Creating a Living Education Network
To change the trajectory of the human project, we need a new narrative of who we actually are, how learning happens, and what it takes to create a just and free society. To do this, we have to challenge the ideologies built into schooling and technocracy.
I have three intentions for writing this manifesto. The first is to awaken people to how their mind really works so they can live from a place of inner wisdom and innate well-being. The second is to free people from the trance of separation and fear that is created by fear-based programming by schooling and media corporations. The third is to invite people to co-create a living educational network that honors the primacy of consciousness and the creative power of humans at every age and stage.
Schooling impedes the evolution of human consciousness and society by training brains to process information instead of teaching kids how their minds work. Gradually people begin to rely on their habitual thought patterns and external authorities as their sense of awe and wonder of the world is deadened. Rather than educating and empowering people, schooling breaks human spirits and creates insecure, confused people who have lost touch with their inner calling and innate wisdom. As adults, they are susceptible to the constant stream of fear-based media programming and mind control by the six multinational companies who own the media.
You are designed to cooperate with your environment and continuously gather knowledge to learn how to best adapt to your current circumstances. Indigenous people understood this, so children learned in the community, observing adults, modeling their behavior, and adapting to their environment. Children in industrialized countries are forced to adapt to the artificial, pathological environment of schooling. As they grow, they awaken to an artificial self.
We have a fundamental responsibility to awaken to our true nature and educate our children in a way that evolves human consciousness. Humans create their view of the world by focusing their attention and choosing what thoughts to put life into. This is free will. This is systematically stripped away from students in school. Until we embrace who we really are, we will continue schooling people, limiting their consciousness and blocking their capacity to live a fulfilled life. It’s humbling to realize that we are looking at life with outdated worldviews as our filter. We’ve got it all backwards. Enlightened teachers like Sydney Banks, Rupert Spira, Eckhart Tolle, Sir Ken Robinson, Michael Singer, Byron Katie, Gregory Bateson, and Rupert Sheldrake point us in this direction.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
— Steve Jobs
10 Principles for a new Living Education Network
- The living education network is innovative, adaptive, and self-organizing.
- The goal of education is free and empowered individuals who use their minds, creativity, and energy to co-create a free and fair society and healthy biosphere.
- All levels of the education network are united around a shared cause of protecting every human’s natural state of peace, joy, and wisdom while expanding wisdom, intelligence, critical thinking, kindness, and cooperation.
- Relationships are at the center of thriving learning environments that catalyze collaboration. Teachers step into the roles of learning coaches and mentors. Families are the smallest learning unit. There are no threats.
- Learning is emergent and soul-directed, not prescribed or predetermined. The focus of education is mastery of Self, the evolution of consciousness, and holistic wellbeing instead of information processing and mastery of subject matter.
- Critical thinking and morality are developed through free inquiry into theosophy, philosophy, leading edge research and work in the new sciences, consciousness studies, and regenerative economics and business. Propaganda and all forms or indoctrination are removed from curriculum and teacher training.
- Holistic systems are developed to demonstrate the capacity and know-how of learners — replacing grades, GPA, standardized tests, and fixed degrees. Data mining of learner activity, attitude, and social emotional factors is prohibited.
- Society’s definition of success expands to include the impact an individual has on the whole, including other people and the biosphere. Personal excellence replaces unbridled individual competition. Experiences and relationships are valued over the accumulation of stuff.
- Command and control federal and state education bureaucracies that pursue efficiencies through economies of scale are transformed or replaced by more innovative, agile networks of interconnected local education webs which honor the richness and diversity of place.
- Youth are encouraged to invest their time, energy, and money in their local communities instead of joining multi-national companies and overpriced, elite higher education institutions.
How Life Really Works
All of the advances in human society came to an individual through a spontaneous insight in which the world somehow appeared different and new possibilities emerged. In this manifesto, you will come to see that the path to wisdom is not through the intellect. It is by having an insight that allows you to see the world in a new way.
You are not a mechanical widget that came here without a purpose. The odds of you being alive are about 1 in 102,685,000 so small, that you are a miracle. We come into this world as free beings. Confirm this by watching a toddler happily exploring the world and asking big questions. We are born connected to our innate wisdom and well-being. We let our thoughts and emotions pass through without hooking us. We have free will and choose where to focus our attention. We are free from fear and do not judge. We are naturally curious, resilient, altruistic, cooperative. We thrive in nature and through play. Energy flows through our body, encouraging us to move.
The wonderful news is that humans are designed to learn so that they grow into self-sufficient beings by self-directing our learning and lives. Learning is a natural, internal process of awakening to Self that best happens as the free inquiry of a relaxed, peaceful, playful mind. Learning to talk is the most difficult cognitive process and humans master this without anyone teaching them. Learning is not an object or thing that can be tracked and measured. It cannot be forced.
