1.0 The purpose of education is to enable human beings to be fulfilled themselves, and to invest in them the capacity to help others around them find fulfillment.
2.0 This can be accomplished only if we understand what the dimensions of the challenges are.
3.0 This challenge may be described in a four-stage Journey.
Stage 1: Fulfillment at the level of personal welfare
In this stage, man seeks to achieve his own personal welfare. The very seeking of “personal” welfare implies that he sees himself as a psycho-social creature primarily, with intellectual capacities in the service of acquisition of psycho-social benefits.
Further, he may at this stage view himself as within the broad control of a Creator/ Intelligent Universe and may seek to be in harmony with that larger Good while pursuing his personal welfare.
Stage 2: Fulfillment at the level of knowledge
In this stage man seeks to understand what lies beneath the evanescent behavior of life. This “seeking to understand” becomes man’s search for greater and deeper perception of reality. Through this perception, he hopes to find his true identity and relationship with the universe.
In this journey, he gradually recognizes that the existing order of things are “not quite what they appear”. First he sees that beneath “matter” lies a deeper order of “knowledge/ models that drive matter”. Beneath models that drive reality lies an even deeper order of spiritual ideas that give birth to these models and organize themselves in multiple ways to “manifest as reality”.
As this journey comes to a close, the true order of reality manifests itself wholly to the seeker.
Stage 3: Fulfillment at the stage of “living”
As the assimilation of knowledge becomes complete, man begins to discover for himself that the product of education is not knowledge but the “science of engagement” – engagement with life, engagement with matter, engagement with other human beings, and engagement with one’s own desires and values.
As the human being comes face to face with this “science of engagement”, he becomes as it were, capable of a state of continuous education or evolution. At this point of time, he or she is no longer “seeking” knowledge or attempting to “apply” knowledge. He or she is now capable of engaging through knowledge with himself, society, and other dimensions of an ever complex universe. In this state, there is no distinction between education and the human being.
Stage 4: Fulfillment at the level Enablement
As one lives in the ideal, one also seeks to enable others to live in the ideal. One lives by the maxim of “be and make”.
In this state one does not “calculate” knowledge in terms of a distinct quantity. One has transcended knowledge and now sees it as a “living quality” to be lived oneself and transmitted to those around by one’s action and character.
4.0 This transition of a human being from Levels 1 to 4 is the purpose of secular education.
A society which masters an education that accomplishes this transition on a “mass basis” will be a society that will also destroy the bondages of both poverty at one end, and incapacity to enjoy wealth effectively at the other.