The Ascent Of Man

I purchased Jacob Bronowski’s beautifully illustrated book The Ascent of Man and the videotapes when first published in 1973 and have re-watched episodes throughout these years. With some effort, one can now watch The Ascent of Man on Youtube. I have posted here Part 1 ‘Lower than the Angels’ and then Michael Parkinson’s interview of Jacob Bronowski,  followed by personal reflections, which ends suggesting we reflect on our ascent – it can be managed!

Ascent Of Man Pt 1 Lower Than The Angels

Volume 1 of Jacob Bronowski’s epic examination of our rise from the apes and the development of civilization. (from May 1973) “Man’s imagination, his reason, his emotional subtlety, and toughness, make it possible for him not to accept the environment but to change it. And that series of inventions, by which man from age to age has remade his environment, is a different kind of evolution – not biological but cultural evolution. I call that brilliant series of cultural peaks ‘The Ascent of Man’.” Dr. Jacob Bronowski opens the programme at the Great Rift Valley of East Africa and traces the evolution of man’s great gifts – foresight and imagination. He follows man from Africa through the desert and Ice Age – Chapters 1 Shaper of the Landscape; Chapter 2 The Rift Valley; Chapter 3 Australopithecus; Chapter 4 Physical Gifts; Chapter 5 Precursors of Man; Chapter 6 The Hunter; Chapter 7 The Ice Age; Chapter 8 Cave Art.

Michael Parkinson interviews Dr Jacob Bronowski 1974

“A belief in a higher power” is a lower-level in man’s ascent as Jacob Bronowski addresses in his monumental BBC program The Ascent Of Man. One can re-watch this program many times, which I do and not tire. I recently did so and then added Michael Parkinson interview of Dr. Bronowski to complete this blog entry. While watching it, I took notes for how I might comment on it for a blog entry. Close to the end, it hit me square on, nearly knocking me off my chair, something like the shock Bronowski felt when he realized the results of applying mathematics to the analysis of early human teeth. Well, okay not quite as shocking but of the same quality of insight into what needs to be studied. Abraham Maslow defines these as peak experiences and Bronowski comments that the ascent of man is pursued today by insisting society provide every man and woman with a ‘quality working life’ designed to address the ‘highest self-actualizing need of Man’. Wow! My research ‘An Inquiry into QWL’ in my bookcase just rattled a bit and I am now wondering what to do with the message Dr. Bronowski is sending?

題名:  An Inquiry Into the Quality of Work Life in Hsinchu Science Based Industrial Park. National Taiwan University (1988)
作者:  徐木蘭; Scherling, Steven A.; 陳家聲 Hsu, Mu-Lan; Chen, Chia-Shen.

Tesseract communication through space and time. We hear you Jacob.

Here then is Maslow’s psychoanalytical framework for designing a ‘quality working life’ which ought to satisfy Maslow’s highest need, Self-Actualization.

Social interest. Negative emotions. Reactive anger. righteous indignation. Identification with the human condition. A desire to help.

Interpersonal relations: Levels of love. Be love. Deficiency love:

Awareness: Efficient Perception: Have clear eyes: has clear intuitions, can see that is the right conclusion. The hypothesis is SA has more efficient perception.

The freshness of appreciations: A miracle remains a miracle and one see this and enjoys this again and again.

Peak experience: feeling of awe and the feeling something important has happened. The mystic experiences.


G.W.F. Hegel on the Slave’s Development in the Master-Slave Dialectic – Philosophy Core Concepts


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s