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Problems of Humanity - Chapter II - The Problem of the Children of the World
Education in the hands of any church would spell disaster. It would feed the sectarian spirit, foster the conservative, reactionary attitudes so strongly endorsed, for instance, by the Catholic Church and the fundamentalists in the Protestant churches. It would train bigots, build barriers between man and man and eventually lead to a powerful and inevitable swing away from all religion on the part of those who would finally learn to think as they reach adult manhood. This is not an indictment of religion. It is an indictment of the past methods of the churches and of the old theologies which have failed to present Christ as He essentially is, which have worked for riches, prestige, and political power and which have striven with all available means to increase their membership and to imprison the free spirit in man. There are wise and good churchmen today who realize this and who are [35] steadfastly working for the new age approach to God, but they are relatively few in number. Nevertheless, they are waging war against theological crystallization and academic pronouncements. They will inevitably succeed and thus salvage the religious spirit.

Then let us endeavor to see what the goal of the new educational movement should be and what are the signposts on the way to that goal. Let us try to formulate a long range plan which will meet with no hindrance from the methods immediately employed, which will link the past and the future by using all that is true, beautiful and good (inherited from the past) but which will emphasize certain basic objectives which have hitherto been largely ignored. These newer techniques and methods must be developed gradually and will hasten the process of integrating the whole man.

There is no hope for the future world except in a humanity which accepts the fact of divinity, even whilst repudiating theology, which recognizes the presence of the living Christ, whilst rejecting man-made interpretations of Him and of His message, and which emphasizes the authority of the human soul.

The future which lies ahead is full of promise. Let us base our optimism upon humanity itself. Let us recognize the self-proven fact that there is a peculiar quality in every man, an innate, inherent characteristic to which one may give the name "mystical perception". This characteristic connotes an undying, though oft unrecognized, sense of divinity; it involves the constant possibility to vision and contact the soul and to grasp (with increasing aptitude) the nature of the universe. It enables the philosopher to appreciate the world of meaning and - through that perception - to touch Reality. It is, above all else, the power to love and to go out towards that which is other than the self. It confers the ability to grasp ideas. The history of mankind is [36] fundamentally the history of the growth of ideas, progressively realized and of man's determination to live by them; with this power goes the capacity to sense the unknown, to believe in the unproveable, to seek, search and demand the revelation of that which is hidden and undiscovered and which - century after century owing to this demanding spirit of investigation - is revealed. It is the power to recognize the beautiful, the true and the good and by means of the creative arts to prove their existence. It is this inherent, spiritual faculty which has produced all the great Sons of God, all truly spiritual people, all artists, scientists, humanitarians and philosophers and all who, with sacrifice, love their fellowmen.

Here lie the grounds for optimism and courage on the part of all true educators and here is the true incentive to all their efforts.

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