Chapter 15: The Impossible Is Only an Idea of the Mind
For two thousand years Aristotle’s logic was the only logic. It is no more the case. There is non-Aristotelian logic, there is non-Euclidean geometry, and every day sciences go on growing into different dimensions. And each dimension is so vast that the man who knows nuclear physics may not be aware at all what chemistry is doing, or what is happening in the world of biology, or what is happening in the world of medical science. The scientist is no longer a man working alone, but only a specialist. Because of this specialization, things are moving very fast. Everybody has taken a small part and is developing it to its ultimate end.
When the student comes back home after five years in the university, he knows more than the older generation. That is the problem, that is what is creating the generation gap. To him even his own parents look foolish, out of date, knowing nothing. This has taken away the respect that was taken for granted in the past. You cannot respect someone who looks to you completely out of date, out of tune, who does not know what has happened in the last twenty-five years.
The growth and the pace of growth is such that what did not happen before in twenty-five centuries now happens in twenty-five years. Naturally, a tremendous gap between the older and the newer generation is bound to happen. It is inevitable. The newer generation knows more, for the first time in the history of man, than the older generation.
If a student is intelligent enough, he can know more than the professors. He just has to spend more time in the library and be acquainted with the latest developments. The professor is already twenty years behind. All the professors, all the teachers, all the parents, all together are complaining of one thing, that the newer generation is not respectful towards them. But they can’t see one simple thing, that the whole reason for respectability has disappeared. You have to accept it, there is no other way. The person who knows more cannot respect the persons who don’t know that much.
And this gap is widening. It has stopped the communication between the older generation and the newer generation, because conversation is so difficult. The parents have their own egos, they are not going to sit at the feet of their own children and learn from them. And the children have their own egos, they know more. Why should they sit at the feet of their parents and learn from them things which have proved to be completely wrong? They speak almost different languages.
The influence of the older generation on the newer generation is completely gone. The relationship has become more and more formal - it is just a remnant of the past - but its substance, its soul, is dead. And this is going to happen more and more because science is developing every day with greater speed in all dimensions.
Specialization is a new thing in the world. In the past, you used to have a family doctor. Now you cannot have one because there are all kinds of specialists. The family doctor used to treat you as a whole organism, but now you have been divided into parts, because each part is so detailed that a person goes on researching it his whole life, and yet he does not come to the end.