Lessons from the 20th
Century for the 21st
Some Major Events in the 20th Century
The 20th century was a most extraordinary century. It was also marked by horrible events: two world wars, the holocaust and other genocides and atrocities. Soviet communism with its regime of terror eventually collapsed, but capitalism became deeply entrenched and the poor remained poor or became even poorer.
Three major forces dominated society, especially in the West: science/technology, capitalism, and mass media. Religion still played a role, but was increasingly replaced by science, which, to a great extent, became scientism, a scientific pseudo-religion. Of course, enormous advances were made in science and technology: Einstein’s relativity theories, quantum mechanics, the elucidation of the genetic code that eventually led to genetic engineering, recognition of the importance of information besides matter and energy, the Internet, to name just a few. Great innovations occurred also in the arts. The industrial age led to the information age. Mass media became dominant: radio, TV, the Internet and social networks, enhanced by a variety of digital devices such as the mobile phone, smart phone, etc. The mass media supported a capitalist consumer society that focused on growth – unfortunately growth for the rich, not the poor. Materialism flourished in mainstream science and society, but an increasing number of people suffered from depression and other psychological problems. America became the superpower of the world, but still has much poverty and crime. As a response to its imperialist foreign politics, resistance and terrorism arose.
The following lessons, which so far have been learned only by few people and few segments of society, do not produce the temporary superficial happiness that consumer society offers, but a more profound happiness that can be reached only through major personal and social transformation.
Economics, Politics, and Society
In the midst of
all the misery of the 20th
positive and healing voices arose. E. F. Schumacher published a
The message of
this book is not only a corrective to capitalism and our
consumer society that embrace the opposite ideal, but also
an incentive for a healthier and happier life based on
spiritual values. This book, like others, reminds us of
limits to growth and advocates
sustainable economy and life in
harmony with nature. It emphasizes that economics should not
be divorced from
ethics, and in many
ways it resonates with the
UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
Earth Charter, and some aspects of feminism such as
Following Schumacher’s advice would not have led to the enormous debt of many individuals, families, organizations, companies, and governments. Following Schumacher’s advice would not have led to the financial crises that resulted from overspending and an obsession with “bigger and bigger,” fueled by relentless advertising of goods and services of our consumer society. Instead it would have encouraged individuals and society to search for a more profound happiness based on spiritual insights (see below).
Our materialistic, money-worshipping society has conditioned us to believe that we need much money to be happy. However, it is well known that the richest people are not necessarily happier than people with a very modest income or maybe no income at all. Daniel Suelo leads a happy life in a cave in Utah with zero money. Although his life-style seems extreme and exceptional, living with a rather modest income can be compatible with profound happiness and can point the way to a sustainable, debt-free society.
Another lesson we could learn from the 20th century and preceding centuries: Beware of dictators. Politics may explain how they get into their powerful positions. But economics may also play a much more important role than we normally realize. Laurence Rees pointed out that "in good economic times, during the mid-to-late twenties in Germany, Hitler was thought charismatic by only a bunch of fanatics...so that in the 1928 election the Nazis polled only 2.6% of the vote. Yet less than five years later Hitler was chancellor of Germany and leader of the the most popular political party in the country. What changed was the economic situation... and in that context, Hitler...seemed to be the bringer of salvation." Even democratically elected leaders may use poor economic situations as a pretext to undermine democracy and destroy civil liberties.
Science, Philosophy, and Society
Many lessons can
be learned from
science and philosophy. Contrary to the
hubris and unrealistic belief of the Age of the Enlightenment
and the 19th
science and technology will eventually resolve all problems,
and philosophy taught us
unfortunately has not yet become part of our mainstream
culture. Important discoveries have shown
limits to reason, rationality, science, systematic philosophy
and communication through language.
Jung pointed out
that our conscious rationality is only the tip of an
iceberg of a non-rational subconscious.
Paul Feyerabend, and others
have shown that science is limited because it is based on
questionable philosophical assumptions, which are often
defended like religious dogma (see, for example,
Biology as Ideology
Richard Lewontin and
The Science Delusion
Rupert Sheldrake). Hence, science appears inherently
biased and incomplete. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alfred
Korzybski, and others showed how language, which we use in
science, philosophy, and everyday life, removes us from
reality, from that which is. So how can any verbal
scientific or philosophical statement or theory tell us
the truth? Kurt Gödel demonstrated that even mathematics,
a cornerstone of much modern science, remains incomplete.
