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Maharishi’s historic keynote address
on school and university education to the 1973 annual conference
of the American Association for Higher Education in
Chicago, Illinois, USA, March 13, 1973


“There are two sides to knowledge: the object of knowledge and the subject of knowledge, the knower. What present education provides is the knowledge of the object. What it misses is the knowledge of the subject, the knowledge of the knower.

The stream of knowledge has two banks: on one side the object, on one side the knower. With these two points of reference, the knower and the object, the first point of reference is the knower. Very important because we know knowledge is as the knower is. When the mind is dull, when the knower is sleepy, the knowledge is different than what it is when one is wide awake, fresh in the morning. The perception is different, the understanding is different, the emotions are different.

Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness. It’s very clear. We know it from our own experience.

What education provides is knowledge of physical values—physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy. Different disciplines are there to provide information about different fields of life. Everything is right—nothing is wrong there. What is not provided is the knowledge of the knower.

Without the knowledge of the knower, when the knower is in ignorance about himself, the whole structure of knowledge is, as if, baseless.

The foundation of knowledge is the consciousness of the knower—is the knower. But if the knower is in dark—the knower doesn’t know himself—then it is very obvious that the whole structure of knowledge, the whole field of knowledge has no basis to it. Such baseless knowledge can only be non-fulfilling.

Knowledge provided by present education is non-fulfilling. It has its great values but values are on the objective level of life, and values are missing on the subjective value of life. The individual is not fulfilled—yet the blessings of education, the blessings of knowledge, promote progress in the objective field of life. So, there is progress, there is satisfaction in whatever field education is expert. Education is expert in providing knowledge about the object and therefore there is progress in the objective field. The education does not touch the field of the subject, and therefore the field of the subject—the field of the knower—remains out of knowledge. It’s now high time that we provide the knowledge of the knower along with the knowledge of all disciplines."


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