Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Education: what direction does it take?

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi

After Learning all scientific theories and becoming highly educated persons in the world, then if the people do not destroy their pride and ego through Self-Inquiry, there is no use of their illusionary achievements.

The uneducated people are better than them.

The pride of acquiring Education, the desire for appreciation and fame are subject matters for discouragement.

That Education is not at all education and real knowledge.

The Education which paves the way for searching the Truth, The education which inculcates obedience in them is the superior education. It will make them humble and honest people to behave with a sense of equality towards all in the World.
Sri Ramana Maharshi

If you've made it this far you must be fascinated by the above quote. Personally, I am mostly attracted by it. Overall, I am attracted to the direction it indicates.
I am very aware from personal experience of the pride, ego and desire that Sri Ramana introduces here. My education carried me through an MBA in a very conservative school that basically taught that greed was good. At the same time I was studying Zen Buddhism at the Rochester Zen Center, so was somewhat balanced, or confused, in turns.
So, I understand that Self-Inquiry can help destroy pride and ego.
It's the obedience that I always have a hard time with! I, for various reasons, have not trusted my teachers and superiors very much. So this comes with difficulty to me. I realized that I'm more an iconoclast: one who facilitates the destruction of religious symbols, or, by extension, established dogma or conventions.
This somehow works well with Self-Inquiry. The turn is that the symbols, dogma and conventions that get destroyed are the ones I've wrongly accepted and live by. No easy task that. However, by turning my attention inward, I have found a teacher over the years that I can trust. 
Quakers call it the 'still small voice' and in Yoga it's the inner Guru. 
The Obedience, I've discovered, is to this voice.