Chapter 9: Transformation through Awareness
The impact of our life on the child should be such that he visualizes life in its oneness. He should not feel that inner and outer, subjective and objective are two things he should feel life as a whole. He should understand that he is the same person when he is eating and when he is praying; that his prayer is connected in some deep way with his eating, it cannot be separate. The child should become aware of this inner principle, and it is not difficult for a child, who in reality feels that he is the same person, to become aware who eats and who prays. But he becomes confused when he sees that his father becomes a different person when he eats, a different person when he is sitting in his shop, and a third person when he is praying. When he comes home he becomes a different person, and when he is facing a servant he becomes yet another person. The child is not able to understand this.
A child is being told that he should respect his father because he is old. The child then wants to respect the old servant also, because if old age is a matter for respect, then the old servant should also get respect. Such behavior on the child’s part is beyond our understanding. We then tell the child to respect his old father, not the old servant. Then we are creating a distinction.
But this distinction is not just limited to one between a father and a servant; it creates two faces within him: one to be shown to the father and the other to be shown to the servant. The child learns that he has to stand in a temple one way and sit in the shop in a different way. One has to be clever in the shop and simple in the temple. This way we are teaching him divisions. Slowly all these distinctive impressions, layer after layer, will get built in and the child will take these distinctions as conclusive in his life.
Actually the system of education should be such that from the very childhood, right from the parents and school to the university, he remains aware of the fact that everything is connected; he should remain aware that something is connecting even two opposites from within. One thing should be very clear in his mind: that he is undivided and whole; that there can be no two things like inner and outer; that “whosoever I am from outside, I am the same from within.” Then only will there be born in him an integrated individual, an individuality which is not divisible.
Our society has a system that builds up personality but does not create any individuality. Society creates a personality, but does not make an individual. Personality does not mean one whole individual but an individual divided into many parts he has many masks from outside, a separate mask meant for each different individual. He can change the mask according to the need. There is not one individual within him who remains the same in all states, conditions and situations, the same inside and outside, the same in a temple and in a shop.