Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, Vol 3, No 1 (2013)

On Authentic Progress: From Globalization to Interconnectedness

Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education
Volume 2 Number 2 2012
journals.sfu.ca/jgcee

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On Authentic Progress: From Globalization to Interconnectedness


Vlad Toma, Graduate Student

Faculty of Corporate Social Responsibility, University of Innsbruck
Professor, Centennial College

Keywords: Sustainable Capitalism, Human Fulfillment, Consumption and Production Paradigm, Protestant Ethic, Historical Materialism, Critical-thinking Education, Existential Pedagogy

ABSTRACT: As a result of the lack of authenticity in modern standardized societies, an individual's identity and purpose are created through physical goods as opposed to the intrinsic appreciation of the individual's role in society. This creates a precise dichotomy between the affluent lifestyle of the corporate worker and human fulfillment and empathy. This paper demonstrates how a new form of education, which encompasses an existential framework of pedagogy, is able to foster empathic emotions in students leading them to make decisions that are aligned with a sustainable socio-economic model. The paper first outlines the ecological and human development problems caused by modern capitalism. Second, it analyzes the historical circumstances that have borne capitalism and explains, through sociological and anthropological theory, how the logic of capitalism has become ubiquitous, self-perpetuating and obsolete. Lastly, a transformation in education is proposed as a viable solution to overcome the mentioned cognitive trappings.


The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life. To make this a living force and bring it to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education. The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.

Albert Einstein qtd. in Raman, Dukas and Hoffman,
1979, p. 95

Introduction

Capitalism is the socio-economic framework that human kind has created as a by-product of its adaptation to the environment. The rationality of capitalism informs individual behaviour on a global scale, and such behaviour may not be compatible with the sustainability of the collective's long-term survival. This paper aims to explain how a change in educational methodology will enable future populations to engage in more sustainable lifestyles and considerations, thereby naturally redefining the current socio-economic framework for society.

Four focus areas constitute my analysis: (i) the ecological and human development problems caused by modern capitalism; (ii) an analysis of why current methods to improve the ecological and human development problems have not worked; (iii) an engagement with the ontology of capitalism, aimed at demonstrating the creation of socio-cultural idioms, which have become cognitive traps preventing society's progression beyond capitalism. Identifying these cognitive traps leads the way towards a meaningful solution; (iv) a transformation in education is proposed as a viable solution to overcome the aforementioned traps. This paradigmatic shift will enable the individual to detach from the current prevalent social reasoning of consumption and growth and become mindful of the requirements of the biosphere.

The ecological and human development problems caused by modern capitalism

Capitalism can be defined through two of its governing tenets. The first is constant improvement of products and services as well as increased mechanization and efficiency in the design, manufacturing and selling of these. The second is the veneration of individual liberty and that individual's ability to pursue continuous improvement and be a moral arbiter (Berenbeim, 1997). Capitalism enables human kind to be efficient on large scales through standardization. As was the case with scientific management during the industrial engineering era, efficiency in process requires the mechanization of human activity. As the globe becomes increasingly interconnected and its individuals socially bound, in order to maintain efficiency, capitalistic processes and economies of scale are more prevalent and more optimized. In order to sustain seamless global trade and human interaction, as well as increased material desire, the system requires the mechanization of lifestyle. The problem is that by relentless increase in efficiency of process, capitalism imposes onto nature a dangerous burden.

In view of an increasing global population and an increased desire for economic growth, it becomes clear that capitalism, as it exists today, will breach the natural limits of the environment (Leonard & Ariane, 2010, p. xiv-xv; Jackson, 2009, p. 8). Knowledge of this conundrum is increasingly ubiquitous and urgently necessitates a solution1.

The ecological principle of interdependency states that all beings depend on their survival on the web of other beings that surrounds them, ultimately extending out to encompass the whole planet. The extinction of any species, diminishes our wholeness, our health, our own selves; something in our very being is lost. (Eisenstein, 2011, p. xvii)

Apart from the biosphere, capitalism also hinders on the individual's ability to attain personal fulfillment. The mechanistic lifestyles and material aspirations necessary for the growth of this system reduce one's ability to reach the mental dispositions leading to sustained happiness. Due to a lack of community and of uniqueness within standardized societies, the individual loses ability to find an authentic identity and purpose. This occurs since increased standardization leads to economies of scale, which provide for stringent competition against more unique products and services.

