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CHAPTER TWO - THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION

CHAPTER TWO

THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION

"...education is undergoing important transformations. From a relatively external process of pouring in facts, it is increasingly becoming a process of evoking the deeper, generative possibilities that lie within the individual."

H. A. OVERSTREET

[21]

One of the many factors which have brought humanity to its present point of development has been the growth and perfecting of its educational methods and systems. At first this was in the hands of the organized religions, but now it is practically divorced from the control of the religious bodies, and lies in the hands of the state. In the past, education was largely colored by theology and its methods were dictated by the churchmen and the priests. Now the vast body of teachers are trained by the state; any religious bias is ignored on account of the many differentiated religious bodies, and the trend of the teaching is almost entirely materialistic and scientific. In the past, both in the East and in the West, we have had the education of the more highly evolved members of the human family. Today we have mass education. In approaching any understanding of the future and (we believe) higher education, these two facts must be borne in mind for it will be in a synthesis of these two methods — individual and mass education — religious and scientific — that the way out will be found.

Like everything else in this transitional period, our educational systems are in a state of flux and [22] of change. A general feeling that much has been done to raise the level of the human mind is everywhere to be found, coupled with a deep undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the results. We are questioning whether our educational systems are achieving the widest good. We appreciate the enormous advance that has been made during the past two hundred years, and yet we wonder whether we are, after all, getting as much out of life as should be possible to people with an adequate system of training. We are smugly satisfied with our growth in knowledge, our accumulation of information, and our control of the forces of nature, and yet we hold collegiate debates as to whether we have any true culture. We teach our children to memorize an enormous array of facts, and to assimilate a vast amount of widely diversified detail, and yet we question sometimes whether we are teaching them to live more satisfactorily. We use billions of dollars to build and endow universities and colleges and yet our most far-sighted educators are gravely concerned as to whether this organized education is really meeting the needs of the average citizen. It certainly seems to fail in its mission with the unusual child and with the gifted man or woman. Our mode of training our youth is standing decidedly before the bar of judgment. Only the future can settle whether some way out will not have to be found whereby the culture of the individual can proceed alongside the civilizing, through education, of the masses.

In an age of scientific achievement and of a synthesis [23] of thought in every department of human knowledge, one of our educators, Dr. Rufus M. Jones says:

"But, alas, none of these achievements makes us better men. There is no equation between bank accounts and goodness of heart. Knowledge is by no means the same thing as wisdom or nobility of spirit....The world has never seen before such an immense army of educators at work on the youth of the country, nor has there ever been before in the history of the world, such a generous outlay of money for education both lower and higher. The total effect, however, is disappointing, and misses the central point. Our institutions of learning produce some good scholars and give a body of scientific facts to a great number. But there is a pitiable failure in the main business of education which is, or should be, the formation of character, the culture of the spirit, the building of the soul." [xiii] 1

Old Mother Asia and Europe, up to the eighteenth century, trained and cultured the individual. An intensified training was given to the so-called upper classes, and to the man who showed a marked aptitude for spiritual culture. Under the Brahmanical system in the East, and in the monasteries in the West, a specialized culture was imparted to those who could profit by it, and rare individuals were produced, who, to this day, set their mark upon human thought. For this our modern Occidental world has substituted mass education. For the first time, men in their thousands are being taught to use their minds; they are beginning to assert their own individualities, [24] and to formulate their own ideas. The freedom of human thought, liberation from the control of theologies (religious or scientific) are the war cries of the present, and much has thereby been gained. The masses are beginning to do their own thinking. But it is largely mass thinking, and haphazard public opinion now moulds thought just as much as theologies formerly did. The pioneering individual has still as much difficulty in making himself felt in the present world of thought and of endeavor, as of old.

Perhaps in the turning of the great wheel of life, we are due again to revert to the ancient method of specialized training for the special individual-—a reversion which will not involve a discarding of mass education. In this way, we may ultimately unify the methods of the past and of the East with those of the present and of the West.

Before considering these two methods let us attempt to define education, to express to ourselves its goal and so clarify our ideas as to the objectives ahead of all our endeavor.

