Book “Spiritist Pedagogy” – J. Herculano Pires
Education depends on the lesser or greater knowledge that the educator has of himself. Because knowing yourself is the first step of knowing human beings. The Humanity is only one. The human being, at all times and everywhere, it’s always the same. The physical nature, psychological structure and conscience are the same in all human beings. This fundamental and essential equality is what characterises man. Differences in personality, culture, psychological typology, race or nationality, color or size are only accidental. For this reason Education is universal and its objectives are the same in all ages and in all latitudes of the Earth.
This standardisation, which should simplify education, actually complicates it, because underneath the standardising aspect, individual and group differences arise. Each individual is unique, different from all others, even in related groups. The psychological type of each human being is unique and irreducible to the mass. The mystery of being, which stuns educators, is called personality. Each human being is a person. And it has been since birth, because it is born formed with its complicated structure that will only develop in growth and social relationship. It is difficult for the educator to master all these variations and guide them.
To educate, as it turns out, is to decode the enigma of being in general and of each being in particular, of each student. René Hubert, contemporary French pedagogue, defines Education as an act of love, by which a formed conscience seeks to raise a developing conscience to its level. Education thus presents itself as Science, Philosophy, Art and Religion. It is Science when it investigates the laws of the complex human structure. It is Philosophy when, in possession of these laws, he seeks to interpret man. It is Art when the educator focuses on the student to try to guide him in the development of his vital and spiritual internal powers. It is Religion because it seeks the salvation of the human being in the whirlwind of all the threats, temptations and dangers in the world. The true educator is the one who practices the true Religion of love of neighbour, in what we can call the Cult of Being in the temple of his own being.
It is not a mystical image of Education, but an attempt to see it, understand it and apply it in all its dimensions. The act of educating is essentially religious. It is not only an act of individual love, from the master to the disciple, but also an act of integration and salvation. Education does not seek to integrate the being in development in a given social or cultural situation, but in the human condition, saving him from the animal conditioning of the species, elevating him to the higher plane of the Spirit.
It is easy to understand how far the educational professionalism of our time is. The Greek philosophers were right when they condemned the professionalism of the sophists. It was not just a differentiation of social classes, but the fight against the misrepresentation of Education by those who denied the existence of the truth in exchange for immediate interests.
How to adjust the higher ends of Education to the demands of a profit-based civilisation? The lack of a solution for this adjustment is the origin of the universal crisis in Education in our time. Nevertheless, the solution could be found in the application of vocational processes. No type of collective education can be effective if it is not in a position to observe and guide vocational trends.
The development of the Cosmic Era, only started with the current achievements of Astronautics, brings new and serious problems to the educational field. The whole Earth is being affected by the new conception of man and his position in the Cosmos. The acceleration of the technological process is leading man to better understand his own human condition. The skepticism of recent times is giving way to an awakening of new and great hopes. Cosmic Age Education begins to emerge and educators begin to realize that they need to renew educational processes.
Translated by Juliana Lazzari