Education is a subject that is vast and complex. To be able to speak about education we need to create a context in which this conversation can take place. It’s important to speak about what we’ve experienced and how it influenced us before being able to look at how education can allow for the maximum development of our intelligence, abilities, understanding and wisdom. It is neither pleasant nor inspiring to speak about the current educational system. But it is necessary to create the context in which we can explore this subject. We shall then look at the more beautiful and pleasant aspects of education based on the real nature of human beings and wisdom.
The goal of the current educational system is not the development of the child, but indeed to format the children so that they can integrate into this technocratic civilization that is now worldwide, that I call “the system”. A child naturally needs to run, to play, to discover new insects and animals, to exert in a hundred different ways, to see new places, new people and to be in new situations to discover what life is all about. In schools we force the children to sit during long hours behind a desk, away from his family, amongst strangers, studying subjects that they find boring most of the time. They are far away from the realities of the natural world where true learning can happen. The children in modern schools are studying the values of a system that is destroying the world and have to accept these values if they are to succeed their grades.
This situation if we look at it clearly leads to the question; why? The system does not want to teach the child to reflect and understand reality. The system is built on artificial values. It is thus necessary to plunge the child into an artificial world so that he may come to finds this normal and become used to living in an artificial system. In that way they will later become a part of this said system. If the children have time to reflect and understand reality, to really comprehend the unchanging eternal truths of the natural world, they would never agree to submit to tiring work for the best years of their lives, to give their sweat, tears and blood to feed a system that destroys nature and the environment. No, a being who knows reality, truth, is a free being and will always be set against a way of life which destroys nature and enslaves human beings. Working in the system binds you to pay taxes and perform many acts of submission to the regulations of government. Taxes are not only illegal, they are a form of slavery. The laws and regulations of the system are not based on reality but on managing populations so they conform. Take time to think about this, to really look at it with discernment and insight, if you are capable of this form of inner research, and you will reach the same conclusions.
The current educational system is based on fear. Even the parents, as they have been through the same grinder, use fear to educate their children. Fear uses the carrot and the stick, reward and punishment, to educate. Just this morning for example I saw a mother saying to her daughter: “I will count to 10” as she waited for her to obey the orders which she had received. Threat, authority, punishment and reward are the tools used by an educational system based on fear. The problem with this approach it that it does not develop the children’s ability to see for themselves what is right or wrong. They do not learn to reflect on life to find answers from within. It teaches them that they must comply without thinking to arbitrary values imposed by an outer authority. It negates the pristine wisdom within that we have all been born with.
From the on start, the first year of school, a child undergoes exams. In spite of the fact that every child is different, unique, has their obvious differences from the other children, the exam is the same for all of them. This artificial and extremely harmful conditioning delivers the message that the child is not important for what he or she is, but for what he or she does, that is complying with the educational system. The reward is good grades, punishment are bad grades and the subsequent disapproval of the parents. This is the worst punishment there is. The parent’s disapproval is their withholding love and siding with the system. That makes this formatting, programming and conditioning the child a very degrading experience, negating one’s inherent wisdom and liberty to be all that they can be. After spending years within the educational system the child becomes a bio robot ready to serve without thinking this artificial system which destroys nature and the divine capacities of a true human being. These techniques continue throughout life. Grown-ups are subjected to the same dynamics: if we succeed and follow the edicts of the system we’ll make money and gain the acceptance of our circle of acquaintances; otherwise, poverty, opprobrium and rejection awaits us. If we violate the laws and the regulations of the system, even if they are not just or logical we shall be punished: fines, prison, opprobrium. To have worked in the prison system as a spiritual councilor for Native Americans imprisoned in a maximum security establishment I can assure you that these techniques do not work. Prisons are crammed and people in these institutions become better criminals. All prison guards will readily tell you: when released a majority of these people come back to prison life. Some of them have never experienced anything else! Current society worldwide is filled with dissatisfied people, who are often dependent on their consumptions of drugs, alcohol, sterile entertainment, sex, gambling, and unhealthy foods to feel for just a moment the euphoria that has replaced the pristine joy, love and peace of one how knows their profound nature and innate wisdom within the formidable intelligence of nature.
