Before I start I’d like to remind all my friends in San Diego (glad you have your lights back on!) that I’ll be at Balboa Park, tomorrow, September 10, for Pagan Pride day. I’ll be speaking on Past Lives at 11:00, so come out and spend the day.
And next weekend I’ll be coming to Las Vegas and I’ll be giving three workshops. On Saturday the 17th I’ll be giving workshops on Talismans and Amulets, and later on the same day I’ll be revealing the Secrets of Â Magical Evocation. On Sunday the 18th I’ll be giving a workshop on Tarot & Magic. All the workshops will be held at Well of the Moon on Decatur Blvd. Their phone number is: 702-666-7200.
For more details on these events, please go to my website by clicking on this LINK.
And now, a post that is my opinion
on attitudes about the value and purpose of education…
Two things occurred that drew me to this subject. First, for most students, school is now back in session. So I was thinking about the nature of education. Second, I recently voluntarily assisted at a NLP Practitioner training for almost 300 people. The lead trainer was Dr. Matt James, head of Kona University. This training was a new methodology, stripping out much side material that goes into usual Neuro-Linguistic Programming “Prac” trainings. Commonly, such trainings cost thousands of dollars, but this one was only 97 bucks. This is an astounding bargain, and was well worth every penny. Now, admittedly this was fewer days, so the costs to rent the room and to pay for staff were lower, but even so, the only way they could afford to do this was by having some speakers selling their wares. They had just two. One was a delightful gentleman named Drew who shared a great deal about publicity and marketing. He delivered enough information that even if you weren’t interested in buying the program he had for sale, you learned a lot.
The other person was an abrasive Australian selling a method (“puts” and “calls”) to get rich on the stock market. I was, unfortunately, turned off by his egotistical, know-it-all, “you can’t lose” approach. After all, if you can’t lose wouldn’t everyone be doing it?
But the reason for the rant you are reading is something this gentleman said at the beginning of his talk. He pointed out that if you spent $30,000 a year on a college education for four years, you would have spend $120,000 and “all you would get is a job.” His pitch went on to focus on how, for far less in his investment scheme…er, system…you could have earned many tens of thousands over those same four years.
Right and Wrong
The man from “Oz” was both right and wrong. If all you’re looking for is a job, you could probably get training for a great job without going to college. However, according to the U.S. government, you will make almost a million more over your lifetime if you get a four-year degree. Why is this?
No matter what degree you get, when you get a new job you can expect to spend several weeks or months learning how your new company wants you to do the job. Some or even much of this real-world training will contradict what you learned in school. So if they train you anyway, why do they want you to have a degree?
Besides having the basic background for your coursework, there are two major reasons for this. The first is that they want to see if you can stick to something you start. Spending four years getting a degree is quite an accomplishment. But there is another reason, too.
A university degree does more than train you how to do a job. It teaches you about the world.
When you’re in college, you don’t just take courses in your area of specialty. You’ll also take “elective” classes often in what are called the liberal arts, including history, philosophy, language, art, music, and a variety of other subjects that may have nothing directly to do with your major. These classes can help you become a well-rounded individual, capable of thinking about and discussing art, psychology, philosophy, history, and other topics. They give you other perspectives that you can bring to a future job, perspectives that can spark creativity and make you valuable in ways that are impossible to guess.
Recently, I saw some articles that told about colleges where, when you graduate, you’ll make the most money. Far be it from me to suggest that you don’t consider this.
However, consider that the greatest leaders and thinkers in the history of magick and the occult have also been philosophers, artists, writers, psychologists, and more. Going to college won’t make you such a personâ€”indeed, you can become such a leader without college. What colleges and universities do deliver is the opportunity to study these topics before life gets in the way.
Is a college or university degree necessary for a magician or just to get ahead? No.
Do I encourage it for the opportunities it provides to help you fulfill your potential? Absolutely.
Should you go to college just to get a better job? I think that may be a waste of Â your time and it may prevent others who value a broad education from obtaining it.
In sum, if you want to go to school to get a broad education, a degree, have better earnings potential, and start on the way to what the Golden Dawn called being “more than human,” a degree from a college or university can be very helpful. If you just want a good job, take some trainings or go to a technical school and save time and money.
One of my personal mottoes is (Maybe it will be a good epitaphâ€”not that I want to need an epitaph any time soon!):
You don’t stop living when you stop breathing.
You stop living when you stop learning.
I’ve met all sort of people who have stopped learning and continue to merely exist, focusing on past experiences and past victories. I prefer to look toward the future.
Where are you? What have you learned today?