Who Is The Educated Man? A Question For Educators
“You, Gentleman, take your lists of human interests from averages furnished by statistics and economic formulas. Your lists of interests include only prosperity, riches, freedom, tranquility, and so forth, and anyone who openly and knowingly disagreed with these lists would, in your opinion, (as in mine also, for that matter), be either an obscurantist or a madman”
That was said more than a hundred years ago– by no less a person than Feodor Dostoivesky. (Letters from the Underworld first published. 1864 Eng. Tr. Everyman’s London, 1964.) The controversy about the nature of man rose to high heat in the verbal exchanges among the Russian intelligentsia of the latter half of the 19th century.
The major spokesman for advanced revolutionary socialist opinion then was N. G. Chernyshevsky. Both Chernyshevsky and Dostoievsky came from the revolutionary underground of Czarist Russia. The debate between them is of intense interest both for our educational systems and our civilizations.
In fact Chernyshevsky seems to have been the main target of Dostoievsky’s attack. (we will now refer to them as C and D). C had just brought out his revolutionary work, What Is to Be Done? in 1864. He was in jail when he wrote the book. But, on publication of the book, he was sentenced to hard labour in Siberia, where he remained for 19 years. D’s book was written as a reply to C. D too had been in prison and in Siberia.
C spoke for the progressive young radicals of his time. The main point was that man could be understood rationally, that human life and human behaviour were to be explained in material and physiological terms. To them the reform of society was purely a matter of scientific reflection and strategic planning. They remind one of the early planners of India’s own economy.
The distinction between C and his previous generation of revolutionaries like Bakunin and Turgenev lay in the fact that the latter were intellectuals without a programme, while C and his type were incipient Marxists with a social programme for the remaking of man. The previous generation was basically theoretical utopians. Chernyshevsky and his colleagues were practical socialists who wanted to build an economy that would banish the profit motive, competition and exploitation. It was more practical utopianism.
Their main purpose, however, was not to build the economy, but to create “new men” in a new society. These new men were to be practical, regular and calculating in their activity, self-less, hard-working, co-operative, responsible, decent, peaceful, tranquil, prosperous, rich, free. Small wonder then that Lenin hailed him as “a great Russian Socialist“ though open to criticism as utopian.
It is against this gray, humourless, unpoetic, streamlined utopia that Dostoievsky revolted in his Letters from the Underworld. D satirizes on the “Golden Palace” which the “practical utopians” wanted to build; ordinary human beings would be bored to death with such a universe.
“For instance, I should not be surprised if, amid all this order and regularity of the future, there should suddenly arise, from some quarter or another, some gentleman of lowborn– or, rather, of retrograde and cynical– demeanour who, setting his arms akimbo, should say to you all: ‘How now, gentlemen? Would it not be a good thing if, with one consent, we were to. Kick all this solemn wisdom to the winds, and to send those logarithms to the devil, and to begin to live our lives again according to our own stupid whims?” Yet this would be as nothing; the really shameful part of the business would be that this gentleman would find a goodly number of adherents. Such is always man’s way”
D explains himself later on “See here, reason is an excellent thing. I do not deny that for a moment; but reason is reason, and no more, and satisfies only the reasoning faculty in man, whereas volition is a manifestation of all life (that is to say, of human life as a whole, with reason and every other sort of appendage included)”
Here, Dostoievsky speaks as a Slavophil and an Augustinian.
For St. Augustine, in any case, the will was the central element in man. Man is totally evil for his will is totally enslaved to evil. His reason too is distorted by his evil will.
In fact, it seems impossible for Christians to come to terms with any doctrine of man until we have re-examined our Augustinian heritage. Writers like Chernyshevsky proceed on the assumptions that progress is inevitable and that man is capable of recreating himself as the “new man”. Even such a profoundly Christian thinker as Teilhard de Chardin seems to operate on the basis of a doctrine of inevitable progress and development, though he carefully qualifies himself in this regard.
But the stark Augustinian contrast between the infinite power and goodness of God and the total weakness and sinfulness of man, still plays a large role in Christian thought and bedevils every attempt to formulate a usable anthropology in education. We cannot, with Augustine draw the sharp antagonism between Jerusalem the city of God and Babylon the city of the earth, the one totally good, the other totally evil. The wheat and the tares are growing together and history is always an inseparable union of Jerusalem and Babylon, no man belonging exclusively to the one or to the other.
