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SOCIETY FOR PHILOSOPHICAL PRAXIS, COUNSELLING AND SPIRITUAL HEALING (Registration No. 477, 2000-2001) (A Non-profit and Non-religious Society to promote Free and Creative Thinking, Social Action and Spiritual Healing)





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Counselling, and Psychotherapy
AIM OF LIFE TO BE PURSUED WITH FULL STRENGTH

Generally people of different age groups, both male and female, ask me such questions:What is life and what is the aim of life, what should we do orwhat should we pursue in life? and hostof other questions related to such issues.

These questions are based on the assumption that there is something out there and we should try to achieve it. But we forget to see or unable to recognize what is within us. Humanity is within us and we have to use this sourcein its full force.We do not need to seek any other thing which is not within us.Unfortunately we all waste our time and energy in achieving that which is not within us. The constant pursuit of something not within our reach is the cause of anxiety and tension in our lives.

Human life is a symbol of consciousness, strength and faith. Thereal life is that where we can reach our goal with ease by performing our duties to ourselves and tothe society in general. It is seen that majority of people blame their situations for any failure in their lives. They consider their situationsas sources of worries and anxiety. One should not be worried about the nature of his situations or resources, because man with his sincere efforts can change the given natural situations. We should respect whatever situations we are in. The maximum use of given situations or given conditions is the real respect of life.

The word "respect of life", does not mean attachment or fondness ( moha) for luxurious things . It simplymeans thatwe should respect all the situations given to us. The proper useof situation is always based on our KARMA(action). The thinking or brooding on situation gives rise to attachment towards situations. Thus, thinking ( or brooding ) on the situations is the cause of many defects.

Action( KARMA) is related to present and the leaning of thinking is towards past and future. (Thinking, if it is necessary, should be done on that thing which cannot be achieved by action). Distancing( vimukta) fromour own knowledge ( niz-jana) means distancing from our own life.This alienation from one's own nature is due to our lethargy(pramad) . Lethargy keeps us away from our own real knowledge. The awareness of thissecrete, results in embracing the situations given to the individual and by which hebecomes one with life.

Life is a form of means to Humanity. Humanity,as a seed, is infused or is within all human beings. The seed of humanity, which is within us, is to be developed in the light of ones' own wisdom ( vivek), because the light of wisdom is potent enough in abolishing our failings or defects.The gradual abolishing of defects of life leads to gradual development of life as a means to humanity. When all the defects are removed from lifecompletely, life becomes means to humanity. Such a means ( sadhan) is not mere a part of life but, of all the actions of life, from awakening to sleep ( sushupti) and from birth to death. This is real human life. When life becomes such, then the doer or actor (sadhak) and means become identical or one and the same.

In principle means (sadhan) is the nature of end (sadhya).Means (sadhan) cannot be separated from the end (sadhya). The sadhan is the existence of actor or doer. It follows from this that doer oractor, in essence, is identical with means. The felt difference of Sadhak from Sadhan is due to his attachment with the situations. But man by nature is free to remove this attachment and can realize the unity with the end. This is the meaning of becoming Human being.

Generally we believe that wisdom ( vivek) in identical with intelligence. But it is not so, because intelligence is natural and mechanical and on the other hand wisdom is beyond intelligence. In other words it is transcendental.To make my point let me give an example: electricityis energy and it expresses itself through electrical appliances such as bulbs, tube lights etc. But this fact is known only by a physicist. Ordinary man thinks that bulb , tube light etc. are the examples of electricity.

Wisdom is changeless and intelligence is changing or varying in nature.Intelligence is the function of nature ( prakriti) and wisdom is beyond nature or prakriti. All the so called sources of light such as lamp etc. are finally, based on sunlight or sum provides light to them. Similarly the knowledge of intelligence and sense organs are enlightened by the extra ordinary light of wisdom ( vivek). When the intelligence is enlightened by the pure light of wisdom then the pure intellect purifies the mind ( manas). The purity of mind brings purity in the activities of sense organs. Man's character is formed by the virtuous behavior generated by pure or unpolluted mind. The virtuous behaviour of individualmakes the society beautiful. Therefore, vivek is the only powerful source which not only makes individual's life beautiful it also makes the society, to which he belongs, beautiful.

