Guhrtoutioun – education
This essay discusses a system of education that emphasizes that a human being is much more than a combination of chemicals. He is matter and consciousness. The consciousness of a human being is not a mere combination of molecules or different chemicals as is the material body.
Holistic education begins by understanding the real nature of a person. How can a teacher educate someone unless the real nature of a person is understood? Understanding the person means seeing that everyone has a temporary material and eternal spiritual nature. The temporary material body is animated by consciousness which is the symptom of the eternal, individual soul within the body.
There are different theories of what is consciousness. One theory states that consciousness is a product of matter or chemical combination of matter. The second theory states that consciousness is not a product of material combination but is the symptom of the presence of a non-material or spiritual soul. The difference between matter and soul is that matter is inert by nature but appears active when the soul is present. Matter is not conscious, only the soul is conscious.
When the soul is present in matter (meaning when a person is alive and his material body is animated by consciousness), matter seems to be conscious, but when the soul leaves the body, it becomes apparent that the material body loses consciousness. The soul is eternally individual and matter becomes ordered into a living organism by the presence of the soul. The soul is the moving force behind matter and makes matter appear sentient with consciousness. A simple example to understand the difference between dead matter and live matter is during a gold tournament. Let’s say Tiger Woods needs an ace or hole in one to win a championship. He is on the 18th hole and he hits the golf ball from the tee right up on the green and it goes toward the hole and just misses by a half inch. Woods physically expresses his frustration by throwing down his gold club and grimacing. The audience expresses their disappointment by making a soft groan of frustration. But, the golf ball is unperturbed. It has absolutely no expression of sadness or frustration or anything because it is only made of dead matter that has no consciousness.
Matter does not have the qualities of morality, ethics, compassion, empathy, tolerance, patience, love, affection, mercy, humility, forgiveness, etc. Matter doesn’t feel happiness or pain. This can be proven by testing a person before death and after death. Before dying, a person can feel all these human sensations and emotions. After death the body of the departed soul does not feel or respond to any of these human states of consciousness.
The above list of human qualities are not a product of matter just as consciousness is not. These qualities develop from the soul of the person as the soul evolves within the material or spiritual culture of knowledge and experience. A knife is not moral or immoral. However, when a knife is used by an expert surgeon to save a person’s life, it is used in a morally good way. If a knife is used by a thief to rob someone or kill them, it is used in a morally wrong or reprehensible way. Of itself, the material knife is not good or bad. It depends how it is used by a person. A knife is not conscious, but a person is because a person has a dual nature of matter and soul whereas the knife has matter minus the soul.
Education that teaches academic subjects along with ethical behavior is directed toward a person who has a dual nature of matter and soul. The material body moves only because the soul is present within it. Training the person to use the body to serve the real purpose of the soul is the goal of value-based education.
The soul is a person who seeks relationships and expresses human emotions in such relationships. The entire gamut of human emotions evolve in relationships with other persons. For these relationships to be real, fulfilling, inspiring, affectionate, loyal, sincere, and lasting, one needs to develop the spiritual side of human nature. The body changes. It grows and deteriorates, but the soul evolves if it is given the right inspiration and information.
The body imprisons the soul, but the soul that evolves spiritually is liberated from the material oppression of birth, death, old age and disease. Liberation means gradual freedom from the routine of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. One is able to limit these bodily maintenance functions to a minimum to keep body and soul together so that one gains time for the gradual elevation of consciousness. As consciousness evolves, one’s perception becomes aware of the personal presence of God in all things. This universal vision endows one with perpetual feelings of love and humility in the presence of the beautiful Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus, one is liberated from the oppression of matter, limited material vision and superficial relationships based on the body rather than the soul. In such an elevated state of consciousness, one dedicates all activities and thoughts to serving God without any selfish motive.
Sharing such universal vision with others by helping them gently and lovingly to rise up to such heights of consciousness is the real endeavor for the educator. The challenge for the educator is to find the ways and means to help others attain such transcendental vision. The step-by-step development of consciousness is described in the Bhagavad-gita, chapter 13 verses 8 to 12. Learning to see the presence of God within everything engenders the culture of respect and defeats prejudice and hatred based on bodily differences.
