Chapter 7: Total Education
So the first thing I want to say to you is that education of only intellect is not intelligent and wise. There are other aspects of life too, and they are more significant than the intellect, because man does not live by intellect. The sources of man’s living are much deeper than the intellect. Neither do we love through intellect, nor do we get angry through intellect, nor do we hate through intellect. Neither do we recognize beauty through intellect, nor do we read song and poetry through intellect, nor are any deeper experiences of life attained through intellect. It is not surprising if the education of mere intellect deprives and cuts life off from all the deeper experiences. But we have been imparting an education only of intellect.
This education has given birth to a very unbalanced man. This unbalanced man goes on doing just anything; just anything is happening through him, any trouble. And these troubles are absolutely bound to happen, because when a man becomes unbalanced from within, his outside behavior also becomes unbalanced. Then there is no movement, no clear goal, no music, no rhythm in his life. This is the first of our misfortunes that we have understood education as the education of mere intellect, not of a total life. The education of a total life will have other meanings.
In my vision, too much weight of intellect completely stops a few things from growing within man. We start sending five-year-olds to school. Their intellect comes under such a load that their bodies, their hearts, their feelings all capacities in their life for deriving bliss and enjoyment get destroyed. All juices of life are taken away by the intellect and the rest of the life dries up.
These children grow up heartless, without feeling, empty of any love, machine-like. Their value is only one: how much higher position they can reach, how much salary they bring back home, how efficiently they work. Is man born for this? Is man born only for this, that he gets a bigger salary or sits on a higher chair? Or does man come in life to search for some other wealth of bliss? But in order to search for that wealth, it is necessary to develop some other things.
In my view, it will appear very strange to you when I say this today, until the whole of mankind comes to this decision, if not today then tomorrow, that there should be no weight on the child’s intellect up to the age of twelve or fourteen years of age.. The weight on the child’s intellect should come only after fourteen years of age. Up to fourteen years of age, all efforts should be made for the growth of the child’s body and feelings.
The first fourteen years in the child’s life are the most formative years. As the child attains sexual maturity, only after that is the right development of his intellect easy and appropriate. Before that, there are other precious parts of his life which should develop. The child’s health should develop, the child’s feelings should develop, the child’s capacity to love should develop, because the child whose capacity to love does not grow in childhood, even if he grows to old age there will not be any growth of love in him.