Dr. Paul T.P. Wong (2009) has created an existential positive psychology framework, which demonstrates how existential questions must be embraced in order to achieve fulfillment. More specifically he explains that "it is only through embracing life in its totality and wrestling with ultimate concerns that we can uplift humanity and improve the human condition" and that these "painful human strivings" are what "Western societies' consumer culture wants us to ignore" (Wong, 2009). Psychologist Tim Kasser (2002) postulates as well, that the more the individual places value on material goods, the more scarce the positive emotions the individual is able to have and the less value he or she places upon the environment, social needs, and empathy towards others (Kasser, 2002, p. 111). Since one of the axioms of capitalism is material production efficiency, individuals become increasingly preoccupied with material possession. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2004) substantiates the point further by explaining that materialism, through its consummation of the human psychic energy prevents man's psychological evolution. Preoccupation with conventional trivial pettiness, such as that found in mainstream culture, interrupts the individual's ability to think about genuine self-interest; the individual consequently becomes unable to create an identity outside of society and self-actualize.

An analysis of why current methods to improve the ecological and human development problems have not worked

Through its mechanization of global processes, capitalism has become systemic enough within society that it becomes difficult to envision alternative feasible socio-economic systems. The first curtailing impossibility of current solutions is thus the systemic nature of capitalism. The enterprise of growth has become so prevalent and demanding of the people that one does not have enough time in the day to contemplate these matters, let alone undergo a change in lifestyle. The system creates non-human corporate entities that are not "aware" of the crisis or of the need to act against it. Their sole reason for existence is profit. These entities imprison individual freedom not only by imbuing superfluous values within cultural mores but also by imposing an enormous dedication of time to keep the system afloat.

The second problem is the public's lack of depth in its understanding of the materials economy, and its impact on the biosphere. This hinders the individual's ability to make decisions that will truly reach the heart of the matter. In many cases, academia subdivides what is an interdisciplinary matter into narrow schools of thought so as to achieve optimal specialization of the future worker (Maxwell, 2007). Consequently, the individual is not able to harness information variegated enough so as to propose or choose affecting action. Modern society worships science and its methods of knowledge creation: to break down and analyze the individual constituents as opposed to understand the matrix of relationships of the interconnected whole (Rifkin, 2009, p. 594-600). As such, regardless of whether an individual is aware of the ecological and social problems and regardless of whether that individual is empathetic enough to care genuinely for our global community, the individual does not have the possibility, on a societal scale, to make the decisions that would improve this situation.

Both the ecological and social problems are nonetheless a highly prioritized matter at the governmental level, and there exist systemic attempts to adopt a widespread socio-economic reform that could ameliorate these such as the conferences led by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The disastrous fallacy of such endeavours is the lack of a single authority, powerful enough, to deploy a policy change as radical as that which would reconvene the logical reasoning of the entire society. Undertakings to inform the populace so that it adopts a new pattern of behaviour and to unify nation-states towards a common sustainable goal through enterprises, such as the Kyoto Protocol, have failed (Glover, 2012). These require the support of supranational legislative authorities. Such authorities do not exist.

Hopes of salvation currently reside within technological innovation: the achievement of optimized means of resource harnessing and recycling. To ensure a foreseeable future by 2050, society will not only have to drastically reduce carbon emissions but will also have to physically remove carbon from the atmosphere (Jackson, 2009, p. 80). Society's reliance upon such hope is nothing more than a gamble with fate and society needs to look elsewhere lest it continues to endanger its means of survival.

The solutions enacted thus far have not proven to work because these manifest within the confines of the current cultural selection: the confines of economic reasoning. To change the cultural selection of the population is to change the logical reasoning and thus the meaning map of the individual. Education alone, as a mechanism of promulgating meaning, is ubiquitous enough to enact a change on a societal scale.

An engagement with the ontology of capitalism, aimed at demonstrating the creation of socio-cultural idioms, which have become cognitive traps preventing society's progression beyond capitalism

In order to propose an education model as the sustainable solution to the aforementioned dilemmas, it is important to first understand how society as a whole, finds itself amidst this situation. Within the context of a global society, the historical formative logic of capitalism is problematic. This system has become a self-contained, independent entity and is no longer guided by the actions of the individuals. Instead, this entity creates the logic that results in these actions. Essentially, capitalism has evolved past the boundaries of a mere economic methodology and has become the culture and lifestyle of the global human collective. Such finite parameters infringe upon the individuals conscious mobility and thus freedom.

