BENGALURU: What we now call education is a matter of accumulating information and knowledge from books, which anyone can do who can read. Such education offers a subtle form of escape from ourselves and, like all escapes, it inevitably creates increasing misery. Conflict and confusion result from our wrong relationships with people, things and ideas. And until we understand that relationship and work towards altering it, mere gathering of facts and the acquiring of various skills, can only lead us to engulfing chaos and destruction.
As society is now organised, we send our children to school to imbibe some skill or technique, by which they can eventually earn a livelihood. We want to make the child a specialist, hoping to give him a secure economic position. But does the cultivation of a technique or techniques enable us to understand ourselves?While it is obviously necessary to know how to read and write, and learn some profession. Will technique give us the capacity to understand life? Surely, technique is secondary; and if technique is the only thing we are striving for, we are obviously denying what is by far the greater part of life.
Life is pain, joy, beauty, ugliness, and love. When we understand it as a whole, at every level, that understanding creates its own technique. But the contrary is not true: technique can never bring about creative understanding.Present-day education is a complete failure because it has overemphasised technique. In overemphasising technique, we destroy man.
To cultivate capacity and efficiency without understanding life, without having a comprehensive perception of the ways of thought and desire, will only make us increasingly ruthless. Which is in turn jeopardizes our physical security. The exclusive cultivation of technique has produced scientists, mathematicians, bridge builders and space conquerors; but do they understand the total process of life? Can any specialist experience life as a whole?
Technological progress does solve certain kinds of problems for some people at one level, but it introduces wider and deeper issues too. To live at one level, disregarding the total process of life, is to invite misery and destruction. The greatest need and most pressing problem for every individual is to have an integrated comprehension of life, which will help him deal with complexities.