Science is currently engaged in a shift that is equal in importance to the Copernican revolution. Everyone is familiar with Einstein’s E = mc2. Matter looks solid but it’s really energy. It turns out that life requires not just energy and matter, but also information. Where did this initial information come from? It looks like the physical world emerged from Consciousness or Universal Intelligence.
Universal Mind is the intelligent energy that powers all life. This is the universal, impersonal intelligence that opens roses, turns acorns into oak trees, grew you from a single cell into a whole person, and powers the amazing operations of your body. Rather than view people as fixed entities, it is more useful to see them as processes of consciousness unfolding as personal minds connected to Universal Mind. Humans are autonomous beings connected to Universal Mind the way that a wave is connected to the ocean. There is no separation.
When we think, we are in the past or the future. When we listen, we are present. Each of us has a small voice inside of us that is connected to Universal Mind and will guide us moment-by-moment when we are listening. This innate intelligence supplies you with common sense, insights, ah-ha moments, and premonitions. Everyone has access to this intelligence. Not just the affluent or lucky.
This quiet voice is gradually drowned out by the increasing volume of the intellect as schooling fills brains with information and negative thinking. If we can protect young people’s connection to Universal Mind, we will preserve their innate wisdom and creativity. They will be able come up with solutions to any situation they face, including the problems of society and the biosphere they are inheriting.
Imagine a movie theater. You are the blank screen in the theater. Your thoughts project an image of the world onto the screen. You automatically assume that this movie is reality. You forget that you are the blank screen and become mesmerized by your personal movie. Each of the 7.5 billion people on the planet is projecting a different movie. It’s not that the physical world doesn’t exist, of course it does. But we are each getting a small sliver of reality and we only see whatever we give our awareness and attention to. A black car could be parked across the street, but if I don’t notice it and pay attention to it, it is not real to me.
We live 100% in the experience of our own thinking. Your thoughts are being filtered by your beliefs and worldview that eventually settle into habitual ways of thinking. We can use our thinking to create hell or heaven on earth. When our thoughts are pure, we connect to Universal Mind and have insights into the nature of reality and create innovative solutions based in love. When our thoughts are clouded with insecurity, fear, self-doubt, and shame, we suffer and create problems for ourselves and others.
Each of us constructs a Self and a world through our thinking process and then choose moment-by-moment how to live in this thought created reality. Human thought is the most powerful creative force in the world. When you understand that fear comes from your own fearful thinking, then you are free. You cannot be controlled or manipulated by fear-based authorities, systems, or propaganda. Because we aren’t taught to take responsibility for our thinking and stories, there is continual conflict.
The Toxic Programming of Schooling & Media
Forced government schooling cannot exist in a just society. The false promise of economic equality keeps well-intentioned people in the oppressive schooling system. People claim that schooling levels the socio-economic playing field. It certainly does not. Research shows that schooling perpetuates economic inequalities. The wealthy and powerful in America do not send their kids to public school.
The men who invented and championed forced government schooling in the 19th and early 20th Centuries saw the world through a mechanistic lens. They believed that life is random, human nature is corrupt, and that they could create a Utopian society by controlling people. They chose to play God. Schooling is a social engineering experiment based on fear of human nature that tries to control what people think and how they behave. Intelligence testing and behavioral conditioning led men in the 20th Century to determine it was easier to adjust people to fit the state than try to control the nation-state. The outdated, limiting dogmas Materialism and Humanism that are built into schooling, make it perfectly okay to force children to submit to schooling.
The ideologies of Materialism and Humanism tell us:
- LIFE: Life is a random, meaningless process with no intelligent creative force behind it. Therefore, humans must construct their own meaning and purpose as separate, disconnected entities in a cold, uncaring world.
- CONSCIOUSNESS: Consciousness is either an illusion or emerges from inert matter (brain and electro-chemical reactions). When a person dies, their consciousness dies with them.
- THOUGHT: Thoughts are accidental by-products of evolution. They are electro-chemical reactions in the brain. The brain is a computer-like organ that can be programmed to think. Learning in this ideology becomes information processing. The more information you store, the smarter you are.
Schools are concentration camps for the mind and spirit. Children are imprisoned in school ⎯ they do not have a choice of whether to go to school or not. During the school day, they are forced to concentrate on a curriculum that is dull, often inaccurate and biased, and irrelevant to their daily lives. For a fresh account of this inhumane system, listen to the my interview with my 13 year old daughter.
Adults in the system aren’t evil, but they are entranced by the narratives of materialism, humanism, and collectivism. Schooling falsely claims that learning is a mechanical process best undertaken in neo-Darwinistic competitive individualism same-age classrooms. Generations continue to be robbed of their imaginations, curiosity, creativity, love of learning, natural genius, and the ability to author their own lives by a school system that was not designed for learning. It was designed for compliance.
