Bad news for puritans who linger among us: the orgiast rats generally end up in better physical and mental shape than do their pleasure-deprived littermates. They are alert. Their coats are glossy. Their eyes shine.
In our sense organs — eyes, ears and so on — we possess the most beatifully controlled, delicate and effective access to the brain. If we want to change a brain, we can best do it through our natural senses.
Moving people from one kind of housing to another and giving them more money is not giving them the kind of environment that will educate, that is, change them.
If the properties of the environment were different, if gravity, light, inertia, air, sound and the like were not as they are, then learning would be different and the resulting organism, though clothed in a human body, would be different indeed.
It is not that the “product” of our education system is not “capable.” He comes out with “skills.” He may be a usable component in the social machine. But he is just about finished as a learner.
If human beings are individual and unique, then any system of fixed scheduling and mass instruction must be insanely inefficient. It may seem tidy and convenient, but that is an illusion maintained only by pretending that individual differences are not significant and that the human potential is incredibly low — only by giving up on education and concentrating on control.
Our worst error would lie in dreaming too small.
... a new kind of human being — one who is not driven by narrow competition, eager acquisition and aggression, but who spends his life in the joyful pursuit of learning. Such a human being, I feel, will result not so much through changed ideologies or economic systems as through changes in the process I have called “education.”
It is hard to imagine a more revolutionary statement for us than “The natural condition of the human organism is joy.” For, if this is true, we are being daily cheated, and perhaps the social system that so ruthlessly steals our birthright should be overthrown.
Those who would reduce, control, quell must lose in the end. The ecstatic forces of life, growth and change are too numerous, too various, too tumultuous.