Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 231
May 7, 1975
NEW AGE EDUCATION
Greetings, my dearest friends, blessed be every one of you here. We are assembled to create truth and light. Tonight's lecture will deal with education in the New Age, the age that is coming, that is pushing into the resistant matter of the old. The old, stagnant age does not want to yield easily, yet it must. The new age will create human beings of the highest caliber in every respect. Many incarnated spirits are ready for a completely new approach to life -- the approach you are learning as you delve into the depths of your inner being on this path.
As a fundamental prerequisite, education in the coming age has to make room for the understanding of the principles you are learning on this path, and also of the levels of human consciousness and their interactions. As you perhaps begin to realize, this path can be taught to children, not only as theory but as practical experience.
Education must be a two-way street. First of all, it must bring out what exists within the higher self -- its uniqueness and limitless potential for creativity. Each incarnated individual has his or her unique contributions to make to the existing society. These potentialities need to be tapped, a channel for them created in full consciousness of the process. The complementing approach is learning from outside, without which such bringing out is hardly possible.
This twofold approach must be considered as a constantly alternating process. You cannot draw out what is within if there is no knowledge, no concept, no room allowed for the richness of the world that exists in the inner universe. If you do not make such a tuning-in process available, the channel for bringing out the inner potentials will remain untapped. But if you teach that there is another level of consciousness, little by little the child learns to discover the language of the divine reality within just as you do. The child will learn to listen, to perceive, and to bring out the inner level.
This does not mean, however, not to learn the fundamental knowledge that all children need to learn in the age just going by as well as in the new age. At present there is only room for the one, not for the other direction. An alternating approach is what really counts. You must not cultivate one at the expense of the other as people so often tend to do in many respects. Both are important.
If you approach children with this double purpose, a very different process of learning and education will unfold. The inner voice will be discerned when its laws are understood. The child needs to learn the laws and also the pitfalls of the lower self so that its voice can be distinguished. This teaching must become a substantial aspect of the child's curriculum. Then there will be a significant portion of learning about the inner being, on bringing out the higher self, on purification of the lower self. The child will learn how to distinguish one from the other and come to understand about the mask self. Education will prevent the formation of masks and start self-purification early. Such is the groundwork for all new age education.
Parents will not undertake the fundamental groundwork alone. There is no guarantee that all parents are sufficiently developed to possess this knowledge and able to handle this aspect of the child's education. Therefore it must also be part of the school curriculum, starting as early as kindergarten and continuing into college or university. Thus a large part of education will deal with the realization of the higher self as the fundamental road to learning.
Intellectual knowledge will then become secondary. It will not become less important, however. Once children understand the fundamentals about the inner being, intellectual knowledge can bear fruit. The intellect needs to be trained and used as one of the important tools. Without the intellect grasping and understanding these laws and processes the personality cannot even begin to approach the road into the inner self. If the mind does not know that an inner world to find and explore even exists, it can never recognize and remove the obstructions or recognize what is an aid.
Therefore, new age education is not only a question of emotional or spiritual education. It is truly a perception and an understanding of lawfulness. Just as there are laws of physics and chemistry and laws of mathematics, so are there laws of the inner world that humans need to learn and understand.
Let us examine other aspects of education in the age to come. You must cultivate the curiosity of the child to make learning intensely interesting and fascinating. Unfortunately, education as it is currently practiced smothers and discourages the child's innate curiosity. Children have millions of questions from their earliest age. You all know that. Usually parents and teachers become annoyed, bored and impatient. At best they give very insufficient answers that are hardly honest or that fail to take the questions and the questioner seriously.
It is extremely important to cultivate this curiosity. Once it is squashed, the learning process becomes a dull "must" that kills the spirit and the life of learning. Education can be intrinsically exciting, enjoyable and adventurous. Instead humans attach to it a mass image of boredom.
Parents should start to respect children and rejoice in their questions from the earliest phase. Do not try too hard, do not pretend to know more than you do. All you have to be is honest and interested. If you do not know an answer, say so. But also tell the child that school is the place to find the answers. Encourage the child to ask again, and perhaps make note of the questions. Parents can also make a concerted effort to find out meaningful and truthful answers and come back to the child with them. The spirit of the child reaches forth to explore the world in order to master it and fulfill a task in it. Without curiosity something dies. The longing to understand is very important. You can go to teachers or other people equipped to answer the child's questions. Make a real effort. Such questions may be pointers to the spirit's special inclinations and directions. Answer them again and again as the child grows older and can take in more.
