- Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. [Buddha]
- integrity: the courage to meet the demands of reality [title of a book by Dr. Henry Cloud]
- I have never had a policy; I have simply tried to do what seemed best as each day came. [Abraham Lincoln, discussing his conduct of the Civil War in 1864]
- To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice. [Confucius.]
- Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. [Abraham Lincoln]
- I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, self. [Martin Luther]
Internal integration is the harmonic component of spirituality in relation to the self. When a person is well-grounded in good values, and essentially free from the turmoil that arises from inner conflict, that person is integrated, or spiritually whole. In its most common meaning, integrity emphasizes a proper respect and regard for others, as when someone resists temptation into immoral conduct. This model’s concept of wholeness emphasizes not only this internal quality of integrity-as-responsibility but the inner integration of the self.
A second conception of integrity is in relation to others. Here, integrity is the composite of courage, caring and wisdom. Examples of this attribute are found in the history of the French and German Resistance movements during World War II.
Lives of integrity:
- Stephen Walsh, Stravinsky: A Creative Spring: Russia and France, 1882-1934 (University of California Press, 2002).
- Stephen Walsh, Stravinsky: The Second Exile: France and America, 1934-1971 (University of California Press, 2008).
- Lawrence E. Carter, Sr., Walking Integrity: Benjamin Elijah Mays, Mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. (Lawrence University Press, 1998).
- Howard Pollack, Marc Blitzstein: His Life, His Work, His World (Oxford University Press, 2012). Blitzstein was open about his left-wing politics and about being gay, despite the costs. “ . . . Leonard Bernstein expressed dismay in 1976 at ‘the rapidity with which his name’s been forgotten,’ calling him ‘ the greatest master of the setting of the American language to music.’”
- Michelle Obama, Becoming (Crown Publishing Group, 2018): “she long ago learned to recognize the ‘universal challenge of squaring who you are with where you come from and where you want to go.’”
- Joachim Fest, Not I: Memoirs of a German Childhood (Other Press, 2014): “ . . . the elder Fest is described as ‘tailor-made for a career’ with the Nazis. And yet some quirk in his personality made him a fierce Weimar republican, ready to sacrifice himself, even his family, to principles he knew to be right even as everyone around him was yielding to mass hysteria.”
- M. K. Gandhi, Non-Violent Resistance (Dover Publications, 2001).
- Jurgen Heideking and Christoph Mauch, Eds., American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History (Westview Press, 1996).
- Caroline Moorehead, A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship and Survival in World War Two (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers, 2011): two women "united . . . by their shared commitment to the French Resistance and . . . their internment at Birkenau".
- Patrick Marnham, Resistance and Betrayal: The Death and Life of the Greatest Hero of the French Resistance (Random House, 2002): Jean Moulin revealed no information to the Nazis after his capture in 1943 and was soon killed.
- Agnès Humbert, Résistance: Memoirs of Occupied France (Bloomsbury USA, 2008).
- Judy Barrett Litoff, ed., An American Heroine in the French Resistance:The Diary and Memoir of Virginia D'Albert Lake (Fordham University Press, 2006).
- Damien Lewis, Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy (Public Affairs, 2022): “Does it really matter if Josephine Baker was a particularly active member of the French Resistance, or an actual spy? Not to the French government. In the end, she earned the Medaille de la Résistance Avec Palme, the Croix de Guerre and the Legion d’Honneur, and was buried in the Pantheon. All the accouterments, in short, of a true French heroine.”
- Marthe Cohn with Wendy Holden, (Harmony, 2002).
- Elizabeth P. McIntosh, Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1998).
- Jacques Lusseyran, (Morning Light Press,1998).
- Hans Mommsen, Alternatives to Hitler: German Resistance under the Third Reich (Princeton University Press, 2003).
- Theodore S. Hamerow, On the Road to the Wolf's Lair: German Resistance to Hitler (Belknap Press, 1997).
- Helena Schrader, (iUniverse, 2008).
- Lynne Olson, Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler (Random House, 2019): “Fourcade embodied everything Pétain and his ilk despised. She was a woman who refused to play by the rules of the racist, sexist and ultimately murderous Vichy patriarchy.”
