Education is relevant and meaningful only if it contributes to our spiritual growth. It is the best tool to help us ascend to the higher dimensions. Religious education is only one part of the entire educational system.
Is Teaching, Earning a Ph.D. degree, and Prestige Worthwhile?
(Repost from JAL's post) March 3, 2022
Dialogue Between Paul Dejillas and Jeffrey Alfaro Lubang
July 17, 2023
JEFFREY: Teaching is a lifelong quest to acquire new knowledge and to partake it to our learners, in turn, they become better equipped for their future. There is no monopoly of knowledge, sometimes it's a matter of being the first to explore certain aspects of human inquiry but, in the end, I still believe that most of what we know now were curiosities of the early thinkers.
Everything that we know now translates to seemingly new but in reality, is ancient knowledge. Cyclical knowledge is a never-ending aspiration to know more and to become more intellectually able but the question is why do we need so much of it?
PAUL: Maybe because we never had enough to become who and what we want to be.
JEFFREY: Or, we just go with the sense of flow based on social dictum? In my case, somebody must have implanted those needs and wants in me that made me who and what I am today. That person must have inspired you, and greatly motivated you, Sir!
PAUL: Go with the flow of the One inside, not the one outside. If the person inside you does not inspire you, then, you're in bad company.
JEFFREY: Hahaha! The person from within is beginning to question the self on matters like Why? What for? I must have been carried away by the promise of prestige.
PAUL: That’s a good starting point. We need prestige to function productively in society. To be a Ph.D. holder is more than enough prestige to be successful in life.
JEFFREY: Why do we need prestige after all? Is it a very important social standard? Who sets these kinds of standards? What other more valuable aspects of human function can prestige bring us setting aside personal achievement? fame? and opportunities? Is it not just a very personal motivation and nothing else? Have a great day Sir!
PAUL: Any regrets about earning your Ph.D. degree? Personal motivation, yes, and now you're enjoying and making productive use of it in the work that you are most passionate about. If not, I'll send a telegram to CHED to disbar(?) not the right term but to refrain you from using your Ph.D. title after your name, both in private and in public.
JEFFREY: Hahaha! Of course, I cherish the personal achievement and I am just so proud that I earned it at the Asian Social Institute no less! There are certain moments in one's existential reflections as to why we for some reason end up in one circumstance, I just continue digging deeper into my own innate motivation for pursuing certain things in life. In these troubled times and of great uncertainty I suppose reflecting upon events and great milestones taking place in my life is still something incomprehensibly surprising.
Initially, I was a total stranger to many things but life and realities made me choose certain paths and directions which I navigated initially with little certainty but held on just the same. Just grateful for the great blessings coming my way these past 3 years and looking forward to a greater sense of purpose in my humble existence. Thank you, Sir, for inspiring me.
Teaching Is a Sacred Profession
June 25, 2023
Teaching is a sacred profession. Teachers are giving their time, space, and resources to their students wholeheartedly. They give everything, their entire self, mind, body, and soul. They mean business.
In the meantime, schools do their best to produce high-quality students who are able to land as topnotchers during board, bar, and professional licensure exams. They mean business too.
But what happens to them when they become leaders of our country? Have we failed? Does education end after graduation? Or, is real education outside the confines of the school and that schools are getting irrelevant? Does this mean also that AI machines are better than us.
Education is still the best vocation and
profession in life. It is part of life
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - June 12, 2022
You don't have to be teaching in schools and universities, possessing a college, master’s, or doctoral degree. You can just be working full time at home taking care of the family.
You can be working in an office communing with your office mates. Or you can be a laborer, construction worker, farmer, fisherman, livestock breeder, entrepreneur, real estate broker, and insurance agent.
You can also be a community-development organizer, clergy, nun, deaconess, basic ecclesial organizer, social worker, accompanying parishes, as well as author, journalist, radio broadcaster, TV personnel.
But let us always be aware that education is not a one-way process, where the educator simply imparts its knowledge, skills, and values (KSVs) to the educands—whether spouse, children, students, clients, customers, parishioners, or friends.
