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Education in the New Age - Chapter I - Theory, Methods and Goals
You will note that these words "in time and space" have repeatedly recurred in this instruction. Why is this? Because it must constantly be remembered that we are living in the world of illusion - an illusion which is temporary and transient and which will some day disappear, taking with it the illusion of appearance, the illusion of evolutionary [25] unfoldment, the illusion of separateness, and the illusion of distinctive identity - that illusion which makes us say "I am." The educator of the future will start his service to the child with the recognition of this ephemeral and transient misconception of the soul, and will deal primarily with the mind aspect, and not with the imposition of as much imparted organized knowledge concerning phenomenal existence as the memory of the child is capable of grasping. How can I illustrate this changed attitude to you in the simplest form? Perhaps by pointing out that, whereas today parents and guardians of the child spend much of their time in answering or evading questions posed by the awakening consciousness of the child, in time to come the situation will be reversed. Parents will ceaselessly meet the demands of the emerging intelligence of the child by always inquiring of the child, Why? Why ask this? Why is it thus? - and so throwing always the responsibility of answering the questions upon the child, yet at the same time dropping the solution of the question subtly into the child's mind.

This process will begin in the fifth year of the child's life; the seeking intelligence (which is the child itself) will always be forced by the teacher into the position of inward search, not outer demand for a reply which can be memorized and which rests upon the authority of the older person. If this seems to you as yet impossible, remember that the children who will or have come into incarnation, after the period of increased stimulation found between the years 1935 and 1942, will normally and naturally respond to this evocation of the mind element.

One of the major functions of those who train the infant minds of the race will be to determine, as early as possible in life, which of the seven determining energies are controlling in each case. The technique to be later applied will then be built upon this important initial decision - hence again, the growing responsibility of the [26] educator. A child's note and quality will be early determined, and his whole planned training will grow out of this basic recognition. This is not yet possible, but will shortly be so, when the quality and nature of any individual etheric body can be scientifically discovered. This development is not as distant as might be supposed or anticipated.

It is not my intention to deal with the details of this process, nor to elaborate the methods whereby the children of the race can be trained. Our objective is to deal with the more universal and immediate necessity of bridging the gap between the different aspects of the lower self, so that an integrated personality emerges; and then of bridging the gap between the soul and the spiritual triad, so that there can be the free play of consciousness and complete identification with the One Life, thus leading to the loss of the sense of separateness and to the merging of the part with the Whole, with no loss of identity but with no recognition of self-identification.

Here an interesting point should be carefully noted. It holds the key to future racial unfoldment. For it the new science of psychology, which has developed so remarkably during the past thirty years, is preparing us. Students should train themselves to distinguish between the sutratma and the antahkarana, between the life thread and the thread of consciousness. One thread is the basis of immortality and the other the basis of continuity. Herein lies a fine distinction for the investigator. One thread (the sutratma) links and vivifies all forms into one functioning whole and embodies in itself the will and the purpose of the expressing entity, be it man, God or a crystal. The other thread (the antahkarana) embodies the response of the consciousness within the form to a steadily expanding range of contacts within the environing whole.

The sutratma is the direct stream of life, unbroken and immutable, which can be regarded symbolically as a direct stream of living energy flowing from the center to the [27] periphery, and from the source to the outer expression or the phenomenal appearance. It is the life. It produces the individual process and the evolutionary unfoldment of all forms. It is, therefore, the path of life, which reaches from the monad to the personality, via the soul. This is the thread soul and it is one and indivisible. It conveys the energy of life and finds its final anchor in the center of the human heart and at some central focal point in all forms of divine expression. Naught is and naught remains but life.

The consciousness thread (antahkarana) is the result of the union of life and substance or of the basic energies which constitute the first differentiation in time and space; this produces something different, which only emerges as a third divine manifestation, after the union of the basic dualities has taken place. It is the thread which is woven as a result of the appearance of life in form upon the physical plane. Speaking again symbolically, it might be said that the sutratma works from above downward and is the precipitation of life into the outer manifestation. The antahkarana is woven, evolved, and created as the result of this primary creation, and works from below upwards, from the without to the within, from the world of esoteric phenomena into the world of subjective realities and of meaning.

This "Path of Return," by means of which the race is withdrawn from outer emphasis and begins to recognize and register those inner conscious knowledges of that which is not phenomenal, has already (through the evolutionary process) reached a point of development wherein some human beings can follow along this path from the physical consciousness to the emotional, and from the emotional to the mental. That part of the work is already accomplished in many thousands of cases and what is now required is facility and right use of this power. This thread of energy, colored by conscious sentient response, is later [28] colored by the discriminating consciousness of the mind, and this produces that inner integration which makes man eventually an efficient thinking being. At first, this thread is used purely for lower selfish interests; it steadily gets stronger and more potent as time goes on, until it is a definite, clear, strong thread reaching from the outer physical life, from a point within the brain, straight through to the inner mechanism. This thread, however, is not identified with the mechanism, but with the consciousness in man. Through the means of this thread a man becomes aware of his emotional life in its many forms (note this phraseology), and through it he becomes aware of the world of thought; he learns to think and begins to function consciously on the mental plane, in which the thinkers of the race - a steadily increasing number - live and move and have their being. Increasingly he learns to tread this path of consciousness, and thereby ceases to be identified with the animal outer form and learns to identify himself with the inner qualities and attributes. He lives first the life of dreams, and then the life of thought. Then the time comes when this lower aspect of the antahkarana is completed, and the first great conscious unity is consummated. The man is an integrated, conscious, living personality. The thread of continuity between the three lower aspects of the man is established and can be used. It stretches, if such a term can be used (my intent being entirely pictorial), from the center of the head to the mind, which is in its turn a center of energy in the world of thought. At the same time, this antahkarana is interwoven with the thread of life or the sutratma which emerges from the heart center. The objective of evolution in form is now relatively complete.

When this stage has been reached, the sensitive feeling-out into the environing universe still continues. Man weaves a thread which is like the thread the spider weaves so amazingly. He reaches out still further into his possible [29] environment and then discovers an aspect of himself of which he had little dreamt in the early stages of his development. He discovers the soul and then passes through the illusion of duality. This is a necessary but not a permanent stage. It is one which characterizes the aspirant of this world cycle, perhaps I should say this manvantara or world period. He seeks to merge himself with the soul, to identify himself, the conscious personality, with that over-shadowing soul. It is at this point, technically speaking, that the true building of the antahkarana must be begun. It is the bridge between the personality and the soul.

The recognition of this constitutes the problem with which the modern educator is faced. It is a problem that has always existed but it has concerned the individual hitherto more than the group. Now it concerns the group, for so many of the sons of men are ready for this building. Down the ages individuals have built their individual bridges between the higher and the lower, but so successful has been the evolutionary process that today the time has come for a group understanding of this emerging technique, for a group bridging, leading to a consequent or subsequent group revelation. This provides the modern opportunity in the field of education. It indicates the responsibility of the educator and points out the necessity for a new unfoldment in educational methods. The "group aspirant" must be met and the group antahkarana must be built. This, however, when rightly understood, will not negate individual effort. That always must be met; but the group understanding will increasingly aid the individual.

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