A Poster with Dragons
After the official part of the welcome ceremony to the city was dispensed with, I asked Jacky to inquire with the head man if there might be an artist in the city who could create a Chinese style poster for me, personally.
"What kind of poster?" an older man asked from across the table. He spoke in broken English."
"A standard size poster with a three letter symbol inside a circle, surrounded by two dragons facing each other," I replied.
"I can do this for you," the man replied. He wore long gray hair and an almost as long, gray beard. "Come to my shop tomorrow and it will be done. Except, you have to tell me what the symbol is and what it means," he said, "so that I can create the right mood to match the symbol."
"The first part is easy," I said and bowed to the man as I thanked him for his kind offer. "The letters for the symbol are, CSD. Their meaning, however, is not that easily explained."
"I need to know, to be able to create the right mood," the artist repeated.
Since this was China and I lacked the means to explain in simple terms the scientific significance of the letters, the thought came to mind to create a story to convey the message. I told the man that, he being an artist would have the gift to determine the mood by listening to my story that presents in metaphor an extremely complex scientific issue.
He answered with a simple nod.
I told him that the story is about a king of a great kingdom. The king was honored throughout his realm and in many lands near and far. He was honored for his wisdom and for his ability to heal.
One day the sages came to the king and said, "teach us your wisdom, so that we can teach all the people in the kingdom." Being a kind person, the king agreed and set up a school in which he would teach the sages, in order that they could teach the people. The idea was a good one, but what could he teach them?
He thought about that question, then he decided that he would teach the sages certain principles that he had discovered, and how these principles can be applied to healing discords and diseases. He devised a course of instruction for them, and frequently, throughout the course he would tell his students to go out into the streets and prove the principles by healing someone, which they all did. In the end, after a full week of instruction and successful practicing had passed, he presented each of his students a certificate with the letters CSD placed thereon, drawn in an elaborate style of calligraphy.
"But what do the letters mean?" the students asked the king.
"The C stands for Christ," the king explained, "in honor of the world's most advanced Exemplar of the truth about God and man. The S stands for Science," the king added. "This letter symbolizes what I have taught you. It symbolizes, that what I have presented to you is not a philosophy which I have invented as philosophers do, but has been a presentation of discovered, verifiable, universal principles and their imperatives."
The king added that these principles and imperatives are far greater that he himself, and that he himself is but a student of the science involved in making these discoveries. He explained that in contrast to this, a philosophy is artificial and finite. He said that a philosophy is like a religious doctrine that is deemed absolute, whereby it closes the door to any form of a higher perception. The king explained that science is the opposite of that. It is not artificial, but is determined by the face of the universe, nor is it finite, as it always leaves the door open to a higher hypothesis to supersede what has been established at the leading edge of current perception.
"Science is the gateway to truth," the king added. "And the letter D stands for Doctor. It signifies to you that you have been taught by the best in the field, that you understand the nature of science and the principles that pertain to the leading edge of science. It also signifies that you have proven your understanding of it by applied healing. This means that you have all become full fledged scientists and deserve to be honored accordingly."
Thus, in honoring their achievement, the king allowed each one of the students to attach the letters CSD as a professional title to their name.
Eventually, the king became involved in other projects and therefore was forced to close the school. He simply couldn't spare the time for it. Still, his advisors prevailed on him, saying, "we need more teachers to teach the people." So again, being a kind and honorable man, the king considered their plea and consented.
Since he could no longer spare the time to teach himself, nor did he expect to live on this planet forever, he thought about what could be done to have the teaching continue without him. Soon, he found a solution. His solution was somewhat unique. He founded an academy that represented his wisdom and his discoveries of fundamental principles, and he established a provision that allowed every citizen of the realm to become a member of the academy as a kind of statement of recognition and acknowledgement of the king's principles. One this was done, he reopened the school as a part of the academy. This gave the teaching in the school a definition; a unique direction; a specific character.
Nevertheless, the king faced still one more dilemma, a threefold dilemma.
The first part of the dilemma was that he couldn't be certain that the school would actually provide bonified scientific teaching, based on discovered, understood, and acknowledged, universal principles, in the manner as he had taught. Since he continued to be the school's president, he felt that it was his responsibility to assure that the school lived up to its billing.
His second dilemma was that he couldn't even be sure what would be taught. He could present a lesson plan, but he could never be sure that the teaching didn't come out as a statement of philosophy or religion, rather than as a platform of science that alone enables a person to engage in continuous self-development.