20th century physics has taught us many important lessons, most of which unfortunately have not yet become sufficiently part of our mainstream culture. Einstein taught us relativity in physics; Korzybski and postmodernists emphasized relativity and relativism in many aspects of our culture. Although some postmodernists may have exaggerated relativity and thus may have led us to rather nihilistic conclusions, one can hardly deny that many statements and theories are based on a specific point of view. If one takes another point of view, things may look different. Thus, different points of view complement and enrich our understanding. Niels Bohr, the founder of the complementarity principle in physics, resolved the controversy whether light consists of waves or particles in terms of the complementarity principle: depending on how we look at light, it may appear as particles or waves. Thus, the two views complement each other. Bohr emphasized that the complementarity principle is also useful in many areas outside physics (see, for example, the chapter on Complementarity in my book Wilber's AQAL Map and Beyond). It leads to tolerance of different, even contradictory points of view. Thus it could serve as an antidote to fundamentalism in religion, culture, and science.
The recognition of complementarity implies both/and logic in addition to the traditional Aristotelian either/or logic that is still the predominant logic in our society and even in many branches of science such as the life sciences. According to both/and logic, light can manifest as both waves and particles, a proposition can be both true and false, that is, true to some extent and false to some extent. Fuzzy logic has been developed to deal with such fuzzy situations that are very common. Even in popular thinking it is sometimes recognized that there can be “a grain of truth” in a proposition that is considered “false.” Hence, the dichotomy of the traditional either/or logic - that has still a firm grip on the majority of people – can be transcended. Such transcendence could help us to avoid many unrealistically one-sided confrontations and even wars. As long as we continue thinking that a man or an organization or a nation is either good or evil, we remain locked into an impasse. Both/and logic and fuzzy logic can liberate us from this destructive fixation. For this reason I called these kinds of logic healing logic or a healing way of thinking.
One of the greatest lessons we could have learned – but unfortunately very few people have learned – includes Korzybski’s Structural Differential, which illustrates that our perception of reality is only a selection of a part of it, filtered out by our limiting senses and nervous system; and our description of our perception is even more limited because language cannot completely encompass our perception. Think of a sunset. What you perceive is not identical with what is actually happening. For example, you cannot perceive ultraviolet. And your description of your perception is a further abstraction that omits much of the richness of your perception. For this reason Korzybski concluded: “Whatever you might say something “is”, it is not.” What it is cannot be conveyed through words. Therefore, Korzybski referred to reality as the unspeakable, as mystery. If we could remain aware of this, we could avoid many conflicts and even wars because we could no longer insist that we can verbally state the truth. And remaining aware of the unspeakable mystery would avoid falling into nihilism of which so many critics of postmodernism are afraid. In the experience of the mystery we are united, in opposing dogmas we are divided and often ready to fight and destroy. However, when different and even opposite tenets are considered complementary, the destructiveness is avoided; tolerance is possible. And as we experience the mystery beyond language, logic, and reason, we even transcend relativity and complementarity (see also Steve Stockdale's website).
The 20th century has been called the century of complementarity. Others called it the century of uncertainty. David Peat entitled his book on the 20th century From Certainty to Uncertainty. Heisenberg introduced the uncertainty principle in quantum physics. Korzybski extended it to other areas. Thus uncertainty has become a general limitation whose recognition could counteract dogmatism and fundamentalism that are still widespread in our society. Like complementarity, uncertainty leads to humility, to the recognition that we can longer claim to be certain that our preferred point of view is the only one that is tenable. Much conflict and even wars could be avoided if complmentarity and uncertainty were recognized.
We encounter uncertainty also in one of the greatest scientific and mathematical breakthroughs of the 20th century: complexity or chaos theory that deals with nonlinear, unpredictable phenomena. The most famous and popular of these phenomena is the so-called butterfly effect, whereby a butterfly fluttering its wings in China may influence the weather in America. But chaos theory has many other aspects and applications. It has been introduced “into the heart of science. Today chaos theory, along with its associated notions of fractals, strange attractors, and self-organizing systems, has been applied to everything from sociology to psychology, from business consulting to the neurosciences. As a metaphor it has found its way into contemporary novels. As a technique it is responsible for the special effects of so many movies” (F. David Peat. 2001. From Certainty to Uncertainty, p. 115). According to chaos theory, chaos may arise out of order and order may arise out of chaos. The slightest disturbance of a phenomenon that appears stable (such as a butterfly fluttering its wings) may send it into chaos. It has been suggested that life happens at the edge of chaos, where order and chaos meet and can easily switch into one another. This means we have to come to grips with chaos and uncertianty. Pema Chödrön’s book Comfortable with Uncertainty can be very helpful in this respect. Contrary to a widespread belief that we need certainty, Pema Chödrön shows that we can be profoundly happy living with uncertainty instead of chasing illusory certainty.
