Chapter 3: Education: Love-Oriented
Universities are increasing and books are increasing. I am told there are five thousand books published every week in the world. Books and students go on increasing in quantity, education is increasing, but the world is becoming worse. In this world if wars are becoming more violent, hatred is becoming more widespread, jealousy and envy are on the increase, there must be something basically wrong. For this situation the responsibility really rests on those who are connected with education the teacher and the students.
During the last five thousand years there have been many revolutions economic and political but so far there has been no fundamental revolution in education. It is worth deliberating on now whether there is any possibility of a revolution in man’s culture without any revolution in education. It is not possible, because education creates a structure of your mind from which it becomes almost impossible for you to be free. A student is studying for fifteen to twenty years, during which time the structure of his mind will be fixed. Afterwards it is very difficult to be free from that structure unless a person is adventurous and courageous.
Is there something wrong with that structure which is educating us? Certainly it must be wrong, because the outcome is wrong and it is the outcome which decides if something is right or wrong. The children who come out duly educated, also come out as perverted human beings.
I do not mean to tell you that the ancient form of education was better and that we should return to that. All that is nonsense; in life there is nothing like going back. In the past also the educational system was not basically right. If it had been, the present wrong system would not have come out of it. It was wrong in the past, it is wrong now. Wrong only comes out of wrong.
I will tell you what actually has gone wrong.
The center around which our education is moving is wrong. The whole problem has arisen due to the wrong center which is ambition. Our whole educational system is revolving around ambition. What is being taught to us? We are taught ambition. We are taught a race to get ahead of everyone. Even in a small child learning in kindergarten we are creating an anxiety about coming first in the class. There is no greater anxiety than this in the world. The only anxiety is how to get ahead of all, leaving everyone else behind.
The small child going to school is full of anxiety. He will be rewarded if he comes first; he will be insulted if he comes second. If he fails he will be humiliated; if he succeeds he will be rewarded and respected by teachers and parents. We are creating competition in him. Competition is a kind of fever. When you are feverish there is a rise of energy. You can run faster, you can use bad language faster, you can do things which ordinarily you would not be able to do. In fever there is a kind of intensity and speed.
The whole educational system is based on this fever of getting ahead of everyone. The ego of the children is aroused; they become eager to come first. They work hard, with all their strength. But for what? Only because there is competition to come first. This fever of competition gets hold of children. Even after they come out of the field of education that fever persists.