We Need a Radical Change in Our Mode of Consciousness, Even a New Sense of Being Human

And a “new sense of reality and of value.” And our “primary allegiance” needs to be to the “larger community, ” not just of people but all life forms. And the Earth itself. No more using “human cunning” to dominate natural resources. And, Oh yeah, we also need “planetary socialism” as an explicit goal and the Christian religion needs to lose its dominant emphasis on redemption. Those are just a few morsels from one of the primary books cited and used by many of the systems theorists and Sustainability advocates.

Published in 1988, Thomas Berry’s The Dream of the Earth is the blueprint for the Green Movement and Bioregionalism and Sustainability. It literally sees human intelligence and reason as a problem because it allows people to use and change nature. It really does sound just like Paul Ehrlich’s desire for Newmindedness (Berry cites him a lot) or James Burke’s disdain for the Axemakers Mind that we have discussed.  As far as Berry and Ehrlich and Burke are concerned, we humans are entering an emerging Ecological Age and we need to fit our thinking and our actions within this desired shift from the “human-centered norm of reality and value to a nature-centered norm.”

Now I am going to stop this troubling but highly influential vision for a minute. In my role as the Miss Marple of education and economic detecting I encounter lots of different visions for a radically altered future. It is my informed belief after reading so many of these cited works and blueprints that the various end games like Bioregionalism or Future Earth Alliance are primarily designed to build electoral coalitions among various interests and grievances to get control over economies and human behavior through the ballot box and regulation. And to get local and state officials to hand over power to the federal level and federal officials to push it to a global level. That’s the consistency throughout. The statists are not going to give up fossil fuels but pursuing that unrealistic goal accretes power to government officials because they must intervene in what should be private decisions. And it creates tremendous opportunities for Cronyism. Be a political player or be no more is the way Crony economies work and there is no widespread prosperity there.

The other consistency throughout is dramatically changing the nature of education away from the transmission of knowledge and the cultivation of reason and logic. And it is a front-end tool so the education vision gets implemented first as a means to gain the desired economic control and redesign. Education then becomes about changing values, attitudes, and beliefs to affect human behavior without being open about such personal control over citizens. That is the essence of Transformational OBE and Systems Thinking and why attempts to push it under various names never go away in middle and suburban high schools despite all the blood shed at Columbine.

Human Consciousness is still the desired target and grounding decisions in unconscious emotions is still the most successful way to control behaviors permanently and from afar. And the Gypsy Principals and Supers will not stop pushing these toxic ideas with a bloody history they may not even know because that’s the path to the lucrative promotions. So it is up to us parents and taxpayers to understand this template and stop the educators and the politicians and bureaucrats. All of whom live at our expense.

Every totalitarian dictator in history wanted control over Consciousness. It remains tyranny when it comes in through the schools and classrooms through an administrator who insists on being called “Doctor.” Because I am on so many internal distribution lists I know that educators all over the world–US, Canada, Australia, UK, and Europe in particular–have recently been recirculating a 1990 speech called “What is Education For?”. Oberlin Professor David Orr was and still is a well-known member of the ecological movement although that is not in the speech or article. And the vision for education in the article replicates much of Thomas Berry’s vision for education from The Dream of the Earth. Like Berry, Orr believes that modern education and contemporary culture has created a “monster” in the form of the “modern drive to dominate nature.” He goes on to assert that:

“It is a matter of no small consequence that the only people who have lived sustainably on the planet for any length of time could not read or, like the Amish, do not make a fetish of reading.”

How’s that for explaining the reluctance to use effective reading techniques? Reading phonetically allows access to soon-to-be impermissable knowledge. It has the undesirable side effect of honing analytical skills and the ability to internally weigh alternative mental scenarios and possibilities. That’s not acceptable in a community comes first world since all those capabilities enhance a sense of individuality. Orr even goes on to complain that “Galileo’s separation of the intellect foreshadows the dominance of the analytical mind over that part given to creativity, humor, and wholeness.” I’d really like to object to that last point because I think an analytical mind is capable of great humor and more than a little snarkiness. After all who else sees irony everywhere they turn? I must admit though I do find the Three Stooges annoying. And I am very fond of building up my Wholes from lots of different parts as long-time readers know.

