The light from the end of the tunnel

Zizek’s famous metaphor works well in understanding how education serves its purpose.

It’s true, man prides himself with knowledge. With years of schooling, one gets institutionally educated. But genuinely illumined minds will always turn their attention to the seemingly broken system of education. As soon as we understand that life is structured, i.e., from the moment we are conceived inside the womb, to our birth, down to getting shaped and honed inside the family, and soon to schools, and having a job later on, we will begin to question the system itself instead of submitting ourselves to it.

The thesis here is that man is assumed to be a blank slate, an absorbent perceiver of things, let alone a “pre-conscious” being. He is situated in a dark tunnel in which he seeks illumination. Little by little, man gets his little torch set in areas which the curriculum prescribes to be essential for his holistic education. But man yearns for greater enlightenment and he sees light at the end of the tunnel. He then willingly chases this light which all the mini-lights cannot afford him to have, until to his own horror, the light he chases is actually a rushing train, traveling at a constant speed to shatter him into pieces.

What is this proverbial train? The train symbolizes the horrors of mankind: the climate change and global warming, the ecological imbalances, the moral and psychological decay, the destruction of families, the corruption of values and conscience, and the list goes endlessly.

No, no one is educated. Or, perhaps, the few of us.

Man then gets shocked, rushing back to where all others are beginning. He screams all his warnings. Few listens. But the moment we collect our wits and gather around to fix the problems, it is already too late, because our small acts can no longer alter nor mitigate the problems.

Sooner, the institutionally educated will rethink their education.

By the time it has finally dawned upon us that our education is nothing but a product of futile endeavor, the train is just few kilometers away, ready to smash, as it could satisfyingly be pictured, our knowledge-saturated heads, which are nothing but are empty heads.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


When you’ve read it, write about it. An English major. Interested in psychoanalysis, ideology, and literature. Reach me at