Those who have devoted themselves to travelling all the countries of the world with the purpose of studying in detail all the human races—whether in old Europe or in Africa, tired because of so much slavery, or in the sacred country of the Vedas, or in the West Indies, or in Austria or in China—have been able to verify for themselves that the nature of this wretched intellectual animal, mistakenly called human, is always the same.

This concrete fact, this shocking reality which surprises every mindful individual, can be especially verified by the traveler who visits schools, colleges, and universities.

We have arrived at the age of repetitive flow production. Now everything is produced on assembly lines and in large amounts: flow production of planes, cars, luxury items, etc.

Moreover—and even if this seems a little grotesque, it is true—industrial schools, universities, etc., have also become intellectual factories of repetitive flow production.

Thus, the only objective of life in these times of repetitive flow production is to find economic security; yes, people seek security because they are afraid of everything.

So, independent thought becomes almost impossible in recurrent times of repetitive flow production, because the modern type of education is based on mere superficial conveniences. Sadly, the new generations live very satisfied with this intellectual mediocrity, and if someone wants to be different, distinct from the others, then the whole world disqualifies him, the whole world criticizes him, they isolate him, they deny him a job, etc.

The compelling, pure, natural, and spontaneous thought is hindered by the desire of obtaining money in order to live and enjoy oneself, or by the urgency of being successful in life, or by the search for economic security, or by the desire of buying many things in order to toot your horn in front of others, etc.

It has been totally verified that fear dulls the mind and hardens the heart. This is why in these times of so much fear and searching for security, people hide in their caves, in their dens, in their corners, in their hiding-places where they withdraw from life, because they thereby have more security and fewer problems; thus, they do not want to come out of there, since they are terrified of life, they are afraid of new adventures, new experiences, etc.

Yes, this entire, vaunted, modern education is based on fear and the search for security. People are frightened; they are afraid even of their own shadow. People are terrified of everything. They are afraid of discarding their old established norms and thinking in a revolutionary way, thus becoming different from other people, and breaking with all the prejudices of this decadent society, etc.

Fortunately, there live in the world a few sincere and understanding people who truly want to profoundly examine all the problems of the mind. Regrettably, the spirit of nonconformity and rebellion does not even exist within the great majority of us.

There exist two types of rebellion that are already properly classified. First: violent psychological rebellion. Second: profound psychological rebellion of the intelligence.

The first type of rebellion is reactionary, conservative, and backward. The second type of rebellion is revolutionary.

In the first type of psychological rebellion, we find the reformer who mends old suits and repairs the walls of old buildings so that they will not crumble. This is the regressive type, the revolutionary of blood and liquor, the leader of military uprisings and coups. It is the man with a shotgun on his shoulder, the dictator who enjoys lining up against the wall to be shot all those who do not accept his whims and theories.

In the second type of psychological rebellion, we find Buddha, Jesus, Hermes: that is, the transformer, the intelligent rebel, the intuitive, the great paladins of the revolution of the Consciousness, etc.

Those who only educate themselves with the absurd purpose of scaling, ascending, climbing to the top of the ladder by successively acquiring magnificent positions within the bureaucratic beehive in order to show themselves to others lack true profundity; they are imbeciles by nature: they are one hundred percent superficial, empty swindlers.

It has already been verified to satiation that when the true integration of thought and sentiment has not been attained within a human being—even when having received a great education—life then becomes incomplete, contradictory, boring, and tormented by all types of innumerable fears.

Undoubtedly, and fearless of making a mistake, we can emphatically affirm that without an integral education, life becomes damaging, useless, and harmful.

The intellectual animal has an internal ego that unfortunately is made up of different entities fortified through a mistaken education, which makes that pluralized “I” (that each of us carry within) the fundamental cause of all our complexes and contradictions.

A fundamental education must teach the new generations the Gnostic, psychological didactic for the dissolution of the “I.”

We can establish within ourselves a permanent center of individual Consciousness only by dissolving the various entities, which in their conjunction constitute the ego, the “I”—this is how we can become integral.

Thus, as long as the pluralized “I” continues to exist within each of us, we embitter not only our life, but moreover we embitter the lives of others.

What is the value of studying law and becoming lawyers if we perpetuate fights? What is the value of accumulating much knowledge within our mind if we continue to be confused? What is the value of technical and industrial skills if we use them for the destruction of our fellowmen?

It is worthless to receive instruction, to attend classes, to study, if in the process of our daily living we are miserably destroying one another.

The objective of education must not be to only produce every year some new job hunters, new types of swindlers, new dimwits that do not even know how to respect their neighbor’s religion, etc.

Indeed, the true objective of a fundamental education must be to create true men and women, who—because of their psychological integration—are cognizant and intelligent.

Regrettably, teachers of schools, colleges and universities think of everything except the awakening of the integral intelligence of their students.

Any given person can covet and acquire titles, medals, diplomas and even become very efficient in the mechanistic field of life, nonetheless, this does not signify that he is intelligent. Intelligence can never be a merely mechanical functional; intelligence can never be the outcome of simple bookish knowledge. Likewise, intelligence is not the capacity of reacting automatically with sparkling words against any challenge. As well, intelligence is not the mere verbalization of memory.

Intelligence is the capacity of directly receiving the Essence, the Reality, that which truly IS; fundamental education is the science that allows us to awaken this capacity within ourselves and within others. Yes, a fundamental education helps each individual to discover their own true values that emerge as an outcome of a profound investigation and integral comprehension of oneself.

When self-knowledge does not exist within us, then our self-expression becomes an egotistical and destructive self-affirmation.

Therefore, a fundamental education is only concerned with awakening in each individual the capacity to comprehend themselves in all of the levels of their mind, and to not simply surrender themselves to the complacency of the mistaken self-expression of their pluralized “I.”

Fundamentals of Gnostic EducationThis chapter is from Fundamentals of Gnostic Education (1970) by Samael Aun Weor. The print and ebook editions by Glorian Publishing (a non-profit organization) are illustrated to aid your understanding, and include features like a glossary and index. Buy the book, and you benefit yourself and others.