William Pennell Rock
I have been blessed with an auspicious intellectual and spiritual training. In 1959, I formally entered Yale with the matriculation ceremonies for the class of ’63. Among 1000 other classmates in attendance were David Gergen, future media pundit; L Paul Bremer, future Proconsul of Iraq; Lex Hixon, future Brahmin of all true faiths; and Dick Cheney, future fist of American imperialism. In the matriculation address delivered by then President Griswold, I was astonished to hear that we were to be trained to become prophets…
Here we are, more than half a century later.
Richly trained in philosophy in my twenties, I had little life experience. Since then I have participated in some of the great mystical practices of the world. This has been tempered and clarified by years of working therapeutically with individuals and groups —and of course life itself. This has positioned me in the tradition of looking into the Light of illumination to contemplate life and its essential truths. In my golden years, I find myself turning back to my most fundamental interest of all, the love of wisdom.
I have come to understand that human reason has become misguided in our spiritless world. Cultivated originally as a kind of devotional loyalty of mind, reason has become identified with mere calculation for utilitarian ends. The great thinkers of true culture have always known that reason was first and foremost contemplation of the givens of existence, the logic emanating from the Light of illumination.