Education is a multifaceted process between the educator and students as well as among themselves, taking into consideration the circumstances, events, and phenomena surrounding their environment.
At its core, education involves both teaching and learning. The educator does not only teach. It also learns from the students. More importantly, it learns from its lapses and errors. In the process the educator, while teaching and learning, is also transformed.
This means that our performance today as an educator is much better than that of yesterday, and in the process of teaching and learning today, our performance tomorrow will be much better than today and yesterday.
It goes without saying then that it is not only the educator that is transformed but also the students, clients, customers, etc. And at the center of it all is the individual, whose transformation is the object and subject of education.
WHAT DO I mean by transformation?
Transformation is not only something that responds to our bodily, mental, and psychosocial or relational needs. More importantly, it is spiritual. It is in fact this spiritual element in us that triggers, inspires, and motivates us to grow and prosper.
What is the use of education if it is only directed at finding and landing a decent and high-paying job? What is the use of education if it does not even guarantee and assure us of this in the first place?
What is the use of education if it is only directed at supplying the demand of employers for highly skilled and productive workers?
We had been taught time and again that in order to be successful in life we have to work hard. The harder we work, the more successful and rewarding would our life be. This is the reason why we work harder and harder every day. If we are not successful, then, we have not worked hard enough yet.
Our daily routine has become primarily focused on working harder today to become successful tomorrow. How many business undertakings have we ventured into in the past and failed?
How many times have we worked hard in making detailed plans (PERT-CPM) in order to assure success in whatever we are doing and yet we failed? How many seminars and workshops have we attended in order to learn from the experiences and successes of others and still failed?
We wake up early in the morning, elbow each other to get a space in the bus or jeepney, brave the traffic, run straight to the office, punch our arrival in the Bundy clock 15 minutes before 8:00 a.m. because to be late is not a good mark in our employment record and we could be penalized or even fired, if we become habitual latecomers.
Yet, in the ultimate analysis, we are not even sure if we will really be successful or not. Over time, our life has become so stressful. And we accumulate these stresses as we grow and mature in age.
I would not be surprised that many of us are now suffering because of the stresses we have accumulated over the years. We could just drop dead anytime without our knowing it, God forbid.
Education, to be transformative, needs to be balanced. It must proportionally respond to our physical, relational, and spiritual needs. It is not only struggling to work hard in order to own a house, car, yacht, farm, and other material possessions.
I’m not saying that all these material goods and possessions are not needed. They are an extension of our personality and have become a necessity today to free us from some of our mundane and monotonous works that have become so routinary to us.
They allow us to engage in other activities that can satisfy and fulfill our non-physical longings to be happy, blissful, and compassionate in life.
Education is not the end. It is only a means for our transformation as a species. It should not be imposed on us as a burden to fulfill in order to be successful in life.
All of us are educators. We have our respective students or clients to attend to. As educators, we are both teachers and learners.
Yes, education is part of life. But life is not part of education.
Online Learning Continues - Part 2
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - May 1, 2022
Again, the following topics were discussed in a roundtable discussion with lay people, seminarians, nuns, government officials, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and priests after the Holy Rosary:
We are all linked by a fabric of unseen connections” that makes us one interconnected system or unit in a concentric fashion, we call Cosmos.
Let me illustrate this by the Parable of the Visible Physical Cobweb and Invisible Spiritual Cobweb.
(1) Invisible Physical Cobweb.
- Where does the cobweb begin and end?
- A disturbance coming from the center of the cobweb creates a vibration throughout the entire web that triggers others to react and respond to the disturbance.
- The reaction can be positive or negative. It can be constructive or destructive to the entire web.
(2) Unseen Spiritual Cobweb. I term this the Cosmic Web.
- We are floating in the fabric of space in this vast Cosmos,held on together by the laws of Nature and the Cosmos.
- This Cosmic Web is directly influenced by our behavior and by our understanding.
