A.  Education: Etymology

1  Mali, Africa : Lamarali : To set an example.

2  Russia : Obrazovanje: to shape, image.

3  Latvia : Audzinasana : To grow, to know.

4  Persia : Tarbiat, to cultivate (Farhang: Culture : Unlimited thinking, God's guidance,  light, abundance)

5 Arabia : (a). Tanwir : To make something beautiful, to bring to light. Latin (beatus-happy- beautiful.).
                  (b). Ma'rif : to have knowledge of, to cultivate (human beings, seeds, animals).

6  Tibet :  To practice a lot

7  Indonesia :  Pandichikan : To transmit knowledge and wisdom (holistic)
                       Guru = Teacher, Guruh = thunder.

8  Sanskrit :  No word for "to teach", only for "to learn" ( to raise the student).
                       Similar: Ancient China, Japan and Korea.

9  Vietnam :  To teach and to practice.

10  China : Jiao yu : to teach, to cultivate (children, plants). Intelligent, knowledge and wisdom.
                                  There is unity of religion, education and upbringing.

11  Latin :  Educere, educare:  - To bring out, lead out.

12  Thai: suk-sa, sikha -to learn, to practice - Sanskrit - influence).

13  Burma: wisdom, affair.

14  Azari: Azerbaijan:  training, teaching.

15  Kurdish:  parwardah, parwar: a person who sacrifices himself, …who makes sacrifices.

16  Ancient Egypt: to lead out through the door towards the stars

17  School: Greek: schole: leisure- I use it in order to study. Arabic: Madrasa- attached to a mosque: Lit. a place of study, ma-darasa)- he reads repeatedly, he studied- from. Aramaic-Syriac:d(e) rash: he inquired into, he examined. Hebrew: Darash-cf. Midrash: - Hebrew literature, study, exposition,inquried, investigated. Persian: Dabestan: adab: moral, morality: Chinese: family -school, lineage ar

18  Japanese: asobu: to play: (in general): to study ( university) to study under a teacher tea ceremony relaxation trip lying idly (compare Greek!) Everything is a play! In polite language: You have arrived in Tokyo: You have played arrival in Tokyo I have heard that your father is dead. I have heard that your father has played dying.
              The Golden Rule
                 World Cultures.





B. To Teach

" XUE: To learn, and to use what one has learned, isn't that also joy ?"  

That's how Confucius began his most important" book": Doctrine of the Mean"

1  China:  chiao: religion, to allow to learn.
                  Hsun:  teach, instruct, to persuade. Radical: Yen:  a river - as the flow of the river- a flow of words.

2  China: to learn: enlightenment,

3  Intelligent: to listen, ("listen" - the same letters as "silent".
   To listen: 4 characters in Chinese: ear, mind, mouth, heart.

4. Stupid:  China; The divine light cannot come out; the divine child cannot be born. 

C. Knowledge

                       knowledge =  benevolence -  Confucius

1  What is knowledge? " It is to know what one knows and what one does not know."

2  What men call knowledge is the reasoned acceptance of false appearances.
                                                                                        The Mother- Auroville  

3  He who issues forth in search of knowledge is busy in the cause of Allah till he returns from his quest."

4  Verily, the men of knowledge are the inheritors of the prophet."

5  Arabic: two kinds of knowledge:sacred and ordinary (also Chinese, Sanskrit. Sanskrit:  apara  vidya - ordinary knowledge, para vidya - higher knowledge.

6  All knowledge tends to being.

D. Confucius 551-479 B.C
The Chinese people have, to this day, kept the ideas of Confucius very high:

       character development aimed at competence
       moral integrity and
       appointment with merit.

       The twin pillars of education were then:

                                                 Moral instruction (priority)    and    The imparting of knowledge.

His ethics codified the whole network of social relationship in feudal China.
Confucius was primarily an educationalist;
he was convinced that in teaching there should be no class-distinctions.

Confucius: "What causes me solitude?"
--neglect in the cultivation of character;
--lack in thoroughness in study;
--inability to move towards recognized duty;
--inability to correct my

E.        Book:  Whitehead and China

Education Myths and Metaphors: G.E.Derfer:

"…Teachers, students and parents know that homework is given …
                                 to instruct the student in preparation for "the exam".

Parents and teachers hope that students will become, as it were, "studying machines":
                       the teachers are "machine operators" and the parents "machine mechanics".
                                      "Teaching to the exam", in both, the USA and in China.


