"If we have here a school, it must be different than the millions of schools in the world. It must give the children the opportunity, to differentiate between ordinary life and the divine life, the life of truth, and to see things differently.
It is futile to want to repeat the ordinary life. The teachers have the task of to open the children's eyes to something they would not find anywhere else." (The Mother -Talks 21.12.1950 , Bull. Nov. 1962)
Education to be complete must have five principal aspects corresponding to the five principal activities of the human being: the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic and the spiritual. Usually, these phases of education follow chronologically the growth of the individual; this, however, does not mean that one of them should replace another, but that all must continue, completing one another until the end of his life.
The true basis for the education is the study of the human spirit at the age of the child, of the adolescent and the adult........
There can be no doubt that the current european education system is a major progress over the many methods of antiquity. His weaknesses, however, are palpable. It is based on an inadequate Knowledge of human psychology. In Europe it is only protected from of fatal Events because the ordinary student refuses to surrender to the contained Methods, and he has become accustomed to study only as much as he must, to avoid a penalty or to survive an impending test.....
In a national education system it is the first problem, to give an equally comprehensive and more thorough education than the European type, but without the downsides of overwork and drumming. But one can only do so if one studies the tools of insight and finds a teaching method that is natural, easy and effective. These instruments can only be made fit for the performance required by the modern conditions if one strengthens and sharpens them up to their utmost ability. The mental muscles must be thoroughly trained by simple and easy means. Only then can they produce great performance in intellectual power. (The human mind, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother "On Education", 1960)
"Formerly, education was merely a mechanical forcing of the child’s nature into arbitrary grooves of training and knowledge in which his individual subjectivity was the last thing considered, and his family upbringing was a constant repression and compulsory shaping of his habits, his thoughts, his character into the mould fixed for them by the conventional ideas or individual interests and ideals of the teachers and parents. The discovery that education must be a bringing out of the child’s own intellectual and moral capacities to their highest possible value and must be based on the psychology of the child-nature was a step forward towards a more healthy because a more subjective system; but it still fell short because it still regarded him as an object to be handled and moulded by the teacher, to be educated. But at least there was a glimmering of the realisation that each human being is a self-developing soul and that the business of both parent and teacher is to enable and to help the child to educate himself, to develop his own intellectual, moral, aesthetic and practical capacities and to grow freely as an organic being, not to be kneaded and pressured into form like an inert plastic material. It is not yet realised what this soul is or that the true secret, whether with child or man, is to help him to find his deeper self, the real psychic entity within....." ( Sri Aurobindo : Human Cycle )
The first principle of true teaching is: Nothing can be taught. The teacher is not an instructor and not a drummer. He is a helper and a guide. His profession is that he stimulates and does not impose. In fact, he does not train the mental of the student, but he shows him only how to be himself he brings the instruments of knowledge to perfection, and he supports and encourages him during this process. He gives him no knowledge, but he shows him how he can acquire the knowledge himself. He brings the knowledge that is inside not about. Rather, it shows him where it is and how it can get accustomed to come to the surface. The limitation that reserves this principle is only for the training of adolescents and adults and rejects its use in children, is a conservative and unintelligent doctrine. Whether child or man, boy or girl. There is only one sound principle of good teaching. The difference in age is there to reduce or to multiply the necessary degree of help and guidance. It changes but not its nature.
The second principle is that the mental must be consulted for help during his own growing. The idea is a barbaric and ignorant misconception that parents or teachers could hammer the child to the desired shape. Instead one should instruct the child to expand in tune with its own nature. There can be no bigger error than that the parents could specify in advance that their son should develop certain properties, skills, ideas and virtues. Forcing the nature, to give up the own Dharma(internal law) inflicts a lasting damage. The educator maimes the growth and disfigures the perfection. This is a selfish tyranny over a human soul and a wounding of its nature. For it loses the benefit of the Best that a man could give her. Instead it must accept something imperfect, artificial, second-class, ordinary or insignificant. Everyone carries something divine in himself, something alone of his own. He has the possibility of perfecting and power, even if only in the small area, which God offers him. He can accept or reject. The task is to discover these and to use it. It should be the ultimate goal of education should be to help the growing soul, to bring out that which is the Best in her, and to make it perfect for a noble use.
The third principle of education is that one works from the near to the far, from what is to what should be. The basis of the human nature is almost always besides to the transience of his soul, his heredity, his surroundings, his nationality, his country, the soil from which he draws his sustenance, the air which he breathes, what he sees and hears, the uses which he is accustomed to. They act, in its making not less powerful because they act imperceptibly. From them we have to go out then. We may not tear out the nature mit the roots from the soil in which it must grow. We must also not surrounded the mind mit pictures and ideas of a life that is unaccustomed to the place in which he must move physically. If something strange must be brought to the Mental, then it should be offered but not forced upon him. The precondition of true development is a free and natural growth. There are souls which rebel by their very nature against their environment. It seems as if they belong to another age or climate. Let them freely follow their suitability. Most people waste away, they become empty and artificial when they are artificially presses into a unfamiliar shape. God has so ordered that people belong to a particular nation, era and society, that they should be children of the past, owners of the present and creators of the future. The past is our foundation, the present our material, the future our aim and summit. Each individual must have the rightful natural place in his national education system.
