BENGALURU : What is the relationship between self-knowledge and education? One asks, if one is talking over together, two friends, what do we mean by education, and what do we mean by self-knowledge? We must be clear before we find a relationship between the two, we must be clear what we mean by education, what we mean by self-knowledge. So what do we mean by education? Most of us know how to read and write.
Most of us have some kind of degree, college, school, college university, where you are acquiring a great deal of information about many subjects, or branch off into a particular subject and specialise in that subject, developing a skill so as to function in the world - if you want to function in the world. That is what we call education.
That is the accepted norm, the meaning of education. But we question it. Right? We are questioning if that is all of education. Or is education not only the cultivation of various subjects and so on and so on, gathering knowledge, but also be concerned with the totality of man which apparently no school, no college, no university, is concerned - at least, as far as I know.
So what do we mean by education? If you are merely satisfied with the acquisition of knowledge, memory, the cultivation of memory, and then use that memory skilfully in a particular branch of any livelihood, and so on, and so on, engineer, scientist, philosopher - the word ‘philosopher’ means the love of truth, the love of life, not speculative, theoretical, verbal, intellectual expressions. So proper education apparently would mean not only the cultivation of knowledge but also the cultivation of the whole of man.
We are questioning both the self knowledge and education, and their relationship with each other in a school, college, university, and daily life. Is that all right? One sends one’s children to a school - the state demands it and so on. So you send them. And they are taught something totally different from their daily life, from childhood. As they grow up, the contradiction grows more and more.
This is inevitable, you must have seen this in your own life. That the acquisition of knowledge has become tremendously important because that gives one a social security - social security being you can earn a livelihood, in that there is a security, a job, all the rest of it. So the cultivation of knowledge, which is memory, gathering information and storing it up in the brain as memory, and using that memory skilfully, which will earn us a livelihood, and neglecting the whole area of human existence.