we hear, think, and infer, as well as on immediate visual input – or so it’s plausible to suppose. Here’s the root of the mistake, I suspect: When the thought occurs to you to reflect on some part of your visual phenomenology, you normally move your eyes (or “foveate”) in that direction.
Consequently, wherever you think to attend, within a certain range of natural foveal movement, you find the clarity and precision of foveal vision. Yes – each time looking directly at the object in question – and then you conclude that they’re all clear simultaneously.
(This, then, would be a version of the “refrigerator light error” discussed in Chapter 6; see also Dennett 1969, p. 139-141. Take a book in your hands and let your eyes saccade around its cover, while you think about your visual experience in the regions away from the precise points of foveation.
If I’m right about this, then most naive introspectors are badly mistaken about their visual phenomenology when they first reflect on it. If naive introspectors are as wrong as many later confess themselves to be, they’re wrong about an absolutely fundamental and pervasive aspect of their sensory consciousness.
I’m perfectly willing to doubt myself, though. My pessimistic argument does require this, though: People’s judgments about their visual experience differ substantially.
My interlocutors’ opinions about their ongoing visual experience change significantly as a result of their reflections. And finally, the argument requires that those who disagree don’t differ in the basic structure of their visual experience in such a way as to mirror precisely their disagreements. Now here’s the question to consider: Does the phenomenology of thinking consist entirely of imagery experiences of this sort, perhaps accompanied by feelings such as discomfort, familiarity, confidence?
This is true historically, and it was true at the Santa Cruz seminar: Polled at week’s end, seventeen participants endorsed the existence of a distinctive phenomenology of thought, while eight disagreed, either disavowing the phenomenology of thought altogether or saying that imagery exhausts it. But the introspection of current conscious experience – that’s supposed to be easy, right? If there is such a thing as a conscious thought, then presumably we have them all the time.
Now consider: Was there something it was like to have that thought? The question is, was there something further in your experience, something besides the imagery, something that might qualify as a distinctive phenomenology of thinking?
Is the answer so obvious that you can’t imagine someone going wrong about it? In my view, then, we’re prone to gross error, even in favorable circumstances of extended reflection, about our ongoing emotional, visual, and cognitive phenomenology.
In other chapters of this book I’ve argued that we’re similarly inept in our ordinary judgments about the experience of visual perspective (Chapter 2), of visual imagery (Chapter 3), and of the echoic environment (Chapter 4); and I’ve raised concerns about our judgments about the doubleness or singleness of visual experience (Chapter 2), about difference tones, afterimages, and subtle illusions (Chapter 5), and about the extent to which sensory experience is sparse or abundant (Chapter 6). The final chapter, Chapter 8, is more or less a descent into confusion about normal, waking visual experience with one’s eyes closed. Still, taken together they are, I think, evidence enough for a generalization: The introspection of current conscious experience, far from being secure, nearly infallible, is faulty, untrustworthy, and misleading, not just sometimes a little mistaken, but massively mistaken, about a great variety of issues. Could we be infallible, or at least largely dependable, in reporting ongoing pain experiences?
Well, there’s a reason optimists like the example of pain – pain and foveal visual experience of a single bright color. And the case of pain is not always as clear as sometimes supposed.
I see no reason to dismiss out of hand the possibility of genuine introspective error in such cases. I’m sincere, and there’s no linguistic mistake. I’ll grant this: Certain things plausibly follow from the very having of a thought: that I’m thinking, that I exist, that something exists, that my thought has the content it in fact has.
Thus, certain thoughts and judgments will be infallibly true whenever they occur – whatever thoughts and judgments assert the actuality or possibility of the conditions or consequences of having them. Anything that’s evaluable as true or false, if it asserts the conditions or consequences of its own existence or has the right self-referential structure, can be infallibly true. And how many introspective judgments, really, are infallibly self-fulfilling? But “I’m not angry”, “my emotional phenomenology right now is entirely bodily”, “I have a detailed image of the Taj Majal, in which every arch and spire is simultaneously well defined”, “my visual experience is all clear and stable one hundred degrees into the periphery”, “I’m having an imageless thought of a pink elephant” – those are a different matter entirely, I’d say.
Does the thought “I’m thinking” or “I’m thinking of a pink elephant” really express a judgment about one’s conscious experience (the introspection of which is the topic of this book)? Philosophers might reasonably take different stands here, but it’s not clear to me that I’m committed to believing anything, or anything particular, about my conscious experience in accepting such a judgment.
I might hold “I’m thinking of a pink elephant” to be true while I suspect any or all of the latter to be false. Maybe this is one fact about our conscious experience that we infallibly know.
I sometimes hear the following objection: When we make claims about our phenomenology, we’re making claims about how things appear to us, not about how anything actually is. I’m making instead, it seems, a claim about my phenomenology, about my visual experience. Epistemic uses of “appears” might under certain circumstances be infallible in the sense I described in the previous section. Suppose I’m right about one thing – about something that appears, anyway, hard to deny: that people reach vastly different introspective judgments about their emotional experience, their imagery, their visual experience, their thought.
If these judgments are all largely correct, people must differ immensely in the structure of their conscious experience. You might be happy to accept that if the price of denying it is skepticism about the accuracy of introspective judgments. Here’s another possibility: Maybe people are largely the same except when they introspect. Maybe we all have basically the same visual phenomenology most of the time, for example, until we reflect directly on that phenomenology – and then some of us experience one hundred degrees of stable clarity while others experience only two degrees. It threatens to make a hash of change in introspective opinion: If someone thinks a previous introspective view of hers was mistaken – a fairly common experience among people I interview (see, for example, section vi and Chapter 4) – she must, it seems, generally be wrong that her previous view was mistaken. The view renders foolish whatever uncertainty we may sometimes feel when confronted with what might have seemed to be introspectively difficult tasks (as in sections iv and vii, as well as elsewhere in this book).
Something might be unreliable because it often goes wrong or yields the wrong result, or it might be unreliable because it fails to do anything or yield any result at all. But whether the result is error or indecision, introspection will have failed – if we suppose that introspection ought to yield trustworthy judgments on the matters at hand. It wouldn’t, then, tell against the reliability of introspection if such cases baffle us. Perhaps we can restrain it, rendering it reliable, by restricting ourselves just to the very easiest of judgments – self-fulfilling thought ascriptions, judgments about foveal colors and severe canonical pains, maybe one or few other cases where we really do seem dependably to get it right. See the brief reflections on inner speech in section ix; I had also thought the experience of foveal shape pretty straightforward until considering the issues about perspective discussed in Chapter 2.). If introspection is to yield knowledge of such matters, it must be permitted to traverse them; and if it doesn’t dependably yield accurate judgments about them, then for the purposes at hand it’s unreliable.
