41 AMGK 25th Anniversary Conference Report – part 2

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Monday, July 13th

The program on the morning of July 13th was about Neohumanist Education in K -12 schools.

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The first presentation was by Eric Jacobson on “What Neohumanist Schools are For”. We started with collectively learning and then singing the song, “Some Say” (see text box). In describing NHE one could ask the questions Why? Who? What? How? and Where? which correspond to Philosophy, Personnel, Curriculum, Methods and Facility. Personnel, curriculum, methods and facility are always changing. They are not the indicators of our educational system. NHE is not a method or a curriculum. Neohumanist Education is founded on the philosophy of Neohumanism which will express itself in different specific ways for time, place and person, but as a philosophy remains constant and does not change. The philosophy of Neohumanism is the permanent foundation for Neohumanist Education. We are now building our movement, so we have to erect the pillars with a very grounded permanent foundation. The philosophy is the only base. If NHE is to be recognized for something in the world then it is its unique philosophy.

The second program was by MahaJyoti Glassman on “Early Childhood Education: 25 Years Ago and Today”. Please full article in this issue on page 27.

Issue41_Page_8_Image_1The third presentation was on Neohumanist Strategies in Diversity and Inclusion by Didi Ananda Devapriya. Stereotypes and prejudices are already evident in early childhood (4-5 years old). Once fully formed, they become resistant to change and create a foundation for racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. However, in early childhood, belief systems are not fully formed and are still in a hypothetical phase of testing. This provides a unique opportunity for effective intervention that can have a lasting impact.

Issue41_Page_8_Image_2The fourth presentation was on Neohumanism Applied to Educational Management in Eastern Culture by Dr. Jareeporn Naksamrit. Educational administrators and educators must think about what society could be like, and how civilization could develop. They must consider how their schools can contribute to bringing about a new era, and to creating a balance between quality of life for human beings, other living beings, the environment, resources, and universal flow. Neohumanism cultivates universal love for all educators, parents and the community

Some Say
Some say – that school is for learning
Some day – you’ll have to be earning
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
that’s what my parents say
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
that’s what’s they told me todayGood jobs – need an education
Compete – defeat the other nations
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
the president said it on the news today
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
he said, “teach them hard to earn your pay”

With you – I’m learning how to be a man
With you – to be the best woman I can
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
what you show me I’ll replay
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
I just want to say: Chorus

My mind – my mind is not a factory
My mind – my mind can touch infinity
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
One world isn’t far away
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
I just want to say: Chorus

One light – one light is lighting every mind
One love – that binds all of creature-kind
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
one universe isn’t far away
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
I just want to say: Chorus

(CHORUS):
This world – needs heroes
And not – more people making zeroes
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
can you hear the children pray?
Ooo, ooo, hey, hey
the schools of the future must start today

“We must develop the physico-psycho aspects of students through proper physical culture, which will include yoga asanas, proper diet, games, sports, etc…And to develop the psycho-spiritual aspect, we must reorient the entire curriculum of all schools from kindergarten to postgraduate level according to Neohumanist philosophy, and must incorporate the practices of Astaunga Yoga into the curriculum in all grades. This will be the practical approach. And the guiding philosophy, the controlling philosophy should be: “This Universe is ours” – and “We” means humans, animals and plants.” Shrii P. R. Sarkar

 

Tuesday, July 14th

Scope of Ananda Marga Gurukula and Life Long Learning for All: Dada Shambhushivananda, Didi Anandarama and Dr. Sid Jordan gave an overview of Ananda Marga Gurukula.

Ananda Marga Gurukula serves as the Board of Education for the Neohumanist Educational Network of educational institutions and activities around the world from infancy through university level, spanning over 50 countries. This Network includes PreK-12 Schools, Daycares, Community Centers, Centers of Neohumanist Studies & Actions, Institutes and Colleges, as well as the P. R. Sarkar Institute, NH College Distance Learning and AMGK Global Campuses at Anandanagar (India) and Asheville (USA), among others. The all-round self-development of the students is fundamental across all areas and levels of learning.

Issue41_Page_9_Image_1Ananda Marga Gurukula is coordinating with all educational activities whether undertaken by PROUTIST Universal, Master Units (Intentional Communities), Yoga Teachers, Medical Centers, Ananda Marga Universal Relief Teams (AMURT/EL) or Women’s Welfare volunteers. AMGK/NHE is working in collaboration with AMURT’s Child Friendly Spaces and other educational initiatives undertaken by AMURT in disaster relief areas. The periodic trainings conducted by “Ananda Marga Yoga Wellness Center/Institute” in Cebu (Philippines) in collaboration with the Naturopathy Faculty of AMGK is hastening the development of Wellness Centres around the globe. AMGK also is closely knit with all educational initiatives in master units on every continent..

