THE PUBLIC BENEFIT
An Independent-Beneficial Society
The Public Benefit [desktop published, 30 81/2 x 11 pages]
This book presents both the idealistic and realistic conditions necessary for the personal and social consolidation of our conscious transformation.
A Concept of Mutuality
The Idealistic Perspective
The Realistic Perspective
The Educultural Neighborhood Centers
The purpose of this aspect of our conscious transformation, "The public benefit," is to social- ize the conscious transformation through the contemplation and practice of wisdom and justice from the individual to society.
Having introduced a new human-transcendent wisdom, The next stage would be to make an integration of that wisdom from the individual to society. Since wisdom is an unparalleled good to the individual, it could have as much a benefit on society as a whole largely made up of such individuals. Wisdom would recognize to what extent citizens should permit their government to control their lives under the banner of "benefiting" them. What separates paternalism and interference?
Government is concerned mainly with expediency not wisdom. Expediency easily dispenses with justice; wisdom, never; however, at times, it may seem otherwise. A person who is wise does well by himself is just in relation to others as well; similarly, a society that is wise does well by itself is just through its just relations with others. And a society that is rela- tively both wise and just these are inseparable benefits everyone overall.
The main concern of a governmental society is or should be the social and economic welfare, safety and security, of both its citizenry and itself. We cannot expect such a con- glomerate political machine to be also wise and just except where its own concerns lie. In which case, if it is expedient (forced to be by the people in many cases) to be just, it will be; but it will not be just as a consequence of wisdom. Nor could we expect it to be. Wisdom is not found in the domain of expediency but of justice.
What the government cannot do, or will not do, for the benefit of the people, they themselves must do for themselves, as a society in its own right, as independent of the main govern- ment. Let the government govern at what it is best at with the cooperation of the people; and let the people govern themselves in their own best legal, moral, interests regarding justice and wisdom without government infringement
So we have a governmental society The United States, for example; and within that frame- work, an independent-beneficial society, supported by an underlying treasury and philosophy, and titled as The Public Benefit. The Public Benefit is essentially a social sponsorship for the advancement of personal-social transformation.
In order for the public benefit society, this "society-within-a-society," to benefit the people, both personally and socially, that benefit has to be its sole underlying purpose; in which case, the people take control and responsibility for their own personal and social well-being. But for such an independent-beneficial society to work, there has to be a power of unity and a force of commitment from the participants.
The following booklet sets forth a rallying call for this unity and commitment. It is composed of two parts: PART ONE: The Idealistic Perspective, and PART TWO: The Realistic Perspective.
PART ONE is a rallying call that outlines the consolidation of this conscious tranformation quest as the Public Benefit social sponsorship. PART TWO is a psychological breakdown between the realities and ideals of the Public Benefit as a workable independent-beneficial society.
The Idealistic Perspective
1 Our time is here to take it now.
2 Let us come together in justice and in wisdom.
3 Let us work for the good of the one and for the many.
4 Let us be here, there, and everywhere.
5 Let us give everyone good a chance, a second chance, an ...nth chance.
6 Let us lessen human suffering, both physical and mental.
7 We have now to serve ourselves for the first time in history.
7:1 What our society cannot, or will not, do for us, we will do for ourselves.
8 Let us infiltrate injustice and ignorance turn the tables on them take the
8:1 Where there is a need, there we strike.
Where there is an injustice, there, too, we strike
Where there is ignorance, there, as well, we strike.
8:2 To Arms! Wisdom is to be our weaponry.
Contributions our munitions.
Injustice and ignorance our enemy.
Consolidation our good fight.
Mutual benefits our victory.
9 What we want is a public benefit for those who want, or need, and
9:1 Whoever receives a benefit, earns that benefit.
9:2 Everyone contributes to the public benefit either by giving or by
9:3 Insofar as recipients deserve a benefit they are contributors.
9:4 Such a public benefit is a concept: a concept of mutuality.
9:5 Such a public benefit is public in two senses: for the public, and
made public nothing to hide; no secrets.
9:6 Integrity, grace, and cheer are the earmarks of such a public benefit.
9:7 The public benefit's motto: For each his own, for all the whole.
9:8 No leaders, no authority figures, no politics, no bureaucracy, no
capital, no "ism," no possessions, no boundaries, no legalities Only
people for people with their exemplars and heroes for inspiration.
9:9 Individuality within a collective framework is an ideal for which to aim.
9:10 Freedom is the heart and blood, of the public benefit freedom from
fear, from poverty, from isolation, from despair, from malice, from
ridicule, from intimidation, from rejection, from the Man or the Woman.
9:11 The good will of the public benefit belongs to everyone. There will no
longer be any reason to be forced to demean or compromise oneself.
9:12 It is not only a personal freedom we want, but a self-freedom as well.
10 Let's take the best of what we have now and integrate it all into a unity
of purpose and action.
10:1 Let this unity of purpose and action advance a high civilization of
culture, services, and security.
10:2 What kind of culture? A goodwill culture interlaced with wisdom and justice.
What kind of services? Those which mutually benefit those who serve
and those who are served. What kind of security? The fundamental
securities: financial, psychological, philosophical, spiritual and the
most elusive security of all: the wisdom of insecurity.
10:3 Let this unity of purpose and action be linked by a common goal and
10:4 Let this link accrue by the public benefit's publication, which will
express and convey its common goal and philosophy.
10:5 Let the credo of this common goal and philosophy be simply: good will
toward those of like mind and caution toward all others.
11 For those of ill-will toward us, let us take the offensive instead of
tarrying always on the defensive.
11:1 The "ill-will" we're to take the offensive against is the injustice and
ignorance not only of others, but of that in ourselves as well.
11:2 What offensive are we to take against these two ogres, injustice and
ignorance? Obviously, one would think, their contraries: justice and
knowledge. It's not that simple, though. Knowledge is power, true
yet is especially true in the minds and actions of the unjust; and, as for
justice, who can be more seemingly just (self-righteous) than the unjust
in their schemes. So where are we? As always, darkened by ignorance
and controlled by injustice.
12 Something more than knowledge is needed to insure the ascendancy of
justice. And that "something more" is wisdom a new wisdom for our
times: a human-transcendent wisdom.
12:1 Let us, in wisdom of a new perspective, reverse this time-worn pattern
of human encumbrance. Let us begin the long, tortuous climb to control
of our lives. Let us change the direction of history. It is our time! Let us
seize it, shape it, and live it. It is the summit we are reaching for. We
will never reach it, but we will draw closer to it. It's like the infinity of
numbers: the count increases limitlessly; yet each higher number
increases the potential for complexity and diversity.
12:2 Come, let us not forever be limited by injustice and ignorance, our
own as well as of others. They have had their day for far too many
days. Nothing is happening. We're mired in the rut of monotony, and
we're going nowhere. All the potential in our minds and character
must inspire us to break out, break through, to the bracing strength of
freedom freedom in the mind through wisdom and justice.
13 We're losing control of our lives. We can't put our finger on it; but we
know something is amiss somewhere, somehow. The computer-internet-
smartphone age is here; and we're under surveillance. We'd better get
hold of our lives before someone else does.
13:1 Let us take the ascendancy! And now!
THE PUBLIC BENEFIT
1 Our Public Benefit acts as an invisible thread holding together the
visible links of its variable social and inter-personal relations, ideas,
2 Our Public Benefit recognizes no boundaries of effect. To be everywhere
is its ongoing perspective.
1 Our public benefit's centralization is twofold: its philosophy and its
a. Its philosophy is disseminated through its publications, and
educational programs and functions.
b. Its treasury is the resource of funds provided and disbursed by its
contributors, for mutual benefits.
2 Our Public Benefit is a concept not a bureaucracy a concept of mutuality.
3 Nothing is owned by our Public Benefit, only by its contributors.
4 There are no members of our Public Benefit, only its contributors and
5 The Public Benefit is the safekeeping of trust by its safekeepers through
the just and wise function of its treasury.
I: THE TREASURY
1 The treasury is the public depository of whose responsibility belongs to
all the contributors of the Public Benefit.
1:1 The treasury is the safekeeping of funds provided by our contributors.
2 Contributors provide the funds for the treasury.
2:1 Safekeepers safekeep the treasury's funds.
2:2 A contributor can be a safekeeper; or a safekeeper can be a contributor.
3 Contributions are voluntary and open.
3:1 All funds received for our public benefit are to be used for its general
purposes, or for its particular undertakings.
3:2 A strict account of all funds, receipts and expenditures, is to be kept on
record by the safekeepers of the treasury for both the treasury and its
3:3 All contributors and safekeepers have access to an accounting of the
amount and disbursements of the treasury's funds in all or specified
4 Procedure of an undertaking : A person, or association, has an idea for
a project. The treasury's safekeepers review it. If approved, necessary
steps are planned for its undertaking and achievement.
4:1 Contributors can form associations for the establishment and organiza-
tion, for the policies and procedures, for the management and monetary
distribution, of a mutually beneficial undertaking.
4:2 The treasury will consist of various checking accounts for each associa-
tion's undertakings, or for the individual's undertakings. For instance, a
contributor can contribute funds for education in general: as a contribu-
tion to each association involved in educational benefits; or can contri-
bute funds to one particular association established for a particular
undertaking; or can contribute funds for both.
4:3 There is to be no accumulation of monies in the treasury other than the
budgets for designated disbursements. For instance, an enterprise is
advanced, its purpose and format established, and its funds determined
and canvassed for its realization.
4:4 Funds contributed to the treasury are received for an undertaking
determined by the fixed and ongoing needs of the undertaking.
4:5 All proceedings for an undertaking are to be recorded and preserved.
4:6 Receipts are issued to contributors for each and every contribution made
to our Public Benefit.
4:7 A financial statement issued by the treasury is sent periodically to each
individual person and/or association regarding its budget assessment.
4:8 Each association or person is accountable to the treasury for its means
5 The treasury's jurisdiction is determined equally by the principles of the
Public Benefit document, by its safekeepers and by its contributors.
5:1 Representatives for our contributors choose safekeepers to monitor the
best interests of our Public Benefit.
5:2 Safekeepers for the Public Benefit safekeep either (1) a particular
undertaking, (2) the treasury, or (3) the philosophy.
5:3 Safekeepers consist of 1. treasurerers 2. originators 3. developers
4. coordinators 5. specialists 6. observers
6 The treasury is under its own jurisdiction; and so accordingly is not
affiliated with any existing banking organization other than for legal
II: THE PHILOSOPHY
1 Philosophy, proper, means "love of wisdom." [Gk-philos . loving + Gk
2 Wisdom means the "quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is
true and right coupled with just judgment as to action." It means "sagacity,
discernment, or insight."
