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Unraveling the Cross: Communicating beyond group mind education
journal contributionposted on 30.10.2018, 00:00 by Josina van den AkkerJosina van den Akker
My PhD research focused on the metaphor or symbol of the cross to unravel the dynamics in crosscultural education. Though an intuitive choice, I felt a focus on the cross-metaphor was timely for its religious connotations, which seem to powerfully affect world politics, including globalising education with constructs such as ‘sin, guilt and other mistakes as part of an energy process, not the fault of individuals’ (Bethe, 2008). Whilst the cross metaphor seems to lead its own life, it is promulgated by a group mind that is rarely acknowledged and subliminally reinforces the idea that humankind has no sensory relationship with earth-bound and celestial forces, with dire consequences. Perhaps the most exciting result from the study was its capacity to bring back to life an ancient universal symbol that, over time, had lost its dynamic meaning. All those involved in the study learned that we are not free to the extent that we identify with the part of the mind that is structured in time and space, which sees subjects and objects but also symbols as separate from meaning-making systems. We recognised the cross as something other than static. Provided it is recognised as such, the cross is a medium, a facilitator, a dynamic flow that propels humanity forward as it rehabilitates the self-in-relationship.