Neither can we accept Augustine’s basic dictum that the human will, without special grace, is incapable of any good. The divine will does operate through human wills, and human beings do will the good from time to time, even when they are not Christians who have experienced the special grace of God in baptism.
Augustine has also, because of his preoccupation with sin as a tyrant who holds us in slavery, failed to provide us with a notion of salvation that is sufficiently positive, this-worldly and corporate. We cannot become true educators today without such a positive view of man.
Augustine’s views on the body as generically corrupt and on the regenerative act as essentially concupiscent and therefore sinful, also cry out for revision today.
Augustine’s epistemology and soteriology both of which are implicitly individualistic, cannot stand without some balancing qualifications in our time.
It may be of some interest to our readers to know that not all Christians have accepted Augustine as a teacher of the Church. The whole Eastern tradition has consistently refused to regard him either as one of the fathers of the Church or as an authentic teacher of the faith. Only the Medieval Western church made his ideas so central and all- pervasive in western Christianity.
A more dynamic, less defective, and certainly more acceptable anthropology is offered to us by one who is regarded as a Father and Doctor by both the Western and Eastern traditions– Gregory of Nyssa, who lived a generation before St. Augustine in the 4th Century. Only in the light of Gregory’s thought can we begin to grasp the basic insights of a Teilhard de Chardin, or to develop some categories with which to judge between Dostoievsky and Chernyshevsky.
There is room here only to state the main lines of Gregory’s thought in slogansque sentences.
l. Man is an integral part of creation and cannot be understood or saved in isolation from the rest of creation. The creation was made for man and finds its fulfillment in him. The salvation of man has to be also the salvation of creation, of matter itself.
2. Man is distinguished from the rest of creation by his “ruling power” over the creation. Man is made to be the Lord of Creation. This is his essential nature and vocation, as created in the image of God. Man’s capacity for tool-making is an essential aspect of this Lordship of Man. He is born more weak and defenseless than other animal infants and continues longer that way in order that he has to acquire mental qualities which compensate for his helplessness. He is not born equipped with all the strength of the ox or the claws of the lion, but by developing tools and weapons he has to master the lion and the ox. Man’s education therefore should involve the development of this ruling power.
3. Man’s mind which is the ruling power within him operates through the senses; the senses work through different parts of the body. Mind-senses-body — these are inseparable, and the growth of man involves the development of all three — inseparably and integrally.
4. Man’s essential nature is given him– to be in the image of God. Sin is not his created being; by creation he is good, and called to be the perfection of all good. Sin is Extrinsic, an intruder, something which has come in from outside his nature. Man cannot be understood in terms of sin, though sin remains pervasive in human nature.
5. Because man’s essential nature is constituted as a re?ection or phenomenon of the goodness of God, there is no limit to human development. He is to participate in all good. Only God is his limit. Man is different from God only in two essential respects (a) God is unoriginate, He has the source of his being within himself. Man is originate; his being is derived from outside of himself, from God. (b) God is what he wills and wills what he is; therefore he is beyond change and therefore beyond time. Man is not yet what he ought to be, and has constantly to change; he is therefore in time, subject to change — a historical being always at the point of intersection between a past and a future.
6. To participate fully in the good, freedom is necessary. There is no virtue which is under compulsion or in slavery. Man’s nature as perfection of goodness is to be freely achieved, not by mere passive acceptance of a grace infused from outside. He therefore has to achieve freedom by the control of the passions, by the control of the environment and by free creativity.
Man is primarily corporate. His individuality is secondary. The body is the principle of individuation in an entity called Man who is essentially corporate. Perfection itself belongs ultimately to the whole of Mankind; the individual’s free goodness is contributory to the perfection of all good. Only in the final recapitulation will this essentially corporate nature of man be fully revealed.
To grasp the fundamental aspects of St. Gregory’s anthropology, one has to apprehend his analysis of the God-Man-World-Christ complex.
God is Freedom. That is what the transcendence of God ultimately means. He transcends all determinations, physical, psychological, moral or conceptual. He is free also in his immanent relations to the cosmos and to man.
