What is creativity?

It is my experience that when people talk about creativity, it is difficult to understand whether they are talking about creativity or manipulation. Manipulation is the art of handling skills and knowledge. The expression of it may seem creative, but it could just be technique. Manipulation of knowledge is mere utility. Creativity is what comes from the heart. When there is love in your heart, then skill and knowledge will be used creatively. Also, when there is need to demonstrate creativity, skill and knowledge will evolve automatically. Take the poet Kabir for example. He did not know how to read and write. But you can still see with what beauty and skill he has used language to express his thought.

For creativity to unfold there is need for space. The first necessity to be creative is silence and peace in mind. When there is noise and clutter, created by thoughts of the past or the future, or by the desires and ambitions within us, then creativity cannot develop. There is no space for the mind to play. When one is in a vocation or profession by choice, then one’s mind is free of expectations and then the work is done with complete patience and love. Then creativity can be expressed. If your profession is not voluntary, if one has been forced into it, then the implementation of action becomes non-creative, confused action.

Creativity exists inside each of us. It is the fire inside. It is not something you can see easily in everyone because it is clouded by smoke – the smoke of ambition, desire – the ego. For the mind to be able to perceive, it must be empty of things. An individual with high self-esteem moves towards self-realization and is capable of creativity. This person is not troubled by the past or the future or by personal desires, but is focused completely on the work at hand, giving it his/her best. This is not possible for a person with low self-esteem. They are constantly worried about achieving their own ambitions, or handling their own fears. They are not able to concentrate on what they are doing. Then where is the space for creativity?

A teacher in class needs to be aware of their own self-esteem, and conscious of not only their self-respect, but also that of the students. This does not mean that one keeps the “me” in focus. That is only the ego talking. If one looks at self-respect only in context of “me”, they are operating from low self-esteem. Then all you see is the smoke, not the fire within. The teacher has to build towards higher self-esteem. To do this, they must be aware of the power they have, the capacity they have to impact others. The true teacher is like the magnifying glass. All who come under it are changed by it. Whether the change is for the better or not is up to the teacher. If s/he focuses only on enhancing the intellect, then the student acquires IQ, which is man-made. This gives clarity of information, but not revelation. But the original intelligence, which is wisdom – this will lead you to revelation.

This does not mean that information and knowledge is not needed. It is important to develop the IQ of students. Both are needed – be it IQ or EI (emotional intelligence). The integration of both leads to spirituality. In the absence of IQ, man is animalistic. In the absence of EI, man is like a machine. They are separated by a thin curtain – the curtain of care. It is a simple formula – mix IQ and EI with Care and Love, and everything will be creative. That is all that is required.

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What are habits?

When we talk of habits, we often fail to recognize the habits we have picked up through the journey of civilization. If we look at habits as of 3 types, then we can understand this.

The first type is biological – these habits are of the nature that apply to our repetitive response to input through our 5 senses and what we know as instinct. The moment the brain starts to process the data, when we start to name it, conditioning takes over.

The second type is physical – This includes all things in our environment, the materials with shape and form. We have words that encompass the description so that as soon as we say the word, the thing is in our consciousness. This habit of automatically converting elements of our environment into words, and then assuming we understand it, may lead to the fallacy of over-simplification, and the disinclination to view anything as it is.

The third type of habit is psychological – our minds process information in the context of memory. Which means everything we think is actually based in a past that is not existing. We accumulate experiences and consign them to memory, which then constructs our perceptions and our prejudices. Our beliefs, our knowledge, our values are all part of this psychological habit, which we consider as a truth, but which in reality is an illusion, a figment of our imagination.

Education needs to help each generation break these psychological habits and encourage the development of real intelligence, that which is present and sees everything afresh.

What is BCG

With a rich history in education spanning 30 years, the Bombay Cambridge Gurukul schools have sent out more than 20,000 students who continue to do us proud. We have had more than 2,000 teachers work with us, some of whom, enriched by their experience, hold important posts in Education and carry forward the BCG legacy.

During this journey, BCG has made significant contributions to prestigious institutions such as UNICEF, Maharashtra government, TISS, Mumbai University, SNDT, and several schools and colleges across the country.

We have been forerunners for student-sensitive education, and introduced concepts which are now being applied in schools across the state and parts of the country. Some of these concepts include: no examinations and competitions till the age of 10; computer education; worksheets; counseling and remedial facilities; 100% participation; HRD in Education; etc.

Our students are a testimony to our success!

“BCG is a philosophy, an idea. It aims to integrate all of human knowledge to create an environment that builds future generation.”

Why Cambridge?