Everything material and spiritual has a divine nature because it emanates from and is pervaded by God. Such a celebration of the sacred in even the most mundane thing makes life a constant discovery of God’s omnipresence. Instead of seeing unending differences, one begins to see the intimate connectivity of all things due to the presence of God within and without of everything. This is the difference between a positive or negative outlook on life; the difference between prejudice or acceptance. Prejudice comes from thinking superficial differences of body, color, language, etc., are irreversible or genetically predetermined. Acceptance evolves from seeing the common origin and interwoven relationships of all things to God beyond the limitations of the material body.
There are primary and secondary qualities in nature. “Primary qualities are properties objects have that are independent of any observer, such as solidity, extension, motion, number and figure. These characteristics convey facts. They exist in the thing itself, can be determined with certainty, and do not rely on subjective judgments. For example, if a ball is round, no one can reasonably argue that it is a triangle. Secondary qualities are properties that produce sensations in observers, such as color, taste, smell, and sound. They can be described as the effect things have on certain people. Knowledge that comes from secondary qualities does not provide objective facts about things. Primary qualities are measurable aspects of physical reality. Secondary qualities are subjective.” (sourced from Wikipedia)
The above is the conventional point of view about primary and secondary qualities. Although the primary qualities are measurable, they are constantly changing due to the volatile nature of matter.
Thus, the most we can say about the measurable reality is that it’s reality is tenuous and dependent on our imperfect senses and instruments of measure. Like the secondary qualities, the primary qualities simply produce sensations in the observer because without senses and instruments of measurements that extend the range of perception of the senses it would be impossible to perceive the primary qualities. The primary qualities seem to have more permanence than the secondary qualities but such a belief is illusory because the nature of matter is continually changing.
Some material objects change quickly and others change over a very long period of time. According to the Vedic knowledge and experience, matter goes through two phases: manifest and non-manifest. Matter is considered eternal like the soul, but it can manifest and then non-manifest. In the non-manifest stage, it is still existing although it cannot be perceived with the senses or instruments of the senses, This is because the time factor and the modes of material nature (goodness, passion and ignorance) come to an absolute stop or stillness and therefore, matter stops moving and interacting. Therefore, it cannot be perceived. It remains in an absolute inertial state.
At most, the primary qualities are temporary and fluctuating and will disappear completely at some point of time. According to the Vedas, both the primary and secondary qualities of a material object are merely sensations perceived by the mind. The primary qualities seem to be more lasting or consistent for a certain time, but they will also alter or disappear because the form of an object is impermanent.
Matter or material energy is permanent, but the objects that are formed are all impermanent. Some seem to last longer than others and thus one may claim they have primary qualities. These qualities are not inherent in the object itself but, like the secondary qualities, are no more than perceived impressions. The classical example is the human body. In the Bhagavad-gita 2.13 it says, “As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” Throughout our life from childhood to old age we observe that our body is changing. The changes can be in height, weight and many other measurable aspects. Yet, we as the observer remain the same although the body we inhabit changes significantly.
Both the primary and secondary qualities of the body are fluctuating in time. One can say that the body one had at two years old is dead and gone when the person reaches twenty years old. But, the observer is not dead. The observer of the changes who inhabits the body remains the same throughout all the changes.
Can the observer be measured and quantified as the primary quality of the person? The answer is yes. The observer’s awareness can be measured in terms of degrees of consciousness. Just as a person can take an IQ test or a teenager takes an SAT test, so a person can be administered a consciousness test to determine the degree they are conscious of reality. The different bodies of the observer during life have appeared and died, yet the observer remains to witness them from childhood, youth, maturity, middle age and old age.
The degrees of consciousness are detailed in the Bhagavad-gita based on the influence by the three modes of material nature. (See Bhagavad-gita ch. 14) One can have consciousness influenced by ignorance, passion or goodness and a myriad number of intermediary combination of those three. For example, one may have consciousness that is 30 % ignorance, 50% passion and 20% goodness. The percentages can vary infinitely.
It is also said, “The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he (the soul) is even higher than the intelligence.” (Bg 3.42) From this verse, we can understand that a gradual evolution of consciousness is possible by which one can attain the spiritual level of pure goodness without any influence of ignorance and passion or mundane goodness.
