Chapter 7: Total Education
Of the misfortunes that have befallen mankind, the greatest are the ones which we have been regarding as blessings. Because of regarding them as benedictions, as blessings, it has not been possible to avoid those misfortunes, or to change them, and nothing has been done to be free of them; rather, on the contrary, we have been watering them at their roots. As a result, born out of this is the man who is in front of us, and created out of it is the society which is all around us.
What has been going on in the name of education I consider the greatest of all those misfortunes. Certainly, you will be surprised to hear this, because education is thought to be a blessing. But are you aware that education has not given man balance and health? On the contrary, it has taken away all the balance from human life. And it was bound to be so, because there are some basic mistakes in what we have so far been thinking education to be.
The first basic mistake is that we have taken man to be only intellect. There can be nothing more false and wrong than this. Man is not intellect alone and the education being given is only of the intellect. The rest of the man remains untouched and incomplete; the rest of the man remains undeveloped, only the intellect develops. It is just as if someone’s whole body shrinks and wastes, only his head goes on becoming bigger. That man will be only an ugliness, and that man will be unable to walk. It will be difficult for him to live, because his big head will not be in balance with the rest of his body. And this is exactly what has happened in the name of education.
We decided that man is only intellect, and then for the past three thousand years we have been doing everything only to develop man’s intellect. The intellect has developed but the rest of the man is left far behind; the rest of the man is left three thousand years behind, and his intellect has gone three thousand years ahead. The tension, the gap that is created between the two is what is killing us. This has given birth to an inverted crippledness.
A man has all parts of his body intact and only his eyes are missing; then we say one part of his body is crippled, undeveloped. If a man has all his parts but his two legs, we call him crippled. An opposite type of crippledness is also possible of which we are not aware a man having only two legs and nothing else. This man is an inverted cripple.
Education has not made man healthy, it has crippled him. Only his intellect has developed and all the remaining parts of his body have remained undeveloped. The intellect has become bigger and bigger, and his connection with all the sources of life have been cut off.
What do we teach? What do we give in the name of education? Do we offer any education of life? Do we give any education in living? Do we teach the art of life? Not at all. We teach some words; we teach some mathematics, some language, some chemistry or physics, some history or geography. But what do we really teach through all this teaching? Just some words.