This is no easy thing to do. Viewed from its most uninteresting aspect, education can briefly be defined as the imparting of knowledge to a student, and usually to an unwilling student, who receives a mass of information that does not interest him in the least. A note of dryness and of aridity is struck; we feel that this presentation deals primarily with memory training, with the impartation of so-called facts, and with giving the student a little information [25] on a vast number of unrelated subjects. The literal meaning of the word, however, is "to lead out of," or "to draw out," and this is most instructive. The thought latent in this idea is that we should draw out the inherent instincts and potentialities of the child in order to lead him out of one state of consciousness into another and wider one. In this way we lead children, for instance, who are simply conscious of being alive, into a state of self-consciousness; they become aware of themselves and of their group relationships; they are taught to develop powers and capacities, especially through vocational training, in order that they may be economically independent, and thus self-supporting members of society. We exploit their instinct of self-preservation in order to lead them on along the path of knowledge. Could it be said that we begin with the utilization of their instinctive apparatus to lead them on to the way of the intellect? Perhaps this may be true, but I question whether, having brought them thus far we carry on the good work and teach them the real meaning of intellection as a training whereby the intuition is released. We teach them to utilize their instincts and intellect as part of the apparatus of self-preservation in the external world of human affairs, but the use of pure reason and the eventual control of the mind by the intuition in the work of self-preservation and of continuity of consciousness in the subjective and real worlds, is as yet but the privileged knowledge of a few pioneers.

[26]

If Professor H. Wildon Carr is right, in his definition of the intuition, then our educational methods do not tend to its development. He defines it as "the apprehension by the mind of reality directly as it is, and not under the form of a perception or a conception, nor as an idea or object of the reason, all of which by contrast are intellectual apprehension." [xiv]2

We rate the science of the mind or the modifications of the thinking principle (as the Hindu calls it) as strictly human, relegating man's instinctual reactions to qualities he shares in common with the animals. May it not be possible that the science of the intuition, the art of clear synthetic vision, may some day stand to the intellect as it, in its turn, stands to the instinctual faculty.

Dr. Dibblee of Oxford makes the following interesting comments upon instinct and intuition, which have their place here on account of our plea in this book for the recognition of an educational technique which would lead to the development of a faculty of a higher awareness. He says:

"...both instinct and intuition begin within the extra-conscious parts of ourselves, to speak in a local figure, and emerge equally unexpectedly into the light of every day consciousness....The impulses of instinct and the promptings of intuition are engendered in total secrecy. When they do appear, they are necessarily almost complete, and their advent into our consciousness is sudden." [xv]3

[27]

And he adds in another place that intuition lies on the other side of reason to instinct. We have, therefore, this interesting triplicity — instinct, intellect and intuition — with instinct lying below the threshold of consciousness, so to speak, with the intellect holding the first place in the recognition of man, as human, and with the intuition lying beyond both of them, and only occasionally making its presence felt in the sudden illuminations and apprehensions of truth which are the gift of our greatest thinkers.

Surely there must be something more to the educational process than just fitting a man to cope with external facts and with his arbitrary environment? Humanity must be led out and into a deeper and wider future and realization. It must be equipped to meet and handle whatever may come, so as to get the highest and the best results. Men's powers should be drawn out to their fullest constructive expression. There must be no standardized limit of achievement, the attainment of which will leave them complacent, self-satisfied and, therefore, static. They must always be led from lower to higher states of realization, and the faculty of awareness must be steadily expanded. Expansion and growth is the law of life and while the mass of men must be lifted by a system of education, fitted to bring the greatest good to the greatest number, the individual must be given his full heritage, and special culture provided which will foster and strengthen the finest and the best amongst us, for in their achievement lies the [28] promise of the New Age. The inferior and the backward must also have special training in order that they may come up to the high standard which the educators set. But it is of even greater importance that no man, with a special aptitude and equipment, should be held down to the dead level of the mass standard of the educated class.

