Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
First circulated in email to Pakistan's academia on November 15, 2012 | Published for wider audience on August 5, 2016
A university which does not produce “likkha parrha jahils” (translation: educated morons primarily skilled as economic widgets; harboring knowledge without understanding) while preparing each generation to effectively take on the challenges of its own time, is my dream university.
A university which nurtures the whole man, the trifecta of mind, body and spirit, to elevate the typically socialized mind that is artificially encased in the straight-jacket of conformity from birth, to higher states of consciousness which it is naturally capable of, and from which all positive aspirations of humanity naturally follow.
Does such a university exist some place on earth today?
To answer this question, before we can embark on building such a university in every town, village, and city on earth, let's see what is the problem with modern universities worldwide.
Without virtually any exception, these ubiquitously tend to produce “likkha parrha jahils” who at best, become economic widgets if they are naturally talented and pursue professional skills, and at worst, come to excel in mediocrity to become the bulk of the labor force of modernity.
In both cases, they forever remain socialized in the wisdoms du jour from their cradle to their grave.
This enables the public to 'United We Stand' with all systems of power which dominate and mobilize their society. This is true whether or not the Mighty Wurlitzer ( http://tinyurl.com/MightyWurlitzer ) is engaged for systematic perception management of the public. The unseen and unfelt forces of socialization alone often achieve that purpose without much assistance. Sociologists like to call this “indoctrination”. But I prefer the term “socialization” as it is all encompassing with or without any explicit effort at indoctrination of the public mind.
A succinct examination of these statements of obvious fact along with further study references can be perused in a letter I wrote to some stewards of the Pakistani academe: Groom them for top Ivy Leagues of America in Pakistan ( http://tinyurl.com/Groom-for-American-Ivy-League ), and in my positive critique of the documentary Thrive where the idea of the absolute necessity of nurturing man to “Higher States of Consciousness” ( http://tinyurl.com/on-the-road-to-no-where ) is argued in order to overturn this dismal state of affairs that only engenders the status quo. It won't be repeated here.
So let's jump right into the elements of my dream university – the one I have long wanted to build, starting in Pakistan, a country as drowning in the superfluity of its “likkha parrha jahils” as its great benefactor, the sole superpower on earth today, the United States of America. The only difference between the two antipode nations evidently being merely the degree of mediocrity which accompanies such “jahiliya” (translation: age of ignorance), with Pakistan easily edging out its sugar-daddy on that rubric by an unbridgeably wide margin.
System of Education
My dream university is part of a new holistic system of education which inculcates from cradle to grave. The first mission statement of such an educational system is simply to:
'craft sensible men and women who can co-exist with others in society without being exploited or exploiting others'.
The Honor Code of all levels of educational institutions operating within its ambit then automatically becomes something similar to that articulated by Caltech (The California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California):
'No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.'
Caltech describes the impact of its honor code in this way:
'It's a simple statement with far-reaching implications. It means, for instance, that Caltech students are routinely given 24-hour access to labs, workshops, and other facilities on campus. It means that collaboration on homework and other assignments is not just encouraged, it's practically essential for success. And it means that exams are never proctored (in fact, most of them are take-home). The Honor Code confers the power to freely choose responsible actions. Caltech students value this freedom highly and guard it fiercely, which is why the system actually works.'
While straightforward in their pronouncements, one can easily perceive that their implications are stupendously far reaching and all encompassing when implemented properly, with rewards and punishments at every level also being only in accordance with these promulgated values. The non-exploitation clause in the simple mission statement itself can be seen to be the straightforward derivative of the age-old Biblical Golden Rule: “do unto others as you have others do unto you”.