A grave problem with this approach based on fear is that it teaches a person to rely on outer authority rather than inner wisdom. Current laws and regulations are artificial and are arbitrarily established often without any real logic. Reward and punishment always come from an outer authority. Thus, the info that the young receive is that as long as they don’t get caught, that there is no outside acknowledgement of their misdeeds, then nothing is wrong, since there is no punishment. That’s a great problem with relying on an outer authority rather than on inner wisdom and discernment. “If I am not caught then there is no problem; as long as nobody sees me I can take what I want “! Thus the educational system is really conducive to establishing a criminal mind! Reward obtained by violence is validated, as we too often see in the taxing by the stronger bullies on the weakest in our current schools! And this of course leads to the innumerable ways humans prey on other humans, from criminals in the streets to corporate multinationals destroying people’s environment for profit. Rather than bringing the child to determine from within what is right and what is not, we have established strategies of reward and punishment. This does not work. Man educated in this way thinks only of reward and avoiding punishment, thus truth, justice, health, real love, harmony with nature, these values have no place in this artificial life style. We have a society which serves the most fortunate, where injustice, crime, corruption and lies multiply, where destruction of the ecology for the profit of companies and government is validated, where wars which serve the interests of a small minority of very powerful people proliferate and where disrespect and racism is dished out to all those who are different.
A real educational system will recognize the innate wisdom that is the inheritance of all men. There is a proverb which says: “truth comes out of the mouth of children “. This is the understanding that the child is a whole being and that he is purer and closer to the source than the adult. The wise men of former eras did not teach the children, they asked them questions to verify their own internal purity. The question served as a point of departure to accelerate the child’s thinking who discovered the answers by himself. In this way he not only learnt the essential truths of life, but also how to find them. Here the educational method teaches from within rather than from without. In those days there were no need for police or prisons, all respected life and those living. Research all native and aboriginal customs and traditions of those who live close to nature and you will see that none of them have ever needed police or prisons.
TODAY WE NEED TO GIVE THE SCHOOLS BACK TO THE CHILDREN! The attitude from a teacher that solicits the maximum response from the child is when the professor accompanies the child in his discoveries in a non-directive way. We need not try to teach him or her anything. Children are naturally curious and want to learn! If they study something they want to learn they will learn faster and without needing any encouragement. Also true education has to show the child how to think, how to discover the truth, how to verify and validate what he discovers. If you hand him all the answers he won’t learn to do that. Just remembering data is good for machines. We are not computers; we are human beings, the highest intelligence of this earth although we are not as a whole acting that way right now. Children can learn a lot more, better and faster if they walk the whole road to discovery rather than giving them heaps of figures and facts to remember as in the current school system.
I’ll give you a few real life examples to illustrate this. How many parents work rather intensely to show their very young children how to be clean, that is how to go by themselves without diapers? The problem here is that they approach the child as an underdeveloped being. Naturally, their thoughts are reflected by the child’s will to automatically respond with love to the thoughts of his or her parents by taking many days to master this skill. Some will take days, weeks, even years to get it right. If we have another attitude, considering the child as a divine being with all knowledge and wisdom already contained within, we will have a radically different approach. I taught my daughter in a single night, and it took me approximately 5 minutes of my time. As I was putting my daughter to sleep I asked her “would you like to sleep without diapers» “yes” she answered me with interest in her eyes. “Ok” I said, “tonight, you can sleep without diapers. All you need to do if you need to pee is get up and go to the toilet”. At around 2 am, I got up, I brought her to the toilet so that she could realize in her body how it happens and feels. She peed, I brought her back to bed and went back to sleep. She never needed diapers from that day on. She never went in her bed. All in all I spent about 5 minutes in helping her discover this simple skill.
In Russia, at Tekos, there is a school that is managed by the children. They have built all the different buildings that are of stunning beauty. Its children themselves who write the textbooks and manuals for most of the courses they have. They decide together, with the professors who accompany them in the process, what subjects they will study. Some children who like studying will offer to prepare the manuals. Those who enjoy studying, 4 or 5 out of a few hundred children will gather together during the following days to gather from their teachers all the information they can. They will then go on Internet and look into the books that have been written on the subject. In the current documented DVD from which we have gathered this info (available on the web) this subject was biology. Once they had clearly understood and gathered all the appropriate info they wrote the textbooks and manuals that were used to teach the other children. While they were doing this the other children were very busy building new premises, cleaning and maintaining the existing buildings, working in the gardens, in the kitchen, practicing all kinds of sporting activities, Russian martial arts, enjoying nature, traditional dances, songs and music. When the children who enjoy studying had completed writing the textbooks, the whole school from the first to the eleventh grade began learning the material they had put together. In the following weeks all the children of all levels acquired the mastery, that is, the knowledge and understanding of 11 years in biology! 11 years of biology mastered in 3 months by all children of all levels. Not bad! Compared to current schools using punishment and reward, that is graded exams, these accomplishments are spectacular, yet logical. Who are better equipped to teach other children that the children themselves! In the documentary from this school in Tekos that shows how these children learnt in 3 months 11 years of biology, there is a striking testimony by a 25-year-old professor who had never truly understood an element of the biology classes he attended in a Russian university. A 9-year-old enthusiastically conveyed understanding of said element.
