Our Philosophy of Education

True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity”

Paulo Freire, 1970

The unconscious is and will remain forever ineffable”

Norman O. Brown, 1966

Wisdom cannot be purchased”

Akan Proverb

Everything contradictory to the ruling tendencies of the conscious personality … is apt to be repressed”

Franz Alexander, 1932

The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself”

Saul Alinsky, 1971

The only true principle for mankind is justice”

Henri Frédéric Amiel, 1863

You know very well that love is, above all, the gift of oneself!”

Jean Anouilh, 1949

Men, their rights and nothing more; Women, their rights and nothing less!”

Susan B. Anthony, 1873

He who has the truth is in the majority, even though he be one.”

Arabian Proverb

Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think”

Hannah Arendt, 1970

The last taboo of mankind, avoiding forbidden and dangerous thoughts, must be removed … There are no illegitimate thoughts

Theodor Reik, 1963

Within us, still within us, always within us, childhood is a state of mind”

Gaston Bachelard, 1960

For to love is to escape from doubt, it is to live in the certainty of the heart”

Gaston Bachelard, 1938

There’s a consensus out there that it’s okay to kill when your government decides whom to kill. If you kill inside the country you get in trouble. If you kill outside the country, right time, right season, latest enemy, you get a medal”

Joan Baez, 1966

For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination”

Noam Chomsky, 1984

Intellectual slavery, of whatever nature it may be, will always have as a natural result both political and social slavery”

Mikhail Bakunin, 1868

We take our shape, it is true, within and against the cage of reality bequeathed us at birth; and yet it is precisely through our dependence on this reality that we are most endlessly betrayed”

James Baldwin, 1955

One can only face in others what one can face in oneself”

James Baldwin, 1991

An understanding of the world is conditioned by the inner order and disorder of the one who understands”

Barnaby B. Barratt, 1984

The capacity to combine commitment with skepticism is essential to democracy”

Mary Catherine Bateson, 1989

Women’s chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy”

Estelle R. Ramey, 1972

All oppression creates a state of war”

Simone de Beauvoir, 1949

All human knowledge takes the form of interpretation”

Walter Benjamin, 1923

The aim of psychoanalysis, still unfulfilled, and still only half‑conscious, is to return our bodies, to return ourselves to ourselves, and thus to overcome the human state of self‑alienation”

Norman O. Brown, 1959

Action should culminate in wisdom”

Bhagavad Gita

“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”
Steve Biko, 1979

“To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour”
William Blake, 1800‑1810

“The free man is he who does not fear to go to the end of this thought”
Leon Blum, c. 1948

“Politics are usually the executive expression of human immaturity”
Vera Mary Brittain, 1964

“To be radical is to grasp the matter by its roots”
Karl Marx, 1844

“Play is the exultation of the possible”
Martin Buber, 1957

“Power abdicates only under the stress of counter‑power”
Martin Buber, 1947

“Through meditation, we acquire and eventually acknowledge our connection to an inner power source that has the ability to transform our outer world”
Julia Cameron, 1992

“Psychoanalysis is equipped to study the mystery of the human heart”
Norman O. Brown, 1959

“What the world needs, of course, is a little more Eros and less strife; but the intellectual world needs it just as much”
Norman O. Brown, 1959

“You cannot create experience, you must undergo it”
Albert Camus 1962

“To know oneself, one should assert oneself”
Albert Camus, 1962

“Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
T. S. Eliot, 1948

“Truth resides in every heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth”
Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Say not, ‘I have found the truth’, but rather ‘I have found a truth’”
Kahlil Gibran, 1923

“Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error”
Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

“Truth is the god of the free man”
Maxim Gorky, 1903

“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1959

“It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose the lies”
Noam Chomsky, 1966

“In order to be happy one must think of the happiness of another person”
Gaston Bachelard, 1938

“I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth; and truth rewarded me”
Simone de Beauvoir

“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less”
Eldridge Cleaver, 1968

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”
Leonard Cohen, 1992

“The aim of the superior human is truth”
Confucius, 6th century b.c.e.

“When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it; that is knowledge”
Confucius, 6th century b.c.e.

“To destroy is always the first step in any creation”
E. E. Cummings, 1955

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”
Frederick Douglass, 1886

“I imagine, therefore I belong and am free”
Lawrence Durrell, 1957

“I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth”
Umberto Eco, 1992

“The cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest incitement to scientific research”
Albert Einstein, 1921

“The fact that human conscience remains partially infantile throughout life is the core of tragedy”
Erik H. Erikson, 1950

“He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured”
Ethiopian Proverb

“Culture has never the translucidity of custom; it abhors all simplification”
Frantz Fanon, 1961

“Our ideas of human nature, character, and action are a collection of contradictory half‑truths, held together by a thin veneer of beautiful but empty phraseology”
Moshe Feldenkrais, 1985

