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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Two - The Purpose of Education
In the West the emphasis is entirely reversed. The subjective is ignored and regarded as hypothetical, and the premises upon which our culture is based are as follows: First, there is an entity, called the human being, who possesses a mind, a set of emotions and a response apparatus through which he is [43] brought into contact with his environment. Second, according to the caliber of his apparatus and the condition of his mind, plus the nature of his environing circumstances, so will be his character and disposition. The goal of the educational process, applied wholesale and indiscriminately, is to make him physically fit, mentally alert, to provide a trained memory, controlled reactions, and a character which makes him a social asset and a contributing factor in the body economic. His mind is regarded as a storehouse for imparted facts and the training given every child is intended to make him a useful member of society, self-supporting and decent. The product of these premises is the reverse of the Oriental. We have no specific culture of a kind to produce such world figures as Asia has produced, but we have evolved a mass system of education, and we have developed groups of thinkers. Hence, our universities, colleges and public and private schools. These set their mark upon tens of thousands of men, standardizing them and training them so that we turn out a human product, possessing a certain uniform knowledge, a certain stereotyped store of facts and a smattering of information. This means that there is no such deplorable ignorance as we find in the East, but a fairly high level of general knowledge. It has produced what we call civilization, with its wealth of books, and its many sciences. It has produced the scientific investigation of man, and (on the crest of the wave of human evolution) the great Groups in contradistinction to the great Individuals. [44] The contrasts might be crudely summed up as follows:
West East
   
Groups Individuals
Books Bibles
Knowledge Wisdom
Objective Civilization Subjective Culture
Mechanical Development Mystical Development
Standardization Uniqueness
Mass Education Specialized Training
Science Religion
Memory Training Meditation
Investigation Reflection
Yet the cause is basically one - a method of education. Both are also fundamentally right, yet both are needed to supplement and complement each other. The education of the masses of the Orient will lead to the rectifying of their physical plane problems which call aloud for solution. A wide general system of education reaching down among the illiterate masses of the people in Asia is the outstanding need. The culturing of the individual in the West, and the grafting upon his body of imposed knowledge, of a technique of Soul Culture, as it has come to us from the Orient, will lift and salvage our civilization which is so fast breaking down. The East needs knowledge and the imparting of information. The West needs wisdom and the technique of meditation.

This scientific and cultural system, when applied to our highly educated human beings, will produce [45] that bridging body of men, who will unify the achievements of the two hemispheres and link the subjective and objective realms. They will act as the pioneers of the New Age, when men will be practical men of affairs with their feet firmly planted on earth and yet, at the same time, be mystics and seers, living also in the world of spirit and carrying inspiration and illumination with them into the life of every day.

For the bringing about of these conditions and the production of that great group of practical mystics who will eventually save the world, two things are needed: - trained minds with wide general knowledge as a foundation (and this our western system can give), plus a spiritual awareness of the indwelling divinity, the soul, to be achieved through the eastern system of scientific meditation. Our greatest need in the West lies in our failure to recognize the Soul and the faculty of the intuition which in its turn leads to illumination. The late Professor Luzzatti, Prime Minister of Italy, in the Preface to his most valuable and scholarly book "God and Freedom" says:

"It is everywhere noticed that the growth of the empire of man over himself does not keep step with the growth of the empire of man over nature."
- Luzzatti, Luigi, God and Freedom.

It is essential that the western world should perfect its educational systems in such a way as to bring about this conquest of the empire of ourselves. [49]

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