All three states are influenced by selfish desires. But pure goodness on the spiritual platform has no taint of selfish desires. The only concern on the spiritual plane is pure love of God and sharing that love with all others.
Everything that is living has consciousness including plants and animals. According to the Vedas, all living beings and creatures have consciousness. According to the Vedas, there are 8 million four hundred thousand different species of living beings in the entire universe. In the Padma Purana, it is said, “There are 900,000 species of aquatics, 2,000,000 trees and plants, 1,100,000 germs, insects and reptiles, 1,000,000 birds, 3,000,000 mammals and 400,000 human species. Each of the eight million four hundred thousand species has a particular consciousness that is a mixture of goodness, passion and ignorance. It is only in the human form of life that there can be a dramatic evolution of consciousness that may rise to the pure spiritual leval where there is no longer any influence of the modes of nature. In all the lower forms or species than the human, the development of consciousness is limited by the type of body. The soul entrapped in the lower forms of species must patiently wait to rise to the human form before it can have the possibility to evolve consciousness above all material influence and attain eternal liberation from matter.
Consciousness is measurable.
Dr. Jagadishchandra Bose, an Indian scientist found that all plants have deeply embedded neural strands within their vascular bundles. While vascular bundles serve as agents of fluid transfer throughout the plant, the microscopic strands which Dr. Bose located demonstrate activity when adjacent plant parts are stimulated. Dr. Bose found that these strands exhibited negative electrical impulses when the plant was in any way disturbed or stimulated. He further found that such neural connections extended throughout the plant anatomy, effectively interlinking roots, stems, branches, leaves, and flowers. This great discovery explains responses which occur within the plant.
One can similarly measure the consciousness of a living person before they die and right after they die. One can measure the consciousness of a child as compared to an adult. One can measure the consciousness of a person at different periods of their life from childhood to adulthood. The measurements concern the reception of sense perception and conceptualization of those sense objects by the person. Thus, there are different states of conscious awareness of a person that can be measured and evaluated by predetermined standards.
There are two obstacles that cloud our pure consciousness and keep our eternal soul in the impermanent material world. They are the desire to exploit material nature with the subsequent attachment to matter such as our body, family, nation, ethnicity, and material possessions, etc., and the attempt to escape from the material world and its stringent laws through cultivating speculative knowledge and mechanical techniques. These two obstacles obstruct our ability to perceive correctly.
Our perception is very limited. When we look at an object we see very little of it. For example, when you look at a person, you see only the surface of the body. You don’t see the veins, arteries, capillaries, bones, muscles, tendons, intestines, stool, urine, mucus, bile , etc. We don’t see or hear the working and thoughts of the mind and intelligence. There is so much we don’t perceive. Similarly, when we observe nature, we see only a tiny part of it without perception of all the intricate and subtle arrangements operating as we observe it.
If our very limited power of perception is further clouded by the desire to control and exploit nature, then we exclude even more objectivity in perceiving what we are able to see. Thus, we are virtually in the dark during the entire duration of our life unless we are instructed how to optimize our powers of perception.
Optimizing our powers of perception to the point that we actually perceive the personal presence of God in all things and everywhere is the goal of education. With such perception, we perceive the most fundamental primary quality of life, the soul and its relationship to the Supreme Soul and the correct use of the material energy which is meant to be used in the service of God. The real purpose of human life is achieved by such understanding and perception.
Such perception is impossible as long as we are influenced by the material modes of passion and ignorance. The action of the modes of nature puts us into a sort of hypnotic state of mind in which we lose sight of reality and accept false perceptions as real. To understand how this happens we need to begin by understanding the evolution of life on earth.
When scientists explain evolution they purport that life evolved from inorganic chemicals. The Vedas explain that matter evolved from consciousness or the spiritual soul. The background of all creation is the spiritual, eternal reality which is God and His expansions of infinite individual souls and infinite spiritual and material energies.
The value of money – Vohsghee tuhrahm
Once upon a time a young man wanted to get married. He spoke with his father about his desire.
The father, a very wise and experienced man, told his son that before giving him permission, he must earn a gold coin by honest labor. The father insisted that his son give him the gold coin.
