The Secret of Education
I STILL STUDY IN SCHOOL AND I WANT TO KNOW :
WHAT IS THE SECRET OF EDUCATION?
Maya, it may be a little difficult for you to understand the secret of education. But I cannot come down from my vision, so I will tell what I feel is the secret, knowing perfectly well perhaps you may not be able to understand it yet, you are too young. But through you perhaps others may understand, and one day you will also grow up and be in a position to understand it.
The question is very complex and I can see that you have asked it without knowing its implications. It is the question that is one of the most fundamental for the future of man. I would like to begin from the very beginning.
Up to now, man has been living an accidental life. No one knows what your potential is, what you are supposed by nature to be. And the question -- the secret of education -- cannot be decided without knowing what your potential is. Are you going to become a musician? a poet? an engineer? a doctor? Without knowing anything about your possibilities, almost groping in the dark, we go on deciding people's destiny for strange reasons.
The very word education, in its roots, means to draw out. It has the very secret in its root-meaning. Whatever is within you as a seed has to be drawn out, given full opportunity, so that it can blossom. But no one knows what is hidden within you, what kind of soil you need and what kind of gardener, what is the right climate and the right season and the right time for you to be sown.
Parents decide about their children according to their own ambitions. Somebody wanted to be very rich and could not be: he is hoping through his children that his ambitions should be fulfilled. Although he could not manage it, he will manage through his children. Naturally he would not like his children to move in directions where possibilities of becoming rich are scarce. As a musician you cannot earn much; as a flute-player you cannot compete with engineers, with doctors, with politicians, with industrialists.
Naturally the parents who have been interested in money would like to send their children into a certain pattern of education which brings them the right qualification to be rich. The decision is arbitrary. The person about whom it is being decided, his potential has not even been taken into consideration. He may have the potential of becoming a great dancer, or a great painter, he may not have any greed for money, but you are forcing him into a direction where greed for money is an essential to be successful.
Even if he succeeds... of which there is not much chance, because unless you have an inner urge, an instinct for money, the chances of your success are rare. You will be a failure, and your life will become a long, drawn-out misery. But if by chance you succeed and you become rich, still your misery will not be dropped, because you never wanted to be rich in the first place. This was not your destiny. You are living somebody else's life -- how can you be happy? You are trying to fulfill somebody else's ambition and you are not in a position to fulfill your own nature.
Hence the immense misery in the world: the person who could have been a great musician has become just a pigmy industrialist. A person who could have been a great mystic has been forced to become a mathematician. Almost everybody is in the wrong place. And to be in the wrong place is very painful. You yourself are not aware of why you are suffering, because you yourself are not aware that you have missed your target. You are following somebody else's idea of what you should be.
So the first thing, according to me, begins with genetic engineering. There lies the secret of all education. Up to now what we have been calling education is a chaos.
People have been consulting astrologers about what their children should be. Now stars are not interested in your children -- I don't see any possibility that stars are even aware of your children. That the congregation of stars in a certain position is going to give your child a certain potential is an unproved hypothesis. Millions of children are born in the world almost at the same moment, but those millions of children cannot have the same destiny although the stars were the same.
It is such a far-fetched idea that stars can decide your life. And if stars are deciding, then they are deciding in an insane way. Life on the earth shows that the decisions made about man are made wrongly, whosoever is making them.
People consult palmists, who decide by reading the lines of the hand. It is all sheer nonsense! Birth-charts cannot say anything about you, but all marriages are made by consulting birth-charts... and you can see what those birth-charts are doing! I used to live in a city for a few years, and just opposite me lived a very famous astrologer who was deciding people's marriages by reading their birth-charts. As we were living opposite each other, it did not take long to get introduced to him.
I told him, "Do you really believe that what you are doing is sane?"
He said, "What do you mean? I am the best astrologer around this area. People come to me from hundreds of miles away."
I said, "That I can see myself. But I also see that your wife beats you. Did you look at your birth-charts when you got married to this woman? And if you could not decide even for yourself, don't you feel ashamed that what you are doing is simply stupid -- and not only stupid, inhuman?"
He was at a loss. I said, "Remember, I am a strange man. I will spread this news to everybody, and I will sit in the front of my garden to prevent people coming to you. I will tell them what is happening in your life."