Wisdom ( vivek)---intellect---pure intellect----pure mind( shudh manas)----pure behavior------character formation-------virtuous act-----beautiful society.

When an individual disrespects his own wisdom, which is inherent in him by nature, then he completely relies on the knowledge of senses and believes firmly that knowledge derived through senses is the only knowledge. Dependence on knowledge of senses causes attachment towards external things. This attachment leads to the tendency of craving and selfishness in an individual. The tendency of selfishness keeps away an individual from human concerns and infinite love towards other fellow beings. Individual develops passion towards his own body and different types of greeds. These greeds are the cause of dependence, insensibility and discontent.

As we have said earlier that humanity is our nature or it is inherent in us. With our nature we can do our welfare and also can build a beautiful society. This nature of ours' is a gift to us to make best use of sufferings and pleasures. It is not for luxurious use of worldly things. The best use of pleasure is compassion towards other living beings and on the other hand the best use of suffering is disinterest towards those situations which are causes of sufferings. Disinterest does not mean siting alone or feeling bankrupt. These are all external symptoms of disinterest.

Disinterest only means to develop disinterest in the objects of senses. It is a feeling in which individual thinks that sense objects are inferior then the enjoyer-I(bhokta).This increases the value of enjoyer. Object of enjoyment and the means of enjoyment both are dependent on the enjoyer.Enjoyer is not dependent on them. The interest of seeing an object illuminates both eyes and the form of object. Eyes have the capacity of seeing, but, eyes do not have the "interest" in seeing. The interest lies in him who is the master of eyes. Therefore, humanity makes us powerful in transcending both pleasure and sufferings.


Dear Sir,

Society for Philosophical Praxis, Counselling and Spiritual Healing, in collaboration with Institute of Informatics and Instrumentation, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Rajasthan and Eco-Ethics International Union — Jaipur Chapter is going to organise a two-day seminar on TECHNOLOGY AND ETHICS on 20th and 21st December 2003.

Since you are a working scientist and eminent scholar of your field, we therefore request you to participate in this seminar and present ethical issues involved with the developments in your field, with special reference to recent advances made.

You are requested to give your consent for either a paper presentation or participation as one of the members for panel discussion. If you choose to present a paper, you are requested to kindly provide the topic and an abstract of the same.

We look forward to your active participation in this seminar.

With regards,

Dr. K. L. Sharma
Society for Philosophical Praxis, Counselling and Spiritual Healing

Dr. A. L. Bhatia, Secretary
Professor and Head of Zoology Department
Convener, Institute of Informatics & Instrumentation & Chair, Eco-Ethics International Union — Jaipur Chapter


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If it is a fact that a technology would create difficult moral decisions is reason enough to discourage the development of that technology, then does it not follow that the fact that a technology would enable us to avert difficult moral decisions is good reason to encourage its development? Although neither critics nor defenders of technology have raised this question, it seems an appropriate one to ask. And if the answer is yes, it suggests a new way in which technologies might be defended on moral grounds.

Take the example of genetic screening, which prevents moral dilemmas associated with aborting fetuses with serious genetic diseases, like Tay Sachs disease and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. It does so by warning potential parents who are carriers of those diseases so that they may use contraception. Another dilemma-averting technology is general anesthesia. Surgery before the advent of anesthesia is vividly depicted in the following 19th-century account of the repairing of a dislocated hip: The development of general anesthesia saved physicians from having to decide whether the torture of surgery outweighed its benefits for their patients.

Other examples of moral-dilemma-averting biomedical technologies abound. Polio vaccination has eliminated the epidemics of polio that terrorized populations only a few decades ago. It enabled physicians to bypass agonizing decisions about putting polio victims in iron lungs from which they might never escape. And a whole class of technologies that prevent moral dilemmas are those that enable physicians to detect and treat serious illness in its early stages before people's lives are seriously imperiled. These technologies include biopsies and radiography to detect cancer while it is still operable or treatable.

The invention of the safety lamp in the early 1800's dramatically lowered the incidence of mine explosions and thus prevented painful decisions about when to terminate efforts to rescue trapped miners. The invention of the chronometer allowed ships to determine their longitude in the open ocean and thus prevented shipwrecks of the kind that lost bearings previously caused. It is likely that this prevented some "sinking lifeboat" dilemmas that would have occurred.

