February 18, 2008

Education, in its truest sense, would be the living process of learning directly from Life itself

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Indian Express
: Monday, February 18, 2008 Awakening from the outer trance Partho:

Integral education labours to awaken the soul in the child, labours too to awaken the child in her integrality to herself, and in doing so, it attempts to awaken life itself to its higher heights or deeper depths. This is at once the evolutionary labour of life and education... and both, drawn by the same magnet of ascent, must move towards an eventual convergence. How long would it be natural for an integral life education to remain isolated from the very content and dynamics of real life, life as lived in the moment?

Beyond a point, such a convergence would indeed be inevitable. Education, in its truest sense, would be the living process of learning directly from Life itself, drinking straight from the source; but the human spirit is at first not ready to learn directly from the living source. It must make a detour to come to itself, feeding on external and more tangible sources such as the parent, the teacher, the friend, the school, society or religion: this is indeed the first stage of education...

Integral education is perhaps the second stage of this same process, possible when the spirit becomes maturer and the mind and its faculties better trained to turn the gaze inward, to the inner sources of knowledge and wisdom, the inner springs of growth and evolution... As this process deepens, the hold of the external teacher loosens and the learner begins to discern, with growing clarity, the inner teacher...

Sri Aurobindo calls this inner source of knowledge and wisdom the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being. Integral education seeks finally to awaken the mind and heart to this eternal Veda, and once this is done, even in an initial sense, the work of education is complete, for from that point on, the learner becomes independent in the truest sense of the word. Excerpted from ‘Integral Education: A Foundation for the Future’ (Sri Aurobindo Society)

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