- (for this is a headline).
In Europe, socialism has worked quite well in democratic check. A positive angling is a gladdening angling. Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), who founded Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), decreed in 1934 that some "Socialism . . . will prevail in the end". However, in the same magazine he also hailed dictatorship. Is it "Each man is led by his own liking," as Virgil said, or perhaps "Each man can interpret another's experience only by his own," as Henry David Thoreau put it? [Yogananda hailed dictatorship]
Do not hold anything as loved,
Yogananda, who once advocated dictatorship in his own magazine, and is hailed as love incarnate, has he caused grief and fear or not? Take a look at what his biographer, Sailendra Dasgupta, tells. Yogananda's own guru, Yukteswar, once listlessly sat down in his chair, uttering "Shame! Shame!" over something Yogananda had written. Years earlier Yogananda had made him say, "Yogananda, I love you always." (2006, 71; Autobiography of a Yogi, chap. 42).
Fairness and guru morality
Could Yogananda have developed better by stories or other parenting ways - or did he unfold inborn dictatorial tendencies later in life regardless of outer influences?
The issue of guru morality shines through here. Morality is defined as principles for how individuals ought to treat one another, with respect to justice, others' welfare, and rights. You may say that dictator-minded folks do not excel in respect for the rights of others, much as farmers may not excel in respecting the well-being of pigs in "pig-factories," for example.
Morality is an issue in philosophy, political science, psychology and in all cultures. Is there a marked change in morality across the lifespan? Across different cultures? Some adults pass down standards of behavior to children through parenting techniques, and other adults serve as warnings not to become like them. As it is said, "Parental influences exert their effects through multiple pathways." Further, religions and cultures vary in terms of conventions and customs, but principles of fairness appear to emerge very early in development, before such socialisation influences Also, "storytelling provides a foundation for children in understanding the core values of their community." Storytelling is a a primary means of educating young people. It carries lessons across generational lines with words of meaning and instruction." (WP, "Moral development")
Now, since socialism is not anywhere near prevailing - if that is the token -, Yogananda's prophesied end is not yet. But can we trust all of Yogananda's foretellings about "the end" and the world? Consider:
Yogananda prophesied that before 2000 CE a third and fourth World War would come, and that Europe would be devastated, Russia annihilated, Japan conquered by China, and America would survive - and "England is finished. Finished. Finished!" (Kriyananda 2011:125-26. Extracted). It was all to happen before the year 2000 (Kriyananda 1973, ch 6).
The year 2000 came and went, and here we are - but suppose that Yogananda meant something else with what meets the eye with "England is finished. Finished. Finished!" and "Russia annihilated", "Europa devastated" ane "Japan conquered by China"? Could he have spoken metaphorically about "finished, annihilated, devastated, and conquered by China?" No one seemed to have guessed about that before 2000 CE.
A "polite" educator might say, "He should have credit for wanting to foretell such things, and has much potential for improvements." The Old Testament teachings, however, would have him killed as a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). In the gospel of Matthew (5:17-19) Jesus vouches for such handling. So much for polite educator skills. [More]
The uses of parables and figurative language in upbringing is ancient
Pythagoras considered the use of parables in instruction most necessary. Most of the Greeks had adopted it, and it had been preferred by the Egyptians, who had developed it in the most varied manner. Pythagoras attended to rectitude and truth with diligence.
Those who came from his school adopted this mode of teaching, both in their conversations, and commentaries and annotations. They taught much by figurative language, as in proverbs. One maxim: "Never catch the cuttle-fish. (Undertake no dark affairs, intricate affairs, that will wound you)." Another: "Don't sleep on a grave. (Don't live in idleness on the parents' inherited estates)."
(Gleaned from Roussell, nd, Chap. 23. Uses of Parables of Instruction, and Pythagorean Symbols, or Maxim (From Hierocles)
Jeremiah and abortion
In the 21st chapter of Exodus it is said that if a pregnant woman is caused to have a miscarriage, the penalty is only a fine. One of the most frequently cited passages is from the first chapter of Jeremiah, in which God is quoted as saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you." These words are taken to mean that the unborn, as well as the born, are "consecrated" to God.
Are there general moral principles? asks Robert Audi (in Dreier 2006, 281), and further asks "how general practically useful moral principles can be." Part of his conclusion: "Some moral principles are both wide in scope and useful in day-to-day moral thinking." (in Dreier 2006. 300).
Buddha's basic code of ethics to regulate conduct and thought works like that: A lay follower is to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication.
Genuine interests are of id (libido), and if followed up, they bring about a personality, says Gordon Allport (1966). And presumed moral development is surrounded by psychological theories: [Lawrence Kohlberg].
Most likely, limited ideas and soap teachings may amount to trap members in a cult. Many cult members may not welcome such thoughts leaked out: [Compare Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 1.4.10]
Humans unfold interests and thought from id developments, and possibly neurotic, maladaptations of id in the second place if things go wrong. Much id-help may be detected in Erik H. Erikson's epigenetic scheme. (See books below)
Allport, Gordon. Becoming: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955. Reprint 1966.
Anandajoti Bhikkhu, tr. and ed. Dhamma Verses: The Dhammapada. 2nd ed. Np: Ancient Buddhist Texts, 2017.
Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006. - Also: Google Books, partial view.
Dreier, James, ed. Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006.
Kriyananda, Swami. Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography with Personal Reflections and Reminiscences. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 2011.
⸻, ed. The Road Ahead: World Prophecies by the Great Master, Paramahansa Yogananda. Nevada City, CA: Ananda Publications, 1973.
Rachels, James. The Elements of Moral Theory. 4th ed. Boston MA: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
Erikson, Erik H. Childhood and Society. Rev. ed. London: Vintage, 1995. ⍽▢⍽ Erikson's epigenetic scheme is here.
⸻. Dimensions of a New Identity. Paperback ed. New York: Norton and Co., 1979.
⸻. Identity, Youth, and Crisis. New York: Norton, 1968.
⸻. The Life Cycle Completed. Extended version with new chapters by Joan Erikson. New York: Norton, 1997.
Roussell, Patrick, ed. The Complete Pythagoras.. Tr. Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. Online text.
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