The True Education

Osho on Education


THE EDUCATION THAT HAS EXISTED up to now has not been true. It has not served humanity; on the contrary, it has served the vested interests. It has served the past. The teacher has been an agent of the past. He functions as a mediator to give past beliefs, orientations, assumptions to the coming generation — to contaminate, to pollute the new consciousness that is arising on the horizon. That’s why the teacher has been respected by all the societies. It serves the establishment. It reduces people to skillful robots, it reduces people to efficient machines. That’s what education has been up to now.

And because of education, man’s evolution has been very haphazard, zig-zag. But up to now there was no other way, because there was one thing in the past: knowledge grew SO slowly that it was almost the same for centuries. So the teacher was very very efficient in doing his job. Whatsoever was known was almost static; it was not growing. But now there is a knowledge explosion. Things are changing so fast that the whole education system has become outdated, outmoded. It has to be dropped, and a totally new education system has to come into existence. Only now is it possible — up to now it was not possible…

Intelligence has to be taught now, because change is so fast that memory won’t do. By the time you have memorized something it is already out of date. And that is what is happening: the education is failing, universities are failing, because they still go on persisting in the old way. They have learnt a trick; for three thousand years they have been doing this, and now they have learnt it so deeply that they don’t know what else they can do. Now, just giving old information to the children, which will not make them capable of living in the future but will hamper their growth, is dangerous. Now they need intelligence to live with the fast change that is happening.

Just one hundred years ago, there were millions of people who had never gone outside of their town, or never went more than fifty miles away from their town. Millions lived in the same place for ever, from birth to death. Now everything is changing. In America the average person lives only three years in one place, and that is exactly the time limit for marriage too — three years. Then one starts changing one’s town, one’s job, one’s wife, one’s husband. This is a totally new world that you are living in. And your education simply makes you walking encyclopaedias, but outdated. The difference is not new — what is new is the degree of change.

On our clock face about three minutes ago there developed a qualitative difference in the character of change: change changed. We have to teach intelligence now, so that we can make the children capable of living with the new things which will be happening every day. Don’t burden them with that which is not going to be of any use in the future. The old generation has not to teach what it has learnt; the old generation has to help the child to be more intelligent so that he can be capable of spontaneously responding to the new realities which will be coming. The old generation cannot even dream about them, what those realities will be.

Your children may be living on the moon; they will have a totally different atmosphere to live in. Your children may be living in the sky, because the earth is becoming too populated. Your children may have to live underground or under the sea. Nobody knows how your children will have to live. They may live only on tablets, vitamin pills… they will be living in a totally different world. So it is of no use just to go on giving them encyclopaedic knowledge from the past. We have to prepare them to face new realities. We have to prepare them in awareness, in meditativeness. Then education will be true. Then it will not serve the past and the dead; it will serve the future. It will serve the living….

And that’s what my idea of true education is. The children should be trained, disciplined, so that they can detect crap. A really intelligent person is a crap detector. He immediately knows, the moment he says something, whether it is significant or just holy cow dung. The evolution of human consciousness is nothing but a long history of struggle against the veneration of crap. People go on worshipping, venerating crap. Ninety-nine percent of their beliefs are just lies. Ninety-nine percent of their beliefs are anti-human, anti-life. Ninety-nine percent of their beliefs are so primitive, so barbarous, so utterly ignorant, that it is unbelievable how people go on believing in them.

The true education will help you to drop all nonsense — howsoever ancient, respectable, revered. It will teach you the real. It will not teach you any superstition but how to live more joyously. It will teach you life-affirmation. It will teach you reverence for life and for nothing else. It will teach you how to be deeply in love with existence. It will not be only of the mind, it will be also of the heart. It will also help you to become a no-mind. That is the dimension that is missing from education. It simply teaches you to become more and more entangled in mental concepts, lost in mind. Mind is good, useful, but it is not your wholeness. There is heart too, which is in fact far more important than the mind — because the mind can create better technology, can give you better machines, better roads, better houses, but cannot make you a better man. It cannot make you more loving, more poetic, more graceful. It cannot give you the joy of life, the celebration. It cannot help you to become a song and a dance.

The true education has to teach you the ways of the heart too. And the true education has also to teach you the transcendental. Mind is for science, heart for art, poetry, music, and the transcendental for religion. Unless an education serves all these things, it is not true.

And no educational system has yet done it. It is not surprising that many young people are dropping out of your colleges, your universities — because they can see it is all crap, they can see it is all stupid. No other institution can do it, only education can do it: universities should sow the seeds of revolution. They should sow the seeds of mutation — because a NEW man has to arrive on the earth.

The first rays have already reached. The new man is arriving every day and we have to prepare the earth to receive him — and with the new man, a new humanity and a new world. And there is no other possibility except education to receive the new man, to prepare the ground for him. And if we cannot prepare the ground for him, we are doomed. The experiments we are doing here are really an effort to create the new kind of university. The government is against it, the society is against it, the churches — Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian — all are against it. The priests, the politicians, all are against it. The herd, the crowd mind is against it.

But this is natural; one should not be surprised about it. We are doing something subversive, we are doing something very rebellious. But this has to be done, and this has to be done all over the earth in many places. This experiment has to be done in every country. And only a few will take the challenge, but those few will be the heralds. Those few will declare the new age, the new man, the new humanity, the new earth: brave new world…

The new education, the true education, has not only to teach you mathematics, history, geography, science; it also has to teach you the real morality: aesthetics. I call aesthetics the real morality: sensitivity to feel the beautiful, because God comes as beauty. In a roseflower or in a lotus, in the sunrise or in the sunset, in the stars, the birds singing in the early morning, or the dewdrops, a bird on the wing…. True education has to bring you closer and closer to nature because only by coming closer and closer to nature will you be coming closer and closer to God.

God is not separate from this world: God has become the world. You have heard it said again and again that God created the world. I say to you: God became the world. Now there is no other God except the world. The creator is in his creativity. God is just a creative force; he is creativity. Drop the idea that he is a creator. Think of him, contemplate on him, as creativity itself. He is spread all over: Where two lovers meet, he is. And where your eyes see beauty, he is. And when you are simply overwhelmed by the starry night, he is. When you look deep into the eyes of a woman or a man, he is.

The true education will also be true religion. Science is the lowest form of consciousness; art, higher than science; religion, the highest peak. Religion is the philosophia PERENNIS — the perennial philosophy.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: Philosophia Perennis, Vol 2

Chapter #10

Question 2

Chapter title: Known, Unknown, Unknowable

9 January 1979 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘education, mind, heart, love, awareness, consciousnesss’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Last Testament, Vol 6
  2. Satyam Shivam Sundram
  3. Take It Easy, Vol 2
  4. Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
  5. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 2
  6. Revolution in Education
  7. The Secret
  8. The Invitation
  9. The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
  10. From Death to Deathlessness
  11. Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
  12. The Path of the Mystic
  13. The Transmission of the Lamp
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