John Sexton

  • Aired:  03/07/13
  •  | Views: 16,151

The president of NYU believes that baseball, like Catholicism or Buddhism, can be a road to God and that the real meaning of life can't be put into cognitive terms. (5:18)

♪ ♪

[LAUGHTER]

>> Stephen: JOHN SEXTON WILL YOU BE MY GUEST?

>> OH, YES!

>> Stephen:.

>> WHAT ABOUT ALL THAT STUFF YOU SAID TO ME IN THE FANTASY SUITE?

I DESERVE HAPPINESS, TOO!

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: PLEASE WELCOME NYU PRESIDENT JOHN SEXTON.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

BOOM!

BOOM!

MR. SEXTON THANK YOU FOR COMING BACK.

CAN I CALL YOU JOHN?

>> JOHN IS IT.

>> Stephen: JOHN, THANK YOU FOR COMING BACK.

GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT OF NYU AND ALSO A TEACHER THERE AND YOUR NEW BOOK "BASEBALL AS A ROAD TO

GOD" IS BASED ON A COURSE YOU TAUGHT THERE WHAT DO YOU MEAN BASEBALL AS A ROAD TO GOD?

JESUS SAID THAT NO ONE GETS TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME.

ARE YOU SAYING THAT JESUS IS BASEBALL?

BECAUSE THERE'S NO JESUS IN BASEBALL -- THERE'S SOME HEY-SUS BUT THERE'S NO JESUS IN BASEBALL.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THE POINT OF BOOK IS, STEPHEN, TO GO DIRECTLY AT THE PROPOSITION YOU PUT ON THE TABLE.

I'M A CATHOLIC.

>> Stephen: I'M THE CATHOLIC.

[LAUGHTER]

>> THE POINT HERE IS THAT THOSE OF US THAT WERE TAUGHT AS WE WERE THAT WE HAD THE TRUTH, WITH

A CAPITAL T.

>> Stephen: WHICH WE DO.

>> SHOULD BE A LITTLE BIT MORE HUMBLE ABOUT THAT.

>> Stephen: I AM.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> AND OPEN OURSELVES UP TO THE FACT THAT BASEBALL IS A ROAD TO GOD JUST AS OUR RELIGION IS A

ROAD TO GOD JUST AS BUDDHISM IS A ROAD TO GOD AND THE MORE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT WE ALL

GET USED TO FINDING GOD IN THIS WORLD.

>> Stephen: HOW IS BASEBALL ANYTHING LIKE -- GOD DOES NOT TAKE NINE INNINGS.

>> BUT GOD, LIKE BASEBALL, IS TIMELESS.

>> Stephen: BASEBALL FEELS TIMELESS.

[LAUGHTER]

>> SEE NOW, THE KEY THAT I'M TRYING TO GET AT IN THIS BOOK IS THE FACT THAT -- WHAT WE AS

HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD BE DOING IS SEARCHING FOR MEANING.

FREQUENTLY MEANING IS THAT WHICH WE CAN LEARN AND PUT IN A MIND, ESPECIALLY A WONDERFUL MIND LIKE YOURS.

[LAUGHTER]

BUT FREQUENTLY THE REAL MEANING OF LIFE CAN'T BE PUT IN COGNITIVE TERMS.

THERE'S A WORD I USE IN MY COURSE AND IN THE BOOK IT CAN'T BE REDUCED TO WORDS.

WE EXPERIENCE IT.

THE WAY WE KNOW WE'RE IN LOVE, FOR EXAMPLE.

THE WAY WE KNOW LIFE AS MEANING.

>> Stephen: I LIKE THAT INHE HAVABLE THING BECAUSE I CAN SAY SOMETHING IS TRUE AND GO, I

CAN'T SCHAIN IT, I'M RIGHT THOUGH -- I CAN'T EXPLAIN IT.

I'M RIGHT THOUGH.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

AND MANY --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: I'M INEFF ABLE ABOUT EVERYTHING.

>> I KNOW.

YOU HAVE PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE HEART OF THE MATTER BECAUSE THERE IS THE KNOWN.

SO WE KNOW NOW THE WORLD IS NOT FLAT.

THERE'S THE KNOWABLE THAT WE DON'T YET KNOW BUT WE'LL KNOW BECAUSE OF THE ADVANCEMENT OF

KNOWLEDGE AND SCIENCE OVER THE CENTURIES.

BUT THEN THERE'S IS THE UNKNOWABLE.

AND WHAT I TRY TO GET AT IN THIS BOOK IS THAT WE APPRECIATE THAT WHICH CAN'T BE PUT INTO

COGNITIVE TERMS, LIKE LOVE, WHICH WE KNOW THROUGH EXPERIENCE AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.

AND WE DON'T CONFUSE AS WE SOMETIMES ARE TEMPTED TO DO THE UNKNOWABLE FROM THAT WHICH WE

SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW YET.

>> Stephen: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I DON'T KNOW IS WHAT YOU JUST SAID.

I'M SURE THAT'S ME.

I'M SURE THERE'S PEOPLE WHO GO TO NYU WHO UNDERSTOOD WHEN YOU JUST SESMED I WANT TO TALK ABOUT LOVE.

WE CAN'T KNOW LOVE BUT IF BASEBALL IS A ROAD TO GOD AND GOD IS LOVE, BASEBALL HAS BEEN

PROVEN TO BE A ROAD TO LOVE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO, YOU KNOW, IF YOU ARE WITH A GIRL YOU WANT

TO GET ON FIRST BASE.

AND THEN SECOND BASE AND THEN THIRD PLACE.

AND IF YOU MAKE IT ALL THE WAY HOME, SUDDENLY YOU WANT TO START THINKING ABOUT BASEBALL!

SO IT'S A PERFECT CIRCLE.

IT'S A PERFECT CIRCLE.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

JOHN SEXTON THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

JOHN SEXTON "BASEBALL HAS A ROAD TO GOD." WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERS AND APPLAU

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