An Unending Quest for Enlightenment

This being a time of great upheaval must now awaken us to the need to see and think Globally. There are so many oppressed people in this world and now, their suffering has come home to America. Of course, our hearts go out to all who are in great pain. I have spoken of this so many times and in so many places that even I became calloused to my words. Let us now renew our efforts to co-create a world of love and enlightenment. Let our stories and poetry of peace rain forth. And let each of us become a responsible voice of and for Enlightenment. None of us is beyond any of this. Let us join together in a gigantic omni-present, omni-powerful worldwide wave of peaceful thoughts for an active peaceful co-existence. Forgiveness is not passive, it is an action.

The outcome of education must not be a foregone conclusion; rather it must be an unending quest for enlightenment. An enlightened education is, by its very nature, neither rigid nor undefined, but flexible, as it must serve as the given context of our society, while accommodating the ever-expanding universe of our children.

Look around you! For just a moment, become conscious of who you are—not just your name or your profession or your family responsibilities, but who you really are. Be aware of your thoughts and your feelings, your spiritual yearnings. And without letting go of that vibrant sense of self, look at the world around you. Notice things you haven’t noticed before, the blending and contrasting patterns of nature, the architecture and construction, the decoration of the room you are in, the shapes and colors and textures. Listen! What do the words you hear from others really mean? What are the implications? What is the intent? Who is speaking them and why? Taking the time to perceive your reality with fresh wonder can change your life—as often as you like.

Enlightenment is not so much a destination as it is a journey—an unending quest—more than the mere acquisition of knowledge; it is the golden path to understanding and a lighted doorway to wisdom. Our society is the result of our education. Daily, we act on what we believe and all of us together create the world we live in. Our beliefs have been formed out of what we have learned from our families, our friends, our schools and our experiences. And as we accept the idea of education as a lifelong adventure, our beliefs change and evolve into the creation of an ever-expanding society, in which truth is honored, diversity is celebrated and an enlightened peace becomes the touchstone of civilization. It is crucial, in these days of global awareness, global economy and global concerns, that we not limit ourselves to what we think we can do based on what we have done in the past; rather we must look anew at what needs to be done and do it!

Every child is born endowed with unique and unknown potential. If we are truly sincere in wanting a better world for our children and their children and their children’s children, then the highest purpose of education must be to bring to light, to enlighten that unique and unknown potential in every child. As teachers, the least of our responsibilities is to fill our students’ head with whatever we may have learned. The highest of our responsibilities is to guide our students toward discovering who they are and what they have to give to the world, so that rather than living their lives as victims of events, they may be able to direct their own lives and thus, together, direct the future of humanity.

And this cannot be only the legacy of those blessed children who are privileged to attend elite and specialized schools. An enlightened education must become the birthright of all children in the world. We who have seen must share the vision. We who have heard must sing the song. And we, who have felt, must love as if life itself depended on it.

In this time of global transition, when ethics and values, self-awareness and self-esteem are being recognized as the essence of conscious living, then we, as educators, must reappraise our responsibility in guiding the hearts and minds of our nation's youth. Our mission is not to bring music, drama, literature, or academic subjects to the children. Rather, our mission is to bring purpose to education, to life itself.

Art is the clearest, purest mirror of the nature of Humanity. Art can be the prism which translates the clear, direct light of science and the humanities into the rainbow of education. Since the dawn of recorded time, the arts have been used to in-struct, to teach or lead, to educate, to draw out the creative understanding of every individual, of every group. We must now recognize that Art is not a diversion from Reality. Art is an expression of Reality. Artists have long been acknowledged as psychological interpreters of the times, demonstrating through their expressions the barometer of Society's moods or dependencies and frustrations, or joys and victories. Let us then, as educators, join with artists to develop creative educational systems which will find and bring out, nurture and inspire the innate creativity of every child so they may creatively respond to the world as they find it.

Let us approach our life on Earth as a level of experiential learning, a theatre of educational events; where we learn to use our intellect, guided by our heart, in alliance with will and wisdom. Let us plant seeds of giving, of sharing, of helping within the depths of our being. And let us then strive to grow into fulfillment of our highest aspirations. Let us rise above our apparent limitations and inspire the young souls who trust us to lead them. One grows by helping others. One helps others by growing.


William Thomas Sly, founder of CES, is available for personal consultation and motivational talks for large and small groups. Please contact:

thomas (at)