2:1 Wisdom is both practical and contemplative: practical in living, and
contemplative in thinking.
2:2 Sound judgment characterizes practical wisdom; intuitive insight,
characterizes contemplative wisdom.
2:3 Coupled with sound judgment is right action; coupled with intuitive
insight is effective expression.
3 For the Public Benefit to succeed in its immense task, wisdom, foremost,
must accompany it in all its undertakings.
3:1 For wisdom to succeed in the Public Benefit enterprise, it has to be
open, eclectic, and practical "open," in that it is accessible to as many
people as possible; "eclectic," in that it must consist of the best of all
wisdoms; "practical" in that it must be founded on a well-rounded human
4 Philosophy, as the love of wisdom, is the love of (attraction to) right action
and intuitive insight. Love integrates a sensitive state of mind with a
4:1 Philosophy integrates the sensitive dynamics of love with wisdom.
Accordingly, philosophy is both a state of wisdom and a study of wisdom
the "study" of wisdom being the integrating love with wisdom.
4:2 Philosophy is both a sensitive state of mind and a dynamic activity : the
state of loving wisdom; and the activity of living wisdom.
4:3 It is the task of philosophy proper to inspire in an individual the love of
5 Philosophy is an enquiry into the meaning of life, human life, and of the world.
5:1 Philosophy asks the life-eternal question: Why? and attempts to answer
5:2 Philosophy concerns itself with such universal, eternal queries as: What
is life? What is time? What is the mind? What is the meaning of life? Why
are we here? Where are we going? What is the right way to live? What is
justice? What is Love?
5:3 The answers to these questions make up the body of wisdom that one
6 Wisdom is our grace-of-being.
6:1 Our grace-of-being is Love.
6:2 Love is Transcendence.
6:3 Transcendence is the consciousness of grace-of-being.
6:4 Consciousness of grace of being is our transconsciousness.
6:5 Transconsciousness is the state of mind evoked by the will to act and
think in Love.
7 Love is the will to unity the unity of everything. Or otherwise stated:
Love wills unity.
7:1 Love attracts and binds unity; or otherwise stated: Love is the bond of unity.
8 Love is the concern for everything - from good to evil, beyond good and
8:1 Good and evil are within the scope of Love and beyond the scope of Love.
9 It is the unity between any two persons, or more, that evokes sentiment.
9:1 Human love evokes, a passionate-affectionate sentiment.
9:2 Human love is not a sentiment; but the power of sentiment.
9:3 There is willing, and there is the power-to-will not as separate realities
but within the same one Reality.
9:4 The power of sentiment Love is, otherwise stated: the will to unity.
Accordingly, Love is the power-to-will unity; or simply the power to will.
10 Inward to the power to will is the Meaning of that power.
10:1 Part of the Meaning of that power is its will to love : Love as the
attraction to, and unity (bond) of, one entity or mind to another entity or
10:2 As to the ultimate Meaning of Love why there is love or of anything for
that matter, remains forever unknown to us in life: the ultimate mysterium.
We may have intimations of the ultimate of things, but that is all for our
state of mind as it is now in its present development.
11 Love is the intimation, or image, of Meaning. The closer we are to living
and understanding Love, the closer we are to its Meaning.
11:1 Living in wisdom is living in the intimation, or image, of Meaning.
12 Philosophy teaches us, leads us, to wisdom.
12:1 The wisdom unto Meaning is twofold: psychological and transcendent
psychologically bound to our ego-self; transcendently free from the ego
13 Our human makeup is both psychological and transcendent, relative to
the particular individual.
13:1 In the most general terms, Psychologically we are motivated by pleasure
and pain, needs and wants, and self (the "I" in all its human aspects).
Transcendently, we are motivated by truth, right, understanding, grace
and being (selflessness) These are the qualities that help balance the
psychological part of us, and make us receptive to Meaning.
13:2 In both cases our psychology and our transcendence the wisdom we
are concerned with is humanly grounded. Accordingly, it is a human-
transcendent wisdom that we seek and strive to live by.
14 The philosophy of our Public Benefit is the study and advancement of
(love of) a human-transcendent wisdom.
14:1 This philosophy is a philosophy of Love in both its human and
15 This philosophy is taught to adults, youth, and children through an education
15:1 This education in understanding is both academic and psychological.
15:2 As academic, it is a critical-creative thinking education contextual
understanding; as psychological, it is a human-transcendent education
15:3 Understanding can be considered as the other side of love; for through
understanding comes the sentiment of unity which is human love.
16 Understanding evokes love.
16:1 Love can be experienced narrowly or broadly. To love narrowly is to love
only one aspect of reality; for example: the good, or beauty, or pleasure.
This is to love humanly, and is natural. To love broadly, is to love not only
good, but evil, not only beauty, but the ugly, not only pleasure but pain,
and so forth. This is to love transcendently, and is supranatural.
17 Our philosophy is to be a study and a living of a human-transcendent
wisdom a realistic idealism .
17:1 This realistic-idealism philosophy is to be the cornerstone of the Public
Benefit's treasury and all its enterprises and undertakings.
18 This realistic-idealism philosophy will be presented in the Public Benefit's
18:1 The purpose of our publication is to disseminate and promote the
philosophy and treasury of the Public Benefit.
18:2 The contents of the publication will consist of (1) brief capsulation of
major social, political, cultural, and scientific news stories; (2) literary
passages on all significant topics by great and by noted minds of all
countries, of all times; (3 contributions of writings, art, etc. from
contributors and safekeepers; (4) services information; (5) the Public
Benefit's financial update; and (6) calendar of events.
19 The elusive specter of deceit is all about us. Let us be wary!
The Realistic Perspective
Assume there could be a society within, complementary to, a governmental society whose members were affiliated by a common objective; namely, an independent community of interests. And assume further that these interests were beneficial to each and every member at his-her own behest in matters of education, culture, wisdom, recreation, entertainment, information, and services. And still further, assume that a periodical magazine served as the tangible link in which each and every member of this independent-beneficial society believed themselves a viable part of its function, whether or not they took part in it, whether or not they felt themselves a part of it.
On the basis of these three assumptions, could such an independent-beneficial society suc- ceed, not just temporarily, but perennially; not just locally, but nationally perhaps in the distant future, globally? What fundamental concept would assure its success? That concept would have to encompass the reality of human nature in an ideal situation: hence a psycho- logical realism within a philosophical idealism a realism that is stark and common, and an idealism that is approximate and workable.
And what is this reality of human nature? What is this ideal situation?
The reality is that human nature is both of good and of evil; and so, both constructive and destructive, both loving and hating, both selfish and selfless, both rational and irrational; has complex needs and wants, both normal and abnormal; has driving energy, yet in good part is subject to inertia; has its price: which are security, success, and power at the expense of right and truth, and understanding; is governed largely by sex, self, and stimulation; is sub ject to fluctuating moods, fatigue, fear, ignorance, misunderstandings, hatreds, anger, social and familial conditioning, expectation of others, one's own individual nature ... and on and on, with both weaknesses and strengths, with the best and worst intentions of which the best frequently do not materialize. Concerning this reality of human nature, one dictum says it all, and must be kept in mind at all times: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Simple as that.
Concerning the ideal situation: this reflects the transcendent factor in, to, us which projects situations, both personal and interpersonal, both spiritual and social, beyond the limitations of our failing human nature: our all-too-human selves. This transcendent, or ideal, in us is as much a part of us in some people more than in others as the human: the psychological. It seeks always the situation of least resistance with maximum results: for good or for ill; for ideals are modes of perfection: the perfect act, whether it be an act of justice or an act of theft; the perfect society, whether it be a utopian society or a totalitarian society; the perfect state of being, whether it be a state of grace or of chaos.
What is obviously emerging from these preliminary remarks so far is a series of dualities: the real and the ideal, the human (all-too-human) and the transcendent (more-than-human), justice and injustice good and evil, to the point. Life, and human life, as any reflective person knows, are a commingling of dualities more often than not contradictory and conflicting dualities that separate, estrange, alienate individuals personally and inter-personally from a comparatively consistent harmony and goodwill or as some would say: from complacency; which is just as well lest we become as contented, grazing cattle.
The obvious conclusion here is that are no absolutes regarding human affairs; and there need be no defense for this truth any longer in our age of relativity and uncertainty.
Yet there does remain embedded in the human psyche ideals to quest for regardless of the unattainability of their absolute realization. The next best thing, so long as ideals will ever continue to "plague" a certain large segment of humankind, is to seek and work toward a relative, or an approximate, idealism: an idealism that works in, not only a human, realistic framework, but in a transcendent framework as well since ideals are transcendent of the merely human element to us: our ego-sensual selves.
Let me term this form of idealism a realistic-idealism the balance between the reality of our humanness and the ideality of our transcendence . This realistic-idealism is first and foremost an individual, personal, matter, and only secondarily a social matter; since as we all know by now, from Plato's time to ours, it is the individually, singly and collectively, that ultimately determines the social structure of any given civilization. The great evil that hap -pens to man is when this individual-to-society process reverts upon itself as a society-to-individual process. hence the authoritarian state. And an authoritarian state is not simply the obvious fascist dictatorship or communist regime, but can be covertly, insidiously, sublim- inally, instilled in a so-called people's government, such as in a democracy, a republic, a socialist state. and this state of affairs prevails when a people's or citizen's government has lost its organic, vital lifeline to its citizens. Yes, they have the vote, and through their collective efforts, can add or delete a constitutional amendment here and there. And this is good. We can effect our government toward progress and the betterment of the citizen politic and ethic.
This is the mighty and cherished freedom that a people's government proffers its citizens. Yet something gargantuan gradually seeps into the system in the course of events and human nature, and that is a vast bureaucratic machinery of power and politics that lands in the lap of the privileged few -- the democratic "nobility," "aristocracy." This elite political class, with high finance behind them, while professing to be executing the people's will, in fact separ- ates, and consequently alienates,the people's concerns from the government's concern in the name of the people's concerns! and how do they do this in general? By distancing the debate of an issue from its execution so far apart, and through such a nexus of resistance, that only the few can persevere with very few issues unless these individuals can mobilize hundreds of thousands in their support. Only then will the government heed the people's voice and sentiments.
And still what always remains in a classless society, is a division of the elite political-economic class from the populace: an moral and humanitarian division.
