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Chapter 1 - These schools are to educate the total human being
Society, the culture in which we live, demands that the student must be oriented towards a job and physical security. This has been the constant pressure of all societies: career first and everything else second; that is, money first and the complex ways of our daily life second. We are trying to reverse this process, because man cannot be happy with money only. When money becomes the dominant factor in life, there is imbalance in our daily activity. I would like the educators to understand this very seriously and to see its full significance. If the educator understands the importance of this, and in his own life has given it its proper place, then he can help the student, who is compelled by his parents and society to make a career the most important thing. I would like to emphasize this point-to maintain at all times in these schools a way of life that cultivates the total human being.
As most of our education is the acquisition of knowledge, it is making us more and more mechanical; our minds are functioning along narrow grooves, whether it is scientific, philosophical, religious, business or technological knowledge that we are acquiring. Our ways of life, both at home and outside it, and our specializing in a particular career, are making our minds more and more narrow, limited and incomplete. All this leads to a mechanical way of life, a mental standardization, and so gradually the State, even a democratic State, dictates what we should become. Most thoughtful people are naturally aware of this, but unfortunately they seem to accept it and live with it. This has become a danger to freedom.
Freedom is a very complex issue and to understand the complexity of it, the flowering of the mind is necessary. Each person will give a different definition of the flowering of the mind depending on his culture, on his education, experience, religious superstition-that is, on his conditioning. Here we are not dealing with opinion or prejudice, but rather with a non-verbal understanding of the implications and consequences of the flowering of the mind. This flowering is the total unfoldment and cultivation of our minds, our hearts and our physical well-being; that is to have complete harmony in which there is no opposition or contradiction. The flowering of the mind can take place only when there is clear, objective, non-personal perception, when it is not burdened by any imposition upon it. It is not what to think but how to think clearly. For centuries, through propaganda and so on, we have been encouraged in what to think. Most modern education is that, and not the investigation of the whole movement of thought. Flowering implies freedom. A plant requires freedom to grow.
In every letter we will deal with the awakening of the heart, which is not sentimental, romantic or imaginary, but is of goodness which is born out of affection and love; and with the cultivation of the body, the right kind of food, proper exercise, which will bring about deep sensitivity. When the mind, the heart and the body are in complete harmony, then the flowering comes naturally, easily and in excellence. This is our job, our responsibility as educators. Teaching is the greatest profession in life.