Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the main aim of education?“
The main aim of education should correspond to the main aim of our lives.
Why do we exist? We exist in order to achieve a certain goal. As individuals, we each picture a smorgasbord of goals to ourselves, but outside our individual worldviews, there is a much larger universal goal that involves us exiting our individual worldviews and entering into connection with the entirety of nature. Likewise, unlike the transient sensations we could feel whenever we might achieve various individual goals we picture to ourselves, when we achieve the universal goal of connecting with nature in its wholeness, we attain the complete sensation of eternity and perfection. We can and must achieve this goal while we are here in our world.
Therefore, education should provide every person with the method, means and guidance necessary in order to achieve this goal, to ultimately guide us to become happy, fulfilled and complete beings living in a perfectly-connected society.
Unfortunately, our current forms of education have no such aim. We teach people similarly to how animals teach their offspring: to survive, to raise a family, and to produce more offspring. We thus fail to progress beyond the animate level of existence.
While it might appear that we make sophisticated progress in areas such as science and technology, since we make no progress on a deeper level, to discover the eternal and perfect reality, then we remain at the animate level of existence. Our progress is thus no more than efforts to make our animal existence more optimal and comfortable.
Rising above the animate level of existence and becoming human in the fullest sense of the term means rising above our narrow egoistic desires and attaining the same overriding altruistic intention that exists boundlessly in nature.
Therefore, education should aim at elevating us to a new level of existence by showing a different perspective of life than what we are used to: that there is an exalted purpose to our being here—to become balanced with nature—and it is worthwhile aiming ourselves at that purpose.
While we raise ourselves to become more sophisticated individualists, nature gradually reveals to us that it has different plans: it brings us to tighter and tighter interconnectedness and interdependence. The more we progress without developing altruistic ties in our growing globally interdependent world, the more we will find ourselves suffering and intolerant of our lives.
Therefore, nature gradually brings us to the realization that we need to revise our educational aim, and together with it, the method and the means to implement it, because we increasingly see how our past approaches to education no longer help us navigate in a world requiring us to realize our mutual dependence in a positive and balanced fashion.
Based on KabTV’s “Close-Up” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on August 24, 2009. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.