The Peacock University will undertake to provide awards in exchange for money or work. None will be refused but candidates will be examined and put to the test.
We make no charge for tuition. We bill only for the award certificates themselves, each of which is a unique work of art in its own right.
We are not accredited by any conventional, state-run academic body.
Our authority derives solely from the commitment of our faculty to education in place of indoctrination.
We believe that knowledge is born only from self-knowledge.
We accept that a student's best teacher is the student.
We believe that abstract, academic theory represents a flight from consciousness.
Conventional schooling requires a passive audience for its dogma.
Learning requires an active engagement between work and the soul.
Conventional schooling demands the body be still and the head store facts.
Learning demands the body work and the mind fill the body.
Practice does not come from facts: facts are made manifest out of practice.
A thing which requires exhaustive, physical instructions to be given it in advance before it can do meaningful work is not called a student. It is called a machine. Machines cannot learn, they can only be taught. We believe that human beings are not machines.
In past civilizations, the initiate would demonstrate prowess as a hunter or gatherer or display mastery of tribal knowledge. In our society we do not seem to fit our graduates with knowledge vital either to their own lives nor the continuation of any tribe or its knowledge. It is only an expression of elitist values which have little application to the world of the students. Papers are required by society to prove merely that the holders are members of an honoured class and have gained some status. We reject class and status but instead we recognize the innate worth of the student as a human being with skills, knowledge and spirituality that will benefit humanity and we honour that.
Degree certificates and conventional qualifications do not represent a true symbol of education and learning but, in our experience, merely a sign that the recipient has undergone some arcane rite of passage. Modern society has divorced qualification and education. Given this divorce, undergoing the ritual named 'education' in order to receive the paper is an empty gesture and essentially a waste of time. Since we believe that the certificate is a symbol of initiation, we 'teach' only initiation into the process of education itself and place the certificate first in this process.
Due to tuition fees, degrees are now in effect being sold to students by universities anyway. This sale is often at great cash price in addition to years of work which itself has questionable value. We believe that it can be argued that a degree blatantly sold to the customer is now of genuine worth beside such expensive, state-accredited honours.
The contemporary world civilization is also the first one which has found it necessary to rationalize its fundamental initiation ritual in the name of education.
(Part of the reply given by the confederation of the Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk and Tuscarora tribes to the government of Virginia at the signing of the Treaty of Lancaster in Pennsylvania in 1744, regarding the offer of a free education for six of their youths at Williamsburg College):
"We know that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those Colleges... We have some experience of it; several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but, when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor counselors; they were totally good for nothing..."
My point is to ask, "Are four academic years, at a total cost of £28,000, really worth it?" In times past, a degree was something unusual, something to assure a successful career. But in this day and age, my four years at university have left me resorting to a career that I could have undertaken without a degree and all that expense, namely a career in bar work.
As a final ironic note, bar work actually pays better than being a trainee microbiologist with the National Health Service, where the average salary ranges from £9,000 to £12,000. I would like to forewarn the next generation of students before the expensive world of tuition fees and frustrated ambitions result in their sliding back into the very same status in which they began.
Reflecting on his own experiences as a profoundly unsuccessful schoolboy at Marlborough, [Winston Churchill] suggested that children should learn the Three Rs until puberty strikes, and then be sent out to work until such time as their hunger and curiosity for knowledge drives them back into education - whereupon they will learn with delight, in much less time, what it now takes us years to get into adolescent heads (if we ever succeed).