Letters to The Schools 1
Letters to Schools Volume One 15th May, 1979
What man has done to man has no limit. He has tortured him, he has burned him, he has killed him, he has exploited him in every possible way - religious, political, economic. This has been the story of man to man; the clever exploit the stupid, the ignorant. All philosophies are intellectual and therefore not whole. These philosophies have enslaved man. They have invented what society should be and sacrificed man to their concepts; the ideals of the so-called thinkers have dehumanized man. Exploitation of another - man or woman - seems to be the way of our daily life. We use each other and each accepts this usage. Out of this peculiar relationship dependence arises with all its misery, confusion and the agony that is inherent in dependence. Man has been both inwardly and outwardly so treacherous to himself and to others, and how can there be love in these circumstances?
So it becomes very important for the educator to feel total responsibility in his personal relationship not only to the student but to the whole of mankind. He is mankind. If he does not feel responsible for himself totally, then he will be incapable of feeling this passion of total responsibility which is love. Do you as an educator feel this responsibility? If not - why not? You may feel responsible for your own wife, husband or children and may disregard or feel no responsibility for another. But if you feel responsible in yourself completely you cannot but be responsible for the whole of man.
This question - why you do not feel responsible for another is very important. Responsibility is not an emotional reaction, not something you impose upon yourself - to feel responsible. Then it becomes duty and duty has lost the perfume or the beauty of this inward quality of total responsibility. It is not something you invite as a principle or an idea to hold on to, like possessing a chair or a watch.A mother may feel responsible for her child, feel the child is part of her blood and flesh and so give all her care and attention to that baby for some years. Is this maternal instinct responsibility? It may be that we have inherited this peculiar attachment to the child from the first animal. It exists in all nature from the tiniest little bird to the majestic elephant. We are asking - is this instinct responsibility? If it were, the parents would feel responsible for a right kind of education, for a totally different kind of society. They would see that there were no wars and that they themselves flowered in goodness.
So it appears that a human being is not concerned for another but is committed only to himself. This commitment is total irresponsibility. His own emotions, his own personal desires, his own attachments, his success, his advancement - these will inevitably breed ruthlessness both open and subtle. Is this the way of true responsibility?
In these schools he that gives and he that receives are both responsible and so they can never indulge in this peculiar quality of separateness. The egotistic separateness is perhaps the very root of the degeneration of the wholeness of the mind with which we are deeply concerned. This does not mean that there is no personal relationship, with its affection, with its tenderness, with its encouragement and support. But when the personal relationship becomes all-important and responsible only to the few, then the mischief has begun; the reality of this is known to every human being. This fragmentation of relationship is the degenerating factor in our life. We have broken up relationship so that it is to the personal, to a group, to a nation, to certain concepts and so on. That which is fragmented can never comprehend the wholeness of responsibility. From the little we are always trying to capture the greater. The better is not the good and all our thought is based on the better, the more - better at exams, better jobs, better status, better gods, nobler ideas.
The better is the outcome of comparison. The better picture, the better technique, the greater musician, the more talented, the more beautiful and the more intelligent depend on this comparison. We rarely look at a painting for itself,or at a man or woman for themselves. There is always this inbred quality of comparison. Is love comparison? Can you ever say you love this one more than that one? When there is this comparison, is that love? When there is this feeling of the more, which is measurement, then thought is in operation. Love is not the movement of thought. This measurement is comparison. We are encouraged throughout our life to compare. When in your school you compare B with A you are destroying both of them.
So is it possible to educate without any sense of comparison? And why do we compare? We compare for the simple reason that measuring is the way of thought and the way of our life. We are educated in this corruption. The better is always nobler than what is, than what is actually going on. The observation of what is, without comparison, without the measure, is to go beyond what is.
When there is no comparison there is integrity. It is not that you are true to yourself, which is a form of measurement, but when there is no measurement at all there is this quality of wholeness. The essence of the ego, the me, is measurement. When there is measurement there is fragmentation. This must be profoundly understood not as an idea but as an actuality. When you read this statement you may make an abstraction of it as an idea, a concept, and the abstraction is another form of measurement. That which is has no measurement. Please give your heart to the understanding of this. When you have grasped the full significance of this, your relationship with the student and with your own family will become something quite different. If you ask if that difference will be better, then you are caught in the wheel of measurement. Then you are lost. You will find the difference when you actually test this out. The very word difference implies measurement but we are using the word non-comparatively. Almost every word we use has this feeling of measurement so the words affect our reactions and reactions deepen the sense of comparison. The word and the reaction are interrelated and the art lies in not being conditioned by the word, which means that language does not shape us. Use the word without the psychological reactions to it.
As we said, we are concerned with communicating with each other about the nature of the degeneration of our minds and so the ways of our life. Enthusiasm is not passion. You can be enthusiastic about something one day and lose it the next. You can be enthusiastic about playing football and lose interest when it no longer entertains you. But passion is something entirely different. It has no time lag in it.
Letters to The Schools 1
Letters to Schools Volume One 15th May, 1979
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