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The Science of Education Part 1 by Caleb Gattegno



The first hints that there was a possibility of looking at education as a field of study that could ultimately become as legitimate a science as others have been, came forth soon after 1940. The ...

The first hints that there was a possibility of looking at education as a field of study that could ultimately become as legitimate a science as others have been, came forth soon after 1940. The central point was that awareness, which has permitted all the sciences to find their rightful places, could become aware of itself. In the years that followed, a number of research undertakings produced opportunities to gather evidence that gave the initial intuition a body of facts which
established the foundations for that science and the openings for its technology.

The decisive shift that there was a basis for suggesting to the public that a science of education could be developed came with the clear awareness that only awareness is educable in Man. . . .

In this book, the work done with students of all ages . . . is only implicit. It is that work which provided the evidence needed to catch the subtle and invisible tasks of awareness and its workings, dynamics that became the source of the theoretical considerations presented here.

-Caleb Gattegno



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The Science of Education Part 1 by Caleb Gattegno Document Transcript

  • 1. The Science of Education Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Caleb Gattegno Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.
  • 2. First published in the United States of America in 1987. Reprinted in 2009. Copyright © 1987 – 2009 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. Author: Caleb Gattegno All rights reserved ISBN 978-0-87825-192-6 Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. 2nd Floor 99 University Place, New York, NY 10003-4555 www.EducationalSolutions.com
  • 3. Table of Contents Preface.........................................................................1 1 How A Science Is Born ............................................. 5 2 The Awareness Of Awareness .................................37 Ways Of Reaching The Awareness Of Awareness ................ 37 Ways Of Knowing...................................................................51 3 The Facts Of Awareness ..........................................75 The Consequences For Humanity.........................................94 Summary ..............................................................................112 4 Affectivity And Learning....................................... 115 Summary .............................................................................. 151 5 Memory And Retention......................................... 153 Summary ..............................................................................181 6 Forcing Awareness ...............................................183 Further Readings ..................................................... 211
  • 4. Preface This treatise on the Science of Education has been many years in the making. The first hints that there was a possibility of looking at education as a field of study that could ultimately become as legitimate a science as others have been, came forth soon after 1940. The central point was that awareness, which has permitted all the sciences to find their rightful places, could become aware of itself. In the years that followed, a number of research undertakings produced opportunities to gather evidence that gave the initial intuition a body of facts which established the foundations for that science and the openings for its technology. The decisive shift that there was a basis for suggesting to the public that a science of education could be developed came with the clear awareness that only awareness is educable in Man. From the early 1950s to today, the empirical foundations have been gleaned in a succession of solutions to problems met in the classrooms of the world, solutions developed entirely on the basis of awareness. This evidence is already overwhelming, even 1
  • 5. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations though it is essentially the work of only one man. It will be gathered together as now in use in many spots of our planet, which means that they have been thoroughly tested by a large number of outsiders who can affirm now that they know objectively that awareness can be educated and that indeed nothing else can compete for that place in education. Historically, it has not been necessary to provide the users of the practical solutions with a thorough examination of their theoretical basis. Still, many among those users requested at least some theoretical justification for what was put in their hands and was obviously doing the jobs of changing students into readers, writers, spellers, mathematicians, with ease and celerity. To meet this request, a number of chapters of this volume (Chapters 2, 3, and 4) were published separately in the 1970s. In 1986 chapter 5 appeared, and now chapters 1 and 6 have been added, to complete Part I. The contents of an empirical science, like that of education, cannot be theoretical. But such a label is proper for a discussion that keeps to the side the evidence which generated those contents. In this book, the work done with students of all ages who populate the schools, from grades one through fifteen, is only implicit. It is that work which provided the evidence needed to catch the subtle and invisible tasks of awareness and its workings, dynamics that became the source of the theoretical considerations presented here. We offer this treatise separately because it can stand by itself and may find interested readers 2
  • 6. Preface who do not want to be technicians of education and who find their fulfillment in thinking about education’s larger issues. Of course, no one will fail to see that much more could have been written about the matters raised in the pages of this book. But to give it a final form is beyond a mortal individual and has to be left to a collectivity, one which may span generations. In the earlier publication of several of these chapters, help had been needed to give form to the findings in a language in a process of evolution, one not yet ordinarily capable of expressing new intuitions. Those who helped are warmly thanked, even if they were often shy in their corrections for fear of disturbing what appeared to be said cryptically in the English of today, which still remains a language of action and of communication in the fields of engineering, trade, and global uniformizations. Perhaps more gifted writers will be moved to give to these proposals they find valuable a better form, capable of reaching more people. I very much hope so. Caleb Gattegno June 1987 3
  • 7. 1 How A Science Is Born This treatise is about a new science and its technology. Part I is devoted to the science and Part II mainly to its technology as it has been developed to date. A science can exist and be recognized some time after it has been developed by its pioneer founder (s). The general public becomes aware that a science has existed for some time only when a sufficient corpus of findings has been established, as was the case with, say, economics after Adam Smith and Ricardo, and genetics after Mendel. In the years after the Renaissance, when so many people started so many of the sciences of nature, it was not possible to attempt a classification of them, and it was only around 1850 that Auguste Comte—the founder of sociology—proposed the first such overview of all the sciences existing in his time, with sociology at its apex and as its searchlight. 5
  • 8. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations For Auguste Comte, sciences can claim to exist when the minds of men have abandoned the mythical and metaphysical levels of functioning and reached the positive level, when objectivity becomes the criterion of statements of truth. For him that positive level was the final one, the previous ones offering myths and metaphysical statements which could not be proven and so required belief. The situation has changed over the last 140 years. Much work has been done by people who did not remain confined to what the previous generation or generations stated as being “objective.” For instance, the study of energy, the study of electromagnetism, the study of evolution, of the atom, of the cosmos, of the mind, of relativity were undertaken properly only in the years after Auguste Comte made his classification of the sciences. So many new sciences have been generated—and some old ones transformed to the point of being unrecognizable—that it may be time to look again at the challenge of classification, particularly since this book is about a new science which became possible only in recent decades. In a work of mine of the early 1950s, (Conscience de la Conscience), a chapter was dedicated to a proposal which took psychology (seen as the science of time) as the focal point and light of a new classification system, instead of Auguste Comte’s newly founded sociology. Since then, refinements have permitted a new departure, although the essential finding remains central: “men can only study the contents of their awarenesses, and these awarenesses go to form the sciences, open to all those who share them.” 6
  • 9. 1 How A Science Is Born In one word, the instrument for the study of the sciences as a group, as well as of each science separately, is “awareness.” Since in the next few chapters, we will study this instrument in detail and make it take the forms best suited to the fields we shall consider, we do not need to concentrate on it here, but instead need to give the space of these pages to what this instrument has made possible in so far as all sciences are concerned. *** In the enormous accumulation of observations made by millions and now billions of human beings over a long time, there are many which left tracks that are not accessible any more and that form the set of automatic know-hows, but there is a certain number (and possibly not too small a number) which resurface time and again and force some individuals to keep them in mind. They are what is called the “experience” of these individuals. From time immemorial, there were circumstances which forced awareness on those who had to survive in an environment, and had A NEED TO KNOW and to pass on their findings to the individuals around them. This systematic knowing led to knowledge that is at the basis of all the work done by humans: on the land (constituting the agricultural experience of those who worked the soil); on the materials accessible to humans, from barks to clay and stone (constituting the basis of the experience of artisans or of simple ordinary people doing their 7
  • 10. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations chores at home); on instruments or tools for hunting, fishing, travel, etc. (constituting the layers of cultures from prehistory on); on one’s soma, to find out how far one can stretch oneself in walking, running, racing, climbing, shouting, imitating animal sounds, etc. (which constitutes the basis for shifting from some behaviors to new ones); on one’s capacity to “image,” leading to a capacity to imagine (and this constitutes the basis of all languages—along with the help of one’s knowledge of one’s somatic functionings—and of all the arts). Because all this and much more was done before records could be kept, we lump these outcomes together and do not attempt to find out the necessary temporal hierarchies required by the remarkable achievements of our ancestors thousands, and hundreds of thousands, of years ago. We therefore do not speak of sciences in regard to their work. Mainly because the influence of positivists has been so great, we want to reserve the word “science” for the explicit effort to formulate our knowing in ways which make people accept statements as true, essentially by referring to realities accessible with our senses. Nonetheless, it is possible to engage in studies of knowing which bring out the profound resemblance between what our ancestors did in their searches and what scientists do now in their own sciences, which is to find out what is actually in their consciousness. This work, which is part of epistemology, or the science of knowing, is as difficult concerning the scientists of today as it is when we investigate the mental workings of humans of the 8
  • 11. 1 How A Science Is Born remote past. Indeed, scientists in their sciences mainly want to produce new knowledge and pay little attention to how they do that. Hence, outsiders cannot know what the insiders have no access to and are not interested in finding out. For that reason, epistemology has for a very long time been only superficial, reducing the real and complex knowing of humans (of all ages and backgrounds) to a few simple principles conceived of as the backbone of the sciences. It therefore becomes possible to widen the notion of a science by concentrating on the ways of working which characterize its results as well as its procedures, and thus recapture for the sciences all that which men did to answer their need to know. The importance of asking about what precedes all the sciences enables us to offer a classification of them which excludes none and is not biased by an a priori, marked by time and space. Auguste Comte selected positivism as the ultimate level of the progress of the human mind in its overall evolution; he thus mortgaged the future. On the one hand, he washed out in one gesture all the work of thousands of generations of humans seeking to know their condition, and on the other, he wanted to reduce all possible searches to the one he made his own. Our advantages over him are that, since 1850, ways of thinking called evolution and relativity have surfaced, which have forced us to discover how to accomodate time explicitly in our pronouncements and how to give to every honest, watchful, and serious investigator the right to his or her findings in any selected field of endeavor. *** 9
  • 12. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Let us consider first the notion of “a dialogue of one’s mind with one’s self.” This, of course, every one of us does every day, and we speak of it as “talking to oneself.” But it is more pervasive and already exists before the verbal stage. Observation of very young babies yields evidence that in crying, for instance, there is the presence of consciousness and that crying is not only the use of reflex mechanisms but also reveals the presence of the crier in the cries. Only the presence of consciousness explains the reason these cries can be made louder, more prolonged, and can be structured at will to express small things the baby knows intimately from inside. At four weeks, for example, a baby may find in his or her cry sounds which have attributes that can be extracted from the whole, singled out for special attention and examined per se before the baby returns to crying and the purpose for which the crying was started and is being continued. Perhaps one must have encountered a phenomenon like this to allow oneself to entertain as an instrument of study the multiple dialogues the self has with itself, even from conception. For how else are we to understand the possibility of each of us to have access to the components of our soma, which are voluntary and to give them commands which are obeyed? Until today, we coped with these components of the soma by being satisfied with the thought that the process was “natural,” or that it was 10
  • 13. 1 How A Science Is Born “imprinted by the DNA,” which really tell us nothing. Except that we do not want to know what all this is truly about. In talking to myself, I convince myself that I can and do have dialogues with the complex reality called me. The contents of the dialogue could be about something outside me too, such as, “Is it my dog I see there?” The dialogue seems to be about my dog, but in fact it is with myself, on whether I have inner evidence which tells me that the dog I see (or which sends photons to my eyes to produce an image on my retina) is the one I can recall from my memory and recognize as being indeed my dog. Observations may occupy us fully, but there must be an observer to make sense of them. Hence, outside observations are dialogues with oneself. But our observations can also be of inner movements of energy, which also can become the object of the dialogue with ourselves. Thus for instance, we can have a dialogue about talking or not talking at a meeting. The dialogue then is clearly between the self and the circumstances in which we put or find ourselves. Once it is clear that as adults, such dialogues are current and frequent, we can ask whether they have always been ways of ours to consider our moments and their contents. A quick survey of our involvements and those of people around us—in particular, of very young children, if some are present—will convince us that it is impossible for conscious beings to go through the successive moments of life without this instrument of knowing. Further, to know one’s soma and its functionings began before our birth. The same self which will know how to 11
  • 14. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations “dialogue” with energy and its vicissitudes at a particular age, because it is then struck by the existence of energy, will have to agree that it has been having such dialogues all along, in different ways and about different contents. I have always had a need to know, for there is so much to know, some of it, but not all, indispensible for my remaining alive. Some of my efforts feed back that my knowing was valid and could be retained, that I was remaining in contact with the challenge, that I was respecting its reality, that I was engaged in experimenting on it or with it to ensure that my need to know was being satisfied, and that I was finding what is true in the circumstances. Indeed, no one but myself can do that, and I know that so much of my life is so well constructed that I can trust my perceptions, that I can measure my physical resources, that my feelings tell me which ones they are and how faint or intense they are. I have not been taught to do that. In fact, no one knows that I needed to do that and suggested it to me. I have educated myself from the start and all the time, and like me, humans have had to do that for themselves, to themselves. While the need to know may lead me to become a trustworthy observer, a person of experience, it may not necessarily lead me to be someone who works both on what I am engaged in and how I am engaged in it. It is this second preoccupation which needs to become constant and perhaps prevalent for me to call myself an epistemologist: a student of knowing. 12
  • 15. 1 How A Science Is Born *** As an epistemologist I have several purposes which put me in contact with a multitude of details of knowing in all the areas where knowing is involved, but also, above and beyond the details, with the overall grasp of how knowing operates in all fields and in every field. In fact, it is because my self can be sure of the specificity of a field and what makes it a field, that it can either develop the various sciences, as we shall see, or, as in the remote past, change the time of living into experiences sharable by others, having an objectivity for all those who share in it. *** The main difference between the existing, recognized sciences and all the accumulated experience of millennia is that the first have been codified socially and given a status by their journals, their academies, their annual or regular congresses, while the other is hanging in an untouched universe which the future may want to reach and explore. The survey of existing sciences is a relatively easy task since their number is finite and their objects and methods spelled out in existing writings in many libraries. Hence we shall not follow that line, already explored several times. Instead, we shall follow another lead—expressed in the awareness that “man can only create the science of the contents of his awareness”—and use man’s dialogues with himself as the 13
  • 16. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations “lightings” that generate the various hues which distinguish the various sciences. When man has had a dialogue with his senses—which enabled him to structure the world into the visible, the audible, the material and mechanical, the one recognized by smell and taste—he could concentrate his dialogues on specific ways of knowing. Thus, he gathered all that struck his eyes, not to talk about what he saw, but to understand why he could trust his sight and the instruments he was using with it. He thus created “the science of optics,” which defines the phenomena to be retained for the on- going dialogues: What is light? How is it propagated in the various media? What happens to it if it encounters a surface on which it can bounce or in which it can penetrate? What is color? What makes light white or have color? And the many other questions we learn about when we study optics (geometric or physical) in the treatises which sum up the findings of four centuries of work. In the same way, we gathered all that which struck one’s ears and created the “science of acoustics,” which includes all we have found out about sound as a mechanical behavior of the material media, especially the air of our atmosphere. We have known for generations that sound is propagated differently in different substances, moving faster in solids than in liquids or gases. We know too that sounds have attributes we have called pitch, intensity, and timbre. And we have studied those aspects 14
  • 17. 1 How A Science Is Born in the forms of sound called music by man, to which we relate for reasons other than knowing. Almost all experiments in the sciences of optics and acoustics are suggested by specific awarenesses which are part of the need to know. They are clearly dialogues of the mind with itself, with the additional proviso that the mind does not want to fool itself, or to be fooled. For that reason, a special watchfulness was developed, which translated itself within the group into the notion of “repeatability.” Whatever one found, anyone else could find too, confirming the watchfulness at work in the first person, and this repeatability led to the objectivation of the findings as “facts of optics” or “facts of acoustics,” available to all through special treatises. Another whole science called “mechanics” sums up the dialogues of minds with themselves stemming from the awareness of impacts on the somas (seen as bones and muscles). As men asked questions about movement, motion, and their causes, they progressively found that the meanings of their physical perceptions could be schematized and become thoughts and ideas for the intellect to handle. (Mechanics was for a long time the most important chapter of the physics of the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe.) Among the topics considered under the heading of mechanics, the movements of the planets were the challenges which fascinated the minds of scientists most. The work of Galileo, Kepler, and Newton did much to discipline the dialogues, so that more and more items looked accessible to searching minds. 15
  • 18. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Supporting this rapid increase in the knowledge and understanding of the world around man, there were other conquests of the mind at work on itself in what is called “mathematics.” No one doubts that mathematics stands by itself, is the clearest of the dialogues of the mind with itself. Mathematics is created by mathematicians conversing first with themselves and with one another. Still, because these dialogues could be blended with other dialogues which refer to perceptions of a reality taken to exist outside Man, mathematics were not recognized for what they actually are until recently. Based on the awareness that relations can be perceived as easily as objects, the dynamics linking different kinds of relationships were extracted by the minds of mathematicians and considered per se. That is why there exists a large area called “pure mathematics,” which is solely based on itself—that is, based on statements from which the proposer could deduce other statements compatible with the first and, in that way, equivalent to them. Or, alternatively, another awareness of their mental content. Mathematics is the science par excellence to illustrate fully the fact that scientists are only concerned with the content of their awareness. At the same time, mathematics makes more accessible what a dialogue of the mind with itself might mean. So much of the pure mathematics that has been developed over the last 400 years has no other value than to prove that there are a number of different kinds of dialogues possible once someone puts himself or herself in the state of considering this or that relationship. Because mathematics has become an imposing edifice which needs to be studied for itself and for what it makes clear when blended with other human experiences, it has gained 16
  • 19. 1 How A Science Is Born an existence of its own, and we have lost contact with its makers, the minds that know how to converse with themselves in particular ways. Relationships exist between items of experience which have their sources in realities which can strike any one of our senses. Thus, our awareness must simultaneously be of those realities and of the relationships which link them. When stressing the relationships per se, we use that in us which can create mathematics, and it follows that man can give a mathematical form to his perception of dynamics involving other components as well. When he does this, man is said to be involved in “applied mathematics.” The whole of classical physics, of astronomy, is there to illustrate the possibility that perceptions can gain a form expressible in mathematical terms while the nature of the perception remains as part of our consciousness. Think, for example, of the pendulum, and you will find that the image of it does not leave your consciousness as you move toward expressing its motion by a mathematical formula. For academics, “applied mathematics” usually evokes the physical sciences and engineering. But for the student of awareness, it can evoke any study in which the awareness of the dynamics or relationships is co-present with other awarenesses. Most statements of economists are of this type. Most models built by biologists of all kinds make use of the same powers of the mind. Taxonomy as a classification of classifications is one such example. 17
  • 20. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Thinking about anything leads invariably to concepts and relations between them, to abstract models reminiscent of mathematical organizations. Because they help thinking, they are called in by all those who want to go beyond the initial notice of some item striking their consciousness. Applied mathematics are developed by such processes, and every day there are more suggestions as to how to use mathematics in every one of the sciences being worked on. If it is easy to see mathematics as a variety of dialogues of the mind with itself, it is not as easy to see the other sciences as such. Nevertheless, it becomes clear that all sciences are human endeavors, that they change by the contributions of individuals in the same or successive generations, that some of the viewpoints become obsolete, that some questions, important at one time, lose their importance and whole fields of research are abandoned or replaced by new ones, which may have the same fate, and so on, all telling us that knowledge is the working of knowing. If we become aware that we want, for instance, to know what matter is made of, i.e., that we want to be chemists or physico- chemists, we have to acquire some mental disciplines capable of keeping us in contact with the challenges we have chosen and with the ways of meeting them. Human beings become scientists when they know how to maintain these disciplines and use their dialogues with their chosen subjects in ways that lead to new awarenesses. The history of every science is a history of awareness in some people who managed to focus upon a specific question—which is nothing else than a dialogue of the mind—to 18
  • 21. 1 How A Science Is Born make it into other questions which oneself and others can focus upon. Since man has shown himself capable of focusing on so many aspects of what he notices with his sense organs and his perception of his inner life, everything could be the source of a new science. This has been proved by the proliferation of the sciences derived from previous ones, first as branches, then as autonomous fields of research. Astronomy becomes astro-physics, cosmology, radio-astronomy, spectro-astronomy, planet evolution, star evolution, galactic systems, etc., each requiring different, though connected, dialogues. This may be seen as specialization, generated by the immensity of the challenge and its tasks, but it also—and perhaps more accurately—can be described as preferred ways to address oneself with questions which suit the minds of the various scientists in the various disciplines. *** “Objective knowledge” is shot through with the impacts of the ways the dialogues are carried out. Each scientist knows to what extent his own limitations and circumstances define the field of his research and to what extent he leaves untouched questions and areas of concern precisely because of these limitations. There is only one science of a given awareness, and its development results from the fact that scientists in a certain field can affect each other’s awareness by giving to their facts of 19
  • 22. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations awareness the focus which best meets the ways of working in that field. From 1910, when Alfred Wegener wrote and spoke of his insights into the shifts of the continents to a non-responding community of geologists, until 1957, when geophysicists transmuted this idea into the “plate theory,” we can clearly see that the science of geology was limited to dialogues between like-minded people who allowed their prejudices to stop them from working freely on the reality Wegener revealed to his colleagues. There are numerous examples of scientists who thwarted research in their laboratories or institutions so as not to be disturbed and be obliged to recast their set minds. At the same time, uncommitted minds may have embraced enthusiastically the same proposals and made them the center of their lives of work, which was pursued parallel to that of the mainstream. So- called great men have been petty and mean to other investigators, using their social prestige to generate obstacles so that young researchers did not receive positions of work which would compete with theirs. The sciences are the fiefs of some lords, at least during certain durations in certain periods. They are essentially pursuits of the truths which strike some minds, and therefore, they bear the imprint of these minds. If this is an astonishing finding in the natural sciences, it is rather common in the social sciences and in the fields of 20
  • 23. 1 How A Science Is Born application such as medicine and education. Specializations in these areas is often equivalent to entering a school and belonging to a cult. There are as many “psychologies” as there are psychologists, more or less. There are as many “economic theories” as there are economists. Opinions guide research in most “human sciences.” Objectivity is more an ideal than a fact. In fact, it is an illusion of many minds to believe that reality is totally fathomable and that it will be possible to reach a stage at which eternal unalterable knowledge will be available, if the “scientific method” is used more carefully. Because reality is an evolving human construct, it can only change as more people concern themselves with it and state what they find in their dialogues with it. There is no reality which is not human—simply because reality is a construct of the minds of the people who dedicate themselves to it. “Objective reality” is as much a construct, except that it has been submitted more explicitly to a set of demands and that people attempt to accept them in their work. *** Sciences are born when someone states that what occupies his mind IS and, because of that, is part of reality and worth being considered by others. A remarkable example of this is the emergence of electricity as a science in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Now all pervasive, it seems incredible that 200 years ago electricity was only real to 21
  • 24. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations the minds of a handful of people who could never have imagined what would follow from their first insights. Electricity, contrary to other sections of physics, which were related to the senses, is entirely a laboratory science, created in fragments which remained separated until Clerk Maxwell offered the world his mathematization of Faraday’s singular conception of the phenomena on which he worked in isolation in his laboratory, and which he called “fields.” Electricity is a good guide for those who want to see reality being constructed in the minds of men. Starting as thoughts, ideas, projects in some minds, these were given concrete form as apparatuses, as experiments which could be magnified to become factories, stations, machines, etc., made of concrete materials to which no one could deny existence and reality. But because it was obviously man-made, that reality reveals the essential and profound presence of the mind of man in it. Since the sciences are all man-made, they let us see in their individual generation and evolution the work of the mind which propose as a reality a preoccupation of a person who can operate, up to a certain point, its transmutation into reality. All reality considered in the sciences is then human reality. As such, science is more easily graspable and understandable and also more subject to showing the places it needs to change to become more acceptable to those minds who not only observe but also criticize. There is always enough of the constructed reality that strikes people as being of a permanent nature, to suggest to them that 22
  • 25. 1 How A Science Is Born an Absolute Reality exists and must be the object of our attention and of our capacity to gloss about it. Some men specialize in making that Absolute Reality a reality which all men can come in contact with and that must be talked about as the frame of reference for all human lives. And in human research, we can then talk of Reality, the absolute one, which must exist and be the frame of reference for all our endeavors to understand our environment, inner and outer. But history is there to tell us that all such attempts to find the absolute have collapsed, and each proposal that presumably gives it to us has had to be abandoned. The dialogues of minds with themselves teach us that if we can talk of Reality, this still remains a variable known only in the forms of realities we construct with all our human means and that we join together into one thought which we create in us and label (relative) Reality, to be recast again and again. This being the actual state of humanity’s thinking from the start, “a function of time,” we can attempt to see that all the sciences are needed for that historically defined Reality, but that they are not sufficient, that more sciences will be born to account for new awarenesses. *** The need to know is not a biological need. Even if all humans have it—it is the definition of being human, and the definition of being aware of awareness—it has to be accompanied by the possibility of researching and deciding whether what has been 23
  • 26. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations reached experimentally and experientially is a reality for oneself and by the possibility of testing it on others to confirm that it belongs to the relative, historical Reality of the question under investigation. This complex and complicated collective procedure is taking place all the time and is open to scrutiny by everyone. The Science of Education, a newly proposed science, may be a good example to follow the birth of sciences, including the well- established. Since it has been elaborated from 1940 on (almost half a century) and has not yet attracted many workers doing all sorts of things, it can be still more helpful in delineating how a science can emerge from the raw material of the experience of humanity and become progressively a system of thought which can be isolated and presented per se, as we do in this treatise. At the basis of all this research, which has been extended to cover as much ground as one person alone can do in one life, is the acceptance of a definition of man as being capable of the awareness of his awareness. Chapter 2 will explore more fully the meaning associated with these words. Here we want to expand the awareness of man, as defined above, into an ongoing dialogue of the mind with itself, while never forgetting the awareness that is capable of making the awareness of awareness a distinctly separate entity among all the other sciences. 24
  • 27. 1 How A Science Is Born (In chapter 3, we expand this preoccupation by arriving at the awareness that FACTS OF AWARENESS exist and that this therefore will legitimize their study as the body of a new science. Sciences can indeed be seen as bringing to the fore some awarenesses which are christened “facts.” We saw how some of them are singled out and kept at the center of “the science of optics” or “of acoustics” or “of mathematics,” but we leave it to readers to see its application in the case of the new sciences. It would seem necessary that those facts which can be well defined and found different from those already claimed by the existing sciences, could constitute a body of knowledge of a special kind, systematic and neutral, needing human minds but not identified with the first minds which revealed their existence, and open to all those who entertain such awarenesses.) In the light of the approach that all sciences begin with a new awareness—which could be entertained per se and then become numerous awarenesses, which are the contents of those sciences—it became imperative to find which awarenesses would provide the substance of a science of education. When it was clear that there was a serious possibility for awareness—which generated the various sciences by involving other experiences in it—to take awareness itself as its object, a new dialogue opened up which might never end. This needs to be clarified further. Every one of the sciences is based upon the awareness by the scientists of their awareness of what occupies their minds: if it is light, they act as optics scientists; if it is sound, they act as acousticians; if it is relationships per se, they act as mathematicians—to remain within the examples worked out above. But now we are 25
