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Notes on 200 points on Education

March 21, 2004


Notes on the 200 points on Education


      1.   A city is a university:

  • A city is full of life. Greater life teaches you greater things. When life is primitive, the lower forces are more organised, so one is more defensive. In a city, anybody will be ready to help you. In a village, everyone will be ready to destroy you, unless mutual help is necessary.
  • A city has more expressions of modern technology. For the curious, the city offers a greater occasion to understand. Cities have libraries, museums, etc.
  • A person who has a natural endowment of personality at birth has a greater scope for development in the city. The city helps develop your personality.
  • How is this possible? The city helps whatever endowment you have. It has a maximum and a minimum. If you have opinions, motives, if you are finite, you will get the minimum out of the city. If you are open-minded and willing to examine your opinions and motives and subject them to the new opportunity, you have the maximum opportunity.
  • Cities give amorphous, unstructured education. Now we must give structured, organised education at a higher level meant for accomplishment.

      2. Personality determines the accomplishment, not talents or capacities or even       values:

  • Personality is the centralising element in the being of the person which is open to or receptive to any new experience it can receive. Such an opening is greater in the city. Character will react.
  • Personality is the unformed, unstructured human energy that loves the challenge of life, is curious to know and has an urge to act.
  • Manners are what I exhibit for another person. They can be developed into behaviour by values. Behaviour is what I believe I should exhibit. It is changeable, not organised. It can be developed into character by commitment. Character is structured. Man can change his behaviour, not his character. Character means that the emotions have accepted an idea from the mind. They won't change after that. Personality is beyond the character.
  • Most people don't have behaviour.
  • If you don't have personality, you try but you will accomplish only as much as your father has accomplished. Personality is a development of the whole. Talents and capacities are partial. Everyone who has accomplished has a personality.
  • Only personality will let you go beyond your father's achievement. When skill, talent, and ability accomplish in a particular field, personality can accomplish in any field or all fields. If you put Rajaji anywhere, he could accomplish.
  • There is no field of life in which there is no gradation. At any one moment, you are presented with all the gradations. How you respond determines your future course. It also depends on all the choices you make before you reach your goal. That which makes the choice is the personality in life and nature. In the soul, the psychic makes the choice. The psychic is the soul in nature.
  • Making a choice helps to build personality. Any process that requires centuries in life requires only a split second in Spirit.  What you spiritually and consciously choose will give you that split second growth. If you are spiritually unconscious, you know at which level you are unconscious.
  • How to become conscious when you are unconscious?  1. Know where you are. 2. Move in that plane to the positive side. 3. Acquire perfect skill and make it into a talent.
  • Don't be attached to your talents. Aspire to go to the next higher level.
  • Exhaust your energies at this level to go to the next higher level.

         - Organisation exhausts each level and saturates that.

         - When energy is organised into skill, energy is exhausted.

         - The exhaustion becomes perfect when skill rises to the perfect level of talents.

         - The perfection helps growth when the attachment and interest which made          perfection possible becomes disinterested detachment.

         - When the disinterested detachment acquires energy of movement, it is aspiration.

         - Aspiration in this sense makes progress possible.

  • Progress that is not continuous is no progress. When you stop progressing, you start dying. Constant aspiration for continuous growth is the path of human life changing into Divine Life.
  • Skill is at three levels - physical, vital, mental.
  • Capacity is the essence of all skills you have learned.
  • Talent is interest organised to perfection. All the capacity concentrated on one skill raises that skill to a pinnacle of talent.

      3.  Inspiration comes from the subconscious. The surface stores the information.

      4.  Mother tongue belongs to the subconscious. No foreign language ever reaches   the subconscious inspiration.

  • Only in moments of danger, where life is touched as a whole, does the subconscious open.  Any foreign language belongs to the surface. No man has produced an original work in  a foreign tongue, especially high poetry.
  • If any country should become great, it cannot become great by imitation. It should organise itself by its own culture, and conveniences they can take from any culture.
  • Today, education is to make the children fit in to the society. It is social, not psychological. The world, at least in the West, is tired of making children ‘fit in' and wants them to discover themselves. That is what I want our schools to give. Every child has a natural talent. We must have an eye to discern that.
  • Give him the entire freedom, so that someday, his talent will come out. Eventually, every student will become an outstanding student in some area of talent. If you have the penetration to see each child's potential, you can make all children geniuses.
  • That is not personality. Personality needs values. Something higher than values, are the laws of life or truisms of life. They are the original ideas on which humanity is developed. My aim is to give the children all these 20 truisms.

          1. Caution.

          2. God is the origin.

          3. Fundamentals cannot be ignored.

          4. Limits must be honoured.

          5. Life is sustained by the presence of great souls.

          6. Subtle knowledge is the only knowledge.

          7. Growth of good needs freedom.

          8. Romance is the savour of life.

          9. Selfishness is callous.

         10. The greater the devotion, the greater the doubt.

         11. Man is mean.

         12. Love is divine; human love is selfish.

         13. Life is amoral. War is amoral.

         14. Society is an integrated live organism.

         15. Man's inner life is creative. The outer is only an expression of substance in Space and Time.

         16. Between Man and God, there are three inversions.

         17. Taste of Ignorance changing into taste of Jnanam is evolutionary transformation.

         18. The creation is for the Delight of Brahman rediscovering Himself.

         19. Perfect Perfection is the only Perfection.

         20. Divine life is letting the Spirit live in life.

     5.    Any field progresses by measurement, construction of scales, and devising of tools   necessary  for measurement.

We measure time, distance, health, fix prices for products and every conceivable field and every possible aspect of fields are measured. Tools are devised for such measurements. This is the major cause of progress over the last 200 years. Psychological aspects like values, attitude, strength, understanding and judgement are not measured today. There are no scales and no instruments. For the progress of education to develop, skills for every psychological trait, scale and measuring devices must be discovered. The aptitude test is all right. The IQ test is completely unreliable and unrelated to the intelligence of the person. This is because we don't know life as a whole, we don't know the full man. We understand these things by the result, which is too late. Even that understanding is not based on any rational conception. In recent history, we know biographies of many leaders. Can we evaluate their work for humanity? If such a scale were there, it would help us. Measurement of individual traits and tools necessary for them are sorely lacking. If we were to suppose that all those things existed, there would be considerable progress in isolated areas, that is, the tallness of the man does not indicate his intelligence. The pretty face never reveals the temperament behind. It is often the case that children surprise their parents at crucial moments. More importantly, it happens to ourselves. Our reactions, our responses surprise us. Apart from construction of scales and the tools of measurement of our psychological existence, it is necessary to know the origin (Self) which means self-awareness. Only he who is aware of his own self would be able to measure the value of the other person, the value of an act and the significance of an event. This means one needs to know the whole of existence outside, which can be known only inside.

We know the value of product rating which enables us to choose the product and get the maximum possible credit. Money is a measurement of man's efficiency, worth, performance, accomplishment, and can largely help assess his future accomplishment. Suppose money is now withdrawn. Or, before the period when money was discovered, what would the difference be with regard to the efficiency in this society?  It may not be necessary for us to list all the existing measurements and their tools. Imagine for a moment that all these things are not there, or a period before all these things were invented. How primitive we were at that time. In the field of education, we are in a comparable situation. Every human activity, skill, capacity, talent, ability, movement, their speed, their correspondence, the local and the wider results they cause, must be measured by an individual scale, and tools devised. They can be physical tools or subtle psychological tools. It will give birth to the science of Life.

Physical experimental science has taken a few hundred years to devise the existing tools and measurement. So we may think that devising of these scales and tools will take centuries. Looked at from that point of view, that may be right. But such a subtle science has existed all over the world when the society was non-physical. Hence, there are clairvoyants and astrologers. In India the science of physiognomy, sculpture, painting and astrology, has been developed to perfection. Their precision is astonishing. Now that we have a past where these shastras have been fully developed and lived for centuries, we have an advantage to create all such scales and all such tools. The scales or tools may not always be physical, they may be subtle or subtle physical. This I prefer to call the Science of Life. Sri Aurobindo has added one more dimension to this field. These sciences as developed in India can know what is there. The force He has added to these fields, is the Force that can change what is, which means it will be a science of self-conception and can create by self-limitation and self-absorption which will be applying the process of creation of the cosmos in life.

Education will really progress when the society is supplied with such tools and scales and is permeated through and through by a scientific quest of human nature. But in the absence of such scales and tools, we can today in our school have some glimpses of these aspects and use them to advantage. In this case we know according to the social vision of the school that the child is unintelligent but he reveals an extraordinary talent which other children do not have. If we have the measurements that we were talking about, we will know his real worth. In that case, the school can help the child become outstanding. Therefore, scales for the measurement of personality as a whole, and the society as a whole are necessary to be created.  Assuming that such things are there in our country today, it is possible to discover one extraordinary hidden talent in each child who is considered to be dull at present. What the school needs is a spiritual vision, not a social view. Suppose there were such scales today, we will find no child dull and also that many children are capable of far greater performances. Their numbers will be in thousands and millions. Overnight India can raise her productivity by such scales to a level which the world does not know.

   6.    It requires a genius to know the working of the idiot's mind. You can become a genius if you can see how a stupid man thinks.

What we call human progress and science today is the result of mind trying to know matter. The matter is the idiot. It has its own method. It can't talk to you. You cannot make it respond. But when thousands of scientists apply their minds to different aspects of matter over a hundred years, what emerges is our knowledge of metals, minerals, inert matter, their structure, their qualities and properties, all of which has resulted in the discovery of the atomic fission, modern computer, CDs and video cassettes. Suppose we have the same patience with people whom we presently think to be idiots, and follow where he begins in his thought, how he approaches events, why he does so, what his reasoning is, we will discover the behaviour of the physical substance of the brain. It requires a genius to know an idiot's mind. That is the minimum result. The maximum result is every idiot will be discovered as a genius in his line of existence, because the Spirit in all is equal. Their ways are different. On a minor scale, suppose we assume that every child is equally brilliant in some line of mental activity, and try to discover that, the first result will be the teacher will develop Himalayan patience. And it will raise his intelligence to the level of its acme which will together lead to a greater self-awareness that will make him see himself. He will be a self-realised soul. He will not be in time, nor will he be in timelessness, but he will be moving to the subliminal plane of simultaneous integrality of time eternity and timeless eternity. Man thus becomes universal. His mind becomes universal. It will help him to make his senses universal. Theoretically, he can make his body universal. Inside the classroom, there will be the quiet of the silence or the peace of the Silence behind silence. Children will be learning not from the teacher or from the subject but from the store of universal knowledge which is in the subliminal mind where the superconscient light is constantly transforming the subconscient darkness. It is so because the subliminal plane is the point at which the superconscient meets the subconscient. Presently man is in the surface mind which is separated from the subliminal by the inner mind. The surface mind is in time, the inner mind is in Timelessness. The subliminal is in the simultaneous integrality of time eternity and timeless eternity. As everywhere, here too there are two choices. One who is in the subliminal can choose to incline either towards the Light or the darkness. When he inclines towards the darkness, he becomes a clairvoyant, astrologer, and such others. When he inclines towards the superconscient, he becomes a rishi of universal dimension. But only when he does not make a choice to incline either way and integrates both sides in his personality, God and Nature meet in man. That is the point from which he can ascend to the cosmic heights and integrate himself with the higher superconscient light which is buried in the subconscient darkness.

   7.   The other man's point of view expands the finite into the Infinite.

When you see your own point of view, you become more efficient in preserving yourself which means you acquire selfish efficiency. Man is not created as a lone individual. One of his major instincts is gregariousness. It is the One that has become the Many for the purposes of the play between consciousness and consciousness. The Play comes into existence only when you relate to other people. You can relate to other people, as everywhere, from your point of view or his. When you relate from your point of view you become exclusive, rigid, aggressive, violent. Terrorism is the result. When you relate to the other man from his point of view, you know much more of what he is and what he is to you. It is a point where contradictions resolve into complements. The energy spent in conflicts, fights, disharmony, destruction will be converted into harmonious construction of mutual enjoyment of collective growth. In the Western world of trade, this truth has been discovered. They go out of their way to satisfy the customer. The customer is treated as a friend, not as a rival or enemy. This has contributed to the exponential expansion of their business. Democracy is born and thrives when man in the collective tries to discover the other man's point of view. That is the reason why democracies do not go to war with each other. Physically, knowing the other man's point of view dispenses with fights, duels, and wars.

If you suppose that the teacher tries to know the point of view of the child, and the point of view of every other teacher, of the school, the family, the society, the point of time in which he exists, the point of space in which he lives, you can imagine how much his vision will be expanded. By that time, he will no longer live in the mind. He will be rising vertically in the ranges of the spiritual mind (Higher mind, Illumined mind, Intuitive mind and Overmind) leading to the Supermind. That is the path of becoming God by which the Supramental being will be born. If that is the peak, I am insistently trying to be on the same scale at the bottom at point No.1. If a teacher does this, she will be human, will not speak from her nerves, will not be rough or crude or violent. It would be impossible for her not to understand any child from his point of view. She will incidentally discover that her capacity to teach the child is infinitesimal compared with his original capacity to learn by himself. When the teacher brings the child to that point and in the measure she brings him to that point, she must recede in the background, withdraw her imposition, and leave him to himself. Then, with that freedom, the child is capable of organising his negative personality to become a scoundrel or thief or inert matter. The teacher, by rising above the positive and negative (Sat and Asat) positions herself in the Absolute Brahman so that the weight of her personality will prevent the child from choosing the Asat and compel him to choose the light. This being the process of creation, its version in the classroom is, endless strength of infinite patience.

    8.   The distinction between facts, data, information, ideas, knowledge, thinking, conception, hearing, listening, sensing, and understanding is essential for an educationist. To devise a scale and a method to measure each in different fields is essential for educational progress in any country.

Impression is far from reality. By impressions I don't mean rumours. When the facts about historical impressions which are universally accepted and admired come out, they look very different, sometimes opposite. One can see the fullness of the truth of this statement in one's own family or life. Often we think we are strong in a certain subject or faculty. If you ask your friends, they may say that it is your weakness, your defect. By analysing your immediate past, their statements will be confirmed. When a man who thinks he is in very good health and who can rate himself at one hundred percent in his health, is subjected to a medical examination, his health will be rated 65%, or 45%. Because when one aspect of the personality is overflowing, it gives a general impression that one is strong in all aspects. Imagine a class where there is no examination or scores. So many of the students will think themselves to be top students or atleast above average. It is the mark sheet that reveals the truth, because the mark sheet is the measure of evaluation. In hundreds of things, measurements have been introduced. In millions of fields they remain to be introduced. For our purposes, there is no measure to evaluate the capacity of a student academically, socially, and psychologically. Only very partial work has been done in many of these fields without any basic understanding. Even when the results speak to the contrary, impressions prevail. It is a vast subject, but the basis is to approach the student as a whole, to consider him as a whole part of the whole of the family, and further, to consider the family as a miniature whole of the whole society. This view is not prevalent in the world today at all.

The world has developed its capacity for constructing scales and if that capacity is fully used and every scale of physical, vital, and mental faculties is developed, that is, physically the ability to hear, see, speak, and sense; vitally to communicate, pleasantly relate to and organise a few people; mentally to understand the physical environment, the social environment, an academic argument and to concede, they will be found to be very valuable tools in the hands of the teacher right from a young age. Assuming that such scales are available, which are not arguable, the performance of any student can be quadrupled when we devise methods to correct the defects, improve upon the potentials, and intelligently use the measurements, to which we will come later.

The capacity to define in a graded fashion data, facts, information, ideas, knowledge, thought and conception, requires a definition of each of these things. The difficulty here is that the physical facts are different from vital and mental facts. To draw such distinctions under each category listed above requires a lot of work on the part of the teacher and further, the faculties in the mind that discriminate between datum and a fact and information does not exist in any conscious form among people now. It requires the study of the basic faculties such as observation, sensation, perception, processing data into information, constructing the idea from the facts and information, drawing the essence of knowledge from the ideas, knowing the process of thinking and developing the faculties of conception. It is a wide territory by itself. Even the primary capacities like hearing, listening, sensing, understanding, accepting, deciding, determining and committing, require a keen focused training in thought. These are all wide psychological subjects. Our research can be confined to the narrow field of education. The one advantage is, we have all these capacities in an unformed, unorganised, unconscious possession. All that we have to do is, form the faculties out of the unformed material, become conscious of the unconscious, organise the unorganised. In forming a capacity out of an unformed potential, we have to make a distinction between forming and formulation. Formation is wider, formulation is narrow. 

The term ‘organisation' is a very common term. It is least understood and has never been defined. When we start from an act and go to activities, we systematise them. Systems are brought together under an organisation, which further matures into institution, culture and collective and individual sensitivities. In any accomplishment, positive or negative, the determinant is the sensitivity. All of them exist in four levels (physical to spiritual). It is necessary for us to know each process under each head, which is the process of psychological conditioning. Only that will help us to decondition. What we call in society maturity is structured conditioning.  What we call human wisdom is the readiness to shed an old structure and acquire a new structure for the occasion. All these processes are automatically happening all the time in the mind, at lightening speed. When we are functioning in time (the successive process of time) our learning or unlearning should take an enormous time. When we are in the Timeless, their speed is enormous. When we are in the simultaneous time, we shall be able to create as God intends to reveal Himself in humanity.

9. Teaching is not learning. Education is not teaching. All of them are different from experience.

Teaching is a communication which carries mental authority. In that measure, it is a conditioning. When the authority is removed, it becomes learning. When the authority is removed, the child will not learn anything at all if his interest is not held. By interest we mean, the child's interest in the teacher. Mostly that is the only interest in the school. What is a more meaningful interest is the interest in the subject. Interest has higher grades. Interest for interest's sake in the mind is curiosity. In the vital it is dynamism. In the physical, it is to be energetic. At whatever level there is interest, the boy begins to think, act and accomplish. That is what is called levelling off.

Further, there is the interest in the school created by the atmosphere of the school. It is partly social. Psychologically, one can be interested in himself. It could be selfish or unselfish interest. Selfish interest would be mercenary, unmannerly, crude, boorish. Unselfish interest will be generous, pleasant, expansive, outgoing, benevolent. None of these things is in the hands of the child, teacher or parent. From this point of view of enquiry, the child, the teacher, parent and society are totally unconscious. The capacity to create this interest and accomplish through that depends upon what one is really interested in. It is this truth that the Gita speaks of as one can achieve whatever one wants. 

A  teacher to be prepared for this purpose, has to be a student who has finished his education in our school. Till then we have to have compromises at all levels.

Teaching becomes real only when the teacher is constantly learning how to teach. The very best teaching is not to teach. We know learning is better than teaching. Even in the best conditions, learning becomes a self-conditioning. One learns at the level in which he is in. For the higher development of the mind, unlearning is more important that learning. Those who talk of living every moment, imply the capacity not to learn from outside. What you learn from inside depends on what you are inside. In other words, learning from outside is social conditioning. Learning from inside is psychological conditioning. As we speak of an open mind, the capacity not to learn from outside or inside may be called the open soul, better still, the open, evolving soul. Even that is conditioned by your swabhava, nature, because it is expressing the force in the form, swarupa. When the swabhava refuses to express the swarupa, swarupa dissolves making you naked before God. That is the basis of the beginning of becoming the Supreme. Once the individual swabhava is shed, one has to shed the universal nature. The only method available for that is surrendering one's nature to the Divine Nature.

When we come down from these philosophical heights and stand before a class as a teacher with this philosophical information behind, all this summarises into good human manners, native cheerfulness that is infectious and a patience that is pleasant.

   10.  When we change the plane from the physical to the vital to the mental to the spiritual, the same thing acquires a different hue.

Without going into all possible details, we can illustrate physical skill as the capacity to do something, whereas mental skill is the capacity to understand something.  Act in the physical is movement. Act in the vital is releasing energy. Act in the mental is thinking, whereas, act in the Spirit is non-movement, non-thinking. When you go to the further step of the evolving soul, act is to self-represent, with mind as the basis for the delight of existence.

   11.  The child prefers learning to eating and playing.

The child or man prefers the greatest area of interest to even areas of necessity. Learning being a mental process, it releases greater interest than playing, which is physical, eating which is vital. The truth behind this statement is if man is interested in anything, he will overlook every other thing and achieve it. That is what The Gita says. That is also the basis of the yoga of self-perfection.

   12.  Bodily movements directly determine mental functions. It is equally true that all educational endowments are determined by physical movements, vital sensations, mental understanding and spiritual peace.

Glenn Doman has conducted experiments about the correlation between crawling and understanding. To exhaust that line of enquiry, about a few hundred experiments need to be done, maybe a few thousand. But if someone develops subtle perceptions of human activities or human existence, especially of one's own child, better still one's own inner self, one can develop all the essential knowledge required which would be acquired by a few hundred thousand experiments in a few years. To know is different from practice. In these matters, knowledge itself is power. The very first result will be the shedding of superstitions of all descriptions in massive volumes. That is a tremendous step in psychological education. To convert that knowledge into conducive behaviours requires comprehensive human wisdom. To communicate it to a child requires consummate patience. To reduce it to a system requires social wisdom of a person higher than a genius.

That these things are present is indicated by the absence of outer or inner tension, energies falling quiet, urges dissolving.

   13. Mind understands more quickly and completely when it does not think. As thinking is superior to memorisation, understanding without thinking is superior to thinking.

A singer or an athlete is in his best form when he doesn't plan, which means that when he doesn't think, he performs better. Thinking is a process in which mind consciously coordinates facts. When a certain coordination does not work out, meaning, does not bring out the right result, it tries other coordinations. This is the basis of empiricism. Practically, this is a very long process not sure of success for a long time. Occasionally by chance, one hits upon the right answer. When a man learns not to think, sufficiently and strongly, and sleeps over that silence for a considerable time, the answer appears in his mind. That is how Einstein got his formula. The phenomenon of genius understands the world not by external observation but by refusing to observe the externals. Had Charles Darwin who spent forty years collecting data, systematising and classifying, resorted to non-thinking, he would have got the same results or better results in a few years' time. And the phenomenon that he is unable to explain now (the gap between two species) would have also been revealed to him. In our own experience, our best ideas come when we are thinking about them the least.

Ordinarily in the process of teaching, this comes out of experience and maturity at the end of one's career. It is not easy for the teacher to acquire this faculty. But it is easier to communicate it to the student. That is one of the reasons for my saying that at the age of 15 or 20, the child can have the experience, maturity, wisdom of a man of 60 or 80. In other words, a school run on these ideal conditions can create products who will become world leaders in their fields.

Silence understands better than thinking.

Silence communicates better than speaking.

Silence accomplishes better than doing.

Theoretically, there is a silence behind silence.

    14.   There is no human endowment that cannot be trained. The higher the endowment, the greater the freedom necessary for the training. Lower endowments can be trained by others. Higher endowments must be acquired by self-training.

Discipline imposed from above teaches you not discipline, but obedience. The obedience may continue as a behaviour. When the circumstances of obedience are removed, it may turn into disobedience if it was unwillingly accepted.  Any discipline is worth the name only when it is self-discipline. By self-discipline we mean we accept what we understand. To elaborate that, the body accepts what the mind understands. It is generally an imposition. The mind never tries to educate the body. It tyrannises over it. When the spirit in the body emerges, it cannot be tyrannised because it is the flowering of the higher in the lower. So the best discipline we can conceive of is the self-discipline of the psychic. When you resist self-discipline, it exhibits an enjoyment of what is - that is the dark crude rigidity of the nerves in the body. Education, in the best sense, must offer all social, psychological circumstances for the child to acquire self-discipline. It is for this reason that it is necessary for the individual to become a spiritually awakened individual. Man matures by self-discipline. The soul evolves by refusing to be disciplined. The only discipline the Spirit accepts is total freedom.

There is a widespread conception that in matters of luck, genius, and intelligence, one has to be born with them. Mother says if one is willing to be in touch with his psychic, these things can be developed. She cites the example of a village girl becoming an opera singer. In the last hundred years, this impression has been largely negatived. The theory of transformation proclaims that the lower the member is by transformation, the higher he grows.

Training and education are synonymous. The word training is used more in the physical plane. Education is used in the mental plane. Sri Aurobindo says the present civilisation itself is a revival of a past civilisation destroyed. Therefore, all the faculties we need to develop hereafter are there in the subconscious memory of the earth. So, training is only a process of bringing to the surface what is there in the subconscious.

There is a difference between education and training. In education, we give the idea to the mind. Mind on its own internalises the idea. Then we say mind is educated. In training, we compel a man to repeat a thing until it settles down as a fixed habit. Training is the education of the body; education is the training of the mind.

   15.  In the path of progress, at every step there are several bypaths. Once you enter the bypath, you level off.

Progress is defined as health in the physical, energy in the vital, understanding in the mind and silence in the Spirit. When the embodied being is considered, progress is graded as social accomplishment, psychological achievement, spiritual attainment and spiritual evolution. A parent takes care of the child's health. Suppose the parent does not take care of the child's health, one can imagine what the child would eat and what its health would be. Imagine a child completely left to itself with respect to eating, hygiene, and sanitary conditions, and a child taken care of by the parent. The first child may not survive for a long time, or if it survives, it will survive like half an animal.  Our field of enquiry is education. Progress in education is understanding and mental accomplishment. If you take two people of comparable mental abilities, or two hundred people of comparable mental abilities, and see their progress over a period of fifty years, you see one rising in the scale of human values and others at all grades, the last man being an efficient daily worker. What really happens is that endowment being real, employment of the endowment is exercised by human choice. This is an obvious fact. That is what is meant by this statement. That which chooses is the temperament, psychological and social environment. Family, school and society can make a man who could have ended up as a loafer into a nationally known citizen. The choice is a combination of the circumstances, family guidance, personal preference, religious beliefs and any other thing that may intrude. So in specialised educational training which our school attempts, the entire character of the progress described here remains.

In any field of education, however sophisticated it is, there is a range of a thousand levels. When we achieve more than the others, we have a way of being satisfied because we don't know what is the maximum possibility. The maximum possibility is not known by the mind. The maximum possibility is presented to you when the mind falls silent and withdraws. Even when that happens, the tendency of insisting on what we know consciously or subconsciously is irresistible. That requires a knowledge and power of deconditioning. One gets conditioned and one conditions himself. The capacity for deconditioning is not in the plane of time or mind or ego. Time is a plane of conditioning. Mind is an instrument of conditioning. Ego gives the direction to conditioning. All of this keeps the man finite on the surface mind. The capacity not to exercise the mind, the capacity to concentrate fully in the present, and the capacity to be totally unegoistic takes one out of the field of conditioning. All this is summarised as an attitude of the being which is called humility. Humility is described as the self-awareness of the smallness of the being before the immense universe. That gives birth to a capacity to understand our total incapacity. Sri Aurobindo calls it surrender.  Surrender takes us to the subliminal mind, universalises us, gives us the benefit of the superconscient working on the subconscient, and allows us to reach the psychic being which is unassertive.

Obviously, according to this definition of progress, there are innumerable bypaths, such as circumstance, opinion, guidance, preference and belief. They decide the maximum to which a man can rise. Once you enter into any of these paths, like a habit, you cannot come out of it. That we see in food, dress, language, behaviour and in every other thing.  A complete theoretical knowledge of this situation is demanded of the teacher for him to be effective. He combines in himself the parent, the teacher, the mentor, the leader and the entire social circumstance. That is why we say only a student who passed out of the school which is really a community, can be a meaningful teacher in our school.

   16.  Accomplishment is social, psychological, personal, spiritual.

By accomplishment we mean achieving the results that we aim at. A successful, happy, affluent home is a social accomplishment. A healthy, cheerful, carefree man of excellent character is a psychological accomplishment. If a man has a personal preference like games or art, accomplishment is in that field. Spiritually, accomplishment is to reach heaven.  Sri Aurobindo has given a further dimension to that goal which is God's taking birth in our life and body, called the Advent of the Supramental Being. In the society we see a million types of accomplishment. Most of them are reached by an unconscious interest and preference. For some of them or many of them, there is a partial training available. There is no accomplishment for which complete training has been devised.  Even the age-old habit of child rearing still remains in these modern days in the unconscious realm. No parent can know the child unless he knows himself. At the bottom of accomplishment lies self-awareness.

In a school like ours, maybe for the first time in the world, we can devise a training programme by which the child will consciously acquire all that is necessary to accomplish what he chooses. For instance, the method of reading that we employ is superior to the other methods. But we don't know everything about reading. We have not been taught that. We have not studied it. We take something that appears to be modern or latest in the field and follow it. To study the process of reading, one needs to observe what goes on in the mind when one reads, how the senses contribute. That is not what we are aware of or do. The world is not aware of the fact that such a study exists. It means that we have to know an outer thing first inside and then practise it in the outer. It is for these reasons above I call education the yoga of the society.

The process of reading is the same process for any act. And we don't know that process. The world does not know that such a process exists. The world concentrates on the physical process which has given us tremendous progress. The defect of the physical process is it travels in the opposite direction. Even when the physical process is in the right direction, there are a dozen levels above it. It is possible for us to attempt the highest possible level. Today the very best school in the world fits the description of the blind leading the blind.

To subdivide the four accomplishments into four areas and explain each fully requires the length of a full book.  So what is the very best thing we can do? The highest knowledge we have we must be aware of is no knowledge. The real knowledge comes from the evolving Spirit. To aspire for the evolving Spirit and to evoke it in the child in whatever crude manner we can do, is the best we can do. The knowledge of our ignorance is our greatest instrument. To know that I am ignorant is the greatest wisdom I can have.

   17.  The higher endowments express in the lower planes, thus raising the performance of the lower planes.

The endowments of the lower and higher planes are the same, expressing themselves as they are circumscribed.  Force in the body tempts the possessor to beat the weak. The force in the mind similarly tempts the intelligence of the mind to teach the dull. Suppose instead of that, the intelligence which is the force of the mind informs the force in the physical, namely the strength, the result will be the strong man would like to help the weak man. In other words, destruction is transformed into construction. 

The higher the man grows, the more he discovers how low he is. To be aware of the higher endowments and make them express themselves in raising the lower endowments is the maximum one can do in the given circumstances. It can be called self-discipline. Socially, this process can raise a day labourer into a substantial size of an entrepreneur. Vitally, a coward can become a courageous person. Mentally, a dull man can become an intelligent man. The greater the dullness, the greater is the possibility of his raising himself above intelligence. It has no end. Self-aware intelligence is a bar to rising above the mind. Any endowment that is aware of itself is a bar to progress.

   18.  Growth is ascent. Development is descent.

Man's growth starts with the physical. When the physical is saturated with learning, he moves to the vital and then to the mental and spiritual. This growth is called the ascent. The vital, when developed, gives its benefit to the physical. It is the first level of descent. The mental, when it is developed gives its knowledge to the vital and through the vital to the physical. That is the descent. These descents can be partial because the mind does not know the entire structure and constitution of the body it is dominating.  The mind does not try to understand the whole of the body. It relates to the understanding part of the body and through that compels the body to obey which becomes domination. Mother says it has resulted in a tyranny over the millennia. Mother also says that the body is so docile and unprotesting that it only expects to be maltreated by the mind. When the development rises to the spirit, it rises in two different ways. One is, the tyranny becomes greater. The other is, the tyranny becomes an understanding. When the Spirit is at its own level and deals with the body or other members, it imposes itself with violence. But when the Spirit by its purity tries to release the Spirit in the other members, there is no tyranny or violence. There is only blossoming of every member. That doesn't happen at the spiritual plane because the highest level of the spiritual plane, the Overmind, still has ignorance and ego and it is a partial plane. Only when one rises to the Supramental plane, the ignorance disappears, ego dissolves, the human plane becomes universal, intuition from outside is shifted inside, oneness is realised, in the sense all is in each and each is in all. All is in God and God is in all. Only in that condition this descent can take place. Till then, descents are partially useful, powerful, but will always contain an element of tyranny and violence. That is the basis of all superstition and fanaticism.

    19.   Body has mind and intelligence. It first emerges as physical intelligence and subsequently as vital, mental and spiritual intelligences. In this rise, accomplishment is limited by the physical environment, physical effort, vital attitudes, mental opinions, and the motive of the being.

    20.   In the society, all this is going on unconsciously and in an unorganised fashion.

    21.   Great souls have the capacity for self-organisation that is conscious.

A great soul is one who is not dominated by the lower members of his being. Organisation means to make the person function automatically at the highest level of his existence. Smaller men are compelled to organise themselves, by the external circumstances of the society. Higher members do so without that external compulsion or suggestion.  That is self-organisation.  It can be done only when one is conscious. By conscious, I mean his evolutionary structure, and his evolutionary destiny.  Only he who is so conscious can organise himself on his own. That is what we have to create in a child. Presently the child imitates the parents or the teacher. That is a biological response. Between the biological response and the spiritual response, there are several intervening layers. He who can give the spiritual response can do it.

    22. That self-organisation can also be unconscious.

That is a basic rule. Anything small or great can be done either consciously or unconsciously. It is necessary for one to understand the difference between consciousness and unconsciousness. Sri Aurobindo prefers to call it subconscious, not unconscious. The examples of education and trade, transport can easily explain to us that they are consciously organised by the society. Imagine that these aspects are there in the society without being organised which means, we won't know when a bus will come and where it goes.  We won't know when there is school or what subjects will be taught.  In an unconscious atmosphere of trade, no one knows when a certain product will be available in the market or whether it will be available continuously. That takes us about a few hundred years back. That is the difference between an organised field and an unorganised field. The same distance exists between conscious organisation and unconscious organisation.

Man learns in the society whether he goes to school or not. He is continuously learning every minute. His learning is organised according to his personality. Compare him to a person who goes to school, where he is educated according to a conscious organisation. Insight, intuition, inspiration, revelation, judgement, discrimination, common sense, capacity to accomplish and gifts of different talents are today unconsciously organised in the society. Someone interested in music will always have music on his mind. He will snatch every tune. He will not miss anything anybody hums and it will be organised around his original talent, but it is an unconscious organisation. Put him under a music teacher, and the organisation will become conscious. The awakening of the spirit is today organising itself, but man is not conscious of it. To make that organisation conscious is yoga. Education being the yoga of the society, education can be organised like that.  When education is organised like that, the least product of that system will be equal to the best product of the present system. These are all wide concepts that escape our conception. There is a great reality behind it. That reality is capable of producing the results before you learn it or know of it. Our aim in the school should be to make as many children as possible see one great result of that dimension. It is for him to pursue that line of development.

Imagine a very wealthy man who has not heard of the phone, who cannot believe that we can talk to the next house on the phone. The fact is, you can talk to the other side of the world. It will be very difficult for you to explain to him the entire working of the system. It is possible for you to make him talk to someone at a great distance. Once he has seen that reality, it is for him to go back to his place and make the arrangements to install a phone in his house. 

Spiritual attainments range from moksha to clairvoyance. Even in moksha there are three stages. In the first, you taste the Brahman. At the second level, when the Brahman is tasted or realised, it is not easy to come back except for the master soul. At the third level, the individual soul dissolves in the universal Soul. There is no question of coming back. Telepathy, clairvoyance and astrology occupy the last rung of spirituality. In between lie the muni, the Rishi, the God.  There are infinite varieties in those realisations, as there are innumerable subjects of study now.

Today any student is capable of choosing a field of study and doing research there. In the range of spiritual attainments where mind occupies the lowest position, we know of gifted children, the prodigy, the precocious and those who excel them. Any of these fields or talents can be chosen and a student trained to attain them. That training is in the subtle, occult plane, not in the physical, material, mental plane. The basic condition is, the individual should aspire for it. The intensity of the aspiration must match the height of the accomplishment. Therefore, in the field of education, starting from the present level of school education and going beyond the genius in one field (what we know of genius is genius in one field) any particular talent can be selected and trained up to a point where self-training overtakes the child. The word training is quite jarring. It's a physical word. Even for want of a right word, it is not pardonable to use that word. Practical, concrete, material, training and exercise are, for this higher field, out of bounds. It is better never to use these words. If a person asks, ‘What do I do practically?' he can go about doing anything practically, but he is not meant for this field. Practicality is for the man who thinks with his body. Education does not lie in the physical plane.  Even the word organisation is used because there is no other word we can use.  Maybe a formation can be used without offending the result. Formulation is not permissible.

    23.  Social evolution has several dimensions, all of which are parts of existence.

Society is part of humanity which is part of earthly life.  Life is a wider field which comprises all these things. By social evolution, we mean society going forward in its organisation. One important aspect of it is the good integrating with the evil. No work is accomplished when evil is entirely eradicated or kept apart. All accomplishments are results arrived at by a mixture of good and bad where the good predominates. Simple-minded moral attitudes frown upon the evil, error, wrong, mistakes, defects and so on. Suppose we take a boy at the age of twenty or a man at sixty, whom the world considers to have accomplished something. They have accomplished, not because they have given up evil, but because they were able to overcome evil by their good. Even at the level of Overmind, there is ignorance, but the gods are able to function without being disturbed by ignorance, which means the power of the knowledge overcomes the power of ignorance.

Outside evil, there are hundreds of partial evils and hundreds of other partial goods. If someone sets out to make a list of all social activities, they may run into thousands. We choose one of them and develop a career out of it. Society is progressing in hundreds of thousands of fields. This does not mean that that is the type of development. Society is developing as a whole which we are unable to see. All these million strands of development are particular parts of it. To know that our best achievement is an infinitesimal part of social development qualifies us to develop socially. When we say that development is a process and not a programme, we mean, there is a process by which these different strands interact to produce a basis of oneness or unity. From the part in which we are working, we must be able to see what is behind us and of what we are a part. That gives an inkling of social development.

Considering education like that, which is the mental part of social development, will help a man to become an educationist.

    24.  They are necessities for physical survival, energy for vital activity, thought for mental understanding.

Man who lived in the forest for physical survival began to live in a house. For us this is a simple fact. For the man who has done that, it is an enormous leap. We teach children to read and write. How laborious a task it is. Imagine the first man who invented writing and how he learned it. It was an enormous task. It must have taken ages. The British government left an administration behind in India. After all, we have to run it. We are running it inefficiently and corruptly. Why? Even the task of maintenance is an evolutionary task. Presently we witness the installation of televisions and other such equipments in our homes. We are not inventing them. We are only using them. Take any new physical activity we learn and observe the process of understanding that goes into it. There are ladies who have created a new dish, teachers like Glenn Doman who discovered a new method of teaching, people like Darwin who stumbled on the survival of the fittest, Marx who called upon workers to lose their chains and Gandhi who invented satyagraha. From the smallest act to the greatest act, from devising a ladder to flying in an airplane, when you read what passed through their minds wherever the written material is available, the physical pressure of survival on the mental process of thinking will be laid bare. Mind should observe all this. A man aiming a stone at a mango does not notice that when his hand aims at the fruit, the whole body takes a supporting poise, the heart beats differently, the breathing changes, the eye begins to focus and every act of the body undergoes a similar appropriate change. What about a man chased by an animal? If gearing oneself to act is a feat, coming back to equilibrium is another feat. Can we imagine how we are excited, threatened? Is it possible for us to see how our mind gropes when a difficult problem is posed? Every moment on earth is a 'live' moment. We are aware of the new ones. We take the rest for granted. A boy working as a salesman for Rs. 1500/- becomes an MLA. A child at the age of twelve loses both the parents and understands that no one will take care of him. Now he is on the street. Is it possible for us to know the mental process that goes on in their minds? There are such moments in our lives. Do you think you can see each movement of the endless chain? Is it possible?

It is observation.

A teacher must attempt to observe the child similarly. Then arises the question of how to organise the unorganised thoughts, how to become conscious of them. Elizabeth thought she could have been the mistress of Pemberley. It was a desire. She was conscious of the desire. Did she know what inside her and outside her influenced that formation of desire? If so, why did she run away from Pemberley on seeing Darcy? This does not happen only at crucial moments. It happens all the time. To be able to know that is observation. The list of the mental faculties is very long. Can we observe judgement or inspiration like that? Can we observe all such movements inside us and outside us? What happens when we do so? Habits, constructions, opinions, ideas and prejudices of the mind dissolve making mind clean, pure, open. It is open-mindedness. Our minds are now closed.

