A New Paradigm for Education
“The education that has prevailed in the past is very insufficient, incomplete, superficial. It only creates people who can earn their livelihood but it does not give any insight into living itself. It is not only incomplete, it is harmful too – because it is based on competition.
“Any type of competition is violent deep down, and creates people who are unloving. Their whole effort is to be the achievers – of name, of fame, of all kinds of ambitions. Obviously they have to struggle and be in conflict for them. That destroys their joys and that destroys their friendliness. It seems everybody is fighting against the whole world.
“Education up to now has been goal-oriented: what you are learning is not important; what is important is the examination that will come a year or two years later. It makes the future important – more important than the present. It sacrifices the present for the future. And that becomes your very style of life; you are always sacrificing the moment for something which is not present. It creates a tremendous emptiness in life…
“There should not be any kind of examination as part of education, but every day, every hour observation by the teachers; their remarks throughout the year will decide whether you move further or you remain a little longer in the same class. Nobody fails, nobody passes – it is just that a few people are speedy and a few people are a little bit lazy – because the idea of failure creates a deep wound of inferiority, and the idea of being successful also creates a different kind of disease, that of superiority
“Nobody is inferior, and nobody is superior.
“One is just oneself, incomparable.
“So, examinations will not have any place. That will change the whole perspective from the future to the present. What you are doing right this moment will be decisive, not five questions at the end of two years. Of thousands of things you will pass through during these two years, each will be decisive; so the education will not be goal-oriented.…
“I divide education into five dimensions. The first is informative, like history, geography, and many other subjects which can be dealt with by television and computer together. The second part should be sciences. They can be imparted by television and computer too, but they are more complicated, and the human guide will be more necessary.…
“And the third will be what is missing in present-day education, the art of living. People have taken it for granted that they know what love is. They don’t know… and by the time they know, it is too late. Every child should be helped to transform his anger, hatred, jealousy, into love.
“An important part of the third dimension should also be a sense of humor. Our so-called education makes people sad and serious. And if one third of your life is wasted in a university in being sad and serious, it becomes ingrained; you forget the language of laughter – and the man who forgets the language of laughter has forgotten much of life.
So love, laughter, and an acquaintance with life and its wonders, its mysteries… these birds singing in the trees should not go unheard. The trees and the flowers and the stars should have a connection with your heart. The sunrise and the sunset will not be just outside things – they should be something inner, too. A reverence for life should be the foundation of the third dimension.
“The fourth dimension should be of art and creativity: painting, music, craftsmanship, pottery, masonry – anything that is creative. All areas of creativity should be allowed; the students can choose. There should be only a few things compulsory – for example an international language should be compulsory; a certain capacity to earn your livelihood should be compulsory; a certain creative art should be compulsory. You can choose through the whole rainbow of creative arts, because unless a man learns how to create, he never becomes a part of existence, which is constantly creative. By being creative one becomes divine; creativity is the only prayer.
“And the fifth dimension should be the art of dying. In this fifth dimension will be all the meditations, so that you can know there is no death so that you can become aware of eternal life inside you. This should be absolutely essential, because everybody has to die; nobody can avoid it. And under the big umbrella of meditation, you can be introduced to Zen, to Tao, to Yoga, to Hassidism, to all kinds and all possibilities that have existed, but which education has not taken any care of. In this fifth dimension, you should also be made aware of the martial arts like aikido, jujitsu, judo – the art of self-defense without weapons – and not only self-defense, but simultaneously a meditation too.”
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