Surely we do need theoretical advances, but even more surely we need to make more progress in solving the real-world problems of our technological society. It should be mandatory to observe social responsibility in science, technology, and medicine.

What policy should we adopt toward future moral dilemmas? Should we strive to avert moral dilemmas, or minimize the number of them that we must resolve? Is there a moral justification for such a policy? And what if it is necessary to commit a morally wrong action in order to prevent future moral dilemmas? Can this ever happen? And if so, how can there be moral justification for doing what is morally wrong?

Technology as a double-edged phenomenon now poses a serious challenge to human reflection. Consequent problems of limits, restraints and control relating to this mighty force require wide-ranging awareness and critical dialogue to meet the challenge various questions arise:
    • What after all is to be understood by technological process or product in view of the vast range covering implements from kitchen knives to the Hubble telescope?
    • Is it entirely a recent phenomenon, if not, why does it demand our immediate attention?
    • What specific features have brought it into focus for human reflection?
    • As an intervening, modifying, and correcting process, what kind of inroads has it made in our modes of thinking?
    • As a growing complex phenomena (in medicine, information, transport, communication, architecture and in human relationships) what challenges does it present to human action and thought? Or in ways of adjustment?
    • Effecting our ways of thinking what changes are being brought about in our evaluative sensibility? Are they desirable?
    • In brief, what sort of possibilities and potentialities technology including robotics and nano forms is supposed to unfold in relation to human life and situation? Do we quietly submit to them?

There may be more issues which may come up for discussion. The point is we should have an occasion to go into the matter..

Dr. K. L. Sharma, Secretary
SOCIETY FOR PHILOSOPHICAL PRAXIS, COUNSELLING AND SPIRITUAL HEALING



SOCIETY FOR
PHILOSOPHICAL PRAXIS COUNSELLING AND SPIRITUAL HEALING
(Registration No.477, 2000-2001)
SEVENTH NATIONAL SEMINAR ON
"FROM FRENZY TO TRANQUILITY (NEGATIVE EMOTIONS AND PHILOSOPHICAL COUNSELLING) "
(February 17-18, 2019)
REGISTRATION IS OPEN

♦ Registration fee for Indian participants is Rs.2000/
(It includes lodging & boarding)
♦ Registration fee for foreign delegates is $ 200/
(It includes lodging and boarding)

Note:

Note: These rates are applicable till the 31th December, 2018
Send D.D. in favour of Secretary, Society for Philosophical Praxis, counselling and Spiritual healing, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Post Address: C-207, Manu Marg, Tilak Nagar Jaipur 302004

Or Transfer in the following Bank account:

Pan No. AABAP3656R

Accounts details
Pan No. AABAP3656R
Account No. 674701293437
IFSC Code ICIC0006747
MICR Code 302229018
ICICI Bank, Rajasthan University Campus, JLN MARG, JAIPUR-302004

You are requested to Contribute your research paper on one of the topics mentioned below.

LIST OF TOPICS

  1. Negative emotions and  Bhagwat Gita's therapeutic methods-jnana,bhakti and Karma
  2. Bhagwat Gita : From emotions to tranquility
  3. Budha's  method of curing the diseases of belief and desires
  4. Patanjali's Yoga as therapy
  5. Stoics analysis of emotions and method of overcoming the emotions
  6. Indian conceptions of philosophical practice
  7. The practices of transforming one's own Mind and Body
  8. Healing tonic of Vedantic ( Ramanuja) teachings
  9. Return to the Self- Indian and Western philosophical therapy
  10. Returning to happiness and philosophical practice
  11.  Role of Humanities ( performing Arts) and mental peace

The above listed sub-topics are only indicative and not exhaustive. Participants are free to present views on any aspect they consider associated with the general theme.

Note:

We would need to receive your complete paper by the 15th January 2019 There are plans that we will publish the accepted articles in a book form or in our journal-Atma-Vimarsa.  

