"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Thursday 15 May 2008

Domesticated Apes or Trained Schooling Fish?

Domesticated Apes or Trained Schooling Fish?

Why can’t everyone be just like you? 

Few can exist in the hive-like cities of today’s domesticated primates without extensive training in the ways of the local tribe. The protective colouration of conformity is usually highly prized in the exclusive us-and-them existence of the primate pack, and those who don’t fit into the standard pattern of the herd mentality experience disapproval, approbation, exclusion, exile or execution.
  It has ever been thus in unenlightened societies – but in the ‘post-modern’ world of the early new millennium, children are inexorably locked into anywhere between twelve and twenty years of training to fit into the needs, desires and ways of the tribe of their birth. It’s just as well that  lifespans are extending in most developed nations; the average university student has expended a fifth of their lives by the time they’re ready to enter the real world - the most vital and often the most creative years of their lives.
  Now that education has come to be seen as a business - and not a natural right equally available to all - the expensive business of education has an invested interest in keeping people inside its convoluted alimentary canal for as long as possible. Overstressed, under-funded institutions offer study courses and facilities that narrow in diversity and scope to keep the diploma mills churning and turning over, and insecure school-bound people are entrained to believe they need a little more training before they can succeed in the big wide world.
 What is schooling for? Is it for education and edification, or is it simply vocational training? Can it be both? Schooling begins as a bargain between each bright-eyed new child and the society that holds the keys to the cultural womb into which they’re born. Individuals are nurtured and supported by their elders and fellow beings and are trained to find a place that suits the needs of the tribe. But the beliefs of all tribes are rooted in the ancient soil of ignorant superstitions and they tenaciously adhere to the indigestible rocks of cruel and barbaric traditions.
 Even today’s democracies are designed to control their minorities by the will of the majority – often a ‘majority’ of fifty-one percent or less. The tyranny of the majority is still just a form of ‘might makes right’, and the majority is certainly not always right – particularly when it’s spoon-fed lies and ill-equipped to discern the truth.
 Almost all religions are based on misshapen ideas of paranoid extremists and are utterly opposed to democratic ideals. Religions commonly subsume individual rights, visions, hopes and dreams and often consume those who differ from their flock in ‘purifying’ flames or ‘unconsecrated’ earth. Religion is nothing more than a region with a lie in it, and truth is a prerequisite for learning. Religious education is even more stultifying than its industrial offspring and together these systems blind each generation that steps into the shadowy interiors of their constipated institutions.
  Fitting new members of the human family into the patterns of the tribe or nation is normal, even natural – but in today’s world people aren’t helped to find their place in the community through education; schooling is controlled and directed by the invested interests of business and industry. Feeding young minds with knowledge that nurtures their growth is disdained in favour of temporary and illusory economic advantage. The natural proclivities and potentials of the individual are sheared off, so that they can be straightjacketed into a narrow life-path of competitive jobseeking, economy-driving house-hunting and stressed, distressed families. There’s little time or thought for thought.
 Freedom is only available to fortunate members of wealthy and cunning dynasties - or to those who learn how to pull and play the strings of the disharmonious systems which these potentates still dominate. The leaders tell their children they’re born to rule the mob below and the self-fulfilling prophecy continues, confirming the status quo by a process of intergenerational hypnosis – another form of mind-controlling miseducation.
 It behooves those at the summit of the economic pyramid to dumb down society so that there’s little competition to worry about and no effective objection or opposition to their self-serving plans. When cultures are controlled by and for industries and run as businesses, Humanity degrades itself toward the lowest common cog and the rulers are dumbed down through a lack of winnowing competition or cogent criticism. There’s little incentive or time for people to examine and improve their own nature, to frolic and explore through the vast realms of cultural heritage available to us all, to study, think and create, or even to simply meditate. In the industrialised feudal kingdom of the blind the one-eyed control freak is king and every talented teacher becomes just another brick in the wall.
  People are hoodwinked into working harder and longer, convinced by their masters that it’s a good idea to put  their children in ‘childcare’ or schools, depriving them of their natural right to learn from their parents - and cutting the time-impoverished parents off from the wonder of their own children’s fresh minds. Early schooling is the method these blindly burrowing visionless materialistic societies train their cogs. People wake up suddenly before they want to; we learn to suddenly snap our natural links to the greater inner world of our collective superconscious. The day customarily begins with a blaring sound and a sudden rush of activity, with no time to integrate the gifts of the inner life inter the hollow outer shell of the suit, coveralls or uniform. The route to uniformity becomes mind-numbingly routine and each new unique child loses all sense of expectancy, immanence and adventure as they’re adulterated into adulthood.
  Most people leave school without even knowing what’s inside their own skin, without any idea of how to diagnose or heal themselves. They aren’t even taught what’s in their breakfast cereal or their pie. They have no idea how to fuel themselves with healthy food and are taught to consume poisonous chemical-industrial ‘food products’ from infancy. Today’s cogs are grown with built-in obsolescence in mind and aren’t even self-maintaining; people who aren’t very healthy may be less efficient, but they’re more obedient, well entrained to be too insecure to step far from an inept doctor or deathtrap hospital - and their infirmities generate a hell of a lot of economic activity.
 A school of fish finds safety in numbers and conformity. The individual fish trades unique traits for statistical safety, yet these odds only really help the school to survive, not any single fish. Every fish eventually succumbs to entropy or the appetites of predators or parasites. The school’s numbers need constant replenishment and a single-minded unified will to thrive, as does any hive – yet individual humans are capable of far more than any fish or ant. We require far more than work, food, sleep and a screen to have a fulfilling life, however long it may last or comfortably cocooned it may be. We have no idea of our real potential. Instead of discovering who we really are, we usually succumb to the same old paradigm, however it’s dressed up or painted; the hive-structured society’s eternal injunction to ‘work, consume, reproduce, die’.
  A free life’s far more than this dreary lie. There are much better ways to live, and to interact as grown-ups and children, lovers and families, friends and equals worthy of equal respect. All hierarchies are antithetical to this idea; how can people be equal in a quasi-military regime, where button-pushers, manual workers, academics and creators are still separated by crass class distinctions? The time has come to utterly transform or discard these outmoded societies based around the idea of an infallible monarch representing an equally remote an obtuse omnipotent god. That worldview is primitive kindergarten stuff; a revolution in thought that exposes us and our children to real education - that expands our minds rather than narrows them - can completely transform hidebound human cultures and change the world for the better in a single generation, or two at the most.
  Enjoy your children and your parents. Life was meant to be easy.
 Turn on. Tune in. Opt OUT. You’re more than the sum of your experiences, and destined for more than you can presently imagine. Let the Old Order wither on the vine – don’t pick its poisonous fruits. Leave them to fertilise the parched soil and work on something fresh and new. Together we can create a much better Millennium, if we follow our dreams and invest our time in better things than making money.

 -               by R. Ayana

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