Pinpointing this division between government and populace is by no means lodged as a criticism against a people's government; for such a government makes possible a mostly free, mobile, society; and compared to world governments historically, such a government will always remain a sacred gift of life. But even so, the tenor of our times demands not only social and personal freedom, but a self-freedom, as well; and this level of freedom far trans- cends both the capabilities and interests of a populace government. It solely is mostly an individual matter, and collectively. The governing body is concerned with the populace as a whole within a framework of vested, private and corporate interests. Their main concern is to maintain the status quo in matters of national and inter national interests. And this status quo is largely determined by a collective moral-social-political-economical-religious con -sciousness that is handed down generation after generation mostly intact even though the seams of the tradition are slowly coming apart. Very few are acutely aware that these seams are coming apart, and still very few can do anything about it within or without the political caucus. And why can hardly a thing be done? Because there is essentially no plan or schemata effective enough to make even a dent in the gigantic bureaucratic scheme of things. Surely there are beneficial changes enough in matters of social equality and justice once the people collectively clamor loudly and threateningly enough. Yet it is always such a major struggle to wake the government up to the injustices, inequities, negligences, inaccur- acies either it or the private sector of the wealthy perpetrate upon the people. Its eyes are closed so long as the people's eyes are closed; and it makes sure that their eyes remain closed, if not violently as in authoritarian states, then subliminally in matters of social and personal benefits, of pleasant media diversions.
And yet it is not only a free government that subliminally exploits, misleads, and oppresses its people, but the people themselves do so even more than the government. The private sector of the wealthy and not-so wealthy can be the worst exploiters of the people; they are the ones who influence and determine mainly in their own interests not only political and economic policies, but attitudes, styles, trends, values, beliefs, mannerisms all of which are designed to enhance and secure their status as the "beautiful people." Yes, they do give to charities and institutions, but no more than would even come near to jeopardizing their financial or social status.
This is the Great White Lie; which says, in effect, that profit, power, and pleasure are what rule the world of men and women; and if you enter our ranks and believe me we will not make it easy for you you too will be an exceptional person who is admired and who can rule your own little world; and perhaps society if you go into politics. Those of the wealthy who are not so highly ambitious for the office of affairs, then they can be content with the prom- ise that all their desires will be granted The Great White Lie. And why is it the Great White Lie? Because wealth and power, and certainly not least of all, pleasure the three "pillars of society" do not make the exceptional person, do not satisfy one's every desire, do not make one "beautiful, except at cocktail parties and premiers and lecture circuits; and every sensible, experienced person, whether rich or poor, knows the truth of this without need of demonstration.
Then why are they so powerful an influence over almost everyone and everything? Because money buys, power controls, and pleasure delights. Little more need be said in their defense and for their reason for existence. The more money, obviously the more you can buy; the more power, obviously the more you can control; and the more one has, possessions and control the more pleasure one experiences.
Little wonder then why almost everyone if given an opportunity will strive first and foremost for this tripartite of human endeavors regardless of the personal and interpersonal price it exacts from its disciples; despite the negative tags attached to this tripartite: that power corrupts, that power dehumanizes, that pleasure degrades each in their extreme, of course.
Let's not take the extremes of high positions of power, high finance, magnified pleasures, and rather look at the everyday man and woman with their little corner of power, profit, and pleasure. Are these the unfortunate of the world, since they in effect never "made it big?" They may have their little shops, their little jobs, their little families and friends unassum- ing, all of it. Are they the good people, the exploited people, the "salt of the earth?" Let us not delude ourselves. Given half the chance, many of these "little" people would be no less corrupt or possessive of their high position in society than those who have it already. They just didn't have "what it takes," or the opportunity, to make it in a big way. It is not that they are any the more noble, or just, or humanitarian than those who "made" it.
My point is that regardless of social class, the same personal differences and similarities in people can be found in any class, in any society. There are the basically moral minded, or the basically amoral-minded, or the basically immoral-minded in whatever class. It just so hap- pens that the amoral and the immoral form a larger segment of a given population than the moral. And no judgment is made here; only a fact. And to give a clearer picture of these three types in the briefest fashion: in matters of justice and sympathy, the moral minded are very concerned; the amoral-minded are hardly concerned; and the immoral-minded are not at all concerned. And seeing that our tripartite of power, profit, and pleasure, far outweigh moral considerations when in conflict, the obvious conclusion confronts one with hardly a doubt.
Yet it is matters of justice and sympathy (or humanity) that in a free society balances and checks injustice and apathy, rampant as they are. and it is issues of justice and sympathy that advance the culture of a free society so that the intellect, reason, does not predominate abstractly, remotely, from human affiliation.
The lower classes in general (and I speak always in general), though not possessed, nor obsessed, with power, profit, and high pleasure, are nonetheless predominantly controlled by a lesser trio of compulsions, which are: sex, self, and stimulation. While the elite classes are involved with all six psychic outlets, but with power, pleasure, and profit in the extreme; the lower classes are involved with the six oppositely, that is, with hardly any power or profit, and many fewer pleasures than the elite classes.
The main point not judgment being made from these comments is that man in general, is not a too admirable biped, that we are mainly a race of voluptuaries; and in a phrase: not to expect too much good to come out of him. There will always be certain definite patterns he will follow that are more self-serving than altruistic or loving, due to his basic ego-sensual nature. And this is true of most men and women (not "in general"). After all, is it not a natur -al truism that one must take care of his own interests (family and other loved ones included) before those of others. Yet, this truism is wrought with so many complications that one must trust his or her own moral, sympathetic, judgment when these complications arise. For this, a far-reaching wisdom is necessary; and is there such a wisdom? I would say, yes, but scat- tered all over the place, that one does not know where to turn.
And yet there is a saving grace: that transcendent part of us that displays itself in ways and works of love: in sympathetic understanding; in acts of justice, generosity, courage, consid- eration, and all the other moral virtues; in shows of affection, care and concern. It is the saving grace that strives to transcend one's sensual-ego nature for one's own benefit as well as others. It is the grace that refuses to submit to human frailty altogether, that continues the heroic struggle for self-freedom which is a relatively strong freedom from the limited confines of the ego sensual nature. It is a grace that is an expression of the eternal in us ("God has put eternity in man's mind") struggling to make itself conscious mainly through the morally, sympathetic minded individuals. and it is these individuals in the bulk who are misled into thinking that all or most people are inwardly, however camouflaged it may be, seeking the good of this eternal element dwelling in all men and women. What they fail to understand, or to be able to deal with, is that approximately two-thirds of mankind have not the slightest inkling or interest in such an eternal element, however implanted in them it is. They want life here and now enshrouded, enshrined even, in the misty illusion-delusion of the paramount self that means life and everything to them. Self is what they know and what they want more and more of. Self is their identity, not some otherworldly eternal element, call it soul, if you will. It has no value for them here and now; if it did, then they would consider it but from the vantage point of their dear self.
And so if it's a choice between self and soul, let us assume that two-thirds of the human race would choose...you know what. and there is hardly any contending this brute fact of reality. And if it is true, as the philosopher Leibnitz once said, that this is the best of all possible worlds, then moral idealists have to eventually acknowledge that this present empirical reality depends more on the promotion of self than on soul.
And this fact of reality is why so many philosophies and moralities, and utopian ideals fail, and always will fail. This includes religion as well; because however most people may pay deference, and biases, to organized religion, the fact of the matter is that very few so-called religious people are actually truly religious in their daily lives. Everyone knows this, and everyone can spot religious cant or pretense if they are not blinded by some psychological dysfunction, and in need of a surrogate bond that they cannot get from another human being or from life in general.
What then is to be concluded from this basic premise, or assumption, that two-thirds (more or less) of the human race are ruled by self overtly or covertly and the other third (more or less) are ruled by soul? Simply this: most people, however they may profess to the con-trary, are more selfish than selfless. No great revelation in this truth; yet a truth that is so disguised, so misunderstood, that a great many of the selfless ones suffer irreparable psychic harm. They are the ones that find it almost impossible to feign selfishness because of their almost single-minded devotion to truth and right and grace; whereas the great majority of the selfish have no problem whatsoever in feigning selflessness to attain their ends. And the selfless ones are almost invariably seduced into the web of their pretense, or out and out guile.
We have an idea, now, that as to the dictates of human nature, there is not much improving the race in matters of love, peace, and virtue (or morality); for overall, Self predominates over soul; and the bulk of those who are amoral and immoral far outweigh the moral-minded. Schopenhauer put this state of affairs in the last century in a similar fashion when he placed people into one of three categories: that of egoism, malice, and loving-kindness. In my scheme, egoists are the amoral persons, the malicious ones are the immoral persons, and the loving-kind individuals are the moral persons.
So much, then, for human nature. Why then the unending struggle to improve its lot, when two thirds of the people are either not worth it or don't want it? Well, there is the other third of whom the majority are either lost, confused, isolated, disoriented, searching, and/or are enmeshed in the value-belief system of the other two-thirds. And one-third of, let us say, 10 million people is three and one-third million, which is quite a number of people, who, on the whole, are more concerned for people and human relationships than for money and all its trappings. Not that they turn their backs on, or their noses up, at money and success (many do, of course), but that they will not compromise their personal values or relationships for them. Not to say that this type of person is not vain nor acquisitive, nor sensual, nor unpleas- ant, lustful, nor aggressive, nor has not a share of all the negative human traits that human flesh is "heir to." The difference is that these traits do not predominate in their nature overall; and if they do, such individuals are emotionally and psychologically disoriented, fragmented, and they suffer. The moral individual is continuously striving, struggling for self-realization in both the psychological and transcendent sense of the word. Their ultimate concern for themselves is a kind of heroism: the day-to-day struggle to gain the inner strength to bear the "vicissitudes of outrageous fortune" which in good part, more or less, is the process of being alive, living and interacting with others; and their ultimate concern for others is to promote as far as he or she can their happiness: the alleviation of physical,and emotional, and soul pain. Now these others are not only those who are of the good and worthy, but are for anyone who is in need or is suffering. And it is this trait,which in particu- lar, which make the do-gooders lose the proper perceptive in discriminating between those who are worthy, and those who are not those who will bite the hand that feeds them.
Certainly there is no problem overall in helping and caring for those who are worthy; there is a problem in helping and caring for those who are unworthy, and that problem requires careful discrimination and judgment in the help and care given to such people. Not that they are not to help even the unworthy at times and in the right circumstances since the unworthy might very well be one's own relatives or associates, fellow workers, and the like; it is just that one must keep ever vigilant to such persons, realize that they can be nothing but unworthy, and most importantly, that one is helping and caring because of the type of person one is, whose main concern is for humanity, good or bad, worthy or unworthy. As for those who will naturally bite your hand for your help, well, your efforts with such people would be as dangerous to your well-being as attempting to embrace a shark. So if you want the very likelihood that your help and concern will turn against you at your own detriment, then by all means do such a rash, blind act of goodness.
