Guiding Light of The Month

All is light, all is love, ignorance and egoism are but vain phantoms, they can be dissolved. And over all things spreads Thy sovereign peace, Thy fecund calmness. - The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk (June 2014)

This issue of the Newsletter continues with the exploration of the theme on mental education.

Further discussion on mental education cannot proceed without a recollection of the five areas that The Mother placed as central to mental education, namely,

(1) Development of the power of concentration, the capacity of attention.
(2) Development of the capacities of expansion, widening, complexity and richness.
(3) Organisation of one’s ideas around a central idea, a higher ideal or a supremely luminous idea that will
serve as a guide in life.
4) Thought-control, rejection of undesirable thoughts, to become able to think only what one wants and when one wants.
(5) Development of mental silence, perfect calm and a more and more total receptivity to inspirations coming from the higher regions of the being.

Back to schools, taking up subjects hold much good for the student. It offers a chance for the student to acquire information on bodies of knowledge and more than that, to explore the ways in which the bodies of knowledge were built up. However, subjects lose their true utility when students do not learn that that are a multiple ways of approaching the subject, interpreting and understanding it as well as forming theories. The Mother explains that approaching a subject in various ways  will remove all rigidity from his brain and at the same time it will  make his thinking richer and more supple and prepare it for a more complex and comprehensive synthesis. In this way also the child will be imbued with the sense of the extreme relativity of mental learning and, little by little, an aspiration for a truer source of knowledge will awaken in him.” 

In order to realise this goal of mental education, creative and bold considerations of alternative methods of assessing students may be used, in a school system that holds assessments as means of measuring students’ progress in the academics. Alternative ways of assessments could facilitate the learning of subjects with a wider perspective and for a wider utilization. This too depends on how educationists perceive education and its purpose. If their aims were to be high, focusing on the all-rounded growth of their students, and not merely on churning out skilled personnel to propel the economy, then we can hope for more enlightened and creative ways in which schooling is carried out.

While calling for wideness and openness in approaching a subject, there is a need for a central idea to unify the diverse points of view that is encouraged. The Mother says, And if you want to make the totality of your thoughts into a dynamic and constructive force, you must also take great care as to the choice of the central idea of your mental synthesis; for upon that will depend the value of this synthesis.” This point illustrates the 3rd area that needs to be fulfilled in mental education. Points 4 and 5 are elaborated further in The Mother’s work on education that follows on pages 3 and 4.

Mental education calls for more. Read on.

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