A strong historical influence of current social behaviour and of the genesis of capitalism is the protestant ethic. According to Crowell (2004), Max Weber argues that through the religious dogmas of Calvinism, the Western world began to value the concepts of discipline and the accumulation of wealth for future use (Crowell, 2004, p. 4). Weber posits that the conversion from Catholicism to Calvinism resulted in a severely increased requirement of discipline and thrift in order to obtain salvation. It is this very behaviour, he explains, that was required to modify capitalism into what it has become today. Eternal afterlife is what validated the logic behind hard work, discipline and abeyance of life, which is exemplified through the rigorous and frugal lifestyles of monks and ascetics. Weber further states that capitalism was the change from ownership as a means of survival to a means of increasing wealth (Crowell, 2004, p. 11). This led to man's perception of money being a means to an end: the creation of more money. Prior to such logic, money was merely an instrument used as a temporary medium of exchange. Weber's implied statement is that individuals began to devalue time; one was no longer concerned with having spare time outside of work (Crowell, 2004, p. 10). This makes sense in view of the protestant reasoning that dedication leads to eternal salvation. Religious deliverance and after-life have faltered as ideology and are no longer systemic concepts as they were in the 16th century in the western world, however discipline, hard work, growth and accumulation of wealth are the remaining values of that ideology. Outside of the context of eternal salvation these concepts make no sense. Today's increasingly atheist society is no longer governed by an ethos of "righteousness" or "reason" since there is no longer as strong a code of religious moral guidance and thus, these concepts are free to dictate human behaviour.

It is important to understand society's failure to evolve past this logic in order to propose viable means to circumvent the problems at hand. Durkheim's (1995) sociological theory of the timeless endurance of mental logic and Sahlins' (1976) anthropological theory of cultural hegemony are explanations of the subtle constructs of this logic. Durkheim posits that socially created mental concepts are timeless since they are self-validated through social interaction. These concepts govern human behaviour by creating the decision-making map in the mind of the individual (Sahlins, 1976). The modern capitalistic problems stem precisely from this timelessness. These are aged concepts that create a logical truth and morality in a modern world that is faced with different circumstances than those that existed when these concepts were conceived.

Capitalism, as it has from its beginnings, functions on the logic of growth, production and consumption: concepts that arose as a result of the needs of the community at one point in time. "It is medieval political theology, not modern liberal thought, which provided for an ontologization of the consumer. This in turn, directly pertains to the questions of the legitimacy of consumer society per se, of consumer decisions in particular and of their sources of legitimacy" (Schwarzkopf, 2011, p. 106.) More precisely, consumer logic has become a deeply revered dogma that is no longer necessary and has become dangerous for humankind's survival in today's society which is facing new needs: resource preservation and global community. Society has never had the freedom to question or make a decision regarding this logic since it is borne organically through history and culture.

Marshal Sahlins (1976) classifies the idea of aged ideology as "historical materialism" and explains "it accepts the practical interest as an intrinsic and self-explanatory condition, inherent in production and therefore inescapable in culture…there is no material logic apart from the practical interest and the practical interest of men in production is symbolically constituted" (Sahlins, 1976, p. 206-207). This delineates the reason why it is difficult to escape this ideology. Society has created a logic of material production that has become culture; and thus trapping within production, through culture, the conception of practical interest that it requires to progress. "Just as science often projects culture onto nature, so economics takes culturally determined conditions as axiomatic" (Eisenstein, 2011, p. 17). Cultural phenomena emerge organically (i.e. critically unquestioned by the individual) and thus come to be perceived as "natural" – a condition by which said constructs receive legitimacy in the minds of the populace. As a result society is essentially failing to question the logic of practical interest because it has become a cultural norm. By what means then, can society leap outside of this self-perpetuating cultural loop guiding global behaviour?

Sahlins (1976) differentiates between capitalistic and more primitive society by pointing out the differences in the creation of cultural norms. In primitive society the division between economic, socio-political and ideological spheres is mediated by the idiom of kinship whereas in capitalistic society the division is mediated by the idiom of production (Sahlins, 1976, p. 211). If production governs the ideological and social spheres, capitalism becomes a self-perpetuating production system that creates ideology, which further promotes itself. It can be concluded that perhaps the solution to this conundrum is to shift from production towards kinship as the governing cultural idiom.

