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Letters to The Schools 1

198

Letters to Schools Volume One 15th February, 1980

In all these letters we have been constantly pointing out that co-operation between the educator and the student is the responsibility of both. The word co-operation implies working together, but we cannot work together if we are not looking in the same direction with the same eyes and the same mind. The word same, as we are using it, under no circumstances implies uniformity, conformity or accepting, obeying, imitating. In co-operation with each other, working together, the student and the teacher must have a relationship which is essentially based on affection. Most people co-operate if they are building, if they are playing games, or are involved in scientific research, or if they are working together for an ideal,a belief or for some concept which is carried out for some personal or collective benefit; or they co-operate around an authority, religious or political.

To study, learn, and act, co-operation is necessary between the teacher and the student. Both are involved in these. The educator may know many subjects and facts.In conveying them to the student,if there is not the quality of affection, it becomes a struggle between the two. But we are not only concerned with worldly knowledge but also with the study of oneself in which there is learning and action. Both the educator and the student are involved in this and here authority ceases. To learn about oneself the educator is not only concerned with himself but with the student. In this interaction with its reactions one begins to see the nature of oneself - the thoughts, the desires, the attachments,the identifications and so on.Each is acting as a mirror to the other; each is observing in the mirror exactly what he is because,as we pointed out earlier, the psychological understanding of oneself is far more important than the gathering of facts and storing them up as knowledge for skill in action. The inner always overcomes the outer. This must be clearly understood both by the educator and by the student. The outer has not changed man; the outer activities, physical revolution, physical control of the environment have not deeply changed the human being, his prejudices and superstitions; deeply human beings remain as they have been for millions of years.

Right education is to transform this basic condition. When this is really grasped by the educator, though he may have subjects to teach, his main concern must be with the radical revolution in the psyche, in the you and the me. And here comes the importance of co-operation between the two who are studying, learning and acting together. It is not the spirit of a team, or the spirit of a family, or the identification with a group or nation. It is free enquiry into ourselves without the barrier of the one who knows and the one who doesn't This is the most destructive barrier, especially in matters of self-knowing. There is no leader and no led in this matter. When this is fully grasped and with affection - then communication between the student and the teacher becomes easy, clear and not merely at a verbal level. Affection carries no pressure, it is never devious. It is direct and simple.

Having said all this, and if both of you have studied what has been said, what is the quality of your mind and heart? Is there a change which is not induced by influence or by mere stimulation which may give an illusory change? Stimulation is like a drug; it wears off and you are back where you were. Any form of pressure or influence also acts in the same way. If you act under these circumstances you are not actually studying and learning about yourself. Action based on reward and punishment, influence or pressure, inevitably brings about conflict. This is so. But few people see the truth of this and so they give up or say it is impossible in a practical world or that it is idealistic - some utopian concept. But it is not. It is eminently practical and workable. So do not be put off by the traditionalists, the conservatives, or those who cling to the illusion that change can only come from without.

When you study and learn about yourself, there comes an extraordinary strength, based on clarity, which can withstand all the nonsense of the establishment. This strength is not a form of resistance or self-centred obstinacy or will, but is a diligent observation of the outer and the inner. It is the strength of affection and intelligence.

Letters to The Schools 1

198

Letters to Schools Volume One 15th February, 1980

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