Every child is born completely ignorant and innocent. It displays no expression of who or what it is. It just is.
Immediately the world starts to influence and define the child, what it is. Name, family, religion, tribe, nationality, colour, gender etc. The number of labels keep on increasing in numbers and rigidity that will last their whole lifetime and even beyond.
'What we are', is a label given to us by others. In fact we have more than a hundred additional labels. Schools, colleges, profession, spouse, social status, residence, etc.
Each label defines a social relationship or bond. Something external to us that yokes our body and mind to each one of them by defining 'what we are'.
In this web our constrained spirit seeks to discover 'who we are'?
We are being allotted or assigned labels all the time. A university grants me a degree and I am an engineer. Some government authority calls me a law breaker and I become one, media persons call me a hero and I am a hero, some call me a fool, some call me a wise man and I become those too.
Each label redefines us and not only society, but we begin to see ourselves differently. In reality we remain the same being, as before with more labels pinned to our chest or back.
We rarely discover who we are.
Who am I?
This is a simple question but a profound one. The answer for which I am still seeking.
I feel I am more fortunate than those who do not even seek, but somewhat less fortunate than blind believers who are so blissfully ignorant, that they do not feel the need to seek.
I realise that I must allow myself the space of not knowing who I am. If I do not discover it by a process of evolution I will perpetually be fabricating a false sense of identity instead of allowing my true self to emerge.
That is the beauty of evolution, not knowing what the future holds and the childlike process of discovering the truth. That truth will be my own not something given by someone else.
What does not work?
Modern education is touted as the solution to many problems. This may be true of what we are and what our world is. Not, who we are and what we could be?
Modern education, is not awakening its programming. Our education system has two key components programming and data input.
Programming is to make people behave in a predictable and controllable manner. This readies young people for work and total obedience. Programming cannot lead to awakening it just produces dull, compliant, unfeeling, insensitive, selfish people.
Data input is based on the rote system or memorising large amounts of facts and figures.
Its designed to produce people smart enough to be useful but not so much as to have radical ideas and cause a nuisance.
Collecting data, facts and figures is not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom.
In fact just accumulating knowledge can be downright counterproductive. As Mark Twain famously commented
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
What is the solution?
Discipline is important, but it has to come from realisation not imposition.
Knowledge and wisdom cannot come from lecturing and preaching, nor force feeding data and information into people, which goes under the description of schooling.
It comes from creating the thirst for learning and knowing. Then providing people the opportunity to apply knowledge in practice, by tasks, practice, play, socialising, travel, art etc.. When knowledge is experienced in application it opens the door to wisdom.
Very few paid teachers, who are usually overworked and hassled can devote the time and energy to do what is needed to be done. It has to be the job of parents and functioning families and the best is a mentor to facilitate learning which paves the way for a Mentor, (Guru) to awaken the individual.
There is a choice that families and parents have to make. 'Whether they want more money, more modern 'goodies', or do they want to plant the seed that will help their children to flower?'
Flowering, means, with material and social success or failure comes the realisation that all these are temporary. To accept them as one would a guest and not become attached to them.
One can learn from the example of a spider, to evolve is to live within a complicated web and thriving, yet free from entanglement.
In making the individual child within, flower, the garden of life will bloom for all humanity and existence.
From my forthcoming book on 'Reflections of a Seeker'
Telephone: +91 957 951 0353
Email: Guru Wonder