Friday, February 21, 2014

The Buddha on Teaching

Believe nothing merely because you have been told it . . . or because it is tradition, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conductive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.
- Gautama Buddha

This advice coming across the centuries is as important as the day it was spoken. The Buddha was a great teacher but he encouraged his followers and students to examine and analyse the teachings they received. His view that we should seek the good of all beings is at odds with today's schooling factories that turn out many blind learners without the skills to examine the world around them objectively. To use Gatto's term it is all about the interests of "the Combine" - big business, the military, transnational conglomerates and those who pursue wealth at all costs. For their interests to be served they need an army of unthinking people who are "educated" to obey without question, to endure boredom and have arid inner lives.

There are now millions of our young people who have been home schooled, deschooled or unschooled and who will not obey but rather challenge the mindless burearcracy that keeps the products of formal schooling in thrall to their masters.

May they turn the age...


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