In my dream education system, what underlies this first-principle honor code, the foundation from which all else naturally follows, is the development and nurturing of higher states of consciousness among the students. Just as evil is nurtured by systems of control that encourage primacy by way of deception, its only dialectical antithesis, good, must also be nurtured. And no, not by endlessly rehearsing moral platitudes that fill virtually all Holy Books and which have miserably failed in making any noticeable difference to mankind's destiny since the Biblical Cain killed Abel. But by intrinsically raising the states of consciousness of the mind, which then becomes self-empowered for breaking the web of control that wholly relies on manipulating the mind to control human behavior. That is, before the not so far reaches of genetic manipulation of the human DNA hard-codes human potentialities into some sort of utilitarian scientific caste hierarchy that is incapable of making free choice. Taking away all freedom of choice from hoi polloi has been the holy grail for mankind's control by its Übermensch in their neo-Platonic Nietzschean quest for Social Darwinianism: the survival and propagation of the fittest man and races by winnowing out the weak and the useless eaters, and herding the rest of the sheep in service of empire. Its only effective antidote is a public empowered with higher states of consciousness that would naturally resist both: being eaten, and eating others.
These simple moral truths however, are obviously easier to write on paper than to implement in practice. The ruling powers of the state or the oligarchy in almost every elitist society continually strive to preempt such core public values with Orwellian covers. In other words, pay lip-service to them when necessary, and subvert them in practice, because without Machiavellian control, the oligarchy simply cannot rule their public for narrow self-interests.
The best method for such subversion would be the allocation and disbursement of funds for instance. The Rockefeller oligarchs hijacked the American medical school system by exactly this method. It can be read about in 'Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America' by E. Richard Brown, 1979, (PDF, online); and in 'Murder by Injection: The Story of the Medical Conspiracy Against America', by Eustace Mullins, 1988, (PDF, online).
My own forensic take on modern medicine is in my article: 'What’s the truth about modern medicine?' ( http://tinyurl.com/Truth-Modern-Medicine ).
The ability of modern tax-exempt foundations to engineer outcomes in the West, especially in the United States of America, by their infinite grant-making powers can be understood in the seminal book 'Foundations: Their Power and Influence' By René A. Wormser, 1958 (PDF, PDF, PDF), which documents, inter alia, history of society engineering that is no longer accessible in public libraries or even in the US Library of Congress. Though this method of social engineering to covertly direct society and channel the public interest through non governmental organizations under legal cover may be uniquely modern, the idea of the king or the oligarchy making laws suited to their own narrow interests and using these laws to control and plunder the people “lawfully”, is hardly new. This state of affairs was forthrightly captured by St. Augustine of Hippo in the fourth century AD: “When the King asked him what he meant by infesting the sea, the pirate defiantly replied: 'the same as you do when you infest the whole world; but because I do it with a little ship I am called a robber, and because you do it with a great fleet, you are an emperor.'” (The City of God against the Pagans). I have already explained this insidious idea of subverting the public interest under legal cover in sufficient depth elsewhere ( http://tinyurl.com/some-dare-call-it-conspiracy ). It won't be repeated here except to point out its obvious danger to engineering genuine public empowerment that goes against the ruling interests where the political State steeped in inequity is not the only impediment.
These age-old methods of subversion straightforwardly imply that to construct and perpetuate such an educational system as I envision in practice, as opposed to in lip-service, that teaches social and political justice as categorical imperatives, some farsighted constitutional covers and other acute legislative mechanisms also have to be enacted in order to preempt its hijacking and subversion – making this a chicken and egg problem when the oligarchy also rules all systems of governance.
That very pragmatic problem is not addressed here. It is assumed that proper dikes against its infiltration and hijacking can be crafted through public-private partnership, if not nationally and globally, then at least locally. A good example of such a beneficial educational system can perhaps be imagined under the auspices of something like the Aga Khan Educational Foundation; a philanthropic foundation with deep pockets, vast following, and power to influence the state.
My dream educational system will teach and reinforce the moral basis of why not to be neutral in conflicts of moral dimensions – even when expediency may call for it. It will teach the principle espoused by Martin Luther King Jr. when he uttered his seminal beliefs by quoting Dante thusly:
'the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.'
My dream educational system will be far from being neutral. It will principally teach people to think independently, to have the courage of their convictions, to counter the much lamented banality of evil by not remaining silent in moral crises, and to overcome the infernal statistic oft repeated by skeptics and poets alike:
'at best less than 2% of the people think, about 8% think they think, and 90% wouldn't be caught dead thinking!'
Neutrality is the bane of all moral existence. Tyranny only flourishes when a lot of good people remain silent. For then, who opposes the tyrant and his tyrannical systems – the greatest exploiters of man which cannot be undone by pursuing personal piety, personal ethics, and beneficial social work like feeding the poor and taking care of the ailing, alone?