    25. The environment compels man to learn the requirements of survival.

We know of the forester avoiding dangerous zones. Socially, we are wary of the reactions of friends, particularly of our boss. Mentally, we are not that alert. Only when we are laughed at, are we on our guard. All this is negative. Positive environment invites us materially to use these circumstances. Vital circumstances are an occasion to be pleasant. Mentally, for one who wants to learn, the environment extends endlessly in the horizontal plane and in the vertical plane, even if the scope is as great, progress is equally difficult

  • One with SSLC education was burning with a desire to speak English in an environment where no full sentence of English was ever spoken. Switching the entire thinking to English would enable him to do so. He picked up that suggestion and in a month became fluent in English. Such progress is a potential plane for further endless, creative progress. Once after a party was over, he spoke of ‘fruit-balance'. I was struck by that simple phrase. It is an analogy to cash balance. No one noticed it. At that moment, I know, if he had recognized his potential and took the same effort as he had taken earlier to speak English, he would have become a wonderful coiner of original phrases.
  • One who has the vision of the third dimension of Time can see, hear, smell, touch and taste such original occasions either from individuals or from the environment. Life is unconsciously creative. Man can become conscious. The conscious man realising the unconscious - rather unperceived - creativity of life and gently trying to make it conscious in himself is one who can create higher levels of mind, if those minds are informed, open, devoid of superstition and refuse to allow themselves to be dominated by the thinking of the vital or the body. The peaks are for those who become self-conscious and are capable of self-organisation.
  • Silent contemplation takes one to such heights and opens those possibilities. When a flash like ‘fruit-balance' emerges, he or someone on his behalf should recognise it is a moment of realisation of Light. It is the moment when gratitude - the thrilling bodily sensation that witnesses the action of God - can connect this fleeting phrase to a stupendous higher opening, an opening where genius will be considered narrow.
  • The external compelling the inside is man.

The inner enjoying its own revelation is a compelling joy is self-discipline.

All these higher endowments are born inside, not outside.

The above statement is about survival.

Beyond survival lie growth, development, and evolution.

We talk here of the physical.

Beyond the physical lie the vital, mental, spiritual, the spiritual ranges and the Supramental.

In each of these planes there is the division of consciousness and substance.

Equally, each of these planes contains all the other planes.

So far, it is general.

When we come to the particular, we reach the atomic existence of the physical infinitesimal.

  • To see, discover, realize the Infinity in the infinitesimal is yoga. The classroom is full of such moments of the Marvel.

     26.  Human relationship, or rather relationship, releases vital energies.

Energy is released by movement. Movement is created by aspiration. All aspirations on earth are reflections of the aspiration of the Divine for Delight. Human beings are live organisms. They also act as an organisation. Organisations involve systematic activity. Acts need energy. The energy of the acts comes from attitudes. The unit of activity is an act. For the act to come into existence, one needs energy. Whoever initiates the act, energises the act. This act is in all the four planes. Each plane has got those three divisions. Teachers trying to teach in the class creates a human relationship with the class. For the teaching to be most effective, the relationship should be organised. To organise a relationship, you must know all it parts, and all the relations. A teacher who teaches for half an hour in the class, who gives a star performance unconsciously has about five or ten percent of this requirement. To make it conscious means the effectivity of the performance will increase ten or twenty times.  The first requirement of that is that the teacher has to know himself, the student, the subject, the class and the context of the subject. To know is to energise mentally. To feel is to energise vitally. To do is to energise physically. Not to do anything, not to feel, not to know is a spiritual act.  It releases all these energies and accomplishes more than all these things put together.

Relationship is two ways. Even when one relates to another who is not interested, in some sense it is still a two way movement. The two way movement necessarily releases more energy than one way movement. The more intense the relationship is, greater is the energy released. Creation means one becoming the many for the purpose of the play of being with Being, consciousness with consciousness, ananda with ananda. Maya is there to create the many out of the One retaining the oneness at the level of consciousness and retaining the unity at the level of Being. The One became the many for the sake of the play. To get the maximum possible delight out of the play, the self-conscious being became unself-conscious matter. So the greater intensity in a relationship arises when two people far apart relate. That is the principle behind the statement that one becomes a genius when he tries to understand the working of an idiot.  When the teacher relates to the students with respect to the subject, it is a limited relationship. The energy released and the intensity are at the level of the subject. When the teacher relates to the student as another human being, non-academic issues such as social, psychological issues, enter. Because they are of a different field, it requires a greater plasticity to forge a relationship. That way, the class will be more lively and the result greater. The growth of the student is in proportion to the growth of the teacher, therefore we say, teaching is learning and learning is teaching.

    27. Curiosity of the mind wherever it exists culminates in understanding.

Curiosity is a movement of the mind, a stirring of the mind. It can be in any plane. In whichever plane it is, because it is a movement of the mind, it results in the understanding of that plane. If there is curiosity in the physical, it is in the physical mind and it will understand physically. If the tongue comes into contact with mango it understands mango is sweet. The body begins to act and eats it. Impulse of the mind to understand is curiosity.

There is a curiosity in every person. When one's curiosity touches another, the result is greatest. The art of teaching lies, they say, in awakening the curiosity of the child. We can add that the teacher's curiosity for the subject, if awakened, can more easily touch the curiosity of the student. Going further, there is something like the curiosity of the subject. Any subject wants to grow through understanding. If a teacher in the class trying to awaken the curiosity of the student by his own awakened curiosity works in the field of the curiosity of the subject, the subject will grow by itself in the minds of the students and the teachers. 

    28.   Long periods of experience, collective as well as individual, give him the spiritual values that raise every accomplishment of the lower planes. Hence it is important to know the process of ascent as well as descent.

Progress, advancement, civilisation, modernisation, urbanisation, welfare, well-being, all denote various phases of the same movement that is human growth. In our theory, it is classified under different heads for different parts of the being, which are:

  • Survival, growth, development, evolution.
  • Skill, capacity, talent, ability.
  • Physical, vital, mental, spiritual, spiritual range, Supramental.
  • Matter, Life, Mind, Supermind, Ananda, Chit, Sat, Brahman.
  • Memorisation, understanding, thinking, silent contemplation, vision, intuition, knowledge, Supramental intuition, consciousness, Being, Brahman.
  • Act, activity, system, organisation, institution, culture, sensitivity, consciousness.
  • Inconscient, subconscient, conscient, superconscient, conscious, Being.
  • Time, Timelessness, Simultaneous integrality of Time-eternity and Timeless eternity.
  • Practical, constitutional, psychological, temporal, universal, cosmic and original Ignorance.
  • Egoistic, subliminal, intuitive knowledge and knowledge by identity.
  • Inner, outer, inner that includes the outer.
  • Terrestrial, cosmic, transcendental and synthetic life.

The ascent is from the physical to the Supramental. The descent is from the Supramental to the physical. It occurs in various ways.

  • Man is merely physical.
  • He becomes vital and the vital expresses through the physical.
  • Mind develops. It emerges in the vital and later in the physical. The descent begins as imposition, domination, compromise, education and finally the lower member blossoming into the higher member.
  • Spirit develops and leaves for moksha. Each higher member, when it develops, can remain as it is without trying to descend.
  • The Spirit splits into four higher levels of the spiritual range.
  • The Supermind is reached. While all levels till the Supermind do not have a tendency to descend, the Supermind starts descending as soon as it is touched. Self-giving is its strategy of existence. Hence it is so.
  • In order for the Supermind to descend, one has to start with the mind, releasing the mental psychic.
  • The movement of the mental psychic upwards and downwards is simultaneous.
  • When the mental psychic rises, at each level it creates the appropriate psychic being. It becomes Ishwara when it reaches the Supermind.
  • Downward the psychic development continues through the Mind, vital and physical.
  • At each level, it passes through consciousness and substance of that level.
  • When the psychic being reaches the physical substance, it becomes the Supramental Being.

     29.  Before the birth of the family, man lived like an animal.

Family, the formation of the family, was the beginning of the society. Perhaps it was the first civilizing influence on  man, an impulse to transform selfishness into selflessness.

  • Family is to the society what act is to the organization.
  • Family is the first organized unit of the society.
  • In fact, its incipient stages started with the animal parent taking care of its off-spring for a time.
  • In the field of education, the birth of the school is analogous to the birth of the act for the organization or the family for the society.
  • The most important thing in the school is not education, but social relationship. It is well known that children that drop out of school miss social skills.
  • To some extent such children go back to the habits of animals and develop an intense love for the animals.
  • It is common knowledge that parents expect schools to teach children good manners, perhaps more than academic education.
  • To appreciate the role of a school the teacher should have the knowledge and understand the significance of how the family was originally created.
  • The birth of the school was a landmark in social evolution.
  • The school, by its existence, makes the very best knowledge of the society accessible to the least member.
  • For the school to be effective, the highest knowledge must be stated in the simplest form.
  • It has been done by folktales, fables, parables and proverbs.
  • It is said that wise men write the proverbs and fools begin to repeat them.
  • The proverb introduces the child to the quintessence of social experience.
  • It is said that to find the greatest value in the most commonplace statement is wisdom. The child is introduced to that process by fables, parables and, particularly, proverbs.
  • If the teacher knows the full value of the proverb, the child will be introduced to the essence of the proverb, maybe fully.
  • The teacher is the academic environment of the child.
  • It is impossible for the teacher or the parent not to be superstitious.
  • Generally, the very best of parents entertain 100% of superstition.
  • To believe that one is not superstitious is a superstition.
  • Being superstitious it is impossible not to transmit it to the child.
  • The hippy generation started condemning their parents for spoiling their lives, not realizing it is a process of living.
  • Are not the hippies doing the same thing to their children?
  • In the name of radicalism, to become fanatically superstitious is one rule of life.
  • The questions arise: How do we bring up our children? How does a school teach the child?
  • When the parent knows their psychological, social limitations, it is a great awareness. That is the maximum they can convey to the child.
  • Similarly, when the school is aware of its own limitations, which are about one hundred per cent, that is the best atmosphere the school can create for the children.
  • Even that awareness can be communicated as a superstition.
  • If that awareness does get communicated, the child not only begins to think for himself, but begins to observe, understand, form opinions and attitudes, shape motives for himself.
  • That is how the child conditions himself, which is an inevitable process.
  • To know that that is a process of conditioning is a spiritual awareness in the child.
  • Once the child has that spiritual awareness, it cannot be made to learn any subject particularly.
  • For all appearances, the child will be wild, uncontrollable, perfectly insane.
  • If the school and the teacher know that this is the process through which man became civilized, acquiring a family, they can be expected to have patience with the child.
  • It is not a patience you can expect of people.
  • That is why a school with such an attitude can at best give the child an inner freedom to arrive at its own conclusions which are inconclusive.
  • That is the maximum freshness the school can impart to a child.
  • It is a truism of life that at every moment life is live. It is bursting with a million propensities outside our conditioning. The circumstances - school, parents, society - are severely conditioning the child into one line of action.
  • Civilization means conditioning.
  • Psychological revolution means deconditioning.
  • Schools of the traditional type are meant for the majority of children.
  • It is difficult for the school to provide the opening for freshness and serve the majority of the children its social purpose.
  • To seek that blending should be our endeavour.
  • In other words, the school should be a miniature of the society that permits each man to seek his goal, providing the very best opportunity for the best material.
  • Only that society is doing it unconsciously. A school like ours should do it consciously.
  • If the blending is done with the best of intentions, it will help each person to understand Mother better.

    30.   His gregarious instinct created the collectivity and its unit, the family.

  • What the scientist calls gregarious instinct is a human reflection of the spiritual Oneness.
  • Unity becomes Oneness and the One becomes the Many for the purposes of the play.
  • Play is the means of delight.
  • In the earlier species, there was no family of a mother taking care of the offspring until they were weaned away. The male protected the female during the weaning period.
  • Family was thus created and became the extended joint family, a unit of the group, because of the necessities of agriculture. Farming needed that social base.
  • As marriage and property have to go, the family is on the way out to a great extent.
  • The political leadership that was in the Royal family and in those above sixty symbolised the physicality of the society.
  • Royal Family and the divine right theory are no longer valid.
  • We see the ‘leadership' coming down to the youth, the adolescents and the children, which is a recognition of the psychic being and a non-recognition of age, and experience which is physical experience.
  • It is symbolic of the recognition of the awakened psychic being.
  • India degenerated from spiritual knowledge to the worship of rituals. Even those rituals are lifeless.
  • Recognition of the Spirit in the West goes after vital spirits, the dead rituals or yoga of India. Now children respond to magic, a treasure of Atharva Veda.
  • Spirit is alive in the West as work values, psychological values and values in public life.
  • In India, the spiritual awareness is deeply buried but the karmic consequences keep it alive.
  • The response to Mahabharatha in India and in the West shows how alive the spirit of the Spirit is.
  • In the East as well as the West, if Spirit is alive in any field it is in Romance till marriage kills it.
  • All values of all types are not only alive but are the central themes of fiction and film.
  • The quality of products rises day by day which is a recognition of value in Matter, as technology is Mind expressed in matter.
  • Rationality which is Truth in Mind receives lip service. Paul Johnson described the total absence of rationality in the leading intellectuals of the last two centuries.
  • The two world wars have been the last act of humanity to overcome its collective physicality.
  • The worst crimes of humanity against man are the most intense negative aspect of it.
  • The Cold War was a symbol of the vital tyranny of mankind.
  • Its demise was initiated by USSR which organised tyranny and savagery by the State.
  • Those who have global or universal subtle vision see the pouring down of the Force on earth.
  • The evil is organised and entrenched in the infinitesimal.
  • So, the perfection must begin there as goodness that embraces evil.
  • To see the buried light in the infinitesimal as good is all that man can do.
  • Further, man's present day knowledge of history and world events has some basis, rather enough basis, to see the good that the evil does.
  • World events slowly reveal that aspect.
  • During the thirties, England was planning for prosperity ignoring the threat and the rise of Hitler. It was not ignorance. It was a direction of Nature to let the evil grow to its height and do its service.
  • India accepted Gandhiji's ahimsa and split the unity the British gave and permitted large scale bloodshed not because India was foolish, but because Nature had the necessity of exhausting the dead rote of rituals - Satyagraha was the crown of rituals without spiritual life in the human substance.
  • The surface life of men all over the world is in the total grip of millions of superstitions of which war in the physical, and individuality in the mental are two extremes.
  • The vital - mental individuality is a bar to human progress while the spiritual individuality is a step towards progress.
  • Spirituality of the Individual is the capacity to shed the seven ignorances.
  • Shedding practical ignorance a little is Prosperity.
  • Shedding constitutional ignorance is inner well being.
  • Presently the world is faced only with these two issues.
  • Abolition of poverty is abolition of practical ignorance in the physical ignorance.
  • Abolition of psychological ignorance is possible only when the scientists create a theory of creation that is valid.
  • Abolition of temporal ignorance demands faith and giving up of karma and....
  • Giving up reliance on Matter alone can abolish the egoistic Ignorance.

     31.  The family begins with the father, mother and children.

  • When the biological evolution matures into sociological evolution, the first appearance was the family.
  • The mother taking care of her offspring is a departure from instinct to training, from the inborn vital instinct to the mental knowledge of the mother passing on to the offspring.
  • Progress prefers the ineffective training by the Mind to the unfailing inherited instinct.
  • It is simultaneously accompanied by the male father guarding the female and children.
  • Man being the most developed mammal takes the longest period to get  weaned away from the family.
  • Thus rearing and weaning period become an index for the advance of the species.
  • Not only does the weaning period lengthen in Man, but the family gets extended also, developing physical attachment and vital proximity.
  • In that sense, the joint family is a remnant of our animal past.
  • As elsewhere, this has the other side.
  • The mere physical body, through the joint family, develops vitality, a vertical growth.
  • Now the joint family is yielding the place to a nuclear family and even a single parent family.
  • Is this a progress or deterioration?
  • It is a progress if one is on the path of discovering his spiritual individuality.
  • It is deterioration if one develops selfishness in the name of individuality.
  • America came into being because the awakened Europeans wanted to be themselves, to give full play for their individuality uninhibited by the tyranny of the class distinction.
  • The caste in India and the class in England are artificial.
  • USA was born as a leader of social evolution to break that artificiality.
  • Mother says the USA remains to be the evolutionary vanguard of the world.
  • In one sense, the reactionaries of any country are capable of the same intensity of fanaticism.
  • One nation cannot be a leader without the necessary evolutionary foundation.
  • America's quest for the spirit is silly and childish, but her culture is imitated all over the world because behind this quest lies the economic, political, and military strength, though not the spiritual foundation.
  • India has the spiritual foundation, but the masses mistake religious worship for spirituality. She is poor, illiterate and weak militarily.
  • In the future, military might may become otiose, not economic and political power.
  • Should India bring her Spirit to the surface so much so that her political wisdom is heard with respect and economically she is as strong as others, India's spirit will be acknowledged.
  • It may not be acknowledged as the pure spirit.
  • It will be acknowledged in terms of the West whose organisation now excels.
  • A spiritual organisation that is seen as more powerful than their mental organisation will win India the initial respect of the West.

    32.   Once the family comes into existence, necessarily division of labour comes in.

  • The father is the breadwinner, the mother rears the children.
  • Any move will continue to the end as the division of the Mind ends in the atom.
  • Division of labour is a useful arrangement in production.
  • The elder child takes care of the younger ones, assists the father or mother in work.
  • The family is the social unit.
  • As is the family, so is the society.
  • Division of labour was a great innovation in manufacturing. It enhanced production.
  • Any method will not suddenly sprout.
  • Its distant origins can be traced.
  • In philosophy, one method of analysis is called inquiry from the first principles.
  • As Krishna is from the Overmind, any Indian who takes to an inquiry will go to the root of it, as the characteristic of Overmind is to split the infinite into the infinitesimal. No wonder Churchill said such an inquiry is anathema to the British mind.
  • In a school each subject is taught separately. This is not undesirable, but through a single context many subjects can be taught. It may prove to be more powerful sometimes.
  • The family coming into existence is the beginning for an organised society.
  • The herd is not the society, though the herd too acts on the instinct.
  • Family is highly valued in India. We speak of friends as one of the family.
  • The origin of the family is the division of labour and the first signs of the future birth of the society.
  • Duty born out of physical attachment is the basis of the family.
  • The birth of duty is the birth of values.
  • In that sense, the birth of the family is the first inkling of spirit in life.
  • Sometimes a company acts as a family. It is a higher duty of fellow feeling.
  • Sri Aurobindo says there is only one body in the world which the ego perceives as many bodies.
  • Family and its birth is the earliest recognition of that one body.
  • In the school, we know there is only one subject - knowledge.
  • We split it into many subjects and read them specially.
  • Unity is the base; division is the functional instrument.
  • Division is only an appearance.
  • No work can be done today, no subject can be read without dividing it into parts.
  • The study will become complete only when the subject is viewed as a whole.
  • It is said the modern world was born between 1815 and 1830.
  • It was Napoleon who contributed to the society "in three years what the kings took centuries to do". Whatever he started was completed after his abdication.
  • 1815-1830 is that period.
  • It is noticed that all that Leonardo wrote in his notebooks became real after the birth of Sri Aurobindo.

    33.  Division of labour gives birth to an advantage as well as a disadvantage.

  • This is a basic truism in creation as we view it by the Mind. But such a phenomenon does not exist when we cross the Mind.
  • Before the arrival of the railways, a travel to Varanasi involved a long number of days, insecurity and the inability to carry cash among other problems. After the arrival of the railways, banks have been started, security has been established and so on.
  • As we view the world through the Mind, we have to accept the dualities. Whether in yoga or in family or education, our endeavour is to overcome these dualities.
  • Dualities disappearing is progress. That is the path to Supermind. Our strategies everywhere are only that. When I speak of evolving the spiritual organisation, that is what I mean.
  • A hundred years ago when a wedding was to be arranged, all the provisions - rice, gram, dal, appalam, leaf, chilli, etc. - had to be grown on one's own field. Invitations had to be personally delivered and reserved for each meal. That was a physical organisation. Raise it to the mental organisation. By the time you do so, mind in the society is organised. Money, a mental tool, was born and used. Things await our exploiting them.
  • What do we mean by a spiritual organisation? There is a Spirit around us. It is organised at its own speed. We understand it as prayer, Mother's Grace. That is right. Understand it as a spiritual organisation. It acts as follows:

         - One starts with a perception of a spiritual organisation. It means he has faith.

         - Faith grants him membership in that organisation.

         - As your brother awaits you at the railway station in Madras when you inform him of your arrival - a mental communication - everything awaits you everywhere to accomplish your work.

        - If this principle is comprehended, one can easily see how a hundred years' work can be completed in a hundred days. We will deal with the method of doing it later. 

        - What a poor man takes years to complete, a man of status completes in a matter of days. It is social organisation at work (Quotation from Sri Aurobindo from the Agenda, Vol. 7, p. 174).

       - The token experiment in ‘Spiritual Opulence' explains how to do it once.

       - Division of labour makes everyone an expert in one special item and ignorant of every other item.

       - Overcoming division of labour, everyone is raised to a high pedestal where everyone is an extraordinary expert in everything. This is the principle that the finite is the frontal appearance of the Infinite. Every child is infinite. The more dull it is, the better. Training is a physical method. Teaching the mind is a mental method. Evoking the Spirit and allowing the child to Grow in knowledge is a spiritual method.

      - One cardinal principle or index that we are using the spiritual method is indicated by what we are seeking seeks us. We must not go about collecting resources.

    34.   The advantages are occasions for human relationship.

  • Teamwork creates team spirit.
  • When you have to work with another person or several others, a great world of human propensities opens up.
  • What someone tells us will reveal that we were foolish all these days.
  • One important person will strongly believe a wrong fact. In a committee, one cannot refute it even if it is right to do so.
  • People who have worked in collective committees for long are wise for this reason.
  • We understand it as compromise, adjustment.
  • Really, teamwork enables us to concentrate on another's strength that is useful, in utter disregard of all their defects.
  • Spiritually, it is a subtle awareness of our own weakness, but unconsciously.
  • In a family, this aspect fully rises to the surface.
  • Families that take advantage of such relationships become cultured.
  • The major question here is what is human relationship?
  • Human life is one of human relationships.
  • If you suppose you can do a work in an excellent way and then, if you are to work with a stupid man, especially when he is your boss, you learn to accomplish doing the work in a foolish way. That makes you very, very efficient.
  • When you are unskilled and you have to work with a skilled person, you learn a lot.
  • In this relationship, there are two parts: 1) the work, 2) the other person.
  • Unless you adjust to both, the work never gets accomplished.
  • The level at which each man adjusts decides his accomplishment.
  • That which does it is his personality.
  • Those who are successful are successful at the minimum level.
  • He who does it at the maximum level, opens up opportunities.
  • At its very best, a family can give its members the maximum the society can offer. It can go further too. It can show him Brahman.
  • The ways in which the various forces are at play and arrive at a resultant is the art of life.
  • The art of life can be a tangled knot or a door that opens on to heaven.
  • If one in the family takes up the role of making everyone get the maximum out of the family, he can raise his family to be the number one family is his world.
  • If they refuse to get the benefit, he will rise to the maximum possible limit.
  • Human relationship contains in itself the whole world.
  • The school can partially attempt to be a family or even society.
  • A family can do so to be a school or society.
  • The results are determined by one's aspiration to be God.
  • A school is successful in the measure it awakens one's aspiration.
  • A society that awakens one's spiritual aspiration is a spiritual society. There is a story that Vyasa wanted to go to the forest and do tapas for 12 years when he was born.

   35.  The disadvantage is to feel the importance of separateness.

  • The Rishi realised the white existence of Shiva.
  • He also realised the dance of Kali.
  • How one is related to the other remained a mystery to the rishi as his highest instrument could see only one part at a time.
  • Sri Aravindam acts from the Supermind which is capable of seeing the parts separately, seeing them as a part of the whole as well a seeing the relationship between the white existence of Shiva and the ecstatic dance of Kali.
  • Division of labour is the organisation which enables one, especially the head of the family, to see the importance of the individual, the importance of the family as well as the importance of their relationship.
  • The social values of humanity had matured during the period that evolving agriculture matured to express this unity. It was an unconscious spiritual organisation.
  • The Vedic rishis could live in tune with nature before agriculture evolved.
  • That unity is of value for created existence. It was lost later.

          - The Rishi and Purohit parted company.

          - The rural and urban cleavage came in.

          - The primary necessities of the rural agriculture and the cultural possibilities of urban living each asserted its independence and created an opposition.

          - To restore the Supramental unity, or the unity at the Supramental level is to erase the gap between rural based agriculture and the urban based higher culture. (The 400 acres cyber city near Pune shows the way. Report in Indian Express on March 31, 2004) The teacher who is a vehicle of education becoming the obstacle of thinking and intelligence, in the words of Russell, represents the Mystery between the One and the Many the Rishis felt.

  • The Mayavadins saw creation as maya and pleaded for its abolition.
  • The Materialist was unable to see the consciousness and denied it.
  • The conceptually creative Maya, indeed, creates the Many out of the One retaining the oneness. The dynamically executive Prakriti executes the intention of Nature thus exhausting the energy and play. The conceptively creative Shakti which also dynamically executes, demands the surrender of Ishwara to its working. Ishwara is to shed the aloofness of Purusha and the apparent separateness of Brahman from Maya.
  • The child is a separate entity, an entity of infinity appearing finite.
  • The teacher is the true Infinite putting up the appearance of the finite through the strategies of memorisation, understanding, intuition, identity and so on. The teacher should blossom in the finite child as the original infinite knowledge. This is done in an atmosphere of  Freedom.
  • The school is an academic theatre which offers itself as a field where teachers help students until they discover their own personality while guarding their unformed personality from wrongly organising itself.
  • This is not done by discipline, or even self-discipline. It is allowed to form itself in an atmosphere of Freedom where human consciousness transcends the need for organisation or discipline.

   36.   Separation organises into selfishness. Selfishness leads to perfection of selfish efficiency.

  • Each is in all, all in each is the formula of the Upanishads.
  • Mind being partial saw the first half. That is how selfishness developed.
  • Separation is created by the ego.
  • Ego gives rise to self-importance.
  • Ego too is of the infinite. Therefore, ego has its own efficiency.
  • It is selfish efficiency. What we call civilisation today is the result of selfish efficiency.
  • Efficiency has two sides.
  • Families and schools develop selfish efficiency.
  • At many points the society compels a man to be selfless like instances such as when a trader has to please the buyer.
  • He who is selfless without any such compulsion achieves.
  • Is it possible in a school to teach subjects like mathematics and physics so that selflessness can develop?
  • The universality of laws, energy, etc., are principles against narrow personal selfishness.
  • He who understand that a law applies to all, conceives that Self is not all.
  • From early ages the activities in the school can be organised where selflessness is automatic.
  • Sri Aurobindo says the Supreme is egotistic as He wants everything done as He wants.
  • Actually, self should change into Self.
  • Selfishness exists only on the surface mind.
  • It is fortified by Mind and Time.
  • The joy of being small is a consummate joy.
  • There is a security in being selfish.
  • Efficiency is an organisation.
  • Organisation is neutral.
  • Selfishness being limited, efficiency can be great there.
  • It is made possible by separation.
  • Recognition of others and harmony with them helps overcome selfishness.
  • One trait of selfishness is its capacity to hold on to what it has.
  • It rarely occurs to us that Only when we give up what we have will the Infinite flow into us.
  • Intense emphasis on selflessness will develop selfishness, is a law.
  • Selflessness must be natural.
  • One needs to see how selflessness is good in itself.
  • Separation is good for developing Individuality.
  • Individuality, in its essence, expresses uniqueness.
  • Individuality can degenerate into selfishness.
  • To distinguish between Individuality, privacy, selfishness, courtesy, culture, and higher manners is a valuable discrimination that a school can foster.
  • As kids love animals, they can be taught through animal stories.
  • Education that is entertainment is enlightenment.
  • Hence, literature is of value.

    37.    A relationship with another compels the separate entity to shed its separateness.

  • Creation is a play of the One becoming the Many interacting among themselves and with the One.
  • This play takes the Infinite 1) into the infinitesimal, and  2) into its opposite.
  • To make this play possible, ego created the separate entity.
  • For the same reason, relationships come into existence.
  • Philosophically, the play is described as one between existence and existence, consciousness and consciousness and Ananda and Ananda.
  • Creation which is involution creates dualities simultaneously.
  • Overmind takes the Infinite existence into infinitesimal possibilities.
  • Human life is a small portion of it.
  • Teaching in the class is naturally an infinitesimal part of it.
  • Relationships in teaching are:

     - Between the teacher and the children

     - She has too many children to deal with

     - No one has the mental capacity to observe all the children

     - Usually good teachers raise situations where all the kids are attracted to him.

     - When a story is told and the class is listening with attention, simultaneously a million sounds are heard from outside and equally a million things go into the sensations of the children subconsciously.

      - There is a silent interchange subconsciously taking place.

      - That belongs to the yogic existence.

      - In education, we confine ourselves to the conscious relationships created.

      - Each such relationship compels one to go out of his ego.

      - The ego shrinks; the relationship expands.

  • Our question in the classroom is how we are to view these relationships:

      - One boy tickles another

      - Another boy's attention is riveted on the teacher

      - A third boy sleeps

      - One pinches another

      - Another wants more of the story and so on.

  • The teacher is prohibited from frowning on any of these relationships. He must understand  them:   

      -  from his own point of view mentioned above

       - from the point of view of the kids,

       - from the point of view of the subject and the sensations they create.

  • No teacher is either qualified for this, nor is she expected to be qualified for such a work.
  • Our work is not to be negative.
  • When we are not negative, the children will be negative.
  • The teacher needs to prevent the children from being negative.
  • Preventing the children from being negative, guiding them to shape their own personalities along their own lines when they have attained that stage is the only thing the teacher can do.

   38.  When the children arrive, both (selfishness and human relationship) become aggrandisement.

  • Children are part of our being. They are really an extended part of our being.
  • As we change from childhood to old age, in the next generation in the children we change.
  • We see it as a different behaviour.
  • We don't see it as our own behaviour.
  • The changes that we see in the children are a result of the shaping of the environment.
  • They occur in different ways.1. We find more of our qualities in them. 2. We find a certain quality in us non-existent in them. 3. We find the very opposite quality of ours in them. This is so because characteristics are not fully developed in one birth. When they are fully developed one becomes indifferent or longs for the opposite.
  • The spiritual principle behind it is, life is a whole full of positive and negative. For example, an intelligent man's son can be more intelligent. His grandson can be much more intelligent. The great grandson can be dull. In the next generation, there may be an idiot.
  • Socially, for us intelligence is welcome, dullness is not. Spiritually, dullness is as much an experience as intelligence or stupidity.
  • A soul aims at undergoing every possible experience on earth. That is why one needs 84,000 births.
  • While you are in nature - Becoming - this development is understood as karma and explained as such.
  • While you are in the Being, this change is explained by Sri Aurobindo as spiritual evolution.
  • The reason why all people are equal at the spiritual level is the fact that each soul has to undergo all the experiences, each according to its preference, choice, circumstance.
  • A soul carries what is given to it by the previous generation, what it has gained from the previous birth and what it aims to become in this birth.
  • Why should selfishness act like a human relationship while they are opposite?
  • It is easy to understand that selfishness aggrandises itself.
  • It is not equally easy to see the human relationship organising selfishness.
  • It is so by the choice of the self.
  • One - Self - can use the human relationship to outgrow selfishness or strengthen it.
  • If a teacher or mother is perceptive, she can see all these things every minute in the children provided she trains herself to see the relationship between two children in this life. 
  • The teacher or mother will be able to see that in the children if she has observed them in herself.
  • To observe herself, she cannot observe herself being herself.
  • Observation requires detachment.
  • When you consider yourself as a second person, you can observe yourself.
  • It occurs in more than one way. 1. separating the emotion from the mind, 2. extracting the fact from the sense impression, 3. moving away from Nature to Being. 4. by a determined attitude of rationality. 5. simply by being in Mother's atmosphere.
  • It is said that in the twentieth century, 125 million people were killed in wars, famines, pestilence, riots, etc.
  • The physical which has learned once will not forget.
  • It not only not forgets, it begins to adore.
  • It adores not only the high things but low things as well.
  • It will be surprising for us to know that a poor man, a beggar, an idiot, an incapable man, a detestable person, a disgusting personality, all love what they are as much as the wealthy man, the great soul, the genius, the affluent enjoy what they are.
  • As long as they enjoy anything, they are in the becoming and the world will detest them for that, whether it is high or low.
  • When they are oblivious of what they are, the world will recognise what they are and respond.

    39.   Children represent 1. what you are, 2. what you are not, 3. what you really are, but don't want to express.

    40.   Any trait or skill or attitude has a tendency to grow in subsequent generations, so we say, as is the father, so is the son.

    41.   When the particular trait is fully experienced by the being of the family, it readily reverses into the opposite.

  • If a man is fully attached to his family and identified with them, and he has the trait of goodness, when the whole family experiences goodness, it will reverse into evil, as long as we are in the Becoming. To rise out of the Becoming into the Self-Existent Goodness of the Being, we have to exhaust the experience of both good and evil.
  • When we see a man or person or personality or a being, it has material, vital, mental, spiritual, universal and supramental dimensions.
  • What we call man is the transcendent in life.
  • Freedom is the law of the transcendent. It includes the freedom to restrict or to lose the freedom.
  • Freedom becomes complete when it exercises its right to be in fetters. In human life it is called patience.
  • In spiritual life it is called equality. Equality is defined by Sri Aurobindo as the consciousness of the Infinite.
  • Patience means the capacity not to initiate.
  • The capacity not to initiate is the other side of the capacity to act instantaneously.
  • One is the infinite expansion.
  • The other is the infinite expressing in the infinitesimal.
  • The infinite expressing in the infinitesimal in the plane of time is called instantaneous, sometimes instantaneous miraculousness. Miracle is the law of one plane expressing in another.
  • For the instantaneousness and miraculousness to combine one essential condition is, the outer should become the inner. The outer is the objective, the inner is the subjective. It is the One that split itself into the subject and the object.
  • When the object becomes the subject, the duality becomes oneness.
  • When this phenomenon is observed in the plane of time, it becomes instantaneous.
  • Observed in the plane of space, the infinite space appears as one point.
  • When we say the macrocosm is in the microcosm, the Infinite is in the infinitesimal, the outer and inner is included in the higher plane of the inner, Time and Timelessness coexist in simultaneous time eternity and timeless eternity, we arrive at the point which the rishis said they did not know, meaning, how the One became the Many.
  • When we go from One to Many, it is creation or involution.
  • When we go from the Many to the One, it is evolution.
  • Whether it is involution or evolution it is a play, Lila. So, a distant little reflection of this philosophical truth we see in our children, which is our extended personality.

    42.  These rules are the same for the individual as well as the collective.

  •  One man or a hundred men, or a few men, can represent humanity and overcome any trait or all the consciousness of humanity on their behalf by his aspiration. "One man's perfection can save the world."

    43.   Education is of the descent.

  • The lower hemisphere is the world of ignorance.
  • It is in the plane of time.
  • It is a world created by mind.
  • It ranges from physical to mental, each dividing into consciousness and substance.
  • The history we know is the history of this world.
  • Man, outside spirituality, may know the higher world, but never acts in terms of it. The higher world is in Timelessness.
  • The higher world is not vitiated by all that the lower world is vitiated by, but the dualities don't cease even in the higher world.
  • Up to the overmental plane of the Gods, life is full of dualities of opposites. Though the higher world is also full of dualities, they are not the opposites. For instance, good is the opposite of evil in the lower world. In the higher world, the dualities appear as good and what is better.
  • The idea of descent is not unknown to the world. The conscious conception of descent commences in the Supermind. In the lower hemisphere, one can rise from physical to the mental. And there will be some unconscious descent.
  • Having partial or paltry influence, the moment the Supermind is reached effectively, descent is a natural phenomenon.
  • Supermind is of the whole. The characteristic of the whole is to make all parts whole.
  • To say Infinite denotes the whole.
  • When we say the Infinite emerges from the finite, we mean the whole makes the part whole.
  • In a classroom, we consider the child as the finite and the teachers as the Infinite, whereas both are smaller and bigger finites of various types. If the teacher or the school aims at the whole of knowledge, considering education as a whole, the atmosphere will pervade the school. It will create the conducive condition for the child to emerge out of its self-chosen imprisonment.
  • If it ever happens it will be violent, vulgar and will be a non-stop flood.
  • Therefore, turbulent children are potentially infinite.
  • If the teacher responds to the turbulence of the child patiently, the turbulence will work itself out and settle down as greater patience, making the teacher reveal to herself that she is the finite witnessing the emergence of the Infinite in the child.
  • If the teacher conditions or disciplines the child into good behaviour, she will be doing a cardinal disservice to the cause of education.
  • The same thing will be done by teachers who are enthusiastic or over enthusiastic about teaching. When a teacher makes the class excited, animated, pleasant to herself, expansive in the students, she is being a good teacher.
  • It means she is closing all avenues of education in the children and in herself. Education is an emergence of knowledge from ignorance.
  • Enthusiasm, expansiveness, animated behaviour are active enjoyment of ignorance.
  • Attention matures into affection. Affection is physical when proximity is demanded.
  • It is vital, when it is pleasant. It rarely becomes mental.
  • Affection, though it contains the seed of spirituality (love) as we practise it, is the antithesis of love.
  • Love is calm, strong, involuntarily giving, incapable of receiving, amoral, non-social, non-psychological.
  • The animated teacher creates a wall between the aspiring student and the descending love for the simple reason that love is calm. Love is one of the three expressions of Ananda.
  • Affection at its best is an active expression of the vital.
  • Those who experience spiritual joy, even at its ecstatic peaks, would have experienced it in a calm, inner poise.
  • Exhilaration, expectation, celebration, having an aim, ideas of human service, aspects of human love all have nothing to do with what is called love.
  • When Ananda divides itself into three, the vital perceives it as warm, intense joy.
  • To the organised, perceptive mind, Ananda reveals the lines of beauty.
  • The soul touched by Ananda experiences the spiritual emotion of Love.
  • Idealists of one type or another, through one route or another, for one reason or another,  have the power of making the higher lower.
  • Education is a descent is what we said earlier. It is a descent of the aspects of the Spirit. Light is one of those aspects.
  • Light descends into the mind as knowledge.
  • Aspects of the Spirit do not act in isolation. There is always a combination. When all of them combine together, it becomes Spirit.
  • When Truth acquires knowledge, it becomes goodness.
  • When power acquires joy, it becomes the calm strength of compassion.
  • When love acquires knowledge, it expresses as sweetness in the nerves. Actually it travels beyond the nerves, reaches the Spirit in you, and creates the sensation of sweetness.
  • It is felt in the body as a chill. Someone felt it as a soft, velvety feeling.
  • In the very severe, limited context of education in the school, education acquires two more dimensions of enjoyment and entertainment.
  • Excitement is the entertainment of the vital.
  • When education entertains, the enjoyment is mental.
  • When it entertains, it acquires the curiosity to seek more of it.
  • As we have always been saying, there are 12 aspects of the Spirit and 8 planes of existence.[1]
  • The 12 aspects of Spirit are Silence, Peace, Infinity, Eternity, Truth, Unity, Goodness, Knowledge, Power, Beauty, Love and Joy.
  • What we call life is a field of play of the human personality where the twelve aspects interact with the eight planes. Each of them has two parts and two sides. The two parts are consciousness and substance. The two sides are positive and negative.
  • It is a way of speaking to say there are two sides. Actually there are infinite sides.
  • In a classroom, any act of the student or the teacher or interaction must be understood as one expression of these 96 possibilities splitting into 192 and further into 384.
  • Practically it is not possible. It is enough and it is necessary that the teacher must learn to keep on the right side under any of these considerations.
  • Looked at from this point of view, with an understanding that education is a descent, if the teacher does not take active initiative to darken the atmosphere of the class and still has the strength of personality to keep some good behaviour in the students, based on their reverence for the teacher, it is a good beginning.
  • The end will be when the teacher knows in which of these 384 positions a certain event takes place. Keeping up the positive atmosphere at that position, the teacher will elevate herself, and be a channel for the descent of education. The right indication for her doing that is the calm joy of the class which Mother calls the child like smile of a lion.