The world is no emanation from God. It is created, i.e. the principles (aphormas), the causes (aitias) and the forces (dunameis) of all that exists are set in motion by God’s will. The creation is thus the realization, or concretization of God’s will. “The will of God is, so to speak, the matter, the form and the energy of the universe, and everything in the universe is subject to it.” This, according to Nyssa, is the Christian understanding of God’s immanence in creation. Not that God’s being is in the cosmos (pantheism), not that the universe is in the being of God (pan-en-theism), but rather that God’s will has become the cosmos. And therefore while we can speak of God’s immanence in creation through His will, precisely because the will of God is the being of the universe the universe itself is transcendent and free, beyond our conceptual determinations. The universe is thus dynamic being. It is God’s decision, will and purpose that gives it motion. The immanence of God thus serves both as the principle of cohesion and as the motor of Evolution.
The cosmos is the dynamic concretion of the will of God and man is an integral part of this cosmos. But man is more than that. He is participant in the very phusis or dynamic nature, of God. God’s grace is ultimately, His choice to make man participate in his nature. The two creations– the creation of the universe, and the creation of man are both acts of God’s grace. It is this double grace — the grace of simple creation by will and of the second creation after his own image, that constitutes our being as body and soul. Grace is thus not opposed to nature, but is the constituent of nature.
The mind, or spirit, or nous, creative mental activity, constitutes the difference between the rest of creation and man. In man God’s transcendent and free immanence becomes present in a special way. And since this is the essence of man, human nature cannot be conceptually determined. It breaks out of all confining limits except that of creaturehood, for even historical existence is one day to be transcended.
This transcendent divine immanence in man is neither static nor self-evident. It is a Free, dynamic presence, and is realized by man to the extent to which the soul or the constitutive essence of man, becomes transparent to the reality of itself.
God’s freedom functions in the cosmos as an immanence of which the universe is not consciously aware. In man there is the possibility of his being consciously aware of the Divine presence in him. In the God-Man Jesus Christ, the awareness of man’s self-identity as the Divine immanence became fully transparent to the Divine transcendence of the Father, and this is the reality of being the image of God– the
transparence of the image to its proto-type. It is in this transparent stance that the transfiguration of man takes place– as St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:12-I8.
Man thus, according to Nyssa, is an earth-born organism destined to become transparent to the reality of the transcendent God and to transform the creation by his free creativity to become the bearer of the Good.
Transition To Our Time
But what indeed does all this have to do with the issues confronting man today? Where is the transition from this abstract ontological analysis to contemporary problems? Perhaps the best exponent of Patristic thought in relation to current problems is that great western Christian genius Pere Teilhard de Chardin. His thought seems to be in direct continuity more with Nyssa than with Augustine.
The idea that plays a central role in Teilhard’s thought is that of “hominization” or humanization and cosmogenesis or planetization. There are two fundamental faith-affirmations which underlie this vision of history as humanization and cosmogenesis.
(1) Evolution is infallible; it cannot miscarry; it must go through to the end of what it has set out to achieve, despite many failures along the way. Industrialization is the consequence of evolution; .
(2) The end already exists — as point Omega, a personal centre able to sum up all consciousness within itself, and finally to unify the human super-organism.
The whole of the history of creation forms one single movement forward of God’s dynamic will immanent in the universe, according to Teilhard. Consciousness, which becomes most manifest in Man, goes back to matter itself for its origin. All sciences deal with aspects of this movement forward — Astronomy, Palaeontology and Geology dealing with the history of material creation, biology with the history of life, world history with the dealings of men with each other and with their environment, and Church history or holy history dealing with the transcendent God’s breaking into man through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The question then is about the orientation or direction of the whole process, and particularly about the goals for man. Point Omega as a goal does not suffice to orient without greater amplification.
Teilhard finds the orientation by an analysis of the process of movement. He finds a dialectic in the total process between death and life, between the tangential or external energy which governs the physical and chemical relations of the elements to each other on the one hand, and radial or internal energy, which is really psychic energy drawing every group of life forward towards greater complexity and centricity. The physico-chemical movement is subject to Carnot’s second law– the increase of entropy, the running down of the universe, the drift to death and non-being. The psychic energy of consciousness overcomes this tendency to death by the creation of life, which by greater complexity of organization and by being more centred, is able to make the particles of matter function in such a way as to move forward to hominization or cosmogenesis.