Another important lesson: the phenomenon of emergence, which means that a system has emergent properties that cannot be found by examining the system’s parts. For example, a bird can fly, but its cells and genes cannot. One of the major limitations of modern biology and medicine: its obsession with parts of organisms, its ambition to reduce everything to cells and genes. Systems thinking and organicism consitute important contributions that could counteract these reductionist tendencies. Richard Lewontin et al. in their book Not in our Genes: Biology, Ideology, and Human Nature pointed out pitfalls of genetic reductionism. Unfortunately, most biologists and medical researchers are still caught in the gene-centric way of thinking, which hinders major breakthroughs in many areas. Billions, if not trillions of dollars have been spent for cancer research and only very limited progress has been made because of the insistence on a predominantly reductionist approach. Genetic engineering, which also uses the reductionist approach, poses enormous risks and dangers to society and the planet, as Mae-Wan Ho and others have pointed out.
Although mainstream thinking is still predominantly reductionist, the importance of holistic understanding has been pointed out by many authors including Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Paul Weiss, and Fritjof Capra. In physics - which has become more holistic than biology – David Bohm made the distinction between an explicate and implicate order. In the explicate order we see separate objects, whereas the implicate order represents oneness. The ultimate ground of the explicate and implicate orders is holomovement, the movement of the whole of existence. Thus, Bohm points to both wholeness and dynamics. Process philosophy also emphasizes that process is primary to objects that are abstracted from the underlying process.Time-lapse photography illustrates the dynamic where it seems imperceptible. Hence, dynamics appears all-pervasive. Many people then ask themselves how we can feel secure in a world where nothing remains ultimately stable. In his book The Wisdom of Insecurity, Alan Watts shows that we can feel secure by accepting and being the flux, which seems a major challenge for most people in a culture that aims at control and security.
In the flux everything appears connected. In physics interconnectedness has been most strikingly demonstrated through non-locality, which means that entangled elementary particles remain connected even after traveling for enormous distances in opposite directions. In ecology we have learned that because of interconnectedness pollution may easily spread from one location to another. We remain integral parts of the web of life, of Gaia, and the universe. Therefore, in a sense what we do to others and the environment we do to ourselves. Awareness of this interconnectedness will lead to greater responsibility and respect for the environment.
According to Darwinism and capitalism that reinforce each other, competition reigns the world; cooperation plays only a minor role or no role at all (see, for example, Biophilosophy (Chapter 8.7) by Rolf Sattler). Hence, it is considered natural to be selfish, aggressive and competitive. However, some researchers in the 20th century found that cooperation is widespread in nature. Hence, it is also natural to cooperate! We need not go against nature when we cooperate.
Many of the above lessons of 20th century science challenge our traditional ways of thinking and living. Much of what we have taken for granted now has to be reevaluated. For example, we thought that the question "What is the length of a piece of string?" has a simple answer. Not so anymore. Depending on our measuring devices (a ruler, laser, or light), we may get different answers. According to fractal geometry, a piece of string may be infinite. And according to quantum physics as espoused by Schrödinger a string has no length: we create the length through our observation, that is, our interaction with the string.