So we see that human interaction in a beneficial, progressive way is not a futility, or meaningful only to the very few. One third of a given population is not the very few. And surely if there is benefit and progress for a majority of the one-third populace, then surely that benefit and progress will spill over to the other one-third of those who are mainly indifferent to and fearful of matters other than what concerns them personally (the amoral type). And as for the remaining third (the immoral), they will be the ones who will oppose all such benefit and progress, and will struggle with all their might to discourage and strangle any that is made.
The amoral are capable of siding with either the immoral or moral. It is the task of the moral-minded to not only keep themselves and their own intact, but to win over as many as they can of the amoral to the side of union and harmony; whereas it is as much the task of the immoral-minded to keep everyone, their own class included, as separated and fragmented as possible. They thrive on disorder just as surely as the moral-minded thrive on order. So this is the true fight between good and evil for the moral-minded: to protect and promote not only one's own identity whether predominantly good or predominantly evil but to enlist as many as possible of the amoral (or indifferent, overall) class on one's side. There is no way that the immoral will ever be reformed or transformed into moral, just agents; just as it is impossible for the moral ones to ever change into immoral, unjust agents. It is the amoral class: those for whom self predominates, that can be molded into one or the other class according to their own advantage, and not from conviction or sentiment. They can be just as stirred to commit crimes as they can to commit acts of benevolence if they are motivated from fear or duty or greed or lust, or profit. Whatever extreme act they may commit, it is not done primarily from loving-kindness nor from malice, but from egoism self-interest.: "What am I to get out of it: what control or profit or vanity will I accrue by doing this act? What will enhance my love of self? what will make others love, admire, fear, need me?" And if they do not commit the worst deeds, it is mainly from fear, of self-vanity, of being needed, that curbs them, not justice nor love. And if they do commit the worst deeds, then they do so free from this fear, and in promise of self-aggrandizement. In either case, they are neither basically good nor basically evil, but basically self-directed; and according to the particular physical and psychological makeup of the individual, he or she will be more inclined to immoral or moral acts. In the end, what is right for them is the preservation and promotion of their self; just as what is right for the moral-minded is the preservation and promotion of justice and love, and for the immoral-minded the preservation and promotion of injustice and hatred.
This threefold schemata of human nature is a viewpoint safe to assume in the main. It is simplified, I admit over-simplified many perhaps will think; but one that, after long years of observation, study, and reflection, on human nature has led me to believe its truth; and one that people themselves in my own experience, other's experience, documented experience, bear out the truth of it. The immense difficulty, of course, is the actual labeling of people as belonging to one or the other class. Human camouflage is such a subtle nexus and labyrinth of conditioning that often to attempt to sift out, or unravel one's true self is as immensely complicated as splitting the atom. One must have to understand oneself and others acutely before a safe judgment can be made; and this often takes years of attentive self-observation and psychological knowledge.
Of course not all people are that difficult to define as belonging to one or the other class if we simply added up the facts; yet our own needs, our own insecurity, our own loneliness, often blinds us to the most obvious conclusions about people. Frequently they are either stupidly or naively obvious whatever the mask or front they might assume. But the moral-minded want or expect everyone to be good; they feel that whatever bad that issues from people, is the result of only unfortunate conditioning or unfortunate situations. These individuals are just as mistaken as the immoral-minded who believe that everyone is basically immoral as they are; and it is just a matter of what price or fear any individual is willing make in order to compromise or corrupt one's so called goodness or self-directedness. This same way of thinking applies to the amoral who believe that everyone basically is selfish; that it all comes down to "me-first" in the final analysis.
My concern in this essay, is however, not to prove my case as regards any theory of human nature, but to consider a fairly representative and realistic approach to human nature as regards the probability of establishing a viably functioning society-within-a-society: a society of benefits, of independents. And I believe that the proposition that people are either predominantly and this is the key word moral, amoral, or immoral is sound. that they are equally distributed: one-third, one-third, one-third is perhaps less tenable and provable; it could be more or less from each class. I don't think that precise statistics has much relevance in the matter; what is important is an approximate division of figures. The important, or I should say, essential point is that there are these three types of individuals, and that perceiving and understanding this division, as well as determining who is what, is what has to be learned in the generations to come. And besides scientific and moral inquiries into this matter, what else is needed is of human interaction a rich field from which to collect data for processing and theorizing toward this understanding of human nature and interaction. and this rich field I am bold to say can come into effective reality not only in a free society but in a free human interaction between people. and for this free human interaction to develop, human beings have to be relatively free from unnecessary fears: psychological fears, economic fears, religious fears, personal pain and fears. John Lennon sums it up lyrically in his song "Instant Karma:"
Why in the world are we here?
surely not to live in pain and fear.
And this free human interaction I venture to say can develop in an inner, apolitical, non-denominational society of mutual interests, benefits, and services; a society in which each member not only belongs as a remote member, but personally participates as he or she wills to maintain and promote the welfare of its members. You might say that the political society of which they belong is their vocation, whereas the beneficial society of which they belong is their avocation.
The first stage, then for such a beneficial society to come into being is to set forth in print its philosophy, plan and purpose. The second stage is simply to begin it on the basis of that plan and purpose. With this in mind, let us begin the first stage of our enterprise.
What is it that will interlock each separate part of our invisible, amorphous, edifice to the whole structure, as though each part invisibly connected to every other part however remote in space, or cyberspace, it lies? And since this edifice is to be a vital, vibrant, living society of human interaction, this interlocking must be a network of ideas and ideals consolidated into a visible format that is the meeting place, so to speak, of all participants. This format will be the public benefit's publication, titled Transition.
Transition is to be a social and cultural periodical divided into five main sections: (1) brief capsulations of major social, personal, cultural, and scientific news stories; (2) passages on all significant topics by both contemporary and classical sources; (3) services' information; (4) a calendar of events within and without the society; and (5) contributions of writings, art, etc. by the society's members.
NOTE: At this writing, and on this site, Transition consists of only section (2), as stated above.
Beyond this website, each member of our inner society will receive a copy of Transition free of charge at each periodical release. This is the vital artery linking each member conceptually to each other member and, to the inner society as a whole. It is not a partisan publication, but one inviting all views not only for the society, but against it as well. All channels will be open so that all views can be considered short of out-and-out degradation or depravity, or anarchy, or any ideology or philosophy or psychology that endorses the abuse of human dignity. Diversity of content within a framework of unity is to be the tone and coloration of its purpose. And this framework of unity is a just perspective of human nature in all its diversity within an attitude of tolerance, acceptance, and understanding in this order of development if necessary.
As an intellectual publication, its function is to disseminate all ideas that will directly or indirectly promote the gaining of understanding that will lead to a growing balance between the all too-human in us and the more-than-human in us; in other words, an understanding that will lead to a human-transcendence. All views that oppose this state of being, will be considered fairly so long as they are not destructive of the wisdom that holds people together, individually and collectively within our society. Closed minds, authoritarian personalities, fundamentalist distorters, malice bearers, backbiters, name-callers, and all the rest will be free to express their views in Transition in keeping with our principle of being open to all types and diversities of lifestyles, beliefs, and values. The rub, however, is that the admitting of such destructive elements will serve more as a bracing tonic to the fundamental tenets wisdom of human-transcendence than as an influence. Those views will contribute to our further understanding of human nature, its ways and wiles; will strengthen us against their adverse intentions. And what are their "adverse intentions", in short? To paralyze the human spirit into the calcification of dogma and institutionalization, into interpreting the world in their terms only and thereby disregarding, even condemning, all beliefs and values that do not agree or accord with their own. In one manner of speaking, I am making a judgment on all such crystallized views as being detrimental to the progress of human consciousness.
And yet, in another manner of speaking I am not making such a judgment, but rather attempting to apply my own philosophy of openness to the diversity of life and human life, however contrary to my views. And this attempt is to see others who are opposed to an open, eclectic way of seeing and living life as those who live by an ancient biblical code of morals and religion as suited for such a value-belief system. In other words, there are minds which naturally gravitate toward a one-dimensional philosophy or religion of life; one which requires neither thought nor responsibility. These individuals have no other choice but to follow blindly, like sheep what their leading proponent of ideas propound, whether he is an ancient sage, A Christ or a Buddha, or other charismatic leader of ancient or modern, or contemporary times. There are more than enough of these leaders in every age, and certainly in ours.
Such leaders or charismatics have no religious or philosophical system of their own, so they speak in the name of Jesus or Buddha, or the I Ching,or whoever else of ancient times. They believe themselves to be messengers of these God-men, and so their power of personality perpetrate not the essential message of these mystics of God, but their ritual, their ethical dogma, the catechism of a rigid, orthodox religious institution. These one-dimensional class of people, who neither think for themselves, nor take moral responsibility for their actions require such leaders to tell them how to live, to threaten them with hell fire, to promise them heaven. They are not capable of grasping the essentiality of all world religions; namely that God is at the core and quick of all of us, and so can be realized, not on one's knees but on one's own; not in a church but in one's mind; not only in the hereafter but here and now.
Accordingly, they cling to the creed, the dogma, the ritual, the catechism, of a religion. And if they find their salvation and/or consolation in an institutionalized church or a sect, the do-gooders obviously will want to spread the word to save and console all others without distinction. So with their leaders, evangelists, they spread the word of blind faith, conformity, and obedience, of sin. The same pattern of doctrinization, of leader-followers, applies in the secular world of politics, with the exception that the autocrats themselves demand strict adherence and obedience to the State, and to its leaders as the preservers of this secular deity.
And again, this same pattern applies on a much lower, but no less influential, level of Family, Tradition, Brotherhood, a Philosophy or Psychology of life.
Yet it doesn't much matter what is deified; the point is that in slavishly paying obeisance to a closed system, these adherents close their minds to any merits of other possibilities. this belief value system is a closed, airtight vacuum that maintains their identity, their security, their solace; and so will permit nothing to threaten these. And understandably so, since they cannot think for themselves in such conceptual matters as God, son of God, eternity, State, Economics, the Unconscious, and so forth. And since people overall need a belief or faith in something beyond their limited selves, they must latch on to something solid, certain, of long-standing, such as Christianity, Buddhism, the State, the Family anything or anyone but themselves. This is just the way it is with our humanity in good part in this suffering, enigmatic reality of life and dying. And if one's mind can neither plumb, nor accept, nor deal with, the unknowable, with uncertainty, with meaninglessness, on the one hand; and with the possibility of an eternal world of God as Truth, or Bliss, or Meaning, or Spirit, or Love, and Mind, and so forth, on the other hand, then all the more must it cling to God as a Person: infinitely and eternal perfect, good, wise, and loving who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. This makes sense to the one-dimensional way of understanding anything beyond perceptual reality. They are the children of an all-embracing Deity who will care for them , if not in this life, then in the after-life.
