Science – Exploration or Exploitation?
We want to build a Science Exploratorium - a very interactive engagement of the exploration of science for our children. This is not just for our children here at the ashram. This should be for anyone in the country, but considering the distances, we can do this largely for the South Indian schools. This would be a 150,000-200,000 square feet science lab, set up in such a way that if a child goes into it, he will get lost in wonder.
If you just hold a mala, it forms a certain shape. If you know why, you would know the nature of the cosmos. ‘Why is it forming this shape? Why is it not doing something else?’ If you just understand this, you will know the very nature of the solar system and the universe. This is how connected everything is. It is just that there is no exploration, particularly in India. This happened… At a dinner, a young woman sat next to a very celebrated scientist. She did not know who he was. Then, just to be polite, she turned to him and said, ‘Sir, what do you do?’ He said, ‘I’m studying science.’ She said, ‘Oh! I finished that in my tenth grade.’ This is the idea of science we have. We think science is a done thing. Science is not a done thing – it has not even started, it has just taken a few infant steps. We are too engrossed in technology and gadgets and have lost our way of exploration. True power for humanity will come when we simply explore without exploitation. Right now, technology is the means of exploitation of every little thing that we know, but science is a way of exploration which needs to happen. It is very similar to spiritual process; though an outward process. No one who truly involves himself in a scientific quest can escape a spiritual tendency within himself.
One thing we want to set up is a spherical theatre where there is a phenomenal IMAX effect. It is three-dimensional and everything comes at you; it is like one hundred percent real, and there are movies specifically made for this. We also want to set up different experiences and exhibits in the realm of physics, biology and chemistry. We want to build dorms for a thousand children, so for two days they should get lost in exploration, and after that your children should not be able to sleep. They must wonder about everything they see.
Not all of them may become scientists, but every human mind will wonder if you give them the opportunity. ‘Why is a tree branching out this way?’ If you look at it, the whole design of the universe is there in the way the tree is branching out. That is the way your bloodstream is branching out, that is the way the rivers are branching out. There has to be some design factor, and there is! Just reading something in one textbook and thinking science is a done thing will not create a profound society. Either people should be steeped in the spiritual process or they must be steeped in science, because both are a quest, both are an exploration, they are not conclusions. They are not about, ‘What can I do with it?’ They are about wanting to know. Only when the human mind is in a mode of wanting to know does it behave profoundly, does it behave responsibly; otherwise it naturally becomes exploitative, ‘How can I use this? How can I use that?’ Initially, it is about things, then it is about people, then it is about the whole world. We are only thinking how to use everything in the universe because we have become technology oriented, not science oriented, so we want to create a true sense of quest in our children.
Right now we are beginning to form a team. We had a few series of meetings with people in the Chicago Science Museum and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I have been making these rounds in the last few trips, and now they have sent us a report as to how it can be done. We are looking for a powerful team, an energetic team which will create this. If you have the energy and if you have the commitment, you must get on this. If we manage to create what is on my mind, this will be a national piece that children of this country will enjoy for generations to come. Why I am saying this is – to create a miniature model of things which generate or produce truly balanced, purposeful and useful human beings that are interested in exploration, not just gadgets - a live demo is needed. Nobody is going to believe what you say, you have to make it work, only then will the world try to emulate that. So I think in the next ten years or fifteen years, if we do what we want to do, if we have the necessary money and the capability and the talent, if we make this happen, we will create a model which the world will want to emulate because it will produce those kinds of human beings for sure.