to build a connect

This week we have reconnected with Jordan Boudreau, Niswarth '12. He's interning at the Riverside School this month, teaching eighth and fifth grades. Vanita, the Riverside art teacher, loaned him a copy of This Matter of Culture, by Indian philosopher Krishnamurti, which he shared with Niswarth teachers on Wednesday.  The first few pages of this treatise on education offer a direct echo of the passage from Gandhi we asked the students to reflect on in their most recent blog post. We heard yet another echo Friday morning, in our meeting with Jayesh Patel. Uncanny. Here are some relevant excerpts to consider: 

"Is not life an extraordinary thing? The birds, the flowers, the flourishing trees, the heavens, the stars, the rivers and the fish therein—all this is life. Life is the poor and the rich; life is the constant battle between groups, races and nations; life is meditation, life is what we call religion, and it is also the subtle, hidden things of the mind—the envies, the ambitions, the passions, the fears, fulfillments and anxieties. All this and much more is life. But we generally prepare ourselves to understand only one small corner of it."

"Surely, education has no meaning unless it helps you to understand the vast expanse of life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys."

"Do you know what intelligence is? It is the capacity, surely, to think freely, without fear, without a formula, so that you begin to discover for yourself what is real, what is true; but if you are frightened you will never be intelligent."

"Life is really very beautiful, it is not this ugly thing that we have made of it"

"Not to imitate but discover—that­ is education, is it not? It is very easy to conform to what your society or your parents and teachers tell you. That is a safe and easy way of existing; but that is not living, because in it there is fear, decay, death. To live is to find out for yourself what is true, and you can do this only when there is freedom, when there is continuous revolution inwardly, within yourself."

--Ms. T