- It records all our thoughts, feelings, actions from the beginning of creation to its end.
- It is the depository of all that happened in the past, all that is happening now, and all that will happen in the future.
- It’s the Book of Life or the Akashi Record as the mystics and medium would term it.
- It can be accessed anytime, just as the medium Edgar Cauvery did.
- It is the depository of all the solutions to our problems.
(1) If we’re all linked and interconnected, this means that we depend on each other for our survival and spiritual growth.
(2) Destroying each other, as in the case of acquiring political, ideological, and religious dominance over the other, is killing ourselves and the entire humanity.
(3) Destroy the physical and spiritual web, and we destroy the entire world and universe.
(4) Not all of our 4-D problems can be solved within. We have to get out of our box and access the 5-D world and even beyond.
(5) Let’s use our judgement wisely and judiciously. And whoever wins in the coming May 9 national elections, may it mark the beginning of the reconstruction of a new Philippines and a new Filipino people.
Our online session continues.
Online learning continues - Part 1
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - April 30, 2022
For two nights, the following topics were discussed in a roundtable discussion with lay people, seminarians, nuns, government officials, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and priests after the Holy Rosary.
(A) The 5th Dimension (which is God’s Celestial Domain) Manifests Itself to us in the 4th dimension through Mother Nature.
Mother Nature is a reflection of the image and power of God. It partakes all the attributes of God. Mother Nature is God. But its Godhead stems from the world beyond in the 5th dimension.
Protecting and nourishing Mother Nature by performing rituals, songs, dances, agape, and other religious services is a way of adoring its Creator. It’s similar to celebrating the Holy Mass, which consists of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
(B) Lectio Divina: A Means for Christians Through Which the 5th Dimension can Influence our 4-D World. Lectio divina highlights the five steps below :
(1) (Lectio). “Taking of a bite”. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you in understanding a verse in the Holy Scripture.
(2) Meditatio: “Chewing on it”. Ask yourself: What is this passage saying to me, today, and to my life?
(3) Oratio: “Savoring the taste”. What can I say to the Lord in response to his word? Conversation with God. Begin to dialogue with the Lord and open yourself to His will.
(4) Contemplatio: “Digesting”. In a moment of silence, try to listen to the voice God. This moment of silence is saying something to you. What conversion of the mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me? Listen closely with your heart.
(5) Actio: “Go and do likewise”. This is applying what the Lord has told you with your family, neighbors, office mates, and society.
And the online session continues daily.
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – September 28, 2021
One of the challenges I face during class is how to keep the interest of the students alive during long hours of online teaching.
I find the Socratic method inapplicable and ineffective among doctoral students. Graduate degree programs expect teachers to give them new ideas, new insights, new philosophies, new paradigms, new methodologies, and new approaches to learning.
More importantly, students expect their teachers to demonstrate how these nuances can be relevant and meaningful in terms of transforming today's individuals, society, and environment.
Students also love to read books. They devour books that relate to their degree courses. That's why in the doctoral program, teachers are challenged to do research works and publish books or articles.
The Golden Future of Education
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – June 21, 2021
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” (George Washington Carver).
Laying down the foundation in life is done here-and-now. In my case, this was done decades ago. I believe then that education was the greatest mover in life. It must be so now. What I did was to rent a house near the best Philippine schools for my children to reside from kinder to high school and college.
I have to move my research and consultancy firm near their school. Many of their teachers (priests and nuns), have become my students and have even visited my residence, wherever I moved from place to place.
They're the silent witnesses of the life I was taking, including the challenges and hardships that came my way.
Only a few years later, my two sons graduated from Don Bosco-Makati and San Beda College and my daughter from St. Scholastica, all prime schools then and now, of global standards.
What I inherited from my parents and elders are all lands, lots of them. They're still there for my taking. But they're highly controversial.
First, there was no money, which I foresaw then was the greatest medium of exchange. I knew then that nothing was impossible with money. It could move mountains. If there was money then, it came in trickles.
