Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Thought 201: University or How Never to Enlighten

I have spent many years in the university system but despite this I never formally obtained a degree because I had my fill so to speak before the final exams. Although many will agree that it is an overrated institution I do not think it is overrated due to a lack of teaching hours, pastoral care, jobs on the other side, unjustified expense but because despite the very significant amount of work I put into my academic life, gaining at times first class grades for both essays and exams, I felt that all this effort contributed next to zero to my personal enlightenment and found, conversely, that it made many students more unenlightened, conformist, superficial and neurotic than they would otherwise be had they not gone at all and listened to their hearts instead.

Modern universities are increasingly career-focused institutions wrapped up in the satanic monetary game of a civilisation gone mad and inevitably perpetuate the largely parasitical non entity that is academic discourse which at bottom represents institutionalised knowledge of a dubious and often short-lived value. And rarely does it speak truth to power or question consensus reality.

There are good aspects to university education if teachers and researchers happen to be enlightened - institutions are only ever as good as the individuals who comprise them - but in my experience that is rarely the case. Essentially you get what you put in studying-wise but I would say that the added value provided by the institution as compared to reading books, self-study, thoughtful conversation and online research is very low. Also the stringency of the outcome that is the exam result makes one lose sight of the purpose of doing a course in the first place: to learn and gain knowledge about a subject for its own sake

The more you focus on the goal rather than the process itself the longer it will take for you to reach the goal as some Zen master once told his pupil. And as a student colleague of mine once told me about his experience after three years of successful study grade-wise (my subject was Ancient Greek and Latin literature) he had learnt nothing about what the course was meant to be about but a great deal about how to do well in exams

University never provided me with moral or philosophical guidance and I had to dig deep and hard within academic literature to find the occasional enlightened statement or observation. If the goal of university was genuinely to enlighten and encourage rightful action over wrongdoing then I would be glad of its existence but it is way too trapped in the psychopathic game of control and conformity to be of lasting value unless outstanding individuals steer it toward a more enlightened and belligerent path. For truth is belligerent.