We are sitting in the meeting room of the temple.  The room is dominated by a large raised platform, cushioned and covered by a white sheet.  We are sat on chairs in the lower part of the room and look out past the platform, through the intricately latticed windows on to the Ganga, the sacred slow-moving silent river.  We are there to have a conversation with the Head of the Hanuman Temple, a Professor of Civil Engineering and a tireless worker in the seemingly hopeless task of cleaning up the great body of water. 
He sits in front of us dressed in white long kurta and lungi.  He has short thick white hair, a white moustache and bright piercing eyes.  For an hour we are drawn in to an almost poetic story that takes us right back to before religion had a name through to how modern discoveries in Quantum Physics echo many observations of nature in ancient cultures.  We talk through time and about time.  We follow human existence and its dependency upon four situations – adequate resources, personal fulfilment, service to others and union with the Supreme Being: acknowledging there may be other ways of expressing the last point.  And we recognise that all existence depends on diversity and it is our responsibility to care for this diversity.
We are left with the statement that as there are two banks of the river there are two strands of human thought – the religious and the scientific.  If the banks meet then there is no river, when humanity thinks
holistically it will be possible for the water in the river to be clean again.

There are times when a conversation destroys the space that separates you from the world.
Our predominant way of looking at things is through separation and this is remarkably evident in our view of children.  We do not see ourselves in the child nor do we observe the child in us.  We physically divide children, by gender, by age, by ability, by relative wealth and ultimately by creating competitive environments in which they are expected to learn.  And we psychologically divide them by pitting one against another.  The dominant way of thinking, which is to categorise and break things down into parts, is particular harmful when directed towards children, their learning and, consequently, their behaviour.  There is a good illustration of the danger of separating things into their respective parts told by well-known holistic scientists: ‘salt is made up of sodium and chloride, which on their own are poisonous.  However, when combined together as salt it is an essential element of supporting all animal life’.  A holistic approach to living maintains creativity and connection.

This separation is very evident in the relationship between the teacher and the student, the adult and the child, which is so often a struggle for control and authority, the one who knows and the other who is ignorant.  The consequence of this is isolation and polarisation leading to the current obsession with standards, testing, inspection and all that goes with de-humanising children.