Last night I spent an hour discussing the Cold War with my daughter for a school project. She’s 14. Equally, we discussed the social, economic, political and geographic elements of the Cold War and how it effected people, who are another valuable resource. Then we moved onto Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Ho Chi Min, the Berlin wall, Pol Pot, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Icelandic Cod War. She’s 14. Is your daughter like this too?
The state system of education sucks. Big time, it sucks. And generally speaking, the end product of the state education system are those people with the lowest of ability yet have a position of authority to maintain. And to preserve their exulted position, and the system that employs them, they will defend it fiercely. Brown shirts, anyone? They make a lovely present…
So a quick look at the state system of education. It typically has 6 phases.
- Nursery – A change of playmates, entering into the big society.
- Infants – Learning the rules of society without your Mum and the basics – counting, the alphabet, reading and writing.
- Junior school – Establishing and conforming to the basics and “playing by the rules”.
- High school – Regurgitation without thinking. The more accurate your regurgitation the better and, therefore, the higher your grade. If you’re going to rebel, start here.
- College – Degree. Focused regurgitation – learning more and more about less and less. Teachers at this level are still in the ‘copy off the board’ phase. Students learn to govern themselves (at the age of 18!) and hone their chosen subjects to a refined point. No detention club here – if you don’t hand in your work on time, you just get thrown out. If you don’t rebel here then you’ll have to wait until you’re in your mid 40’s.
- College – Master/Professor/Doctorate. Where the teacher is there to guide you and your learning process to where you want to go and not your learning per se. You have to create your own work because there is nothing to regurgitate. Rebel? You could write a thesis…
Now putting our ego aside, where are you in the system? If you really are just regurgitating without thinking then you’re thinking lives at High School, and so do you. Do you vote? Then you’re still at High School. Have you been on a catering course because you want to know how to create better food? Then you’re thinking is living at College. Do you think that you’re ‘free’? Then you’re in Junior School. If you’ve even heard of the Privy Council then you’re probably in College. See how this works?
I know plenty of highly educated people who, by this explanation, are still in High School. Yet I also know people who never went to college who can tie your thinking in a knot. So where are you?
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is probably the most advanced form thinking that is available today. Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Bennett are now gathering dust on the shelf of evolution. To even start studying NLP your thinking must be at the college level because up until then, it’s just nonsense. NLP is like a cross between psychology and philosophy – it has no boundaries of understanding and it’s purpose is to know how the human psyche works. NLP is not wholly recognised as ‘valid’ by the establishment (which, incidentally, is governed by a ‘Traffic Warden’ mentality) yet it is incredibly, bluntly effective.
NLP comes with two levels of accreditation – Practitioner and Master Practitioner. A practitioner is in many ways, High School because you’re there for the first time and all treated as if you’ve got the same ability. There is a standard that has to be reached. But because it’s focused on one particular subject and it can be a little intense, it’s like college and if you don’t show up, you don’t qualify. You finish with a lovely certificate to hang on the wall and you’ll walk around quoting “sub modalities”, trying to convince everyone you meet to give up smoking. You will become evangelical like a late teenager living away from home for the first time. Some may kindly consider you to be a royal pain in the butt.
To be a Master Practitioner of NLP is where you actually start thinking. At the Masters level, you’ll be looking at a governments statement or how a shop sells it’s wares and you’ll be asking questions. Masters mix up ‘where’ with ‘what’ and ‘how’ and ‘when’ all the time because you can ‘think’ at a time, in a way, in a place, because of a… It all makes sense to a Master. A Master of NLP seeks to add knowledge, not just to understand what already exists.
And if you are licensed to practice NLP, compare yourself to the State Education System. Just where are you? I know plenty who say that NLP “is not like that!” – of course it is, it’s like everything! So where are you on the comparison chart?
Yoga. Expose your nerves everyone because I want to touch them.
Practitioners of yoga come in 4 different types. And as a person who practices yoga, where are you?
- Student. Someone who goes to a yoga class because it’s a bit of keep fit. Probably unable to touch your toes in Paschimottanasana and in some ways prefers Pilates and still smokes. Goes to yoga classes for the social interaction too.
- Advanced student. Someone who brings their own mat. A little more dedication and sees that yoga has different sides – breathing, spiritual, physical, emotional et al. Goes to yoga classes at least three times a week and even stretches at home. Working towards Hanumanasana and dreams of Padma Sarvangasana.
- Teacher. Determined to achieve Hanumanasana. Probably has a proper Monday-to-Friday job and runs a yoga class somewhere because it is ‘advancement’ without realising that it’s only a sideways step. Becoming a yoga teacher is for many, a dead end. Teaching yoga is hard.
- Yogi. Someone who understands that the splits contains an emotional vice upon the groin. It is not a physical stretch but one of emotions and beliefs. The Yogi gave up calling the splits ‘Hanumanasana’ a while ago. A person who lives for yoga because it is their everything. It just is.
Final words. How does one compare these three systems and where are you within them? If you can get your children into private education – and i’m not talking about the first tier of private education either then the end product, your child, will be so much better at then end. Even better still is the Steiner system of learning and it’s cheap too! At first glance you may consider it to be educating your child less but actually, they just do less regurgitation. Steiner is pretty cool.
Learn to think. Surround yourself with thinking be it in books or people.
Study Yoga and expand your knowledge. The more you do, the better you will become, in every way. And I did more Yoga as a student than I do as a Teacher.