    44.   Education is inherently contradictory because one generation tries to teach another which is  more evolved.

  • Times are changing, society is evolving day by day. It is a truism in all training that a man practices more or less what he has learned in the training, all his life.
  • Nowadays society is changing rapidly. Often the next generation is opposite to the previous generation. They may even be radically so. That itself partly is a cause of education.
  • When the teacher and the parent belong to one generation, a forty year old parent or even a twenty year old parent is twenty years behind the requirements of the present child.
  • The parent or the teacher knows and values only what he has learned twenty years earlier. He can teach only what he knows.
  • More than the material, the method is important.
  • As years pass by, society grows in freedom in its appreciation of human values.
  • Children of today deserve greater freedom than their parents enjoyed or were denied.
  • But the only possible thing is, the parent as well as the teacher can have only those attitudes with which they have been brought up. They value what they possess.
  • They impose it on the child.
  • To them, what they have is valuable and noble.
  • Society is a living organisation. Constantly hundreds of new ideas are entering. It changes it attitudes towards criminals, money, property, government, institutions and education.
  • Children of today are subconsciously receptive to those changes.
  • Unless the parent is consciously receptive to those ideas, and takes full efforts to give up what they have inherited, they are not qualified to teach the child.  It is called generation gap.
  • These are changes which historians perceive after a few hundred years. Even their perception is partial.
  • The Depression that took over the world in 1929 has not yet been explained.
  • Churchill said he did not know why the British public had a great love of democracy.
  • India attained freedom in 1947 and in the following years, forty countries followed suit.
  • In each case there is an explanation. It is partial, or inadequate, or contrary to truth.
  • The Chinese loved torture and their methods are known to be most gruesome.
  • It was so till 1930. Soviet Russia sponsored State Socialism and ended up as a police state.
  • It is said one can be wise after the event.
  • There are many facets of human life which Shakespeare portrayed in all his plays. Mahabharata presented them in all details. They remain unexplained.
  • Great poets know what happens. They do not always know why it happens because our instrument is partial mind, life is a whole. It is part of a bigger whole of Nature.
  • Nature emerged out of the Being. The Being is the first product in creation from the silent, immutable, ineffable Brahman.
  • Sri Aurobindo says that Brahman is in search of delight. Therefore he says it turns itself into the opposite until it forgets itself. By doing so, the Brahman enjoys the taste of Ignorance.
  • Emerging out of Ignorance, it becomes knowledge. That emergence is called evolution.
  • There is a joy in that self-discovery.
  • These things can be explained only from the point of view of that self-discovery.
  • No philosophy in the world has explained the presence of evil, suffering, death, rebirth adequately.
  • Parents trying to teach children is an exercise in ignorance, often a determined effort in evil.
  • Still, education is a positive evolutionary force in the society as well as in creation.
  • To become a valid teacher, one must be able to know in himself, the conflict that is going on between ignorance and knowledge.
  • By definition, the child is ahead of him.
  • An ignorant father trying to educate his son can give him material support, moral encouragement, but cannot help him in the process of education. When the father insists on teaching the child what he knows, he is trying to reverse the evolutionary course when he becomes evil incarnate.
  • From the days of the inception of education, education has this character.
  • One reason why geniuses drop out of schools very early in life is this.
  • Russell has given a graphic description of this process. ("Education is one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought." )
  • It is true the child has to be reared, made into an adult, acquire manners, acquire a desire for education and have all the material support necessary.
  • It is equally true all these things are coming to him fully mixed with opposite forces and attitudes.
  • Especially in the case of very bright children, the earlier they leave the school system, the better. They may get out of the school system, but they will be within the family. The family will have pronounced antipathy for the child that is not going to school.
  • What is needed is self-awareness in the child as well as in the parents.
  • Society values employment and a degree that leads to employment. We can discard them as primitive people.
  • Suppose there are very enlightened parents and a most receptive child receiving the best of education through the best of attitudes. The difference between the cruel school system and the free home schooling will be a hair's breadth.
  • At the bottom, there is human nature which wants to preserve itself in the succeeding generation.
  • This is a point of view which the society at large is scarcely aware of.
  • As any other subject, education has a million aspects, like memorisation, thinking, development of the body, entertainment, enjoyment, artistic expression, freedom to think, to be.
  • Thousands of experiments are being conducted along each of these lines.
  • Each contains a valuable seed like a drop of fresh water thrown into the sea.

     45.   In the measure a generation recognises the freedom necessary for the next generation to fully benefit by the changing times, education is effective.

  • It is not possible, because people are physical and the physical loves to repeat. It is very strong and therefore it wants to dominate. Children are at the disposal of the parents so the tendency is to dominate and repeat.
  • The only thing they learn is the changing fashions. Very rarely, you find a mental man.
  • Mind is understood to be the information one knows.
  • Mind at its very best in the world is physical mind.
  • Only in the Avatars like Buddha and Jesus does mind rise to the conceptual mind. If we leave out those exceptions, man in his mind is physical. That is, he exercises his physical mind.
  • The physical mind is seated at No. 7 in the mind and No. 3 in the body, which are related.
  • Both of them have the same character in different measures.
  • We cannot advise parents or teachers not to teach and leave the children to themselves because the other side in them will quickly get organised into rowdies and gangsters.
  • The only thing that parents and the teachers can do is to mitigate the influence of violence organising itself. It is called civic manners.
  • The idea that one is a parent or a teacher giving the best of education to his children is at best a non-existent illusion.
  • What is true is, as life has evolved from matter and mind from life, Spirit is evolving from mind.
  • More than that, the Spirit is trying to evolve in mind, life and matter.
  • It occurs by experience which his absorbed and organised by one's personality.
  • Personality as we know is a product of nature.
  • There is another side of personality which is a spiritual personality.
  • The spiritual personality is self-aware of its goal. It is limited to its goal.
  • It was self-conceived by the Self.
  • It is the Infinite in the finite.
  • When the Infinite in the finite becomes aware of itself and wants to shed the limitation and emerge out of its self-absorption, the Infinite fully emerges.
  • Sri Aurobindo says that we have found Sachchidananda as the reality.
  • That is what the Rishis discovered.
  • But we see the world of phenomena. The Rishis also know that it is the reality that has changed into phenomena.
  • They have declared that we have no right to question the reality on how it became the phenomena.
  • He further explains the process of creation requires three stages: 1. involution and self-absorption, 2. self-limitation of the infinitesimal, and  3. evolution.
  • This He says is the key to the enigma of world creation.
  • Now we have the key. But we don't have the lock into which it is to be turned.
  • He says we have to discover the lock.
  • He explains in the later chapters, the lock is the immutable, infinite, eternal Brahman trying to self-discover Himself after hiding in Himself.
  • That is the truth He has spoken first.
  • In the context of education, as the parent has a duty to rear the child into an adult, he also has the duty to know that he cannot educate his child.
  • That is a freedom inconceivable to the parent.
  • When the child is to be made into a fit member of the family, or a social success, the family can do it partially with ignorance.
  • The great achievements of education today are seen as socially successful individuals.
  • The help they have received from the parents and the family is social, psychological, physical, not spiritual.
  • As long as a school is trying to create socially successful individuals, this wide theoretical knowledge is of great value, because with the greatest knowledge possible in the world we are trying to achieve a tiny goal.
  • It is like a man living in a mango grove of a thousand trees, wanting to eat mango.
  • When you try to give psychological education, it's not possible.
  • The first qualification for the parent to give psychological education is that he should be rational.
  • Paul Johnson studying the lives of more than a dozen eminent intellectuals of the past two hundred years demonstrates how they were liars, womanisers, violent, cruel, anti-social, and irrational in the extreme.
  • The world has not produced a rational man, though everyone is fully convinced that he is rational.

    46.   This is the freedom the family can give.

  • Though freedom is an attribute of the Spirit, nowhere does Sri Aurobindo list freedom as one of the twelve attributes of the Spirit.
  • He says from the earliest of times, man has aspired for God, freedom, light and immortality.
  • God is Himself. Light is the remembrance of God losing Himself.
  • Freedom is the power to emerge out of Ignorance.
  • Immortality is the result in matter.
  • Freedom is the condition in which the ignorant man discovers himself to be God to attain immortality in his world.
  • Therefore, He says freedom is the final law and last consummation.
  • In time, freedom is eternity.
  • In space, freedom is infinity.
  • Freedom exists in the unity of the creation with the creator.
  • Equality is described as the consciousness of the Infinite.
  • For a man to act in freedom, Sri Aurobindo says he must know that he has Infinity before himself.
  • That is spiritual patience.
  • He must be ready to act as if the act is to be completed in the same instant.
  • The knowledge that there is infinity before us and the patience that issues out of that when combined with the readiness to act as if the result is an instantaneous miraculousness, is the cosmic version of freedom beyond the cosmos.
  • At home or in class, it is very difficult to define freedom.
  • What prevails is the temperament and training.
  • The awareness of this freedom and the aspiration to acquire it results in the strength of spiritual equality.
  • Those who have that can hope to give any education to another.
  • Even if one does not have it, the knowledge that such freedom exists somewhere beyond the cosmos gives him a possible right attitude in the minimum.
  • In fact, family is an institution which supports the crimes a member commits and which makes him condemned by the society. In other words, what the society condemns, the family condones.
  • That is the essence of the family.
  • It is done by personal affection, collective responsibility and a patience that has no end.
  • In practical fact, if one member is dissipating and destroying the family, others who work hard and earn deny themselves the necessities and give him the money or material required for dissipation.
  • It can be done only with family and friends, not with others.
  • Family cannot emerge if this attitude is not there.
  • The family must have a patience till the erring member realises on his own and reverses his attitude.
  • In all cultured families, the struggle of the elders and other members to practise that is called family culture.
  • In other words, one has to appreciate what he understands to be the most horrible fact.
  • That is the freedom the family can give.
  • Therefore, family is an essential unit of society. Now family is on the way out.
  • The individual or a single parent must do the whole thing all by himself.
  • It is not done by training or knowledge. It is done by Self-awareness.
  • The self-aware individual is a spiritually awakened individual.
  • What Martin Luther started 500 years ago has its logical culmination in this attitude.
  • But we live in a world of human affairs where life is to be protected from gangsters, property is to be protected from thieves and children are to be protected from the cruelty of the parents.
  • These are conceptions which the human mind defies.
  • The human being today acts by his ego. Its direction is the opposite.
  • To be aware that the separative ego should be dissolved is the beginning of any education worth its name.

     47.   There is social freedom, academic freedom, and individual freedom.

     48.    Freedom  has its versions in all the four planes, with ascent and in the descent.

     49.    So, we have to define freedom in eight different ways.

  • We know in the ascent man rises from the physical to the Supermind via vital and mental.
  • In the mental range, there are four levels.
  • In the descent, it is the Supramental emerging at each of these levels.
  • Also, as soon as Man rises to the next level that level partially descends on the previous level.
  • For evolution, that descent should saturate the previous level by its energy.
  • Every human endowment, therefore, will have infinite versions.
  • We particularly consider 12 aspects in 8 planes fully explained under No.43, each subdivided into two and considered in its negative and positive aspects.
  • That makes for 384 versions.
  • Here, we can give only indicative examples.
  • Mind in the ascent acts as social mind, inhibited by psychological tendencies.
  • It is also circumscribed by the social and individual consciousness.
  • One can take any idea and try to consider it in this light.
  • There are ideas mind is sensitive about which it cannot allow for a moment.
  • Imagine the freedom of the Mind and see how we are encased psychologically.
  • One who can do so can see what Rationality is, how frightening it is even in contemplation.
  • So far such an individual has not emerged in the world among human beings.
  • Imagine the same freedom in the descent.
  • It means the spiritual emergence in the mind.
  • It is called the psychic being.
  • Suppose that happens one will not be in the human surface mind, or the Rishi's inner mind.

He would have crossed there and reached the subliminal mind. Consciousness by self-absorption creates the superconscient and the inconscient. Inconscient evolves into the subconscient.  Man is subconscient in his body. Superconscient in his soul.  They are presently functioning apart. The totality of man will emerge only when the superconscient and the subconscient meet. In fact, they do meet in a plane called the subliminal which is universal. The subliminal is ignorant below and above it is knowledge. The purpose of creation being self-discovery, Ignorance needs to be perfect and complete for the self-discovery to begin. For this purpose, the subliminal creates the surface by narrowing its sphere of action within time, mind, ego, as a finite. Sri Aurobindo says all major actions originate on the surface. He says the first realisation is to be aware of the fact that the surface is moved by the subliminal though inversely. Therefore, it is essential for man to move from the surface to the subliminal, not stopping at the intermediate inner mind. It is worthwhile noting that the surface is in time and the inner mind is in the timeless and the subliminal is in the simultaneous integrality of time eternity and timeless eternity.

  • The subliminal is universal.
  • As it is the meeting point of the Superconscient and the subconscient it can either be dark or bright.
  • Neither will help us.
  • We have to remain in darkness and see the seed of light inside the darkness.
  • It is called the integration of the subconscient and superconscient.
  • The integration must be done in the individual soul.
  • After such integration, it has to ascend to the Eternal.
  • This is done by shedding the 7 ignorances one by one.
  • The Spirit begins to evolve only when all the 7 ignorances are shed.
  • At that point the Mental Psychic emerges.
  • It has the Supramental Light, not power.
  • It is always turned to the Divine.
  • Its remembrance of the Divine is constant.
  • It has no power, as it is in the Mind.
  • The power is in the physical, not in the Mind.
  • By the time the mental psychic develops into the physical psychic, it also rises through the spiritual range to reach the Supermind.
  • At that stage, it is Ishwara or the Supramental Being.
  • Opinions, attitudes, motives, preferences, all the vitiating factors of the vital and physical deny the mind this freedom.
  • Still, as a one time experiment, one can discipline himself to enjoy this Freedom in the ascent.
  • From that poise, calling Mother brings the descent.
  • When the call is answered, it is no longer revelation, but the Full knowledge of the Supermind.
  • Imagine what software will be in use 50 years hence.
  • If you want to have a taste of it, compare our present software with that of 1950.
  • What we call genius is intuition in one of the million facets of life.
  • Genius belongs to the Intuitive Mind.
  • Can one develop the genius to stumble upon the software in education in 2050.
  • I know one who has all these potentials to create the software that can be used 50 years hence.
  • He does so many things like that, but he is not aware of that potential in him.
  • Should one think of education in its evolutionary context and see all facets of education mankind will use 50 years hence, this man can make a software of it.
  • It is the result of freedom in the plane of mind during the descent.
  • The world has not produced a multiple genius yet.
  • Teaching becomes a distant, remote, insignificant secondary aspect in the context of education.
  • If we can, with understanding and appreciation, move away from teaching to education and take one concrete step in this direction, the floodgates of higher knowledge will be open when that step becomes an example of Perfect Perfection.
  • To describe freedom in all the levels is not now necessary or not possible as the field is infinite and the explanation will enter into the field of nebulous non-existent theory.

    50.   As each plane has every other plane in it (for example, the physical plane has the vital and   mental in it), freedom, considered this way has 24 versions.

  • A child today will not be allowed to stand or walk and eat its breakfast. She will be asked to sit in one place, eat the food, wash the hands and mouth and wipe them properly.
  • This is the duty of the parents, failing which, the child will become a boor.
  • It is obvious that the discipline is necessary.
  • How is it enforced? Through threats, violence, force, punishment, refusal of this or that, all vital physical methods.
  • In exceptionally cultured ancient families of natural goodness who cannot shout at a child, one can see the child acquiring the same desired discipline without one harsh word.
  • One is undesirable, the other highly desirable, but both are conditionings useless for purposes of higher education. They are directly obstacles to it.
  • How is a child then to fit into the society? The answer is -- ‘not  necessary'.
  • No parent in his sense can conceive of his child not fitting into the society.
  • If anything, the child is a society by itself and others should fit into the child's society.
  • These are all not only high concepts of human progress, but blatantly impossible and highly undesirable in today's context, social, psychological or even spiritual. The Spirit of the Rishis has become a childish play even as the bullock cart with silver trappings.
  • Before we go into the theory of it and consider what little is practicable in our present day schools, we must have a clear conception of the planes, their levels, their parts and the English word that denotes it. Such words must be known not in their linguistic, etymological, lexicography usage. One needs to know those words rightly in the context of education.


                                   1                                     2                                       3

                               Real - idea                    High poetry                       Decision     

Mental                      ---------------                     ---------------                      -----------------

                               Concept                       sentimentalism                determination


                                  4                                     5                                        6

                               Insight                          pure idealistic               passionate adoration


Vital                       -----------                       ----------------------                  --------------------                      

                               Cunning                        Heroism touched              passionate physical

                                                                     with cunning                       attachment


                                   7                                     8                                        9   

                              Physical skill                     Rural poet                       Moving material

                                                                       Folk tales

Physical               ----------------------                   -------------------                     --------------------

                              Physical capacity           Physical emotion               Live non-moving 



  • These qualities are always found mixed but maintain their individuality.
  • No.7 and No.3 ; No.4 and No.7; No.2 and No.5 ; No.8 and No.6 are directly related.
  • No.1 is pure mind and stands aloof ; so also No.9 as they are two extremes. No.1 relates to Higher mind ; No.9 relates to the Inconscient.

     51.  What is true of freedom is true of every other human trait which we can limit to a dozen or  more.

  • The number of human traits is legion and we shall look at a dozen of them. Opinion, attitude, stubbornness, faith, superstition, preferences, demand, desire, hostility, flexibility, generosity, comparison and so on.
  • It is obvious that these words mean different things to different people and vary according to the event known as context.
  • What then is education in all the contexts?
  • To know that is to know the wisdom of the world.
  • We restrict the meaning of the word education to the mind and to the selection of the teacher to the pupil inside the class within the context of a lesson.
  • Whatever we are able to do in our schools, it is better to know all about education.
  • The Life Divine is a book of philosophy that describes the creation as the involution of God and His evolution.
  • Whatever He has written there is a fact of His own spiritual experience, not an intellectual argument valid or invalid in itself.
  • Of course, He had one idea or vision or Experience, which He has expressed in 56 chapters.
  • The Book is split into two books and the second book is divided into two parts.
  • The first book is of creation, the second book is on evolution.
  • The first part of the second book speaks of ignorance becoming knowledge.
  • The second part describes Spiritual evolution.
  • In it He used a lot of Sanskrit words wherever the current meaning tallied with His own idea.
  • His whole philosophy is new and therefore He is compelled to employ new terms.
  • Such terms are non-existent in Sanskrit as His philosophy goes beyond the Tradition.
  • English is neither a spiritual language nor a classical one. It was developed by trade and parliamentary democracy.
  • To write a new philosophy naturally demands new terminology.
  • The only language He knew was English. It never admits of it.
  • Like the princess who fell in love with the handsome face of a shepherd and made a Kalidasa out of him, Sri Aurobindo has taken infinite pains to employ a substandard language for any purpose and tried to express a philosophy that transcends the experience of humanity.
  • The simplest example one can easily follow is the word Silence.
  • In English Silence means absence of noise. In Sanskrit, silence - mounam, means absence of thought. To use the word 'silence' in the sense of an absence of thought, any Englishman will feel not only as absurd, but also as a violence of her idiom.
  • In Sanskrit the word mounam has a certain amplitude. Sri Aurobindo had to necessarily go beyond it.
  • Silence is there when we do not speak. It is the silence of speech.
  • When we do not think, a silence arises which is far more powerful; we are tempted to call it mental silence but it won't be exact as mind has innumerable faculties - imagination, decision, and so on - behind each of which there is an appropriate silence.
  • When all these mental faculties cease to function, the Silence that arises can be called mental Silence.
  • As there is a Silence behind thought, there is a Silence behind feelings.
  • The silence behind acts is more powerful and He says it sustains activity.
  • Om is said to be the third stage when the Original Silence descends to creation. It is the Silence of universal creation.
  • Equally there is a Silence behind Ananda, Consciousness and Existence.
  • He calls that Silence behind Silence.*
  • Even that silence cannot be attributed to Brahman, as it is featureless.
  • Still, there is a beyond which is His own yogic territory.
  • When the Infinite, Eternal Brahman chooses to express Itself through Mind, Life and Matter and their activities, the Silence that sustains that creation and evolution remains undisturbed.
  • We certainly cannot call it Silence in the other sense.
  • For want of a better word or any word, He resorts to original creation and says it is the Silence behind Silence, far richer and more integrated than the stage to which* we gave the name.
  • Intuition, insight and consciousness are very important words in His vocabulary. Supermind is His key word. He is not satisfied with any of them.
  • Often He offers his own definition to words like Logic and Reason and divides them into higher and lower. For example, He calls His logic the logic of the infinite.
  • Before trying to read the book, it will be good to know what He means exactly by each word He employs.
  • That is possible only after half a dozen readings of the book.
  • He consciously avoids, wherever necessary, the Sanskrit word lest it should mean something else - the traditional meaning.
  • Jivatma in the tradition is a limited expression. To denote what He means, He avoids Jivatma mostly and employs the word individual.
  • One of the important messages of the Book is the Process of Creation.
  • Especially for education, it is important to know this.
  • Brahman comes into Existence. It becomes conscious and senses its being conscious. It looks at itself subjectively and becomes the spirit. It looks at itself objectively and becomes Truth without losing its basic unity.
  • Time is created when the spirit looks at itself. Space is created when the spirit looks at its movements.
  • The plane of Supermind is created when the objective state of the spirit - Truth - relates itself to the objective state of consciousness - knowledge. It is called the plane of Truth - Consciousness or Supermind.
  • In the plane of Time apart from Time and Timelessness He introduced a further concept where they coexist and called it Simultaneous Integrality of Time-eternity and Timeless eternity.
  • To collect his terminology and understand it as He intended - not what the tradition meant - is a full scale study by itself.
  • Going beyond words, we come to concepts.
  • The most characteristic of those concepts is Freedom when He says that Freedom is the final law and last consummation, giving it the meaning that Freedom is complete only when it is free to lose itself.
  • Every concept of His has this dimension and every term of his repeats it.
  • One may ask what all this has to do with education.
  • Education is the yoga of the society.
  • Presently schools offer social education so that children may become good citizens.
  • Genius is one who rejects the school and seeks education on his own.
  • It may be called individual education, mental education or psychological education, none of which will precisely reflect what we mean.
  • I have called Education the experience of the Mind.
  • The experience is decided by the experiencer.
  • Experience is individual; but the experiencer is determined by the collective.
  • There is no question of the individual separating himself from the collective. All that he can do is to have an evolutionary relation with the collective.
  • The experiencer is the " collective individual", meaning what the collective has permitted in the individual as his maximum reach.
  • To do yoga, to study The Life Divine, etc. are problems I never touch upon in my writings.
  • My view is education can be best understood if one understands yoga as described by Him.
  • As a teacher or even as an educationist one has to act in a school or in the field of education.
  • Action means action of the teacher on the student in the context of education at a given moment of teaching a lesson.
  • Actions are judged by results.
  • An understanding of yoga says the child and the teacher are finite out of which the infinite knowledge emerges.
  • Surely we can turn out better students from our schools.
  • Can they be better than what the best schools produce?
  • If we can do so, it will be the minimum.
  • What then is the maximum?
  • The maximum is decided by the maximum receptivity of the child and the maximum opportunity given by the school.
  • Socially my aim is to produce a child at the age of 18 or 20 with the potential maturity of one at a ripe old age.
  • It is an abridgement of Time apparently, but in fact it is hastening of the ripeness of experience -- maturity.
  • No school that does not fully appreciate the evolutionary role of the computer can ever abridge the Time spoken of above.
  • Maturity, ripeness are not aspects that can be hastened, but that which enables them - Freedom, awareness, choice, direction and better still, self-direction and so on - can be given to the maximum possible extent.
  • The choice is made by the child.
  • Is there a way to help the child make the right choice?
  • It is to interfere and spoil the scope of the choice, making it into conditioning.
  • The progress the teacher has made offers a scope for the child to receive what direction it may choose.
  • Direction is in place to prevent degeneration and dissipation.
  • It is our conception that knowledge is in books.
  • It is not a wholly wrong conception.
  • Knowledge lies in life more than in books.
  • Real knowledge lies inside more than in life.
  • Going inside will tempt the child to go more inside seeking moksha.
  • Integration of the outer with the inner is one essential part of education.
  • To be able to go inside and discover the Truth first inside is the first step of education.
  • To discover that inner Truth in outer experience is Education par excellence.
  • All of us do it in learning a language. We must do so in learning life.
  • Our highest aim is to learn the Spirit in Life.

   52.   Human life as we witness it, is an interplay of forces.

  • Creation, as we are repeatedly saying, is for seeking delight.
  • The delight issues out of the Brahman hidden into itself and emerging.
  • The aim is explained as a play of consciousness with consciousness, being with being and delight with delight.
  • This play demands separation.
  • But the basic unity is indestructible.
  • In the inversion created by involution, knowledge converts into ignorance.
  • To know the play of the forces in the human world it is necessary to know what happens in the cosmos.
  • What happens here in our world is, after all, an inversion of the process of creation.
  • In the beginning is the self-conscious unity of Being.
  • For the sake of the play, it becomes Sachchidananda.
  • Supermind is the nature of Sachchidananda - its objective status.
  • The Self-Conscious Being presents itself as Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara with their corresponding powers of Maya, Prakriti, Shakti. Man meets the self-conscious being as Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara.
  • Or we can say, the self-conscious being splits itself into three aspects of Brahman, Ishwara and Purusha.
  • Their powers are called Maya, Prakriti and Shakti
  • If you consider the process of creation under five or six headings, this is one important aspect of it.
  • We can say the Mind sees the self-conscioius being as Brahman, Overmind sees it as Purusha, Supermind sees it as Ishwara.
  • Maya is the consciousness of Brahman. Maya is conceptively creative.
  • Prakriti is dynamically executive.
  • Shakti is both conceptively creative and dynamically executive.
  • Purusha is inclusive of Brahman and Ishwara is inclusive of Brahman and Purusha.
  • Similarly, Shakti is inclusive of Prakriti and Maya.
  • Further, we can say Brahman is in time, Purusha is in the timeless plane.
  • Ishwara is in the simultaneous integrality.
  • Similarly we can say that Maya is in Time and Prakriti is in Timelessness and Shakti is in both simultaneously.
  • Though we speak of six different aspects, they are really one.
  • The chapter on Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara, the second chapter in the second book at length explains that all three are really one from the points of view of the finite, form, silence, identical, one, unmanifest and time.
  • Man is in time. That is in Maya. The Rishi is in timelessness, in Purusha.
  • The Supramental Being is in the simultaneous integrality which is the Ishwara.
  • The Supramental evolution begins in the mind as the mental psychic and simultaneously moves above and below through physical, vital mental and their planes of consciousness' and substance and the spiritual range above.
  • By the time the mental psychic becomes the psychic of the physical substance, the upward movement reaches the Supermind.
  • So the Supramental Being is simultaneously born in the physical being in the Supramental plane above.
  • Maya is in the surface mind. Prakriti is in the inner mind. Shakti is in the subliminal mind.
  • Maya conceptively creates while preserving the original oneness.
  • Prakriti dynamically executes as Purusha stands aloof.
  • Shakti conceptively creates and dynamically executes as Ishwara here is a part of Shakti, by surrendering to it.
  • Simultaneously the self-conscious Being divides itself subjectively as Spirit and objectively as Truth. The objective status of consciousness is knowledge.
  • The action of Brahma, Purusha, and Ishwara through Maya, Prakriti, and Shakti takes place in the plane of Supermind which is the objective status of Sachchidananda.
  • Supermind is called the plane of Truth-Conscious.
  • It is here the one becomes the Many without actual separation, a differentiation without distinction.
  • In our lower world, Ego creates the separation converting the play for enjoyment into a struggle for survival.
  • If the self-conscious Being splits itself into Spirit and Truth subjectively, the spirit by a similar process creates subjective Time and objective space.
  • Further, the plane of Time splits into Time and Timelessness.
  • This is the original division, between which the instrument of Mind is born.
  • Mind, by definition, is an instrument of division.
  • But unity and oneness being the real basis, Mind splits only the Force, not the Being. The division meets with the absolute resistance at the level of substance, resulting in atomic existence.
  • The ego, the result of division, acquires a mental point of view, a life point of view, and considers itself as a separate entity at the physical level.
  • Evolution restores the division and aggregation to its original unity in Matter.
  • As unity is the basic principle of Being, not division, when the division proceeds in the consciousness, it comes to a dead stop when it meets with the substance.
  • The process of division is infinite. Therefore, it cannot stop. When further division is not possible, aggregation of divided units begins.
  • Competition in the first phase leads to the destruction of one or another. At the second phase, competition enables both to grow and maintain for some time. In the third phase, they both realise that competition is no longer possible and they begin to cooperate (they aggregate).
  • Evolution is to discover Sachchidananda in Matter, where the fleeting Ananda of Cosmos is given permanency in the dense Matter below.
  • For one who aspires for spiritual life, this is the only view.
  • In simple words, the first step in divine living is conversion of Selfishness into Self-giving to the universal life.
  • This is exalted philosophy.
  • All that we live today once started as exalted philosophy.
  • We have to accept the new philosophy and create new attitudes that will express the new consciousness. That is our work in the school.
  • No work of ours misses our attitude and the motive behind  that represents our old philosophy of Moksha which is seeking selfish salvation.
  • The new salvation we seek is for the collective, not for the individual.
  • This we do by the individual becoming the Eternal.
  • In practice, this is selfishness becoming Self-giving on a universal scale.
  • In a process of change - for example, constitution, law, rule, procedure, custom and usage - there are several stages, each insignificant change being exceedingly important.
  • The new syllabus we have to create must be on this basis.

   53.   In the individual, it becomes unique.

  • The infinite in creation becomes the infinitesimal.
  • At that stage, it becomes unique.
  • Except at that stage everything belongs to a type big or small.
  • Uniqueness enables creation to reach perfection.
  • Fingerprint experts, handwriting experts, astrologers, and philosophers know this.
  • The Buddha says the river is never the same from moment to moment.
  • That teacher who sees this uniqueness in a child will have discovered the potential genius of human Mind.
  • Spiritually all men and materials are equal.
  • We try our best to condition ourselves and our children to a type.
  • As one who has left any college course in the middle is not entitled to the degrees, Man is not entitled to his infinity until he reaches his uniqueness at the level of the infinitesimal.
  • One sees the significance of perfection there.
  • When Sri Aurobindo walked for ten hours a day to and fro a distance of 100 yards, he put a clock at 4 points. He took care to walk the same distance in the same time. It is one of the aspects of Supramental perfection.
  • Punctuality is Perfection in Time. Hence its value.
  • In rearing a child, we are totally unconscious as we are so.
  • When we see a film on the television or read a newspaper, it never occurs to us for a moment how much care has gone into the production of the film or the labour of getting a paper printed. If we try, we will meet with a mental blank. A film producer or a printer in the press cannot afford to be so. To him every detail matters because he knows all that has gone into it. We must know a child like that.
  • A child is a miniature of a man and a man is that of the universe.
  • To know a child fully means to know the universal Wisdom.
  • The point above is one essential point of that fabric.
  • Overmind does it.
  • Overmind is a deputy to the Supermind in the lower hemisphere.
  • When the Overmind takes a subject, it does not stop until it reaches the infinitesimal, as we have seen in the formation of Matter, its atomic existence, the physical ego.
  • The mental strength of the Indians is to go to the first principle. It emanates from the Overmind.
  • The role of the Overmind is to take one infinite possibility and develop it to its exhaustion.

     54.   In the act, it becomes unique.

  • An act is inanimate.
  • It can be animate when done by a person.
  • Still, the act has its own existence.
  • An act is the unit of the universe.
  • In the individual, an act is given the energy of his life.
  • An act is a universe by itself.
  • An act is to life what an atom is to Matter.
  • The point at which it becomes unique is the natural terminus of involution.
  • It is the point at which involution naturally can reverse itself into evolution.
  • Supramental Consciousness has the power to reverse the involution into evolution at any stage.
  • Uniqueness is the turning point of natural evolution - becoming.
  • When the Being is awake, it can change the course, reverse it, as it chooses.
  • That is spiritual awakening.
  • The world evolved from agriculture to modern society via manufacturing.
  • As the centuries or decades pass, the Mind awakens.
  • It hastens the change.
  • Now that the service sector dominates and society has given a tool of technology - the computer - India can skip both the initial phases largely.
  • Rural areas can generate their own service sector and agriculture can be avoided to a great extent.
  • Before printing came into existence in India, there were no textbooks.
  • Children had to memorise the textbooks.
  • It is no longer necessary.
  • All civilised progress is such.
  • Suppose one wants to analyse an act, he needs to know the process of creation.
  • In Creation Brahman becomes the Self-Conscious Being, Sat Purusha.
  • The Self-conscious being acquires three consecutive states of Brahman, Purusha and Ishwara.
  • Maya, Prakriti, Shakti are their powers.
  • What Maya conceives, Prakriti executes.
  • Shakti does both, that is, it conceives and executes.
  • It is done in the Supramental plane which is the objectivised status of Sat.
  • In addition, Sat creates Spirit and Truth by subjective, objective processes.
  • Spirit again by a subjective-objective process creates Time and Space.
  • So far, it is creation in the cosmos.
  • Only when Time splits into Time and Timelessness is Mind created.
  • Mind creates Life and Matter.
  • One can see the act at every stage.
  • Maya, in creating the Many out of the One, preserves the oneness.
  • The Mystery lies in that preservation.
  • Minus the Mystery, we are finite; with the knowledge of the Mystery we are infinite.

    55.   Uniqueness has its versions in the individual, the act, the time, the space, the relationship and so on.

  • In theory, everything is unique.
  • Before things become unique, they belong to several levels of types.
  • We know that the fingerprint is unique.
  • All men have fingerprints.
  • From that generality, unique prints develop.
  • Going behind, we can say all men have five fingers, two hands, similar bodies, etc.
  • Man belongs to a type, his parts of the body to another level of a type, etc.
  • Our interest develops around the process of the development of uniqueness out of a type. The collective is subconscious.
  • It matures in the individual.
  • The conscious individual is the result of maturity in the subconscious.
  • When the first individual arises, we see him to be unique. In fact, he is the first among the many that are going to follow him.
  • Gandhiji is the only one case in history who, having liberated his country, gave away the power to Nehru. When we say he is unique, we are justified. Let us see the process.
  • The Indian spiritual climate has permeated the entire society. The basic attitude is self-giving.
  • It can only give, it can't take back, like a fountain, like divine love.
  • In every Indian family, the head gives away what he earns to the entire family.
  • In that sense, every family is a miniature nation and every person is a miniature Gandhi.
  • It is a subconscious possession consciously followed at the family level.
  • Gandhiji practised it at the national level. What appears to be unique for us, really belongs to a type.
  • And why should that development of uniqueness take place?
  • Lila is a play. The greater the variety, the greater the delight.
  • Uniqueness offers the greatest possible delight.
  • Music rises to the climax when the uniqueness of the singer, that of the song, and that of the tune synchronised.
  • Earlier we said teaching is at its best when it becomes learning. At that point, the uniqueness of the teacher meets in harmony that of the pupil, time, subject, context and every other conceivable thing. The personal becomes impersonal, the individual Universal and the lower life higher life.
  • Sri Aurobindo calls it the Virgin moment.
  • The latest ideal in the West for fifty or a hundred years is " I want to be myself".
  • It only means man wants to discover his unique quality.
  • If we take one step away from the society - the crowd - the difference is great.
  • A teacher who knows the interests of many pupils sometimes directs his teaching in such a way that it touches the interest of several pupils. At that moment, she is at her best.
  • There are hundreds of further steps.
  • The scope for improvement is infinite.
  • The essential work lies in understanding the unique quality of each.
  • It comes from the other man's point of view and identifying with him.
  • Moksha is our spirit dissolving in the spirit of the universe.
  • The Marvel He speaks of is Brahman emerging out of the Uniqueness of everything - the infinite aspects - on earth.
  • In our life, a little of this emerges as attention, interest and attachment.
  • It is a full study to take out an exhaustive list of such points.

Only when you know the uniqueness of things can we best correlate each item to the other.

  • The teacher who knows her own uniqueness can then see the uniqueness of the children. Paying attention to each child as he needs will create an atmosphere where the uniqueness of all can express simultaneously.

    56.  Hence, Uniqueness becomes the infinitesimal

  • Mostly Uniqueness goes with perfection at some level.
  • What the Supermind achieves in Knowledge, Overmind achieves in Ignorance.
  • That occurs in Matter.
  • Mind divides the material force till it reaches the atomic existence.
  • When division ends, aggregation begins.
  • Aggregation achieves Form.
  • One way of expressing the aim of creation is to arrive at perfect form.
  • When form becomes perfect, force again becomes consciousness expressing delight.
  • Perfect form, end of involution, uniqueness, delight emerging in matter, Self-discovery, evolutionary aim and knowledge emerging out of ignorance are various ways of expressing the Divine intention.
  • The infinite does not emerge out of the finite till it becomes the infinitesimal.
  • Uniqueness can also be expressed as the process of the formation of the seven ignorances.
  • As the Spiritual substance descends to become material substance, the one infinite becomes the unique infinitesimal.
  • To be aware of another person's unique nature is almost to know where his divinity emerges.
  • The path of the infinite to the infinitesimal is parallel to the other eleven aspects of the Spirit becoming their opposites.
  • It is a good exercise for the intellect to trace them on their paths.
  • When the uniqueness is recognised and is allowed to grow on its own path,

          - the ugly duckling becomes the swan

          - the idiot becomes the genius

          - a mere nobody becomes a celebrity

          - shivering fear changes into undaunted courage

          - attention to details achieves greatness in man

          - he who reacts from the nerves begins to speak from the mind

          - a chronic disease-ridden person becomes a picture of health

          - He is on the border of Becoming changing into Being

  • Search for uniqueness, is search for excellence.
  • Uniqueness goes with high character.
  • Uniqueness gives unique strength.
  • It is a point where the Inconscient becomes super conscient.
  • At that point, the gross crosses into the subtle.
  • It is the same point where the objectless Ananda tries to express itself in the objects.
  • Uniqueness is the gateway for the infinitesimal to realise its own original infinity.
  • Guru-shishya, husband-wife , intimate friendship, professional-client relationships are fertile areas for uniqueness to emerge.
  • In a class, its emergence is eminently possible.
  • Emerging uniqueness can be an iconoclasm and abolish all forms of established authority.

    57.   Therefore, the Infinite is in the finite.

  • Suppose a man in 1500 A.D or 500 A.D had been told that all the modern conveniences we now have were in his own mind or even brain, he would have found it unbelievable.
  • Can we speak to anyone today that the Love of Jesus, the compassion of Buddha, the powers of Lord Krishna, or all that we have heard of paradise are Inside us,  in our own Souls and Minds?
  • The world we have now around us is created by our own Minds.
  • The earthly paradise great souls have envisioned is in our own inner lives.
  • Sri Aurobindo went to a Kali temple and Kali emerged out of the idol. At least a few hundred devotees have seen The Mother and Sri Aurobindo live in their photographs.
  • Can we tell any teacher or parent that he never understood the genius he was, but now at least he must be able to see that genius in his child? But it is true.
  • It requires another dimension of Vision.
  • The world is long used to the idea that people are poor, ignorant, dirty and only the gifted few have brains, talents and affluence. All our education has not taken us out of that superstition. We are out and out physical. These are superstitions of the physical existence.
  • Till today, in spite of the galaxy of intellectuals the world has produced in hundreds, if not thousands, Not one rational man has been born anywhere.
  • Sri Aurobindo saw the imminent possibility of the advent of the Supramental Being even before the birth of a rational mind. It is not a mental or physical possibility. It is a Supramental possibility.
  • All of us who are ardent devotees of Sri Aurobindo do believe in His prophecy, but want it in our own social conditions and mental beliefs. Is it rational?
  • That a Supramental possibility demands the Supramental conditions and circumstances, is a rational statement.
  • How many of us will be able to accept it and act on it?
  • To them one can say that the Infinite is in the finite.
  • In practice it means,

       -  any child can become a genius.

       -  anyone can earn any amount of money.

       -  anyone can solve all the problems of the world.