The adult, a university graduate, finally understood, as conveyed by a nine year old, something that he had studied but never understood. When the children of this school come to the conclusion of their time there, they will have mastered numerous building techniques, gardening, singing, dancing, how to clean and maintain living spaces, they will be accomplished athletes, will have learnt how to reflect and find by themselves the answers to any question that interest them, besides having the knowledge and the understanding of all the subjects of the current educational system’s curriculum.
The children who will have access to such schools will have the wisdom to solve the dreadful predicament in which we are today. We need to consider every child as a whole splendid being, with the wisdom and the light of the world within. They are the gods and goddesses of the new world. Offering them respect, consideration, giving them the time to think, to reflect, to reach the truth by themselves and to acquire the knowledge they aspire to learn will be constituent elements of their psychology and a very efficacious educational system. This knowledge will free them from the bondage of millennium of conditionings and programming so they may implement hope, truth, health, happiness and peace to the world.
You should never hide anything from the children. Let’s give them an environment where they are actors and decision makers of their own lives, where they have their word to say on the way the school is managed and the way education is passed on. We will thus have their wisdom with us rather than resisting the process because they don’t feel respected or honored. They want to learn and can contribute to all aspects of school life.
Something I found really disturbing in the primary school that my daughter went to was the mediocre quality of the air and light and the dust in the corridors and premises. Not worse than any of the other public schools in Quebec, but as a healer who knows how the environment influences one’s health it was just not enough. I spoke about it with the director, but the budgets would not allow installing the equipment that would improve the quality of life of these children. This is the hallmark of a system that is not interested by the children’s development but indeed by making them just another cog of its mechanics.
Thus, we do need to reflect on what a school really interested in a child’s development would look like and what are the abilities needed to really help the children learn and grow. What are tools indispensable to the realization of these new schools and how can we promote their creation?
It’s important that we understand that there is no system or method needed other than the children themselves. It is what makes the beauty and extraordinary success of the school at Tekos. The whole curriculum is decided with the children. It’s just common sense that it’s impossible to find a system or method that adjust to the incredible variety of all human beings. We are all different in so many ways. Creating educational systems or methods is indicative of trying to format all human beings to the same standards. There is for every child a unique method that needs to be recreated every day, since the needs of a child change as they learn, develop and grow. Nevertheless there are tools indispensable to the realization of such schools that will truly develop the maximum potential of all who attend. These tools can be found in the philosophy Native people call The Circle of Life. This philosophy teaches a way to communicate that is common to all autochthonous peoples. It’s what establishes their method of government, healing and decision-making. It’s the same one used by the original Védrus of Russia whose wisdom created the school at Tekos. I have written about this in my book the Circle of All our Relations (not yet translated into English). Many people know the essence of this ancient tradition which is to speak in a circle and to give every person a time to speak. When that person is speaking none have the right to interrupt, on the contrary they must apply what is called active listening. In the school at Tekos, every evening, all assemble teachers, administration and children and they talk, all as equals. They speak of their day, what worked, what didn’t, what they would like to do the following day, problems, solutions, etc. All are entitled to express themselves. All decisions are taken in consensus. What is required for such an assembly to function properly it is the energy of a high level focalizer.
