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Rifts and Controversy

At Romeos Pizza Palace Peter Panhurst What are you eating Mary? Mary: Havent much appetite really? (looks at menu dreamily) PP: Well, Ill have a fungi. What about a drink? Mary: A coffee, I suppose. PP: Perhaps I should have asked: Whats eating you? Mary: Do you want me to be frank? PP: Well, of course. Mary: Its my father and ..its you. Waiter. May I take your orders. PP: A beer and a coffee for the moment, thanks. Maybe well order something else later. To Mary: Its awkward eating alone. Sure you dont want anything to eat? As you were saying you have a problem with your father and me? Mary. Really I mean me, Mary Beckford. Ive got a lot on my plate at the moment. PP: And you havent even ordered: Mary: Ha, ha! Very funny. PP. Sorry, please excuse what I think was only a harmless pun. Im

beginning to see that something is troubling you deeply, and that concerns me deeply. What was that about your father and me. Mary: (hesitantly and ponderously) My father hasnt been well of late. He complains of pains in the chest and has I dont know dizzy spells and from what I can judge fits of depression. PP: Im very sorry. Has he seen a doctor? Mary. Yes, a doctor once made a house visit just to check blood pressure, pulse, reflexes that kind of thing apparently. But father can be very secretive at times, you know. Hes not letting on that hes suffering from anything serious. I know him though. Ive a feeling its more than just being a little below par. PP: Then you said you had an issue with me. (Waiter brings coffee and a glass of beer) Waiter. Your drinks, sir. Did you want to order now? PP: Well actually, well just keep to the drinks for the mo. Perhaps well return later for a proper meal. If we could pay the bill? Waiter. Certainly sir. (Using electronic device, he produces a slip). PP: (paying from wallet) Oh, here you are. Keep the change. Waiter: Thank you sir. Mary: You asked if I had an issue with you. Not so much with you personally, if you get my meaning. I like you very much. (PP winces on hearing like) Its you and Dad together and resulting negative vibes He never took to you, Im afraid. PP: Oh we dont see eye to eye on a number of literary and aesthetic principles. Academics rarely do, at least in our field. We can agree to differ, though, like gentlemen. Mary. While I believe he has nothing against you as a person, so to speak, he evidently feels that you pose some kind of a threat not least to me! (sips coffee).

A moment of silence as PP looks subdued while imbibing his beer PP: And your mother, does she share your fathers feelings? Mary: Mother admires you, your depth of knowledge and brilliance to use her own words. Probably wishing to placate father, she did remark that despite all your virtues you were unsuitable as a close friend of mine. She thought Domi..(hesitating and showing involuntarily that she had said something off her guard) PP: Oh, Dominic Crawly, I presume. Mary: If you must know, at Fathers instigation, he came round to discuss the paper Im to give on Romantic poetry. PP: Oh yes, weve discussed some aspects of that subject already, remember, Wordsworths daffodils, as I recall. Mary: Funny you should mention them. When he read the part about the influence on Wordsworth from Goethe and Milton he chirped almost triumphantly that all that was pure speculation. He called the reference to Easter bells trivial and specious the grounding of the poem in an actual walk the day before Good Friday. He said the poem owed nothing to the fact that Wordsworth once saw a crowd of daffodils. It merely served as helpful prompt. Yes, he rejected all that positivist pseudo-religious eyewash he found in my basically your interpretation. According to him a poem was an independent aesthetic object, he stressed, requiring no buttressing by information of interest to a historian or biographers perhaps but of decidedly no interest at all to the critic of literature. PP: In other words he was regurgitating the usual spiel promoted by the advocates of New Criticism as it is termed. They rinse everything of personal or historic moment out of a work and pretend that the desiccated result is a true aesthetic object like a sculpture. They forget that perception of any object is a never a purely automatic impersonal event, a one-way transfer of mental machinery, whereas in truth all such acts of perception and appreciation create a kind of inter-subjective dialogue between the author and the cooperating observer, both sharing in the common life of humanity. Mary. Im not saying that Dominic is right and that you are wrong, but

I love and revere my father, and my mother naturally. Sometimes one has to make difficult choices. I think under the circumstances it would be best if you didnt visit me at home and as Ive a lot on my plate so to speak I wont have much chance to see you outside the tutorial, and thats ending in two weeks in any case. PP: Mary! Phone rings: Mary: Hello, mother. Oh no, what? At the general hospital. Ill go straight there. Yes, well meet there. If you get there before me tell him I love him and everything will be all right. Yes, .. yes. Till then, Mother. (she cups her hands around her face. (cries ..) PP: What happened, Mary? Mary: (pressing cell phone buttons) Father suffered from an attack, maybe a heart attack. Only last Sunday afternoon, after youd left, we.Hello, taxi, from Romeo Pizza place King Street to the general hospital please. As soon as possible Its urgent. Thank you. To PP Mother, Father, and myself, went for a spin in the car and then decided to go for a walk in the field near the ruins of the Abbey. Suddenly that spooky figure appeared that Brother something and just then Father began to feel unwell. PP: You must mean Brother Todd. Certain superstitious people in the area think he represents some kind of bad influence, an omen of ..misfortune. Mary: God forbid! Ill wait for the taxi outside. Thank you for the coffee. Naturally Ill call you to tell you how Father is. Dont phone me in the meantime , if you would. Im sorry it had to turn out this way. PP: My thoughts are with you and your father. I mean that sincerely. Mary: I know, I know. Sobbing PP: Id gladly drive you but the car is parked a little way away. Mary: Dont worry. I think I need to be alone until the taxi comes, to

