Thursday, April 05, 2007

Christopher Titmuss

"I was lucky enough to leave school at the age of fifteen and never to go back. I left school without a single qualification. It seemed to me then that school endeavoured to minimise one's enjoyment of life, of fun and play. It wasn't worth the sacrifice.

I still have the sympathy for that expression of extreme thought which says we only stop learning when we go to school. I greatly appreciate the immense significance of education... Education is a marvellous and indispensable tool for inner development but I believe it still remains often out of touch with the depths of inner experience and the wisdom of the heart. The Latin word educat means 'to lead out', 'to bring out'. Whether schools truly fulfil that mission is questionable.

It was rather ironic that thirty years after leaving school, I was invited to speak at a conference on the Philosophy of the Future of Humanity at Cambridge University. There I expressed the view that education easily abuses the mind through imposing on it too many demands to absorb knowledge, to be clever, to be ruthlessly self-interested. The desire to add letters before and after one's name seems to imply that students are not satisfied with the number of letters in their name!

To live wisely and intelligently requires a deep, meditative re-examination of priorities. Without this inquiry, we will go on demanding more and more from the minds of the young to force them to fit into the objectives of the private and public sector."
from Light on Enlightenment

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