Excerpted from “Education for Liberation A Cornerstone of Prout” by, in Understanding Prout – Essays on Sustainability and Transformation, Volume 1. Proutist Universal, Australia, 2009. Version: 11th February 2010.
Economic and social institutions are designed to facilitate the attainment of the highest of human potentialities: self-realization, compassion, and love for all beings.
Neohumanist Education Perspective
The nature of what it means to be human is reconceived as one of relationship and interconnection, not as an isolated individual. Non-dogmatic spiritual development is fostered in schools, as is the cultivation of empathy, emotional intelligence, and universal love. Cooperation with, rather than mastery over, all species is fostered.
Shrii Sarkar formally introduced Neohumanism in 1982 to focus attention on the philosophical essentials necessary to fulfil the Proutistic intention of shifting human attention from the narrow and limited geo- and socio-educations of both the capitalist and socialist nation state towards expansive yet deliberately enabling universalist education. For him this moved attention from human self-interest to a new sense of purpose for the human story. Such a move was flagged in his initial statements on Prout where he discussed the need for a “common philosophy of life” that fostered the physical, mental and spiritual development of individuals. In this way he foresaw the development of an integrated personality and a sense of not just belonging to one Cosmic family, but of being stewards by virtue of our position within the universal collective and thus responsible for the collective welfare of the universe.
This vision he clarified in a series of discourses called Liberation of Intellect: Neohumanism, in which he noted that Neohumanism will give new inspiration and provide a new interpretation for the very concept of human existence. It will help people understand that human beings, as the most thoughtful and intelligent beings in this created universe, will have to accept the great responsibility of taking care of the entire universe – will have to accept that the responsibility for the entire universe rests on them. Spirituality in essence focuses on the psycho-spiritual as the epistemological context for Prout. It builds on the re-imagining of humanity as part of a universal story. This is an epistemological task as it works on how we know and understand the world around us. It engages with worldview and paradigm as the contexts which shape human understanding of self, other and the world around us.