compose myself. PP: Of course. Mary leaves. PP sits rigidly in his seat and slowly shakes his head

--------------------------------------------------Controversy of the old system to hold out at all costs to individual department faculties.. now with the support of an European Education Board a new form of interconnecting cultural and faculty administration allows for a different approach without there being this technocratic straightjacket Dr Merlin is sitting in a lecture hall in front of a large screen with 6 different places on the Globe connected to this screen and he has this meetings chairmanship It is a continuation of the first conference in his London Office in Act Two Scene One Present on the screen are: Dr Albrecht EU Commission, from Kln Prof Chow Lee Wong China / from HK Shiekh Huseini Arab Emirates Monsignor Vincenti Vatican City Samuel Wolffson USA Madam Sarma India Dr Merlin: Thank you for joining me once again to discuss these so very important educational proposals which we saw last time I am aware that there are some tensions because there are aspects in the new approach which some have stated are unacceptable As we have seen we are opening up new perspectives and not cans of worms which will destroy the very creative approach we are proposing please. (before Dr Merlin can have another word the Monsignor starts to interrupt in no uncertain terms).. Vincenti

Monsignor Vincenti: You have stated the wish to accept these ancient scripts from the Nag Hammadi which are not complete in their approach and which show a different perspective to Christianity which we have not tolerated since the Pope xxx in year 1156??? stated that only certain Gospels, which are known to be complete were acceptable.

How can we, even in these opening times just state that his is right for us because it goes against are very belief and what western Christianity is about please! Dr Merlin: You are right yet we have to change because as you can see here, this University Curriculum change is not just one of opening to other Christian Traditions like the Greeks, whose scribes wrote these texts and in the meantime archaeology has stated the fact that Jesus and Maria Magdalena were really a pair with a son BUT here we have other traditions like Indian and Arab who wish also to open to the fact we have to find a central aspect to our transitions if we are to survive and realise we each have something different which serves the purpose of working from either a practical earthly level or one that is intellectually preparing for that change that is necessary when we are literally going to have to live together in .. shall we call them Space vehicles and also on planets whose divisions of ownership and land is very different to the Earth we have to come together and look again, please Monsignor Vincenti Monsignor Vincenti: I shall remain a neutral observer to the whole please while we are in the first discussions but when it comes to placing financial funds in a central bank for their education and this is not in support of our beliefs then we have to look again please. Shiek Huseini: I am also of the same opinion Dr Merlin: I shall remind you ladies and gentlemen that we are involved with education and not in concealing certain beliefs but high lightening them so they can be used properly. This means that they are understood within a whole and maybe one can state a Universal approach so I hope you will remain open to further discussions!... At a later date I shall be having a meeting with other EU Commissioners together with Dr Albrecht and a colleague in the British ministry I must admit when it comes to financing this it will cost because we have to have those who know and understand these different approaches and as you have already seen the idea that learning goes together with the design and the feel for a place then it is important to move away from grey, triste, rectangular buildings that show no sense of inquisitive purpose whether that be seen or felt, both appear to be important when we approach this theme of education from the spirit and from the Quantum rules of the Universe architecture and acoustic is everything There is then a pause as each participant realises they are put in a position where they cannot back out but the way forward is

still not clear

Prof Wong: I do not wish to show China in any bad light because we are endeavouring to charge our whole presentation and handling with the world and with people in general We have a very old culture and it is a pity that what is worthwhile cannot be resurrected or shall we say refound we are aware that in the West that much research of the old ways including the old design of gardens which were taken from us over a 100 years ago and remained intact in the West when we were taking our cultural apart and wishing to start again I think we have to take a different approach that makes it possible for people to be involved with their creative skills but that they are brought for the social group so that it is supported rather than stating that anyone doing their thing in their way is against the society and the group he bows to the others and states a need to ask for a form of forgiveness before they can go on.. .. honest criticism has to be learn by all even in this educational project at Camborn Dr Merlin: I wish to suggest a further meeting and the start of an Intranet Web Project with newsletter between all of us and wish to ask that in each of your counties a small gremmie of between 7 and 12 people come together with the key aspects and perspectives of their cultures, please Will each of you state their intent to join this discussion panel and Website Forum One after another each state their intent and a few words of intent Dr Albrecht: As EU commissioner I have the job of supporting you all in your endeavours that the educational system makes changes that really include many aspects of the perspectives of each tradition and that although each has their own favourite there is necessity to start by giving the ground base for each perspective in each subject. We have to be careful about traditions and ways of working that are denying a certain freedom and this has to be made clear from the start. I shall not give any specific examples here but it is clear that those that break the basic right to be creative and to share with a value that is not worth a human life have to be warned to make changes. This was often the case in the past that those who had dangerous professions actually earned more BUT in fact we have changed it that where there is danger we should look to reduce the causes with safety measures that make sense. We have to realise that each person that each person has a different sensitivity