Language and Linguistics
One lesson we can
learn from linguistics – and other sciences - is that one
person or one school of thinking can dominate a whole
discipline and suppress and/or ridicule other ways of
thinking. For example, since the last century Noam Chomsky
has dominated linguistics with his theory of a universal
grammar, a deep structure that supposedly applies to all
languages. However, some linguists and philosophers provided
evidence to the contrary. Thus, Benjamin Lee Whorf
demonstrated that certain Amerindian languages such as Nootka
appear verb-based and do not follow the common noun-verb
structure. For example, the Nootka would not say “The sun
shines,” or “It shines;” they would simply say “shining,”
which means there is no agent that does the shining. Or with
regard to creating, there is no creator who does the
creating: there is just the activity of creating. Hence, no
necessity of a Creator – God. As these examples show,
verb-based language can have
far-reaching consequences on how we perceive and interpret
the world. It reveals a world that is basically
Process is primary as in process
But in languages with a noun-verb (subject-predicate)
structure, process is secondary and entities referred to by
nouns or pronouns are primary. Thus, languages with a
noun-verb structure portray a world fragmented into entities
such as you and I and plants and animals and so on. Oneness
is obscured; fragmentation is reinforced through each
sentence we utter. Thus language conditions us to take
fragmentation for granted. In fact, we may not even see it as
fragmentation. We may believe that in reality subjects and
objects are separate (for more on this subject see David
Peat's website on language &
In his book Science and Sanity, Korzybski pointed out that the way we commonly use language often leads to much distortion of what is actually going on and thus contributes to the insanity in our society. He suggested the following extensional devices to bring our language more in accordance with reality and thus to reduce insanity (see also General Semantics):
1. Indexing – Whereas a category defines commonalities, indexing retrieves the differences within the category. Thus, instead of only seeing the category A, we can be aware of A1, A2, A3, etc. For example, instead of just referring to the category liar, we can index, that is, differentiate between liar1, liar 2, liar3, etc, all of which differ in important respects. Or instead of only referring to love, we can differentiate between love1, love2, love3, etc. Such indexing may help overcome futile discussions on whether he loves her or not. Therefore, “by using indexes, we remind ourselves of the important differences between individual people, ‘objects’, events, etc.” (Susan and Bruce Kodish. 2011. Drive Yourself Sane, p. 171).
2. Dating – Since everything changes over time, it is important to reflect time in our language. To do this we can add the date of an event. For example, instead of simply referring to John, we can say John-January 1, 2012, John March 15-2012, etc. This helps us to realize that we change, and therefore referring simply to an individual John without a time reference may miss crucial differences. For example, John-January 1, 2012 might have behaved in a nasty way, whereas John-March 15, 2012 appeared very loving.
3. Etc. – We can add ‘etc.’ to indicate that we cannot say all, that something else could have and maybe should have been added to provide a more complete picture. For example, if we say ‘John a liar,’ this is a very incomplete and therefore misleading statement about John. He is also charming, intelligent, sensitive, etc. For this reason, if we want to say that John is a liar, it would be appropriate to say ‘John is a liar, etc.” If, in addition we index and date this statement, we can provide a much better description of John, which would render interpersonal relationships more appropriate and less destructive. The same applies to many other situations, including statements about organizations, ethnic groups, nations, etc. One might argue that we can be aware of the ‘etc.’ without adding it explicitly. However, explicit use of ‘etc.’ promotes an etc. attitude. “When we have an et cetera or non-allness attitude, we ask ourselves: What might I have left out? What else? What other effects does this have, etc.?” (Kodish, ibid., p. 174). In other words, it creates openness. We know that the last word has not been said.
4. Quotes and Hyphens – Quotes are used to draw attention to terms that may be problematical in various ways. Hyphens are used to connect terms that suggest a separation that does not exist in reality. For example, since body and mind are not separate entities, we write body-mind to indicate their connection or unity. In a similar manner we refer to space-time, organism-environment, etc.
In their excellent book Drive Yourself Sane (Chapter 13), Susan and Bruce Kodish suggested additional extensional devices that render our language more appropriate and reduce neurosis and insanity. However, like Korzybski, they emphasize that reality cannot be fully captured through words and language (see above Korzybski's Structural Differential); hence the importance of silence.
psychology, humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology,
and integral psychology were important innovations in the
taught us important lessons.
Gestalt psychology emphasized a
holistic approach to psychology, which resonates well with
holism in science.
Humanistic psychology, also
holistic, focused on meaning, values, personal
responsibility, human potential, spirituality, and
the limited self toward the universal Self, thus
emphasizing self-transcendent spiritual experience.
Integral psychology comprises
transcendence and immanence, the experience of the
unmanifest and the manifest (see below under Integral
Philosophy and Spirituality).
During the 20th century much evidence was obtained for parapsychological phenomena of extrasensory perception (psi) such as telepathy and clairvoyance (see Dean Radin. 1997. The Conscious Universe. The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, and Rupert Sheldrake. 2012.The Science Delusion, Chapter 9).
