Learning to Unlearn|Sep 3, 2006 6:21 AM| by:

The Whys that Children Ask

Most of us go through life, without even asking ourselves the most important questions in our lives.

Question : Why am I here? Why is there an earth? Why do I live? What am I meant to do?

Yet, these are exactly the questions to which we must help our children to find an answer. Here is the Mother’s beautiful talk to the children of the Ashram, which is meant also for the children of the whole world.

Two paths

There are two very different lines; they can converge because everything can be made to converge; but as I said, there are two lines really very different. One is a perpetual choice, not only of what one reads but of what one does, of what one thinks, of all one’s activities, of strictly doing only what can help you on the spiritual path; it does not necessarily have to be very narrow and limited, but it must be on a little higher plane than the ordinary life, and with a concentration of will and aspiration which does not allow any wandering on the path, going here and there uselessly. This is austere; it is difficult to take up this when one is very young, because one feels that the instrument that he is has not been sufficiently formed or is not rich enough to be allowed to remain what it is without growing and progressing. So, generally speaking, except for a very small number, it comes later, after a certain development and some experience of life.

The other path is that of as complete, as integral a development as possible of all human faculties, of all that one carries in himself, all one’s possibilities, then, spreading out as widely as possible in all directions, in order to fill one’s consciousness with all human possibilities, to know the world and life and men and their work as it now is, to create a vast and rich base for the future ascent.

Usually this is what we expect of children; except as I said, in absolutely rare, exceptional cases of children who have in them a psychic being which has already had all the experiences before incarnating this time, and no longer needs any more experiences, which only wants to realise the Divine and live Him. But these, you see, are one-in-a-million cases. Otherwise, till a certain age, so long as one is very young, it is good to develop oneself, to spread out as much as possible in all directions, to draw out all the potentialities one holds, and turn them into expressed, conscious, active things, so as to have a fairly solid foundation for the ascent. Otherwise it is a bit poor.

    Love to learn

That is why you must learn, love to learn, always learn, not waste your time in… well, in filling yourself with useless things or doing useless things. You must do everything with this aim, to enrich your possibilities, develop those you have, acquire new ones, and become as complete, as perfect a human being as you can. That is, even on this line you must take things seriously, not simply pass your time because you are here, and waste it as much as possible because you have to pass it somehow.

They don’t know why

That is the attitude of men in general: they come into life, they don’t know why; they know that they will live a certain number of years, they don’t know why; they think that they will have to pass away because everybody passes away, and they again don’t know why; and then, most of the time they are bored because they have nothing in themselves, they are empty beings and there is nothing more boring than emptiness; and so they try to fill this by distraction, they become absolutely useless, and when they reach the end they have wasted their whole existence, all their possibilities-and everything is lost. This you will see: take a thousand men, out of them at least nine hundred and ninety are in this condition. It happens that they are born in certain circumstances or certain others, and they try, you see, to pass their time as well as they can, to be bored as little as possible, to suffer as little as possible, to have as good a time as possible; and everything is dull, lifeless, useless, stupid, and absolutely without any result. There, then.

This is the majority of human beings, and they don’t even think… they don’t even ask themselves, “But indeed, why am I here? Why is there an earth? Why are there men? Why do I live?” No, all these things are absolutely uninteresting. The only interesting thing is to try to eat well, to have good fun, be nicely distracted, well married, have children, earn money and have all the advantages one can get from the point of view of desires, and above all, above all not think, not reflect, not ask any questions, and avoid all trouble. Yes, and then get out of it like that, without too many catastrophes. This is the general condition; this is what men call being reasonable. And in this way the world can turn round indefinitely for eternity, it will never progress. And this is why all these are like ants; they come, crawl, die, go away, come back, crawl again, die again, and so on. And it can last for eternities like this.

    On which side one wants to be

Fortunately there are some who do the work of all the others, but it’s only these who will make everything change one day.

So the first problem is to know on which side one wants to be: on the side of those who are doing something or the side of those who do nothing; on the side of those who, perhaps, will be able to understand what life is and do what is necessary for this life to culminate in something, or else of those who hardly care to understand anything at all and try to pass their time in having as few botherations as possible. Above all, no botherations!

The Mother