Thus, according to Teilhard, there is in the stuff of the universe, and not merely in man, a growing force of desire and invention, very feeble and unsure at first, but growing in intensity as time progresses. This then becomes life, “something that arranges, converges, becomes concentrated, interiorized, developes corpuscles” through something else that “disarranges, diverges, expands, and loses its corpuscles”. It is this process which we call evolution.
The appearance of Man in this evolutionary continuum creates a new situation, precisely because of the existence of nous or human consciousness. It is no longer the body that evolves, but the sphere of the mind– the noosphere. The fundamental direction is the same– namely increasing complexity and centricity. The region and the technique of evolution has now radically shifted.
The new Fact is that it is no longer the body that evolves, but the human mind, moving forward towards more complexity. Complexity means not merely greater diversity, but also a multivariate of levels and currents of relationship. Centricity means a more centred and therefore more wide-embracing and more consciously directed process of human development. It is no longer simply the original impulse within creation that directs the universe towards its fulfillment centred in point Omega. A part of the stream of evolution, namely human consciousness, becomes capable, not only of comprehending the process that gave birth to it, but also of directing it towards freely chosen goals. “God makes things make themselves”, says Teilhard.
It is in fact no longer evolution, giving rise to a multiplicity of forms of life. A new process has begun with man — namely that of involution. Man finds himself confronted not only with the task of liberating himself from the evolutionary stream that carries him forward through the double process of expansion in diversity of species and concentration or selectivity in survival. He is also called upon to gather up the multifarious universe and bring it under centred and directed control.
Man is no longer the plaything of the reproductive urge which produces indiscriminately and the fact of death which eliminates the unfit. He assumes control of the mainstream of evolution by being able to transcend it and transform it. Science and technology thus become the instruments of salvation. Economics and Politics become part of the activity of increasing the centred complexity of a pluralistic world. Human creativity goes forward through not only science and technology, but also through the production and distribution of new goods, and the organization of power in society.
Human culture itself is influenced by this process. Changes in the pattern of production and distribution and in the organization of power radically alter the way of life, thought and action of men–their attitudes and aspirations included.
Thus Teilhard becomes the exponent of a new way of looking at life or existence. History is now unified into one vision that comprehends the history of the universe and the earth palaeontology, geology), the history of matter (the physico-chemical sciences), the history of life (biology) and the history of man (history, including science and technology, politics and economics as well as culture).
History thus becomes the magnificent all-pervading movement of all existence in its proud though painful march towards fulfillment, and here in this process is where modern man seeks his own fulfillment or salvation. As Montuclard says:
“Modern man is convinced that history has a liberating part to play as regards humanity. To him, history is the mediatrix of salvation. And if he has no religious faith, he carries this conviction to the lengths of believing that it is up to history alone– that say, for human effort inserted in the historical process –to secure is to for men, through justice, freedom and solidarity, the deliverance that they seek. There are in some men a faith, a hope, a sense of the future, and at times an overwhelming vision of the historical situation from which they can draw self-control, freedom of thought and action, courage and initiative. What did they have to do, in order thus to be ‘saved’? No more than enter actively into the current of history” (From La Mediation de l’ Eglise et la mediation de I’ histoire, in Jeunesse de I‘Eglise. fasc. 7 entitled Delivrance de I’ homme quoted in Olivier Rabut, Dialogue with Taiihard de Chardin. p 169)
It is this hope and trust in history and in the human effort to be inserted in human history, that constitutes the common ground for many Christians, secular humanists, and Marxist humanists. It is on this basis that they seem willing to enter into a dialogue about the humanization of the world.
The Christian is tempted to ask a few questions to himself at this point.
(1) What is the ground of this great hope in history? Does history itself provide the ground for such hope? Has not history betrayed men in the past?
(2) Does this hope not create the false idol of a utopia on earth which man can create by his own effort? Does not the Christian faith preclude the vision of such a paradise on earth in history?
(3) Does this hope not eliminate the need for any specific faith in God, and therefore make the Church and its message totally irrelevant?
(4) Where does God fit in in all this? If man can achieve the kingdom by his own efforts, does this not make God unnecessary and obsolete?
(5) Is this all not too optimistic? Why is there no realistic appraisal of the fact of sin or evil which also exists in this evolutionary history? How did it originate? What is its function? How can it be overcome?