Let us briefly turn to evolutionary psychology to understand how kinship as a governing logic can lead global behaviours astray of production and consumption. Group selection is the decision-making process governing individual behaviour aimed at protecting the group to which the individual belongs in order to ensure its survival. The hallmark of group selection is that the survival of the group comes prior to the individual adhering to her immediate needs and desires (May, 1975). Ecological studies show that within the process of decision-making, cultural selection will always predominate group selection. In the case of a capitalist society this means that the individual's disposition to select against that which destroys the natural environment keeping her alive loses prominence (Sahlins, 1976, p. 208). The individual person is not aware of her interconnection to the environment and to distant global populations and thus does not prioritize to protect them. This means that kinship and economic ideology have become mutually exclusive and this isolates the essentials of survival (kinship) outside of cultural selection. Essentially, the society has blinded itself from the requirements of its survival. In contrast, since an animal does not function through culture, it is able to see that the requirement for its survival is the very community which supports it and will act to protect its tribe even at times when this means risking its own life (May, 1975).

Through his concept of false consciousness Marx (1994) echoes the same idea. He argues that the solution is the education and awareness of the proletariat (Marx, 1994, p. 131). Scale, however, is the pivotal difference between society today and society during Marx's time. Currently, the forces of globalization have erased physical boundaries between groups of people so that activities are no longer localized. The Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrates this phenomenon clearly. As such, in contrast to that of an animal, humankind's "tribe" is no longer kin, town, urban agglomeration, or nation-state. It is increasingly cognized as a global whole. "The consumer society is now, to all intents and purposes, a global society" (Jackson, 2009, p. 52). The future survival and well-being of current human society is thus dependent upon the balance between populations on a global level as well as with the environment, and not only between the proletariat and the bourgeois. One of the tasks of education therefore becomes to foster a global understanding of the interdependency between all populations on the planet and the environment.

Though our society has become globally interconnected through the shrinkage of time and space, its individual constituents are still physically separated. This prohibits any one person from developing an emotional connection to distant populations and unseen natural degradation. As such, beyond fostering a mere understanding at the cognitive level, education must also act to evoke an empathic connection in people and thus to activate an emotional response. This will enable the person to care authentically for those distant others and for nature, and to modify her decision-making map and prioritize behaviours accordingly.

If we can harness holistic thinking to a new global ethics that recognizes and acts to harmonize the many relationships that make up the life-sustaining forces of the planet, we will have crossed the divide into a near-climax world economy and biosphere consciousness (Rifkin, 2009, p. 600).

As explained in the following section, education can act to expand an individual's critical-reasoning capabilities, enabling that person to become aware of the interdependence of all things. Secondly, through existential teachings, education can increase the empathic connection between that individual and the rest of global society and nature. Reason and empathy are the solutions that will lead forth the fallout of certain obsolete societal values of today. As such an individual's decision-making map (cultural selection) will organically begin to encapsulate those factors required for the survival of the global community: global populations and the natural environment.

A transformation in education is proposed as a viable solution to overcome the mentioned traps

As it is constructed today, popular education curriculums are not correctly equipped to encourage sustainable behaviours nor to change the current paradigm. For one, current curriculum relies heavily on the scientific method for knowledge accumulation and not enough on more traditional forms of teaching such as storytelling. The current knowledge-creating infrastructure can only explain mechanical processes and serves solely to break down and analyze individual parts. Though science is tremendously important and understanding the individual parts is necessary in all pursuits of knowledge, modern society, alongside this perspective, requires a holistic understanding of the matrix of life, including emotion, authenticity, and purpose. Axiomatically, the scientific method dictates that if one constituent of whole cannot be empirically defined, the legitimacy of the whole is rendered moot. Incidentally, many of the arts are increasingly dismissed from any form of decision-making regarding economic, social or political spheres. Secondly, the scientific method and economic science demand objectivity and increased standardization. This pattern of thinking trains individuals to spot the outliers and to deem "weird" that which in reality is merely misunderstood. A recalibration of the equilibrium between the sciences and the arts within every discipline of education could therefore circumvent capitalism's current problems.

