THE NATURAL SUN

Announcements about our sun and its natural conditions

- Chapter 17 -
Office schools upon the equatorial belt


 
R
egarding offices, these are not built upon the hills like the private dwellings, but more in the valleys to preclude the trainees being distracted by the charming views.
 
2
To enable you to get a better idea of the office building sites it shall be desirable to further scrutinize the hill dwellers of the sun.
 
3
There are three kinds of hills on the sun: firstly the sweeping hills running in interminable distances in all directions over their belt like the mountain chains upon your Earth. Secondly the various peaks to these hills which look like regular, blunted cones on top of each other to form a pyramid; and thirdly the individual offshoots which are called the breasts of the hills. Upon these the private dwellings are erected and the remainder of the area allocated to agricultural land where approximately a half acre is apportioned per person. These grounds are usually circular like the hills themselves so that three or four lots usually border each other in small valleys between three or four hills.
 
4
Where these circles impinge at one point, unoccupied areas remain. It is on these odd parts that the office buildings are built.
 
5
Some of the latter are smaller than the private buildings, others larger if needed. The smaller ones are elementary schools for children, of plain style; separate for boys' schools and with small flower gardens between the pillars for girls.
 
6
The outfitting of these office buildings, by the way, is almost identical to that of the private dwellings excepting the omission of decorations bespeaking the students' inward simplicity and dearth of spiritual adornment in their cognitions; whilst the little flower gardens in the girls' schools signify that the girls should develop also outwardly in a clean and delicate manner in order to spawn a pleasing and attractive spirit.
 
7
This therefore is the first category of official buildings. They are however, not indwelt by the office bearers or teachers, whose dwellings are located upon an adjacent hill.
 
8
How are office bearers' dwellings distinguished from other dwellings? In nothing more than a direct, private road to the office building, whilst the paths from the other houses are directed towards the impingement points of the circular grounds; the outfitting of office-bearers' houses is the same as other peoples.
 
9
Which children attend these schools? Only local children of perhaps three, four or five private dwellings.
 
10
How long do the classes last? Never longer than five hundred swings of the pendulum; then there is a recess lasting five thousand pendulum swings; and so the process continues until the children have fully assimilated the elementary material which consists of no more than giving the children certain rules to keep.
 
11
A child for example is forbidden to take note of some object, but direct its eyes away from it until the official can see that it no longer causes the child strain to ignore the object. Furthermore, the children are also tempted with various inducements to transgress; spectacles are put on where a child is forbidden to look, costing the child much strain and self-denial in diverting their curious eyes, but practice makes for mastery and this is the case here too; the children let themselves go on occasions but are earnestly warned and on repeated transgressions punished in a small appropriate matter - until the aim is gradually achieved.
 
12
Once the children are able to keep one rule, a second similar one is given them and on succeeding a third, fourth, fifth and sometimes up to thirty regulations are added.
 
13
Once the children have in this way learnt to bridle their eyes, they must learn to bridle their tongues; the teacher watches for a child's favourite subject, after which the child is denied the chance to express it for a lengthy period. Once the child can deny itself also on that score, the teacher probes for another inclination, disallowing it again in an appropriate manner.
 
14
Behold, elementary education consists therein, with a purpose no other than to take away the child's own will in the most appropriate manner, thus making it submissive and therewith into a vessel for the reception of God's will, which is then taught at a higher school.
 
15
Just as in this elementary school the children are held back from all external activity, leading all their senses, thoughts and desires captive, so reversely in the higher school they are led into one activity after another, in accordance with God's will, wherefore these schools are also somewhat more complex than the first variety, although they are otherwise fitted out like the private dwellings.
 
16
The interior decorations of these bigger office buildings, normally located where four or five properties impinge, are usually commensurate with the students' prescribed activities, consisting of the fixation of divine objects.
 
17
A student may for example be shown something that he has to observe uninterruptedly in all its aspects for a lengthy period and then tell the teacher everything he has noted about it. On finishing, he is told to observe the same thing more sharply and carefully check whether he did not leave something out at his first recall. At this second scrutiny, the student tells what has escaped his first observation.
 