Using an apt metaphor from electrical engineering, it is akin to focussing on the 'lower order bits' of a problem domain while masking out the 'most significant bits' or the 'higher order bits' of the problem domain. A page fault on the 'higher order bits' wipes out all optimizations done on the cache lines! If you didn't get this metaphor, you will surely get the following example.
Pushing poverty-alleviation via population planning and micro-credit lending initiatives while refraining from outright seeking third-world debt-cancellation. Focussing on the latter of course can make one very unpopular among the oligarchy which controls that enslaving debt. It is principally that national debt to lending agencies which ab initio precludes increase in social spending, that fact being the primary cause of poverty among enslaved nations. It is true even for those resource-rich nations that are sitting on enormous natural wealth beneath their own soil but unable to harness it for the benefit of their own peoples due to debt-enslavement, not to forget the sole superpower itself that is up to its neck in national debt to the same banking cartel as the rest of the debt-enslaved world.
I have explained this concept of 'bit' elsewhere ( http://tinyurl.com/Global-Warming-Mind-Fck ) in sufficient clarity and it won't be repeated here, except to re-emphasize the fact that it is rather disingenuous of the modern “likkha parrha jahils” to get the causality wrong. Focussing on the effects and not the first-cause, or mixing up cause and effect, conveniently only furthers the tyrannical systems into a self-perpetuating reign. Which is why all unjust sovereigns encourage focussing only on the 'lower order bits' of any problem domain when the public focussing on the 'higher order bits' would be inimical to the super elites' narrow self-interests. One is even suitably rewarded with lofty titles and honors for staying silent on the real crux of the problems while pursuing social philanthropy in the 'lower order bits'. This silence is much wisely called “neutrality” ( http://tinyurl.com/Aga-Khans-Neutrality )!
No – my education system will teach non-neutrality between good and evil. It will endeavor to create generations of moral and thinking peoples who would endeavor to refrain from self-servingly becoming confused. The easy harvest of nurturing and developing higher states of consciousness which naturally propels the mind, body and spirit, to seek higher planes of existence beyond the urges of the stomach and the primordial vestigials.
My dream education system would endeavor to develop both halves of the human brain, left half the logic-mind, and right half the intuitive-mind, for a holistic development of the human mind which is able to both reason and intuit for full depth perception. This concept has already been examined in considerable depth in the 2012 edition of my book “The Poor-Man's Guide to Modernity”, Chapter 33, under the sub-heading 'Why Mr. Spock Abstraction', pages 1046-1053, and therefore will not be repeated here (see updated Logic Mind in the revised 2015 corpus, Chapter 1 Part-II). The MIT system of education for instance, concentrates on skillfully developing the left half of the human brain. The “mind and hand” part as depicted on its logo. I would borrow from it.
My dream education system would endeavor to cater to the development of the whole man, mind, body and spirit. Albeit a cliché now peddled by New-age philosophers, that third member of that trifecta, “spirit”, has been grossly misinterpreted by the pulpits to mean “religion”. It has already been examined in “Higher States of Consciousness” ( http://tinyurl.com/on-the-road-to-no-where ) and won't be repeated here.
Suffice it to say that the development of the whole man entails far more than merely striving for a work permit to produce craftsman for the military-industrial-academe complexes of the world. My dream education system would teach the self-discipline that had once enabled the Buddhists and the Confucians and the greatest monotheistic mystics of antiquity to do with their minds and hearts what modern day Olympic gymnasts and dancers merely do with their bodies – as Karen Armstrong, the prolific author who was once a nun, once put it in an interview to a journalist.
My dream education system will feed students into my dream university, the academy of higher learning. The full spectrum feeder system which commences from kindergarten and continues beyond my dream university for life-long learning, is addressed elsewhere. But assume here that entrants into my dream university come pre-groomed, literate, skilled with the right set of learning skills, harboring a love of learning, and on sound moral footings, mainly from within my holistic educational system.
