Education in times of computers

BENGALURU: You may be a sociologist, an anthropologist or a scientist, with your specialized mind working away at a fragment of the whole field of life. You are filled with knowledge and words, with capable explanations and rationalizations. And perhaps in the future the computer will be able to do all this infinitely better than you can. So education may have a different meaning altogether – not merely transferring what is printed on a page to your brain.

Education may mean opening the doors of perception on to the vast movement of life. It may mean learning how to live happily, freely, without hate and confusion, but in beatitude. Modern education is blinding us; we learn to fight each other more and more, to compete, to struggle with each other. Right education is surely finding a different way of life, setting the mind free from its own conditioning. And perhaps then there can be love which in its action will bring about true relationship between man and man.

The mind creates through experience, tradition, memory. Can the mind be free from storing up, though it is experiencing? You understand the difference? What is required is not the cultivation of memory but the freedom from the accumulative process of the mind.

You hurt me, which is an experience; and I store up that hurt; and that becomes my tradition; and from that tradition, I look at you, I react from that tradition. That is the everyday process of my mind and your mind. Now, is it possible that, though you hurt me, the accumulative process does not take place. The two processes are entirely different.

If you say harsh words to me, it hurts me; but if that hurt is not given importance, it does not become the background from which I act; so it is possible that I meet you afresh. That is real education, in the deep sense of the word. Because, then, though I see the conditioning effects of experience, the mind is not conditioned.
In our search for knowledge, in our acquisitive desires, we are losing love, we are blunting the feeling for beauty, the sensitivity to cruelty; we are becoming more and more specialized and less and less integrated. Wisdom cannot be replaced by knowledge, and no amount of explanation, no accumulation of facts will free man from suffering. Knowledge is necessary, science has its place; but if the mind and heart are suffocated by knowledge, and if the cause of suffering is explained away, life becomes vain and meaningless. And is this not what is happening to most of us? Our education is making us more and more shallow; it is not helping us to uncover the deeper layers of our being, and our lives are increasingly disharmonious and empty.

Information, the knowledge of  facts, though ever increasing, is by its very nature limited. Wisdom is infinite, it includes knowledge and the way of action; but we take hold of a branch and think it is the whole tree. Through the knowledge of the part, we can never realize the joy of the whole. Intellect can never lead to the whole, for it is only a segment, a part.