Herman Hesse's novel, Der Glasperlenspiel, is a very close representation of how education can act as the driving force for this paradigm shift. Through this work of fiction Hesse creates a utopian society, which embodies the synthesis of his lifelong proliferation of philosophical ideas. He creates a society that attains balance through the protection and veneration of intellectual values: critical-reasoning and the pursuit of critical-reasoning for its own sake (Hesse, 1990, p. 19). Hesse advocates education's role as the perpetual questioning of the logic and moral values of society in order to assess whether it can ensure humankind's survival. He prophesizes that it will be the extinction of spiritual values and art from education that will result in the fall of Western society (Hesse, 1990, p. 24-25). In order to remediate this fall, the futuristic society instates the Intellectuals as governing body; namely those who work to protect and develop the integrity of Reason.

Hesse's prophecy seems to have been quite an accurate forewarning since there exists within society today an alarming duality between critical-reasoning (Reason) and pragmatic logic. Reason is the quintessence of Hesse's utopia; it is taught as a synthesis between all disciplines, mixing both exact science as well as the arts. He describes it as a universal language across and common to all schools of thought – math, science, literature, music, et cetera (Hesse, 1990, p. 15). This interdisciplinary property enables the concepts nascent of this language to translate across all disciplines. In so doing they sift through and exclude superficial values. Altogether, Hesse's novel ascribes the reform of education as the salvation of humanity, which entails the shift in logic from pragmatism and social status to wisdom and reason. Wisdom and reason are a sustainable and utilitarian logic because these habilitate the populace to change its moral values contingently according to the current challenges at hand.

For more specific and realistic changes to current education tools, Hesse advocates the use of the Socratic method and experiential learning2 (Otten, 1977, p. xiii). These methods, similar to those promoted by Sir Ken Robinson (art and creativity) and by Harold Innis (intellectual conversation) are the catalyst for the inhibition of philistine and superfluous values3 (Azzam, 2009; Watson, 2006). Harold Innis asserts that the media imposes, onto the individual, imminent "cultural baggage," which is a knowledge monopoly. This mechanistic process, he argues, would lead to "the transmission of order, obedience, and an absence of potentially contestatory thinking" and the solution to which is intellectual conversation (Watson, 2006, p. 411).

In addition to the above advocated changes in education, Jeremy Rifkin (2009), in his tome The Empathic Civilization, explains that most relevant to humanity's current dilemma is the requirement of increased empathic abilities. Rifkin presents an alternative curriculum for elementary school education which is centered on developing empathic abilities. He posits this education is necessary to reach sustainable behaviour since it augments the individual's awareness of the interconnection between everything on earth.

The new biosphere learning environments provide a new type of open classroom to prepare succeeding generations for the next phase of human consciousness – the extension of the central nervous system of the human race from the geosphere to the biosphere (Rifkin, 2009, p. 612).

The solution to the sustainability conundrum thus becomes finding a realistic method to introduce the aforementioned holistic teachings into popular culture. A practical method of doing so is to adapt the current curriculum, so as to re-incorporate the arts, which can imbue students with critical-reasoning abilities, and which can foster an empathic emotional response towards distant global populations and the natural environment.

Daniel Kalderimis argues that existentialism, as a practical theory of moral philosophy, leads to empathy. Using his logic it becomes easy to understand the genesis of empathy and to elaborate on Rifkin's rationality:

The empathetic predisposition that is built into our biology is not a fail-safe mechanism that allows us to perfect our humanity. Rather, it is an opportunity to increasingly bond the human race into a single family (Rifkin, 2009, p. 614).

Kalderimis (2010) postulates that the teachings of an Existentialist Framework can lead the individual to understand another person's equal reality and capacity for thoughts and expression, enabling that individual to take into account the consequences of action on other people (Kalderimis, 2010, p. 86). As explained by Sartre, "by choosing for yourself, you choose for all people; on the basis that to choose is to affirm the value of the thing chosen" (Kalderimis, 2010, p. 87). This empathic state is also termed "authentic living," or the ability of "facing up to the true responsibility of living in a world where meaning and ethics are subjective" and not "pretending an objectivity, or constraint where none really exist" (Kalderimis, 2010, p. 85). Therefore, existentialism not only enables the individual to care for others equally regardless of their dissimilarity but also provides for the freedom to make decisions outside of the realm of cultural convention.

Kalderimis (2010) explains that through reflection and creativity, man becomes sincere to his own affinity. To appropriate meaning to that affinity which is intrinsic to each individual and which is not socially determined incidentally creates authenticity and a shift from scarcity to abundance. The individual thus creates a genuine, subjective definition of beauty, enabling him to share, understand and love this same genuine subjectivity in other people. In so learning to appreciate life in itself, capitalistic society will naturally progress to devalue material things and thus loosen its desire for increasing wealth, utilitarianism and consumption. Without this paradigmatic shift in reasoning and behaviour, our society may miss the threshold of ability to remedy its problematic circumstance.