Certainly, like everything else human, these entrants into my dream academy of higher learning would statistically always be on a bell curve with respect to the degree of all these attributes that they would be able to develop and exhibit even under a proper nurturing environment. Therefore, that naturally predicates not only a level of competition at every level which would automatically be self-selecting for natural talent, but also predicates different tiers of universities and academies to cater to the full spectrum of human potential.
Nevertheless, suffice it to state here that the primary intent of my feeder system would be to groom entrants for my academy of higher learning whether the aspirants seek vocational training only, or desirous of advanced professional learning. In all cases however, the alumni of my system of education would not so easily become the “likkha parrha jahils” of their modernity as is true today of all educational systems of the world.
How these survivors of my dream educational system can compete to earn their livelihood in a scientific global modernity that is principally ruled by an oligarchy which rewards only conformity, which endeavors to “standardize the population, to iron-out inconvenient human differences, to create so to say mass produced models of human beings arranged in some kind of a scientific caste system ... to get people actually to love their servitude” (Aldous Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution, 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, http://tinyurl.com/Huxley-The-Ultimate-Revolution ) is also addressed elsewhere ( http://tinyurl.com/Career-Guidance-Young-Blood ). The problem is pregnant with such pragmatic considerations however, that Zbigniew Brzezinski, rather self-servingly I might add, prognosticated its import in his seminal book “Between Two Ages” in 1970 (PDF). On page 12, Dr. Brzezinski openly admitted as the forthcoming reality, what essayist Aldous Huxley had depicted as a fable in 'Brave New World' some 40 years earlier:
'Life seems to lack cohesion as environment rapidly alters and human beings become increasingly manipulable and malleable. Everything seems more transitory and temporary: external reality more fluid than solid, the human being more synthetic than authentic. Even our senses perceive an entirely novel "reality"—one of our own making but nevertheless, in terms of our sensations, quite "real." More important, there is already widespread concern about the possibility of biological and chemical tampering with what has until now been considered the immutable essence of man. Human conduct, some argue, can be predetermined and subjected to deliberate control. Man is increasingly acquiring the capacity to determine the sex of his children, to affect through drugs the extent of their intelligence, and to modify and control their personalities. Speaking of a future at most only decades away, an experimenter in intelligence control asserted, "I foresee the time when we shall have the means and therefore, inevitably, the temptation to manipulate the behaviour and intellectual functioning of all the people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain."'
As should be evident from these twisted depictions of the forthcoming dystopic future that is already upon us, much reconstruction needs to be wrecked at the societal level to overcome those caricatures of human beings now being crafted by Western hegemons “to get people actually to love their servitude”. Universities do not exist in a vacuum and are sustained in a symbiotic balance with their environment. A corrupting environment only begets corrupt institutions which in turn produce alumni who return to the environment to further the same corruption. It creates a self-sustaining corrupt system.
Suffice it to suggest here that independence and self-reliance is a perennial virtue in every epoch from time immemorial. Thus, it may be noticed by students of economic systems and history that exploiters of mankind too, also from time immemorial, have always preferred unjust social and economic orders that enforce dependency upon their systems with an iron fist, and upon debt enslavement in perpetuity, to keep their public motivated to labor continuously for their elites. Some have called it “free trade”, and others like George Orwell depicted it as the new “freedom” in “Newspeak” in his fable 'Nineteen eighty-four', syntactically sugaring the vile concept of perpetual serfdom into palatability with language re-semantification. It was however, most candidly captured by Bernard de Mandeville in his seminal work 'The Fable of the Bees' in 1705:
'The economic well-being of the nation depends on the presence of a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long. Because men are naturally lazy they will not work unless forced by necessity to do so.'
In my dream education system, at every level, all systems of exploitation will be far better understood, and coping-countering mechanisms developed by its graduates under the rubric of self-reliance, than is possible in the best IVY leagues of America today which are mainly geared to “mass produce models of human beings arranged in some kind of a scientific caste system” as economic widgets for empire.
In my dream education system diversity is cherished. A forest full of different species of birds competing with each other in chirping their own songs is the most beautiful melody in creation. I have no interest in breeding a mono-culture of ‘United We Stand’ on any platform, nor to “standardize the population, to iron-out inconvenient human differences, to create so to say mass produced models of human beings arranged in some kind of a scientific caste system … to get people actually to love their servitude”.
