The HAI inner curriculum consists of three core principles – living a values-driven life, living a conscious life, and living a purposeful life. These principles create the conditions that allow us to experience a holistic sense of wellbeing with ourselves, other people, and the planetary environment. See also the paper on the Future of Education
Principle Number 1
As we grow and develop through the stages of development, we naturally include and transcend six modes of decision-making – instincts, subconscious beliefs, conscious beliefs, values, intuition, and inspiration.
During the first three stages of development, we mostly use our instincts, subconscious beliefs, and conscious beliefs to understand what is happening to us and how to make decisions. During the later stages of psychological development, we shift into values, intuition, and inspiration-based decision-making.
The main difference between belief-based decision-making and values-based decision-making is that beliefs tend to separate people, whereas values tend to unite people. It is much easier for groups of people from different ethnic backgrounds or religions to agree on a common set of values than to agree on a common set of beliefs. It is therefore vitally important that we teach our children to explore their values and make values-based decisions as soon as possible in their lives.
In a volatile, rapidly changing world, like the world we now live in, you cannot rely on information from the past (beliefs) to make decisions about your future. You need a decision-making mechanism that anchors you to what is important in your heart. Living according to your values, enables you to live with integrity and authenticity.
Principle Number 2
We become conscious when we begin to distinguish our own thoughts, opinions, morals, and values from the group we identify with. We discover who we really are; we become responsible for our lives and we begin to make choices based on our most deeply held values and motivations. We become independent.
Developing conscious awareness is a three-stage process:Most people operate with what is known as a “socialized mind.” They tend to conform to the ideas, norms and beliefs of their family, culture, and society. They try to fit in so they can get their survival, safety and security needs met. Their sense of self is determined by external validation. They lead a dependent life and hide their true self from the world. They live their lives unconsciously according to their parental and cultural conditioning.
The skills required for becoming conscious can be learned at any age. However, they become vitally important at the individuating stage of development. Unless you have developed these skills you cannot master or go beyond this stage of development.
If you are not taught how to become conscious, then the process of becoming conscious is usually triggered by repeated emotional upsets, or bouts of depression or mental stress. The pain you are feeling gets your attention. As you become more aware of how your subconscious thoughts influence your actions, your life conditions will change. Most importantly, your relationships will improve. You will begin to the experience the joy and contentment of being your true self as you embrace your authenticity.
There are two keys to becoming conscious. First, you must cultivate presence by connecting to your true self. This is who you really are under the layers of all your conditioning. Second, you must develop your Inner Witness, also known as the Observing Self. Without a sense of presence – living in the now rather than in the past or the future, you cannot access your Inner Witness. These two keys promote self-awareness.
Principle Number 3
At one level, we are all the alike; we all have the same human needs and desires. At another level, we are all different; we all have unique gifts and talents. To find fulfilment and wellbeing in the later stages of development you must do three things to promote your internal alignment:
Self-expression becomes vitally important for our wellbeing at the self-actualizing stage of development. Connection becomes vitally important for our wellbeing at the integrating stage of development. Contribution becomes vitally important for our wellbeing at the serving stage of development. It is important to teach children how to self-express, connect and contribute as soon as possible so they can easily master these stages of development later in life.
Our current education systems tend to focus on what we need to learn to become economically productive members of society – they are essentially focused on the outer curriculum. They pay little attention to the inner curriculum – conscious awareness, human fulfilment and societal wellbeing. It is time for all that to change. We need to learn the skills that are required to manage both our inner world and our outer world.
The Future of Education: The Humanity Awareness Initiative Life-long Learning Program