Now when the analytical mind itself is so regularly disparaged as an undesirable goal of education is it any surprise that we spend so much for such poor results? What we taxpayers and parents and tuition paying students think we are getting and what the educators intend to sell are two radically different products. Both of which call themselves education. Which is why we are in such an expensive mess. When educators are pursuing a vision for their product that the Earth itself cannot be managed but:

“What might be managed is us: human desires, economies, politics, and communities.”

Like trying to control any of those things, especially by stealth, does not have a tragic track record. And then goes on to say:

“the planet does not need more ‘successful’ people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane.”

Now remember this is getting circulated all over the world as an inspirational vision to start the new school year with. It goes on to quote Holistic Review which is important since my Gypsy Principal is openly proclaiming that high school education is now to be holistic. My bet is you should ask yours. Here’s that holistic vision citing Ron Miller:

“Our culture does not nourish that which is best or noblest in the human spirit. It does not cultivate vision, imagination, or aesthetic or spiritual sensitivity. It does not encourage gentleness, generosity, caring, or compassion. Increasingly in the late 20th Century, the economic-technocratic-statist worldview has become a monstrous destroyer of what is loving and life-affirming in the human soul.”

Needless to say, those educators now feel primed to make SEL and a Positive School Climate the focus of school. And the new economy push that surrounds all these ed initiatives? Well, Orr opines that “Communism failed because it produced too little at too high a cost” which is a ludicrous way to describe an ideology that killed 100 million. But how many educators know that? And then Orr claims that “Capitalism failed because it destroys morality altogether.”

I could write a whole blog post on the ignorance in that statement but most educators will believe it and implement curriculum, assessments, and instruction changes accordingly. Blissfully unaware of the seeds they are actually sowing. It is thus up to us. All of us. To take education back. To get the product we are paying for, not the one we are being sold.

It sounds hyperbolic to say human freedom is at stake at its most basic level. But that’s the result of tyrannical overreaches. Describing the actual effects does sound sensational. But it remains an accurate description of why we must speak up and fight. It really is our essence, our souls, being targeted. Pity the children under this vision.

11 thoughts on “We Need a Radical Change in Our Mode of Consciousness, Even a New Sense of Being Human

  1. I’ve read pretty much everything you’ve written thus far here, and I have to say it contains among the most insightful, intellectually substantive critiques of the Left’s subversion and domination of public education I’ve ever come across.

    Among many other cultural/political/philosophical issues I’ve long followed, I became very interested in the arena of kulturkampf that is public education some 20 years ago when I read Thomas Sowell’s Inside American Education. I’ve read quite a number of books, monographs, and articles on American education since then, including much (but not all as of yet) of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, which follows the “progressive” movement in education from the thirties through the late nineties in the words and documents of the very originators and theorists within this movement.

    One thing I’ve absorbed from your blog, and which I began to realize reading Iserbyt’s book, was the degree to which jargon, in-group cant, and slogans are used to mask the actual content and aims of the myriad of leftist programs, policies, and initiatives within public education. I’ve never in my life seen such a mass of mostly redundant and proliferating acronyms, all of which convey to those who understand their meaning fundamentally the same basic educational concepts and goals.

    How many ways could there possibly be to insert multiculturalism, critical race theory, environmentalism, sexual revolution ideology, behavior modification, values restructuring (classic ideological reeducation, by any other name) and a psychological/emotional bias toward collectivism into public school curricula?

    Keep up the great work. I’ve learned a great deal since finding your site and have done a lot of personal homework online since then using your references and links. Thanks so much!


  2. How do I approach my son’s school on this? I’m a very blunt person when it comes to my tax paying educational system I never shy away in saying that this way of teaching reminds me of the methods Communists used to teach their children. In my district, schools reopened this week. I watch as parents, teachers and administrators interact with each other as if on a prodution set of Sesame Street. All smlies, giggles and just complete bull. I got sick to my stomach watching this. If the parents don’t see this, how can anything change?

