THE PSYCHOLOGY OF BECOMING
Lynn M. Stuter
February 26, 2003
Some might look at this title and think, "This sounds like something from Abraham Maslow or Carl Rogers."
The world view of systems governance is humanism, a religion immersed in the concept that "no deity will save us, we must save ourselves" (Humanist Manifesto, 1973). To that end, systems governance has been developed and fine tuned over a period of several decades, the purpose being to "create the future;" to decide what the world is to look like at a designated future time, then design and align everything to achieve that vision. The ultimate goal is to attain and maintain the global sustainable environment.
The concept that we must save ourselves finds basis in the humanist principle that man has no spirituality or self-determinism, that man is merely a product of his environment and must, therefore, be "conditioned" to the perceived environment of the "created future" as one system of many systems (see Systems Thinking -- What It Is; What It Hopes to Accomplish).
Conditioning necessarily requires the change of one's existing world view -- one's existing attitudes, values, and beliefs, one's existing behaviors. In book after book written by those advocating systems education, that it is the behavior of the individual that must be changed is apparent:
"... a large part of what we call 'good teaching' is the teacher's ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the students' fixed beliefs and getting them to discuss issues." (Bloom, 1964)
"The individual acts consistently in accordance with the values he has internalized at this level, and our concern is to indicate two things: (a) the generalization of this control to so much of the individual's behavior that he is described and characterized as a person by these pervasive controlling tendencies, and (b) the integration of these beliefs, ideas, and attitudes into a total philosophy or world view." (Bloom, 1964)
"Since the real purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities but to bring about significant changes in the students' patterns of behavior, it becomes important to recognize that any statement of the objectives ... should be a statement of changes to take place in the student." (Tyler, 1949)
"... education, as now conceived, leads to demonstrable changes in student behaviors, changes that can be assessed using agreed-upon standards." (Conley, 1993)
The question becomes, how to achieve the change in behaviors ... world view ... attitudes, values and beliefs.
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel developed a process known as the Hegelian Dialectic in which opposites (thesis and antithesis) are brought together in compromise (synthesis) to form a new thesis which becomes the view of the group participants, individually and as a whole. Hegel theorized that through a continual use of this process, small groups would evolve to a "higher plane" signified by their becoming part of an ever larger group, until "oneness of mind" in a society theoretically would occur.
Today, this process is known by at least three other names: the Delphi Technique, the Alinsky Method, and the facilitated process of consensus building. It is also the process of the "guide on the side, not the sage on the stage" -- the teacher (now called a facilitator) in the classroom. It is the process of critical thinking, conflict resolution, peer mediation, focus groups, consensus circles ... The process has the effect of forcing the individual, in order to be a member of the group (which is aggressively encouraged and pursued), to give up his individual beliefs for the beliefs of the group.
Building on Hegel's theory, Marx came to the conclusion that religion, with its authoritarian principles and higher authority, caused alienation of the individual from the group. As such, Marx wrote, religion is antithetical to the cohesion of the group and must be eradicated.
The Hegelian Dialectic is about compromise -- the bringing together of opposites, and from those opposites, theoretically, a new truth emerges. In this environment, there is no right or wrong answer, only differences of opinion -- how people "feel" about an issue. In this setting right and wrong stand on equal footing.
What happens when you synthesize right (good) and wrong (evil)? Which will prevail, right or wrong?
If you believe that man is inherently good (humanist world view), you will say that man will choose right over wrong, good over evil. But if you believe that man has a sin nature (Christian world view), then you will say that man will, unless he has been instilled with a moral compass of right and wrong in obedience to the teachings of a higher authority, choose wrong or evil.
Man, under a higher authority, will aspire to climb the mountain to better himself. Those who believe that man is inherently good will go down the mountain believing that good is whatever they perceive or rationalize it to be.
It is of note, at this point, that the compromise of the two world views is the New Age world view concept of self-divination. No higher authority, but all authority coming from within man himself, self-divination, inner wisdom leading to the concept that "perception is reality."
Before he died, Dr Abraham H Maslow stated that his theories -- what became known as Third Force Psychology -- failed because they were built upon the false premise that man is inherently good, that they failed to recognize or take into account the sin nature of man. The theories of Maslow and those of Dr Carl Rogers, furthering the theories and philosophy of Hegel and Marx, are the basis of the non-directive, feelings-based education system now in schools under the moniker of education reform.
Returning, for a moment, to good and evil, and the synthesis of the two, when you compromise the authoritarian principles that inspire man to climb the mountain to better himself, man loses the will to aspire, and evil prevails.
Some may recognize this concept in a Chinese symbol that has been around for many a century, but became a more universal symbol when it was adopted by the "hippy movement" of the 1960s. The symbol is the yin and yang symbol.
Some will also recognize it as the New Age symbol. The white represents good, the black evil. Within the circle of compromise, white, when mixed with black, is no longer white. This is symbolic of the compromise of Satan and Christ in which Satan prevails and the resulting synthesis of good and evil is said to be good even though it has taken on the vestiges of evil.
