Colorado Academy - Telesis Yearbook (Denver, CO)

 - Class of 1969

Page 7 of 144

 

Colorado Academy - Telesis Yearbook (Denver, CO) online yearbook collection, 1969 Edition, Page 7 of 144
Page 7 of 144



Colorado Academy - Telesis Yearbook (Denver, CO) online yearbook collection, 1969 Edition, Page 6
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Page 7 text:

SENIORS

Page 6 text:

- --f fr. JZ f, vm , ' f l""" . Si T'w il , f l The 1969 Telesis is Respectfully Dedicated to Mr. A. 1. Musil



Page 8 text:

To The Seniors When the Editors of this year's TELESIS asked me to write an article addressed to the graduating Se- niors, I was quite honestly honored at their request. I was also struck by the fact that the request came for exactly twenty junes after I had ascended the dais in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria to re- ceive my diploma and graduate from high school. Twenty years is a good length of time at which to take stock and try to articulate some basic values before we launch off on another twenty-year trip. What follows, then, is an intensely personal reaction to that request, a reaction that may look more like rumination than anything else, but which is really one teacher's credo. I want to speak about what I consider the most important aspect of a man's life: Truth, that without which everything else he does in his life possesses what Conrad calls a "taint of death, the flavour of mortality." Lip service to the contrary notwithstanding, most of us do not delight in the truth -it is often too painful, and too often appalling. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," cries St. john. However, as most of us delight not in the truth, so most of us dislike freedom, for true free- dom brings with it responsibility - the burden of freedom. It is slavery that carries with it an absence of restraint, it is willing commitment to a cause ex- ternal to oneself that brings with it freedom. A slave cannot sin, only a free man can. The person to whom that fact is a contradiction rather than a para- dox is a person whose inner life has not been suffi- ciently developed. If St. john is correct in his assertion that freedom and truth are concomitants, then humanity is correct in its assertion that happiness is a consequent of lib- erty. To paraphrase a famous document, truth, liber- ty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable human rights. And if rights, then duties. Or so I hold. I take it as self-evident that the happiest man is he who is most at peace with external reality, the man whose mind conforms itself to life as it really is, viz., to truth. The unhappiest man, the most neurotic, is he who refuses to, or who can't, accept external reality and who wars with it. Or put it in Christian terms: the man who can truly pray, "thy will be done" rather than the more usual "my will be done," achieves the peace of God, the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Which is one of the reasons why such people are so often misunderstood by the mass of lip-servers. Herman Melville had precisely that thought in mind when he wrote, "PQI saw C.od's foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it, and therefore his shipmates called him mad. So man's insanity is heav- en's sense . . . " And vice-versa. A more orthodox writer, St. Paul, put it another way: "We must all be fools for Christ." Fools as the world fmanl counts fools are people who are not hip enough to swim with the current, or who are not bright enough not to rock the boat and cause waves. Christ was a fool, Pilate was a prudent politician who providentially worried about what Caesar thought rather than what his own intellect told him: "I find no cause in this man." Even though a political realist, Pilate unfortunately lost in the end anyway. But that's accidental. It is his figure I find fascinating. After all, it was the Procurator Pilate who asked that famous question of Christ, "What is truth?" He was a typical worldly Roman cynic, whose question reveals the underlying belief that power is truth, rather than the other way around. Truth is what the current Ceasar says is truth, and only a fool would fly in the face of that reality. Christ had no power, He was an absurd King. I recall Stalin's famous rhetorical ques- tion when someone asked him how he would get around the Pope's objections to Russia's doing something or other at the time: "How many divi- sions does the Pope have?" barked the cynical commissar. Another context: Socrates was actually put to death for the nebulous crime of "corrupting the youth" of Athens, all he actually did was to try to

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