  • 28. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations concerned with awareness itself, leaving as a blank the objects it concerns itself with. Hence, to create the new science we are looking at now, the awareness will be of awareness of awareness. The triple use of the word awareness in this expression is necessary, for it is possible to be aware of awareness and yet not produce any statements of the mind needed to distinguish this new science from all others. One must be aware of the awareness of relationships in order to be a mathematician, and to state it as the theorems and the proofs of mathematics. Indeed, to control one’s thinking, to know that one remains in contact with the particular challenge which occupies one, and that one never leaves it, calling in other mental material and experiences to feel progress in the investigation, is to be aware of the awareness of all the preceding demands. But if now the stress is shifted to the capacity of awareness to become an object itself, away from the other objects of which it can be aware, all that follows will, by definition, belong to the ways of working of the Science of Education. For example, I know that I am writing English, which is proved by what goes on the paper, and this may be my sole preoccupation. But I can know that I know that I am writing English and put part of my awareness on this new level and find out what it is to write in English, a distinctive way of expression, and what my mind does to keep at this so that no other of the languages I know shows its presence in the act. In doing so, I have shifted from the subject of my writing to what my mind is 26
  • 29. 1 How A Science Is Born doing to allow me to write on that subject in that language. My mind does two things simultaneously, and the first is as effective with the second preoccupation as it was without it, and this preoccupation does not interfere with the writing itself. It is in the recognition that the above could be written and convey a sense that the third awareness is at work. What awareness does in all this is look at the awareness which was looking at the awareness in the specific writing which produced these words. The awareness of the writer is on the words, whether they fit, whether they are the right ones, the best ones for the expression, those producing a desired esthetic effect (as in a poem or a play), and so on, preventing the activity of writing from becoming automatic. The mind cannot wander when engaged in these awarenesses because all cooperate and do not weigh specially. But to be able to say that while the words go down on paper, there is a vigilant self doing all the jobs just listed, is proof that awareness is with awareness all the time, and the fact that one is singling out this awareness by one’s presence in it introduces the third awareness that allows new findings. These are the products which will form the objects of the Science of Education. In this science, it is not looking at something which comes to the fore but looking at looking (at something). What will be found in the enquiry is what the self does when it is engaged in looking. What is being known is the looking, not the seen. 27
  • 30. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Similarly, one will be with listening and not with the sounds, with touching and not with what is being touched, with tasting and not the cause of the taste, with smelling and not the atoms which reach one’s mucus in the nose. The one will know what knowing is in the areas covered by the awarenesses associated with the sense organs. Knowing about knowing is the sole activity of the epistemological aspect of the Science of Education. This new epistemology will yield the various sciences when the knowing remains attached to the concrete energies which define the objects on which awareness can be at work. A classification of the existing sciences would follow such scrutiny as one of its by-products. The value of such a classification is the recognition of man’s mind in all the sciences as the source of all knowledge seen in the special forms that knowing takes, and as the result of the multiple polarizations—focusings—that the mind can give itself. If the new epistemology is at the apex of the classification, it is because it is exclusively concerned with knowing, and knowing is present in all quests of man, which includes all the approaches taken in the various sciences: the various ways of becoming aware of something and pursuing that awareness so long as it yields something new in that field. Something new for the global community. There is room in such a classification not only for the established sciences but also for all the others, banned by the 28
  • 31. 1 How A Science Is Born academic pundits because such knowledge does not fall within their definition of their own science or of their own approaches, which are accessible to minds polarized somewhere else or perhaps not even open to the complete human reality. *** When it became clear that there was an awareness that could be claimed by the Science of Education to be its special way of grasping reality, it became clear that a new science had been born. Its method does not differ from any other serious pursuits of the need to know, only its object is different, and this was stated to be awareness, and only awareness. But because of that specific object, it will find new awarenesses in all directions and transmute knowing into the statements that will look like knowledge of awareness about awareness in all its forms. In such awarenesses are the germ of all the other statements men can make about all the reality they entertain in their minds—as if there were room in such statements for some other awareness, co-present and generally ignored. The scientists of the Science of Education aim at this other awareness, to make it evident, to light it up so that it is seen to be present there and also capable of being singled out to be scrutinized in and of itself. Therefore, these scientists can start anywhere and, as if in a forest, move in it to know it and some of its properties without upsetting the trees and anything else that is in it. They would 29
  • 32. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations know when to leave the forest and be in another aspect of reality. The Science of Education will do what no other science is engaged in doing, and do it by creating its own means. It is therefore possible to reach in its work and workings every one of the attributes that presumably belong to the established sciences: domain, approaches, methods, presentations, verifications, etc. The domain is all the states of being of every human, from conception to death and beyond, everywhere on earth, at present, in the past, and in the future. Its approaches are those dictated by the awareness which looks into the awareness of awareness. They can be anything and everything, and cannot be regulated a priori by anyone. The proviso is that the Science of Education concentrates on what the self recognizes as awareness. Its methods are the various aspects of watchfulness, or presence, which inform the self that it is being with what it needs to be with in order to know knowing. Watchfulness can be worked on to become ever more adequate for the varying tasks it has been called in to observe. When watchfulness becomes second nature and can adjust immediately to the subtle demands of the medium of consciousness, the person in question can say, “I am a scientist of the Science of Education, and I can gather what is new to me in my personal involvements.” 30
  • 33. 1 How A Science Is Born Its presentations are as varied and as precise as the instrument of awareness permits. They engage others in recognizing the new realities revealed by awareness, as entities capable of being revealed to their awareness by their awareness. The scientist in this new science has no more intention than do the serious scientists in all other sciences to fool himself or others or to be fooled by others. To be sure of what he finds in his new field he uses a process of verification he calls “continuous feedback.” This is the only way awareness gives itself confirmation that any one finding encountered is indeed as it appears Ordinary verifications are easily seen as reducible to this view of feedback, even if they are carried out by other people. *** It remains to show that this new science is indeed concerned with items of knowing which are new for everyone at a certain instant, except to the one who is stating what he found. Here is a list of such items: 1 That it becomes possible to UNIFY every individual human being’s life, from conception to death, by arriving at knowing oneself as an energy (spiritual or, interchangeably, human, if one must label it), which has ATTRIBUTES that work from the beginning and produce individual evolution in a dual environment, the inner and the outer. Chapter 3 makes this explicit. 31
  • 34. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations 2 That MEMORY can be known for what it is, also from the time one is in gestation, making oneself in the mother’s womb (as somatic memory), to any time later, when RETENTION is memory’s normal manner of transforming one’s time of life into the singular experiences organized either to contribute spontaneously to the continuation of an activity or to be capable of being recalled at will. Chapter 5 expands this finding. 3 That there are several WAYS OF KNOWING available to the self, which include the following: the one the West has recognized and used steadily during the last four centuries; the Chinese one, so different from the first, but equally applicable to oneself and the environment, very often yielding different findings; the one needed by men engaged in trying to know what their consciousness finds in their inner and outer realities, as was attempted for many centuries in India and other places (for example in the Middle Ages in the West) when it yielded inner dialogues open enough to allow opposing items to coexist, as faith permits, for example; the one which replaces a multitude of new points by a single one capable of yielding every other one by specialization; the one which allows knowing something by letting it descend in one’s consciousness, as is the case in contemplation; the one which acts simultaneously in a dual manner, respecting the whole by keeping it in one’s consciousness while working through diverse lightings to put into evidence as much of what composes that whole as is possible. This last way of knowing is needed in particular to progress in the endeavors of the Science of Education. 32
  • 35. 1 How A Science Is Born 4 That THE AWARENESS OF ENERGY, which arrived so differently to the Chinese, to the Indians, and to the Westerners, can be seen as a unifying notion at more levels than it has in physics (which in the West happened less than 150 years ago), as well as serving as a light that brings forth new understandings of what humans are and are capable of doing with themselves. This human energy, as we shall see, is locked up in some structures which form the anatomical basis of what we call the soma and in looser structures, called the psyche, which maintain the soma in its functioning states. The psyche is capable of unifying the first functioning objectivations in the soma with all those which use the soma in later years and are more precisely described as experiences (defined as the equivalent of energy grafted on time). In addition to the energy of the psyche channeling all the past to the present, an energy exists which permits the self in the present to meet the descending future, an energy we call affectivity. Chapter 4 attempts to make this energy more familiar to readers, who may then utilize it as a light to understand their own inner problems and those of others. 5 That HUMAN LEARNING can be recast to include the realities of one’s life (which cannot be accounted for by the simplistic theories of animal laboratories) and to take into account the fact that this generation of workers in the field is neither the first nor the last. The Science of Education is the first to have asked questions which actually concern humans of all ages, questions which attempt not to schematize too much the concrete happenings in every life which make us into embryos, fetuses, babies just born, very young and 33
  • 36. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations 1 How A Science Is Born young children engaged in making sense of something (which reaches the children as energy encountering an energy system inhabited by the self), boys and girls of elementary school age, adolescents having to sort out the meanings of the dynamics in their inner lives, young men and women handling the activities of their intellect in an academic or social set. All these human learnings affect the preexisting sets of objectivations and can make them change radically to give individual human beings their chances of producing a unique personal life distinct from all others but articulated with all, a process conceived in a General Theory of Human Relativity, capable of giving every human being on earth a place under the sun.* 6 That SLEEP has been dedicated to learning, in the sense that during the sleeping hours, the self sorts out the charges received during the waking state, retains what is useful for one’s evolution (or perhaps even one’s survival), discharging the harmful and useless, and making one’s psyche grow uniquely and, if possible, to a continuous healthy state. Sleep could not be understood for what it was until it was accepted that each human self gave itself two states of consciousness which are what they are and must be studied with their own means capable of yielding their reality and their dynamics. Wakefulness can use introspection, for example, sleep cannot or does not. Sleep IS memory, wakefulness HAS memory. Sleep is interrupted by hours of wakefulness when the self is submitted to impacts from the outside * This General Theory, implicit in all the chapters of this treatise, is to appear as a separate monograph some time in the future. 34
  • 37. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations which cannot be foreseen and therefore cannot be adequately prepared for, while one night of sleep after another permits a continuity of being which protects one’s integrity. This integrity persists in the waking state and accounts for our resilience in the face of all the aggressions from an environment not particularly knowledgeable of, or attentive to, the individual humans we are. This is discussed more fully in Chapters 4 and 6. 7 The Science of Education has proposed the “subordination of teaching to learning” and created the means to implement this principle in a number of fields of study that currently are compulsory in schools everywhere because they shorten considerably the transmission of cultures from one generation to the next. Because of the impact of the Science of Education on the practice of education, discussed in more detail in Chapter 6 (and much more fully in Part II of this treatise), we can foresee that in the future it will be possible to deliver what collectivities need to continue their evolution in harmony with their history while providing lessons that prepare the young generation for their unique future still to be formulated by them as their lived present—lived in awareness. *** These last few words can serve as conclusion to this introduction, the function of which is to let readers know what to expect from the following chapters and to surmise what Part II will be made of. 35
  • 38. 1 How A Science Is Born Clearly this work, the work of one individual only, will need constant revisions and recastings so as to make it agree with the findings of others in this and following generations. In spite of its magnitude, it can be perceived only as an opening gambit that the workers in that field will transform by addition, recastings, replacement of one awareness by another until each generation makes it its own in the manner in which this has already happened in the last hundred years in mathematics, physics, biology, etc. A science, by definition, is susceptible to such alterations and modifications since it is a collective perception of a Reality always added to by the new dialogues of new investigators. 36
  • 39. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness In Chapter 1 we observed that awareness could become aware of itself and concluded that this field of study formed the basis for the science of education—for a self-education subject to orders given to the self by the self. What we discussed in Chapter 1 may have generally clarified the meaning of awareness but it barely touched awareness of the awareness. Unless one grasps the meaning of awareness of the awareness, there is no hope that a science of education can be unfolded. Ways Of Reaching The Awareness Of Awareness Let us start with another example from everyday life. I can become aware that my eyes move or, more precisely, that I can act on some of my ocular muscles to move my eyes from left to right or the other way around and that that movement can be made very gradual and slow, and through generating such actions I can become aware of my will as it commands my 37
  • 40. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations eyeballs to move. Therefore, I am not only with my eyes, I am with my will as well. Since I am aware of my will while it moves my eyes slowly from left to right, can I leave my eyes altogether and be aware of my will as such? For that, I have to acknowledge that within my awareness my self can simultaneously find present a sensation of my eyes, of the movement, of slowness, of direction, of my will, and of its presence in the eyes—and of additional observations if they appear. Then, I can observe that I can ignore some of these components and only be aware of the presence of the will in the act of stressing and ignoring some of the contents. In focusing my awareness on my will, awareness of the awareness has been achieved. At each moment of each day it is possible to do a similar job and to reach the multifarious appearances of awareness of the awareness as one becomes more capable of experiencing that the self is present in the awareness that is present in its content. The self comes to know itself as needing to be present in the content to become aware of it and as present in the awareness that lights up that content. *** Such movements have been suggested by other students of the mind. They are called “reflection” by philosophers, when the contents are ideas and thoughts, and “union” by the mystics, when the content is the presence of grace. 38
  • 41. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness The word reflection suggests that the awareness of a return of light to the medium that produced it—the mind bending upon itself to hold more closely what it has generated and is contemplating. Because of reflection, one “sees” more of the content and of its significance and therefore can more accurately describe it and use it. Reflection is the form that awareness of the awareness takes when the area of experience is the intellect. Reflection does not automatically yield its nature so that it can be acknowledged at once as the awareness of awareness because of the movement’s concentration on the substance of the reflection, but it can be seen for what it is, once the self reaches the dynamics instead of the content. Stressing and ignoring, the primitive tools of both plants and animals, also pervade man’s existence and permit or forbid access to what is available. Once one is aware of reflection, this could have yielded the awareness of awareness had the thinker ignored the content and stressed the dynamics. When Descartes said, “Cogito ergo sum,” he stated that his awareness of thinking could be reached beyond all content, and that such awareness alone sufficed to state categorically the existence of one’s being. Once he made the world aware of thought, he found that universes could open up through intellectual questions, and he proposed a method of determining if progress had been made by a mind entertaining such questions. Reflection is open to all, and many use it in establishing truth in the field of the established sciences. If it is only seen as a way that the intellect and not the self can work, the awareness of awareness remains at the level of intellect and does not reach 39
  • 42. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations the self. But it can be seen as more than thought because affectivity, the effort to engage the unknown, that is, the future, is also present. Through consciousness of the co-presence of affectivity and thoughts, one can reach the self, a necessary step in the movement to become aware of awareness. No one can study the self if one removes from it both complexity and its being in time, that is, the fact that it extends all through life from conception to the present moment. The complicated state of affairs that results from the simultaneity of a multitude of functions working together within the self but also separately upon respective fields, denies the use of Descartes’ method as a means of establishing its truth. New methods are required to go beyond thought. New methods which result precisely from the empirical work of awareness in all its forms. In the case of the intellect, Descartes’ cogito produced the certainty that through his method, the results would be worthwhile, which has been confirmed over centuries of actual work; in the activity of the self in awareness, it is awareness of the self that produces the certainty, while other functionings produce the explicit details. Now we no longer need to deliberately break up wholes to be able to know them. We can simultaneously use different ways of knowing the whole, deliberately (i.e., consciously) held together within the self that throws lights on it and studies the lighted areas. Knowing is the awareness that one is aware of something, and according to whether we stress the something or the awareness, we progress in the subject or in the education of our awareness. Movements in the education of our awareness may be short-lived or permanent. When short-lived, they are called flashes of intuition, bright ideas, sudden insights. When permanent, they 40
  • 43. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness make possible a familiarity with awareness and provide a chance to reach awareness of the awareness as a state of being acknowledged by the self. *** For the mystic, yet another ingredient is present that alters the inner climate. The whole is acknowledged more vividly and placed in oneself as transcendental, i.e., as inaccessible to the self on its own; it needs the support of “the one” who dwells in it, Once this “grace” has been received, the transcendental reveals itself as accessible in the manner described earlier, as belonging to man and knowable in its details, even if the language for it does not need to be pedestrian. The use of symbols, of entities loaded with consciousness and presence, does not take away the light shed upon the truth that one is living at that level and in those universes. Aware that the total universe is shrouded in mystery, the mystic learns to respect the whole even more than the scientist of the whole, who needs to know only that he is careful in not forgetting it while he works. The mystic attributes his contact with the whole to a special favor unrelated to his capacity to reach it, one which is beyond him in terms of all he did to “deserve” it. That is why he speaks of “grace.” Still, for the mystic and the thinker, awareness of the awareness is made possible by a refusal (1) to fragment and (2) to get lost in details, letting the psyche, concerned with maintaining what has worked well until now, dominate. Since the self nourishes 41
  • 44. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations the psyche in energy, it can force its way and see to it that the psyche cooperates rather than obstructs the process of shifting from the content to awareness. But in the secular world this may be less smooth than it is for the mystic, who has surrendered his will so that a greater will prevails. In the secular world too many ties have been formed within the psyche which bargain strongly for their own existence. *** One may be aware of some awareness but not of many others that also exist. For instance, alerted by one’s dedication to some goal, be it personal or otherwise, anything that touches that goal awakes one’s awareness, and one becomes aware that one’s awareness of that end is, say, being threatened, and one acts to secure its defense. One may be aware for a split second that there is more than content to relate to, but one lets the content take over and thus renders the initial perception inoperative. The result is an incapacity to recall that there was even a chance of prolonging the awareness without content. One may be aware that in some states one’s self is felt much more than one’s psyche and that this makes possible a contact with one’s free energy which can be poured into an involvement so as to stop the momentum of routines and enhance what is perceived in its purity. 42
  • 45. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness One may be aware of the movements of one’s psyche and intervene to change them. This is possible only because the self, aware of its energy and its dynamics, can use both to manage the energy of the psyche in order to know the dynamics of behaviors which are automatic within the psyche. This energy dynamics is what constitutes the reality of the awareness of awareness. Indeed, breaking through forms to reach energy is to leave content aside and entertain the awareness itself. One may be aware of oneself as time. *** Since time is not a thing, to become aware of it requires movements of the self other than perception, action, or analysis. Time, in the words of Bergson, is the stream of consciousness; awareness of it is awareness of consciousness in its dynamics, excluding content. That the stream of one’s consciousness can be reached in some states makes it knowable even if those states generally prove only its existence. Disciplining oneself to be with it promises greater acquaintance and deeper knowledge of it. The results may be a facility to remain with it and know consciousness as a functioning of the self. This is equivalent to awareness of the awareness. We will understand the concept of time better as we proceed further. As we shall see, it is one of the most useful findings of awareness of the awareness. *** 43
  • 46. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations One may be aware of oneself as growth, and one will find awareness engaged in equipping each of us with the ability to transform the energy of the self into instruments, into objectivations, into universes of experience the content of which is the stuff of human lives. By lighting growth with the light produced by the awareness of time, we can find that each of us is engaged in a succession of hierarchies of awarenesses (which we call temporal hierarchies), prior ones making possible subsequent ones. For a duration, then, certain awarenesses are “absolutes.” These are “relativized” only when their job is achieved. This fact, translated in terms of living, tells us that the temporal language of yesterday-today-tomorrow, of past- present-future, means that we use all we have to meet the challenge in the present of the demands of the descending future. To this future, we note in passing here, is given the function of integrating the past by transforming it. Only then do we legitimately speak of growth. In those in whom awareness dwells (in retrospect), the self can see that the demands of becoming acquainted with the content of different universes, of the objectivation of the energy in manners compatible with that content, need the dominance of absolutes which force awareness while limiting it to its tasks. This can lead to relativity only when enough absolutes exist to generate their comparative study, leading to the acknowledgement that since awareness is a functioning of the self that seems to be present in such diverse forms, awareness has a reality that transcends each form but not itself. Here is another chance to reach awareness of awareness beyond content, beyond form. At a certain moment in life it is possible for the self to face this transcendent as the immanence of 44
  • 47. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness awareness in all that has been lived and is being lived. The transformation of the awareness of transcendence into awareness of immanence is one way of reaching awareness of one’s awareness as a fact of one’s life. *** More pedestrian moments exist in which we can become aware of awareness, but rarely do we take advantage of them, either because we are not specially solicited to do it or have not been made aware that the occasion may have something vital to yield to us beyond what causes it, or because we get lost in the experience and know only its content. For instance, sorrow or grief that forces us to return to ourselves, to leave our daily occupations and preoccupations and contemplate life differently, may have the quality to force upon us awareness of that which can link us with our awareness. We know grief and that we are experiencing it. We encounter ourselves in a state that is favorable to reflection but concerned with feelings rather than with ideas. This reflective mood cannot teach us much about death—unknown to all of us—but could bring to our self’s notice that we are prepared to receive a new light about life in general, in particular about our functioning in the face of mysteries. Although in such circumstances one usually does not engage in exercises of self awareness to force awareness of one’s awareness, it is not excluded that such a result be forthcoming. Usually other consequences take place, mainly because our society is not geared to force that awareness as easily as, say, the 45
  • 48. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations church can force awareness of something it stands for. Yet, that this is possible gives us a hopeful fact, for it proves that awareness can be forced in certain circumstances and that in a secular world awareness of the awareness may be an acceptable concomitant of grief when other suggestions may have lost their appeal. *** In our “spaceship earth,” our “electric village,” the proximity of all mankind has a dual effect. First, it contributes to an openness to all sorts of symbolisms and a recognition that there is, behind them all, some other reality that is reachable by mankind. Second, pressure from the density of population makes it easier to propose human solutions where earlier cultural and local ones were seen as more functional. Today, such local solutions rarely look acceptable. Hence, circumstances are favorable today to recognizing the impact of the local on the human. Today not only can we reach the human behind all things, we can ask for the human in preference to the culturally distinct. We could not have asked for it had it been impossible! We see (i.e., we are aware of) birth and death as human, and delivery and funerals as cultural. We see knowing as human, and specific knowledge as cultural. We see love as universally human, and weddings as cultural and as social contracts. We see growing up as universal, and education in school systems as social institutional moldings. We see relating as human, but trade relationships as economics. We see need for a shelter as human, but dwellings as a response to the climatic conditions 46
  • 49. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness where we live on earth. We see expression through words as human, but each language as resulting from the impact of interbreeding and living in specific valleys. The term “human” is often used to mean conscious of oneself in contrast to conscious of something. And to “see” oneself as human is to be close to oneself as “conscious of” that which makes one “conscious of.” Awareness of awareness belongs to the human realm of evolution distinctive of that realm. In Chapter 1 we saw that sciences can be defined as awareness of what happens to man. We have seen also that when man becomes aware of this, he could recast his perceptions and organize them in all the sciences that exist today. Aware of the contents of his awarenesses he could pursue each awareness to the point that the initial intuition, once made explicit, could involve the participation of hundreds and thousands of people examining their awareness and inventing instruments to capture it and its vicissitudes. The arsenal of all the sciences as they are organized today only tells of the steps of awareness of their own content. Philosophers have tried to look behind the content to reach the process but were limited by the limitations of their own reflection. In order to reach beyond the content of the sciences, to reach each science making itself, we must manage an awareness of the awareness which is more than reflection. *** 47
  • 50. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations If he is in the state of awareness, man can hold in awareness anything that is part of the self and that is reachable. People differ by what is reachable. For most of us, the functionings of the soma which are reachable to some exceptional yogies are beyond reach. For most of us, the actual “film” of our early apprenticeships is inaccessible: we no longer know how we learned to stand, walk, or jump, but we can reach the certainty that we did learn each of these activities. Most of us do not know how we learned to speak, to read or write, although these may be activities we engaged in much later than standing or walking. If we concentrate on what is reachable to one’s self, we then find that our self is capable of being present simultaneously in what occasions the concentration, in what presents itself at the same time, in the presence of the self, and in what it is doing with itself and with the material that comes to the surface. It may be sufficient to practice this kind of dialogue with oneself to generate awareness of the awareness. That makes possible some of the studies we need in order to be as competent in it as we may be at ping pong or playing the piano. Awareness of the awareness is thus seen as a specialized activity of the self that we can acquire as a skill, that becomes second nature, and that can be used readily all the time as an automation although full of consciousness. *** We could of course learn a great deal from the ancient schools of awareness that have led their devotees to states considered as extraordinary but nonetheless natural. The price in time and 48
  • 51. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness energy and the non-pursuit of other ends may be right for some and too much for others. What we want to retain here is that anyone ready to pay the right price may, through exercises and disciplines, obtain access to the most primitive functionings in our soma and show how the will is capable of affecting them as easily as most of us affect our “voluntary muscles.” The self (even if it does not do it in actuality now) can re-assert its presence in the whole edifice of the objectivations and know itself as present in the associated functionings by affecting them. It is this climb (or descent) of the self into all it is in the field of ideas that is the awareness of awareness displayed under the name of reflection. Not all of us have to dwell in the same or similar manifestations. Not all of us need to choose to devote ourselves to only one of the many ways of being empirically distinguished in concrete lives. For the purpose of this book, our awareness will concentrate on the awarenesses that lead to an understanding of what can provide mankind with know-hows that open up all the fields of being that have been particularly attractive to mankind over the millennia and that have become part of education in the broader sense. This means that we shall not consider (although we could) the activities of people who increase the span of what is accessible to mankind via the awarenesses that have been kept for the initiated for some time and perhaps are still now. The many yogas will be left out. The education of the mystic in us, as well. Also, the education of the sensitive in us, whether as a competent judge of what Chinese medicine finds in the pulses, 49
  • 52. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations or a competent diagnositican in a homeopathic clinic, or a competent psychologist among people. *** When aware of one’s awareness it becomes possible to make a very important discovery: “Knowledge is not the opposite of ignorance. They are two very different functions of the self only connected by being together in the self.” Ignorance is an awareness of the self, that because one is enclosed in a “bag” and can only process what comes one’s way, all that which does not come one’s way is unprocessable and inevitably remains beyond one’s grasp. To ignorance we relate only with respect, and at peace with not having any clue of what it could be and how to prepare oneself for it. It is neither threatening nor does it impinge on us. We know we are in contact with ignorance when the self is aware of itself as immersed in what cannot be made to be different from what it is. Ignorance cannot be reduced by any of the functionings of the self. It emerges in our consciousness as our state of being when nothing could be done, could be contemplated to be done, so that one is less ignorant, less oneself in that state. In awe one recognizes that ignorance is the shared condition of those who, living at the same moment on the calendar, enclosed in their bags, irretrievably lose, every minute, all that which occupies the cosmos at that second. Ignorance here is not concerned with what I do not know that someone else may know. Rather with that which no one can know, now or ever. 50
  • 53. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness Knowledge on the contrary is the result of the self functioning upon itself, producing out of itself that which is recognizable as both oneself and other. Knowledge is vouched for by the self and has properties accessible to one’s self. Knowledge is a function of time. It may remain constant but generally it varies with time. It is affected by awareness. It comes to life through awareness. It is known through awareness. It has a variety of components, it may be connected with events held in one’s memory, it is neither entirely one’s own nor entirely not one’s own, and can be recognized as such. It seems that it calls in the process of knowing which made it appear for the first time. It is clearly the outcome of some knowing. And there are many ways of knowing which generate as many kinds of knowledge. In particular, there is knowledge that is distinguished sharply from awareness—the knowledge solely entrusted to one’s memory, such as the label for such an object or a telephone number, items which are arbitrary. Without someone else, that knowledge would not exist for us. Ways Of Knowing Awareness of awareness can be illustrated by the example of awareness of ways of knowing used by each of us every day with greater or lesser penetration. Exercises of awareness of the perceiving self while perceiving can well represent the most universal exercise to acquaint everybody with awareness as such. Because we focus while we look and see, we know at once and immediately that the self is present, that the will is present, that we are mobilized in our sight, that we receive impacts and 51
