Hope for Mankind
Although I was brought up under religion, over 15 years and eight months ago I realized that our Creator was something outside of and beyond the many religions. I have been clean and sober ever since. I guess most people would call me a Deist. I have done a great deal of work to demonstrate or show proof of the existence of this energy behind creation. The fact is, there is intelligence behind all of this and there are so many designs and an abundance of factual evidence that lend proof of this. I’m convinced by my work that this energy, this intelligence, is the natural energy of the cosmos. Why don’t newspapers ever talk about God or this energy behind creation in this light?
A great thing about Deism is that we don't have to worry about relapsing back into superstition and "revealed" religion, so we don't have to "take it one day at a time"! Regarding the question above, I think it's because Deism can't serve the status quo because Deism teaches independent thought and action and to always question authority. The established media and newspapers are part of the established social order and want to maintain their place in it more than they want to enlighten people.
TO DISCOVER what part education can play in the present world crisis, we should understand how that crisis has come into being. It is obviously the result of wrong values in our relationship to people, to property and to ideas. If our relationship with others is based on self-aggrandizement, and our relationship to property is acquisitive, the structure of society is bound to be competitive and self-isolating. If in our relationship with ideas we justify one ideology in opposition to another, mutual distrust and ill-will are the inevitable results.
Another cause of the present chaos is dependence on authority, on leaders, whether in daily life, in the small school or in the university. Leaders and their authority are deteriorating factors in any culture. ‘When we follow another there is no understanding, but only fear and conformity, eventually leading to the cruelty of the totalitarian State and the dogmatism of organized religion.’
To rely on governments, to look to organizations and authorities for that peace which must begin with the under-standing of ourselves, is to create further and still greater conflict; and there can be no lasting happiness as long as we accept a social order in which there is endless strife and antagonism between man and man. If we want to change existing conditions, we must first transform ourselves, which means that we must become aware of our own actions, thoughts and feelings in everyday life.
But we do not really want peace, we do not want to put an end to exploitation. We will not allow our greed to be interfered with, or the foundations of our present social structure to be altered; we want things to continue as they are with only superficial modifications, and so the powerful, the cunning inevitably rule our lives.
Peace is not achieved through any ideology, it does not depend on legislation; it comes only when we as individuals begin to understand our own psychological process. If we avoid the responsibility of acting individually and wait for some new system to establish peace, we shall merely become the slaves of that system.
To enable a child to grow up free from prejudice, one has first to break down all prejudice within oneself, and then in one’s environment—which means breaking down the structure of this thoughtless society, which we have created. At home we may tell the child how absurd it is to be conscious of one’s class or race, and he will probably agree with us; but when he goes to school and plays with other children, he becomes contaminated by the separative spirit. Or it may be the other way around: the home may be traditional, narrow, and the school’s influence may be broader. In either case there is a constant battle between the home and the school environments, and the child is caught between the two.
To raise a child sanely, to help him or her to be perceptive so that he/she sees through these stupid prejudices, we have to be in close relationship with him/her. We have to talk things over and let him/her listen to intelligent conversation; we have to encourage the spirit of inquiry and discontent which is already in him/her, thereby helping him/her to discover for himself/herself what is true and what is false.
It is constant inquiry, true dissatisfaction, that brings creative intelligence; but to keep inquiry and discontent awake is extremely arduous, and most people do not want their children to have this kind of intelligence, for it is very uncomfortable to live with someone who is constantly questioning accepted values.
Outward security for all can come only when there is love and intelligence; and since we have created a world of conflict and misery in which outward security is rapidly becoming impossible for anyone, does it not indicate the utter futility of past and present education? As parents and teachers it is our direct responsibility to break away from traditional thinking, and not merely rely on the experts and their findings. Efficiency in technique has given us a certain capacity to earn money, and that is why most of us are satisfied with the present social structure; but the true educator is concerned only with right living, right education, and right means of livelihood.
The more irresponsible we are in these matters, the more the State takes over all responsibility. The individual, you and I, are no longer important in our relationship to government. When up against the evil and self serving actions of government, a human life is no longer sacred. We are confronted, not with a political or economic crisis, but with a crisis of human deterioration which no political party or economic system can avert.
Another and still greater disaster is approaching dangerously close, and most of us are doing nothing whatever about it. We go on day after day exactly as before; we do not want to strip away all our false values and begin anew. We want to do patchwork reform, which only leads to problems of still further reform. But the building is crumbling, the walls are giving way, and fire is destroying it. We must leave the building and start on new ground, with different foundations, different values.
We cannot discard technical knowledge, but we can become inwardly aware of our ugliness, of our ruthlessness, of our deceptions and dishonesty, our utter lack of love. Only by intelligently freeing ourselves from the spirit of nationalism, from envy and the thirst for power, can a new social order be established.
Peace is not to be achieved by patchwork reform, nor by a mere rearrangement of old ideas and superstitions. There can be peace only when we understand what lies beyond the superficial, and thereby stop this wave of destruction which has been unleashed by our own aggressiveness and fears; and only then will there be hope for our children and salvation for the world.