The son had received a gold coin as a birthday present. He brought it to his father and gave it to him. “Now, father, can I get married?” he asked.
The father threw the gold coin into the river and said, “You are not ready for marriage because you did not earn the gold coin by honest labor.”
The son was surprised that his father knew the truth about the gold coin. The next day, the son borrowed a gold coin from his mother and gave it to his father.
The father looked at the coin and threw it into the river. The son was annoyed. He asked, ” Why are you doing this? I did what you asked. I brought you a gold coin. Please, let me get married.”
The father refused to give permission and insisted that the coin was not earned by honest labor.
The son reflected on the strange behavior of his stubborn father. He concluded that his father would never give permission for marriage unless he find a job and earn the gold coin by honest labor. After a long month of hard labor at a neighboring town, the son returned and gave his father a gold coin.
The father looked at the coin and was about to throw it into the river. The boy suddenly grabbed his father’s arm and stopped him. He pleaded with his father, “Please don’t throw it away. I have worked hard for a month to earn this gold coin.”
The father looked into the eyes of his son and said, “You are ready to get married because you have understood the value of money. I am sure now that you will spend your hard earned money wisely.”
The son married a good girl and was always careful not to foolishly squander his earnings.
Education for peace
We can consider that there are two categories of education: career education and self realization.
Career education is important for earning a living and acting responsibly as a member of society.
Self realization is important to understand the purpose of life so as not to waste time on useless endeavor. Such understanding will also give one the ability to achieve real love and peace in life. Knowledge of self and oneâ€™s real position in the universe will free one from acting ignorantly and becoming more and more entangled by the laws of action and reaction in this world. Ignorance of self and ignorance of self knowledge leads to the perpetration of violence to oneself and others. A life in which unnecessary violence is avoided should be the standard for society.
Nonviolence is not a religious principle, but it is an important quality for those seeking self realization. It is common sense
spirituality because one is advised to do no harm to any other animal or living being because such harmful actions are equally harmful to one who does the harm.
The preliminary steps to nonviolence require one to understand and practice humility and be free of false pride. Humility means one should not be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. One who is self realized does not identify himself with the material body. Therefore, honor or dishonor pertaining to this material body is not of any importance. It is a material deception for which one should not hanker. One becomes proud by accumulation of wealth and prestige.
If one dedicates his wealth and life energy to the service of God and humanity without seeking to be honored for such meritorious actions, then he may be said to be without false pride. Offering service for the satisfaction of God and humanity without expectation of profit or honor is the hallmark of a humble person.
Unless one is humble and without false pride, one cannot be harmless and nonviolent. Beside not causing physical harm to others, the more complete concept of nonviolence is not to put others into distress. People are trapped by ignorance in the material concept of life. They suffer material pangs perpetually. Distributing real knowledge to people so that they may become enlightened and free themselves from material entanglement is real nonviolence.
When one adjusts his life to become nonviolent, one needs to learn tolerance and simplicity of living. This is gradually achieved by learning to not neglect anyone and give proper respect to everyone especially to genuine teachers and spiritual mentors. This helps one train the senses and the mind for controlled action and frees one from unnecessary material attachments.
The culture of respect develops from basic spiritual knowledge that is a result of honest self inspection. A quick summary of this process of self inspection which leads to the culture of respect follows.
Step 1: Establishing an absolute certainty that one exists as a unique individual is the foundation for self knowledge. Descartes attempted to do this when he eliminated everything in his existence of which he was not sure. He arrived at the conclusion “I think, therefore I am.” This is the perception of self identification or the positive feeling that “I exist.”
Step 2: Existence as a thinking and perceiving individual indicates that there is a difference between the perceiver (or the seer) and the perceived (the seen). For example, one sees his hand, leg and in general his body. He is the seer and his body is the seen. There is, therefore, a difference between the seer and the seen.
Step 3: The instruments of seeing, the objects of seeing and the process of seeing are all provided to the seer by nature. One who sees things beyond himself by ordinary vision has no power to see or move independently. All our ordinary actions and perceptions depend on various forms of energy supplied by nature by different combinations.
