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.