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The Science of Education Part 1 by Caleb Gattegno


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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

Published in: Education, Technology
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The Science of Education Part 1 by Caleb Gattegno

  1. 1. The Science of Education Part 1: Theoretical Considerations Caleb Gattegno Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc.
  2. 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
  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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