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What is Experiential Education?

We all live in the ambit of our socio cultural environment which in turn, shapes our lives. We continually interact with the people around us and our physical environment. Although this process may unfold differently for different individuals yet it is majorly guided by the predominant culture that we adhere to. From the very beginning when a child tries to construct the reality of the world for herself/himself, s/he does so in close connection with the socio cultural values.

The English word 'culture' has been derived from the latin word 'colere' which means learn or learning. Culture is the sum total of all what the member of a community learns, gather, prefer to retain value and put into practice in their personal and social behavior. According to the eminent American cultural anthropologist Herskovits, culture is the 'man-made part of environment'. The world or the whole environment on this planet can be divided into two phenomena- Nature and Culture.

Whatever The Divine or the creator has created constitutes Nature, such as land, hills, rivers, minerals, seasons, sun, moon etc. all those ideas and things that have been created by man by learning from nature, from his experience of life in the society, as a result of his inner thinking and assessment, and out of his love, motivation, taste or hobby etc. constitutes the culture of his community or group. It is in this totality, that a leaner Experience with his/her immediate nature and educate to grow. The experience and learn together create the term Experiential Education

Integral Education?

Education to be complete must have five principal aspects corresponding to the five principal activities of the human being; the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic and the spiritual. Usually, these phases of education follow chronologically the growth of the individual; this, however, does not mean that one of them should replace another, but that all must continue, completing one another until the end of his life. Physical education had three principal aspects: (1) control and discipline of the functioning of the body; (2) an integral, methodical and harmonious development of all the parts and movements of the body; and (3) correction of any defects and deformities. Of all education, vital education is perhaps the most important, the most indispensable. Yet it is rarely taken up and pursued with discernment and method. There are several reasons for this: first, the human mind is in a state of great confusion about this particular subject; secondly, the undertaking is very difficult and to be successful in it one must have endless endurance and persistence and a will that no failure can weaken.

A true mental education, which will prepare man for a higher life, has five principal phases. Normally these phases follow one after another, but in exceptional individuals they may alternate or even proceed simultaneously. These five phases, in brief, are: (1) Development of the power of concentration, the capacity of attention. (2) Development of the capacities of expansion, widening, complexity and richness. (3) Organisation of one's ideas around a central idea, a higher ideal or a supremely luminous idea that will serve as a guide in life. (4) Thought-control, rejection of undesirable thoughts, to become able to think only what one wants and when one wants. (5) Development of mental silence, perfect calm and a more and more total receptivity to inspirations coming from the higher regions of the being.

With psychic education we come to the problem of the true motive of existence, the purpose of life on earth, the discovery to which this life must lead and the result of that discovery: the consecration of the individual to his eternal principle.

The first and perhaps the most important point is that the mind is incapable of judging spiritual things. All those who have written on this subject have said so; but very few are those who have put it into practice. And yet, in order to proceed on the path, it is absolutely indispensable to abstain from all mental opinion and reaction.