At that very moment his wife came in from the kitchen and she said, "You are right. I will support you. This man is simply an idiot. He knows nothing; he has destroyed my life, he has destroyed his life, and he is destroying thousands of other people's lives!"
But this goes on. There are people who will consult the I-Ching, who will consult the Tarot cards... But the real thing is somewhere else. And it is known, but religious prejudices are preventing humanity from using it.
The secret is in genetic engineering. Now it is scientifically possible to find the program of each human being, even before his birth. The male sperm carries many of the programs for his life and what he can become; whether he will be male or female, whether he will be a strong-bodied man or a weakling, whether he will live a life of health or will remain continually sick, his resistance against disease, how long he will live... and what kinds of potentialities are hidden in him -- whether he can become a great mathematician or a great painter or a great poet or a great industrialist. Your destiny is written in the biological beginnings of your life, not in the birth-chart, nor in the stars, nor in the lines of your hands.
Now there are scientific openings to a new world: each sperm can be read almost like an open book. You can decide your child's life. Before he is born, you can choose what you want your child to be. To me, the real education begins from there.
In each lovemaking the man releases at least one million sperms, but only one sperm may be able to reach the female egg. It is a marathon race. The small sperm -- which is not visible to the bare eyes -- in proportion to his size, the track that he has to follow towards the mother's egg is almost two miles long, and he has only two hours' lifespan. So if he does not reach within two hours, he will die. Such competition he will never again face in his life.
The whole life will be competitive, but the beginning is the worst competition you can conceive: one million people rushing towards the female egg, and only one is going to win the race! The remainder are going to die.
Rarely it happens that two sperms reach at the same time -- that's why twins are born. Sometimes even nine children have been given birth to by a woman, because nine sperms reached at the same time. The reason is this: the female egg remains open only for the first sperm reaching to it. The moment the sperm has entered the egg, the egg automatically becomes hard, it is no more porous, so others reaching are rejected. But if two reach at the same time, then their entry is possible because the egg is still porous.
Now it is a blind game -- most probably the idiots will reach first. That's why the world is full of idiots! The idiots will not take any care, any consideration of anybody; they will simply rush blindly with full force. The wiser ones may stand by the side and see what is happening. The really wise ones may not even participate in the race, it is so stupid.
These problems can be solved. But religious superstitiousness is a great barrier in the world for every kind of progress and new idea.
I will be opposed by all the religions -- it does not matter, I have been opposed my whole life -- but my proposal is that every male who wants children should donate his sperms to a hospital and the medical science board should work out for those sperms what the possibilities are.
In those one million sperms there may be Albert Einsteins, Bertrand Russells, Martin Heideggers, great musicians like Yehudi Menuhin, great dancers like Nijinsky, great philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche, great novelists like Fyodor Dostoevsky. They can be picked out and the father and mother can choose what they want. When you can choose the great diamonds, why go for the colored stones? And when you can be the chooser, why be accidental?
They can choose, if they want, a Henry Ford, who will make great riches possible. Money is an art, just as anything else; it has its own geniuses. Everybody cannot be a Henry Ford!
If you want your child to be a Gautam Buddha, then you have to see, according to the genetic analysis, which sperm has the potentiality of being a mystic. The sperm has to be injected, so he need not be in competition with all kinds of fellows in a crowd. From that choice starts your education.
This is only the beginning of genetic engineering. Finally it is going to happen, the work is growing every day... the chosen sperm has a program, but the program can be changed a little bit. It may be possible that he has the mind of an Albert Einstein, but not the body, not the health -- that can be added, the program can be changed a little bit. He may have just a life of fifty years, but that program can be changed. He can be given as long a life as you want -- the maximum lifespan can be almost three hundred years -- and as much health and as much resistance against disease. All these things can be added to the program.
The child now starts the journey with the parents' full awareness of what he is going to become, to what school he should be sent, and what kind of education he should be given according to the genetic code. Then the world will be full of geniuses, talented people, healthy people. It is possible to avoid old age completely... a man can go on living youthfully up to the point of death.
Now these are not fictions, these have become scientific facts. But religions are even preventing these scientific facts from being known to the public, to the people. They are afraid of strange things. Their fear is that morality will be disturbed. So let it be disturbed...! Anyway, what kind of morality exists in the world? Except hypocrisy, there exists no morality.