Consistent with all these wholesome goals and the mission statement noted at the very beginning, my dream academies will instead be focussed on producing generations of peoples endeavoring to compete with each other “as in a race in all virtues”, فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ (transliteration fuss-tabi-qul-khairaat), as expressed in verse 5:48 of the Holy Qur'an. I find it to be the most brilliant recipe for the stochastic processes of empirical reality, wherein, as is self-evident, man is randomly born on either side of the railroad tracks and grows up in different tribes and nations, thus naturally espousing a diversity of perspectives and beliefs due to the artifacts of affinity and socialization. The advocacy of 5:48 for mutually beneficial co-existence while retaining that natural diversity, that natural affinity, singularly realizes the mission statement of my dream education system. That wonderful idea, of cherishing diversity in both nature and mankind as a natural gift of creation, has already been fleshed out in my long musing: “Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization” ( http://tinyurl.com/Islam-Socialization ) and will not be addressed here.
It is useful to also always remember the pernicious caveat. To build an educational system which would keep up with the needs of the times, and continue to 'craft sensible men and women who can co-exist with others in society without being exploited or exploiting others' in every epoch, will remain an enduring challenge to be re-mastered in every generation. And the coming world government will make that challenge even harder. For no generation can forthrightly lay claim to know the future times better than the peoples living in those future times. Therefore, building enduring educational systems like national constitutions which become fossilized in the past, is an anathema to social progress, to social evolution, and only aids and abets the narrow interests of those who wish to rule others. Our past several generations, including my own, have spectacularly failed to renew and re-master that challenge. In the twenty-first century we are still suffering the legacy inflicted by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay ( http://tinyurl.com/Macaulay-Indian-Education-1835 ) and his local stooge Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in the nineteenth century upon the Indo-subcontinent (see http://tinyurl.com/Groom-for-American-Ivy-League ). They taught us how to be employees of the white man, the massa. I dream to see the end of that servile legacy in my own lifetime.
While it is already too late for my own children who have studied in the top tier schools of America like their parents – and only time will tell to what degree of “likkha parrha jahalat” in practice, for indeed it is only the practice of what we learn, know, believe, or preach that counts for anything – I do dare to dream to build at least one dream university someplace in the world where I would be happy to send my future grandchildren!
3.0 The University – my academies of higher learning
Left Half Brain and Analytical and Scientific Skills Development
The starting template for the most competitive tier of my academies is MIT – my alma mater – where, at least when I attended, one could study whatever one wanted to, and combine whatever disciplines one wished to, into any multi-disciplinary major. There is no system better adapted to developing the left half logic-brain that can analyze, invent, build and construct, than MIT's education system whose motto is “Mens et Manus”. That translates from Latin to 'Mind and Hand'. If the empire can use this motto very effectively for exercising its hegemony upon man, so can I to counter it as per the singular mission statement of my education system quoted at the very beginning.
Taking the best from MIT and leaving out what is undesirable without having to reinvent the wheel, is the basic template upon which the most competitive tear of my dream university will construct one of the corners of its broad-based foundation, the hard sciences and engineering corner.
I will employ MIT's open courseware to seed components of my university's curriculum. I will adopt MIT's emphasis on problem solving, and building with one's own hands, for harnessing the powers of both the left-half brain and hand. I will adopt their concept of imparting core-competency in a diversity of basics and fundamentals called “Institutional Requirements” to ensure many of the development goals outlined in the Introduction above can be met.
But I will leave behind all that which enabled these stellar techie minds and hands to not be able to call the demolition of the World Trade Center towers, WTC-1, WTC-2, and WTC-7, for what it was (see “911 The Sacred Cow of Science”, http://tinyurl.com/911-sacred-cow-of-science ). Some impermeable “fog” blanketed the most skilled scientific minds in the world from MIT to Caltech, and also the most astute social science minds from Harvard to USC, never mind among the rest of West's brilliant military-industrial-media complexes, to not be able to challenge the narrative of the superpower state even when simple high school level physics can demonstrate these narratives to be outright falsehoods. All the brilliant readings of social sciences, humanities, history, and Machiavelli, failed the 'good Americans' in exactly the same way as it had failed the 'good Germans' in the Third Reich!
