Over the years, the Mother conducted numerous dialogues with students at the Ashram school in which she expatiated on the proper method of studying and diligently developing the mind. What seem like banal exhortations are in reality infused with innate wisdom, as becomes evident when we juxtapose her insights with anecdotes from the lives of scientists such as Richard and Joan Feynman, Stanislav Ulam and Sofia Kovalevskaya.
Few people receive the quality guidance that is required to raise a child. As a result, we invariably end up transferring our own subconscious deficiencies (inertia, addictions, indiscipline) onto our children. The Sri Aurobindo Society has published a booklet “How to bring up a child” on this crucially important topic, bringing together insights from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa along with anecdotes and stories from other people and places. These are some snippets from that book.
Neuroscience with its impressive array of technologies continues to plumb the depths of the human brain and throw up fascinating new results, not all of which can be adequately explained through the Yoga psychology model, which relies on occult insights handed down by Yogis, both ancient and modern. In a recent TED talk, neuroscientist Patricia Kuhl described an intriguing anomaly that she and her colleagues uncovered while investigating the linguistic abilities of 6-10 month old babies, which we briefly discuss here.
In a experiment conducted in the 1970s by a Stanford professor Walter Mischel, children were tested for their ability to resist the temptation to eat a marshmallow (“deferred gratification” as the pros call it). As the children grew up into adults, Mischel discovered that the children who had successfully resisted the temptation were also the ones who went on to achieve academic and professional success. Although the study is never cited to be so, it is actually proof of the validity of Titiksha(forbearance), which is a foundational practice in the path of Yoga.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a married couple in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a whizkid. In today’s hyper-competitive world, harried parents are incessantly searching for and investing in innovative methods to secure the ultimate edge for their bewildered toddler. In the mad rush to turn the child into the next Einstein, one area which seems to have been overlooked is the time before childbirth. Few seem to have asked the question : can the pre-natal period be exploited to pre-select a genius? The answer is yes, and it can be done without exorbitantly priced genetic engineering; all you need is just conscious aspiration and prayer. Read on…