Chapter 7: Total Education
Words are not life. Words have their utility in living life, but mere education of words is not the education of life. Then what happens is that there is a great pile of words.. An educated man ends up having no other wealth than that of words. He is as idiotic as any uneducated person. There is only one difference between them, and that is that in addition the educated man falls into the illusion that he is not an idiot. He remains just as ignorant about all other dimensions of life as any tribal man from the jungles. He has no understanding whatsoever about the art of living, he has no idea of the paths along which to live life. He has no acquaintance with life at all. What do libraries and books have to do with life? There is no need to commit the mistake of thinking that one who is familiar with a classroom is familiar with life. And it is necessary to keep in mind that life may not even give a clay medal to one who has won a gold medal in the university.
The education of words, mere accumulation of words, mere wealth of words, certainly becomes a weight on the brain but neither does it make the brain free, nor alive, nor thoughtful, nor does it provide any originality in looking at life, nor does it give the art of living or teach ways of living. So far, this is what we have been calling education! The sick, insane and ill man we see today is the result of this education.
Do you know that as his education grows, man goes on becoming more perverted? The uneducated man had a kind of balance and health which is missing in the educated man. The aboriginals of the forests had a kind of beauty, a kind of music, a bliss. There was a meaning and purpose in their life which is missing in the educated man.
It is really amazing. Are we becoming educated at the cost of losing bliss? Is our capability and fitness to experience bliss declining? Are we breaking contact with the roots of our life? If we look at the educated man with unbiased eyes which is difficult because we are also educated men, so it is with great difficulty that we are able to see an educated man’s diseases. Where there is the same disease prevalent all over the place, it is very difficult to recognize it.
We are all educated, not only educated but we are also the educators; we are the people who spread and impart that same education. It will be very difficult for us to see.very difficult for us to think that what we are spreading is not making man healthy. But those who have eyes and those who have not lost their entire intelligence in going through this education those people may be able to see a few things.
America is the most educated country, but the largest number of mad people is also in America. Is there some relationship between the two, or is it just accidental? The countries which are becoming more and more educated, the mental tension of their people is growing in the same proportions. Are we aware of these statistics or not? The more educated a country becomes, the more cases of suicide it has. In America itself, every day some one and half to three million people seek treatment for mental ailments. These are government statistics, and we know well that government statistics are never correct. If so many people are seeking mental treatment every day, then we know that it is not because of some individual difficulty, rather some collective disease is entering man’s mind.