Sentimental feelings without the support of rationality lead to narrowness of mind and dogma. The collective psychology today is manipulated by three basic sentiments - geo-sentiment, socio-sentiment and human sentiment. The first of these centers around a particular geographic region, thus the term "geo-sentiment." Geo-sentiments can express themselves in the political, religious, economic or other spheres. Many religions, for example, are fueled by the idea that their land is the land of God. Religious leaders manipulate geo-sentiments by saying that one place is "holy," one direction is best for prayer; that pilgrimages are to be made to "sacred" places, while not acknowledging the "sacred places" of others. This feeds irrationality.
Geo-sentiments also underlie material exploitation. Imperialism and colonialism are partially expressions of geo-sentiment. One may have great compassion for fellow countrymen, but will not hesitate to starve and bleed the people of another area. Such groupist sentiment supports all kinds of injustices toward others. This kind of narrow thinking is a serious mental weakness often fueled by clever politicians and vested economic interests to maintain their power.
Socio-sentiments are even more dangerous. These sentiments pertain to the placement of one's own society above those of others. The belief that one's nation, race, religion or lifestyle is superior and needs to be imposed on others, leads to the oppression of the weak by the strong. It leads to the suppression of minorities everywhere. Cultural superiority is one of the main expressions of socio-sentiment expressed as an imposition of a culture's art, literature, language, etc. on others. Without making an attempt to understand or appreciate another culture, socio-sentiment dubs it inferior, strange, etc. One can easily observe this in the attitude of westerners toward the cultures of third world countries and peoples. The languages of various peoples are termed vulgar, inferior to the colonist language and not permitted to be used in local schools. Socio-religion declares one people as God's people and their scriptures are the true word of God. One can see that the effects of socio-sentiment can be far more disastrous than geo-sentiment.
The third category of sentiment is the so-called human sentiment, or Humanism. In an attempt to overcome the limited outlook embodied in the above sentiments, the idea of humanism blossomed. "All humans are deserving of equal fundamental rights, having similar minds, feelings, etc." The only defect in this is that the same person, after having given a high-blown speech on humanism, may not have any regard for other living beings. In eating meat, wearing furs or buying other products of endangered species, this humanist has a sentiment for human equality, but he or she does not see that animals also suffer. And should we not also have a responsibility to plants and even inanimate matter?
When we are able to extend the spirit of humanism to all living beings, and we begin to take responsibility for the inanimate world as well, we begin to adopt a universal sentiment which can be called NeoHumanism. NeoHumanism has spirituality as its source of inspiration. One who seeks true inner knowledge will be filled with love for the entire creation, and will certainly have innate love for living beings and a sense of responsibility toward the environment.
In order to make progress today it is a dire necessity to overcome these limited geo, socio, and even humanistic sentiments. The dissemination of unbiased knowledge is an absolute necessity. In order to free our minds from these dogmatic sentiments, the spirit of social equality must be widely held. The only way to accomplish this is for intellectually developed people to engage themselves for the welfare of others and to take active roles in mass education. So many intellectually developed people are not interested in involving themselves in the upliftment of humanity. Many are solely interested in maintaining their elitist positions. Others, although actively engaged in social service of various types are forced to work for the capital gain of exploitive interests.
There is a need to develop "benevolent intellect" - intellect used for service and upliftment. People with developed minds should consider the impact of their work and use their discriminating power to help people overcome their irrational sentiments. They should help expose exploitation in the social, political and economic spheres. A small number of intellectuals today have created considerable positive influence with their benevolent intellects. One who has developed the spirit of NeoHumanism along with benevolent intellect is an incredible asset to human society. PROUT seeks to create such people, and to help them occupy leadership positions.
The educational system should be re-cast to promote NeoHumanism. Education should be society's highest priority. It should be available to all free of charge. Educators in a Proutist system would have status as high as judges, for they, along with the parents, are the true social foundation. It is indicative of society's neglect that in some parts of the USA, teachers receive less income than sanitation workers (not to belittle the importance of sanitation workers). Child care workers earn from $2 to $7 an hour which puts them in the category of the working poor. Needless to say, under such conditions, only the most dedicated become child care providers and school teachers nowadays.
Education must free people from the bondage of narrow sentiments and promote universalism. It must focus on developing all-round human potential - cognitive skills, sensory-motor skills, the creative and analytical faculties, social-emotional maturity, universal morality, practical skills, and all branches of knowledge. The main purport of NeoHumanist education is the inculcation of respect and love for all living beings in the universe in which we exist. Intellectual growth without such a base becomes used for selfish or destructive purposes. Therefore, let education first create moral human beings. Such educated people will easily follow the path of universal spirituality and be a great asset to society.