Descartes, I think, had it quite backwards when he said the mind – including especially current conscious experience – was better known than the outside world. My visual experience as I look at those stacks, my emotional experience as I contemplate the mess, my cognitive phenomenology as I drift in thought, staring at them – of these, I’m much less certain. Maybe, in fact, I’m just – or partly – inferring: The thing has cheese, so I must be having a taste experience of “cheesiness”. Or if I know that weeding is unpleasant work, I’ll infer a negative emotion as I do it. Descartes thought, or is often portrayed as thinking, that we know our own experience first and most directly and then infer from that to the external world.
The RSS, which could have commanded the BJP to behave like a responsible opposition, is perhaps not unduly worried because it seems to believe that the system of parliamentary democracy is an alien concept in its vision of Ram Rajya. Too many problems have piled up, and instead of winning kudos for letting law take its course, including the jailing of ministers, the general impression abroad is one of a government of scams.
To begin with, it is saddled with the awkward arrangement of a dual set of levers on power comprising Ms Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh, and Mr Rahul Gandhi, the party's heir apparent, has not shown the self-confidence to project himself as the future leader of the country. Besides, one does not know how far Ms Sonia Gandhi's physical ailment will limit her in taking charge of a situation full of pitfalls.
In future, the BJP promises to be a more assertive Hindu organisation visualising an RSS-oriented India view in which minorities would live on tolerance as in other religious-oriented countries. In other words, there would be little to distinguish between the BJP as a political party on the one hand and the larger Sangh Parivar composed of such worthies as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and, of course, the mentor RSS. The two primary contenders are, of course, the leaders of Opposition in the two Houses of Parliament, Ms Sushma Swaraj and Mr Arun Jaitley.
Unlike in the past, with the RSS being an influential factor but not the supreme arbiter in the BJP, the scales have tipped in favour of the former, which has sometimes defined itself as a cultural organisation. The relative success of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee coalition in Delhi was due to two factors: his own acceptability as a tolerant and catholic soul, despite his periodic obeisance to the RSS, and the mood in the country conducive to trying out a non-Congress government for a change. To impose Mr Modi on the country as a prime ministerial candidate would merely magnify the gulf that exists between the RSS and the national ethos.
The problem, of course, is that strong leaders bent upon one view of India's salvation would exclude much of the population belonging to other religions and perspectives in a multilingual and multi-religious nation. This remains the case in spite of Mr Modi's juggling with various headgears while refusing the Muslim skull cap. There have been many currents and cross-currents swirling around politicians and parties, all pointing towards individual ambitions and anticipation of a general election that could be sprung upon the country earlier than the stipulated five years. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is focusing on shepherding the BJP on its version of Ram Rajya, which would inevitably discriminate against minorities, Muslims in particular.
Second, the hoary Congress party is meeting its moment of truth in testing the abiding appeal of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in the form of Mr Rahul Gandhi. There have been many currents and cross-currents swirling around politicians and parties, all pointing towards individual ambitions and anticipation of a general election that could be sprung upon the country earlier than the stipulated five years.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is focusing on shepherding the BJP on its version of Ram Rajya, which would inevitably discriminate against minorities, Muslims in particular. Second, the hoary Congress party is meeting its moment of truth in testing the abiding appeal of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in the form of Mr Rahul Gandhi. The problem, of course, is that strong leaders bent upon one view of India's salvation would exclude much of the population belonging to other religions and perspectives in a multilingual and multi-religious nation.
This remains the case in spite of Mr Modi's juggling with various headgears while refusing the Muslim skull cap. The relative success of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee coalition in Delhi was due to two factors: his own acceptability as a tolerant and catholic soul, despite his periodic obeisance to the RSS, and the mood in the country conducive to trying out a non-Congress government for a change.
To impose Mr Modi on the country as a prime ministerial candidate would merely magnify the gulf that exists between the RSS and the national ethos. The two primary contenders are, of course, the leaders of Opposition in the two Houses of Parliament, Ms Sushma Swaraj and Mr Arun Jaitley. Unlike in the past, with the RSS being an influential factor but not the supreme arbiter in the BJP, the scales have tipped in favour of the former, which has sometimes defined itself as a cultural organisation. In future, the BJP promises to be a more assertive Hindu organisation visualising an RSS-oriented India view in which minorities would live on tolerance as in other religious-oriented countries. In other words, there would be little to distinguish between the BJP as a political party on the one hand and the larger Sangh Parivar composed of such worthies as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and, of course, the mentor RSS. Besides, one does not know how far Ms Sonia Gandhi's physical ailment will limit her in taking charge of a situation full of pitfalls.
Too many problems have piled up, and instead of winning kudos for letting law take its course, including the jailing of ministers, the general impression abroad is one of a government of scams. The RSS, which could have commanded the BJP to behave like a responsible opposition, is perhaps not unduly worried because it seems to believe that the system of parliamentary democracy is an alien concept in its vision of Ram Rajya. Mr Roshan Bhatia, another patients attendant, states the usual: It is tragic; your mother has been in coma for a long time now and you have nobody.
Parent, friend, lover, child, neighbour and even a good boss, relationships complete you, define you, keep you sorted, make you feel cared for.
Other observers who assess that there has been a change in the U.S. role in the world in recent years—particularly supporters of the Trump Administration, but also some observers who were arguing even prior to the Trump Administration in favor of a more restrained U.S. role in the world—view the change in the U.S. role, or at least certain aspects of it, as helpful for responding to changed U.S. and global circumstances and for defending U.S. values and interests, particularly in terms of adjusting the U.S. role to one that is more realistic regarding what the United States can accomplish, enhancing deterrence of potential regional aggression by making potential U.S. actions less predictable to potential adversaries, reestablishing respect for national sovereignty as a guidepost for U.S. foreign policy and for organizing international affairs, and encouraging U.S. allies and security partners in Eurasia to do more to defend themselves. It could significantly affect U.S. policy in areas such as relations with allies and other countries, defense plans and programs, trade and international finance, foreign assistance, and human rights. While descriptions of the U.S. role in the world since the end of World War II vary in their specifics, it can be described in general terms as consisting of four key elements: global leadership; defense and promotion of the liberal international order; defense and promotion of freedom, democracy, and human rights; and prevention of the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia. It could significantly affect U.S. policy in areas such as relations with allies and other countries, defense plans and programs, trade and international finance, foreign assistance, and human rights. Observers over the years have referred to U.S. global leadership using various terms, some of which reflect varying degrees of approval or disapproval of this aspect of the U.S. role. a preference for resolving disputes between countries peacefully, without the use or threat of use of force or coercion, and in a manner consistent with international law;.
respect for international law, global rules and norms, and universal values, including human rights;. the use of liberal (i.e., rules-based) international trading and investment systems to advance open, rules-based economic engagement, development, growth, and prosperity; and. As mentioned above, the liberal international order was created by the United States with the support of its allies in the years immediately after World War II.