His third dilemma was that he couldn't just tell the future sages that, most likely, they would only be taught a philosophy in that school. Indeed, how would they be able to know the difference, not being able to understand the nature of science themselves, which they were hoping to be taught?
So the king sat down and puzzled about his dilemmas. He realized that he could solve some of his dilemmas by lowering the people's expectations, allowing the school to hand out only a bachelor degree with the symbols CSB. He felt that this would put the onus on the student's to upgrade themselves by means of their own scientific and spiritual development until in time they would be worthy of the king's degree of CSD; the doctor's degree.
Still, he had a problem with that. He had to ask himself: Who will determine when, in a person's self-development, the point is reached when philosophy is fully displaced by scientific perception? Who can make this determination for another except the scientist himself, or herself? Is anyone, except an experienced scientist able to separate science from philosophy, and know which of the two governs his heart? Not likely, right?
Since the king understood all of this, and being a scientist himself, he came up with a most elegant and elevating solution. He created two application forms for the royal academy. One form was designed for those citizens who have never been taught by a sage from the school. The second form he devised for the citizens who had been so taught, previously. Now the king inserted sample names into the forms, and the name that he chose for the counter-signer of the second form, was the name of a noted philosopher. In this manner the king pointed out to anyone who is able to see, to be aware that the teaching of the sages might really just be philosophy.
Of course, the king realized that this was only a part of the solution. He realized that he needed to find a way to make it possible for the citizens to determine for themselves when a teacher is a bonified scientist, and not a philosopher.
So he puzzled some more about the problem. Then he reached a conclusion. He added a note to each of the application forms for academy membership, saying that the citizens must have the application countersigned either by a teacher who has received a degree, or by a teacher who has taken a degree.
The king was sure that this paradox would spark some thinking, because a philosopher would never recognize the legitimacy of a person simply taking a degree by his own volition, based on his deeply honest self-acknowledgement of having become a bonified scientist; of having become a person who recognizes, understands, and acknowledges the nature of universal principles. The king realized that only a scientist who actually reaches this stage of development will feel impelled to 'take' or assume the degree that is associated with that achievement and attach it to his or her name as a title, according to the king's provision. With that, the king was satisfied.
"Did it work?" asked man.
I shook my head. "The degree that is taken in this manner will have to be the degree, CSD," I explained. "As I said, it is the kind of degree that only a scientist can take. In fact, it is the only degree that is not available to be given, since the king has stopped giving out that degree, and the academy itself could only give out a lesser degree."
"So, what's the point?" asked the man.
"The point is," I said, that the only degree that really matters, is the CSD degree that can only be taken, that can never be given. That gives the CSD symbol a profound meaning."
"But has anyone taken the CSD degree?" the man asked again.
I shook my head. I said I didn't know. I said that the onus for determining that answer was on the prospective student. "The king required the student to make this determination. It was for the student to determine who is qualified to countersign his application. That's a solemn responsibility," I said. I suggested to the man that our world would be secure if society would have heeded the king's directive. "Thus, the king said to himself: Every citizen will know from here on, which teacher is a scientist, and which is a philosopher."
"I wouldn't be surprised if no one took on the title, CSD," said the Chinese artist, "since such a step unfolds from a development that is not easily won. I think no one in the king's kingdom was ready for this."
I agreed. "Still, the king also knew that in due course, people would reach the stage at which the requisite realization is made. Then someone will take the degree CSD and people will recognize that this has indeed happened. They will recognize it by the good that comes out it. The king was content that this would happen even if he never saw the day of it in his own lifetime.
I explained to the artist across the table from me that the key element in this process of self-authorization is always ones honesty with oneself, especially one's scientific honesty about the imperatives of universal principles. I suggested to the artist that the CSB stage is a precarious stage, the kind of stage at which a person will likely see something of the scientific dimension, but where that person is vulnerable of regressing into becoming a philosopher. On the other hand, it is also a stage where a person becomes fascinated with the infinite potential of science and therefore engages in his or her scientific and spiritual self-development.
I explained to the artist that the CSD symbol on the poster that I was looking for, has four meanings: It symbolizes a title of achievement that no one can bestow or withhold, except one's own honesty with oneself. To a citizen who walks with open eyes, such a title would inspire trust in the teacher. To the academy itself, it is a title that the academy is no longer responsible for. The academy is responsible only for what it bestows, or can bestow, or withhold. In real terms, the CSD title is a symbol that assures humanity's infinite self-development. No scientific development can occur, nor will occur, outside of the parameters that the CSD symbol represents. "It is therefore the only degree in the world that represents infinite development, a movement at the leading edge."