Genetic engineering can decide even the character, the morality, the discipline of the individual who is going to be born. From there many things become possible. For the child, a clearcut, non-accidental career, and for the parents -- because the child is not be given birth through sex -- sex becomes pure fun. It does not carry any responsibility, any danger.
Now there are one hundred percent safe pills for males. For the women the pill is not one hundred percent safe; she has to take it every day. If she misses one day, because she is not thinking she will make love on that day, then suddenly the husband turns up, or suddenly the husband is gone... either way it works. The opportunity of love arises, and mind tends to take chances. Mind just thinks, "Every time you make love you don't become pregnant."
A man in the ordinary course of his sexual life has intercourse at least four thousand times. That is the norm; I am not talking about sex maniacs! This is the very average shop-keeper... four thousand times means forty million people. Existence is really abundant. The man may have only two or three children out of forty million people. Forty million people can make a whole country.
Now they have developed two other pills. The first pill that they have developed was a great revolution, because it prevented women from becoming pregnant. In the past a woman's whole life was nothing but a factory to produce children. She was continuously pregnant; her life was nothing more than the life of a cow. So the first pill prevented her being pregnant, but it was not one hundred percent safe.
The second pill is a greater revolution, because it can be taken after you make love. The first was before you make love; the second is a great advancement, because now you need not be worried; you can make love whenever, with whomsoever the possibility arises. And one never knows when the possibility will knock on your door -- perhaps in a train, and you may have forgotten to bring your pills and the possibility may not strike again. It is just a stranger and suddenly you feel like this is the man you are made for, he is made for you... although when the next station comes, he will be gone. The next pill is a greater advancement: you can take it afterwards.
The third pill is even more significant: the woman need not take it, the man can take it.
Within these three pills all accidental birth can be avoided. Sex becomes just a playfulness, loses all seriousness that it has carried in the past; and you can get a child of which you can really be proud. You can fill the whole earth with the right kind of people.
Criminals can be avoided, politicians can be avoided, priests can be avoided, murderers can be avoided, rapists can be avoided, violent people can be avoided, or if they have some special quality in them, then their program can be changed, their violence can be taken out. Rather than teaching people not to be violent, not to be thieves, not to be criminals... For thousands of years we have been teaching and it seems to have no effect.
On the other hand, we have been making laws against criminals. The laws goes on becoming more and more complicated -- more courts, more jails, more legal experts -- but nothing has been of any help. Criminals go on increasing. Our whole approach is unscientific. If a child is born with a program of being a murderer, you cannot do anything. No moral preaching is going to help, no legal threat, "If you murder somebody, you will be sent to the gallows," is going to help.
In England in the middle ages it was thought that if criminals were punished in the middle of the town, so that the whole town can see what happens if you steal or if you do something wrong, against the law... Criminals were beaten, naked, and thousands of people were watching them. The idea was that these thousands of people will get the idea that stealing is dangerous: you have to stand naked before your whole town, you lose all your dignity. Not only that, one thousand lashes... your whole body starts losing blood, your skin is broken everywhere, it was sheer humiliation, torture.
But the process had to be stopped, because then it was found that when thousands of people were attentively watching a criminal being tortured, thieves were working in the crowd, picking people's pockets. When it was found that even in that crowd many people had lost the contents of their pockets... they were so attentive that they forgot about pockets and they forgot that there may be thieves.... Finally the government came to the conclusion that this is not going to help. If people are picking poeple's pockets while another thief is being tortured, you cannot teach...!
People have been sentenced to death in thousands, but it has not prevented murderers. The reason is that the murderer has a program in which he is not able to make any change. It is intrinsic in his biology, in his physiology, in his chemistry, about which he is not able to do anything. It is in every cell of his body, and he will have to fulfill his destiny.
All your laws are stupid, all your courts are idiotic, and all your lawmakers are utterly ignorant people. They want to do something which no individual is capable of and which can be done only before the child is conceived -- not afterwards. The world is full of blind people, crippled people, paralyzed people, deaf people. They cannot respect themselves.
Just the other day I received a letter from England. Now I feel at a loss what to do. A young man... he is a sannyasin... but he is so ugly that people feel a kind of repulsion, sickness, even to be near him. Now his biology demands that he should fall in love with some woman, some woman should accept him. But no woman even comes close to him. He has written a letter, What should I do?