U.S. willingness to establish and play a leading role in maintaining the liberal international order is also generally viewed as an act of national self-interest, reflecting a belief among U.S. policymakers that it would strongly serve U.S. security, political, and economic objectives. Indeed, some critics of the liberal international order argue that it is primarily a construct for serving U.S. interests and promoting U.S. world primacy or hegemony. This objective reflects a U.S. perspective on geopolitics and grand strategy developed by U.S. strategists and policymakers during and in the years immediately after World War II that incorporates two key judgments:.
U.S. actions that can be viewed as expressions of the U.S. goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia include but are not necessarily limited to the following:. the NATO alliance, which was established in large part to deter and counter attempts by the Soviet Union (now Russia) to become a regional hegemon in Europe;. additional U.S. political, diplomatic, and economic actions to contain and oppose the Soviet Union during the Cold War, including the Marshall Plan and subsequent U.S. foreign assistance programs.
In pursuing the goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia, U.S. policymakers have sometimes decided to work with or support nondemocratic regimes that for their own reasons view Russia, China, or Iran as competitors or adversaries. As a consequence, the goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Asia has sometimes been in tension with defending and promoting freedom, democracy, and human rights.
A second major dimension within the debate over the future U.S. role concerns how to balance or combine the pursuit of narrowly defined material U.S. interests with the goal of defending and promoting U.S. or universal values such as democracy, freedom, and human rights. There currently are multiple views on the question of whether the United States under the Trump Administration is changing the U.S. role in the world, some of which are outlined briefly below.
what these observers view as the President's affinity for certain authoritarian or illiberal leaders, as well as his apparent reluctance to criticize Russia and his apparent continued desire to seek improved relations with Russia, despite Russian actions judged by U.S. intelligence agencies and other observers to have been directed against the United States and overseas U.S. interests;. the Administration's December 2017 national security strategy (NSS) document and its January 2018 unclassified summary of its supporting national defense strategy (NDS) document—large portions of which refer to U.S. leadership, a general emphasis on great power competition with China and Russia, and strong support for U.S. alliances;. For these observers, whether the U.S. role is changing is difficult to discern, in part because what they view as incoherence or contradictions in the Administration's foreign policies and in part because the President's apparent views on certain issues—such as the value of U.S. alliances, the acceptability of certain actions by Russia or North Korea, and the importance of democracy and human rights as universal values—have frequently been in tension with or contradicted by statements and actions of senior Administration officials (particularly those who served during the first two years or so of the Administration), with the President's views being more consistent with the change in the U.S. role outlined by the first set of observers above, and statements and actions of senior Administration officials frequently being more consistent with a continuation of the U.S. role of the past 70 years outlined by the second set of observers above. restrained response to Russian actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and more generally, its reluctance, for a time at least, to fully acknowledge and adapt to less cooperative and more confrontational relationships with Russia and China.
disregarding the costly lessons of the first half of the 20 th century, and how the U.S. role in the world of the last 70 years has been motivated at bottom by a desire to prevent a repetition of the horrific events of that period; and. century, and how the U.S. role in the world of the last 70 years has been motivated at bottom by a desire to prevent a repetition of the horrific events of that period; and creating vacuums in global leadership in establishing and maintaining global rules and norms, on the disposition of specific disputes and other issues, and in regional power balances that China and Russia as well as France, Turkey, Syria, Iran, and other countries are moving to fill, often at the expense of U.S. interests and values.
placing an emphasis on countering and competing with China, which poses a uniquely strong and multidimensional challenge to U.S. security and prosperity;. A rapidly emerging but potentially very significant issue is the question of whether and how the COVID-19 situation in the United States and around the world might lead to profoundly transformative and long-lasting changes in both the structure of international politics and the U.S. role in the world in areas such as U.S. global leadership, U.S. strategic competition with China, U.S. relations with allies, and U.S. definitions of U.S. national security. As noted earlier, some observers believe that under the Trump Administration, the United States is becoming more skeptical of the value of allies, particularly those in Europe, and more transactional in managing U.S. alliance relationships. Foreign policy specialists, strategists, and policymakers sometimes invoke U.S. public opinion poll results in debates on the U.S. role in the world. During the Cold War, the effective operation of U.S. democracy at the federal level and lower levels was viewed as helpful for arguing on the world stage that Western-style democracy was superior, for encouraging other countries to adopt that model, and for inspiring people in the Soviet Union and other authoritarian countries to resist authoritarianism and seek change in the direction of more democratic forms of government. The ability of the United State to demonstrate the effectiveness of democracy as a form of government was something that in today's parlance would be termed an element of U.S. soft power.
The end of the Cold War led to a diminution in the ideological debate about the relative merits of democracy versus authoritarianism as forms of government. As a possible consequence, there may have been less of a perceived need during this period for focusing on the question of whether the operation of U.S. democracy was being viewed positively or otherwise by observers in other countries.
The potential issue for Congress is whether, in a period of renewed ideological competition, there is now once again a need for focusing more on the question of whether the operation of U.S. democracy is being viewed positively or otherwise by observers in other countries. Specific matters here include, among other things, the question of war powers, the delegation of authority for imposing tariffs, and whether a change in the U.S. role would have any implications for congressional organization, capacity, and operations. How might decisions that Congress and the executive branch make in the near term affect the question of potential downstream reversibility?
The term grand strategy generally refers in foreign policy discussions to a country's overall approach for securing its interests and making its way in the world, using all the national instruments at its disposal, including diplomatic, informational, military, and economic tools (sometimes abbreviated in U.S. government parlance as DIME). In foreign policy discussions, terms like unipolar, bipolar, tripolar, and multipolar are sometimes used to refer to the number of top-tier world powers whose actions tend to characterize or give structure to a given historical period's international security situation. As discussed in another CRS report,7 observers have concluded that in recent years, there has been a shift from the post-Cold War era to a new international security situation characterized by renewed great power competition between the United States, China, and Russia, leading observers to refer to the new situation as a tripolar or multipolar world.
Eurasia's fringing islands include, among others, the United Kingdom and Ireland in Europe, Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, the archipelagic countries of Southeast Asia, and Japan. Basic geographic features involved in geopolitical analysis include things such as the relative sizes and locations of countries or land masses; the locations of key resources such as oil or water; geographic barriers such as oceans, deserts, and mountain ranges; and key transportation links such as roads, railways, and waterways.
