Challenges in the Educational Landscape
Our contemporary society is constructed upon divisive elements, including identification with beliefs, nationalities, and religions, as well as fostering competition, ambition, insecurity, and greed. Students often find themselves ensnared in the intricate web of their own desires, expectations, fears, ambitions, comparisons, insecurities, and the relentless pursuit of validation and recognition. This entanglement deepens as societal norms, parental expectations, and tradition shape their perspectives.
A significant concern for both parents and educational institutions revolves around securing admission for their children and students into "top" universities. This pursuit is driven by the desire for prestigious job opportunities, societal respectability, and increased school admissions. Students don’t follow what they love to do, but they conform to that which can get them money, security and endless gratification.
Many parents aspire for their children to achieve success and security, leading them to conform to societal expectations. In this pursuit, the "me" or "self" becomes solely concerned with its own interests, contributing to the proliferation of division, inequality, ruthlessness, imitation, conformity, fear, and violence in the world. Similarly, nations act in their self-interest, resulting in global issues such as war, conflict, poverty, discrimination, and environmental degradation.
Unfortunately, within this environment of competition, expectation and insecurity the mind of the child becomes dull and conditioned, lacking the essential presence and awareness necessary for genuine learning to take root. To cope with the chaos and disorder of everyday life, students often turn to escapes such as intoxicants and video games or isolate themselves from society. This reliance on escapes fosters a mechanical mind, trapped in habit, and consequently, one that is not free to love, observe and learn.
Rethinking Education: Self-transformation, Consciousness Change and Awakening Intelligence
The current societal framework, comprising states and religions, has been shaped by a human mind entangled in self-interest, attachment, and fear. Attempts to induce change through external means, such as laws or morals enforced by social reformers, politicians, and lawmakers, have proven insufficient. For centuries, the belief has persisted that human nature is unchangeable or can only be altered through environmental modifications like laws and legislation.
Despite efforts like value education classes and moral teachings in schools, the core issue often remains unaddressed. Knowledge of love does not equate to love, and the idea of non-violence alone does not eradicate violence. While students acquire knowledge in subjects like mathematics and science, the crucial aspect is the awakening of intelligence. This awakening allows students to place knowledge in its rightful place, preventing it from causing division or destruction. True transformation occurs through inner change and the awakening of the human being.
Only when the individual understands the “me” can they go beyond the “me,” creating the foundation for the right relationships that define a healthy society.
This understanding of “self” brings negation to that which is false and awakens intelligence and love, which is neither permanent nor impermanent.
Ultimately, the purpose of education extends beyond securing a job and a house. It is about living a life rooted in goodness, peace, and compassion. This renewed human being, free from the self, becomes a responsible individual capable of responding to life's challenges wholly, without creating divisions and destruction. Only such individuals can contribute to creating a new society. This society is not a utopia or a far-fetched idea but an actuality, born out of love and compassion.
Understanding Action at Emerge
In confronting challenges such as forest fires, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and the looming threat of an asteroid impact, humanity is compelled to respond. Our shared vulnerabilities, underscored by basic needs like sustenance, clean air, and water, are integral aspects of this response. It is crucial to emphasize that the problems of war, discrimination, conflict, global hunger and hatred have not been created by nature, rather, these are products of the human mind and actions.
At Emerge, we recognize that the challenges are not just physical occurrences but also manifestations of a deeper psychological reality.
We recognize that problems exist on a psychological plane of reality, influencing our relationships and interactions within ourselves and with the external world. A crucial insight at Emerge is the understanding that transformative change is necessary in the very psyche of the human being. This change, we believe, must be profound and not merely a temporary modification driven by the fear of punishment or the lure of reward.
In navigating these challenges, Emerge emphasizes the cultivation of an understanding of the Self and its relationships. This understanding becomes the fertile ground for the flowering of mindfulness, intelligence, love, and compassion, fostering a state of order and harmony. It's important to note that this understanding transcends mere intellectual analysis. It is an experiential realization that permeates the entire being. It is a clear perception of that which is, leading to change.
By addressing challenges at the psychological level and fostering a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the human mind with the world, Emerge endeavors to facilitate a holistic transformation. Our goal is to encourage individuals to respond to challenges in a manner that reflects a profound understanding of the complex interplay between the human psyche and the external reality. Through this approach, we aspire to contribute to a world where issues are addressed not as isolated incidents or in fragments but responded to as a whole.
Understanding Our Approach to Action at Emerge
Emerge recognises that intellect and thought have created an illusion of separateness and fragmentation in our society, with all the identifications that the "self" makes with different nations, religions, ideas, beliefs, and groups due to fear and its desires.
Emerge works on transforming individual consciousness by collaborating with human beings to help them understand their own selves, encompassing all the content of their consciousness, the society that is an outcome of this consciousness, and our own relationships with each other and nature. This understanding and awareness bring self-knowledge and compassion, which Emerge sees as the only binding and unifying factors capable of transforming both the individual and society.
Emerge recognises that knowledge is important, but it also has the potential to divide human beings and create destruction. Hence, Emerge works on bringing harmony between freedom and knowledge, assisting individuals in freeing themselves from attachment to the known and the past, which creates conflict in our relationships, society and on this earth. This awakened intelligence is the source of right thinking and action, rooted in love rather than a fragmented identified self. When relationships and actions emerge from this awakened intelligence, there is peace, union, communion and life.