The very best scientists think like artists. There are now people who are
saying that training in the arts actually makes great scientists. Most of
the major scientists have either been artists, musicians, or poets, perhaps because an affinity to the arts will teach you to see patterns. We need the pattern seers. We've got all these millions of papers being published, and conferences and so forth, and people are bringing in their little bits and pieces of the puzzle. But nobody is putting the puzzle together.
DR: What are your thoughts about our educational system?
MARILYN FERGUSON: Most of the people I know feel that they learned
most as apprentices or in the world. They learned relatively little academically.
I think that one of my great advantages was that I didn't finish college,
and therefore didn't attend graduate school. I was living in a small town
in Colorado, and I got married very young, so it just didn't work out. After the first two years, I took just those courses I wanted to take, because I wasn't trying to participate in a degree program. When the people lectured I was actually listening to hear what they said, and the students taking the class for credit were frantically taking notes so they could do well on the tests.
We are not being educated for content, but for a degree. We've lost sight
of the purpose. One of my good friends uses a question that brings you back
to center: "What am I trying to achieve?" Whether you're going
on an errand across town, or having a conversation with your child or whatever,
the question is, what am I trying to achieve? We argue about how we're
going to do things, and we forget what we were going to do, and why
DR: Do you feel that we as a society are moving any closer to understanding
the roots of the drug crisis? Is it a crisis? Is just saying no the solution?
MARILYN FERGUSON: First of all, people are vague about drugs. Are
we talking about crack? Alka-Seltzer? Caffeine? Nicotine? Psychedelics?
I would say it's one of those areas where we have lacked subtlety. You have
to ask why people are doing what they're doing. The Russians are
now having to look at why people drink. Many say they're drinking for escape
because they're bored! P>Young people in our country are often
bored in school and have no meaningful work. The future seems bleak if they're poor.
As for psychedelics, they can be valuable in therapeutic settings, but only if the people have been working on themselves anyway, and if they're old enough. The drugs that have real power should be used as an initiation rite. It's too bad we don't have that in our society. But they are no substitute for hard work, and they're no shortcut. I am saying that there are certain organic-type drugs which have historically been used by human beings for spiritual purposes, and they have little to do with the present drug crisis in America.
About the drug crisis, it goes back to your own conscience. Whether it's
alcohol or antihistamine, it's a question of asking your own intuition:
What does your body want, and what does life want from you? Each person,
in this sense, has to find his or her own road.
You may say, you don't go to doctors and you won't take any prescription
drugs. Then all of a sudden you find yourself in a situation where conventional medicine is your best choice. I have a friend who was so completely into holistic medicine, and so afraid of going to the doctor, that she finally realized the lesson for her in her serious injury was not to condemn allopathic medicine.