Knowledge, Wisdom, Learning:

1  The search for knowledge is an obligation laid on every Muslim.

2  A good, all-round education,
    appreciation of the arts,
    a highly trained discipline and pleasant speech;
    this is the highest blessing.
                                                 Buddhism.Sutta Nipata

3  "Broaden your knowledge of the Classics, restrain it with ritual,
                                                  and you are unlikely to deviate from the Way.
                                                                                                       Confucius, Analects

4  There is no greater wealth than wisdom; no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture.
                                                                                                  Islam,Nahjul Balagha

5  The parents of a child are but his enemies when they fail to educate him properly in his boyhood....
       Learning imparts a heightened charm to a homely face.
           Knowledge is the best treasure that a man can secretly hoard up in life.

6  Learning is the revered of the revered.
        Knowledge makes a man honest,virtuous and endearing to society....
              Knowledge is the holiest of holies...and commands respect of crowned heads;
                    shorn of it a man is but an animal...knowledge, the higest treasure, is above all stealing.
                                                                                   Hinduism, Garuda Purana

7  The end and aim of wisdom is  repentance and good deeds.
                                                                                     Judaism. Talmud

8   True learning induces in the mind service of mankind.
                                                                                     Sikhism. Adi Granth

9  Do not neglect the study of the Vedas.
                                                                                       Hinduism. Taittiriya Upanishad

10  O how I love thy law!  It is my meditation  all the day.
                                                                          Judaism and Christianity: Psalm 119

11  A thousand and a hundred thousand feats of intellect shall not accompany man in the hereafter.
                                                                               Sikhism. Adi Granth

12 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
                                                                        The Bible.Proverbs 9

13  This is true knowledge: To seek the Self as the true end of wisdom always.
                                                                   To seek anything else is ignorance.
                                                                                              Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita

14  Knowlede puffs up,but love builds up.
                                                         The Bible.1 Corithians 8

15 True words are not fine sounding;  fine-sounding words are not true.
      The good man does not prove by  argument; and he who proves by argument is not good;.
       True wisdom is different from much  learning. Much learning means little wisdom.
                                                                           Taoism. Tao Te  Ching, Laotzu

16  To learn, to study: Enlightenment, China.

      Intelligent: To listen, to hear, China

      Stupid: The holes of the heart are blocked, the divine child cannot get out, no light, China

      To listen: 4 characters in Chinese: 1 Ear   2 mind   3 mouth   4 heart 

      Enthusiasm: Greek:  Theos-God

      German. Be-geist erung-Geist-spirit :Enthusiasm.

      Mathematics: Theos: Perception, realisation,instruction.

      Philosophy: Greek: The love of wisdom.

      Philosophy: Sanskrit : To look at carfefully

      Philosophy: China: Knowledge of wisdom                                                                

      To think:Egypt: To see with the eye of the heart.

      China: To examine with the heart        

      India:   To perceive with feeling

      Hebrew: To perceive oneness

      Greek:    To conceive the unity

      (In German "to think" and " to thank" are related words).

      "Thou, Brother, art thy thought alone,the rest is only thew and bone."
                         The Mathnavi: Rumi, Persia

      Information: Latin: in-formare- to form the inner self

      Personality: Latin: per-sonare (sound) -Godhead rings through man                       

      To listen: Sanskrit: to obey, wise

      Dignity (German:Würde): Latin:decent, docere: to teach, to learn,capable

      Gome sese -to listen

      Creative: Vietnam: Bright(light) +to create.

      Creative. Peace:Benin

      Idiot : Greek: Idiotes: A private person looking only at his own private affairs.

      Free will, power, ability, freedom: Reshut-Hebrew

      Teacher: Leader, Healer : in most  ancient cultures

      Te: China: The force of virtue which arises from unity with cosmic law.

      Discipline: Tibet: To do what is appropriate and just

      Phantasy: Greek: Imagination. Phaos-light.

      Vision requires light. To see with the eye of the heart. 
      To learn: Track -Old English
     Art : Arabic: Knowledge (wisdom) and technique.

      School: Greek: Skhole: leisure

      Education: Greek:

      Paideia: Pais - child

      Arabic: Ilm Knowlege: In Islam knowledge is sacred

      Veda: Knowledge: India: Vid-I see, I realize, I know.

      To learn: Latin: discere, Greek: mathein - mathematics, discipine.

      History: Greek: "Historia": It meant at first:" Knowledge gained by inquiry"

      Intelligent: Latin: to perceive with intellect and mind (feeling)

      Intelligent. Vietnam: Quick at understanding + something bright, clear.

      To learn, to study: China: enlightenment

      Education: Somali: wound, birthmark

      Learning is the revered of the revered.

