Brian’s Reflection: Friday, Oct 17, 2008
Education is what remains after one has
forgotten what one has learned in school.
- Albert Einstein, refugee from Nazi Germany,
arrived in America, 1933
I remember very little of the detail of what I read ….. including the Bible. Movies, novels, everything. This has always been true; it has almost nothing to do with my present age. (Except, strangely enough, hymns and other music, the words of which I can usually sing from memory, including the songs my mother used to play and sing at the piano.)
I had what I consider to be a great education. It “led me out” ….. which is of course the Latin root and meaning of the word “education”. It annoys me sometimes that I can’t spout quotes and phrases of the things I’ve read and seen ….. though I realize that this is just pride and a desire to “lord it over” others.
I am, however, extremely well educated. What ever my 17 years of formal education did, it launched me out into the exploration of Life. It has never abated. The details may not be lodged in a file in my brain waiting to be quoted at the brilliant moment. But my education led me to absorb all kinds of ideas - and they became part of my Being and they have permitted me to think things out for myself and express them fairly well, if somewhat verbosely. Yea!
Education which focuses in training a person to “make a living” and fit into the job market is ….. a total waste. I learned by heart the chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah to pass the ordination exams ….. but it makes little difference to being a priest if I can’t see the meaning and lessons in their lives. Unless education draws you to new things, develops an “inquiring mind” a la Dorothy Parker, one might as well have played hooky and enjoyed those years a la Huck Finn. (Though Huck had a great education!)
The “Holy Spirit” is the Great Educator. She leads us out into new universes of Thought and Wonder. The Episcopal Church, unlike many other churches, is a pupil of the Holy Spirit. Hence my choice.
I’ve forgotten what I learned in school. My education has never stopped, and my Life is fascinating.