What is Education? The secret
What is Education?
Osho: “Man is born as a seed. He is born as a potentiality. He is not born as an actuality. And this is very special, this is extraordinary, because in the whole of existence only man is born as a potentiality; every other animal is born actual.
A dog is born as a dog, he is to remain the same his whole life. The lion is born as a lion. Man is not born as a man, man is born only as a seed: he may become, he may not become. Man has a future; no other animal has a future. All animals are born instinctively perfect. Man is the only imperfect animal. Hence growth, evolution, is possible.
Education is a bridge between the potentiality and the actuality. Education is to help you to become that which you are only in a seed form. And this is what I am doing here; this is a place of education.
The thing that is being done in the ordinary schools and colleges and universities is not education.
It only prepares you to get a good job, a good earning; it is not real education. It does not give you life. Maybe it can give you a better standard of living, but the better standard of living is not a better standard of life; they are not synonymous.
The so-called education that goes on in the world prepares you only to earn bread. And Jesus says,
“Man cannot live by bread alone.” And that’s what your universities have been doing – they prepare you to earn bread in a better way, in an easier way, in a more comfortable way, with less effort, withless hardship. But all that they do is prepare you to earn your bread and butter. It is a very, very primitive kind of education: it does not prepare you for life.
Hence you see so many robots walking around. They are perfect as clerks, as stationmasters, as deputy collectors. They are perfect, they are skillful, but if you look deep down in them they are just beggars and nothing else. They have not even tasted one bite of life. They have not known what life is, what love is, what light is. They have not known anything of God, they have not tasted anything of existence, they don’t know how to sing and how to dance and how to celebrate. They don’t know the grammar of life; they are utterly stupid. Yes, they earn – they earn more than others, they are very skillful and they go on rising higher and higher on the ladder of success – but deep down they remain empty, poor.
Education is to give you inner richness. It is not just to make you more informed; that is a very primitive idea of education. I call it primitive because it is rooted in fear, rooted in that ”If I am not well educated I will not be able to survive. ” I call it primitive because deep down it is very violent: it teaches you competition, it makes you ambitious. It is nothing but a preparation for a cut-throat, competitive world where everybody is the enemy of everybody else.
Hence the world has become a madhouse. Love cannot happen. How Can love happen in such a violent, ambitious, competitive world where everybody is at each other’s throat? This is very primitive because it is based in the fear that ”If I am not well educated, well protected, highly informed, I may not be able to survive in the struggle of life. ” It takes life only as a struggle.
My vision of education is that life should not be taken as a struggle for survival; life should be taken as a celebration. Life should not be only competition, life should be joy too. Singing and dancing and poetry and music and painting, and all that is available in the world – education should prepare you to fall in tune with it – with the trees, with the birds, with the sky, with the sun and the moon.
And education should prepare you to be yourself. Right now it prepares you to be an imitator; it teaches you how to be like others. This is miseducation. Right education will teach you how to be yourself, authentically yourself. You are unique. There is nobody like you, has never been, will never be. This is a great respect that God has showered on you. This is your glory, that you are unique.
Don’t become imitative, don’t become carbon copies.
But that’s what your so-called education goes on doing: it makes carbon copies; it destroys your original face. The word ”education” has two meanings, both are beautiful. One meaning is very well known, although not practiced at all, that is: to draw something out of you. ”Education” means: to draw out that which is within you, to make your potential actual, like you draw water from a well.
But this is not being practiced. On the contrary, things are being poured into you, not drawn out of you. Geography and history and science and mathematics, they go on pouring them into you. You become parrots. You have been treated like computers; just as they feed the computers, they feed you. Your educational institutions are places where things are crammed into your head.
Real education will be to bring out what is hidden in you – what God has put in you as a treasure – to discover it, to reveal it, to make you luminous.
And another meaning of the word, which is even far deeper: ”education” comes from the word educare; it means to lead you from darkness to light. A tremendously significant meaning: to lead you from darkness to light. The Upanishads say, ”Lord, lead us from untruth to truth” – ”asato ma sadgamaya.” ”Lord, lead us from death to deathlessness”, ”mrityorma amritamgamaya.” ”Lord, lead us from darkness to light” – ” tamaso ma jyotirgamaya.” That is exactly the meaning of the word ”education”: tamaso ma jyotirgamayma – from darkness to light.
Man lives in darkness, in unconsciousness – and man is capable of becoming full of light. The flame is there; it has to be provoked. The consciousness is there, but it has to be awakened. You have been given all, you have brought it with you; but the whole idea that you have become a man just by having a human body is wrong, and that idea has been the cause of tremendous mischief down the ages.
Man is born just as an opportunity, as an occasion. And very few people attain: a Jesus, a Buddha, a Mohammed, a Bahaudin. Very few people, few and far between, really become man – when they become full of light and there is no darkness left, when there is no unconsciousness lingering anywhere in your soul, when all is light, when you are just awareness.
A man asked Buddha… The man was an astrologer, a very learned scholar. When he saw Buddha he was puzzled. He had never seen such beauty, such grace. Buddha was sitting under a tree. The man was just in awe; he bowed down to Buddha and he said, ”Are you a deva, an angel? Have you descended from heaven, because I have never seen such grace on the earth? Who are you? Are you a gandharva?”
