There is no capital, curriculum, counselor, plan, professor, or administrator who can solve all our educational problems. We must make a lifestyle change. Introducing genius to each other is a start; sharing innovative genius is a start. Forget a classroom as the root of education; spirit is always the root, whether you believe in it or not. Call spirit something else if you really want to, even call it nothing: you will not insult it because both spirit and you know that even nothing, the great emptiness, is something or eventually becomes something, even if it is simply death.
But we have this life, and we live. We live! Our lives cannot be meant to be binding to a piece of paper that is a degree, so that if you have that paper it is no longer your duty to think, or if you do not have that paper, you believe you have never had the duty to think. That piece of paper is dead: paper is dead. There is no longer a need for paper and pen. I have written this entire blog mostly on computer; some pages were written with a pad of paper and pen on BART, but that is a minority of the pages. Pen and paper—I do not predict we en masse will ever revisit those things again. Time passes. We are all now geniuses. That is the truth of this moment. Today in the year 2013 we, average gente, know more than any and every single human being knew in the year 1913, only one hundred short years ago, which is not even the blink of an eye in the dimension of the totality of time. We now know more than every single past human being—from the coffee picker to Albert Einstein.
Albert Einstein did not know we would fly to the moon or that Mickey Mouse would rule the world. At the touch of our fingers, literally inside of our pockets, we have answers that no human being had in 1913 or even in 1983. The information is free to you through your I-Phone or laptop. We are literally geniuses if we can now access so much information so rapidly, so painlessly to satisfy most of our needs, either abstractly or concretely. I know and can know so much right now at this precise moment that it is like I am a walking library. Therefore, now we must admit that knowledge is not enough, and this should be proof that pure information alone is not enough for us to be truly educated. Just because we know things or can know things, this is not enough of a motivation for us to search for education! We must want to search for enlightenment, or else people will search for stupidity, and that is what we love to do to delude ourselves from truly thinking.
Purpose, purpose, even if it is illusory, it is what we have, and the first purpose that we have is life. Right now you are breathing, and if you are reading these words you have some type of purpose, whether it is to get through this page or to eat or to plan; you have purpose. Animals do not ask about purpose; they don’t care about that. But we question this existence, and we will never find the answer, no matter how educated we get; there are simply too many stories, and inside of ourselves we want to invent our own story before we die. The problem with education today is that education does not help us to invent who we are and who we want to be. The best type of education is one that allows us to invent ourselves: this is the best we can do. These are the most motivating and inspirational truths I can imagine. If we develop a lifestyle of learning, conversing, suffering, playing, and living, then we can change education from something that is stagnant to something that is honest. Our students no longer accept that education will solve their problems. My favorite ridiculous reason for education: We will all get happy jobs!
I don’t know what your purpose is for you, but I know what I want. The goal must be a giant pie in the face and smashed banana party; that must always be the goal, to laugh at our absurdity, to happily share our preposterousness with each other. With that spirit as a base we can accomplish anything and have a good time while we are doing it. If you don’t want this as a goal, then you can promote educational capitalism, but ultimately I believe even our students know that leaves a person with the delusion of emptiness. Like all of us, I have shot for emptiness, and it also keeps finding me, but in the process of venturing into the abyss, there is excitement and an addiction, a healthy addiction that keeps me learning and loving education.
We are in a crisis. Should I talk about how much education, even public education costs nowadays? Should I talk about what students are actually learning in the classroom? Perhaps I should rant about teachers’ unions and corporate conglomeration? I know nothing about myself; how can I know anything about those things? What can one man do?
My life for a righteous cause and perhaps this is it. I do not write as an administrator or as the best teacher, but I write with an energy to transform, and if you read this I am in your mind. We are in each other’s mind. I am not humble about it; I may actually be ashamed of it, yet I continue because this is what I believe inside of my heart that can no longer hold the dam.
There is no truth except imagination.