“The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality,” (The Urantia Book, The UB, 195:10.17).
When I set out a few years ago to make a career change, and began tutoring middle and high school students (some adults), I chose this quote above as my guide for the voyage into the world of learning, my pole star.
There are some who just want the grade points, the numbers, to get an “A” no matter how they do it. But I’ve discovered some kids have strong ideals crying out to be nurtured. I strive to help them learn to co-ordinate their ideals with their “idea-decisions” about their practical goals, to transform their “ideas into increasingly practical but nonetheless supernal ideals.” (101:6.7)
A. Campbell Garnett, source author of Paper 103, wrote, “The completely integrated self is an ideal.” (A Realisitic Philosophy of Religion, pg. 54)
Doc Sadler also wrote about this process in 1912 before The UB was published, “The powers of imagination take our ideas and fashion them into our ideals. This is the higher or creative imagination.” (William S. Sadler, M.D., The Physiology of Faith and Fear, urantiabooksources.com)
“I don’t have a creative side,” one boy told me, but I thought to myself, one day he may discover the source of the authentic self he is seeking and gradually finding, his divine spirit guide, and then he may not have occasion to say that again.
The UB is careful to say the goal is not to dispense altogether with the “personality values of the ego,” that part of us which might desire to get the highest Grade Point Average.
“Moral choosing is usually accompanied by more or less moral conflict. And this very first conflict in the child mind is between the urges of egoism and the impulses of altruism. The Thought Adjuster does not disregard the personality values of the egoistic motive but does operate to place a slight preference upon the altruistic impulse as leading to the goal of human happiness and to the joys of the kingdom of heaven.” (The UB,103:2.7)
A. Campbell Garnett, whose thoughtful writing contributed to the above paragraph, commented “Even when [the altruistic or social interests] have called for sacrifice and there has been hesitation, even when it has required a fight to overcome the original ego, it is usually felt as worthwhile, in later reflection, to have been true to the higher self. Gradually new ideals of unselfish devotion to causes of social value thus take firm hold.” (A Realisitic Philosophy of Religion, pg. 55)
What would you say are “the personality values of egoism?” Perhaps the ego provides the leadership, seeking the good for oneself as the individual sets out to make discoveries in life, eventually learning to seek the good for others.
This learning to balance ego needs with the needs of others is the path of character progression, a path I hope I’m able to guide these young students along, helping them nurture their natural altruism. “Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression.” (195:10.17)
I discover my kids’ enthusiasms as they become involved in ideas, guided into the obscure world of poetry for example, where they find the treasures that are hidden there, or following a curiosity about the teaching of the Dalai Lama, his religion of kindness. My Asian students are especially interested in his story, his exile from Tibet. In helping them recognize the value of kindness, I confirm it in myself, learning even more about how to “act justly … love mercy … walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8; The UB, 126:4.5),” teacher becoming student. As Jesus told Ganid, “The true teacher maintains his intellectual integrity by ever remaining a learner.” (130: 3. 7)
Ponder this observation of human psychology, “When the growing child fails of personality unification, the altruistic drive may become so overdeveloped as to work serious injury to the welfare of the self.” (103:2.10) Jesus pointed out that even a whole racial group can make such an error, “Consider the Greeks, who have a science without religion, while the Jews have a religion without science. And when men become thus misled into accepting a narrow and confused disintegration of truth, their only hope of salvation is to become truth-co-ordinated—converted.” (155:1.4)
“Although the average mortal of Urantia cannot hope to attain the high perfection of character which Jesus of Nazareth acquired while sojourning in the flesh, it is altogether possible for every mortal believer to develop a strong and unified personality along the perfected lines of the Jesus personality. The unique feature of the Master's personality was not so much its perfection as its symmetry, its exquisite and balanced unification.” (100:7.1)
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