  • 54. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations process them, make sense of them by integrating to ourselves what we receive and to it what we already had. To make every one aware of ways of knowing may be the easy way to meet the present challenge to make awareness of the awareness as commonplace as the rules of measuring. At the same time, because we study ways of knowing, we equip people with a new arsenal that may serve them well as educators. *** The many ways of knowing generate different kinds of knowledge. The same word (knowledge) is used only because language allows again and again the use of one word to convey several meanings, but it may in some cases be confusing. Behind all ways of knowing there is one self and its capacity to become aware. Perception is a way of knowing applied to oneself as well as the world around. From the outside world, amounts of energy are added to that already “in the bag,” and to perceive is to become aware that this is happening and how it is happening. From the inner system, shifts of energy can become conscious, and perception of the shifts is equivalent to knowing them. Perception as energy added or shifting can be associated with awareness of attributes of that energy as well as with a movement within the existing system that relates to those attributes, so that they are recognized as such. Recognition is a 52
  • 55. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness general functioning of the self and is the self’s agent by which attributes become triggers of more than themselves. Thus, once the amount of energy carried by photons of a certain wavelength is associated with a responsive unit in the brain, the unit can be triggered when a small number of photons with that level of energy reach it. The self can perceive the color associated with those photons even when other photons are present in the impacting light and can perceive it in the evocation of a memory which only activates what is there and thus makes it susceptible of awareness. Perception as a way of knowing links the self and the outside world. Because of the energy input we can say that perception is concerned with “reality” in that it forces the self to acknowledge either what is not itself or what happens to oneself. So perception directly contributes to our sense of reality and our sense of truth as reality acknowledged for itself. We shall relate to perception as the ultimate arbiter in the inner dynamics. The one that we cannot deny when dialoguing with our self. On the background of perception as the most primitive and the most reliable way of knowing, upon which other ways will be built and which will be integrated in them, we see that the knowledge it provides is awareness of change, of a new state, recognized for what it is and how it affects the edifice produced by the self to that point in one’s growth and evolution. To know through perception is to acknowledge the awareness of one’s total energy system and of the alterations it can experience by 53
  • 56. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations addition of outside energy or by shifts of energy from one part of the system to another. Perception is thus a direct way of knowing. It may not be able to attribute the added energy to particular sources but the self knows because of it that it has been affected, is being affected. Every time it is called in we shall not escape acknowledging its presence and what it can do to the whole of the situation we are in. *** Action is another direct way of knowing. It is characterized by an expenditure of energy recognized by perception. Action is needed to relate the self and its objectivations to the non-self. To know the non-self which perception sees, the self takes the initiative and submits the non-self to its impacts, recording the results through perception. Thus, attributes of “reality” are known as responses of the non-self to what the self knows intimately from within as it consumes energy and/or perceives inner changes following impacts generated by that spent energy. This way of knowing is visible in early childhood when we test everything to become familiar with the attributes of hardness, softness, smoothness, slipperiness, roughness, resistance to effort, to tearing, to pulling, to pushing, to fitting, etc. Later on, action upon oneself becomes the main preoccupation of boys and girls whose activities aim at letting them know themselves via the instrument of action. Their games and their 54
  • 57. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness drawings spell out clearly what they spontaneously spent their time on. To know is the aim of life, and at that age it is to know what action and perception can teach each of us. Obviously, action is modified by the intellect in the realm of the “virtual.” We end up our childhood having acted a lot but also having realized how to extend our perception of our actions by developing an arsenal of virtual actions that replace the actual actions we start with. The immense advantage of the virtual over the actual is that at a very low level of energy consumption, we integrate functionings which could become actions but do not always need to. These functionings can be tested for coherence and efficacy on the virtual level. For example, children challenge each other and intimidate each other first physically and when experienced enough, verbally. Complicated military scenes in drawings are a substitute for gang battles and are more satisfying at a certain age. Actions become virtual by being endowed potentially but not actualized in time. Hence, they do not lose their reality nor their truth. Tearing pieces of paper is an action; tearing can become virtual if the only thing evoked is the muscle tone solicited as if the paper were there to act on. Once virtual, there is no reason why the materials should be finite and the width of the strip not decrease indefinitely. Virtual actions are susceptible of extension indefinitely while actual actions have to contend with attributes that restrict them. Hence, the preference of man for those actions that can be extended when they become virtual and which open the door to intellectual activities. 55
  • 58. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Therefore, there are two ways of knowing that are associated with action. The one that links with the actual expenditure of energy and can be called direct knowledge and the other that operates through the mind and the virtual, which is indirect knowledge whose truth results from the first. *** Perception and action when intimately blended provide a third way of knowing, analysis and synthesis. It is upon this third way of knowing that all the prehistoric progress of man on earth was based. Whether the hunter, farmer, or warrior, man had to extend himself through his tools, indicating thereby that he knew more than what met his eye, more than resulted from his aptitude to use his muscle tone and his energy for action. He knew also that he had access to his knowledge and could adapt it to new challenges. He realized that there was a double movement in his grasp of himself-in-the-world: to invent what would protect him at the same time as he invented what broke the protection of others. This inner dynamics involved his intellect and his imagination. Analysis and synthesis form two aspects in the transmutation of perception and action when operating at the level of the virtual. Analysis is the analog of action that fragments, synthesis the reverse movement that makes perception and memory supply the initial form of the whole if it was known directly, or produces an original whole compatible with the fragments. *** 56
  • 59. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness Analysis as a way of knowing what the world is made of, has gone hand in hand with action and perception. For example, we have become aware of the inventory of nature using our mind in that systematic way. Analysis is a necessary way of knowing if we want to know stage by stage what is the content of a universe of experience. Chemists as well as grammarians use it as their way of knowing what interests them (though they use other ways as well). In the case of the chemists, in less than two centuries they have managed to become aware that the enormous variety of substances surrounding us is made up of a small number of bricks called atoms (classified in Mendeleev’s Table) and to give the world an exact insight of how these atoms articulate with each other to produce almost all the known substances. The story of chemistry is first and foremost the story of analytical chemistry. It is possible to follow step by step the movement of awareness from the rough contact with substances (rocks, woods, water in rivers and seas, fabrics, tissues, etc.) to the atomic architecture of the component molecules. Different kinds of analyses were developed as the limitations of one or another procedure were encountered in the effort to know better what was being looked at. Analysis is the name of a vast branch of mathematics. In it, there is no restriction on the method employed to understand a question. In the case of two other branches of mathematics— algebra or topology—the analytic method is also constantly used, but it gains a special aspect by being restricted to rules that do not allow one to resort to awarenesses from other branches. 57
  • 60. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations The way the mind works in science is to ask questions. These make us aware. Analysis is a method of asking successive questions that lead to a “nested” approach, one question generating a number of others contained within the first. *** It is clear that analysis is not the only approach; questions can be asked that appear separate and unrelated to begin with. For instance, what causes the weather we experience in a certain region? What makes Constable’s painted skies so beautiful? Synthesis is a method of work which causes questions that seem separate to appear as related and, sometimes, as special cases of a wider question or viewpoint. While analysis makes us aware of the content of any perception or notion, increasing our perception of attributes and of their number, synthesis makes us aware of what needs to be perceived behind the appearances to note a unity hidden by the stressed differences. Great strides in the sciences follow from syntheses, which generally are followed by a large number of analytic contributions justifying the synthesis. Charles Darwin saw evolution happening because of the survival of the fittest; Karl Marx saw political evolution as the expression of economic interests fighting each other; Sigmund Freud saw all of our behaviors as the result of a few unconscious or subconscious drives struggling in the restricted arena of our mind; Max 58
  • 61. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness Planck saw the cosmos in the state he was observing it as a result of energy transacted in quanta and their multiples; Albert Einstein unified the field theory as much as he could by intimately relating observers using different systems of reference for their observations of various fields; Niels Bohr made the atom of Rutherford, which looked like a solar system, compatible with the quantum theory. And so on. A synthesis may suggest a new model instead of the current one, which holds together what is known so far while the new one includes that which could not be held by the previous one. This difference, in fact, is the only criterion for preferring one model to another. In the subsequent work of analysis, additional details must be easily fitted into the fabric of the new model, otherwise its usefulness will be questioned and efforts to produce a more adequate one will start again. In chemistry, synthesis means the processes through which the molecular structure, which has been analyzed qualitatively (to establish which atoms are part of it) and quantitatively (to establish the relative amounts of these atoms in the original substance) can be reproduced from the same components and quantities so as to display the same tested properties of the original substance. Chemical syntheses are incomparably more difficult to perform than analyses. Some great chemists became known as great after managing to tell the world that a given substance can architecturally be produced from very ordinary atoms and be as effective as the one found in nature. From the synthesis of 59
  • 62. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations existing substances, chemists proceeded to generate many man- made products aptly called synthetics, because they were made to exist by the process of chemical synthesis. Aspirin and nylon are two such very useful products. In physics, synthesis means the unification of concepts that look very different. We have mentioned already Newton’s gravitational theory and Einstein’s unified field theory. Faraday’s and Maxwell’s electromagnetic theories are particularly enlightening in this respect. They tell us how difficult it has been for the former to find all the experimental evidence that would permit him to see magnetism as electricity and electrostatics as electromagnetism, and how easy it has been for the latter to provide a new universal model (by his mathematization of Faraday’s insights) from which light appeared to be electromagnetic in nature. Experience did not seem to suggest this, but the model demanded it. In biology, the theory of evolution, the gene theory of heredity, the conception of the functioning of DNA and RNA, all represent mental syntheses that changed the overall grasp by man of what is essential and fundamental in the realm of the living. No understanding of the millions of facts gathered in biological studies can take place unless a synthesis that makes sense of each and all is adopted. Syntheses are ways of making possible some thinking which is excluded by the endless fragmentation of analysis. In mathematics, as in the other exact sciences, syntheses are needed and are proposed from time to time. Early in this 60
  • 63. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness century (following the proposal of Kronecker that God made the integers and man did the rest), attempts were made extensively and intensively to find the set of axioms out of which all the known theorems could be obtained by the deductive process. This method normally carried more conviction in the student than any other approach. All sciences now prefer to be presented as deductive systems. Failure to find the universal axioms did not deter mathematicians. They proposed instead to find all the “structures” which by mental blending could reproduce every one of the entities met with in mathematics. While that effort was (partially) extremely successful, it has not managed to bring together all thinking mathematicians, i.e., those among the mathematicians who want to know exactly what they are doing. Instead of one synthesis, mathematicians have a few, maintaining the one which they themselves find congenial because it agrees with their temperament. Side by side they go their way, hoping for the day when a real genius will unify their thinking. Not all sciences manage to find even a partial synthesis that puts facts together. Economics, meteorology, even geology have gone on for generations without an overall model. In these fields the workers know when what they consider is a valid challenge and when it is trivial and useless. Knowing at the analytic level can go on even when no unified theory is available. Indeed, some workers are suspicious of theories, although they actually hold one, their own, whenever they attack a problem. 61
  • 64. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations *** Acquaintance is a way of knowing that is best illustrated outside of the established sciences, where, however, it will be found as soon as we probe more deeply. It is the way of knowing used by poets when they want to experience with the whole of themselves a universe or an item in the universe that must remain what it is while being known. For example, to know what “the night” is, one can only yield to it, letting it penetrate one’s awareness while holding out effortlessly all distractions of the mind, all images, all words. Acquaintance is the way of knowing of two people who neither invest in each other, nor ever expect anything definite from each other, but who know that they have access to each other and are ready to be further known. The impacts are all received with respect, i.e., the will and consciousness operate as watchdogs so that the impacts do not get distorted by any one of one’s movements. Acquaintance is the kind of knowledge that the potter has of his clay, the painter of his paints, the musician of his instrument, when each is not thinking, not reminiscing, not reducing his state to anything but itself, in contact at that moment with what is becoming its promise. Acquaintance is what two lovers have one of the other—nothing analytic, nothing definite, but full and palpitating, stressing their living relationship and its uniqueness. 62
  • 65. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness Acquaintance cannot be verbalized, and no one attempts it. Rather it operates via incantation. Deeper and deeper acquaintance is possible beyond analytic probing, because yielding is present in this way of knowing, and it immediately provides directly, without intermediary, what one needs to know. The sensitivities involved are sufficient to provide the impacts that act as contents of the moments beyond vulnerability. Acquaintance can fuse with other ways of knowing and supply the self with a feel that what is to be known is known: in respect, because of acquaintance; in detail, because of perception, intellectually, because of the dynamics of imagery; in its becoming, because of the actions that transform the other. Acquaintance is a way of knowing used by all of us when we are conscious that familiarity is contributing something definite to what is experienced as familiar. Because of acquaintance with their instruments, musicians tune them at once and in the proper manner. Because of acquaintance, scientists know at once what is required of them when presented with a paper on a subject in their field. Everything familiar gains a concreteness that gives it relief and tells a great deal at once. The acquaintance with their field is what makes scientists more than analytic instruments. It makes them know what is relevant, what is important, what is significant and needs their attention. Those scientists who become bigots, who are intolerant when something is offered that goes against their ideas, lack true acquaintance with their field. Artists know that they use acquaintance in preference to analytic knowledge. They let what they relate to descend in them and occupy all the inner mental or spiritual space they have available 63
  • 66. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations for that moment. It is in this yielding that they recognize their acquaintance. If words have to be used—as in the case of the poet—they are words which emerge in the state of acknowledging the acquaintance. The words and the accompanying images do not appear as analytic but as testimonies of the state of acquaintance. Nothing is fragmented in spite of the length of the poem on which the experiences are stretched. *** Contemplation, like acquaintance but more so, is a way of knowing where the self is aware of not being engaged in what it is knowing. The will is absent altogether because the self is reduced to and is maintained as a passive witness of what is. Knowing takes place simply because the self is aware of its polarization, of its gift to what it is related to. What the self receives from what it is contemplating is known to belong to that and not to the self, although the self alone is the knower. There are universes in man’s consciousness that can only be known through contemplation. When one is on one’s back in the sun, one gives oneself to one’s well being; when near a brook, one gives oneself to the sounds of the running water; when perceiving the song of a bird, one lets it reach oneself, the mind totally emptied of images and only ready to listen. When on a quiet clear dark night, one looks at the stars, silent within and unrelated to anything else, then what one knows is known by contemplation. 64
  • 67. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness Contemplation only exists if the involvement of the self is felt as total relaxation of the will, the functionings of the senses solely guided by that which is and which is acknowledged by the self as the non-self. Scientists who manage to contemplate what is accessible to them directly in their field, know that it is a way of knowing that gives them what they cannot obtain otherwise. They speak freely of contemplation. They do not apologize for entertaining it. They know in themselves that this is a solitary act before some other work starts, using other mental instruments, and before they consider sharing their findings with others. Contemplation to them is a way of opening doors, a temporary phase in a way of knowing the world called, according to social agreements and fashions, “the scientific method.” In some moment of truth scientists may openly acknowledge that they need to contemplate, to be acquainted with the universe in which they dwell as minds, in order to be stimulated genuinely to penetrate some of its mysteries. But soon they fall back upon the ways of knowing that their guilds use and alone consider acceptable—mainly analysis, fragmentation, in order to know better. In fact, things are much more complicated than that. When scientists present their findings, other scientists can see weaknesses in them that escaped the authors. This is not because of a better analysis but because beyond the analyses presented, there is a universe to which the various scientists have access. Contemplating that universe provides the means of seeing not only what the expounder saw but also something he did not see, which changes the perception and permits the criticism of the paper as well as providing a contribution beyond 65
  • 68. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations it. Contemplation is individual, but the universe belongs to the collectivity. *** There are still other ways of knowing, the most important in our present day being intuition. In the past faith was very important, and it is still commonly used by everybody who, for example, not knowing whether or not an elevator will function, would yet enter it and happily press the required button. Faith is at work in all of us even when we never consider it. It is the way of knowing which can only function if someone else (in the past a supernatural being, nowadays perhaps a laser beam or an electronic circuit) empowers us to be in a certain state. Since we are lived by our past, our habits, our luck, we need faith to get through every day and believe we are whole, healthy, and functioning. (We shall not elaborate here on this way of knowing, but I consider it an important one.) Intuition is a way of knowing needed when encountering complexity, and one wants to respect it, to maintain it. In the past, intuition has been called in as a fleeting activity of the mind needed to open doors through which the analytic mind would enter to do the only job that is serious: that of analysis or verification. So long as analysis was a fruitful way of working in a number of fields attracting the attention of the powers-that-be, all other 66
  • 69. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness ways of knowing were considered incidental, even when they were perhaps useful for the grand purpose. But as the “easy problems” became exhausted and contradictions were found that forced reconsideration of every suggestion that looked promising, the need to reconsider one’s position in regard to the whole became necessary. Today, no one can claim enthusiastically, for example, that a new miracle drug has been found, because its hidden side effects may be delayed and perhaps devastating; or claim that technology can solve all problems. In fact, technology may create new and more difficult problems, like pollution, while solving old and obvious ones for which some industry was created. Aware of contradictions—not only in the sense of dialecticians, but of contradictions that result from insufficiently flexible laws of thinking, of logics—we have to question the ways of knowing which have served us well but are no longer adequate. We can see that being aware of complexity requires that we learn to work holding the wholes we are contemplating for what they are; requires that we educate ourselves as intuitive minds. This we can achieve with a certain ease if we do two things: (1) re-educate our perception so as to recognize that we receive packages of energy through our senses while we can also polarize our self to contemplate locally, in a pinpointed way, what we focus upon, concentrate on; and (2) offer our children exercises that will prevent them from having to be re-educated later on. 67
  • 70. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations So far in the West, we have stressed focusing. Now we can stress reception of totalities and consider the scanning of the whole as demanding awareness of the whole, and not only so as to revert to the function of focusing. Because we are now aware of awareness, we can see what we need to undertake in order to achieve the re-education of those who need it—almost every adult—and the education of the young. We can make everyone recognize that a field we are entering upon concerns everything that we are, everything that we have been and will be, and everything that there is; and that our relationship to the whole is inevitable, however tiny that whole. We can become aware that before we utter the first word of a sentence something in us knows where to go to find all the words needed to express our thought, putting the words in order, affecting them by number, gender, attributes, time, modalities, etc. This functioning of ours is under the command of our intuitive self. Generally operating well, we have produced many thousands of sentences satisfactorily for the duration of our life—minus one or two years. And some do this in a number of different languages. We are all endowed with this power of holding wholes. We do it so automatically that we no longer need the special awareness we are calling for now. Our intuitive self functions again when we refer to our experience, which no one sees as fragments or as a film, but as a universe where so much will be put into relief by instruction from the self. Similarly, when we refer to our affectivity, our sensitivity, and so on. These functionings, which are complex, all-pervasive, conscious to a point, are experienced as wholes, as permanent beyond the variability of the moments. They are attributes of our intuitive self, at peace with the wealth, the state, the intricacies, the promises of the whole. 68
  • 71. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness In intuition, the self acknowledges that via specific lightings it produces reliefs on the wholes, thereby illustrating the stressing- and-ignoring process always at work. So intuition doubles with other awarenesses to produce means of coping with complexity by stressing some aspects of the whole while deliberately ignoring others, until such time when need for another lighting brings back awareness of the whole. The self and its objectivations, drowned in the universe of energy, receive its impacts. Intuition maintains the awareness that energy is in contact with energy, while the other functionings of the self take care of the spectral analysis of a package of energy added to the self or moving within the self. As babies we have already done such jobs, learned as soon as we had to analyze light, sound, pressures, i.e., a few days after we were born. We are therefore all experts in such functionings and can remain so if we are not forced into other ways of knowing developed by some generations to cope with their problems but not necessarily ours. Schools and universities are related to the past and therefore see no harm in meeting their present challenges in maintaining the functionings which served the past well. But such a situation no longer obtains, and we can conceive of an education that is guided by intuition. This is compatible with all other ways of knowing, even if the inverse has not been perceived as true. The intuitive self is co-present with the perceptive self, the active self, the retaining self, the symbolic self, the intellectual self, the artistic self, and the moral self. It is affirmed as the present absolute by the relativistic self, evolving in a man-made universe and seeing wholes and complexity everywhere that our fathers 69
  • 72. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations saw fragments and thought that simplifying was a better way of penetrating their world. The method of Descartes—increasingly fragmenting everything until the obvious, i.e., the simplest, is reached—needs to be replaced by the method of today: respect wholes all the time, and light them up as often and as differently as you can so that no lighting becomes predominant, and then take the set of all those lightings as a provisional description of each whole. Every concept is a whole. The class it represents becomes present when as many samples as possible have been scanned and acknowledged to belong, however different their appearances. Because babies meet the world with their intuition and know how to use their lights to produce new impressions again and again, they have escaped the rigid logic of those who can construct wholes only on a small number of simple principles. Because of their complex ways of working, babies manage to learn to speak at the age of one or two and to belie all the clever theories of linguists who cannot believe that such feats are possible that early in life, unless it is with the help of genes or of the supernatural. Babies have awareness and do not yet have social thinking habits. Later on, after being submitted at home and school to pressures from the “grown ups,” they have conformists’ thinking habits and less awareness. Fortunately, intuition is not acquired through social learning. It is an attribute of our human self, 70
  • 73. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness aware that knowing is dictated by the truth of what is to be known. To know complexity requires intuition as much as to know light requires sight, a special functioning of the self, and to know someone requires a movement of the self we called acquaintance. Once we become aware that we can function as an intuitive person, we find that all our previous instruments become sharper and more comprehensive than they were at their best. Every one of our other ways of knowing—perception, action, analysis, synthesis, acquaintance, contemplation—are renewed and capable of serving us as they never have before. If we have been able to do so much in the past centuries when we lived through the absolutes of perception, of action, of feeling, of thought, of social action, of individual growth, and produced cultures that made the planet earth man’s planet, we shall be doing a great deal more now that we are aware that all these ways of knowing are compatible and capable of working together. Summary To sum up the study of this chapter, the following can be said. Referring to the survey of the sciences made in Chapter 1, it was possible to attempt to extend the awareness examined there, that each science is about a distinctive awareness of man’s involvement in a dialogue with an aspect of his universe (which thus becomes a universe by itself), to reaching an awareness of awareness as such. When this happens, awareness as such 71
  • 74. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations becomes a universe pervading all other universes in the way space pervades the mountains, the sky, the atmosphere, the swimming pools. The existence of simultaneous perceptions of each specialized universe and of a sustaining space may lead to stressing the awareness of space and to ignoring the other awarenesses, although they are always immediately on call. We also illustrated the awareness of awareness by examining different ways of knowing and the presence of the self in each. Although ways of knowing are picked up in the everyday experiences of each of us, they need to be dwelled on by awareness to become fully functional. We have selected to study only a few ways of knowing in this chapter. Analysis, the most powerful tool of all the “exact” sciences for 400 years, looms large because of that historical feature. But in fact, the most important way of knowing today is the one that can respect complexity while examining it. This is what intuition does and always did. We had to distinguish synthesis and intuition, to say a word about acquaintance and contemplation because they too, by definition, respect the whole. All three (synthesis, acquaintance, and contemplation) are somehow easily mistaken for intuition. A distinctive feature has now been proposed for intuition: the simultaneous movement of holding the whole while directing the searchlights to produce various reliefs in that whole. In this orientation, analysis looks at the temporary appearance, resulting from the use of particular lightings. For now, we see analysis as the process of scanning with a particular searchlight, 72
  • 75. 2 The Awareness Of Awareness useful but only temporarily capable of producing the relief, which will most likely disappear under another lighting. Analysis will be the process of acquaintance with a whole through variable lightings, always revisable, but respectful of what may escape forever because our awareness of the content of the whole is that of an unknown, impossible to pin down, a priori. Instead of having the meaning of fragmentation, analysis can now gain a meaning similar to the one it has in mathematics: the freedom to use all means available to reach an understanding of a complex challenge covering several fields. Intuition can become an absolute for a while as have the other ways of knowing, in each life and at certain periods in some cultures or civilizations. This is because we shall exalt it as the proper way of knowing of today, the most fruitful, the one that produces the blossoming of new ways of looking at everything. The science of education that this book speaks about is historically linked to all the other sciences but also transcends them by forcing recognition of its capacity to be immanent in each when, shifting from awareness of this or that, it proceeds to stress awareness of awareness. 73
  • 76. 3 The Facts Of Awareness In the preceding chapter, we explored the meaning of the awareness of awareness and attempted to indicate its power. Here we consider the facts of awareness, awarenesses that come from attending to awareness and thus show that it is part of reality and demands study. There are two complementary ways of looking at writing about the facts of awareness. One is concerned with the individual I was which gave me access to the facts of awareness in my own life and the other is concerned with the environment in which I was immersed that made me look at history and human evolution within myself. There are, therefore, in this chapter two frames of reference with which I shall deal: first, what I call the lessons of one life, and second, what seems to me to be the consequences for humanity of what was found in that life. 75
  • 77. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations The Lessons Of One Life Very early in my studies, I became aware of the fact that I am in time. Because of this awareness, that being in time I necessarily change, the question arose: “To what must one inevitably give oneself in order to be able to live a personal life in the world?” The word “world” inevitably indicated to me that not only myself but everybody else had to take care of some aspects of the universe in order to survive. And “to survive” changes its meaning in one and the same life from sheer biological survival to personal survival as a unique individual in some society. I realized that there was need for a flexible method to accommodate all of the facts found by the millions of collectors who looked at themselves and others throughout the millennia all over our planet. I found this method to be to follow the lightings of awareness. The instrument of awareness, uncommitted to any form or any norm, temporal in essence and always accessible, has served me well. Rather than divide the world into the classical categories, I used for the study of life the same instruments that made me find unity in the diversity of the sciences as expounded in Chapter 1. Since I was and still am a soma (rather than I have a soma) that expression of myself must keep its important place in my understanding of myself. Likewise, I am a mind, I am a spirit (rather than I have a mind and a soul), and these expressions must have their place in my understanding of myself. 76
  • 78. 3 The Facts Of Awareness Since I know myself in time and use time for living, I proposed to begin with the universal entity of energy, found by man’s collective studies to exist everywhere and to be capable of transformations—in particular, that of becoming matter. With this entity, I could simultaneously handle food and electronic currents in the brain, i.e., both the most immediate activities reachable to all and the hidden ones. To make this process plain for all readers, the notion of objectivation (already referred to several times earlier) is crucial. This word itself wants to convey the making of objects, that is, things which are perceptible and have a certain permanence. Since we know the process of changing energy into matter in the field of physics, as well as the converse in nuclear reactions, we have at least one example of objectivation of which we can be aware. Further, since we know how to transform an image into a drawing, a drawing into a blueprint, and a blueprint into an edifice, and we also know that we need only a mind, energy and time in order to achieve this transformation, we can add such examples to our inventory of objectivations. Hence, I begin by stating that there exists a self capable of objectivation, and I then proceed to look at what has been done over the years by that self with its objectivations. *** 77
  • 79. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations During the prenatal period, one visible thing happens: an egg becomes a child. We know the details of that transformation from outside. About the inside change we have to extrapolate, since embryos do not write books but rather utilize their energy to produce their functioning somas. They produce every cell, every tissue, and every organ, as well as everything which links these with each other. But it is not a body that is being produced by the lengthy process, it is a functioning soma which, in spite of similarities with the parents, is distinguishable as a unique individual, a human being that enters the world outside the womb to lead a human life. So we can return to the womb and look at the embryo from conception and find that one process has taken place that will be a model for many others later on, a process by which what did not exist has been made to exist. A soma has been objectified and the objectifier is constantly present, constantly turning energy into structure to support function. It is an objectifier who is also a knower, so much so that each cell is “wired” to some tissue that specializes in the supervision of the functions, in the monitoring of what goes on everywhere all of the time. To make such gigantic jobs possible, the self engaged in this construction has devised a method of integration in which the latest level of the functioning whole integrates the previously integrated wholes, while subordinating to it everything that had been previously done. Hence, at every moment there is a human being, even if he is not capable of living in the outside world at every moment. In terms of awareness, what happens during these nine calendar months, the total life of the being in question, is that what the 78
