Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New Education

By Dr. Terence Chivers

New Education Now is a paper based entirely on Education in the New Age. A central aim of the paper is to determine what it is that the Tibetan expects of the new education, the term He uses to describe His educational ideas. To my surprise, it becomes clear as one reads on, that He expects us to bring about the new education, and He means us to carry it out in the social realm. He believes that the emergence of enough advanced human beings now makes this possible. The paper moves from His theoretical basis to His broad understanding of the goals of education. His ideas about the new education then take over. The paper concludes with the implications of his stance for us.

This paper is based entirely on Education in the New Age, first published in 1954. The paper outlines His approach to the new education. At first, I took Him to be advocating a new education at two levels, a fairly superficial level for the here and now and a more advanced level for the more distant future. However, I now regard him to be suggesting that the new education can be developed in the here and now but doubtless on a limited scale. It is up to us to find the means and the scale which is possible. To the extent that it is possible, we shall be preparing the way for more developed stages.

His theory of educational change posits three stages based on the ideas of a group lotus. This lotus belongs to the human group of those societies where there is an educational system.


1. KNOWLEDGE PETALS ………Civilisation…………Culture…………………Illumination


2. LOVE PETALS………………Co-operation………Loving understanding….. Group love


3. WILL + SACRIFICE…     Participation………     Purpose……………………….. Precipitation of the Plan

PETALS                            (in the Plan)     (Directed will of the disciples)                         (by the Hierarchy)

(Simplified version of tabulation on p 56).

The above constitutes the theory on which his educational ideas are built. Civilisation is the reaction of humanity to the purpose of any particular world period (P 39). It is how humanity approximates to the ideas of the age. In each age some idea functions and expresses itself in both racial and national idealisms. The Plan is the real source of the idea but how it is received and dealt with by humanity is apt to yield a distorted form. Education systems are often decidedly materialistic in form. We therefore need to consider what education should be about. He indicates three goals:

The civilisation of the child to train and rightly direct his instincts. In worldly social sciences this is termed ‘socialisation’.

The bringing about of true culture by training him to use his intellect rightly.

The evocation and development of the intuition (p 50).

I’ll start by considering the civilisation of the child or ‘socialisation’, i.e. social learning. The basic truth here is that unless this were carried out, society would be impossible. Yet we need society – it provides the basic forms of organisation which are necessary in some way in all advanced societies. Part of the acceptable forms of behaviour, which we have to learn, include the feeling self. Kama-manas must follow acceptable ways, for example, sexual behaviour. The training of the mind is to some extent covered in some families. But most mental training is left to the school system.

But having accepted the need for socialisation we should also note that much social learning mediated through societies will take materialistic forms and forms which suit the need of societies while distorting spiritual understanding. HPB once said that to understand the way of life which an occult student would need to follow, it would be necessary to start again within the lap of nature. While accepting this it would seem that adaptation to socialisation is possible since various incarnated masters have achieved it in recent centuries. These initiates find ways of revising the social learning they are taught.

DK’s focus has much more to do with the other two aims of education – true culture and development of the intuition. This takes him into a consideration of the influence of education on civilisation. In this regard, His views on history are withering. Geography as taught receives short shrift too. Perhaps it’s as well that He doesn’t deal with modern literature, religion and philosophy. Modern science and mathematics are not dealt with though one imagines that He would have some comments on the teaching methods in respect of these subjects. The social sciences weren’t much developed within school systems at the time He was writing. However, we know how pleased He was at the advent of psychology in societies despite his caveats in respect of psycho-analysis. For Him, sociology was included in psychology. What He would say about the other social sciences as they have developed today, e.g. social anthropology, economics, political science?

Now we arrive at the study of the new education. He explains that the new education will deal with, analyse and interpret the laws of thought, because the mind will be regarded as the link between the soul and the brain. These laws are means whereby:

a. Ideas are united.

b. Ideals are promulgated.

c. Mental concepts or thought-forms are constructed which in due time will make their impact telepathically upon the minds of men.

 The new education will organise and develop the lower concrete mind. It will teach the human being to think from universals to particulars, as well as undertake the analysis of particulars. There will be less emphasis on memory in the future schools. Interest will help recall. The good citizen will be another aim. Above all else the new age will teach about the soul and how to unify the three aspects of the self:

a. The receptive mind or commonsense.

b. The individualised mind.

c. The illuminating mind.

d. The antahkarana.

People will be taught how to respond to the soul manifesting as wisdom. On the mental plane, the soul will function as the discriminating mind, on the astral plane as sensitive consciousness and on the physical plane as the active participator in physical life. He believes that the various schools of psychology will contribute to the science of the soul. There will also be a science of the seven rays and the constitution of man will be accepted (Chart III, p 117 TCF) as will esoteric astrology and reincarnation. He adds that 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 said decades and not centuries. (p 72).

Initially He believes the new education will start in a small way in busy schools. Much of the textbook material would need to change. So too would the school atmosphere. In place of competitiveness would be an atmosphere of love, patience, ordered activity and understanding. Many school problems will disappear; the child will understand because he is understood and is completely fearless.

The educators of the future will lay emphasis upon:

1. A developing mental control of the emotional nature.

2. Vision or the capacity to see beyond what is to what might be.

3. Inherited factual knowledge upon which it will be possible to superimpose the wisdom of the future.

4. Capacity wisely to handle relationships and to recognise and assume responsibly.

5. The power to use the mind in two ways: a. As the ‘commonsense’– analysing and synthesising the information conveyed by the five senses. b. As a searchlight, penetrating into the world of ideas and of abstract truth (p 81).

It therefore becomes increasingly apparent that the coming education
could be defined in a new and broader sense: As the Science of Right Human
Relations and of Social Organisation (p 84).

The social milieu is today relevant for the new education because of the increasing number of advanced humanity in manifestation. At the moment their views are contained within the context of lower mental interpretations because of the latter’s dominance in society. But if more spiritual interpretations could gain credence, educational opinions could broaden. In the coming world order, educators will prepare the young people in school and college for participation in an active and consciously realised group life (p 130).

Four factors are necessary for this to come about:

1. The recognition of hierarchical status – a sense of protection, which is one form of love.

2. The recognition of responsibility – so that knowledge can be unfolded.

3. The recognition of the faculty of forgiveness – a rudimentary expression of the quality of self-sacrifice.

4. The recognition of group interplay – a sense of right relations.

At the end of the book, the Science of the Antahkarana is elaborated.

The new education might therefore be said to be applicable to:

All parents and wider kin – developing and sustaining the culture.

All teachers – fostering the culture He indicates as best they are able.

All schools – developing the culture and topics in so far as is felt possible.

All institutions of higher education where the culture He advocates and the syllabuses will allow of suitable interpretation.

All people who are able to develop the culture He advocates in their social milieu.

Any persons who may be ready, willing and able to begin the revision of texts for those schools and colleges, which could apply the revised literature or relevant websites.

The new education is available in the here and now. It is up to us to find an appropriate form in which we can interpret the material. That’s a challenge! The arena is dangerous. Advocates must proceed with much caution and work out plans with great care. But we must proceed.

Terence Chivers spent most of his work life lecturing in sociology. After retirement in 1991, he took a further doctorate in Autobiography and Life Review so that he could lead a life story writing group in the University of the Third Age (which organises studies for older people) and returned to the Arcane School, where he is a secretary and commentator. He joined the teaching group of the Morya federation when it started work in 2008.

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