Introduction to the Treatise

Introduction to the SCLU Treatise

Why a treatise:

First, what is a treatise? To start let us take a quick look into the word, treatise. Some definitions include: “a formal and systematic exposition in writing of the principles of a subject, generally longer and more detailed than an essay.” Again, “a formal piece of writing that considers and examines a particular subject.” So, what we are doing with our treatise is not only defining what SCLU is but attempting to say what we propose to do with our SCLU, this being an always evolutionary movement in time as lived within each of our members and participants. The etymology of the word treatise will also be a guide for this introduction.

This is from the Online Etymology Dictionary–Treatise: to “negotiate, bargain, deal with,” from Old French traitier “deal with, act toward; set forth (in speech or writing)” (12c.), from Latin tractare “manage, handle, deal with, conduct oneself toward,” originally “drag about, tug, haul, pull violently,” frequentative of trahere (past participle tractus) “to pull, draw.”

The dictionary then says the word is a derivative of the word treat: Meaning “to entertain with food and drink without expense to the recipient by way of compliment or kindness (or bribery)” is recorded from c. 1500. Then the use of the word is “deal with, handle, or develop in speech or writing” (early 14c.) led to its use in medicine “to attempt to heal or cure, to manage in the application of remedies” (1781). Related: Treated; treating. So, to treat in this last instance is to attempt to heal, cure, or manage remedies. It then leads us to examine the word treat.

Now treat is related to the word tract. Now with this word tract we find an  “area,” mid-15c., “period or lapse of time,” from Latin tractus “track, course, space, duration,” lit, “a drawing out or pulling,” from stem of trahere “to pull, draw,” from Proto Indo European the root *tragh- “to draw, drag, move”  The meaning “stretch of land or water” is first recorded 1550s. Specific U.S. sense of “plot of land for development” is recorded from 1912; tract housing attested from 1953.

From the above, you can see the evolution of the word treatise implies more than a simple definition. For our purposes, many of these word origins will figure in our use of treatise, particularly the notions of “drawing out, pulling, curing, healing, manage with regard to health, and remedy.”

With this background in mind, we shall proceed, in this treatise, to offer a view of a process rather than a simple set of definitions or word origins. However, we may find help in the several usages and origins of the word in revealing our primary intentions in the formation of the Spiritual Civil Liberties Union. Each of the words in our title will be examined in order to reveal, at this point, some of our intentions and what we may expect from our participation in this union. This will attempt to answer the question of why a Spiritual Civil Liberties Union (SCLU) and how we may enter into its process in the radical reality of experiencing or simply living.


*Still editing this, not the final intro.  

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