The essential character and situation of a pupil are the two central pillars upon which the entire length and breadth of education and guidance stand.

For education and guidance begin by purging the [pupil's] filth [that soils his good characteristics] and by removing his vulgar failings.

Thus, the educator and counsellor must pay particular attention, in an organized manner, to accurately evaluate the essential character of a pupil.

This evaluation [of a pupil by an educator or counsellor] is a more strenuous and burdensome task than a [comparable] appraisal of a student by his teacher.

In order for a teacher to provide his student with a grounding in the understanding and comprehension of concepts, he must gauge the student's abilities in, and natural aptitude for, creative cognition, explanatory perception, and settled and mellow reflection.

After doing so, a teacher can frame the concept in a way that the student will be able to grasp it, and choose the methods and approaches to use in communicating this concept to him. Through this systematic instruction, a teacher will succeed, not only in assuring the student's clear under standing of the material, but also in engendering the develop ment of the student's abilities and aptitude.

An assessment of a pupil's essential character, however, is entirely different.

It consists mainly in measuring: the degree of uncleanliness of bad traits, the extent of the predominance of matter over form and the depth of its entrenchment.

In this way, an educator or counsellor can perceive the essential character of a pupil.

Yet, this analysis is still insufficient.

A pupil's situation must also be considered closely, since his situation and surroundings are pivotal to his education and guidance.

Only through the insight gleaned by assessing the [pupil's] essential character, and by considering the [pupil's] situation, can educators and counsellors aspire to obtain positive results.

Common sense tells us that all people are equal in their possession of body and soul.

Moreover, it cannot possibly be said that the soul's essence has virtues or deficiencies - to maintain that the essence of one soul is inherently virtuous and that the essence of another soul is innately blemished.

This is patently not so.

All souls in their quintessence are whole and complete.

They differ from one another only in the areas and the ways in which their soul-powers manifest themselves.

Within this context, distinctions of essential character traits do exist among people, among adults as well as children.

Synopsis

Souls are essentially the same; differences in essential character are attributable to [differences in] the manifestation of their powers.