  • 80. 3 The Facts Of Awareness self has to know is that it is present everywhere and that it is doing everything for itself within the self just as it is doing it— for outsiders—within the mother’s womb. In other words, it is carrying on the double job of constructing and knowing, of objectifying and energizing, in a manner that agrees with what is there and what it can do. This process insures that at birth what has been produced will immediately be instrumental in extending the life of the self to other universes. The self has given itself a soma by making everything in it, using only from its parents what has been put in the DNA and from the mother the substance from her blood, the same blood that serves her own cells. Because of this original construction, in which every brick must be manufactured from simpler elements, the self of the individual knows the soma as no one else can, with all sorts of secrets to make it do what the self wants. *** It is a fact that the self of the unborn baby can affect the muscle tone of the muscles and make them act, and this is an awareness that will never be lost (except through accidents). If this is clearly understood as an example of one fact of awareness at the prenatal level, a whole host of other facts follow. Unless we are all aware of what goes on in our soma, how could we turn around by ourselves a few weeks after birth? How would we spontaneously practice the movements that give us mastery of our grasp? 79
  • 81. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations There are two levels for our somatic awareness. The first occurs during the embryonic development and gives us the extremely intimate knowledge of the immensely complicated systems that are our organs, including the brain, knowledge at the level of functioning. A second level follows birth and takes the route of reaching from outside what has been functioning all along. During that time, the younger we are, the closer we remain to our soma, still following the previous approach to our soma. The older we grow, the more remote our soma seems, for most of us because of the distractions of life, or, for some, the ideas gleaned at medical schools from physicians. Some physicians keep their original touch with reality and become remarkable clinicians. Chinese physicians, because of their long empirical training and their use of diagnosis through the pulses, are more prone than Western doctors to use what they learned in utero. All such digressions do not make us lose the gain made this far: that every one of us has to be deeply aware of all the functionings of the soma to be able to experience the many pains that accompany its dysfunctions. That we use the brain as intermediary does not change the essentials, since we each made our own brain for that special purpose. *** Once we are born, our system at once informs the self that conditions have changed, and awareness of what needs to be done with what one has is immediate. Concentration on the vegetative system is shown in two ways: 80
  • 82. 3 The Facts Of Awareness 1 All apprenticeships are covered in the time required to insure survival—that is, breathing, sucking, and swallowing are learned immediately; digesting in a few days (because of the collaboration of the mother whose milk increases in density as days go by); evacuation of liquids functions at once; elimination of solids in a few days. 2 All external impacts are kept at bay by delaying for the days needed to do the first jobs the process of myelinization of the sensory nerves. These tasks cannot be postponed, and only an aware being can undertake such important jobs so well. Indeed, they are done so well, they will not need to be done again, unlike so many of our later jobs, done within an indifferent or perhaps antagonistic society. This is a major fact in our study. Since awareness means presence of the self and since it is because of this presence that such good and lasting learning takes place, we will want to be guided by that faultless education that every human being has given himself in utero and in early childhood. With this in mind, a look at young children will show at once that they work pinpointedly on every challenge, that they take their time to find out the priorities, the urgencies, and the hierarchies, and that they enter the activities seriously, consciously, determinedly. They do not allow distractions to deter them from their task, unless they have to give up being themselves and conform with the environment for the sake of getting some peace. 81
  • 83. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations There are so many tasks to go through that unless each self has the means to slice into the environment and sometimes exclude people while at other times giving oneself to others, no learning would take place. Hence, everyone develops immediately a method of abstraction which takes the form of stressing and ignoring. This remains an instrument throughout life and is used deliberately by all, even if very few give it the fullness it can have. It is clear that when our brain is submitted after birth to the first sensory impacts, it must do a job it has never done before. Brain tissue is specialized, but it is still tissue. While it is treated like all other tissues in terms of nourishment and waste disposal and while some of the early layers have been used—that is, given jobs which have been going on for some time—there are not only layers which have not been involved but there are some which will be generated after birth (hence the need for a fontanel at the top of the head). These new layers, we contend, are to be educated by the self, by its presence in them, as was the case previously for the earlier layers. *** The life of the mind begins with perception, the self’s acknowledgement that some energy has been added to the system, in certain amounts and kinds. Photons carry specific amounts of energy related to their frequencies. The brain learns to recognize them, and awareness of color is, therefore, equivalent to awareness of energy received distinct from the number of quanta. This is another of the facts of awareness: the 82
  • 84. 3 The Facts Of Awareness self determines the sensitivities to associate with different components, and it educates the brain differently to take care of each one. If we illustrate this with the sense of vision, we find that by processing the energy received through visible photons, the retina will receive them for what they are and will transmit to the end of the ocular nerve in the brain the effect of the energy received. Furthermore, the area of the retina which is lighted and the number of photons reaching it per unit of time will be interpreted by functions of the brain that integrate the activated fibers in the optical nerve. Since the eyelids can be shut at will or kept open, in spite of the existence of some reflex action, as is the case for the pupil, babies spend some time processing light energy to know how to handle it and to relate to it directly. Naturally, they will encounter only what comes their way. They will know the kinds of lighting reaching them in their environment, whether indoors or outdoors, and they will be acquainted only with that and later with how it changes, as they get other opportunities. The self does not respond somatically to the impacts of the environment in one and the same manner, as biologists prefer to see it. There is always a two-way traffic in which the self intervenes simply because it has a will. Some babies may be so present in their sense organs that they enhance all impacts and may even decide to affect their reception by acting upon the afferent impulses. These babies develop as especially sensitive to light or sound. Others may take in as much as possible and cope 83
  • 85. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations with amounts instead of other attributes, thus developing very differently. And this is true of babies in the same family and from the same milieu. Stimulus and response are two variables in which the self can show its presence. *** Listening to voices, who can say which attribute should touch a particular person? Who can say we all receive the same impacts and are affected similarly? If we are not interested in what actually takes place, we can even replace actuality by a theory, the broadest one possible being the one that generalizes the shallowest view, namely, what I am aware of will be the extent of what others will also be aware of. In fact, because of the individuality of each of us, we can expect such theories to differ sharply from the facts when we examine the facts carefully. As soon as we know that the self is present in knowing, that awareness is required to note anything, we see at once how individuality influences all human phenomena, how what seems to be uniform is in fact a spectrum of variations made of hues and shades which must be accounted for. In each of us, perception is far from a uniform response. As soon as what strikes us is seen as more than a single item, and how we receive it is seen as more than a wall to bounce off, we realize the impact of individuality on perception. In the packet of energy that reaches our ear, we have opportunities to stress some things and ignore others, and this alone creates a vast 84
  • 86. 3 The Facts Of Awareness number of choices to produce a vast number of different perceptions. We can choose to work with the complexity of reality and see how much more it yields than when we use a uniform approach which can only distort. The facts of perception cannot a priori be simple facts. They are what they are, and we must look at reality in that field in order to understand it, rather than to reduce it to our preconceptions. Our brain is complex in order to cope with the multiple components of reality. As we have managed to find out, impulses are just as varied. When we use what we know of the content of a spoken language (and this does not mean all that there is in it), we see that the attributes sorted out refer to properties like continuity, duration, intensity, pitch, number of harmonics, etc., which are essentially different and affect us differently and sometimes simultaneously. As a result, we must assume that our substance and our brain are susceptible to being affected by qualities and attributes of energy that are distinguishable. We must also assume that to perceive is not only to analyze but also to synthesize, to retain the components and the totality together and separately, at one and the same time. Awareness must be present to do all this and be “present in its presence” as well. As if this were not already sufficiently complex, we must add that the past is also present and differently activated every minute, that is to say, not always in the same way or with the same vividness. One must also assume the location of that past in the frame of reference of our life, to the extent that our psyche and its dynamics will allow at this moment. 85
  • 87. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations These are the facts of awareness in a restricted area, and they are briefly summarized. Reality is much more complex. *** As soon as action is added to perception, a new universe opens up. Its purpose is not to replace the previous one, nor to stand side by side with it, but to be related to it in a manner that is never either final or complete, but rather represents a dual movement of integration: the new being integrated as well as integrating the old, while some of each is subordinated to some of the other, leaving some untouched and possibly with the power to manage to dominate the whole at specific moments of one’s life, often unexpectedly. Action is a way of knowing, as we saw in Chapter 2. Because our energy can be spent, we can know through expenditure. That is why we become aware very early that we can determine with precision the amounts of energy required to become acquainted, through our hands, with objects in the universe of nature. Babies tear up what can be torn, not because they are destructive but because the objects yield to the separation of the hands when holding them tightly. Once alerted that such a property as resistance exists, young children test it in many things. Flowers, insects, materials, papers, all are capable of provoking action from them. Maria Montessori took advantage of that spontaneous interest to increase awareness of the attributes of the objects used in her classes. 86
  • 88. 3 The Facts Of Awareness But action has limits, and the self in babies soon finds that the dynamics of imagery resembles actions. Perception of actions by stronger people also extends one’s conception of action and helps to replace it with a new type of action that takes place in a virtual universe. Virtual means potential. A virtual universe is an actual universe in which only virtual actions are performed. Babies’ symbolic powers tell them that their dreams are actions in the virtual universe. Replacing everything by something which evokes it because of a sufficient number of attributes but is still different because of the absence of other attributes, is a child’s game. He accepts a distant reply from a loved one not in his field of perception as if that person were present. This too is a fact of awareness. As soon as the universe of actuality can be extended to the virtual, the explosion of reality takes place. Babies are aware that their images are theirs, that dreams are dreams, that the reality of the actual, which is going to form the concrete, and the reality of the virtual, which is one step removed from it, are compatible and can flow one into the other. That is why babies can learn languages so early, sure that words are percepts, although they have no meaning of their own, and also sure that a correspondence is as much a reality as objects are, mainly because it can be perceived. This too is a fact of awareness. All through our early childhood, or our boyhood and girlhood, we are all engaged in gathering in ourselves collections of 87
  • 89. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations mental substitutes for that which we know to be concrete with properties not available to the functionings of the mind or the brain. The virtual is a rich universe because it always triggers the awareness that there is a different presence in the actual and that it is connected with the nonself even if it is not fully apprehended. The mind is in contact with the virtual as well as the actual, but it knows the difference in terms of energy. That is why we do not have to teach anyone about reality. This too is a fact of awareness. All the many games boys and girls play in the home, the playgrounds, the parks, the streets, are clearly meant to know the world around them, to relate it to the world within and to generate immediate substitutes in the mind for the immense content of reality. That we all know that we have to do this and do it well, systematically and thoroughly for many years, tells us how important it is for the self. This too is a fact of awareness. *** We take nine months in our mother’s womb to make ourselves. We take five years to dominate perception, aided by action, so that we expand our inner world to include everything capable of reaching us through our senses and of being elaborated so as to become as automatic as our somatic functionings. We take five or so further years stressing action and letting it integrate 88
  • 90. 3 The Facts Of Awareness perception and the soma to give us a pulsating universe open to all the virtual extensions compatible with the potential of both. This too is a fact of awareness. We take five or so more years to investigate the inner universe of feelings to prepare ourselves to be affectively ready to involve the whole of ourselves in the subsequent tasks of life in society. This too is a fact of awareness. Once we have reached that state, we can enter our society, whichever one it is, in order to play our role in it. In the West, over the last two or three hundred years, it has been asked of some of us that we give ourselves to exploring the world of the intellect. This is not required from young men and women in older civilizations or in societies whose economies require the most of the energy of their population be given to producing their sustenance. In the West, after years given to intellectual pursuit, either one went on doing that, in order to become a professor or a teacher, or one learned to be a member of the social agencies that organized everything in society. This state of being, beyond the use of one’s intellect for intellectual ends, had to be learned through social living first, through further studies in special institutions created specially for that end, and it led people to knowing themselves as social beings using their intellect instrumentally. These too are facts of awareness. 89
  • 91. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations In our world today, we still do not look at things through the use of awareness. We therefore fail to understand that our life, like our soma, is functionally stratified. What we do conditions the future, but what we allow to attract us changes our past. For example, we no longer have to be aware of our stomachs once we have learned to make them do their jobs well and, henceforth, to be available to us, provided that we do not send them what would require more than what has been stored in the automatic programs. Likewise, we do not have to be aware of writing as a function of the hand after years of writing, nor of what we do when we read after years of reading. Thus, our process of learning in the realm of know-hows leads to automatisms which make awareness available for other realms and for the use of one’s past at a minimal cost in energy. To tell what I remember costs me no expense of what I need to be aware. In one life, the evolution of awareness moves from the soma to perception, which uses the somatic structures and functionings called sense organs and transforms the soma into an organism which is just as much at home in the outside world as it once was in the womb. Awareness then switches to action, which uses perception as well as the soma to produce all the activities which extend powers over a much wider universe than one’s soma, and integrates vast numbers of know-hows which others also find in their functionings. Action gains range and ease when it is coupled with the power of imaging by making itself known as virtual action. All these examples show temporal hierarchies, a fact of awareness. 90
  • 92. 3 The Facts Of Awareness *** From the transformation of action into virtual action, we know our intellect and develop it by extending the transformation. We know the potential as our capacity to change the virtual into the actual. We do not need to actually make that change to become aware of its existence. This is the basis of our “symbolic” functions, which give us an entry into the awareness that with less energy we can do more. This fact of awareness can be experienced by every adolescent who gives him or herself to thinking or to knowing that some virtual gesture, such as dropping a perpendicular, completely transforms a situation by replacing a problem with its solution as seen all at once. By releasing reserve energy, affectivity, which enables one to meet the unknown, the future, makes the adolescent know that he or she can think; indeed, is an independent thinker. As symbols become more and more the furnishings of one’s mind, inner movements provide greater awareness that it is not the amount of effort that the mind makes which yields progress but the proper organization of symbols. This organization of symbols takes place in a realm two stages removed from the actual, and it responds to the slightest mental impact. Such organizations in various fields (i.e., the connections to various actualities) lead to the awareness that one is an intellect, that one is thinking. 91
  • 93. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations And this too is a fact of awareness. *** Thinking on the whole involves only oneself and what one has retained from the thinking of others. But social action, like physical cooperation, returns to the concreteness of others. Social awareness requires the contribution of one’s intellect, because social action replaces the full reality of persons by their individual presence as a somatic force. It does not actually matter who gets killed in confrontation with the establishments’ forces. But there is need for bodies to fight for a social cause. A social cause is not an obvious perception. It is a construct of some minds and one to which one can adhere affectively, so as to put at its service one’s soma, one’s perception and action, and one’s intelligence. To see social problems is a new kind of perception, one which integrates all one has and is. But at the same time, it is one which is integrated in one’s sensitivity, one’s vision of oneself amid others. This too is a fact of awareness. As soon as the social self wakes up to social reality and develops as a social being, a new intelligence also makes its appearance— social intelligence. This uses what one brings to every social situation, and judges whether this is sufficient or whether the social self needs something else, which it will then tend to summon. Developing as a social being means precisely that. It involves entering deliberately one social situation after another 92
  • 94. 3 The Facts Of Awareness to test what one has done so far and what one can do in addition, to give oneself affectively, intellectually, physically, and imaginatively, so that one might achieve what one sees as possible and as needed to meet some challenge perceived. This too is a fact of awareness. *** When one’s social development is sufficiently advanced, it becomes clear that one can then transcend society, social dynamics, social problems and social solutions, and use the social self as an instrument. While in the period of development, one identifies with what one does; in the following phase, there is no need for this affective component. This absence of adherence to the challenge, of identification with the problem, causes the self to be aware that it has transcended the level which earlier absorbed one completely. Transcendence is necessary in order to move out of one level and into the next, even if one is not yet aware of that transcendence. Every time one field of living, one field of exploration, has lost its absolute character, transcendence is at work. The fact is that in our evolution we have generated absolutes in order to give ourselves fully to the level of awareness we have to explore or feel, as something we cannot avoid exploring fully with all we have. The absolutes go hand in hand with transcendences. They need each other; one (transcendence) to leave an absolute behind, the other (absolute) to replace a preceding one. 93
  • 95. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations This too is a fact of awareness. But once transcendence becomes the act of awareness, one is out of all absolutes, one has entered the level of relativity, and one’s evolution consists of recognizing awareness as the level one lives in. From then on, one can survey one’s past and see how one has developed, what one has done with one’s time. One can move from involving oneself in specialized and distortingly restricted activities to those activities which concern awareness of one’s awareness, which is engaged in all of one’s living. From then on, it is no longer the organized self that commands but the organizing self. This self is the energy of human life aware of itself in all and every activity at whatever level it takes place. Thus what becomes important is (1) the overall dynamics of energy—be it in the soma, in perception or action, in feeling or thinking, in serving oneself through others or serving others, in holding nature and society in one’s mind, and (2) to live with everyone relating to the reality of everyone else at every minute and allowing truth rather than any other criterion to guide one’s actions and one’s thought. These too I see as facts of awareness. The Consequences For Humanity These facts of awareness concern only one life, but in what follows, I shall try to show that they are possibly the facts which also are in each of us who finds that we all are bipedes standing vertically with brains that have much of the grey matter in our skull as yet uncommitted. We all accept that as humans we look 94
  • 96. 3 The Facts Of Awareness alike from outside but that as individuals we are unique, a conclusion based on what we can gather from our inner life. Indeed, our inner life is what makes us into persons, which allows us to reach first awarenesses, then awareness, and then awareness of our awareness, and then allows us to discover in others what leads us all from ourself, in our original familiar environment to mankind on earth, and then to humanity and the cosmos. *** From our present vantage point we can see mankind on earth as a whole. But not so long ago, people saw only valleys or lands bordering lakes or seas. Mankind as a fact of awareness is one of our latest conquests, and this required enormous technological progress which seemingly had nothing to do with mankind as a whole. A few men and still fewer women were the agents who produced the instruments that led us to the objectivation of a capacity to consider the earth and mankind on it as concrete attainable facts. Earlier, there were seers who uttered the words that could make us believe that they had developed the mental equipment which made it possible to actually consider mankind’s problems and to handle them on its behalf. But we cannot say that their view embodied a fact. Instead, we can say that in their individual awareness, they managed to generate substitutes for all of us by considering the concepts of man and his place in the world, a world also conceived but perhaps left half hollow. 95
  • 97. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Philosophers who deal with ideas and theologians who start from premises that convince them but not necessarily others, were the first to be engaged in attempting to reach through themselves the meaning of “the other” or others, that is, all of us, those living here and now, and all of us who have lived and will live on earth. This extension of the class of the living goes along with a reduction of the class of attributes, so that we were less and less concretely supported in the workings of these men upon their own mind to grasp and hold the essence of mankind. Man became a hollow concept filled by each philosopher with whatever he selected to put in it, which was connected with his own scale of values, and was thus his creation. This produced more or less interesting characters, like those in novels, which are created according to the art of the novelist. When natural scientists in the West belatedly looked at man, they found, in agreement with the development of their science, that he is made of molecules, then that he is a number of organized cells functioning according to the same laws as plants and animals, and then, much more recently, he is a set of behaviors living in three environments: the cosmos, the earth, and society. As the frame of reference narrowed, the concreteness increased to the point that it is an acceptable occupation among scientists today to want to know, say, how man actually managed to live three million years ago, or what impact any discovery had upon the lives of people in such or such a place, or what made nomadic groups survive and how they could settle down anywhere, etc. Along with theology and philosophy, natural sciences were allowed to exist, then social or human sciences, and nowadays 96
  • 98. 3 The Facts Of Awareness any science that finds a pressure group to give it funds and a journal. In this phenomenon, we can see the facts of awareness at collective levels. *** Once one is aware of the existence of such facts, a study of collective awarenesses becomes possible, as does a presentation of facts of awareness integrating history or rather the histories of human collectivities. These were actually separated from each other, occasionally affecting each other—sometimes violently through wars and conquests—and finally, recently, have found themselves forced to consider themselves as parts of a whole: mankind for most, humanity for some. The main difference between seeing the totality of all men, women, and children as mankind or humanity is a fact of individual awareness. To separate men from women in mankind and both from children, is to maintain two absolutes: sex and ages, which affect considerations, thoughts, and actions. In humanity, there are only persons, and the only absolute is that one cannot live outside one’s awareness of oneself. As beings in time, we all grow from conception to death (allowing for stagnation and regression) with the soma that we gave ourselves. The distinctions of sex and age do not matter so long as we do not have two groups adhering to their contrasting awarenesses, as is the case today when so many are facing each other, some on behalf of mankind and others on behalf of humanity. 97
  • 99. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations On behalf of humanity, we can make allowances for those who speak on behalf of mankind, because the first know the relativity of awareness and the awareness of relativity, while the others know absolutes to which they adhere and from which they draw the justifications for their conviction that the actions they propose are right. Today, in international conferences, absolutes meet head on and often collide violently, each being sure of where they stand but unable to move the other. The supporters of mankind could achieve their ends if they could shift and become holders of the relativity that generates tolerance of the other. But they do not seem to be ready to pay the price: abandonment of absolutes passed on from times when awareness was not the concern of people. A collective fact of awareness is that unless enough people are simultaneously aware of something, that thing does not exist for the group. For example, only when enough people in the colonies (created in the last few centuries in various parts of the world) could see that the colonizers were not all superior to every native, did a chance to obtain freedom become present in the mind of natives and the means to get that freedom become objectified. Another example is in the awareness that self- interest is a common lever, and can be used to organize people: men to form trade unions, women to become suffragettes, and voters to form a party. For the group to objectify is to make what is objective for one person an object for others. Inventors do this at the level of things. Social workers of special kinds do it by gathering what is needed to create a club or organize a scout group. A local institution does it in order to take care of this or that; law 98
  • 100. 3 The Facts Of Awareness makers to pass bills; and writers to produce books and other writings. *** There are four components to contend with when we compare awareness at the levels of individuals and of groups. The terms used are the usual ones: subjective and objective. By coupling them with the words individual and group, we have the four contrasts: objective-individual and subjective-group objective-individual and objective-group subjective-individual and objective-group subjective-individual and subjective-group These are simultaneously present in individual-group dynamics in all civilizations and cultures, and they account for being in time as well as being made of persons capable of awareness. We have, to begin with, the awareness that something has an existence for one individual, which makes it objective- individual; but for all others it is subjective. Hence we call it subjective for the group. But it can be passed on from one awareness to all the others in a group, to gain objectivity (objectivity-group), except for those in the group who are not yet able to use themselves as required to objectify it. For these people, the awareness is subjective-individual while it remains objective-group. Finally, there are awarenesses still to come to one member of a group before they can begin shifting to others, 99
  • 101. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations and we call these subjective for all people in the group. These last awarenesses vouch for the existence of the immanent in man’s experience. In poetic terms, we could say that the unknown is waiting there to be allowed to descend into one consciousness. The preceding discussion is about a fact of collective awareness and can be illustrated as many times as is wanted, using different examples each time. In the field of the sciences, it is often said that a succession of breakthroughs make the sciences reach maturity and attract new investigators to their folds. Scientists, as against reformers, consider themselves as having the responsibility to render their objectivations so that they are capable of becoming objects to all, thus forcing their awareness to see the objectivations as facts of individual and collective awareness. But the stories of scientists in the history of science could tell in more detail the enormous travail involved in the process of making objective to oneself alone what one was allowing into one’s awareness and then, in a secondary process, of making it objective for others. In the case of major breakthroughs, the stories are dramatic and have sometimes required from the first person that he or she wait for the death of those in authority to reach the new generation of investigators less committed to the past. The example of Georg Cantor and the theory of sets less than 100 years ago illustrates this best in the field of mathematics, Michael Faraday’s work in the fields of chemistry and electricity, and Mendel’s in the field of biology. All of their individual objective knowledge has now become objective-group, and no one can understand why brilliant contemporary minds resisted the encounter of the truth 100
  • 102. 3 The Facts Of Awareness presented to them—unless one sees scientists as all other people, as complex beings only aware of what they are aware of. When we look at compact civilizations that lasted for a number of centuries, even millennia, we can see the work of successive generations and follow the work of awareness within the terms that defined the beginning and the unfolding of each of them, doing this is a matter of how individual awareness affects collective awareness which in turn affects newcomers in its fold to orient their awareness towards some ways of being, and how it is then possible to handle what comes. The detailed presentation of all this is the work of large numbers of workers for as long as is needed to gather all the evidence required. Here we can note that Gautama, the Buddha, founded Buddhism; that Abraham, the Mesopotamian, founded Judaism; that Jesus of Nazareth, Christianity; and Mohammed, Islam. Each offered followers aspects of man’s awareness that needed centuries to be made explicit and this process is still going on in our time. *** Facts of collective awareness in Western civilization can be presented as follows. Theology was the only science of the establishment so long as concentration on one’s own spiritual salvation was accepted as the most important occupation of the members of the Christian civilization. For centuries all the intelligence of the brightest of the men and women of Europe was directed towards understanding the relationship of a fallen creature to its God, a God of Love that gave himself to save mankind. So long as this preoccupation dominated, other issues 101
  • 103. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations were met with practical intelligence accessible via perception, action, and common sense. But as soon as it became theologically acceptable to let the fallen creature have dialogues with the content of creation, intelligence was involved with what it had neglected, and the Renaissance began. Leaving to theologians the questions of whether it was a legitimate activity for priests to dedicate themselves to matters other than theology and to pious Christians the question of whether it was a worthwhile activity at all to collect leaves and stones and spiders, many priests and laymen threw themselves into the study of creation. The mystery and the beauty of the universe were not reduced because the new view was rather matter of fact. God’s wisdom and infinite resourcefulness were added to every day. What distinguished the new intelligentsia from the old was the stress of one’s awareness. Copernicus was a monk, and he died the same year (1543) that his Tractatus appeared, thus avoiding personal ecclesiastical problems, which neither Giordano Bruno nor Galileo could escape fifty and eighty years later. Theories as constructs could be treated as heresies and banned, but facts were stronger in their own defense. Galileo could be prosecuted by the Inquisition, but that tribunal could not prevent the earth from moving around the sun: “e pur si muove!” was Galileo’s awareness of that fact of collective awareness. The politicians in the Catholic Church lost their bet when they believed that they could stop the propagation of facts of awareness by means of ecclesiastical regulations. They did not know exactly how collectivities become aware, and in the case of astronomy their ecclesiastic trial failed to impress. 102
  • 104. 3 The Facts Of Awareness The Renaissance was followed in Europe by two centuries of use of analytic intelligence under the guidance of Descartes’ method and Francis Bacon’s invitation to make the universe speak for itself via crucial experiments. Awareness proved itself by the questions posed to nature. The facts of awareness became collective awarenesses as soon as one would use perception to look or to listen. Looking into the microscope opened to the naked eye the world that was invisible because of size; looking into the telescope gave access to that which was invisible because of distance. Both showed man limited by his condition but capable of expanding his universe of awareness. The dramatic experiment of the Brandenburg hemispheres, of Torricelli’s climb of a mountain which showed air as having weight and exercising pressure, were spectaculars for the new elite. They helped pave the way for alternative careers to the Church and the State. Quite soon, “elites” everywhere organized themselves into Academies seeking Royal charters to be above the accusation of heresy and to become dignified. Most work at the time was through correspondence and word of mouth. The fact that so much of the secret of the creation could be revealed so easily and to so many in all walks of life generated a collective awareness that it was a blessed activity desired by the Creator, who now received a new kind of worship: in the fields, in the labs, and in one’s armchair. But awareness of the working of the intellect could not go without awareness of the accompanying affectivity, and soon the 103
