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Recommended Books 

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran 

Almustafa, a young prophet, has lived in Orphalese for twelve years and is waiting for the ship that will take him home. The townspeople beg him to stay, but Almustafa remains firm in his decision. Then they ask him to speak to them one more time, to share his words of wisdom on love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death. His final words are a promise that he will return to Orphalese.

While the structure is narrative, the language is very rhythmic and biblical in style, using such phrases as “You have been told . . . but I say unto you” and “Verily I say unto you.” The repetition of such words as “but,” “and,” and “for” helps maintain the thought and logic of the theme as Gibran moves from response to response, as one idea suggests another. In addition, Gibran skillfully uses rhetorical questions. This can be observed in Almustafa’s response to the question about giving….

Summerhill by A.S. Neill

A simplicity to read, the “Summerhill” book is endorsed in the foreword by legendary sociologist and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm (who is not the author of “Summerhill”). Fromm recapitulates what Neill’s systematic principles in this volume are. In a nutshell: nourish the whole child’s potential to love life intellectually, as well as emotionally; have him educated commensurate with his capacity, sans dogmatic disciplining; allow him to be free, but without encroaching on anyone; have the teachers maintain a transparency; encourage security in the pupil without resorting to submission and domination tactics, or utilizing guilt in one’s methods; and advocate a theology of human freedom, not sinful suppression.

This book is divided into seven intriguing chapters, dealing with, respectively, activities at the school, rearing children, sexuality, theology and morality, problem issues for children, problem matters for parents, and lastly, questions and responses.

 

How to bring up a child by The Mother

Few people receive the quality guidance that is required to raise a child. As a result, we  invariably end up transferring our own subconscious deficiencies (inertia, addictions, indiscipline) onto our children.   The Sri Aurobindo Society has published a booklet “How to bring up a child” on this crucially important topic, bringing together insights from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa along with anecdotes and stories from other people and places.

Introduction to in Integral Education by Sraddhalu Ranade

This book takes up the challenge of rebuilding the foundations of education on the deeper psychological insights innate to the Indian civilisation, and gives a concrete form to the new mindset that must suffuse the future education of humanity. It charts out the broad lines along which teachers, parents and schools can make a smooth transition into the new educational paradigm.

 

Krishnamurti on Education by J. Krishnamurti

This book is the outcome of talks and discussions held in India by J. Krishnamurti with the students and teachers of schools at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh and Rajghat School at Varanasi. These centres are run by the Krishnamurti Foundation India, which was set up to create a milieu where the teachings of Krishnamurti could be communicated to the child. Krishnamurti regards education as of prime significance in the communication of that which is central to the transformation of the human mind and the creation of a new culture. Such a fundamental transformation takes place when the child, while being trained in various skills and disciplines, is also given the capacity to be awake to the processes of his own thinking, feeling and action. This alertness makes him self-critical and observant and thus establishes an integrity of perception, discrimination and action, crucial to the maturing within him of a right relationship to man, to nature and to the tools man creates.

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