       -  Romance can be Eternal.

       -  Anyone can do anything that he chooses to secure.

       -  India can be as prosperous as the USA.

       -  Every man on earth can live a life of the soul, provided he is dedicated to Rationality, Truthfulness; acts on Faith and not on mental beliefs; comes forward to shed all his superstitions  and affects the total deconditioning of the mind. 

    58.   Education reaches its final perfection when the environment - teachers and parents - recognises the uniqueness of the infinitesimal and understands it as the tip of the emerging Infinity. 

  • Education, in the original sense, is the experience of the mind on its own curiosity. Mind has two parts - consciousness and substance. If education is received by the consciousness part, it will give clarity and light. If it is received in the substance part, to that extent it will be effective and he will be able to accomplish.
  • Whatever you want the child to experience, the school must be equipped more than the child in the substance level. The school and the teacher must be one level higher.
  • When the physical substance receives, he can fully accomplish.
  • Vital education means social education.
  • That way, mind is not conditioned, but that education has no power to act on its own. It guides.
  • A conditioned mind generates a conditioned response which can never be accomplishment in the world, much less in the mind.
  • A child lives mostly in the environment of the parents and teachers. Such a living can be either positive or negative.
  • In either case, it is not Freedom.
  • Mind learns only in freedom. It is only then that it becomes education.
  • Such an education even in freedom can be an amorphous, unorganised aggregate or conglomerate or a type of pure chaos.
  • Even such an education needs organisation for the idea to mature into a concept.
  • The concept rises as impersonal and matures into the personal.
  • Unless it is organised, it will be an enlightened state of chaos.
  • That organisation has two main characteristics.
  • One is uniqueness.
  • The other is its character of being infinitesimal.
  • That brings us to the border where the infinitesimal crosses over to its original intensity.
  • In Man or in the child, that is, in swabhava, that point is seen as sensitivity.
  • It is seen as mental sensitivity, vital sensitivity and physical sensitivity.
  • Each sensitivity exists in the consciousness and substance of that plane.
  • For yoga, one has to cross or overcome the physical sensitivity of its substance. We see it in Siruthonder.
  • For spiritual opulence to enter into our life, I wish one overcomes mental sensitivity in the mental substance.
  • One who overcomes mental sensitivity in the mental consciousness is a rational man.
  • In a class, at least we must train our teachers to overcome the mental sensitivity in the mental consciousness with respect to the behaviour of the child.
  • If this condition is fulfilled, the boy at 15 can have the maturity of 60 years.
  • That potential will become actual if the sensitivity moves from consciousness to the substance in the mind.
  • It is necessary that the teachers should be one step ahead.
  • At this point one can see the value of the statement, "Theoretical clarity is practical effectivity".
  • That, I say, is the tip of the iceberg.

    59.   A school that recognises this aspect and performs at its best in this direction is an 'ideal'  school.

  • Our idea of a school is that it is a place where one learns the 3 R's.
  • A better idea is that a school gives in 15 years, the wisdom of the ages.
  • A school is a place where the student has to receive knowledge.
  • A school is expected to build the character of the pupil.
  • A school does to children what the parents cannot do.
  • A school, in a smaller view, gets one a degree or a certificate.
  • One goes to school so that he may be employable by the society.
  • All the theories of education, and the researches in education are mostly or have fully tended towards one or the other of the ideas above.
  • So, an ideal school is one which accomplishes this feat efficiently and ideally.
  • As years pass, the society moves from the physical to the mental.
  • So the cruel punishments of the physical phase are slowly replaced by a humane approach that realises, after all, that the child is not a mere physical being.
  • Corporal punishment tries to teach the mind through the cruel sensations of the body.
  • In India, when the Rishis and priests parted ways, the physicality of education condensed into flawless memorisation -- a final refusal to learn.
  • In the West where thinking is insisted upon as a means of understanding, again the physicality remains in the shape of experimental confirmation, empirical facts and relying on the sense-perceptible universe, thus centering Man in his physical Mind.
  • It is not realised that the child can learn better all by itself and schools only demand of the child to conform to social superstitions.
  • No river needs direction in its flow. Any direction is an interference with its flow and a diversion of its waters. No child needs any direction for its education. The family and school can only warp or blunt its native capacity to learn.
  • I am limiting myself to mental education and do not stray very much into the regions of the Spirit.
  • Nowhere is Education considered as the Experience of the Mind, as the world has not defined to itself what Mind is.
  • Therefore, we cannot expect any school to know the immense value of Freedom. They, at best, can only discipline.
  • Discipline, at its very best, is destructive of human personality which is to receive Education ultimately.
  • Nor have the intellectuals of the world given us a complete definition of Personality.
  • To create an ideal school, it is essential to understand three important components - Mind, Organisation and Education.
  • By organisation I mean here the capacity of the mind to organise its ideas into a universal concept.

   60.   An ideal school is a school without being a school.

  • An ideal is defined as a state devoid of imperfection.
  • It may be true, but it is much more than that.
  • An ideal condition may be defined as one where most could be made out of the opportunities that present themselves.
  • Sri Aurobindo has described it in various forms all of which are relevant to us.
  • But, we will be within our rights when we describe an ideal organisation as one which is capable of creating its own opportunities for maximum possible growth.
  • Sri Aurobindo's ideal conditions are:

       - Where the Matter is Spirit

       - When the Timeless moves into the plane of Time to create an integrality of both the eternities.

       - It is a condition when the Individual discovers the Universal and the Transcendent within himself.

       - Where man sees the uselessness or egoism of serving MAN and switches over to serving the Divine. It is a kind of perversion.

       - Where one sees the equality of Spirit in all men and all inanimate objects.

       - Where contradictions are complements.

       - Where the subconscient unites with the Superconscient in the individual.

       - Where no evil exists.

  • Should we discover the truth of all these statements and all the others like this in a school, obviously                       

        - it ceases to be a school as we now know it.

        - This is only a negative progress.

        - Positively the ideal school should present the students the most conducive conditions where their own minds would know how to deal with their social, mental environment on their own -- by the mental curiosity generated inside themselves.

       - There is not enough material in print that can enter such a mind except as facts of various descriptions.

       - The ruling ideas of the world, maybe 10 or 15 in all, will be obvious to him at a very early age, of say ten years or even earlier.

      - He will not make great progress in his mind, if he succeeds in conceptualising one of them or all of them, as the moment his mind is Free, all such ideas will be self-evident to him. Nor will he make progress in the best sense of the word, if he does so as a service to humanity. By then, he would have outgrown that superstition which is a psychological superstition arising out of psychological ignorance - not knowing the existence of subtle and occult worlds.

61.   It means a school becomes a real school when it is a family and the society, besides being a school.

  • A school that can act as a family is certainly great.
  • Schools are supposed to give a mental maturity which will enable the student to face the challenges of the society into which he will enter.
  • A school is not equipped to offer a pupil the challenging circumstances society will offer him: nor is the pupil old enough while in the school to comprehend the challenges, if offered.
  • How can the teacher replace the family?
  • We know many children receive the affection from the teacher which he misses from his parents.
  • By the same principle at higher levels, the school can play the role of the family; and further can give him the attention that is affection, which few families now offer to their children.
  • A family mainly takes care of the child's health and sees to it that he fits into the society by his attitudes.
  • A school can give several times more valuable information to the child than the parents can.
  • More than information, in matters of hygiene and sanitation he can certainly be better informed at school.
  • A family usually makes the child dependent on medicine.
  • A school can disabuse his mind on that score.
  • At school the boy can hear, if not learn, about the curing powers of the body which he will never hear at home.
  • All the challenges society will offer him are there in potential in the school life.
  • An observation that is a study can rearrange the life at school so that the school becomes a miniature society.
  • Experience teaches without exception. There is no event in the society that cannot be discovered inside the school at least as a symbol or devised for the benefit of the child.
  • No teacher is now equipped for it.
  • Children from substandard families can always feel the school to be better than their families.
  • Should the school replace the family and society, it will not be the school which it is now.
  • It is very difficult for the teacher to know the truth here.
  • Those who are devoted to teaching and are at their best in it will find this truth alien to their emotions.
  • The management must be fully convinced of its validity as a theory before it starts practising.
  • The teacher, the management, even the parents may be wanting in this regard, not the child.
  • If the child is given this Education, he will acquire the academic education as if it is a matter of fact.

    62.   It is true that the child needs training until it is weaned away.

  • As the natural evolution progressed, the mother began to take care of its offspring for some time.
  • Man is what he is today because that weaning period is the longest in the human species. This is the culmination of natural evolution, that is, animal evolution.
  • Sri Aurobindo's yoga is called Spiritual evolution.
  • Here the process is reversed, especially in the field of education.
  • The lives of geniuses have set an example for this phenomenon already by most of them dropping out of the school system of education at an early date.
  • This is an unconscious phenomenon.
  • To organise this phenomenon consciously is the aim of the education we now propose.
  • The very first step, however feeble, is taken already by encouraging the pupil to think and wean himself away from memorisation.
  • It is a process of understanding by Active thinking.
  • Thinking, as a process of understanding, is an activity of the Mind that is an instrument of ignorance seeking knowledge.
  • It accomplishes this result by confronting its opposite by a process of struggle so that at the end it will discover the truth of unity between itself and its opposite.
  • Silent contemplation employs the same process but much faster. He who does so is called a Muni, one who has attained mounam.
  • We are familiar with the four levels of Spiritual understanding between the Mind and the Supermind.
  • To rise in the scale of this value, one needs to be weaned away from the society's way of thinking, the academic learning in the school and acquiring social and cultural values from the family.
  • Even for the individual to be benefited from this weaning he needs to have good health that can only be given by the family, the capacity to read and write which the school gives and the social experience his career gives.
  • Minimising this period is the aim of education.
  • Making the training during this minimum period less rigid, authoritarian and dogmatic is necessary.
  • How far it is practicable in our present society is the question we now face.
  • It can only be determined by an experiment.
  • But, the principle remains true, whatever the social situation is.
  • Where the line is to be drawn between what is to be taught and what is not to be taught will emerge only in a practical situation a school offers.
  • How far we can rise to the opportunity in the schools we now run will determine the border line.

    63.   It is equally true that the child needs to be weaned away at some point.

  • The child in the West is taught to eat by himself from the age of two or even less. He is trained to do his work - bathing, eating, dressing,and such chores - all by himself from such a young age. That develops independence. Such kids do not accept help from others. In India, you can sometimes see children at the age of 5 or even 10 being fed by fond mothers. Each of these behaviours has its good as well as bad aspects. But, it is true that the child should be weaned away from the parents in many aspects and in many other aspects he is not to be weaned away.
  • One develops independence and individuality. The other develops affectionate dependence. Both need not be opposites. They can also be complementary.
  • The secret of life, which He called mystery, lies in comprehending contradictions as complementary.
  • Human relationship is one of domination and submission. It evolves into neutral dependence. It can further develop into mutual reinforcement.
  • In the classroom, or in any relationship, instead of one dominating the other, the good should have the greater influence over the bad.
  • The attitude of weaning away the child must dominate over the attitude of dominating the child.
  • For the teacher to do this, she must be in a frame of mind suitable to this attitude, which means

       - She must treat the child as a growing soul.

       - She must Not wish to shape the child's personality but, she must be aware that the child should shape his own personality himself.

  • In the process of creation, the One becomes the Many without losing its oneness with the Many. It also retains its unity with the Many. Sri Aurobindo says the unity is its being and the multiplicity is the power of its being. That multiplicity gives the Many its individuality.
  • With respect to weaning the child away from his dependence on the teacher and the school, the same principle must be practised. The way it is to be translated into work in the classroom belongs to the implementation part of it, which we will take up after stating the essential points of the theory.
  • This principle is not peculiar to the Mother. It is as old as Thirukkural, ‘akalaathu, anukaathu theek kaaivaar pola'. It says those who are relating to the king cannot afford to go too near but when you are too far, you lose the benefit of the contact with the power. It is an essential principle of life that finds expression hundreds of times a day. When we accept a new way of life, we lose our common sense and give it the definition of Russell that common sense is the superstition of stupid people.
  • Normally, reasonable people will not raise the question, but in practice, we find about everyone raising this question. Wisdom lies in retaining the essence of the past and giving up the outer forms valid only in the past. The question is one of form and content not otherwise valid in any theoretical sense.

    64.   Determining the point of weaning away is a point of educational maturity.

          This is a general point here we apply to weaning the child away.

          This is as old as "Thirukkural". ‘ Peeliyai saakkakum achsirum saala mika peyin'.

  • Actually, this is a principle of survival ever since life appeared on earth.
  • The weak that manages to survive makes the minimum out of a situation.
  • The strong that is greedy turns Midas.
  • The right balance will make the maximum out of the situation.
  • To make that maximum out of minimum energy is efficiency.
  • To establish that efficiency permanently is organisation.
  • The animals that act by instinct have accomplished that organisation vitally.
  • Man must create a similar organisation in the Mind.
  • Further heights are Spiritual and Supramental organisations.
  • The Spirit acts by detachment. Supermind acts by harmony while mind acts by compromise. Life acts by overcoming conflicts.
  • There is no point of life where this point of weaning is not there.
  • In a game, there is a border. One should achieve the maximum without crossing the border.
  • Though this principle is not new, the application of this to a new field each time, appears new.
  • Even in the field of application, there is scope for originality -- original application.
  • The original application of any principle to any field opens up infinite scope, as each of the involved factors is infinite.
  • The point of weaning away will differ according to the subject, the branches of the subject, the pupil, the pupil in different subjects, and so on.
  • Sound changes into music which has different levels of perfection for each raga, each song and each singer.
  • Overdoing is never permissible in any field. It spoils the whole thing. Hence the need for rhythm and balance.
  • The rhythm, balance, pupil, teacher, subject, etc. blend themselves sweetly.
  • Such a sweetness reaches its perfection at some point. And that is the point that interests us here as weaning away.
  • One essential criticism here is the personal factor that achieves that blending.
  • Looking at education as a minor version of yoga as well as a major version of teaching cum learning process helps us to follow the significance of weaning.
  • The teacher who sees the child as a potential genius can do this better.
  • To concede this, the teacher must be unegoistic.

    65.   Even after weaning away, the child is capable of wrongly organising itself outside the area of   its formed talent.

    66.  After the weaning away, the school should give freedom for the child to form its own talent.

A child is a growing, living organism where energies are constantly at work.

Energies are organised into skill, capacity, and talents where there is a central organiser.  It is conscious organisation.

  • In the absence of conscious organisation, the energies are apparently thrown away, wasted or dissipated. In fact, it is the subconscious organising itself.
  • Family, school, society, individuality, etc. consciously organise.
  • In the absence of their influence, the subconscious part of the society begins to act. It organises subconsciously.
  • Even when the conscious organisation is taking place, the subconscious too goes on organising itself.
  • The child becomes conscious only when its spirit is awakened.
  • The teacher must not interfere with the responses of the child where the spirit acts.
  • The spirit can act like a child, as a mad person or even as pisasu - evil spirit.
  • Only the Psychic being acts rationally or spiritually.
  • The teacher needs discrimination.
  • In the absence of discrimination, an observation of the results of the responses of the child will indicate the nature of the child's response.
  • When we say the child is wrongly organising itself in the absence of direction, we forget the teacher is constantly wrongly organising herself.
  • As the world is not quiet for a moment, the child's personality does not fail to organise itself all the time.
  • That organisation takes place at the biological, social, psychological as well as spiritual levels.
  • Wherever personality is formed, the parent and the teacher are not to impose themselves at that level.
  • Obviously, the child will quickly outgrow both the parent and the teacher.
  • Beyond that point the child needs freedom at the next level.
  • On the part of the teacher, a great patience based on a greater understanding is called for to extend that freedom.
  • Judgement is called for from all sides.
  • Whatever is achieved is achieved within the scope of that judgement.
  • Sympathy or empathy helps.
  • Patience includes both.
  • As we see, it is not a one-sided movement.
  • The school is inhibited from all sides. Still it has a vast scope for the positive initiative.
  • When we exhaust that scope, it is widened.
  • It depends upon our exhausting our positive energy.
  • Similarly, we must aim at exhausting the receptivity of the child.

    67.   The process of weaning away is gradual.

  • Weaning is a transition from dependence to independence.
  • Gradualness is a characteristic of the plane of Time.
  • In Timelessness there is no gradual change, but the result is either fleeting or a one time occurrence.
  • In Simultaneous integrality of Time, every act takes place instantaneously and becomes a permanent feature.
  • The weaning away is the beginning of the birth of the Individual.
  • We see it in all the three planes of the physical, the vital and the mental. It can be extended to the other two higher planes.
  • Individuality is based on independence.
  • Individuality that takes on the attitude of self-giving becomes the desirable expression of the Cosmic Play.
  • Individuality in ignorance is mostly selfish or selfless in the same plane.
  • Skill in the physical plane enables one to be independent.
  • Mind's individuality is seated in the capacity to think for oneself.
  • Vital individuality is born when one is touched by joy in itself, not depending upon companionship or friendship. It is the beginning of the Joy that is the result of Ananda touching the nerves.
  • Skill in the physical enables accomplishment and results in property or wealth. So wealth is at the basis of individuality as it serves as the basis of every accomplishment.
  • Mind that is not tempered by the physical experience of acquiring wealth, can become impatient of any new idea that is fascinating.
  • Impatience of any description is the end of any project before it is begun.
  • Patience is the vital understanding of the process of accomplishment.
  • Weaning away a child from the family, school, society will become a dangerous misadventure unless he has already acquired the taste of the higher existence of Individuality that is the play in cosmos.
  • Man acquiring it in a human way takes dozens of births of the soul through hundreds of generations of accomplishment.
  • Mother's consciousness presenting itself as Her atmosphere offers the end results in the beginning to those who are willing to turn grace into Super grace.
  • Grace is born of faith in the Divine.
  • It becomes super Grace when we withdraw our reliance on our capacities.
  • When He says the principle in view is surrender - surrender of one's being, consciousness, power and delight - He speaks of the Self-absorption into one's Being from the outer Becoming.
  • It is preceded by self-limitation and Self-conception.
  • Of course, it is all for those who are the Self.
  • For our purposes of social evolution as a life expression of spiritual evolution, surrender is surrender of the ego.
  • In the process of weaning away, what is surrendered is the physical, vital, mental dependence on the environment.

    68.  The weaning away is not only from the school, but also from the child's capacity to wrongly organise itself outside his formed talent.

  • The child is a living organism, constantly in motion.
  • When we start, the child has, in whatever measure, a formed personality.
  • Physically, the source of that personality is the ancestors, spiritually his previous birth, socially it is the family, psychologically it is the swabhava.
  • Weaning away is to prevent further conditioning.
  • Weaning away from the school and the society cannot prevent the continuation of the past energy released. That requires deconditioning. It is done only by yoga. We have to work within those limits.
  • As the child is a living organism, his personality formation is constantly going on in the context of the outside environment.
  • The outside environment has an inner counterpart.
  • Both are infinite.
  • For us, there are wrong formations and right formations.
  • In the life of the infinite consciousness, all formations are right.
  • Such a consciousness can be without any formation too.
  • As the child is to become a social personality, we have to take social precautions.
  • When you aim at the psychological personality, we have to prevent the wrong formations.
  • Above that lies the spiritual personality which acts within the limits of this creation. Creation is still a limited field for the Absolute.
  • For one in society, there is a limitation called conditioning in the field of education.
  • In the widest context, the child is on its own.
  • Within that context, there is infinite scope for progress.
  • Such an infinite scope lies in several centres, the teacher, the school, the curriculum, the family, the outside society.
  • It is possible for a teacher and the school to carve out a fixed goal within that infinite scope.
  • Please note that within any finite context, there is infinite scope for all persons and forces concerned.
  • The Finite is a bar; the Finite is also an occasion to look for the infinite in the infinitesimal and the uniqueness.
  • Even after weaning away, the teacher can have a marked influence on the student, if he is able to evoke a response from the student.
  • In one sense, education can be an occasion for yoga.
  • In another sense, education can be an occasion to discover the infinite in the finite.
  • The ego of the teacher and that of the student are to be taken into account in all our calculations.
  • Even here, it is helpful to know that even the ego is a force of the infinite.
  • The scope is endless. We have to choose something.

     69.    So we see the school has a continuous receding influence on the child.

  • Education, as well as yoga, tries to give us something more, something we do not possess now, to raise us to a higher level.
  • When you buy a new plot and build a house on it, you can do so easily. If you buy an old house and you are not to modify anything there, building anew is impossible. When you are allowed to modify, you will be putting strong structures on weak foundations which again will not work.
  • Human nature has an inheritance of the entire experience of the earth in the subconscious. So far, any yoga done is on the surface Mind. It can give liberation and moksha but it will not transform what we really are. Only when we transform, will evil and suffering disappear from life.
  • Man cannot handle the subconscious, the Superconscient can. Instead of aspiring for the superconscient which is moksha, Man should reach the subconscient by going to the subliminal and allow the Superconscient and subconscient in him so that he may ascend after that integration.
  • Knowledge of the Process of creation; its five aspects and how they bring about the result will enable him to do this.
  • The five parts are 1) the Self-conscious Being presents itself to Man as Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara, 2) the Self-conscious Being - Sat Purusha - extends itself to Chit and Ananda, 3) the Sat Purusha objectivises itself as Supermind, 4) the Sat Purusha - only the Sat part of it - splits into Spirit and Truth in its subjective and objective parts, 5) The Sat again divides itself as inner subjective Timeless Plane and the outer objective Plane of Time.
  • Creation is One becoming the Many without separation dividing.
  • When the Mind divides, separation precipitates. Supermind divides by creating differentiation without separation standing in the way.
  • So much is the Process of creation which ends in Mind when Timelessness separates from Time. Mind, Life and Matter are the activities of the Mind, not part of the cosmic creation which ends with Mind.
  • In every act of ours, we must be able to discover the hidden hand of this Process of Creation, called Mystery by the Rishis.
  • That knowledge reveals the process of Transformation which the statement No. 69 speaks of.
  • The receding role is the field of transformation.
  • For the school to play that receding role is to become an instrument of evolution, that is, social evolution.
  • A full knowledge of social evolution is embodied in the 32 basic principles and the 360 applications.
  • Here in the school, a conscious attempt is to be made to apply the 360 variations - it can be 3600 - of these 32 principles of education so that teaching will be on the royal road of spiritual evolution as well as social evolution.
  • Only evolving beings can do so.

    70.   What is receding influence is really growing Self-discipline.

  • All disciplines are really self-disciplines.
  • The family or the society imposes external discipline until the individual acquires it as self-discipline.
  • Discipline is an organisation.
  • Self-discipline is a value and a subjective organisation.
  • So far, the school and family demanded discipline from the child, that is, external discipline.
  • External discipline is obedience.
  • Obedience can be demanded or offered.
  • Discipline is physical-vital; self-discipline is mental.
  • Spiritual discipline is Silence - non-reacting.
  • Supramental discipline is not taking initiative.
  • The science of education becomes an act of educational life when a school knows how much it can recede. The spiritual origin of receding influence is knowledge turning into Ignorance.
  • Knowledge is one of the 12 aspects of the Spirit and therefore the origin is Spirit changing into Matter - involution.
    Creation is for Lila, a play of being with being, consciousness with consciousness, ananda with ananda.
  • Receding influence is one aspect of that play of power which is one of the two aspects of consciousness while the other is knowledge.
  • Imposition is a play of power in the process of involution.
  • Receding influence is also a play of power in the process of evolution.
  • In life, the self is ego; in Spirit, it is the Self.
  • The highest discipline in life is self-discipline, known as values or spiritual skills or mental capacities or vital talents or physical abilities.
  • When the discipline shifts from the self to Self, life becomes yoga.
  • Yoga is the life of the Self or Spirit.
  • Life is the experience of the self, otherwise known as ego or desire soul. It is also called surface soul.
  • The experience of the embodied being is life lived in the vital and the body.
  • Accomplishment is the experience of the physical self, that is, the body.
  • The experience of the Spirit is evolution.
  • The receding influence of the school can be defined as the teacher moving away from physicality to spirituality via mentality and vitality.
  • As every other thing, this receding influence expresses in all the aspects of life, namely, voice, tone, attitude, opinion, motive, approach, looks, speech, attention, smile and so on.
  • Receding influence is growing freedom.
  • It is the process of the individual soul awakening to its spiritual reality.
  • The two terms of human unity are the collective and the Individual. The emergence of the Individual is helped by the receding influence.

    71.   It is generally understood that the school gives what the family and the society cannot give.

  • Parents cannot teach children as a school does. They are not equipped for it, nor do they have the time.
  • Society gives the child life education - an education for survival.
  • The society prevents the child from breaking its rules on pain of punishment.
  • It offers infinite opportunities, but does not compel the child to avail of them. Nor does it equip the child to avail of such opportunities.
  • Academic education broadens the mind of the child, not only with facts, but with perspectives.
  • Historical perspective extends the mind in time.
  • Geographical perspective extends the mind in space.
  • Reading of literature gives a psychological extension to the mind.
  • The social atmosphere of the class teaches the boy social skills of behaviour and adjustment.
  • The child learns the discipline to obey the adult teacher which only the school can give.
  • Peer pressure is far more pronounced at school than at home.
  • When new subjects are taught in the school - chemistry, physics, etc., new faculties are born in the child.
  • The school offers the opportunity to the child to live with a hundred others of his age.
  • At school, the seniority of even one year is respected.
  • The boy sees seniors of all the classes, above and juniors of all the classes, below.
  • He finds himself a small, single unit of a vast student whole.
  • In many instances, he comes to know of his individuality.
  • The individual dealing with the collective and vice versa especially of the student community is special to the school.
  • If you watch a child at school, at home and in a public place, you will see

       - He exhibits an entirely different personality at each place;

       - Compare this child with another child that has not gone to school, you will see:

The value of manners the child has learnt at school;

The importance of discipline he got from the school;

In these matters one can discern the stamp of different schools distinctly;

Therefore, the school plays an important role in the life of the child.

This will be obvious if two comparable children sent to different schools are seen at the age of retirement.

    72.   As a matter of fact, the school can only be a complement of the family and society and cannot be their contradiction.

  • It is easy for us to see that contradictions too are complements.
  • In a graded evolution, contradictions and complements are only variations of intensity without their really being so.
  • The heart and lungs perform varying functions. There is no contradiction or complement. Variety is the savour of life.
  • Creation aims at play and play needs variety in varying degrees.
  • Each member of the body, each member of the society performs a different function. Hence the variety.
  • They all function variously but to fulfil the One purpose of the One.
  • To know the difference is skill; to see the oneness is wisdom; to see how the difference serves the purpose of oneness is integral knowledge.
  • We accept the positive; refuse the negative; but He says it is the negative that makes one fully enjoy the positive.
  • Sri Aurobindo speaks of the opposites at two levels;
  • - One is the Absolute and the relative.
  • - Two is, He says, at a less subtle level as Transcendent and Universal; He classifies them as: a) Transcendent and Cosmic, and b) universal and the individual.
  • He goes to show us how the Individual becomes the Transcendent via the universal after we shed the ego through the process of individualisation of the World-Purusha in the Individual and the outer becoming the inner.
  • These are the various planes and formations of the Play that is Lila which when we discover in human life takes us back to the Transcendent via the universal.
  • To work out the parallel in human life is the most interesting work for the mind, as it is the path through which the mind goes back to its origin Supermind.
  • To apply them to a field such as education is the path by which one rises from the human life to the divine life.
  • I repeat my theme that ‘Theoretical clarity is practical effectivity'. Hence these explanations.
  • Inside us is the divine; also the stubborn resistance to new knowledge, new innovation as well as new technology.
  • Anyone, especially idealists will jump when these sensitivities are touched.
  • If the idealists jump from the idealism they have arrived at, the ordinary man will resist from his dark inconscience. Both are the same. Only that the idealists will be more organised in their resistance.
  • Resistance is better than superstitious endorsement, as resistance is intense negative cooperation.
  • Superstition, even when it offers cooperation, is less welcome.

   73.   When the school and the family are diametrically opposite, it is a special case to be handled outside the system.

  • The system of education is a limitation.
  • Its aim is to create a high, social product at an early age.
  • It is capable of leading any child to genius.
  • It can also lead him to yoga.
  • It all depends to what extent we work the system generally or with special intensity of aim or how we aim at a wider integration.
  • He has laid down all these lines of development philosophically as well as practically.
  • The short section on devotion in Synthesis of Yoga is packed with such intensities in a language that is almost poetry.
  • Generally a school like ours can show the child the poetry of life.
  • The poet is a kavi who sees the varying degrees of evolving life in terms of intellectual emotions. Sri Aurobindo takes it to the heights of yogic emotion, known as devotion.
  • Emotions are the most effective point of life as there the mind and body meet for the purposes of integrating the action in terms of the highest possible knowledge and experiencing them as lived divine emotions.
  • If life offers a rich field for that experience short of pure yoga, it is in the field of education where the teacher uncovers to the pupil the inner depths of his life.
  • Such a scope is absent when the family cooperates with the school.
  • Opposition between the school and family creates the needed intensity for the teacher to lead the pupil to higher realms.
  • The principle that opposition is the shortcut to union works here.
  • The school resents the resistance and appreciates the cooperation.
  • Cooperation in ignorance is dull.
  • Cooperation in knowledge is rich.
  • Resistance leads one from the dullness to richness.
  • The principle that one becomes a genius when he knows the workings of an idiot's mind is a valuable one for us to discover the value of resistance to the discovery of variety in education.
  • That the Many - men as well as objects - are the multiplicities of varying individualities of the One is a principle that constantly comes before the mind of the teacher when he is determined to evolve through teaching.
  • Levelling off in the intensities of innovative teaching will shut one off from the higher realms of education.
  • Education is a minor field of yoga while teaching as we know it is an instrument.
  • All professionals are in love with their equipment. Especially ladies are proud of the latest kitchen ware.
  • At any moment life offers the Divine to us.
  • Education is a greater field than life, though life is wider than education.

    74.   The society and this system are necessarily opposites.

  • Growth and progress are always the aim, whether it is the earliest survival or the final evolution of which growth and development are middle terms.
  • Growth occurs either by cooperation or by opposition.
  • Competition lies between them.
  • So opposition - competition - cooperation are the stages through which growth or progress evolves.
  • This law holds good to the cosmic creation, life in ignorance, collective progress or individual growth.
  • Growth is increasing in size in the existing structure.
  • As we are in successive, processive Time, movement is inevitable.
  • Movement is not growth, though without movement there is no growth.
  • Movement is without structure while growth is the expansion of the existing structure.
  • The system of education we talk of has emerged at the phase where conflict rules.
  • It will be a great progress if this opposition can be replaced by cooperation.
  • Till we arrive at such a phase, we must recognise the inevitability of the presence of conflict.
  • Recognition by the Mind of the true nature of things is the first step to making the emotions accept cooperation.
  • That conflict can be seen between the teacher and the taught; the teacher and the lesson; the lesson and the pupil; within the pupil; within the teacher and within the structure of the lesson.
  • The teacher uses an instrument for teaching.
  • It may be oral communication; a textbook; an enthusiastic presentation; an aid; a mechanical aid like computer, etc.
  • The elements of conflict as well as cooperation can be found within each of these instruments and between any two of them.
  • One can undertake the comprehensive task of writing an SOP - Standard Operating Procedure - for each of these relations thus making the process of education full of life.
  • For the present, it is enough if the school and the teacher are aware of the existence of these factors.
  • In the measure the pupil and the parents can be made aware of their existence, the school succeeds.
  • Their origin is inside the Individual.
  • As is the individual, so is the institution; so also is the instruction.
  • The measure of determination to know these factors and live by them is the measure of our ideal.
  • To condemn the opposites for being so is a superstition.
  • To adore cooperation for its own sake is another type of superstition.
  • To be aware of teaching as one aspect of education, as education is one aspect of social existence, is welcome.

    75.   We cannot follow the rule with the society which we follow with the family

  • It is obvious that the rule of one cannot apply to the other.
  • Now that one is the miniature of the other, there must be common ground between them to some extent.
  • The value of the above statement does not lie in what it says, but the essence of it.
  • The essence is the significance of variations in life, especially when we look at each item in its uniqueness.
  • This significance belongs to the idea that the delight issues form the lay and that the greater the variations, the greater the delight.
  • A teacher who catches this significance gets an insight into human nature, its varieties and their intensities.
  • This is the qualification for knowing one's psychological ignorance.
  • Ultimately, this opening leads one to see the universe in one person.
  • Let us consider the theme of Individuality. The Individual as well as the collective enjoys this Personality.
  • In Man, individuality enables the collective to rise.
  • In the collective, its individuality fosters the individuality of the individual.
  • One is subconscious becoming conscious.
  • The other is the conscious endowment reaching the collective by descent.
  • This is a process of consciousness leading to wider consciousness.
  • If there is a parallel, it is the reverse.
  • To know the commonalty is to be able to relate one with the other.
  • To know the difference is to enhance the delight and its intensity.
  • The school occupies a middle position partially representing both.
  • Therefore, the school can be an effective channel from the family to the society.
  • That school which can forge this relationship effectively can offer its children the maturity of age and experience.
  • For a school to have this aim is forming itself into both family and society.
  • It means at one end - family - the school supplies all the emotions of the family and at the other end - society - the school will be bringing all the capacities the society can give into the classroom.
  • To do this factually, one needs voluminous information.
  • To do this psychologically, one needs a big heart.
  • That information must blend with this heart by the imaginative experience of the teacher.
  • It is the mental version of divine compassion.
  • Which means the teacher is an instrument of Grace.
  • Beyond that lies the opening for Supergrace.

   76.   To meet every point in social life is to give a social personality to the student.

  • Theoretically, every person, event, act, movement and in practice everything has its own personality.
  • What we say is social personality is the personality society gives the student.
  • When he submits to society, he gets the social personality.
  • One acquires psychological personality as against the social one when he knows his own mind and its prompting.
  • It is this which gives the pupil individuality.
  • It can be called self-righteousness.
  • Such people will not conform, won't take notice of others' opinions, won't think of others. They will have nothing to forget or forgive as they will not remember anything.
  • Buying an article, sharing a seat in the bus, wishing another good morning and so on are such points in social life.
  • Each of them is significant.
  • One can, at that point, move either way, up or down.
  • In the class and school there are many such points but most of them will belong to a few types.
  • It is possible to bring into school all such points as colleges conduct mock Parliaments.
  • We can try to be innovative, taking the student outside the school right into such points of contact.
  • Knowing the personality of the student, the personality of the point of contact and the possible resulting personality will enhance the value of such efforts.
  • Penderel Moon speaks of the Hindu subtleties being beyond the comprehension of the Pathan when he wrote about a Pathan attacking Gandhi. The same Moon, describing the impeachment of Hastings, says, looking beyond the outward events, one can see how Hastings brought it on himself by provoking Burke. That is what Moon got from his stay in India.
  • Such personalities that come to the student are at all levels and at the most integral level.
  • The Freedom in the school, the self-giving of the teacher, the cheerfulness of the student are conducive to acquire that integrated Personality. The sign of the student getting it is the maturity visibly emerging from inside in him.
  • What is true of the social personality is also true of the psychological and spiritual personalities.
  • We do not consider the physical personality as we assume we have all overcome that or want to do so.
  • Even the social personality is one's vital personality and in that degree is not very desirable.
  • If one observes with the scales from his eyes having fallen, then the world is alive, it is a marvel.
  • To observe without the blinkers of culture, custom, fear and superstition itself is a progress. That is a minimum requirement for our system.

   77.   In such meetings, instead of the student becoming a miniature of the society, he must be able to learn every essential aspect of society's existence.

  • The student becoming a miniature of the society is conformity.
  • The student, the society, the point of contact are all appearances in Time and Space. The Reality is not there.
  • The Reality lies behind each one of them.
  • What we seek in the school is not that Reality which is the goal of yoga, but its version in the plane of education.
  • Its version in education is the mental experience of the student. If we can stretch the point, it is the combined mental experience of the student, the society, the point of contact that unite harmoniously in the plane of Mind.
  • We aim at such an experience at least in the student.
  • Sri Aurobindo calls it the virginally creative moment.
  • In the society, the dead lives. Perhaps it is the major part, though not the best.
  • As creation itself is sustained by the Inconscient energy, it is no wonder that the society lives by the dead.
  • It goes by the name of superstition in the society when it is passive Ignorance in creation.
  • In periods when a revolution is shaping itself, this dead passive superstition becomes alive in a fury to crush the revolutionary vibration.
  • All pioneers were victims of that dead energy.
  • The student not becoming a miniature of the society prevents the dead forces from rising in revolt.
  • This gives him the power to act, as actions take place in the Overmind, without being hindered by the energy of ignorance, though he has no power to get rid of it.
  • To secure that power, the light in him should be able to penetrate the passive inert dead energy to reach the hidden light inside and transform death into life by that light emerging to the surface.
  • Education is a halfway house to yoga, even as prosperity is the basis of education.
  • We can as well state that education is the yoga of Mind.
  • Mother called work the prayer of the body. Work on that basis can become the yoga of the body. Work that releases the Mind of the body is the education of the body.
  • Work that releases the Being of the Becoming of the body is the yoga of the body.
  • When the printed book made its first appearance, education was born in the plane of technology; it was born in print.
  • Audio-video aids to education have dwarfed the role of books in education.
  • Electronics are now capable of introducing the child to the subtle knowledge of life by taking him to the borders of infinity of facts. It is a great occasion for him to cross over.

    78.   The role of the school is that the child should never learn the negative traits of the society.

  • Negative experience gives the keenness and intensity that the fullness of positive experience needs.
  • It means the negative experience is inescapable.
  • One factor about Surrender is it gives the full results at any level.
  • If ego is to be shed, the man who has not yet developed ego asks if he should first develop the ego and then shed it.
  • Surrender of such a person skips the need to pass through the stage of developing ego.
  • Surrender is preceded by an awakening of the Brahman in self-discovery.
  • Surrender is parallel to Brahman willingly entering into creation - a surrender of its Absoluteness.
  • In an atmosphere of surrender that is expressed in a self-giving humility, the child can escape the need to pass through the negative experience.
  • Still, the negative can show itself as a token, as no step in evolution can be escaped.
  • We see it in life too. Men who are unaware of the deficiencies of the society are spared the necessity of meeting them for the purposes of experiencing.
  • As everywhere, all variations of experience are here also.
  • Growing in a positive atmosphere, one acquires the innate strength to ward off negative experience without actually meeting them.
  • The atmosphere of the school leads the child past the need to experience negativity.
  • An observation of this phenomenon is subtle observation.
  • The teacher who sees how the negative experience goes around the child by virtue of the atmosphere of freedom, will know the child, the school, the process of progress better than anyone. In that sense, it is the supreme endowment of a teacher.
  • It is a supreme endowment in a school as that capacity equips the teacher to pass beyond the psychological ignorance.
  • A knowledge of how psychological ignorance forms is not expected of a teacher, but that knowledge and this observation together endow the teacher with a yogic faculty.
  • It can pass on to the student.
  • The efficiency of the school will increase as this faculty of the teacher can bring him to the borders of temporal Ignorance which means he can conquer Time.
  • Thus, the school that sets out to bring out socially mature adults in the teenagers opens up the possibility of creating the genius in the child.
  • Genius belongs to the plane of Intuition. It is best reached or can be over-reached if one has Time in his control.
  • To see any of these phenomena for once is not so impossible as to retain them.

    79.   The role of the school is that, wherever possible, the social contact between the students and the society should make the social side of it positive.