18
Is this all? Not so, the teacher frequently directs the student towards the same object ten, twenty or thirty times. You shall of course ask what is the good of this? Surely one cannot find out more about a thing than it externally presents at first observation. But I say: such observation is only superficial and does nothing for his spirit, as any animal can behold a thing in this way.
 
19
Through the oft enforced studying, the student is himself forced in his spirit to scrutinize the sundry relationships, connections and consolidations and is habituated into the certainty of his gaze, which is absolutely essential for apathetic spirits. Behold, in such exercises the schooling in this second office consists.
 
20
When the students have been thoroughly taken through such rules in theory and even more in practice, they are then received into a third school building, no longer situated in the lowlands, but in the private house hill area.
 
21
This school is already of a considerable size with four rooves, like the pyramidal rooves of the private dwellings. These are already classified something resembling your high schools. What is taught here? Here analysis of visible things is made as it were and the divine order of things pointed out.
 
22
Wherefore this office building, inside and outside, is of such magnificence schematic design that you could hardly form the least concept. Because firstly, the one hundred pillars on which the four rooves rest are adorned throughout with such exalted sculptural artwork as to give the impression of being alive. These works or decorations upon the normally rectangular columns conjure up Egyptian hieroglyphs, except for the unspeakably greater perfection.
 
23
In the middle of this office building, four pylons are erected which help to partly carry the roof joists and are partly (for the portion up to the joists) decorated with higher ornamentation which already depicts the actions of their Great God.
 
24
The pylons, each of about four metres diameter and forty metres height, are made of a material resembling your red quartz, whilst the decorations consist of all kinds of the most precious stones fastened thereto. The pylon bases are round and of a material resembling glowing gold. The chapters at the top look as if they are made of amethyst.
 
25
There are great white spheres atop the chapters, joined by the most beautiful arches upon which the roof joists rest, the latter made of material resembling fiery ruby. From there the actual roof beams rise, coloured dark violet, as distinct from black in the private dwellings.
 
26
In short, an incomprehensible uniformity reigns in such official buildings. One thing blends into another and within the fullness of the most glorious ornamentation, there is no ostentation anywhere. Even the floor resembles your so-called mosaics, except for the exalted configuration, each tile instead carrying the finest miniature painting; and every painted object is depicted so realistically as to give the impression of carvings rather than paintings.
 
27
There are also, as in the private dwellings, the most marvellous resting benches between the pillars. And since this office building consists of four sections as it were, (as evident from the four rooves) there is also in the middle, underneath each roof, an aforementioned splendid pyramidal staircase of similar finish to those we met in the private dwellings.
 
28
Outside the office building, usually occupied by the official and his family, there are also similar ground divisions and tilling systems to the private dwellings already mentioned, excepting on a larger scale.
 
29
The overall ground area around the office building frequently measures a thousand acres, yet a half acre only is at each person's disposal; why such large grounds for an official whose family is bound to be no larger tan that of a private house?
 
30
The reason is that the students of the institution live in during their courses; for here they must learn much, namely as you have heard, God's order in many diverse things, or here, they have to, as it were, learn to read in the great book of God's nature, the reason also for all the aforementioned ornamentations within this building.
 
31
To give you some idea, I will give you the signification of just a pillar. The round base or foot signifies the power of God or of His will. The external foundation of all things. The square pillar above it signifies the power going forth from this foundation, which is the support of heaven and all created things. The created things are represented by the adornments fastened to the pillar and have a homogeneity among themselves as well as with the power which brings them into being and carries them. For you must know that such decorations are not made and attached to the pillars by human hands but solely through the higher will of the Great God, who speaks through a completely purified human heart. The chapters upon such pillars signify wisdom and the spheres above the chapters the profundity of same within God, the arches joining these spheres signify the inscrutable paths by which God's wisdom sees through and connects everything in supreme order, which order is then the maintaining carrier of all infinity.
 
32
Behold, this is just a fleeting sketch of the sense in which this office building is erected with all its features, which the students then have to learn to recognize within such order by systematic instruction. Would you not prefer such a college to your Latin ones on Earth? Behold, this is the right type of educational institution!
 
33
Once upon a time, such schools existed upon your Earth, but human avarice displaced them from such foundations. And thus I once again give you this instruction from the sun, to show you how the right type of school for live education of the human spirit should be established, which however you shall learn to recognize only from our next presentation of temples. And so let us leave it again for today!