Among U.S. strategists and foreign policy specialists, advocates of a more restrained U.S. role include (to cite a few examples) Andrew Bacevich, Doug Bandow, Ted Galen Carpenter, John Mearsheimer, Barry Posen, Christopher Preble, William Ruger, and Stephen Walt. U.S. interventions in the security affairs of Eurasia have frequently been more costly and/or less successful than anticipated, making a strategy of intervening less cost-effective in practice than in theory.
U.S. interventions in the security affairs of Eurasia have frequently been more costly and/or less successful than anticipated, making a strategy of intervening less cost-effective in practice than in theory. The United States has not always lived up to its own ideals, and consequently lacks sufficient moral standing to pursue a role that involves imposing its values and will on other countries.
The United States has not always lived up to its own ideals, and consequently lacks sufficient moral standing to pursue a role that involves imposing its values and will on other countries. It is not clear that U.S. public opinion supports the idea of attempting to maintain a U.S. role in the world as expansive as that of the past 70 years, particularly if it means making trade-offs against devoting resources to domestic U.S. priorities. In public opinion polls, Americans often express support for a more restrained U.S. role, particularly on issues such as whether the United States should act as the world's police force, funding levels for U.S. foreign assistance programs, U.S. participation in (and financial support for) international organizations, and U.S. defense expenditures for defending allies.
Given the rapid growth in wealth and power in recent years of China and other countries, the United States is no longer as dominant globally as it once was, and is becoming less dominant over time, which will make it increasingly difficult or expensive and/or less appropriate for the United States to attempt to continue playing a role of global leadership. Given the rapid growth in wealth and power in recent years of China and other countries, the United States is no longer as dominant globally as it once was, and is becoming less dominant over time, which will make it increasingly difficult or expensive and/or less appropriate for the United States to attempt to continue playing a role of global leadership. Consequently, the level of U.S. intervention in the affairs of Eurasia can be reduced without incurring undue risk that regional hegemons will emerge there. Consequently, the level of U.S. intervention in the affairs of Eurasia can be reduced without incurring undue risk that regional hegemons will emerge there.
Observers who support a continuation of the U.S. role in the world of the past 70 years generally reject the above arguments and argue the opposite. U.S. interventions in the security affairs of Eurasia, though not without significant costs and errors, have been successful in preventing wars between major powers and defending and promoting vital U.S. interests and values.
U.S. interventions in the security affairs of Eurasia, though not without significant costs and errors, have been successful in preventing wars between major powers and defending and promoting vital U.S. interests and values. The United States, though not perfect, retains ample moral authority—and responsibility—to act as a world leader, particularly in comparison to authoritarian countries such as China or Russia. The United States, though not perfect, retains ample moral authority—and responsibility—to act as a world leader, particularly in comparison to authoritarian countries such as China or Russia. Eurasia historically has not been self-regulating in terms of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons, and the idea that it will become self-regulating in the future is a risky and untested proposition. Eurasia historically has not been self-regulating in terms of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons, and the idea that it will become self-regulating in the future is a risky and untested proposition. Kyle Harper, "The Coronavirus Is Accelerating History Past the Breaking Point, Every Era Gets the Infectious Diseases—and the Resulting Political Upheaval—It Has Coming.".
James Lamond, "Authoritarian Regimes Seek To Take Advantage of the Coronavirus Pandemic," Center for American Progress, April 6, 2020. Nadia Schadlow, "Consider the Possibility That Trump Is Right About China, Critics Are Letting Their Disdain for the President Blind Them to Geopolitical Realities.".
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John Haltiwanger, "The Coronavirus Just Created a New Dictator in Europe and Has Emboldened the Toxic Behavior of Authoritarians Worldwide," Business Insider, April 1, 2020. Jeff M. Smith, "How America Is Leading the "Quad Plus" Group of 7 Countries in Fighting the Coronavirus," Heritage Foundation, April 1, 2020. Adam Tooze, "America Is Ailing—and Leading the World, The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Been a Humiliation for the United States—and Confirmation of Its Unmatched International Power.". David Barno and Nora Bensahel, "After the Pandemic: America and National Security in a Changed World," War on the Rocks, March 31, 2020. Ruchir Sharma, "The Comeback Nation, U.S. Economic Supremacy Has Repeatedly Proved Declinists Wrong," Foreign Affairs, March 31, 2020. Doug Bandow, "Donald Trump Needs to Focus on Coronavirus (Not Fighting with China and the EU)," National Interest, March 30, 2020.
Daniel J. Ikenson, "The Coronavirus Crisis Is the Worst Time For Trump To Put Up Trade Barriers," National Interest, March 30, 2020. Elizabeth Kolbert, "Pandemics and the Shape of Human History, Outbreaks Have Sparked Riots and Propelled Public-Health Innovations, Prefigured Revolutions and Redrawn Maps.". Matthew Petti, "Lincoln Chafee: Stop Endless Wars To Deal With Coronavirus Pandemic," National Interest, March 30, 2020.
Josh Rogin, "The National Security Council Sounded Early Alarms about the Coronavirus," Washington Post, March 30, 2020. Jackson Diehl, "Pompeo's Pandemic Performance Ensures His Place Among the Worst Secretaries of State Ever," Washington Post, March 29, 2020.
Brett McGurk, "America Should Build an International Coalition Now; The United States Has an Urgent Interest in Filling the Global Leadership Void During This Stateless Scourge.". Josh Rogin, "America's $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package Ignores the Rest of the World," Washington Post, March 26, 2020.
Noah Barkin, "Germany's Strategic Gray Zone With China," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 25, 2020. Paul Haenle and Lucas Tcheyan, "U.S.-China Cooperation on Coronavirus Hampered by Propaganda War," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 24, 2020.
Brett Schaefer and Charles Stimson, "How the U.S. Should Respond to the ICC's Decision to Investigate Americans," Heritage Foundation, March 24, 2020. Emily de La Bruyere and Nathan Picarsic, "Competition Meets Crisis: China's Perverse Opportunity and a Strategic Response," National Interest, March 23, 2020.
Matthew Kroenig, "Pandemics Can Fast Forward the Rise and Fall of Great Powers," National Interest, March 23, 2020. Stephen S. Roach and Daniel J. Arbess, "US Lives and Economic Stability Are Threatened by Coronavirus Conflict with China," The Hill, March 23, 2020.
