Thoughts on the ‘squashed mind’ – the impairing effects of formal education

Recently, I was discussing some interesting things about University trained people that brought on some interesting points (some of which I may of mentioned before):

I first began by saying that I consider University trained people as ‘impaired’.  My experience is that they are not these great ‘intelligent’, insightful, and wise people that they are portrayed.  I see very little evidence of it.  I have find University people to be ‘constricted’ and as if unable to do things beyond what they were taught.  In other words, they seem impaired in some way.  But, on reflection, I found that this was true of anyone that is involved with formal education, particularly if it is extensive.

But why?

I learned early that people who have formal education are not the source of great insight, wisdom, and ability.  What it does is create, though, is a bunch of people who have these qualities:

  • Encyclopedic knowledge.
  • The ability to do a procedure or technique.

In other words, formal education creates something more like a ‘human machine’, someone who can do a specific thing a specific way.  Its because of this that I often speak of these people as ‘University robots’ or ‘formally educated robots’.  A good example is a surgeon.  They have both these qualities, and need it to do their job.  This  ‘human machine’ is what formal education, and the University, strive to achieve generally.  This is because formal education is a handmaiden of the system.  Because of this, it has to create ‘human machines’ to keep the system going.  That, in reality, is the purpose of formal education.  This tendency to create ‘human machines’ is why I often compare formal education, or the University, as being no different than programming a computer.  It does about the same thing . . . except to people.  It does not create ‘intelligent’ people nor do they portray much wisdom or insight (just as a computer does not).  It creates ‘human machines’ that can do specific things, such as a surgeon.  These are generally things the systems needs to keep it going.  Though this may be good in respect to doing specific things, such as surgery, it is not reflective of ‘intelligence’, ‘knowledge’, wisdom, insight, etc. in general.  In short, the emphasis on creating the ‘human machine’, that formal education does, is, at least in my opinion, undermining intelligence, insight, wisdom, and such.  In that way, its actually doing more damage than good, at least on a human level.  Because of this, I tend to feel that it needs to be emphasized that FORMAL EDUCATION CREATES ‘HUMAN MACHINES’ ONLY . . . IT DOES NOT CREATE INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM, AND INSIGHT!!!

To go further, I tend to feel that formal education is impairing kids and people in general.  In effect, it squashes peoples intelligence, wisdom, and insight.  I short, it squashes their minds.  I often speak of this as the ‘squashed mind’.  It basically squashes a persons naturally  appearing abilities.  As a result, to go through formal education is like having a great weight put upon you that ends up squashing you in ways such as:

  • It prevents or hinders natural abilities from appearing.
  • It forces specific types of abilities upon people, even when its not naturally appearing.

In so doing, it actually has a squashing effect upon a persons mind.  When this happens it ends up limiting or ‘impairing’ people.  In some respects, formal education has the quality of a press stamping an impression on a coin . . . it ‘presses’ things upon a persons mind and, in so doing, impairs it.  I feel it does this for reasons such as:

  • There’s too much of it.  One of the reasons why this is now a general-wide problem is because of the over-prevalence of formal education.  Practically every kid is forced into it, whether they want to or not.  Once a child starts school they are “educated to death”.
  • What they learn is of no real value.  To be frank, a lot of formal education is of no real value for a person.  A lot of what they learn is determined by what the school board ‘thinks’ is important.  Much of their thinking is often based on ideas of the ‘greater economic good’ or ‘national pride’.  Often, this is stuff that only ‘impresses’ but has no real value in actuality.  In my opinion, most of what is learned is a waste of a persons time.  As a result, many people, nowadays, waste hours of their life as a result.  I personally feel that, for many people, the time spent in school is more worthless than time watching TV.
  • It is forced onto people.  Formal education forces things onto people.  It forces them to study, to learn things, and do things they have no reason to do.
  • It is mechanistic and robot-like in effect.  Formal education is like ‘programming a computer’, as I said above, which, in the end, creates robot-like people.
  • It is detached from belief.  Typically, formal education has no basis in any belief system.  It is just taught.  In this way, we could describe formal education as a ‘dead learning’, of the ‘endless statement of meaningless facts’.
  • It squashes ability.  Its prevalence tends to only allow abilities that ‘conform’ to what is taught.  Because of this, it is very specific about the abilities it allows to grow and, in so doing, hinders any other abilities.
  • It does not cater to a persons natural abilities and inclinations.  In formal education the ‘program’ rules, not necessity, not ability, not need, not inclinations.  Because of this it does not cater to the person at all.  Instead, a person must conform to the ‘program’.  If they don’t, they’ll fail.
  • It treats everyone as ‘the same’.  Formal education is directed to the ‘masses’.  It determines its whole perspective.  As a result, everyone is treated as identical.   Often, formal education develops an idea of the ‘ideal student’.   To ‘get ahead’ in formal education often becomes more a matter of how well a person can ‘conform’ to this idea than anything else.  As a result, there is little leeway for variation.  This makes formal education even more robot-like as people who are the ‘ideal student’ tend to be nothing but a carbon copy of the same type of person.
  • It primary emphasis is placing value on a persons ability to repeat.  Much of formal education is based in repeating what one heard, read, or did.  In fact, from my observation that is what it basically does.  This the basis of the two qualities I described above.  Repeating what you’ve heard or read is encyclopedic knowledge.  Repeating what one did is repeating a procedure or technique.  This emphasis on repetition makes it mechanistic and robot-like in quality.  From what I have so far seen “modern education is primarily nothing but a repeating“.

The effect of all this is that formal education, and the University, actually impairs people in general.  As part of this, it impairs naturally appearing intelligence, insight, and wisdom in people.

To this day, the people that I consider intelligent, insightful, or wise have gone through little formal education.  After seeing people who have been formally educated I can see why:  they are not impaired by education and there is nothing squashing them.  In other words, the lack of education is a freedom . . . things can grow naturally.  Formal education does not allow this to happen.  It squashes remember!

There are people, though, who overcome the ‘squashed mind’ that formal education creates.  This usually happens years after they left schooling.  Why?  Its the freedom I spoke of again . . . they are no longer being squashed.  Even I, myself, found that after I left school I found a freedom I never had.  I was able to ‘breathe’ and ‘think’ in a natural way.  It was like a weight had been taken off of me . . . I no longer felt squashed.  But few people, I’ve found, find this no less develop it.  My guess is that its one in some odd thousand people that develop this.  Most people will remain ‘conformed’ to the formal education way of doing things.  It becomes their security, their livelihood, their justification, their base, and what makes them ‘right’.

Because of all this I tend to feel that, in actuality, formal education is making people ‘dumber’ as human beings.  Sure, they can repeat the encyclopedic knowledge (like say the capitals of all the states in the U.S.) or do some procedure (like do a math problem) – that is, be a ‘human robot’.  But, as people and human beings, they are failing.  This, to me, is becoming more and more apparent as I get to know the younger generation in particular.  At one point I just about told one kid, “all I’m seeing is nothing but a repeat of the ‘ideal student’ this system wants . . . but where’s the human being and their natural abilities?”  I know exactly what’s going on:  the human being has been squashed.  Its been squashed by all the knowledge, the facts, the information, the procedures, the techniques, the ‘ideals’, the system – in short, they’ve been squashed by formal education.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Education, learning, and over education, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, The 'system', 'systemism', and the power structure, The U.S. and American society and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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