My mother had to source it out. It was 10 centavos. It was part of the rent money, complement of the Chinese and Muslims who were renting our property. My gratitude to them. But I had my premonition then that it would never be enough for the future.
Second, not all of my elders and those entrusted for property management shared the same concept of justice, fairness, love, and compassion to all the members of the family. The only recourse, I realized, would be to build my own foundation in life.
I must tell you it was hard for me and my family to move around so many times. As if I was uprooting my family from the ground. So think twice before you leap. See if you can bear the incumbranches and pains of moving from place to place or leading an entirely new life and lifestyle.
I swallowed my pride even though I knew then that the future was uncertain and I could miscalculate things and events that were always changing.
On hindsight, I believe it was the Cosmos that was setting all up for me. I learned now that the Cosmic Forces and Entities out there all conspired for me.
They led me here in my Antipolo hide-away to stay for more than two decades in order to deepen and broaden my cosmic evolutionary journey.
I'm sharing this experience for others to learn from my story in life. There's something or somebody up there in the sky, in the heavens above, wherever it is, you might not know or believe, that's guiding our here-and-now and future.
You just have to do whatever you have to do right now, not later, even if it means so much pains and sacrifices. The family remains the basic unit of society. It's the seed planted from which the fruits would be sowed later. Time will come for the harvest.
On hindsight, our family never expected what we are reaping and enjoying right now, both love and hate together. Sharing with others will continue at a wider scope and bigger rate.
Continue to tell your story in the social media so we can join together and with others. And as a bigger herd of similarly oriented families, we can journey collectively, side-by-side, towards that destiny we've been set to go.
There are two ways how to live life, namely, (1) to work in order to get rich, (2) to work in order to access the Cosmos, whatever is out there.
The first approach is definite and decisive. I want to get rich that's why I work hard. I only work if it makes me richer than yesterday. I don't believe in volunteerism and charity works.
This is understandable. Anybody out there among you who don't want to own a car, house, computer, cellphone, new clothes, new shoes, jewelries, etc.?
The second approach is also definite and decisive, but it's not certain of what awaits ahead. The individual simply loves the adventure and excitement of knowing what lies beyond.
It has no expectations other than the sense of adventurism, wonder, surprise, and joy that propel the individual to act and continue moving.
It's not expecting a destiny. The journey, it seems, is itself the destiny. The two have merged as one in an endless motion.
So, lay your foundation now, whatever it is. If you've done so already, check it out. If it's weak, strengthen it. As always, let's maintain an attitude of gratefulness, whether in times of joy and sadness, health and pain, and suffering and ecstasy. Or, all of them at the same time.
Education Has Shifted Online
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - October 19, 2020
Basketball Type of Online Education: My 15-Point Reflection
1. Online education is like playing basketball in an unfamiliar court with empty stadium, and without the raucous and appreciative kibitzers.
2. The lesser the interaction with the kibitzers, the lesser the motivation to play. The lesser motivation comes from the lesser force and energy that normally jolts the players, coaches, teams, referees, and sponsors into action. And this jolting force becomes heightened in a circular fashion that keeps on shaking the players until the end of the game.
3. An empty grandstand, lack or absence of sponsors, and invisible viewers out there in the world, only God knows where, makes the players disinterested, less inspired, less powerful, and less energetic of what they are supposed to be doing. View for yourself how the second game is played out in your TV channels after seven months of absence. Observe how the individuals play their respective roles.
4. In the case of formal education, the new platform challenges the educator to be more focused on the technical side of the presentation--availability and speed of the Internet, visuals, sounds, recordings, sharing the slide presentations, noise disturbances of the aircon or electric fan, babies crying, pets barking, vendors peddling their wares and those disturbances coming from outside the home perimeter like house construction.
5. By focusing more on the gadgets, the educator tends to become enslaved and imprisoned in the world of digitized robots. The educator becomes an automaton subjected to the clockwork precision and laws of a programmed robot, transforming the human educator as an android operating within a mechanized robot, while at the same time making the robot humanoid.