We may have to go beyond Teilhard in seeking to answer some of these questions. But in some cases Teilhard himself has pointed the way forward.
1. The Ground Of Hope
Christians ought to re?ect on the fact that the Christian hope is not for Christians alone. The redemption in Jesus Christ is a cosmic one, and it is sheer pettiness on our part if we seek to deny its fruits to non-Christians.
Of course, history does not provide a great basis for hope. It is the Christian hope which enables Teilhard to see hope in the direction of evolution. It is the Jewish Old Testament hope that enables a Marxist like Ernst Bloch to live by the Principle of Hope, which is a fundamental Messianic principle. But history itself validates Bloch’s own marvelous summary of his philosophy as Harvey Cox narrates it to us– “S is not yet P”. At least the “not-yetness” of Man is something of which most men are directly convinced, even those who are comfortably bourgeois and hug the status quo in the name of ‘law and order’. Being is in motion — towards fulfillment or destruction we cannot be sure from history, but history does not succeed completely in laughing away all assumption of directedness in history. Man is a future-seeking being, whether in this world or in another. Possibility, the New, Futurity, these are categories within which to conceive the “not-yet being” of man. To use the pompous words of the Second Vatican Council:
“This sacred Council proclaims the highest destiny of Man and champions the God-like seed which has been sown in him”.
Whether history provides us with an adequate ground for this hope or not, it is the Christian’s’ responsibility to stand behind secular man’s hope, for he, like us, is created in the image of God and is destined to be like God. Even if secular man has nothing but the fact of his hope as the basis of his hope, we must hope with him for the sake of man.
2. Secular Hope And Utopia
Western theology has been bitten once by the deep disillusionment of speculative philosophy and secular liberalism. It has seen the depths of evil in man in the pogroms and the concentration camps of our century. It is naturally wary of an optimistic estimate of the future or of man.
Secular utopias are also now becoming transformed. The kind of static utopia that Dostoievsky’s underground man cynically sought to overthrow no longer exists in the minds of perceptive secular thinkers. “A revolution in human relations and a turn-about in man himself are therefore the goals of socialism, not the build-up of the productive forces”, says a modern Marxist from Yugoslavia.
The socialists have been laughing at us Christians for being concerned only with salvation in the next world, and therefore becoming supporters of the status quo of oppression and injustice on earth. They say that utopia is a Christian creation. Socialists are now pursuing more modest goals. As Professor Pejovic says:
“If the goal of history is understood to be not salvation, but rather a freer and more sensible life on this planet, then philosophy has the task envisaged by Marx, viz, to be sensible (and not calculating) and capable of helping people to live more sensibly and of leading them to freedom.”
And even when other Marxists like Professor Maximilien Rubel insist that “Utopia and Revolution are the two historical co-ordinates of the socialist movement”,they mean that we must will the abolition of an unjust society (revolution) and the creation of a just society– the New City which itself is not static or perfect. That seems to have been the content of the prophetic message– judgment and hope.
3) What About Faith In God
There we have a more radical problem. If we allow men to go on building up secular hopes not grounded in faith in God, are we not betraying God? In fact, does Teilhard himself give room for a purely secular hope which eliminates any need for faith in God?
If Olivier Rabut’s two-point summary of Teilhard’s basic understanding of God’s purpose as unilinear from the beginning of the universe to its end in point Omega (repeated below) is correct, then it is possible that faith need not be in God, but only in the process of history.
1. Evolution is infallible, it cannot miscarry, it must go through to the end of what it has set out- to do. It is written within its very law that it will end up at a definite point– the point at which mankind is unified in one higher person. Everything necessary to achieve this end, is, therefore, already in existence
2. The end would not be achieved did there not already exist a personal centre able to sum up all consciousness within itself, and finally to unite the human super-organism”
These, as we have stated earlier, are Christian affirmations, about the purpose of God in Jesus Christ. Their antecedents are not in Marx and Lenin, but in the doctrine of the recapitulation of all things in Christ as taught by St. Paul, St. Ireneus and St. Gregory of Nyssa.
If secular man wants to secularize these faith-affirmations and hold them as secular affirmations, as Montuclard suggests, should we deny him this privilege? Perhaps secularized man’s own faith will become more articulate when he sees Christians working side by side with him for the emancipation of man and his unification.