    " First establish yourself in the way, then teach, and so defeat sorrow.
        To straighten the crooked, you must first do a harder thing : Straighten yourself."
      How can a troubled mind understnd the Way?
      If a man is disturbed, he will never be filled with knowledge.

      Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded

      All virtue lies in detachment

      If you cannot quieten yourself. what will you ever learn?

      There is no fire like passion,
      there is no crime like hatred,
      there is no disease like hunger,
      there is no sorrow like separation, and
      there is no joy like the joy of freedom.

(Free = to love: Freia: The Germanic goddess of love. German. Jemanden freien -to woo someone).

" Before all else, God created the mind."
                          Abdul Baha

      Everything- art, science, literature, philosophical systms etc.- all are emanations of the human mind.
       "Look for knowledge from the cradle  to the grave."

Arabia, Persia:

1  Knowlege: Erfan: Inner knowlege, intuition

2  General knowledge  Ilm
        In ancient cultures the teacher used to be a leader and a healer  (China, India etc)
Teacher: The teacher should not consider himself as learned  and others ignorant.
                 Such a thought breeds pride, and pride is not conducive  to influence...
                 He should speak with the utmost kindliness, lowliness and humility,
                       for such speech exerts influence and educates the souls.

Teacher: ...therefore must the mentor be a doctor as well: that is, he must, in instructing the child,
                     remedy its faults; must give him learning, and at the same time rear him to have a spiritual nature.                        Let the teacher be a doctor to the character of the child,
                                                  thus will he heal the spiritual ailments of the children of men.
All real education is self-education.
                                                     C.G. Jung

Islam and Learning:

1 "It is charity to learn, to act accordingly and to teach", asserts a tradition of the Prophet thus dividing the acquisition  of knowledge into a three-step process: learning, action and sharing.

2  According to Ibn Khaldun`s classification of sciences, knowledge divides
                                into inspired knowledge (ilhami or wijdani) and acquired sciences  (kasbi).
     The first comes through religion,
                           while the latter is acquired via sensory  and mental faculties  and pertains to all people…

3  In Islam learning is not restricted to a particular social group or class.
    A man`s value does not depend on his background, colour, class or race.
    Ali b. Abi Talib  says: " Man`s value consists in what he knows or does well."

4  In the tradition of the Prophet Mohammad:
        "The superiority of the scholar over the pious resembles my superiority over the ordinary among you.




































On the Importance of Knowledge,
      Learning and Teaching:
             Forty Hadith
     Assad Nimer Busool, Goodword

1  Hadith: Sayings of the Prophet Mohammad (collected by his disciples).

2  Islam is the religion of `Ilm (knowledge).

3  " If anyone seeks a religion other than Islam,
      it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter."         
       Al `Imran 3-85

4  " And do good. Indeed, Allah loves those who do good."
       Al-Baqarah 2-195

5  "And He taught Adam all the names."        
        Al-Baqarah 2-31
(Edwin: In Christianity God gives Adam the "freedom" to choose the names himself.

6  " Read! (Iqra!) In the name of your Lord Who created.
      Created man from a blood clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Bountiful.
      Who taught by the pen. Taught man that which he knew not."
      (Gabriel told Mohammad-who was illiterate-  to "read" three times.

7  "And say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge."
       Ta Ha 20-114

8  " Say( to them, O Muhammad):  Are those who know equal with those who know not?

9  "Seeking `Ilm is incumbent on every Muslim."Ibn Hajar…, al-Matalib…)

10  " Seeking knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim;
         he who offers knowledge to those who do not appreciate it,
          is like the one who decorates pigs with precious stones, pearls and gold."

11  " People are of substances like the substance of gold and silver:
                        the best among them in the Jahiliyah are the best in Islam, if they gain knowledge…   
        al-Bukhari (A`ishah)

12  " The excess of `Ilm is better than the excess of `Ibadah ( worship, prayer, fasting etc.),
                                      and the best of your religion is the wara"( piety, self  restraint).
                   At-Tabarani, al-Bazzar

13  " You should be a scholar, or a student, or a listener, o a lover of `Ilm and scholars,…      at-Tabarani

14  " The most honest men of future generations will carry this `Ilm (i.e. Hadith),
                                 they will purify it from the falsification of extremists, and the assumption of the liars,
                                                  and the misinterpretation of the fools."
                                                                                                      At-Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih…

15  " Teach! Make things easy! And do not make things complicated!
            He (peace be upon Him) repeated this three times, then he added:
                                                                                  And if you get angry, keep quiet!"
                                                                                                                                Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Abi Shaibah…

16  " Make things easy! And do not make them complicated! Be cheerful!  And do not be repulsive!

