Chapter 9: The Test of Principle in New Ways for Old

1. When people have decided to change a course of action, what should be included in their preliminary survey?

2. What especially should they take note of and compare?

3. What should be the basis of accepting or rejecting the new plan?

4. What can be said of formulators of plans for the reform of conditions who have not applied the test of principle to their plan? What effect will using their plan based on an ineffective principle have on civilization?

5. How is it that we have a gradual increase in numbers of the blind eading the blind?

6. What are such people little concerned with?

7. What is lacking in the plan of people who claim that by their method they succeed in changing conditions in others, and are working for the progress and development of the individual and the mass?

8. On what do progress and development depend? How?

9. What evidence tells us that we have succeeded in making progress?

10. What is the impediment which in most of us blocks the way to our acceptance of facts which do not fit in with our beliefs and theories?

11. How can we prove that this impediment exists?

12. What would be the reaction to the unknown of someone who really stood for progress, development and truth?

13. How are harmful influences changed to influences for good?

14. What thought and action is necessary for the establishment of these influences for good?

15. What is necessary to gain before we can possibly understand the significance of change in the working of a constant (use)?

16. What is our habit of reacting when faced with situations demanding a reasoned decision?

17. What flaws are present in most self help systems? Why do these flaws exist?

18. Upon what do originators of good ideas rely for putting their ideas into practice?

19. From what is the projection of messages necessary to the carrying out of new procedures inseparable?

20. According to Alexander, what is the most fundamental source of human frailty?

21. Why is emotional appeal dangerous?

22. Why is it to be condemned?

23. What increasing tendency occurs when this method (emotional appeal) is used?

Thought Question

1. Alexander writes (p. 202) of his approach that it “calls for that fundamental change in the use of the self by means of which the standard of general functioning is raised and psycho-physical defects and ills, whether fears or any other emotional reactions, are overcome.” Is there a difference for Alexander between emotions and emotional response? Are all emotional reactions psycho-physical defects? Does Alexander have a model of thinking/reasoning being objective and emotion being subjective? Does he think that thinking/reasoning is “better” than emotions? What part do our emotions play in our psycho-physical wholes for Alexander?