    • Jose-I have the exact same problem you do. I got a high school Principal’s letter last week that explained that they are developing a School Improvement Plan. I have the documents from McRel, the Aurora, Colorado ed lab that was so involved with creating and pushing Transformational OBE in the first place on using the term “School Improvement” to mask the continued emphasis on monitoring and altering the affective. As I have been reading all this systems thinking work, I keep coming across Riane Eisler again as if the typical school principal or district administrator has every right to gather data to try to get continuous improvement in attitudes and values to get us to a carng economics. The one that will likely leave people starving once we remove the rose-tinted glasses of professional development or maybe PEAK summer training in the Vail Rockies.

      The letter goes on to say with respect to School Improvement “We are considering goals aligned with our culture and climate at Riverwood as we cannot accomplish great things academically if we are not an inclusive, supportive, and positive place to learn.” This from a Principal who has trouble following the gist of parent questions so his replies are frequently the canned confirmation of the very point the concerned parent raised. You can see why he insists teachers may no longer lecture and that he is a Constructivist. That metaphor that does not believe in objective reality and universal laws. Just who you want deciding what are acceptable personality traits in adolescents. But he gets a lucrative promotion and eventually his own school district if he aggressively pushes this political vision of education.

      I told the story of the Growth Mindset vs Fixed and the 9th Grade Honors Lit class. What I did not add is that Carol Dweck’s specialty is Lev Vygotsky, the Soviet psychologist who was always looking for methods to use pedagogy to create the perfect Socialist man. Her Brainiology and Mindset work is a continuation of the Vygotsky goals under more palatable names that turn outstanding veteran English teachers into Inadvertent Social Change Agents in fear of their jobs.

      The links to what went on in the USSR are not tenuous. As I explain in the book that is explicitly what pedagogy was based on beginning in 1986. I have all the documents. Now though those educators who have always resisted pushing the Marxian view of the mind have the effective teacher evals that will take away jobs from teachers not on board. My references to Columbine are not intended to be sensational but a warning. Using suburban high schools to try to fracture an Axemaker Mind nurtured at home has proven deadly on more occasions than that one. In fact when I was following up a post from a Columbia prof I ended up on a Neuroscience blog about a week after those tragic Batman theatre shootings in Aurora. They were expressing relief that no one was focusing on the Neuroscience aspect and trying to physically alter student’s brains to correspond to desired personality traits.

      This truly is totalitarian if only enough parents knew their history and what student achievement is actually going to signify.

      You are always welcome to print out any of my posts and ask the teacher or principal why you should not be concerned. I will be happy to correspond with anyone on these issues. I just finished reading Willis Harman’s Global Mind Change from 1988 put out by the Institute for Noetic Sciences. According to it all this systems thinking and Newmindedness are intended to force a new global perception based in the unconscious that will guide how all reality is encountered. It acknowledges that what it calls M-3 consciousness is not true or provable but thinks it will make for a better, more peaceful, post-consumer, post-industrial world that embraces nature. Now it won’t work so why are we pushing K-12 or higher ed education based on this atrocious vision?

  3. Thanks for your response, Robin. I’m just a humble truck driving man with a couple of years of college, so sorry I can’t write eloquently. I’m an immigrant who came to this country in 1964, rasied in NYC public ed. I’ll never forget when my 2nd grade teacher told me “if you don’t learn english, you will fail.” They were tough back then. They had not yet been influencd by Kermit the frog or Big Bird. Now, why are they “pushing K-12 or higher ed education based on this atrocious vision?” What comes to mind is the word “drone.” One who when asked to “jump,” responds with “how high.” Just pure control without any resistence. Like a never ending “Woodstock festival.” They come in through the front door telling you to please all of your senses, “feel good” about pleasing yourself, while leaving through the back door with all of your expensive silverware.

    • Nothing wrong with being a humble truck driving man with common sense. When I was in college and law school, I did well but my dad, who never went to college, kept reminding me that “book sense isn’t any good if you don’t have horse sense.” I try to have both with some humor tossed in to appreciate the absurdity in credentialling people to make these decisions that are actually outside their real areas of expertise. I think that is why the title of “Doctor” becomes so important in education. To stop the scrutiny. In the law, if you ever encounter a lawyer who signs himself as an esquire, Run. They are signalling that the quality of their analysis cannot speak for itself.

