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7. Education


The ideas of Mother and Sri Aurobindo are revolutionary in the extreme. From the beginning neither of them set great store by formal education that leads to a degree. Sri Aurobindo felt that if one learns one subject with a certain thoroughness, his education will be complete and he has the essential equipment to acquire any other subject by himself. He did feel that history and biographies are great educators. The school they founded in the Ashram for the children of the devotees teaches English and French and awards no degree at the completion of the higher level course, a procedure not usually followed anywhere.

Mother's view on education, especially on the capacity of the human mind, is perhaps unique. She feels any man can do anything, if he chooses. She does not see any inherent limitation in the mental capacity. It is known that one's intelligence does not increase during one's life-time. What varies is its extent of application or the experience it draws upon. But Mother says that if one chooses to be in touch with his Psychic Being, his intelligence starts increasing. Mother gives the example of a rustic girl of low intelligence who, during the period she was in touch with her psychic being, learned to perform ballet dance at high levels which requires greater intelligence.

"Concentrate on the body, you fall ill; concentrate on your vital, you get depressed; concentrate on your mind, you go mad" is her description of human nature as expressed by the body, nerves and mind. In other words, the parts of being in a man are fully unconscious. Their normal capacity expresses smoothly when we are not actively giving them consideration. It may be the experience of many that when you are in doubt about the spelling of a less known word, if you simply write it down, the correct spelling comes out. When the construction of a sentence is questioned, people often speak it out and the right form emerges. Whether it is spelling or construction, originally we have consciously learnt them correctly. With the passing of the years the skill has moved from the conscious to the subconscious part of the mind. The subconscious remembers it correctly. Any stumbling is only in the conscious part. This is why when we start writing or speaking, the right form comes out ‘automatically', as we say. Similarly, the health of our body, joy in the vital and clarity in the mind have moved down to the subconscious or unconscious, as the psychologists call it, and function smoothly. Our concentration on them makes them conscious and brings in the disorder. Their order is in the subconscious. We should not make them conscious if we want them to maintain their order.

Mother offers a great secret of life to us if we wish to enjoy permanent happiness. Life becomes miserable for us only when we expect others or events to behave as we want them to. Obviously this is not what we notice in our behaviour, though our behaviour is shot through and through with this attitude. First, the world around us is not going to oblige our wishes. On the face of it, it is not practical or rational. If we change our attitude, our misery will disappear. It comes in a subtle way into our thoughts. We do not openly expect people to behave according to our wishes. What we expect them to do is the ‘right thing'. Under the guise of rightness, we smuggle in our expectations. A classical example is the parents who seek to arrange for the marriage of a son and a daughter. All the complaints they voice when they seek an alliance for the daughter are perfectly legitimate, rational and right. When the very same people seek an alliance for their son, the whole attitude comes out in full. They are found behaving just like the parents of their son-in-law. People who plead for fairness on one occasion refuse to offer the same fairness in a similar situation in which they are the principal actors. That is what Mother means when she says that people want others to behave according to their own wishes. When the supramental force descends, it is necessary to create a bridge between the old and new worlds. Mother says women are better fitted to create that bridge. Women are better equipped as constructive creators, says Mother. They know how to handle the power of truth.

Mother has pronounced ideas on violence. She feels it is permissible only for self-defense.

The brightness of the Lord, his original splendour, is so intense that even the sun looks faded before Him.

Mother does not distinguish between ordinary life and spiritual life. For Her there is a less conscious life and a more conscious life. In other words, when man in ordinary life becomes more conscious, he becomes spiritual and his life becomes a spiritual life.

‘Turn the other cheek to your enemy who smites you on one cheek' is a famous thought in religion. With the enemy, Mother says, you must love him. In a mood of bravado one may turn the other cheek with the inner emotions still remaining the same. But, at heart in the emotions, one must have only love for another, be it a friend or an enemy.

Nations of the World

Each nation has a special endowment of its own. France is known for her intellectual clarity and chivalry, Germany for her innovation, Japan for honour and beauty, USA for practical organisation, and India for spirituality.

When world politics was discussed, Mother said she found the Russians more sincere than the Western politicians.

book | by Dr. Radut