It is right here that the difficulty of defining education becomes apparent, and the questions arise as to the real goal and the true objectives. Dr. Randall realizes this in an article he wrote, in which he says:

"I would like to recommend the defining of education as a possible exercise for private meditation. Let each one ask himself what he means by 'education'; and if he ponders the question deeply he will discover that in order to answer it he will have to probe down to the innermost meaning of life itself. Thinking earnestly about the meaning of education compels us to face the fundamental questions of life as we never have before....Is the goal of education knowledge? Assuredly yes, but knowledge for what? Is its goal power? Again yes, but power to what end? Is its goal social adjustment? The modern age replies emphatically, yes, but what kind of adjustment shall it be, and determined by what ideals? That education aims not at mere knowledge or mere power of any kind, but at knowledge and power put to right uses is clearly recognized by the most progressive educational thought, though not by the popular opinion of the day....

"The new education has for its great end, therefore, the training and development of the individual for social ends, that is, for the largest service to man....

"We commonly classify education under three heads — primary, secondary and higher. To these three I should like [29] to add a fourth, highest. The highest education is religion but it is also education." [xvi]4

It is interesting to note that the same ideas are expressed by Bhagavan Das at the First All-Asia Educational Conference. He says:

"The rules of Religion, i.e., of the larger Science, enable us...to discharge all these wider debts and duties. Religion has been described as the command or revelation of God. This only means, in other words, the laws of God's Nature, as revealed to us by the labours, intellectual, intuitional, inspirational, of the seers and scientists of all religions and all nations....We have heard of the three R's long enough. This fourth R, of genuine Religion, is more important than them all....But it has to be carefully discovered and thought out first. It behooves all sincere educators to help in this work by applying the scientific method of ascertaining agreements amidst differences." [xvii]5

Both East and West seem to feel that an educational system that does not eventually lead a man out of the world of human affairs into the wider consciousness of spiritual things has failed in its mission and will not measure up to the soaring demand of the human soul. A training that stops short with the intellect, and ignores the faculty to intuit truth which the best minds evidence, lacks much. If it leaves its students with closed and static minds, it has left them without the equipment to touch that intangible and finest "four-fifths of life" which Dr. Wiggam tells us, lies outside the realm of scientific [30] training altogether. [xviii]6 The door must be opened for those who can go beyond the academic training of the mind with relation to physical plane living.

The success of the future of the race is bound up with the success of those individuals who have the capacity to achieve greater, because more spiritual, things. These units of the human family must be discovered and encouraged to go on and to penetrate into the realm of the intangible. They must be cultured and trained and given an education which will be adapted to the highest and the best that is in them. Such an education requires a proper perception of individual growth and status, and a right understanding of what the next step in any given case should be. It requires insight, sympathy and understanding on the part of the teacher.

There is an increasing realization among educators of this need to lift the more advanced educational processes and so raise those subjected to their influence out of the realm of the purely analytical critical mind into that of pure reason and intuitive perception. Bertrand Russell points out that "Education should not aim at a passive awareness of dead facts but at an activity directed towards the world that our efforts are to create." But we must remember that creation posits an alive and functioning creator, acting with intention and utilizing the creative imagination. Could it be said that this is the effect of our modern educational systems? Is not the mind standardized and held down by our mass system [31] and by the method of cramming the memory with ill digested facts? If Herbart is right when he says that the "chief business of education is the ethical revelation of the universe" then perhaps Dr. Moran is also right when he points out that "one of the underlying causes, perhaps the greatest, of our materialistic age is the lack of the spiritual element in our formal education."

Some of us feel also that there exists an even wider goal than an ethical revelation; and that it is possible that humanity is the custodian of an illumination and a glory which will only be realized in its fulness when the masses achieve some of the magnificence which has characterized the World Figures of the past. Is it not in line with evolutionary development that the real goal of education is to lead humanity out of the fourth or human kingdom into that spiritual realm where the pioneers whom we call Mystics, and the standard-setting Figures of the race live and move and have their being? Thus mankind will be raised out of the objective material world into the realm of spirit, where the truer values are to be found, and wherein that larger Self is contacted which the individual selves exist only to reveal. Keyserling hints at this in the following words:

"We are aware of the limits of human reason; we understand the significance of our striving; we are the masters of nature. We can simultaneously overlook the inner and the outer world. Since we can scientifically determine what are our real intentions, we need no more become the prey [32] of self-deceptions....From now on, this possibility must become the conscious motive of life. Hitherto it has not yet played that part. Yet this precisely is all-important for the centre of consciousness determines the starting-point of man. Wherever he shifts the emphasis within himself, there it actually rests; the whole Being of man is reorganized accordingly...therefore, an education to the synthesis of understanding and action is necessary for a life based on recognition.

