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Education in the New Age - Chapter III - The Present Transition Period
The time factor (from the angle of present attainment and possible goal in the immediate life) will be carefully [72] considered, and in this way there will be no lost motion; the boy or girl will meet with understanding help and with analysis, but not with ignorance and criticism; they will be safeguarded and not punished; they will be stimulated and not held back; they will be occultly recognized, and therefore will not constitute a problem.

It will be obvious to you that some decades must elapse before such a state of affairs can become possible and usual, but you will note that I have said "decades" and not "centuries." The earlier experiments along this line will become possible only in small schools of specially selected children or small colleges with a picked and trained faculty, cautiously ready to experiment. It is only by the demonstration of the advantage of the above methods of studying and training children that national educational authorities will be convinced of the light which these modes of approach to the delicate task of fitting the human being for life, can throw upon the problem. At the same time, it is essential that such schools and colleges preserve as much of the ordinary demanded curriculum as is possible, so as to be able to demonstrate their adequacy when in competition with other recognized educational systems.

If a true understanding of the seven ray types, of the constitution of man and of astrology, plus a right application of a synthetic psychology is of any use at all, it must demonstrate itself in the production of a correctly coordinated, wisely developed, highly intelligent and mentally directed human being.

The trouble with the majority of the previous attempts to impose a form of the new age education upon the modern child has been of a twofold nature:

First, there has been no compromise between the present form of education and the desired ideal; there has been no scientific bridging done; and no attempt has been made to correlate the best of the present methods (probably well adapted to the child of the period) and some of the more [73] appropriate methods embodied in the new vision, particularly those which can be easily approximated to those in use. Only in this way can the sequential steps be taken, until the new education is an accomplished fact and the old and the new techniques are welded into one appropriate whole. The visionary idealist has hitherto held the field and thus slowed up the process.

Second, the new methods can be tried out successfully only through the medium of most carefully selected children. These children must be watched from babyhood, their parents must be willing to cooperate in the task of providing right early conditions and right atmosphere, and their lives (their case histories) must be studied along the lines suggested earlier in this instruction.

Visionary, mystical hopes and dreams are useful in so far as they indicate a possible goal; they are of small use in determining process and method. The imposition of the new age ways in education, upon a child who is basically Atlantean or early Aryan in his consciousness, is a fruitless task and will do little really to help him. It is for this reason that a careful analysis of the child must be made from the very moment of birth. Then, with as full information as possible, the educator will endeavor to meet the need of the three major types of children: The Atlantean, or basically emotional, sensuous type; the early Aryan, or emotional-mental type; the later Aryan or early New Age type, which will be predominantly mental, and at the same time idealistic, brilliant, coordinated, and a personality.

The question here arises: How can such methods be employed without the whole process appearing too much like a laboratory experiment in which the child is regarded as a specimen - or a sample child - to be subjected to certain types of impression in which he is deprived of that free scope to be himself - an individual (which seems at all times so desirable and necessary) - and in which the entire process appears as an infringement of the dignity which is the [74] heritage of every human being? Such educational questions and objectives sound important and fine and imposing, but what do they really mean?

I have suggested that the textbooks be rewritten in terms of right human relations and not from the present nationalistic and separate angles. I have also pointed out certain basic ideas which should be immediately inculcated: the unique value of the individual, the beauty of humanity, the relation of the individual to the whole and his responsibility to fit into the general picture in a constructive manner and voluntarily; I have noted the imminence of the coming spiritual renaissance. To all of these I would like to add that one of our immediate educational objectives must be the elimination of the competitive spirit and the substitution of the cooperative consciousness. Here the question at once arises: How can one achieve this and at the same time bring about a high level of individual attainment? Is not competition a major spur to all endeavor? This has hitherto been so, but it need not be.

Today the average child is, for the first five or six years of his life, the victim of his parents' ignorance or selfishness or lack of interest. He is frequently kept quiet and out of the way because his parents are too busy with their own affairs to give him the needed time - busy with non-essential matters, compared to the important and essential business of giving their child a right start upon the pathway of life in this incarnation. He is left to his own resources or those of some ignorant nursemaid, at a stage when a destructive little animal should be developed into a constructive little citizen. He is sometimes petted and often scolded. He is dragged hither and thither, according to his parents' whims and interest, and he is sent to school with a sense of relief on their part, in order to get him occupied and out of the way. At school, he is frequently under the care of some young, ignorant though well-meaning person whose task it is to teach him the rudiments of civilization - a certain superficial [75] attitude and form of manners which should govern his relations to the world of men, an ability to read and write and figure, and a smattering (rudimentary indeed) of history and geography and good form in speech and writing.

By that time however the mischief is done and the form which his later educational processes may take, from the age of eleven onward, is of small moment. An orientation has been effected, an attitude (usually defensive, and therefore inhibiting) has been established, a form of behavior has been enforced or imposed which is superficial, and which is not based upon the realities of right relationships. The true person which is found in every child - expansive, outgoing and well-meaning as are the bulk of children in infancy - has consequently been driven within, out of sight, and has hidden itself behind an outer shell which custom and tuition have enforced. Add to this a multitude of misunderstandings on the part of loving but superficial and well-intentioned parents, a long series of small catastrophes in relation to others, and it is obvious that the majority of children get off to a wrong start and begin life basically handicapped. The damage done to children in the plastic and pliable years is often irremediable and is responsible for much of the pain and suffering in later life. What then can be done? What, apart from the more technical approaches outlined by me in earlier parts of this instruction, should be the effort on the part of parents and educators?

First, and above everything else, the effort should be made to provide an atmosphere wherein certain qualities can flourish and emerge.

1. An atmosphere of love, wherein fear is cast out and the child realizes he has no cause for timidity, shyness or caution, and one in which he receives courteous treatment at the hands of others, and is expected also to render equally courteous treatment in return. This is rare indeed to find in schoolrooms [76] or in homes for that matter. This atmosphere of love is not an emotional, sentimental form of love but is based upon a realization of the potentialities of the child as an individual, on a sense of true responsibility, freedom from prejudice, racial antagonisms, and above everything else, upon compassionate tenderness. This compassionate tenderness is founded on the recognition of the difficulty of living, upon sensitivity to the child's normally affectionate response, and upon a knowledge that love always draws forth what is best in child and man.

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