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Letters to The Schools 1

198

Letters to Schools Volume One 1st January, 1980

We ought to understand right from the beginning of this new year that we are primarily concerned with the psychological aspect of our life though we are not going to neglect the physical, biological side. What one is inwardly, will eventually bring about a good society or the gradual deterioration of human relationship. We are concerned with both aspects of life, not giving one or the other predominance, though psychologically - that is what we are inwardly - will dictate our behaviour, our relationship with others. We seem to give far greater importance to physical aspects of life, to everyday activities, however relevant or irrelevant, and wholly neglect the deeper and wider realities. So please bear in mind that in these letters we are approaching our existence from the inner to the outer, not the other way round. Though most people are concerned with the outer, our education must be concerned with bringing about a harmony between the outer and inner and this cannot possibly come about if our eyes are fixed only on the outer. We mean by the inner all the movement of thought, our feelings - reasonable and unreasonable, our imaginings, our beliefs and attachments - happy and unhappy - our secret desires with their contradictions, our experiences, suspicions, violence and so on. The hidden ambitions, the illusions,the mind clings to the superstitions of religion and the seemingly everlasting conflict within ourselves are also part of of our psychological structure. If we are blind to these or accept them as an inevitable part of our human nature, we will allow a society in which we ourselves become prisoners. So this is really important to understand. One is sure that every student throughout the world sees the effect of chaos around us and hopes to escape into some kind of outward order, though, in himself he may be in utter turmoil. He wants to change the outer without changing himself but he is the source and continuation of the disorder. This is a fact,nota personal conclusion.

So we are concerned in our education with changing the source and continuation. It is human beings who create society, not some gods in some heaven. So we begin with the student. The very word implies studying, learning and acting. To learn not only from books and teachers, but to study and learn about yourself - this is basic education. If you don't know about yourself and are filling your mind with many of the facts of the universe, you are merely accepting and continuing the disorder. Probably as a student you are not interested in this. You want to enjoy yourself, pursue your own interests, are forced to study only under pressure, accept the inevitable comparisons and results with an eye fixed on some kind of career. This is your basic interest which seems natural, for your parents, and grandparents have followed the same path - job, marriage, children, responsibility. As long as you are safe you care little for what is happening around you. This is your actual relationship to the world, the world human beings have created. The immediate is far more real, important and demanding than the whole. Your concern and the educator's concern is and must be to understand the whole of human existence; not a part but the whole. The part is only the knowledge of human physical discoveries.

So here in these letters we begin with you, the student, primarily and the educator who is helping you to know yourself. This is the function of all education. We need to bring about a good society in which all human beings can live happily in peace, without violence, with security. You as a student are responsible for this. A good society doesn't come into existence through some ideal, a hero or a leader, or some carefully planned system. You have to be good because you are the future. You will make the world, either as it is, modified, or as a world in which you and others can live without wars, without brutalities, with generosity and affection.

So what will you do? You have understood the problem, which is not difficult; so what will you do? Most of you are instinctively kind, good and wanting to help, unless of course you have been too trodden down and twisted, which one hopes you are not. So what will you do? If the educator is worth his salt he will want to help you and then the question is, what will you do together to help you to study yourself, to learn about yourself and act? We will stop herewith this letter and go on in our next.

Letters to The Schools 1

198

Letters to Schools Volume One 1st January, 1980

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