"A Self-Witnessing Report on Book Conservation"

By Jeffrey Tong
June 20, 1983


Altruism, relating to chapter 6 of Krupat, is an aspect of the automatic self, which is the spiritual self that has freedom to choose between selfism and altruism. Swedenborg defines altruism as putting someone else's interest first, but using your intelligence to maintain your original goals. It relates to helping society or in simpler terms, Altruism = good uses.

I often do research for my major so borrowing books is crucial to me. Last summer, I remember borrowing books but didn't return them for over two weeks. A letter came to me stating that my grades were kept until all fines were paid for overdue books. I went down after a couple of days past, paid the fine and had my grades processed. Since I was reluctant to return the books, it later dawned on me that if I didn't have those books, I might not have had a good grade in the class, or even possibly an incomplete. I guess I justified the situation because school was over, but I forgot that graduate students may have needed the books for their research. The fact that our society revolves around needed information, an innocent thing such as forgetting to return two books can hinder an information system.. I can imagine if everyone were to forget to return library materials, We'd be in a big mess.


For purposes of this paper, Dr. James showed us a film on the conservation of books at the University of Hawaii, namely Sinclair, and Hamilton libraries. To relate this to altruism, we are to recall from past experiences, specific incidents which the film exemplifies. Notes were gathered during the film.

Certain procedures are followed to conserve the life of books. These include properly removing books from the shelves, placing them back on the shelves. Books should not be bent flat, marked, or repaired by the borrower. Eating and drinking should be kept away from books long with dirt and sun, and children and pets. Most importantly, books should be returned on time.

Just a short film taught me a lot about caring for books (the University's property). I never knew the proper way to pull books off the shelf. I've always pulled books off the shelf by the binder. Common sense of nots were observed and still are. I do however, do place books flat on the photocopy machine for reasons of saving half the amount if I photocopied the books properly. If a place the book flat, most of the time can get two pages on one copy This also saves a lot of time if you photocopy reference material like I do. One thing observed while photocopying n this manner I do not press down on the binder, nor do I use the lack out cover, which could add pressure to the binder (located over he glass plate).

Depending on the area you live, has a lot to do with the conservation of the books. Now, most common sense things like not leaving books y heat sun, rain, snow, are followed. Some discretion of placement must be observed. I leave borrowed books on my book case along with the rest of my books. I like to think that I take care of borrowed books if they were my own. I keep them flat, and separate them from my books as not to mistake them for my own.


When looking at the common considerations that I've discussed above, I used my material thoughts derived from the automatic self. By taking in stimulus from the outside, I processed and related to what I've been taught about taking care of others property in general. Since new information and a redefinition of caring or altruism has been given, some change has been observed.

This weekend I looked up some information for another class so I observed my behavior and monitored it. I consciously removed the books from the shelf, remembering to push the outer books in and pulling the book I wanted from the center of the book. All other considerations were followed except one. A conflict arose when I went to photocopy reference material. I placed the book, as I've for years, flat on the machine so that two pages could be photographed instead of each page, as observed in the film. Even though this thought occurred to me, individual self or reflective self, went on performing the task even though new information was given in conservation of books. I do realize that the libraries considerations were filmed for a purpose, but I justified that paying double is not necessary. Also, I did not press down on the binder or use the black out flap so as not to press the binder completely flat.

After photocopying, I looked through the reference again and noticed a couple of outliner markings which attracted my eyes, which were not of importance to my subject matter.


In relation of my thoughts to the Ennead Matrix, my memories were shown in the automatic self. The automatic self gives an illusion of freedom of thought acting as a complete self. Dr. James calls this Negative Bias. Stored memories from the outside world are processed through material sensations to the material cognitions which in turn are processed through material drives. Once this happens, the automatic self reacts appropriately to the situation. The automatic self will carry out information and make inferences , but cannot assign symbolic meaning; which are done by the spiritual self.

Real thoughts, internal thoughts, those not derived from memory are part of the spiritual self. These immaterial thoughts also called "collective" are thoughts which reflect the good of everyone, synonymous to Altruism.

Thoughts of caring for a book have been redefined for me with the new information given in the film. In explaining the spiritual world, I focused on the conflict of the proper way to photocopy.

For the spiritual self, freedom to choose between selfism and altruism is evident here in zone ?. This is the axiomatic self which effect behavior by converting inner thoughts to the external thoughts. We move from a freedom environment to a non-freedom environment.

When I thought about weather it was really bad to open the book flat when photocopying, my internal thoughts did not find truths in the statement: "Never press down on the binder when photocopying and to place half book over the edge," meaning that only one side of the page should be photographed. My spiritual drives chose selfism, because some doubt of the truth of the statement was processed by the spiritual cognitions. This in turn affected my behavior, thus photo copying two sides of the page at once.


I learned that although some altruisms make for a better and more considerate society, true altruism is impossible. Choosing between selfism and altruism is a matter of controlling the thoughts and input into the internal self. If one thinks negatively, his external thoughts and actions will reflect that thought. Thus, if one is to be more altruistic, thinking good thoughts of everyone will help achieve this desire.

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