The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Admittedly it is bad enough that Dr. Leary did not regard the "tools of the mind" as important, and that he did not choose to communicate. But what is more appalling is the wholesale smuggling of a collection of indefensible notions onto the scene under the guise of intelligent discussion to justify Leary's hapless career.

Mr. Nowlis urges that Leary's definition of mind must be accepted before one can understand the position. Thus a useful and common four letter word in the language is given a brand new meaning, without even taking a vote among those who use the word.

The catch comes in the admission of this definition. In order to accept it one would have to admit a whole set of terms, "learned words," "verbal connections," "inspiration phase," and doubtless many others. Then words like "passionate," "creativity," and "courage" are invoked to invest the whole with so thoroughly romantic a context that only the unfeeling would resist. Mr. Sollod on the other hand asserts that maybe research in this area could lead to information about phenomena which are again described in terms that presuppose all the paraphernalia of this one school of psychological thinking.

In fact then the argument comes to this: do not challenge our assumptions about man's destiny, his intellect, or what was formerly called his "free will." Further, do not quibble with our displays of linguistic hopscotch. Finally, permit us to pursue any researches we may find attractive since some of them might perhaps possibly lead to something. In short, if you will just agree with us to begin with, we might be able, using our experimental results and our vocabulary, to persuade you to agree with us, provided you ask no questions.


Perhaps a reminder is in order that there are other points of view about spiritual phenomena that are, albeit older and less fashionable, at least as legitimate as the "learned words and verbal connections" line. The fact that large institutions and complex disciplines are founded on these new theories does not mitigate the arbitrary nature of their initial acceptance.

A study of consequences is hard to challenge. But to champion arbitrariness because it precludes the possibility of attacking one's initial assumptions is, or ought to be, wholly inadmissible in any university worth the name Edward F. Storm   Proctor in the College