Back in mid-September of last year (2012) … when I made the decision to re-initiate publishing a blog and created Handmade-Space, I had some ideas for topics I thought worthy for publication, and imagined I would have no trouble at all publishing once or twice a month. Ideas were bubbling up into my awareness and I honestly expected I would have easily managed to publish at least once, if not twice, per month since.
So, here it is approaching the end of January, 2013, and I am just now managing to attempt to arrange the words in suitable ways to write this second issue of Handmade-Space. What happened? Why the long delay?
I really can’t say where or when I first heard that particular string of words. Nor can I account for their truth or veracity. In some ways though, it does seem to describe the experience of my delay with making this second entry of Handmade-Space.
October and November found me working overtime at my ‘day’ job, and with a milestone of a 60th birthday in November I could be heard bragging about how I was getting younger instead of older and quite able to keep pace with my younger co-workers with ease. Talk about tempting the universe! My body soon gifted me with a healthy dose of humility as the joints in my hips and muscles in my back rebelled at the abuse of prolonged overtime after 30 plus years of pounding concrete floors in the food and beverage industry. I was in a lot of pain much of the time.
Then came the holidays! Again … I COULD excuse my absence and say I was in too much pain or just too busy to get to writing this blog. However, that would not be the whole truth.
If you read the first installment of Handmade-Space, you might accurately suspect that some of the things on my agenda were topics I find both exciting or alarming as I experience living in today's world. I pointed towards some of the stressors and apparent inconsistencies that confront most of us. In the featured video named Garden, I alluded to the importance of self examination and reflection and the necessity to monitor the mind.
Imagine that you began a little backyard garden some years ago. You started small, but over time, the green thumb you were sprouting was producing desired results. Sure …. depending on the year, you might have an unwelcome predator or two, but your knowledge about gardening was increasing, and while one year your tomatoes might succumb to the blight, all in all, the garden seemed to improve with each years labor. You found the effort rewarding with the pleasure of many new delicious delights with each passing season.
Then one day you are tending the garden and you notice … there … just on the other side of the fence sprouts a small bamboo shoot. You are quite content to ignore the sprout and continue pruning the roses. The roses are particularly seductive this year, and you find yourself quite entranced by their aroma and beauty.
Weeks go by under the summer sun, and you are so busy tending to all the abundantly productive food and medicine plants you seeded over the years, mesmerized further by the aromatic and beautiful display of the ornamentals that live in your garden, too - you don’t even notice the multiple invading siblings of one tiny bamboo sprout creeping further and further into your handmade-space.
Some time later you finally DO notice that something’s not quite right in your garden. You see the tiny sprout and a few of its siblings have grown tall enough to cast a shadow, and some of your precious plants are failing due to a lack of sun. You get out your shovel and hoe to get to work! After a lot of digging you are satisfied that you have removed the intruders, only to raise your sweating brow to see a similar stand of invading bamboo cousins across the way. You work until the sun goes down, and leave the rest for another day. Of course … when you return you find your garden has been completely compromised and your once tranquil and manicured garden is on its way to becoming a plot of bamboo trees!
Last September when I first laid out the initial plans for this Handmade-Space blog, I suspected I had some weeds growing in my mental garden, like just about everyone else I know. I felt confident I could manage to sort out the thought-weeds I might find on occasion and continue to refine the landscape to root out anything that did not belong, and perhaps help others do the same. What I didn’t know was how to identify the bamboo sprouts (invasive false assumptions) that had crept into the perimeter and taken root! Now I was facing a formidable forest of thoughts and feelings that were blocking the sunshine and light my mental garden needed to survive and thrive.
The assault on the senses from the cognitive dissonance that surrounds many of us these days can leave one feeling totally unprepared and unable to cope with the world about us. I am certain I am not alone here. Just like our invading bamboo shoots, horrific events invade our psyche at an alarming rate. This often leaves no time in between assaults to get out our tools to remove the predator from our mental garden. My delay in writing this second issue of Handmade-Space was the result of my discovering that I have been using the wrong tools to do the job!
