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Education in the New Age - Chapter II - Civilization and Culture
In the present race a different civilized attitude is emerging and is nearing its consummation. In each age, some idea functions and expresses itself in both racial and national idealisms. Its basic trend down the centuries has [41] produced our modern world and this has been strictly materialistic. A nation today is regarded as civilized when it is awakened to mental values and at the same time it is demanding material values; and when the mind (the lower mind) - in its memory aspect, its discriminating and separate aspects, its analyzing functions, and its ability to formulate concrete ideas based on material perception, material desire and material purposes - is receiving the training which will make a material civilization, and has made our material civilization what it is today. With the emphasis shifting away from feeling-perception to mental attitudes towards life, with the desire to make the material life of the citizen of every nation the dominant factor in the national thought, with the mind unfoldment consecrated to material living, and with science definitely committed to the enunciation only of the provable and concerned only with the energies of material effect, is it any wonder that the major consideration of our modern civilization lies in the field of the economic life? We are occupied with material conditions, with the object of increasing possessions, with bettering worldly situations, elaborating physical plane living, and substituting the tangible for the intangible, the concrete for the spiritual, and physical values for the subjective values. However, these latter must some day emerge into expression.

The above statement is superficial and of so general a character that it does not deal with the relatively small minority who do sense these larger values and are working to bring about their emergence into the racial life. These people are the custodians for the advance ideals of the current civilization, but the energy which they release works out frequently in the establishment, temporarily, of the more concrete values. My remarks are only partial, and the facts equally so. I exaggerate perhaps; yet maybe I do not. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the two great civilizations about which we can really know anything - the Aryan [42] and the Atlantean - present two extreme objectives or positions towards which the humanity of the two periods directed and still direct their attention.

The Atlantean civilization was definitely religious in its attitudes; religion was the commonplace of life and the raison d'Ítre of all that was. The world after death was the subject of interest and unwavering, unquestioning belief. The subtle influences emanating from the unseen realms, the forces of nature and man's relation to them through a keen sensitivity, and the entire gamut of his emotional attitudes constituted the life of the race, and colored all that there was or might have been of embryo thought. The result of all this, inherited by us when history as we now have it arose (from the time of the flood, whenever that might have been), can be expressed by such words as animism, spiritualism, lower psychism and feeling. The sense of God, the sense of immortality, the sense of subtler inner relationships, the sense of worship and the undue sensitivity of modern man is our outstanding heritage from the civilizations which existed upon old Atlantis.

Upon all this basic structure the exact opposite is being imposed today, and in the reaction - normal, right and developing - man is laying a superstructure in which the emphasis is increasingly upon the tangible, the material, the seen, and upon that which can be proved, diagnosed, analyzed, and utilized for the improving of man's outer life and his material position upon the planet. Both civilizations have gone too far, and in the swing of the pendulum we shall inevitably return to a middle position, to the "noble middle path." This middle way, utilizing the best and the highest ideals which the two preceding civilizations have produced, will characterize the coming Aquarian Age and its civilizations. Such an expression of the material and the immaterial, of the seen and the unseen, of the tangible and the spiritual has ever been the goal and the objective of those who comprehend the true meaning of culture. In [43] the last analysis, and for the purposes of our theme, civilization concerns the masses and the racial consciousness, while culture concerns the individual and the unseen spiritual man. Therefore a civilization which is a full expression of true culture lies far ahead in the development of the race.

Culture is the approximation of the two ways - feeling and mind; of two worlds - sensitivity and thought; and of the attitudes, relational in nature, which will enable a man to live as an intelligent, subjective being in a tangible physical world. The man of culture relates the world of meaning to the world of appearances and regards them in his mind (thus recognizing them with his brain, an indication of an established link or relationship) as constituting one world with two aspects. He moves with equal freedom in both worlds, and with simultaneity as far as his consciousness or his sense of awareness is concerned. Even in Atlantean times there were those who comprehended the significance of culture as an outgrowth of civilization.

The masses must be civilized as a step towards giving them that culture which will make of them true and significant human beings. A human being has perforce to be a man, capable of living in the world of external realities, and at the same time capable of recognizing himself as living in an inner world, as a mind and a soul. He then expresses an inner subjective life of such potency that it controls and dominates the physical plane life, motivating it and giving it true direction. This attitude of the human being and the task of bringing this condition of consciousness to fruition, have been regarded for centuries as the task of organized religion, whereas it is essentially and necessarily that of education. It is true that the Church in ancient days was the educator of the time, but the emphasis was laid upon the inner and subjective life, and as a rule no attempt was made to fuse and blend the two - outer material well-being and inner spiritual existence. Education is the task of the [44] outstanding thinkers of the race and the responsibility of all governments, one however that they seldom recognize.

Finally, we shall seek to see what are the basic ideas (beginning with the recognized instincts) which have led man, step by step, to his present struggle for world betterment, group elevation and natural self-determination with a view - unconscious for the most part - of providing a better organ of expression within the living organism, humanity.

It is therefore a platitude and truism to state that humanity is today passing through a crisis of immense proportions. The causes of this crisis must be sought in many factors. They lie in the past, in the growth through evolution of certain basic tendencies in man; in past mistakes, present opportunities and the powerful activity of the Hierarchy of Love. [One of the three major centers through which Deity manifests: Shamballa, where the Will of God is known; Hierarchy, where the Love of God holds sway; Humanity, embodying the Intelligence aspect of God.] The future is of great promise, provided man can learn the lessons of the present which have been clearly presented to him; he must accept them and understand clearly the nature of his problem and of the crisis with its many ramifications and various implications.

The seething turmoil in which the masses of the people are now living and the emergence of one or two key people in every nation have a close relationship. These key people make their voices heard and evoke attention; their ideas are followed - rightly or wrongly - with attention, appreciation or distrust.

The slow and careful formation of the New Group of World Servers is indicative of the crisis. They are overseeing or ushering in the New Age and are present at the birth pangs of the new civilization and the coming into manifestation of a new race, a new culture and a new world outlook. The work is necessarily slow and those of you who are immersed in the problems and pains find it hard to view [45] the future with assurance or to interpret the present with clarity.

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