"Can you create such a poster?" I asked the artist.
The man nodded. "But what about the dragons?" the artist added. "What characteristics shall I give them? What do they represent?"
"They represent the warfare between science and philosophy," I answered. "If the world is dark, the dragons are ferocious beasts and will fight to destroy humanity. But in the sunshine they cannot fight. They become a benign power, so I have been told. This means that the CSD symbol represents humanity's light, the sunshine of its Soul."
I explained to the artist that a philosopher would never acknowledge the CSD degree that a scientist takes, based on his honesty with himself. A philosopher is someone who always seeks external authorization, like Hobbes and all the other war philosophers of the 16th Centuries who were richly paid for their philosophies that authorized the unrestrained rule of their king. A philosopher is conditioned by the system of philosophy to acknowledge only an externally sanctioned authority, an authority that he lacks, since a philosophy is merely opinion without an anchor in scientific understanding that would authorize a demonstrable perception to be regarded as truth no matter what anybody says. A philosopher seeks his authorization from another person since he lacks the authority of science. In this conflict over authority, especially the authority that shapes public opinion, the philosopher will wage war against the scientist, as he must do, in order to be true to himself as a philosopher who acknowledges no such thing as a truth. Except, the philosopher will not win this war. I told the artist that this outcome was understood in 1648, and also much earlier in very ancient times. I told him that there exist a very old tale of a contest between science and philosophy.
The tale takes place in Egypt. The scientist is Moses. Facing the might and arrogance of the Pharaoh of Egypt, Moses asks his student to throw his staff onto the ground before Pharaoh. The staff promptly becomes transformed into a serpent. In response, Pharaoh commands all his philosophers, magicians, wizards, and elite to do the same. As they do, indeed, their staffs likewise became transformed into serpents. But Moses' student's serpent ate up their serpents. Every one of them. Thus the contest ended. Moses then asked his student to pick up his serpent by the tail, which thereby became a staff again.
"In this manner the contest will end for mankind, between science and philosophy, religion, magic, wizardry, and elitism of any sort," I said to the artist. "But this time is not here yet. We still live in a world in which the two dragons face each other in that contest that philosophy, religion, and elitism cannot win."
"And the circle?" the artist asked. "What is its significance."
"The circle protects the degree, CSD," I replied.
I explained that a circle has no beginning and no end. As such it reflects the nature of universal principles that science explores and makes accessible to us, which likewise have neither beginning nor end. They simply existed before time was and will always remain the same. Nor can a circle ever be mathematically described with absolute accuracy, just like reality can never be absolutely described in science, or else the infinite would become finite and development would end, and all would become philosophy.
"Now my friend," I said to the artist, "can you create a poster that represents all of these aspects?"
The man nodded. "Come to my shop tomorrow and it will be ready for you. Nor will I charge you for it. I will create the poster and retain the copyright, and then produce ten more."
"Why just ten more?" I asked. "Why not produce ten million more, and publish the story that stands behind it, and uplift the people of China with it, and the whole world? Why shouldn't the truth about human development also pave the way to commercial success when it begins to uplift people's life?"
"Give me the copyright to the story and that may happen," the man replied and began to smile.
As I reached my hand across the table for a handshake, I said to him, "My friend, you have it, as Jacky is your witness."
Jacky nodded and grinned.
Afterwards, as we were about to leave, I took the artist aside. He introduced himself as Lee. I told him about the development in our own family that led up to the CSD symbol. I told him our coffee, sex, and biscuit story, out of which the CSB symbol developed, which became from its very inception synonymous with total honesty with oneself and with one another, including a scientific honesty to the imperatives of universal principles. I told him how the meaning of the symbolism became uplifted later on in the flow of our continuously ongoing scientific development, until all the philosophical elements related to sex, marriage, and so forth, became completely supplanted with the scientific recognition of universal principles, and an understanding of these principles, and our full acknowledgement of them. I explained to him that once that point is reached, the CSB symbol becomes superseded, just as philosophical concepts become superseded with scientific recognition. "Thus, the CSD symbol takes its place and becomes symbolic as a new mile stone for a new and brighter world with its new dimension."
Lee indicated that he understood now why this poster, with its story attached, could be valuable to the whole of humanity as a way-marker on the horizon of its own scientific development.
From: The Lodging for the Rose - Episode 8: Lu Mountain