Caroline Moorehead, Resistance Trilogy:
- A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers, 2011): “ . . . it was the group’s sense of ‘mutual dependency’ that made ‘the difference between living and dying.’ And it was their devotion to one another that enabled 49 of them, during what would turn out to be a two-and-a-half-year season in hell, to defy one official’s prediction: ‘You’re going to a camp from which you’ll never return.’”
- Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France (Harper, 2014): “’What actually took place on the plateau of the Vivarais-Ligno during the gray and terrifying years of German occupation and Vichy rule is indeed about courage, faith and morality . . . But it is also about the fallibility of memory.’”
- A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism (HarperCollins Publishers, 2017): “It’s the most complete portrait we have in English of this extraordinary family fighting – each in his or her own way – the most pernicious ideology of the last century.”
When integrity fails:
- Megan Stack, Every Man in This Village is a Liar: An Education in War (Doubleday, 2010), a story of how the corrupt and broken cultures in the contemporary Middle East can lead to a wholesale breakdown of integrity.
- Erich Schwartzel, Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Global Supremacy (Penguin Press, 2022): “. . . the story of the nexus that formed when Hollywood realized it needed China’s cash, and China realized it could first manipulate — and then appropriate — Hollywood’s special gifts for enchantment, coercion, lifestyle control, and inducing audiences to tear up by means of orchestral swells and Tom Hanks talking earnestly to small children.”
- Trip Mickle, After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul (William Morrow, 2022): “Epilogue aside, the book is an amazingly detailed portrait of the permanent tension between strategy and luck: Companies make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.”
From the dark side:
- Sarah Churchwell, Behold, America: The Entangled History of “America First” and “The American Dream” (Basic Books, 2018) “illuminates how much history takes place in the gap between what people say and what they do.”
- Jason Sokol, All Eyes are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn (Basic Books, 2014): “Northerners applauded individual high-achieving African-Americans but opposed collective civil rights agendas.”
- Tim Alberta, American Carnage: On Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump (Harper, 2019): “ . . . a fascinating look at a Republican Party that initially scoffed at the incursion of a philandering reality-TV star with zero political experience and now readily accommodates him.”
- Tim Miller, Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell (Harper/Harper Collins, 2022): “Miller, a millennial who started working in Republican politics when he was 16, depicts himself as someone who was so preoccupied with 'the Game' that for years he gave little thought to the degraded culture that his bare-knuckle tactics helped perpetuate. He liked the excitement, the money, the mischief. . . . He was in it to win.”
- Walt Bogdanich & Michael Forsythe, When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm (Doubleday, 2022): “. . . the legendary firm has accrued an inordinate amount of influence chasing profits at the expense of moral principle.”
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Kwame Anthony Appiah The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (W. W. Norton & Company, 2010).
- Christine M. Korsgaard, Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity (Oxford University Press, 2009).
- David Pugmire, Sound Sentiments: Integrity in the Emotions (Oxford University Press, 2005).
- Stephen L. Carter, Integrity (Basic Books, 1996).
- Henry Cloud, integrity: the courage to meet the demands of reality (Harper Business, 2006).
- Paul Tough, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character (Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt, 2012): arguing for “the notion that noncognitive skills, like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence, are more critical than sheer brainpower to achieving success.”
- Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of Sir Thomas More (1527)
Film and Stage
- Serpico, a biographical drama about Frank Serpico, a New York City police officer who refused to bow to corruption, blowing the whistle on his department instead
- Prince of the City, raising the issue of integrity in a police officer with damning information about his fellow officers
- The Prisoner: an excess of humility leads a priest to confess falsely under interrogation
- The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, an outlaw’s view of integrity, or, the difference between integrity and gratuitous defiance
- Mahanagar: a young married woman in tradition-bound India is forced into the workplace, where she thrives and demonstrates uncommon character, refusing to accept discrimination against a co-worker and quitting her own job despite her and her family’s need for an income.
From the dark side:
- Edgar Lee Masters, “Daniel M’Cumber”
- Edgar Lee Masters, “Editor Whedon”
- Edgar Lee Masters, “ Lloyd Garrison Standard”
“And now,” said Legree, “come here, you Tom. You see, I telled ye I didn’t buy ye jest for the common work; I mean to promote ye, and make a driver of ye; and tonight ye may jest as well begin to get yer hand in. Now, ye jest take this yer gal and flog her; ye’ve seen enough on’t to know how.”