  • 105. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations “Enlightened” made Reason into a deity, for some, the Deity. Rationalism, not Catholicism or Protestantism, was a characteristic of man, the creature. Religions were now questioned as being constructs, and the founders of religions as being myths. The reactions of the Church were no longer threats in this world—nor even in the other, for those who no longer believed in it. The Enlightenment served the new elite so well that its members in the many salons of the time became as attractive as the Royal Courts. Private lives dedicated to learning about “fallen” men became as worthwhile as public lives dedicated to glory in the classical fields of war and politics. To run the modern governments properly, there was need of something beyond being born a nobleman or being educated by governors. The know-how required was acquired by being active in the new fields of technology, trade and commerce, banking and agriculture, ship building and road building, etc. All of these activities predominantly used the intellect and the sciences and not theology and prayer. The Enlightenment truly believed in Reason as much as people in the Middle Ages believed in the Almighty. Psychologically they believed in the same way, but with one difference: that of the symbolisms used. It became a fact of collective awareness that man could remedy ills by becoming knowledgeable. That by replacing ancient regimes with new orders, men would leave obscurantism behind and enter a decent life in a world created for them. Revolutions became the means to achieve change, as they still are today for those whose personal awareness does not go beyond that point. 104
  • 106. 3 The Facts Of Awareness A remarkable transformation of one of the teachings of Christianity can be seen at work during this period. Rousseau made popular the belief that man in the state of nature was good, and if he looked evil, it was because of the impacts of society on him. He also sang the praises of sensitivity and sentimentality. Man was love and could love nature. This message of love caught the fiber of the people, and expressed itself in the affective explosion known as Romanticism. Love, a god-like property in Christianity, was now an attribute of man, who could give himself to it in all of its forms. The Romantics integrated affectivity and intellectuality, and generated the movement that was to organize charity into communism (the kind urged by Grothus Baboeuf and others, and not yet the communism of Marx) and socialism. At that time it was a fact of collective awareness that intelligence could serve mankind in the social spheres. Everything had to be invented, found out in that universe where people, until then, had mostly played it by ear. Now the message of Christianity, of love for one’s neighbor, could be secularized, become the object of scientific approaches. Auguste Comte, in founding sociology as the pinnacle of the positive sciences, and Karl Marx, in proposing economics as the basis of historical dynamics, were both bringing rationalism to the realm of human relations. It is another fact of collective awareness that a century and a quarter later the majority of mankind is still totally engaged in learning how to organize the world’s components to give everyone liberty, equality, and fraternity, officially spoken of 105
  • 107. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations only two hundred years ago. Learning how to do this today means something very different from what it meant around 1850. Then, social facts literally existed for only a handful of people, and they were finding it very hard to convince others of their existence. Today, no one doubts their existence. Even nursery school children and babies at home are being indoctrinated in the recognition of the existence of social facts by being taught to share and to take others into account. Today, everyone is taught to open up a business, to “increase his clout” by belonging to the right organizations. These are collective facts of awareness which first had to be found in individual awarenesses and then made available to those others who would pay the price of obtaining them for themselves, and then were given to all for nothing, as a matter of course, as a birthright. This descent of awareness into one person, and from him to others, and then to all, is another fact of awareness which is increasingly becoming collective everyday. *** It is also possible in our present world to catch moments of some awarenesses descending and of some at various stages of penetration in mankind. One already mentioned is the transformation of mankind into humanity. Another is the recognition that only awareness is educable in man—the engagement of more people in 106
  • 108. 3 The Facts Of Awareness transforming education into an instrument for changing mankind into a humanity which is aware of the whole man in every man. As in the past, for almost everyone education still is related to the absolutes of the past. Following the Enlightenment, there was only one worthwhile type of education; that of the intellect used as the tool of Reason. Reformers pressed for the inclusion in schools of science curricula, modern natural sciences which told of independent thinking about nature as opposed to the old sciences that kept theology as the queen among them. Later, new reformers pressed for the inclusion in the curriculum of social sciences as well as natural sciences. But these reformers never referred to anything other than subject matter. They did not consider approach (except for very few outsiders like Pestalozzi, Froebel, etc.) nor learning. The New Educational Fellowship after World War I attempted to call attention to method, hailing Decroly, Montessori, and others who were promoting ways of working that were different from the old style of absorption of knowledge through drill and repetition. However, even Decroly, Montessori, and Dewey worshipped knowledge, although they were critical of the type of knowledge in circulation in the schools of their time. It seems that for them, as for most people involved in the field of education, the absence of a universal referential that would at the same time give us the why and the how of teaching forced a compromise in which either the why or the how had the upper hand, forcing the other to follow it. 107
  • 109. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations On the one hand, if we must earn our living, then this becomes an absolute for education, and no one would be taken seriously who did not explicitly take social competition into account and integrate it into a proposal. On the other hand, if we do not as yet have a world society, it is inconceivable not to have an educational system which is explicitly partisan for certain ideologies and against others. It is a fact of collective awareness that we give ourselves the systems of education that correspond to the level of awareness of those who influence society. In a period of transition, chaos is the mark of proposals, first because the ways of the past are not delivering and second because the new ways appear suspicious and may be insufficient to deliver what is wanted and needed. Today, there is a greater chance that chaos will not prevail because of all of the dissemination procedures called means of communication and also, and mainly, because we are replacing opinion by fact. Thus, the awareness that only awareness is educable in man is doing two things. One, it is drawing attention to something actually involved in our personal and collective changes. Two, it is showing that all other approaches either are ineffective or are reducible to an education of awareness, albeit in disguise. It has been found that without the cooperation of the learner, there cannot be any learning, and that teaching which is not connected to actual learning is, in many places, useless. Hence, today we find a wholesale adoption of the word learning, even 108
  • 110. 3 The Facts Of Awareness where it is only given lip service. And this is the case almost everywhere. It has been found that not all subjects can be acquired in the same way and that the main difference is in whether it is a skill (or skills) that must be acquired or an understanding. Hence, we need to take care of the kind of learning required and teach accordingly. For years, vocational schools were the poor relations in the educational system because people in them used the medium of language for all subjects. Dewey tried to enhance “thinking” with one’s hands and to make all schools into vocational schools, particularly for social awareness, which he preferred to the intellectual. *** Skills must be acquired through the inevitable law of learning (discussed more fully in the next chapter) in which temporal hierarchies translate the awareness of their unfolding in the learner. We must become aware of the temporal hierarchies in learning if we want to be sure to deliver. These hierarchies are the expression of how awareness works. The statement that only awareness is educable in man is equivalent to saying: in teaching skills, one must respect the temporal hierarchies. Because awareness opens doors and practice produces facility, we know that neither can be considered as sufficient on its own. But the important difference is that the presence of awareness makes practice meaningful, while practice alone can lead to 109
  • 111. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations boredom and nonretention. Awareness acts as glue to hold together the benefits of practice. Looking at what we do when we learn tells us what we need to know about education. In the next chapter, we shall be more concerned with learning. Here we are working on the facts of awareness. As for the statement about that only awareness is educable, we need to single out the facts. We can do it by looking at every one of our involvements and determining when we can say that we are educated in each of them. If we are a musician, we know how to distinguish virtuosity from appreciation, interpretation from composition, and how to tell ourselves when we function best and where. Each of these is a special awareness of our involvement, and for each of them, we know that there are specific exercises that give us a deeper entry into the challenges and, in return, make us know that we must offer ourselves new exercises to continue our growth. If we are a writer, we know how to distinguish awareness of the worlds within and without from awareness of the language, of the appropriate apt image and word from the artifacts compatible with them. To educate the writer in us, we must find which component is the obstacle, and from this awareness, give ourselves exercises that make us surmount the obstacles which we can perceive only through our watchfulness. If we are a mathematician or a boxer or a dancer, we have to do similar things to become sensitive to what we must tell our will, our intelligence, our soma, to perform so as to agree with what we carry in our mind. 110
  • 112. 3 The Facts Of Awareness This is true for every one of the multiple expressions of ourselves in the world. All of these tell us that if we educate our awareness, we remain with the challenges and can change ourselves to manage to integrate them while bowing to their requirements. Education in the realm of skills cannot be anything but education of our awareness about the various awarenesses involved. The fact that practice is necessary may blur the issue a little, but by being present in one’s exercises we all know that the ultimate result is that we are now using as little energy as is needed to become alert, to affect the automatic parts of us, which are involved so as to serve the overall aim we have. *** In the fields which are not skills and where education means greater understanding, the fact that only awareness is educable is seen so much more easily. Indeed, if there is nothing to retain but much to be acquired by being in contact with what is not ourselves, we can ask ourselves (1) what reading a novel by Dostoevsky, for example, means to us or (2) what listening to a Beethoven sonata does to us or (3) what watching a classical ballet brings to us, etc., to find that the experience makes us more aware of ourselves and of our aesthetic properties. Since we cannot do much as non-performers with, say, a symphony that we spent time listening to, the motivation for that gift of ourselves is in the return, that something in us has received some impulse through the organized energy of the performance, which reaches our awareness of that universe. It will not reduce 111
  • 113. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations the mystery of that universe, make us into nicer people or better-looking people, but only people who are more aware, more aware of what music or art or dance or literature does to us in enhancing our awareness of these universes of experience. Some of us may retain more of these experiences than others, or speak better about them, but the central fact is that all of us have been affected. This is equivalent to saying that our awareness has been educated. Summary To sum up this chapter—which would not have had to be written had we all done the job of becoming aware of our awareness—we met our experience in terms of awareness, first as a single individual going through one life, and then as collectivities that are as variable and as numerous as we find them on our planet. We have punctuated our study with the repetition of “This too is a fact of awareness” and, less often, with “These too are facts of collective awareness,” because we hope that when one has finished reading this chapter, he or she will have no doubt that we are all aware of so many facts of awareness that a science of education, which results from this awareness of awareness, is possible today and is open to all. This chapter is particularly important mainly because it shows the possibility of such a science. Man is aware of so many of his 112
  • 114. 3 The Facts Of Awareness involvements. When he becomes aware of awareness, he can guide himself to do better or otherwise than he is doing in each involvement. He can become an educator, a conscious educator of himself and of others. If, in addition, he becomes aware that his awareness of awareness gives him entry into all the facts of awareness, he can decide to become a scientist of education, to contribute to the making of humanity out of the members of mankind. The science of education then produces the technology of human education, a very new involvement for the inhabitants of the earth. 113
  • 115. 4 Affectivity And Learning Before we can have a Science of Education, we have to discover at least one fact (or several) of such pervasive and fundamental significance that it (or they) will provide a solid base from which to gain new perspectives and which assures us that results will be quickly achieved. We find this base in the study of human learning and in the important role played by affectivity in all learning. This chapter is devoted to the introductory examination of both of these areas. Of course, learning is not exclusively human. But human learning is distinctive if we do not try to rediscover in humans the learning discovered in animals. Methods of studying animal learning from the outside have proven to be sufficient for that subject, mainly because no investigator could effectively become an ant or a baboon. Since I am human and surrounded by humans, I can give myself the task of understanding human learning simply by placing 115
  • 116. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations myself deliberately in the position of a learner and noting what is happening and subsequently asking the same questions about other learners. Or, having been struck by some feature in the learning of someone I observe, I can put myself in a similar situation and see if I can discover the same movements in myself. As it happens, I had to acquire all of my knowledge on my own; that is, with the help of books, my environment, and whatever was happening in it. Of course this is true for everybody. But in my case, I had to earn social proof that my self-education had permitted me to acquire “the” necessary knowledge. I had to pass official exams without attending courses or having teachers to consult. Thus, I was able to observe myself learning languages, mathematics, chemistry and physics, biology, history, philosophy, economics, the law, geography, anatomy, physiology, and statistics. I also observed myself learning to play an instrument, ride a bicycle, swim, dive, lift weights, wrestle, box, camp out, make love, and cook. Furthermore, I watched myself earn a living in a number of jobs: teaching, training teachers, writing books, summarizing studies, running a business, producing wealth. I observed myself in a variety of other activities: raising two families, operating as a stateless person, becoming a citizen, traveling extensively, corresponding in a number of languages, and translating books. I was also able to see myself describe, guide, discuss, and criticize what I was observing myself attempting to examine: examining my own examination, expounding on what others were saying (being careful to understand it well and find the limitations of their proposals); practicing being patient with myself when roads were found to be dead ends; developing the necessary multiple 116
  • 117. 4 Affectivity And Learning sensitivities that made me receptive to the realities I was relating to; attempting to move towards a guess about something yet unknown, letting any new light have its chance; refusing to be intimidated by preconceptions and by prejudices, becoming daring and accepting the consequences; moving towards what mattered irrespective of what anyone said or thought; and creating the inner criteria connected with the reality I was relating to, letting them guide me when I managed to be “with it.” Naturally, however extensive this list seems, it is but a fraction of what I can extract from the experience of one man only, namely myself—i.e., the prerequisites for a proper approach to the challenge of meeting human learning. Much more will reveal itself as we proceed. For example, I have not even mentioned the discoveries I made in these various experiments, nor the cross-fertilization which occurred when I put together parts of myself at work, or how I had to learn about model making for the purpose of having something to hang onto in my mind, and how I had to learn to live in a limbo among all the existing models in certain fields as I attempted to find my own. *** Human learning can best be exemplified by studying a given field and what investigators frequently do in that field, which is to lose track of its challenge yet go on “investigating.” Since it is commonly agreed that speaking is a distinctive human activity, 117
  • 118. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations it would be helpful to examine this particular activity as our given field. Almost every human learns to speak. When some do not manage to do this, they are examined for deafness, aphasia, brain damage, or retardation. They should have learned to speak, so something must be wrong with them! Studying those who succeed in the apprenticeship of learning to speak seems so difficult to us that instead we study their vocabulary count, content distortions, and rectifications. Studying those who do not succeed seems less difficult but presents us with preliminary questions that lead us away from the area of learning to speak towards a number of other areas, such as linguistics, neurology, pharmacology, social work, the financing of research and institutions, and so on. Still, it is clear that babies do learn to speak, i.e., they do things deliberately which take them from the stage of not using words to that of using them like everyone else in their environment. Any taped collection of all the sounds produced by one or more babies would not by itself give us the evidence of what babies actually do with themselves to manage this feat, which is so admirable that it is considered an unlikely event by its analysts. The method which I have used to produce the answer to the question, “How do they do it?” is to focus on the problem itself. In other words, it was not an application of some theory suggested by a generalization from some other field. The answer 118
  • 119. 4 Affectivity And Learning is so simple that it can be summarized in a page or two. Here it is. 1 Children can become aware that their soma contains parts which can be activated voluntarily by flows of air produced from their lungs and that various flows generate variations. 2 They can become aware that their phonation system produces what reaches their ears, and they can correlate through their own will what they hear and what they do in their throats and mouths. 3 They can simultaneously be present in both their ears and mouths, and can discriminate what happens in one and in the other. 4 They can affect discriminately and deliberately what they produce with their mouths so that the impact on their ears is known by some objective attribute or attributes available to their consciousness. 5 They can survey the variations of their sound productions via the variations of their will and judge whether or not the former conforms to the latter. 6 They can transfer the monitoring of that activity to their self which is present in their hearing. 7 They can explore the whole spectrum of sound production compatible with the somatic attributes of their larynx, tongue, lips, teeth, the tightness of their cheeks, their palate and their gums, and 119
  • 120. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations make somatic notes which they store in their brain and other proprio-sensory systems. 8 They can be sure that they have inner criteria for all of this and work towards full awareness of their sound production, including sounds themselves, pitch, timbre, intensity, duration, relative connections (such as continuity with variation or syncopation with maintenance), and know that for such a study they only need themselves. 9 They can recognize as a sound that they know how to produce, a sound an outsider produces for whatever reason (often to imitate the baby’s own sounds), and can find in this capacity the bridge between the highly sophisticated handling of oneself as a sound producer and the discovery that others also are sources of sounds. 10 They can deliberately (but always at their own pace) shift from their own sound production (which I call talking) to paying attention to what others do, which is then understandable though not yet actually generated on their own. 11 They can concentrate deliberately on the use of their well-constructed instruments to analyze the sounds made by others and come up with their own conclusion about what was heard, as their own version of it. This can be totally acceptable in that it conforms to the original, or can be partly correct because the sound attempted includes uses of oneself not yet sufficiently practiced, or can be completely incorrect because the attempt is based on a guess rather than on a study. 120
  • 121. 4 Affectivity And Learning 12 Children need time to learn to speak because they have to discover not only the objective attributes carried by the voices they hear—which affect them through the energy distribution in each package let loose by one’s mouth—but also the arbitrary choice of words to convey perceptible meanings. 13 Children learn to speak because they do the many precise things required, and they do them well. To do things right deliberately, cautiously, exhaustively is what human learning is all about. Awareness dominates every move and integrates it to what was there before and/or conversely. Instead of doing the direct study we have just described, however, investigators of this field have thrown a blanket or two over it, concluding that there is no need to examine the matter because “children learn to speak by imitation” (but they do not tell us how) or else that “it is an innate capacity transmitted in the human genes only” (but they do not offer us the slightest clarification of how that was possible). Other schools of linguists and psychologists have marveled at the achievement and divided life into before and after the acquisition of speech, showing the difference it makes in children’s intellectual performance. Is it not amazing to discover that Piaget, who wanted to be so close to the development of children’s intelligence that he spent years looking at how children acquire the notion of speed or volume or chance, never found it necessary to devote time to the acquisition of language? There is not a word anywhere in his monumental work on this most remarkable achievement of the 121
  • 122. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations intelligence, which is at work spontaneously and very early on one of the major obstacles to human expression. It seems that learning to speak is seen as incidental learning, not revealing anything worth looking at for a student of childhood and of ways of knowing. Little should we wonder, then, that all the existing schools of linguistics, epistemology, and psychology have so little to contribute to a Science of Education. *** Besides not noticing what children actually do to learn to speak, most investigators of learning have neglected the important component of affectivity. Piaget never wrote about it, and it seems that he prefers not to approach the subject. This also applies to his numerous followers all over the world. Still, how can we avoid being struck by its presence in learning— our own learning, even if we never look at others? How can our minds be kept in contact with any challenge if there is not a component of our self to maintain the interest, the involvement, the concentration on the task at hand? The unknown, the future are not perceived by our senses. There is a mobilization of our self which keeps us from letting other things come in to distract us, provides the motivation to be “with it,” nourishes our patience when faced with errors, encourages every new trial, and cooperates with the other functionings required to break through and integrate our findings. 122
  • 123. 4 Affectivity And Learning It is this very presence of the self as felt in the here and now and projected towards the immediate future which we call affectivity. It does not need to be defined in intellectual terms. It has to be felt and known directly for what it is and what it does. Of course, it is part of one’s self, and it is distinct from one’s soma. But it is so closely related to the soma that it is known through it and is co-present with it in one’s consciousness, even if only in a virtual manner on many occasions. Intellectually speaking, affectivity is energy in contact with the objectified inner world. It has some degree of freedom but not complete freedom. That is what distinguishes affectivity from the self, which is the supplier and deliverer of free energy in our life. But affectivity must also be distinguished from the psyche, which is also energy in contact with the soma, but in this case the energy is used to carry on the past in our life. All automatic functionings are kept functional by energy left in the interstices of the soma, as well as the energy which swiftly moves from functioning to functioning in order to keep the complex systems responsive, interacting, and organized together, i.e., integrated and, synchronized—that is, harmonized. Learning is that aspect of the self’s temporal activity which makes the self accept what has already been done, to attain the ultimate purpose, which is to free the self to meet the unknown more adequately. In the case of man, who is not essentially given to the perpetuation of the species, meeting the unknown is living in contact, in awareness, with the non-self or with the not yet objectified or experienced self. Hence, the function of human living is dual: on the one hand, to do all that is needed so as to be free from what prevents one from doing what he alone can 123
  • 124. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations do; and on the other, to do it. The first part is obtained by the work of the self that locks up part of itself as energy in dynamic objectivations (the soma) and keeps the dynamics going by maintaining some residual energy (the psyche). The second part of human living is the manifestation of free energy instrumentally using the soma, the psyche, and all their relevant functionings. In the here and now, the self which knows what it has done to make available as much of itself in well-integrated objectivations as is possible to one’s awareness (which is present at every moment), does not need to mobilize more energy than the tasks require. The tasks linked to a project selectively mobilize the appropriate amounts of energy, which are known to be present to a self sensitive to itself. That aspect of the self, as well as awareness, are the work of affectivity in the here and now. Hence, affectivity is free energy in so far as it replaces the self facing the immediate future, but it is, like the psyche, residual energy because of its involvement in objectivations. There cannot be any functioning which does not involve an energy transaction. Differing amounts may be involved, and quantitative differences may be noticed. When the amounts are extremely small, they will be noticed if the instruments for their detection are made very sensitive and are easily “upset.” Because all of this concerns inner dynamics, only the self can account for it. Learning is also an energy involvement, particularly if it ends up in the generation of new dynamic objectivations that store up some energy with some additional 124
  • 125. 4 Affectivity And Learning psyche to make them available for the future. At the initial stages of learning, there is greater awareness of energy mobilization and therefore a clearer awareness that learning involves energy. At the final stages, this mobilization is felt less and may give the impression that no energy is used for the tasks. Such an experience is called mastery. Learning is the essential function of the self. It goes on all of the time, making every human being into a learning system. But learning gains many meanings because of the awareness that there are distinctive elements in the varying activities that the self gives to itself as it changes its time into something else. In my book, The Mind Teaches the Brain, I used learning as the instrument for studying the brain, and showed that the self had to relate to a vast number of aspects of itself in order for each of its relationships to become a learning experience, which is not the way these relationships had been seen until then. For instance, the self had to learn to relate to the world around and the world within, or to use more of its past than any involvement spontaneously called for. Thirteen fields were singled out to indicate that our life in the world, our everyday life, needed at least a number of combinations of these to cope with what comes our way. Each of us appeared much more complex than we are accustomed to seeing ourselves according to current models of man. *** 125
  • 126. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations A particularly important discovery, as we noted in Chapter 1, is the role of sleep in learning. If we look at sleep as merely the period of time each of us uses for restoring ourselves, we could not understand why babies, who do no physical work, need to sleep for more hours than a miner or a truck driver. Nor could we understand why so many not very busy grown-ups want about ten hours of sleep every night. Sleep clearly has so little to do with fatigue (at least in a sufficient number of cases) as to make the question, “What is sleep for?” meaningful. Until I asked myself the question, “Has sleep anything to do with learning?” I missed the meaning of sleep altogether. Going back to the newborn baby, I saw clearly that in order to learn to use all the functionings which were concerned with the new environment and which had never been practiced earlier, each baby had to refuse his system access to all the impacts from outside, which would distract him from his vital jobs. Of course, in the beginning, sensory nerves are not able to let in selective impulses, and for a few weeks, sleep—as a state in which the self consciously reverts to the current of consciousness, already known in one’s mother’s womb—is mainly the cooperative effort on the part of the self to meet the challenges of the unknown, with the self reducing the areas of the unknown as much as possible. But as we grow older and as we allow more and more of the universe to have an impact on us, we must learn to cope with those impacts caused by what is not under our control. Our 126
  • 127. 4 Affectivity And Learning experience of sleep lets us return to the state we were in before in order to do the sorting out of impacts in terms of energy. Sleep, then, is the realm in which the self that is a knower of the amounts of energy available, of energy mobilized, of movements of energy, takes a second look at what has been done when it faced the sources of impacts in what we call the waking state. It is during sleep that we make sense of what reached us in the involvements of the waking state. During sleep we extract energy from what has been overstressed and add energy to what was barely noticed but needs attention. We normally wake up refreshed because of these transfers of energy, unless we have been unable in period of sleep after period of sleep to unlock some traumatism, and thus find ourselves submitted to further aggressions from the environment. For most of us, sleep makes us able to stand the pressures and assaults of our days in the outside world. To learn to cope with these is a permanent demand upon each of us and a daily need accepted by the rulers as well as the ruled. In Part II of this book, we shall return to the role of sleep in specific learning experiences such as mathematics and language, and make specific recommendations which readers may find helpful. *** Learning, or acquiring skills, requires us to relate to activities and to what these activities demand of us. 127
  • 128. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Skills change us. That is, we shall have to restructure ourselves in order to be able to do what we were unable to do until then. Working on examples helps us in clarifying the process, although each example makes a different demand on us somatically, affectively, and intellectually. A physical activity such as skipping rope (which most girls in the world practice for years, and boys and men often adopt for special training) can serve to bring forth the three stages of consciousness that are present during apprenticeships. In the beginning, the contact with the unknown is the dominating fact, making us hesitant, timid, cautious, clumsy, patient, indifferent to opinion, self-righteous, unimaginative, determined. Errors absorb us, but none is capable of demoralizing us or discouraging us. Instead, we quickly note the feature that caused it and eliminate it by an active intervention of the will. This may not be sufficient, so we try again and determine the impact of this new trial on the whole activity. This first phase lasts as long as it needs to until the feedback tells that something is working well. The start of phase two is when the self knows that enough stepping stones have been placed on one’s road for one to become able to direct the practice. Instead of feeling only the unknown ahead of himself, the learner feels some knowledge behind him, or feels the quintessence of experience and that he can count on it. He therefore knows that he is no longer a beginner and that he needs to practice until he has surveyed all 128
  • 129. 4 Affectivity And Learning the sources of error that come to mind and has done exercises which make him meet these sources separately or in conjunction. As the practice progresses, so grows the feeling that the skill as it has been developed can cope with the various possibilities in that field. When this feeling is associated with a sense that the expenditure of energy in each trial diminishes, we enter phase three: that of mastery. This is the testing period. Instead of doing what had been done earlier, the learner challenges himself by asking: “Can you skip rope with your feet alternately leaving the ground? By making the skipping rope turn twice while being in the air? Bending knees once in the air? Closer to the ground? As far away from the ground as possible? Can two people holding one hand skip together?” Of course we could look at this part of phase three as more than mastery, as the use of what has been mastered to enter some new challenges, a field of application, or phase four. This is legitimate and in some areas it is helpful to take this attitude, as we shall see in Part II of this book. *** The acquisition of skills is ideal for the study of the intimate relationship between affectivity and learning. In fact, we can see how the self passes residual energy from affectivity to the psyche in its role of guardian of the inner universe of the automatic. 129
  • 130. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations In phase one, the self provides the free energy and the polarization which make one stick to an encounter with the unknown. The psyche is called in because all one’s past is made available, but the psyche can do no more than mobilize the existing functionings, which clearly are not sufficient to meet spontaneously what is new. Energy in contact with the soma can activate a constellation of muscles never before put together. This is what affectivity does. Since affectivity is turned towards the future, it does not know perfection as the psyche does and is not put off by “failure.” Affectivity has no connection to the image of oneself as a successful being. It operates in the here and now. At once an unsuccessful trial is replaced by a new attempt, integrating what one’s perception and one’s enlightened reflection propose. Affectivity learns on behalf of the self by discarding that which does not work, and on behalf of the psyche by storing that which works. Therefore, affectivity can remain mainly in the present, a little in the past and a little in the future, but it expands the present to generate a continuum of time and of life. Affectivity measures its involvement as the mobilized amount of energy: energy present in the trial, to be increased or decreased or kept steady because of the message which the feedback (via the sensitivity of the self) brings to the self; energy of the self in contact with the soma and the activity; energy to be passed on to the psyche once the activity is made automatic. Once again the psyche can hold to its standard of perfection and act on behalf of the self as the proud displayer of what works perfectly. With a new skill, affectivity returns to the contact phase and to the here and now that is its climate. 130
  • 131. 4 Affectivity And Learning *** Affectivity is also the realm of emotions, precisely because emotions are momentary coagulations of energy involving the soma. Feelings, on the contrary, are awarenesses of the self in activating the part of the psyche that keeps track of the attributes of emotions. For example, when several emotions evoke the same attribute in the psyche, the psyche acknowledges the commonness between these distinct emotions. This commonness is what is known as the feeling that characterizes these various emotions. There are fewer feelings than emotions. They are classes of emotions which in actuality have nothing in common. One lives an emotion as an energy transformation of the soma during a certain duration (usually short), whereas one lives a feeling as a participation of other functions of the self with what is left of an emotion. The fright that one experiences when a shot is heard nearby is different from the fear that is triggered by that fright; this can last much longer but it is no longer pure here and now. Fear is a feeling, fright is an emotion. The feeling of mastery in the use of a learned skill is different from the succession of emotions that accompany each act of the apprenticeship. We acquire thousands of skills in one lifetime, and each of them is learned with the cooperation of affectivity in the first two phases, and each ends up after phase three in the storage of the psyche. *** 131
