September 2009

Education is consequently the science of linking up the integral parts of man, and also of linking him up in turn with his immediate environment, and then with the greater whole in which he has to play his part. Each aspect, regarded as a lower aspect, can ever be simply the expression of the next higher. In this phrase I have expressed a fundamental truth which embodies not only the objective, but also indicates the problem before all interested in education. This problem is to gauge rightly the centre or the focus of a man's attention and to note where the consciousness is primarily centered. Then he must be trained in such a way that a shift of that focus into a higher vehicle becomes possible. We can also express this idea in an equally true manner by saying that the vehicle which seems of paramount importance can become and should become of secondary importance as it becomes simply the instrument of that which is higher than itself. If the astral (emotional) body is the centre of the personality life, then the objective of the educational process imposed upon the subject will be to make the mind nature the dominating factor, and the astral body then becomes that which is impressed by, and is sensitive to, environing conditions, but is under the control of the mind. If the mind is the centre of personality attention, then the soul activity must be brought into fuller expression; and so on and on the work proceeds, progress being made from point to point until the top of the ladder has been reached.

It might be noted here that this entire exegesis of the mind and of the needed bridge building is but the practical demonstration of the truth of the occult aphorism that "before a man can tread the Path he must become that Path itself." The antahkarana is the Path symbolically. This is one of the paradoxes of the esoteric science. Step by step and stage by stage, we construct that Path just as the spider spins its thread. It is that "way back" which we evolve out of ourselves; it is that Way which we also find and tread.

Education in the New Age, pp. 6-7