Updated: Feb 28
On average, Americans receive 14 years of education (Fed Reserve Bank of St. Louis). Within those 14 years, the number of hours is also mandated by individual states, with most states requiring 175-180 days of school per year and about 900 – 1000 hours of instructional time a year. Not only do students receive an education at school, but they also receive education during extracurricular after-school programs, private tutoring academies, and specialized camps during vacations. Most students, parents, teachers, and the society at large strive for a “great” education.
As a collective, America is investing about 55.9 billion hours a year (55.9 million children enrolled in public and private schools x 1000 hours a year) and 634 billion dollars to educate the children in the hopes that they will be able to land a job, make money, and help move our country forward so we can all live prosperous and successful lives. It is phenomenal that we are working hard as a nation for our physical well-being and comfort. And we are extremely blessed to be able to have these resources and motivation to live well.
However, if we think a bit more deeply on the issue at hand, what does the word education really mean? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the etymology of the word ‘education’ comes from “the Latin educatus, past participle of educare to rear, educate, and from educere to lead forth.” And even though we live as an ever more educated, and more expensively educated society, we are seeing higher rates of physical, emotional and psychological distress. So what does that mean for our future? Can we really hope for a better life, a better society living according to status quo? What can we do to become truly educated?
As Great Teacher Woo Myung says, “Today’s education is designed only for living a better worldly life.” Our focus is on the material life, but again the human existence is comprised of both the body and the mind. The balance between the amount of time, money, and energy spent on our bodies and that of the mind and heart is extremely skewed. From the time we are born, we are taught to wash our hands, brush our teeth, clean our bodies, clean our rooms, clean our houses, clean our cars, clean our yards. But when and how often were we taught to clean our minds and hearts? So just like Great Teacher Woo Myung writes in his book The Way to Become a Person in Heaven While Living, “When humans come to know the origin and live as the original mind, then all of mankind will become one. We will know how to be thankful to our country, to the world; we will no longer have whimsical minds but trust each other, have confidence in each other all the time and have better lives. But in order to do this, everyone must recover their original mind; then their minds will be one for which there will be no thieves or crime, and everyone will live for each other. In other words, an education that allows us to do the above is truly a well-rounded education for human completion.”
Educators’ and parents’ interest is piqued as more scientific research shows the benefits of meditation on children’s brain and behavior as reported by Alice G. Walton at Forbes. The idea of giving children a fundamental emotional, mental, and spiritual education is starting to take off. As Deborah Bloom writes in her post on CNN, schools around the United States are starting to give holistic healing a try with disruptive children. Instead of detention, these students get meditation. The results? Fewer referrals, fewer suspensions, improvement in academic concentration and school performance; better social interaction (such as relationship with teachers and peers); and alleviation of symptoms in children with ADHD and learning disabilities.
Once people start receiving a true education, the world be a great place to live in. As Great Teacher Woo Myung writes, “When everybody recovers their humanity, which is their original nature, they will live diligently because everyone’s minds are one and thus, are not whimsical or sly. Whether or not we live well is all in our minds. Therefore, when people are of their original nature and are not saturated with the false materiality, that is to say, when they are not in the material world, they do not feel discontent or in wanting. Instead they will live doing their best as they have the wisdom of knowing the law of ’cause and effect.’ They will also be better off financially because they know that they will have results according to the efforts they make. Recovering one’s original nature is the only way to have a better life through the wisdom gained, have a harmonious and comfortable social life, earn more money, and be blessed.”
Hopefully more teachers, parents, and educators will understand the importance of giving their children a true education, and care enough to follow through and provide it. Even if your children’s school doesn’t provide meditation, why not turn it into a family practice? Imagine your family sitting around the dinner table, listening to each other and laughing together with no screaming, complaining or fighting in sight.
The Era Of Being Educated To Become Complete People The South Korean Ministry of Education has often spoken of educating the whole person. In schools, a “whole person” has often been termed ji deok che ye (understanding, virtue, health and courtesy) and there has been much discussion on this topic. In China, the whole person is called ji in yong (understanding, benevolence, courage) and this is what is meant by ji deok che ye in Korean.The real meaning of a “whole person” is a person who is complete. A complete person is a true person whose true soul never dies. Such a person is called a saint. Man will live a life of righteousness when this term is no longer just empty words and jargon and he actually becomes a true person and lives as one. While man has craved and struggled to become complete, it has not been easy because he is incomplete and false. Completion means one must be alive, without death.
In order for man to become righteous, we must first know about the set-up of the human mind. A human-being is a camera that takes pictures of what belongs to the world. Even though man thinks that he lives in the world, the moment he sees the world he takes a picture of it in his mind and lives inside the picture that he has taken. This is why man is false. The world and the human mind are overlapping so man mistakenly thinks that he is living in the world. Isn’t everything he experienced within his mind? What he has seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, smelled with the nose, tasted with the mouth, every word spoken and everything felt is all engraved within his mind. The human mind is like a photocopier that makes copies of what belongs to the world and all that happens in the world. The human mind is a copier that makes copies of the world. Even though man believes he lives in the world, he does not live in the world and because he is living in his own mind world he is unable to become a complete person.
In order to become a complete person, a whole person, one must start subtracting from his mind, to which, until now, he has always added. Only then can he walk the path to human completion. Truth is revealed to the extent the pictures, which are false, have been discarded. Completion is when a man who is false becomes true. Until now people have always added more and more in their lives. However when one subtracts the pictures inside his false mind world and discards his self that is living in that false world, he can become complete and recover his original nature.The term “original nature” means simply, the nature of the origin. The nature of the origin is God’s mind, the mind of Truth. If the copied human mind is gone, one can find his original nature. What originally existed before being copied is the original nature, the world. The reason you can exist in the world is the earth, the ground, exists. The earth exists because the sky which is the original foundation exists. Becoming the mind of this sky is to regain your original nature. If man’s false mind and his self dies completely and only this mind of the sky, which is Truth remains, then man can regain his original nature. When one is born again in this original nature which is the sky, he is born in the righteous land which is Truth. Therefore, he has no death and is the world itself. He will know all the ways of the world and become a person of wisdom itself. He will live a life of nature’s flow. The world will then become a paradise on Earth with no thieves or bad people.
Currently, education focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to make a living. If one first becomes a whole person, a complete person, he will know all the ways of the world; consequently he will be even better at his studies and live a better life. It is now the time of recovering one’s original nature. In these times, the country where people first regain their original nature first will be one where people live better lives. The place that teaches this method is the place where you can recover your original nature and since it is the place where it can actually be achieved, many people have come and many of them have already regained their original nature.
From <Stop Living In This Land, Go To The Everlasting World Of Happiness, Live There Forever> by Woo Myung
Article courtesy of woomyung.org