The Value We Place On Education

Posted by Angela Gallo on

Imma taking you to church today, so buckle up for this sermon from The Phoenix's Nest. This episode is an Insta Live that we've converted into a podcast episode for your waiting ears.

What kind of value do you place on education? Did you get to the end of high-school and think, "Well, everyone else is going to Uni, so I better go to Uni". Then you went through that whole degree not really loving what you were doing, but you kept going because again, everyone else was doing it and you were trying so desperately to fit in. You felt that if you didn't have a degree then no one was going to take you seriously, and you wouldn't amount to anything. This is a story we hear over, and over, and over again.

This system is broken. Getting some certification, some degree, doing some course, does not make you an expert, and I'm here to tell you why.


Angel Phoenix: I am coming on to chat to you about the ways that we quantify, qualitate intelligence. The ways that we define what it means to be intelligent, educated, knowing of the things. The ways that we allow people to believe that they have earned that title. The ways that people move through this world in a very hierarchy mentality in a way of, read enough books, spend enough money on an education, be in school enough time, and then you can call yourself the connoisseur of whatever that might be.

I really want to challenge that tonight because I really feel that, first of all, it's a bunch of shit. It's a lie. It is all a lie. I laugh that we make TV shows like Survivor. We make TV shows where we Battle Royale the absolute true colors out of people and we see what they become when everything they thought they know serves them absolutely no purpose in the real world, and we laugh about it. We see how individuals move through adversity or arduous situations or stressful situations and the way they overcome or not overcome challenges, particularly those of us who think that because we have a degree, or we are a CEO, or because we have that experience, we somehow know more than somebody else or we're more intelligent or we're more deserving of this class elitist whatever bullshit.

It makes me laugh because you will see that in these situations if you put 20 people in a house and that house catches on fire, do you think the flames of that house give a fuck about what you think you know about yourself? Do you think the flames in that house are going to ask to see your ID, your bank account, your superannuation balance, your certification, your degree, or your Ph.D.? No. That fucking flame does not care about how smart you think you are. We are all condensed into two parts, and that is the true self and the not true self, the serving self and the non-serving self, the drifting brain, and the non-drifting brain. Most of us live 99.9% of our life in the non-serving, highly drifting, not-true-self part of our conscious.

It is the part that has a bag of tricks, and it does not derail from that bag of tricks. It's a conveyor belt. It's a system. It gets up every day, does the same things, does the same fucking routine, and it goes about every single day and things. It's fine as the most expensive voices you can find because they have their shit together, they have everything under control. That's not life. That's a simplification of life. It's a simplification of reality.

The actual true-self is the one that only comes out when shit hits the fan, when your usual bag of tricks doesn't work no more. When the house is on fire and you need to figure out a way to get out the escape room of what it is to be human, the ways that we can only access our greatest gifts, our zone of genius, our brilliance and all of our potential when we are totally okay with saying, "I have no fucking idea what I'm doing here and that is totally cool. I'm going to get super resourceful, really, really clever and be the most open mind that I've ever been and the most convicted I have ever been in not knowing anything."

So many of us don't even self-actualize or move forward in this life or learn anything about ourselves because we're so obsessed with proving that we are right and we know everything, and there is nothing left to learn. We live and we die at level two Mario Kart, 1993 instead of being in 2019 Real Player One where there's a world of opportunity here, 3D glasses, 40-touch, and everything else that we could possibly be living, doing and learning, but we're so obsessed with not evolving in a way that is quantum leap and more obsessed with being right all the time and staying because routine, because changing is bad that we don't get ahead.

You need to understand that if you are going to learn anything about this life or be who it is you're meant to be or meet the face of your greatest potential or find parts of yourself that you have never seen before, you need to be doing something that is completely opposite of what you're doing now. You're not going to find secrets, jewels, and gems on the Treasure Island of the toilet bowl that you sit on every single day at 6:00 AM when you poo every single day at 6:00 AM. No. Go away from the routine. Go away from the being safe. Go away from the feeling normal. Go away from the having all your shit under control.

You are not going to self-actualize in that routine, in that obsession, in that control. It is not possible. Most of us will only self-actualize, unfortunately, when shit hits the fan because we are so obsessed with having everything in order. That's how we feel in control in a world that is eating us alive at the soul, where our soul is atrophying. We keep control and we tally in all this stuff because it makes us feel like we're in control, but it's not. The unfortunate part here is that all of us should be putting ourselves in situations every single day that make us very uncomfortable and make us very nervous, that make us pull out of our homeostasis state of mind, that make us think like, "Wow, what if this was an escape room? How would I think differently? What would I do differently? What would I be paying attention to? What cues and what clues? How would I make this work for me? How can I be stealthy? How can I become the fucking Carmen Sandiego and the MacGyver of my self-actualization?" We don't think those things.