17  Let there be no envy, except in two things:

                                 A man to whom Allah gave a wealth and guided him to spend it in a righteous way.
                                 Or a man to whom Allah gave wisdom and he acts wisely and teaches it to others. Al-Bukhari and Mjuslim

18  " Do not acquire knowledge in order to vie with the scholars, and to wrangle with the foolish,
                             and to sit in the best seats: whoever does that his abode will be the Fire, the Fire."
                                                                                                                                                    Ibn Hibban, Sahih

19  " My Lord! I ask You for beneficial knowledge, and I seek refuge with You from non-beneficial Knowledge." 
                                                                                                                                   Ibn Hibban, Sahih

20  " He who leaves his home in order to seek knowledge, he is in Allah`s path until he returns ( to his home)."
                                                                                                                                             At-Tirmidhi, Sunan, an Nawawi

21  Any person who goes along a course seeking knowledge,
                                      Allah will make for him the path to Paradise easy because of it.
                 And he who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his noble lineage will not give him priority (into Paradise)."
                                                                                                                    Muslim, an-Nawawi, ad-Darimi

22  "Anyone who comes to this mosque of ours in order to learn a good thing, or to teach it,
                                                                                        is equal to the Mujahid in the path of Allah…"
                                                                                                                       Ibn Majah, Sunan;  Mawarid az-Z.

23  Whenever Abu d-Darda´ saw the students, he used to say: " Greetings to the seekers of knowledge."

24  " He who does not respect our elders, and does not mercy our children, and does not honour our scholars,
                                                                               is not one of my community (`Umma)."
                                                                                                                                                   Ibn Hanbal, al,-Hakim…

25  " Indeed! Acquiring knowledge is done through learning. And anyone who cares about good, it will be given to him,
                                 and anyone who protects himself from evil, he will be saved from it."
                                                                                                                            Al-Khatib, al-Ifrad

26 " Two insatiables never get satisfied:
                                                                The seeker of `Ilm,
                                                                             and the seeker of worldly (wealth)."
                                                                         Ad-Darimi, al-Bazzar: Ibn `Adi

27  " What I fear for you the most is the argument of a knowledgeable, sharp-tongued hypocrite."  Sahib, Ibn Hibban

28  " The likeness of knowledge which is not diffused is the likeness of a treasure which is not spent in the Way of Allah." 'Sunan, ad-Darimi.

29  " He who is asked about any kind of knowledge, but he conceals it,
                                    will be bridled with a bridle of fire on the Day of Judgement;
                                            and he who interprets The Qu`ran without any knowledge,
                                                 he will come on the Day of Judgement bridled with a bridle of fire." 
                                                                                              At-Tabarani, As Saghir; Abu Dawud; at-Tirmidhi;

30  The virtue of the scholar over the worshipper is like my virtue over the lowest one among you…ad-Darimi.

31  " Loving good is natural, andloving evil is obstinacy,
                               and when Allah wills a person good, He makes him comprehend religion." 
                                                                                                    Ibn Hibban, Al Bukhari.

32  The death of a scholar (`alim)  is an Irreplaceable calamity and irreparable loss,
                                                                           and he (the dead scholar) is  an effaced star.
                                The death of a whole tribe is easier than the death of a scholar. "
                                                                  Abu Ya`la; Abu Dawud; at Thirmidi.

33  " Indeed! The scholars are the prophet`s heirs…" 
       Abu Dawud…


Many years ago, when I still lived in Egypt (1973-80), I came across a fascinating book about the meaning and importance of fairy-tales by Bruno Bettelheim: " The Use of Enchantment."
In the beginning of his book, the author gave his idea of a good story:
" For a story to hold the child's attention, it must entertain him and arouse his curiosity.
But to enrich his life, it must stimulate his imagination, help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions;
be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations, give full recognition to his difficulties,
while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems which perturb him.
In short, it must at one and the same time relate to all aspects of his personality-
and this without ever belittling but, on the contrary,
giving full credence to the seriousness of the child's predicaments,
while simultaneously promoting confidence in himself and in his future.

Bettelheim here described, what was to my mind the perfect (English, History etc.) lesson. I have merely to change the word "story" for "lesson". Is it not self-evident?

1  The lesson must hold the child's attention.
2  The lesson must entertain him.
3  The lesson must stimulate him.
4  The lesson must clarify his emotions.
5  The lesson must be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations.
6  The lesson must give full recognition to his difficulties.
7  The lesson must give solutions to the problems which perturb him.
8  The lesson must give confidence in himself and in his future and
9  The lesson must relate to all aspects of the personality.