Dr. Rajveer Singh Shekhawat
(Organizer of the Seminar )

Note: Mail your paper : e-mail :  1. dr.r.s.shekhawat@gmail.com
Or Secretary, PPCSHS , e-mail : 2. sppch@gmail.com

Thanks

FROM FRENZY TO TRANQUILITY (NEGATIVE EMOTIONS AND PHILOSOPHICAL COUNSELLING)

       Emotions are important in human life in knowing how a person thinks and behaves. We all feel each day and know well how emotions influence our decisions we take about our lives and about the interpersonal relations and can compel us to take action. Our emotions can be short lived or fleeting and long lasting or persistent. Emotions can motivate us to take action, help us survive-thrive or avoid danger. Emotions allow others to understand us. They serve variety of purposes-such as motivate us to take decisions and to take actions. They also provide information about the situation as well as about others.

It is a fact that a Hand Book on philosophy of Mind published in the year 1960s has no reference to emotion even in the index. But now the Philosophical research in the emotions is an extremely active and productive, and it is a testament to this fact that Oxford University Press published a book- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion.( 2010) which contains thirty chapters of original research from top scholars working in this field. The theories about the emotions have two directions- theories that owe their ancestry to the work of William James, arguing that emotions are bodily feelings or perceptions of bodily feelings; and, on the other hand, those theories that owe their ancestry to Aristotle and the Stoics, arguing that emotions are cognitive, world-directed intentional states. Other philosophers have argued that, whilst there are analogies to be drawn between emotion and other kinds of mental state, emotions are, at bottom, sui generis.

The philosophers, from Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, and medieval thinkers to Sartre in twentieth century,(1,2,3,4) have emphasized the positive and negative aspects of emotions and are of the view that all emotions ( negative or positive ) have cognitive elements too. Generally, any time a person is feeling negative emotions, it could be classified into one of the five "flavours" (and more than one of these types could be experienced at the same time). These flavours or types of negative emotions are : Sadness (depression, despair, hopelessness, etc.), Anxiety (fear, worry, concern, nervousness, panic, etc.) Anger (irritation, frustration, annoyance, rage, etc.) and Guilt (thoughts of having harmed someone, thoughts of having done something that goes against your own morals, Sense of responsibility for a negative outcome), Shame/Embarrassment (thoughts that other will judge flaws or mistakes in a negative way). These emotions effect negatively on the individual's well- being.

Philosophers have taught that our affective states are closely connected to our views and that erroneous belief and desires lie at the root of human unhappiness. For example according to Buddhism the people who hold the view that existence is eternal and the self as unchanging, these erroneous opinions have a destructive effects on their values. We find these objects as highly desirable and we are caught in a web of attachment to them. Nagarjuna declares that: "As a child with his notion of truth, falls in love with mirror image, worldly people, due to delusion, are trapped in a thicket of objects."6

According to Bhagwat Gita ( chapter 2 ) when a man thinks of the objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment desire is born and when desire is not fulfilled then anger arises. From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes ( 2.62 and 63). The relationship between emotions and beliefs is causal. Beliefs influence desires and emotions . It is also the case that desires and emotions have an impact on beliefs. It is also a psychological fact that we do not accept beliefs that are unattractive to us .Desires often leads to rationalization. A person thinks that his desires for ( particular ) things are a source of happiness. But the self-controlled man, moving amongst objects with the senses under restraint, and free from attraction and repulsion, attains to peace. "In that peace all pains are destroyed, for the intellect of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady". ( 2.65)

Emotions and desires are expressions of our interpretation of the world. If our interpretation is out of accord with the way the world really is then unhappiness will result . The Patanjal Yoga ( spiritual action), accepts metaphysics and ontology of Sankhya ( knowledge) and thus yoga and knowledge are treated as practical and theoretical sides of the same system. Chitta ( the phenomenal ego or Jiva) which imagines it self as the agent and the enjoyer. He wrongly identifies with his mental modifications. The failure to discriminate between two opposite things ( or Realities) and the false belief of Chitta ( I am the agent and enjoyer) is the cause of his suffering. There are five kinds of afflictions ( kleshas; Avidya, asmita,raga, dvesha or aversion and abhinivesh) to which it is subject. Yoga also talks about five levels of mental life ( chittabhumi). First three are negative states : kshipt ( restless),Mudha ( torpid) and vikshipt ( distracted). Last two mental states are positive states : Ekagra (concentrated) and Nirudha ( restricted). Yoga as a therapeia helps the person to overcome individual's false belief , kleshas and in the modification of negative mental life ( chittabhumi) and also helps in achieving positive mental life.

