Australian General Semantics Society



AGS Monthly Seminar


Saturday 18/05/08 at Gavan's


"Creative Intelligence and Self-Liberation"


A consideration of the work of Ted Falconar.


"The greatest philosophical idea that ever came out of India is realization (how to see Reality).

Despite knowing 'nothing' about Eastern thought, Korzybski produced in ten years a far more comprehensive exposition of Realization, calling it Non-Aristotelian Thinking.

That was a work of supreme genius, yet he remains largely unknown and neglected."




1. Catching-up


2. Imagination - What Part does it play in your life?


3. Some Non-verbal Experiences and Reflections.


4. Ted Falconar - the Man and his Book (Part 1 ).


5. Luncheon


6. "Creative Imagination", Parts 2 and 3


7. AGS Business


8. ~ Close ~


~ 0 ~



1. Catching-up

We “always” allow a little time for review of our lives and activities.


2. Imagination - What Part does it play in your life?


We had a little exercise in Imagination, listening to some non-intrusive music (Gregorian chant), and considered, in a non-verbal fashion, four important questions:


a.   What do I value most in my life?

b.   What would I most like to be doing in one year, and in five years time?

c.   What would I most like to have in one year, and in five years time?

d.   What are my main fears?


These questions initiated some discussion, without anyone being placed under pressure to necessarily reveal their answers to the questions.  We will review our reflections on these questions in following months.


One participant, who considers him/herself to be lacking in imagination, came up with a few little examples:


a.   In talking with young people about “consumption”, why not pose the question: “Instead of buying eg a new mobile phone, why not buy some share in the company that makes mobile phones?”  or .. “Instead of buying a glass of wine when travelling on aeroplane, why not buy a share in the aeroplane / airline company?”


b.   Robert’s report:  When I lived in the bush as a child, we used to have Sunday evening “concerts”, utilising strange musical instruments and other performances.  We also had poetry.  One of my favourites was "The Touch of the Master's Hand", by Myra B. Welch, thus:


‘Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But he held it up with a smile.

"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,

"Who'll start bidding for me?

A dollar, a dollar - now who’ll make it two _

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?


Three dollars once, three dollars twice,

Going for three". . . but no!

From the room far back a gray-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening up the strings,

He played a melody, pure and sweet,

as sweet as an angel sings.


The music ceased and the auctioneer

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said: "What am I bidden for the old violin?"

And he held it up with the bow;

"A thousand dollars - and who'll make it two?

Two thousand - and who'll make it three?

Three thousand once, three thousand twice

And going - and gone," said he.


The people cheered, but some of them cried,

"We do not quite understand -

What changed its worth?" The man replied:

"The touch of the master’s hand."


And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and torn with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd.

much like the old violin.


A smoke or two, a glass of wine,

A game and he travels on,

He's going once, and going twice -

He's going - and almost gone!

But the MASTER comes, and the foolish crowd,

Never can quite understand,

The worth of a soul, and the change that's wrought

By the touch of the MASTER'S hand.


I think that this is a nice example, although rendered verbally, of the power of imagination.  It’s not an intellectual process, but largely an emotional one.


3. Some Non-verbal Experiences and Reflections.


a.   The group discussed some non-verbal curious matters that defy rational analysis.  One of these went as follows:


Robert saw the movie "The Painted Veil", based on the novel by Somerset Maughan, in which he was particularly struck by the question that arose: "What woman ever loved a man for his nobility?".  He had never known much of SM or his work.  On return home, he received a call from Laurie, who, in reflecting on RJ’s late father, Fred, mentioned that he considered Fred an arch cynic – rather like the character in Somerset Maughan's book "The Razor's Edge".  This character was played in the movie by Clifton Webb - "Great hate and great love are separated by just a razor's edge."


What a coincidence – these two occurrences of SM in RJ’s life in one day!


We reflected that in our group, and maybe in the discipline of General Semantics as a whole, we do not give much emphasis to the non-verbal world as a whole.  Ted Falconar’s book is largely about this.


b.   We had some discussion of Handel’s “The Messiah”, and the story of its composition.  We listened to a recording of it, and marvelled at the beauty and inspiration of it.


The most famous movement is the "Hallelujah" chorus, which concludes the second of the three parts. The text is drawn from three passages in the New Testament book of Revelation:


And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the       voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19:6)


And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven,       saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our       Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)


And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:16)


In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to

stand for this section of the performance. Tradition has it that King

George II rose to his feet at this point. As the first notes of the

triumphant Hallelujah Chorus rang out, the king rose. Royal protocol has

always demanded that whenever the monarch stands, so does everyone in the

monarch's presence. Thus, the entire audience stood too, initiating a

tradition that has lasted more than two centuries. It is lost to history

the exact reason why the King stood at that point, but the most popular

explanations include:


a.   As was and is the custom, one stands in the presence of royalty as a sign of respect. The Hallelujah chorus clearly places Christ as the King of Kings. In standing, King George II accepts that he too is subject to Lord of Lords.

b.   He was so moved by the performance that he arose to his feet.

c.   He arrived late to the performance, and the crowd rose when he finally made an appearance.

d.   His gout acted up at that precise moment and he rose to relieve the


e.   After an hour of musical performance, he needed to stretch his legs.


4. Ted Falconar - the Man and his Book (Part 1 ).


We considered a number of reviews of Ted Falconar’s book.  Typical of these is the following:                                                                 

 Non-Aristotelian Thinking as developed by Aldred Korzybski involves seeing

 events as they really are, and not as they are presented to us through    

 words and memory. It stresses how no one thing is like anything else--that

 even two pins are never the same. Now Creative Intelligence extends       

 Korzybski's concept by weaving together the Eastern philosophies of       

 Realisation and Liberation. It teaches us to 'unlearn' the rigid patterns 

 of thought that we are indoctrinated with from birth, and to escape the   

 confines of memory, association and, most importantly, words.             


  A timely and very open minded book, offering practical tips on how to tap

  into your creative intelligence with advice drawn from many of the       

  world's major religions and philosophies. Ted Falconar who was brought up

  in India has made a lifelong study of the mind and its potential and is  

  ideally suited to act as a bridge between East and West.                 

                                        (Jane Sill, Yoga and Health Magazine)


The first five chapters deal with non-Aristotelian thinking, categorised thus:

1.    Non-Aristotelian Thinking (“Nous”)

2.   The Two Ways of Thought,

3.   Krishnamurti,

4.   Zen Koans and Tibetan Meditation,

5.   Meditation, the Seeing of Reality.                                                                            


We had extensive discussions of the issue of “Identification”, one of the principal foundations of General Semantics.



~ Then it was time for Lunch ! ~



6. "Creative Imagination", Parts 2 and 3


The remainder of Falconar’s book covered the likes of:

6.           Self-Fulfillment and Higher Human Needs,

7.           Creativity,

8.           The Open and the Shut Mind,

9.           Seeing the Real and the Beautiful,

10.                Poetry and Mysticism,

11.         Letting Go and Just being: A Way of Release,

12.                Philosophy of Freedom,

13.                The ‘I’ or Ego: Know Thyself,

14.                Visionary Recitals, Theophanic Vision and Retirement.


7. AGS Business


Covered Finances, membership, etc.


8. ~ Close ~


~ 0 ~


 (Updated 20 May, 2008)

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