The blueprint for Ananda Marga Gurukula includes over fifty faculties spanning the arts and sciences: from fine arts, literature, languages and history to physics, biology, medicine and engineering as well as non-traditional subject areas such as intuitional science, morality, astrophysics, astrology, biopsychology, parapsychology, etc. Both theoretical and applied study is included in all disciplines with a focus on the application of learning to contemporary problems facing society: political, economic, social, educational, environmental, psychological, etc.

A Necessary Romance: Integrating Elements of Neuroscience and Intuitional Science: Dr. Richard Maxwell: This presentation provided an example of how neuroscience can be found to be consistent with the apparently disparate system of understanding present in the intuitional science of Ananda Marga tantric yoga. Please see full article in this issue on page 16.


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Wednesday, July 14th

Yoga Studies as an Academic Discipline: Dada Vedaprajinananda
The Scope of Yoga Studies is wide. Yoga is related to many fields: Philosophy, Religious Studies, Art history and cultural studies, Psychology, Cosmology, Medicine and Exercise Studies. We have to create an interdisciplinary yoga studies program that synthesizes theory with practice. So far these studies on the effects of yoga have been physiological, studying brain waves and more recently brain imaging. We also need subjective studies, to find out how yoga actually changes the lives of participants.

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Cooperative Spiritual Ecovillages: The new paradigm for a healthy body, mind and planet – Peter Fleury

For several decades dedicated yoga-meditation practitioners have been developing models of service oriented communities in harmony with the natural environment. Projects include research and teaching in the fields of education, health, agriculture, energy, cooperatives, and yoga-meditation practices. These spiritual eco-villages are models for future generations, showing how we can live in a dynamic harmonious balance with the natural environment, our societies and our personal body-mind-spiritual health. For our mental and physical well-being we practice a yoga-meditation lifestyle which includes giving service to those in needs. Each of these communities is unique, specializing in different services according to the local needs, and indigenous architecture and agriculture.

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Beyond Green Capitalism – Roar Bjonnes

Green capitalism is being hailed as the answer to our environmental problems. Since Karl Polyani in the 1940s and E. F. Schumacher in the 1970s pointed out that capitalism treats nature as a free commodity, environmental economists have attempted to create a more nature-friendly capitalism, a green economy. In this presentation, Roar Bjonnes explained why capitalism will never be quite green enough to create a truly sustainable economy—why comprehensive systems change is needed and why Prout economics holds that possibility. He discussed Norway which is supposed to be the greenest economy in the world and how far it is from being sustainable. Green Capitalism does not work as it is based on a sick system. We have a crisis in the system. Capitalism has only profit as a positive indicator and is based on greed. The indicator of a healthy system is how the people are doing and whether their needs are fulfilled. It needs to be based on needs. We need a new system. Prout is a very comprehensive system.

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Schools in the Local Economy – Dr. Howard Nemon

As a reaction to corporate capitalism, localities across the globe have been moving towards a local economy model, based on local production, purchasing, and hiring. This trend is supportive of economic decentralization and democratization, which are core strategies in Prout. Educational institutions, as key players in the local economy, are uniquely situated to contribute to this movement towards local self-sufficiency. This presentation discussed opportunities for educational institutions to promote sustainable, local solutions for their communities.

The human body or human existence is a biological structure goaded by psychology, by certain vrttis [propensities]. Similarly, socio-economic life is a biological structure goaded by psychic urges and the different psycho-physical propensities; that is, it is goaded by psychology. So socio-economic life is also a biological structure. It has to obey certain norms and rules. So I say that the socio-economic structure of society is a biological structure goaded by psychic urges.When Karl Marx said that property should be owned by the state, by communes, he went against human psychic passion and urge. Both our socio-economic life and the human biological structure are goaded by psychic urges – by fundamental psychic urges – by psychology. Collective social life – socio-economic theory – and the human biological structure are both goaded by psychology, psychic urges, and psycho-physical passions and propensities. These cannot be ignored, they cannot be neglected.

Our ambitions are something that push us from within to fulfil the demands of certain urges which have some clear-cut pabula. Urge is there; the initial sentiment, that is, the inborn instinct, is there. At the same time, there are certain fundamental socio-psycho-physical demands, passions and propensities. One must not forget this.

All socio-economic theories propagated in the past ignored this fundamental requirement of humans beings, and that is why they failed. Marxism is one such theory. This is the reason why it failed, but its failure is not a distinct or special case. The approach of socio-economic theories should not go against the approved structure of human requirements.

Shrii P. R. Sarkar
Excerpted from: The Human Body Is a Biological Machine – 20 July 1990, Calcutta – Published in: Yoga Psychology

“Sá vidyá yá vimuktaye - Education is that which liberates”