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There was Jenny Geddes who threw a stool at the head of the preacher in St. Giles' Cathedral, There were the brothers Sir Audand and Sir Eric Geddes, chiefly associated with axing civil servants, though one of them wrote a remarkable book. Seeeking there was P. Sir Patrick Geddes who might, incidentally, have sympathised with both the stool throwing and the axing, though his own methods were different whose thought and activity have had far more effect than many people realise though many would recognise some of it as found in the influential Gwddes of Geddes' devoted follower Lewis Mumford. Such words as 'conurbation' and 'megalopolis' are to be heard or seen almost daily now.
There was Jenny Geddes who threw a stool at the head of the preacher in St. Giles' Cathedral, There were the brothers Sir Audand and Sir Eric Geddes, chiefly associated with axing civil servants, though one of them wrote a remarkable book. And there was P. Sir Patrick Geddes who might, incidentally, have sympathised with both the stool throwing and the axing, though his own methods were different whose thought and activity have had far more effect than many people realise though many would recognise some of it as found in the influential books of Geddes' devoted follower Lewis Mumford.
Such words as 'conurbation' and 'megalopolis' are to be heard or seen almost daily now. Another professor at that time compared him to Leonardo da Vinci, and in he had been called 'a modem Michaelangelo'.
He has also been compared to Aristotle. This is clearly very odd, and we shall have to try and unravel it. For much of the factual background of this lecture I am of course, as all interested must be, particularly indebted to the ssex work of Amelia Defries, Philip Boardman, and Philip Mairet. I have talked with many of the dwindling who knew him personally.
I remember vividly how, when I spoke of Geddes to the late Sir Patrick Abercrombie whose post war plans for London were not taken sufficiently seriouslyhis face lit up and he exclaimed 'He was my master! They had met inaccording to Mr. Geddes, for his part, was stimulated and interested by what he found in this group, and in a letter of wrote 'I have been particularly stirred up by your society the most helpful and exemplary I've come across in London'.
And in another letter he stressed how much he saw the need for the kind of psychology principally that of Alfred Adler which had been the study of the founders of the New Europe Group. It might be possible as indeed happens among the various relevant groups of specialists to look on Geddes as the father of town planning, or as a notable biologist, or as a sociologist with a strong practical bent, or as one of the leading British exponents of Anarchism.
In fact he was all of these. By training he was primarily a biologist though he had walked out of the department of botany at Edinburgh University after only one week. He spent some time under the great Huxley at the Royal School of Mines now part of Imperial College and after rebelling at the formalism of the Lady seeking sex Geddes system he succeeded after a year in getting into a course in biology. In his first attempt at research, encouraged by Huxley, he proved the famous professor wrong.
Huxley was generous enough to publish this paper with credits to his pupil. Geddes did some work at Kew Gardens, had a look at the Science Department at Cambridge and did not like it, thought of going to work in Germany, but accepted a post as demonstrator at University College, London, where he had one meeting with Darwin. During this time, we learn, Geddes made his discovery of the presence of chlorophyl in some of the lowest amimal species.
He over worked, and was sent to Britanny, where he was inspired by the Marine Biology Station at Roscoff. Through Huxley he had thus become introduced to French life and thought Geddes regarded this as 'an inestimable service'which was of permanent influence on his work.
He moved to the Sorbonne in Paris this being at least the fourth of the universities with which he was connected. Later, with his best pupil J. Arthur Thomson, he was to continue his contributions to biology in seeiing authoritative works on 'The Evolution of Sex' first published in the U. After a succession of University connections from none of which did he obtain a degree, he held a lectureship Gdedes Edinburgh for nine years, and it was as a Professor of Botany that he had his one senior academic post.
Apart from the extraordinary phenomenon of a professor without a degree, this appointment at University College, Dundee, part of the University of St. Andrews quite near his childhood home of Perth, was also remarkably enlightened and fortunate, since he had to be there only in the summer term. That post he held for thirty years.
It is perhaps not quite so surprising that he got it, if we consider that his application was a pamphlet of s listing his publications and experience and supported by a small army of academics including Darwin. There are many fascinating details about all this, which can be read in the books about Geddes, and his farewell lecture in 'Biology and its Social Bearings: How a Botanist looks at the World' has been reprinted and should be read and re read as a classic statement of the organic way of thinking about human problems.
