+JMJ+ Welcome to part 2 in the series, Re-Reading the New Age: Education, Bailey-Style. Next week in part 3 I’ll begin taking apart the first part of the first chapter. Notes and link are at the end of this post. Links to all posts in the series are on the Table of Contents page.
The purpose of a preface
This week I’m going to go over the preface. After all, a preface is “a preliminary statement in a book…setting forth its purpose” and I wish I had begun at the beginning of the book last week instead of the beginning of Bailey’s text. But I didn’t. So I’ll do it now. I was going to skip it altogether until I re-read it this weekend and decided that it needed to be included.
The purpose of this series
Others have been working on exposing the New Age longer than I have, it’s true, and I’m sure many can do this better than I can and are certainly more qualified to do so. But I’ve come across way more non-Catholics than Catholics doing this, and what I bring to the work is my knowledge, experience of, and love for, Catholicism and my passion for handing it on faithfully; my knowledge and experience as a former New Ager and my desire to expose the New Age for the lie that it is; my passion for digging for information, and my desire to share it and my joy in doing so.
The purpose of Bailey’s kind of education
From the preface by Oliver Reiser, Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburth, subtitled, Educational Trends in a World Crisis. See note below about Reiser.
Our problem is to attain the kind of overall synthesis that Marxism and neo-Scholasticism provide for their followers, but to get this by the freely chosen cooperative methods that Dewey advocated. In the broadest terms such a world-view will make possible a planetary civilization by integrating whatever trans-temporal and trans-spatial truths about man and the universe we can extract from all regional cultures in their local times and places. These universal principles will then provide the norms for Education in the New Age, as the Tibetan terms it.Ibid., vi, emphasis added. Also see note below on Dewey.
On page vii Reiser calls for a World Federation “in which the Eastern and Western hemispheres function like the right and left lobes of man’s brain, with the seat of the World Brain serving as the point of decussation of the planetary nerves, but we need also a planetary way of life, a planetary ethics, and a planetary way of feeling to supply the powerful drive we shall require for the great tasks that lie ahead of us.” Sound familiar? It does if you’ve listened to or read Alice Bailey and her acolytes before, or Barbara Marx Hubbard or any number of other New Age teachers and leaders who have influence and ties with the UN.
This next passage almost made me do a spit take.
The time to resynthesize the objective and subjective, the extrovert and the introvert civilizations and to achieve a great orchestration of culture is now. Japan was not aggressive until the country learned the trick from the West.Ibid., vii.
What?! Excuse me, did he just say that Japan learned about aggression from the WEST? I don’t even know where to begin with that one. I confess that it’s been many years since I went through my phase of being fascinated by all things Japanese, but I could have sworn that I remember reading about a whole lot of warfare lasting for centuries in Japanese history. Bushido, the way of the samurai, didn’t begin when the West discovered Japan.
If this new synthesis is to restore cultural and spiritual unity in mankind, the Occidental world will have to acquire humility when it turns to the Orient.Ibid., vii
Restore? When have we ever had cultural and spiritual unity in this world? Not even under empires have we had such a thing. What he’s really talking about here is not a return to unity—which we never had—but something new altogether.
There is a remedy for “the sickness of modern man” and many of its constituents are found in this book on the education of the future…That its theories are not beyond the need and grasp of contemporary educa tionists is borne out by the fact that steps are already taken in several places for the setting up of experiments in educa tion which are to express the need for synthesis. As an example of this development there is the “self-survey” project financed by the Ford Foundation out of which has come a proposal for a Department of Integrating Studies in the University of Pittsburgh.Ibid., x.
Of note is the plan or design for the Department of Integrated Studies:
In seeking answers to these questions and providing students with the stimuli and data necessary to the formulation of their own answers, the instructors in the Department of Unified Studies will not pose as experts in integration. Along with interested students, the faculty members will be seekers after synthesis…The Tibetan’s seed-principles will find prepared soil in such experimental fields.Ibid., xii. Emphasis in the original.
If you’ve been wondering how we got to where we are today, especially in our schools and universities, what I’ve presented here should be a clue. Bailey and her minions are not the only ones involved and she is not the leader of the New Age, but she remains a powerful influence on many other powerful influencers. To ignore her or underestimate her importance would be a tragic mistake. Indeed, we’ve already made a tragic mistake in allowing this cancer to spread throughout our educational system and our world for far too long. At some point in a future post we’ll see how far her ideas have actually spread in the US and our educational system. I’m almost afraid to look. But I want to know so I will.
Thank you for joining me as I re-read the New Age. I hope you’ll join me again. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy. May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
Notes and Links
- Here I go, another rabbit hole: Dewey and his method. When I hear his name I think of the Dewey decimal system and that’s about all I know about him. Note to self: research Dewey and his ideas about and his influence on education. I’ll post about that after I do some more research.
- I had never heard of Oliver Reiser so I just did a web search about him. First thing I came across was this page. I learned that he was a signatory to the Humanist Manifesto, he wrote a book titled Messages to and from the Galaxy, and an article titled Cosmic Humanism and World Unity, among others. Cosmic Humanism seems to be his main focus. If you’re expecting to see Teilhard de Chardin show up in his writing, you won’t be disappointed. He’s mentioned in that last article. I’m reading about him, too, or I was until I paused to work on this series. But I plan to write about him, too. He’s been massively influential among New Agers and Catholics alike. Catholics should know better but a surprising number of them don’t.
- Read along with me. Get a copy of Education in the New Age, by Alice A. Bailey and Djwal Khul (the Tibetan), Lucis Trust, 1954 and 1982. Paperback. Kindle. Free PDF.
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