The public education I received left me totally unprepared to cope rationally in todays environment. I was not taught logic … or critical thinking skills, and ethics were abandoned in my schooling, too. I’ve been critical of the state of public education for many, many years, as those who know me well may attest. I continued with my own personal pursuit of knowledge all through my adult life. I was curious about many things, and off I would go to ‘learn’ what I could find. Not once did I ever consider that literacy could enslave me. That bamboo forest in my mental garden was the result of all that self-schooling I had done without the proper tools to critically determine if the experts upon which I relied were right. I had been bamboozled, indeed!
See Resource Notes Directly Below This Entry
Making the decision to look deeper into the bamboozled forest of my own experience of mandatory public schooling felt scary, indeed! With each step of questioning the impact such methods had on me personally, I felt as if Pandora herself have released all manners of evil into my psyche … mostly carefully hidden behind masks of assumed authority. The experts themselves had failed me. It felt overwhelming, and it was tempting to shut the lid on Pandora’s Box as quickly as possible!
Today, the phrase "to open Pandora's box" means to perform an action that may seem small or innocuous, but that turns out to have severe and far-reaching consequences.
Handmade-Space is about building the space in our lives to ask the necessary questions … with time to research, reflect, and reason before we respond. I invite the reader to step into a Handmade-Space of their own making. Take the time to consider what you were never taught in school. Explore the links below for a deeper look into the history of how it all got to be the way it is today. Dangers lurk in the very structure of the schooling itself. Take the time you need to learn the history … then make an informed opinion. It may not be pretty, and it may, indeed, make you weep. Have courage, though, and tend to your mind-garden with greater focus and clarity as we learn our way out of this mess and reclaim our minds.
Enjoy the links below until the next issue of Handmade-Space!
January 31, 2013
added later: I want to be explicitly clear that my criticism is not directed at teachers personally. Teachers are some of my favorite people in the world. They, too, are as much a victim of the intellectual tyranny exposed in the information I share as anyone else.
Published on Oct 5, 2012
This invaluable perspective into the root-causes of our society of fear was composed by YouTube user NativeInterface; all clips are linked below, and several are also included through the various Peace Revolution curriculum episodes found athttp://www.PeaceRevolution.org
"From where does the public school system originate, and what is its real purpose?
Mandatory public education was designed by big industry in order to shape and limit the minds of children to that of a mainstream consumer or factory worker. Behaviour is modified to be externally motivated by "group thinking" or collectivism.
"Three different types of psychological conditioning have invaded schools with Outcome- Based Education and education reform. Each type has its specified purpose in controlling the behavior, and therefore the minds, attitudes, and values of our young. The first is Classical Conditioning, developed by a Russian physiologist named Ivan Pavlov only a few years before Watson's conception of Behaviorism. The second, credited to B.F. Skinner, is Operant or Instrumental Conditioning. The third, attributed to Albert Bandura, is Observational Learning. Each of these Behaviorist conditioning approaches is woven through the OBE reforms of education to accomplish only one thing: to control attitudes by controlling behavior. [...] The psychologists have ripped the schools from parents and teachers alike. Their only objective is to create children who may look different, but behave the same, think the same, and believe the same. They shall create in each child the "perfect child". Like John B. Watson, they shall create children as they see fit. They shall do it with conditioning, not teaching." --- Deliberate Dumbing Down of America - Charlotte Iserbyt"
Peace Revolution episode 041-045: The Ultimate History Lesson with John Taylor Gatto
"Metanoia: Human Resources" (as heard in Peace Revolution episode 011)
J. T. Gatto interviewed by Lennart Mogren, Sweden, March 2003
Memories of a Political Prisoner - Prof. Chengiah Ragaven interviewed by Richard Andrew Grove ofhttp://www.TragedyandHope.com
The Secret History of Western Education: The Scientific Destruction of Minds - Charlotte Iserbyt 1/5
Peg Luksik "Who Controls Our Children" How Public Schools Dumb Down Kids (as heard in Peace Revolution episode 051)
The Ultimate History Lesson:
A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of The World
Charlotte Iserbyt on Veritas Radio - 1/6
Trades Of Hope
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