Civilization in Transition (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 10)

Children have an almost uncanny instinct for the teacher’s personal shortcomings.

They know the false from the true far better than one likes to admit.

Therefore the teacher should watch his own psychic condition, so that he can spot the source of the trouble when anything goes wrong with the children entrusted to his care.

He himself may easily be the unconscious cause of evil.

Naturally we must not be too naive in this matter there are people, doctors as well as teachers, who secretly believe that a person in authority has the right to behave just as he likes, and that it is up to the child to adapt as best he may, because sooner or later he will have to adapt to real life which will treat him no better.

Such people are convinced at heart that the only thing that matters is material success, and that the only real and effective moral restraint is the policeman behind the penal code.

No doubt we are right to open the eyes and ears of our young people to the wide world, but it is the maddest of delusions to think that this really equips them for the task of living.

It is the kind of training that enables a young person to adapt himself outwardly to the world and reality, but no one gives a thought to the necessity of adapting to the self, to the powers of the psyche, which are far mightier than all the Great Powers of the earth.

A system of education does indeed exist, but it has its origins partly in antiquity and partly in the early Middle Ages.

It styles itself the Christian Church.

But it cannot be denied that in the course of the last two centuries Christianity, no less than Confucianism in China and Buddhism in India, has largely forfeited its educative activity.

Human iniquity is not to blame for this, but rather a gradual and widespread spiritual change, the first symptom of which was the Reformation.

It shattered the authority of the Church as a teacher, and thereafter the authoritarian principle itself began to crumble away.

The inevitable consequence was an increase in the importance of the individual, which found expression in the modern ideals of humanity, social welfare, democracy, and equality. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 326