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|Education in the New Age - Chapter I - Theory, Methods and Goals|
|Theory, Methods and Goals
All that I have to say here is still in the nature of introductory remarks. Please bear this in mind. I am anxious however, to lay a sound foundation for our future discussions on the building of the antahkarana, so that we can work intelligently, but not critically. It is essential that as we start our work it should be based on that which is today in existence. Nature works without any gaps, and this is so even when (from the standpoint of academic science) there is an apparent hiatus between facts and known species. In transitional periods some of the bridging forms have disappeared and the gap appears to be there. But it is not so in fact. We have not yet discovered all that is to be found in the world of phenomenal appearances. We are passing through one of the great natural transitional periods at this time. We are laying the foundation for the emergence of a new species of human being - a more highly evolved unit within the human family - hence much of our problem, and much of the present failure to meet the demands  of the race, and to measure up to human need for development.
We have, in the world, a general theory as to education, and certain basic methods are universally employed. Countries vary greatly in the application of methods, and systems differ very considerably. All, however, teach these same fundamental things; they teach the youth of the country to read and write and to attain a fair measure of ability to deal with figures through instruction in elementary arithmetic. These three are curiously symbolic of the whole evolutionary unfoldment of the race.
Reading has to do with the clothing of ideas with form and is related to the first step in the creative process, wherein Deity, governed and impelled by an idea (embodying God's purpose and plan), converted that idea into the desired substance and clothed it with the needed outer appearance. Writing symbolizes the method whereby the process is carried on, but it is of course far more personal in its implications. Reading is concerned essentially with the realization of a clothed idea of some kind, whereas writing is, curiously enough, concerned with the individual's conscious self-relation to ideas, and his use of words in writing is the measure of the grasp he may have of these universal ideas. Arithmetic (and the power to add, to subtract, and to multiply) is related also to the creative process and concerns the production of those forms upon the physical plane which will adequately produce the idea and bring it to manifestation.
Vision might be regarded as concerning itself with the higher levels of the mental plane, whereon the idea is sensed and seen. Writing has a more definite relation to the concrete levels of the mental plane and to the ability of the man to bring through and express these visioned ideas in his own particular form. Arithmetic has a definite relation to subsequent aspects of the process and to the emergence of the idea into some correlated form upon the  physical plane. The visioning of the thought-form is a process which must be succeeded by the appropriation of as much energy by the idea as is needed to make it effective or "apparent" (esoterically speaking). Of this the symbolism of arithmetic is the expression.
From another angle, man reads his destiny in the heavens and writes out that destiny in his life upon the earth; he reduces, knowingly or unknowingly, the idea of his soul to due and proper form, so that each life adds, subtracts and multiplies, until the sum of each soul's experiencing is complete. Thus, symbolically, the three basic ideas are held in elementary education, though their true meaning is divorced from reality and the right significance is entirely lost. All that we have, however, emerging slowly and definitely through the medium of world education, is built upon this unrealized scaffolding. The fundamental necessity which today confronts the educational world is the need to relate the process of unfolding the human mentality to the world of meaning, and not to the world of objective phenomena. Until the aim of education is to orient a man to this inner world of realities, we shall have the misplaced emphasis of the present time. Until we can arrive in our educational objectives at the bridging of the gap between the three lower aspects of man and the soul (a bridging which must take place upon the mental levels of consciousness), we shall make but little progress in right directions and all interim activity will be inadequate to the modern need. Until the fact of the higher mind is recognized, and the place which the lower concrete mind should fill as the servant of the higher is likewise recognized, we shall have the over-development of the concrete materializing faculty - with its aptitude to memorize, to correlate facts and to produce that which will meet man's lower desire - but we shall not have a humanity which can truly think. As yet, the mind reflects the lower desire nature and does not attempt to cognize the higher. 
When the right method of training is instituted, the mind will be developed into a reflector or agent of the soul and so sensitized to the world of true values that the lower nature - emotional, mental and physical or vital - will become simply the automatic servant of the soul. The soul will then function on earth through the medium of the mind, thereby controlling its instrument, the lower mind.
Yet at the same time, the mind will remain the recorder and reflector of all information coming to it from the world of the senses, from the emotional body, and will register also the thoughts and the ideas current in its environment.
At present, it is alas true, the trained mind is regarded as the highest expression of which humanity is capable; it is viewed entirely as a personality, and the possibility of there being something which can use the mind, as the mind in its turn uses the physical brain, is overlooked.
One of the things which we shall seek to do in our studies together is to grasp the relation of the world of meaning to the world of expression; we shall attempt to study the technique whereby this world of quality (which expresses itself through the world of meaning) can be entered and understood by the integrated consciousness of the intelligent human being.
Certain words will recur again and again as we work and study together; such words as meaning, quality, value - all of which stand revealed in their vital spiritual significance when man learns to grasp the fact of the higher realities and bridges the gap between his higher and his lower consciousness. The significance also of creative activity and the right understanding of what we call genius will likewise be made clearer, and in this way creative work will no longer be regarded as unique and manifesting sporadically as is now the case but will become the subject of trained attention, and so assume its normal place in man's unfoldment. It might be added here that creative activity in the field of art becomes possible when the first aspect of  the bridging energy of man can function and the soul (manifesting its third or lowest aspect) can begin to work. Creative work can be carried forward when two of the "knowledge petals" of the egoic lotus are unfolded. The man can produce, through knowledge and creative energy, something upon the physical plane which will be expressive of the soul's creative power. When two of the "love petals" are also unfolded, then a genius makes his appearance. This is a technical piece of information for those students who are studying the science of the Ageless Wisdom, but it is of no value to those who do not recognize symbology, or the fact of the higher ego or soul.
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