Oct. 28, 2002

Education

 

v      To Sri Aurobindo "All Life is Yoga".

v      I call education the yoga of the society.

v      Sri Aurobindo means by the word 'yoga' the self-willed progress of the deepest element even in the shallow layer.

v      The whole world is in movement; the whole universe is so.

v      The movement is confined to Nature, Prakriti; the Purusha is motionless.

v      Sri Aurobindo goes to a third position where the Purusha in the Prakriti is on the move.

v      There is nothing in the world that is not sustained by a SEED of Spirit, the Purusha.

v      When Nature moves, She gains experience.

v      The essence of her experience is spiritual.

v      It collects as the evolving soul, the psychic being.

v      This is to contradict the traditional position that the soul is immutable. In truth, it is an improvement.

v      When all Nature is constantly gaining experience, all her components too are progressing simultaneously.

v      Energy, force, power, organisation, skill, knowledge, and a host of other things are her parts.

v      Our concern is knowledge, which is in constant progress.

v      Education is the social organisation of knowledge.

v      To us the organisation of education is important in the school.

v      At home, education in the primary sense is of significance.

v      How do we approach it?

v      One person the parent educates the other the child.

v      We have already arrived at the position that self-learning is the only significant learning.

v      What then is learning?

v      The separated ego, coming into contact with the not-self experiences in all its senses centralised in the brain.

v      Mind is seated in the brain.

v      Brain is the instrument Mind has created in man for it to function.

v      Brain is physical, mind is subtle-spiritual.

v      What the Mind learns is education.

v      What the brain learns is skill.

v      We confine ourselves to education.

v      The belief of converting knowledge into practical utility is the theme of Sri Aurobindo's yoga when the descent is expressed by the body.

v      At the other end, the practicality of the West infects us Indians.

v      Knowledge is of value when it is untainted by use value, the ideal of a mercenary nature. The West is material that degenerates into it.

v      In the aspect where the West has discovered Brahman in Matter, it is great.

v      Fundamental research is pure research.

v      In gathering knowledge, the motive should be knowledge for its own sake. When it is so gathered and formulated, it acquires power when expressed in action. A pupil acquires knowledge over the years and comes to possess it as a consolidated perfection before he starts applying it. Earlier attempts to convert it into practical application either prevent its complete formulation or prompt faulty partial formation.


v      Nature has developed emotions in Asia, spirituality in Asia, Science in Europe and practical organisation in USA while she left Africa to develop to full physicality. The six components of the perfected whole are Truth, Unity, Goodness, Knowledge, Power and Love * Our concern is the organisation of knowledge, viz. education. One interesting observation is that education as an accomplishment has within it these six parts.

v      Education is the experience of the mind even as work is the experience of the body. The experience of the vital is to release energy, especially by the action of the mind on the body.

v      What is experience, especially in the Mind?

v      To observe the surroundings and adjust one's behaviour is experience.

v      Mind observes the environment by the senses.

v      The senses carry sense impressions of the outside to the mind.

v      A vitalised mind accepts the impressions as facts.

v      Mentalised mind separates these impressions and extracts the pure facts out of it which are organised by the brain into opinions or decisions.

v      Opinion is personal. Idea is impersonal.

v      Pure mind arrives at impersonal ideas from the external experience of the outgoing mind, going out through senses.

v      It is evident that this mental experience is entirely one's own, an inner process, exclusively personal.

v      If the above description is true, it amounts to saying that no one else has any role in one's education whether it is the teacher or parent.

v      The best form of education provides the child a conducive climate where he can learn on his own.

v      There is more.

v      The freedom the school provides unleashes the mental curiosity of the child. The wealth of material put at his disposal is there for him to draw from. We see faster and better progress.

v      As the mind is located in the body, energised by the vital, human mind is the last rung of five levels of Pure Mind, divided into two categories of Supermind and Spiritualised mind.

v      The Silence of the Muni, the drishti of the Rishi, the intuition of the yogi and the knowledge of the gods form the four grades of the spiritual mind.

v      Some silent children do very well. It is a natural endowment. Nascent learning releases vast energies that are boisterous. Knowledge in the mind of things learnt long ago falls silent and exhibits no more energy than to be. Also we see children of wider mental capacity absorbing knowledge silently. Mind widens by its perspective. The wider the perspective, the more quiet the mind becomes. Here emerges a method or a process to be worked out either for one child or a class, while the principle remains the same. If we widen the perspective, the child will move into Silence. There are physical perspectives of facts, vital perspectives of interest, mental perspectives of comprehension.

v      Assuming that a child largely moved into the Silence of the Higher mind, he is meant for tapas. We retain the child for education which, being a lower plane yields far greater results. The Silent mind UNDERSTANDS by NOT thinking. To think is to be in mind. As physical work pushes the comprehension to the body, THINKING retains comprehension in the mind. Hence the phrase 'sleep over it'. Fullest mental comprehension of an idea gives rise to the FORM of that idea in the subtle spiritual plane When it moves into the Illumined Mind of the Rishi who sees the idea as a vision. As mind uses thinking for understanding, the Muni uses Silence for understanding while the Rishi uses light.

v      These thinking, Silence, light are media for understanding. The yogi dispenses with the media and has direct perception of the objective which is Intuition. Reliance on the medium strengthens it. Non-reliance on the medium weans man away from it. This is achieved by concentration, mantra, Japa.

v      Intuition is a vast field, as vast as the universe and comprises of all the subjects of the world. It reveals to any faculty in us that is well-developed, to Ramanujam in mathematics, to Beethoven in music, etc. while it is comprehensive.

v      Intuition itself is of various grades. It has four powers -- suggestion, discrimination, inspiration and revelation.

v      By the suggestion of the atmosphere personified by the teacher if the pupil develops subtle spiritual discrimination, he will soon find himself inspired. It can lead to revelation.

v      The tradition is religious, i.e. one man's revelations are adored and followed by the many. Sri Aurobindo asks for the spiritual, which means each discovering his own spirit. In this article I speak of a spiritual method for education. Now, how to use the spiritual force in the field of education?

v      The learner is raised from the human mind to the intuitive mind.

v      Methods can be in grades. There is a highest method available for us.

v      Supermind lies above the Overmind.

v      Chit Consciousness is the next higher layer.

v      Chit gives out Shakti Consciousness Force to create the world.

v      The Divine Mother is born here, known as Lokamatha.

v      The lokamatha we know of is the one of Mind; Sri Aurobindo's is of the Supermind, the difference being the chief of a part and that of the whole.

v      'The Mother' describes HER who was with us until 1973.

v      To KNOW Her as Sri Aurobindo has described is to fully know Her.

v      After all, one knows a thing in terms of what he already knows to depict the new in terms of the old.

v      To give up what we know and what we are, is to decondition ourselves into a second childhood.

v      To know HER brings us into Her atmosphere.

v      Devotees have their prayers answered.

v      It means She is effective in the material physical plane.

v      She can be effective in the mental plane and we can raise it gradually till we reach Intuition.

v      To act here is a labour of love.

v      One's own swabhava and the swabhava of the child are the greatest barriers.

v      Mother, when let in, breaks all icons.



* Sachchidananda in its 3 parts are thus subdivided.