“The Grammar of Fantasy” by Ole Brekke

Ole Brekke“The Grammar of Fantasy” by Ole Brekke
director of the Commedia School, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Workshop presentation at the Neohumanist Education Seminar, April 15, 2014 in Caracas, Venezuela.

You heard Dada Shambhushivananda explain how Gurukula was established in Dada’s presence by Baba. Baba gave Gurukula for the future of humanity. He also said that he’s done most of the work. So what is left for us to do? We have to find and out and realize what work Baba has already done. Gurukula has already been established for the future of humanity.

So we’re going to fantacize a little bit and try to imagine what was in Baba’s mind when he said that. So fantasy is very important in education. Yesterday we heard about the wonderful fantasy of the kindergarten in Denver, Colorado. So we have to put ourselves in that three-year-old mode so the fantasy is bursting out. One book that I recommend for all the projects that deal with children is “The Grammar of Fantasy” by Gianni Rodari, published first in Italian, then in English and Spanish.

First sit in pairs next to one person that speaks the same language. One person thinks of a subject and the other thinks of a verb without communicating. When both indicate they are ready, you reveal and share. I’ll give you an example. I will think of a subject and Arun will think of a verb. Ready? My subject is “All the members of Gurukula Network in the year 5040…” Arun, what verb did you think of? Arun: “…are crying like a bird.” Then do it again but switch. Example 2, Arun: “My ailing mother…”. Vishva Shanti: “…was floating on an ocean of bliss between Saturn and Jupiter.”

Do it again and again and again. Don’t stop. [Lots of talking and laughter.]…

Baba set out enormous tasks for us to do. We couldn’t imagine doing them except on a level of fantasy. This opens just a little door in understanding what Baba meant when he said, ‘I’ve done most of the work for you.’- The Cosmic Fantasy.

So we need to expand our fantasy within the constraints of Gurukula. Next I would like you to continue with your partner, one person will say “In 500 years I would like the Gurukula Network to be able to help me with…” and the second responds with your fantasy with what Gurukula will be in 500 years from now, not on this planet. So for example, Arun: “In 500 years I would like the Gurukula Network to be able to help me with…” Vishvashanti: “establish a kindergarten on the inner moon of Mars.” … [the pairs do this for a few minutes]

Now come a little more back to reality, only 100 years in the future on this planet. The first person says, “I would like to contribute to Gurukula Network in 100 years…” and the second person finishes. Arun: “…by opening 1,000 schools.” … [pairs do this]

Now we continue with the level of fantasy in the present. Each pair joins with another pair. As a group of four, make two lists. First, “I would like the Gurukula Network to be able to help me now with…” in your biggest fantasy. If you can imagine it, it’s already been done by Baba. Go around the group at least 2-3 times so you end with at least 8-12 answers. Then make a second list: “I will contribute to Gurukula Network with…” Remember you are only limited by your imagination and fantasy. Come back with at least 8-12 answers on each list in 15 minutes.

Some replies:
“…to help me buy a purple dragon with green spots to bring the kids who live far away to school.
“…to give me a magic wand to cure people and animals and raise their hopes.”
“…to give me a spaceship to help the children of Africa.”
“…to recruit one million volunteers.”