Something you may never ever dream of
I first saw a calculator at the age of thirteen
I first saw a calculator at the age of thirteen. I was deeply offended, wondering why on earth we were being tortured in math class when all that the teacher needed to do was to consult a machine for the answer! I dreamt of the day when there would be a machine for every other class as well.
There is a pervasive notion that spiritual life is antagonistic to the mind. This is a fallacy. The human mind is responsible for the great advances of culture and civilisation. But we have accorded disproportionate importance to a single aspect of the mind: the intellect.
Today, it is those with great memories who are considered intelligent. They pass examinations with ease, get top grades, bag PhDs and are hailed as thinkers of repute. This is, primarily, because they remember what they study and are efficient at reproducing the same.
Traditionally, in the Indian subcontinent, wisdom was always prized over knowledge. Human memory was certainly valued, and those who could recite the Vedas were respected as scholars. However, human thought was never accorded ultimate importance, because it was seen as the product of memory.
Instead, what was of inherent value was a more profound intelligence called 'chitta' – the deepest dimension of the human mind, the capacity to perceive existence as it is, rather than as we think it is. This is why the guru was always considered far more significant than the scholar.
Education, parentage and pedigree were socially significant, but never existentially significant. It was only if you touched this dimension of unsullied intelligence – the living mind of the cosmos - that you were considered enlightened. Until then, you could be seen as a scholar who knew a great deal about creation.
But until you touched the very source of creation, you were not regarded as self-realised.
In the near future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will radically change the way we look at intelligence. Our ideas of education will be fundamentally altered. Moving from the ways of creation to the ways of the source of creation - this is the way of the future.
If you are looking for tools of self-transformation, a memory-based educational system will be of no use. The intellect, which is based on memory, is a wonderful tool. However, it can only inform; it cannot transform.
In the AI Age, only those capable of exercising intelligence beyond memory will have something truly valuable to contribute. The fundamental difference between a human being and machine is perception.
The machine will be capable of data accumulation, analysis and action -- all of which are functions of the intellect -- but little else.
The human mind is an organic machine, but a machine, nonetheless. If we are to distinguish ourselves from machines in any meaningful way, and not merely replicate their functions, we need to empower our capacity to perceive. For this we need to reclaim our access to that unfettered, unprejudiced intelligence that is the basis of our lives.
I never bless people with the wish that their dreams should come true. Since dreams are simply based on memory, you can only dream of a more magnified and more improved version of what you already know! What is so special about your dreams coming true?
My wish is that your dreams should be shattered. Only then will something larger than memory will manifest in your life. May something you can never dream of happen to you.