Michael Crowley, Edward Wong and Lara Jakes, "Coronavirus Drives the U.S. and China Deeper Into Global Power Struggle," New York Times, March 22, 2020. Morten Soendergaard Larsen and Robbie Gramer, "China Casts Itself as Global Savior While U.S. and EU Focus on Virus at Home," Foreign Policy, March 19, 2020. Bradley A. Thayer and Lianchao Han, "China's Coronavirus Plan: Create a 'Silk Road' of Health Care Leading Towards World Dominance," National Interest, March 19, 2020. Alan Crawford and Peter Martin, "China Showers Europe With Virus Aid While Sparring With Trump," Bloomberg, March 19, 2020. Kurt M. Campbell and Rush Doshi, "The Coronavirus Could Reshape Global Order, China Is Maneuvering for International Leadership as the United States Falters," Foreign Affairs, March 18, 2020. Joseph Haboush, "The US Must Remain Engaged in Lebanon or Risk Russian and Chinese Gains," Middle East Institute, March 18, 2020.
Joshua Meservey and Alexander St. Leger, "America's Opportunity to Quell Russian Meddling in Libya," Heritage Foundation, March 13, 2020. Doug Bandow, "Trump Administration Policy Inadvertently Aids the Xi Government," Cato Institute, March 10, 2020.
Daniel Kochis, "Recent EU Strategic Autonomy Advances Threaten the Transatlantic Link," Heritage Foundation, March 9, 2020. Patrick Tyrrell and Anthony B. Kim, "Foreign Aid Should Go to Those in Need, Not Ruling Elites," Heritage Foundation, March 9, 2020. Doug Bandow, "The Brutal Tragedy of Idlib: Why the U.S. Should Stay out of Syria and Dump NATO," National Interest, March 7, 2020.
James Jay Carafano and Daniel Kochis, "The Quiet Success of Trump's Politically Appointed Ambassadors in Europe," Heritage Foundation, March 5, 2020. Clark Packard, Scott Lincicome, Kimberly Clausing, and Mary Lovely, "How to Make America's Next Trade Policy," Bulwark, March 2, 2020.
Peter Harris, "America Alone: Why the Trump Administration Will Pay for Alienating Its Strategic Partners," National Interest, February 28, 2020. James Jay Carafano, "3 Big Takeaways From Trump's Successful Trip to India," Heritage Foundation, February 27, 2020.
Svante E. Cornell and Brenda Shaffer, "The United States Needs to Declare War on Proxies," Foreign Policy, February 27, 2020. Theodore Bromund, "The United States Should Withdraw from the U.N.'s Programme of Action on Small Arms," Heritage Foundation, February 20, 2020. Olivia Enos, "Why the U.S. Government Should Prioritize the Release of Christian Pastor Wang Yi," Heritage Foundation, February 18, 2020. Nile Gardiner, "Setting the Record Straight on American Leadership of the West," Heritage Foundation, February 18, 2020. David J. Lynch, "Trump's Recent Trade Moves Show Adversarial Approach Has Only Just Begun," Washington Post, February 18, 2020. Joel Gehrke, "'It Is Dangerous': France's Macron Startles Allies and Angers US Officials with Defense Proposals," Washington Examiner, February 17, 2020.
Michael Birnbaum, Loveday Morris, and John Hudson, "Europe Is Watching the U.S. Presidential Campaign—and Holding Its Breath About Trump and Sanders," Washington Post, February 16, 2020. Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, "Trump's Soft Touch with China's Xi Worries Advisers Who Say More Is Needed to Combat Coronavirus Outbreak," Washington Post, February 16, 2020. Michael Birnbaum, John Hudson, and Loveday Morris, "At Munich Security Conference, an Atlantic Divide: U.S. Boasting and European Unease," Washington Post, February 15, 2020. Robin Emmott and John Irish, "'The West Is Winning,' U.S. Tells China; France Wary," Reuters, February 15, 2020. Nancy A Youssef, James Marson, and Laurence Norman, "U.S.-Europe Divide Gets Spotlight at Security Conference," Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2020. Noah Bierman and staff writer, "White House Quietly Trims Dozens of National Security Experts," Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2020.
Josh Rogin, "State Department Excludes Taiwan from Religious Freedom Alliance," Washington Post, February 11, 2020. Hal Brands, "John Quincy Adams Isn't Who You Think He Is, The Sixth President Has Become an Icon for Those Wanting to Shrink America's Global Role, But He Was Actually A Die-Hard Expansionist," Bloomberg, February 8, 2020. William J. Burns, "Impunity Is Triumphing Over Integrity, Trump's Attacks on Public Servants Will Do Lasting Damage to American Diplomacy," Atlantic, February 8, 2020.
Ted Galen Carpenter, "Trump's Brass Knuckles Tactics Toward the European Allies," Cato Institute, February 5, 2020. Robbie Gramer, "At Embassies Abroad, Trump Envoys Are Quietly Pushing Out Career Diplomats," Foreign Policy, February 5, 2020.
Mollie Hemingway, "13 Key Takeaways From President Trump's Epic State Of The Union Address," Federalist, February 5, 2020. Michael Hirsh, Amy Mackinnon, and Robbie Gramer, "5 Foreign-Policy Takeaways from Trump's State of the Union," Foreign Policy, February 5, 2020.
Daniel R. DePetris, "Impeachment Is Damaging America In One Nearly Forgotten Way, Two Words: Foreign Policy," National Interest, February 4, 2020. Adam Taylor, "What Trump Said About Foreign Policy in Last Year's State of the Union (and What Actually Happened)," Washington Post, February 4, 2020. Stefano Gennarini and Grace Melton, "Promises Kept: The Trump Administration Has Paved the Way for Promoting the Culture of Life," National Interest, February 2, 2020. A. Trevor Thrall and Jordan Cohen, "Trump Extends Travel Ban to 6 Countries — but Is OK with Selling Arms to Those Same Places," Cato Institute, January 31, 2020. Doug Bandow, "Trump Ignores the Saudis' Awful Record on Religious Freedom," Cato Institute, January 30, 2020. Robert Malley and Aaron David Miller, "The Real Goal of Trump's Middle East Plan," Politico, January 28, 2020.
Doug Bandow, "Stop Treating U.S. Military as Mercenary Force Hired Out to Protect Saudi Royals," American Spectator, January 24, 2020. Ted Galen Carpenter, "Trump's Critics Show Their Own Sterile Thinking about Foreign Policy," National Interest, January 23, 2020. Doug Bandow, "Donald Trump's Iran Obsession Comes Down to 2 Words: Barack Obama," National Interest, January 20, 2020.