Now really he is not responsible for his ugly face; his parents should have taken care. He had no necessity to be born; a beautiful face could have been chosen, because even the face, the beauty, the color, everything is in the program... But now it is too late, so what to say to him? No meditation can make him beautiful.
Meditation can help him to go beyond this urge, biological urge, but he does not want to go beyond the biological urge. His question is: "Why am I deprived when everybody else is enjoying the love of somebody? What sin have I committed?" He has not committed any sin, it is just that his parents were ignorant. The only thing that can be suggested to him is to go through plastic surgery.
But there are blind people, there are deaf people, there are crippled people, there are people who are retarded. They don't have any more possibilities of intelligence -- and who is responsible for this? The priests of all the religions have been deceiving humanity. They are the great deceivers. They have been telling people, "You are suffering from blindness, from crippledness, from paralysis because of your past life's evil acts."
This is not true. The scientific truth is that people are unnecessarily suffering because we are listening to the priests and not to the scientists. The priests are absolutely against interfering as far as human life is concerned. They start great protests immediately that you should not interfere in the work of God.
But I cannot see what kind of work God is doing. Now what about this young man who is created ugly? -- this is God's work? And all these people who are retarded, stupid -- this is God's work? And the priests are not ready to have a different world. They are against family planning, they are against birth control, they are against everything that man is now capable of doing to create a better world, a better humanity.
So this is my first thing: education will never be right unless children are born through genetic engineering, not through the old bullock cart method that you have followed up to now. This is one of the most significant secrets: unless we listen to sanity and intelligence, we are not going to revolutionize human life.
Secondly, a few things about education. I want education to be divided in two parts: the first part should be given in the beginning and the second part should be given at the time a person retires.
The first part of education should be for attaining the highest possible standard of livelihood. It should consist of the art of living and love. It should teach people how to be total in their acts, how to use the opportunity of life without losing anything, to squeeze every drop of juice that existence provides. The first part will be for the young people -- training for life and training for love, training for intensity, training for totality.
The second part will be after retirement, which will depend how long we can allow man to live. It may be according to the present average lifespan, sixty years, seventy years -- but as the person retires. There are people in the area of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan who have passed the one hundred and fiftieth year -- thousands of people. That small area of Kashmir seems to be the most healthy area. They are poor people, with no medical facilities, but even at the age of one hundred and fifty, they are young.
But there are other places also in the world, particularly in the Soviet Union, in Kazakhstan, in Azerbaijan, in the Caucasus, where people have lived even longer -- one hundred and eighty years -- and thousands of people, not just one. They are still working in the fields, in the gardens, in the orchards; you cannot call them old, they are still capable of producing children.
So it will depend... If genetic engineering succeeds in destroying the superstitions of humankind, then the second part will come very late. The second part will be preparation for death. Just as the first part was preparation for life, the second part will be preparation for death -- how to die meditatively, silently, peacefully; how to meet death with a song and a dance and a welcome.
The second part will be basically religious, just as the first part was basically scientific. The education will be complete, but it has to be at both the ends -- the beginning and the end. Each university should have a double structure: one for the young people who are going to enter into life, and the other for the old people who are going to enter into the unknown world of death.
The first part of education will be of many dimensions -- all sciences, all arts, all kinds of crafts. Somebody is a great carpenter, somebody is a great shoemaker, somebody is a great scientist, somebody is a great moneymaker -- they are all contributing whatever their potential allows them to life, with totality, not holding anything back. Naturally they should have equal opportunity to grow, and they should have equal respect. Just because a man is a president of a country does not mean that he should have respect and the man who makes perfect shoes should not. Both are fulfilling certain needs of the society; both should have the same honor and the same dignity.
This equal opportunity, equal respect will begin from the very world of education. And for education to make all these changes, education will have to go through many changes itself.
For example, examinations should be dissolved, because examinations emphasize people's memory, not their intelligence. Memory is not a great thing; particularly in the future it is not going to be of any importance. You can carry your small computer in your pocket which will have all the memories that you need, and any time... immediately the computer will supply. There is no need to fill your head with unnecessary rubbish.
