Louis Sullivan’s Kindergarten Chats: Man’s Powers

Man’s powers mean simply, what man can do.

As to his physical nature, man has the power of locomotion, of muscular control; the power to select and manipulate things; to surmount obstacles. Therefore is he by nature a wanderer, a toiled, a worker, an artisan, an artist: for these things mean the power to do–to create.

As to his mental nature, man has the urging power of curiosity. Hence he is again a wanderer, an explorer, a seeker, an inquirer, a scientist. He wishes to know the HOW. Hence his power to do in enhanced by his knowledge how to do. His art is strengthened and amplified in it’s power by his science. Further, man’s curiosity wishes to discern the WHY. Still a wanderer, a seeker, a worker, a thinker, he pushes the power of inquiry into new paths; he becomes a philosopher. His thus acquired knowledge of why increases his power over how, and hence his power to do: which means a progressive cumulative growth in solidarity: his philosophy, his science, his art mutually strengthening each other. Thus he becomes a greater worker.

Man has great powers of his inner life: he has the power of feeling, of emotion; he is a Poet. And man has the power to vision forth: hence is he dreamer of dreams, spectator of visions: a Prophet! His emotions and dreams, his visions and his forecasts, vitalizes his thinking, his speculations and his work. They charge his creations with the current of life: and so man rises in accomplished power. He ever pushes back the frontiers. He ever intensifies the near and the far. And man is a spirit: hence his emotional, intellectual, physical need to find an union with his inner core–thus is he a metaphysician. And man is a moral being: a power of enormous momentum: It is the power to CHOOSE–the central power of man.

And thus is his growth, his unfolding, his self-centralization: MAN THE WORKER becomes MAN THE CREATOR.

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