6. By becoming mechanical, the educator spends lesser time to the subject it is teaching, resulting in lesser insights, lesser creativity, lesser ingenuity that usually go in the process of teaching. Ultimately, the quality of education becomes stale, gradually diminishes, and eventually loses its value, meaning, and relevance.
7. As the educator becomes more adept at using the new platform, the speed, rather than depth of education, becomes much faster compared to classroom, face-to-face interaction, where discussion is spontaneous and much livelier. Quality gives way to quantity. Smiling, frowning, and even sleepy faces all add up to the depth of learning and imagination of the educator in a classroom setting, but are sadly hidden easily in online education.
8. I have covered more topics in online education than when I was teaching in the classroom. But I had no way of knowing whether the students are listening or are interested in what I was imparting online. I was able to survive mainly by the thought that it's not the professor that can make the students good and successful in life. I just have to give my best shot that is worthy enough for what the Institution and the students are paying me for. Whatever lack there is, have to be supplemented in my websites, FB posts, books, and one-on-one tutoring in my Messenger and emails.
9. Awareness more on the gadget makes the educator less conscious of itself as the watcher and observer of the entire educational process. The process of learning and teaching has expanded to cover the entire world, very much different when it was done in a classroom setting where the entire process was more contained, more manageable, and more focused.
10. Lecturing facing a concrete wall or before a vast expanse of empty space is giving a feeling that one is just talking to a wall, the voice bouncing back and forth to the origin, making the effect choppy. Or talking to nobody in the wilderness whose voice no-one hears and no-one knows whether it exists at all. The one uttering the words and producing the sound gradually realizes that nobody cares. Eventually, the origin of the voice also falls into accepting the temptation that it does not also care at all.
11. Seeing myself, when I replayed my CCTV at home, gives me a strange image of myself as insane and crazy, pretending to be normal than abnormal, appearing to be human than humanoid. Feelings of guilt and disgust to the kind of world created for us by others became an inevitable but a necessary consequence.
12. Guilt, for having not anticipated and done anything to prevent this before it went pandemic. Disgust, for being forcefully quarantined and lockdown as a result, with nobody caring when and how this will end.
13. There are so many ways to approach these challenges. I'll start and do whatever and however the spirit within leads me than rely on the forces outside, who are themselves more confused, unable to decide what to do, and, in cases where they are doing something, lack the knowledge, skill, and experience of what they are doing.
14. They can no longer be trusted. The result is always a failure, making the situation even worse than before they started. Yet, they nearly have an infinite supply of human and financial resources before and during these things happened. In a few months time, the nation's treasure chest got drained.
15. Let's start moving on our own as one inspired team, guys.
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – March 20, 2017
Isaac Asimov says: “Education is not something you can finish."
Indeed, this is what life is all about. Life is all about education. But when do parents stop telling their children how to live their lives? When do children begin to freely structure their own lives? Likewise, when do schools and teachers stop teaching their students how to live their lives? In our case, when do we stop teaching others how to lead their lives?
Education and Indoctrination
Aug 7, 2016
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDOCTRINATION AND EDUCATION? OUR CURRENT EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM DOES NOT REALLY DISTINGUISH THEM. THEY'RE JUST THE SAME. BUT WE SEE A LOT OF DIFFERENCES.
WHEN WE TELL OUR STUDENTS TO ACCEPT AUTHORITY INSTEAD OF TRUTH, THAT IS INDOCTRINATION. INDOCTRINATION IS FORCIBLY INCULCATING IDEAS, ATTITUDES, INCLUDING LEARNING STRATEGIES AND METHODOLOGIES BY COERCION.
THIS IS REALLY WHAT IS BEING DONE IN OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM TO THIS DAY. AS A RESULT, ACADEMIC FREEDOM BECOMES AN ILLUSION. FORTUNATELY, A GREATER NUMBER OF HUMANITY ARE NOW AWARE OF THIS PROBLEM AND ARE SERIOUSLY DOING SOMETHING TO CORRECT IT.