“I beg Mas’r’s pardon,” said Tom; “hopes Mas’r won’t set me at that. It’s what I an’t used to,—never did,—and can’t do, no way possible.”
“Ye’ll larn a pretty smart chance of things ye never did know, before I’ve done with ye!” said Legree, taking up a cowhide, and striking Tom a heavy blow cross the cheek, and following up the infliction by a shower of blows.
“There!” he said, as he stopped to rest; “now, will ye tell me ye can’t do it?”
“Yes, Mas’r,” said Tom, putting up his hand, to wipe the blood, that trickled down his face. “I’m willin’ to work, night and day, and work while there’s life and breath in me; but this yer thing I can’t feel it right to do;—and, Mas’r, I never shall do it,—never!”
Tom had a remarkably smooth, soft voice, and a habitually respectful manner, that had given Legree an idea that he would be cowardly, and easily subdued. When he spoke these last words, a thrill of amazement went through every one; the poor woman clasped her hands, and said, “O Lord!” and every one involuntarily looked at each other and drew in their breath, as if to prepare for the storm that was about to burst.
Legree looked stupefied and confounded; but at last burst forth, — “What! ye blasted black beast! tell me ye don’t think it right to do what I tell ye! What have any of you cussed cattle to do with thinking what’s right? I’ll put a stop to it! Why, what do ye think ye are? May be ye think ye’r a gentleman master, Tom, to be a telling your master what’s right, and what ain’t! So you pretend it’s wrong to flog the gal!”
“I think so, Mas’r,” said Tom; “the poor crittur’s sick and feeble; ’t would be downright cruel, and it’s what I never will do, nor begin to. Mas’r, if you mean to kill me, kill me; but, as to my raising my hand agin any one here, I never shall, — I’ll die first!”
[Harriett Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Life Among the Lowly (1852), Volume II, Chapter 33, “Cassy”.]
- Chris Roschko, Seriously, Norman: A Novel (Michael di Capua Books/Scribner, 2011): “By the time the test day redux arrives, the pressure surrounding it has been diffused. Norman has become an international traveler and has triumphantly managed to persuade his father to give up his money-grubbing, bomber-selling ways. ‘Seriously, Norman!’ may be the only novel that carries both antiwar and anti-testing overtones, though its true position seems to be pro-‘paying attention to what’s around you.’”
- Laurie Frankel, One Two Three: A Novel (Holt, 2021): “. . . doesn’t rooting for uncomplicated integrity feel good these days?”
- Grant Farley, Bones of a Saint (Soho Teen, 2021): a teen struggles with resisting the demands of a gang.
- Lydia Millet, Dinosaurs: A Novel (W.W. Norton & Company, 2022), offers “a subdued portrait of a wounded middle-aged man’s journey toward wholeness.”
From the dark side:
- Zadie Smith, NW: A Novel (Penguin Press, 2012): “‘NW’ represents a deliberate undoing; an unpacking of Smith’s abundant narrative gifts to find a deeper truth, audacious and painful as that truth may be. The result is that rare thing, a book that is radical and passionate and real.”
- Dalia Sofer, Man of My Time: A Novel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2020): “He Tried to Change the System. Then He Became It.”
- Damon Galgut, The Promise: A Novel (Europa, 2021): “Repeatedly Galgut invokes the motif of something bitter or rank buried at the ‘sour core’ within both the Swarts and their country, and perhaps within existence itself.”
- Alexander Maksik, The Long Corner: A Novel (Europa, 2022): “It is finally an argument for the necessity of irony, risk and integrity in the production of art as in life.”
- Tom Perrotta, Tracy Flick Can’t Win: A Novel (Scribner, 2022): “In middle age, Tracy’s optimism (or naïveté) is unchanged. There are two ways to look at this. Maybe it’s a credit to her integrity that she hasn’t been squashed into submission. Maybe it’s preposterous that she refuses, after all this time, to play by the rules of the game.”
- Winnie M. Li, Complicit: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, 2022): “She Stayed Silent When a Producer Turned Sexual Predator Went After a Friend”.
