=1 "Let not man put asunder!"
Let not man put asunder!
Most children live normally in a world of oneness, a fairy-tale oneness. The animal talks to the tree, the tree talks to the cloud, and the cloud talks to the moon and the stars. Everything is magic, beautiful, mysterious and lovable.
But this world is shattered by our formal education. The tree is sketched on the blackboard with its roots, trunk, branches and leaves. No word is said to the effect that such a tree doesn't exist, that there is no tree without earth to grow in, no branches without the wind they can swing in, and no leaves without the caress of the sun and the rain. Nowhere on earth has there ever been a time when there was only a single tree. There were always trees, glades, forests. And nowhere in the universe is there a tree without birds, without insects. What would a monkey be without trees, or man without paradise? Not only is the tree a single continuum in space, it is also a continuum in time. There is a tree because there was a mother tree. And the seed cell out of which it grew has been growing and dividing as long as there have been trees.
This knowledge the child, if he is a genius and has some insight, may acquire when he goes beyond his botanical course. But for the moment he learns only to cut things up. There are no flowers in botany as the highest epiphany of plant life, the ecstasy of earth itself under the kiss of the sun. There are only stamens, and pistils, and God-knows-what. The miracle of how a piece of wood could grow into a flower is lost under this scalpel.
And so it is with everything else the school offers the child. Little bits of knowledge cutting up his time – geography here, history there, with no word about the unity of a planet, or the unity of human culture. No. History is the Greeks, the Romans, the barbarians, the invaders, the crusades, the religious wars, the concentration camps.
In his behaviour our child is expected to be restlessly competitive. That the fellow beside him is equally a victim of a ruthless system is overlooked, because he has to be first. He has to finish school if he wants to start being man, a human being. Certainly we do not learn for the school, we learn for life; but life is still the opposite of school, just as teacher is the opposite of student.
Can we teach unity, oneness, only by breaking things to pieces? Can we teach life only by death, paradise only by hell, and love only by hate? Or are there other ways of teaching? Is there some place in this immense universe with its trillions of planets where children are allowed to live the oneness of life, the beginninglessness of life, the endlessness of life; where knowledge is not something in the encyclopedia but something which is danced, sung and enjoyed? Must we always teach our children to take the shadow for the substance, to think that an individual life is life, that an individual birth is birth, that God is not you, and that nature is something to be conquered?
Do we really believe that the fellow who knows when the Magna Carta was signed, or when the Thirty Years' War broke out, can be a teacher of history, of the unfolding of man, of human consciousness? Do we really think that some Declaration of Independence, some Revolutionary War was more important than the birth of a new star, the birth of a new sea of life? Can we really imagine that when it is Monday today on our little planet it is Monday on all the planets? And do we really believe that it is by withholding from the child the secret that all life is a continuous unfolding of consciousness more and more joyful, that we will enable him to become a good butcher-or-baker-or-candlestick-maker – because we are secretly afraid that if we let him grow into a true human being he will be incapable of it, incapable of being a good citizen, a good husband, or a good provider?
Of course we are all human beings, just as we were all primates. But one day we won't be human beings any more; we will be something further along in evolution. And before that time comes we have to stop forcing our children into our human limitations. The day will come when we will open the doors of education and truly lead them – e-duco – into the trans-human. And that day the first educational institution on earth will be born. Then we will be able to say to our children: You are the son of man, just as we were the sons of the monkey, the sons of the bird, of the fish, of the amoeba, of the carbon ring, of the atom – the sons of light.