Education for an inner peace

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Mes questionnements

My questionings

“What is the true goal of a young man’s education ? It is to make him happy. Nothing is so sad that the fate of men in general. However, they find in themselves a devouring desire to become happy. Who made them feel they were born to be so? "
Jean Jacques Rousseau

School has been compulsory in France for more than a century and yet, what do we notice ? 20 century has been terrible for humankind with a sad record of two world wars, which brought dozens of thousands of deaths.

But young people were able to read, write and count; ethic and civic education were taught in schools of countries at war, along with many other subjects.

Not fussy, young men found themselves going to war. They let people at the frightening idea of fighting for their country for the glory of Nation, even though they may have to kill another man born on the same year a few kilometers away, or give their own life as a sacrifice.

These horrors are mostly based upon the concept of owning and defending its own piece of land, which thought of at the scale of our planet, makes little sense: Earth has a constant surface.

Love of your own self and of the other among these young soldiers, thoroughness, freedom of thought, should have led to some individual and collective conscience to these events in a more peaceful. This was not the case.

In fact, traditional education did not allow development of human intelligence. Conscience and ethic of human beings were not effective during these huge murders of humankind.

History shows that education and peace are not necessarily on the same side, that these two concepts can be opposite.

Questions and their accompanying problematic are risen :
- Which place and how much credit is given to human being since its very existence can be summarized as being flesh for war. Wouldn’t ultimate violence be simply formatting human beings as potential killers?
- What is the meaning of sacrificing human’s life to defend borders which were created from scratch by other human beings?
- How one can enable human to behave as a free and critical being?
- How one can enable a new-born, child, teenager or adult to progress with as few obstacles on his way as possible, to develop his creativity and help mechanisms underlying intelligence?
- How can we get rid of any prejudice?
- How do we learn? By why mean can we take into account the feelings of the learner?
- How can we include into the process of learning the differences between girls and boys, women and men?
- How can we help human being to live a happier and respectful life?
- How can we get access to observation and experimentation? How can we keep ourselves open-minded?
- How can we become an explorer of our own self and of our surrounding world?
- How can an academic teaching be respectful of everybody’s freedom, project and pace?
- How can we take into account the desire which is underlying the well-being of each individual?
- How do we learn life, love and happiness?

These simple questions lead to existential ones :
- Who am I?
- Why are we there?
- What world do we want and with which environment?
- What is the role of child and adults on our planet and in universe?
- What are the laws behind the nature of child, teenager and adult with a sexual life?
- What is the role of love in our lives?
- What are the very differences between men and women?
- What is (and by which means can one support) the development of human potential?
- What do we mean by human-being and humankind evolution?
- Which way shall we take to understand each other, to change, to build up a new spirit, toward an inner peace?
- Where do we learn to live and to love?
- What is the meaning of life?

Edgar Morin wrote:
“Our today is in search of direction. But the direction is not origin, it does not come from the outside of our beings. It emerges from the participation, fraternization, love. The direction of love and the direction of poetry, is the direction of the supreme quality of life. Love and poetry, when they are conceived like ends and means of life, give plenitude of direction to the “live in order to live”. Love Poetry Wisdom, p 11

Assuming that our human potential is the ultimate richness, why are so many people unemployed, without resources, nor dignity or identity?
A good deal of human skills are not used, or misused, and therefore lost. The common sense seems to indicate that human being has a cost, that it is a burden for society, whereas if all human beings could bring together their ideas and skills, and if these ones would not compete but complement each other, the world would be different… and the result of everybody’s contribution.

Power, competition, fear of the other, fear of people’s own self take place from birth to death.

Our world is governed by military powers, profit and property regardless human-being and its relation to the world.

Erich Fromm explains the dilemma on the choice humankind will make between two ways of life linked with its very survival. He wrote :
« As the society where we live is dedicated to property and profit, we only seldom see indications of the being mode of existence and the majority of people consider the mode to have like most natural, if not the only acceptable way to live.» To have or to be. A choice on which the future depends on man, p. 47

Up to now, violence (being it oral or physical) predominates in most social backgrounds, and especially in families where the child is forced to accept adults’ rules. Quite often, parents unconsciously apply a unilateral power, thereby reproducing what they experienced during their childhood. This is induced by their lack of knowledge of children’s psychology of development.
Whereas every job requires some training, that of parent with respect to education (which we all experience with our children or grand-children), which is the most beautiful and important job in the world, is often the result of “common sense”. This creates many obstacles and fears, culpability, misunderstanding, frustration.

This leads to symptoms and pathologies we all experience. For instance, people take drugs, commit suicides within our civilisations which are meant to be educated and developed.

And yet, people are not born with a suicidal self, they are led to it.
How many sufferings and difficulties people experience in their daily life!
Wouldn’t we all need some therapy?

Here is what the psychologist Alice Miller writes about this :
« The public opinion is far from having become aware that what happened to the children in the first years of their life inevitably reflected on the whole of society, and that psychosis, drug and criminality were coded manifestations of the experiments of early childhood.»

« For your own good » Roots of violence in the education of the child, p. 7 & 8

In her book, Alice Miller studies and analyses three cases of childhoods with mistreatments. Among these ones, that of Adolf Hitler, who was mistreated and humiliated in his daily life as a child. His father’s “education” can be summarised as a dictatorial authority based upon domination as a way of life. This study could enable one to apprehend the genesis of a destructive hatred which led to millions of victims.

At the beginning of the 21 century, this bitter observation should lead us as an emergency to look for new approaches unlike traditional education being it provided at school or at home, since living is learning.

These new approaches could be based upon a new way of seeing the world, the human being, a philosophy of life, another education helping in life and peace; taking into account the psychology, love and sexuality, differences between male and female, and of course researches in human sciences at international level…

More than a century ago, Maria Montessori wrote :
« All mankind forms only one body, but man continues to live in an emotional universe which is old-fashioned. Today mankind constitutes a single and indivisible whole, only one nation. This unique nation opened to the whole world and gathered all men. The wealth of the earth nation belong now to all men. […]. The true treasure of man, the raw material which promises to bring everything to man, is his intelligence, inexhaustible wealth. What we thus need, today, is an education which leads human beings to recognize their own greatness. […] Education is essential not to accelerate material progress but to save mankind and all our efforts must be centered on this goal: to help the inner man to develop himself and not to fight against the outside world. “

Are this questionings always up to date ?

Education for an inner peace |

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