Deschooling Learning

Deschooling Learning

Designing Transpersonal Conviviality and Hope as a Social Force

Universities are in denial of their dysfunctional reality, which implies that they are in denial of their role of having become a violent opposition against being conducive to empowering the disenfranchised or the individual as a change enabler. The deep regulatory capture that appears in the shape of factory learning and the response system of the bureaucratic organizations within Universities prohibits education systems from contributing to better or alternative futures for the individual and societies at large. Various forms of education-based trauma that students have to endure throughout their education programs should, furthermore inevitably lead to the demand for civil rights for all students (Gray, 2019).⁠

“The excess of power which has characterized our culture from the start created on the one hand an almost masochistic desire to submit to that power and on the other a desire to be all-powerful.” (Freire, 2013, p. 21)

In the current predicament of an unreflected education system, the University takes a particularly unfortunate role. It establishes an inverse relationship for progress, where climbing up within the incentive structure demands loyalty to the pathologies of the status quo. Attempts of emancipation and liberation from those pathologies consequently result in exclusion and disaffiliation. In playing the finite game like that, Universities contribute to the fragmentation of societies, where only in the rarest event probability of post-traumatic psychological growth, the outcome leads to the emergence of better players. Only these rarest cases can autodidactially equip themselves strategically and tactically in communities of practice through post-ecstatic psychological growth with new competencies to actually manifest translations of utopian dreaming.

“[…] neither ideological criticism nor social action can bring about a new society. Only disenchantment with and detachment from the central social ritual and reform of that ritual can bring about radical change.” (Illich, 1976)⁠

With the help of Samo Burja we can shed light on the history of why it came to be like that. We can learn to understand what it could take to change the situation we find ourselves enmeshed. “If it [the institution] is growing dysfunctional you’re actually going to have a very negative experience in trying to advance knowledge further, because the state admission of the organization plus the actual discovering of new knowledge are just incompatible priorities and will trade each other off harshly,” Burja (2020)⁠ explains. He (2018) also points out that;

A live player is a person or a tightly coordinated group of people that is able to do things they have not done before. A dead player is a person or a group of people that is working off a script, incapable of doing new things.

Deschooling Learning through the design of transpersonal conviviality and hope as a social force seeks to set up a different, futures-oriented process. It follows the argument that a society, which commits to high levels of shared, mutual learning experiences, and a critical, intimate, ontological, interaction design, must set pedagogical limits on exploitation, inequality, and restrictions on a traumatizing de-individualization and suppression of creative potential. A fruitful learning environment means allowing the individual to experience meaningful relationships and a possibility to explore and invest in new and different paths. Curiosity and conviviality go hand in hand. A thirst for knowledge, an infinite seeking for wisdom and knowledge, emancipation and liberation from the shackles of power imbalances, is depending on the deinstitutionalization of values. Learning cannot advance the transformation of a society’s reality if it is subject to predefined political interest groups that are heavily invested in perpetuating power imbalances.

Education needs to anticipate the rhythm of future societies and enter into a state of becoming. Becoming implies also that curiosity-driven power users, who seek knowledge and wisdom, not to accumulate power to subjugate others, but to transform the social fabric that constrains us all in the pursuit of better futures should be allowed to give their curiosity forms of expression. The transpersonal development beyond orthodox, conventual, personal, or individual levels is a crucial design parameter to confront the actualities of dysfunctional education systems. Furthermore, synthesizing the work of Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich, James P. Carse, Ernst Bloch, and Joanna Macy must inevitably lead to the task to design hope as a social force, while simultaneously becoming transparent about the fact that the loss of hope, that failure, grieve, and frustration do not necessarily need to lead to traumatic disengagement and depression, but can unleash creative capacities for alternative pathways.

This article attempts to consolidate the brilliance of the minds, as mentioned earlier, which will always fall short. However, the title of this article is already an effort to glue together the essence of these thorough thinkers. It is not the loss of security and certainty of our collective and individual futures, which should bother us. It is the loss of the capacity to imagine how to strive towards different tomorrows that has such a pernicious effect on the well-being of the collective unconscious of our civilization. Deschooling Learning through the design of transpersonal conviviality and hope as a social force might equip us with the necessary creative healing and anticipatory capacities for the collective unconscious of our civilization to better confront the inconvenient truths about our realities.


Burja, S. (2018). Live versus Dead Players. Medium.Com. Retrieved from

Burja, S. (2020). Live Players. YouTube. Retrieved from

Freire, P. (2013). Education for critical consciousness. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Gray, L.-A. (2019). Educational Trauma: Examples from Testing to the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Palgrave Macmillan.

Illich, I. (1976). Deschooling society. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

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