It would prove futile to attempt to imitate the educational model imagined by Herman Hesse in his Utopia Der Glasperlenspiel, however, as listed above, there are specific adaptations to current curriculum, which can commence the paradigm shift towards a sustainable society and towards the natural evolution of capitalism, as it exists today.

These include: (a) mandating a more balanced curriculum by promoting the arts as equally mandatory subjects alongside other specializations in order counteract the popular scientific-method type of mindset promoted by current education systems. This in turn enables for a more holistic pattern of thought and conveys more clearly the interconnection between otherwise ostensibly disconnected parts of the system; (b) using the Socratic method and intellectual conversation as the means of education so as to foster the critical-thinking skills that enables an individual to think for herself and to perpetually and contingently question the correctness of what is being learnt; (c) including an existential framework of mores as a mandatory part of the curriculum in order to foster empathy and thus lead the learners to make decisions that take into consideration other distant populations and the environment.

Conclusions

The people of the globe are becoming increasingly interconnected into a singular collective. Individual actions are no longer isolated; instead, they aggregate and affect those from all corners of the planet, including and especially the environment. Lamentably, the curtailing problem of the current capitalist system is the fact that aged cultural mores have fixated production and consumption as the logical governing axioms for societal structure and progress in terms of social, economic and political spheres. In order to escape these governing fundamentals, the current system must imitate primitive societies and use kinship as the dominant governing logic to structure society. This will enable humankind's decision-making map (cultural selection) to encompass and prioritize that which ensures its sustainability and survival: global populations and the natural environment. It is a new form of education, through its power of invoking critical inquiry that will enable the individual to surpass the cultural idioms created by capitalism and to foster the sense of interconnectedness needed for the survival of biosphere. Holistic education, coupled with an existential framework of mores, will empower the individual with both an understanding of the great matrix of the biosphere and the empathy required to make decisions that take into consideration the well-being of all people of the globe. Moreover, this form of education will empower the individual to see beyond culturally propagated ideologies and engender her own source of rationality and reason. This is also the only point in time when a person can claim they are authentically free.

Endnotes

1Perpetual increase in consumption and economic growth lead not only to the detriment to the environment but also to an inequality of resource distribution around the globe (Leonard, 2010, p. 242). This in turn, results in the impoverishment and suffering of many nation states, as well as a power struggle in attempting to secure natural resources (Jackson, 2009, p. 5). Overall, disrupting the global social balance as such may engender the demise of the quality of life of global populations in the future (Jackson, 2009, p. 65).

2 Otten explains that Hesse advocates the Socratic method and experiential learning as new means of education (Otten, 1977, p. xiii). The Socratic method is the way by which education can strive to reach the purity of concepts described inDer Glasperlenspiel. The questioning of every concept to its core leads to the discovery of incoherent logic, essentially sifting through concepts and associations towards truth and enabling for an understanding of human motivation, including the accumulation of wealth, economic growth, social status, and consumerism. Experiential learning allows for understanding as opposed to memorization. It is futile to compress facts into short-term memory without knowing the importance of those facts or placing them within a meaningful context. A narrow discipline has little value for humanity when it is not rooted within the matters of the world at large and learnt sequentially in order of importance of these matters. Such a composition of teachings that allows for a meaningful and sustainable understanding of the various disciplines would be very hard to achieve. Conversely, the fact that these are not placed within an appropriate context, or any context at all, prevents logic to transpire across all disciplines. Experiential learning is a solution to this conundrum. As opposed to attaining understanding through formal systems, one learns through experience. Essentially this is learning through direct interaction with reality as opposed to accumulating knowledge through abstractions of reality. As per the example provided by Der Glasperlenspiel, learning of all disciplines occurs primarily through music, meditation and intellectual debates.

3The studies of Harold Innis and Sir Ken Robinson are strong complements to the said educational methods. Sir Ken Robinson (2009) preaches that education should promote the aesthetic arts and creativity so as to balance out the current hegemony of pragmatic logic. He posits that creativity and unique individual preference and desire will lead to society's ability to deal the sporadic evolution of problems that it will face in the future (Azzam, 2009, p. 22).

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