Knowledge and Being
Theme & Discussion 1973-12-17
“By what can we measure progress in the work? This was a strange question to put because we had been always rather sort of pulled down, so that the very idea of making progress was thought to be a presumption that one hadn’t even reached the starting point, let alone begun make any progress. Or could one understand anything about what progress meant. And everyone was far too diffident, and they all answered in very, sort of safe terms. Which was as a pity. This is the thing I like here, that you answer, without being afraid of saying things that may look presumptuous. Because very often they are not presumptuous at all and sometimes things are very true. I said that might look on the face of it as if they meant that you had a very good idea of yourself, which often is not like that and therefore I listen very carefully when people say things to see if there is some real perception behind them. By not being afraid to speak, you allow very many things to happen that would not be possible otherwise. But I am saying that at that time we were all, I’m sure losing a great deal, by this terror of saying the wrong thing and being slapped down.”
J.G. Bennett at Sherborne House
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