This simplistic religious not spiritual approach suits this type of individual, and it would be not only futile to dissuade such people from this way, but detrimental as well; since overall their minds cannot make the leap from organized religion to pure spirituality. They would be empty vessels were it taken away from them. There is this respect due to them. In their way, religion inspires them to love, to good works, to prayer, even though they may not be genuine or consistent, or live their lives in accord with the ethical and religious principles of their church.
And of course, regarding those who give all obeisance to the State and ruler, or family, and whatever else,they will similarly be subject to the same patterns as the religious minded.
In respect to our publication, this class of people will be free to air their views in keeping with our openness to diversity. And since not all members of our inner society open-minded, progressive individuals, this type of dogmatic mind will be addressing and influencing persons of their own persuasion. This is as it should be for our society. Yet, on the other hand, these dogmatic persons are to show the same respect for views foreign, and even threatening to their own. There is yet another class of individuals, who think, not one dimensionally, but we might say two-dimensionally. They will consider both the dogmatic way of thinking as well as the open-minded way of thinking but predominantly for one purpose: to analyze and criticize. This is the skeptical type, who in his own way, is just as closed minded as the dogmatic type. This is the type of mind that questions rather than answers, who is more concerned with problems than with solutions. They consider their peculiar virtue as being the gadfly who criticizes and analyzes, to take apart and find fault; to take nothing at face value. These are the skeptics, the agnostics, the atheists, the icono- clasts, the nihilists, the cynical. For them, in the main, nothing is absolute only relative; nothing is true, only the facts, what is. They do not understanding or read. nor listen, nor speak, for enlightenment, but to question, deny, disprove.
And then there is a whole class of individuals who in Thoreau's words who live lives, more or less in "quiet desperation"; who overall are a confused mass of contradictions in matters of personal identity and self-realization. They all their lives seek one form or another of wis- dom, whether in a religion, a philosophy, a moral code, or even a psychology. And perhaps for many of these unfortunates, everything helps a little, whatever they may delve into for answers, but never ultimately. They might end up in a religion that earlier in their lives they had renounced for lack of anything more enlightening; or they come to believe that man (or the state, or the family, or whatever else human-devised) is the measure of all things. Or they might simply resign themselves to a life that has no more meaning than merely living and dying. Or they may have given up on all ways and creeds and means to finding any transcendent answers to their lives; and so become just as in different to metaphysical matters as they feel the world is to them, and everyone and everything else as well. Life-as-absurdity is their answer to the meaning of life.
These three main classes of readership of Transition, and as members of our society, will voice their viewpoints in our periodical, and will appeal to members of their own persuasion. And within these types will be the moral, amoral, and immoral types as well. In essence, there will be a little something in the periodical for everyone; and is as it is supposed to be.
The key to the success of this eclectic approach is that our periodical is not to be simply an intellectual conveyer of ideas but a sympathetic flow of feelings and sentiments.
And it is this sympathetic element, not only in the periodical, but in the society as well, that will be the great equalizer between its members; certainly not the intellectual element. If anything, the various intellectual factor will tend to separate individuals than to consolidate them. It is the sympathetic flow that will offset the clash between intellectual views, and keep the members together in consolidation, which is the ultimate end of this beneficial society.
The Public Benefit will have no "central office," so to speak; it will be everywhere and nowhere, so to speak, in all its endeavors. Its endeavors, however will be centralized in net-space on the internet, and in communities everywhere as Community Educultural Centers.
The main purpose of these Community Educultural Centers will be to provide an environment complementary to children's and youth's school and home a place of their own which promotes an appreciation and enthusiasm for education, culture, play, and interaction. The philosophy of each community educultural center is the development of children's and youths' full potentials through contextual understanding and self-understanding.
Regarding the education aspect of these community educulural centers in particular, it is a critical-creative thinking education which teach students to understand what they are reading at the same time as they read. They do not receive this training in their regular schooling. The name of this in-depth education is Studies in Meaning.
COMMUNITY EDUCULTURAL CENTERS
The Community Educultural Centers: An Essay
The Community Educultural Centers: A Brochure
The Community Educultural Centers: A Charter
One of the The Public Benefit's main functions is to sponsor and support the forthcoming Community Educultural Centers for the benefit of children, youth, and adults everywhere possible, which is explained in detail below in the essay and the brochure.
As this is a very complex endeavor, rather than go into these complexities on this site, my wife and I will gladly respond to those who are seriously interested in being involved as regards the business and philosophy of operating these centers . Please read the following material for an overall view.
The Community Educultural Centers: An Essay
Joseph and Sharon
My wife and I, as parents and educators, envision a place for our three children for all children and youth : a haven where they can go after school, weekends, holidays, anytime, any day, when they are bored, when they want diversion, when they want challenge, when they want companionship; a place where they can be safe, where they can be with their friends; where even, say, on New Year's Day, after being with their family for a good part of the day, they can go for recreation, play, culture, even academics if they so wish; a place where they will be excited about learning and creating in a social, interactive environment; a place to help us raise our children with as high standards as we would have for them; a place in which the cost is so minimal that it is not even an issue, a place where members of the community make a small contribution each month for the benefit of each child.
This is what our children deserve, what all worthy children deserve.
Yet there is no such place, and there should be, and there must be.
Children need such a place almost as soon as now.
Why such urgency?
In answer, my wife and I are experiencing first hand an underlying disquietude about our children's education and socialization. Two of our three sons, ages eleven and six, attend good public schools, and the youngest son, three years old, a Montessori preschool. At home after school they play, do their homework, watch television, play video games, and interact with us intermittently. On the weekends and holidays, they follow much the same pattern except more extendedly, interspersed with family outings and time with friends.
By all standards, we are a fairly well-adjusted, close, struggling family with its particular problems, as with all families more or less. Yet something is disturbingly wrong, is glaringly missing, in our children's lives; and that missing link has to do with their overall inadequate education and social isolation. We have known for many years that our children, and children in general, are not being educated to their full potential; nor are they being socially interactive enough with other children in their community.
As regards children's inadequate education, my wife and I are convinced that public educa- tion needs another teaching dimension, a new academic perspective, to deal with the prolif- eration of knowledge flooding the minds of children mainly through the various media of music, television, movies, magazines and now that vast reservoir of information (and misinformation): the internet. given the lack of intellectual preparation of so many children and youth, how are they able to assimilate or evaluate much of this information, or to discern misinformation? Does not such discernment have to be taught mainly through an education in critical and creative thinking? Yet the schools do not teach these disciplines except indirectly, if that, through other school subjects.
The same circumstances consequent upon children's inadequate education apply also to their social isolation. How can children of this generation on entering adulthood "make a difference" and all well-intentioned parents would like their children to make at least a little difference to a burgeoning, complex society when they have little or no interaction with other children except one or two friends? How will they be able to compare and contrast various ideas, beliefs and values of a wide range of people in their own culture and from other cultures if they have had little or no interaction with them from childhood on? Book learning helps, quality movies and television shows help, the arts help; but these are insu- fficient by themselves without actual interpersonal assimilation of their learned knowledge. The world is closing in on us politically, economically, intellectually, technologically, artis- tically, philosophically, psychologically. Are our institutions preparing children and youth adequately for this burgeoning of international exchange and relations? Or are the guardians of these institutions themselves unprepared to meet the demands of the tumultuously changing world perspectives and events for which even they have not been educated prop- erly? Is it a matter of the blind leading the blind?
So, here we are, one of innumerable disconcerted, discontented, parents who seem helpless against a bureaucracy, which is itself floundering against the tide of miscalculated decisions affecting our children's education and lives for better or worse mostly for worse, as the news of the day tells us.
In response to this disheartening course of events, my wife and I have spent the past four- teen years creating, developing, and teaching a distinctive critical-creative thinking curric- ulum in preparation for it to be taught in community educultural centers everywhere. The implementation of these two undertakings we emphatically believe will begin the first stages toward a major solution to the educational and social crises facing children almost every- where. essay following this preface, it will ring clear to the receptive reader that there is hope after all for children everywhere. All that is needed is the mobilization of vast numbers of people to support this innovative and monumental enterprise: an in-depth education taught in community educultural centers supported by the people.
It is time again to perform a miracle on par with the majestic feat of the 1969 moon walk by preparing children for their walk into the future of untold possibilities and uncertainties. Let us again take that "one small step for man and one giant step for mankind."
To get this monumental task underway, what is needed first and foremost is MOTIVATION, MANPOWER AND MONEY. And all three of these are "out there" in abundance waiting to be tapped for the right cause; and what better cause is there than the benefit of our children, and so of ourselves, and so of our community, and so of our country.
When we look back, let us be confident that we provided the children of our generation the opportunities that prepared them to meet their future in an interrelated global society.
Two troubling issues face us regarding the children in our generation and beyond: their social isolation and inadequate education. This essay addresses these two issues and offers their solutions.
PART ONE: Regarding their Social Isolation
A Place of Their Own
We say that children are our most valuable resource, that it is they who will "inherit the earth" and make it a better place for all. But are we preparing them for the task? Not very well, if we observe them from a socially interactive perspective. They are either alone at home doing next to nothing, or on the streets doing "who knows what?"; are either over-watching television or, more positively, taking periodic enrichment classes. In any case, they have little or no constructive relationships with other children in their neighborhood.
Overall they are bored, aimless, inactive, with little to do, with nowhere to go, and with hardly anyone to interact with. If they need help in school, who can they turn to? If they have no friends (not schoolmates), where can they be found? What are they to do, where are they to go, on Saturdays and Sundays or on school holidays? Where are the creative and recreational activities that can help cultivate their minds and bodies?
They need beauty in their lives, they need challenge, they need understanding; they need something of their own together, that they can be proud of, that they can be responsible for, that can give them confidence and self-esteem, as well as a growing awareness of community cohesiveness.
The children need to come together!
Is this possible? Well, let us imagine it to be possible and then turn it into a reality.