The five objects of the senses (of perception) are
The five senses of action or working senses are:
3. speech (voice)
4. evacuation organs
5. reproductive organs
The information gathering senses are:
The mind is the eleventh sense. Above the mind is the intelligence and the ego. The mind functions as the sixth sense in two ways: it receives information from the other senses and stores it in the memory. The intelligence is superior to the mind because it has the power to differentiate and make judgments like “this is good but that is bad.” The attribution of value and discernment makes the intelligence superior to the mind.
The above are provided to us by various arrangements of gross and subtle forms of natural energy.
The objects of perception of the senses are also products of the natural energy. The senses of perception and the objects of the senses are all provided to us. The individual does not have independent power of perception or motion. The seer is thus dependent on the arrangement of nature to see and perceive. The instruments of seeing, the objects of seeing and the process of seeing are all provided to the seer by nature
Step 4: Our power of seeing or perception is limited. The senses are limited by four inherent shortcomings, which are:
1. We make mistakes
2. We are easily put into illusion
3. Our senses are imperfect (I cannot see around corners or through walls, etc.)
4. We have a tendency to cheat
We can conclude that we are conditioned by nature’s energy. We are dependent and limited
Step 5: The seer is fundamentally different than the seen by virtue of the fact that the seer feels dissatisfaction due to the limitations of conditioned material existence. For example, a golfer hits the golf ball toward the hole. The ball misses the hole and the golfer becomes dissatisfied. Does the golf ball express dissatisfaction? No! There is a fundamental difference between the golf ball and the golfer. The golfer is a conscious being and the gold ball is made of matter but lacks consciousness. The golfer’s body is also made of matter like the golf ball. But the golfer’s body has consciousness in it and the golf ball does not. The consciousness of the golfer expressed by his dissatisfaction indicates that consciousness is not a material substance like a golf ball or a material body. Consciousness is not a product of any material combination.
Some scientists argue that matter develops the power to see and move as part of a certain organic development. Such an argument is not plausible or scientific because there is no evidence that matter has at any time produced a living and conscious being. There is no evidence that matter can randomly order itself to the point of creating a conscious living being with all the complex structural and intricate processes inherent in consciousness. Idle talks about the future development of matter into a conscious moving living entity is deceptive because there has never been any proof that matter has developed either consciousness or the power of seeing or moving in any part of the world.
By use of the discerning power of intelligence we can understand that matter and consciousness are different and that consciousness is not a result of material combination.
Step 6: Something cannot be animate without an intelligent person behind it. Intelligence gives direction like a higher authority. A living being cannot see or move or eat or do anything without the use of intelligence. Everyone is dependent their own intelligence or that of a superior being. An example may help to understand this crucial point.
A person buys a toy train set and constructs it. When ready, he takes control of the remote control and begins to direct the train. The train moves according to the will of the driver along a predetermined trajectory along the tracts. Sometimes the train goes forward and sometimes backward, sometimes it stops all by the will of the driver. Although a material construct, the train never moves by its own will. It did not construct itself. It was conceived and built by a superior intelligence (to matter) and it is moving by a superior intelligence (its driver).
Intelligence is all- pervading in human civilization and in nature. An intelligent man can understand by honest examination of himself that just as his will is driving his body’s movements or that of the toy train set so there is a superior will and intelligence driving the entire universe.
Every being has his intelligence. If one fails to take advantage of such intelligence he becomes a deranged person. For example, a person drives his car down the street. The street and all the arrangements such as red light, stop signs, speeding limit sign and all the rules for safe driving are made by the government. The driver uses his intelligence to follow the form intelligence of the government agents who have established the rules and the thoroughfares for driving. The government has also established rules for the vehicles used for driving. The car manufacturers must use their intelligence to build cars that comply with the rules made by the government. If a person follows the rules made by “superior intelligence” of the government people, he may drive according to his limited range of free will. If he does not follow the rules, he will be punished and is considered either less intelligent or in more chronic cases of disobedience, a deranged person.
Every person uses his intelligence to follow the direction of a higher intelligent authority. The higher intelligent authority is like a father giving direction to his child. There are many layers of intelligent authorities and the highest authority is the Supreme Person or God. In any organization there are many layers of authorities and there is a final authority or the ultimate director. For example, in any city there is a layered hierarchy of authorities such as the mayor, his advisers, the different departments like the police, fire, sanitation, transportation, health, education, welfare, etc. There may be several thousand people necessary beginning from the mayor to manage a city. An intelligent person can understand that in the universe there are also many layers of intelligent authorities to manage the universal affairs and an ultimate intelligent authority who directs all the other intelligent persons.
