Ethics and limits of Tolerance

January 3, 2009 Kamala Amma's Grace

Dearest Friends and Family, 

The New Year has rolled in.   Hello, 2009.  Our few encounters outside of our little world show us the deline and decay of dharma everywhere.  It is the ‘educated’ and those who are ‘educating’ in India now that are responsible in large part for this decline.  Such is the value of the education they have received.  Let’s face it, the people who make the bombs and guns didn’t flunk out of school.  And we honor them?  Whats wrong with us?  As much as I love APJ Abdul Kalam, and I really admire much in him, I’ve even written a few poems about him to Amma, while reading out his ‘autobiography’ to Anni in those last months, we were dismayed to read his eulogy for Bron….fhhen…( I can’t find it now to give you the exact name) who made the bombs that destroyed London.  APJ could only see intellectual acumen in him.  Not genuine moral responsibilty.  HIs book, ‘Wings of Fire’, however, provides very credible principles for human management built out of his own extensive and sucessful experience.  

When APJ was President, he was the darling of the Press, after all, he helped make India’s bombs, that’s power.  By the time he became president, he was far from his career in defense production, and was into his own incarnation of humanitarian encouragement.  He evolved.  Regrettably, the very fine President India has now, Srimati Pratibha Patil, a modest Woman,  is virtually ignored by the Press in comparison.  And people can’t think, if the press adores, they adore.  If the Press ignores, they ignore.  When APJ came out, he was page 1 news.  Pratibha is Pg. 10 – 16.  Note the attention that France’s president Sarkozy’s second or third wife Carla Bruni receives from the Press.  We do not even know how his children are doing. The press is pathetic and not an intelligent way to make an informed decision.

World wide, children are being conditioned into greed and selfishness through the educational institutions that we would hope, as parents, would condition them into brotherhood and responsibility.

Today, a college student told me the story of sitting in a class on ‘cultural values’ this in India, no less, while the professor told the students that if they wanted to drink, or smoke, or have relationships with others, it was their business, not his…it was just fine.  It didn’t bother him.  Its this new disgusting psychology….whatever you do is fine, I respect your right to make use of your human liberty and make decisions to damage yourself however you see to do so…. but they leave out the word ‘damage.’

I’m going to raise my voice against this complicit acquiesence to ethical promiscuity !  Right here !!  

Amma talks about Universal Motherhood.  As a small parent, I could not help but be deeply concerned and still am deeply concerned about the environment my children are in,  in fact all small children.  If it was physically dirty, I tried to help clean it up.  If people were having wierd thought patterns, like you feel when you walk by a bar, or a slouchy cafe somewhere, I tried to keep them out of it.  When I encountered unethical behavior in the home, we worked together on ironing it out….its the natural response of the small mother.  At one point, I was on the town Board of Education and the Inland Wetlands Commission….trying to do my bit to keep their environments clean and intact…nothing remarkable, its what millions of small mother mom’s like myself do.  

And what about one in whom Universal Motherhood exists such as Amma?  I feel she must be burning in her heart to see such a decline of dharma.

I would just like to say to all the teachers out there, who think they are being so wonderful and cool  with the students…that your silence is complicity.  You have young and forming minds infront of you.  Many of them, out of their homes for the first time, pushed into hostel life,  Their parents pay big bucks, and like the rich everywhere, they have grown up with the hypocrisy of having a great ethical culture, but not practicing it, of knowing better than they do….you are assisting them in that dubious legacy… Its your chance to help them out of it.  You are abdicating your responsibility to them, by refusing to guide them to their ethical instincts, but instead, encourage them in the expression of their primitive instincts.

This small mother says, Shame on You!

There.  I feel a little better.

I was shocked on New Years to behold the students having their own raucous party, parading in a loud troop through the ashram WHILE Amma was out giving a program for New Years.  They shot off firecrackers from the bridge, then trooped back into the ashram. While Amma was singing prayers with all her heart for peace, these students were screaming away on the other end of the ashram, yelling HAPPY NEW YEAR! like drunken sots, imitating for all they are worth the behaviors that they have been conditioned into believing are approproate for New Years Eve.  Good little monkeys. 

It galled me.  

Fine if they had gone to Vallicavu, but no, it took place in the Ashram.  There was no awareness of REVERENCE and RESPECT for what the ashram is supposed to stand for, for AMMA.