Imagine children engaged in a hive of activities that both uplift and challenge them! See them conducting scientific experiments, rehearsing a play, studying critical thinking, comparing and contrasting literary ideas, listening to and discussing meaningful music, interpreting poetry, giving speeches, viewing and commenting on video documentaries, reading quality books. You will see them studying, relaxing and playing in an individual and group setting that foster both personal and interpersonal achievement.
Imagine again that all these educational and cultural activities happen at a youth center for children, ages six through twelve, or for teenagers; that they happen after school, seven days a week, all year round; that they happen at a place of their own: a place of uplift and enthusiasm; a place that is clean, cheerful, bright, inviting, fun, and safe; a place where children study, relax, and play in an atmosphere of camaraderie.
Imagine further that these youth centers have a distinctive educational program that teaches them how to understand what they read through a critical-creative thinking program that will not only complement their regular schooling, but will enhance it as well.
Imagine even further that these youth centers are staffed be degree-qualified, experienced, and dedicated professionals; and are independently supported, operated, and protected by each community.
Imagine lastly that these youth centers are in every community bearing the same excellent quality though affordable for everyone.
Taken as a whole, the core of these youth centers is to consist of academics, culture, and recreation. In which case, they are more precisely to be called educultural youth centers.
All this may sound too good to be true; yet, I'm sure the formation of the United States as a government for and by the people seemed just as, if not more, utopian in its day and political climate. Yet it happened. And these educultural youth centers can happen too. And just as the Declaration of Independence secured the three basic rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," for all the people, so these educultural community centers will secure for all the children three basic privileges: a depth education, a broad culture, and a place of their own to develop these. That this event should happen, would have as momentous an impact on man and civilization as the founding of the United States of America. Value the children and we change the world!
As regards the initiation of this high endeavor the eventual implementation of these educultural community centers everywhere we need to reach the people: those of good will, insight, and concern for the children in their community. And there are many such people. We need next to convince the people of the validity, the integrity, and the value of this endeavor. There should be little problem with this, since twenty-two years have gone into the research, preparation, and teaching for this enterprise which includes: (1) the conception and development of a critical-creative thinking curriculum called Studies In Meaning©, (2) pilot afterschool programs in three public schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District from 1990 through 1994, and (3) a handbook delineating the various phases of this project.
Everything considered, then, let us awaken each other to the urgency for these educultural community centers. Let them be a unifying social force weaving themselves beneficially throughout the social fabric. Accordingly, it is not only our own children we must be concerned about, but, indirectly, all the children in our range of influence. Since they are to succeed us, let us be assured that we did everything possible in our own small way to provide the opportunities necessary for each child to fulfill his own individual and social potentials. In this way, society as a whole will be benefited.
Granted, then, that these youth centers have a vital social need, their success, individually and collectively, depends essentially on the strength of their curriculum as a complement and enhancement to children's regular school curriculum. This strength lies in the aforementioned critical-creative thinking program called Studies In Meaning which teaches understanding through an integrated-interactive learning process.
PART TWO: Regarding Their Inadequate Education
An Education In Understanding
Do children overall understand their textbooks? Do they even read them, or do they merely memorize or track answers to text questions? And relatedly, is the quality of their education preparing them for the future, for the kind of society they are going to live in? The gravity of these questions are cause for concern, if not alarm, for they underlie the current reading crisis and considerable chaos in education.
Any parent who is abreast of the current issues in American education knows that something is not quite right with their children's schooling regardless of whether they are failing, getting by, or excelling in their studies. Something clearly is missing; and in a word, it is understanding contextual understanding, to be precise.
Textbook comprehension exercises require that students understand what they read, when in fact, understanding of complex textbook material often involves careful analysis and synthesis (summarization, title, theme, main idea, etc.) which are necessary steps to comprehension. Yet, standard textbooks do not teach comprehension; they assume that students have that ability already, or if not, then can have it "if they think hard enough." It is this dubious assumption that touches the nerve of the current crisis in education, because the very meaning of the word 'comprehension' implies "an understanding [author's italics] of the object of thought in its entire compass and extent "; which clearly goes beyond the average, and above average, student's textbook reading ability without some kind of training for that attainment.
To the point: The pedagogical weakness in standard textbook learning is that students answer comprehension questions after they read a section or chapter in their textbooks which casts doubt on whether they even read the material much less understand it; by which I mean, they can simply read the questions, then track the answers without having to read the material at all. This practice is known as finding the fact, which is one type of rote learning, meaning: mechanical learning by memory or repetition, etc. with little intelligence or reasoning applied which has its place in academics, since a good part of academics requires rote learning. My argument, however, is that something complementary to, something more substantial than, rote learning is needed in our times and urgently. [As a side note, current textbooks do attempt to minimize rote fact-finding and cursory reading, but in such a way that the study questions are framed in such complicated, comprehensive, inferential, and abstract terms that they only compound the problem by requiring students to "think hard" about what so many of them hardly even understand or bother to read.]
Another type of rote learning that has its failings is recognizing patterns; such as, "ly" at the end of words which signals adverbs. However, if students do not understand the meaning of an adverb, then they fail to recognize adverbs that are exceptions, such as, "not"; or think that "lovely", is an adverb because it ends "ly," when in fact it is an adjective.
Still another type of rote learning that fails students is memorizing definitions without understanding their meaning. Students' definition of a noun is the paradigm of the overall weakness of rote learning. Almost all students say that a noun is "a person, place, thing, or an idea"; yet, there is no such thing as a noun, nor such place, nor such person. A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea. Somehow students miss that essential phrase, "name of," which indicates that the function of a noun is to name anything; and with that understanding, students would be less inclined to confuse the function of nouns with the function of other parts of speech.
These comments lead to the conclusion that an education based primarily on rote learning is superficial at best, and is inadequate to meet the requirements of those students who need to understand what they read. A related consequence and a critical one in fact concerning this inadequate education is that since standard textbook learning methods do not teach understanding, students accordingly miss much of what they read, and so are inadequately prepared intellectually and psychologically to meet the demands of a highly sophisticated, competitive, troubled, and confused American society not to mention the world.
[By "the" solution, I mean it in regards to a new, distinctive curriculum, Studies In Meaning©, which teaches critical-creative thinking. There are, of course, other solutions to the present crisis in education other than curriculum.]
Granting, then, that understanding needs to be an integral part of education, how is it to be taught? Through critical thinking which is the current catchword among teachers and educators. But then we have to be very clear on the relationship between critical thinking and understanding; and accordingly, THREE QUESTIONS arise regarding this matter: (1) What is critical thinking, (2) What method would best teach it, and (3) Does such a teaching method exist?
In answer to the FIRST QUESTION, critical thinking, in the broadest terms, is the cognitive process by which a person can determine whether what he reads is true or false, effective or ineffective, sound or unsound, genuine or misleading. Skillful judgment is the mark of critical thinking.
Before answering the second question, we have first to consider that before students can critically evaluate a reading passage, they first have to understand it; and if they do not, they then have to know how to analyze its component ideas. This analysis is called analytical reading. Next, in order to comprehend the passage as a whole, they have to know how to synthesize (summarize, title, find the main idea, and theme, etc.) the material. In simple terms, then, critical thinking requires understanding, and understanding requires analytical and synthetical reading ability. The ideal, of course, is that this threefold intellectual process happens both simultaneously and instantaneously.
Now, to answer the SECOND QUESTION one point at a time. If we expect students to understand what they learn, then they are to be questioned coincidentally with their reading. Such a teaching procedure will ensure that students think through their reading material, not skim through it; and will engage them in an active, challenging, and individualized learning process through which they progress at their own level and pace.
These continual exercises are of the type in which students have to make distinctions, relationships, inferences, evaluations, projections; exercises that will teach careful and clear thinking patterns; will develop their analytical, synthetical, interpretative, and creative potentials.
This in general is the learning method that will effectively teach critical thinking; and will change the face of education.
What in particular is this method? Its name is Studies In Meaning©. It is a textbook curriculum based on the language arts, and its method is an integrated-interactive learning process.
As integrated, this method combines exercises in vocabulary, grammar, analytical reading, writing, creative thinking into one study whether of social studies, science, literature, logic, math, etc..
As interactive, this method requires that students be continually questioned analytically and creatively in vocabulary, grammar, and reading topics at the same time (or coincidently) that they read a given topic not after they read it.
In answer to the THIRD QUESTION, no such teaching method exists in the schools. But it does exist as a studybook curriculum (Studies In Meaning) that complements the regular school curriculum. Many hundreds of students have been benefited markedly from this distinctive critical-creative thinking method, privately, in afterschool programs in three elementary public schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District's, and in one elementary public school of the Redondo Beach Unified School District; and in regular school classes at Coushatta High School, Louisiana, at Hot Springs High School, Arkansas, and currently at 24th Street Elementary of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
In summary, Studies In Meaning is a critical-creative thinking program, and can be considered as depth learning as distinguished from rote learning.
Thinking, understanding, and meaning these are the criteria by which the quality of education will be measured in the near future; and hopefully your children will be part of this depth education.
PART THREE: Regarding The Solutions
The Proof of Conviction
So far this essay has articulated its two fundamental solutions to children's social isolation and inadequate education; it has next to convince its receptive reader that these solutions are both clear-sighted and levelheaded.
The idea of establishing these educultural-community-centers everywhere is a stupendous ideal; the actuality of them, however, would be just as stupendous an undertaking next to impossible, many would declaim.
What then would convince a person interested in contributing to these educultural-community-centers; yet who at the same time is skeptical that they could succeed in the long run? Would he not have to be convinced of the efficiency of their management, of the excellence of their service, and of the integrity of their purpose? For without integrity underlying these centers, however well-meaning their purpose, however well-organized their management, and however excellent their service, the sensitivity necessary to permanently sustain them would be lacking. For consider the adverse consequences of a well-meaning purpose without sensitivity to irresponsibility, or of an efficient management without sensitivity to incompetence, or of an excellent service without a sensitivity to mediocrity. It is integrity that provides this sensitivity, without which either rigidity or failure eventually prevails.
As understood, the main purpose of the educultural-community centers is to offer children in all communities a place of their own where they can fully develop educationally, culturally, and inter- relationally. The underlying integrity of these centers is to assure that the focus is foremost on this purpose; in which case, all facets of management and service reflect this integrity. This is an inter-dependent integrity as to the perfection of each part of the whole and their mutual interdependence
as a unity of purpose. Yet the basis of this interdependent integrity is a moral integrity that determines the effectiveness of this interdependence: a moral integrity in which sincerity, truthfulness, and honesty are its components coupled with the judgment to make distinctions between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, sympathy and pretense.