After these easy adoptions by picking the low hanging fruits of the tree where beneficial, and leaving out the poison, is where the real challenges begin. To lay the ground-work for the other corners of my dream academies' broad-based foundation that will be effective in grooming the future whole man – one who will effectively resist 'United We Stand'.
Right Half Brain and Humanities and Spiritual Skills Development
The development of the right half brain and all that it can specialize in, spanning the full gamut of social sciences and humanities from language, arts, and intuition, to the spiritual development of the soul without indulging in indoctrination and perception management, and without separating a student from his or her own core beliefs borne of socialization from birth. That has immediate implications for the pedagogical methods as well as the curriculum. Unfortunately, neither MIT's stellar problem solving emphasis nor Harvard's techniques of liberal arts education serves me here. These Western institutions take in the brightest kids from the world over, and turn them into standardized economic widgets “arranged in some kind of a scientific caste system” who have no incentive but to mindlessly 'United We Stand' as 'good Americans'. From that one single corrupted system, all the evil follows in the rest of society. I do not want that curse in my dream education system.
For implementing all these lofty aspirations for my dream university, there is no easy precedent to follow in modernity. I have to invent them. Even go back in time as necessary to re-discover them, perhaps as far back as the Hellenic civilization, to learn from Plato and Socrates and Aristotle, but without adopting their limitations. It was, after all, that super-advanced civilization which also administered the Hemlock (bowl of poison) to Socrates for challenging the wisdoms du jour! Perhaps also journey to the Muslim civilizations of antiquity which ruled unchallenged and unsurpassed for 700 years, from say 700 A.D. To 1400 A.D, without adopting their villainous limitations. After all, that ancient epoch of Muslim domination of the world, in both the Mashriq and the Magrib, without virtually any exception, comprised only tyrannical and dynastical Muslim empires where the pursuit of “ilm” flourished as a means of achieving their 'Arab Dream' no differently than it flourishes today in the pursuit of the 'American Dream' ( http://tinyurl.com/fable-of-the-bees ) under the benefactorship of the most vile empire of our modernity!
And just as today we have great institutions of Harvard and MIT, and of course many more all across the Western hemisphere, the enlightened Muslims under the Fatimids a thousand years ago in the East, had laid the foundation of Al-Azhar, the famous university in Egypt that still exists today mass producing only antediluvian clerics and scholars mostly still living in that antiquity! Remarkably, all institutions in both hemispheres identically serve only the narrow interests of the respective elites who control those institutions! One serves the “imperial mobilization” agenda of the massa class and rewards some of its pursuers with the 'American Dream' that the rest only continue to dream about, the other serves to maintain the status quo of the enslaved class. Together they shamelessly employ every guise imaginable, spanning the full gamut of perception management from patriotism to one's nation to patriotism to one's religion.
What will they do in one-world government where there will be no nation-states to beat the drums of patriotism and jingoism against, and if they succeed, no religion but Secular Humanism to beat the drums of “God”? If one believes Bertrand Russell in “The Impact Of Science On Society” (PDF), the modern world will inevitably become a global police state and that would naturally be the most “stable” system of governance for a scientific modernity. In Chapter 7, titled “Can a Scientific Society be Stable?”, the philosopher-prophet of the new modernity now actually befalling us in the twenty-first century, argued way back in 1952:
'There is, it must be confessed, a psychological difficulty about a single world government. The chief source of social cohesion in the past, I repeat, has been war: the passions that inspire feeling of unity are hate and fear. These depend upon the existence of an enemy, actual or potential. It seems to follow that a world government could only be kept in being by force, not by the spontaneous loyalty that now inspires a nation at war.'
Both Aldous Huxley and George Orwell have ominously depicted various attributes of such a scientific police state in their respective fables. Please refer to their famous books “Brave New World” and “Nineteen eighty-four” respectively. Were they merely being clairvoyant, or were they reading off of some blueprint of the future? Zbigniew Brzezinski, America's former National Security Advisor, has already been quoted above promising just such a future merely decades away. And Ronald Reagan, America's erstwhile president, has also left mankind the psychological seed of an extraterrestrial threat from outerspace to ensure a perpetual supply of fabricated enemy to continue to ignite “the spontaneous loyalty that now inspires a nation at war”, making up for the short-coming in Bertrand Russell's imagination. This is what the American actor-president read off from his script at the United Nations General Assembly podium in 1987 (cited in the Mighty Wurlitzer):
'... we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world'.
