74 QUESTION: I would like to ask a question about creativity. As a teacher, I find that some of my students show signs of independence and creativity. But, somehow, many of them fail to develop this talent. Is there something about our system of education that prevents such creativity from being manifested?
ANSWER: First of all, as to the present system of education, needless to say, it falls very short of what it should be and could be, not only ideally speaking, but realistically. One day it will be that. Now education is compartmentalized.
The unifying principle, linking all branches of knowledge, is completely disregarded or ignored, so that the human mind develops with the idea of many branches, many subjects, all separate. The separateness, fostered by intellectual concepts, is bound to divert the soul forces and increase their inner separateness, thus prohibiting creativity. Creativity can function only in wholeness, never in separateness or compartmentalization.
The most important aspect in education would be the unifying quality. Young people should be shown the truth that there is one unifying common denominator among all branches of knowledge. Such an emphasis would ultimately affect and influence the soul currents. It would help them indirectly toward integration.
The more direct way, however, which should also be cultivated in conjunction with the emphasis on the unity of knowledge, is the treatment and dissolution of the personal conflicts in young people. Where the personality is more robust due to development in previous incarnations, present problems will have a weaker effect, and therefore the creative forces will flow much freer.
In such people, the natural attitude will be to grow from coping with problems, assimilating them and the experience they give, instead of being stultified by them. The more this attitude prevails, the more creativity will manifest. The less it exists, the more latent the creativity will be. In such cases, the work of self-search and inner re-education is most essential.
But in all cases such inner re-education would be most important in order to create a new humanity, so that one day the cure of unhealthy currents, similar to this Pathwork, will be a naturally accepted part of life. It will be an essential element of education for every growing child. It will be the basis of education. The world is moving toward this goal.
Still another aspect in meeting this problem is a different kind of educational approach in the home. This would mean that parents would have to be re-educated. The importance and influence of their own problems on their children would have to be made clear to them, so as to give them the incentive to do the maximum of self-search, in order to fully accept the responsibility of parenthood.
Thus their healthy and mature love-capacity will increase to its full potential, and affect the children so favorably that they will grow up with less rigidity, paralysis, images and problems. Perhaps some of you in this life will come to experience the changes along the lines of this discussion.
QUESTION: I would like to know also what a teacher, as an individual, could do to promote creativity in his students who are not really his children?
ANSWER: What the teacher can do, above all, is to gain awareness of these things. Even while the conditions in your world are still far from being what they should and could be, the mere awareness of them will help.
I do not even mention the need for self-search and development in the teacher, because this is so obvious that it does not need to be stressed again. Such self-development, in combination with awareness of general conditions as they are, compared with what they should be, will give the teacher sufficient intuitive insight into what the individual students need. You all know that progress on this Path brings out the intuitive perceptions.
One of the most important motives for a teacher, if he or she truly wants to make the best of his calling, is the inner desire to help. This must be the dominant, clear-cut, unselfish motive, consciously cultivated, checked when it is diluted or weak, and strengthened when it comes to the fore in all its beauty. This motive must be clarified and nursed constantly; the inner wish to help unselfishly should be expressed in prayer and intention.
The energy to cultivate it in action can never be left to itself. It too must be checked and nursed. Every day the wish should be formed that, if not more, then at least one young person should be enriched. If this is done, guidance and inspiration will automatically come. Such enrichment is often very subtle; perhaps a seed can be sown. The teacher who tries to work in this way will perceive how and where.
QA180 QUESTION: I’m very dissatisfied with some aspects of education and teaching. Although in some respects the students seem to be closer to spiritual truths than their elders are, I can also see that many of them are in an escape. How could one put the emphasis where it really belongs and have an education that is not escapist, and at the same time is not the old kind of education either?
ANSWER: Gradually, little by little, education will come to mean primarily the exploration and the development of the inner self. Then this question will be answered and many other problems will then be resolved. As long as education is primarily an intellectual putting in, a collecting of information, a computerizing of the brain, the personality is encouraged to be lopsided. And escape and many other things will then also accrue.
But escape cannot be avoided unless the personal reasons for escape are explored. Now, we in another realm of consciousness can foresee in a relative near future that education will begin to take the emphasis away from the intellect and to broaden the scope of the personality within the educational system itself, and to put the primary weight on the self and its unfoldment.
QUESTION: So the kind of method that I have referred to as self-knowledge or self-understanding, and have unconsciously pursued, is a kind of beginning of this?
ANSWER: Right. Exactly. That is a beginning. You and some people like you sow a seed, and these seeds are infinitely more important than you may believe. The more your own development proceeds, the more effective these seeds are, not because you can necessarily say more, but because what you say will have greater weight and will reach other people much more effectively – to the degree you free yourself of your own authority problems.