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Kyle Herman

<p>Jennifer, thank you for serving as the “connective tissue” that joins all of these Great Minds from across so many disciplines together for one Grand Cosmic Conversation.  </p><p>It’s hard to say which of the principles is most important to me, firstly because they are all intertwined, and secondly because Deep Time Education affects me differently when I think about it from my own personal edification versus how it enhances the learning experience for my students in a Montessori setting.</p><p>On a personal level, “Passion, Place, and Purpose” is the most profound and potent element of Deep Time Education because it points the way to an enlightenment that can only be achieved when we transcend the ego-self and discover the Higher Self that has been hiding there all along beyond the range of the ego’s myopic vision. </p><p>As a Montessori educator, I absolutely want my students to experience the same kind of transcendence through Deep Time Education, and I believe that many of them will come to see it, but they have to see it for themselves.</p><p>For that reason, as a Montessori educator, I tend to give primacy to “Awe and Wonder” because in the adolescent plane of development, the individual is asking big questions and searching for meaning that is very hard to find in a commercialized culture in which money and status rule or in a traditional high school setting in which the most important thing about one’s education seems to be getting good grades (a goal that for some, no matter how hard they try or how many tutors they have, just won’t happen).  </p><p>Thus, since adolescents find themselves disoriented in both school and the society in which they’re about to play a bigger role, they end up feeling the opposite of awe and wonder (which we might call indifference and boredom), and then they get stigmatized as lazy, apathetic, jaded, angsty, you name it.  The reality is that they feel awe and wonder quite naturally in this plane of development, but when all they get fed is artificial and bland ingredients (in both school and the larger culture), they lose their appetite pretty quickly. </p><p>Furthermore, I believe that Montessori’s paramount goal of her life’s work was to “reform humanity” and foster a more peaceful world in which all people recognize the interconnectedness of their interests and fates as well as appreciate the full profundity of their power to transform both the physical and the spiritual world for the better (our Cosmic Gift/Task).  </p><p>In my mind, that kind of epiphany begins from Awe and Wonder, from the deeply moving experience of feeling oneself part of a larger whole.  Once we really appreciate that, not only does warfare appear absurd, but interpersonal violence of all scales and forms (emotional, physical, psychological abuse) appears absurd too.</p><p> What I try to impress upon my students is that we can’t get focused on whether or not the whole world will ever be peaceful.  All we can do is make our “local world” (consisting of the people we interact with everyday and all of the choices we make everyday) as kind and helpful and peaceful as we can possibly make it.  And if we make our local world a better place, then we have in fact made the world at large a better place because each person’s “local world” makes up the whole of the larger world.    </p><p>Then, from this experience of feeling themselves part of a larger whole and realizing that in their own way they can change the awesome and wonderful world in which they are lucky enough to live, the “deeper identity” of the Higher Self hiding in each of them appears well within the range of their newly enhanced vision…and they will see it for themselves.  </p>