People are suffering because their souls have been schooled and their minds have been institutionalized. They are now susceptible to the sound bites and scripts fed them by media corporations. This excerpt shows how news shows are all following the same script from a centralized source. It is chilling. Many people wake up in mid-life and realize that they’ve been duped. The point is not to blame the men who designed schooling using these outdated beliefs. They were living in a time before quantum physics, quantum biology, neurobiology, and cognitive science and before the horrors of collectivism in Germany, China, and the Soviet Union. Now we know better.
The fatal flaw of the schooling paradigm is treating children like mechanical beings — bodies carrying around computer-like brains. Schooling focuses on programming the brain and completely ignores Mind. Schooling is stuck in a mechanical worldview, so it ignores the inner life of kids and discounts the role of creative thought. Rather than acknowledge the innate wisdom of children and their creative potential, it forces them to sit still and process information.
Computers are machines that were designed to process information. Humans are not machines. Schooling is information processing, not education. The student who processes the most information wins. Drowning in endless information processing, students passively accept the facts and opinions given as true. They just parrot back answers that they hope are correct. You might think that this can be corrected by reforming schooling. Schooling was designed this way for a purpose and it is succeeding.
The results of public schooling are shockingly grim, evidenced by the high illiteracy rates among 15-year olds, college graduates, and adults; lack of engagement; student boredom; skyrocketing anxiety, depression and suicide; continued teacher turnover, and widespread ignorance of fundamental knowledge. In addition, 45% of people with student loans don’t think college was worth it, 36% of college graduates had no cognitive gains after 4 years of college, and 70% of graduates from half of U.S. colleges make no more than high school graduates, college tuition has risen 1200% since 1978, the average college grad has $30,000 in student debt and monthly payments of $393. Young people are bored, anxious, depressed, not learning much, and college becomes indentured servitude for many people.
School reformers have tried to save failing schools since the 1950s. $60 billion in philanthropy is poured into them each year. School reform is like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. Creating new standards, updating the curriculum, and loosening testing requirements won’t help. EdTech startups, with their focus on tracking and measuring learning activities and student attitudes, promise more oppression.
The current human story is a strange mix of social Darwinism and collectivism. Whoever dies with the most stuff wins. It says that people are weak and psychologically fragile. Therefore, whoever gets to the top of this zero-sum competition is best suited to take care of (a.k.a. control) the weak masses. Schooling is an instrument of social control. To control people, you need to break their spirits.
We take children, put them in a room, separate them from nature and the outdoors, don’t allow them to play, bore them with standardized curriculum, force them to sit still, require them to seek permission to go to the bathroom, pretend that adults have figured everything out, feed them ideas that are biased and often incorrect, subjectively grade them, and tell them that their personal worth is tied to these grades. Students deliver acceptable behavior in response to threats, fear, shame, grades, and praise.
The pressure to conform to a toxic definition of success and advancement is crushing our souls and making us miserable. Children are conditioned to survive school rather than thrive in life. Young people are denied the hero’s journey of discovering their innate gifts and personal purpose, even though most people know their soul’s calling when they are 5 years old. Life becomes a zero-sum competition for scarce resources (grades, then degrees, jobs, stuff, etc.) while paradoxically relying on outside “experts” to tell us what to do. People learn to value themselves by external measurements set by outside authorities and constantly compare self to other. The value of an individual becomes a quantitative measurement rather than determined by observable actions and contributions in the local community.
The Choice Point: Creating a Living Educational Network
Schooling fails to educate because the mechanistic paradigm on which it is based misapprehends human nature, consciousness, thought, and how learning happens. Humans do not need to be forced to learn. They need to be forced to process information, because it is boring and not what they’re designed for.
If we agree that information processing is not learning, that it is inhumane to psychologically manipulate another human being, and that college is not good for everyone, then what are we left with? How do we educate young people? We need to free the students and teachers who are trapped in this unnatural system. Education needs to move beyond information processing, individual competition, and behavior conditioning. The system is used by both ends of the political spectrum for social engineering instead of facilitating learning, self discovery, critical thinking, and evolving consciousness.
When we educate to preserve children’s innate wholeness, wisdom and wellbeing, young people will unleash their unlimited capacity to innovate. They can evolve the world and society in a positive direction through their insights.
There are two paths that our society can travel at this moment. One is our current trajectory of Scientism and Technocracy based on the myths of materialism and separation. This path calls for increasing control over the natural world and the activities of humans using centralized government institutions and technology. The other path is a Consciousness-first orientation guided by Science freed from materialism. This path calls for new approaches to living and learning to replace the command and control institutions that are running society.
This manifesto is an invitation to people to awaken to the power of creative thought so that they become conscious creators of the world that they live in. Let’s write a new human story that acknowledges the energy and intelligence behind all life. We need humans to expand their consciousness and use their thinking as a positive, creative force. And then, we may have a generation of brilliant entrepreneurs who can solve the problems that past generations have created.
Join me in creating a living education network at InsightScholars.com