The management of the educultural centers motivated by this principle of integrity ensures that the centers are organized efficiently and consistently with the appropriate business forms, task assignments, qualified staff, monetary apportionment, public relations, staff relations, promotional strategies and an economic system based on equity and proportion to hold all the facets of management together. What- ever mistakes made in management will be due more to human fallibility or unexpected outside factors than to the integrity of their purpose.
Accordingly, the educultural services motivated by this principle of integrity ensures that the children will be taught, supervised and enriched by qualified and dedicated teachers and assistants whose main concern is that the children understand, enjoy, and appreciate their studies and activities.
The integrity of purpose of each of these youth centers unites all individual aspects together as one organically interwoven power of effect. Each person involved in a given center will have a stake in, a responsibility for, its success. Everyone collaborates individually, with his or her own specialty, for the benefit of the whole. Though each educultural-community center is autonomous according to its own particular environment, it nonetheless operates as one of a uniformity of youth centers.
Considering the ranges of human fallibility and diversity, a set of principles is set down to insure this uniformity that is rigid to integrity, though flexible to diversity; a uniformity that all persons agree to from the onset of their involvement. Accordingly, a charter of tenets serves as the document of uniformity for each and every educultural-community center.
A supervisory committee with representatives from management, service, and the community insures that the principles of the charter are upheld.
In perspective, then, the educultural-community centers employ the best of business, corporate, and governmental policies and practices without, however, being themselves either a business, corporation, or government. As a matter of fact, these educultural-community-centers differ radically from either of these institutions inasmuch as integrity first and foremost infuses all policies and practices. We might consider integrity to be the insignia that shines from and through the educultural centers everywhere.
As a closing remark, for those who are by now fairly convinced of the workability of these educultural youth centers, yet who might request some concrete evidence before committing themselves, a handbook is available on request. containing (1) a compilation of the various types of managerial forms, (2) the charter, (3) a sample of the Studies In Meaning curriculum, (4) letters of endorsement regarding the aforementioned afterschool programs at three elementary schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and (5) the statement of practices, objectives, strategies, and goals.
These educultural-community-centers are "ready to go," with their curriculum, their logistics, and their charter. What follows next is the distribution of this essay and the responses.
The Ideal Community Educultural Center
The main purpose of the Community Educultural Centers will be to provide an environment complementary to children's and youth's school and home a place of their own which promotes an appreciation and enthusiasm for education, culture, play, and interaction. The philosophy of each community educultural center is the development of children's full potential through understanding and self-awareness.
THE CORE PROGRAM
Studies In Meaning©. is a studybook program that develops critical-creative thinking based on the language arts. Its method is an integrated-interactive learning process. The study- book curriculum ranges from beginning reading through high school.
As integrated, this method combines exercises in vocabulary, grammar, English usage, analytical and synthetical reading, writing, and creative thinking, into one study of either social studies, science, literature, logic, math, etc. Each topic is interrelated with the other topics.
As interactive, this method requires that students be continually questioned analytically, synthetically, and creatively in vocabulary, grammar, English usage, and reading topics at the same time as they read
not after they read. This STUDY-AS-YOU-READ learning process ensures that students think through what they read, not skim through it.
Such a learning process teaches students careful and clear thinking patterns; and develops their analytical, comprehensive, interpretative, and creative potentials.
STUDIES IN MEANING© CURRICULUM
COURSE OF STUDIES
Academic (Studies In Meaning©) critical-creative thinking in the language arts)
science & social studies: (documentary videos / experiments / projects)
classical reading / vocabulary in context
memorization / concentration studies
homework assistance /
art / crafts / manuals
drama / speech /
music interpretation dance interpretation
board games / puzzles / physical games
THE MAIN FEATURES
OF THE COMMUNITY EDUCULTURAL CENTERS
is open to all children and youths seven days a week, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., year round, and secured at all times.
is located in the vicinity of its community public school(s).
has degree-qualified staff consisting of: a director, an instructional advisor, and instructors with assistants.
offers Studies In Meaning©, a critical-creative thinking curriculum, as well as academic and cultural studies, and recreational activities, during 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., seven days a week.
offers a class schedule to meet individual needs and choices.
has supervised free times: between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
is for the benefit of the community.
complements students' regular schoolwork is a non-profitable establishment.
is supported by small monthly contributions, and/or donations.
is counseled by a community advisory committee.
is guided by a constitutional charter.
has a structured business format.
is available for adult discussions, lecture groups, activities, and interests.
offers a free monthly educultural magazine.
Community Educultural Centers
Given the array of human beliefs and values, limitations and peculiarities, it is both necessary and desirable to formulate a charter which provides a structure for the organi- zation and governance of all Community Educultural Centers wherever located. The purpose of this charter is to promulgate guidelines which reinforce the integrity and standards of excellence of such Centers so as to that will insure a uniformity of integrity of purpose that assures all receptive children a place of their own for education, play, interaction, and culture and excellence, of service for all Community Educultural Centers everywhere.
This charter consists of the comprehensive and fundamental principles and tenets govern- ing each and every Community Educultural Center. As such, it sets forth the necessary and sufficient conditions by which any given Community Educultural Center is established and managed.
Accordingly, a written agreement to unconditionally abide by the charter is to be signed by each member of the Community's Advisory Committee prior to the initiation of a given Com- munity Educultural Center, and prior to the employment of personnel. Which means that the Community Advisory Committee is to be formed prior to a Community Educultural Center.
A copy of this charter is to be distributed freely to potentially and actually interested persons. All participants in a given Community Educultural Center are to familiarize them- selves with the contents of this charter so that there will be no misunderstandings as to its contents.
I: BASIC TENETS
The following tenets were conceived and formulated for the continuous benefit and security of all receptive children who are to receive in their respective Community Educultural Center an academic-cultural education in understanding as well as recreational activities that are complementary to their regular schooling and home life.
Title I. Concerning the Community Educultural Centers Charter
1. Each Community Educultural Center (hereafter: CEC) shall be self-contained and self-sufficient in its respective community, yet linked by the CEC Charter to all other CECs.
2. As self-contained and self-sufficient, each CEC shall handle its own affairs -- funding, management, promotion, etc., in accordance with the CEC Charter.
3. No principle or tenet of the CEC Charter shall be amended, unless it is deemed inherently insufficient as to the security and benefit of the Community's Educultural Centers' main pur- pose of providing children a place of their own for education, play, interaction, and culture, either individually and/or collectively, and for which the principles and tenets were formulated.
4. A principle or tenet of the CEC charter that is amended may or may not apply to more than one, or all, CECs, depending upon the special conditions and/or environment for which reason the amendment was made.
5. No principle or tenet may be added to the original charter unless it is necessary and sufficient to the security and benefit of the children in one or more CECs.
6. All additional principals, tenets, and amendments, to the charter will be added as an appendix to the original charter.
7. A decision to amend a principle or tenet requires a 2/3 majority vote of each and every CECs' Community Advisory Committee (see Title III for the Community Advisory Committee.)
8. All decisions regarding the CEC Charter are to be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote. So if there is a committee consisting of 6 members, then for a decision to be ratified, a minimum of 4 members must vote in the affirmative for it. If the membership is not a multiple of thirds 5, for example then the two-thirds falls to the highest quotient (disregarding the remainder) in this example: a 3-member majority)
Title II. Concerning the Community Educultural Centers Establishment
9. Each CAC shall be incorporated as a non-profit educational-cultural establishment under the title of Community Educultural Center [n...n:1... n:4... etc.] The 'n' in the brackets refers to the particular community's Roman numeral number of extant CECs everywhere. The subnumber, following the colon refers to the number of CECs in n's specific community.
10. No person(s), business, partnership, corporation, bank, community, or any other institution shall own either by license, titleship, deed, or proxy, any one or more CEC establishment. Each and every CEC belongs to a given community, but no one and no entity(ies) own it.
11. No one person, persons, business, partnership, corporation, bank, community, or institution shall own either by license, titleship, deed or proxy, any one or more items of property, such as office equipment or supplies. Each and every item of property or supplies belongs to a given community, but no one person(s), or no entity(ies) owns it.
12. Each CEC shall be open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., 7 days a week, all year, unless conditions prohibit or restrain following this tenet to the letter.
13. All children shall be welcome at any time, on any day, in any class of their, or their parent's, choice so long as their are openings; and at unscheduled times only when space permits.
14. Each CEC can formulate its own specific rules and regulations in accordance with the basic principles and tenets of the CEC Charter.
15. For whatever reason a parent is not satisfied with a particular CEC, that child can attend another of the Centers in the same community.
16. Each CEC shall have various activities which directly or indirectly interact with other CECs.
17. Each CEC shall have a minimum of 9 room-divisions: academics, culture, office, recreation, library/homework, waiting room, store/workroom, audio-visual, restroom.
18. Each and every CEC shall conform to all city, state, and federal legal requirements for taxes, insurance, zoning, licenses, and safety necessary for its establishment and maintenance.
Title III Concerning the Community Advisory Committee
20. Each CEC shall be governed by its community advisory committee (henceforth: CAC).
21. The paramount purpose and function of the CAC is to uphold the integrity of the CEC Charter's principles and tenets through specific policies and procedures, legal and otherwise, necessary for this task.
22. Committee meetings shall normally convene bi-monthly with minutes held, and decisions executed. For each CEC shall be obtained and maintained by the CAC.
23. The dismissal of any CAC committee member shall be decided by a 2/3 majority vote of each and every other committee member after all pertinent facts of the dismissal have been considered logically, psychologically, ethically and legally.
24. Each CAC for its respective CEC, shall consist of (1) the director, (2) the head instructor, and (3) one community member representing each of the CEC's business functions; i.e., management, specialists, overhead, and promotion.
Title IV Concerning the Interactive Economic Theory
25. Each CEC business structure shall be determined by the Interactive Economic Theory (hereafter IET) based on Equity and Proportion as conceived and developed by Joseph Sguigna, December, 1986.
26. All monies received from contributions, donations or grants shall be distributed to each business division according to the percentage proportions as set forth in the IET.
27. The business divisions and their respective percentage proportions of the IET are as follows: coordination (management) 16.7%; specialization (labor) 33.3%; overhead 16.7%; promotion 8.3%; logistics 16.7%; development 8.3%.
28. The IET is a budgetary guideline, and thereby serves as an adjustable proportional distribution within reasonable limitations.
29. No adjustment to the IET shall be made without it first being approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the CAC.
30. All monies distributed through the IET shall be subject to appropriate legal tax liability.
31. Of the six business divisions of the IET, four of these divisions, namely: management, specialization, overhead, and promotion, fall under the proportional formula for each CAC.