Niall Ferguson, "Cold War II Has America at a Disadvantage as China Courts Russia," Boston Globe, January 20, 2020. Dimitri Simes, "The Rift Between Turkey and America Has Paved the Way for Russia's Rebound," National Interest, January 20, 2020.
Anne Gearan and John Hudson, "Trump's Strong-Arm Foreign Policy Tactics Create Tensions with U.S. Friends and Foes," Washington Post, January 19, 2020. Ted Galen Carpenter, "In Bullying Iraq, America is Starting to Look Like the New Evil Empire," American Conservative, January 17, 2020.
David Von Drehle, "Trump's Mercenary Foreign Policy Confirms What Our Worst Critics Say of Us," Washington Post, January 17, 2020. Bob Davis, "U.S.-China Deal Could Upend the Way Nations Settle Disputes," Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2020. Jonathan Stearns, "Europe Threatens Legal Challenge to U.S.-China Trade Pact at WTO," Bloomberg, January 16, 2020. Ashley Parker, "New Book Portrays Trump as Erratic, 'At Times Dangerously Uninformed,'" Washington Post, January 15, 2020.
I stuttered most of the way through school, so badly I could scarcely talk. I made pretty good progress in overcoming my stuttering during my school years. Perhaps at one time or another you too have thought of your life as something of a fabrication. One warm evening as we were out walking, a classmate for whom I had great respect confronted me with a terrifying question.
“Do you love yourself in the theater,” she asked, “or the theater in yourself?” In other words, was I in it for me or because I simply loved it? “Can I become like that man?” I asked myself. It troubled me that the question kept returning. I have come to believe this happened because, like a lot of other people of my generation, I had got it wrong.
My objectives were lofty—never stooping to dishonesty, not compromising my principles, standing forward to defend the right and make corrections when things do not go as they should. No matter how rigorous, a quest to be true when undertaken on one’s own behalf can never put to silence the disquieting voice that says, “You’re not honest, simple, solid, and true. Instead, he suffered without taking any offense whatsoever, without becoming mistrustful, without either retaliating or withdrawing or concentrating on himself.
And just for that reason, we become most ourselves when we are most true to God and to one another. Even now, looking back, I do not find harmful intentions in my quest.
In just this pattern, though seldom as viciously, all self-seeking quests to make things better end up by making them worse. First a conflict within ourselves over our own failure to be as we ought to be—honest, simple, solid, and true—and then the inevitable diminishment or manipulation of others. Rather than resisting evil, he suffered. “And thus God breaketh the bands of death,” Abinadi continued, “having gained the victory over death” (Mosiah 15:8). This long-suffering love changes everything. No other power calls forth love instead of resistance, changes the heart (Alma 5:9), and actually makes things better rather than worse.
Through His gentle example, by the voice of His Spirit, and in the faces of His children, it awakens us to life. Several individuals I know were struggling to bring to their teaching the right kind of heart.
I will give you what happened then in his own words:. Suddenly I saw this brother walk out of the church and cross the parking lot to his car. It was not until the very moment I looked directly and deeply into this man’s eyes for the first time in years that I could see my sin.
Where there had been no words to say, I found myself asking this good man for his forgiveness. That is my sin: I have loved you less.” Tears filled our eyes as I told him then that I loved him. Hearkening to the call of Christ from His Spirit or through another’s countenance or both, we become genuinelyhonest, simple, solid, true—often together with someone we may not have trusted before.
Whether it is felt in his breast or in ours, the Savior’s love can achieve what force cannot, because where force calls forth counter-force, love calls forth love. I decided to write all of this down for my husband to read, and enumerate the many times I had felt emotionally deprived. The longer I wrote, the more I began to have a feeling come over me that what I was writing was false.
The feeling continued growing until I could no longer squelch it, and I knew intuitively that the feeling was coming from God, that He was telling me that what I was writing was false. How could it be false?” But the feeling became so powerful and overwhelming that I could no longer deny it or fight against it. I had not let go of the past and had not loved God with all my heart. I suddenly realized that I was responsible for my own suffering, for if I had really come unto Him, as I outwardly thought I had done, it all would have been different.
That day I repented of not loving God, of not loving my husband, of blaming, of finding fault, of thinking that others were responsible for my misery. Two months passed, and one morning my husband awoke and turned to me in bed and said, “You know, we find fault too much with each other.
He did stop finding fault, and he began to compliment me, and show sweet kindness. And then you will no longer give anyone cause to resent or fear you. Read with particular care the papers of students who struggle to write. Jesus intimated that this non-discriminatory love is who wereallyare—the very perfection, completeness, and fullness we came here to attain (Matt.
After all, it is with us as it was with the Redeemer: Satan does not need to overpower us in order to win the war. Sacrificing the tendencies of the flesh in Jesus’ pattern matters more than we can imagine. In every moment we are choosing either liberty and eternal life, in the Savior’s pattern, “according to the will of the Holy Spirit,” or “captivity and death,” in Satan’s pattern, “according to the will of the flesh and the evil that is therein” (2 Ne. Joe is the husband of one of our students here, who loves him devoutly. Where good and evil are concerned, there’s no such thing as being sidelined or taking time-out. Everything we do, everything we say, everything we think and feel, makes a difference, especially considering the season of war in which we live.
Upon returning from class one day, my daughter shared this experience of one of her classmates. The mid-term exam is coming up, and I’d like to know what I can do to help you prepare.” Honest, simple, solid, true. He was our president at the time. Letting one’s colleagues or students or teachers or family down is no more caring than it is honest. I close by speaking once again of our great Captain in the war we fight by means of love. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Rev.
Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him” (Rev. And then we will discover afterward, and to our surprise, that what we have given up trying to achieve on our own has come to pass—that He has changed our hearts and made us as He is, honest, simple, solid, and true.
C. Terry Warner is a professor of philosophy at BYU whose professional studies focus on the ethical and spiritual foundations of human behavior. He delivered this devotional address at BYU Jan. 16, 1996.
Through Night To Light. Through Night to Light .
"I return your question," replied the latter, turning his beautiful, earnest eyes towards his companion. Now, when his companion ceased, he said--an ironical smile playing around his lips--.
We shall meet one of these unfortunate men to-night. No, Franz, I will not bring disgrace upon your mental cure and try to find the world as beautiful and reasonable as you do. Is it not natural, is it not quite intelligible, that it should turn up just now, when we approach the end of our pilgrimage, and I am about once more to meet face to face the noble, unfortunate man to whom I owe so much, and that after an interval during which so much, so very much, has changed for him and for myself!
"Then let us turn back," said Doctor Braun, with great vivacity. Let us turn back; it is time yet.".
I must see Berger and speak to him. "There is no or," cried Franz. "I shall be all the more attentive," replied Doctor Braun.