"All education in the East is purely directed towards Sense-understanding, which...is the only way that can be shown as leading to a raising of the level of essential Being....The essential thing is not information, but understanding, and understanding can be attained only by personal creative application....Sense-perception always means giving a thing meaning; the dimension of Significance lies in the direction from within to the outside. Therefore, knowledge (in the sense of information) and understanding in reality, bear the same relationship to each other as nature and Spirit. Information is gained from without to the inside; understanding is a creative process in the opposite direction. Under these circumstances, there is no direct way leading from one goal to the other. One may know everything without at the same time understanding anything at all. And that is precisely the pass to which our education, that aims at a hoarding of information, has brought the majority." [xix]8

This book seeks to deal with the method whereby the capacity to function in the larger consciousness can be developed, and man can re-organize his Being towards the wider issues. It concerns itself with the technique by which a specialized training and self-culture can be applied by every individual unit who [33] is capable of desiring this larger goal. If that desire can take a clear and rational form in his mind and can be appreciated as a perfectly legitimate objective, capable of successful achievement, he will eagerly grasp at it. If society can provide the means and opportunity for such advancement, many will gladly seek the way. The method proposed is an individual technique which will enable the student, who has profited by the usual academic educational advantages and the experiences of life, to expand his consciousness until he gradually transcends his present limitations and reorients his mind to wider realizations. He will discover the soul as the great Reality, thus gaining direct experience of spiritual things.

Everett Dean Martin defines education for us as a "spiritual revaluation of human life. Its task is to reorient the individual, to enable him to take a richer and more significant view of his experiences, to place him above and not within the system of his beliefs and ideals." [xx]9 This definition necessarily opens the door to controversy, for we live, each of us, in a different environment; we have each our special problems and characteristics, based upon our heredity, our physical condition and many other factors. The consequent standard of values will have to be modified for each person, for each generation, country and race. That education is intended to prepare us for "complete living" (as Herbert Spencer [34] says) may be true, but the scope and capacity of each man differs. The lowest and the highest attainable point for men varies infinitely, and a man, moreover, who is equipped to function in one particular sphere might prove ludicrously inadequate in another. Some standard of "complete living" must therefore be worked out if the definition is to be useful. To do this we shall have to ascertain what is the pure type of the rounded out and perfected man, and what is the sum total of his range of contacts. It does not seem possible that we have exhausted the possibilities of man's response apparatus, nor of the environment with which it can put him in touch. What are the limits within which man can function? If there are states of awareness, ranging all the way from that of the Hottentot up to that of our intelligentsia and on to the geniuses and leaders in all fields of human expression, what constitutes the difference between them? Why are their fields of perception so widely diverse? Racial development, one will reply; glandular stability, or instability, another will say; the possession, or the lack, of adequate educational advantages, differences in environment and in heritage, other groups of thinkers will decide.

But out of the welter of opinion emerges the basic fact of the wide range of the human states of awareness, and the wonder of the realization that humanity has produced such marvels of comprehensive understanding, of purity of expression and of perfected world-wide influence as we see evidenced by [35] the Christ, the Buddha, Plato and many others, whose thoughts and words have set their mark upon the minds of men for thousands of years. What has made them what they are? Are they miracles, emerging from the heart of the Infinite, and, hence, can never find their equal? Are they products of the evolutionary process, and so have become potent through vast experience and unfoldment? Or are they the flower of the human race, who added to their equipment and training a specialized culture which enabled them to enter a spiritual world, which is sealed to the majority, and to function in a dimension of which even our most advanced thinkers know nothing? Have our present educational systems brought humanity, as a whole, to a condition where many thousands are ready for this specialized culture, and, therefore, are we facing a crisis in the educational field which has its roots in a success, which, if carried forward along the same lines, will become a detriment instead of a help, — because man is ready for something new? Some of us believe that this is possible, and that it is time that educators should begin to prepare men for the new and divine experience and for that wonderful experiment which will put them everywhere in possession of themselves — a thing hitherto the choice prerogative of the mystics and knowers of the race. These knowers have testified to a wider world than the one revealed to us by the mechanism of the nerves, and investigated by the chemist, the physicist, the biologist and the anthropologist. They have spoken in no uncertain [36] terms of a realm of contacts and of awareness in which the ordinary senses are useless. They claim to have lived and moved in these subtler realms, and the perseverance displayed in the mystical search for reality, and the similarity of their testimony down the ages lead one to believe in the possibility of that intangible world and of a response apparatus, by means of which it can be contacted. The ranks of these "deluded" mystics and intuitional thinkers number tens of thousands of the best minds of the race. They say to us in the words of Walt Whitman: "I and my kind do not convince by argument; we convince by our presence." [xxi]10