32. Two of the business divisions of the IET fall under the proportional formula for the Public Benefit sponsorship.
Title V Concerning The Public Benefit
33. The Public Benefit is a sponsorship for the advancement of education, society, and wisdom through its treasury of funds and philosophy of goodwill.
34. The Public Benefit shall be in charge of the integrity of the treasury and philosophy of the CECs.
35. The Public Benefit has its own set of principles and tenets that underlie and accord with the tenets of the CECs' Charter.
36. The Public Benefit is not, nor shall be in association with, a corporation, business, religion, or any bureaucratic institution.
37. The Public Benefit shall sponsor the initial stages of the establishment of each and every CEC.
38. The Public Benefit furnishes the funds, the curriculum, and the blueprint necessary to initiate the establishment of each and every CEC.
39. The Public Benefit receives its financial compensation from the allotted percentages from the logistics and development divisions of the IET.
40. The Public Benefit shall be presided over by committee of safekeepers.
Title VI. Concerning the Central Integrity Committee
41. The Central Integrity Committee (hereafter:CIC) shall consist of 6 sectors representing the prototypical business structure as set forth in the IET: management, specialization, overhead, promotion, logistics, development.
42. Each sector of the CIC shall function from two perspectives: from the expertise of its members (henceforth called safekeepers) and from the integrity of its decisions. This integrity is assured by considering each issue to be decided upon from three perspectives: logic, psychology, and ethics. Accordingly, a decision to be made must not only include the knowledge of expertise, but the wisdom of integrity through logical, psychological, and ethical analysis.
43. The CIC committee safekeepers shall consist of three safekeepers representing each of the six IET divisions: 3 safekeepers representing management, 3 members representing specialization, etc.
44. Each safekeeper of each division is responsible for the efficient, integral functioning of his/her division.
45. Committee meetings shall be held at least once each week.
46. CIC meetings shall convene with at least 1 safekeeper from each of the 6 divisions.
47. All decisions regarding the tenets and dealings of the Public Benefit shall be finalized by a 2/3 majority vote of all CIC committee safekeepers.
48. All decisions regarding the tenets of the Public Benefit shall be finalized by a 2/3 majority vote of the CIC.
49. All finalized CIC decisions shall be made in accordance with all the available facts integrated with, and balanced by, (1) the 6 IET divisions of the CIC, and (2) by the 3 perspectives of integrity: logic, psychology, and ethics
50. All decisions are to be finalized according to the IET and the ethics, logic, and psychology.
51. Selecting and discharging committee safekeepers shall be decided upon a 2/3 majority vote of each and every CIC committee safekeeper other than the person in question.
Title VII: Concerning the Director
52. Each CEC director shall be chosen by a 2/3 majority vote of the Central Integrity Committee.
53. The CEC director shall be responsible for all matters pertaining to the business of his/her CEC in accordance with the IET and the CEC Charter.
54. The director shall oversee all pertinent instructional matters concerning his/her CEC.
55. The CEC shall make all decisions regarding the business of a CEC that do not require the intervention of either the head instructor or CAC.
56. All decisions determined by the director shall be reported to the CAC.
57. The dismissal of a director shall requires a 2/3 majority vote in the affirmative by the CAC less the director's vote.
58. The election of a new director shall be decided upon by a 2/3 majority vote of the CAC less the former director's or candidate director's vote.
Title VIII. Concerning the Instructional Advisor
59. All instructional advisors shall be appointed or dismissed by a 2/3 majority vote of the CAC.
60. All instructional advisors shall be tested in their expertise to determine their teaching ability and qualification.
61. The instructional advisor shall supervise all matters regarding instruction: curriculum, pupils, instructors, and assistants.
62. All instructional decisions shall be determined by the instructional advisor in conference with, and consent of, the director ad/or the CAC.
63. Should the instructional advisor disapprove of the director's decision in a particular issue of instruction, he/she shall have recourse to a 2/3 majority pro/con vote of the CAC. The final decision is to be made within two weeks of the instructional advisor's appeal to the CAC.
64. All finalized instructional decisions shall be in accord with the principles and tenets of the CEC charter.
65. The director and instructional advisor shall meet periodically regarding instructional matters and issues, such as perceived needs, effective remedies, and appropriate time lines related to expected outcomes of enrolled pupils.
66. The instructional advisor's main teaching task is to teach on a one-to-one basis with each student, according to each individual need.
67. The instructional advisor shall test, enroll, dismiss, discipline pupils, and help decide each pupil's course and level of studies.
68. The instructional advisor shall analyze pupils' study data to identify areas of weakness and strengths.
69. The instructional advisor shall train new instructors and assistants, and inform them of their responsibilities.
Title IX Concerning Instructors and Assistants
70. All instructors and assistants shall be thoroughly prepared for the teaching of their subject.
71. All instructors and assistants shall be cleared in accordance with state health regulations.
72. All instructors and assistants shall be tested in their expertise to determine their teaching ability and qualification.
73. No instructor and assistant shall use derogatory or insulting language, nor display adversarial attitude toward any pupil at any time, for any reason.
74. All instructors shall have at minimum a B.A. in their specialty.
75. Assistants shall be at least a college junior.
76. Instructors and assistants shall abide by all policies, procedures, and regulations of their respective CEC.
77. Instructors and assistants shall be considered employees in accordance with state and federal tax laws.
78. Instructors and assistants shall maintain a positive environment using efficient and effective teaching procedures.
79. Instructors shall hold periodic parent conferences.
Title X Concerning Pupils
80. All pupils enrolled in any one CEC shall select classes of their own or parent's choice. No class shall be mandatory, only advisory.
81. All pupils enrolled in any one CEC shall abide by its rules and regulations as set down in the CEC parent handbook.
82. All receptive pupils of all ethnicities and religions are welcome to each and every CEC. By "receptive" is meant willing, without overt resistance.
Title XI. Concerning Curriculum
83. The curriculum set for one CEC is the same set for all CECs.
84. The curriculum for all CECs shall consist of (1) the academic section: Studies In Meaning© critical-creative thinking studies, science, social studies, math-logic reasoning, classical readings with vocabulary in context, memorization, concentration, test preparation, homework; (2) the cultural section: drama, music, poetry, dance, speech, etc., and (3) recreational activities, such as, boardgames, puzzles physical games. Additional classes may be included so long as they accord with the basic critical-creative educational philosophy of the CECs.
Title XII. Concerning the Community Educultural Centers Instructional Philosophy
All CECs shall:
85. Maintain high expectations for all pupils.
86. Ensure greater pupil achievement through approaches which foster self-esteem, confidence, and challenge.
87. Emphasize active pupil and parent involvement in the learning process, and inform them of expected academic and cultural competencies.
88. Provide student group in structures which guarantee heterogeneous grouping as the predominant instructional format for educultural growth, challenge, and achievement.
89. Recognize all subject areas as effective vehicles for developing language proficiency and implement language-driven instruction which requires pupils to use critical-creative thinking skills in reading, written, and oral communication.
90. Promote a balance of listening, speaking, writing, and reading activities for all pupils which emphasize self-expression rather than rote completion activities.
91. Focus on acquisition of fundamental and higher order thinking skills through developmentally appropriate curriculum and experiences.
92. Emphasize cultural and recreational activities that promote self-expression, self-understanding, and interpersonal interaction
Title XIII. Concerning Contributions
93. The CECs shall be supported mainly by monthly open-contributions.
94. All open-contributions shall be made to each individual CEC's nonprofit designation.
Title XIV. Concerning the Newsmagazine: EPIC
95. A monthly newsmagazine titled EPIC shall be freely distributed to each CEC contributor.--The acronym "EPIC" stands for E: education, P: play, I: interaction, and C: culture.
96. The contents of the newsmagazine shall consist of (1) brief capsulations of major educational, social, cultural, and scientific news stories; (2) literary passages of significant topics by great and noted minds of all countries, of all times; (3) contributions of writings, art, etc. from contributors and children; (4) services information; (5) business update; and (6) calendar of events.
97. The responsibility of the distribution of the newmagazine shall be in the promotion sector of the IET.
I: BASIC PRINCIPLES
1. Mixed age and ethnic grouping
2. Freedom of choice with responsibility
3. Character and personality development
4. Progression at pupils' own pace and level
5. An aesthetically designed atmosphere and decor
6. Control of error built into curriculum lessons
6. Instructors as a guide/mentor
7. Encouragement of positive self-image
8. Self-understanding through study, culture, and recreation
9. critical-creative thinking educational curriculum
10. Control of error built into curriculum lessons
11. Individual and group interactions
12. Non-judgmental teaching and interpersonal approach
13. Appreciation of the unity and diversity of human life
14. Security of belonging to one's own individual center, as well as being indirectly related to centers everywhere
15. A structured, yet open and free environment
16. A "place of their own" for receptive children and youths in any given community
17. A growing sensitivity toward the credo of the Community Educultural Centers: integrity, grace, and humor
EQUITABLE ECONOMIC PRINCIPLE
E = 1/3C
E = equity
C = contribution
The business divisions and their respective percentage proportions of the IET are as follows: coordination (management) 16.7%; specialization (labor) 33.3%; overhead 16.7%; promotion 8.3%; logistics 16.7%; development 8.3%.
EQUITABLE ECONOMIC APPORTIONMENT
I: Operational Apportionment
II: Beneficial Apportionment
coordination: logistics, safekeepers, overseers, directors,
specialization: developers, teachers/tutors, distributors, marketers, secretaries, messengers, accountants, clerics, consultants, technicians,
overhead: rent, utilities, office supplies, office equipment, office furniture, etc.
promotion: ads, telemarketing, e-mailing, radio, leaflets, brochures
services: food distribution, specialized critical-creative thinking education,...
The more income, the more expenses, the more employees (independents), the more
Expenses are ¼ less than income.
Reinvestment motivates contributors.
All contributions are accounted for.
Personnel consists of independents, not employees
If the budget amount does not allow for the full cost of, say, a computer, that is needed, then means are taken to increase the budget accordingly and/or to acquire a computer within the existing budget.
The Public Benefit Enterprise is divided into three proportions: personnel
, and benefits
All monetary contributions are allocated for these three proportions.
The personnel and maintenance proportions include the operational expense,
or simply expenses.
The benefits proportion includes beneficial apportionment
, or simply benefits
Two-thirds of all contributions are allotted for operational expenses and one-third of all contributions are allotted for beneficial apportionment.
Operational expenses are divided into four headings: management, specialization, promotion, overhead.
Beneficial apportionment is divided into two headings: services and reinvestment.