  • All such contacts are dynamic. Not only the above said contact, but any contact releases energy, that is, the force meeting force generates form; form meeting form releases sensation that is consciousness.
  • Contacts are the next higher form to movement. Hence they are always dynamic or creative.
  • Man has morals, but life is not so. To life there is no distinction between positive or negative. But society needs only positive development.
  • So, the school needs to take care to see the contact creates a positive result.
  • A child dominating another child or meekly submitting to an adult or bully are negative results.
  • Curiosity, independence, culture, humility, self-giving and so on are positive results.
  • Of course, we don't mean that the child is to be trained or instructed to be positive. Education which will be his own mental experience is the principle in view.
  • As we saw in the weaning, we do recognise the need of freedom in the child and the need for guidance.
  • The guidance is in the form of higher knowledge offered to the child. It is for the child to choose.
  • The tendency in the child to do exactly what the teacher or the parent does is great. To make the child independent there is no mean effort.
  • As long as the teacher's approach is unegoistic, nothing seriously wrong will result. That is the key for the teacher.
  • This process has its parallel in the knowledge emerging from ignorance with which it is attached. Evolution is taste of ignorance becoming taste of knowledge. How many can be as indifferent to society as Howard Roark? What he aims at is mental individuality employing spiritual strategies. He does not seek even the girl whom he passionately loves. He does not resent the smear campaign of Banner.
  • Spiritual Individuality is self-existent and creative.
  • Spiritual individuality employing evolutionary strategies will lead to our goal.
  • In the school, it is social evolution that we must fall in line with. Of course, we can give a spiritual setting.
  • For example, every idea can be raised to Real-Idea. It is done by shedding any initiative in the medium of equality.
  • Bargain is to be replaced by the other man's point of view.
  • Psychological bargaining is more difficult to handle.
  • We rarely are aware that we are constantly bargaining with ourselves, the society and with Mother, or at least our conception of The Mother.

   80.   Doing so, the school becomes an instrument of social evolution.

  • In any path of progress, there are bypaths, even paths that run counter to the goal.
  • The most common is the levelling off horizontally.
  • These bypaths and even the paths that turn around have their rightful place in the evolution of life and evolution of Spirit.
  • The child sent to school learns quickly, becomes a social product, achieves a social goal.
  • The unknown child, not having gone to school, still learns every minute and occupies an important role in the wider evolution.
  • We are confined to a narrow limit.
  • A school that really upholds all that is said here

         - Can lead the nation supplying all its leaders in the front line.

        -  It can lead educational progress of the world.

        - Will be supplying all the leaders but will be silently preparing the society for an upward march.

        - Stands a very good chance of awakening the souls of some students.

        - Can become a centre of higher consciousness on earth.

        - Will be a bulwark against the rule of anachronism, organised evil and the formation of a  formidable establishment.

  • The course of social evolution can be known from the theory of it.
  • Education organised becomes educational institutions.
  • Inspiring education that refuses to organise itself becomes the social culture of the collective.
  • Usually culture is preceded by the rule of institutions. Organisations are its basis.
  • Inspired educational energy that sets its face against organising itself can help the society skip the stages of institutions and organisations.
  • The role of the teacher is pivotal, but it is, as said earlier, a receding role.
  • Playing the receding role is an act of self-giving.
  • The teacher on the course of spiritual evolution can set the school on the course of social evolution.
  • In that case, the student will have a wide range of choice for his career with the social equipment at one end and the potential of genius at the other end.
  • Of course, it is true that nothing substantial, in such a work, can be achieved without aiming to achieve all.
  • For a school like this, it is a great god-sent opportunity if the parents and teachers do not become active obstacles.
  • The ultimate resistance will come from the student himself when he chooses not to progress.
  • That will be a lucky situation as he has the potential of becoming the greatest stumbling block.

    81.  When we talk of social evolution, we confine ourselves to the evolution of education and do not go beyond that.

  • The child is an evolving organism. So are the school, the family and the society.
  • It can evolve at any level, from the physical to the Supramental, as it is awake. That choice is there for the child.
  • It is equally true of all the other factors involved, that is, the school, the teacher, the parents, the society and the inner Spirit.
  • That is determined at one end by what the child unconsciously enjoys and at the other end what the child consciously is and enjoys being.
  • Education is one of the middle factors.
  • The factors vary, vary infinitely. The variation is the play.
  • The character of variation decides the intensity of the joy of Self-discovery.
  • We see the Self as self according to our perception.
  • The joy comes to us as the Touch of Ananda on our nerves.
  • It reveals to the mind the same joy as Beauty.
  • The soul loves to feel that joy as love.
  • These three are the expressions of Ananda.
  • We know of the eight aspects like that - Unity, Truth, Knowledge, Power, Beauty, Love, Joy and Purity.
  • It can be expanded to twelve adding Infinity and Eternity; Silence and Peace.
  • These twelve aspects of the Spirit reveal themselves in the eight planes of creation - Sat, Chit, Ananda, Supermind, Mind, Life, psychic and Matter.
  • To repeat what we said earlier:

         - Each of these planes receives each of the spiritual aspects - 8 planes receiving 12 aspects - in its own way. Thus we have 96 expressions of the Spirit.

        - Each plane subdivides into consciousness and substance, thus making the 96 versions into 192.

         - Further, each plane exists in two ways, making 192 into 384.

         - In fact, the variations are infinite.

         - The range is again infinite from the Finite to the Infinite.

  •  Education exists in all these 384 or infinite intensities.
  • It is experienced by infinite members of the society, called the Many in philosophy.
  • In the measure we open our eyes, we see it.
  • Sri Aurobindo divides our Mind into three parts, 1) the waking Mind, 2) the Self-forgetful knowledge, and 3) Trikaladrishti.
  • The school is capable of opening this vista fully to the child.
  • It is done by offering an active atmosphere of Freedom by its existence, expressed attitude and functioning.
  • A further awareness will reveal it is the way each of us receives the Touch of God.
  • We limit the infinite possibilities in the infinite fields to what we term education - Experience of the Mind.

    82.  In this endeavour, there are several difficult points.

  • Any endeavour is one link in a long, endless chain.
  • Every link is a point.
  • Such a point can be easy and helpful or difficult and an impediment.
  • For each link or point there are two faces or phases.
  • Education is a limitation from the point of view of social evolution as education is only an instrument to a social goal.
  • The social goal is the collective progress in consciousness of which the immediate goal is the conscious Individual.
  • An Individual who is aware of the social goal and its process is a conscious Individual.
  • Conscious means spiritually conscious.
  • Education makes one mentally conscious.
  • The difficulty arises as one views the spiritual progress from a mental awareness.
  • One obvious point of difficulty is the resistance of the parent to the higher consciousness the child receives.
  • This resistance arises in various ways, as any such aspect.
  • Another is the society demanding of the child conformity.
  • Everyday and in every act the child faces these encounters as a difficulty.
  • The greatest obstacles arise from inside the child.
  • In the actual implementation, we take all these points of resistance and try to resolve them.
  • We will be taking only types of resistances for resolution, not every individual obstacle.
  • The question arises as to types and unique events.
  • In practice, the teacher acquires the capacity to handle all unique events as we move along the types at some point.
  • At one end is unity and at the other end is the diversity of uniqueness.
  • Man is in between, aware of neither.
  • As he rises above or moves down, he acquires a greater capacity to handle the other side. When he is at unity, he can handle uniqueness and vice versa.
  • What is a difficult point becomes an easy point when Man changes his attitude or changes sides.
  • Discipline and Freedom are those two sides.
  • We can say it is discipline or self-discipline.
  • To convert the difficult point into an easy one is education that is not conditioning.
  • It can be described as changing the lower consciousness into higher consciousness.
  • Here we can move from education to yoga.

         - The same is true between education and self-education.

         - It is done by removing the child from the school.

         - It can be done by removing the textbooks or all books.

         - It is to change observation into self-observation.

         - It is to go inside from outside.

   83.  Training is conditioning.

  • Conditioning is Man getting a fixed habit not by his own conscious acquisition but as an unconscious result.
  • The distinction between instruction, training, conditioning and learning is necessary for us to comprehend the above statement.
  • Learning is a conscious process of the Self undertaken by one's own mental initiative.
  • Instruction is what another gives for a particular purpose.
  • Training gives the ability to act all the time without instruction.
  • It is obvious all these are overlapping faculties. In daily life, sometimes they are used interchangeably.
  • It is necessary for one who offers a training programme to know 1) that it is not conditioning and 2) the trained person needs to acquire the ability to act in the allotted work without instruction each time.
  • Such training is best given by the trainee coming forward to learn willingly based on his own curiosity.
  • Conditioning being subconscious is of lower efficiency than training which is consciously acquired.
  • What do we train the child for, how?
  • Lessons are learnt, habits of manners are trained which is more difficult than teaching a lesson.
  • To learn a lesson is easier, as it is the Mind, a higher instrument that learns. Habits and manners are acquired by a vital which is refractory and unregenerate. Hence the difficulty.
  • The school is expected to train the child as a social product, while it is the role of the family to give the child his values.
  • As training is preferred to conditioning, learning is preferred to training.
  • Of course, the training can be planned in such a way so that what begins as training gradually ends as learning.
  • Such an effort, whether it is successful or it, will certainly prevent the training from degenerating into conditioning.
  • We can say values are learnt, manners are trained and social attitudes are conditioned.
  • We know a certain volume of energy goes into any action, especially into the things we speak of here - training, learning, instruction, conditioning, etc.
  • Energy differs in quality as in quantity.
  • Obviously we know the difference between the physical energy that goes into conditioning, vital energy into instruction, and mental energy into learning.
  • Learning needs higher mental energy while training needs only lower mental energy.
  • Higher mental energy is needed to learn oneself. When it is given from outside, lower mental energy can absorb the instruction.
  • Conditioning that is subconscious takes place at the mental, vital and physical levels. At the spiritual level, the subconscious changes into the subliminal.

    84.   You cannot create freedom through teachers who are conditioned.

  • In the process of teaching - learning, the pupil is surrounded by the teacher, school, family and society outside.
  • Of course, the teacher's role is crucial and pivotal.
  • Obviously, he cannot be one who is conditioned, if we are trying to create an atmosphere of Freedom.
  • In the beginning, we cannot have teachers who are not conditioned in several areas.
  • For our purposes, they must at least comprehend the principle that a conditioned teacher cannot create an atmosphere of freedom.
  • This is an essential beginning, as an ignorant illiterate father who is committed to educating his son.
  • The position of such a teacher is analogous to a sadhak who is married and lives in the family.
  • His comprehension is mental. That gives the opening.
  • For the comprehension to become commitment, the mental must move to the emotional.
  • In the measure the teacher moves, the opening widens.
  • At some point or other, the teacher reaches his maximum opening, at which point he becomes an obstacle.
  • It is easier for a teacher brought up in freedom to create an atmosphere of freedom than a conditioned teacher.
  • In that senses, the work of the conditioned teacher is nobler and demands a greater reward, as an invalid trying to become a fit citizen.
  • Before the descent of the Force, such an effort comes to a dead end at some time. But now, if the teacher is willing to surrender his inability due to conditioning, the Force transforms the obstacle into opportunity.
  • It amounts to saying that the same result can be attained either by one brought up in freedom or one who is conditioned.
  • What matters is the attitude.
  • A child can become a wonder if her parents are highly educated and fully dedicated to the child's flowering. Also, if they started the education as soon as the child was born.
  • On the surface, it is true, while essentially it is not.
  • In a world that is not yet rational, He brought down the Force.
  • If only the parents or teachers can have the attitude that what matters is not the external conditions - teachers, time, equipment - but the inner attitude.
  • Given the inner attitude of surrender, surrender of one's deficiencies, time and equipment or lack of equipment are no bar.
  • Please note that surrendering our efficiency is the same as surrendering our deficiency.
  • What we surrender does not matter; with what attitude we surrender matters.
  • I wish to remind that attitude is the vital preference endorsed by mental opinion and attitude in the physical is motive.
  • Motive properly belongs to the Being, but largely applies to the body, because the body in a wider sense is the Being.

    85.   If the school is successful, it should attract such teachers who are willing to grow in inner freedom and express it in outer functioning.

  • Howard Roark is the hero of Ayn Rand's novel Fountainhead. He is an architect. Rand raised Roark to the level of a Rishi, perhaps to an equality to which few Rishis had ever risen. He waits for clients to come to him. He does not seek. Not seeking expresses a self-sufficiency that can attract fit teachers.
  • Fit teachers may not have all the qualifications but certainly are those who are capable of acquiring all the required qualifications.
  • What matters is the attitude.
  • The attitude of the teacher reflects the attitude of the school.
  • So, the capacity to attract the right type of teachers lies within us, the school, its atmosphere.
  • Therefore, whatever is done in the atmosphere of the school, outside the class, gains in its spiritual significance, as this has to attract the right human material.
  • This is meant by "the school is a success."
  • Success is the success of creating the atmosphere.
  • This too is the external atmosphere.
  • The school has an inner atmosphere too. It dwells in the personalities of the Management, teachers and the pupils.
  • In other words, that inner atmosphere dwells in the values of those people.
  • It is appropriate here to repeat that values are spiritual skills.
  • While teaching, the teacher creates an atmosphere proper to the lesson, the information and knowledge. The child lives in the school outside his lesson where his own personality emerges and finds a play with those of the other children, teachers and others.
  • We can see it is entirely a new domain, just as software differs from hardware.
  • In The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo offers arguments to explain His points of view. The arguments are mental and need explanations. He offers them. We can expand those explanations by extending them to our experience. We can apply those arguments to life, and create applied yoga. Beyond this, there is His atmosphere in the book which one enters by the right attitude. Therefore, we see the phenomenon of less educated people with the right attitude understanding these arguments while more educated persons devoid of these attitudes do not comprehend the arguments.
  • A successful school is a school with the right attitude.
  • The right attitude is to believe that not in qualifications but in one's faith one knows that Time is not a bar.
  • It amounts to saying that any school can give any child the higher education provided the right attitude is forthcoming from all sides.
  • Sri Aurobindo means this when He says the yogi must be able to turn his hand to any skill he is called upon to possess.

   86.  It is considered that one teacher per pupil is ideal. It is ideal from the point of view of time spent on the child.

  • One teacher per child is the principle that the mother is the best teacher.
  • It is certainly desirable, but the child will be deprived of the social atmosphere where he learns the social skills.
  • Not only that, several teachers to a child brings to bear on the child several personalities, as a class of 30 does to a child.
  • The child confined to a single teacher will be like the population that eats mud and whiles away time smoking and drinking. As we eat several vegetables and cereals, we have to grow them. That offers us varieties of human experience. The mud eating tribe has no need to go out of their settlement and they rarely go out. Exclusive life excludes wider experience.
  • Education in an extended social context expands one's experience which is a sine qua non for social evolution.
  • One teacher to one child would offer a lot of enjoyment of the same, thus making the life of the child insular.
  • Well, if one teacher is exclusively allotted to one child in a school where the child otherwise enjoys multifaceted child - contact, it will raise the ideal to a level of greater perfection.
  • Such a school is an unknown concept and will be very interesting to conceive of and plan out. When the world welcomes that as a universally accepted pattern of teaching, it may not be demographically possible to find as many teachers.
  • I am unable to say whether there is an ideal condition of teaching as it is a realm of human experience not yet considered as a real possibility of life. 
  • It is analogous to children taken away at birth form the mother for collective rearing.
  • Our scope is severely limited, almost to a pinpoint in view of the fact education in the wide world is still very primitive.
  • The subjects before the students in a college are spread like an ocean and student can, after all, choose only one subject. To tackle this anomaly, they tried inter-disciplinary education which never gathered any momentum of real value. It is true the child should know all. It is equally true that the child can only know well by concentrating on a single point. The solution does not lie in the methods or in the teacher-pupil ratio. It lies in the child cultivating subtle faculties which can embrace the universe.
  • The maximum possible compromise open to us is to develop the character of observation in the child.
  • Observation rises in quality when the background of knowledge that guides that observation rises in quality.
  • The highest level of knowledge is the Process of Creation which we can place before the child implicitly by our being able to practise it in our daily life, especially in dealing with the child. That opens a new vista.

    87.   As the school is a social unit, one teacher per child defeats the purpose.

  • It is true that the teacher can be more effective when he has less number of children to handle.
  • In that sense, one teacher for one child is the best.
  • It will be a horizontal extension like man developing his body in early times till he became all muscles.
  • The tendency to horizontal extension is to make an ideal a superstition. Nor is the vertical expansion desirable as it will be to indulge impatient unreality.
  • Life sooner or later curbs both the tendencies and compels the direction of growth to be integral.
  • That being the case, we should consciously seek an integral growth.
  • In education, if one teacher for each child is ideal, that ideal will be best served by the mother taking up that role which rules out the mother seeking employment.
  • No mother can be as efficient as a well trained teacher; no teacher can ever be a full emotional substitute to the mother.
  • Not all teachers are affectionate; not all mothers are capable of being trained to be good teachers.
  • Even as a hypothesis, in an ideal society, every affectionate teacher should assume the role of a mother in the school; every capable mother should train herself as an efficient teacher and serve several children.
  • Such an ideal will be in some conflict with the career development of women.
  • A natural balance will be struck by the society unconsciously. Man can try to know that balance and attempt it consciously.
  • One main ingredient of career development is the income through pay.
  • Suppose the society is able to offer the same pay to the teachers as any other vocation offers, such an imbalance can be rectified partially.
  • If a lady has ambitions as an entrepreneur, no pay will ever meet her goal unless she becomes an educational entrepreneur.
  • Tendencies to music, athletics, art, entrepreneurship in women will conflict with her role as a teacher. It can to some extent be counterbalanced by making teaching an art or education a field of entrepreneurship. Music too can be developed at school. But all this is likely to generate the tendency to fads.
  • To design a school where each teacher can be a mother to a few children and each mother can follow her higher inclinations in career, one should be a practical idealist of the Theory of Social Evolution in education.
  • In some of the best schools, we can already see the seeds of a future community - not school - which will combine the ideal and the practice in the best possible measure. It is best attained by our own students becoming teachers and teachers being paid the highest salaries in the country. This is possible when the society recognises that Education is the yoga of the Society.

   88.   Parents are a formidable opposition.

  • Progress is action based on new enlightenment.
  • We often forget that the new enlightenment comes to the old enlightenment.
  • The Old supports the New as the new stands on the old.
  • This support can be in the form of resistance to change.
  • Faster change than what the old can support is not sustainable, which is seen as resistance.
  • Resistance is a greater support for purposes of survival.
  • The measure of support for the new can be better judged by the old than the new.
  • The new has the nascent energy of release and liberation.
  • The old has the strength of being a ballast and knows the extent the new can emerge.
  • The old and the new have their mental, vital and physical forms.
  • Mind resists by ideas, vital resists by the sense of possessiveness, physical resists by actual possession.
  • It is the same mind, vital and physical which court the new, cherishing new ideas, enjoying the possessiveness of the new and relaxing in the relief of giving up.
  • Parents' opposition is formidable because they are closest to the child. The society and school are at a distance.
  • To understand the history of the parents' opposition helps us fashion new ways of cooperation.
  • A greater opposition can arise from the child itself, as he grows older.
  • The opposition from the teacher, parents, child, society can be seen to operate in the measure of attachment, as well as detachment.
  • That is best understood Inside us.
  • Knowing the resistance and measuring the cooperation are the same process with opposite intensities.
  • That knowledge can lead to the strategy of conversion or transformation.
  • We try to tell the parents by the results that by thinking, the boy understands better than memorisation.
  • Move from the results to the process. See where the parents have done so. Your understanding the change in the parent - the process of change - will help him offer greater cooperation. This arises in implementation.
  • Behind the process is essence.
  • Result is obvious.
  • Process demands thinking.
  • Essence needs subtle, causal perception.
  • Process can be seen in the parents.
  • Essence can be seen only in us.
  • Thus we transform resistance into cooperation.

    89.   The school cannot expect the parents to cooperate unless they appreciate the value of freedom for the personality of the child.

  • Unless there is poetry in you, you cannot appreciate freedom.
  • A decade ago a school like ours would not have attracted kids as there are no exams, no homework and children are not taught the alphabet, nor are they taught writing.
  • Now parents can overlook those things as the educational climate is changing. Our children will begin to think on their own which means they won't be able to implicitly accept the ideas of parents. It will be revolting to them and they would not allow the child to be in the school.
  • Very soon, the children will find their parents superstition unfair, tyrannical and unloving. That will alienate them from the children. It is impossible for then to appreciate those behaviours as expressions of freedom. The parents will resent it.
  • Even if the parents do not offer a free atmosphere at home, they must be the ones who appreciate the value of a school that enjoys free atmosphere.
  • Freedom in the atmosphere of the school implies 1) the child accepts any instruction only if he is convinced it is right and fair, 2) he will resist imposition of any traditional way of life, 3) he would be drawn to experimenting in any field, 4) he would expect to be treated as an adult, 5) he would resent any instruction whatsoever, 6) he would not allow any interference.
  • Such an attitude in the children will cause concern in the parent. To them, the behaviour of the child matters, more than education.
  • Parents who value better education more than the unconventional behaviour of the children may acquiesce in the situation.
  • Only parents who can see that the new behaviour of children is an expression of freedom and value it for its own sake will seek our school. It will be rare.
  • As the child ages, expressions of freedom will be more and more ‘refractory'.
  • Our children will ask more questions than other children and will not stop asking questions. Parents will not be comfortable. They will constantly feel challenged. Very few of them will see this as an expression of independence and higher intelligence.
  • When recognised as such, almost all of them will resent such a development. What is appreciated is conventional conformity.
  • In spite of such aspects of freedom, children will exhibit the same behaviour of parents in miserliness, narrow-mindedness.
  • The parents will cherish such behaviour but the school will take steps to disabuse them.
  • The child will find himself in the centre of conflict between the old behaviour of parents and the new behaviour of the school.
  • We must be able to see to which side the child leans.
  • We can give new behaviour to children, but it won't be so easy to unbind the child from convention.
  • We cannot fight the parents. We must be able to win them over.

    90.  This is the most important aspect which we said we cannot handle here.

  • We cannot handle a thing when we don't understand it or when we are not strong. Weakness, lack of organisation, lack of energy, lack of understanding or direction makes us incapable of handling a situation. Begin wherever you are.
  • We are here in the school to teach, not to change the parents who are a unit of society.
  • To change the parents is to change the world. It is not our mission nor job. But without trying to change the whole world in principle and essence, we cannot teach successfully.
  • Parents are not of one description, not of one level. They come from all levels, belong to all types. You cannot choose. Even when you choose, life will conspire to put in the most intractable parent inside your school somehow.
  • You are reaching the parent through the child, the society through the parent, yourself through the society. Remember it is a whole, with the Divine as the centre. You cannot stop at yourself, must go beyond to the Eternal in you.
  • Remember His attitude to kala - Time - a readiness to accomplish instantaneously with the capacity to wait infinitely.
  • The parent - the child - the society - the teacher - the inner person - the person beyond, all are one, united by Oneness on the surface, by Unity in the Being inside.
  • It is an important aspect because it is most formidable.
  • We have innumerable complaints, endless unfulfilled desires. That is what we are. As long as we are that, parents are important.
  • Complaints and desires can give way. Then parents are not a problem.
  • In the measure you are able to see the child in the parent, you are wise.
  • In the measure you are able to see yourself in the parent, you are strong.
  • The same strength, even greater strength, can arise in the measure you are calm and unshaken inside.
  • Your capacity to find strength in your weakness is your real capacity.
  • Spiritually, capacity and weakness are the same.
  • It is that perception that is at the base of spiritual equality.
  • The smile that comes to the face rising from that perception is a Smile that expresses the soul in the eyes.
  • Hence, cheerfulness is a better basis of yoga.

   91.   The point of handling the child in spite of the family is not so much an educational point as a point of confrontation.

  • Educational point relates to exams, scores, teaching methods, content of syllabus and so on whereas the parent is met at a point of his social, psychological behaviour.
  • Education is a conditioning of the surface mind; social psychological behaviours are conditionings of the subconscious.
  • So far, education touches the subconscious of the parents distantly.
  • Now, in this approach, we will come in a head-on collision with the parents.
  • There are areas where the animal in man lurks, as we have seen in communal carnage, battlefront, abandoned ships, famines and so on.
  • It will not be one parent or several parents we will be touching, but the entire society. If touched rightly, the whole Society will endorse our approach; if wrongly, the entire society will rise in revolt.
  • How we will touch the society is determined by what we are - right or wrong.
  • By this we will be moving from the surface being to a greater depth of our being.
  • The anti-segregation riots stirred only the surface of the subconscious.
  • This will stir up the whole subconscious.
  • Before the parent protests, you will see that protest, 1) in the child, 2) in yourself and 3) in the entire school.
  • Reading The Life Divine or any of their works has the same effect, but as we are Unconscious, we are left in a daze. It is luck we forget the reading. Parents are socially conscious. Hence the revolt.
  • You can experiment on yourself. Emotionally make real a statement of The Mother such as 1) Abolish inheritance, marriage, 2) no sin attaches to the body, 3) It is no meditation that is disturbed by meat eating. You will realise how deeply your being revolts. Imagine you give away all your property leaving nothing for your child. Giving up work is more difficult.
  • Suppose the parents offer a greater response, the responsibility to receive that response will be too great to shoulder.
  • The process will be sudden not gradual, when you can hope to adjust.
  • Teachers in a school will offer stiffer resistance than any parent as they are only paid employees.

    92.   The compromise that evolves out of that confrontation is a specialised subject of educational psychology which has a philosophical bearing.

  • Compromise is achievement, an accomplishment in the physical plane.
  • What is accomplished in the physical plane begins in the spiritual plane, appears to originate as thought in the mind.
  • The confrontation is the one between the school and parent, the evolving tip of the social progress and the resisting base of the collective subconscious.
  • What is apparent confrontation is really the seed breaking the sod in the act of sprouting into fresh life.
  • The process of growth is observed by Ignorance as a violent breakthrough, while it is really an effective efflorescence.
  • Take a look at it from the point of view of the parent and the society.
  • The parent sees our school as an opportunity and the school an occasion.
  • To them, it is an opportunity for better education and an occasion to express its ripening consciousness. But they would like the school to keep pace with them.
  • It is in the nature of things that the school will be attractive to both of them only when she is ahead of them, even as the girl's distance makes her attractive to the boy. The boy may foolishly desire her easy acquiescence but he will no longer be attracted.
  • Hence, the appearance of confrontation and compromise. Indeed, it is the process.
  • As elsewhere, its fuller appreciation awaits inside.
  • To repeat, an important truism, all processes - external, inner, creative, productive, etc. - are the same. One sees it best inside himself.
  • To evolve the compromise, to discern it in the class in each relationship is teaching that is spiritual evolution.
  • Hence the significance of the process of creation. In its five or six parts lies the entire wisdom of humanity.
  • We are sorry our rivals ignore us. If our rivals pay attention to us, we forget we will be powerfully distracted.
  • Now that we see the confrontation is the compromise, the honest scruple of defensiveness no longer exists. It behoves us that we should seek the understanding of the parent more and more.

    93.   All these points so far are the dark or ignorant versions of the Process of Creation in the cosmic plane.

  • The atom is a unit of the universal Matter; the act is a vital unit of the universe; Man is the microcosm and so on are all the same or similar kind of ideas. So are the Processes of creation, production, organising, acting, living or any movement.
  • To apply the Process of Creation to human actions of various descriptions is a subtle, maybe a causal process. Human mind is incapable of it.
  • Talents in one area, if they are to be transferred to another area, require an ability. It is an ability of the Mind. Skill saturated with the power of capacity becomes talent. Skill is primary. It can be physical, vital, mental or even spiritual. At any plane, skill belongs to its physical part. Mind alone has the capacity, as it is the essence of the skill gathered. Skill's saturation with the essence of capacity is a vital function. Talent issues out of it. Hence, talent is vital. To shift the essence of a talent to another field is not given to the physical or vital. It is essentially a mental function. Here the Process of Creation is a Supramental function. We can call it a skill of that plane. To bring it down to the mental plane of Ignorance and apply it there, one needs a Supramental ability.
  • Still, it can be accomplished by consecration.
  • It can be done as follows:

          - Create a result by that Process which our prayers are creating all the time.

          - Study the Process in the physical plane.

          - Study all the subtle dimensions to it.

          - Assume behind them the essence of Brahman.

          - Enter into Silent contemplation.

          - Refuse to think or understand or see the visions.

          - Intuition will reveal enough of the higher Process in the lower plane.

          - Find intellectual arguments for them. (This is how Sri Aurobindo wrote the Life Divine from above. We can attempt to meet it half way rising from below)

    94.   For a school that wants to turn out social products, this cosmic Process is beside the point.

  • A social product is the result of a social process.
  • A social process is the physical version of the Process of Creation.
  • As it is a physical process, it can be explained and written down.
  • A strong element is found in the social process as the secret and it is subtle.
  • Social process is productive and does not touch the creative.
  • Subtlety in social process can be inclusive in the physical process of production.
  • Such subtle elements can be reached and expressed by the perfection of the physical acts.
  • When we compare the process by which a genius is born and that by which a leader is born, the latter is not that subtle.
  • Bringing into the school miniature acts of social accomplishments - asking the pupils to function as cashiers in shops, mediators in a dispute and so on - and offering them occasions in their school life to taste the abilities required in society, such an element of subtlety will sufficiently enter.
  • The parents themselves can offer to some extent their establishments for our pupils to be trained.
  • In the West, especially in the USA, much of the training is integrated in the school curriculum. Those parents are invited to participate for one day in the week. Before we think of innovations, we should exhaust emulating the best schools in India and abroad.
  • I am fond of repeating that the social skills required by a senior executive or a national leader are available in essence in the activities of the school. Such an essence will create the potentials we have in mind.
  • To think of a boy or girl at the age of 20 or 25 or even 15 having the capacity of an experienced man is audacious. But, in view of the wider possibilities of the school stretching to the genius and beyond, the social product is a lesser aim.
  • The key lies in the teacher getting at such essential psychological skills.
  • When Lee Iacocca was standing before the American Senate to plead for a ten year loan guarantee for a sinking Chrysler, he said he found the training in Dale Carnegie's institute thirty years earlier coming to his rescue. That is the power of the potential.

    95.   Those who want to create the highest possibility of hidden creativity in the child would do better to learn the Cosmic Process.

  • Parents are content with the actualities found in their children.
  • Generally it is learnt by their observation and is seen in the horoscope.
  • They do not value a possibility, as it is not tangible.
  • An average child is accepted by the parents as such.
  • They endeavour to get the best out of an average child, giving him extra help by way of tuition and saving money to put him in a professional course. It never strikes them that he could become intelligent. It is not in their scheme of things. A higher possibility for them is his becoming an entrepreneur. They feel that, "It is not for my son." That is the lowest of the higher possibilities.
  • Spiritually, the highest possibility is that for which there is aspiration in him.
  • Suppose parents recognise that and aspire for a social version of it, to them this statement is of value.
  • Knowledge of cosmic process will help those who aim at it.
  • The cosmic process has six parts. The Being creates by Real-Idea is an important part for such parents. Real-Idea dispenses with the need to take effort. Its knowing includes that effort.
  • As the school has this higher atmosphere, we often see that what we think happens, which means the thought includes the will.
  • One should take note of it and encourage that vibration to extend to other areas. The results will be amazing. The parent who wants to buy an article such as a bar of soap will find the soap coming to him the moment he speaks of it to the child. Such occurrences are pleasing, and never become a pointer for the parent to know the presence of the atmosphere.
  • The response to that observation should be free from egoistic ambition.
  • One who knows the child like that is the one who can guide the child to higher possibilities, even though he cannot do it to benefit himself. He is like an illiterate father anxious to educate his child.
  • One must train himself to observe all the six aspects of this Process and use them effectively.

    96.   To know the corresponding cosmic vibration to any educational activity is like having a higher social contact.

A high social contact has the potential to raise you to that level, while the least it could do is to offer you prestige and several small conveniences.

Contacts are consummate versions of Compassion.

Compassion, being next only to grace, offers man the opportunity to become God.

Layers of society are insular. They do not permit contact, rather prevent it.

A contact is an opening. Society provides contacts or opportunities for contact at all points, but its maturity depends on the human attitudes.

Knowledge of the Cosmic Process opens up on all sides innumerable opportunities for contact.

That knowledge is there in scriptures. It is in copious abundance in The Life Divine.

Phone connection is such a contact at the physical level.

The system of education brings the low and rich together, opening such contacts.

Trade too offers similar avenues, but the maturing of the contact is rare.

At school, I speak of conscious creation of such contacts, by the above method.

In theory, any educational activity can be related to a corresponding point in the higher realm by one who knows the Process.

Process being the same in both planes - cosmos and education - it is rational that they can be related. One contact is enough to rise. All contacts are available.

For the society to rise sky high, the method is to awaken at all such points of contact and forge ahead.

One who has seen one such contact raising the child to higher consciousness will not question the validity of this method thereafter.

In practice it raises a below average boy to the first rank, as the enveloping unconsciousness swallows the infinite energies that come down.

In society, education, trade, and elsewhere such things occur all the time, but lack of theoretical understanding prevents us from the right understanding.

Those who make conscious experiments with the special intention to test the validity of the above statement will not only understand the truth of this, but will see that many such statements of mine including the above one are gross understatements, that Infinity is true in life and the concept of practical abundance - practical concept of reality - is more than true.

    97.   The higher contact can be on the initiative of the lower whose results will be great but minimal.

Results and initiatives are related by certain laws.

When the initiative is in the reverse, either there will be no results or opposite results.  Minimal results are one possibility.

When the lower is very low, it creates opposite results; more than average, there may be no results.  Minimal results are there when the lower is above average.

Results are not only decided by the relative position, but also determined by the attitude.

The position is physical, attitude is psychological.

The higher scarcely allow the contact to serve any other purpose than what it is meant for - the functional purpose.

At Meryton, the local population was anxious to utilise the ball to get to know Bingley and Darcy. Except Bingley who was infatuated with Jane, all the others take care not to allow the ball to mature into a personal social contact.

Lydia takes initiative. Wickham takes an initiative with Elizabeth to speak ill of Darcy. Collins too takes an obsequious initiative. All initiatives are infructuous. Later Darcy's initiative to propose and Lady Catherine's initiative to snap the ‘engagement' have the opposite effect.

Charlotte's initiative to relieve Lizzy has a minimal effect in the sense she got security through a stupid clown.

    -The lower should take initiative to serve, not to capitalise the contact.

    -Such an initiative should come from above.

    -The role of patience here is paramount.

    -It should be a patience as explained in Synthesis.

    -That initiative which does not disturb the patience is the right initiative.

    -If this initiative gives minimum results, what will yield maximum results?

    -Both the higher and the lower should take appropriate initiatives.

    -The atmosphere must be one of patience or better still equality.

    -Their actions should fit into the atmosphere.

    -The result should not be the aim. The aim should be to do the right thing.

   98.   When the higher contact is by the initiative of the higher, the lower generally resists and rejects.

    -Life has an equilibrium between the higher and lower.

    -Within the range of that equilibrium one can take positive or negative initiatives.

    -Beyond that range no initiatives can be taken.

    -Social existence permits indulgence of vanity or abuses of intimacy within a certain range.    Beyond that the society frowns and prevents one's indulging or abusing. It is true of life too.

Will Durant says civilization is a recent word from 1770. His evaluation is that the rural side produces, the towns raise it to civilized life, and that culture keeps both alive. Maybe he is unaware India was civilized prior to 1770 or he does not consider Indian life then as one of civilization. All progress in civilization arises from the initiative of the higher.

Britain prided itself on civilizing the colonies. Of course there was a dimension of this also in their exploitation of trade. That may not be fully true even in Africa. In India it is a travesty of truth. Sri Aurobindo says Britain was an instrument of Nature to unite India geographically.

Any initiative beyond that range meets with resistance. It is to break this resistance that revolutions arise. From above Grace descends, acting successively as compassion, sympathy and pity for the same purpose.

Pity acts from the nerves, sympathy from the heart, compassion from the spiritual emotion and Grace from faith. They all have educational equivalents. Degree which serves the purpose of employment, may be equal to sympathy. Degree without content is equal to pity. Compassion may be put on a par with thinking and understanding while Grace will be equal to intuition.

Our school and its teachers must be clear about the theory of education. It is primary.

Practice comes next. But to express the theory in practice needs a knowledge of society, the child, the school, and so on.

Still, one needs the psychological links that are attitudes. Freedom is the attitude that is like a crown.

Should there be an atmosphere of freedom, when the higher is Patient, the lower will take initiative to hurt. Give freedom in the class. Measure your strength by the quiet that is obtained. It is the acid test.

Rejection and resistance are the lower consciousness's common sense to maintain security. They too score by resistance.

    99.   If there is receptivity, instead of resistance, each lower version can convert itself into a higher vibration. For example, a dull slow memory can become tenacious and photographic.

What matters is not low or high but receptivity or resistance.

The world is ruled by a force which is limited. In India, it is karma, in the West, it is heaven or hell; in science it is Newton and Descartes. To that world, Sri Aurobindo offers Being. He goes beyond that to the Being of Becoming which means that it is not one's present consciousness that matters but one's present receptivity. And further, it means what was lost was not lost. Once the right attitude and receptivity are there, all that was lost would be restored in full. The loss of earlier times will become the gain of the future.

If this theory and the truth there is conceded, and one is willing to practice it in the school, every defect now can be transformed into its very opposite. To produce socially mature kids, then, will be no difficult task.

The transition, it may be rightly conceded, will be gradual. But it is not so, even if it is partly true. What is gradual is the preparation for the transition. Actual transition itself will be sudden or instantaneous.

In that case, it very much looks like it is lucky to be defective, dull and ignorant.

It implies that all those who are not defective, dull or ignorant will be left behind and have no chance in life.

Here too the above principle - not present status, but receptivity - is true.

In practice, the low will become high, while the high stagnates. Some may fear that high will become low. Again, the rule holds good.

Whether you are high or low or neutral, what matters is not what you are but how receptive you are.

The opportunity for progress is for all. It never pushes one at the expense of another. Recognition of this principle is readiness for evolution.

One will be a great teacher, if only he can accept this principle and finds its truth in the least of activities.

When a child is not attentive, the teacher will understand that this child can give the greatest of attention if only he knows how to approach the child.

It is a knowledge that can bring about transformation.

In fact, it is an attitude, not so much knowledge.

   100.   When the higher initiative is appreciated and welcomed, the results can be far better. For example, a physical skill can be a mental skill.

To welcome the higher initiative is to convert the resistance into receptivity.

The mother takes the initiative to feed the child as well as to discipline it. The child welcomes one and rejects the other. As the child grows up the resistance decreases. The mother too becomes knowledgeable and offers the discipline as enlightenment.

The teacher is a success in the measure the child and the parents seek the newer methods of the school.

This principle appears to be commonplace. But looked at minutely, this attitude opens up a revolution in education, as India that was indifferent to education has now come to value it upto the highest level. After all, this vast change is the result of a very small difference in the population.

To work in each subject, such small welcome changes in 1) the child 2) the parent 3) the teachers and 4) the population, at the level of each class is a monumental study that can revolutionise the whole world.

Small changes in the reading habit result in vast changes over the years.

Now the mother tongue is fully neglected, not realizing that any creative effort must issue out of it. One such change towards teaching the mother tongue will have the salutary effect of creative writers emerging later. Each period which has given numerous creative writers and poets was preceded by an age when the mother tongue was adored with deep sentiment.

Mechanical attitude was valued in USA more than in Europe. The result is USA has excelled in the field of technology. Europe fostered scientific enquiry and produced great scientists, maybe all the great scientists of the past few centuries. Europe became the world in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Education is a field full of social as well as mental power.

It is capable of generating several revolutions of far reaching consequences.

To know that education is powerful and discover the niches where that power abides is no mean task.

To be able to devise strategies to unleash that power and experiment with them in a school is the prerogative Mother's devotees have now.

To know this is a privilege. To do it oneself is a rare service.

    100(a).   If the higher initiative is recognized by the lower as Grace and received with gratitude, the lower instantaneously becomes the higher, that is, a coward becomes a hero and an idiot becomes a genius.

It is the attitude that decides.

Usually, it is a social attitude that the child shares.

In that case if the child should change his attitude, the social attitude must be changed by us. Can we do that? Or the child must be able to overcome the social attitude.

It can be his own psychological attitude, in which case our work is harder still.

The question is, is it possible? Or is it necessary?

If you don't think it is necessary, no question arises. If you feel it is necessary, then the question arises -- how to do it?

The question of the child being compelled to acquire an attitude, especially this attitude is out of the question.

Can we educate the child into this attitude? If so, how?

As long as that education is not another conditioning, it can be done.