  • 132. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations A musician who has mastered the skills required to play a given instrument faultlessly still has to go through the three phases of apprenticeship when he attempts a new piece. Talent is measured by the reduction of the duration of phases one and two when embarking on a new use of the mastered skill. Although ultimate qualities of performances cannot be said to be inversely proportional to the time taken to master a piece, it is possible to use that time as a measure of an attribute called virtuosity. A good psyche is as much a help to a musician as a rich affectivity, for the first takes care of the technical aspects which in the case of musicians include feelings, while the second supplies the needed energy to activate as much of the performer’s psychosomatic system as is compatible with the music and the instrument. To attempt difficult pieces requires a rich affectivity that can force the psyche to yield its functionings to a self desirous to meet the challenge. The rich affectivity of a composer is translated into the quality of the energy that the instrumentalist playing his music provides to the listeners. These qualities of the energy heard generate the successions of emotions in the listeners which, reaching the psyche, make the soma contribute its part and generate the participation of contributors that enhance the impact of the sounds. Psyche and affectivity are not distinguished here because of their unique cooperation in the field of music. The shift of time required by the music to objectify itself first reaches affectivity and a second later belongs to the psyche, while affectivity is being solicited at the same time by a new impact coming from the future, which in turn glides into the psyche, and so on. When we are in the process of acquiring the skill of writing (which in my case now allows me to write books), we are 132
  • 133. 4 Affectivity And Learning confronted with a complex field that has been fragmented by pedagogists into penmanship or calligraphy (which concerns the muscular forming of the shape of words) and putting down in a new code what one wants to say. It takes years at school to master how to shape words, and very few writers keep up with such skills because they are soon replaced by a unique personal way of writing (the interpretation of which has led to graphology as a career). But the other aspects of writing take many more years, and a very small proportion of school children manage to acquire them. One of the reasons is that people attempt to teach them when in fact there is only one proper school for learning how to write, and that is: the actual experience of writing and writing and writing. The involvement of the self in writing leaves little to the psyche and thus one’s past is not an ally. It may become one, however, once the many components of writing have been encountered and worked on individually, personally, and intimately. Only then has one mastered the various skills that make it possible for a writer to express the unique vision he or she has in a unique form, in spite of the commonness of the language, the universal skills of spelling, grammatical correctness, and the use of certain conventions. There are, of course, many skills helpful to any writer that could be developed as described above. It is possible to make everyone into a more careful observer, a more precise renderer of what is being observed, and a selective observer of elements which can more easily be expressed. It is possible to make everyone sensitive to contradiction, to unnecessary words, to confused and ambiguous statements, to monotony, to apt words or 133
  • 134. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations expressions, to the sonority of words, to shades of distinctions, and to nuances of meanings. All this is possible because we are in the world of awareness, and inner criteria exist for every one of the above realities. But because writing is a highly personal and individual art, all that learning still does not include the essence, which is to have something to say that would be worthwhile for others to hear. To grow as a writer is above all to give oneself feelers for capturing that which moves one enough in the inner and outer worlds so that one can record this and give it a form that can touch others as one has been touched oneself. This kind of growth is not a skill and cannot be obtained by literary discipline. This last example tells us that not all learning can be codified, not all learning can be molded, that human beings are especially human because they are unpredictable, not repeatable, always taking themselves somewhere else which may be beyond where they are, even though there may be no single direction to refer to. *** Still, individually and personally, we must all learn, all of the time. One of the reasons for this is that man is vulnerable despite his awareness and is susceptible to being surprised since he is not aware of everything; indeed, he is essentially ignorant. To learn, then, means relating to what comes: being open to 134
  • 135. 4 Affectivity And Learning receive what comes, entertaining what has reached one, and integrating this by becoming different in its presence. Affectivity is immediately present in such circumstances, and occupies a more enhanced place in the self than does the psyche. The self knows this because it all happens in itself. Hence, the self associates deep learning with affectivity, deep changes with a concomitant inner tone due to the presence of affectivity in each of the movements experienced as growth. Even suffering can be met in this way. We all have to learn to suffer. Suffering is not necessarily having pain, as when one is wounded or sick. Suffering has a quality that brings it close to pain, but it could be something totally different. Because of our sensitivities—which are all connected to thresholds, and therefore only function if the impact has the power to get over that threshold—we can relate to as many universes as we make ourselves vulnerable to. In any one of these universes we can be present in the sensitivity that enhances any impact from that universe on ourselves. Depending on whether we add too much energy or not to that impact, we can make ourselves suffer from it or not notice it. To learn to suffer is to learn to take impacts beyond the levels we can stand in the universes we enter. But to learn to suffer in order to know one’s sensitivity is not equivalent to entertaining what hurts us. We can be hurt because of a dysfunction and know nothing about suffering. We can involve the psyche in our pain and cultivate pain as a psychic movement. (So-called masochists among us do this.) But we learn nothing, for these psychic movements exclude 135
  • 136. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations affectivity, whose function is to prepare us to know that there is something to learn simply because we own the sensitivity in question. The realm of sensitivity is one about which we know much, but about which we have much to learn. For one thing, no one else can learn for us in that universe. We all have to go through it individually and personally, and each generation is no better off because the previous one has explored it. But we should see to it that sensitivity is not neglected in favor of transmittable skills. In fact, it is possible to treat skills as the outcome of functionings of sensitivity and we shall do this many times in part two. We can renew education because we have made ourselves aware of sensitivity and sensitivities, because we are now sensitive to sensitivity. To have learned that without sensitivities we are unable to relate, that sensitivity is a power of the self—a greater power if it is made more easily upset—has made us take in parts of the cosmos, of the human universes which we clumsily excluded earlier and, in particular, has made us capable of tackling education in its reality and complexity. *** When awareness of awareness is our guide, we can recast many of our old experiences in lights we did not have and see what we never saw before. For example, it is now possible to understand intelligence and the work it does, whereas it was never possible before, when intelligence was considered a set of behaviors. 136
  • 137. 4 Affectivity And Learning Whenever we find ourselves contemplating a challenge, we know that the reality we are relating to is not everything; we also know that we are present in the contemplation, and that the dialogue between the self and the situation utilizes some components of our experience, of our psyche. Intelligence is that aspect of the self which in these circumstances recognizes that the instruments called upon are adequate to the task, or if they are not, mobilizes other available parts of the psyche or the self which did not emerge by themselves. Intelligence is, therefore, integrated in the self, has functions not belonging to any other part of the self, and is needed for what it alone is equipped to do: supervising the involvement of the self or the psyche to find out whether the demands made by the challenges are met by what has been mobilized. Intelligence requires awareness but not necessarily the other way around. Intelligence requires watchfulness but not necessarily the other way around. With awareness and watchfulness present, intelligence is a valuable instrument of the self since it can solve problems, it can propose counter-examples to settle assumptions, and it can alert the self to what has been left out when the self gets involved in situations. When intelligence is at work, the involvements of the self become easier, and the judgment of what is required is more immediate. Therefore, there is a perceptual intelligence to accompany perception. Similarly, there are intelligent actions (actual or virtual), intelligent mental activities, intelligent intellectual activities, intelligent social involvements, intelligent affectivity. There is even an intelligent psyche. 137
  • 138. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations But there is also the possibility of conflict between intelligence and behavior, the latter being nourished by one’s psyche. Normally the psyche wins, and intelligence is made to cooperate in fooling the self—that is, when intelligence acts stupidly, which is only an apparent contradiction. It is not the function of intelligence to control mental life, but to assist in certain circumstances by mobilizing what exists and has not yet been mobilized. So, if the psyche presents a mental situation that involves more of the psyche than of the free energy of the self, intelligence can be presented with psychic elements that compel it to decide that the psyche’s action is the only way of meeting the challenge. Since no awareness is present, the functioning under consideration leads nowhere except to the status quo. For example, in persons whose image of themselves cannot stand that they make an error or that they don’t see everything, it is possible to encounter a movement of the psyche where intelligence is at work but the overall movement is stupid. Such a person can make a statement dictated by the psyche about a certain matter about which the person is insufficiently informed. If criticism is offered, it is met by the comment (amazing to the observer), “I thought so,” which integrates in appearance what the critic has said. This is an intelligent move in the circumstances, but stupid since it denies all that was claimed before. To understand intelligence as connected with the storage of experience, as an aspect of the self present (in addition to all other functionings) in a situation which challenges the self, is both more correctly descriptive of the facts and more helpful to those who want to understand its functioning. Indeed, we all feel 138
  • 139. 4 Affectivity And Learning that our intelligence exists and is brought more to the fore when challenged by something not quite familiar. We catch ourselves turning it around in our mind to find some place in it in which something we have in reserve may be adequate to affect an opening in it so as to let us perceive what the challenge is all about. Intelligence looks to our immediate common sense as if it were alerted by the mere encounter with a challenge and knows a great deal about our resources. As soon as the encounter with a challenge takes place, perception is involved as well as some sensitivities and some associations. This triggers initiatives directly connected with the latter. If the answer is not forthcoming, the self calls in intelligence—which is required in all our everyday encounters. The self allows intelligence to be present when awareness studies the challenge, and lets it make its proposals based on an action or actions, lets it change the lighting or lets it have recourse to a different model, possibly a new model. Intelligence is required for learning because learning concerns the unknown, and by definition, the unknown cannot be met by one’s existing equipment alone. But, in order to be effective, intelligence requires affectivity. We saw above how the psyche can make intelligence deny itself in order to protect a status quo situation. Hence, to prevent one’s past from blocking the work of intelligence, the influx of energy must be towards the immediate future, sustaining in the here and now the initiatives that seem demanded by the encounter with the challenge. Babies’ actions show best how intelligence cooperates with affectivity. Let us look, for example, at a young child confronting a closed box. First, the box is made to conform with his past by 139
  • 140. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations yielding to existing schemas. When they fail to work, instead of the whole thing being abandoned, enthusiasm is generated for trying new ways. Without the support of affectivity, intelligence would have no chance. With it, initiatives are tested, and the expectation for success stays at a healthy level so that a number of unsuccessful trials do not wear out the energy of the self, which was mobilized for this job. Intelligence is rewarded if one of the initiatives succeeds, and the solution is then sent to the psyche for safe keeping. Intelligence rewarded means future cooperation between itself and affectivity, i.e., future availability of a functioning of the self associated with a more mature person showing more patience and greater respect for the mysteries in reality. Intelligence, though it can act stupidly on certain occasions (i.e., when fooled by one’s psyche), on the whole acts intelligently (i.e., takes into account the contents of the situation). The interferences of the psyche are the most likely source of difficulty. Therefore, one’s intelligence should be at its most vigilant, as common sense would have us expect. To make sure that one’s best interest is served, intelligence of the working of the psyche is most needed. Here intelligence of the situation is challenged by the fact that the situation is capable of distorting its appearances, thereby forcing intelligence to work on what is immaterial and trivial so as to maintain the status quo. On the whole, the ordinary working of our intelligence does seem to be sufficient in matters of self interest. The extra alertness required in these matters can come only from awareness of one’s inner life and its intricacies, and from realizing when intelligence is fooled by the workings of the 140
  • 141. 4 Affectivity And Learning psyche. Readers of this text can discover a useful exercise by becoming aware of the inner movements in themselves, as they attempt to let the previous paragraphs produce a content that is not already there. My belief is that their best interest is to let my proposal find its place in their sensibility. Is this what their psyche tells them? Does it let them give a chance to the new proposal? Or does it produce all the arguments that blur the issues? If and when one’s intelligence of the way in which one works is allowed by one’s self to take its rightful place, it is truly possible to ask, “What is my best interest?” Intelligence is so much needed for “understanding” anything that in ordinary language it has been given that very meaning. To have intelligence of this or that is to have access to its inner workings and to come up with the vision that one gets when something has been fully integrated, i.e., “comprehended” (a synonym for understood), that is, made one’s own. Of course there is much the user can learn on his own about the workings of intelligence. We vaguely consider intelligence as an innate gift which is only enhanced by the environment’s opportunities or actions. In fact, as an aspect of the self, it is indefinitely renewable in the course of one’s life, because of what one learns of one’s functionings. The example of the need for watchfulness of how our psyche can fool our intelligence should suffice to prove the need for learning 141
  • 142. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations about intelligence as it operates, rather than imagining it as a product, a given of biological, social, and economic conditions. *** Among the many kinds of learning asked of us in our lifetime, learning to learn is one that has suddenly gained public attention. For example, most educators today do not know that affectivity is a part of learning; that stimulus and response are only very primitive forms of learning; that behavior modification methods are not compatible with the actual springs of motivation, which reside in one’s will to sustain good will; that learning is the essence of living and, when functional, is a motivation by itself; that memory is less powerful than recognition (see next chapter) and is a part of our retention system, which is of considerable scope in each of us. The facts of awareness enumerated in the previous chapter can all help to make learning within our schools the natural activity it is outside of our schools. As children, all of us engaged spontaneously in all sorts of games. These games are involvements accepted by children and offered to them by children generally slightly ahead of them in the activities concerned. In fact, for games to be fun, they must be challenging but not beyond one’s reach. In adversarial games, one rarely attempts to play with people very much stronger or weaker than oneself. We need to test ourselves against others but also to be fair to ourselves and others. 142
  • 143. 4 Affectivity And Learning Spontaneous children’s games are the greatest school for learning about learning and for learning a way of teaching that makes people learn. Children’s games are activities that can be perceived to be precisely that, and in which one can be involved meaningfully. Arbitrary games have no appeal to functioning individuals whose growth is in the realm of awareness. The rules defining games are rarely verbalized. Newcomers watch old hands engaged in them, and extract from what they see what is permissible and what is prohibited. Entering the game at a certain point in it means that one is prepared (1) to accept the rules, (2) to learn by mistakes, (3) to strive to reduce the most obvious errors, and (4) to complicate the game as one feels more confident and competent. Containment is the state of being of players totally absorbed by the activities governed by the rules of the game they are in. It is the other form that affectivity takes, besides that of elation when all goes well, a sure sign that one has integrated all one is in order to achieve the result. At some stage, affectivity may be present in summoning up all the energy needed to overcome a considerable obstacle, or to become a feared rival or competitor to others. Affectivity represents the energy side of the involvement whose purpose may be to exercise perception or even the intellect, which in themselves use very little energy. A game of chess may be emotionally exhausting because one’s affectivity is used to become the victor instead of just being one of the players. In functional involvements, affectivity helps the various functionings of oneself demanded by the games and can serve to 143
  • 144. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations let the players know that they are engaged in a vital activity leading to growth. Its absence could assure the opposite result. *** It is therefore useful to develop in the learner and in the educator sensitivities to those qualities of affectivity that benefit or hamper learning, and to favor only the beneficial ones. Learners know from within what happens to them. Teachers must translate what they know as learners in a given field to what students do in theirs. Since, on the whole, we are not required to study learning while learning, we can propose to teachers that they deliberately become students for the sake of knowing what learning is, first hand, provided that they do not get lost in the acts of learning but watch them instead. Once aware of what is asked of learners, they can imagine the why of some movement in their students, and test their guesses for veracity. This is one way of making the invisible visible. From then on, it may become easier to interpret movements in one’s students correctly and to relate to the dynamics of their selves, either in the form of affectivity or in some other form of other components involved. It has sometimes been possible to perceive extremely subtle movements in the energy at work in the mind of others as they untangle some problem of mathematics, reading, or writing. For example, whenever someone is in doubt about the spelling of a word, it is possible to notice the doubt as a hesitation, even if there is no marking time to make it perceptible. 144
  • 145. 4 Affectivity And Learning In our work in the early fifties connected with explorations with the gayograph,* an instrument to record inner energy, as well as in subsequent writings, we proved the presence of the dynamics of affectivity. It has now become possible to separate them through Fourier analysis and even directly, because the first is but a small fraction of the second, and it can be detected as producing only perturbation on the recordings of the second. Every mental activity has a specific recording and can be recognized by particular features which are its energy components. Such evidence could not be gathered if the reality which forms it did not exist. But the more complex phenomena are perhaps more easily reached by the subtlest of all instruments, a human being with developed sensitivities and access, via awareness, to what is happening within himself. Until now, investigators have hoped to reach such phenomena through studies of the brain and neurophysiology as well as via verbal statements from people in certain conditions (see, for example, Wilder Penfield’s The Mystery of the Mind). But their findings are so meager as to suggest that centuries will be needed to accumulate the evidence already available to us directly through appropriate studies of affectivity and learning as they display themselves trillions of times everyday. In any case, we cannot ignore the awareness of investigators and their interpretation of mental phenomena. We can take their * See Un Nouveau Phenomene Psychosomatique, Delachaux et Niestle, 1952. 145
  • 146. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations work into account in two ways: (1) by developing their methods which take the workers into account as part of the instruments, never believing that the absolute can be reached and leaving the door open for revision of the results obtained; and (2) by making ourselves consider the world of the mind as one in which knowledge has one meaning if seen from the inside and another meaning if seen from the outside. *** In the universe we are studying here, looking from the inside is acknowledged as the only way of reaching truth and reality. This suggests that we have to learn to work differently if our training has been from the outside. In the universe of learning we cannot not be different all the time, precisely because of learning. All of our conclusions can have some validity only if expressed as functions of time. Knowledge is to be met as changeable because of knowledge. Because in this approach interest is final, eternal statements would be reduced, we would tend to make statements that leave the future untouched. For example, we can envision the transformation of a theorem in geometry from a fact that sounds absolute into an aspect of a class of facts which themselves represent an awareness of our stopping somewhere in the recasting of our insights into the matter. Instead of saying “the sum of the squares on the sides of a right triangle equals the square on the hypotenuse” (an absolute, eternal statement of Euclidean geometry), we can say 146
  • 147. 4 Affectivity And Learning “because of similarity, the areas of three similar plane figures on the three sides of a right triangle are such that the sum of the smaller two equals that of the third” (a summary of all the possibilities, containing as a very special case the Pythagorian Theorem). But even this widened statement can be seen as compatible with other transformations which eliminate the requirement of similarity and produce a much wider statement. Whether or not a given statement is the widest possible creates a new type of challenge that changes the inner climate of the investigator altogether. Learning has had its impact on the learner, not only on the knowledge it produces. Such impacts have been considered as liberating, and as producing new releases of energy, showing how learning affects affectivity. The process enables us to understand phenomena such as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, the anti- pollution movement, all involving masses of people with a heightened spirit that produces explosions of knowledge and new ways of being in a short period. The Science of Education may participate of such gatherings of energy in sufficiently large numbers of people to produce a radical transformation of public education the world over in just a few years. *** What we shall discover about teaching will always result from a better understanding of human learning. This is the order required for teaching to become realistic. Indeed it can achieve 147
  • 148. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations it only by being subordinated to learning. Learning will change its meaning all the time, whether we change the subject (from music, to physical education, to composition in a new language), or we vary the age of the students, or we change the circumstances and the equipment, or we replace acquiring a skill by acquiring a vision, and so on. But we shall still know that it is learning we are concerned about, because of our awareness of what we are entertaining of the activity, and of what we concentrate on, and how. Thus, we shall not end up with tables summarizing our findings and suggesting recipes, because the subordination of teaching to learning requires that we meet the needs of individual students, needs unknown to everybody except their teachers, if they are sensitive. They must learn to find out as quickly as possible, and then remain in touch with and adjust to what each student is going through in the lesson. This is certainly a new challenge to teachers who have previously been asked to have knowledge of presentation of the subject and to correct, mark, and report. This new challenge is concerned with components of learning that have frightening names: epistemology, psychology, feedback of various kinds, diagnosis of difficulties, strategies, etc. *** If, to manage teaching as a scientific proposition, it is required that we change the preparation of teachers, then we must and we will. 148
  • 149. 4 Affectivity And Learning The task simply amounts to including another set of learnings in the requirements. Ways of knowing are studied through specific exercises but also by watching oneself live. Systematization of these ways of knowing leads to epistemology, and we can propose ways of teaching epistemology which subordinate that teaching to the corresponding learning. Psychology of learning in the case of human beings can be learned on the job. Indeed, every lesson can be planned so as to become an opportunity to be more sensitive to the components of learning and to gain greater skill in being with the students while they learn. (Part II of this book will teach teachers to diagnose, to produce feedback, and to interpret it so as to propose varying strategies that lead to results. Writing up their observations will not only help teachers in their work, it may well be the most fruitful source of valuable information on human learning, involving millions of learners of all ages and in all fields at the same time.) Instead of attempting to develop teacher-proof methods of teaching, we are proposing to enhance the role of the teacher and to make all teachers into associates in the elaboration of a Science of Education. The physical sciences have had thousands and thousands of contributors, and they are still going strong. Findings do not sterilize the sciences; on the contrary, new challenges are more easily perceived and more of them singled out. This will be the case in education too when many contributors together transform a field by their interventions. There is no danger that the finite number of challenges listable today, when studied thoroughly on millions of learners, will force this new science to fold up and lay the workers off. The 149
  • 150. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Science of Education rests on learning, and human learning covers activities that are transformed by the act itself. Like mathematics, it will look different simply because we look at it with new eyes, sharper eyes, associated with greater sensitivity. Besides, each successful science generates its own technology, and today, already, we can see how education can successfully employ its own technology as soon as it corresponds to findings confirmed by the scientists. A good number of examples will be summarized in Part II. As a scientist in the field of education, I have spent many years learning my trade directly and in all sorts of circumstances, but most particularly through working with the most demanding students: senior citizens, people tired out after heavy workdays, the deaf, the blind, the deaf and blind, the emotionally disturbed and physically handicapped (those who are limbless, palsied, or who have birth defects), the retarded, the truants, the dropouts. What they have all taught me, I found invaluable, and I would recommend as a component of the education of teachers that all student-teachers spend a few weeks working with some of the most demanding students in their population. Teachers who find that their preparation based on the study of learning make such teaching easier would gain an impetus needed to do a good job with ordinary students, simply because these may respond in a more satisfying fashion than the most demanding ones. We learn best and most from the most demanding challenges, and this fact could be put at the service of the education of teachers. 150
  • 151. 4 Affectivity And Learning Indeed, the most challenging students act as magnifying glasses on the phenomena we need to investigate in our study of learning. Slowness is a defect for the person who thinks that things must be done quickly. But for someone wanting to look at learning up close, slowness is a godsend. Deafness is a defect if one wants to hear, but to show us what learning through sight without the need for hearing is, deaf people are excellent teachers. Likewise, to teach someone who cannot see will show how much the component of sight distorts the entry into the field of sound or touch. The experience of finding one’s ordinary means of expression not capable of being used to illumine the learning of language in, say, the deaf, and the difficulties encountered by the deaf to make sense of language, can assist us in reaching some components much more easily; and makes the learning of deaf students a precious laboratory instrument. If we are not very able to take advantage of special education classes in our serious study of learning, it is mainly because we insist on assuming that teaching and not learning is the job of schools. Summary To sum up this chapter about affectivity and learning, we can say that in the case of human beings, without the presence of affectivity, that is, energy, learning is a challenge we cannot understand. Affectivity goes beyond learning, and learning is not perceived solely through affectivity; but when they are used 151
  • 152. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations together, they make their student see a great deal more in both. Therefore, because the Science of Education is concerned with learning in humans, it has to devote itself also to the role and place of affectivity in learning. Our study in this chapter has taken us into areas not usually considered necessary in the education of teachers, but without which it is difficult to get anywhere deliberately. By stressing that dynamics is central to learning, we are alerting educators to the need that they must discover sensitivity and its place in acquiring skills or reaching understanding beyond them. Once thinkers accept the awareness of the presence of affectivity in activities, miracles happen. We then see difficulties encountered in barren deserts replaced by the perception of lovely wild, flowers that tell us that life is at work, signaling us that, through demanding conditions, we can count on productivity and adaptation. For those who subordinate teaching to learning, this is a routine happening. In our teaching, it is the source of everybody’s renewal. In our studies, it is an indispensable light. 152
  • 153. 5 Memory And Retention This chapter has its place in the foundation of the Science of Education because, spontaneously, educators of all times and places have given memory an important and central place. But more than this, memory serves as an example of a set of difficult problems which has remained almost untouched by the few generations that have wanted to understand it but could make little progress because the instrument of awareness had not yet been developed. Still, what can be said today about memory is much more than could be said fifty years ago, and fifty years hence, what we say today may, to an extent, appear as off the mark as yesterday’s comments. It is important to keep this in mind because memory cannot be defined today in a manner which takes care of its numerous and complex aspects. We do not know today for sure how memory relates to the neurons in the brain. We do not know where it lodges and how it 153
  • 154. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations occupies its own premises, since we have barely begun to understand the brain, and the soma in general, in a functional manner, respecting their realities and the reality of memory as we experience it personally and individually. We do not know as yet how to study, in a satisfactory manner, what memory entails when we consider it as a “mental” function. We are baffled by its complexity, we are constantly surprised by some feature of it which escaped us and suddenly becomes important. We wish we could know it better. In this chapter we shall see what the light of awareness can add to our understanding of memory, to prepare ourselves to give it its place in our education and that of others. In fact, anyone who can speak of his or her memory already uses awareness, for no one can say anything about memory without awareness. We are the ones who say “I forgot”; nobody else can say it for us when we do forget. We are the ones who say nothing when we “remember,” but can catch ourselves evoking some specific content marked by elements we alone can vouch belong to our lives. We are the ones who “recognize” the reality in our recalls and evocations. We are the ones who can say: “I am a retaining system.” *** Our memory is not made of a single component, does not have just a single attribute, although when we always use the same word for memory we may have the tendency of wanting it to be 154
  • 155. 5 Memory And Retention one thing only. Memory, in fact, is an open set of features and properties, many things considered together but capable of being considered separately. Its complexity transcends individual life, cultural forms and boundaries, collective objectivations, and it extends as far as the whole of reality. But it can be grasped only by awareness. It can unfold and recede by specific awarenesses, and thus reveal some of its reality or realities. For example, it can appear as coextensive with our lives. It makes the fabric on which we recognize individually that such or such an event happened in our life and no one else’s, even if we know that others could have been present in that event. It can appear as having different attributes at different times of our life: in sleep or wakefulness; in utero and after birth; in our early childhood, our preadolescent and adolescent years, our adulthood or old age; in cultural manifestations or even in broader setups like our earthian and cosmic habitats, in the whole of evolution.* It can appear as having different properties when we consider that some memories are images, some are emotions or feelings, some are ideas, some are capable of becoming social entities, like institutions. * See my essay Evolution and Memory, Educational Solutions, 1975. 155
  • 156. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations It can appear as handling energy in different ways when we attempt to retain a poem, a song, a piece of music, etc., and succeed. It can appear as stable and fleeting at the same time: fleeting because of the nature of its substance when we reach it, stable in that it can be recalled many times and be recognized as being the “same.” In forgetting, we know its “fleetingness”; in its responsiveness to our recalls, its stability. It can appear as nothing and everything: nothing since it does not normally have weight and has its own dynamics of disappearance and reappearance; everything because without it we have no means of understanding our integrity, our wholeness, which is the equivalent of our existential being. It can appear as the objectivation of time, the time of our lives, a variant of the given time of the cosmos—which is not concerned with anything but itself, while our own time is known only when exchanged for memories or experiences. It can appear as not only made of memories but of their dynamics, those which link memories, those which activate them, those which deactivate them. At one and the same time, it is a set of identifiable objects and of multiple connections which can be affected at will and acted upon as if they had an existence of their own in one’s consciousness, distinct from their existence in the memory as a conscious receptacle. 156
