December 1, 1967 Princeton
The first snows of winter have fallen and everyone's temper has b ened. The young ring-tailed doves sat in the untracked white cover a little dazed. The chickens are bored, with no dirt to grub in. The dog leaps about powerfully and sends showers of dust into the air. Carl and Chris are routed out of bed at ten to shovel off the walks. They did a poor job; they are not trained, as I trained the older children, to work well at small tasks. They gripe too, another sign of poor discipline. And, of course, getting up at ten!
Carl would have slept until the afternoon. Jill and I have been anxious over his mental state. He has been suffering the classic symptoms of adolescence, aggravated to a full-blown neurosis. Irritable of disposition since infancy, he has for a year or more acted impatiently, morosely, hostilely, delinquently in the family, stupidly at school, regressively with his mother, and has given only to the piano and the guitar some measure of his talent. His doodles have a diabolic primitive ferocity; he writes philosophically, with ability mixed with derangement. He dresses carefully and washes long and frequently. He asserts that he is confused even when he isn't; he speaks of death and suicide from time to time. He took two extra tranquillizers the other day and achieved a severe headache. He has been seeing a lady psychiatrist for three months but no one can say whether she has done much except provide a check upon what we already know, taken a spell of listening to his self-analysis off his mother's shoulders, and supplied antidepressant pills. She is a handsome, well-stacked young woman and I couldn't help believing that she would do him more good by taking him to bed than by talking to him. But such is not the way in which things are done. I have been working to reduce his owlish nocturnal habits and to couple him with objects, people and his own musculature. I am also looking for ways by which I can make him feel a frank and eous indignation against some of my actions.
December 4, 1967 on train to New York
Seeking a way of telling Carl the ugly and damaging part of looking into oneself -- sick preoccupation with one's traits, compulsive introspection. "You look down, down into your mind, your heart, your guts until you find yourself staring out your asshole. And that's no way to look at the world."
December 14, 1967 4:00 A.M. Princeton
The first Law of Thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed. I doubt this law except in a certain statistical sense, like any social law. Semantically it is treacherous. Realistically, it is questionable. It is probably little more than the ancient theorem that "No thing can come from nothing" or "Being cannot originate from non-Being."
The Second Law of Thermodynamics says all transfer of energy invokes a loss of heat. It does when it does and it doesn't when it doesn't. It is a good rule of thumb, very practical.
December 15, 1967 New York City
Lunch with Don Reis, Simon and Shuster. Decided:
1. Send him revision proposal on Republic in Crisis for hard and soft.
2. Send him letter on Tract with samples and outline (March 1 to press?)
3. Samples and outlines 360o War.
December 19, 1967 en route to New York City
Concept of the "Winning Minority"
Most Americans do not feel at home with their country, its institutions or its groups.
Nor with their own minority!
And, they do not fit with any other minority. But move from one to the other.
They earnestly seek even though they don't know it, some minority they can join.
What is such.
It would be the greatest morale booster and catalyst for the idealist elements of the country if it could be found.
December 19, 1967
A reviewer of a new Tolstoy biography makes much of the "fact" that great men have egos that are all-embracing and live within themselves, cultivating their own gardens, so to speak, but gardens so large as to bear very large and diversified crops.
The "fact" is a fancy and can be unhinged by tooling phrases such as "a mere semanticism," a perspective whose opposite is as "factual" -- i. e.. "genius" embraces the world by clinging to it, its weak ego jiggling and jouncing on every shaking of the data of reality.
Or the great man is one who has mastered the trick of a cheap penetration of the outer world by exploiting his inner world, something most people cannot do -- they are stuck to conventional reality and do not have the confidence (?) or knack (?) of sensual and emotional autarcy.
1967 - Notes
Some of the basic reasons for the theory of revolutionary primevalog.
by A. de Grazia
Reviews of Famous Books of the Twentieth Century
Keynes' Economic Consequences of the Peace (or General theory of Employment Interest and Money).
Robinson's Mind in the Making
Boas', The Mind of Primitive Man
Freud's First Lectures in Psychoanalysis
Wittgenstein's Tractatus Philosophicus
Michels' Political Parties
Einstein's Introduction to the Theory of Relativity)
(or Special and General Theories)
Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision
John Dewey - one of several
James Joyce's Ulysses
Leary et al., eds. The Psychedelic Experience, the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Borgese's Commonwealth of the World
lawyers are epidemic, yet their main function is scarcely realized in law schools and in public policy.
They are consultants on human relations, go-betweens.
Their research function as lawyers is rapidly diminishing and most of it will be taken up by routinized and mechanized operations.
Notes: the feelings one gets when a child (especially pre-adolescents) in reading adult mags on how to raise children is quite like those one gets in the Intelligence Service going through captured enemy documents.