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Part of the 1924 lecture. What is the role of art?

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 What is the role of art?


Questions put to the Master by his disciples and his answers.


Q: What is the role of art?


A. The role of art is to ennoble men and to bring them closer together. And when I possess the art of speaking and you also possess the art of speaking, I shall say something, we will draw closer together and we will be ennobled.


And when you write and I write, we will be ennobled and draw closer together.


And when you draw and I draw, we shall again be ennobled and draw closer together by means of pictures.


Thus, the role of art in all contexts is as follows: to ennoble men and to bring them closer together.


Practical Rules for Behaviour


Do not think that you are foolish and do not think the person you are addressing is foolish. Assume that you are capable of communicating the greatest of divine thoughts. Assume that the person you are addressing, who is your brother, is capable of comprehending this truth. These are the two most important rules that I know.


Another thing: use concrete, factual expressions when you speak. Do not talk about vague things that you do not understand.


Speak only of things you have experienced and about things with which you have made at least ten experiments. These are practical rules of behaviour.


As far as your children are concerned, start talking to them, explain the objects which are closest to them and which they need most of all-these are questions about water, air and the sun.


Water exercises a great influence over children. Take the child to a spring that bubbles out of the ground, start to tell the child a story and you will observe that his thoughts flow like the water. Start with the rising sun. Then proceed to flowers and fruits. All these things influence the child — so talk about them. You will observe that the same forces that are associated with light, water and flowers will begin to appear in the child’s soul.


Gradually you will move on to the real things that children can comprehend because in some respects children can comprehend more clearly than adults. The reasons why we sometimes put obstacles in front of small children is that we explain things to them in an unreal way.


The following must also be borne in mind. When pedagogues or parents wish to teach their children something, they are not permitted together with this idea to undergo any spiritual experiences of their own or to let any of their own private thoughts or minor sins intrude on this process. If one thinks about sins that have been committed, one cannot achieve one’s objectives. If one acts in this way, whatever one does and however little it may be, a maggot will enter the little that one has done and destroy everything.


Consequently, he who wishes to educate, to provide an upbringing, must be very pure at that particular time. He can think about his errors afterwards, but when he wishes to put a divine idea into practice he must be pure.




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