A child on his first day of school is hardly a clean slate.
Education is not the same around the world, but it is similar in its common vision of humanity. By and large since the nineteenth century a western approach to education has conquered the world. This form of education has celebrated great triumphs, but has great shortcomings as well, and is seriously out of date. The system causes many to drop out, or fall ‘victim’ in some other way. The umpteenth revision of the educational system will not suffice, for a better world a total transformation is in order.
The great discontent with education, as witnessed, for instance, by the very popular YouTube film by professor Sir Ken Robinson (millions of viewers), in which he dismisses the present system of education humorously and to the point, and explains how creativity is destructed. Quoting Pablo Picasso he concludes: ‘Every child is born an artist, yet it is very hard to remain that during our upbringing.’ As they become adults, most children lose their artistry; as education, according to Robinson, is not aimed at the entire body, but predominantly at the head, and as such mostly at the left hemisphere of the brain.
Meanwhile we know that there are more types of intelligence (nine) than the predominant logical mathematical, and verbal linguistical. Intelligence in the fields of the visual and spatial, the musical and rhythmical, and the corporally kinaesthetic. Who knows what we will find along the road ahead. All these intelligences are of importance and necessary to sustain society. Why not spend the same amount of time at school on dance as on mathematics?
Emergence in the nineteenth century
The history and emergence of public education explains a lot: it was first developed in the nineteenth century to deal with the wishes and demands of industrialisation. Children had to be educated for work: so that later they could fill up the different functions needed by the workplaces that were created. To the present day this mentality is the keynote in education. Exceptions and nuances apart, pupils and especially students are prepared for work rather than for life. Children are stuffed to the brim with facts and numbers. The system of education has a left brain hemisphere approach, in which the school is a businesslike factory that processes pupils.
To the present day this mentality is the keynote in education. Exceptions and nuances apart, pupils and especially students are prepared for work rather than for life. Children are stuffed to the brim with facts and numbers. The system of education has a left brain hemisphere approach, in which the school is a businesslike factory that processes pupils.
In many cases, antagonism, competition and performance (kan weg inderdaad) pressure to succeed have ensured a detrimental form of education, in which fear plays a key part: fear of teachers and exams, and fear for other pupils. Strongly emphasising right and wrong, and suppressing their individuality, children are processed and ‘delivered’ with low self confidence. Standardisation leaves little room for children to develop their own selves.
Once again we face the same old question: Do we truly know what the meaning of life is? Would it not be essential to know that, before we teach our children how to live? Do we realize the nature of the spiritual development mankind is making? And do we still think that a child is born a clean slate? Or does it come carrying some inner luggage? The answer to the last question is not just essential to the upbringing of the parents, but to our vision on education as well. As is made perfectly clear by the new flock of children, who are ever harder to restrain by the straighjacketas some of them know and/or are capable of a great deal.
From the point of view of the new and broader way of thinking, we do indeed know more. When a child is born, it has already lived hundreds, if not thousands of lives. The consciousness of this child manifests itself in a new life. We are one of the many manifestations of consciousness. We are all ONE, as we undergo the same spiritual evolution. We have been everything before: man, woman, of any colour, any religion, murderer, victim, etcetera. We have all lived through so much. Add to this the unicity of everyone, every child is unique. Nobody is redundant, everybody needed.
From the vision of broader thought, as it was famously written by Kahlil Gibran:
Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They arise through you but not from you,
and though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls …
Children do not belong to you. As parent you may accompany them, so they can follow their unique path through life. Likewise in education. Benjamin Creme summarizes it beautifully when he says: ‘For me education is any activity that prepares a man, woman, or child for the full expression of their potential. In a certain stage of development we return to earth to further develop from previous lives onward. So we have a certain potential concerning the expression of the soul, intelligence and physical make-up, whatever that may bring to this life. Education is the preparation of a man, woman, or child for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual domains, to bring forth their potential in every life. True expression of a human soul can only occur when humanity is re-educated on the true nature of people as threefold realities – spirit, soul, and personality – and on the Law of Cause and Effect in relation to the Law of Reincarnation. This will shape our new systems.’
Pretty obvious why children are generally unmotivated. When you examine all that is nót addressed in a child! The intractable child may very well be the one who remains closest to itself, refusing to be indoctrinated. In any case, the present supply is the type of education which realizes children to lose their interest, seek distraction, and become unruly. Rightfully so, the World Health Organisation worries about the number of young people committing suicide.
We can apply this principle to juvenile delinquency as well. As a society we are guilty by affiliation, because we live in a society that in no way connects to the spirit of the time, or the idealistic wishes and extraordinary qualities of our children. Like in the case of terrorism: where the rich western world and the unequal distribution of wealth set the scene for a world in which the terror can be born. Society and its system of education are at the root of the disinterest and aggression of children.
Education is far too important to leave to technocrats with no idea what life is about. Nowadays the teacher is the plaything of political and corporate interests, whereas they ought to be the guardians of our civilization. Education is one of the most important pillars of society, assuring its health and vitality.
If you want to change the world, start with the teachers, as then you gain access to the children. Our children should be prepared for life, not for a job. In the new age the preparation for life shall become common ground in education, honouring humanity – and through it the child – as it should be: as a cosmic creature with a divine spark and untold qualities.