One important factor here is the child will be vastly open to any method that is taught. It is a great advantage. Therefore, the teacher must employ far greater caution. Our methods whatever they are must end in the child choosing it on his own. We must offer him all the circumstances that will enable him to see the superiority of his choosing on his own. It is a formidable task.

We must also remember that the child will be more open to Grace than adults, especially the teacher. Actually, the teacher's method begins there. In the school the incidence of Grace will be at many points. They can be used as occasions to show the child the nature of action by Grace.

The child will be able to understand better when we construct a scale of action such as 1) Action by human volition, 2) by human interest, 3) by human habit, 4) by outer physical necessity, 5) social pressure, 6) mysterious action (sometimes grace can act mysteriously), 7) Grace. 

    101.     Education is a process of yoga limited to the society.

Yoga, in the traditional sense, is the scientific discipline of the soul to detach itself from the embodied being and reach the Superconscience for dissolution.

To us, yoga is the evolutionary upward movement by which the evolving soul of the embodied being discovers its transcendence and universality inwardly and finds life outside as the flowering of Brahman for the sake of delight.

Limiting the definition to the society, the transcendence is humanity and universality is the community to which the child belongs.

Education in the traditional sense is to acquire proficiency in a subject so that the boy or girl may become a useful, efficient member of his society.

Our definition includes the above as a part of it.

By our definition, education makes the child find its oneness with the society outside and humanity at large. This means the child is an evolutionary instrument of the society who aids or compels society to evolve to greater heights. To achieve this the boy has to become the embodiment of all the knowledge society has so far acquired.

I have been describing our aim as one to produce mature individuals - a maturity in potential of a 60 or 80 year old person at the age of 15 or 20 years.

This definition will raise it to the full maturity the society has. To be precise, the child's maturity may include the knowledge society will be acquiring in future.

Obviously, such a goal cannot be accomplished by the thinking mind. The kid must rise to the intuitive mind (Refer note on intuition).

When we say the child can become a genius, what we mean is 1) we have the process, 2) the child has the potential, 3) we can make the child taste genius once or a few times. From the first lightning flash to the final consummation, the long distance has to be travelled by a vast cooperation between the school and the parent centering on the child. It cannot be a method enforced on the child. It is a world of joy the child is aided to discover.

Yoga is abridged to genius, which is abridged to the leaders of the society. In practice, schools will be more than satisfied if they excel other schools in the country or even in the locality. That will be an unpardonable tragedy.

Not to impose on the child's personality makes the child a wonder, a giant. That is only the beginning. To let that wonder grow into an eternal marvel  is the possibility.

   102.    The world confines education to the physical, vital, mental planes.

Education is a social conception. Therefore, it cannot be extended to Spirit.

For us, education is a derivative from yoga and the Spirit.

Education of the physical is the process of acquiring physical skills.

In the vital plane, education is learning manners.

Only in the mental plane, education is learning various subjects.

We extend education further as well as try to recast the methods of learning skills, manners and subjects.

To the world results -- skills and subjects -- matter. To us the learner matters. Hence education is a radically different province for us. Our method itself changes education into a spiritual process to an extent.

In the name of manners, the world teaches the young obedience.

On the other hand, what we want the child to learn in acquiring manners is that he is somebody to be reckoned with, whom he alone can take care of. We take care to show him that what is learnt from the others deserts him in moments of crisis. In other words, we try to raise his entire life, to the intensity of a crisis on the positive side.

The spiritual side does not arise after crossing the mind. It is there all the time in all planes. Only that we pay little attention to it. In that sense, we can claim that we endeavour to spiritualise the field of education.

The child himself would happily be a dependant, left to himself. We know that once the child tastes the joy of being a person, the joy of freedom, he will be a different person. At that point the individual is born.

Montessori method is widespread in the West. They succeed in creating such individuals. As their system does not go beyond thinking or understanding, the pupil finds no use for his individuality, as the Indian endowed with spirituality is unable to use it in his grinding poverty.

We - the school and the teachers - belong very much to the old world.

It is no mean job to create suitable teachers. It is not so much the aptitude as the training that works. Not all teachers will give up their adult control over the class, the power of their experience. No one can decondition their minds.

    103.    Progressive schools in this century have tried to liberate education from physical crudeness and vital cruelty, both in the plane of mind. Hence memorization is given the go by and vital submissiveness is at a discount.

Oxford and Cambridge are known to be the best colleges in the world. But in the thirties USA was not heard of there at all except as a part of a barbaric joke. A place which enjoyed such a closed mind was the best in the opinion of the world.

It was believed that children would be spoiled if the rod was spared. But the rebellious nature of the kids who in their tenth year teased new teachers to the point of their giving up the profession was not less. Their Spirit was awake as crude rebellion.

Memorization - Churchill memorized his speeches - was the physical version of education. Spanking till the boy urinated was discipline. What then are their spiritual versions? Spanking was an intense relationship of the teacher and the student. The intensity of the teacher in Freedom should forge such a relationship with the student through the subject. The child's learning with joy should generate such intense gratitude to the teacher. The teacher's interest in the boy should be such that he understands that it was the teacher who forged that relationship with the subject. Memorization is replaced by the memory of understanding, the subject, its ideas, the school, the method of teaching, the atmosphere and ultimately the Personality of the teaching person -- the teacher. Memory shifts its domain.

The pain of spanking is replaced by, better still transformed into, the joy of learning, the joy of the touch of the teacher's unforgettable personality. This is the first step.

Moving from punishment, one should move into reward. Here the reward is that of acquiring knowledge, reward of the inner person growing in light, reward of the individual growing psychologically.

Vital submissiveness becomes devotion to learning. Submission is the result of weakness. Devotion is the expression of equality in emotion and the ability to give one's all to the other who is admired.   

   104.   Having brought it to the plane of mind, in the most advanced centres of education, education today is synonymous with intellectuality. The twentieth century is dominated or it has been attempted to be dominated by intellectuals - Russell, Tolstoy, Marx, Jean Paul Sartre, etc.

The role the intellectuals have played is great. French Revolution had behind it a handful of intellectuals. Marx has changed the whole world to socialism. Still, intellectuality is only a part. Even the intellectuals could not live a full life.

To consider intellectuality as education is a fallacy.

Consider reading. He who reads fifty pages an hour is far better than the one who reads twenty pages an hour. If one can read a hundred pages or even seventy pages an hour, the skill of reading has a tendency to read all day long which will rob one of the capacity to understand.

As those who read a lot have lots more of information, they can never know the loss they suffer from. The opportunity for higher faculties to be born will be lessened.

Overdoing is unwelcome everywhere. But any skill sharpened - as intellectuality is a sharp skill - will have that tendency.

People acquire higher faculties out of vast or wide reading not according to their innate potentialities but according to their present urges -- swabhava. That will be minimal.

It needs no great argument to see that intellectuality is incomplete as a faculty.

For educational institutions to espouse that view is a tragedy.

Intellectuality being a very high faculty makes it lop-sided. Therefore it creates an opposite compensation.

Paul Johnson in his "Intellectuals" brings this out. We understand it is in the nature of things, but we must desist from the sin of conceiving that as a wholesome faculty or a faculty of the whole.

Our school has the opportunity of producing children that are whole personalities. It is no mean task especially when it is to be accomplished by those who are not such personalities. 

    105.   Paul Johnson's book "Intellectuals" conclusively proves that not one of them was rational. All of them were extremely irrational.

It is not rational to expect anyone, however great he is, to be rational. It is rational for one to endeavour to be rational, whatever the measure of failure is.

To be rational means, at least, to act as one believes. The harmony of emotions with rational ideas can be explained as rationality.

The most we can accomplish in the school is to place before the child the goal of rationality and show how difficult it is to be so. When we say that the great intellectuals were not rational, it is not to complain of their shortcoming, but to show the height of the goal. Socrates did the most irrational thing and courted death. Newton had two holes in the wall, one for his cat and the other for the kitten.

Mind that is led by the emotions can never be rational. The goal of Reason is to arrive at the Truth, with no trace of error. Therefore Sri Aurobindo says Reason can arrive at Transcendence; maybe it can also reach the Absolute.

To see an issue from the other man's point of view lessens our irrationality.

To look at the issue from the point of view of the whole takes us closer to Reason.

As long as something in us jars, we can be sure we have a long way to go towards rationality. Cheerfulness is closer to rationality than offensiveness.

Our actions making our immediate environment cheerful declares that it is rational within the scope of that context.

Rational existence is endowed with Self-fulfilment and for that reason expects very little from outside. Rationality makes for the whole weaning itself away from the part that we are.

Rationality makes for success, avoids failures because to be rational is to be harmonious which means his actions will be a success.

An irrational man eats wildly driven by his desire and develops diseases. Thus rationality makes for health, cheerfulness, success.

Rationality offers a greater fullness as rationality means progress towards a greater fullness.

To see the rationale of the contradiction, to be able to see it as a complement is rational in the widest sense of Spirituality. Thus reason, through increasing fullness takes one to the origin, the Absolute, the Brahman.

   106.     Sri Aurobindo calls Reason ego and describes it as coordinating intelligence.

Intelligence understands what it observes. It does not think. For thinking more than two facts are to be coordinated. When it is done it is called coordinating intelligence. He calls it ego and Reason. In Sanskrit it is called buddhi and ahankara.

Most people observe by the senses. Educated people observe mentally. Only mental observation will lead to intelligence or reason.

Mental observation is observation which sheds sense impressions. Should the school teach it to the children, in the social sense we would have out-performed everyone. That comes in the implementation. In this psychological field there are hundreds of such mental faculties, really infinite. A dish of water is crystal clear to us, but not as it would be under the microscope. The sky is clear when empty but not as we observe it through the telescope. We are to give our children a psychological telescope and a psychological microscope - a Psychoscope.

We know that young graduates with excellent social skills make headway. Imagine the scope we open to children with excellent psychological skills. On its basis we can develop spiritual capacities.

Hawkins speaks of a unified theory that will determine our actions. Sri Aurobindo has one such. It needs to abolish the ego. A scientist who abolishes his ego can discover a unified theory. Can we produce children whose egos are shed at some level? Ego can be shed at the levels of manners, behaviour, character, personality and nature. It will produce individuals successful at the levels of society, profession, wealth, nation and in yoga.

Try to see the progression of memorization - understanding - thinking - silent contemplation - vision - intuition in the context of shedding the ego and becoming rational at the levels of manners - behaviour - character - personality - swabhava (nature).

Try to see the syllabus from various points of view, you will get various insights.

Take the child's point of view, the point of view of the class, the parents' point of view, the social point of view, the human point of view and see them in the light of the preceding chains.

Sri Aurobindo has about 1500 arguments in The Life Divine. Collect them and at least 500 of them will be applicable to our school. Let your mind dwell on it.

   107.   He pleads for the evolution of the Supramental Being while the world has not yet developed the rational individual.

That is the opportunity the child has. In a world that adores memorization and scores, we have the capacity to develop a rational individual.

In a world where the best of children have to start as junior executives, the children of our school would be able to join any company at the number two post of that company.

 The evolution of man from the monkey has a similar character.

In that sense, life at all times had these vast opportunities.

The problems of life arise from the fact that one gets fixed to a type and seeks progress in that type which has come to saturation. Suppose a day labourer does not want to be anything else and extends his attitude to say that he would not leave his village and his present employer, life cannot offer him any scope. Orthodoxy, conservation, fixity, tradition and so on strangle a man thus. Compare a chaste woman with a free woman. Chastity in India led to child marriage, child widowhood, Sati and the degradation of a widow to the position of being an untouchable and a criminal. Still, chastity has developed powers to call a halt to the march of Time and humiliate the whims of the petulant Trimurthis. This is an aspect of life rarely appreciated.

Consider in great detail the beings of a rational mental plane and every plane in the range of the spiritual mind. For a poor man over several generations these grades are comparable to the professor in a college, the editor of a journal, a millionaire, the head of a national organisation and so on. While all schools are turning out men who are less poor we can produce students at all these levels.

Should a school like ours work at its best, which means that they use at each stage every opportunity that comes its way, you will see that the chance of the school becoming world famous will be fulfilled in a few years. To become world famous is not so difficult as to maintain it, as it requires nonstop growth, a type of growth which brought the school to this level.

It is important not to get stuck at some level. Any ideal, fad, enthusiasm, aversion can land us in a situation of levelling off.

   108.   It is law and society that compel them to behave rationally.

Social compulsion is law, not culture which is self-discipline.

Society compels the individual physically, brutally and resorts to cruelty and tyranny.

Law belongs to a society that has evolved Mind.

Law is public conscience codified.

Law is a far higher civilized form of rule than the brutal repression of an enraged collective mass that is capable of degenerating to cannibalism. It is said cannibals are rational, affectionate, cultured and sometimes philosophical which only shows the extent of divergence in exactly opposite directions.

As law is an external imposition, the school and the teacher and even the subjects are external impositions on the pupil.

Individual self-discipline and creative mental effort are not for all. Between the two ends a school is to cater to all, but it can always do so without crushing the creative urge or always keeping that door open.

It needs all the cooperation of all the teachers to keep that avenue open. It needs only one teacher to crush it effectively.

It is possible for us to demonstrate in the class how the society can be brutal, how law can regulate as well as how Freedom can permit the individual to strike his own path. The boy can see how a society can foster the genius-potential in him by its liberal attitude. No teacher can learn all these as mere methods. Our school cannot employ child-haters and teach our methods. Nor can we employ ladies who are in their elements in the kitchen and train them. We must get those who have the potential to flower in freedom. No one can recruit them by the methods known to us. Freedom must blossom in you in such a measure that it attracts kindred material. Such material will lend itself to be trained. In a school where the material infrastructure is abundant and children come from the upper middle class, it is easy to mistake the general proficiency of the kids for a higher learning. Appearances are deceptive. No seasonal river can be made perennial unless the monsoon pattern is changed. Create a core of trained teachers, seasoned administrators, wise overall managers and see all of them honour freedom for its own sake. That is the psychological infrastructure which will allow teachers of our requirement to be created.

    109.    A school that produces a complete rational individual is not in existence today anywhere in the world. Doing it will be like founding a university 800 years ago. Schools produce informed people who can think for themselves and endeavour to seek facts.

Rationality is not the goal of our society. Therefore no such school is there.

The goal of the society is accomplishment. It is in the vital plane. Rationality is in the mental plane. Society is not mind centred. Its life reaches mind often. The mind society enjoys is vital mind. Only advanced thinkers have reached the thinking Mind during their moments of thought. Such high flown thought has reached logical efficiency, not always logical consistency nor rational purity.

A school is for the public, not for a few hundred people in the world. Therefore it is not rational to expect such a school to be in existence. Rationality has not yet become the goal of human life. In the highest sense of Reason, the goals of no existing religion or the basis of science will qualify for it till they pronounce on Evil. Heaven and Hell cannot stand the scrutiny of Reason. Karma can, up to the penultimate point, not the last point. The very first attempt at Reason to explain the basis of religion was made by Sri Aurobindo. Neither Shankara nor Vedanta will stand that scrutiny in the final analysis. Modern science is not rational nor does it know the process of its discovery. It does not pronounce on its philosophy. It is popular because of its amazing success, says Russell. Success is no hallmark of Rationality.

Facts are of the sense. Pure fact is the material of science. Beyond seeking pure facts, science has no claim to Reason. Vedanta which pronounced this - that Reason is pure when it sheds sense - discovered Self and through it the world in the inner consciousness. Nor have they gone beyond. Having reached the end of their conquest, they reversed their quest. Instead of declaring the truth of their findings, they took the irrational stand of pronouncing that others' findings are untrue. Biblical stories are fables, not reasonable propositions.

Today there is no Quest for rationality, either in science or religion.

The tremendous progress we witness in the world is due to the tremendous step taken in isolated sectors of knowledge and life.

That is why a school to train reason will be an evolutionary landmark.

   110.   Facts are the raw materials for rationality, not rationality itself.

The UN today conscientiously avoids facts. Nor can fact be discovered by a majority vote.

The media goes after facts when they are sensational. No fact will emerge in a field which seeks sensations, as the definition of a fact is the object reached by the mind devoid of sensations.

Science seeks utility, not pure facts. Process can serve utility. Any process can serve that purpose. Science is not after rational use of raw materials or rational service of human needs. It is after serving commercial needs. And Commerce has not yet risen to Reason.

Religions have no desire to be rational. They find faith satisfying. This attitude of religion has landed them in superstitious faith when they face the final argument of life or spirit.

Even if our school perfects the method of fact-finding positively, it will go a long way ahead of the educational effort of the world of today. Fact-finding can be positive or negative.

To say something is not a fact is a negative method.

To confirm that what we have arrived at is fact, is a positive method.

Reason is to go from one premise to another premise.

This path can be right or wrong.

To arrive at a conclusion from no premise is not Reason.

From one premise to another premise, there is a gap.

This gap is capable of introducing a false step always.

A communication from one to another needs a medium of paper, writing or language and speaking. This medium has a personality. In an irrational society, its personality is irrational or even false.

To use a medium that is not fully rational for the purposes of rationality is a difficult work, perhaps an irrational work.

To keep the child on the path of rationality, on his own, having brought him to it or led him to it is an endeavour schools do not have in view as a goal today.

Hence it will be a laudable effort to practice it.

   111.   At least to be rational one cannot have social superstitions, that is, to wait for an eminent person to approve of it.

The question arises as to how to live in the society, if you are not one with them.

The answer is that now each layer of society lives unto itself without being part of the other layers of the society.

Society will hurt you only when you hate them or feel superior. Otherwise, society will not take notice of you.

Our problem is we are anxious to be part of it and want social approval. That is the real bother. Remember Mother will not give you an occasion to lie if you want to speak the truth. She will not allow society to hinder you and will get everything done for you inspite of the society. One must have Spiritual Courage.

Social superstition is a falsehood one loves to live by.

It will really not be there only when one does not feel the superiority of Truth.

As falsehood is a reversal of Truth, at bottom falsehood is Truth.

It is in Simultaneous Integrality one can see the Truth of falsehood.

One longs for social status, at least through service to the Truth, not realising that that longing converts your truth into falsehood.

One can deceive oneself, not Life.

Life's yardsticks are precise to the millionth of an inch.

To be truthful is to be rational.

One's desire for social falsehood is, after all, the evolutionary aspiration in the plane of society.

Perfection in an imperfect plane will be imperfect.

To be able to see it in the imperfect is to be Perfect in Perfect Perfection.

That is seen in the capacity not to react, equality.

Equality is seen as a benevolent smile of causeless joy.

Joy and cheerfulness in dealing with social falsehood without being tainted by it shows one is anchored in Truth, not in avoiding society.

To be away from society is to be in the witness Purusha.

To be in the marvel, one must be in the society untainted by its unholy touch.

What is unholy becomes holy by the touch of Truth.

   112.   The process of arriving at a rational idea or conclusion is not directly taught in schools and colleges as they wish to conform to the society.

  • Schools teach information, colleges teach ideas, but the pupil gets the information and receives the idea in the measure information matures in his mind. The student is taught language and grammar. The school or college cannot teach him a style or elegance of language. He gets it in some measure from the atmosphere. Ideas are weightier than the elegance of language.
  • Our school can teach ideas directly to the pupils as they are receptive and we are equipped.
  • As capacity is the essence of skill, style of language is the result of linguistic maturity of the mind and culture is the ripened collective product in the individual. Ideas are the products of maturity in the mind.
  • Memory learns information as facts. Imagination projects them into the possibility of the future. Will based on facts arrives at decisions and determination. Idealism goes to create belief, conviction and faith based on those facts. There are various faculties of the Mind - discrimination, suggestion, discernment, judgement, discretion, faith, conviction, and many more things - with each, these facts are to be integrated before these facts mature in the mind as thoughts and further ideas.
  • The child must be clearly shown the difference between facts, thoughts and ideas through striking examples. For example:

          Fact - This is a table.

          Thought - A table is useful for writing.

          Idea - Man uses a table when he emerges out of poverty.

  • An idea differs from a rational idea.
  • The school's anxiety to conform with the society distorts facts by hiding them or twisting them. They draw false thoughts and perverted ideas out of them to fit into the society. We must be in a position to take the child along the right path or see that he himself chooses the right path. At the end, it will be possible for him to see the distortions and perversions of the social opinion. The teacher should not influence that process. It is next to impossible for the teacher not to exercise his power in this area. It is a self-discipline seen only at the acme of human perfection.

    113.   Until the necessity of that freedom is felt and one has the strength not to conform, rationality has no chance.

For a work to be completed, its mental, vital and physical components must be there. Also the society around should permit the work to be done.

Rationality is the highest concept the world can accept today.

It is not something that can be accomplished under duress. It needs an atmosphere of freedom. It is one thing to have a free atmosphere and it is another thing to avail of it. He who feels the need for freedom, will readily avail of it.

Events occur by possibilities, but not only by them. It is human choice that makes the event possible.

The usual choice is to conform. When every school has something -- say a bus - one feels ashamed at not having a bus. Pressure for conformity arises from inside.

Rationality is an endowment one acquires, not a native faculty like memory.

What the mind is naturally endowed with is intelligence and a certain amount of thinking. This thinking works at its own level of one's needs, not beyond that.

For rationality to be born in oneself, one should cultivate it.

Then, we can see there is no urge in us to acquire that endowment.

Impression is the opposite of rationality. It is easy to accept impression, not so easy to cultivate rationality.

To cultivate anything, one must ardently desire it.

These are small but significant issues, whether the extra money is to be used for your dress or your brother's cycle. It may be a controversial issue in the office about a more favourable seat that is not a promotion. Ask yourself at such times whether you want to be rational. If yes, you are a candidate for rationality.

Having done so, see whether your impulses naturally seek a rational solution every time you face a situation. Such seeking is sincere seeking.

When a rational result is arrived at by you, look at your emotions, whether they acquiesce or are warm towards it. If you are warm, you are emotionally mature to arrive at rationality.

As rationality is a rare endowment that eludes all, it is natural we find it difficult to achieve it. We can disregard that truth, as it is the Force that is accomplishing in us.

    114.   The hippie movement, though it was an aberration, represented this line of thought in a way, but was later fully absorbed into the society. This quest is there within the boundaries of social conformity of another type.

  • The quest for the Spirit is an eternal quest. It is unquenchable.
  • The hippie movement was the spiritual awakening in the social plane.
  • In India there has been no strong social awakening till 1980 or 1990.
  • Till then the aim was largely social survival.
  • Since 1980, the goal is for a better life. It expresses in education mainly.
  • In ages past, India had spiritual awakening in the Spiritual Plane.
  • The blossoming of Science in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries was mental awakening in the social plane.
  • The awakening occurs in various ways as, physical, vital, mental and spiritual awakenings. Next it is Spirit in the Mind, Spirit in the Vital and Spirit in the Physical.
  • At any time, as an exception, awakening of any type can occur at any level. It can be an exception or aberration. We must be able to distinguish between an exception and an aberration.
  • The Hellenic culture throwing up Socrates was the Birth of Mind in the Individual. Though it was in the individual, it embraced the whole of the Greek civilization. Shakespeare writing Hamlet was the Birth of Mind. It was the birth of Mind in the entire Europe, in the collective individual.
  • Europe gave birth to science in the 18th and 19th centuries. USA gave birth to scientific technology in the 20th century. Japan imitated  the world technology.
  • Karl Marx was the symbol of the revolt of the Proletariat in the best mind of the age. The Russian Revolution was a country awakening to the revolution of the Proletariat. Karl Marx gave birth to three Communist Internationals or maybe four if we include Trotsky. USSR at one stroke awakened all the European states and USA to the stark reality of Socialism and made the lives of the workers all over the capitalist countries better off than in USSR.
  • We need to trace the Educational Awakening all over the world over the last 5 or 10 centuries.

  115.  Today intellectuality is considered synonymous with rationality.

  • Technically this is true in philosophy.
  • Practically, irrational intellectuals, either by their status or by their own superstitious illusion, render intellectuality unreasonable and infructuous.
  • The base of intellectuality is intelligence.
  • Intelligence is, Sri Aurobindo says, inert. It is the ability to understand, especially one at a time, as the forte of intelligence is focus.
  • Intellectuality is organised intelligence in action.
  • Reason is coordinated intelligence according to Him.
  • Therefore, the above statement appears to be right.
  • There is right thinking which means there is wrong thinking too.
  • While rationality is confined to right thinking, intellectuality embraces both right as well as wrong thinking.
  • Therefore, rationality cannot be synonymous with intellectuality.
  • How do we know what is right and what is wrong?
  • It requires philosophic knowledge and discrimination.
  • Even there, discrimination can be right or wrong.
  • We can offer one practical standard that can serve some purpose.
  • The result we aim at will indicate how right we are in respect to it.
  • Result is a pragmatic standard, not an ethical standard.
  • Without the result, there is no issue for us to discuss.
  • The question, for us, is how to create this end in the child.
  • History and biography are of great value here.
  • Our understanding of them is of significance.
  • We are not here to pass on our understanding to the kids.
  • Without the right understanding, we cannot pass on to the children the capacity for original understanding.
  • Once the right understanding is there, we can see how it developed in us.
  • Our capacity to transmit our capacity to understand on our own is the acme of teaching, as it is easy to detach from right knowledge.
  • Wrong knowledge is passionate, will not easily detach.

   116.   Intellectuality is a process which when rational, becomes rationality.

To draw a conclusion from a premise is to be reasonable.

One can so draw a right conclusion or wrong conclusion but still it will be rational.

It is to argue that one can be rationally right or rationally wrong.

The seat of the government is the capital of a country.

The Dutch government is seated in The Hague.

To say that The Hague is the capital of Holland is only a partial truth.

Holland has two capitals, Amsterdam and The Hague.

The point at which a great rule gives way in practice is a device of Nature to reveal that life is not a closed system and there is always more than meets the eye. The boundless finite cannot become Infinity.

Life is greater than the rules that govern it; mind is greater than Life in its vast flourishes and finally, on a similar scale, Spirit is wider than the mind. In integral yoga we always have one more dimension - the Supermind.

It is worth noting that while reason can reach the transcendent, intellectuality, at an early stage, must give way to intuition.

The scope for intellectuality is narrow; that for intuition is wide.

Reason, devoid of sense, can mature into intuition. Intellectuality does not have that scope.

This is so as the goal of Reason is to arrive at error-free Truth while the goal of intellectuality is to comprehend what is presented.

Reason, intellectuality, intuition, Truth can be received by students only as words or fads emanating from the school. That will be self-defeating.

If it is ever possible, we can Fully Avoid using those terms and give them the academic experience of these concepts. It is a formidable task. If the school aims at it and achieves it, in the final classes the student will label different concepts accordingly. That is the very best that can happen.

Here, it is easy to see the gigantic task of training the teacher upto this mark.

Is it possible ever to realize that ordinary teachers trained by us here are better than well-groomed academic products from outside?

   117.   Politics is full of falsehood. One can expect only the academic people to be rational. The one dominant quest honestly attempted today by the academia is to arrive at a new Opinion and proclaim it to be rational. Opinion is personal and by definition irrational.

  • Opinion, habit, construction, prejudice and idea are the deficiencies of the mind according to Sri Aurobindo.
  • Knowledge of the mind about a person or an object is obtained by the mind, rather the being, identifying with it. Idea is mental, that is, partial, as mind is a part of the being. Prejudice is obviously a wrong opinion. Habit and construction are of the physical part of the mind. Opinion is the judgement of the Mind of a person or a thing with respect to itself. That being the definition it is irrational to begin with.
  • An opinion becomes of value, acquires the appearance of value and is considered reasonable as it is new. Newness is not enough to be rational.
  • As every man considers himself of value, he attributes to himself every sacred value. Rationality is one of them. When a man understands Reason to be of value, he thinks he must acquire it. Having thought so, he believes he has it. To be socially alive or psychologically alive, man needs self-confidence, no matter how illusory it is.
  • Politics is organised falsehood, as the man who seeks power without deserving it seeks what is false in spite of knowing it to be false. He values the power in spite of its falsehood. A conscious seeking of falsehood makes it organised falsehood.
  • To be false out of necessity is unconscious falsehood. To seek falsehood as a conscious necessity is to organise life on the foundation of falsehood. Hence, falsehood gets organised at the foundation.
  • Academic people have no power to seek. They are under the illusion that their quest is for Truth. This is mentally false. Mind being a higher instrument than the vital, the field of falsehood, mental falsehood is more difficult to break.
  • Academic people are of the Mind, while politicians are vital. Below the vital is the need of the body to survive or exist. Its truth is the truth of existence. The truth of bodily survival is a base, coarse falsehood in terms of the pure existence.
  • To offer the child the experience of Truth at all these levels and give him the needed discrimination is  no mean job.

   118.    While this is the state of education after the World War, what is open to the human mind, especially in India, is all the eight levels of knowledge above mind - the silent Higher Mind, the visionary Illumined Mind, the Intuitive Mind of the yogi, the Overmind of pure knowledge, the Supermind, the Consciousness and Existence and the Force of Consciousness (Supramental Force) that has descended on earth in 1956.

  • Education is brought to the door of the common man, poor or rich.
  • An opportunity is what exists in one's environment. The above 8 levels exist in India, not elsewhere.
  • An opportunity becomes the potential when Man is aware of it. Awareness makes for mental potential. Capacity raises it to vital potential. Exertion converts the potential into actualities.
  • It is choice that makes the potential actual.
  • The school brings to the community what is not there and creates the social potential.
  • Freedom in the working of the school makes the social potential the child's mental potential.
  • Encouragement to think makes the mind come into its own.
  • The child's choice gives the mental potential the chance to become vital.
  • The teacher's willingness not to impose himself on the child, makes the choice a free choice.
  • Though all the 8 levels exist in India, the West by its mental curiosity has released a quest that achieves more at the mental level even without the opportunities at the 8 higher levels.
  • When the Indian child is on the path of the western child, the natural tendency is not to follow the opportunity of the 8 higher levels, but to run after the social opportunity of the world where the West and USA are the leader.
  • The choice is to be constantly exercised.
  • It must be exercised on its own.
  • Only an awakened Individual whose awakening is stronger than the attraction of the social conformity can do that.
  • It is for the school to offer an atmosphere which can offer that awakening in the child.
  • The horse is brought to the water. He will drink if there is inner aspiration.

   119.    The Force is helpless when the Mind is closed, as in the West, and works in the reverse, seeking consciousness in Matter.

  • A beneficial Force works and yields results according to the context, not absolutely.
  • This is a universally true law.
  • The greater the receptivity, the greater the result.
  • Where the receptivity ends, the Force is not only not received, but resistance develops.
  • The law of accomplishment works in grades and then in the reverse.
  • Science, having started in quest of knowledge, gradually developed almost all types of superstition and now has reversed its original role in trying to discover consciousness in Matter.
  • It is a sad commentary of evolutionary affairs that the Force, whichever way it works, works for the best.
  • While the Force is not fully received, the wasted Force goes to prepare Matter to receive the Force in future.
  • The various ways in which results issue from Force is a study all by itself.
  • When there is no expectation, the full results precipitate at once.
  • Expectation delays.
  • Higher expectation brings in a promise or empty promise.
  • Intense expectation brings in disappointing results.
  • Energy that becomes expectation produces opposite results.
  • Most of these belong to the subtle planes.
  • Some of them belong to the causal plane.
  • Viewed from the point of the seven ignorances, the gradation of results, no result, opposite result all explain.
  • In the seven ignorances, we see the structure of the universe.
  • Knowledge of the Process of creation gives greater clarity in these things.
  • Our life is so constituted that in any act, one can see all this.
  • In education as well as in health, this law emerges in precision.
  • Progress and dissipation are two ends of existence. Knowledge of the intermediate grades helps one understand this law better.

   120.    As democracy saw 400 years ago that each man has the full right to become the head of the nation, this Force in 1956 recognised that any one who has an open mind and recognizes this Force can be touched by it in the measure he is receptive.

  • Democracy gave the right to vote and extended it to the right to rule.
  • This Force gives the right to be Peaceful and Lucky and extends it to the possibility of becoming God.
  • In the field of education, the corresponding boons are freedom to think and capacity to be a genius.
  • Science has been discovering greater and greater energy such as electricity, magnetism, and nuclear energy. Now it is poised  to tap infinite energy behind creation.
  • In life one is under the influence of the family, neighbours, society and life and which are seen and felt as family affection, good behaviour, law abiding citizen and karma. The Force releases one from biological attachment, fear-ridden behaviour, and fate. One enjoys true affection, freedom in the society and Mastery of Life that is eternal luck.
  • In one's personal relationship, you are dominated or you oppress the other. The Force renders that relationship one of free exchange of energy.
  • Democracy has acquired countless aids to grant the right to the citizen. Election, Parliament, Constitution, Law, Judiciary, Administration, free market, abolition of serfdom, printing, coinage, banks that multiply money ten times, universal education, abolition of cruel punishment, equality between classes and caste, newspapers, taste of science and another thousand institutions, organisations, attitudes, customs, usage and procedures, each of which took a long time to be shaped.
  • Our high goal in education should thus be preceded by: 1) knowledge that no child is dull, 2) that attention and affection can teach more than teaching, 3) that the child should learn on its own and not be taught, 4) the parents' aspiration for free education, 5) a society that values a free individual, 6) abolition of memorisation, exams, teaching and schools and colleges, 7) abolition of punishment, 8) a physically clean society, 9) a society of self-giving citizens, 10) absence of corruption, 11) absence of road accidents, 12) absence of riots, 13) abolition of weapons in the hands of the individual, 14) reducing military expenditure to policing, etc.
  • All these are utopian, but teachers who symbolize all these ideals are not utopian. The school should uphold the future values of the emerging society.

   121.   Receptivity, sincerity, opening and surrender are its watchwords.

  • All great revelations initiate social movements and organise religion. They initiate symbolic rituals, the public conscience that values them, the personal conviction that its adherence is good and that neglect of it is evil, an emotional endorsement of it and a physical sensitivity that fosters it.
  • Alertness for survival, loyalty to the family, sensitivity to caste, readiness to die for the country are the expressions the above find.
  • We see how those sensitivities are receptive to the social values, how the sincerity to the clan helps one survive, how the opening to keep up with the Joneses eggs one to progress and finally how his surrender to karma keeps him going as a social individual.
  • Similarly, all man's existence is abridged into these four attitudes. Further, we see surrender is inclusive of the preceding three.
  • Not only good people but all criminals live by these values.
  • In a child, one can see how all these four attitudes are at their maximum, centred around its biological survival, vital exuberance and mental spiritual obliviousness.
  • To upgrade the biological survival into social survival, vital exuberance into vital expansiveness, obliviousness of higher values into awareness of those values, is our job.
  • When any one of the first three are developed to its fullest possibility, it will serve all our present purposes, as each one of them is so powerful. It can be best appreciated by one who has done it himself. The two principles of 1) maximum utilization and 2) exhausting our energy, though both are two-fold-expressions of the same attitude, together serve to express all these four attitudes.
  • There are momentous questions. Receptivity of what, opening to what, sincerity to whom and surrender to which ideal?
  • Our goal may be great. In practice, it is receptivity to all the opportunities offered by the Force through the society to your most developed personality. We are expected to be sincere to our highest values. The opening spoken of is an inner opening to outer social environment. Surrender is of the active mind to the Silent Spirit.
  • Obviously, it calls for the abolition of resistance, insincerity, closed mind and assertion.
  • Abolition of the negative does not qualify one to enjoy the positive.
  • As one takes the effort to abolish, so one must endeavour to cultivate the positive.

   122.   I am taking all these words in a tiny sense. If human evolution is on a scale of one to thousand, a man who is in mind is at point 3.

One knows the position of the earth - in size - in relation to the universe. Man's mind is similarly related to the Reality. Hence, the vast progress we can make is after all a move from 3 to 4. It is so microscopic.

There is more. That progress is not only infinitesimal, but it is no move from the negative to positive, as there is no negative on that scale.

It is for this reason Genius, which is very far away, is really not far away.

Behind this lie the two sides of the Truth.

--     The closest is far away.

--     The most distant is outside the door.

  • What makes the closest far away is an unwillingness to see, a certain closed mindedness, an unconsciousness.
  • What makes the distant close is receptivity, openness, sincerity, surrender.
  • Surrender is a mountain. For building our house we need only a few cart loads of stone and mud.
  • In the Agenda Mother speaks of a man asking to switch off the sun, pointing to a street light.
  • If the midnight is bright before Spiritual darkness and midday is pitch dark before spiritual light, we have an idea of things.
  • Accept Mother for Her sake, not for results, then one will expand into the size of the universe.
  • Identify with the ego selfishly, then you will be thirsty standing on the bank of a river.
  • This view gives any teacher a vast opportunity to produce several geniuses in spite of her not being a genius.
  • The capacity to expand into infinity and to shrink into the infinitesimal is the capacity of Brahman.
  • This offers us a method to become Brahman.
  • A scale for any work is capable of revealing the full potential as well as revealing One's own real position.

   123.    If the top thousand schools in the world are now taken for evaluation, they will all fall into category No.3, divided into a hundred levels. They will occupy places 80 to 100 in the mental level which is No.3 on our evolutionary scale.

  • A scale will reveal our true position. While we evaluate ourselves on a rightly constructed scale, our dreams or impressions are heavily damaged. One who, in his modesty rates himself at 9 out of 10 and desists from 10 will be proud of his humility. On a truly constructed scale he will find himself between 0 & 1, maybe at 9.
  • There was an English lecturer popular with his students. The legend among the students was that the lecturer's answer papers were preserved by the university for their high brilliance. Someone from England came to evaluate the staff members. Several staff members participated in an evaluation. No one was selected. Admiring students approached the visitor and asked about the famous staff member. His reply was that that member had never entered the scale! As a student he was known to be dull, and there was general disappointment that the course had sunk so low that this dullard too could join. Impression is different from reality, maybe its opposite.
  • Scales of talents differ from scales of achievement.
  • Talents are partial.
  • While several talents or skills are present, if the central coordinating personality is missing on the scale of accomplishment, the score will be zero.
  • Wholes expand in concentric circles.
  • Health is a whole even as common sense is.
  • Accomplishment is a whole that is high on the scale and at the bottom of which is survival.
  • Leadership is a greater whole of which accomplishment is a part.
  • Social skills can qualify for a part as well as a whole.
  • Maybe it is a part that has acquired the status of a whole in the category of parts.
  • Acts are always whole whether they are parts or wholes.
  • In a higher reckoning, accomplishment itself can be a part.
  • Physical accomplishment gives wealth. Psychological accomplishment brings leadership.
  • The accomplishment that gives wisdom is of the entire Personality.

   124.    A precocious child, a prodigy, may touch 4 occasionally when they are in their elements. Genius is far beyond.

  • Everest is the highest point on earth. But how much difference will it  make when the distance to be travelled is to the sun?  Beyond that lies the universe.
  • Similar gaps exist between a prodigy, Genius and the Spirit.
  • It is true the gaps are wide.
  • It is equally true that these wide gaps can be closed.
  • When any gap can be instantaneously closed it does not matter whether the gap is small or big.
  • In all these gifted children the endowment is at birth, that is, from inside and not from outside from the environment.
  • Do we have access to the inner regions of a child to create these endowments?
  • Any school, however high its organisation is, has no access to the inner life of the child, as a school is an external organisation.
  • His own capacity to think is an inner endowment.
  • These are no two opinions on whether a child's thinking faculty can be stimulated or created when it is absent.
  • Give him the necessary inner aspects to think and he will start thinking.
  • We withdraw from imposing ourselves on the child and the presentation of the problem makes him think.
  • A precocious child draws upon abundant inner mental resources which astonishes observers.
  • Thinking draws upon the mental ability of the child to think.
  • When the resources of thinking and understanding are exhausted, the child will come upon the abundant inner mental resources which are in every child and seen only in the precocious ones.
  • Good schools offer an excellent outer environment.
  • Better schools offer an excellent inner environment.
  • Inner environment is planted on Self-reliance, Silence and silent contemplation.
  • Silence is given to the child if he is presented with a problem he cannot handle and the teacher does not impose on him. It may not be Silence but a stunned state of mind which is a basis for Silence.

    125.   So far, the world knows only of genius in one field, not of one who is a multiple genius. Only in Leonardo da Vinci, we see genius extending beyond one field.