The forces of the mind
The instrument of the educator is the mental(anthakarana). It consists of four layers. The basis on which all other layers rest, is the reservoir of past mental impressions, the storehouse of memory (citta), which must be distincted from the special act of remembering. Each experience is in our interior as a passive or potential memory. The active memory selects and takes what it needs from that warehouse.
The second layer is the actual mental (manas), the sixth sense of our Indian psychology.
The third layer is the intellect (buddhi), the real instrument of thinking and that what assigns the knowledge and uses the parts which have been acquired from the other parts of the machine.
There is still a fourth layer of the ability, although not yet fully unfolded in humans, but gradually gains a ever development and more perfect Evolution. The forces of this highest layer of knowledge are mainly known by the phenomenon of genius: Sovereign Judgement, intuitive grasp of the truth, abundance of inspiration of the speech, direct knowledge show in a measure that often rises to Revelation, and makes a man to the Prophet of Truth. These assets are rare in their higher development, although many people use them incomplete or during flashes of enlightenment ......
The moral nature
In the organic system of humans is the mental nature based on the moral. For the human progress is an education of the intellect, which is separate from the perfectrion of the moral and emotional nature, but harmful. While it is easy to establish a type of curriculum or training scheme, that is sufficient for the training of the mental, one has not yet managed to develop a suitable moral training under modern conditions for schools and universities. It is a futile effort and self-deception when one tries to make the students thereby morally and religiously, that teaches out of moral and religious text books, and precisely for the reason, because the heart is not the mind, and because the instruction of the intellect triggers not necessarily an ameliorating effect on the heart. It would be erroneous to say that it would have no effect. It sprinkles some seeds of thoughts into the passive memory inside. If these thoughts become a habit, they affect the living. The risk of moral textbooks, however, is that they make thinking of sublime things to something mechanical and artificial. What is mechanical and artificial, however, is for always ineffective.
If one has to do with the moral nature of man, there are three things of the utmost Importance: His feelings, his laid-formed habits and associations (samskara) and his nature(svabhava). The only way how he can even develop morally, is that he makes himself accustomed to the right feelings, to the finest lines of thought, to the best mental, emotional and physical practices and realizes the fundamental impetus of his essential nature in the right Action.
One can impose the children a discipline, dress them in a certain model form, drive them with the whip to a desired way .... But if one cannot get their heart and their nature in his side , becomes their docility into the imposed order hypocritical and heartless. It becomes a conventional and often cowardly compliance. This happens in Europe and leads to that strange phenomenon that you have to "push off horns", as soon as one has thrown off the yoke of discipline in schools and homes. Furthermore comes from this the social hypocrisy which is such a widespread phenomenon of European life. Only what a man admires and assumes as its own, becomes a part of himself, the the rest is makeup. He adapts himself to the discipline of the society just as he adapted on the moral routine of school and home. He considers himself free to live his real inner life and private live according to his tastes and passions. On the other hand, it leads to corruption of mankind if the moral and religious Education is at all neglected. The well-known moral corruption of our young people in the time before their salvation taken by the Svadeshi movement, was the direct result of purely mental Instruction that was given to them under the English system of education. As with the education of the mental, it is also regarding the education of the heart the best method to lead the child on the right path to his selfperfection, to encourage it to go further out, to observe it, to animate it, to help the child - but not to intervene.
The first rule of moral education is: to encourage and invite, not to command and impose. The best method of excitation is by personal example, everyday conversation and the day to day read books. These books should for younger students contain the most sublime examples of the past. They should not be given as moral lessons but as examples of highest human interest. For the older students they are the big ideas of excellent souls, Sections from the Literature that ignite his highest feelings and awaken the most exalted ideals and efforts in him ....... They form a kind of good alive comradeship (satsanga), which can hardly fail their Effect as long as one avoids the didactic preaching ......
"To be aware of the various movements in oneselve, be accountable for what one does and why one does it - that is the essential starting point. One must learn the child to watch his reactions, his drives and their reasons and to be an attentive witness of his his desires, his feelings of impatience and his violent temper, his drive to sweep everything in itself, and to control and finally, lurking in the background to usurp anything, to dominate and to possess and finally to become conscious of the in the background lurking selflove, on wwhich all these movements are based, connected to a counter-movement of weakness, the discouragement, depression and despair.
Quite obviously for to have a successful conclusion must at the same time as the observation grows even the will to progress or for perfectioning grow. This will must be instilled in the child as soon as it is capable of a will, i.e. much earlier than commonly thought. To awaken this will for victory and overcome exist various methods. In some children is reaoning effective, at others one must appeal at the good will and the feelings, for others in the dignity and the self respect. For all is the relentless and honest given example the most powerful means.....
I have spoken of the moral. It is also necessary to say a word about the religious Instruction. Here dominates the strange idea that one could make children pious and morally, by teaching them the dogmas of religion. But whether some form of religion is transmitted or not, must in every school that calls itself a national school, the essence of religion be made the ideal: for God, for humanity, for the country, for the others, and in to lve in everything for oneselve. This spirit of Hinduism should permeate our schools. It should be the essential in them. He should differ them from all other Schools. This is much more important than the teachings of Indian Teaching materials, the use of Indian methods or formal instruction in Hindu beliefs or sacred writings of the Hinduismusses.
* Norman C. Dowsett : Psychology for future education, 1980, Vantage Press, New York, ISBN 10 : 0533046793
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