13 July 2005

School of Conscience

Conscience is the ability to both feel and act on our interconnectedness with others. All the great spiritual traditions of the world acknowledge and honor these connections as the very foundations of goodness and spiritual insight. The good life is one that is lived in accordance with the sacredness of life, the inalienable rights of every individual and accepts that actions that threaten to destroy life are not consistent with goodness. Sustainability is, therefore, a matter of conscience and a moral imperative.

Achieving education is the fundamental purpose of schools. Education is the state of mind in an individual wherein s/he can perceive accurately, think clearly, and make appropriate choices according to their personal values and goals. The person who is universally recognized as educated demonstrates diverse capabilities and the ability to acquire capabilities as necessary. (Other purposes of schooling are either layered on top of this fundamental purpose or are shallow substitutes. Such substitute purposes are championed by those who conclude that some people are incapable of being educated and therefore the schools should provide them with something else, which conveniently perpetuates the interests of a few people who benefit from the subjugation of others.)

When we combine the need to clarify what actions are “appropriate” for individuals and the moral imperative for a sustainable society then we have a dilemma. The dilemma is that our schools do not provide, our society is not organized for and too often our lives as individuals simply lack the methods and means of understanding how these different levels of complexity interact to produce effects in society and cause effects in our lives. We too often do not appreciate the interconnectedness of life itself and how we contribute to or detract from the systems within which we are active co-creators.

School of Conscience exists to face this dilemma. School of Conscience is an educational community of practice that facilitates personal experiential understanding of the interconnectedness of life as a stable foundation for building a healthy and sustainable society.
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