Chapter 9: God is born again

Question 4



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The fourth question:

Question 4



A CHILD is pure intelligence because a child is yet uncontaminated. A child is a clean slate, nothing is written on him. A child is absolute emptiness, TABULA RASA.

The society will start writing immediately that you are a Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Mohammedan, Communist. The society will immediately start writing the Bhagavad Gita, Koran, Bible. The society cannot wait. The society is very much afraid that if the child's intelligence is left intact, then he will never be a slave. He will never be a part of any slavery, of any structure of domination. He will neither dominate nor be dominated. He will neither possess nor be possessed. He will be pure rebellion.

His innocence has to be corrupted immediately. His wings have to be cut, he has to be given crutches to lean upon so he never learns how to walk on his own feet, so he remains always in a kind of dependence.

First they are dependent on the parents, and parents enjoy it very much. Whenever children are dependent parents feel very good. Their life starts having some meaning: they know that they are helping some new people to grow up, some beautiful people to grow up. They are not meaningless. They have a vicarious enjoyment of being creative. It is not true creativity, but at least they can say that they are doing something, they are occupied. They can forget their own problems in the anxiety of bringing up the children. And the more the children are dependent on them, the more happy they feel. Although on the surface they go on saying they would like their children to be independent, but that is only on the surface. A really independent child hurts the parents. They don't like the independent child, because the independent child has no need of them.

That is one of the big problems the older generation is facing today: the new children are not dependent on them. And because they are not dependent you cannot force things upon them, you cannot tell them what to do and what not to do. You cannot be their masters. The old generation is suffering very much. For the first time in human history the old generation is feeling utterly empty, meaningless, because their whole occupation is gone, and their joy in that they are bringing up children is shattered. In fact they are feeling guilty, afraid, that they may be destroying the children. Who knows? -- whatsoever they are doing may not be the right thing.

Parents destroy the intelligence of the children because that is the only way to enslave them; then the teachers, school, college, university.... Nobody wants a rebel, and intelligence is rebellion. Nobody wants to be questioned, nobody wants his authority to be questioned, and intelligence is questioning. Intelligence is pure doubt. Yes, one day out of this pure doubt arises trust, but not AGAINST doubt; it arises only THROUGH doubt.

Trust comes out of doubt as a child comes out of the mother's womb. Doubt is the mother of trust. The real trust comes only through doubt, questioning, enquiring. And the false trust, which we know as belief, comes by killing the doubt, by destroying questioning, by destroying all quest, enquiry, search, by giving people ready-made truths.

The politician is not interested in children's intelligence, because leaders are leaders only because people are stupid. Just think: if this country were intelligent, can you believe a man like Morarji Desai would be the Prime Minister of the country? It would be impossible. It is ridiculous! But people are so stupid; they will find stupid leaders. People are so unintelligent that they will be ready to fall into the trap of anybody who can pretend to lead them.

Children are born with pure intelligence, and we have not yet been able to respect it. Children are the most exploited class in the world, even more than women. After women's lib sooner or later there is going to be children's lib; it is far more necessary. Man has enslaved woman, and man and woman both have enslaved the children. And because the child is very helpless, naturally he HAS to depend on you. It is very mean of you to exploit the child's helplessness. But hitherto parents have been mean. And I am not saying that deliberately or consciously they have been so, but almost unconsciously, not knowing what they are doing. That's why the world is in such a misery, the world is in such a mess. Unconsciously, unknowingly, every generation goes on destroying the other generation.

This is the first generation which is trying to escape out of the trap and this is the beginning of a totally new history.

But children certainly are utterly intelligent. You just watch children, look into their eyes, look at the way they respond.

Little Papo seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly at the zoo with his father. As they were looking at the lions, however, a troubled look came over the boy's face and his father asked him what the matter was.

"I was just wondering daddy... in case a lion breaks loose and eats you, what number bus do I take home?"

You just watch children, be more observant.

A teacher asked her class of small children to make a crayon picture of the Old Testament story which they like best.

One small boy depicted a man driving an old car. In the back seat were two passengers, both scantily dressed.

"It is a nice picture," said the teacher. "But what story does it tell?"

The young artist seemed surprised at the question. "Well," he exclaimed. "Doesn't it say in the Bible that God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden?"

No proofs are needed! You just look around -- children are everywhere. Just watch!

Another story I have heard....

In another school the teacher had asked the children the same question: to make some pictures of any story that they like. And a child made an airplane instead of a car. The airplane had four windows. From one window God the Father was looking out, from the other, the Holy Ghost, from the third, Jesus Christ. But the teacher was puzzled, and the teacher asked, "These three I can understand, but who is this fourth?"

