This class demonstrates with precise and vivid evidence how people everywhere in the world, including yourself—whether you live in a NY apartment or a pandanus-roof home in Papua New Guinea—can at last be understood with the depth, kindness, and scientific accuracy that humanity so needs.
It's through the principles of Aesthetic Realism, founded by poet, critic, and educator Eli Siegel that the full reality of a person's feelings—your feelings—can be seen truly. This is the knowledge that can end racism and prejudice, as well as ill will and cruelty in homes, economies, and among nations—a statement I make carefully, definitely, and with great hope.
Here are the three great principles on which this study is based, stated Mr. Siegel:
1. The deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis.
2. The greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it. Contempt can be defined as the lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it.
3. All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.
As I've had the privilege to describe, this unparalleled understanding of the human self—the self which is in common among and underlies all cultures—makes relevant to people living today the work done by anthropologists for generations—from Tylor, to Spencer and Gillen, to Grinnell, to Benedict, to Herskovits, to Lorna Marshall, to the latest work of scholars and activists.