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Persian traditional music for solo instrument or one- or two-instrument accompaniment, performed by some of its great artists:
- Mohammed Reza Shajarian
- Hossein Alizadeh
- Kayhan Kalhor
- Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan
- Houmayoun Shajarian
- Mohammad Reza Lotfi
- Ali-Asghar Bahari
- Faramarz Payvar
- Ahmad Ebadi
- Habibollah Badie
- Fereidoun Hafezi
- Mohammad Mousavi
- Munir Bachir
- Ali Akbar Moradi
In Victor Herbert’s two cello concerti, the rich, mature voice of the cello finds full expression in the orchestra’s good company:
Johannes Ockeghem was a fifteenth-century composer. A promotion for an album of his songs argues that he was “every bit the equal of J.S. Bach in contrapuntal technique and profound expressivity, and like Bach able to combine the most rigorous intellectual structure with a beguiling sensuality”. Though most musicologists would not put him on par with J.S. Bach, you can hear the combination of structure and sensuality in these recordings of his songs, performed by:
- Cut Circle, Jesse Rodin directing;
- Blue Heron, Scott Metcalfe directing;
- La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Jordi Savall directing;
- Romanesque, Philippe Malfeyt directing;
- Medieval Ensemble of London, performing his complete secular music.
In his compositions, Maki Ishii focuses on the integration, or re-integration, of ignored and discarded musical forms and elements. The following notes are taken from the composer’s comments, accompanying an album on on the Denon label.
- In his Afro-Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, Op. 50 (1982), he integrates fragments of music from the Senuto and Pygmy tribes, Western orchestration, and Asian instruments.
- In “Lost Sounds III”, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 34 (1978), he rehabilitates consonance from an avant-garde graveyard.
- In Polarities for Soloists and Orchestra, Op. 22 (1973), he employs “Western music” and “Japanese traditional music.” The soloists are instructed to chafe against each other, yet produce an integrated performance.
- In Fū Shi (Shape of the Wind), for Orchestra, Op. 84 (1989), he integrates three tempi (jo, ha and kyu) from Japanese culture during the Muromachi Period (1393-1573) to address the “fundamental principle and philosophy of creation.” This may not be obvious to Western ears, or any ears not familiar with the Gagaku tradition. But if do a little research and listen carefully, perhaps you will get the idea. If you choose to defer the effort until after you’ve spent a few decades intensely studying musical forms, I would not criticize you for it.
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis’ piano music:
- Eight Preludes
- Piano works, volume 1, on Marco Polo label
- Piano works, volume 2, on Marco Polo label
Johann Jakob Froberger painted his harpsichord suites and other works for harpsichord, in a few true and basic colors, evoking the core themes of a person’s life.
- This is true especially of his Strasbourg Manuscript (Fourteen Suites for harpsichord).
- Hear also his Twenty-Three Suites for Harpsichord.
- Raga Patdip (Patdeep) is a Hindustani classical raag performed at dusk, or early evening (performances by Chaurasia, Banerjee and Borkar).
- Guillemain, Douze Caprices pour le violin seul (Twelve Caprices for solo violin), Op. 18
- Richard Strauss, Capriccio, Op. 85 (1941), is a light-hearted opera about a serious subject: the importance of art in life. Seen more deeply, it is about the importance of every part of life coming together (performances conducted by Stein, Böhm and Sawallisch).
- Honegger, Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) (1938), an oratorio (performances conducted by Soustrot, Bernstein and Altinoglu)
- Dello Joio, The Triumph of St. Joan Symphony
- Krenek, Symphony No. 2, Op. 12 (1922): the composer explains that the symphony’s conclusion “sounds like a passionate prayer for peace from the mouth of someone who has finally overcome the prohibitions which had kept him from letting losse in such outbursts of yearning . . . The climax of the end . . . has . . . more of the lifting up than the knocking down about it; it sounds more like a racing charge aiming at the acceptance of the contradictions as an ordainment of higher powers and at the integration of the conflicting elements into a sort of cosmic pandemonium.”
- Pierre Favre, "Singing Drums"
- Hayk Mekikyan, “An Armenian Palette”: this disc of Armenian music for piano captures the character of the musical culture in the fullness of its dignity.
- Matthew Shipp Trio, “Signature”
- Matthew Shipp & William Parker, “DNA”
- Matthew Shipp Duo & Mat Maneri, “Gravitational Systems”
- Dave Liebman, “Trust and Honesty” (2022) (46’): the sense of the playing is that of transcendent self-confidence, and the certainty of being (metaphorically) in the right place. “This is a living legend of modern jazz, unlike many of his peers, not resting on his laurels, but discovering something new with each new work.”