of Swami Dharmananda Hansa
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Elements of Practice
More on Culture & Education
Most governments in recorded history have been controlled by people lacking in true wealth and power. That is why they abused their power and enslaved the people. Even after the invention of the printing press the primary means of maintaining power was through the flow of information, or rather through the restriction of it. Give the governed masses only that information that will help keep them in servitude.
With the reformation came a push to educate the common people so they could read the Bible. Although the Bible was compiled and edited for the purpose of subjugating the masses, the editing was not complete enough to safely let the common person read it. It was the role of the priests, who were in alliance with the government, whose job it was to interpret the Bible to the common man, lest he understand and follow the deep spiritual wisdom that still remained in the Bible, find inner freedom, and become a trouble rather than an asset to those in government seeking control, power, wealth, authority and recognition.
Even though there was enough enlightenment in government, in some places, to allow this popular uprising in literacy, it still had to be countered or controlled. The most stifling approach was for the government to take over the educational process of the common people. If they could not prevent the common people from education then they would at least control it, and reserve “higher” education for the elite.
So now the government mandates that all children from the tender age of 8 or less must leave their families, home and all they hold dear and go to a government institution to be brainwashed - excuse me, we only use that term when the same thing is done in a communist country - indoctrinated into that world-view and orientation of the psyche the government deems least threatening and that will maintain the wholesale enslavement of the masses.
Recently, with the rise in power of the homeschool movement the government has tried the same approach that worked so stiflingly well with public education. They mandate everything the homeschooled children must learn, hopefully thereby ushering them safely into the same worldview and orientation of the psyche that they have found so profitable.
Although it shouldn’t need mentioning, people today have become so dull or brainwashed, oops, indoctrinated by public education that no one ever seems to notice. Giving a worldview and orientation of the psyche has always been the primary purpose of religion. Education has therefore taken over the primary function of religion and we must admit that public education is primarily a religious institution and a blatant violation of the separation of church and state.
What is this worldview and why is it so profitable to the government? What does the government want most, even more than our taxes? It wants the people to be so busy either “making a living” or absorbed in trivialities that they do not have time to concern themselves with those social, political, ethical and philosophical questions that might bring them into direct conflict with their system of authority, power and enslavement.
Secondly, of course, they need their subjects to plug in to the economic system and generate as much tax dollars as possible, and to do all the other things that they think will make their country a world power, thus increasing further their wealth, power and influence.
Now, what sort of world view and orientation will accommodate these two primary needs of corrupt governments? And then, what world view and orientation would fail in these respects?
If people believe that the world imagined from sense data is the only reality, or at least that it is the only reality we can know about, and that it somehow causes our existence and the nature and quality of our life, and if they further believe that having desires in this imagined world fulfilled is the cause of happiness, and that the good life, or abundant life, consists in having lots of desires and getting them fulfilled - then perhaps they will be good candidates for getting plugged in to consumerism. Then it will be easy to keep them so busy earning money to buy things and so busy playing with all these toys they will not be able to concern themselves with the increasing loss of personal freedom and the increasing infiltration of government into every area of life. And they will support their masters in government with good taxes.
The very technology they think they are producing to increase their pleasure is the same technology that is giving government the ability to more completely control more people than Caesar or Napoleon ever dreamed of.
Public education is very effectively promoting materialism and consumerism. These are the world-views government finds most effective in enslaving people to do what gives them wealth, power and unquestioned authority. If this isn’t obvious just look around at the products of public education and see the worldview manifest in their lives. Its all based on science, technology, and how these can enhance their hedonism, which is based squarely on materialism: the belief that sees the imagined world based on sense data as the only reality, as the cause of humans, and composed of a hypothetical substance called matter.