I do not even know whether I have any relations on the father's or the mother's side. But even now I sometimes dream of a fair young lady, with great, sweet blue eyes. She says in a soft tone some words which I do not understand, but which sound like the music of heaven, and always move me to tears even in my sleep. I had no other friend but him, until I went to the University.".
He had a supreme contempt for all faith founded merely upon authority, because he felt himself fettered by it in the freedom of his existence; and an intense hatred for all worldly tyranny, because it prevented him from acting freely. That is the only hint which I ever received as to my father's former life. Whatever he did, he did from a sense of duty, from a conviction that it was right; for, as he said himself, Justice is higher than Love; it does all that Love does and a great deal more. "You may be right," replied Oswald, "and what you say renders it easier for me to make a confession which I was about to make.
"We lived in a small house built against and upon the city wall. The solitary small window from which my room received its light was pierced in the thick wall, so that the whole looked very much more like a prison than anything else; and yet, what marvellously blessed hours I have spent in that room!
"Here, at this window, I used to sit on summer evenings, when the sun was setting in brilliant splendor, my heart full to overflowing of chaotic sentiments, and my head weaving thoughts as fair and bright, and, alas! I had to hide in my heart all the feelings, all the tenderness, which we ordinarily lavish upon our mother and brothers and sisters and friends, for I could not feel any confidence in him who, as matters happened to stand, ought to have stood me in place of all of them. I parted without grief from my father.
What he felt at the parting I cannot tell. "Thus I was standing alone in the world--a young man in years, with the weary mind of an old man. You know that I became there acquainted with the unfortunate man whom we are about to visit.
You have followed me through the great periods of my life there with an observant eye, and at the same time as a philosopher and as a friend. A part of these events I dare not touch upon; another part I am in duty bound to leave untouched. "I believe everything in my life has happened in the most ordinary way," said Franz, laughing. What has saved me is the conviction that the world is, after all, but a Cosmos, in which everybody, be he what he may, has to fill his modest place--a conviction which came to me first very dimly, then more and more clearly and distinctly, and finally filled my heart with triumphant certainty. All this teaches us that we are true children of men, the offspring of this earth, with the right and the duty to work out our life here below upon our inheritance side by side with other children of men, our brethren, who have the same rights, and of course also the same duties, as we ourselves. The great fault of your life, which it is true you could hardly avoid with such an experience as you had in your young days, is that you have always lived for yourself only and never truly for others.
Thus you have drifted into a false position, in which you could not be useful to the world, and the world could not be useful to you. I wish you were, like myself, engaged to some good, sensible girl. Oswald made no reply. He felt convinced of the truth of what his companion said, but at the same time he felt painfully ashamed.
Thus they walked side by side in deep silence, until they reached the top of the mountain, where the carriage was waiting. It was the end of their day's journey, and for Oswald the place of his destination--a watering-place, called Fichtenau, renowned far and near on account of its charming position, its invigorating baths of spruce leaves, and more recently yet its large and admirably-kept insane asylum, which Doctor Birkenhain, a man of great intelligence and large experience in such matters, had founded there a few years ago.
He had written to Doctor Birkenhain, without telling Oswald, and asked him to give him a minute description of Berger's case. Doctor Birkenhain had replied, that Berger's insanity consisted exclusively in the fixed idea of the absolute non-existence of all things, but that otherwise he was in full possession of all his mental powers, and would have been dismissed from the institution long since but for his own urgent desire to prolong his stay there. Moved by this apprehension Doctor Braun had postponed the visit to Fichtenau till the end of their journey, instead of going there at first, as Oswald had wished.
He was by no means pleased with Oswald's excited manner, and would have liked best to turn back, if that had still been possible. The sun had already set for half an hour behind the broad back of the well-wooded hill, which embraces Fichtenau on the western side, when the carriage left the mountains and rolled down into the plain in which the town is situated.
The increased shrillness of the clarinet and the growing thunder of the big drum announced the coming of the great moment when the famous acrobat, Mr. John Cotterby, of Egypt, called the Flying Pigeon, would have the honor to perform, with permission of the authorities, his great feat, admired by all the potentates of Asia and Europe, viz., to fetch down a flag fastened to the top of a steeple four hundred feet high, on the extraordinary path of a single rope, and moreover walking backwards all the time, a feat which he hoped the nobility and the highly cultivated public of Fichtenau would not fail duly to appreciate. What could he do, Mr. John Cotterby, of Egypt, if, for want of better times to come, the church on the square was to this day without a steeple? For, from the thickest of the oak-tree, where the rope had been fastened to a mighty branch, there suddenly appeared the figure of a lovely genius, winged like the Flying Pigeon, with a wreath on the hair and a bright banner in the right hand. This was evidently the flag which Mr. John Cotterby, of Egypt, usually fetched down from a steeple four hundred feet high, and which he saw himself on this day forced, for want of a suitable tower, to bring down from heaven itself. The performance was at an end. The driver had been on the point of leaving as soon as the crowd allowed him to pass, but Franz and Oswald, who had followed the drama of the artist's earthly career and his apotheosis with great interest, and now and then with hearty laughter, ordered him to stop till the genius should have made his way through the dense crowd to the carriage.
"No, mother is with me; mother does not leave the Czika. Young and old they crowded around them, forming a close circle, and apparently determined not to leave the place till they had solved the mystery of this extraordinary meeting. Franz, who had witnessed the scene from the carriage, had scarcely been less amazed than the crowd. This young man (pointing over his shoulder at Oswald, who was still kneeling down with Czika) is rather eccentric. Only pray get him away quickly, so that the Czika can go on with the collection.". inquired Franz.
"At the Green Hat, your excellency. I know where these people are staying; you can go and see them some other time.". Oswald, who had recovered from his first overwhelming astonishment at finding Czika in such company, now saw very clearly the extraordinary character of his position, and knew too well how sensible his friend's advice was to neglect it any longer.
The Czika had shown the wonderful self-control which this remarkable child never lost but for a few moments, and was going on with the collection as if nothing had happened. She did not even cast a glance at Oswald as he went back to the carriage, almost forced to do so by Franz. There was great feasting that night in the Green Hat, a low drover's inn near the gates of the town, and not far from the great meadow. "Yes, you see," said Director Schmenckel, "that is a very mysterious story, and I should be quite ready to tell you all about it, but it is so very incredible.". When he said Egypt all eyes turned to Mr. John Cotterby, who leaned back in his chair and smiled mysteriously. "Thanks, Cotterby," said Mr. Schmenckel, "modesty adorns a man, but why should I conceal it that it was on your account I was making that journey?