Dr Merlin: Thank you Dr Albrecht for this clear outline although Im sure there are going to be cases that create trouble as to their relative values. Each area on the planet has a different relative value in their economic valuation and a different standard to what is safe and not so!... Prof Wong: We are willing to send certain young students to your new conceived University and we look forward to the first registrations. We are also wondering if there is possibility to send certain lectures over to observe what is happening because the whole appears to revive that very cultural seed which we have lost in the last 100 years We need to harmonise our industrialisation between its mechanic way to give people a living with those personal interests and those new ways you are looking at to value each creative and time given impulse. I am aware of stories of people in the capitalist system who work very creatively because they are asked for an offer to fulfil a project often these projects are not accepted because the creative work costs much. With the creative ideas in hand these ideas are given to others for cheap money to others. This I believe is one of the worst aspects of your system may I warn you! Dr Merlin: You may be right because we make great fuss over intellectual property so that people get their fair shares of their work but at the same time all this offer mentality to spoil the rest You yourselves have to check the problems of intellectual piracy and to realise that small sums have to be paid to those whose ideas are used. I believe we need to have different valuing of creative and intellectual skills generally so that core aspects are always rewarded.. although this is a cultural decision what is done Shiekh Huseini: As you are aware the Islam tradition and the educational tradition by us is based on our religious belief, although there are many different groups. As you are very well aware we will not look over the wall where there is a market place mentality in placing traditions using complimentary methods I shall personally feel happy to take part and to give help because it will help others to make wise decisions as to which religious group each wishes to join in with We are willing to help that Islam is given a balance representation because those that use violence do the tradition harm Monsignor Vincenti: We are willing to be involved with an all inclusive way to educate but as you have stated with the Nag Hammadi we are still

having problems in including these other stories that have remained buried for hundreds if not for thousands of years We wish to have a possibility to reconcile physical representation with spiritual and mental belief in our church. That might be our goal but we are aware that in the Vatican we cannot be Catholic and also hold beliefs that originate from Asia Minor or from the traditions like Quakers. They are valid but when it comes to belief those that stay in a particular belief it because of it little ways and idiosyncrasies that hold people. If you wish to take these part and explain them as education so the world becomes more homogenised I should like to warn you if the human cultural body can digest such reality If you wish to do it to warn about reactive as karmic consequence of certain traditions then I shall go with you but we have to be careful about becoming too bland. I shall stay with the idea of this new University for the moment please Samuel Wolffson: Thank you Monsignor Vincenti for your open words. I should like to support an open approach in education at the start but then we have to have role models so that we can decide what path to take please In the end I can imagine that we shall be able to send students and staff to the new university and that we can contribute to the funding It is more than interesting . Madam Sarma: I have spoken with the Prime Minister about the project He is enthralled about the change and wishes everyone all the best with the project The connection to England was long not so good because of the past colonial presence but it feels that there is new wind blowing that cultural integrity can be kept but there is a way to hold communications open that trust over the importance of core ways of doing things is met We are aware of the problems of hundreds of years of a cast system from generation to generation but we realise that with so called modernisation we can hold this personal and group orientation to those who can be educated to take a place in a more open and transparent society. What gives us hope is that in such an educational establishment the aspect of value can be redefined in such a way that those in our villages, who economically not really involved with modern life and value have a change to understand conscious sharing with value Thank you Dr Merlin: I wish to close this video conference with a hope that in the coming 6 months we have the first financial support to invite from each of you representatives who can take part and make an exchange worthwhile I have made contact with an important NGO from the UN which has to do with education the WCCI and they are wishing to send a permanent representative to this project .. It is unclear whether

they will be based in the University or by us in the new department set up between the EU and the UK Thank you The screen flickers and each partys connection in the conference blends out and Dr Merlin leans over to his secretary, Fiona Dr Merlin: Fiona I believe we are on the way although I am aware that the Vatican and Islamic worlds are not going to find it easy to be involved even though they are educationalists What can we do to make it easy to find a door open? It is like a lollipop but it has to be multi flavoured because yes you know what I mean if we are not careful we may have to dilute our wishes but I do not think so hard that we are in trouble