Health and Healing
Especially in the
West and Westernized countries, 20th
healthcare was dominated by conventional
materialistic/mechanistic medicine. However, alternative
holistic modalities of healing, although harshly condemned by
the conservative medical establishment, often proved helpful
where conventional medicine failed. Many people relieved
headaches and other ailments through acupuncture, alleviated
all sorts of aches through herbal medicine, homeopathy, and
other holistic methods. Some people even recovered from
severe illnesses such as cancer through methods of
alternative holistic medicine. Usually these successes were
dismissed as anecdotal and unscientific by the conservative
medical establishment. However, alternative holistic medicine
not always as unscientific as purported by the medical
establishment. In alternative medicine such as, for
example, herbal medicine the scientific methodology of
conventional medicine has been used for a long time (see,
for example, Daniel B. Mowrey. 1986. The
Scientific Validation of Herbal
William Bengston provided
scientific evidence that hands-on-healing can cure cancer
(William Bengston. 2010. The Energy Cure). Many other
alternative methods are supported scientifically. However,
some successful alternative methods may surpass the
strictures of conventional scientific methodology. They
demonstrate the limitations of conventional scientific
methodology (see, for example, Rolf Sattler. 2001.
Non-conventional medicines and holism. Holistic Science
and Human Values 5: 1-15).
In many, but not all cases, treatment through alternative holistic methods seems preferable for the following reasons:
1. Healing through alternative methods appears much less hampered by negative side effects than in conventional medicine.
2. Healing through alternative methods is far less expensive than in conventional medicine.
3. Healing through alternative holistic methods contributes to the well-being of the whole person and not only the sick part.
4. Healing through alternative methods creates less pollution than conventional methods that involve all sorts of chemical compounds, many of which may be detrimental to our health and the environment.
5. Finally, alternative medicine is very useful for the prevention of illness and thus again reduces greatly healthcare cost.
In spite of all the advantages of alternative holistic medicine, it is very much controlled and suppressed by what Dr. Guylaine Lanctôt called the "medical mafia": the medical establishment, the pharmaceutical industry, and governments (Guylaine Lanctôt. 1995. The Medical Mafia. How to get out of it alive and take back our health & wealth).
literature, and music contributed many novel aspects to our
enjoyment and understanding of reality.
Impressionism that began in
still left its mark at the beginning of the
explored and played with light as never before in the
history of humankind. In
abstract art objects were
no longer needed as fundamental elements of a
Surrealism, in visual
art and literature, presented connections invisible in
realistic art, stressing the subconscious, imagination,
dream, and the disinterested play of thought (see, for
example, The Modern
Mind by Peter
Literature and poetry went beyond constraints and forms that were accepted in the19th century and addressed important issues of the 20th century. Music also liberated itself from constraints to produce new tonalities and soundscapes. In his happenings, John Cage relinquished all constraints, allowing the listeners to create whatever they would feel like, thus breaking down the barrier between artist and audience. Ultimately, music led to silence. In John Cage’s 4’ 33” (1952), the pianist sits in front of the piano without touching it, in complete silence, for four minutes and thirty three seconds. According to John Cage’s instructions, this piece can also be “performed” on any other instrument for any amount of time. Here, music becomes silent meditation.
Already at the
end of the 19th century Nietzsche had declared, “God is
dead.” Subsequently, during the course of the
witnessed in the Western world a decline of organized
dogmatic religion. At the same time interest in spirituality
increased. Practitioners of Eastern religions such as
Buddhism, Hinduism, and Daoism came to Western countries and
instructed people in various forms of meditation and other
spiritual practices such as yoga, qigong, and taiji (that can
be seen as dynamic forms of meditation). Yoga, especially
hatha yoga, that emphasized physical exercises, became so
widespread that it can almost be considered part of Western
Through insight, spontaneous happenings, and the practice of dynamic, sitting or standing meditation our ordinary ego-centered state of consciousness can be relaxed and even transcended in an experience of universal wholeness and oneness (see Shinzen Young's mandala on 5 Ways to Know Yourself). Ultimately, this experience can become a way of Being that is beyond religious dogma.
At the end of the 20th century Eckhart Tolle published his book The Power of Now (1997). This book has a transformative power that leads to a "sense of freedom that comes from letting go of self-identification with one's own personal history and life-situation, and a newfound inner peace that arises as one learns to relinquish mental/emotional resistance to the "suchness" of the present moment" (The Power of Now, 2004, pp. XIV-XV). Thus, the power of Now opens up eternity and infinite space, the "timeless and formless realm of Being" (ibid., p. 49).
Many books and teachings by other spiritual masters have also pointed out the way to spiritual transformation. Most of these masters follow more or less spiritual wisdom traditions such as, for example, Tibetain Buddhism or Christian mysticism. Others such as, for example, Krishnamurti, Eckhart Tolle, or Byron Katie, do not rely on particular traditions. Osho, a provocative modern mystic, presented his own vision and was able to explain the wisdom of many spiritual traditions in the context of 20th century society.
