After a short bathroom break, the teachers begin to file back into the auditorium. There is steady buzz of conversation as they are seated. Once again, the speaker takes the stage.
"I told you before the break that I would start to connect the pieces and lead the argument back toward you and your classrooms. I still need to provide a bit more context before that happens; so please bear with me for a bit.
First, let me summarize a few things. I tried to make the point that the big problem in our educational system is the same problem that we humans have had since the beginning of time, and that is in determining what it is that we most need to learn and how we should go about learning it.
Many of you might think that we are doing a great job of this already, but the sad fact is that we are not. All the problems that exist in modern society are a testament to this. You might not understand it, but the fact that have so many basically unqualified people making millions of dollars telling us how and what to think is evidence of this. The fact that we pay actors, athletes, and musicians far more than we pay doctors, architects, and teachers is a testament to this. The fact that so many people nowadays go through their entire lives without ever thinking a serious thought is testament to this.
I explained this by asking you if you ever planned your day around the concept that we inhabit an infinite universe.
I went on to explain that for most of our existence on this planet, mankind has considered human consciousness, whether it was focused on the fundamental questions of our existence, or focused on picking up a few survival tips, as one and the same thing. Nowadays, consciousness has been divided into two different channels, the scientific outlook on life and the spiritual outlook on life, so our focus and efforts to make progress are also divided.
I left off right before explaining why this was important. In 1619, science realized that the Church was not going to allow the truth about Heliocentric theory to come out. The first scientists understood that discovering the truth was considered to be a matter of heresy. At the time, the Pope represented God's voice on earth.
So, essentially, science began as a revolt against God. Remember though that any person who obstructs the acquisition and the transmission of truth cannot actually be said to represent the voice of God. So there we were, in the ironic situation that the spiritual guides were defending a lie while the the upstart revolutionaries were fighting for truth.
Strangely enough, early scientists were usually men of great faith. Descartes, for example, wrote a book explaining why mankind needed to believe in God. Sir Isaac Newton was very spiritual but also understood early on that the ideas behind the deterministic model of physics he championed, or the view of the universe as one gigantic machine, would soon lead to the belief that all human endeavors are essentially meaningless. (Which it did with the emergence of Existentialism in the first half of the 19th century.) Newton spent his last three years of life trying to work his way around the consequences of his own theory.
Another thing going on was that those first thinkers of the Enlightenment, the very same people those gave us the secular thinking model we still use today, decided to shelf the great fundamental questions of existence, such as 'why do we exist' and 'how are we supposed to wrap our mind around the truth of living in an infinite universe' in favor of more bite sized pieces that would fit more easily under a microscope.
The great Swedish psychologist Carl Jung, writing in his explanation of Synchronicity, explained the inevitable results of a dependence on the scientific method that requires repetition in order to gain data, by saying that the questions asked of nature are so biased and limited that they can never reveal anything but partial truth. In other words, we have built modern society on a collection of partial truths, truth that could only ever lead us away from realizing the one great truth that must underlie all things.
Not only do we use these partial truths to explain our reality, we seem to have forgotten that the great fundamental questions even exist. Science has hidden these truths under the bed so long, we seem to have not only forgotten about them, but we have also been taught to regard them as unnecessary and no longer needed to justify our existence.
The Greeks had a word 'enantiodromia'. It refers to the idea that most things once brought into the light of the material world have a tendency to change into their opposite. The Medieval Church was certainly guilty of losing sight of its stated mission, and now science too appears guilty of defending its status and domain at the expense of truth.
You might ask how can I say this with certainty? That's easy. I can just point to those classrooms that are completely devoid of any kind spiritual content. I can point to curriculum that not only completely ignores the truth but also lacks any kind of real meaning. And I can point to an almost endless array of blathering administrators who blindly follow guidelines put in place by other blatherers who haven't a single clue as what our kids really need to be learning.
If you examine the drama of Christ's crucifixion from a mythological perspective, you will soon notice the role played by the two political power players willing to sacrifice the truth in order to maintain their positions of power. These politicians also managed to trick the general public into believing that it was their own choice to do so.
I ask you, how is this much different from the situation what we have in education today? It isn't.
I'll explain why next episode. I promise to get it into the classroom too.