In this specific instance we find the director of the school at Tekos the Russian genius Mikhail Shetinin. If there are not more of these incredible schools it’s because wise men like Shetinin are rare. Our system systematically destroys the abilities that lead to wisdom. The question was put to Mikhail Shetinin as to why he didn’t create more of these magnificent schools. The Tekos school has a waiting list of several thousand aspirants whereas the school can only serve 300 pupils. His answer was “a lack of qualified teachers”. We have not learnt how to listen respectfully, to direct without authority, to perceive the potential of an individual or a group and to channel that potential in a way that will allow its realization. We were formatted by the blind authority of a system so we do not understand many of the essential qualities this educational way requires. If we use parental authority in our relation with our children they will not develop the abilities required. I use a tone of authority with my daughter only very rarely and only when she comes back from school where authority is the rule. It may take a few minutes before she adjusts to the energy around me and during those few minutes it is sometimes necessary to speak to her firmly and to set clear boundaries. One of the characteristics of an authoritarian environment is disrespect for the individual, as they must be subservient to the rules and regulations of the system. All institutions of the current world system work in this way. I do not tolerate disrespect. But fortunately she is used to this and quickly comes back to a respectful tone of voice and attitude as she almost immediately harmonizes. In a few moments the need for authority disappears.
The main guidelines to create circle communication can be identified in four words: respect, active listening, non-directive contribution and consensus. This understood we are now ready to approach the other essential aspect of natural education that are educational events: intellectual and physical competitions, rituals and celebrations.
The child develops in a context of very complex interrelations that only the human mind can understand. No computer can work fast enough to contain the enormous quantity of information the human mind (that includes a lot more than just his brain) can process. The human mind through the five and other senses can absorb an incredible variety of data coming from very different sources. Man can make synthesis of a huge quantity of information in a single moment due in part to his emotional body. He then needs to compare his thoughts and discoveries to that of others to obtain validity and a confirmation of his research. This is what in the natural school replaces the exams of the technocratic school. The person or group of people who work on a research project will occasionally meet the whole community. This meeting is very significant in itself. It is not a question here of meeting only the school, but the community which includes very young children, the children of school age, the parents, relatives, friends, community members and elders. This interaction between generations is a mirror which reflects the multiple nuances of the approached subject and allows to refine and to validate the aptness and the integrity of research and conclusions of the students. The subject, the collected data and conclusions are thus explained to the community assembled in a small lecture hall, often outdoors in the summer, in a friendly and joyful atmosphere. Once the context in place the actors of this small community drama expose the conclusions at which they arrived. There is then a period of questions followed by a debate. This is when the thought process of the whole community is accelerated. This debate is very important and very educational. It allows the whole community to scrutinize the work of the young people and to reach new understandings, andor to refute and to question the conclusions exposed by the students. These students will have to defend their point of view. The dynamics of intellectual exchange which thus develops is very stimulating and very formative. It will accelerate the thought of the whole community and allows for the continuous education of all its members.
Then there are events with a cultural character, songs, music and dance, an evening of stories, myths and legends, theatre and sketches that are also very important in the development and the expression of the abilities and talents of the students. After the students then the older folks will share and in that way culture and folklore, traditions and art continue to flourish and nourish the rich cultural life of the community. These events build confidence and determine the students place in the community as all discover the rich talents that are developing in the younger generation and feed that talent with their own contributions.
Another very important learning experience are rites of passage. I have already discussed the importance of celebrating the seasons of one’s life. See Rites of Passage
Then there are cyclic celebrations. For example the time for sowing or harvesting, the change of seasons; equinoxes and solstices are moments when the community and sometimes several communities assemble together to celebrate and share. These powerful moments will be times to barter and share the produce from the gardens, various handicraft and expertise. It is often a time the wise men choose to pass on their wisdom and knowledge and where the young adults can meet each other to find the beloved and create a family. There are competitions, games, important community events, rites of passage, songs, dances, in brief very important and very precious moments in the life of natural communities. These events are essential for the development of the children. These celebrations have almost completely disappeared in the matrix of technocratic societies. All that remains are events of a commercial nature (sadly that’s what Christmas and Easter have become) or shows and festivals without any particular meaning other than entertainment.
How can we promote the creation of these new communities? The basis of the community is the family domain. See my article about them HERE. When 100 to 150 family domains have cultivated the same region they will create ecovillages and Eco hamlets which will have common installations. How to create these wonderful schools? Through our thoughts, words and actions. Thought is creative. People generally have no idea how powerful their thoughts are. Take time, regularly, to envision down to the smallest details the ideal school. Imagine your environment there, and take time to think about all that such a school needs to come true. Do not yet worry about the how, when and where. Begin by creating the ideal family gardens, community and school in your thoughts. When your imagery is complete, that is when every time you think of your vision it’s stable, then is the time to speak of it. It’s time to meet with relatives, friends, associations and other people interested in the same paradise. It’s time to take the appropriate steps to make it happen. These schools will be created! When, where and how belongs to all of us.
Peace, Joy and Love