Prehistory. In April 2011 we came to Gelendzhik region of Russia for our next Dolmen tour. As a part of the tour program we also visited Shetinin’s school in Tekos village. The principal and the founder of the school Michail Petrovich Shetinin has kindly agreed to meet with us. It was quite an excitement for everyone! At 11 am on April 21st Professor M.P. Shetinin welcomed us in his spacious study on the first floor of the office building. He was so kind to allow one of our tour participants to make an audio record of the meeting. And below you can read through his speech, transcribed and translated into English.
I hope you will find it interesting and the wisdom of The Teacher will come deep into your hearts as much as it came to mine. And I wanted to apologize for my simplified English; that was the best I could do! :)
M.P.: Let’s begin to work.
To direct our conversation in a certain way I will tell a few words about how I myself understand what we do.
Although to speak about education is the same as to speak about stars, about eternity, about infinity or about cosmic distances. And I think that I don’t exaggerate such understanding of education, because children are cosmic like.
Children don’t live in an apartment, don’t study in a classroom, they live in the entire world, always - in Everything. It is a special feature of a childhood - to live in Everything, for the sake of Everything. It is when the great unlimited Everything is always in the life of children, when they understand what they do in Everything, then it is interesting for them to live.
I think that many problems of the modern world are related to the fact that we’ve created an artificial world for ourselves, and we think that the World as Cosmos accepts us easily. But it is difficult for the Cosmos to deal with us. We have created artificial world, something, where it is especially hard for children to live. And our task is to help them out of this artificiality and to help them enter into the natural world of stars, chamomiles, fields, mountains, rivers, oceans.
Here is the basic position on which all methodological moments of our life are built. All our methods are related to the answers to questions - Who is Man? What is He/She for? Our World - what is it? Who are we to the World? And what is the World to us? Everything else is derivative. I mean that not the methodology we use is the main thing, not the method, but the meaning, the purpose. It means that we can change the method, but it is important that the meaning/purpose vector will not vary.
I say, that in any case, not the method, how to work - the main thing, the main thing is for the sake of what, for the sake of what meaning/purpose. And in that is always the question, what is the meaning/purpose? It is creation of harmony, wholeness, beauty, through love, by love. And for this, every time, it is necessary to understand that a Man created by love, for the sake of love, cannot live otherwise than to create love.
It is important for children’s life to be really filled with movement to harmony creation, through the things that were laid by centuries, a thousand-year way of life of fathers. Here I wanted, for us to not hasten to methodical aspects of the activity of our collective, but right the opposite - the meaning/purpose beginning is the most important to us. We do not want to assert ourselves that we have opened a particular method, we want to serve a Man, observing His/Her nature, and every time answering a question which is given to us by the environment - why the Earth is spinning, what happened to Japan, what happens in Libya today. These are direct signals for us to change something here, in Tekos.
From here it is necessary to expect necessity of systematization of the information which is put in programs, in state requirements, in international requirements, here - in systematization and in integration of this information is to release children’s time for their open interaction with the World, for their participation in what happens right now.
The main thing is to save the ability to live, I mean - to act in the world where they have come to, in order to improve their qualities.
We, in general, consider that it is the main task of the present - to save cosmic like essence of children, their divine essence, and not to spoil them by failures, that began to suppress the children already, failures, that we name the modern civilization. Under the failures I mean their mismatch, their inadequacy in relation to what happens in the world.
The socium in itself is the phenomenon which has been created when the Man has left His/Her essence, has ceased to bear the divine essence. Whereas children are born in high-purity: cosmic like and divine. And when they enter into society, they willy-nilly have to break themselves, and the society imposes its guidelines to the childhood, and the children do not develop themselves, they close themselves more and more, such as an artificial flack where they leave in agony, instead of joy and love they were often spoken about. I mean that we need to take a sober look at things, to reconsider values. When we, from the United Nations Security Council tribunes say today that we wish to help democracy of Libya and then we start to hit them with bombs it is a complete nonsense. For the same democracy we have struck across Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. In general, we chase this democracy, as if it is an end in itself, whereas it is more important to build relations, harmonious relations with the world, with the Universe, with each other, I mean that it is necessary for children to work in this truth. And not to just wait until we make it for them, but to create it themselves, by everything, embed in them. They are giants, they are infinity. That’s why I say that a school should carry on a dialogue, between children as cosmic, divine phenomenon, and what modern society, unfortunately, demands from children to enter into it. They have come not to just reveal themselves but to declare and to improve quality of life of their fathers, mothers, the Earth, their mother-land. I mean that we have to help with this dialogue between children, as divine phenomenon, and the Society which has gone far from the Creator.
The matter is that children, they act the way they feel a-must/essential, they say a-must things, they live a-must way, they love a-must/essential things. And what is essential for them, absolutely essential, is an absolute harmony. If they affirm absolute harmony, they are the children. If they are getting agreed that our world is disharmonious, and begin to miserably gaze at the occurring disharmony, they perish as human beings. That’s why, I believe, we also have to… we are children too, and in order to live in the modern world, we have to love a-must/essential things and to create a-must/essential. We should not analyze what we create and get impressed about what we create, we have to affirm a-must/essentiality there and then. We say, for instance – will there be a doomsday? No, live a-must! Will the Earth collapse or not? The Earth will be, as a-must! The death - is it normal or not? It is abnormal – live a-must!
