Questions About Integral Education

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhat is, in your opinion, the goal of education?

 The goal of education is to give a person an understanding of his mission in the world and the real means for its implementation. Such education today is called integral (IE) because it allows a person to become one with nature and thereby bring himself in the optimal condition. It’s much more important than getting an education in the form of profession or trade. The purpose of IE is to make people happy in their personal life and useful in public life.

What is an educated society?

An educated society is a society that is constantly improving itself towards a greater likeness to a unified integral nature, revealing in its unity the single force of nature—the Creator.

How has the institution of higher education been changing over time?

Historically, education was generated by the social system of society based on the opinions of scholars and religious leaders. Since both authorities are losing their importance today, due to the internal changes within a person as well as the external pressure of integrated nature manifested now, there is a need for a new form of education aimed at the revelation of the plan and purpose of our natural (evolutionary) development. I call this education integral education, IE.

Do you think that wisdom has no place in today’s education that involves memorizing?

Wisdom was once in the past, and it was earthly wisdom, that is, within the limits of human speculation of the ancient philosophers. Lacking the possibility of revealing the true purpose and plan of nature, feeling the Creator, the scientists of all times tried to create the world’s view within the framework of the human mind. Their efforts deserve much respect.

Nonetheless, they can help us in nothing, except in craft, i.e.; the practical use of the results of their research because they can neither feel nor study the forces that govern our world.

Only one who reveals the Creator practically, whose qualities become similar to the Creator, has wisdom in an unlimited sense of the word. To him is included the definition of “understanding.”

Plato wrote that a book gives people a “semblance of knowledge” rather than a real understanding.

He meant that after reading a book, you can convince yourself and others that you know the subject. In Kabbalah, you discover the book to the extent that you comprehend what it describes, meaning, attain this level through your inner contemplation. Moreover, your attainment is individual, in the instruments, the properties of your soul.

What is knowledge?

It is a connection to the higher source, the Light, from where, to the extent of necessity and possibility, a person can draw any necessary information, like money from a bank. But the ability to get knowledge depends entirely on a person’s spiritual level, his screen, not on a successful Internet search.

How can we solve the problem of information?

Everything from search engines to social networks is aimed at ensuring that information is available instantly and for everyone. This leads to its depreciation because the importance of the carrier of knowledge is lost. This is good because what is important is not knowledge, but wisdom, the depth of understanding—insight into the hidden layers of nature. They are attained only by the law of equivalence of form between the researcher and material. Practical Kabbalah prepares a person for this equivalence of form.

But since only few people have a predisposition to Kabbalah, I would suggest the practice of workshops where under the leadership of Kabbalists, any person could be included into the discussion of the hidden knowledge of nature and thus gradually develop his latent ability to realize this, i.e., become a Kabbalist.

These workshops are not like ordinary widely practiced discussions, debates, or brainstorming. They are built on the principles of not opposition but additions; not division, but unity; not dispute, but agreement; as a result, there is a common and new feeling and the resulting knowledge.

How do you see the near future, what features of its development do you foresee?

 The Internet will turn us into inhabitants of non-geographic space. The problem of distance will not be felt by us both in connection between people and in connection with between state and social services, shopping, and so on. We can be constantly connected with everyone. Thus we erase the problem of time. The network becomes a field, free from any state, political, religious, and any other control. This blurs the boundaries of power.

Only the elite remains, which controls the network and manages the world through it: the media, the educational system, and so forth. But the upper governance controls the elite itself, as it is said: “The hearts of ministers and kings are in the hand of the Lord.” The result of the availability of all types of information will be in recognizing the “emptiness” and “Why do I exist?” In the end, everything leads us to the need for personal and public awareness of the need to reveal the upper governance, its cause, law, and purpose. And the method of integral education will be able to answer this.

What does it all mean in the context of the nature of work?

People will stop thinking about reducing the population of the planet. They will come to the need to consume what is necessary for bodily existence and receive other fulfillment from integral communication, through which higher fulfillment will come to them. They will work only if necessary for the acceptable existence of humankind. Work will be entrusted and considered socially necessary, unpaid.

Everyone, without exception from a young age and until his last day, will be in the system of integral education within which the entire personal and social life of humankind will take place. The state would wither away; we observe the disappearance of borders today; the influence of government disappears with increasing networking between people.

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