I have long argued that the thing that makes our public schools unfixable is the state mandated lack of spirituality and the fact that there are way too many people who express a demented glee over this state of affairs.
I believe that America's educational problems began in 1633 when the Roman Inquisition ordered Galileo to not speak the truth about Heliocentric theory. At that point, Science had no choice but to become a vociferous opponent of religion.
Science has since chased any mention of religion or spiritual matters completely out of the class room and off of school grounds. The irony is that this has been done in the name of religious tolerance. Yet, nobody seems to be very inclined to entertain the question where is the tolerance for those who believe that life has a purpose and meaning that could only be explained in a spiritual way.
The essential argument behind of the conflict between religion and scientific supported atheism is simply a question of whether life has purpose or not? And while secular education argues correctly that the school is not a good place to entertain sectarian or doctrinal dispute, the absence of any mention of spirituality as being worthy of study, although generally regarded as being the neutral stance, is in fact inherently biased toward non-belief, or worse toward the idea that life has no real purpose.
Yet science which fails to embrace mankind's spiritual needs, is little more than a map/dictionary of the material world. It's like knowing how to do complicated math equations but lacking the understanding which would allow you to apply those skills to the area where mankind needs them the most, the development of the inner being.
Sophocles wrote about the problem in the story of Oedipus. Oedipus ignorantly acts out his preordained fate by killing off his father and marrying his mother. His lack of knowledge about the true nature of the events signifies that he is trapped in a material world without any spiritual insight.
This lack of self knowledge brings about drought and destruction to the kingdom that he rules. After learning of the horrific nature of his deeds, he blinds himself by poking out his eyes and is thereafter forced to look inside himself and develop the insight needed to possess true wisdom.
Isn't this the very definition of psychology? Modern education only seeks to impart knowledge of how to measure, understand, take apart, put back together, and define the material world. But it also pretends that the spiritual needs of the human race are non-existent.
And Science, for all of its worldly knowledge, doesn't seem to be aware that there is no longer any need for antagonism against the spiritual aspects of man. There never really was when you consider that Church Triumphant was never really that much of a spiritual entity. The two claimants to man's full attention were always fighting over turf in the material world.
The knowledge imparted by Quantum Physics should have changed the game. Recent developments in genetic research should have changed the game. The advent of psychology, especially Jungian, should have changed the game. There should have been entreaties for peace negotiations. Yet, science still clings to Newtonian mechanics, the Church to its role as judge and jury, and both only offer up a bleak and gloomy Dickensian outlook toward life on Earth.
Could it be vanity? Or could it be that Science having wrested the Big Microphone out of the hands of the Pope, is reluctant to give up its claim to being the figurative voice of God?
The irony is that neither Science nor the temporal Church has ever been the true voice of God. The Church lost that internet connection when it started dressing up it's leaders in ermine and jewels, when it started begging for money like a homeless man on a LA street corner, and Science will continue searching the hidden corners of the universe in vain for a thousand years and never coming close to the truth that the voice of God is not being hidden in a laboratory experiment.
I found the following quote in the introduction to Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha. The person who wrote the introduction explains that Hesse was aware of this point. He explains about how Siddhartha, the seeker, tells Buddha that he is going his own way because the quest of enlightenment "must be original -- that is, brought up from deep within the individual, by the individual." The true voice of God is on the inside of us all, purpose and meaning can only come from within. This is the message that needs to be taught in all of our schools.
Psychology knows this and can couch the language in scientific terminology. Literature can explain it in the language of myth which still inhabits a sacred place deep in the bosom of the human race. The teaching of great Literature can do the job without resorting to arguments over which religious faith is better, or refuting the findings of science.
It is a pity that the Educational leadership of this country seems to be totally clueless on this issue and seek only to build fences and gate around their schools, not so much to protect their students, but to regiment and order their lives and to prevent them from having to deal with the sticky business of self knowledge.
The Church claiming to possess the voice of God within in its leadership ignores this reality too, and the Science that adds being the voice of God to it's long list of accomplishments while denying the existence of the "deep within" are both doomed to tilling soil that will produce bountiful material gain up until the waters of the subconscious are completely denied entry into this world. At which point, they will sit like Oedipus on their mountain tops hanging their heads in grief at the vision of the death, drought and destruction their ignorance and vanity has brought about.
In the meanwhile, our schools will continue to produce world class measurers, taker-a-parters, put-er-togetherers, definers, deniers and justifiers. They will produce people who can heal physical wounds and people who can argue law until they are blue in the face and then some. But they will also begin to produce more and more wealth gatherers, drug addicts, dilettantes, gossips, degenerates, zombies, and broken hearted savages who only want the world to pay for the emptiness and the pain they feel that never ceases.
At least, ermine clad Priests, the slick haired Evangelicals, the mad Scientists, and the Educational Administrators won't have to poke out their own eyes. They are already blind and have been for quite some time.
There is a very good reason that our anus is not located close to our brain. I'm not going to tell you what it is, in fact, I am not sure of the reason myself, but I'm also sure that most people would be able to think about it for a moment and come up with a serviceable reason for the assertion.
If you can't, then maybe you need to check out of this conversation and Google Ideas to Entertain Dumbasses and go from there. I don't mean to be cruel or anything, but you're the one who can't come up with a good reason why your anus is not located right next to your brain.
