Question: In the integral upbringing courses, should we gather the elderly into separate groups or can they be in groups with people of different ages?
Answer: I think that we should match people by age. We know just how much age, differences in people’s mentalities, and their manner of behavior influence their perception.
However, ultimately, everyone should ascend, in mutual support and inclusion, above all emotional, intellectual, or age-related attributes that distinguish them from others. But initially we should arrange groups to be as homogeneous as possible.
Question: Should the instructors also be of similar age and qualities?
Answer: Nature is based on the law of similarity, equivalence, and compatibility of qualities. That’s why in this case we must follow precisely the same principles. That is, we should provide elderly instructors for elderly groups and younger ones for youth groups. As a matter of fact, youth groups can be taught by middle-aged people, but not by old folks, that’s clear.
Everything should be structured so as to exclude from the group anything that hinders a correct, kind, and open perception of the course, and to achieve contact and correct understanding between a group and its instructor as quickly as possible.
Question: For the elderly people, should we also form separate groups for men and women?
Answer: No. I don’t think that people of advanced age have a need for that because they are already used to every kind of communication and it is natural for them. I don’t think we should break their views and build some sort of a team out of them, like in the army or sports.
Interaction among them is built not on competition or some other internal impulses, but on mutual assistance and such. They already have a completely different attitude to one another, life, and the world. Therefore, we understand that this is an entirely different psychology.
The so-called “golden age” doesn’t require the same approach as children and especially adolescents. Among the latter thrives a battle for leadership, understanding, and self-expression, while here we are dealing with a relatively peaceful person. Although naturally, we need to come up with another manner of teaching and presenting our materials for them.
From a “Talk on Integral Education,” 12/13/11