Education 1

It’s zen aversion. They don’t want you to think, to have gumption, to have the art. It’s like they don’t teach it. Oh how I hate this in teaching. They teach anything but what needs to be taught. Even zazen. I had an interesting chat with a religious student one time. I was staying at a Tibetan monastery/guest house and this guy was there. He was a student, and was probably there on some kind of student find-out – formal or otherwise. He told me they taught meditation but couldn’t call it meditation – so they called it stilling. Meditation suggested Buddhist – too much of one religious dogma. The balance that is nothing. Education can’t be seen to search for zen, insight, intuition, any such word.

Look at the way they kick the shit out of creative writing – English literature. It is some kind of analytical hell in which the writer’s creative art is dissected, cut up, deduced, screwed up. I hated English because of a run-in with the teacher – had him for 4 years, all of my English time. After those 4 years I did the maths - the maths that was easy. I remember in the sixth form they even had a “keep-your-hand-in” English, and he set a task to write a story. No-one did it but I did for some reason, and wrote a short science fiction story, my first one ever. I remember the story-line now, a stereotype heroic captain, a beautiful sidekick, and a weird offshoot of some sorts. They were on another planet and they came across a cave and in this cave they found paintings that showed Chinese were aliens. Apologies for the racism in the storyline, it was 1967, the ethnicity of the time meant I had one black guy in my school, and my Manchester suburb at that time only had two Chinese take-away shops. I am proud not of the storyline but that it was my first science-fiction and this dickhead English teacher just mocked the story, as did everyone else – but the peer mocking was humour and I never took it as a put-down there was joy. I see the teacher’s mocking as professional misconduct – he was so shallow he joined in with the kids, just one of those clashes that should never have happened. It wouldn’t happen now, teachers are professionally not allowed to be such dicks. Sadly I would rather see such dicks in teaching than the antiseptic facades that teachers have been forced into.

But this guy kicked the shit out of creative writing as all English literature teachers were supposed to do. I bet English teachers say they teach creatively now, but I bet the exams haven’t really changed. You see it isn’t the teachers, the 1% don’t want you to be creative. Creative is zen, education is training for zen aversion, for fitting in, teaching failure so you will accept any job, and success means earning big fat credit money and buying into the lifestyle of the “rich and famous” – the bank account with zeros.

It is clearing up, I should get to the beach before the Sunday crowds but I am a bit tired and I haven’t meditated.

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