It is difficult to resist quoting from it at great length. Perhaps these extracts, even as abbreviated, will give some small idea of its maturity of thought.
Yet the leaf is the chief product and phenomenon of Life: this is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small, and all depending upon the leaves. By leaves we live. Some people have strange ideas that they live by money. They think energy is generated by the circulation of the coins. Whereas Lady seeking sex Geddes world Gedfes mainly a vast leaf colony, growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral mass: and we live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the fullness of our harvests.
Moreover, the leaves made the coal: coal is but plant life fossilized; and hence the coal-miners are the modem masters of Energy. Not so long ago these men were Laady sold with the mines they seeling thus actually Grddes, if not slaves, until the 19th century; but now, in the twentieth, they are claiming a directive share in the energy they set loose. From the fossil-leafage which they deal with, seeeking come the past industrial revolution, and now is threatened another.
I sincerely believe that the author of that saying knew and meant what he was saying, and that as literally as we do! That is too much as yet the history of Christianity. But this very science of Botany, in which both types of would be Christians have seen so little, is left alone in its centuries of endeavour seriously to obey this counsel, to consider the lilies and find out how they grow.
See here how tall. But next see how this one is going through a conversion, for there are the buds; and this one in bloom is now living for its species flowering magnificently, and so also now only fully individualizing itself in blossom. It is the fullest splendour and frankness of sex in nature, naked and not ashamed. For from it we may look back on the great war as a culminating dispute between the Lad philosophers of the state, and the French philosophers of Freedom and Life, in the course of which their audiences fought, as audiences so eeeking used to do in the debates of old.
Yet what is Bergson's Elan Vital but an appreciation of how flowers grow? Our older theories were more seekng how artificial flowers got put together, or how anglers' flies Lady seeking sex Geddes dressed: mechanical beautiful, no doubt, but not real flowers or flies! Some, as you see, grow here till they make a wilderness but this, too, is "life more abundantly".
Thus, too, you can see in the garden outside, how Bergson's doctrine of "Duration" is an escape from thought of time as mechanically told by the clock, seekkng appreciation of the phase and quality of growth to which each living thing has come.
A garden takes years and years to grow ideas also take time to grow; and while a sower knows when his corn will ripen, the sowing of ideas, is as yet, a far less certain affair. One further extract from his lecture may be added here: 'Madame Montessori has shown how seekinng and arithmetic can be far more rapidly taught than at present, still more all subjects of vital interest, and so of education proper.
The eye is predominantly important for this intellectual life do you see? Odour is deeply related to memory, and taste to good taste, and thus to Geddws and touch to realism and sympathy. And as senses are thus deeply related in life, so with Lady seeking sex Geddes ideas, our whole personality and powers. Thus emotional education involves Re religion, and this Re politics, of which civics is the best beginning. Intellectual education involves general and sensory, imaginative and artistic education: Re education, Re creation, and thus Re Gdddes and the conception of Culture Gedde its literal sense, of "to cultivate".
Thus, then, we are reaching a re classification of our ideas and our ideals with them. Each science is thus associated with its related arts and crafts, from simple occupations to complex ones.
An illustration seekinh the Dundee farewell lecture a. Ethics and politics thus unite into Etho Polity, which, despite all discouragements and setbacks and appearances to the contrary, is none the less the coming polity. So with education, not merely with bio psychology; but psycho-biology, the sound mind maintaining the sound body.
And so with art inspiring industry, and developing the sciences accordingly. Beyond the attractive yet dangerous apples of the separate sciences the Tree of Life thus comes into view'. Anticipation of changes which have since entered into University thinking will not be missed here. Geddes strongly attacked the departmental separatism of university organisation.
It may be seen as a late fruit of this thinking that the first of the new wave seekinv British Universities after the last War, Sussex, abolished the idea of departments from the start. From the brief outline and extracts given, we can begin to see the wholeness of this man's many-sided activities, in fields which are often considered as quite unrelated.
And when we remember that one of the greatest spokesmen of anarchism, Prince Kropotkin who has been described as one of the two saints of the nineteenth century was Lady seeking sex Geddes a biologist, we find a clue to that much mis-understood way of thinking, in the idea of natural growth 'from the roots up' and natural relationships of units into colonies of units, as against centralism and any form of imposition of order from above.