Another symbol that resulted from this concept, also emanating from the hippy generation, is the "peace symbol." The lines within the circle represent what is known as an upside down "broken cross." Within the circle, the peace symbol represents the victory of Satan over Christ when Christ died on the cross for the sins of man. The symbol is a statement that if we accept evil on an equal basis with good, harmony will result. This finds basis in the concept that man is inherently good, a concept that Maslow, himself, admitted was a false premise.
So it is, in consensus building, that right does not prevail, but wrong does prevail in the name of synthesis. As stated in one conflict resolution curriculum, "conflict resolution is rarely about honesty or establishing truth--it is more about unifying perceptions." (Bodine, 1994) If you have a bully and his victim in conflict resolution or peer mediation to achieve consensus (compromise), who will prevail in such an environment? Obviously, the bully will prevail.
Returning to the concept that man must be conditioned to the perceived environment, one proponent of the New Age world view wrote:
"You can only have a new society, the visionaries have said, if you change the education of the younger generation. ... Of the Aquarian Conspirators surveyed, more were involved in education than in any other single category of work. ... Marion Fantini, former Ford consultant on education, now at the State University of New York, said bluntly, 'The psychology of becoming has to be smuggled into the schools.'" (Ferguson, 1980)
When Ferguson's book, "The Aquarian Conspiracy," was published, people scoffed at the very idea of it. After all, it was really too bizarre to be taken seriously! Little did people know that it was being implemented right under their noses and they had no idea it was happening.
At this point, it is imperative that we remember what the new basics are: "team work, critical thinking, making decisions, communication, adapting to change and understanding whole systems" (WTECB, 1994)
As noted above, in book after book, advocating systems education, it is made very clear that behavior must be changed to achieve the wanted outcomes or exit outcomes defined at the state level, benchmarked to the national goals for workforce development, and implemented at the local level. Assessments are the tool used to determine if the wanted behaviors are being achieved.
This is occurring in the classroom via teachers (facilitators) and paraprofessionals (facilitator aides); in the counselor's office; in the school psychologist's office; on the playground and in the hallways via social workers who watch students and note their observations (called "profiling"). Some schools even have what are called "buddies," small hand-held computers in which the bar code that serves as the unique identifier of the student and the bar code of the observed behavior can be scanned much as a scanner in a store registers the bar code of a product when swiped over it. The data entered into the hand held scanner is later downloaded to the student's school file.
Do any of these individuals have the training, clinical experience, or license to use psychological practices and techniques on children on school premises to change their belief systems? No, they don't. Not even a school psychologist. And lest we have forgotten, the psychological techniques and theories of Maslow and Rogers were originally intended to be used on people with mental disorders.
What is happening in the classroom, in the name of education reform, amounts to medical malpractice. What is even worse is that the created future cannot be achieved unless a majority of children in the government school acquire the wanted belief system. That psychological manipulation is the only route (because the philosophy is not normal or natural to the human condition) from present to future should serve as a wake-up call to parents and citizens.
But many parents are going along with this, believing their child(ren) actually needs psychological help. Very few children really need psychological help, and those who do certainly do not need the type of psychological help they are getting in the government school.
The name that has been given this non-directive, feelings based education system is "psycho-education." Psycho is right. It is destroying or badly damaging young lives and leaving children ill-equipped to meet the realities of the world beyond the classroom.
Some Christian parents send their child(ren) to the government schools, believing that in so doing, they are following the commandment of God to "go forth and witness." The bible also says, in three consecutive chapters;
"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin ... to stumble ... to be offended, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung about his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (KJV)
Can we surmise that Christ commanded us to protect these "little ones" from harms way? Most adults could not withstand what these children are being subjected to on a daily basis in the closed environment of the government school. How could any Christian parent believe their child(ren) could withstand the same?
In closing, remember the song from the hippy generation of the sixties, "The Age of Aquarius" by the Fifth Dimension (May, 1969) in which the group proudly proclaimed the sixties to be "... the dawning of the age of Aquarius?" The age of Aquarius, the psychology of becoming, has arrived.
Bodine, Richard J, Donna K Crawford, Fred Schrumpf; "Creating the Peaceable School"; Champaign (IL): Research Press; 1994.
Conley, David T; "Roadmap to Restructuring;" Salem: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, University of Oregon; 1993.
Ferguson, Marilyn; "The Aquarian Conspiracy;" New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1980.
"High Skills, High Wages;" Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB); Washington State; 1994.
"Holy Bible;" Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2, King James Version.
Krathwohl, David R, Benjamin S Bloom, Bertram B Masia; "Taxonomy of Educational Objectives; Book 2 Affective Domain;" New York: Longman; 1964.
Kurtz, Paul and Edwin H Wilson; "Humanist Manifesto II;" 1973.
Tyler, Ralph; "Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction;" Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1949.
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
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Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: http://www.icehouse.net/lmstuter E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org