We are so terrified of the risk and everything else that we miss out on the adventure. This is my point here. I don't care about your certification, your degree, your bank account balance, your retirement fund or any of that stuff. I don't care. Do you know what I care about? I want to see who you are when you are Tom Hanks in Cast Away and your only friend is the tattered clothes on your back and a volleyball that you painted a face on. I want to know the person who literally is and has nothing and who comes out when that is at play. I want to know the version of you that is you when the house is on fire, when you have nothing else to rely on by your smarts, your instincts, and your intuition. That is what I want to know. That is what impresses me.

That is how I impress myself. Every single day, I wake up and I say "Angela, what are you going to learn about yourself today that you did not know yesterday?" You know what the answer to that is? It is not in doing the same thing I did yesterday, people. It's in doing something that is radically different or totally on the opposing end of what I usually do or something that is totally terrifying or having a conversation that scares the shit out of me or saying yes to something where there is no calculated risk. It is just a risk in believing that the vibration of who it is I am can handle anything and that if I am meant to actualize and that I want to earn that actualization, I have to understand that nothing that I know about myself someone in a book or someone in a college or someone in a university or a teacher, a mentor, a coach is going to teach me.

I have to bulldoze all of my own bullshit. I've got to excavate. I've got to exhume. I've got to go down to the pits of the tomb, of the catacomb, where everything it is that I am, is entrapped in this fucking rock and a hard place, Jesus Cristo style. I've got to call myself out of there. It is going to hurt, man. The nails beds are going to pull off of my fingers. I'm going to be bleeding. I'm going to be dirty. It is going to be a mess, but the person that I come out as, the version of me that has up-leveled in that, is someone that I could not access unless I was willing to bleed, cry, sweat and say no to everything it is I think I know about myself and yes to everything it is I don't know.

I've said this multiple times. Your obsession with being right, your obsession with proving yourself right and your obsession with certifications, degrees, protocols, parameters, policies, textbooks, hierarchies and authoritarian mentalities that you can make sense of in your feeble brain, is exactly what is preventing you from accessing the parts of you that are more powerful than you have ever imagined, that are not your feeble brain or not your arrogant brain, that are your absolutely mind-blowingly powerful parts of your brain, that are literally just stuck behind a door banging and begging to come out, begging to be unleashed but you are so dead set on waking up every single morning and being in control of your life from top to bottom that you're missing out on it.

That's not my fault. That's your fault. It makes no difference to me if you keep doing this. Why is everyone doing this? Why do we still buy into a system, an educational system, an idea of how or what we quantitate as intelligent? Why are we still doing this when we know it's a lie? We know by now that just because someone is a priest, a doctor or a police person does not mean that they keep us safe or that they're holy. We all know this. We can see this from sex trafficking to sexual abuse to every type of disempowerment and misuse of that trust and that hierarchy in history.

There is nothing in written history that eludes that knowing more in a book makes you a better person. Why are you still chasing that? Why are we all chasing this illusion of intelligence and holiness and ethics and morality in books and in these tests if we know that that doesn't work? Do something differently for yourself. You want to be a better fucking person don't do what everybody else is doing. Go down to your integrity, discipline your self, discipline your discipline, reinvent your discipline, reinvent your integrity, bulldoze it, rewrite the archetype of your integrity. Ask yourself more questions, don't ask the world more questions, ask yourself more questions.

Show me the person there that's who impresses me, the person who is excited to prove themselves wrong, the person who is excited to say, "I don't know anything about anything." That to me is the sexiest thing that can come out of somebody's mouth. It is the most on adulterated humility one can possibly fucking tap into, man. It is like sap that you drill out of a tree at the beginning of spring, it is hot, man.

There is something that is so juicy in being able to understand that you know nothing and that you are still worthy, and in fact that you are more worthy and more delicious and more juicy because you realize that it is not your business or your job or your purpose to know everything or to know the book and the dictionary and thesaurus and the Ph.D. and the tests and have all this shit figured out. That's not your purpose, your purpose is to be human. Fundamentally is to be human, to bring humanity back to the human experience and help this world stay human and retain a level of connection and compassion that serves us all. Shared humanity. A collective experience. How do we rise this up? How do we raise the vibration, how do we fucking wow-- Rearrange this frequency until it's a concerto of potential.