Schools in the coming age will know that the spirit ventures out into the earth realm, that curiosity is the sign of the adventurousness which made the entity want to incarnate and fulfill a task. Approached in this way the material makes learning an exciting process instead of a dull, compulsory, boring difficulty that children would like to have over and done with. Learning will become something to look forward to. It will offer many keys and deeply desired answers to life. This is very important, my friends, for the parents who are here and for the teachers, even if you cannot as yet create a new school system with a new curriculum. Just knowing of these approaches and making room in your consciousness for them will give you a new awareness and create a new climate in your dealings with the growing human being.
Most of you still experience a difficulty in finding the fine balance between freedom and self-discipline. This applies equally to learning and education. The freedom to want to learn is important. There should be no whip behind it if at all possible. Adults who harbor an image that learning is a hardship, a boring and dull task, even if they do not say so, will affect the child in a similar way. An attitude that assumes that learning and homework is "the price to be paid" before pleasure can begin can guarantee a hatred of learning even in a child who is eager to learn.
The necessity of self-discipline is great. Without it nothing can be gained or accomplished in life on any level. Freedom and spontaneity on the one hand and self-discipline on the other are not mutually exclusive as most people believe. They are in fact mutually interactive, interconnected and interdependent. Since most adults suffer from the duality that freedom and self-discipline cancel each other out, they inevitably transfer it to the child, if not in words then in their attitude.
The wrong belief is that freedom means giving in to the line of least resistance, and thus becoming self-destructive. Or, conversely, that self-discipline means the dullness of laborious effort without reward. Most of you, my friends, begin to see how untrue this is. Such artificial divisions burden your soul substance, your inner consciousness, your entire life.
You have to free yourself of this misconception on your own path as either parents or teachers. True freedom, with all its joy and liberating self-expression can only exist to the degree that self-discipline exists also. You have to distinguish clearly between discipline that is chosen by the self and discipline that is imposed from the outside. Discipline imposed from the outside, if we are to discard tyranny, must exist only where self-discipline is lacking, where adults or children act destructively toward their environment or themselves. Children's self-destructive acts must be discouraged by their elders. This is hardly possible or desirable for adults, but we shall not go into this topic now.
The concept of freely chosen self-discipline, as opposed to necessary discipline imposed when the self-discipline is absent, can be made clear to children without any difficulty whatsoever. A child is very capable of understanding that the outer discipline is a structure that is "waiting in reserve" only. If the child does not respond to the freedom of learning, if he or she is not willing to understand the necessity of wanting it -- even if this means occasionally overcoming a resistance or the temptation to do what seems most pleasurable at the moment -- the outwardly imposed discipline is essential for the child as well as for the community.
Children who can learn to determine for themselves have learned a major lesson of life. Having learned self-determination and self-responsibility, having been guided into this understanding, they have gained a profound substance and foundation. If they can say, "Yes, I will do homework now and learn my daily lessons, even though I would rather go out and play, because I understand that studying will give me knowledge, strength, security, success later -- all the things that I find desirable -- and I choose so freely," they have learned the lesson of real freedom very early in life.
This is indeed possible. Guidance can be very explicitly and implicitly given for this aspect to grow in children so that they will freely choose self-discipline and no longer need to have discipline imposed from outside. External discipline can then be a structure in reserve to be used only when needed. Even in the new age there will be individuals who are not yet developed enough to understand what I am saying here and they will willfully act out in a destructive way -- children as well as adults.
The time will come -- not in your lifetime -- when outer laws will no longer exist, when human beings will be governed by the inner laws of the divine self and will know what is right for them. They will not kill, steal, harm or destroy, but it will not be fear of punishment that would hold them back.
No rigid rule will apply to everyone alike. Each person will be sufficiently united with his or her higher self. Conscience and integrity will be sufficiently strong so that people will freely do what is right, or necessary. People will not be obedient out of guilt and fear of disapproval, but will know "this is right for me," whether it conforms with others or not. They will also be free from rebellion against authority and secret desires to exploit others.
