Our physical senses have a very simple job (in a complex sort of way); they report change to us. Change in light, change in air vibration, changes in physical motion and so on. What does this say about life? It tells us in very clear terms that life is about change. Yet strangely our society has evolved into a position where it is almost completely resistant to all change. And any change it does accept is either unintended, or takes years to unfold.
I know that I personally struggle with this, I like to do things in a certain way – but I have very short limits when it comes to structure and routine; I do not like too much of it. Our resistance to change comes in so many forms – even when everything in the natural world tells us reality is change. Society is very much about living within ‘cells’; contained units of varying size, inside of which we create a set social structure, with rules and ideologies based upon our (limited) experiences and (set) perspectives.
The ‘cell’ is ultimately a creation of government and society. Limits are set upon our ambitions, and from an early age we are shown the paths we must walk. In this way our natural inclination towards curiosity and change is driven out of us – and thus we become a much more suitable component for a change resistant (inter)national community. Curiosity is only accepted within certain professional fields and even then it is limited to predefined areas of examination.
Isn’t it amusing that one needs to be a professional in order to do what a child does innately?
Schooling is clearly an obvious culprit for such damage to the human desire for learning – that’s true learning as in developing our relationship with reality – as opposed to the artificial school-based learning, which is the accumulation of knowledge to improve our relationship with society. This is reflected in the fact that earlier mandatory school starting ages tend to negatively effect the kids ability to learn. South Korea and Finland are at the top of the world in terms of childhood education levels…the school starting age being six and seven. In England the mandatory school starting age is five, with many parents sending their children to school at four. It’s surely no coinsidence that England is very low on the education league tables.
It is worth pointing out that Rudolf Steiner – founder of the world renowned Waldorf Education schools – generally believed that it served a child best if they didn’t learn to read until the age of seven. This allows for the child to develop their being, and self-relationship much more smoothly.
We tend to forget that intellectualism is a tool not an essential natural human component.
I always find it odd and very disturbing to see children as young as five falling into the pitfalls of reason and logic, already starting to ignore what their own senses report. The most despairing thing about this is that often the more disassociated from our senses we become, the greater extent we lose touch with reality. Many adults don’t have the first clue as to what makes them feel ‘happy’, and many suffer an extreme sense of self-doubt and lack any form of direction in life. It’s only natural that under such circumstances we would fall under the thrall of materialism and consumerism.
Is there a way out of this on a global level? I honestly have no idea about that. But what I do know – is this; on an individual level we gain tremendous insight and self-power when we start living in tune with our natural self as opposed to our ego-based programmed desires. Perhaps the lesson here is to teach our children the importance of their relationship with themselves and with reality. I fully believe that we should help them in that task in whatever way possible, as well as limit the damage a nihilistic society inflicts upon us all…