Learn without compulsion

There is no freedom when there is disorder. Disorder begets authority, and authority in any form is evil-if one can use that word evil.

Published: 15th July 2021 06:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2021 06:38 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: There is no freedom when there is disorder. Disorder begets authority, and authority in any form is evil-if one can use that word evil. Where there is freedom, disorder or the lack of order cannot exist, yet the disorderly mind is always seeking freedom. Such a mind will define freedom in terms of its own confusion. A disordered mind seeking freedom or asserting freedom has no meaning whatsoever. A disordered mind invites the discipline imposed by authority in different forms-politically, religiously, socially and so on-political tyranny and religious dogma.

What are we being educated for? Is it to make the mind conform to the patterns set by previous generations, or is it to understand and go beyond the whole structure of our disordered life both outwardly and inwardly? Is it merely to acquire knowledge or is it to free ourselves from disorder and so bring about a new society?

Obviously if one gives serious thought to this, education is to bring about in the mind a total freedom so that it is capable not only of ordering its own life but also, in this very process, of bringing about a different social structure. This is action which the mind that is committed to a particular course of action or a particular belief, ideal or action influenced by the environment.

We are concerned with education and how to bring about order without compulsion. Where there is compulsion in any form, subtle or obvious, there is not only conformity, imitation, but also fear is bred. Our problem in these schools is how to educate without any form of authority and compulsion. Knowing how authority comes into being and the effects of compulsion, how is a disordered mind to free itself from its confusion naturally, without effort? The students come from disordered families and society. They themselves are confused, uncertain. They react from their conditioning.

Their revolt, which they call freedom, is the response of their confusion. So that is the state of the students. They want security, affection; this cannot be if there is compulsion. In their anxious revolt they reject not only the word discipline with its authority but also any form of coercion. The more sensitive they are, the stronger are their reactions, and their revolt is unfortunately expressed in many superficial ways.

Education is not the right word, but we have to use it to convey a meaning that implies the real cultivation of the human mind in all its relationships and activities. The cultivation of the mind and the heart is our responsibility.The student comes already conditioned, and from that conditioning his reactions are his temperament, his peculiarity, his desire to fulfil. So the educator, who is also conditioned with his own peculiarities, in his responsibility of relationship to the student must be aware of his own limitations as well as those of the student; so both are educating themselves together.

If the educator is disorderly in his private life, and outwardly assumes an orderly life, his word has no significance. When he tells the student to be orderly, he becomes a hypocrite. So the educator needs education as well as the student. This is the principle action- that both are learning-and so the spirit of authority doesn’t enter at all into this relationship. When this is clearly and deeply understood, then one has to establish a relationship in which compulsion and conformity cease altogether.


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