      You are probably like me. If I do not know something I will say so. Usually followed up by “Let’s find out.” This blog is based on what happened when a curious parent with a legal background decided to find out. Having a legal degree doesn’t make me special. Just trained in seeking out relevant information and piercing through silly rhetoric. And very experienced in dealing with people who try to intimidate to avoid further scrutiny. I simply assume anyone trying to bully me or evade perfectly legitimate questions respectfully asked, is hiding something. And with that epiphany, off I go a-searching.

      Hope it is helpful to you and everyone else in our position. This year is an end-game time in education, K-12 and higher ed. It’s time to really understand what is going on, what went wrong, and start back to getting what we need and what we have been paying for in vain. And if a principal or super or ed prof does not like it, perhaps working fast food drive through windows could help them gain a more accurate instinct for the real world and what matters.

  4. Robin’s writing has been an eye opener. I believe I related this story to Robin in an email but will give a condensed version here to share with other readers. A cousin and her 5th grade son were asked to come in for a teacher conference. To their surprise, they sat in front of a three person panel who questioned the little boy not about his class work or a discipline problem, but about his athletic competitiveness–why he was competitive and why the kids always picked him as the team leader. Apparently, this was a social trait the panel did not approve of in a young boy. When I heard that story, I immediately thought this is what Robin is warning us about!

    • Ms Trish,

      I don’t remember that story but it is so telling. “If I do not feel special no one can be special” is an excellent way to describe many of the administrators and a few teachers who are so open to using education to level. Living on the public payroll they fail to appreciate how that Axemaker Mind or special skill is helpful to everyone in the private sector. The one that creates the taxes that pay for the public sector. Their salaries and benefits.

      As we talked about earlier with respect to PBIS and school climate and culture, these initiatives give a tremendous amount of power to adults who may well be guided by envy and hate and a chip on their shoulder. It also hurts the wonderful classroom teachers who are superb in imparting content in lasting and memorable ways. The teacher who went into administration because they really did not like kids and didn’t actually know much about their subject or couldn’t teach what they knew are now in an Overlord position able to act out their resentments over fine teachers and talented students. At least that is an accurate description for too many I have encountered over the years. Practically gleeful at the idea of wrecking academics because it was not an area they were ever good at.

      What a tragedy for everyone when your best protection will be mediocrity.

    • This is what “socialism” really is, or what it actually implies and requires as to the psychology of a citizenry living under such a system. If one advances, all must advance together, and no one succeeds or stands out (in any area) unless all can succeed and stand out in a similar manner.

      The lowest common denominator within any group, or, more broadly, across an entire society, collectively speaking, becomes the standard and the cultural/intellectual “set point” for that entire society. Anyone who breaks away or pulls ahead of the herd is pulled back and made to “know his place” lest his example send unruly and uncontrollable waves of individualism though the minds of other sheep, or, to be even more feared, feelings of low self esteem

  5. A very thought provoking piece. How would you rate Christian schools, paticularly Catholic style as far as succumbing to these new values? I’m guessing that they are reasonably resistant, seeing as they already have a fairly solid culture that tries to nourish that which is best and noblest in the human spirit, cultivate vision, imagination, and aesthetic and spiritual sensitivity, and are quite unwilling to change.their worldview for another at any more than a glacial pace. I could be way off base though, for all I know they’re leading the charge.

    • It depends on where you live. I have seen a document for Catholic schools in California that had all the accreditors involved and pushed this vision as the terms for being accredited. CA is Western so the presence of the other accreditors suggested it was to become a national template.

      I have heard from parents at Catholic schools in Fla that they are being told they must go to Common Core. They are monitoring what that means in the classroom as they are aware from me that the planned implementation is hugely different from the CCSSI content standards.

      Arne Duncan slipped up in his early days in office and mentioned that they were coming after private schools as well. That is the sense teachers at private schools have. In Australia for example the private schools are targeted because of the presence of reimbursing vouchers.

      I wish I could give you better news. But if you watch and let me know your specific concerns, I can spot the template being used.

      Plus knowing that it is the accreditation agencies spreading a significant part of the poison seems to supply some relief. Their privileges are wholly legislative. Widespread recognition that they are poison will make it hard for them to remain poisonous. Especially for private schools.

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