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Chapter 43 - The movement of the skies, the earth, human existence, is indivisible
We have said that education must not only be efficient in academic disciplines but that they must also explore the conditioning of human conduct. This conduct is the result of many, many centuries of fear, anxiety, conflict and the search for security both inwardly and outwardly, both biologically and psychologically. The brain is conditioned by these processes. The brain is the result of evolution, which is time. We are the result of the accumulated past both religiously and in our daily life. It is based on reward and punishment as an animal, a dog is trained.
Our brain is an extraordinary instrument of great energy and capacities. Look at what it has done in the outward world, in the world that surrounds us. It has divided it into various races, religions and nationalities. It has done this to have security. It has sought this security in religious, political and economic isolation, and in the unit of the family, in small communities and associations. It has sought this protective reaction in organizations and establishments.
Nationalism has been one of the major causes of war. Our politicians are concerned with maintaining economic nationalism, and thus they isolate us. Where there is isolation there must be opposition, aggression, and any good relationship with other nations appears to be based on trade, exchange of armaments, the balance of power, and maintaining power in the hands of the few. This is our government, whether totalitarian or democratic. We have sought to bring about order in society through political action, and so we have become dependent upon the politicians. Why have politicians become so extraordinarily important, like gurus, like the religious leaders? Is it because we have always depended on outside agencies to put our house in order, always depended on external forces to control and shape our lives? The external authority of a government, of parents, of every form of specialized leader seems to give us some hope for the future. This is part of our tradition of dependence and acceptance. This has been the long accumulated tradition that has conditioned our brain. Education has accepted this, and so the brain has become mechanical and repetitive.
Isn't it the function of the educator to understand the tremendous accumulated energy of the past, without denying its necessity in certain areas of our lives? Aren't we concerned as educators to bring about the flowering of good human beings? This is not possible when the past, however modified, continues.
What then are the factors of our conditioning? What is it that is being conditioned, and who is it who does the conditioning? When we ask these questions, are we aware of our own actual conditioning, and from that awareness asking the questions, which would have great vitality; or are we asking a theoretical question? We are not concerned in any way with hypothetical questions; we are dealing with actualities, the actual being what is. We are asking what the cause is of this state of human beings. There may be one cause or many causes. Many little streams give their waters to a great river. The depth, the volume and the beauty are all-important, not tracing each little stream to its source. So we are concerned in our investigation with the totality of our existence, not a particular part of it. When we comprehend the vastness of life with its complexities, then only can we ask what the cause of our conditioning is.
One feels it is important to understand first, not verbally or intellectually but to perceive that life is the woman, the man, the child, the animals, the river, the sky and the forest-all of it-to feel this, not the idea of it, but to see the immensity and beauty of it. If we do not grasp the significance of this-that all the vast movement of life is one-when we ask what the cause of conditioning is, we bring about the fragmentation of life. So, first, let us realize that the movement of the skies, the earth, human existence, is indivisible, and only then come to the particular. When the heavens, the earth and human beings are seen as one vast unitary process, then inquiry as to the cause of our conditioning will not be fragmentary, divisive. Then we can ask what the cause is. Then the question has depth and beauty.
To find the cause of conditioning, we must inquire together into its nature and structure. Apart from the biological, the organic, which left to itself has its own natural intelligence, its self-protective reactions, there is the whole psychological field of a human being, the inward responses, inward hurts, the fears, the contradictions, the drive of desire, the passing pleasures and the weight of sorrow. This psyche, when it is disorderly, confused and messy, naturally affects the biological existence. Then disease is psychosomatic. Aren't we concerned with the exploration of our inward nature, which is very complex? This investigation is really self-education, not to change what is, but to understand what is. It is important to grasp, to live with this. What is, is far more important than what should be. The understanding of what we actually are is far more essential than to transcend what we are. We are the content of our consciousness. Our consciousness is a complexity, but its very substance is movement. It must be clearly understood that we are not dealing with theories, hypotheses, ideals, but with our own actual daily existence.