Gandharvas are, mythologically, the musicians of the gods. They are very graceful, obviously – they are the musicians of the gods. Their very presence is musical. Just in their presence you will start hearing melodies; just being in their presence you will fall into a totally different rhythm. Their very presence is music, celestial music. And the astrologer heard that music around Buddha.
He said, ”Are you a gandharva?” And Buddha said, ”No, I am not a god, I am not a gandharva.”
”Then who are you? Are you just a man?” And Buddha said, ” No, I am not a man either.”
”Then who are you?” And the man went on asking, and Buddha went on saying, ”No, no, no.” He became more and more puzzled and finally he asked, ”Then who are you?”
And Buddha said, ”I am awareness.”
Awareness, just awareness, pure awareness… and only then is one fulfilled. Then life is a benediction.
Education is to bring you from darkness to light. That’s what I am doing here. Parmar has asked this question because the Indian government is not ready to accept my work as education. It is natural.
They cannot accept it as education, because I don’t create clerks and stationmasters and deputy collectors. I am creating new human beings. For them that is dangerous. If this is education, then they cannot allow it to happen. It is rebellion.
I am teaching you to be yourself. I am teaching you to be fearless; I am teaching you not to yield to the social pressure; I am teaching you not to be a conformist. I am teaching you not to hanker for comfort and convenience, because if you hanker for comfort and convenience, the society will give them to you, but at a cost. And the cost is great: you get convenience, but you lose your consciousness. You get comfort, but you lose your soul.
You can have respectability, but then you are not true to yourself; you are a pseudo human being; you have betrayed your God and yourself. But the society wants that, that you should betray yourself.
The society wants to use you as a machine, the society wants you to be obedient. The society does not need you to function as an intelligent being, because an intelligent being will behave in an intelligent way and there may be moments when he will say, ”No, I cannot do this.”
For example, if you are really intelligent and aware, you cannot be part of any army. Impossible. To be part of any army you need, as a basic requirement, unintelligence. That’s why in the army they manage in every way to destroy your intelligence. Years are needed to destroy your intelligence; they call it ”training”. Stupid orders have to be followed: right turn, left turn, march forward, march backward – this and that – and they go on and on every day, morning, evening. Slowly, slowly, the person becomes a robot, he starts functioning like a machine.
I have heard, a woman went to a psychoanalyst and said, ”I am very much worried, I cannot sleep.
My husband is a colonel in the army. Whenever he comes home for holidays it becomes a nightmare for me. Whenever he is sleeping on his right side he snores, and snores so loudly that not only am I disturbed, even the neighbors are disturbed. Can you suggest something to me? What should I do?”
The psychoanalyst thought it over, and then he said, ”Do one thing. Tonight try this, maybe it will work,” and he gave her a recipe and it worked. And the recipe was simple – he said to her, ”When he starts snoring, just tell him,’Left turn.’”
She could not believe it, but when she did it, it worked – even in his sleep. He snored only on his right side, and when she said in his ear, slowly, not very loudly, softly, ”Left turn,” just out of the old habit he turned left. The snoring stopped, even in sleep.
I have heard, William James has quoted this instance, a real actual instance. After the First World War, a man who had retired from the army was carrying a bucket full of eggs on his head, and somebody just joked. A few people were standing by the side, and one man said loudly, ”Attention” and that man simply fell to attention, and the bucket fell and the eggs were broken all over the road.
And he was very angry; he said, ”What kind of joke is this?” But they said, ”We have not done anything. We have just said, ’Attention.’ Are we not allowed to say it?” And the man had been retired from the army for at least ten years – but it persists.
I have heard:
An insomniac boxer went to the doctor for some medical help. The ex-pugilist had tried mild sedation, but it didn’t seem to work. The doctor, hesitating to prescribe a more addictive kind, said, ”Look, before I prescribe this heavier injection I want you to try the old-fashioned remedy. You may laugh, but it actually works. Try getting yourself completely relaxed and then start counting to a hundred.”
A few days later, the old fighter came back and said, ”Doctor, I can’t do it. Every time I start counting, I jump up at the count of nine. ” The whole training in the army is to destroy your consciousness, is to make you an automatic machine. Then you can go and kill. Otherwise, if you are still carrying a little bit of intelligence, you will see the other person that you are killing is innocent; he has not done anything to you or to anybody. And he must have a wife at home who is waiting for him to come back; and he may have small children, and they will become beggars; and he may have an old mother or an old father, they may go mad. ”And why am I killing this man? Because the officer says,’Start killing. Fire!’”
An intelligent person will not be able to fire. An intelligent person may choose to die himself rather than to kill innocent people. Because some foolish politician wants to get involved in a war, because some politician wants to have more power, because of some stupid statements of the politicians, the war has started. He will not kill.
This I call education: to make people more intelligent. And that’s what I am doing here. If this fire spreads, then this old, rotten society cannot survive. It survives on your unconsciousness, it lives on your unconsciousness.
So it is natural, Parmar, that the government will not recognize this place as a place of education.
For them, it is one of the most dangerous places.
But as far as I am concerned, this is education. tamaso ma jyotirgamaya – Lord, lead me from darkness to light.”
Osho from ‘ The secret ‘ , CHAPTER 2. A CHANCE TO POUR MY GRACE INTO YOU