Over the years, much research has been done on education. Teaching has been the subject of interest for scientists, educators, psychologists, industrialists, politicians, artists, writers – almost every field – since education is the base of all disciplines.

‘Cambridge’, in Bombay Cambridge Gurukul, is an acknowledgement of the logical, rational, and scientific nature of education.

The Universe is in complete order. All things in Nature follow the laws of the Universe without exception. Man, on the other hand, has defied and defiled all laws of Nature, to the extent of destroying the Earth and its resources and itself.

Education has the responsibility to restore this disorder, and provide for students an environment that helps them be rational, resourceful, and responsible.

Why Gurukul?

Ancient Indian education has been studied by experts all over the world. And all our ancient texts contain the wisdom of the process of learning. Education has been linked by all saints and wise men as being the road to the ultimate goal of life, which is liberation, complete freedom from self.

The ‘Gurukul’ in Bombay Cambridge Gurukul, is an acknowledgement to the value of this wisdom. Sa vidya ya vimukte.

Ultimately, the fate of humanity rests on our awareness of how the relationships between humans affect the relationship of mankind with the universe. The values of compassion, cooperation, creativity and generosity, reflect courage and confidence are central to the Gurukul philosophy. All humans are one, and if we were to understand that, we would have the sensitivity to be kinder, more generous, and more forgiving.

what about schools?

Teaching children about Physics, Chemistry, Math – this is only 30% of education. We do have to teach them about things which will help them earn a livelihood, but what about the other 70%? The unconscious mind of the student registers everything – and very fast! And how we behave in the classroom is the way they behave in society.  In schools, our effort should be to sow some good seeds in their mind, so that they don’t contribute bitter fruits in society when they grow up. When will we start teaching children how to behave well? How to listen, how to observe, how to care? Today schools spend 90% time on academics, which will be soon taken over completely by technology. Do teachers know enough to teach the most important subjects – resilience, responsibility, appreciation, sensitivity?

 

what is missing?

Education has succeeded in developing the intellect fantastically – to the extent, we now have artificial intelligence and robots that can manage difficult human tasks with ease. Yet, just like the wheels of a bullock-cart – if one wheel is large, well developed, but the other is small and underdeveloped, can the bullock cart move? No. It will turn around on its side. Similarly, if education has provided so much for humans and their biology, is it not it’s role to also provide for human psychology? The psyche is the same since thousands of years. We are controlled by our emotions, slave to our needs, and conditioned to the past. Can education now focus on bringing about a psychological revolution?

role of teachers

The danger of education is that our conditioned minds limit us, and unknowingly we try to push and prod the student’s mind into the same mold.  We believe that what we know is the truth, the most important thing; that our attitudes are right, our beliefs and values and practices are the only way to think and behave. And this limitation we impose on the children. With computers taking over the domain of knowledge, a cognitive equality has been established between teacher and students. Yet, in her capacity to manage anger, fear, anxiety, jealousy, sorrow – the teacher struggles in the same way as her young students. Though older, we are all still slave to our emotions. The computer has no such emotions to impose, appreciates for a task done well, allows for as many chances a student needs to succeed, is fair about scoring, does not grumble about time, and does not punish. When the student makes a spelling error, the computer simply corrects it, while the teacher would have been upset. If the student has a question, the computer will offer 10 different answers and allow the student to choose. So what will be the role of the teacher in the future? With courses going online, will teachers become irrelevant? Will they have anything to offer to students at all?

the problem

With education systems in place since hundreds of years, I only ask this – have the problems in the world increased or decreased? If education was effective, mankind’s problems should have reduced. Since they haven’t, we can only conclude that there is something wrong with the whole plan of education. Maybe the problem comes from having trained children like they were animals in a circus. If they do as we say, we reward them; if they don’t do what we say, we punish them. Is there no difference between children and animals? And then, if these children grow up to behave like beasts, who is to blame? We compare them, teach them to compete, create in them low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy – we break them so young! Can these emotionally wounded people ever be happy or be the cause of happiness?

 

What is education?

In schools we teach – we spend so much time in gathering and organizing information, so that students can know, and this knowledge is important for them to earn their livelihood. Yet, is this what the child is learning in the classroom? Maybe 30% is information in the form of Math, Science, History. What is the other 70%? The child is learning what the teacher is. His mind is unconsciously absorbing how the teacher behaves, what she rewards and punishes, how she manages her anger, fear, anxiety, jealousy. So have we learned to manage our own anxiety, anger, fears? If not, then what are we teaching the children? I am the same as my students.
Indian sages, thousands of years ago, defined education as “that which frees”. The insight and awareness that frees you from being slave to these emotions, is true education.