“Painters, mathematicians, composers, and everybody else who has ever done anything worthwhile, always had to learn to paint, think, and compose ‑‑‑ but not in the way they were taught. They had to learn and work until they knew themselves sufficiently to bring themselves to the state of spontaneity in which their deepest inner self to be brought up and out”
Moshe Feldenkrais, 1985

“It is not possible to be original except on a basis of tradition”
D. W. Winnicott, 1967

“The important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous”
Margot Fonteyn, 1975

“The poets and philosophers before me discovered the unconscious; what I discovered was the scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied”
Sigmund Freud, 1926

“Making the unconscious conscious transforms the mere idea of the universality of humans into the living experience of this universality; it is the experiential realization of humanism”
Erich Fromm, 1960

“Psychoanalysis can be defined as a system which is based on the assumption that we repress the awareness of the most significant experiences”
Erich Fromm, 1962

“Communism is the positive abolition of private property, of human self‑alienation, and thus the real appropriation of human nature through and for humans”
Karl Marx, 1844

“The Freudian theory is one of the most important foundation stones for an edifice to be built by future generations, the dwelling of a freer and wiser humanity”
Thomas Mann, 1939

“There is no free society without silence, without the internal and external space of solitude in which individual freedom can develop”
Herbert Marcuse, 1968

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”
Nelson R. Mandela, 1991

“It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us”
Nelson R. Mandela, 1991

“Mankind is composed of two sorts of men ‑‑‑ those who love and create, and those who hate and destroy.
Jose Marti, 1893

“Other animals simply adapt to their environment. Our intelligence seems to have outpaced our sense of place in the universe, and the result is that we’re enormously dangerous”
Peter Matthiessen, 1990

“Only when we confront death, in some form or other, only when we realize that life is fragile, do we create beauty. It is parallel to the fact that only when we confront death do we authentically love”
Rollo May, 1885

“The capacity to love presupposes self‑awareness … love also presupposes freedom”
Rollo May, 1953

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
Thomas Merton

“Every culture invests a lot of energy in maintaining the fiction that its cultural myth is, in fact, reality”
Terence McKenna, 1993

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”
Margaret Mead, 1982

“The collision of art with a social system is always a collision of freedom against repression, a combat of truth and lies, the struggle of life against decadent mechanism”
Mihajlo Mihajlov, 1970

“Art is always and everywhere the secret confession and, at the same time, the immortal movement of its time”
Karl Marx, 1859

“Nothing is unthinkable, nothing impossible to the balanced person, provided it arises out of the needs of life and is dedicated to life’s further developments”
Lewis Mumford, 1951

“Capitalist production begets, with inexorability of a law of nature, its own negation”
Karl Marx, 1867

“The forces of a capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer and thus increase the gap between them”
Jawaharlal Nehru, 1948

“Darkness within darkness, the gateway to all understanding”
Lao‑Tse, 6th century b.c.e.

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently”
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1881

“To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom”
Jiddhu Krishnamurti, 1969

“We are unknown, we knowers, ourselves to ourselves; this has good reason. We have never searched for ourselves ‑‑‑ how should it then come to pass, that we should ever find ourselves?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1887

“One’s belief in truth begins with doubt of all truths one has believed hitherto”
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1878

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”
Anais Nin, 1967

“Who dares nothing, need hope for nothing”
Frierich von Schiller, 1804

“There are very few human beings who receive truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic”
Anais Nin, 1943

“Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can hope with a comprehensible darkness”
Carl Gustav Jung, 1958

“Dreams are like a microscope through which we look at the hidden occurrences in our soul”
Erich Fromm, 1992

“A dream which has not been interpreted is like a letter that has not been opened”

“Whatever fearful and terrifying visions thou mayest see, recognize them to be thine own thought‑forms”
Tibetan Book of the Dead

“Dreams, like symptoms, have no single explanation: they are overdetermined and contain many levels of meaning. No one every exhaustively analyzes a dream”
Irving D. Yalom, 1989

“There can be revolution only where there is a conscience”
Graffiti from the French student revolt, 1968

“No real social change has ever come about without a revolution”
Emma Goldman, 1910

“A successful revolution establishes a new community. A missed revolution makes irrelevant the community that persists. And a compromised revolution tends to shatter the community that was, without an adequate substitute”
Paul Goodman, 1960

“Revolution is the festival of the oppressed”
Germaine Greer, 1971

“In one sense, the opposite of fear is courage, but in the dynamic sense, the opposite of fer is love, whether this be love of persons or love of justice”
Alan S. Paton, 1967

“The social value of love is incontestable … it is one of the greatest educators of mankind”
Theodor Reik, 1957

“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but a preparation”
Rainer Maria Rilke, 1934

“What is life without the radiance of love?”
Friedrich von Schiller

“Inquiry is human; blind obedience brutal. Truth never loses by one but often suffers by the other.
William Penn, 1693

“With each release of pretense, we gain conviction about who we are. There is no other way to truly find ourselves”
Karen Goldman, 1993

“The delights of self‑discovery are always available”
Gail Sheehy, 1976

“Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of non‑knowledge”
Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1978

“What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine”
Susan Sontag, 1966

“Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1860

“Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself”
Gloria Steinem, 1983

“All persons originally are bisexual in their predisposition. There is no exception to this rule.
Wilhelm Stekel, 1922

“People living deeply have no fear of death”
Anais Nin, 1935

Nelson Mandela once stated, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  The Parkmore Institute wants nothing less than to contribute to changing the world in some of the many ways that change is urgently needed, and to do so by facilitating the education of individuals who are committed to far‑reaching social, cultural, political and personal transformation.

