Tagged: teaching

Survival of the Fittest: Teaching vs. Normalcy

Every society, without exception, tends to harden its founding presuppositions and hopes into a set of stated and unstated rules for living. Gradually, the great character and thought needed to bring a society into being give way to the forced teaching and rote learning of the simplified and simplifying rules deemed necessary to preserve that society. And this in turn reduces maturation to...

Words to Live By, Or Not

“Do as I say, not as I do.” This has for centuries been the model of bad advice, or rather of poor advisors. However, when you are speaking to yourself, it is precisely the correct admonition, and the hardest good advice to follow. There are more teachers and soldiers than there are members of any other politically essential vocation. Yet there are fewer...

On Pleasure and Learning

Philosophic hedonism.— The soul naturally inclines toward beliefs, solutions, behaviors, and aims that promise the greatest pleasure. Education is primarily the process of unlearning the childhood weakness for mistaking the quickest or most immediate pleasure for the greatest pleasure. The educated person is thus the one who habitually forgoes the near or easy pleasure in favor of the distant, rarefied one, and the...

Guidance and Independence

It is not weak, nor any contradiction of the desire for independence, to look to others’ opinions in assessing one’s own thoughts and behavior. The mistake or weakness is in looking to others’ opinions at random — looking to the crowd, or to the popular, or to the powerful. One has already made a great advance in self-knowledge and independence who is able...

New Year’s Resolutions

Try not to hate humans en masse, no matter how infuriatingly inhuman and inhumane they collectively become. Remind myself every day that a population raised from earliest childhood to belittle itself and aggrandize the state can hardly be expected to view itself and the world any differently than in accordance with its lifelong training. Consider humanity, for at least ten minutes a day,...

Standards

The best writer writes as the most intimate friend speaks, namely as though he were talking to himself, and for himself. He also hesitates to take his writing too seriously, and may even be suspicious of it. The best teacher is not the one who can answer all your questions, but rather the one who knows how to ask questions, and what the...

“…after the end of painting”

Some readers familiar with my background and professional biography might wonder how I ended up in this unorthodox, fringe-dwelling sort of university teaching career in South Korea, rather than having pursued the more traditional and “prestigious” academic path typically prized by those who spend their early adulthoods on the educational path I followed. Here, in a nutshell — and I choose that idiom...

The mask becomes your face

In the past twenty-four hours, I have seen a headline telling me that the infamous “experts” have decreed that masks, if worn universally and continuously by everyone, would save 100,000 lives — which means the experts have borrowed the climate science models and just changed a few keywords in the program. This is a headline because Donald Trump does not wear a mask....

A Soul Trapped in Time: Two Dreams

I am not one who often dreams vividly, or typically remembers his dreams. However, since childhood, I have occasionally had extremely clear, easily memorable dreams, some of them recurring ones, of the sort that seem to highlight my spiritual condition at a certain time. Strangely, I have experienced two dreams of this type recently, which I will relate to you now, as accurately...

New Teacher, Old Teacher

The New Teacher is a dispenser of grades and ranks, an administrator of late modernity’s societal ordering and sorting system — essentially a bureaucrat or accountant. The Old Teacher was a guide of the soul’s desire, channeling a few young people’s restless and potentially self-devouring hunger into a happy and habit-forming quest for timeless and necessary understanding — essentially a lion tamer or...