  • We see politicians, administrators, industrialists, and academicians confining themselves to their fields most of the time. Rarely do they cross over to the other fields.
  • Modern politics has seen comedians becoming ace politicians, professors becoming Presidents and so on.
  • Can someone be several of the above things? Theoretically, it is possible. Practically the world has not witnessed anything more than an inkling of it.
  • Sri Aurobindo says a yogi must be able to turn his hand to any field if he chooses.
  • Give the child the yogic force or allow the child to release the yogic force from inside and it can exhibit those capacities.
  • In ordinary language, Yogic force means the force of the child when he is utterly true in an atmosphere of Truth.
  • The school provides the outer atmosphere of Truth.
  • The child, on his own has no pronounced tendency to lie. The outer atmosphere will stimulate the native trait of truth that the child has.
  • The inner potential of truth is the objective state of the Spirit which is subjective.
  • Living by truth alone helps the child to move from the objective to the subjective state.
  • The Spirit is the potential of the multiple genius.
  • To create these potentials is not a work the world knows now.
  • All the capacities we now have - the professional capacities in various fields - are given to us by colleges, whereas 300 years ago an engineer or a doctor was someone who had native aptitudes. Today we have thousands of them. Genius is too far an ideal now, as a scholar was 500 years ago.
  • Society now has all the various ways needed to abridge time which were absent 500 years ago. Using those implements properly and their inner counterparts, our project has a fair chance to succeed.
  • As the Spirit in Mind and Life is the possibility now, the Spirit that is a part itself has become otiose.
  • With the external technological instruments, and the inner Force in the atmosphere, this hope is not unfounded.

    126.     A child till he or she is 30 or 40 is an extension of the parents directly, except in matters where he is personally touched or socially influenced. Even there, one can see the ‘Parent'.

  • A child is the biological extension of the parent. Even the voice is inherited.
  • The only thing in the child that is not of the Parents is what his soul brings from the previous birth or births. Even this soul-inheritance is couched in the social, physical environment conducive to its growth. So, the ‘Parent' is in tune with the requirements of the soul-growth.
  • The Spiritual evolution or growth of the child is couched in an atmosphere which he has to overcome.
  • The growth of the Spirit is the capacity to overcome the biological environment.
  • Man comes to love the environment and inheritance which is given to him to overcome.
  • This love is Ignorance, this overcoming is knowledge.
  • This Ignorance is given the name of tradition, loyalty, as well as duty.
  • This knowledge is called the call, aspiration, His appearance in the heart as a brilliant real figure.
  • All social progress through organisation, education, technology, science, war, etc. is an expression of this call in the collective.
  • Their expressions in the Individual are capacity, mental awakening, efficiency, curiosity, struggle for existence, etc.
  • The love of knowledge always exceeds the Taste for Ignorance.
  • The taste of Ignorance becomes occupation as well as preoccupation.
  • Man the individual has to accept the organisation, education, technology, science, and war for his own progress and at a further stage endeavour to overcome them in favour of freedom, knowledge, aspiration, emergence of the mental Psychic, strife of life.
  • In the physical man it is civilisation, in the vital man it is Romance, in the mental man it is the birth of the Sastras, in the spiritual man it is tapas and in the Spiritual evolution it is the Psychic Being simultaneously moving towards the Ishwara and the Supramental Being, the Psychic Being of the physical.    

    127.     No parent who does not recognize the complete necessity of full deconditioning of his mind, that is, shedding all social, psychological, personal, religious superstitions can hope to create a rational mind in his child.

Deconditioning of his own mind is the deconditioning of the mind of the child.

One can know the depth of conditioning if he tries to walk backwards, a feat he cannot perform. Can one forget hunger?

A rational mind needs no action of senses on the mind. Mind gets it in dhyana when it is able to see directly without the aid of the eyes. And such a freedom from all the senses one must have in waking consciousness.

Now we see that our mind acts, thinks, thinks rationally - ratiocinates.

Mind acts when the mental substance urges.

It thinks involuntarily, that is, unconsciously.

We think rationally when we actively try to avoid sense impressions. It is not conscious thinking. Conscious thinking is subtle and silent as the Muni does, as Newton apprehended the falling apple.

Higher Mind and Illumined Mind can be called the seat of conscious thinking.

A rational mind in the parent does not ensure the same in the child, but facilitates its creation.

An irrational mind in the parent, we can say, helps by contradiction.

To know the grades of occupation helps.

The grades are endless.

What Man calls the greatest progress is to physically go to the mountains, grow long hair, wear patch work and drop out of studies. What does all this come to? All these show a physical awareness to move away from the society, as these are physical expressions. They all have a negative connotation, as seen in drug addiction.

How quickly all the hippies were reabsorbed by the society we know. But all the hippies retained their inner awakening and lived up to it in their career. Thus the institution of marriage has been undone. But property and inheritance are intact. Mother says they will go in 100 years. Can we tell any devotee or sadhak that property must be abolished? It is entrenched so deep.

    128.   There are great souls who can directly receive it from above. They are not our audience.

  • The school is there to get those who cannot directly receive.
  • The Force comes directly to those who are great.
  • Education indirectly brings the Force to those who are incapable of receiving directly.
  • That they are children makes the resistance less and receptivity more.
  • The strategy is to know the measure of effective transfer.
  • Awareness of our transfer is awareness of the worker. In ‘The Mother' He says the worker should give way to the instrument.
  • The whole field of education is strewn with knowing the child, knowing oneself and the subject taught.
  • Teaching hieroglyphics is exciting.
  • Learning them and being able to write their names in it is an extraordinary experience.
  • It can make the children wild with joy. That makes them taste blood.
  • That can truly make them wild, out of control.
  • The teacher cannot shout at them.
  • The children have released nervous energy.
  • The nervous energy of the children cannot be controlled by the nervous shouting of the teacher.
  • The teacher's mind has to have a non-nervous mental energy that is Quiet.
  • To such a Quiet, the children will happily respond.
  • The children grow with the teacher. It is a simultaneous growth.
  • Such a growth will be in grades.
  • As the teacher moves up, the children will move from boisterous show to a brow-beaten Quiet to a happy, voluntary Quiet.
  • The school should work out these stages in the children, the subject, and the teacher's attitude.
  • Their correspondences must be fixed.
  • All this cannot constitute a fixed method into which one can be trained.
  • It can be a guidance, not a training.
  • Training is for Methods; Guidance is for the soul that shapes.
  • As they are endless, a collection of such experiences will be of immense value.
  • The teacher must grow into it.

   129.    We shall for the present forget the great souls, the geniuses, the gifted, the prodigy, the precocious and confine ourselves to ordinary children.

  • Not only are children ordinary, but the teachers, the management and all concerned are ordinary. No one anywhere is gifted.
  • As to methods, everywhere they are the same, whether it is for the ordinary children or the gifted.
  • Spiritually, the embodied spirit is endeavouring to secure fresh experiences of all possible kinds. To the Spirit there is no difference in the experiences, as each experience is a whole, a whole universe.
  • If that truth is conceded, how do we put it into practice here? We may then ask what difference is there between the child learning on its own and the teacher teaching it. In the final analysis, there is none. All the differences are also there. To know all the differences in an experience where there is no difference is to know the Brahman in both.
  • To treat the ordinary child as a gifted child is to have the poise of Brahman.
  • The issue as we see it is how the ordinary soul can become the great soul or how the ordinary child can become the gifted child. If there is a method for that, that concerns us. To do that one needs to know both - how the gifted child has become gifted and how the ordinary child remains ordinary. To know the constitutions of both and how they came to be so constituted is to know the process of human knowledge and the structure of the human brain.
  • Externally the changing circumstances brought about a change in the brain and the mind. Inwardly it is the aspiration that changed. Spiritually, the consciousness that needed an instrument created one for it.
  • Knowledge of these processes becomes power in us when our emotions endorse the knowledge.
  • That power which issues out of that knowledge can be reduced to a method that will serve our purpose.
  • Any Method issues out of the appropriate power.
  • Power is the will of knowledge.
  • As we need to change the lower into the higher, we need the knowledge of both.
  • Mind can have the knowledge of one alone.
  • It is the Supermind that is capable of the knowledge of both.

    130.    As any common man can use the most modern gadget without knowing how it is produced, every child in the school can receive the benefit or the result of using these higher forces. The school, the management and the teachers must know that this is a simple spiritual truth, as the fact that any man can use the TV, is a technological truth in the society.

  • Truth has several versions. Behind a physical fact lies a vital fact and a mental, psychic truth.

Drinking milk is good for health. It is a truism of life that one who drinks milk from another cannot harm him as can be inferred from the story of the thief who refrained from stealing after drinking milk in that house.

Spiritually milk is amritam and the deity presiding over milk is Lakshmi.

  • The methods we follow in our school will have the material, physical result of producing extraordinarily capable youngsters.
  • Vitally they will be incapable of jealousy, competition and other vitiating vital expressions.
  • Mentally they are capable of crossing the frontiers of knowledge on their own.
  • Spiritually they are the potential Geniuses.
  • The conviction of the parents of this truth and truisms will go a long way in exploiting the higher potentials.
  • No government scheme brings out results. One important reason is lack of conviction. Neither the person who creates the report nor the ones who implement it have any faith in it.
  • Once the parents believe in a school, they are willing to pay for a good education. Doctors are paid well because the patients and the doctors believe in the system.
  • Belief that is mental is essential and it can mature into faith.
  • Even the least result of our scheme is a big achievement in our society.
  • If our school products are found to be good students by virtue of being our students, we will be creating a new tradition in education.
  • Some of our students becoming research scholars and working on the frontiers of knowledge will be great, a feat that is now achieved only by world famous colleges.
  • Can we think of one of the pupils taking up the 4000 theorems of Ramanujam and fully discovering him and explaining him to the world?
  • Apart from faith, the School needs an organisation suited for higher education of higher values. 

   131.   The one thing demanded of the user is he should buy the TV, know how to operate it. He should not say

I cannot bring myself to look at a TV.

To look at a TV is to be disloyal to the photo I used all these days.

TV may give a shock and I may die.

There are too many wires. It is cumbersome.

I lose my purity if I view the TV.

All intellectuals of the world in the field of educational rationality speak exactly like this. Mother says intellectuals are stupid.

We do not consider here those who speak like the above. This is meant only for these who seek it.

Once they seek it, there is a lot more to be done at every stage.

Having sent the child to our school, they should not neutralize what we do here by sending the child to private tuitions.

It is impossible for parents not to impose their values that are exactly the opposite to the values taught in the school.

Even to send the child punctually is a feat in India. Not to take the child away to various social, religious functions thus making him miss a good number of days at school is a greater feat for the parents. The school will not impose those conditions on them, but for them to religiously adhere to the school's schedule requires an immense discipline on their part.

Though they agree to no exams, their mental reservations are a bar to our work.

Surely, they will think in terms of whether they are getting their money's worth. It will nullify the work of the school by 75%, as the school works to build a higher mental attitude in the child.

It will be good if the family reinforces the work done in the school, but that is a farfetched hope. We can try it with some parents.

Suppose we lay emphasis on the mother tongue, it is difficult to secure the approval of the parent as Tamil learning is at a discount just now.

We cannot interfere with parents, but the great results for our work at school must be made possible only by the family.

The varieties of superstitions of the parent must be met with to be believed.

    132.   To let the Force inside us, we must be devoted to Mother. As we cannot bring ourselves to break the moral code or social norms, we must be incapable of breaking any code of Mother.  That is the very first step.

Social norms are powerful. We dare not break them. We think that Mother's codes are to be appreciated but not followed. We are social beings, not beings of Her consciousness.

One is age-old; the other is new-fangled to which we pay lip service.

One is like the skin; the other is like a dress.

Even at the physical level, one is capable of ten times the present work we do. Servants and labourers do that much forced by circumstances. Soldiers run twenty miles under the threat of the bayonet, and are lashed a thousand times. They do not die, but faint. The physical energy can willingly release that much energy when the Mind does not interfere and the vital dominate. This is human physical energy, not the Force acting in the body. The primitive man and the animal express that daily. The asuras release endless vital energy that conquers an army. The prodigy and the precocious child express the native energy of the Mind untrammelled by opinion or habit. Genius receives the Touch of the Spirit.

It is not difficult to distinguish between 1) Mental energy that is channelled by habit, construction, opinion, prejudice or Idea and 2) the unfettered native energy of the prodigy and 3) the genius who is touched by the intuition of the Spirit from above. What Sri Aurobindo offers is not all these or any of these. He speaks of Brahman emerging in Nature, the finite expressing the infinite, Perfect Form that is the Power of Brahman, his Multiplicity, the ultimate Marvel for which He created the cosmos and the Universe.

We human beings, are capable of receiving it, though we cannot rise to it. As we could not raise ourselves to it, He brought the Force down. Now we are capable of receiving it. There is a condition. It is one must receive Only that Force. The force is incapable of mixing with human energy at any level all of which are partial falsehoods. This Force enters that falsehood, touches the buried Being, lets it transform in a trice the outer falsehood into Truth.

The choice is ours and ours alone. There is no one or nothing that influences that choice. Pure choice receives Pure Force.

     133.    As I am confining myself to education which covers 80% of the yoga, I am not straying into yoga or philosophy.

  • The difference between yoga and education cannot be sufficiently explained, as one is of the collective and the other is of the Inner Individual.
  • Some distant analogies are 1) Salaried employment and self-employment; 2) A planet and the Sun around which it orbits; 3) A free slave and the freedom for the slave; 4) Freedom from the comfort of abundant wealth and Man possessing money; 5) Sir C.P.Ramaswamy on the Viceroy's Executive Council and the present Finance Minister; 6) Social freedom and freedom from the society; 7) Cloistered virtue and value that is spiritual skill; 8) Human love and divine love; 9) Ache suppressed by pain killer and pain-free health; 10) Strength that comes from exercise and convulsive energy; 11) Professor and a scholar; 12) Scholar and a thinker; 13) Thinker and a genius; 14) Moksha and Marvel; 15) Scientist's insight into cosmology and the Saint's vision of creation; 16) Bingley's infatuation and Darcy's love; 17) Elizabeth's acceptance of Darcy and her attraction for Wickham; 18) Irrigation and rainfall; 19) Biological attachment of the mother and her love of Self-giving; 20) The smooth flow of prose and poetic majesty; 21) Alexander Pope and Shakespeare; 22) Human hero and a vibhuthi like Shivaji; 23) An efficient CEO and a founder of a company; 24) Apple and Mango; 25) Pot-boiler and creative work; 26) Artificial light and sunlight; 27) Excellent cooperation of an efficient man and the complement of a woman in love 28) Desire and divine love; 29) Security of marriage and safe residence in eternal Romance; 30) Government's development Plan and Revolution of Rising expectation; 31) Impression and Reality; 32) Rationality of selfishness and Rationality forced from the senses; 33) Imitative energy like that of Japan and the original energy of USA; 34) Selfishness and Selflessness; 35) Selfless service and Self-giving joy; 36) Static Bliss and active Delight; 37) Commercial service and commendable inner impulse for service of Man; 38) Truth compelled by circumstances and utter spiritual Truth; 39) Fact and Truth; 40) Money and Wealth; 41) Wealth and status; 42) Aristocracy and Royalty; 43) Physical exercise for health and physical exercise because you love it as an expression of energy; 44) Academic intelligence and native perception; 45) Glut in the market and natural abundance; 46) Efficiency and innovation; 47) Exertion on the part of our faculty and inspiration; 48) Hatha yoga and Jnana yoga; 49) Jnana yoga and Raja yoga; 50) Raja yoga and Integral yoga; 51) Moksha and Transformation.

    134.      We can devise the procedures for reaching our goals only when a person is a devotee in the Mother's sense of the word. As a TV owner can view any channel, any cassette or any CD, they are simple at that level for that purpose. To discuss it earlier is not only premature but pointless.

We now have a school peopled by kids and teachers, not trained teachers for our purpose or kids from home that are anxious to receive knowledge.

It is like an electric connection that is yet to come. If there is no TV now, or people do not know what TVs can offer, there is no question of the members of the family knowing how to operate a TV. To teach those at home how to operate a TV, playing a CD on it and telling them the difference between a VCR and a DVD will not be meaningful to the listener either. Nor will he remember anything he had heard a minute later, though to listen to it would be interesting. It is the characteristic of great good things that are not in one's context.

People say that each line in The Life Divine is clear, but as a whole, it is not clear what he says in the chapter or page. Taken in the context of a class, when a child refuses to do what the teacher says and asks her to shut up when she insists, issues become clearer. What should be done? Though freedom is there, there is a vast reservoir of authority unused. The lowest option is to commission it. Discipline will certainly be restored but all talk of freedom after that will be moonshine. The only reality is the authority exercised. Next the teacher herself can exercise her ‘authority' of persuasion or poise, swallowing her pride. It is a compromise. One can educate the kid about his behaviour. It is a slower, more humiliating process. The teacher by her Poise can prevent this occurrence. There are occasions where one child can be put in a position of authority over a few other children. That process will educate the child and eliminate such behaviour. Now that it has occurred, one should not react, should educate oneself as to what can be done and what was missed earlier. To know their psychological counterpart is inner education. It will set everything right. To develop the right poise in children is the best method for one to develop their own poise.

As and when contexts arise, issues will be clearer. Any class gives a dozen such occasions for the keen observer. 

    135.    In my book ‘Spiritual Opulence' where I plead for abundant prosperity, I detail a Token Experiment in the last chapter. That experiment can be done in our school if,

The experimenting individual is entirely positive (and thoroughly human);

He knows the process of lower and higher hemispheres - the process of life. By life I mean how there is total absence of death. Everything is alive all the time in the plane of life - even in the plane of Matter.

He is totally non-social, non-psychological, as a blank sheet of paper.

His understanding of the Existence of the Force releases in him an ever-increasing endless energy of the level of the goal. It is generally called aspiration.

He is willing to give full freedom to the child and is capable of preserving the child from self-destruction.

He can organise the extra energy of the child without external discipline. He must give the child the circumstances where the child herself will organise her over-flowing energy.

And if that energy is mental, there is a chance of its being related to the higher levels of knowledge described earlier.

To be entirely positive means to be able to contain negative behaviour by inner strength pleasantly.

To know that the process of life in the lower hemisphere is the same as the higher hemisphere but is an inversion is to know that both are the same.

To know Matter is as active as Sat is Silently active is to know the essence of life.

To be rational, one needs to have no perceptive mass except in its essence of experience that is knowledge.

Aspiration presupposes knowledge. One cannot aspire for what he does not know exists.

The child is a world by itself. You can discover the whole universe in him.

The child can organise his extra energy when he is aware of himself and is centred in his soul.

The organisation needs to be in the mind, as our job is in education.

To conduct this experiment in the school, make it child-centred is the project we will take up in implementation, but now to know the theory itself is an accomplishment.

   136.    If this experiment is a success, the height to which the child can rise is determined by a hundred other circumstances described so far.

In the ‘Ascent to Truth' only two sadhaks reach the peak. The altruist, the idealist and all the others who joined the journey stopped at the midway houses. Having reached the peak, the sadhaks are now to take the plunge into the valley. Those who have reached the peak can make this experiment. Very few reach there.

To choose to experiment is to join the expedition of Ascent to Truth.

To make the experiment a success, one needs to have been centred inside during the period of experiment. There is no such thing as breathing for a few days. Either you breathe or you dont.

‘Doing the Experiment' is a status of consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo speaks of carrying a torch through a windy tunnel. To keep the aspiration for this experiment alive is similar to that.

The society around is violently hostile to such an experiment.

It is hostile because our experiment will destroy the consciousness of the society - the falsehood on which it is organised presently.

It being a subtle world, movement is swift and action is instantaneous.

They speak of the Big Bang. Reading about what happened in the first 4 minutes one is wonderstruck. One who follows these movements can imagine how the society acts all the time in this plane.

It is not the gross physical world where movements are measured.

Psychological Ignorance prevents us from knowing what happens in other worlds. This experiment needs that knowledge.

One who cannot know that brothers or sisters will betray or parents will join them, is one with psychological ignorance.

Suppose the experiment is successful, it is just like the world in 1970 when according to Barrington Moore poverty was no longer an objective physical necessity. The world entered in 1970 a phase of Potential prosperity. The children of the school will realize they are potentially geniuses.

The potential of the Experiment is the potential of the Genius.

Limits vanish, unless one chooses them.

Should this experiment be a minimal success, the child will touch the peak of any one talent the world has developed so far.

  • Politics is a field for meteoric rise. A volunteer there can become an MLA. It will be the minimum success. But in his village that is his world it will be something unheard of or only a rare person would have become an MLA before.
  • Politics permits higher reaches of accomplishment.
  • Here we talk of rational life, world life, Life, Mind and beyond.
  • This experiment can take one beyond Mind. Beyond Mind there are four levels.
  • Before Mind lies Life which embraces the universe.
  • Even in the life of the World, this experiment can give one what has not been accomplished so far. As a minimum I said one will reach the very best life has created.
  • Einstein, Shaw, Gandhiji, Churchill, Marx have gone beyond what the world knew and accomplished. This experiment, when it is a success, can make one accomplish as they accomplished.
  • One's personality can be contained in his nation or state or town or his trade. His own accomplishment will be confined to those boundaries.
  • One's personality may be small and restricted but intense in his own field or occupation. Such a person will create the first printing press, the first PC, or a poem that is exceedingly beautiful as Francis Thomson did.
  • Jyoti Basu set a record in being a Chief Minister, as Nehru did in the post of Prime Ministership, Kamaraj rose to be the AICC Chief to which no Tamilian had ever risen, though the scope was always there. The record Tata or The Hindu, or Shantiniketan had set up remain unexcelled but not that of Tagore. In so many fields so many people have accomplished at so many levels but all of them are out of reach for the common man. This experiment will take any common man to these levels or beyond it.
  • If Ramanujam is unrivalled or S.Radhakrishnan was the first Fellow at Oxford or A.K.Sen was the first non British Master at Trinity, they are still beyond the dream of the common man. They are reachable.
  • Man seeks to make a mark in industry or wealth. Politics and science are for him special fields. This experiment is for all fields.

    138.   Here, obviously, I am not taking up the process of doing it. That is for a later discussion.

  • When asked why He wrote replies to all the letters of the sadhaks, He said that if the sadhaks could formulate their problems clearly, Their Force would act forcefully.
  • Knowledge is power; clarified knowledge is power purified. Hence this explanation.
  • It is said the answer to a problem lies in it.
  • Problems are always stated in confusion.
  • He who can state a problem with clarity will have the power to solve it.
  • In teaching, it is easy to see, a subject clearly understood by the teacher is quickly grasped by the students. It is easily communicated.
  • A topic well delineated sinks into the brain from the Mind. Brain is the physical substance of the Mind and the force is the ultimate layer.
  • It is equally true that one who develops a capacity for explanation will tend to explain continuously which is a bar to accomplishment.
  • We see that a child that learns to read goes on reading. It is all right at that stage, not later, as reading is a bar to understanding.
  • Any capacity is a bar at the next level.
  • Kullachami turned the tea cup up side down to tell Sri Aurobindo that any spiritual realization must be given up to acquire fresh realizations.
  • Endowments are usually accumulated one on top of another. That is true at a primary level. When a company of 100 years standing wants to scale greater heights, it has to risk its all - wealth, organisation, power, reputation etc. In politics one has to be re-elected periodically and any new measure decides one's future.
  • This is true not only of positive endowments but also about the negative encrustations. Hence the revolution.
  • The theory is what is positive in the beginning becomes negative later.
  • Sri Aurobindo desired to close the Ashram after the Mother for the same reason.
  • We know a problem leaves us when we fully understand it. It is true of people too. One remains in your company as long as you need to understand him. The moment your understanding of his personality is consummated, he leaves you.

    139.    Experiments on the mind must be done in its faculties broadly summarised by Sri Aurobindo as habits, constructions, preferences, prejudices and opinions.

Mother saw opinions as needles in the atmosphere, millions of them.

Once an opinion is formed one cannot act outside that, as one who see through a pair of binoculars or a microscope cannot see what is outside its purview.

A formation of the Mind acts like mental blinkers.

It is true of all of them - habits, preferences, etc.

Mind that developed senses has lost its own vision and has become a slave of the senses.

One can experiment on the Mind by trying to shed one opinion. Success at it will give a liberating freedom not felt till then. It is parallel to developing a third eye.

In teaching it is possible to create a mental attitude that prevents the formation of opinions. This is done by showing the many sides of an issue. As facts too often change on further research and study, this attitude helps create an open mind.

Prejudice is vital in the mind. It is more difficult to prevent its formation as it takes shape in a trice. To prevent the formation of a prejudice, the Mind has to be more powerfully educated and quicker than the emotions that are ready to take shape.

Habits are physical in the mind, much more difficult to handle. When you go to a house, it is our mental habit to expect a door in the front.

Preference is another version of prejudice.

Construction is the result of exercising the imagination irrationally.

When the discoverer of polio vaccine and penicillin were awarded the Nobel Prize, he who developed an artificial kidney, heart, lung was neglected. If no further unknown factors are there, this is a clear case of Norwegian prejudice.

Memory is a fertile field for experimentation. It will be an interesting field too.

There are other faculties in good number such as imagination and so on.

    140.   One can go to the Thesaurus to get a complete list of mental faculties some of which are memory, understanding, thinking, inspiration, discrimination, illusion, imagination, judgement etc.

  • All of them are subtle faculties of the Mind.
  • Before we notice what is happening, they finish acting. This is the truth behind the saying ‘whoever loved that loved not at first sight'.
  • Looking at the Mind with a subtle alertness we can see thoughts entering the mind and behind it we can see the subtle mind. To consecrate them at that level may be called subtle consecration.
  • We know that at important moments memory of bygone events appears at lightning speed.
  • Our mind is what Sri Aurobindo calls the Physical Mind, No.3 in our configuration.
  • Mind acts at the subtle level. We cannot track it at the physical level.
  • To do this experiment, one has to move into the subtle world.
  • All our important decisions - likes and dislikes, jealousy etc. - are taken at the subtle level.
  • We know we arrive at a judgement after long deliberation. In reality we have arrived at it in a trice, of which we are unaware. Our long serious deliberation at last confirms our original choice. Experiments belong to that level.
  • Those who discover new scientific laws, those who lead us, those who command at the crucial moment without thought and who create colours, who rise to the occasion, who are resourceful, etc. act like that.
  • In short, our experiment will move us from the physical mind to the subtle mind.
  • You may recollect the first Touch of Mother was like that in you and then you have withdrawn into your own insular psychological capsule.
  • Husband and wife, especially the wife, act on this plane. All serious business, political decisions are taken at that level.
  • Every child acts like this. You must be ahead of him to catch him.
  • Experiments at this level are endless. And there, the right teaching is done.
  • Teaching is to possess ourselves at a higher plane than what we need to give the child.
  • Nature acts thus.
  • Beyond the subtle plane lies the causal plane of simultaneous integrality of Time eternity and Timeless eternity.

    141.    One must know and later teach the child - (to be taken up later) how to distinguish each of the above faculties from the other.

  • This suggests a great exercise to the Mind as this is an effort to know the Mind in terms of its faculties.
  • There are people who cannot distinguish between thinking and imagination, between memory and thinking, fantasy and imagination.
  • Similarly the difference between judgement and preference is significant.
  • How many can see that preference and prejudice are not the same?
  • Concept clearly varies from thought as much as thought is different from idea.
  • Often information is mistaken for data and both go for idea in some minds.
  • Not all people see that mind is something other than brain nor are the emotions thoughts.
  • In language, the development of these words was made possible by corresponding development of social thought. Lexicographers trace those developments.
  • Anthropologists know the social conditions that generate a new word.
  • The range of words anger, fury, rage, annoyance, irritation, discomfort, embarrassment, etc. shows clearly how every shade of human anger is given a special word by the language. We learn the word from the language unconsciously. It is necessary for the children to know how to clearly distinguish each shade from the other. That is to learn consciously.
  • The aim of our school is to make the child conscious. To make any activity conscious is a part of it. Language is a great occasion for this exercise.
  • To know these words as states of Mind is to go to the root of it.
  • Our teaching can have this goal as a conscious aim and deliver it to the kids imperceptibly. For that the teacher's usage of all these words must be precise and appropriate. Suppose a teacher who tells a story says, "This man was not angry but he was annoyed" she is drawing imperceptibly the distinction between anger and annoyance. From this point of view there is a lot of work to be done by the teachers and the school. This is for language. Beyond that lie human traits and social perceptions. To develop such a mental attitude to all aspects of education, a teacher needs to be perceptive, more than human and more than educated.

    142.    One must see the process of formation of each of these endowments. For example, an  attitude is formed by the mind endorsing a vital preference.

  • It takes a few years of thinking to know what an attitude is. We certainly know it is not of the mind as it carries a force. It is obviously of the vital. But there is a directing thought in an attitude. Is it a thought by itself? On examination, we find that the attitude is guided by a formed thought. Such a thought is an opinion. We therefore say an attitude is a vital force endorsed by a mental opinion. Motives appear as attitudes but they are buried deeper, that is, in the body. Therefore motives are attitudes of the body. Beyond this lies the being, of which even the body is a part. We can call the attitude of the being as aim or goal or ideal. Perfect clarity is not possible as we are developing a new vocabulary within the scope of the existing language.
  • Depression, joy, anxiety, sorrow, sadness, elation, execution, reaction, response, sensation, feeling, emotion etc.will take up much of one's thought when analysed as above.
  • Feeling is of the heart, sensation is of the nerves. There is no other word for the body. It too is bodily sensation. Emotion is much weightier and richer than feeling. Emotion is the feeling of the entire heart while feeling is the emotional response to a particular event which of course is partial. Sentiment is a feeling or emotion but it is a feeling firmly organised around an idea, sometimes an ideal or a concept. In this analysis a dictionary cannot be of final help as it is descriptive without clearly demarcating the different words.
  • To be an effective teacher one has to analyse every human endowment from the first principles and have a conceptual clarity that has a grip and grasp of the phenomenon.
  • Such an exercise needs to be done for non-human acts such as appearance, emergence, wideness etc.
  • Time is a known phenomenon. Can we describe it to ourselves? How do we understand Time? We call it a duration. Duration is an expression of Time, not Time.

    143.    One must be able to go to the very root of such a formation.

In a word, linguistically, there are two origins. One is the physical word, whether it is derived from another language or through several languages. The other is the origin of thought. In India there is one more dimension to the origin of a word. It is the origin of spiritual dimension. Apart from these each word has an origin of sound.

Silence is absence of noise. Its origin ultimately is the Latin 'Silere' meaning be silent. It has a suffix ence. Prefixes and suffixes have their own history of development. The word has come to English through Prussian, Greek, etc. There is a plant of this name because it catches flies silently. To know the very root one should refer to the etymological dictionary in Latin. It will be a great knowledge and comprehensive knowledge when one knows all about the word Silence, its applications, extensions etc. Such an essay is called a monograph, meaning there is nothing more to be said or known on that topic. To write a monograph at least on one word is a great exercise for teachers. It touches perfection at least on one point. Writing such monographs on one bird, animal, object, country, psychological trait, disease, that is, one item under each category makes one knowledgeable, at least equips one to know the method of securing all the knowledge in one field. In Sanskrit, Silence is absence of noise, absence of activity or movement. Sri Aurobindo extends it to the absence of thought. He even speaks of Silence behind Silence. To us Peace and Silence appear to be the same. To know their distinction helps. Absence of movement is Silence. Absence of structure is Peace. There is Silence in the 8 planes of existence, from Sat to Matter and in Brahman. At the level of Brahman we cannot speak even of silence as it is featureless. Silence in matter isthe absence of movement of objects which is the absence of movement of energy. In the mind, it is absence of thinking. In the Supermind, it is absence of creation. Silence in the plane of Ananda is Bliss, in Chit, it is Consciousness, not force. At the level of Sat, its movement is Spirit and Truth; its Silence is to be Sat, that is, Being - Self-Conscious Being.

    144.   The indication of our going to the root is mind should fall silent. Please distinguish silence from the dullness of a sleepy mood.

Every endowment or act has its indication.

Good health is indicated by good digestion and sound sleep.

Capacity of a person is indicated by his accomplishment, particularly the absence of minor complaints in his organisation.

Healthy crop that can give a bumper yield is seen in the absence of pests.

The status of a family is shown by the local reputation, especially the treatment its servants receive in the market.

The reputation of a school is seen in her alumni occupying high posts.

When servants don't want to leave a house and are there for long or over a generation we understand the family is fair-minded.

Common sense of a family can be seen in many points. One of them is the durability of furniture the house has.

Manners reveal upbringing, accomplishments capacity.

The fair-mindedness of a company is indicated by the loyalty of its employees.

One's intelligence is seen in his subtle alertness.

Resourcefulness is in evidence when insoluble problems are solved.

Prosperity of a place is seen in its cleanliness.

The goodwill of a family is seen in their hospitality.

The honesty and efficiency of an organisation is shown by its honest employees.

Truthfulness of character is seen in clear steady looks.

Extreme treachery comes to the surface as intelligent flattery.

One becomes a conscience keeper in an organisation if he is a lover of gossip.

Mean behaviour comes from poverty of people in status.

Water rich places produce affectionate hearts.

Dry places produce misers and efficient persons.

Silence indicates spiritual Presence.

Joy shows absence of jealousy.

   145.      Silence has several levels.

   146.      The most commonly known Silence is not speaking. Even this is difficult. It is the Silence of the mouth.

   147.      Not thinking is silence of thought.

   148.      Not having the capacity to think is the silence of the mind in the zone of thought.

   149.      To achieve this silence in every faculty of the Mind is Mental Silence. This is a great yogic achievement. I am not asking for it in the school. But there is an educational version of it, just as the quasi government bodies, the municipality and the private organisations that have government representatives on them can be considered   as ‘government bodies'.

   150.     Though we are confined to education, it must be informed by the Spirit of yoga. When some Silence is established, an opening will be created.

Silent reading is better than loud reading.

Apparently Silence is concentration. Really it is a concentration away from the work.

Creation is from Silence. Om is the first word.

There is greater power in inaction than in action is the truth behind it, as the Absolute is not acting. The root of this long explanation is the immobility of Brahman.

Sri Aurobindo gave one more extension to cosmic creation and the Immutable Brahman. The Brahman, He says, can choose to be Immutable or Mutable. The Mutable Brahman, He adds, can be partial or whole. The marvel He speaks of is the mutability of Brahman as a whole in its unity. Even behind that there is Silence.

Silence and Status are two conditions at all planes. These two can ascend or descend and retain their duality or if they choose, merge their duality into unity or oneness, as it is the plane of being or consciousness.

To take the 8 planes and the 12 aspects of the Spirit and consider the Silence and status at each level will give a complete picture. In the classroom all these 96 or 192 or 384 - as we can divide each into consciousness and substance and positive and negative - will appear as an educational occasion. It is endless but the compensation is the endless charm of the process. Education being a lesser plane than yoga, it is easy in the ascent and more fascinating in the descent.

   151.    To what we use the opening, in which line, to what extent, for which goal and for what purpose, will decide the outcome.

Progress is a vertical tree with branches on all sides at every step.

A child is taken along the path of social progress vertically by the family without letting him branch off at any point.

Can you imagine a child stopping studies in the 5th standard? Will the family permit?

When a child wants to learn singing at the age of eight in preference to his studies, will he be permitted?

When a child, organising his lying, wants to be a liar what chance has he?

If a child sticks to Truth, what would the family do?

At every point there is a choice for a child or a man.

There is an opening in a child to the psychic, music, numbers, cricket, memorisation, truth speaking, lying, storytelling, mimicking and hundred other things.

Any child can enjoy any opening to some extent, not to the full extent. The family, friends and  society will not permit it. He is bound hand and foot.

One who chooses music, not government service, runs the gravest risk if he is a failure.

The rule is that family and society  are primary and other choices are secondary. One who goes against that rule run risks 99% of the time.

Political affiliation, choice of profession, choice of values, loyalty to the family, going in for a second woman are all deviations that are fully risky.

Values alone can decide the outcome within one of the accepted courses of the society.

If a sensitive child is beaten once, that will decide forever his attitude to the person beating him, maybe to the entire world.

He can himself choose, have his fingers burnt, but still it will decide.

There is the choice between the society and outside.

Within the society itself there are varieties of choices made possible by taste, temperament, ideal, values, external influence, etc.

Everything determines.

Once the course is determined, even in the deviation there are choices.

Not only at all points, but in all branches and at all moments there are choices.

To know that life is one of choice is knowledge.

That way, a school is determinative of a child's future.

    152.    The Choice at every point matters, matters ultimately.

    153.    To know:

What is a choice;

Why man has a choice;

How many choices are there;

How we make the choice;

The role of the individual, the circumstance, the opportunity we face in deciding the choice will enable us to know why the Infinite energy issues out of the finite.

Our lives are unconscious. We do not know we have a choice. Imagine a girl fifty years ago, getting married, would she have thought of any choice?

Who asks the question -- what is a choice? No one. During the days of kings if a man was sentenced to death, he simply accepted the punishment. It would not occur to him that he could appeal against the order. He would be too frightened to think.

Man has greater choices than animals, but does man know that? Questioned in a court of law, an Indian will answer truthfully or falsely or be silent, frightened to answer, but it will never occur to him to say ‘I refuse to answer that question'. A Westerner often says that, especially when he is questioned about another man's secret.

He who knows the choice knows only that. He would never know the full range of choices.

We subconsciously choose, not aware of how we do it.

Choice is a subject as big as the universe, as any subject is. It is not given to the unthinking man to stop and consider the circumstance, the opportunity, etc.

A good man may never think he has a choice to lie or steal.

It never occurs to a man to change his religion.

People living in a Telugu neighbourhood do not consider the possibility of learning Telugu.

To know is to be aware.

To be aware is to find the infinity.

    154.    The parent must be able to see all this in the child and Not interfere with that except for preservation.

The most educated parent is incapable of seeing all this.

Is the enlightened parent in the best sense capable of seeing these?

These are very high philosophical ideals in practice the world has not yet known. But a sensitive parent will awaken to this if the child expresses the results of this type of approach or teaching.

Every mother knows her child intimately and will never miss his new attitude. Suppose a child who is impatient everyday for breakfast is not so one day, the mother will notice it. The school can tell her how that change was brought about in the class. That will awaken the parent to the result, not the process. One may hope some parents will move from the result to the process. Even if two or three parents respond so, and the school meaningfully relates with her, strands of a new atmosphere will be created. Like the Freedom Movement of a nation, this is a Freedom Movement of the child-soul, not easy to initiate.

The same response from teachers that are mothers, especially those whose children are in our school, will be an asset for us to work on.

Apart from the parent and the teacher, the response from the children will be unmistakable. It is a spiritual asset, an educational mine because the point of such a choice is the point where the finite reveals the infinite.

It is such a point that when fostered will create a P.T.Usha or an Anand in chess. Imagine the educationist who sees the great potentials in each child and shares her sense of wonder. Nature has arrived at her method fit for each soul for her purpose. Education must arrive at one suitable for each child. As we now know the method of Evolution - spiritual evolution - it is possible for us to reduce it or adapt it to education.  The first criterion of that method is that the child should be a rounded perfection as a social product. A higher condition is the child should be happy in the spiritual sense of the word, a smile should be on his face and he must be unable not to so smile.

      155.    Unless the parent knows it himself, the process of making a choice or choosing, he cannot know it in the child.  

      156.    It is better to have impersonal knowledge of choosing. To know how one chooses at every point is to know him and his character, which he himself may not fully know.  To know how any choice is made by anyone at any time is to know how the world was created and how it is functioning.

