Chapter 10: Mentation and Meditation
The child has to be educated so he becomes aware of all the cunningnesses of man, so that he becomes acquainted with the entire troublesome world of man and experiences it. But if only this much is done, an unbalanced personality will be created. The intellect will be sharp, but his heart will be empty; mathematics will be clear to him but the faculty for love will be underdeveloped. He will be able to destroy but he will not be able to create. He will be able to win but he will not be able to lose.
A man who only knows how to win is not a total man, because there are certain dimensions of life that are available only to the losers. The world is gained by those who know how to win, but the divine can only be attained by those who also know how to lose. Wealth may come to those who are the winners, but love is only for those who are losers. Defeat has its own victory. But mathematics and logic teach only how to win; meditation teaches how to lose. Logic and mathematics offer us the skill to increase our wealth and possessions in the world and to expand our empire. Meditation is the art of expanding the kingdom of the soul, of expanding consciousness so that it embraces the whole universe.
If only the child’s intellect is educated he will be partially paralyzed; there will be no fullness, no totality in his life. One of his legs will always be crippled, and his life will be a limping. It is only because all others are lame too that no one recognizes the fact. Children have a game called the lame race in which one of their legs is tied to another child’s leg, so only one of their legs can run free. This is virtually the way our life is organized, so that we are running on one leg only. It is hardly surprising that we fail, collapse, break down.
Meditation is the second leg. We should teach children meditation as we start educating their intellect. Just as the child comes to understand science, he should come to understand religion simultaneously. As his head grows brighter, let his heart also grow full of light. Don’t let him grow up only to know about, let him grow up also to be. Don’t let only his possessions grow, let him grow too. Don’t let only his exterior expand, let his interiority also have a depth, just as the trees rise up in the sky but their roots go deep underground. The deeper the roots go underground, the higher the tree rises in the sky.
As you are, you are like a tree that has no roots: you spread high and wide, but you have no way inward and within and so you are trembling every moment. Just a slight gust of wind and you are afraid because you have no roots. If you had roots running deep into the earth, then you would invite storms and delight in them when they came. They would be a festival in your life at which you could dance, because in the storm lies the challenge, and only against a background of challenge can you fully come to know your being. So you would thank the storm and beg it to come more often. But as you are, just a breeze and you are afraid as if death has come. Instead of being grateful to existence for sending the storm, you weep and cry: “Help! Save me! Shelter me from this storm!” And your fear is all because you have no roots.