Let me just put my two cents in on Erik Erikson….a student who is a Masters in Social Work here in India showed me some papers she had written on a study she had done on geriatric people…. These children are being taught the theories and philosophies of Erik Erikson, a psychoanalyst who faced a tough childhood in certain respects, to the extent that he later coined the term, “identity crises’.   Erikson observed the Sioux tribe of American Indians in the reservations of the great southwest in the USA.  While he made his observations, he did it without first observing himself deeply.  He had had freudian psychoanalysis, but that also come from a similar primitive perspective on life.  Coming from a western culture that espouses individuality and self seeking, self aggrandisement and sexual  validation and consquest and therefore, sitting in this backdrop in his psyche, he then began observing the Sioux children and Tribes…. He came up with a series of congitive stages of development which see the
small baby then toddler, young child, etc. as growing in expanisve awareness of their own cognitive skills.  He places the age of 18-35 as the years of greatest human intimacy and development in intimate human relations.  He slides on through the other years, in a declining state, which is looking and lingering back to the 18-35 period, to such an extent that at 60- the rest of the life, which he terms old age, the person is seen as looking always for their gratifications of the 18-35 year time period….To his credit, despite what is to be my own harsh criticism, I recognise that he was trying to solve his own riddle, himself.  

This poor student had dutiully written her report, based upon her interviews, which were all analysed according to her new ‘college education’.  I mean, her parents can’t argue with her, they are paying through the nose for her indoctrination into a ‘highclass’ world….She has to turn her back and mind on the ethical culture of her own home and extended family, and its entire richness in human understanding, to grok this crap.

I read her paper with inner horror at seeing how her mind is being manipulated, seeing how ‘high class’ Indian education has nothing to do with what is really ‘high class’. She was completely innocent of the tremendous researches in psychology and the nature of the mind found in Samkhya-Yoga Darshana schools of thought….there, even casual reading will unveil a deeply developed understanding of the human being, from the point of being a soul, having a mind, emotional body, physical body, etc.  This psychological development far transcends anything done in the western world, I’m sorry to say….it goes to the heart of the matter first…western psychology is like a chicken scratching at the dirt….

Western psychology makes the human being a needing and wanting organism, desperate for food, shelter, sex, attention, tied always to the primitive instinct.  Indian Psychology sees the person as first and foremost, an eternal substance, manifesting in the experience of being a human being, for a brief while, conditioned by innumerable factors…seeking to ulitmately break through that conditioning back to its true nature, to transcend through ethical instinct.  There have been no researches anything like these to date, anywhere in the West, except perhaps in the lives of cloistered and ignored saints, whose metaphysical and psychological discoveries are ignored or categorized as ‘religious’.

Poor girl.  She interviewed a 70 year old woman, nestled in her extended family, filled with worries about her granddaughters, and surmised her to be ‘sexually deprived’.  As Erik Erikson’s model suggests. Erik Erikson could only see the human being as an individual, experiencing life from its own self.  He could not conceive that a human being experiences the greatest of intimacy in its years in the family nest, at its mother’s breast no less….in a state of at one ment with numerous others…. Initmacy is only confined in his mind to ‘adult’sexual activity. its just such limited thinking, due to the experiences of his personal childhood and life, and to think that children in India, coming from such a vast and deep heritage, will NEVER even know about their own wealth…

This is not tolerance, its stupidity.  I understand Erik Erikson’s point.  He was a product of his education.  He went through academia, as I did, and he was encouraged to make his name, to assert himself through his intellect.  That type of education, at a certain level, particularly after the PHD is about writing papers, publishing, making a name for oneself…gaining ‘recognition in one’s field of inquiry’ regretfully, very few use their education to truly benefit and help others.  It a way the intellectually stuffed all over the world have to validate themselves to one another. It’s by and large, intellectually scintillating, and thats about it.

 Does it really expand our horizons?  The ones who expand our horizons often have bypassed institutionalized education, as we see in Amma’s case.

We wouldn’t have children breaking the gates down, acting like drunken sots on New Years Eve all over the world, if they were given different models in their education.

I’m so appalled.

One child, hearing my outrage said to me, you can’t change anything but yourself.  I disagree.  We can’t all just sit by, ‘staring at our own navels’ as my dad would say,  and give a blanket OK, as the college prof is doing to stupid and unwise behaviors which will have short term gratifications and long term damage to hearts and minds.  Thats morally wrong. I can’t go out, and give these people a piece of my mind, so I’m putting it down here.  

Its time for the Mother in everyone’s heart in this world to arise, and put an end to this stupidity.  This is moral confusion, not modern thinking.

Thank you for hearing me out. AMEN !!

Loving you, 

Kamala Aunty

2 Responses to “Ethics and limits of Tolerance”

  • gabrielle says:

    Holy Mother of God
    i see your point of view clearly and that which you are appealing to. and i see the decreasing care for body &mind& soul here. degeneration, moral confusion, modern thinking, all there aspects surround me day by day. but this is not that which i am aligning with. New Years Eve, we had 60 guests(nearly 20) were children, 2 rounds of the 1000 Names of Sri Lalita Sahasranama Devi were chanted, Mantras were sung, people ate in communion, it was a delightful sight.
    and as we touch people from all walks of life at least we can give them something to chew over.
    and you Aunty! how many young people have you touched and given them a good deal to go for and to contemplate over?

  • supriya says:

    Dear Kamala Aunty,
    As a teacher, I understand how big a responsibility it is to mould the young minds and guide them towards the right path, the path Amma has shown us…the path of love, peace and sacrifice.

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