Laughter and Silence
with the publication of Henri Bergson’s book
Rire (1900), meaning
laughter in English. Subsequently, other authors and
spiritual masters drew attention to the importance of
laughter. Toward the end of the century, in 1995, Madan
Kataria, and East-Indian physician, and his wife, a yoga
Laughter Yoga, a new form
of yoga that, like traditional forms of yoga, has as its
aim liberation. For liberation to happen we have to
transcend our enslavement by the thinking mind that
fragments the world and thus creates the basis for
antagonism and fear. Engaging in total laughter
instantaneously frees us from this enslavement because one
cannot profoundly laugh and think at the same time. Thus,
laughter is like an instant vacation from the thinking
mind and all the worries that are created by the thinking
mind. Hence, paradoxically, the result of laughing is
peace and silence – silence in which we are one with
existence as it can also happen in other profound
Laughter, other forms of meditation, and silence are great gifts and lesson of the 20th century. They may help us to transcend suffering and nihilism.
Integral Philosophy and Integral Spirituality - Integral Life Practice
philosophy and spirituality have been advanced by Sri
Aurobindo, Haridas Chaudhuri, Jean Gebser, Don Beck, Allan
Combs, Stanislav Grof, Michael Murphy, Roger Walsh, Ken
Wilber, Erwin Laszlo, Thomas McFarlane, and others. Some
authors have referred to an integral movement, which can be
defined in a narrow and wide sense (see, for example, Alan
Kazlev’s comprehensive article “Redefining Integral”).
Integration constitutes the major aim of the integral movement – integration of East and West (especially Eastern spirituality and Western psychotherapy), the manifest and the unmanifest (or the namable and the unnamable), science and spirituality, body, mind, soul, and spirit, etc. Ken Wilber’s AQAL map presents an integration of body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature (or in art, morals, and science). This integration can be practiced and cultivated in one’s personal life (as Integral Life Practice), in integral science, integral medicine, integral ecology, integral politics, integral law, integral governance, integral business, integral education, integral religion, etc. (see, for example, A Theory of Everything by Ken Wilber). Integral practice in all these areas requires awareness that anything can be experienced at different levels in terms of a specific culture, subjectively in one’s self, and objectively. Major levels include body, mind and spirit. Finer differentiations and other conceptualizations of levels can be made (see, for example, the AQAL chart and Integral Spirituality by Ken Wilber).
Since Integral Life Practice includes practice and cultivation of the body, mind, soul, and spirit, it is more comprehensive and inclusive than certain religious and spiritual practices that denigrate the body or bodily oriented practices that neglect the soul and spirit. And since an integral map such as the AQAL map allows us to be aware of major levels and dimensions of reality, including ourselves, we are better equipped to navigate through challenging and difficult situations, and we can become more fully human and achieve greater happiness even in adverse situations.
In most schools,
colleges, and universities, 20th
emphasized memorization and the acquisition of practical and
intellectual skills such as language skills, mathematical
skills, scientific and technological skills, etc. It tended
to be head-oriented, neglecting soul and spirit. Even the
physical body was not sufficiently trained because physical
education was not offered every day. It has been shown,
however, that more physical exercise is not only beneficial
for the body but improves also academic performance.
Besides more physical exercise, it would be desirable to
exercise mind, soul, and spirit. With regard to
the mind, students should learn lessons such as the ones I
included in this essay. With regard to the soul, students
should learn how to deal with negative emotions such as
anger, jealousy, and fear. They should learn
and take a
course in peace studies. With regard to spirit, students
should be able to pursue a spiritual path of their liking
such as yoga, taiji, various forms of dynamic, sitting and
standing meditation, etc.
In general, schools and universities should offer an education based on a holistic approach, an integral philosophy, integral spirituality, and integral life practice as described in the above section. So far very few schools, colleges, and universities have moved in this direction: Waldorf schools, founded by Rudolf Steiner, Schumacher College in England, California Institute of Integral Studies, Integral Institute, Integral University, and Naropa University in the US, and others. Some exceptional teachers and professors at conventional schools, colleges, and universities offer a more integral education and sometimes risk losing their position because they subvert the official curricula that limit education to a fraction of the intellect and a bit of physical exercise.
Since the lessons
of the 20th
incompleteness and uncertainty, this article also remains
incomplete and cannot claim certainty. The search for lessons
to be learned remains open-ended and the experience of the
mystery beyond words can emerge at any moment...
2010. The Energy
Cure. Unraveling the Mystery of Hands-on-Healing.
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