Chapter 5: Knowledge Is That Which Liberates
Is our education teaching love? Our education is not even aware of love. Our education teaches ego, instead. Ego and love are two opposite values. Where there is ego, there is no love. Where there is love, there is no ego. Current education teaches ego, and from the very childhood we make all arrangements to sharpen the ego.
A child enters his elementary class and we ask him to come first. One who comes first is rewarded. Those who come last are not rewarded and are ignored. If there are thirty students in a class, only one of them can come first. The happiness of one boy is being based on the misery and frustration of the remaining twenty-nine. This is the education we are providing.
One who has come first is happy and joyful, not because he came first but because he has left the rest behind. We are teaching violence. Violence has only one meaning: it means nothing other than experiencing happiness in others’ misery. One is not free of violence just by drinking germless water or just by not eating food at night. The meaning of violence is just this: being happy in others’ misery.
And what else do we teach our children than to feel happy in others’ misery? If there is only one student in a class, he will come first, but he will not be happy. But if there are thirty students in the class and if he comes first, he will be happy for having left the twenty-nine behind. If there are three thousand students and he comes first, his happiness is greater. If there are three lakh students, his happiness and joy will know no bounds. In becoming a president of a country, leaving behind the rest of the population of that country, one becomes very elated. That is why politics is violence because it is a race to come first.
Religion is just a different direction. Knowledge is just a different direction.
Jesus Christ says: Blessed are those who are able to come last.. It is strange. Either Jesus Christ is mad or all of us are mad us who run schools, impart knowledge and are teachers.. We are teaching: Blessed are those who are capable of coming first.
The race for coming first cannot liberate anyone. There are some basic reasons for this. The first thing is, one who joins that race remains in conflict and in tension; he has begun to fight. He is creating enmities with others. One who creates enmity cannot remain free from it; he is bound to it. Only he who is a friend to all can become liberated. And only he who is not in competition with anybody can become a friend to all.
What else is the meaning of friendship except, “I am not in competition.” What else is the meaning of enmity except, “I am in competition. Either you win or I win. These are the only alternatives: either I or you, but both cannot win.”