Materialism and hedonism may be just philosophies, but when people base their lives on them they become religions. And public schools are the religious institutions that promote them. By limiting the definition of religion to theistic religions they carefully weed out all theistic religious influence, including most of its morality, from public education in the name of separation of church and state. Then, almost magically, public education becomes the perfect promulgator of what is left - materialism. And when you limit the playing field to matter, that hypothetical substance based only on sense data, all ideals and morals crumble, and the meaning and value in life is reduced to having desires and getting them fulfilled. Granted, millions hold yet somewhat to idealism and seek fulfillment through service and sacrifice for others. But even then their goal for others is often greater material wealth or pleasure. And still, the dominant activity of the masses is based on materialism as expressed through science, technology and consumerism.
Suppose everyone adopted the philosophy of the Amish. Suppose they gave up serving science, technology, personal possessions and “conquering” nature for a simple, holy life in harmony with nature and each other. The government wouldn’t be able to get the technology and taxes it needs to bully the rest of the world and would have to grow up. It would have to treat other nations and peoples as equals, with civility. It would have to end its show of false, and therefore addictive, power. But, alas, they are addicted. They can’t let that happen. Even if they disrupt nature so much it can no longer support life, they will not desist. Addicted people don’t act rationally.
Suppose everyone adopted the religion of the Native Americans. They did not even have a concept of ownership of land. Nor did they see themselves as being someone separate from Nature that could then conquer it. Respect for other plants and animals and living in harmony with them was religion to them. Such a religion is not compatible with the greed for wealth and power of governments irrationally addicted to such false wealth and power. That is why they broke every treaty with the Native Americans. That is why they stole their land. That is why they banned them from speaking their native tongues. That is why they banned the practice of their religion. And that is why not so long ago they did a program of mandatory sterilization of Native American woman on reservations. And their are many such peoples around the world suffering similar fates. Not so long ago they were massacring whole tribes in the rain forest in order to harvest the rain forest to print the morning newspaper that so effectively helps keep people from lifting their eyes beyond consumerism.
What if people decided that science was no longer their God? What if they stopped living their lives for the sake of its products? What if they decided the only success that mattered was the success of mastery of the body and mind, of the emotions and desires? What if desire fulfillment as a means of distracting the psyche into a so called “happiness” was universally accepted for what it is, a disturbing distraction? What means then would government have to control us? They would have to resort to overt violence. Even still they would lose all credibility. Even the need for them would be gone.
Governments have an enormous stake in the religion or world-view of the masses. Some suit their purposes. Others do not. Only through public education can they hope to keep in check those religions not useful to them and promote those religions they need. I will not here mention the atrocities committed by or in the name of modern science. A whole book, even a dozen books, would barely scratch the surface. Hundreds of books already exist documenting such atrocities. Almost everywhere science turns wreaks of destruction.
The problem lies with science itself. It is not true science. The whole philosophy of science is at fault. Science has nothing to do with a search for knowledge or understanding. It is only a search for external, and therefore false, wealth, power and pleasure.
The first step in any serious search for true knowledge and understanding is a calm and unprejudiced mind. And before a mind can become calm and unprejudiced it must go beyond this game of desire fulfillment that so effectively disturbs the mind and keeps it on the surface, on the external. What public education science course teaches that??? It is so obvious to anyone willing to stop and think about it - if you find someone still interested or with the time to stop and think about it.
Any science that doesn’t start with teaching how to calm the mind and clear it of prejudice has nothing to do with science. It has everything to do with exploitation. It has everything to do with power, with false power that is. True power starts with self-control. Public education doesn’t even teach control of one’s behavior, let alone control of the mind or heart. If people could control their own behavior they would be internally controlled instead of externally controlled. Corrupt governments need them to be externally controlled. To start with, if they were not externally controlled, they couldn’t be controlled by advertisers. Consumerism and the whole tax system etc. is based on advertising - making people want something they don’t need; keeping their desires on the surface, on the external.
True education must start with self-control. Not just control of the behavior, but of the mind, the emotions, the desires and the instincts. Then there will be nothing left for government to control. True education will eliminate the need for government, external government. But only a government whose members first find true fulfillment through self control can abandon the false power they are addicted to and allow such an educational system.
Now, tell me about your essential learnings, why they are important, and how and what we should study, learn or do to realize your essential learnings. It will tell me everything about your religion, your world-view.