A healthy society provides opportunities for adult-education. It is a social development. Such a society sets of numerous schools for adult-education. But such establishment of schools is not enough. They may be sufficient for a small part of population but the principle needs to be applied to the population as a whole.
Schooling being the transformation of knowledge or formation of character is a part of education but not the most important part. Education means to bring out the inherent qualities of man. A man may be affluent but still he is not satisfied with his sense of fulfillment.
Man, in order to feel at home in the world, must grasp the world not only with his head but with all his senses. Body and mind cannot be separated. If man grasps the world and unites himself with it, he creates philosophy, theology, myth and science. If man expresses the understanding of the world by his senses he creates art and ritual. He creates song, dance, drama painting, sculpture and the like.
Modern art has been separated from life. The artist and the consumers of art stand on different planes. Today man is alienated from art.” In the past, there were extraordinarily gifted artists, in Egypt, Greece and Italy. They had created dance, drama and the like. But in modern times the religious rites like the Gothic Cathedral, Catholic ritual, an Indian rain dance, a Japanese flower arrangement, a folk dance, community singing do not come under the category of art. It is because art is a part of everybody’s life. It has lost its place in the modern world.
Art means to respond to the world with our senses in a meaningful, skilled, productive, active, shared way. But modern art has become individualistic. They do not belong to the collective area of commonly shared experience. Art is connected with human life. It has connection with basic human needs.
Man’s life becomes meaningful if he corresponds with the world artistically. But he feels insecure if he fails to reconcile the world artistically. In order to grow out of the receptive into the productive orientation, man should relate himself to the world artistically and not only scientifically and philosophically. If a culture does not offer such a realization the average person does not develop beyond his receptive and marketing orientation.
Religious rituals have little importance except for the Catholics. Secular rituals hardly exist. We are a culture of consumers. We are lost in the movies, the crime reports, the liquor, the fun and the like. There is no active productive participation and no unifying experience. In such a society we cannot development of common and shared artistic development from young generation. They escape into drinking movie-day dreaming, crime, neurosis and insanity.
From this point of view a primitive village is better than a town. In a primitive village, there is real feast. There are common artistic shared expressions in a primitive village though the people are illiterate there. They are more healthy mentally and culturally than the educated, newspaper- reading, radio listening public of a city.
No healthy society can be built up on the basis of purely intellectual knowledge and complete absence of shared artistic experience. The creation of collective art and ritual on a secular basis is the need of the hour. It is as important as literacy and higher education.
A communitarian society should create opportunities for the people to sing, walk, dance and admire together. Several attempts have been made to develop collective art and ritual but they have failed. Perhaps the most profound expression of collective art was found in the German Youth movement. But they were crushed by Nationalism and Racism. Modern ritual has been made weak. It does not fulfill man’s need for collective art and ritual. It has neither qualitative nor quantitative significance to life.
Collective art will begin with the children’s games in kindergarten. It continues in school, then in later life. We shall have common dances, choirs, plays, music, bands not entirely replacing modern sport but subordinating it to the role of nonprofit and non-purpose activities.
Decentralization is necessary for the development of collective art. Various common forms of artistic activities can be created in the school, in the small political discussion group, in the village and the like. They can be stimulated by the help and suggestion of central artistic bodies. They can be presented before a wide public through television and radio.
Spiritual transformation of the society is possible through religion. Christianity and Judaism aim at propagating the supremacy of spiritual over material values. They give importance to the concept of God. Of course the concept of God differs from one religion to another. Here comes the role of non-believers in God. Instead of decrying the practice of brotherly love, truth and justice, they should challenge the concept of God propounded by different religious thinkers.
Today, it is not Baal and Astarte but the glorification of the state and the countries who have power. It is all pervading alienation which threatens the spiritual qualities of man. We are concerned with the essence and not with the shell. We are concerned with man and not with the institution. This statement will remain true because in course of time theistic concepts will disappear for the future development of humanity.
A new religion will develop within the next hundred years. The most important feature of such a religion will be its universalistic character corresponding to the unification of mankind. It would embrace the humanistic teachings common to all great religions of the East and the West. Its emphasis could be on the practice of life other than any doctrinal belief. Such a religion would create new rituals and new forms of artistic expression. It will be suitable to the spirit of reverence toward life and the solidarity of man.