  • Knowing has several stages, personal, impersonal, personal-impersonal.
  • Such a knowing has three or four levels, mental, vital, physical, spiritual.
  • To know that I am angry after it subsides is the first stage of knowing. When I am angry, I am anger, I am identified with it and that is a condition which does not permit any knowledge. After a while when the fit passes off, the mind separates or detaches itself from anger and knows I am angry. This is personal knowledge of anger.
  • Another man touched me at a sensitive point. The fact that anyone will be angry if so touched is impersonal knowledge. This impersonal knowledge will be based on personal experience. As long as personal experience lingers, the impersonality of knowledge is incomplete. When the knowledge is fully detached from the personal experience, it becomes purely impersonal. An impersonal knowledge will have the clarity of mental comprehension, not the intensity of personal experience. It is not given to ordinary people. Only a kavi, a poet has that eminence. At that point anger in universal vibration is understood with the personal charm, not only intensity. Hence the words of a great poet have power. A teacher who aims at such a knowledge will be able to know the joy, choice or anger of a child as precisely as he needs to know.
  • We can't expect teachers to become poets, but teachers can aim to be so. Trying to understand several children from this level of comprehension has the potential of making a child a poet as it can raise the teacher to be a poet.
  • Choice is a process of universal creation.
  • Our concern is the social potential for the child.
  • Knowing the theory of choice makes it possible for a teacher to know the child better.
  • As the universe is in the child, as it is in our own inner life, to discover it outside is easier than doing it inside it.

      157.    In a school I envision, one must have some strong inkling at least about the children, their education and about themselves generally.

Teachers for such a school must be not only widely informed but must have a wider sympathy. The insight that comes from the sensitivity of sympathy cannot be secured by vast reading. Once the sympathy is there, such a reading is more than an asset.

It is too much to expect these graduates to be educated to the level they require. Every month or every week a project can be given to them so that they may prepare as thoroughly as possible to rise to the superior occasion of teaching. Those who are inspired by such a challenge can be educated about the child if they exhibit an inclination to vast reading. It can be on a basis of incentives. For example, a teacher earning Rs.4000/-can be offered projects which when done well can earn her an incentive in such a way that four of her projects may give her 50% more of the salary or even 100% more, according to the level of attainment.

We must aim at starting an excellent teacher on 10 or 15,000 rupees and raise her to 25 or 30,000 over the years. For that, the fees must be Rs.1000, going up to Rs.5000. It is true most teachers being women have household work. With all the existing constraints, it is possible to produce an ideal teacher from the present staff if the management possesses higher knowledge and the teacher cooperates not so much for remuneration but for the love of teaching. One such teacher rising from their ranks may stir up the community of teachers to action.

Educational endowment of the teacher is of value. Till we come by such teachers, we have to make do with the present material.

In implementing these theories which we will take up later it can be seen that the whole school will swing into action even if a little of these ideas are perfectly implemented.

   158.  That will not be wisdom in essence, but to have an essential touch of not worldly wisdom is wisdom of the evolving Spirit.

Time, Timelessness, Simultaneous Time are the three dimensions of Time.

Life, Spirit, Marvel are their expressions.

Memorisation, thinking, silent contemplation may conform to this configuration in a way.

Habitual affection, emotional attachment, Love that is Ananda in the soul are such.

Teaching, learning, opening are the counterparts in the classroom.

Worldly wisdom, Sage's wisdom, God's perception are the corresponding dimensions.

Attention, affection, and Love are similar.

True facts, subjective Truth, inner Truth that includes the objective facts are those.

External discipline, Self-discipline, Status that requires no discipline are such.

To move from the first to second status is progress.

To move from the first status to the third is perfection.

Mental will makes progress through concentration.

Non-exercise of mental will through consecration will move towards perfection.

Mind progresses, Psychic evolves.

Not to seek mental progress helps the Psychic to evolve.

Mind can evolve into the Psychic.

To know one is not Mind but Supermind is mental evolution.

Mind is partial. It is a part of Supermind.

Supermind is a whole.

Mind seeks progress, Supermind transforms.

Mind is enamoured of austerity, Supermind's simplicity includes luxury.

Mind mistakes austerity for simplicity.

Austerity is simplicity through violence.

The natural state of Being is Simplicity.

Simplicity does not seek, austerity insists on appearing simple.

Morality is a psychological appearance. Whatever Supermind does is moral.

Mind sets standards. Standards are partial and narrow.

One lives by standards, evolves when standards are shed.

Standards are strait-jackets.

    159.    Granting we have such a school, with many teachers of this type - only students of this school can become such teachers - what can we accomplish? How? How soon? For what purpose? These are the points I would like to consider.

By the time such a school comes into existence, the social climate would have so changed as to demand such an education.

We could not have had Primrose in the seventies or earlier. Now parents seek good education.

Now we are free to aim at a higher social product.

A hundred years ago Sainik school prepared students to become army officers. It was for the elite.

Primrose can do today for all the public what 100 years ago Public schools did for the elite.

There is no special virtue about Primrose except that it does for the masses what Oxford and Cambridge and Doon School have been doing for centuries.

In taking higher education to the lowest masses, Primrose upgrades their strategies.

Elite schools go by thinking. We try to bypass thinking and use Silent contemplation.

Though we use a higher tool, higher than thinking, our goal remains the same, to have a high social product - such as the boy passing the IAS exam or becoming a commissioned army officer or a business executive. Our goal is social.

Higher than the social goal, there is a psychological goal, mental goal and a Spiritual goal. The Supramental goal is beyond. These goals are on a vertical scale.

There are social vocations of all types - athlete, musician, artist, broker, astrologer, writer, journalist, craftsman, inventor, salesman, entrepreneur and a 100 other things.

Each of them exists on a wide scale of a low non-entity and a nationally famous person.

All these are still social products.

No school tries to produce on the mental, psychological, spiritual levels.

One goes to a guru to be shaped up as a spiritual personality.

The mental differs from the psychological as the latter has a moral dimension.

The mental is a pure faculty absolute in itself, not being contaminated by non-mental dimensions. Even morality abridges the Mind to its own confines of ethics.

Our school aims at a high social product, for the entire population.

But the training includes the mental, moral and spiritual potentials. We consciously include them while normal schools emphasise social goals in such a way that all the other potentialities get excluded unconsciously.

    160.   The least student such a school turns out will be better than the best student the best school produces.

This principle is true whenever there is a transition, especially when that transit is complete. For example: the cart and the car; the king and the elected leader; the palm leaf and the paper; the stylus and the pen, the mother-in-law and the mother; the printed guide and the personal teacher, prose and poetry; a foreign dish and native food.

The best of the past is the highest of the low. The least of the new is higher than that.

In an unorganised climate the reverse is true.

The least ideal is better than the best utilitarian result, but if the ideal is not rightly oriented to the result, a practically efficient result will be better than the best theoretically described emptiness. Hence the proverb, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. As long as we hold on to the bird in the hand we cannot progress. Here, one must let the bird fly and await. A flock of birds will land on you.

Today we have a corrupt government, but to us a corrupt government of ours is better than an incorruptible foreign government, as freedom is valuable.

Teachers studying the performance of the best students from the best schools must be able to see the potentials in our kids that would make them better. They must exercise their minds in the direction of making those potentials actuals.

Such elements are there in the society already. We must take note of them.

A top ranking boy from outside will find it difficult to exercise his mind if he is to evaluate a character in a story, as it requires thinking. Our kids will readily respond. It is only a seed. How do we develop it? Action issues from knowledge. We must devise small acts for children where this knowledge finds play. In choosing a team, one needs this knowledge. High scores or memorisation will not help in forming an effective team. Capacity to choose your team mates is an essential ingredient for accomplishment.

We know what goals are to be achieved in the society and how they are achieved now. We must reassess that process in the light of the endowments our kids have acquired. Not only special projects must be so fashioned but the very activity in the classroom must shape itself according to that. As years pass such a work must be taken to lower classes.

   161.    The best student out of this school will be known all over the world, whatever be the field he chooses.

  • This was true of Oxford and Cambridge before the war and now of Harvard and Princeton.
  • Our school graduates can acquit themselves equally well but with one difference. The above universities received elite pupils from rich parents or picked up outstanding performers, whereas we will pick up any child and make her outstanding. The king a thousand years ago enjoyed anything society had, but now the society has a lot more. Today a similar person enjoys incomparably vast comforts. Our graduate will differ from the above graduate in this sense.
  • Also any educational institution produces graduates with graded abilities but in life they often perform differently from their grades in the degree course as the potentials, they got from the college begin to flower in the social context. We would have done that largely in the school and within limits all students would have almost equal accomplishments.
  • Students of present universities know life partially in the sense that they develop their positive values and neglect the negative values. Our students embrace both the positive and negative values. Therefore their foundation is a greater whole and can accomplish accordingly. Two analogies of the IAS officer and the politician may serve. The IAS officer is meant for all departments while the state cadre is meant for their own department. The politician similarly excels the administrator.
  • Between the disciplined child and the child reared in affection, the latter will excel the other very much as discipline gives talents and affection gives the potential for all the talents.
  • As cheerfulness is a greater foundation than discipline, affection is greater than training. Our school gives the child cheerfulness issuing out of affection. It is one thing we aim at affection and succeed in getting it. It is another thing affection sprouts in the atmosphere.
  • Thinking is the instrument of any accomplishment.
  • We exceed thinking and create silent contemplation.
  • We aim not at the soul but at the soul in the Mind.
  • That too it is the evolving soul.
  • As we exceed concentration and use consecration, we make the the statement at the top.

    162.    The below average students will be the above average citizens among the elite.

When a Cabinet Minister retires, he will occupy a higher post than the average citizen.

Below average Westerners coming to India are treated as experts - a cabin man in England became the general manager in South Indian Railway.

Apart from the truth of this principle, The Gita says a little of its philosophy will give great benefits - we should see how we do it in our school.

Life blossoms so well, as the Force we use here is that of yoga.

A retired Vice Chancellor became an accountant in a company. Of course he would be far better than the other employees.

A member of the Cochin royal family was a lecturer in a university. He was known as the most cultured man there naturally.

In the High Court the duty of bench clerks will be done by munsiffs.

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of India left the party and became a Professor of History in Delhi University.

Lord Mountbatten was the cousin of the King. As a Viceroy he became extremely popular.

We prepare the students to be outstanding in any subject in the world. When they do not rise to that occasion anywhere else, they will shine.

Student leaders in politics receive a great training to become leaders in the country. When for some reason they do not enter politics and take an employment, naturally they perform well.

Einstein was a clerk in the Swiss patent office when he wrote his paper on relativity.

Sherlock Holmes was a genius. Amidst police detectives he does not meet his equal.

Research students who apply Sri Aurobindo to any field will be armed with very powerful material to which others have no access.

Lord Wavell who commanded the Army in the African Theatre became the Indian Viceroy. The Bengal famine vanished before his military efficiency.

   163.    The above average students - all of them - will be leaders of their nations.

  • Imagine foreign PhDs., Members of Parliament, internationally famous scientists, leading industrialists and nationally known figures choosing to go to their native villages. Surely they will be natural leaders there in any respect because the gap is enormous; truly it is a gulf.
  • Mother's Consciousness is not high. It is something the world does not know, far different from all that we know. Therefore, examples are not possible. As Mother's consciousness is not utterly alien to us, it is possible to locate it. A village boy who has native intelligence can have full potentials for Genius. It will be seen in his being happy and bright. He may be known to be an intelligent young man. But they will see his intelligence only in his work. It may or may not emerge there. Even when it emerges, he will be counted as one who can unfailingly get a daily job anywhere. How can his genius be explained to himself or others? A high non-existent endowment cannot be shown in terms of present utility.
  • Suppose our school becomes a success, each student will carry with him a spark of the infinite that can be ignited, even when the school and the teachers do not rise to that occasion. For one to have a glimpse of this Truth about the students, he must at least feel that anyone can rise to lead the nation or become world famous.
  • Sri Aurobindo says affirmation and negation are the same and gives a list of such opposites.  That Quantity is an illusion and Quality is an illusion, are such truths. In a moment when the ego withdraws one can have such a glimpse, a glimpse of the ocean of energy. A drop of that ocean is equal to our universe.
  • One index that the teacher has this view is that she should be unshaken or be cheerful when a great wrong has happened or has been done to her.
  • If the teacher is one who has sometimes created Life Response, he qualifies for it.
  • There are occasions when three hours pass as one hour. That is another index.
  • Suppose he thinks ‘It will be good if a vegetable shop is opened in my street' and one is opened in the opposite building, he is one who can realize this Truth.
  • Blindfold him and take him to several places of which Samadhi is one, he will at once know it.
  • When he talks to a professional about the professional's work, he may come up with a resourceful answer that will be a surprise to the latter.
  • To be able to relate to a moment or event and be creative there is one index of the presence of the infinite.

   164.    The Doon School, and Ecole Polytechnique of France have been doing such work on the physical mental plane.

  • These schools have the foundation of the wealth of the parents, their educational heritage, their cultural endowment, standing in the society and the ever-present experience of the child of all these endowments.
  • To give the last level of children an education better than this, we must be able to give all this background in essence. There is no compromise on this score.
  • The flood of the river is not what one can create, but it is in his hands how that flood is used. Ten feet of water level in the river means, it is the excess water after filling up the dam, saturating the soil below till it meets the impervious layer, filling up the aquifer on both sides, for a period of time, the duration of which we are not aware of.. The flood that was not there in the history of few centuries comes now. That is grace. It is for us to build dams and canals and utilize the water for irrigation and drinking. If we keep quiet, all the water will reach the ocean. Grace has come down as never before. We should be receptive.
  • The school  and the teachers must receive grace and be a channel to the children. It is to be done in each lesson, every day. For that one must understand the lesson, the student, the parent and oneself. It is an impressive method to teach several subjects from the one word salt, if the teacher knows as many dimensions of salt in life. What works here is the information of the teacher. It reaches the child through the teacher's imagination. To coordinate the information with his own imagination, the teacher needs resourcefulness and presence of mind.
  • A vast fund of energy is required to initiate and complete this task.
  • That energy comes from the teacher's aspiration.
  • Aspiration for what?
  • Aspiration to be a better teacher, better individual, better receptacle for the Force? One needs the aspiration to be an instrument of this Force in this field.
  • Before learning the implementation, one needs a theoretical clarity of what this aspiration is.
  • Aspiration is a self-initiating force moving by self-direction to a self-chosen goal.
  • As aspiration needs to be theoretically clear, theoretical clarity is called for about the goal and the process of reaching that goal.

    165.   We will never descend to that plane at all.

The Doon School and the Ecole Polytechnic are places that have reached perfection in the physical plane. The whole of England keeps her parks and gardens trim, clean. All round the year they maintain it. We can imagine the organisation required for it. That organisation works because the workers have the skills at that level. Besides the organisation and skill, unless the workers have the value of beauty such a result is not possible. The whole English nation should possess that value if it is to be found in those workers. Physical perfection demands so much apart from the income for the owner that will sustain that maintenance.

We speak of a perfection four or five steps beyond at a time when we are incapable of physical perfection. The rule is as the Englishman who is physical exhausts his energies in expressing his highest physical values, we must exhaust our spiritual energies in expressing the psychic values.

Exhausting is our part, continuation and maintenance is Mother's.

The Force we speak of has in it inherently all the values, energies, forces, skills, capacities, organisations required in all the planes below.

Our duty is to call in the Force.

The Force will spill over if we are not equipped with all the skills, energies, forces, organisations, capacities, etc. It is true that the Force has all these. It is equally true that when we are not ready it will spill over. It means we have to exhaust our effort at our level, we reach our maximum at the point we exhaust our efforts.

Is the school ready for such an effort?

It means one cannot act from one's nerves, one cannot have opinions, etc.

One should bring a blank mind of happy submission to the work.

Self-effacement that is humility is a sine qua non.

In that case we will never descend to the physical plane.

    166.    How to go about it? How to prepare seven-year-olds to create a school of such eminence?

In a sense this is to bring the infinite out of the finite. It is possible because it is the infinite that has now become the finite. The key to the success of this apparently impossible task lies in knowledge that is two fold. 1) Knowledge is power and that achieves, and 2) The knowledge that we are infinite is capable of achieving it.

The power or energy to accomplish this is this knowledge which is essential. Once it is there, all that we want is the method. Again it is said that the knowledge is inclusive of the method.

What converts this knowledge into the appropriate method is the aspiration for achievement.

One may ask, practically what should the teacher do?

The first requirement in the teacher is he should love the child.

The child, we already said, needs affection more than the lesson.

The child responds to love with love on her part. There both meet. Such a meeting is creative, creative of the needed method.

Man has moved all this way from being a primitive person. How did he learn the method to achieve this? His aspiration meets the environment creatively and shows him the method.

At no point can the teacher say that he cannot exhaust his energies. It is enough he exhausts his energies intelligently, that is, what intelligence he is endowed with.

When England faced Hitler armed with all the armies of Europe, no one had any hope of victory. England decided to fight on the seas, on the land, in the air, in the towns, in the villages, in the streets, everywhere. That determination not to surrender gave her such a glorious victory. An impossible result issues out of a possible decision.

The work we have is evolutionary. We need an evolutionary aspiration. We need to have an aspiration that exhausts our evolutionary energies.

   167.      Personal knowledge becomes perfect when it is acquired as one expression of the impersonal law behind.

 In yoga, in education, and in life, as we have mentioned earlier, there are some fifteen or twenty truths of life such as caution, knowing the limits and so on.

These values are 1) God is the origin, 2) As God sustains life on earth, it is rain that sustains life, 3) Similarly the human life is sustained by the presence of sages, 4) caution is indispensable, 5) limits are essential, 6) such limits are there both ways, 7) subtle knowledge is necessary for accomplishment, 8) man needs woman, 9) the more intimate a person is the more he is susceptible to suspicion, 10) life needs wealth, 11) Higher life needs grace, 12) human nature is limited, 13) better to honour human nature, 14) the mean and the generous act are apparently similar, 15) the same rule will work in opposite ways, 16) accomplishment depends upon effort, 17) fate can be overcome by human will, 18) man loves his misfortune, 19) solution to a problem lies in it, 20) God gives any man only problems he can solve.

Teachers must be aware of such truths or truisms in life as they all find application in education.

An angry person will find much of his anger coming down if he understands them all. Whenever a situation is impossible, a patient reference to this list to see whether one of these rules is applicable to it, will help solve the problem.

This list can be expanded to 100 or abridged to 10 or even one.

When you expand, it means the same thing can be expressed in various ways.

When you abridge, it means there is an essence towards which we are moving.

Yoga, life and education are the same in the sense each is one part of a whole.

One can see each of them as a whole or a part.

    169.     What we teach does not matter, but how we teach matters.

  • This is a general principle, more essential in yoga.
  • What we do is the material part of the work.
  • How we do is the vital part of the work. Therefore it is important.
  • More important than it is the mental part of the work. It is the idea which we express in the work.
  • When two teachers teach the material, one does by winning the attention of the children, the other teaches with authority. The latter will have poor results.
  • It is so because in the latter case the teacher's authority closes the minds of the children. Nothing goes in.
  • Understanding is a process of the interest awakened, not merely a determinant of intelligence.
  • The Government of India had a programme from 1947 to 1964 known as Grow More Food. The results were zero. In 1964 the Green Revolution was started. The results were 100% because the government's pricing policy enlisted the attention of the farmer. Attention is the result.
  • As a rule, schools and colleges without discipline will have very good teachers, because only such teachers can manage in such a school. Still the results will be poor. In disciplined schools usually inexperienced teachers will be the majority. Still, the results will be good, because here the subject is taught through discipline.
  • Teach a lesson on Shivaji. In another class, show the same material on video. The material is the same, the medium is different. Results differ.
  • In 1952, Ramanath Goenka stood for Parliament, spent a lot of money, dropped leaflets from the plane. He was the candidate for the Congress. Muniswamy was an advocate who never practised. He won with a great majority because he was a Vanniyar. Here the message is caste. Caste wins, not money or Congress.
  • Vinayagar won the mango because his attitude was that the world's wisdom is in his parents. Murugan lost because the idea that made him go around the world was simpler than his brother's.

    170.    Suppose all these basic truths are taught as personal knowledge issuing from an impersonal law, this can be achieved.

  • The theory of this theme is already explained and again stated in another context.
  • People will readily accept that anger is bad, but not so readily concede they are lazy or jealous or demanding.
  • A man constantly demands and very rarely gets what he wants.
  • Instead of telling him he is wrong, he can be shown the experiences of people who so demand and get nothing. Theoretically asking is a relationship between two people of differing strengths. The giver is strong, the other weak. Strength succeeds, weakness fails is the law. Suppose the weak - he who asks - develops the strength of not asking, we witness that he gets. Asking fails is a personal experience. Weakness fails is a law. The impersonal truth has a greater chance of success.
  • Impersonal explanation does not touch the sensitivity of people.
  • It gives scope to them to think on their own.
  • Knowledge acquired by one's own effort is stable.
  • Learning from another is an imposition. Self-learning is enlightenment. Such an enlightenment has an urge in it. It is a self-fulfilling urge.
  • The impersonal has the force of the universal.
  • The impersonal has the weight of the collective.
  • It is also inoffensive.
  • Personal instruction is irritating, annoying, offensive. Even when it is not all these, the person who gives instructions is a rival, and he is one in a higher position which is irking.
  • Observing the strategies people follow effectively, we can find that they are all ideas learnt on their own or at least believed to be so.
  • Impersonal knowledge has the weight of high poetry.

     171.   To start with, whatever our teaching material is - the material the teacher is - at least we must have a hundred rules out of a few thousands we must end up with.

  • The rules I speak of are the rules derived from the essential truths listed earlier. Strength succeeds is one truth. From this one truth a hundred rules issue such as 1) Don't provoke a strong enemy, 2) your boss is your Mother, 3) As you do not get closer to the King, you cannot also go too far away from him, 4) Don't speak, act, 5) He who orally promises will not accomplish, 6) Do not visit a person without an invitation, 7) To be happy forever, be a good man, 8) Do not seek, wait for it to come to you, 9) As your son grows up he is an individual, 10) Affection is in proportion to your wealth, etc. This can be extended to 100.
  • At one point, it can be observed that one essential truth overlaps another such truth.
  • It is so because life is a play of Truth on another Truth.
  • It is better to start from our work and know the rules behind each act. For example, a child is attentive while another is not. As you know them, the first child is attentive as he is not overpowered by any other inner urge. The second child is neglected at home. Therefore, he is occupied with that. Now if your attention is of a greater strength than what the child is occupied with, he listens to you. This is understanding from the point of view of strength. It has a dimension of affection too. Looking at it from the point of view of the child's demand for affection a question arises: how much can one demand? That leads to ethics and realism. Realism exceeds ethics. Ethics is from our moral notions. Why morality at all? Without morality, we see that brutality rises. Morality converts the brute physical man into a citizen of civilization. When you recall that the world knew the word civilization only 200 years ago, we see the force of morality. How then does realism relate to morality? It makes you think and there you will see the process of thinking common to adults and children.

    172.    We know the mystery of accomplishment which is the mystery of birth and death.

A mystery is a sure result whose process we do not see or understand.

In fact, there is no mystery in the world. What we do not understand is a mystery to us.

The greatest of such mysteries are birth and death, Sri Aurobindo says. We do not understand why a child is born or why an old man dies. It is a result which eludes the understanding of our minds. We do not know why or how. The scientist is able to explain how birth or death comes about, not why.

This is true not only of birth and death but of all accomplishments.

We pass an exam, get a job, get married, live a happy life or become a success in life but we do not know how. We may often have an explanation. But unless the explanation explains the difference between failure and success, it is insufficient.

Science explains many things, especially inanimate objects. It explains the movement not growth. Science explains growth as movement. Growth is a movement with a velocity and acceleration. Movement has speed only. Where does the energy come for the velocity or even movement? Or the motivation? That is to explain consciousness. Science explains Matter when it is inconscient. Matter is not inert. It is in motion.

The mysterious part is consciousness or God. If a man knows how he won an election, he can win all elections. It is to know the process. Science tries to know the process. Behind the process lies the essence. The essence is Brahman. We still do not know the process of production fully. Coming to creativity, we do not at all know the process.

If we teach the child the process of production, he will rise to the top of the world. The process of creation is not yet discovered except by Sri Aurobindo. As we know that, we can explain the process of any production.

   173.     That mystery gives us unfailing success.

   174.     Those who are receptive and thus ready can always be taught this mystery with over 90% success. Focused efforts may give us total success.

   175.     Once the mystery is known, it can be gently extended to the specific field of education in general and the particular field of study.

   176.     That is a significant broad beginning.

   177.     To bring that Mystery to bear upon each act of ours is to be a yogi.

   178.     To use that as a tool in education will do to make the school the ideal school we have in mind.

The success of science is its success in discovering the process.

Medicine advanced because we know the processes of digestion, circulation, nervous activities, levels of temperature, sugar, blood pressure and so on. In addition, science discovered the laws of motion, time, space, and such relativities which helped it to discover natural forces like electricity, magnetism, gravity and so on. Its new discoveries like the plane, telephone and computer are possible because they discovered the rules of resistance of air, the conversion of sound into electricity and the electronic movements through which thought structure can be fixed.

Essence - Process - Expression are the three stages. Expression is on the surface. We know only that. All progress came out of man's knowing the process of activities. Beyond that is the essence, the Brahman. The mystery cannot be known without knowing the Brahman.

Movement away from memorisation to thinking is one step towards knowing the mystery. That is what developed the West. Intuition reveals the Mystery more, maybe nearly fully. From thinking to Silent contemplation to vision to Intuition is a great leap forward. Knowledge of the process helps us make things, as we do when we create hybrid seeds. Knowledge of Essence that is Brahman enables one to transmute one thing into another. Magic does it temporarily. Spirit does it permanently. To know a little of that Mystery will make education yoga.

    179.     Education consists of academic learning, social skills, physical exercise, self-awareness, self-mastery and a dozen other fields.

    180.     Together, all those fields make life a whole.

    181.     Let us create the education of the whole.

    182.     The next step is to have it integrated.

There was a time when good manners passed for education. English speaking is still called education. One of the worst superstitions is to consider information as education.

Of course this is better than taking the background of  birth as education. The world has not yet developed a right scale to measure education. To concede that all this together is known as education itself is a big step.

When such a scale is developed, the nation will be able to bring to the surface her best talents.

Presently, at the end of one's career, his real talents are seen. Often it is a surprise to the individual himself.

Education of the whole gives to the student what he or his family does not know as a possibility in his future.

Educationists should pay attention to this aspect of education. That is theory. Knowledge in the educationist of today will become the education of tomorrow.

To possess one of these endowments will make one great in today's life.

He who possesses all these is really fortunate.

Real, good, rich education demands that one should possess all these capacities in an integrated form.

Man's greatest problem is to integrate his mind and emotions.

Creation of an atmosphere which demands an integrated personality from the early stages of education will make it possible.

Obviously we are asking teachers to give the children a capacity which they do not presently have. It is difficult, though possible.

Integration is more than co-existing.

At the point where any two or more of these talents integrate, culture evolves.

We see science and technology are divorced. It is at the material level.

We are seeking a goal the world has not thought of yet.

     183.    When the whole is known in any situation, any problem can be solved or any opportunity created.

     184.    One such experiment must be undertaken by each person who wishes to acquire it.

     185.    Once tested, it is not to be repeated at any cost.

To solve problems is not so difficult as to create opportunities.

A problem is a negative development focused and confined to one issue.

An opportunity is not so focused or limited. It indicates a general favourable climate through one issue. That is why when one opportunity is missed, another comes.

A problem shapes out of the defects of our character.

An opportunity is an indication of the readiness of the climate.

It is best to act on faith in availing of an opportunity.

Mental faith may not be ready to act. So, an experiment is in order.

But to test more than once is an indication of no faith or destroying the little faith that is there.

Partial skills can be dazzling, but are incapable of protecting themselves from attacks from where there is no skill.

The whole needs no such protection, as there is no possible source of attack as it is the whole of it.

The whole which is a sum of parts is better than the parts.

But such a whole is not invulnerable.

The whole is more than the sum of parts.

The whole can be a real whole without being integrated.

The government is a whole of several departments but it is not integrated because each part can be different from other parts or in opposition to them.

The society too can be so.

When the society rises in revolt or produces a great poet or when it is in the evolutionary swing, it is an integrated whole.

While being integrated, every little part anywhere can swing every other part into action.

    186.      All this sums up as Patience in every field.

    187.      Patience is the mental version of equality in Spirit.

    188.      That which has an end is not patience.

    189.      Patience has a complete penetration.


The whole universe has come out of Om, which means the whole creation can be shrunk into Om again.

The 8 planes of creation in 12 aspects of the Spirit split into 96 items of life. It is up to us to subdivide them into 192 or 384 taking them as positive and negative or consciousness and substance.

So, Silence or light has that many versions.

Thus Patience is a mental version of equality in Spirit.

Equality is the consciousness of the infinite.

In the Mind, an infinite understanding yields Patience as an attitude.

As Patience is infinite understanding, naturally it has no end and that which has an end is not Patience.

Issues in life are limited to a limited understanding.

Every issue has one right interpretation which makes us accept it and therefore we won't be impatient at its presentation.

Mind thinks, heart feels; both can be at variance.

If the heart in the mind thinks, they cannot be at variance.

Such a state is an integration of Mind and heart.

The embodied being can be integrated in all the four parts.

Such an integration brings infinity out of the finite.

When that process is completed, the Spirit evolves in all parts.

This is what we call infinite consciousness.

Patience of the Mind, Quiet in the vital, Steadiness of the body are similar conditions. That steadiness is called immortality. Hatha yoga by means of asanas brings such an immobility in the outer and inner statuses of the body.

What Hatha yoga does to the body, understanding the infinite does to the Mind.

The energy of the vital occupying its entire world gives the same to the vital.

     190.    To know the Process of creation and see what we do is its application in life will make the knowledge of education yogic wisdom.

Imagine the farmer who cultivates the land learning modern farming from the scientist and the scientist who has developed the process of modern farming cultivating his own land. Method is limited. Knowledge is wider. Knowledge enriches the method.

Here we go beyond the heavens, learn how the heavens are created and use that knowledge to teach the children.

There are effective teachers. Others have written textbooks. When they teach teaching will be more effective. There are those who have framed the syllabus, and still others who have discovered the syllabus. Colleges often invite leaders, scientists, industrial leaders, film producers, stars, founders of institutions to address the students. It is a rare occasion for the audience. Suppose such people teach or the teachers learn from them their experience directly and teach, then the teaching will be good. Newton and Einstein taught.

Imagine Bharathi teaching his poems to children. It is an extraordinary thought.

Applying the Process of Creation to education is the penultimate step to Brahma himself teaching the children.

We repair our broken apparatus at the local workshop. There are repair shops installed by the company itself. They will do it better.

We have mentioned the parts of the Process of creation. It is worth repeating it, as it does not stay in the mind.

Creation is by Self-conception.

By Self-limitation and Self-absorption, it is completed.

The Absolute splits into Brahman, Purusha, and Ishwara.

The Self-conscious Being becomes Spirit by Self-experience.

The Absolute creates through the Supermind, its objective status.

Creation is upheld in Time - Space that are subjective and objective states of Sat.

It is a Process of the One becoming the Many.

To see these six processes inside us and consciously extend them to education and teaching will be an original work of high creativity.

Let us reduce it to a method.

    191.   The full definition of a gentleman is the realistic extension of our student.

It is rewarding to read about the definition of a gentleman.

His attributes are many and are often referred to by great writers.

All the desirable qualities are attributed to a gentleman.

They are attributes that make the natural brute of a man gentle.

The physical is violently brutal. An author speaks of a momentous act of deliberate brutality. Brutality is physical. Mind endorsing it makes it deliberate. Giving the full force of the vital, it becomes momentous. This act is singularly brutal, as all the parts of man have endorsed it.

The spirit is soft and gentle. When it emerges on the surface, a soft velvety feeling envelops one.

A gentleman is the result of the Spiritual values rendering the brute soft spoken.

A gentleman is one who will not offend anyone by his act or speech:

is utterly truthful at all circumstances.

behaves in giving as if he is the recipient.

has eschewed violence of any type.

values punctuality as the manners of a prince.

honours his promise.

is a man of noble character.

considers duty more important than his own convenience.

treats all equally.

is incapable of a mean act.

is magnanimity personified.

considers anyone's claim more urgently than his own.

Goodness is the result of Truth acquiring knowledge. He is goodness incarnate.

It is understood that a gentleman is prepared by generations of wealth and status. It is largely true. Our aim is to create a gentleman in one generation by giving him the essence of being a gentleman through education.

It is our experience and belief that it is possible by giving him values that are spiritual skills.

    192.    Education is the experience of the Mind by which life benefits.

    193.     Education enables one to learn constantly.

    194.     Education is complete when learning is an end in itself.

    195.     Entertainment is the best medium for the higher education.

    196.     Education is inner richness becoming outer reality.

    197.     The inner expressing in the outer is life.

    198.     A life governed by education is a life organised by the mind.

    199.     Education is the yoga of the Society.

    200.     This is universal education.

Mind has dozens of faculties. Acquiring any or raising its level is skill. Skills learnt is energizing, sometimes exciting. All the faculties of the mind coming together in an integration having an experience is education.

Man learns constantly unconsciously. Education makes it conscious.

Learning is a process of mental growth. It is the physical growth that energizes the child. Similarly, it is the mental growth that energizes the adult. The adult enjoying that mental growth is education.

Drama is a higher form of poetry, as it is entertaining too. What entertains is enjoyable. Enjoyment is the source of creation and all creation ends in enjoyment. So entertainment is the best medium for education. The higher the education, the entertainment needed is higher.

All existence is inner existence. The inner projecting itself in the outer is creation. As one creates through education, the inner projects itself.

The inner expressing in the outer is life, creation, matter, mind, cosmos.

Mind is an inveterate organiser. Its primary faculty is dividing. Later it aggregates. When the aggregation expresses the inner value, it is according to a pattern which is organisation. Matter is one such organisation of mind. At its acme, Matter becomes Sachchidananda expressing Ananda permanently.

To let mind organise our lives is to educate ourselves.

Yoga is the education of Nature.

Education is the yoga of the Society.

Education becomes complete when it brings universal knowledge.

Analogy of Ananda in objects to the Experience of Education in the Mind as Genius

  • Sat becomes Matter by inversion.
  • Sat is Matter to the experiencing of Mind.
  • Mind seeing the Spirit - Sat (*) through its senses sees as Matter.
  • Sachchidananda tries to express its objectless Ananda in the objects - Matter - in Ignorance so that ananda that is fleeting will secure a permanency.
  • This is done by knowledge becoming Ignorance and by self-discovery trying to emerge out of Ignorance. It is the Delight of self-existence of Sachchidananda with Mind as its formal basis of experiencing. That is the reason given by Sri Aurobindo for creation that is Lila.
  • Let us consider the difference between the objectless ananda of Sachchidananda and its expression in the objects of our world which is the aim of creation.

- Brahman creates Sat - Existence.

- It is Self-Existent.

- It has no need to be aware of or conscious of its existence.

- When it does become conscious of itself, it becomes consciousness.

- Nor does Sat have the need to experience itself as Existence.

- When Sat experiences itself as Existence, that experience is the sensation of Ananda. This, He calls objectless Ananda.

  • The process of creation has the following stages:

- Existence by its subjectivity becomes the spiritual substance.

- By being aware of itself, Existence becomes consciousness that is Timeless.

- The Timeless by apprehension becomes Time, creating Mind between the two planes.

- Mind, looking at the Spiritual substance, through its sense, finds it as Material substance which we call Matter.

- As Existence experienced itself as objectless Ananda in Sachchidananda, Matter that is Sachchidananda experiences itself as Ananda in the objects, thus increasing its intensity and giving it a permanency.

- That happens by Sachchidananda representing itself to its mental experience.

- Mind serves as the formal basis of this Delight of self-existence.

- Creation thus achieves a Delight it aimed at.

- This is the Process of creation applicable to all human activities including education.

- Now let us trace the parallel in education.

  • Education is a process by which the society gives posterity its own accumulated wisdom in a very short period.

- At the lowest, this wisdom is received as facts by the process of memorisation, which equips the posterity with a capacity to be salaried employees.

- In the West, it can be received as thinking, rather as understanding through the process of thinking.

- The present modern, technological, scientific civilisation of the West that is overflowing with abundant Prosperity has been achieved by this ability to understand exercising the mental faculty of thinking.

- When it wants to understand a thing, Mind seeks its opposite, confronts it and slowly discovers by a promise of compromise a greater part of the truth of that thing.

- The Higher mind does the same thing by not thinking more fully and more quickly by silent contemplation.

- The Illumined Mind sees more of the truth of the thing through the medium of light in a vision dispensing with the processes of memorisation, thinking, and understanding.

- The Intuitive Mind has direct knowledge of the thing and dispenses even with the medium of light that is vision.

  • The knowledge of the society accumulated over the centuries is likened to Sat, Existence.
  • Its self-experience without objects is the Ananda in the plane of Sachchidananda.
  • Its delight of self-existence in the plane of Matter with Mind as its formal basis of experience is the Delight Brahman seeks.
  • Human Mind, at its lowest, tries to receive the social wisdom as facts by memory. It has received Vedic knowledge as ritualistic recitation.
  • Mind has evolved thinking and secures understanding by it. This is the process the West has resorted to so far.
  • Our school does not employ memorisation.
  • Similarly, it can dispense with thinking too.
  • To overcome thinking, the child's mind needs to be Silent.
  • That way, the child will acquire the social wisdom by silent contemplation more fully and more quickly.
  • In practice, it means India can achieve in a short period what the West has achieved in five or eight hundred years.
  • As memorisation is a debilitating encumbrance, so thinking too is an encumbrance even when it achieves amazing result by silent contemplation in the Higher Mind.
  • The Mind has the option of rising further.
  • It can rise to the Illumined Mind of the Rishi where the medium is light and the result is vision.
  • Still, light itself is a medium.
  • A medium can be an obstruction.
  • Mind can be free of light too and receive the social wisdom directly at the next higher level of Intuitive Mind of the yogi.
  • At the level of Intuition lies the faculty of Genius.
  • Intuition is only a halfway house to the Delight of Self-existence of Matter which occurs in the Supramental plane.
  • Social wisdom is experienced by the child's free Mind, free of thinking and understanding as well as Intuition and knowledge that belongs to the Overmind as Supramental wisdom when the Mind is given utter freedom.
  • The analogy attempted here is between Sat and Social Wisdom at one end and Delight of Self-Existence - Ananda in objects - and the Supramental Wisdom at the other end.
  • It is worthwhile taking note that Intuition, the seat of genius, lies two levels below the Supermind.
  • Overmind that has the knowledge possesses it as of right and does not acquire it like the Intuitive Mind.
  • But Overmind possessing knowledge coexists with Ignorance. Still, Overmind has the capacity to act without being hindered by the Ignorance in its own plane.
  • Should we attain to our ideal of giving freedom to the child from thinking and vision, the child will absorb the social wisdom of ages as a genius, since at this point the social wisdom brings the child the world experience and individualises it in his own personal mind, thus creating genius in him.

       Analogy of a company with education

  • One who has a crore of rupees invests it in a company which rises to a turnover of a thousand crores and a profit of one hundred crores.
  • Social wisdom invested in education rises to universal knowledge making the individual a genius or multiple genius.
  • The one crore of rupees remains in the vault at home or stays in the bank accruing interest. When invested in a company

- It courts a risk which the man loves as an adventure.

- The money becomes the building, machinery, salary, expenses and the product in the field of market.

- Sachchidananda becomes Supermind, Mind, Life, Matter, etc. Ananda emerging in Matter as delight of self-existence is the aim. One crore becoming a thousand crores of turnover and a hundred crores of profit is the Infinite emerging out of the finite.

- Social wisdom is the capital. Mind is education. School is the field of creation. Result depends upon methods. Memory yields facts. Understanding gives ideas, insight gives a flash into the truth, intuition give genius. The social wisdom becomes universal knowledge in the context of a Free unconditioned Mind and returns to the individual as personal delight of universal Ananda.

- To work out all the steps on the side of creation and education is our work of implementation.

- At each point, one can witness infinite possibilities emerging. The key lies in the human choice.


Note: ‘Our school' as mentioned in this document refers to Primrose School, Pondicherry


[1] Existence, consciousness, Ananda, Supermind, mind, life, psychic, matter.

* Spirit is the subjective experience of Sat.


Spelling corrections:Under

Spelling corrections:

Under point no. 76

7th bullet point: They will have nothing to forget or forgive as they will not remember any thing.

8th bullet point: Buying an article, sharing a seat in the bus, wishing another good morning

18th bullet point: What is true of the social personality is also true of the psychological and spiritual personalities.

story | by Dr. Radut