People maintain a positive identity in at least two ways: They evaluate themselves more favorably than other people, and they judge themselves to be better now than they were in the past. Both strategies rely on autobiographical memories. The authors investigate the role of autobiographical memories of lying and emotional harm in maintaining a positive identity. For memories of lying to or emotionally harming others, participants judge their own actions as less morally wrong and less negative than those in which (...) other people lied to or emotionally harmed them. Furthermore, people judge those actions that happened further in the past to be more morally wrong than those that happened more recently. Finally, for periods of the past when they believed that they were very different people than they are now, participants judge their actions to be more morally wrong and more negative than those actions from periods of their pasts when they believed that they were very similar to who they are now. The authors discuss these findings in relation to theories about the function of autobiographical memory and moral cognition in constructing and perceiving the self over time. (shrink)
"The definitive work by B.K.S. Iyengar, the world's most respected yoga teacher. B.K.S. Iyengar has devoted his life to the practice and study of yoga. It was B.K.S. Iyengar's unique teaching style, bringing precision and clarity to the practice, as well as a mindset of 'yoga for all', which has made it into the worldwide phenomenon it is today. 'Light on Yoga' is widely called 'the bible of yoga' and has served as the source book for generations (...) of yoga students around the world. It is the classic text for all serious students of yoga." --Publisher description. (shrink)
We have considered a simple word game called the word-morph. After making our participants play a stipulated number of word-morph games, we have analyzed the experimental data. We have given a detailed analysis of the learning involved in solving this word game. We propose that people are inclined to learn landmarks when they are asked to navigate from a source to a destination. We note that these landmarks are nodes that have high closeness-centrality ranking.
This article explores the Foucauldian notions of practices of the self and care of the self, read via Deleuze, in the context of Iyengar yoga. Using ethnographic and interview research data the article outlines the Iyengar yoga techniques which enable a focus upon the self to be developed, and the resources offered by the practice for the creation of ways of knowing, experiencing and forming the self. In particular, the article asks whether Iyengar yoga offers possibilities for (...) freedom and liberation, or whether it is just another practice of control and management. Assessing Iyengar yoga via a ‘critical function’, a function of ‘struggle’ and a ‘curative and therapeutic function’, the article analyses whether the practice might constitute a mode of care of the self, and what it might offer in the context of the contemporary need to live better, as well as longer. (shrink)
Prof. Iyengar's biography of Sri Aurobindo, long a standard reference work, is now in its fifth edition. The author's subtitle indicates the depth and breadth of the book, as it links the life of Sri Aurobindo, who played for our age the crucial role of leader of humanity's evolving destiny , with the history of India and the world. It also provides detailed discussions of Sri Aurobindo's writings, from the early poems and plays to the politics of Bande Mataram, (...) from the philosophy and social thought of the Arya to the epic masterpiece of Savitri, as the essential keys to understanding his life and work. This book is available again after a long time. (shrink)
_Curriculum and Learning for Climate Action_ offers researchers, practitioners, donors, and decisionmakers insights into entry points for education systems change needed to reorient human society’s relationship with our planetary systems.
