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Abstract Thinking: [34.06] - Anupreksha Of Self-Discipline - Emotional Development

Published: 25.09.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

The need of the hour is to add to the present system of education some method of emotional development. With out it we shall not be able to create the kind of society we wish to establish. Intellectual and economic growth today is accompanied by crime, violence, aggressive mentality, impulsiveness and family strife. Why so? All these tendencies must abate through education. But this is not being accomplished. It is surprising that even India's system of education is confined to the level of the intellect. By denying this fact, we are ourselves creating a problem. Unless education extends to the emotional world, there is little prospect of bringing about a transformation in society through education.

While receiving his daily glass of milk, the son observed that the level of milk in the glass was decreasing day by day. The son asked his father about the diminishing quantity of milk. The father said, “There is a famine afoot. Green grass is not available for the cows to eat." The son said, "Let me make an experiment!" He covered the cow's eyes with green glasses." Now, even dried up grass began to appear green. The cow started eating it. The yield of milk increased.

The cow underwent an emotional change. It began to eat more grass, resulting in a corresponding increase in the yield of milk.

We are satisfied with appearances. We only see the puppets speaking, dancing, singing and playing; the person moving the strings behind the curtain, we do not see. Our life is actuated by hidden emotions of which we are not aware. Unless contact is established with the emotional world through education, the riots and strikes will not end and there would be no discipline. We are preoccupied with sharpening the intellect. The office of the intellect is to cut and tear. A naked sword is a dangerous thing. It needs to be kept in a sheath. The sword lying in its sheath poses no danger to one self. We have turned the intellect into a naked sword, but we must cover it with a sheath to avoid harm to ourselves. This is achieved by linking education with the world of emotion.

The purpose of the science of living is not to change the entire system of education; it is not meant to obstruct intellectual development. The growth of the intellect is very necessary. With out it, a man would degenerate into a beast. The aim of the science of living is only this that emotional maturity should accompany intellectual growth, so that a balance is maintained between the two. It is with the evolution of intellectual and emotional poise that a system of education may be said to fulfil itself.

One aspect of emotional maturity is - moral development. It is of two kinds - social morality and individual morality. A society or institution frames certain rules and regulations. In doing so, it is not concerned with the instincts, lusts and other passions of individual persons. This constitutes social morality and discipline. One great moral maxim of a communist country is, Abolition of personal ownership." In framing this principle, no allowance has been made for individual temperaments, lusts and passions. But a man is a man after all. He is inspired by lust and greed. Individual ownership was sought to be controlled, in utter disregard of man's natural instincts. This resulted in economic backwardness. While there is predominance of personal interest, the imposition of control over individual ownership only serves to dampen collective endeavour, leading to economic backwardness.

Individual morality means - control over individual passions and instincts.

Education is concerned with both kinds of moralities. A student lives in society. He must become a social being. He must observe the social norms and obey the laws of the country he lives in. If education does not help him to evolve the right mentality, he cannot be a good student. Even more important is to learn to control one's passions. This is an essential element of morality and must form a part of education.

The development of will-power should also be linked with education. In the absence of moral strength, a nation, society or individual is bound to grow weak. For those deficient in mental and emotional development, the educationists are busy evolving new techniques. We need to change the social environment and to end problems like the class-conflict, hatred, etc. This requires emotional maturity.

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Discipline
  2. Environment
  3. Greed
  4. Science
  5. Science Of Living
  6. Violence
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