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Chapter 57 - True culture is a movement in freedom
Culture, as the word indicates, is something that is constantly growing, changing, a movement without any particular end. To cultivate a plant or a flower, it needs attention and protection, and to cultivate the mind is much more difficult. The mind is very complex, very subtle, and has immense possibilities that are really incalculable. We neglect the totality of the mind and try to cultivate a very small part of it through education, through learning a technique which will give us the capacity to earn a livelihood. This particular little training that one gets through education, through social contacts, through relationship with other human beings leads to contradiction, which is expressed in daily life in conflict, hatred, antagonism, and the competitive aggression which has become so important merely to survive. And because one is not able to bring about an end to this contradiction in oneself and in the society or the community in which one lives, one escapes to temples, to churches or mosques, to drink or to exaggerated sexual relationships and so on. All escapes are essentially the same, whether they are escapes to so-called God or through giving importance to sex.
The cultivation of the fragment must inevitably lead to destruction and sorrow, whether that fragment is the nation, a particular belief, the family or an idea. Cultivation of the glory and the success of the fragment must divide, separate, and so bring about chaos in the world. Till now the cultivation of the fragment has been the main concern of education, of society. This fragmentary cultivation must nurture fear and so the constant search for security, both outer and inner. This is the society in which we live, with its wars, violence, brutality, aggression, and the ever-mounting sorrow.
In a school, if we give all importance to acquiring technical knowledge and totally neglect the vastness of the mind as human beings, we shall become mechanical, bored with life, and fundamentally lazy. This is what is taking place. You can cultivate the fragment, but you cannot cultivate the whole field because you do not have the instrument with which to enter this vastness. We do not realize this, and so the intellect becomes all-important, or we give an emotional, enthusiastic devotion to a particular ideology-of the State, or of one's own image, or of a concept of this vastness which is called religion. Something cultivated by man in his fears becomes tradition.
So our problem is not only to have first-class training in technological knowledge, but also to feel our way into this extraordinary mind, with all its immensity. You will inevitably ask how this is to be done. The "how" is the method, the system, and if you follow the system or the method, it doesn't matter what it is, whose it is, you are again cultivating the fragment. When you realize this you will not ask how.
So you have already plunged into a different investigation. This investigation demands complete freedom. This freedom is not disorder; it is not laisser-aller. If you have ever demanded this freedom of yourself, you have also built an image, a concept, an idea of what this freedom is, and obviously that is not freedom. Freedom is not something to be found in heaven but in our daily lives, in freedom from brutality, violence, greed, and so on. Without this foundation of freedom, the growth of the fragment brings chaos and untold mischief and misery.
True culture is a movement in freedom, not within the pattern of an ideology, which becomes tradition.