But what sort of education is needed?  In 1968 that great year of revolutionary fervour throughout the North Atlantic orbit, Paulo Freire wrote a powerful critique of what he called the “banking concept” of education.  This is the idea that “education” means filling the Doctoral Candidate with information and values that will make him or her into a “good citizen,” who will serve in the perpetuation of the status quo and achieve remunerative positions in the structure of globalized corporate capitalism.  The Faculty and Fellows of the Parkmore Institute do not subscribe to this concept of “education.”  These scholars are a diverse group of individuals, almost all of whom have earned PhDs at the most prestigious universities in the world.  Yet they share a concern that “education” in wealthy countries has, in recent decades, become increasingly appropriated and subordinated to the requirements of corporate capitalism and its ancillary nationalist and militarist organizations.  In developing countries, educational opportunities are increasingly emulative of this trend.

What is education?  W. E. B. Du Bois, the great anti‑racist scholar and civil rights activist, once wrote that “education must not simply teach work, it must teach life.”  The Faculty and Fellows of the Parkmore Institute, as diverse a collegial community as this is, share this core belief.  Education should address and facilitate the life experiences of each Doctoral Candidate, not be geared to the requirements of corporations or governments.  It must facilitate the growth of each Doctoral Candidate, not so much to adjust prosperously to an unjust world, but to grow in social and personal awareness and meaningful activism, to move toward an enlightenment that is authentically transformative.

For reasons of these principles, the current strategy of the Parkmore Institute is to offer educational opportunities in line with five key tenets:

  • The Institute focuses on disciplines that are of immediate relevance to activists and practitioners and that utilize psychoanalytic, psychodynamic and psychosocial insight.  Accordingly, its contributions are geared to the educational needs of individuals working in areas such as community action, ecology and environmental protection, civil liberties and human rights, sexual health and freedom, bodywork and somatic psychotherapy, psychoanalytic treatments, and political organization.
  • The Institute will be independent of any interference or regulation by governmental agencies, and will not seek financial sponsorship from corporations or state entities.  Rather, the quality of its education will be ensured by the integrity and eminence of its Faculty and Fellows, as well as by the availability of all its research products for review by the public.
  • The Institute will offer degrees and diplomas that have genuine educational value, rather than qualifications that serve as external credentials.  Thus, for example, although almost all the Institute’s Faculty and Fellows have earned PhDs from some of the world’s most prestigious universities, the Institute will not offer this research degree, but rather it will develop professional doctorates that innovatively recognize the achievements of activists and practitioners who are working in the field.  Similarly, the diploma qualifications offered by the Institute will be a mark of achievement for individuals, who may not have previous tertiary education but who are actively committed to social and personal change.  At this time, the Institute does not offer programs at the bachelors or masters levels.
  • The Institute’s educational offerings will be geared to the needs of each individual Doctoral Candidate.  That is, the Institute seeks to facilitate the training of individuals who are already experienced and active in fields associated with social and personal change.  When a Doctoral Candidate is interested in a doctoral degree or a diploma program, his or her educational aspirations and needs will be assessed, both by the Doctoral Candidate and by a member of the Insitute’s Faculty.  An individualized program of learning will then be formulated.  All learning will be in the context of a one‑on‑one tutorial system that pairs the individual Doctoral Candidate with an appropriate Faculty member.
  • The Institute strives to create a community of those scholars and activists, who share a commitment to education in the service of liberation from oppression and also of our human aspiration towards freedom and justice.  The Faculty and Fellows of the Institute participate in various forums for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of research products. All doctoral graduates of the Institute, may be invited to join the Institute as “Fellows.”

In line with these precepts: The Parkmore Institute is committed to offering doctoral studies to individuals in a way that does not interrupt their career activities or professional practices.  There are no residency requirements.  Doctoral Candidates work with Faculty on a one‑to‑one basis, typically using email, skype or similar arrangements.  Occasionally, small seminars are offered; again on a virtual basis.  Additionally, the Parkmore Institute is committed to making every effort for doctoral education to be affordable to those who, as activists or practitioners, often do not command substantial incomes or have access to significant other resources. 

This is the Parkmore Institute’s approach to education for the future … we hope you will join us as a Doctoral Candidate or as a member of our community of Faculty and Fellows.

The Parkmore Institute has virtual offices in Wilmington Delaware, USA.  However, it is currently expanding and welcomes applications from prospective Doctoral Candidates, as well as potential Faculty and Fellows, from all parts of the world.