Friday, August 26, 2011

Bring a sense of spirit to the Humanities part 4

Comenius advocated a comprehensive education taught in the vernacular.  He promoted the establishment of many more schools and universities.  He was asked to design the curriculum for the recently established Harvard College, but instead chose to organize Sweden’s educational system.  He pioneered the use of academic specialization but warned that if the spiritual focus were not emphasized, educational unity would be lost.  We have arrived at that point today. We know more and more about less and less.  Without any unifying principals with which to appreciate the value of Liberal Arts and to relate it to our lives, education is bereft of wisdom.

At the heart of any education for tomorrow are these seven basic principles:

bulletAn understanding of the importance of love in education, and the development of human relationships based on such an attitude.
bulletRecognition of the ever-changing ways we view ourselves and the world we live in – the evolution of individual human consciousness.
bulletAn appreciation of the growth of personal freedom as it has evolved in the Western Tradition.
bulletAn emphasis on the potential for self-development and self-transformation inherent in each individual.
bulletAn awareness of how each subject relates to the experience of  "I AM" as the balanced center of thinking, feeling and willing.
bulletA sense of integrating the whole as well as clearly distinguishing the parts of each subject.
bulletAn exploration of the creative and artistic elements in our lives and in civilization in addition to the factual and intellectual elements.
Before you begin to study in this manner, it is important to mention that certain positive mental and psychological attitudes are necessary.  These are as follows:

Moments of inner tranquility are required, that state of being where you are at peace with yourself.  A sincere student must learn to practice stepping aside from the turmoil of daily life with its incessant distractions.  These moments of inner tranquility should be taken as a starting point for self-education.  To some extent thoughtful contemplation and objectivity are possible only at these selected disciplined times.

It is essential that one learn to know one’s feeling and then be able to become dispassionate.  This putting aside of one’s likes and dislikes and seeking to examine what is, not what gratifies, leads to a state of objective awareness quite different from the familiar personal and subjective condition.

This conscious objectivity allows us to see things from different points of view and enables us to see some truth, purpose and meaning even in attitudes and behavior we otherwise might find totally abhorrent.  This ability does not make us lose our sense of judicious discrimination - on the contrary it enhances this sense and our understanding of the world.

By withholding and suspending judgement we keep our mind open to new discoveries.  As soon as we judge, we limit our curiosity and thought.

We are thus able to understand how often we have "thrown out the baby with the bathwater."  Disagreements, prejudice and criticism often lead us to miss crucial insights that can enrich our lives.
True open-mindedness and thoughtful objectivity leads to "learned ignorance" which overcomes intellectual arrogance and false pride.  The more we learn, the more we understand how much we do not know.  This inspirational approach to Liberal Arts will lead to "the Truth that sets us free."  This is the wonderful goal of educating yourself for tomorrow.


  1. This is a rather deep article, deeper than I thought you could into education.

    Although a student depicted in the way the author mentions is very unlikely, that's a lot of dedication. Not to mention half said students would be tied up by some of the big shiny words in this article =3