Education has also been expressed as "an adventurous quest for the meaning of life, involving an ability to think things through." Who said this I do not know, but it seems to me a most excellent description of the way of the mystic and the technique of meditation whereby the mystic becomes the fully conscious knower. However much one may seek to explain it away, the fact remains that man goes questing through the ages, and his quest leads him far deeper than the concrete externals of the world in which he lives. Dr. Overstreet calls this to our attention in words that carry the true mystical message. He says:

"In the main, we are creatures who see 'things'. We see what we see and usually not beyond what we see. To experience the world as merely a world of things is doubtless to fail of something that is significant. The experience of [37] things, to be sure, is good as far as it goes. It enables us to move about our world and to manipulate the life-factors with some success....It is possible, however, to get a different 'feel' of one's world if one is able to develop another habit of mind. It is, in short, the habit of seeing the invisible in the visible reality; the habit of penetrating surfaces, of seeing through things to their initiating sources." [xxii]11

Men are now perhaps ready to penetrate beneath the surface and to carry their search within the outer form of nature to that which is its cause. We are perhaps, too apt to confuse the religious spirit with the mystic search. All clear thinking about life and about the great laws of nature, if carried forward with persistence and steadfastness, leads eventually into the mystic world, and this the foremost scientists of our day are beginning to realize. Religion starts with the accepted hypothesis of the unseen and the mystical. But science arrives at the same point by working from the seen to the unseen and from the objective to the subjective. Thus, as has been said, by the process of investigation and of passing inwards from form to form, the mystic arrives eventually at the glory of the unveiled Self. It seems to be unalterably true that all paths lead to God — viewing God as the ultimate goal, the symbol of man's search for Reality. It is no longer a sign of superstition to believe in a higher dimension and in another world of Being. Even the word "supernatural" has become deeply and profoundly respectable, and it seems possible that some day our [38] educational systems may regard the preparation of the individual to transcend his natural limitations as an entirely legitimate part of its affairs. It is interesting to note what Dr. C. Lloyd Morgan in the Gifford Lectures, delivered in 1923, has to say about this word "supernatural." He says:

"There is, I submit, an intelligible sense in which it may be said that, in the ascending hierarchy of stages of progress, regarded as manifestations of Divine Purpose, each higher stage is in turn supernatural to that which precedes it. In this sense life is supernatural to the inorganic; reflective comprehension in thought is supernatural to naive unreflective perception; the religious attitude, with acknowledgement of Divine Purpose, is supernatural to the ethical attitude in social affairs. For those who reach this highest stage, as they deem it, the religious attitude affords the supreme exemplar of the supernatural. It is distinctive of the spiritual man." [xxiii]12

and, he adds most beautifully and most appositely, as far as our subject is concerned, that "The stress for us is on a new attitude, for it is this that is, as I think, emergent. Hence we may speak of a new 'vision,' and a new 'heart,' capable of a higher and richer form of joy." [xxiv]13

In Dr. Hocking's notable book "Human Nature and Its Remaking" he points out that education has two functions. It must first of all communicate the type and then provide for growth beyond that type. Education is intended to make man truly human; it must round out and perfect his nature, and so reveal [39] and make possible those deeper potentialities towards which all humanity tends. The evocation of the will-to-know, and, later, of the will-to-be, must follow a natural process of development. It is in this connection that the method of meditation will be seen as a part of the technique of the higher education which the New Age will see developed; it will be found to be the means whereby the rounded out human being can be still further developed, and led forth into a new kingdom in nature. Meditation is primarily a self-initiated process of education, calling forth all the powers of the will, basing itself upon the equipment present, but producing at the end a new type, the soul type, with its own internal apparatus, and holding within itself again the seeds of still greater unfoldment.