The computer is going to replace the whole system of education which has depended up to now on memory. Whoever can memorize more comes first class, gets a gold medal, tops the university. But have you ever thought about what happens to these gold medalists in the world? They don't show anywhere any genius. Somebody is just a head clerk, somebody is just a stationmaster, somebody is a postmaster -- what happened to their gold medals? What happened to the great respect that their university paid to them?
In fact the university paid respect to their memories and memories are of not much use in actual life. In actual life you need intelligence. And the difference should be made clear to you. Memory is a ready-made answer. But life goes on changing, it is never ready-made -- so all your ready-made answers are lagging behind life.
Life needs a living response... not a ready-made answer, but a spontaneous response this moment; it needs intelligence.
Up to now education systems have not been creating intelligence at all. Intelligence needs a totally different kind of structure. Examinations are for memory, they are a memory test of how much you can memorize. But if questions are asked which you have not memorized, you are at a loss. You don't have the intelligence to respond to a new question for which the answer has not been memorized before.
The whole system of examinations is futile. A different structure should be created: each student, every day, should get his credit marks from the teacher to show if he is behaving intelligently, if he is answering things intelligently -- not just a repetition of the textbooks, but something original.
Originality should be respected and honored, not repetition -- not being a carbon copy. And there is no need to wait for one year; if a student can get enough marks within six months, he should pass into a higher standard. There is no question of anybody failing or anybody passing. Just as you start getting closer to the standard beyond your standard... there is no examination. Just with your teachers watching your responses and your intelligence, you will be moving on. Somebody may come one month later, somebody may come a few months later, but there is no question of a fixed year program. I have been a teacher in the university and I know.... There were students who were so talented that they could have passed the whole course set for one year in two months; now ten months are wasted. Who is responsible for that? And there were retarded students; even one year was not enough for them.
I have seen one person failing ten times in his matriculation examination. You will ask what happened the eleventh time? -- he did not appear in the examination. Enough is enough! He was the most experienced matriculate, although he never passed in ten years continuously. People who had been colleagues with him became his teachers and he was still there -- ready, stable and permanent.
Each individual should be given credit for his own intelligence. There should not be any time limit, because that time limit wastes the more talented, the more genuinely intelligent, the geniuses, and waits for the retarded, for the idiotic and the stupid. It is an ugly system.
Of course with genetic engineering the idiots and the stupid will not be allowed to enter into life. Move somewhere else! -- there are fifty thousand planets in the universe where life exists -- why bother us? Move on, go somewhere else where people are still idiots and still listen to the priests and go to the churches. This planet is no more for you.
The classroom will have a totally different form. It will not be the classroom where the teacher teaches you; although he knows more and you know less, his knowledge is out of date. He has learned everything thirty years ago, when he was a student. In thirty years everything has changed. It is such an insane structure that people who are teaching in the universities are all out of date. What they are teaching is no more relevant.
This can be facilitated very easily with computers, with television sets. In the twentieth century you need not teach people geography with a map when television can bring you exactly to the place you are learning about -- New York or London or Peking -- you need not bother yourself looking at maps, looking at pictures, descriptions. On the television screen you can be instantly in New York, and what is seen is remembered more easily than what is heard, than what is read.
The future belongs to the televisions, to the computers, because they are the memory systems. The teacher will have a totally new function that will not be of teaching but only of guidance -- where you can find the right book in the library, where you can find the right video in the library, where you can find the right information in the computer.
Teaching becomes more alive, more colorful, more real. And the day is not far away when television will be three-dimensional. Then it will seem exactly as if people are walking and may come out of the television set any moment. Only two three-dimensional films were made, then the idea was dropped because they were too costly. But they will come back. With better techniques they will not be that costly.
I have seen one of the films. It was a strange experience. A man throws a spear -- and the whole audience in the movie hall gives way, because it is as if that spear is going through the hall. It is three-dimensional; it is as realistic as any actual spear can be. A man comes running on his horse and people shriek and divide to give way to the horse... it is just entering into the hall. It never enters! Slowly they become accustomed, by the end of the film: "Don't be worried. Just sit tight in your seat. Nothing is coming out of the screen. It comes only up to the screen and stops."
When things can be taught in three-dimensional televisions and films, when everything that you need to memorize can be done by a small computer... It can be connected with the national computer, which carries all the knowledge that has been found since man started coming down from the trees. You can get every info.