A question may be asked at this point. We understand that all our perceptions and activities are conditioned by arrangements of material nature. Yet, we feel and say, “I am perceiving” or “I am doing.” We can conclude that the body is like a vehicle that an intelligent person drives. When we sit in the car (or the body made of senses of perception and movement) we identify with it, “This is my car or my body.” This car (or body) is ultimately guided by a superior intelligence that guides and supplies us (gasoline or food) according to our desires. As I drive my car I must continually make decisions either to follow the rules of the superior intelligence or not to follow.
If I follow the superior intelligence, then I consistently understand that the vehicle (or my body) is actually not really under my control or ownership. I have been given the use of it as a privilege. A driver’s license is a regulated privilege given by the government to permit me to drive. I am not completely independent. I must comply with the rules established by the government or my right to drive will be revoked and my license and my car can be seized. Therefore, at any one time, I must decide either to follow the direction of the superior intelligence or reject to follow. My exercise of free will is limited to these two choices. If I follow, I have freedom. If I do not follow, my free will is gradually curtailed.
Our limited freedom of choice can be exercised on the basis of a misconception that I am the ultimate controller and enjoyer in this universe. This erroneous conception will lead us into an unending cycle of suffering because we will consistently violate the rules established by superior intelligence. By recognition that the superior intelligence is actually our friend and guide, we can dovetail our intelligence with the superior intelligence for maximum benefit in this life.
The honest self inspection and use of common sense leads to the conclusion that there are three distinct factors in life: matter, individual consciousness of the dependent living being, and the supreme consciousness of the ultimate authority in the universe. This six step common sense approach is the beginning of self knowledge.
With the development of self knowledge comes respect for the superior intelligence and exercise of attentive caution in all activities. One becomes very careful not to offend or violate the laws of nature and the rights of others to achieve self knowledge. Knowledge leads to caution and prudence in the exercise of our limited free will and the respect of others. With the advent of such knowledge one refrains from committing unnecessary violence and lives in harmony with the laws of nature.
The beginning of knowledge is becoming free of false pride. The delusion of pride is due to being puffed up by thinking oneself the owner and controller of material nature. It is impossible for one deluded by false pride to accept to be the servant of God Almighty. Through spiritual education one learns that he is not the lord of material nature. Only God the Supreme Person
is the Lord of everything.
Once free from delusion caused by false pride, one can begin the process of acquiescence to the will of God. But, as said above,
for one expecting some honor in this world, it is not possible to surrender to the Supreme God. False pride is due to illusion.
We come here for a short time, perhaps 60 to 80 years. Then we are forced to die. Yet, we maintain the foolish notion that we are lord of this world. This deluded state of mind makes all things complicated and causes us trouble all the time.
People claim the land, this whole earth belongs to human beings. They divide the land assuming falsely that they are the proprietors. One must discard this false notion that human beings or certain groups are the proprietor of this world.
Once free of this flawed notion one can disentangle oneself from false social and national attachments based on the bodily identification. These false bonds bind one to this material world birth after birth. Then and only then can one begin to cultivate spiritual knowledge. Such knowledge reveals what is actually the true nature of proprietorship, which is that everything belongs to God the Supreme. Understanding this plain truth, one becomes free from all dual conceptions of happiness and distress, pleasure and pain, and all the confusing dualities of material life. With such knowledge, one is able to surrender to the will of God and free oneself from the cycle of repeated birth and death in this material world.
We can control an airplane but can we control our own mind? The technological advancement of knowledge has given us many material conveniences. Yet, we are still plagued by distress and social ills. Over three thousand years ago, Moses received the ten commandments of which one says “Thou shalt not kill.” We can safely assume that killing was prevalent then and it was necessary to proscribe such horrible behavior of unnecessarily taking a life. After three thousand years, the killing has not subsided. Rather, it has become more scientific and brutal. Instead of killing a few people at a time, it is possible today, due to technological advances, to kill thousands at one time. Although we have advanced technologically during the same period, we have not advanced the human nature or the social skills by which men can live in harmony without unnecessary killing. The world seems much more violent today than it was previously.
