Learning to Unlearn|Sep 6, 2007 2:34 PM| by:

Academy of the Future

The aim of this organisation would be to promote an Academy or specialised school where the highest philo­sophy of life can be studied with a view to create leaders for community service, national life and international co­existence.

Sri Aurobindo’s psycho-philosophy would supply a natural basis for such study – not only as a universal approach to eastern and western thought, but as a modern application to the world’s spiritual teachings, towards solving the current problems of life, and as a completely new psychology to be introduced into education, public and social life, economics and the fundamentals of world communications.

This basis of Sri Aurobindo’s psychology and philo­sophy would form the natural foundation for the holistic integration of all those western thinkers who would at once complement and balance the contribution of Sri Aurobindo so as to bring about a true synthesis of east and west. Such thinkers as Teilhard de Chardin, Jean Gebser, George Santayana and others, modern examples of progressive thinking along similar lines of evolutionary transformation as Sri Aurobindo, would naturally widen the east-west base where the scientific and even natural­istic, rationalistic philosophy of the west would be wedded to the organic, intuitive, synoptic and spiritual philosophy of the east.

It would be the aim of this Academy to educe the highest truth-values from any of the great teachings of the world that rightly belong to the heritage of man, and integrate them into the Great Synthesis to serve the practical purpose of solving the many spiritual, philosophical, psychological and material problems facing man’s world today.

Such a specialised academy of learning would invite the highest potential of the faculties of the world to parti­cipate to meet the high ideals it would envisage. This highest potential would be utilised, not only for creating a leadership of competents but to institute research into new methods of education, wider horizons of individual, special and community life, higher concepts of administra­tive responsibility and a more comprehensive training programme for the universal man of tomorrow.

We must prepare the whole man for the whole of life and educe his fullest potential.

Our aims and purpose will be on three levels of consciousness and three fields of working:

a) The Individual
b) The Nation
c) The World

These three fields of working will be carried out simul­taneously and in close collaboration with one another because they will always have to take cognisance of man the individual, man in the collectivity, and universal man.

The Individual

Spiritually and psychologically the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo would stand as an excellent ‘backbone’ to support and carry the psychological root problems of love and security in a most concrete and practical manner.

Man is a transitional being evolving through his aspira­tions, his preferences, his desires to a higher state of consciousness. In consequence he needs two basic re­quirements: love and security. Love presupposes recogni­tion as a human being and therefore acceptation as such. Security presupposes food, clothing, housing and a progressive accumulation of possessions. But this is not enough, love and security have a strong psychological demand which is much more important for his eventual growth and progress than the preoccupation with the material.

It is only in recent years that man has become aware of the spiritual and psychological roots of his urge to progress.

We shall take guidance from Sri Aurobindo’s teaching as a re-statement in the new psychology of education to serve the first basic need for man to overcome the increasing daily problems of life.

Education of the future will naturally need to be Continuous Education which is founded on the principle that human beings are capable of unlimited self-perfection from birth to death and beyond. This self-perfection is five-fold: physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual. It is towards a growing awareness of the great yet latent potential within that we have to educate man for the future which will give meaning to our lives as individuals. This is, of course, in natural accordance with the urgent pressure of evolutionary forces which press man to become truly and fully human, to press on to a higher consciousness than his present half-animal nature.

Man today has a problem only because life demands more of him and we have not educed the full inner potential for him to meet this greater demand.

In other words our education of man has not been able to keep pace with the discoveries of the few who have precipitated their ideas upon the fast evolving conscious­ness of the world. Two World Wars have aided this plunge of man into a scientific, economic and ecological climate for which he is not yet ready.

Time and consciousness, however, waits for no man; it is therefore incumbent upon the few, the leaders, to bear the responsibility to point the way for mankind to meet its difficulties with more knowledge and a greater under­standing. It is good for us always to remember that man does not exist for himself alone and today that is also true of the nation: no nation can exist unto itself alone, it can only grow into the wider consciousness of a universal harmony through the ideal of human unity. This, of course, can best be effected as the individual finds his true self and the nation finds its soul.

Our first efforts towards this ideal of human unity is to educate man so that he manifests his full potential, so that he fulfils himself as an individual who has something unique to contribute to the collectivity, the nation, to life and the world. The individual is only truly loved for his uniqueness, he only truly fulfils himself when he has something to give.

Up to now our educational systems have only fitted man to take, to make demands, to expect his so-called ‘rights’ from society. But any educated incompetent can take. It requires a man, a true individual, a mature being, to contribute something which is uniquely his. For this, man is loved, is truly recognised, is accepted into the heart of the community, the soul of the nation, the evolutionary movement of the world.

To put these ideals into practice we have first to establish ourselves as a specialised school of learning to train a body of dedicated people for this very important re-statement of education.

This special approach to the education of the individual must necessarily start in the family when the child is first introduced to physical and emotional life, when discipline, love and security are first experienced within the frame­work of a known environment. It is therefore to the parents that the first appeal must be made. This can be done in an organised method of adult education for the child. Our job would be to train educators for this.

The Nation

As man is a transitional being, evolving through his experiences, so the nation is the evolving expression of man’s collective consciousness. As man cannot live unto himself alone so the nation cannot live for itself in isolation. We, therefore, have to be prepared to take a completely wider view of the needs and requirements of the evolving national consciousness.

Perhaps the first thing to realise is that politics as we know it today completely fails to achieve what it proposes, not only in the service of the people of the nation but in its administrative responsibility. The great difficulty of reali­sing this responsibility is that it can only come from the people dedicated to the ‘soul’ of the nation. For example, what is the soul of India? Is it not the central truth of Hindu India, the Sanatana Dharma – The Eternal Law, which Sri Aurobindo. mentioned in his Uttarapara Speech? In that speech Sri Aurobindo tells us that nationalism is not politics but a religion, a creed, a faith. It is even more, it is the Sanatana Dharma. India will arise to give to the whole world the Sanatana Dharma. It is only through this Law that India can become great because this is the purpose of her soul.

The World

It is no accident that our Academy of The Future is to be born in India and located in Pondicherry and Auro­ville, which to thousands of people is recognised as the Spiritual Centre of the world. It is only natural that from there the Sanatana Dharma goes out to all who seek the Truth contained in the Vedas, the Gita, the Upanishads. The eternal truth is now recognised by a sufficient number of people in every country.

It is the aim of this Academy to bring great souls together to understand better the Eternal Law which runs through their exegeses like a golden thread of realization. This realisation is constantly urging us towards a synthe­sis, towards a holistic view of all truth-structures, the realisation that we can only know the part if we know the whole; the whole man, the whole nation, the whole world.

The central purpose of the Academy would be con­cerned with yogic research; this would allow those world figures so dedicated to offer their highest potential as their contribution to this eternal truth. When the number of these people reaches its critical mass the potential and influence of this Academy as a body will manifest.

It is now clear that Future Man will know himself more and more as an integral being, and the leaders of tomorrow will have to be disciplined in Integral Yoga, a yoga that will not deny life but embrace all life to raise it to all possible peaks of perfection, and ultimately divinise life into its true heritage of a Universal Harmony of Truth.

Norman C. Dowsett

(A prolific writer and poet, Norman C.Dowsett was born on 9th Oct, 1908 in England. In 1942 He met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry and three years later became a permanent member of the Ashram. He participated in the experiment of the Free Progress Education carried on in the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education where he taught for 25 years.)