  • 157. 5 Memory And Retention It can appear as one’s past, but not a past attached rigidly to a chronological line which gives a date to so many memories. A past that can be studied and thus gain a new significance and a new meaning, its reality neglected by the urge to live the present and project the future. Because of the awareness that memory is one’s past—and one’s past, enlivened singularly and idiosyncratically, is one’s memory—new challenges in this field can surface up and ask to be treated and understood. The names of some of these challenges are retention, recognition, evocation, local and global organizations of memories, the meanings attached to them. The contents of dreams, the contents of one’s psyche, are some others. These are the challenges we examine in this chapter. *** We begin with retention. By treating this aspect of memory we can learn many things. We give to this word one essential meaning out of which many others can be extracted. Let us call retention the property of our energy system to be affected by any energy it can receive and process. A sponge is a very simplified example of how this works. Sponges are marine animals whose structure allows water to go 157
  • 158. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations through it and also to be made part of the geometric space that the structure occupies. Being alive, sponges can contract and occupy less space. The surplus of water is then returned to the environment while all nutrients the sponge finds in the water are held back for assimilation and as a supply of energy to maintain life. The duration between opening up to let water into its structure and squeezing it out is that of retention of water. Retention of nutrients follows their extraction. “Nature” tried out retention as a process of catching food (i.e., energy), and the success represented by sponges was such that they still are with us, billions of years later. A very successful process indeed. If evolution is defined as the integration of successful structures and/or processes in the generation of subsequent species, and if Man is conceived as being part of general evolution, there is no difficulty in finding that Man is a retaining system too. Not only in retaining food to process it for the system’s energy maintenance but also in retaining other kinds of energy impacts through the senses, retained ad hoc in somatic locations not yet fully ascertained. For example, images are proof of the retention of energy impacts through the eyes and other sense organs. Memories of music heard are proof of retention of structured energy impacts through the ears. Statements which can be repeated are proof both of retention and of its transmutation into energy outputs by specialized parts of the somatic energy system. 158
  • 159. 5 Memory And Retention Retention in Man is to be considered part of his endowment: in part placed in the soma, in part in the dynamics which fill the space and the structures of the soma but are distinct from it, at least distinguishable in it by Man’s consciousness or awareness. Retention works by itself and at all levels of the objectivations of which Man is capable. Even if its descriptions from outside appear as extremely different, the property remains retention. The cells retain their chemicals, the muscles the muscle tone, the bones their rigidity, the brain its plasticity, breathing its fluidity, imaging its dynamics, thinking its fleetingness, projecting its goals, relating its links, and so on. Retention goes on so long as life persists. There is no filling of a space set aside for it, only a more efficient retention in which an accumulation of data is replaced by more effective syntheses, sometimes called skills, sometimes expansions, sometimes higher levels of performance through analogies, coordinations, levels of abstractions, etc., according to the elements of human functioning they bring together. Retention can be looked at quantitatively and qualitatively. There is a meaning in which one can say, “I retain more now than I did earlier”—for example, when we learn to be “more present” in our perceptions and let more of the components of the energy which reaches us to be perceived as belonging to the perception. Looking at a landscape or at a picture would be good illustrations. That sort of presence can be cultivated and made second-nature and is applicable to all areas in which one’s 159
  • 160. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations awareness is at work. Then one retains more because one sees more and one sees more because one is more present. This is often exemplified in “good” readers who manage to hold much of what their eyes scan because the scanning is done with presence in one’s eyes. On the qualitative side, retention can be said to be purer when the self is watchful of the distractions which take away some of the presence needed to increase retention quantitatively. Because of the purer quality of what is retained, the self is more confident that what is in oneself does belong also to the source of the energy received. It is because of the retentions at the various phases of one’s life that Man knows his soma as his, his psyche as his, his experiences as his, and does not normally question the identification of all his attributes as being those of his self. Retention is the most primitive attribute of what is to become one’s memory, and it differs from memory in being a dynamic entity that shifts forward with time when it has produced the “thing” memory is. *** After retention we need to distinguish recognition as an indispensable seal of one’s memory. 160
  • 161. 5 Memory And Retention Before we embark upon the study of this attribute, let us recall what has been made plain in previous chapters. Man is effectively represented as a minute energy which we called the self, whose essential function is to direct the workings of the various energies available on earth. This means: to transform these energies into the locked-up energies forming the soma, essentially developed to function well in the prenatal period; to leave some “residual” energies behind to activate and dynamize the locked-up soma, in a form we called the psyche, thereby freeing the self to take care of the next demand made on it with the help of another amount of residual energy we called affectivity. Such an edifice is alive, and it maintains its functions because of what has been retained from the exchange of one’s time for one or another of the energies above. So that one’s soma and one’s psyche are (from the start) the items of which one’s memory is made, and we can call them together one’s somatic memory. As an instrument for understanding, we need the awareness of the self before we can speak of self-awareness. Once we have given ourselves the self—as a quantum of energy—and the attributes belonging to that self—which we call its will, sensitivity, intelligence, etc.—we are equipped to pursue delicate studies which have escaped blunter instruments like behavior, conditioning, stimulus-response, the chemistry of the brain, etc. Here we can apply the instrument of awareness to catch more of our elusive memory, and we state that recognition is the second 161
  • 162. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations item we need to be concerned with if we want to come closer to the reality of our memory. Recognition is a function of the self applied to what has been retained. It has been generated by the self, familiar with what it has created, so that the self does not need to mobilize as much energy as it used in an objectivation to recognize the objectivation for what it is, i.e., to know it again. Hence, recognition is an economic device of the self by which a subtler form of an objectivation or a part of one, is sufficient to generate full awareness of the whole. The arena of recognition is awareness; the purpose of the exercise is to substitute awareness of parts for awareness of wholes, ending with the self securely confident and in command, even though less energy is involved in recognition than would be used if the wholes needed to be present to generate awareness. An illustration of such a working of the self can be found in the reading of a handwritten letter from a friend, in which one or more words are illegible but can be replaced by some the reader contributes from various sources, e.g., internal meaning, grammatical function, embryo of a gestalt, etc. Once the proposal fits in, it is possible to see in the scribble the full shape of the word. Secretaries of writers who do not type can become experts in this kind of deciphering. Recognition is needed by the self for its own working, to move from one level of functioning to a higher one. In the scale of reductions of human energy involved in activities—the work of 162
  • 163. 5 Memory And Retention replacing contacts with retained material by more fleeting material—recognition allows the maintenance of truth and adequacy. Since it is a deliberate move of the self, practiced through all one’s life, each of us becomes expert in placing on top of one set of objectivations another set issued from it but formed of less expensive fractions of energy. The link with the earlier set exists because the new one can trigger it as soon as it is needed. But dwelling in the new one gives it its reality, and it becomes possible to treat the new set as the previous one and generate another set, more subtle, less expensive, capable of creating the triggering of the previous one as well as the avalanche which leads to the original objectivations, whose energy is much greater and whose contact with the soma guarantees reality in terms of full energy. The temporal hierarchy of the successive substitutions of recognizable entities from earlier ones corresponds to the mental evolution of Man, and covers the generation of symbolism and the layering of more and more comprehensive symbols which appear more and more abstract, except to the expert of the alerted minds. Mathematics is the best known example of such workings of the mind. But it can be found in many other fields, from language use to linguistics, from rules of movements of chess pieces to masters’ contests, from returning a ball in a tennis game to forecasting where a volley will land, and so on. Recognition works on retained material but becomes in its turn retained material, except that in the successive layers the amount of energy required for the objectivation is only a fraction 163
  • 164. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations of the previous amount and perhaps a small fraction of the original. Recognition gives memory an extra power retention alone could not give. While memory is being structured through retentions and recognitions, it becomes an entity the self can use, one which will help the self in its forays into the reality or realities other than that of the self. Once we reach that stage, we can reverse the process and meet another attribute of the self which we can study under the name of evocation. The material of evocation is always some retained material. Hence, evocation in the study of memory must come after that of retention. The self selecting some retained material can reactivate it into consciousness. This is called evocation. By definition the material in every evocation is recognized as material taken out of one’s memory. The mechanism is complex, because in the process the energy of the objectivation itself is not reduced, and a small amount of energy is used to “clone” the item so that it is projected by the self, acknowledged to be what it is, connected with the retained energy, recognizable in both states, and usable by the self for its own purposes. 164
  • 165. 5 Memory And Retention Evocation is a dynamic process which does not take away any energy from the evoked item, which can remain intact in the store of the material of retentions called memory. Its own energy is summoned by the self from affectivity, the pool of residual energy always available for the new initiatives of the self. But the energy of an evocation consists of more than the amount which, for a certain duration, is locked up to assert its existence. It has dynamic links with the rest of memory and with the organ used to give its specific properties, as visual image, or auditory image, or any other available to the self. Evocations are both separable, to be contemplated by awareness, and attached, to trigger other items. An evocation can be entertained per se and acted upon mentally to generate from it items which were not contemplated when the evocation was ordered. For instance, a square evoked with one’s eyes shut can be made to rotate around an axle, generating a cylinder. A word evoked can become an arena for a game of searching for all words of that language extractable from it. Evocations can be dynamic images or dynamic schemas gaining a life of their own and leaving memory tracks behind, just as direct impacts of energy did. One difference between images and reality is in the amount of energy that goes to make them. The first require very little energy, the latter has energy of its own, which is not decided by the recipient. 165
  • 166. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Once the process of evocation is made conscious in very early childhood and it gains an existence of its own, the self recognizes when it is in contact with it or with reality. Dreams are made of the stuff of evocations, and, generally, dreamers know, after they wake up, that the content of their mind was a dream. Rarely do we remember dreams. Those we do remember pose problems of their own, and we shall not look at them just now. In our sleep, since the doors to the outside world are closed, retained material and evocations become one. We develop criteria which link sleep and wakefulness, to be able to live in both states of consciousness and make sense of our lives. In the waking state we can receive energy impacts, retain contents, involve ourselves in projections of images, interpret symbols and conventional signs, and more, all at the same time. We can live simultaneously in the present, the past, and the future, and only distinguish them if there is a reason for that. Our memory works by itself and supplies us with all it has which is compatible with the demands of the moment. It presents the contribution of our past to the needs of the present. The past differs from the present by the recognition that the past is memory which supplies familiar material and by the recognition that the present contains unknown elements, a polarization of affectivity called projection, which is characteristic of the future. The unity of all these different components, recognizable by some objective property, is in the self, and the self states its integrity in its manifestations over time. Integrity belongs to every human being and can be experienced in awareness at any time. It says that we are memory, but not only that; that we are present, but not only 166
  • 167. 5 Memory And Retention that; that we can let the unknown get known or the future descend into the present, but not only that. When all work together, we are truly human. Any truncating which stresses only one of those aspects diminishes us and leads to lesser efficiency in our ordinary tasks. Still, traditional education and some schools of psychology persist in defining us narrowly: the first sees us simply as a working memory capable of storing information which then becomes knowledge; and the second, as victims of our past to which we are identified. Retention has supplied us with a past, recognition and evocation with the contents of the present, the self and affectivity with an opening to the future. *** The retained material is not an accumulation of amounts of energy without any functional organizations which the self proposes, helps establish, and distinguishes by attributes which belong to it and serve to create order in one’s memory. The earliest of all such functional organizations is the soma and the memory it represents. The embryonic development which takes from the DNA the imprints of billions of years of evolution, produces an entity in time, always a whole (even if non-viable outside the existing circumstances), a dynamic whole which changes according to the law of integration by subordination (discussed in previous chapters). 167
  • 168. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations It is this law which allows us to make sense of the local organizations which are global at their scales and become constantly more global as the scale increases. Each cell has memory which is integrated in the memory of a tissue and subordinated to the tissue’s function and vection. All tissues are integrated into organs, which subordinate them to the organs’ functions and purpose. The various stages of the nervous system obey this law as rigorously as any other tissue and organ. There is memory at all local levels and also at all levels of organization. The brain is a seat of memory, like the rest. A special memory no doubt but certainly, in some way, somatic. The study of the specificity of the brain memory does not take away from the other components of the soma the memory that dwells in them too. The brain with all its vast array of circuitry of nerves integrates the local memories on behalf of the self which made the brain layer by layer, connected to each other and organized from centers above them; in the brain, the layers are structured hierarchically, as lower, middle, and higher brains, each integrated in the following, which subordinates it, all being integrated in the self and subordinated to it. The law of integration by subordination rules memory as well. Somatic memory, while it makes possible the working of the self, using all it finds in it, is integrated in perceptive memory, which is needed to let the world outside the womb have its impacts and place. Images and evocations integrate the somatic side of memory and in turn become the organizations which serve the activities the self projects as actions, virtual actions, feelings, and ideas. 168
  • 169. 5 Memory And Retention The structuration of retained memories resembles the previous processes because the law of integration of subordination summarized the effectiveness of all previous evolutions in the cosmic and vital planes. I am one person because of that law. I have one integrated memory because of that law, I act as one integrated individual because of that law and am integratable in larger wholes also because of that law. I belong to a hierarchy of human groups because of that law. What matters for us here is that we can see memory as developing according to that law, and see it also as part of other entities, because of that law. Local organizations within wider organizations give memory a clear span, which will make us understand that we can retain many poems or many tunes, one separated from the other as local organizations, and find them all available in a wider memory, itself only part of our whole being dedicated to living a complex and perhaps also creative life. A poem (or a tune) is an integrative schema which holds together each word or line or verse (each note, each bar, each motif), first in local organizations and then in a larger one, integrating every item by subordinating it to do the job of the whole. Memory function works like this because it is in this way that it has been generated. Its form in time is as available as its content in a “spiritual (that is, human) space.” Hence, its evolution tells us how to acquire a poem or a tune by structuring our time to display the law of integration and subordination. 169
  • 170. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Learning transcends memorization but does not avoid it and its place and role. The result seemingly can be described as memorization— meaning rote learning through drill and repetition—when in fact, it is the work of integration which generates its reality and its presence in our memory. We call the learning of a poem memorization, but in fact we use our sensitivities, our intelligence, our sense of truth and aesthetic sense, to make a whole of it and to be helped by that whole to retain the poem globally and then locally, so as to be able to unroll it as a structuration of time through energy. This unique connection of energy and time is the unique reality of this tune or poem, and the self recognizes it as such. The self can recall it, as a string of evocations, one helping the other to come forward and takes its place. The well-knit sequence is replaced by one whole in which both the elements themselves and the order of their appearances are dictated by the integrative schema. It happens that after a song is integrated, the words and the notes, though both had been learned at the same time, can become separated, and either the words or the tune escapes and is felt as “forgotten.” Such a strange phenomenon tells us that the link between energy that holds the whole into memory has always been a dual link, which appears as one every time we do not “forget” one or the other. But the discriminating self, closely related to the work it actually does, knows two levels of energy, one for words and one for notes, and while relating them gives them two different temporal tracks. Locally, the self knows that the energy of the music is of a direct reality while the verbal 170
  • 171. 5 Memory And Retention concomitant is not direct and requires other expenditures of energies. The energies are one, but the expenditures differ. *** We said earlier that as an energy system each of us can be impacted by energy. Energy is a reality accessible to other energy systems or instruments. This makes retention possible. But it is also possible for the self to associate to tangible realities other realities which are arbitrary by construction, i.e., do not yield their meaning through their own energy. Mankind invented such realities over the millennia. Languages are one such reality. Here we do not have to attempt to justify the existence of languages in terms which might make sense of them. There are thousands of them on earth, and no one knows how or why they came about. One thing is certain, these codes of signs represent a departure from retaining something of the set of sounds meant to trigger their representations. Mankind had evolved enough to associate a perceptible reality to a perceptible set of sounds (and later written signs), leaving arbitrary the choice of sounds for the first reality. Hence, mankind has recognized that such arbitrary connections could be retained, though differently from meanings equated with their impacts. The round-about way of triggering meaning though non-meaning being universal and being used in all languages invented in the valleys of the world, it expresses a leap 171
  • 172. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations forward in the evolution of awareness. It has seemed acceptable to all tribes on earth to ask for the mobilization of special amounts of mental energy to be glued to the energy required to give reality in the mind to the set of agglutinated sounds one calls “words” in English. These amounts of energy we have christened ogdens. They are required when arbitrariness obtains, which cannot help retention. To obtain retention of the arbitrary, we have to take specific steps, mobilizing enough energy to ensure that this new way of holding in our memory actually takes place. We pay ogdens to remember what we cannot generate by ourselves, the situation in all cases of natural retention examined above. The process of paying ogdens has been called, for some time, memorization. This is an artificial way of retaining, following its own laws and prone to “forgetting.” If we are careful and indeed pay the ogdens, we can remember the arbitrary and make it look as if it were as good as natural retention. It is not, and the dynamics of ogdens remains an open field of investigation. What we want to stress here is the difference between natural retention, an attribute of the mind, the source of true memory, and memorization, a forced device to obtain retention in the case of arbitrary associations. Learning based on retention is, by definition, integrated and may last forever; retention based on memorization may have a very different destiny, cannot be called true learning and is often 172
  • 173. 5 Memory And Retention forgotten, sometimes very soon after the attempts at paying the requested ogdens. At least we now have the language to distinguish two processes found around us and rarely carefully disentangled. Memorization leads to the awareness of forgetting and forgetfulness, retention does not produce them. *** If we understand that somatic memory exists, we reach at once the next task, that of understanding the role of our psyche in our memory. In a number of places in this treatise, we placed the residual energy of the psyche in close contact with the somatic energies, which are locked up to provide a structure. What is it that can be handed to the psyche by the self to give it as much reality as has been given to the soma, although it is different enough to require a separate concept and name? We already have said that the self delegates to the psyche the tasks of surveying, supervising, and maintaining the functionings the self allotted to the structures. In this way, the self is free to entertain the new, what is coming. Hence, the psyche too must have structures (though less locked up than those of the soma) which are its content. If we think of a river, or of our blood, we see a structure but a moving one, changing all the time, so that its permanence is not 173
  • 174. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations in the molecules of water or the plasma of blood but in a higher entity closer to a concept than to an object. Our psyche can be objectified and studied as an object, but we cannot leave out its dynamics, which is part of its structure. As soon as a new function is given to the psyche, it becomes part of the psyche’s dynamic structure. As the soma grows and gets objectified, so the psyche grows and gains new content. The evolution of our psyche in utero and afterwards will make our psyche be part of our memory. We shall see how it retains, and why it is helpful in our present study. In fact, the self does not need to retain anything, precisely because it made itself capable of being soma and psyche, which both retain, though differently, on its behalf. When in the somatic development the upper layers of the encephalus were being made and the self gave the psyche the jobs of maintaining the functions, to free the self to engage in other tasks not actualized in the organs, the psyche reached new ways of working. The activation of the nervous tissues allows elements of choice because of the contiguity rather than the continuity of the neurons. The dendrites must be connected, and the psyche, which has grown with the soma and keeps tissues doing their job, does not have the obligation of letting them perform only specified activities. It can generate other contacts, restrict some, withdraw others, and produce singularities as the result of the enormous opportunities offered by numbers of neurons. 174
  • 175. 5 Memory And Retention The psyche in the brain acquires a similarity to the self, though not an identity with it. A kind of creativity resides in the mere randomness of possible contacts, made objective every time a constellation of neurons is formed and found maintainable. But the similarity between self and psyche will stop when we seek a will for the psyche. The will belongs to the self, and the creativity which comes from it is not random. The self can direct, the psyche can activate. Both have access to the same content, but the self commands the psyche to execute what the self projects, while the psyche commands the somatic elements as they are, with all the possibilities offered by the dynamics at work on the locked-up energies. From the cosmos, the soma inherited the molecular and atomic dynamic, and it is these that biologists look for and find in the living brain, stating that such and such a chemical is active concomitantly with such and such a psychic state or condition. For them, it looks like cause and effect by reversing the order of reality. In reality, the psyche, expert from the start at the chemical level, can order the proper chemicals to become active to produce a projected result. The intimacy of the psyche with the soma when located in the nervous system and the brain, will do more than the physiological work microbiologists describe in detail. The psyche is the part that knows and the brain the part that does. The psyche knows the difference, the brain does not need to know it. It is not in its province. The self is the one which can know that it knows, and commands the psyche to command the brain to command other organs or tissues to perform the 175
  • 176. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations physico-chemical changes which at the human scale can, for example, be actions. If neurons can be affected so as to hold items of memories, it is the psyche which forms the wholes which include those items. It is the self which can become aware of them. Unless activated by consciousness, these wholes are only potential. Their latency is their normal state, just as neurons are latent in the brain and only gain reality when the psyche, commanded by the self, brings them to the surface of consciousness, so that the self can become aware of their existence at that level and of what can be done with them, either something familiar or something utterly new. Creativity in humans means doing something else with what was there already. A poem is made of words, a tune of notes, a song of both. All in the scope of Man. Hence, besides all the wealth of somatic memory, which goes back at least to the first cell, there is the memory of the possibilities of the very numerous connections offered by the brain at its various levels and in the hemispheres, with the almost endless number of neurons obeying a psyche intimately acquainted with their dynamics. Through the psyche memory becomes a dynamic entity we all know and use all the time. The one that forgets as well as the one that remembers. The only one which, like the psyche, links all the organs, all the tissues, and makes the whole of the soma the depository of all our experiences. 176
  • 177. 5 Memory And Retention In this reconstructed dynamic entity, there is a place for all the discoveries made by all the investigators of the human objectivations, whether seen as a structure (as by anatomists), or as a physico-chemically activated structure (by physiologists), or as both (as molecular biologists attempt to see them), or as being able to be truncated so as to stress one aspect and to ignore some other, (as psychologists and anthropologists see them); or as is demanded by some special studies which concern the effects of drugs, or images affected by several sense organs, willed or generated in dreams or nightmares; or as is demanded by nutritionists or alternative medicines, which cannot deny “unorthodox cures”; and so on. Even philosophers can find solace in such a synthesis which, starting with the broadest basis possible today, allows them to think in wholes, as the ethic of philosophy demands. *** The whole psyche is the unit we encounter every day when we fall asleep. Then soma and psyche are blended, as they have been from the origin. Hence, in our sleep we are the whole of our memory. At least of this life. Each separable part of that whole may contribute its aspect of memory, perceived by the self, used by the self, described by the self. Those who perceive the brain and not the psyche, place memory in the brain, where indeed it can be found (by methods like those developed by Penfield). Those who perceive the psyche and not the brain place memory in the first—giving it various 177
  • 178. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations forms: mental abscesses, complexes, repressions, etc.—where it also is found by the various analytic approaches to psychological life. Those who perceive collective institutions and neither the brain nor the psyche, see memory also in the collective unconscious and the moment of history. Memory dwells in the psychosomatic unit that each of us is, as well as in all those creations of the selves which transcended the limitations of the psychosomatic functionings, using them to create the human reality so overwhelmingly present in our man- made universe. *** For the “scientific” study of memory, it is customary to stop at the psychosomatic level. For it to become a manageable task, the study of the contents of the psyche may seem sufficient, since it does away with many pseudo-problems at the same time as it illumines challenges and defines areas of fruitful work for educators and teachers. Yet, when Man became aware of evolution and of genetics, each life exploded to become related to many, many earlier lives in previous generations, going back millions of years. In this century alone, such awarenesses have led many serious thinkers to look at how “nature” remembers. The job is far from finished. Many surprises will await us in the future, as occurred when our fathers and their fathers met their futures. 178
  • 179. 5 Memory And Retention Instead of trying to integrate the DNA in the study of the wider entity called memory, it came more easily to Western scientists to state that molecules remember and that what they discover happening to complex molecules like the one called DNA is, in fact, the objective reality of the mythical entity named memory. Since such a claim does not seem tenable to me, I shall not involve myself in any discussion of it. I can say only it is to the molecular biologist to take the trouble to answer in terms of molecules and their reactions all the questions raised by investigators as serious and rigorous as they are but who work in other fields. If they cannot, we welcome their work for what it teaches us, but we do not follow them in their exclusiveness. At a certain level of cosmic evolution, it is possible to see how nature produces the new by integrating the old to try something else not yet available in the cosmos. When we reduce the cosmos to the earth it is possible to become concerned with the evolution of energy as being the attempts of energy itself to give itself new forms. Nuclei, molecules, small or large, fall within that framework. New entities are generated by specific energy transactions, described accurately by physicists and chemists. Energy evolves by working on what works—trying some things which, when they work, join the contents of the cosmos and, in particular, of the earth. 179
  • 180. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Curious minds found that over millennia, millions and billions of years, not only evolution produced the material universe but some form of organized (locked-up) energies which work in novel ways and generated the universe of life as we know it on earth. Since this description resembles the one we used in the study of the psyche, we shall quickly say that nature remembers in that we find in a new entity something of an earlier one, integrated and subordinated. Life does not create the molecular universe, it uses it for its own projects. Evolution is the process of cosmic memory at work, so that all that which can be and goes on and is compatible with cosmic conditions, serves as a basis for a greater complexation of the working of energy. Once we graft life onto the cosmic evolution, we must broaden memory to hold all that which comes under the heading of the living. In this we find DNA and heredity. Both are components of memory, but are not identifiable to it. Heredity in the animal kingdom reminds us of the role of memory in the living, but it does not account for variation which is as observable as heredity. Again this tells us that memory is but a small part of reality. There are other things of importance and of interest to us. Within heredity DNA has gained a prominent place. DNA is an agent of general memory, and provides the material template for somas in the way geneticists tell us that it does. It is needed to continue life in conformity with previous lives, successful in 180
  • 181. 5 Memory And Retention lasting and in serving the future by making the job of variation possible so as to produce new species. But if memory needs DNA to give it its material basis, memory transcends the molecule and its clones, and gives itself another universe for its existence and growth. DNA is necessary for understanding the relationship of individual and collective memories, but it is not sufficient for the understanding of the working of memory in a single individual. Much more must be added to it to have a proper grasp of memory, as the earlier discussion in this chapter demonstrates. Still, we can find that by calling in the DNA molecule, the challenge of memory has been widened to the point that we can say that our memory must be extended to make room for what happened in our first cell, but also to make room for what happened in the course of the past billions of years. This legitimizes our relating retention to the function of the sponge. The contents of the whole universe must be counted as belonging to memory. Summary In the course of the discussion of this chapter, two important steps were taken. We saw: 1 that retention was the first notion to start the study of memory, and 181
  • 182. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations 2 that the intimate connection of the psyche and the soma kept us in constant contact with the challenges which matter most. In particular, the manner in which we can now conceive the organic and functional links between the psyche and the brain blew away many of the cobwebs which surround this question. 182
  • 183. 6 Forcing Awareness Awareness is neither automatic nor constant. If fact, most people go through life only aware of a very small fraction of what could have struck them had they been uniformly and constantly watchful. There are, therefore, two meanings to “forcing awareness.” One is concerned with what we do to ourselves, and the other with what can be done to us so that we become aware of what has escaped us, or might escape us. This, in turn, can become a matter of doing it to others, in particular if we become educators. We have studied, in the previous chapters, the first meaning of forcing awareness under the headings of the awareness of awareness, facts of awareness, and affectivity and learning. We found that we use a variety of ways of knowing and can recognize the specificity of each one; that facts of awareness are the essential facts standing behind all our references to facts in all fields of experience; and that such an observation alters definitely and forever how we relate to our experience, its 183
  • 184. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations details, and its extent. We have also recognized the historic fact that successive generations get busy with some of the same challenges but also with the new ones which pave evolution. We have also been able to give energy its place and have seen that without such an instrument we cannot understand our lives and more particularly our inner lives. Energy and time are essential notions which have renewed our ways of entering human events and happenings, and of staying with them to gain an understanding of their reality and their specificities. In particular, we have articulated the transformations of energy into the locked-up parts of its objectivation in the form of a functioning soma and into its residual part in its objectivation as our psyche, which makes the soma keep its reality. It does this by activating the somatic functionings, so that a psychosomatic reality replaces the two distinguishable forms of soma and psyche, becoming the expression of one’s past. We found that a quantum of energy, required by a self which must be present from the moment of conception to utilize the energies in one’s environment—so as to integrate some in objectivations and to account for the growth of the soma and the psyche—is assisted by another residual energy we called affectivity, which allows the working of all we are and have to make the unknown known and let the future descend on us. All this work of the self on itself not only accounts for the unfolding of life from the moment of conception to one’s birth and one’s encounter with the larger environment beyond the mother’s womb; it also accounts for the variety and singularity of human experience as it is stretched over time. 184