You must know, gentlemen, that the fame of Mr. Cotterby was in those days filling the whole Orient, and that nobody spoke of anything but the Flying Pigeon. I went to Egypt, where I was told Mr. Cotterby was then residing, but Mr. Cotterby was nowhere to be found.
At last I learnt from an old Dervish who had sold me the talking serpent, which I shall have the honor of exhibiting to-morrow, that Mr. Cotterby was staying somewhere far away in the desert near the pyramids. Tell what you wish to tell," replied the Egyptian, with a generous, modest smile. On the top there is a pointed stone pillar, called obelisk; to this Mr. Cotterby fastened one end of a rope, while the lower end was held by two thousand black slaves of his, and thus he walked up and down, so that those who saw it felt their hair stand on an end.
I had nothing left but to climb at night to the top of the pyramid at the risk of my life, and next morning, when Mr. Cotterby arrived there, to seize him around the waist and to cry: Either you consent to an engagement for three thousand a year, or I send you head over heels down this pyramid, as sure as my name is Caspar Schmenckel. May I tell what you replied, Cotterby?". But that was not exactly what I was going to tell you, gentlemen," said Mr. Schmenckel, emptying his glass and holding it up to the light, as if he wished to convince himself that there was really nothing left in it. "A glass for Director Schmenckel," cried a dozen voices. Suppose you take me to-morrow in the wheelbarrow which you carry up and down the rope, and then let me get out on the roof. You can bring me back the same way the day after.
The next day the thing is done. Cotterby carries me up to the roof; he turns the barrow over and there I am, on the roof, quite alone, for Cotterby had gone back immediately, so as to create no suspicion. How easily the head of a black guardsman might pop out through one of the openings in the roof--and then farewell to my sweet life! At that moment a lady came running into the room; it was the same one who used to sit at the ticket office, and who attended to all the domestic affairs of the company; she whispered a few words in the director's ear, of which the company only heard one or two, which sounded like "woman--run away.". And the news was important, for it amounted to nothing less than that the fair flower, which Mr. Schmenckel had stolen ten years ago with so much daring and such cunning from the palace of the Lord of the Faithful, had been lost again. Even Mr. John Cotterby, of Egypt, might have been replaced more easily.
Mr. Schmenckel was a man, he was a director, he had been drinking beer and not milk--and Mr. Schmenckel gave himself up to fearful wrath. So far she had only threatened to let the director feel her nails; now she added the act to the threat. These thoughts and feelings filled Oswald's heart as he followed a servant from the Kurhaus through the silent streets of the town towards the Green Hat, where he had been told by Franz that he should find the rope-dancers. When Oswald, therefore, remarked that it would probably be too late that evening to pay a visit to Berger, he had simply answered: "I think so!".
No one had time or inclination to answer his questions, until at last he happened to speak to a young man who looked a little less rowdyish than the rest, and who told him that some members of the rope-dancer's troop had run away, a gypsy woman and her daughter, and that this had given rise to a general fight. Oswald felt greatly relieved when he heard this.
Mr. Schmenckel followed Oswald, who had asked him for a few moments conversation, very readily, since the circumstance that an elegantly-dressed gentleman came all the way to the Green Hat in order to have an interview with Director Schmenckel, was well calculated to make a sensation. "What does your excellency desire?".
"I should be glad if you would give me some information about the gypsy woman, who, I am told, has left your company this evening.". Mr. Schmenckel knew at once how the matter stood.
"Thanks, your excellency," replied Mr. Schmenckel, whose suspicions were only confirmed by Oswald's liberality, "nevertheless I should like to----". "Well," replied Mr. Schmenckel, "perhaps it is not so very little I know about her. "But I have met the gypsy only this summer at--never mind, not very far from here, and quite alone.".
"That may very well be," replied the cunning director; "it is not the first time to-night that Xenobia has run away, but she has always come back again.". said Mr. Schmenckel. "Why, your excellency, when she came to us, she had no child. "In one word," said Oswald, scarcely able to restrain himself, "the Czika is your child?". "And you think the gypsy will come back again?". "Yes, just think of it, your excellency; women are a strange kind of people," said Mr. Schmenckel, philosophizing, "and the kinder you are to them, the sooner they will play you some trick or other.
While Oswald was receiving this doubtful information about the true history of poor little Czika from the truth-loving lips of Director Schmenckel, Franz was waiting for his return with painful impatience. He felt as if the ground was burning under his feet. At last he heard the horses coming, and Oswald also returned. Franz told him the sad news he had just received, and what he had determined to do. He begged his friend, in a few parting words, not to prolong his stay at Fichtenau beyond what was absolutely necessary, and above all to be punctually at the appointed time at his post in Grunwald. He promised, however, what Franz asked of him, as he accompanied him to the carriage.
"What do you say, Oswald," said Franz, who had already settled himself down in the carriage; "Come along with me! "I cannot do it, Franz," said Oswald.
"I cannot leave here without having seen Berger, and besides----". But I feel as if I ought not to leave you here alone--as if there was something in the air here that boded you no good.
Come with me, Oswald!". Franz once more pressed Oswald's hand. "A most pleasant gentleman--would you like to have supper now, sir? You will find very agreeable company in the dining-room, sir.".
Oswald went back into the house. And Oswald's heart had been overflowing with love and pity! But the light of day had not brought him the right kind of cheerfulness, for the visions of the night still cast their spectral shadows upon the day. He was naturally less than ever disposed now to call upon Berger, and he had therefore to make a great effort at last to ring for the waiter, and to inquire of him the way to Doctor Birkenhain's institution. "Doctor Birkenhain's asylum, sir? We have many people coming here who have relations at Doctor Birkenhain's.
Only this summer there was a lady here from your country, who stayed several months at the house. Very beautiful lady, sir, perhaps you may know her; a Frau von Berkow, with her brother, a Baron Oldenburg--very tall gentleman, with a black beard----".
The gentleman and the lady were at least two weeks here, and always together. But the brother had to leave before the lady's husband died--what a misfortune for such a beautiful lady!
Will you be back in time for supper, sir? But you will certainly stay over night, sir? He felt sad unto death.
to him, the man of sorrow! Oswald wished to see Doctor Birkenhain.
Oswald gave his name. "I do not doubt it for a moment," replied Oswald.
After a few minutes the door opened and Doctor Birkenhain entered. If anything can succeed in reviving once more the interest in life which has been almost entirely extinguished in Berger, it is love--not the universal love of mankind, which is only another kind of egotism, but the special love for a single individual, with whose joys and sorrows he can heartily sympathize. This one part of the heart is the sound part, where the cure must begin, and so it is with Berger.