The reason why I started this essay with such an outlandish statement is twofold. First, to get the reader's attention. Which I did since you are reading this, and secondly, to point out the idea that are a lot of hidden and often ignored relationships between most things that exist in this world. I mean who ever thinks about the reason for the distance between the anus and the brain? Yet, that distance exists, and therefore there must be a reason why it exists. I think Descartes could have explained it in Latin, "Cogito, Ergo, Sum, Yo Booty."
In fact, I think that not ever thinking about this obscure relationship should be more suspect than thinking about it. At least, it certainly displays a remarkable lack of curiosity about your surroundings. What if you were living under a dictatorship that expressly forbade thinking up such things? Would that help create an unquenchable urge to know, say, any more so, than in a free society where anyone who can spell the word anus could Google the information even while sitting in the middle of a high school orchestral performance of Mozart's Magic Flute while munching on a maple bar and picking their nose?
Have you ever stood out in field with nothing around you for many miles and then notice while you are turning around that the horizon forms a perfect circle, and you inhabit the smack dab middle of the circle, then also notice that the sky forms a dome overhead, and the axis that runs through the middle of the planet up to and through the center of the dome passes directly through you? You haven't? Well, neither have I.
I just stole the idea from the full length The Simpsons Movie where Homer was able to enter into a similar dome by a hole on the very top center. I'm pretty sure the creators of The Simpsons stole the idea from Steven King's horror novel The Dome.
I liked both the movie and the book so much that I came up with argument which Cardinal Bellarmine should have used against Galileo when the great Italian scientist was defending the Heliocentric Theory. Evidently, it was quite a argument presented by Galileo. I heard he had to wipe the sweat off of his head a few times, but that might been because the Church had the power to barbecue his ass and legend has it that the Cardinal had an opened bottle of A-1 sauce on his desk.
Anyway, the story goes that Galileo put on a spirited defense of the theory. I've heard that both the creators of Matlock and Perry Mason used the event many, many years later as the inspiration for their highly successful television series both of which featured that annoying If My Bologna Had a First Name commercial. I mean who the fuck names their bologna? I always felt that the commercial was an allegory for the irrationality of the Church's position on geocentrism.
Back to the point, Galileo went on and on, laid out exhibit A after exhibit A, painted a picture, crossed all the Ts, showed all the fingerprints and blood samples, and connected the dots so thoroughly that a deaf dumb, blind guy in the rear of the room yelled, "Eureka!" But when Galileo was done and collapsed back into his chair, the Cardinal raised his hand, the one with the gold and diamond ring so big it could have passed for a Super Bowl ring, and whispered something in Latin to the translator at his side.
The translator came forward to the podium placed there for his pronouncement. There were no microphones in those days, so people around the podium were holding ear trumpets to their ears with one hand and feathers full of ink with the other.
The translator cleared his throat three distinct times then pronounced, "The Cardinal, he'a cry Bull Shit! He speaka for the Pope, anda the Popa he'a speaka for God, ergo, God cries Bull Shit!"
Needless to say, it was something of a letdown not only for Galileo but other scientists as well who were hoping that he would be able to talk some sense into the Pope and the Pope would then pass it on to God. Alas, it was not to be. Galileo left the room hanging on to his notes with both hands pausing only to knock over the A-1 sauce on the Cardinal's desk. Legend says, on his way out the door, he blew out all the candles out in the room and punched the Cardinal's pet groundhog in the mug causing not only the extension of the Late Middle Ages but six more weeks of winter as well.
We all know what happened next. The Church and the Scientific community divided the Western World between them and went to war like the Jets and the Sharks in The Westside Story only with less music and dancing.
One side would say, " God built the world in seven days!"
The other side would scream, "No, he didn't. We did; and it took 4 million years, by accident, motherfucker!"
Then the Scientists would puff up their chests and say, " E = MC squared! Take that you hillbilly, blood sucking, sheep herders!"
The Church would answer, "HA HA HA! God says that don't mean nothing! He said try creating a woman out of a rib, jackasses!"
And on and on it went for hundreds of years until we have come to a moment in a time where we can not even agree on gender issues or on the ramifications of aborting the unborn.
Now if the good Cardinal had said instead, "Go outside and stand in a wide open field; turn around, and see if you are not in the center of the circle created by the union of the earth and sky. Then look straight up and do you not see that you stand directly beneath the center of the domed sky?"
Galileo would have had to have answered in the affirmative, as he would have to the follow up question.
"Are you not a man?"
After answering yes, Galileo would've had to pause to think this over a bit, and that's when the Cardinal should have followed with,
"There is some common ground between our two positions. When you can explain this to your own satisfaction, come back, and we'll talk. And I'll pass the info back the Pope, and he'll pass it back to the Jefe and maybe then he'll be so proud of his children that he'll quit bragging about the seven day thing."
At the very least, it would have placed the ball firmly back into Science's court and instead of making a lethal enemy, the Church would have come across as an institution that challenged instead of proscribed thought.
Then maybe, just maybe, instead of warring over the centuries, they could have worked together in solving the question of why our anuses are located so far away from our brains, a mystery that has perplexed the human race since the very dawn of time.