My thoughts began churning on the contents of this blog when I heard someone say the other day that laws are better followed in educated communities. I thought about it and felt there was the seed of rationality. These are thoughts that followed.
When people are educated, laws are easier to enforce than when the people are not. What education here means is not about going to school or learning a whole lot of lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic. Or the understanding of science and technology or the memorization of poems and texts the teacher wrote on the blackboard for regurgitating at exam time. Someone famously said that education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. Yes, it was Albert Einstein who said that. Education is really about understanding the world around us, in the aspects of human relations and our relationship with the other species that inhabit our common world. Through this arises our compassion because we are travelers on the same boat in a common sea of the cosmos. An awareness of this proximity and our dependence on each other dawns on us the oneness of our existence and the need for mutual support to cement and maintain this cohesion. For, only in this cohesion may we survive. In division we would perish. This realization is what may be termed as education. Therefore, our education must make us aware of our place in the universe. The degree to which this realization is imprinted in our minds makes us understand that there are laws and regulations that determine the course of our lives in this common presence. It behooves us thus to comply because we know that failure to do so will annihilate us. So compliance become a natural process that needs little prodding. Thus, educated societies are more law abiding than those uneducated. How educated are we within this yardstick?
So can we say that, given that there is so much conflict in this world of ours, it is because of our lack of education? Sadly so, our world has done little to make us aware that we are one. Perhaps all our glittering educational edifices are filling us with a whole lot of material content and little spiritual substance. Even from time immemorial the divisive force was in us for we have our duality inherent in our make up -- the good and the bad, the soul and the ego. Colonial times had divided us to force on us the duality – them and us, and so did our nation states provide the fuel to power our ego that harps unrelentingly on our separateness. Capitalism and the materialistic paradigm of development has further deepened the gulf between nations and even within our nations, between the rich and the poor, and no one wants to share, but live in the glittering world each one creates for himself. In fact, our whole existence is immersed in duality. Perhaps that was the test we were given, sent here to planet earth, to learn that this duality is a mirage – for us to understand this feature of our existence. When we can make this gulf evaporate, we merge with the universal soul, and we become the oneness that makes us liberated. When we can shatter this separation, we will bridge the gap that makes us feel we are separate and come home to the fact that we are indeed one. Conflict will then be no more!