The philosopher Epicurus ( 341-271 BCE) gave famous voice to a conception of philosophy as a cure or remedy for the maladies of human soul and this recurring theme in Hellenistic thought has been subject of two important recent studies.7

The idea that philosophy as therapeutic, indeed was widely spread in India. Philosophical reflection is what awakens us to our condition and helps us find ways to live in those conditions with tranquility. It is possible because of relationship between thinking well and integrity of self. Philosophy need not be construed as an 'ivory tower' activity of intellectual cleverness divorced from everyday life.

The word therapy is generally used as methods of treating medically defined illness, but in Buddhistic context it refers to the treatment of deep seated dissatisfaction and confusion that afflicts us all. Buddha is believed as a doctor who offers medicine ( method) to cure the spiritual ills of the suffering world. In Pali scriptures, Buddha has been described as The Great Physician/healer and healing treatment is his teaching- the Dhamma. He was addressed as the Master of Healing ( bhaisajyaguru) who is believed to offer cures for both the spiritual and mundane ailments of sentient beings.8

The Yoga philosophy of Patanjali can be said to be a philosophy as therapeia. Yoga supposes the metaphysics and epistemology of Samkhya philosophy. Samkhya too begins with three kinds of suffering that torment human beings and Patanjali himself says that the following Yoga is, among other things, minimizes the afflictions ( Kleshas Yoga Sutra 2,2). Philosophy as therapeia is concerned with the healing transformation of human life, which knowledge and behaviour bring about in human life. Although Ramanuja does not use the medical analogy as such but the Vedantic teachings ( Bhakti) ,according to him, is also a healing means to a healing goal, a healing tonic for the self –suffering in the bondage of samsara. The self-suffering in Samsara is denied the bliss ( Ananada). Bliss is just the pleasing aspect of knowledge and to be a knower is to be one who experiences bliss For Ramanuja meditation( dhyana or upasana) is said to be a kind of Bhakti( devotion) that helps in realizing bliss-happiness( or return to the self). It may be said that in several philosophical traditions a common thought is," that philosophy teaches us to consider our lives as if they are works of art and provide us with the methods needed to fashion a life accordingly."9

You are requested to present your paper on any of the following themes ( or topics) :

    1. Negative emotions and Bhagwat Gita's therapeutic methods-jnana,bhakti and Karma
    2. Bhagwat Gita : From emotions to tranquility
    3. Budha's method of curing the diseases of belief and desires
    4. Patanjali's Yoga as therapy
    5. Stoics analysis of emotions and method of overcoming the emotions
    6. Indian conceptions of philosophical practice
    7. The practices of transforming one's own Mind and Body
    8. Healing tonic of Vedantic ( Ramanuja) teachings
    9. Return to the Self- Indian and Western philosophical therapy
    10. Returning to happiness and philosophical practice
    11. Role of Humanities ( performing Arts) and mental peace
You may write paper on any similar topic of your choice
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1. Price, A. W. Emotions in Plato and Aristotle. In. P. Goldie (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2010, pp. 121-142.
2. Zaborowski, R. Some Remarks on Plato on Emotions. Mirabilia, 15 (2), 2012, pp. 141-170.
3. Knuuttila, S. Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004. p.8
4. Sartre, J.-P. The Emotions: Outline of a Theory. Philosophical Library: New York, 1948.
5. Prinz, J. Gut Reactions: a Perceptual Theory of Emotion. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004.
*Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy (developed by Zeno of Citium around 300 B.C. as a refinement of Cynicism) which teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions.
6. Yuktisastika 53 ( with Chandra kirti's commentary) English translation, American institute of Buddhist Studies,2007,p.203, New York
7. Rechard Sorabji: Emotions and Peace of Mind : From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation; Oxford Press 2000 and Martha Nussbaum: The Theology of desire : Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics'; Princeton University Press,N.J., 1994
8. Raoul Birnbaum: The Healing Buddha; Shambhala Publications. 1979
9. Jonardon Ganeri: Philosophy as therapeia( edited); Cambridge University Press,2010




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