We should be prepared to welcome secular man’s faith in the historical process as a pre-figuration of his faith in God.
4) Why God At All
That leads to the fourth question: does all this not mean that the belief in God is something dispensable for man, and that Christians themselves would be freer to help man become man if they would free themselves from this juvenile dependence on God? Is not then the Gospel of Christian atheism of Altizer and Hamilton, the most sensible of gospels that the Christian can still hold to?
Not necessarily. First of all let us make clear that God is not scared by the possibility of men denying him. He gives us every possible opportunity to do so, because he respects man’s freedom. And when we proclaim that “God is dead”, God says to us: “That is all right;” so long as you do not say, “Man is dead”. For ultimately, in affirming Man, the image of God, we are affirming its proto-type.
God is not jealous about man’s achieving the kingdom by his own efforts. After all, all the good efforts of man could be regarded as nothing but the efforts of God, for it is God who acts in us. God has become man. Let man act for the good of his fellow-man, and that will be the God-man acting.
As for conscious faith in God, we who do believe in God, even if it is unfashionable, need the chastening fire of a fighting atheism both within and without the Church to bring purity and clarity to our faith.
God dwells in light unapproachable. He dwells also in the very being of man. And when man grows into goodness, the face of God appears on the faces of men, both individually and corporately.
Let us not be too keen to defend God. Our defense only makes him look weak and ridiculous. Give yourself to Man –and slowly you will discover that you do believe in God.
By making God necessary, we do no service to ‘God .
5) Why no mention of sin and evil?
Yes, evil is there, for all of us to see. It does not go away with our closing the eyes. Teilhard is not unaware of the problem of evil. Neither was Augustine or Gregory. History is a realm where the wheat and the tares grow together. There is always the possibility that evolution may miscarry, that non-being may triumph over being. If that possibility were not real, faith would have had no meaning. Evil is there, almost regnant in the status qua. But it is the negation of being, not being itself. If we sanctify the status quo, we are sanctifying evil and making it absolute.
Hope is, as Tillich put it, the negation of the negative, (i.e. of the present) What is, is not the real. The real is what is to be. In denying what is to be (the future) and affirming what is (evil), we are denying the real. This is not realism.
Teilhard has a pregnant passage on this subject which leaves open the possibility of universalism itself being wrong and points to the inevitability of catastrophe:
“There are no summits without abysses.”
Enormous powers will be liberated in mankind by the inner play of its cohesion: though it may be that this energy will still be employed discordantly tomorrow, as today and in the past.
Are we to foresee a mechanising synergy under brute force, or a “synergy of sympathy? Are we to foresee man seeking to fulfill himself collectively upon himself, or personally on a greater than himself? Refusal or acceptance of Omega? A con?ict may supervene. In that case the noosphere, in the course of and by virtue of the processes which draws it together, will, when it has reached its point of unification, split into two zones each attracted to an opposite pole of attraction. Thought has never completely united upon itself here below. Universal love would only vivify and detach finally a fraction of the noosphere so as to consummate it — the part which decided to ‘cross the threshold,’ to get outside itself into the other”.
What are the educational implications of all this? We will not attempt to work out all the implications, but a few obvious ones may be quickly noted down, especially as they affect higher education.
(a) First of all education must help man to come to terms with the reality around him. The educated man has to know how this reality is constituted, what laws it obeys, where it goes astray from the direction of the good, how it can be controlled and properly directed for the full development of the dignity of man in God’s image, and for the hominization of the creation for the glory of God.
(b) Secondly, it must develop the freedom of man, both as individual and as community. Freedom in this context means the capacity to control all the .elements within itself in order to direct its forces towards freely chosen and creative ends. Both the individual student and the society in which he now lives are basically unfree, since the forces which guide their actions do not seem to be under conscious control or moving towards creative and freely chosen goals. The curriculum will have to be designed in order to permit both the. Individual and organized society to gain centred and directed control of oneself; to help the individual and the society to discern the good and to desire it; and finally to create the good by using power, love and wisdom in the right way.
(c) Education cannot continue to be purely academic, It will have to train the body, the will and the emotions. It will have to become more directly connected with the social reality around it. It will have to focus attention on the problems confronting humanity and to seek solutions to these. It will have to provide for more student participation and responsibility. Students must themselves see the vision of a new world and a new humanity and commit themselves to this new vision.