That is we have to pay attention to a-must/essentiality all the time, to affirm it. We underestimate the meaning of words and thoughts of a human being. The main thing we create with is our thought, our attitude towards the world, our desire to see the world harmonious. Here is what we always have to affirm, no matter what! No wars – live a-must! No conflicts – love a-must! That is all the time to work, to go in this direction. And here is what I mean under a-must/essential. That is where we have come to, as a way of life; we affirm it everywhere, - in relations to each other, in relations towards mother and father. What kind of relations should they be? Harmonious! What kind of relations should we have towards the nature? Certainly, harmonious! We should listen to it, otherwise it will not accept us, as a part of it. And so on, and so on. For example: I have come, to tell to you about Light. You are Light. It is a-must/essential. And in general - I have come, which means that I have brought harmony. If I have come, I have come and have brought an order. This is my power, this is my obligation. This is – a-must/essentiality. And I cannot accept anything else. Yes, it is difficult to me to affirm a-must/essentiality because the gone mad socium does not do what it should do, having destroyed many things that Man has built for millennia and centuries.
This is very important. Our obligation is yet a long way forward, towards harmony; it is our obligation, perhaps, the most important thing to do, is to respond the life requirements immediately, right now, this very second. It is our obligation. That is not to postpone, for tomorrow, for the day after tomorrow... When I got to know that you arrived, I reacted to your request straight away. One sneezed – bless him! One knocked – open the door! I mean that one have to react immediately, it is a human obligation, but what is it for? It is for peace saving, for life saving, for its prolongation, for its rejuvenation, for the beauty. That is for everything we are talking about but that is postponed for some reason. Only the beauty is all here in this living tissue of life. Do it in beauty, in harmony, in love, in truth. I mean that every time I settled down, sorted out things, I made a-must. If I settled down not, sorted out things not, - I made a-must-not. That’s why, when children sit in a-must-not for a long time, when they have, at first, to learn everything during 11, or even 12 years, that is when we pull them out from the Living Life Tissue, which says to them - hello! But they have no time to pay attention to it because an orthodox teacher forces them to write something... That is when they deviate from the Living Life Tissue, and act, as though for the sake of it, but having delayed contacts with it for so long that have already forgotten, what they have come for...
Here I mean it. That’s why we have to speak with children as living souls, not to impose on them any kind of social ideas on the off chance that later, when they kind of digest everything they will become living souls. No, they will have to start from scratch instead. Because they lost, forgot everything. That is we lost the time when they enter into the world. They need to establish relations with the world, in living interdependence with it. That is the job, a-must duty of a human being - to introduce harmony, beauty, as an imagery of the ideal world.
I understand that for a man who never deeply penetrated into human’s nature, my reflections sound like pure theory, abstraction. But I would like to draw your attention to the fact that right here everything is laid down. We have to understand the world, we have to comprehend it and here is our job/duty. When we comprehend, when we understand what happens, when we act for good of everything - that is our job/duty. This job is ceaseless and when a teacher himself live this way and work this way, this is what children need from him. He is not just a story-teller, he is a doer.
Now I simply want, for our guests to feel Russia.
(M.P. asks to bring an accordion).
Because this is, by the way, one more theme I would like to touch. If children have a mother land and they follow their mother land customs, traditions of the fathers, only then they develop harmoniously.
I often think, why Russia is so essential to the World today, and I believe that it is very essential. It is because Russia has kept her ancient roots, language, folk songs, folk dances, folk mentality, yet living relations with the nature kept for millennia, from the pristine origins. Not Man from monkey, but Man - from God.
(M.P. plays an accordion and sings «The Crimson ringing»).
M.P. I am very pleased to hear that you are engaged in organic farming, you turn towards the earth, this is the main thing that a Man should do now - to connect the great World with our planet Earth, to save it, to protect it, it is our work on Earth, our heavenly work.
We have to open the doors of cramped educational institutions in order to turn the children towards the Earth. This is a cosmic need because when they work themselves, when they make it more beautiful, they are getting educated, and this is the true Education.
I think that we have to understand today that the time when childhood was separated from life has gone already. Now it is necessary for a child to become life, and for life to become a child.
We think about life, and they think about life. They think about life, and we think about life, these are our natural relations with them. Yet more, we build life as we think. We do not postpone for tomorrow, we build it right now; we take it and build it. And here, co-operating with children in the field of arrangement of the Earth as a part of Cosmos, we perform our duty as adults.
By the way, we pay a great attention to language. Because Man acts with words and changes with thoughts. Most likely, words are related to the structural world, the world already created, to trees, to colours, whereas thought is related to the world which is still to be created, to the world in process. That is why when a Russian speaks, it is impossible to translate. Because “I love” and «Ya lyublyu» is not the same after all. It is about the same but in different ways. God is God, and love it love. It is like about the same thing, but from different sides. And therefore the role of the translator, of course, is always unenviable; I always admire how brave you work.
I just wanted to say, I wanted to resume our meeting somehow that the main thing now is not as much as to ask a question: «How we do it», as to determine for what purpose, in general, we do it at all. Because a child’s life is not finished in educational institution, nor it begins in educational institution. It begins and is finished in real cooperation with life, with everything that occurs. I mean that we have to bring them into what occurs as soon as possible, to think together with them, and to change everything according to feelings and conscience together with them. Here is the core. I mean that a child is an outstanding phenomenon, he/she is Your Majesty, Your Highness. And we have to look at him/her as we look at Supreme Being.
I hope, you managed to translate, and for a dessert, I would be happy, if our meeting would bring its fruits. Anyway, I sang a song, - something will stay in hearts.