As we can see, the Development of the Right Half Brain cannot so straightforwardly be borrowed from the West – for the West endeavors to also produce a serf 'United We Stand' class among their own peoples. The blind borrowing by the East in the past is what has led to the ubiquitous spread of “Occidentosis – the Plague from the West” among us ( http://tinyurl.com/Occidentosis-Plague-From-West ). That pernicious plague which came wrapped in seductive covers is what mentally colonized us to start with, separated us from ourselves, from our languages, from our cultures, from our heritage, and made civilizations far older than the West into a servile slave class. It did that primarily by cognitive and subliminal infiltration of the Right Half Brain. Its core development as the center of cognitive and spiritual wisdom necessary to shed the chains of servitude, is what will differentiate the graduates of my dream education system from all the rest. That differentiation will also be the salvation of the Western mind. They will come in droves to my dream university to learn what they don't possess, just as many in the East look to the Western universities today to learn what they don't possess today. All this aspiration and imagination still has to be translated into a system of curriculum and pedagogy.
Aldous Huxley offered the prescription of addition and subtraction for the calculus of designing an education system that borrows the best of classical education and modern education, the merging of the old with the new in some measure, to enhance understanding rather than merely piling up knowledge. The following lecture on Knowledge and Understanding sheds some light on the real challenges in designing a holistic education system that transcends ignorance and impotence, to fully realize the human potential, given that we understand so little of the interface between the mind and the brain (or body), such as between ideas and brain chemistry, between beauty and brain chemistry, between arts and brain chemistry, between our will and brain chemistry, between our environment and brain chemistry, and between the individual mind and the many forces that operate upon it to shape and mold it.
This lack of clarity on the mind-matter interface naturally leads to trying to better understand how to induce total awareness and understanding of reality into the totality of human mind, but which cannot be easily accomplished without first understanding the human mind. That begs the obvious first question: Who Are We, and Aldous Huxley explored that philosophical question from a narrow non metaphysical point of view to shed further light on the challenges besetting the new educational system being imagined here.
While Aldous Huxley essentially carried the flag of what might appear to be an oxymoron, a secular spiritual tradition, his deep insights into the making of scientific dystopia (sociology) and the scientific control of the human mind (psychology), remains virtually peerless and unsurpassed. Aldous Huxley wrestled with the same sort of questions on the study of mind that I have grappled with in my aforementioned abstractions of the Logic mind vs the Intuitive mind, specifically, that the study and conceptionalization of the mind is a self-referential problem, and therefore, self-limiting by nature; the mind is being used to study the mind.
In his following exploratory lecture on the nature of the mind and its relation to matter, Aldous Huxley quoted an “extremely eminent biologist”, professor Joseph Needham, on the non-necessity of physiologizing psychology, meaning, the nature of the evidence presented no compelling necessity to tie every aspect of the mind down to matter: “Mind and all mental phenomenon, cannot possibly receive explanation, or description, in physical-chemical terms, but that would amount to explaining something by an instrument which is itself the product of the thing to be explained.” Huxley continued quoting Needham: “The legitimacy of physical-chemical explanations in the realm of physical life is well grounded, but we have found that as far as mental life is concerned, biochemistry and biophysics have no authority. The opinion therefore, which seems to me most justifiable, is that life in all its forms, is the phenomenal disturbance created in the world of matter and energy, when mind comes into it. Living matter is the outward and visible sign of the presence of mind, the splash made by the entry of mental existence into the sea of matter.” The biologist concluded his essay by saying, as narrated by Huxley: “The biochemist and the biophysicist, can and must be thorough-going mechanists, but they need not on that account hesitate to say that Sir Thomas Brown, there is something in us that can be without us, and will be after us.”
