March 20, 1994
Suppose a primitive man who had admired a genius of his times appeared today in a university convocation either at Oxford or Harvard, he would find the first graduate he meets a genius. And going round the campus he will exclaim that 'everyone here is a genius.' As times change and several centuries pass, the society subconsciously tries to raise the average man now to the level of the greatest of men of earlier times. That is known as social progress. Few will be willing to believe such a progress before the event takes place. Many will remain unconvinced even after the event has taken place. The child of the society is the cream of the ascending social progress that is material success, educational enlightenment. Progress in society is initiated by pioneers, not the elite. Here is an appeal, to pioneer the social progress in education. It is to recognise the Genius in every child. To start with, it is your own child. The message of this paper is, "Let us unleash the hidden genius in our children."
Forty years ago Dr. Glenn Doman of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, Philadelphia, USA, a war veteran, experimented with brain-damaged children. Establishing this institute, he revived hundreds of these children, gave them higher education and a normal life. Contrary to the medical belief that brain-damaged children cannot be restored, he proved that they ARE restored to normal life. He even wrote to the appropriate medical authorities that they should no longer spread or hold the lie that "brain-damaged children are lost."
During the course of these experiments, he also applied his findings to normal children (whom he called 'well babies') and found their learning abilities begin at the age of 3 months and reached their height at 5 years. Each child in his school over the last 40 years has proved his theory once more.
Dr. Doman has experimented with children up to 5 years of age, but this method has vaster potentials. There is scope to apply this method to high school which will abridge the period of learning considerably. UNESCO has instituted a commission on education under the Chairmanship of the President of the European Community (EC). The Mother's Service Society has submitted its recommendations to this commission of which this method is one. There were at least 5 TV programmes from Madras introducing, in a way, this concept.
The most important result of this method is children grow up without the
ability to form complexes of any kind, such as inferiority or superiority.
This method holds in itself the potential to counteract the tendency in the youth for crime, violence, addiction, dissipation, etc.
Thirty percent of India's population is illiterate. This method, if examined, lends itself to be suitably modified to adult education. That would be a treasure not unearthed, but created out of human imagination. For that to happen, an experiment must be made successfully somewhere and grow in size to a required level. A British biologist has stumbled on this phenomenon and raised a controversy across the world. Recently six eminent men -- doctors, scientists, historians -- were interviewed on the future of the world and this theme was one discussed.. Mr. Sheldrake, the British biologist, himself was one of the six. They all said Sheldrake was wrong and if he were proven to be right, he would "emerge as Einstein and Darwin combined." The theory or the hypothesis assumes that if a knowledge is acquired by one group of people somewhere and as the size of the group reaches a certain level, this knowledge begins to spread as a vibration without direct communication of any type. Biology and behavioural science know hundreds of such experiments. On a certain island monkeys were taught a trick. When the number of monkeys that learned the trick reached one hundred, monkeys on another island, without any communication whatsoever, started playing the same trick. If our educational experiment should succeed, not only must it be initiated but a sizable group should accept it.
Ordinary men are unable to believe a thing after it has been demonstrated. After the Wright brothers flew and demonstrated flying several times, even three years later reporters refused to visit the test sites and professors of physics in US colleges "proved" theoretically that flying is impossible. The rational man, the pioneer, the elite, the forerunners, the cream, the intelligentsia, the men who matter are those who believe BEFORE the event because they understand by thinking, not seeing.
Belief is not easily born. In the West, as money is in a glut banks have stopped soliciting deposits. A leading world bank has been experimenting with new ideas, imaginative programmes, ways by which the bank can earn more than usual. In one of its programmes the bank issued a 7 1/2% bond, guaranteed by its stature. To their surprise there were few takers. Serious doubts entered into the minds of the investors when the bank was offering 4% more than usual. They suspected their money would be lost.
Those who rise to the top of the social pyramid are the elite. Those who come forward to sponsor a fresh idea by virtue of its innate worth are the Elite of the Future.
I invite you to belong to the Future and offer guidance to the educated masses.
To believe every child is a genius today may be difficult, but a day will come when every child will be a genius. It is possible for us to work towards that future as we can have no objection to make our own children geniuses.
"Educate" has a Greek root, meaning to draw out. The genius is there in the child. It has to be drawn out into play. The following points argue towards a great reality espoused by men of genius who are Avatars or men who have accomplished in their lifetime.
1. It was said in 1950, "India is a rich country with poor people."
I would like to say now, "India is a Master who plays the role of a serf and a servant."
2. In 1916 Sri Aurobindo said that the European nations would unite and it has happened now.
3. The world laughed at Gandhiji as a half-naked fakir and pooh-poohed the idea of winning freedom by non-violence. Freedom did issue out of non-violence in 1947 and 45 nations in two continents or maybe three continents were liberated from foreign rule as a result of Indian non-violent freedom.
4. Sri Aurobindo, a Cambridge scholar, said that the Vedic discovery of Reality -- Brahmam -- is of greater significance to the world than the scientific discoveries of Copernicus or Galileo.
5. Today the prophecy that "India is the Guru of the world" is difficult to believe, but so was Indian Freedom in 1946, Green Revolution in 1966, the booming Indian economy in 1986, the success of Japan in 1960, the success of Hong Kong and Taiwan 20 years ago.