Why do we send our kids to school? So they would become cultured? So they would have successful careers, make lots of money and earn people’s respect? In the end, we send them to school because we want them to be happy. It’s not as if we believe that school can really make people happy, but we think that without it, they will encounter even more hardships than life hands each of us anyhow.
What is the result? Very few are happy, the majority are struggling, and many don’t even finish. And worst of all, other than some learning habits and techniques, school gives no tools for life, no skills of human relations, no experience in cooperation, no understanding of human nature, and no idea about the world we live in or where it’s going. With a few exceptions, schools get an F in education.
Why does this happen? Because in order to succeed, we need to redefine education. We need to think of education as a process of adaptation to the laws of nature. Education should both teach the laws of nature and assist us in adapting to them.
When we are born, we are nothing more than little animals. In fact, we are more helpless than any animal. We have no instincts to guide us, we cannot find our mother’s nipples, and we cannot even urinate without making a mess. No animal is more helpless than man. But this helplessness is exactly where we can gain the most. By learning every aspect of our existence, from the most basic to the most exalted, we become conscious on a far deeper level than any animal. If we realize our potential, then the human being, which begins as the most inferior of creatures, ends as the most sublime. But only if we realize our potential. This is the purpose of education.
Education should teach us that nature is whole, complete, integral. It is an indivisible entity that appears to us as separate pieces only because we perceive ourselves as separate, and therefore perceive everything else as separate entities, as well. Education should help us see the world for the integral whole that it is, and feel ourselves as included in it. It is not intellectual knowledge that we need, it is a very palpable experience.
Because it is so vital for our lives, education is not for kids and adolescents; it’s for everyone. In fact, it is more for grownups than it is for children, since educated grownups can educate their children, while uneducated grownups might spoil the children’s education even if it is good.
Correct education is done in groups that work on their unity until they become one whole. This develops in them the integral perception and allows them to perceive reality as integral, as well.
Without understanding and experiencing this wholeness, we will not know how to deal with the global crises we are experiencing at an increasing frequency and severity. Without grasping that we are whole and therefore mutually responsible for one another, we will not survive the integral reality that is encroaching on us.
Today, an educated person is not one who is well mannered; it is one who is internally connected to humanity, to earth, to everything. This is the only education that will carry us through the crises, and the only education that will make us happy.
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