This fundamental understanding of self-discipline as a prerequisite for freedom will be part of the basic education. The time will soon come when children will freely choose self-discipline and do it joyfully because it is their choice. The whole inner climate of educating will be to foster knowledge that the soul of the little one truly thirsts for. Topics such as arithmetic, spelling and history, which some now find dull, will become interesting when taught with this new consciousness. The approach and the consciousness of those who teach is instrumental.
A child can understand that the creative, free-flowing process can only flourish when the groundwork is done and that choosing to do so freely is in itself a great satisfaction that replaces whatever tediousness may have existed. This approach will make inroads into the creativity of the soul of each child. New avenues will be consciously and deliberately created from within that will help the child's higher self express itself to everyone's immense joy.
Communication is of major importance. It takes place on two levels. One is the conscious level of expressed words and explanation, which is true teaching. The other is the level of awareness, feeling, and inner consciousness that may not necessarily be expressed in so many words. There is a great need for improvement in the educational system on both these levels.
As children want to hear, listen and learn when they ask questions, so they also want and need to be heard and listened to. Children need to express themselves but too often this self-expression is curtailed. Encouragement to communicate feelings and thoughts -- as well as being responded to -- are essential aspects of the personality's unfoldment.
This is equally important on the inner level. Children often perceive feelings and thoughts of others that are not openly expressed. Unless they are encouraged to take these perceptions seriously, they cannot learn two important lessons. One is that they are not fantasizing but really perceiving something. The second is that sometimes their own projections interfere with and distort the exact nature of what they perceive.
If this law of communication is taught early, children will understand them. What an enormous difference this will make in their lives, in dealing with themselves and others! They will neither discard their reactions nor take them blindly at face value. They will learn the process of investigation, of holding final determination in reserve, of probing, not only with teachers and parents, but with other children too. All of this will come from free self-expression of their impressions and a mutual exchange.
I would like to mention here a new phase in your development that signifies an interim stage, one that is very important for you to understand. As you become more aware of your lower self, of previously hidden levels of consciousness and attitudes that you never wanted to admit to yourself, you automatically become aware of the lower self -- the hidden material -- of others. As you can accept your lower self without being devastated and totally rejected, by holding your inner balance and knowing of your fundamental divine nature, so will your awareness of the lower self of others not devastate you, annihilate you or make you hate and judge them.
When you were still battling against part of yourself, whatever awareness you had of others' negativities filled you with anxiety and discomfort. It threatened you the way your own lower self threatened you. Your perceptions may have been only partially accurate. They were tinged with your projections and with your need to see others as imperfect to relieve your own conscience. In this new kind of perception the awareness is different. There is an inner calm and certainty. Now your perception is clear and clean. This creates an entirely different climate.
When you accept yourself totally and see yourself in truth -- both as the lower self and the higher self while the mask begins to dissolve -- you perceive the other person's lower self in a very different and new way. You are very free. You understand it without being upset. You see it with a clarity that does not create hate and fear in you.
In this state you can choose when and how to communicate your perceptions -- if that is appropriate and to the possible benefit to the other person and to the relationship -- and to take the risk of being resented. You may instead decide not to communicate your perceptions if that feels more appropriate. In this free perception the responsibility is truly given to the other person what to do with his or her negative attitudes and behavior, whether this is verbally expressed or not. This attitude of letting the other person take the responsibility develops on a very subtle but strong level of reality that is somehow always perceived. What I am saying here seems to deviate from the topic of education, but if you bear with me you will see that it is very much related to it.
As this stage is being achieved, it first manifests in a sort of interim experience. You come to a point when you already perceive the other person with more clarity, without a personal stake in what you see and therefore without personal involvement. You may already be able to choose to express or not to express your perceptions according to your intuitive inspirations. At this point a tremendous rage, anger and hostility is created in others by your very freedom in seeing their hidden material. They sense this even when you do not express your perceptions. The lower self is infuriated. The conscious personality may be completely unaware of what is taking place on the subliminal level and may create a rationale for the rage. At this point you may not understand at all why you are met with such virulent hatred. It is as though the other person cannot bear the clarity of your knowledge and wants to annihilate you and it. You have to go through this, for it is a learning stage which represents a doorway to yet another stage.