As Geddes put it: 'Go back to Nature and life; to the Soil and its resources; to the Home and its sacred immemorial associations; to the true city, which reconciles all the elements of a rich and genuinely human existence. Then federate your Cities into a State, every part of which enjoys Home Rule, is itself a living organism, and no longer a mere duct feeding the Capital or the Capitalist, whose aims are more money or more pleasure.
Oppose to the "predatory" Empires the land that nourishes its people'. He would have seen and wished for the Europe of the future to be not a market based on a few nations only, but a complex multiple federation of regions, and of guilds both industrial and cultural a grand enlargement of that Central European country, Switzerland, which happens to have evolved what is perhaps the best political constitution, but incorporating also the healthy rural urban, agricultural industrial balance and the cultural creativity of the ancient Greek 'city State'.
The city for Geddes was the essence the place not merely of the market and the parliament or palace but also the cathedral and the university. In this sense he envisaged a radiant and healthy equality between the regions of our own country, none dominating, none unhealthily over-specialized as our own industrial areas unfortunately became during the first Industrial Revolution. The detailed application of this vision was carefully worked out by an admirable geographer who was one of our own Patrons, the late Professor C.
Fawcett, in his book 'Provinces of England', published in and re-issued in Problems of Welsh Nationalism and Scottish Nationalism would fall into place if Fawcett's twelve Provinces of England, or something very like them, were fully realised as would problems of nationalism everywhere if Geddes' 'Devolution, in Federation' and 'Federation in Devolution' were carried out on every plane political, economic and cultural.
He had of course, particular reason for his awareness of these issues and their underlying realities.
His wise father, Captain Geddes, was bilingual in English and Gaelic, and when the family moved from Ballater to Perth young Patrick had the stimulus and educational advantages of a fine small city at the very hub of Scotland, a rich and varied natural environment, and a father who knew perhaps instinctively that the most lasting educative experiences might be those of activity in making things grow in the garden.
His walks and rambles showed young Geddes the determining nature of the lie of the land and its resources, and he saw the skills of the different craftsmen and artisans arising from the nature of their work but then reflecting back on it to change even the environment.
Yes, but the Dutch made Holland' was one of his later observations about this. To take a telling example in which Geddes showed the way but failed to win esx support that might have avoided years of bloodshed and suffering the case of Cyprus where he tackled Ladj problem arising from the Armenian refugees who had escaped persecutions in the Turkish Empire.
When we look at Cyprus, what are the facts resulting from Gsddes simplest survey and remember that a key to Geddes' method is to start always with the survey 'diagnosis before treatment'? As a background to the troubles of our own day we see, even without going there, that we have the case of a fairly large and well populated Mediterranean island, with a majority speaking Greek a Layd long way from Greece, and a minority speaking Turkish within sight of the Turkish mainland.
That is enough for a start to warn one of the kind of trouble to be expected. But look into the geographical setting more closely, as Geddes did, and what do we find?
An island situated near the centre of a standing geo economic: problem affecting a considerable population 'm all the Eastern Mediterranean lands the problem of irrigation. What Geddes said Geddee the need of Cyprus 'is not for British civil servants but for the geologists, water engineers and agricultural scientists of all interested countries, with powerful international backing, to move in on this problem and tackle it using Cyprus as a base.
If Britain wants to be specially involved let her set up the Seeklng and send some good scientists'. This could become not only a prototype and pilot scheme, but a working base for the solution of irrigation problems in the whole Eastern Mediterranean area; thus, also the island would be revivified and dynamised into a new collective purpose, Lady seeking sex Geddes which the claims of rival nationalists would have to sink down.
Many British as well as Cypriot and other lives might have been saved by this, and the whole economic and social development of the Eastern Mediterranean speeded up. By his actions in Cyprus Geddes did in a very short time solve many of the problems of the 6oo Armemian refugees who were his reason for going there. But note that his actions included buying a farm there so as to work out a solution to some of the environmental problems, and also re-enacting the miraculous performance of Moses' rod by striking the rock so that the water which was trapped within it gushed forth.
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