Natural Order - Know your Place

Natural Order is a difficult yet important concept, but it is fundamental. Underwriting an acceptance of Natural Paths is a recognition that Nature has the answers. In other words if we live according to our natures, then we can exist in harmony with ourselves and with Nature. This is a simplistic approach, difficult to define, but effective as a benchmark for appropriate living.

If we were living within the Natural Order, harmony with Nature, then quite obviously there would not be the current catastrophe of climate change. Whilst humanity has technological needs, a harmony-value has to be considered within decision-making. This clearly is not happening, and there are far more learned people who have studied and propounded proposals concerning this.

But Natural Order has implicit within it a guide for individuals, and this is more than eco-friendly tips. Whilst these tips help they do not address the fundamental problem - the human attitude. Put simply this human attitude is not in harmony with Nature, and extremes of such attitudes lead us into wars for propogation of personal power yielding continuous destruction of natural resources. Nature provides alternatives to this power-resource axis but whilst these workable alternatives could be used the political and profiteering will does not exist. It is this lack of sensible will, to replace the will to maintain power through the continuing exploitation of fossil-fuel resources, that is the attitude that education needs to improve. If that will's main imperative was harmony with Nature then our technology could mostly continue and only the extremely greedy would be disadvantaged.

But whilst asking that harmony and a diminishing of human egos develop, Natural Order is more than that. It applies to ordinary human beings and their way of life. In naturegrow.htm we tried to show how recognising Piaget's cognitive development could begin to harmonise growth and learning in our young. It points to decision-making being the prerogative of caring adults and that young people's decision-making begins when they are responsible for their outcomes. Good education should create situations where this decision-making does yield responsible outcomes where the learner must suffer for their errors - natural learning. But as this is an education environment that suffering needs to be minimised (not the hand-in-the-fire test for burning) whilst at the same time hitting home - a difficult balance. It is certainly more educational however than cotton wool until 65.

Once this principle of adult prerogative is accepted then we move to the traditional principle of elder prerogative. I lived in Southern Africa for a while and noted how respect for elders created an element of stability. It is hard to see from outside with all the other problems in Africa but on a day-to-day basis respect for elders created order - even if those elders misused that respect (not uncommon in Africa as elsewhere). Whilst in Africa the misuse by its puppet leaders seriously damages the country, in daily life this elderly-respect principle creates order that far outweighs the disorder in youth-orientated societies.

In my own 60s generation there were some tremendous ideas, and these people proposed fundamental and radical changes to society. Whilst fuelled in part by the increased wealth in the west, these changes were intellectually fuelled by a reaction to tradition. In the end where these changes were implemented they threw the baby out with the bath water, and the changes were then used by the prevailing powers to increase consumerism and to further control the economy for accumulation and profiteering.

Sadly education was a prime target of these middle-class intellectuals, and we now have chaos in our state schools with an education system that has been hijacked.

Tradition should have been enhanced by the changes in the 60s but instead the egos of these intellectuals tried to replace the Tradition in toto. However much Tradition is exploited by the powers-that-be, Tradition is there because it is a historical development of wisdom and understanding. The 60s movement never attempted to integrate within this Tradition, and in the end that failure to integrate has led to much of what they espoused to be rejected. And further with the rejection of some of the Tradition, namely virtue and discipline, the door has opened for the exploiters to take greater advantage.

The Natural Path respects Tradition. Young people have a place on this Path to question Tradition to provide energy to mobilise and motivate, but not replace. Ultimately decisions need to be made by elders, and those elders need to be respected throughout by the young.

This begins at home where duty and family values need to be enshrined. Decisions are made by parents. The parents' role is that of educator and not of provider for the latest consumerist fad. Children have a duty to support parents irrespective - this is Nature's way. Parents provide and are given support by their children. This works fine if parents are responsible adults within a society that they are in harmony with. Over generations it might be possible to develop this Natural harmony where generations educated in the Natural Path follow that Path into a harmonious society.

Obviously this is an educational ideal - why not? Will it work?

That is not a question to be answered, it is a hope.

All jobs are important in society, and how do we value jobs? Salary. Look at the salaries. The people who are paid the most are chief executives or even the troubleshooters - people who take on jobs with the view of sacking people and causing suffering to families. Who are the most important? Leaders, that ought to be the politicians but sadly today's politicians are not leaders but people who want power and will do what they can to maintain it. What else does society need? Its health and education. How are they paid? Fireworkers are needed. At present the market drives everything including jobs. Teachers, doctors and nurses serve our communities with their vocations so the market determines there is no need to reward them. The market does however reward the young of the rich who defy the law with impunity. Is the market a measure when Natural Order can direct? This is not a pay negotiation but just a demonstration of how little order and sense there is in our society.

There is a recognition that there is a fundamental stress between students of the Natural Path and society as it exists at the moment. But stress is not unnatural, and this is why Nature has given us tools to cope with the stress. Holding to Nature is so important in this so Natural Path School educatees would not then presume to know and make the mistake of the 60s generation - the arrogance of intellectual youth.

Nature has its Path - its checks and balances. Tradition has the basis on which to build. Learn about that Tradition, work within that Tradition and then build on that Tradition - Nature's way. Until then respect elders, work with them, recognise limitations as we all should, and move forward. In the jungle the wisdom of the old is lost when the young of the pride gains strength and attacks the physically-weaker elder leader. In an educated society that young strength needs to work with the wisdom of the elder until they have attained that wisdom and can become the elders themselves.