At this point you are no longer what you were. You see clearly without being personally upset and injured by what you see, without a stake in seeing it and without distortion. But your seeing creates intense rage and intense attacks on the part of those who are as yet defending the aspect you see and who have no intention of facing, admitting and changing it. This may even apply to unseen discarnate entities who are very deeply involved in their darkness and who are struggling for their supremacy. They want to use all the ammunition they can muster against the clarity of the light that streams forth from you. Only when you understand and build further will the light become so strong that these reactions cannot even graze you. Then the light will blind them and keep them away when they reach out with tentacles of hatred.
This principle is extremely important to understand for those of you who are penetrating the encrustation of the mask, dissolving it and transforming the lower self, for your relationship to the world becomes altered. You no longer function on the level of mutual pretense. Mutual projections and accusations are no longer needed to keep you from facing your lower self.
If children grow up with a clear understanding of these principles, it will give them an enormous protection. Without this understanding confusion, fear and vulnerability would create a new defense. The spiritual principles of the interaction of the inner levels is of utmost importance to comprehend for all growing human beings, whether they start on the path as adults or begin it in childhood in a new educational system. The new-age person will learn these basic principles of human interaction and of the existence of the various levels of the human soul. These principles are just as basic as language, mathematics, or any other topic, but are even more important.
This "life learning" -- this all-encompassing knowledge of life, self and the universe in which we live, move and create -- will constitute at least fifty percent of the curriculum. It will be the most fascinating study and will alter the approach to teaching all other topics. Other learning will then not only be easier but will have a new flavor so that the discipline necessary for it will in most instances be truly self-chosen.
New-age schools will be infiltrated energetically with a new consciousness and a new awareness that experiences school as the most exciting adventure imaginable. The classroom will be where life unfolds, where keys of understanding are handed to the child. Children will experience school as a privilege they look forward to, even though learning includes hard work and the relinquishing of some immediate pleasures. The child will rejoice in discovering all the things he or she always wanted to know, in finding out how things really work. This will be a thrill if those who create schools, educational systems and curricula participate in the new consciousness.
Cultivate this vision, my friends. Even if you cannot yet institute it completely, begin to institute it in your own consciousness. Then those who teach can little by little bring out what they have to give through their awareness of the vision. The time is not far away when you will create your own school, even though there may not be too many children to begin with.
It will come, an experiment that will reach out into the world and create a completely new approach to life. The visions we have shared of creating a new culture will also spread into the world and find increasing receptivity among those who are spiritually ready and thirsty for this approach. The new kind of politics, science, economics, sociology, art -- everything that is part of living in a civilized world -- will be infiltrated with this new approach, just as the healing arts and education will be.
Knowledge of inner reality that comes as a result of following one's own path must give people an entirely different outlook, approach and motivation in whatever they are doing. A politician who is grounded in these principles must necessarily develop a different approach to world government and political ideas than what the ordinary politician has now. Your current politicians come from the old-age school system and the consciousness behind it. Their approach is based mainly on appearance and on superficial, dualistic, ego-oriented ways. The same applies of course to every other area of life. The artist will create differently. The economist will solve problems from a different vantage point. Every area of work will embody the new consciousness.
Even you who have started this path as adults already have a very different approach to life and to its areas of activity in the human community. You can imagine that children who grow up in a system of education such as I describe here will affect the world in a very new way. Imagine how much more forcefully truth will flow from a very different area within each person. The laws of God, the laws of the divine world will pour forth into your world in a flowing, flexible, ever-changing way and create indeed a new world.
May this lecture be a foundation stone for another new building, in a spiritual sense and later even in a material sense. May it also help you in your innermost being to take in this new seed once again. Even though it is not immediately and directly applicable to you, it will help you personally in a different sense. When you see that the way you are going into your innermost self is the key to a new approach to life that has much farther-reaching evolutionary consequences than you may believe, you may perhaps also perceive that there is a vast plan behind your individual path that transcends the personal problems which may have been your initial motivation to come here, as far as your conscious awareness was concerned. It is now clear that your inner being knew more and had a vaster plan in mind. This awareness of the larger plan will bring light, encouragement and strength to you, wherever you are now on your path. You are all blessed, my very beloved dearest ones. Be in peace, be in joy, be in the beauty that unfolds itself forevermore in your life.
Edited by Judith and John Saly
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