Don't bore me with your ideas of what it means to be alive when all it is is surviving and looking cool and sounding intellectual and collecting accolades on your library of bullshit degrees and everything else it is that you did to feel important and feel useful that you were clutching to because you were terrified of what it's going to feel like when you say, "That meant nothing. I just put myself in debt to get that degree that means nothing." You are terrified of that and so you keep buying into this lie.

I'm here to tell you that I know that your intelligence and your intellectuality and the true linguistic luscious landscape of who it is you are has nothing to do with that and that's cool. I know that you put yourself in emotional debt, your soul is bankrupt because of what you've invested in that illusion. I know what sucks and I know it hurts but that is not you, let it go. Get your parent's voice out of your head and lean into a new paradigm, a new reality where there is freedom, where life is an escape room and that you rise up to the challenge and believe me when I tell you that it has to be hard because that is how we grow and it has to be challenging because that is how we glow. It has to be difficult. The labyrinth that is everything has to be that way because there are lessons and gifts and an evolution within it. It is a contrast experience, it is an earned rite of passage.

Stop it with the shortcuts man, you all look like a bunch of monopoly men on the board eager to skip the board, collect $200 and go, it's fucking boring. Seriously, we are not smarter because of the things we own or the things we have things we believe we are, the true person that we are and our purpose and our potential and the most delicious evolved version of us is in the total opposite direction. If you keep moving here and you're wondering why you still feel like shit and your life sucks and you feel like garbage and nothing had changed and nothing is moving and blah blah blah blah blah but you're not doing anything else but buying into that thing every single day, whatever it is you're looking for is on the other side, just stop.

If I was in an escape room and I had 60 minutes to get the clues and figure shit out do you think that I would waste 35 minutes doing the same thing ten times and I know it's not going to work? No, that's ego, that's non-serving arrogance and stubbornness. If I don't get it right the first two times hit it, bitch what is the better way? What is the more exciting way? What's the way where I'm going to be more challenged and I can try something else? How can I MacGyver the fuck out of life right now? What can I learn about myself that is just like the only possible in the most nonconventional thing here? Then we talk about quantum leaps. Then we talk about you don't need to go from A to Z on the back of every letter of the alphabet. It's how am I going to get from A to Z with a couple of toothpicks, a good attitude, and a few fucking ninja moves?

In one-thirteenth of the time if you waste every precious second that you have on this planet in this life in your body which, by the way, you do not know how much time you have. None of us do. We all are going to die, people, we are all going to die. What you do to make use of this time is your responsibility. If you push yourself to the edges of that contraction, believe me, the person you meet at the edge of that contraction or she is a fierce motherfucker and you're going to fall in love with yourself because the person you meet at the edge of that she's sharp like a knife and she's sharp like a tack, man, and you don't meet her if you go for the shortcut, this is life.

You miss out on meeting people versions of you, superhero versions of you, because you are so obsessed with fitting into an archetype of what you think, needs to be, of who you think you need to be and all of that, man, the layers of the cake everything you miss out on it all.

Please, when you wake up tomorrow morning I want you to hear my voice in your head and I want you to think about how are you going to challenge yourself to do things so radically different and oppositional of what you usually do that it scares the absolute crap out of you so that you can then become a beacon for everything it is that you want. Let me tell you friends do you know you blow your own damn mind? Proving yourself wrong. It is not proving yourself right. When people prove me right, I'm bored. Oh my God, that's fucking boring already knew they were going to do that. I don't need a crystal ball to tell me that, I didn't need anything to tell me that, I didn't even need my clairvoyance to tell me that, it's boring.

Why are you treating yourself like the worst tinder date you've ever had? Like the worst date you've ever had, like the worst person you've ever met, like the least interesting acquaintance you have ever come across. You're telling me that you're treating yourself like every person that has been so predictable, it hurts. Boring, boring. Prove yourself wrong. Prove yourself wrong and get turned on and delighted in who it is you meet and what it is you find out because you know what, I want to be kept on my toes. I want to feel alive, I want to feel in the flow, I want to be on-the-go. I want to be able to say, "I had no idea it was going to happen there and I figured it out, I had no idea it was going to happen there and I figured it out. Or fuck, I had no idea what's going to happen there and I fucked it up and look what I learned in the process, thank you, bounty of the universe. Thank you gifts from everything it is that I have turned struggle to strength."

Stop boring yourself. If you want to engage yourself in the confines of your brain, if your narrative is not the kind of conversation you'd have over dinner, why are you doing it to yourself? It doesn't make any sense.

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