#0023 Conservatives and progressives think differently (part VII)
In the previous posts the focus for our discussions has been centered on differences between L-Directed and R-Directed thinkers. In the process of exploring these differences we have gone far afield of typical spiritual topics—especially those of a religious nature; but in saying we’ve gone far afield I wasn’t implying that we’ve gotten off track. In the last post and our discussion about educational models, it may have seemed like we were the farthest away from our spiritualty theme but in a way, it brought us to where I felt we needed to be in order to bring the gist of this whole series home. The tracks on which modern-day education runs and religion runs are so parallel and so close together that they could easily be mistaken for or seen as a bit of a blurred version of the very the same set of tracks! To begin let us revisit the last paragraph of the excerpt of last Wednesday’s post.
Another prominent proponent of unschooling is John Taylor Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down, The Exhausted School, A Different Kind of Teacher, and Weapons of Mass Instruction. Gatto argues that public education is the primary tool of “state controlled consciousness” and serves as a prime illustration of the total institution — a social system which impels obedience to the state and quells free thinking or dissent.
Homeschooling: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
We don’t need to know who this Gatto guy is to have an opinion about his statements here. And what’s more, I am pretty certain people who hear the argument Gatto is making will be either inclined to strongly disagree with it or strongly agree with it. The reason I feel comfortable with this notion is that it goes to the L-Directed thinking v. R-Directed thinking discussions we’ve been having. L-Directed (conservative) perspectives will have problems with Gatto’s description of public education as “state controlled consciousness” and believe that this guy must be a pinko-Commy for saying it saying something like that. What’s more, many with the L-Directed perspective won’t understand the point in even making such a statement. R-Directeds’ reactions, on the other hand could be plotted somewhere on a scale between: “Yea, I can see that.” to “Hell yes!” Again, I’m not suggesting that R-Directeds thinkers are smarter than L-Directed thinkers or vise-versa they just think differently. There was a book published in the 90s: “Men are From Mars, Women Are from Venus” which sites the split in thinking that author claims exists between men and women. This is the same deal only you can’t distinguish which is which by appearance—there first has to be some sort of verbal or other interaction before the differences begin to emerge.
As far as what Gatto is saying about public education can also be applied to charter and private school education as well. L-Directed thinkers tend to embrace the social system he is dissing—a system which impels obedience to the state and quells free thinking or dissent. The main reason for this is that this is a system they understand; it speaks their language. Remember, L-Directed thinkers are most comfortable working with the left hemisphere of the brain which is sequential; it specializes in text; and it analyzes the details, any system or concept that falls within a realm where the left hemisphere of the brain can easily plug into and quickly figure out—it likes; anything else it tends to see as complex, troubling and even as a potential threat. So because the existing system was already in place and was established and monitored (controlled) by other L-Directed minds; it makes perfect sense to their own L-Directed perspectives; therefore they don’t have any problems with it and can’t understand why others do. Notice the book titles of Gatto’s books: Dumbing Us Down, The Exhausted School, A Different Kind of Teacher, and Weapons of Mass Instruction. What is this Gatto guy trying to say with these titles? Dumbing Us Down—if kids show up for school every day and pay attention, they will learn what the book is teaching them and do just fine. A Different Kind of Teacher—what’s wrong with the regular kind of teacher? The Exhausted School—What’s that even mean? Weapons of Mass Instruction—this book sounds kind of clever, but I think it’s best to stick with basics: 2 + 2 = 4 and like that. Just as the L-Directed mind doesn’t see a problem with the current educational system and the teaching to the test model, it doesn’t see a problem with the L-Directed approach to God known as Christianity. (To be continued tomorrow.)
It’s tomorrow now and here we go. Both education and religion have traditionally been seen as turnkey or plug-n-play programs that, to the L-Directed mind, work just fine. However, if you take a moment and back up a few steps you can get a bit broader perspective on both education and religion. To the L-Directed brain, education is pretty much something you go through in order to get a diploma which will enable you to land a career job which will in turn earn you some good money so that you can get to the things you really want to be doing. To the R-Directed brain, education is learning about things and doing that is in and of itself a goal. To the R-Directed brain, learning provides its own reward—it comes with its own built-in incentive. The L-Directed brain doesn’t really enjoy thinking so it would rather be told what the answer is rather than going through the process of finding the answer on its own. If the L-Directed brain has to think and figure out an answer, or come up with an opinion on its own, it doesn’t like anybody contradicting their answer and/or their opinion. The answer or opinion or belief becomes a part of them and they like voicing them to others. In expressing their beliefs, they can figure out which ones around them shares their beliefs and which ones don’t. Because these traits exist in the L-Directed brain it likes to hook-up with others whose perspectives are like theirs; in this they are very clannish or cliquish. Out of these clans and cliques arise denominations and political parties. And around these denominations and political parties borders are established. Whatever beliefs and opinions are established inside of those borders often becomes a defendable commodity for the reasons I just mentioned. When L-Directeds are running the show things tend to get pretty stagnate and inflexible, like in the teaching to the test model and in traditional denominational religion.
Religion is an L-Directed institution that is (and has been for centuries) attempting to represent an R-Directed entity—the Jesus God. Jesus was R-Directed in His perspectives and the L-Directed Pharisees with their religious perspectives didn’t get it. They had their answers and opinions—they’ve had them for years; they didn’t need some young upstart coming around causing trouble for them. Gatto’s observations about the institution of education…a social system which impels obedience to the state and quells free thinking or dissent reminds me of Jesus and His getting up in the Pharisee’s collective face. Jesus was extremely R-Directed in His approach to sharing the message of His Father’s Kingdom. If the Kingdom is ever to become a reality on the earth (and it certainly is) and, if the Church wants to be involved in the process, it is going to have to make the transition from operating as a stuffy L-Directed going-nowhere-fast institution to a slim, trim and flexible entity which more accurately reflects Jesus and His methods and His ministry. It’s going to have to think in a more R-Directed manner, like Jesus. In order to pull this off the Church will have to…
- Move away from a salvation-based theme in its narrative; Jesus died for our sins, Alleluia. Now let’s move on.
- Move into a Kingdom-building narrative that will induce actual Kingdom-building initiatives in-house.
- Move away from backwards-facing doctrines of the past (Law of Moses). Get off the approach that champions still-life and snapshot images of God.
- Move into highlighting Kingdom precedents such as those outlined in the Lord’s Prayer and in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats. (Sheep are R-Directeds, Goats are L-Directeds).
The next posting will appear on Sunday (09-13) and weekly postings on Sundays only will continue from there. I have some changes happening that are going to be more demanding of my time. This Schedule will continue through the end of the year at which time I will cut back to posting biweekly or one/month. The reason for this is I am starting another book and that will be requiring much more of my attention. Look for The Jesus Clone on Twitter coming soon too.