And the child said, "Pontius the Pilot!"

But nobody watches children. In fact, everybody thinks they are just a nuisance. They should not be heard, they should only be seen: that has been the dictum down the ages. Who cares what they ask? Who cares what they say? Who listens?

A child came running home panting and breathing hard, and told his mother, "Listen to what happened! A tiger chased me from the school up to the house! Somehow I managed; I had to run so hard!"

The mother said, "Listen, I have told you millions of times not to exaggerate -- MILLIONS OF TIMES not to exaggerate! And here you go again! You found a tiger in the street? Where is the tiger?"

He said, "You can look out of the window, he is standing there."

A small dog!

The mother looked and said, "This is a tiger? You know perfectly well that-this is a dog! You go up and pray to God, and ask for forgiveness!"

So the child went back. After a few minutes he came back. And the mother said, "You prayed? You asked God?"

He said, "Yes! I said,'God forgive me! It was totally wrong of me to think of that little dog as a tiger.' And God said,'Don't be worried! When I first saw him, I also thought that he was a tiger!"'

Children have IMMENSE intelligence but down the ages they have not been allowed.

We have to create a new kind of education in which nothing is imposed on the children, but where they are helped to strengthen their natural, God-given intelligence. They are not to be stuffed with information which is in fact almost useless. Ninety-eight percent of the information that we go on throwing into children's minds is just stupid, foolish. But because of that load, that baggage, the child will never be free of the burden.

I have been a professor in the university, and I have been a student from primary school to university. My own observation is that ninety-eight percent of the information that we go on throwing on children is utterly futile; it is not needed at all. And not only is it futile, it is harmful, positively harmful.

Children are to be helped to be more inventive, not repetitive which is what our education is based on right now. Our whole educational system is geared to repetition. If a child can repeat better than others, then he is thought to be more intelligent. In fact he only has a better memory, not better intelligence. It almost always happens that the man of a very good memory may not have very good intelligence, and vice versa.

Albert Einstein didn't have a very good memory. Newton, Edison, and so many more great inventors, were really very forgetful of things.

Once it happened that Edison even forgot his own name. Now that should be the last thing; can you imagine forgetting your own name? Even in sleep people don't forget it. If all three thousand of you go to sleep and I suddenly come and call "Rama!" nobody else will listen, but Rama will say, "Don't disturb me, let me sleep! Somehow I have managed a little bit, fighting with the mosquitoes, and now you are here, calling me." Nobody else will listen, but Rama, even in his sleep, knows that this IS HIS name.

Edison once forgot his own name. He was standing in a queue during the First World War days. He had gone to take his ration, and when his number came and the man on the counter asked, "Who is Thomas Alva Edison?" he looked here and there.

Somebody in the queue said, "If I am not wrong, I think YOU are Thomas Alva Edison."

He said, "You must be right! I was also a little suspicious. The name appears to be familiar, but I was thinking that maybe it is someone's name that I am familiar with, maybe some friend's name."

But our whole education system is geared around memory, not intelligence. Stuff more and more information in the memory, make the man a machine! Our universities are factories where men are reduced to machines. Twenty-five years are wasted -- one third of your life -- in making you a machine! And then it becomes really difficult to unwind you again, to make you a man again.

That is my trouble, my work here. You come as machines, very uptight, full of memories, information, knowledgeability, absolutely in the head, hung-up there. You have lost all contact with your heart and your being. To pull you down towards the heart and then towards the being is really a difficult task.

But in a better world this will not be needed. Education should help people to become more and more intelligent, not more and more repetitive. Right now it is repetition: you cram whatsoever nonsense is told to you, and then you vomit it in the examination papers -- and the better you vomit the more marks you get. There is only one thing that you have to remember: to be exactly repetitive. Don't add anything, don't delete anything, don't be inventive, don't be original.

Originality is killed, repetitiveness praised. And intelligence can grow only in the atmosphere where originality is praised. Efficiency should not be the goal, but originality.

It was a school in the farming district and one morning Johnny came late.

"Johnny, why are you late today?" teacher asked.

"This morning I had to bring the bull out to the cow, teacher."

"That's no excuse," said the lady. "Couldn't your father do that?"

"No teacher," said Johnny. "You got to have the bull."

Meditate over it -- you missed it!

And the last question...

Right, you got it!


Next: Chapter 9: God is born again, Question 5


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