From being something imposed from without, the new educational process wells up from within, and becomes that self-imposed mental discipline, which we cover by those much misunderstood words — concentration, meditation, and contemplation. From being a process of memory training, and the development of a quick handling of the response apparatus which puts us in touch with the external world, the educational technique becomes a system of mind-control, leading eventually to an inner awareness of a new state of being. It produces at length a rapid reaction and responsiveness to a world, intangible and unseen, and to a new series of instinctual recognitions which have their seat in a subtler response apparatus. The soul type imposes itself upon the [40] human type, as the human has done upon the animal, and just as the human type is the product of mass training and instinct and has been tremendously unfolded by our modern educational systems, so the soul type is the product of a new method of mental training, imposed on the individual by his soul, and called forth by the urgency of the quest and by the act of his will. This soul is always latent in the human form, but is drawn into demonstrated activity through the practice of meditation.

These two methods of rounding out the human being and raising him to a mass standard, and of producing the emergence of the new type, the soul, constitute the main distinction between the western and eastern educational methods.

The contrast between the two ways of development is most instructive. In the East we have the careful culture of the individual, with the masses left practically without any education. In the West we have mass education, but the individual is left, speaking generally, without any specific culturing. These two great and divergent systems have each produced a civilization, expressing its peculiar genius and manifestations, but also its marked defects. The premises upon which the systems are based are widely divergent, and it would be worth our while to consider them, for in understanding them and in the eventual union of the two it is possible that the way out may be found for the new race in the New Age.

First: In the eastern system, it is assumed that [41] within every human form dwells an entity, a being, called the self or soul. Second: This self utilizes the form of the human being as its instrument or means of expression, and through the sum total of the mental and emotional states will eventually manifest itself, utilizing the physical body as its functioning mechanism on the physical plane. Finally, the control of these means of expression is brought about under the Law of Rebirth. Through the evolutionary process (carried forward through many lives in a physical body) the self gradually builds a fit instrument through which to manifest, and learns to master it. Thus the self or soul becomes truly creative and self-conscious in the highest sense and active in its environment, manifesting its true nature perfectly. Eventually it gains complete liberation from form, from the thralldom of the desire nature, and the domination of the intellect. This final emancipation, and consequent transfer of the centre of consciousness from the human to the spiritual kingdom, is hastened and nurtured by a specialized education, called the meditation process, which is superimposed upon a mind widely and wisely cultured.

The result of this intensive and individual training has been spectacular in the extreme. The eastern method is the only one which has produced the Founders of all the world religions, for all are Asiatic in origin. It is responsible for the appearance of those inspired Scriptures of the world which have moulded the thoughts of men, and for the coming [42] forth of all the world Saviours — the Buddha, Zoroaster, Shri Krishna, the Christ, and others. Thus the East has manifested forth, as the result of its particular technique, all the Great Individuals, who have sounded the note for their particular age, given the needed teaching for the unfoldment in the minds of men of the God-Idea, and so led humanity forward along the path of spiritual perception. The exoteric result of their lives is to be seen in the great organized religions.

In the training of the highly developed individuals, however, the masses throughout Asia have been neglected, and the system, consequently, (from the angle of racial development), leaves much to be desired. The defects of the system are the development of visionary and impractical tendencies. The mystic is frequently unable to cope with his environment, and where the emphasis is laid entirely upon the subjective side of life, the physical welfare of the individual and the race is neglected and overlooked. The masses are left to struggle in the mire of ignorance, disease and dirt, and, hence, we have the deplorable conditions found throughout the Orient, alongside the highest spiritual illumination of the favored few.

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 calibre 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." [xxv]14 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.