  • 185. 6 Forcing Awareness To understand human experience more fully, it became necessary to meet the energy which is put into the passion of living that aspect of experience we called the absolute, structured over one life as a succession of absolutes and over successive generations as the collective experiences which are a group’s evolution as well as its history. With this arsenal or new notions, recognized by one’s awareness as really present, really active, really inter-active, and at work all the time from the moment of conception to one’s death, we can renew the study of man and establish a new science we call the Science of Education. *** In the science of education, based on the awareness of awareness, we find, on the one hand, a possibility of holding together what has remained fragmented by the selves of researchers, who themselves remain in one or the other of the absolutes. On the other hand, we find some means of making education what it really is, i.e., the instrument that human evolution gave itself so as to produce a human reality that is our human environment, the inner and the outer. On the individual’s plane, awarenesses have been forced upon one’s self by remaining watchful in the manner it is or was in utero and in early childhood, by becoming more watchful as one spent years growing, and also by making watchfulness a field of awareness and of study. For the individual doing all this on his or her own, the forcing of awareness remains cautious about 185
  • 186. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations what can actually be done and how. Therefore, no one can ask more from these individuals than what they do with themselves in their lives and with their lives. Outstanding individual contributions stem from outstanding individuals. The others, potentially capable of doing something outstanding, may and often do lead ordinary lives that no one notices as being anything but run-of-the-mill. But when we enter into other people’s lives, we can find something to do which will make the ordinary become what the extraordinary appears to be. We can force awareness beyond what one’s circumstances would have brought to oneself. We can transform a relationship into a platform from which we can offer that which can be received and used as if it possessed the attributes of the individual forcing his or her own awarenesses. In fact, there is no other way of forcing awareness than making one person get hold of that which is capable of forcing individual self-awareness. If we call educators those who have not only gained directly, personally, one or more awarenesses, but have also given themselves to learning how others can gain them too, we are faced with the challenge of how to act in the social context so as to make others discover in themselves that such awarenesses are at hand and can be entered into to own them fully. In this chapter we concentrate precisely on this. *** 186
  • 187. 6 Forcing Awareness There may be many more ways of forcing awareness than the ones we shall meet here, and every reader will decide this matter for himself. Since forcing awareness is a personal function every baby uses by himself, it seems valid to conjecture that an educator can find some assistance in relating the new awarenesses that are to be forced to those the individual can engage in spontaneously and on his own. This is one possible track of research—perhaps the most fertile and the easiest, and the one which can lead to the most effective techniques and materials, the best technology to date. It may require less imagination on the part of the educator, while yielding enough results for one to be encouraged to persevere and broaden one’s scope. But the track must be reached first. One example can help here. Familiarity blunts our watchfulness, and we can accumulate preconceptions and even change some of them into prejudices which prevent us from asking good questions to illumine our minds. Since almost all children, very early in their lives, learn to speak their native tongue, we almost never inquire how we ourselves and our children and their children learned to speak. This lack of inquiry applies to all the other universal learnings, which cover: sitting, standing, walking, running, climbing, jumping, etc. We studied some of them in earlier chapters. We saw that if we became vulnerable to the obvious, it does not escape us. Scientists in the field of education are those who achieve this vulnerability and transform it into watchfulness in that field. 187
  • 188. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Thus, to stay with speaking, if we look at how every one of us can make meaningful what in itself is totally devoid of meaning—like a statement in a language we do not know, which is the case of the language spoken by those around us when we are only a few months old—we will be led to the following new awarenesses: 1 We are all capable of making an abstraction of the voices of the utterers around us and reaching the very small energy dedicated to the words. So the power of abstraction is an attribute of the self of everyone. And this has escaped us. 2 Since words apply to classes of perceptions, actions, images (which is obvious in the case of nouns and pronouns), and since to learn to speak is to become adept in the use of words, we must concede that the handling of concepts is another attribute of the self, belonging to everyone. Put simply, we are all experts in the use of concepts. And this has escaped us. 3 Everyone who has learned to speak one’s mother tongue is equipped to enter the field of mathematics and in particular to handle the concept of abstract relationship. Hence, everyone can be made to become a mathematician if one wants it. We already know how to do that. And this has escaped us. 4 Everyone who has learned to speak one’s native language has caught a fleeting reality which is made to last by one’s capacity to hold, for a while, a sequence of words—in a certain order, with some triggering of meanings which can be retained for a 188
  • 189. 6 Forcing Awareness while so as to evoke an overall meaning known to represent the sequence heard, which itself can be transmuted into one’s own flow of words if required. Hence, every one of us is capable of relating to speech as belonging to others as well as to oneself and, therefore, is capable of relating to a complex reality with more than one dimension to it. This relation can be transferred to a recognition that if a second medium is capable of displaying the attributes of speech, one is ready to enter it and assimilate it (provided that insuperable obstacles are not placed on the path of this transfer). Hence, it becomes obvious that everybody can learn to read one’s language and that this is simply a transfer of awareness. And that this has escaped us. Reading has become a major challenge in education, one difficult to fathom and overcome, mainly because such an awareness is still rare among teachers of reading. 5 Nobody has noticed that to all babies one’s mother tongue is a foreign language. And the hardest of the foreign language, since one does not know what a language is, is for, what it entails, and what it needs to have mobilized by the person trying to acquire it. But because almost all of us master the requirements very early and for all our lives, while many of us find it hard to learn new languages (called foreign languages symptomatically), a gulf between the requirements of the two has established itself in the public psyche. Nobody is prepared to agree straight away that perhaps the same powers which allowed us to penetrate the most foreign of all language, the mother tongue, could enable us to learn new languages easily. This too we can count among what has escaped us. 189
  • 190. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Once we reach the awareness that someone who has acquired the mother tongue has the ability to learn other languages, perhaps at a small price in time and effort, we can see the field of language learning opening up to different trials which invariably yield success. And this too has escaped us. 6 Once we see that Man is endowed with the capabilities to acquire one or more languages, we can recognize that such an acquisition is equivalent to having come into contact with an attribute of the human self called its intellect. Hence, we can now see that our intellect and its attributes must exist prior to their use in the processes of our intellectual education. We can no longer believe that the education of the intellect is solely the responsibility of the environment and especially the schools, which were created for the transmission of the culture. Instead, we see that the intellect is at work from the start and all the time. And this too had escaped us, particularly the theorists of the ilk of Skinner or Piaget: the first denying the existence of an original conscious human intellect; the second ascertaining that the proper functioning of the human intellect is conditioned by the assimilation of the model encountered in the modern natural sciences, especially mathematics. *** The example we selected to work on in the previous section concerned the opposite of forcing one’s awareness, i.e., it was 190
  • 191. 6 Forcing Awareness about our implicit acceptance that it is all right if things escape us and do not impinge upon our view of the world and of what takes place in it. But if readers feel that their awareness of every one of the items raised has been forced upon them and that now far less escapes them than before they engaged in the study of the example, then it is clear that the matter raised in the title of this chapter is very important for them and for others. Forcing awareness does not imply violence to the state of a person. On the contrary, once lighted in a certain way, awareness becomes a source of illumination for oneself. *** Studying babies and very young children who are engaged in giving themselves the skills which it seemed proper to them to acquire at that time, has taught us that only awareness is educable, though the meaning of that phrase remains a variable which depends also on age and circumstances. It is clear that babies do not speak, i.e., avoid engaging in retaining and repeating the lexicon of the language of the environment. But they certainly engage themselves deliberately and constantly in finding out anything which is relevant to the tasks they do want to master, be it standing or affecting the muscle tone of the tongue and lips which affect the utterances they wish to make, or any one of the many other skills we all develop at that stage. What becomes obvious is that every baby is an energy system endowed with extra energy and susceptible to being affected by the energy added from outside or moved around inside. Every 191
  • 192. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations baby knows that directly, without the then impossible verbal commentary we now are indulging in, and uses that awareness to take itself further in its various learnings. The work is done so well that its outcomes are integrated and become second nature, to be used in further work. No separate memory of this initial work is required. Those investigators who have prepared themselves through other approaches than the awareness of awareness miss the meaning of such integration, in which it is the new which integrates the old and alters it so as to indicate new possibilities. A runner is more than a walker, but the walker in him is not lost: the will affects the energy available to produce one state out of the other, both fused smoothly into each other though distinguishable by their attributes. It is the absence of a necessity to bring to one’s awareness the skills as separate entities (though generated by one’s self) that allows all our fundamental learnings to be called subconscious. As soon as we become watchful and skilled at looking at these matters, we become capable of finding entries into the various inner dynamics which command all these fusions and allow them to remain separate entities. Only an educated awareness salvages these realities and gives them their legitimate reality. Otherwise, everything would seem miraculous and totally imcomprehensible. Fortunately, since awareness is educable, we can alter lives while the alterations appear as harmonious integrations obtained at a cost that is not more than one wants to pay. The 192
  • 193. 6 Forcing Awareness law at work is the one often referred to in earlier chapters: that of integration and subordination. It produces a functioning past ready to yield to the descent of the future. It warns that to refer to the unconscious or subconscious is a bias of those who identify consciousness with wakefulness, a bias which obscures a number of issues concerning learning and the popular wisdom, which has long known sleep as a restorer of a better sense in those who might act precipitatedly when engaged in situations while awake. It generates a person who has experience and lets the experience assist in a new involvement without conscious reference to it. The past is functional in that it opens the path for the future to become the present. Once the bias of associating consciousness with wakefulness is pointed out and the need to remove it is seen, the whole person is restored, and the need to understand the role of sleep in learning becomes imperative. We have had occasion to discuss sleep earlier, in Chapter 4. Here we briefly recapitulate our observations. Our self gave itself two states of consciousness from the start. One is sleep and the other wakefulness. In the first, the self stops the input of outside energy by retreating from the sense organs, so as to dedicate itself to making sense of the outside inputs. In so doing, the self links yesterday to all the previous yesterdays, and makes one’s past grow while remaining an integrated whole. 193
  • 194. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations In the second state of consciousness, the self, by being present in the sense organs, links with the energies in the environment and concentrates on receiving what seems meaningful to oneself at the level reached at this present state. Being awake is equivalent to this permeability to the aspect of that environment which is understandable to one’s experience or is easily attained by changes that are possible today. Being awake makes us capable of being charged by selected energies. Being asleep gives us the time and know-hows to assimilate that which can easily be integrated to all our past, or rather to rearrange some of the past to accomodate the new. We can speak of sleep as concerned with sorting out the charges or with discharging that which is inappropriate at this time. Our human reality requires only one self but two states of consciousness. With these, many mysteries vanish, and learning becomes a new awareness. *** It is possible that the words above will force awareness of the content of the statement, and it can serve as one example of how one’s awareness is being forced, though it is someone else who starts the triggering. Whichever it is, it can play this role and assist readers in their study of how one forces one’s awareness. But it is also possible that the statements above remain without echo or future, that they are only words one can read and retain. 194
  • 195. 6 Forcing Awareness In that case, other examples will have to be tried out to bring about the awareness of how one’s awareness is being forced. One of the difficulties met by readers may reside in the fact that, as we noted above, familiarity blurs the issues, and what is obvious is hidden more deeply than platitudes. Most of us are trained in official schools to believe that only others are endowed with the qualities of the mind which permit them to make discoveries. It takes some doing to cancel this belief and the training which led to it. Consider, for example, the statement “the five vowels of English are a, e, i, o, u,” which all children in English-speaking schools are made to believe. Children have no reason to question the truth of a statement so universally repeated and never challenged in schools. But it is “obviously” not true. Indeed, only e has one sound, and the other four are syllables with two sounds. Most people do not know what to do with this new awareness. But if they are told to look at the eleven sounds associated with a, the eleven with u, the twelve with o, the seven with e, and the seven with i, as well as the actual fourteen vowels which have one sound (of which e is only one) and the nine diphthongs (of which four are the so-called vowels), a very different inner mental climate can exist. There has been a forcing of awareness which reopens one’s relationship to the English language (as treated by Americans), and it may have considerable consequences, for example, in the field of spelling. 195
  • 196. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations *** As a forcer of awareness, this writer is concerned most of all with the transfer from one experience, or set of experiences, to the general realization that anyone can become aware that awareness can be forced again and again. That forcing awareness is an essential instrument of education. Therefore, in creating an education which applies to all humans, transcending cultures, languages, systems of public education, methods of teaching, etc., this reality must gain its singular position and gain its true place. To achieve a social dissemination of this discovery, it may not be sufficient to concentrate on forcing awareness, much more may be needed to generate the radical and fundamental change in the ways education is carried out everywhere. A lot of practice may be needed and for that, novel and powerful techniques and materials. Part II contains a number of proposals concerning such techniques and materials. Here, we must limit ourselves to forcing awareness about forcing awareness. *** Like everyone else who followed a public curriculum as a young student, I never heard of “common denominators” until fractions became the object of our arithmetic studies. It all seemed mysterious, but since it worked and gave us passing marks and took teachers off our backs, we all agreed to seek the common denominatory of two fractions before we added or subtracted them. 196
  • 197. 6 Forcing Awareness The awareness of the existence of the need for such a procedure came many, many years later when, as a writer of a textbook on fractions, I understood that it was not fractions but addition which demanded that a common name be given to the entities to be added. Indeed, we all know that we cannot add three pens and two pencils and that we need to find an attribute of these objects which transcends pen and pencil (such as objects or writing implements) and allows us to shift from their reality to an attribute of the sets which were to be merged to form “five whatever.” At the same time as this awareness forced itself on me, I found out why the words “common denominator” had been suggested by the first person to solve the challenge of how to find a fraction equivalent to two fractions which were to be added (or subtracted). Denominator simply means “name” (“nom” in French). Hence, fractions can only be added if they have the same name. This simple fact became a profound awareness. I could then force it on others and remove a “difficulty” from the minds of elementary school learners. But it did more to me; it suggested an original approach to teach 7- and 8-year-olds as students of 18 and older are taught in universities. It forced another awareness on me; that of equivalent classes of fractions as the only mathematical reality of fractions which agreed with the way concepts and words exist in languages. *** 197
  • 198. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations This new and very powerful example of how awareness first forced itself on me and then became a way of teaching a subject which is part of all curricula everywhere, is still only one example. Piling examples may help and indeed will be found in the chapters of Part II. But it is more important to acknowledge here that forcing awareness—as a way of becoming a scientist of education (by doing it to oneself) and of transforming a very costly system of education into an efficient, effective one which costs no more than it must—is the only hope for change in education. *** Let us take for another illustration how the advent of the micro- computer and the understanding of it as a powerful tool in forcing awareness, has radically altered the challenge of literacy, which is considered a major social, economic, and political problem in many countries. In other writings, readers will find details concerning the languages for which computer programs have been produced. Here we are concerned with the forcing of awareness. Although the programs do it beautifully, there remains the problem of letting the educators see it. They have to come to terms with a situation which may include a threat to their job as remedial reading teachers, a threat which they may perceive before the value of the proposal is clear. So to circumvent this emergence of fear, we need only ask educators to agree to learn to read a language unknown to them 198
  • 199. 6 Forcing Awareness using a literacy program. If they proceed to do this, then it rarely takes more than one hour for them to see that indeed the requirements of the program lead to literacy in this particular language. Literacy in this case means that any text (which does not generate insuperable obstacles) can be gone through fluently and, in the case of natives for which these programs were created, with comprehension. The ability to read is now part of the person who was a learner, though an illiterate one, only a few minutes ago. Literacy has been achieved. The forcing of awareness follows this line. A text is selected which contains the graphemes and the phonemes of one language. (Each language challenges differently and often requires an alteration of the presentation.) The name given to this series of courseware is INFUSED READING, to underscore the fact that generally no one can escape learning to read. But for each language, there are programs having the same name (with the additional word “proper” in the title) which are existentially the means of forcing awareness that one’s spoken language has also a written form which is in a way simpler than the spoken one because it has a less fleeting nature and is capable of displaying a number of attributes of the spoken form. The text selected (which the students are incapable of reading) appears on the screen. By touching the spacebar or the keyboard, the student triggers a change on the screen; only one vowel then appears, with the sound given it in that language, 199
  • 200. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations and at the spots it occupies in each of the words which contain that sound with that spelling in that text. So the newcomer to reading in that language is given the opportunity to utter that sound as many times as is needed by that text. Practice is covered in that way. Once scanned, this set can be relived when the full text appears on the screen and each vowel now within the words, is made to flash. Once this second scanning is over, the newcomer has had plenty of practice with the association of this one sound in one or more of its renderings in the selected words of this text. By touching the space bar, the student enters the second vowel, which at first is treated similarly. It is given by itself, located exactly as it is in the text, and its sound has to be given once when it first appears. But now there is a difference. The two vowels covered thus far appear on the screen at their location, giving the learner another opportunity of working on the first vowel and repeated occasions to work on the second. Only after this pair of vowels has been scanned will the new vowel be made to flash on its own in the total text, from left to right and top to bottom. The successive vowels are treated similarly. When languages have no ambiguities about its vowels, the newcomer is asked to learn only a small number of vowels (five for Spanish, seven for Italian, etc.), to associate one sound to 200
  • 201. 6 Forcing Awareness each, and to distinguish between them. A lot of experience and practice is provided by the programs, and the vast majority of learners will achieve this essential mastery in a few minutes (usually from fifteen to twenty-five). But in many languages, there are ambiguities, and the same procedure does not guarantee a mastery as easily as in the other case. However, testing this part of the program has shown that the confusion resulting from the ambiguities are (1) short lived and are (2) avoidable if the students are asked to notice where the mastered vowels are located and where the new ones, which look the same, spring out, as is easily done in the last phase of the presentation of a new vowel within the whole text, where it flashes by itself. So far we have forced awareness (1) of the connection of sound to sign, making the signs the triggers of the sounds; (2) of the presence of vowels within words; (3) of the independence of the uttering of the vowels from the rest of the words; (4) that in some languages several signs trigger the same sounds and that in some others several sounds have been associated with the same signs; (5) that it is the student’s full responsibility to make all these connections and distinctions. And all these generally in a number of minutes agreeable to most learners, whatever their age (as long as they can speak) or occupational background (peasants, workers, unemployed, etc.). The programs also provide a considerable time to practice so that in most cases no one will ask for more. 201
  • 202. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations We can force awareness now of what is needed to integrate the consonants and to complete the job of generating the words of the text. Integrating the consonants means that consonants do not sound by themselves and require vowels to form syllables, which can then be sounded. It means, in short, that vowels and syllables are the bricks of the spoken language and also of the written one. By presenting each consonant one at a time and giving the appropriate syllable for the first pair of signs, which includes a well-known vowel and a new sign which is a consonant, what is required from the students is that they transfer the sound from one syllable to a different one, differing by the vowel. Forcing this awareness at this age will produce as many syllables with that first consonant as the text demands with the other vowels, and one consonant or a vowel between that consonant and its repeat. Though we know we are forcing awareness, this type of work requires of the students only that they prove they can do all that is presented in these subsets of items containing any of the vowels mastered and the new consonant introduced through an example. It is even possible to achieve the same mastery when the consonant (as a component sound) is represented by more than one spelling. If it happens that these items form complete words of that language, it will be the first time that the students notice that these exercises are related to their own language. This perception will extend steadily as the consonants are introduced 202
  • 203. 6 Forcing Awareness in turn, and it will end up being the awareness that one can read all the words of this text (as soon as they are completed) and trigger the meaning associated with them in one’s language. All this tells how a definite procedure (the one used in this Infused Reading proper program) can force a number of awarenesses, which happen to be sufficient to ensure literacy. Proved again and again on many very different languages— whose treatment differs only according to the demands of their phonetics—the infused reading segment is an excellent example of how little is required to make people literate, provided they play the game developed in these micro-computer coursewares. The forcing of awareness being all pervasive, it also proves that it is the essential component of the learning required here. Because we have known how to do it and made it into a material which carries its techniques, we have found a relatively simple solution for a social problem considered by many as intractable. *** Still, not all observers will be convinced that the problem of reading alphabetic languages is at least solved. Some of their preconceptions or even prejudices will make them ignore what has been achieved and stress what can easily be tackled further on but has not emerged in the procedure of the infused reading segment. Rather than argue with these skeptics, it is possible to add other programs which do other things for the readers. The first, called 203
  • 204. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Test 1, presents as a random sequence all the phrases contained in Text 1. The computer can do this very easily, so that students, in principle, never meet the same sequence of phrases that appears in Text 1. In fact, having only learned to read words, nothing in the first program suggested that reading involves the blending of some of the words to produce phrases which in turn trigger the meanings they contain in the spoken language. Such phrasing is a component of comprehension. Thus, Test 1 is more than a test of word-decoding, it forces a new awareness, that of the importance of phrasing in fluent reading and for comprehension. It also gives practice in that skill. In fact, it is possible to ask for Test 1 as many times as one needs it, to be totally on top of Text 1 as a whole text. At this stage, it is easy to bring back Text 1 on the screen and to read it with the experience gained in Test 1. The computer allows the forcing of yet another awareness: that there exists something called the speed of reading. It is incorporated in this courseware by allowing three choices of speed for displaying the sequence of the phrases of Test 1 (which, remember, are being offered as random sequences). These speeds are: slow, for those who need time to scan a small group of words to utter them as blended together; less slow, to prove the students are not hampered by the time needed for decoding each word; and fast, or normal, to give them the flow they manage in their use of their speech in their own conversational utterances. 204
  • 205. 6 Forcing Awareness If this last speed can be achieved by people so recently introduced to reading, it tells us much about the value of forcing awareness. With awareness, it seems to take no time to carry students to a number of demands of reading, thoroughly and effortlessly—the way everyone learned to speak one’s native language in early childhood. But there still remain two plateaus to go through in order to satisfy skeptics. One is handled by what is called Test 2. If now we present a continuous text in the language of the preceding segments, with some connection to them which allows the use of some of their phrases mingled with new ones, and if we offer the new text as a sequence of phrases following each other, from left to right and top to bottom, we are forcing awareness of what it is to read a text with the blending of some words never left out. If we offer that text at three speeds, no one entering this exercise will feel that reading is achieved by uttering each word in turn separately. Instead, the introduction of this structure of phrases will force the awareness (and with it the habit) that reading is the successive utterance of groups of words which restore one’s spoken speech. This important bridge between the spoken and the written language has not been attempted in other reading schemes, because it was not easy to find out how to do it. Now that it can be done, it should be universally adopted, to eliminate from the road of learners obstacles which often looked like insuperable boulders. 205
  • 206. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations If newcomers to reading can read the text of Test 2 at speed three, they can justifiably be compared to those who read fluently. To confirm this assessment of the quality of reading of those who enter the programs of INFUSED READING, two other texts are offered as supplementary texts. They are longer than the first two, and are scanned at one speed only, almost the fast one, but are still presented in phrases. Such reading takes only about one or two minutes. The last text can serve as a bridge to reading any text in print that students can relate to according to their experience of the world. These additional texts may be a requirement which skeptics want to impose on this approach for them to be ready to say that it works to their satisfaction. *** When these coursewares were made, the target population was made up of native illiterates in their own language. The programs take such populations over the humps which add the written medium to their spoken one. But by chance the programs were also offered to non-native people, and it was found, first, that the programs can be used to provide a remarkable pronunciation in the language involved and, second, that a component of learning that particular language as a new language was at hand, the component called its reading. Because those tested were literate in their own language, the outcome of such experiments have been, to say the least, spectacular. Whatever the language of the test group and the 206
  • 207. 6 Forcing Awareness language of the courseware, it took around one hour to pass on to the students the awareness that they could consider themselves as fluent readers of that new language, even though they could not say they understood what they read. Some people will find no value in such experiments, but many more will say that their own success in reading texts of this new language is proof of the efficacy of the approach with illiterate natives of that language, since their learning to read without comprehension will become with comprehension in the case of the native populations. *** The importance of the example of INFUSED READING for the theme of this chapter is to be found in the clarity with which forcing awareness has been demonstrated a number of times. Of course, forcing awareness will change with the field, the techniques, and the materials, but we think enough has been offered to provide each reader with sufficient material to pursue the study on his or her own. In the various chapters of Part II much more will be forthcoming. *** The content of this chapter expresses the bias that the forcing of awareness on oneself is a necessary condition to forcing awareness in others. Although the discussion has constantly focused on that extension, because of the necessity of first 207
  • 208. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations becoming aware oneself of what one is encountering, grasping, making instrumental, it was necessary to insist on how an educator in particular can and must educate his or her awareness. We already know that a science is possible only when its object, methods, limits are linked by the people who are its scientists to what they can be aware of. In the Science of Education, it is awareness they have to be aware of. One of the aspects of awareness of one’s awareness has to do with man’s capacity to use the self and its attributes to qualify the uses of one’s time. When this qualification involves one being forced to enter into a definite field, a deliberate way of being, the awareness of awareness can develop from its forcing. How one is forced, what one is forced upon, which part of one’s experience is mobilized and how, are all special instances of awareness of one’s awareness. Therefore, they belong to the background of the Science of Education. On the one hand, this chapter is needed to round up the aspects of the awareness of awareness, which is the basis of the Science of Education; and on the other, it requires sections of the numerous chapters of Part II to illustrate fully its meaning, significance, importance in all the techniques which make up the practice of human education. Because forcing awareness, however essential, is not all that is needed to transform the social and intellectual educations of the past to the present, we need to add a great deal more to it and 208
  • 209. 6 Forcing Awareness that more has as many aspects as the awareness of the various human activities present. Mathematics education is concerned with mathematics, but because it is education, it does not train mathematicians and does not stress the production of theorems per se nor their proofs. There is a moment of forcing awareness, but it is within a choice of how to use one’s time, which could be devoted to linguistics or art or music, and so on. The Science of Education is concerned above all with linking all choices to the essential human reality that is the awareness of awareness. It specializes in finding out the boundaries of its domain of existence and the work its scientists have to do. Part II of this treatise will handle the educational aspects of the human activities which occupy a large place in the consciousness of mankind at this historical juncture and have been given the labels which point at various awarenesses of man’s awareness: the various sciences in particular. Implicit in the separation of Part I from Part II is the forcing of the awareness that we may be at the threshold of a new civilization, Man’s civilization of himself as an inhabitant of the Earth as a whole rather than of some fraction thereof known today as countries. The six chapters of Part I attempt the experiment of offering a handle on the meaning of such a possible civilization. The thirteen chapters of Part II will spell out what we know today of the ways of offering every human being a proper choice of entering a number of possibilities of being in our world as it makes its own evolution. 209
  • 210. Further Readings 1 Jean-Emile Marcault & Therèse Brosse, L’Education de Demain, Alcan, Paris 1939 (reprinted by Adyar, Paris in the ‘50s). 2 C. Gattegno & A. Gay, Un Nouveau Phenomène Psychosomatique, Delachaux et Niestlé, Paris & Neuchâtel 1952. 3 C. Gattegno, Introduction à, la Psychologie de l’Affectivite et l’Education à l’Amour, Delachaux et Niestlé, Paris & Neuchâtel 1952 (translated into Spanish, Portuguese & English). 4 C. Gattegno: In the Beginning There Were No Words, the Universe of Babies, New York City 1973 Of Boys and Girls, New York City 1974 The Mind Teaches the Brain, New York City 1974 On Being Freer, New York City 1975 Evolution and Memory, New York City 1977 211
  • 211. The Science of Education - Part 1: Theoretical Considerations On Love, New York City 1977 On Death, New York City 1978 Who Cares About Health, New York City 1979 The Generation of Wealth, New York City 1986 212