Ithaca Free School

Friday, March 11, 2005

A Model of Wholeness

Anne wrote me a very perceptive letter in response to my primer. One passage in particular struck me, which I have obtained her permission to excerpt here:

"To me, the most compelling idea is that the love of knowledge cuts across social lines and other artificial distinctions.... We are, as you say, so isolated and
separate from each other. Not only does this keep us compliant with the prevailing order (how is it that we're at war when at least half the country strongly
opposes it?), but also, in the deepest sense, disspirited and broken as human beings. To me the purpose of education is to heal these wounds, but one has to name them in order to be free of them. You have to be able to understand the fault lines in society or in yourself in order to begin to address them. And you can never do this alone. You also simultaneously need a model of wholeness; for me, this
has always been poetry, art, music and literature, or the thoughts of historians and contemplatives and philosophers."

Thanks Anne. This sums up a good deal of what I find valuable, both personally and socially, about the cultural tradition.



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