The overarching wisdom of my dream university would be to teach, motivate, and elevate that very “something in us that can be without us, and will be after us.” The religion of Islam has called that elevation of the mind of man as the raising of “ashraf-ul-maklooqaat”, the best of creation. That automatically directs us to extract pertinent lessons and wisdom from spiritual traditions of mankind, as these have been the foremost harbingers of methods for that very exercise, but still rather poorly understood even today. Their main purpose: to fashion heaven right here on earth for all; to fashion societies among all civilizations where men and women can co-exist with others without being exploited or exploiting others.
My Dream University, the Mind-Body-Spirit University, where there is no clear cut demarcation of boundaries between various forms of physical, intellectual and psychological life, between science, arts, and religion, between the conscious and the subconscious mind, between the logic and the intuitive mind, between the rational and the mystical mind, and where the whole is greater than the sum of its various parts:
“Modern physics has taught us that the nature of any system cannot be discovered by dividing it into its component parts and studying each part by itself, since such a method often implies the loss of important properties of the system. We must keep our attention fixed on the whole and on the interconnection between the parts. ... The same is true of our intellectual life. It is impossible to make a clear cut between science, religion and art. The whole is never equal simply to the sum of its various parts.” (Max Planck, Partly cited in Critique of Western Philosophy and Social Theory By David Sprintzen, pg. 76)
Given this understanding of our lofty educational aspirations and academic goals, and the realization of difficulties in striving towards them in the modern scientific world of inimical power structures that can only thrive with an enslaved public mind goaded into loving its own servitude, baby-steps must begin with the idea of educating both halves of the human mind simultaneously. It is a powerful enough abstraction to design the pertinent curriculums around for every discipline as long as we remember neither to over generalize nor over abstract.
The challenges to build an accessible yet egalitarian education system for all the denizens of a nation which would cater to the contemporary needs of the nation have only just begun. The first challenge, before any other challenge can be undertaken, is to break all bonds of servitude to all elites, in both hemispheres, by simply imagining and conceptualizing that we do wish to break those bonds of servitude. Once that is imagined, the rest follows. And in my conception, that solution space begins in the education system, at least in my dream education system from whence all societal benefits will naturally follow for the rest of society. Just imagine when a graduate of my dream university will boldly decline to sign on that dotted line that today sells out an entire nation in every nation? And if the well known cliché has any germ of truth in it, then surely so must: well imagined is half-done!
But can one do it alone?
From imagination to implementation is not as big a step as one might think. Man stepping on the moon was much harder, and that too was preceded by an imagination to get to the moon within a decade! One man's imagination. A national will followed and it was done! (Albeit, see “American Moon Landing A Big Lie?”, http://tinyurl.com/american-moon-landing-big-lie )
Thoughtful parents and educators are invited to contribute their own thoughts on what would attract them about my dream university such that they would eagerly wish to send their own grandchildren even when they might have the choice of sending them to MIT, Caltech and Harvard. I am of course partial to these names. Feel free to replace these stellar names with your own great Western university's without losing any context – for then, you will surely understand why the developing world has to better these Western bulwarks of hegemony in order to even begin to break the perpetual bonds of servitude that the West has imposed upon mankind. See: “The Niggers of Pakistan” ( http://tinyurl.com/Pakistani-Intellectual-Niggers ) if you actually haven't a clue – and most don't since modern education mainly produces glorified “likkha parrha jahils” who come suitably anointed with imposing titles and accolades depending upon how willing they are to play the empire's shell game. Lamentably, in this contest, and only in this contest, Pakistan even beats empire's Nobel Peace prize – we have the “Distinguished National Professor” ( http://tinyurl.com/Pakistan-Geniuses ) prize of lifetime employment for our most genius minds now controlling our splendid higher education system (especially see pages 63-130 on how they collectively rise to protect their own gravy-train).
Do you want your children and grandchildren to be part of such vile systems?
To be continued in Part-II.
Print URL: http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2016/08/my-dream-university-by-zahir-ebrahim.html
Source PDF: http://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/my-dream-university-introduction-zahirebrahim.pdf
First circulated in email to Pakistan's academia on November 15, 2012 | Published for wider audience on August 05, 2016 | Last updated Saturday, October 29, 2016 09:00 pm 7041
My Dream University By Zahir Ebrahim 17/17