Education gives us the power of discernment between what is real and what is not real. Some things are real but temporary. Others are real and eternal.. Some things do not really exist although we may believe they do. The goal of education is to strive for things that are eternally true. We can use those things that are temporarily true to achieve eternal truths. We must not be fooled by things that are false. For example, a horse’s egg is something we can articulate but it does not really exist. Seeking such a thing is an illusory endeavor. The body is true but it is temporary. It can be used, however, to achieve self realization or it can be used to chase illusory things. There is an eternal spiritual realty such as the individual soul and its relationship with God which is forever true and is above the transitory nature of the material world. Real education is directed at understanding what is matter, the individual soul and the Supreme Soul, God. Once this is understood, one is liberated from unnecessary suffering and illusion in this world.
With freedom from illusion and true knowledge, one becomes capable of achieving real love and happiness.
When we incorrectly see or hear about something we can make a mistake. For example, if I am driving on an asphalt highway on a sunny, dry, hot day and see a slick of water ahead of me, I may conclude that there is water ahead on the highway. This is most probably a mistake that I will find about quickly as I accelerate because once reaching the point ahead where I thought there was water I do not see water there but it appears to be still further ahead. What I am perceiving with my eyes is the mirage of water due to the hot sun shining on the asphalt highway. It is a mistake of perception. If I accept that there is water on the highway when in truth there is not, then I am subject to an illusion. A mistake of perception is not necessarily an illusion. But accepting that the hot highway is a body of water is an illusion because it is accepting one thing to be something that it is not.
If I am convinced that the illusion is true and begin to act on such an assumption of false truth, then I am in a deluded state of mind. Let’s say I truly believe that there is water on the highway ahead of me and purposely slow down drastically believing that my car may hydroplane on rolling into the water at my fast speed. If my abrupt slowdown causes the car behind me to tailgate my car and cause an accident, my action in a state of deluded mind has serious consequences. A mistake of perception can lead to an illusion or accepting one thing to be something else. Believing that my mistake is actually true (an illusion) and acting on it I fall into the trap of a delusional mentality with potential serious consequences.
Our position in the material world is very precarious and dangerous because material education teaches us to accept the material body and temporary bodily pleasures as the ultimate reality or goal of life. Thus, we organize our life to serve the bodily needs. We ignore our spiritual essence, believing matter is everything. There is no formal education today to teach the difference between the body and the soul. Thus, most people spend their whole lives seeking only bodily comforts. The temporary body is served but the soul is starved.
Above the body is the consciousness made up of mind, intelligence and ego. Psychology only scratches the surface of consciousness studies. The human consciousness is not regulated by material laws nor is it a mechanical construct. It is not produced by a combination of matter. Therefore, it remains an elusive subject for science.
Consciousness is the symptom of the soul, which is not a material thing. Science stays away from the subject of the soul because
it is not observable or measurable with our material senses or instruments of measure. The Vedic literature, namely the Svetasvatara Upanisad (5.9) explains that the soul is one ten-thousandth portion of the tip of a hair. It is said,
“When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spiritual soul.”
The individual particle of the spirit soul is a spiritual atom smaller than the material atoms. No scientist has ever seen a
material atom. They have only surmised its size and shape or constitution. They know however, that the material atom is capable of being divided or broken down. Therefore, there are existing particles that are even smaller than the material atom. The Supersoul is considered the soul of the soul and is even smaller than the soul. The Supersoul is present in the heart of every individual living entity and in every atom of the universe.
The soul for you, the body for me.
hohkeen kehzee, mahrmeenuh eenzee
The soul (of my child) is for you (to educate), and I will take care of growing or taking care of his body.
When a mother takes her child to school for the first time, she tells the teacher, (My child’s) soul is for you, and the body mine. She prays that the teacher will educate her child in values and knowledge and she will take care of maintaining and growing the child’s body.
Tell me, I’ll forget teach me, I’ll understand engage me (with you), I’ll remember
uhseh (eentzee), guh mohrnam
sorvehtzour, guh hahssguhnam
kordzageetz tartzour, guh heeshem