The microfinance business model focuses largely on lending to the woman in the household, rather than the man. The belief is that women are more trustworthy borrowers than men, and that lending to women may have increased social impact. Yet in several cases, women do not have control over the loan backed business despite being the borrower of record. Such takeover of the business by the man constitutes an ethical violation. We find that high dependency ratios in the family are (...) correlates of such ethical violations. Further, we also find that ethical violations have a significant economic cost, consistent with prior scholarship in the family-business domain. While access to microfinance increases household welfare, this beneficial impact reduces by over 50% in the presence of an ethical violation. Our results suggest that microfinance lenders need to move beyond the traditional role of just being a lender to providing advice on issues like family planning, and money management, and enforcement, thus moving closer to the solidarity economy paradigm of integrating savings and credit into broader canvases of social relationships and social structures. (shrink)
Earlier evidence suggests that besides humans, some species of mammals and birds demonstrate visual self-recognition, assessed by the controversial “mark” test. Whereas, there are high levels of inter-individual differences amongst a single species, some species such as macaques and pigeons which do not spontaneously demonstrate mirror self-recognition can be trained to do so. We were surprised to discover that despite being widely used as a model system for avian research, the performance of zebra finches on the mark test had not (...) been studied earlier. Additionally, we studied the behavioral responses of another species of passerine songbirds to a mirror and the MSR mark test. Although a small number of adult male zebra finches appeared to display heightened responses toward the mark while observing their reflections, we could not rule out the possibility that these were a part of general grooming rather than specific to the mark. Furthermore, none of the house crows demonstrated mark-directed behavior or increased self-exploratory behaviors when facing mirrors. Our study suggests that self-directed behaviors need to be tested more rigorously in adult male zebra finches while facing their reflections and these findings need to be replicated in a larger population, given the high degree of variability in mirror-directed behaviors. (shrink)
Yoga is a unique form of expert movement that promotes an increasingly subtle interpenetration of thought and movement. The mindful nature of its practice, even at expert levels, challenges the idea that thought and mind are inevitably disruptive to absorbed coping. Building on parallel phenomenological and ethnographic studies of skilful performance and embodied apprenticeship, we argue for the importance in yoga of mental access to embodied movement during skill execution by way of a case study of instruction and practice in (...) two related traditions, Iyengar and Anusara. Sharing a pose repertoire, they are based on distinctive philosophical systems with different teaching styles and metaphoric structures. To address relations between pedagogy and practice in embodied expertise, and to investigate the reciprocal influences of embodiment and thought, we explore in detail the linguistically mediated learning context where practitioners work with yoga teachers. Here, the mind/body problem comes to practical life. We demonstrate the effects of words on bodies, as knowledge is literally incorporated. We show why interpersonal influence on our movement capacities is sometimes needed to enhance expertise. We theorize and identify ?signature patterns of tension? among practitioners. These patterns have four sources: ghost gestures, innate differences in bodily form, functional fusing, and signature patterns of affective experience, modulation and expression. These patterns of tension produce ?silent zones?, cognitively impenetrable actions, functional fusing of a skilful, compensatory form, and signature patterns of pain and damage. We show how instruction can disrupt these silent zones, enhancing mental and physical flexibility. (shrink)
Yoga is a unique form of expert movement that promotes an increasingly subtle interpenetration of thought and movement. The mindful nature of its practice, even at expert levels, challenges the idea that thought and mind are inevitably disruptive to absorbed coping. Building on parallel phenomenological and ethnographic studies of skilful performance and embodied apprenticeship, we argue for the importance in yoga of mental access to embodied movement during skill execution by way of a case study of instruction and practice in (...) two related traditions, Iyengar and Anusara. Sharing a pose repertoire, they are based on distinctive philosophical systems with different teaching styles and metaphoric structures. To address relations between pedagogy and practice in embodied expertise, and to investigate the reciprocal influences of embodiment and thought, we explore in detail the linguistically mediated learning context where practitioners work with yoga teachers. Here, the mind/body problem comes to practical life. We demonstrate the effects of words on bodies, as knowledge is literally incorporated. We show why interpersonal influence on our movement capacities is sometimes needed to enhance expertise. We theorize and identify ‘signature patterns of tension’ among practitioners. These patterns have four sources: ghost gestures, innate differences in bodily form, functional fusing, and signature patterns of affective experience, modulation and expression. These patterns of tension produce ‘silent zones’, cognitively impenetrable actions, functional fusing of a skilful, compensatory form, and signature patterns of pain and damage. We show how instruction can disrupt these silent zones, enhancing mental and physical flexibility. (shrink)
The author has made a detailed study, more detailed, he rightly claims, than hitherto attempted, of the concept of mimesis in aesthetic thought and has devoted equal space to Greek and Sanskrit writers... Wilamowitz, the doyen of modern classical scholars, describes mimesis as a 'fatal word' 'rapped out' by Plato. But the present author has demonstrated with great cogency that the word was not 'rapped out' by Plato at all, and that the concept and the word are both as old (...) as Greek thought. He shows too, once again with considerable scholarship and perceptiveness, how Greek art was bound to be sensuous, unmystical and also 'formal' in the best sense of the term. In the four long chapters of the first part of his thesis the author gives at every step evidence of deep study and illuminating insight, and can claim originality both in approach and argument... The chapter on Aristotle contains one of the best discussions of mimesis I have read... the most striking portion of his thesis is his elucidation of poetic truth according to Aristotle. -/- -- Prof. S. C. Sengupta, Jadavpur University -/- The author provides a faithful rendering of both Greek and Indian ideas. The work is valuable for its expositions especially of the Indian theories of art. -/- -- V. K. Chari, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (JAAC), USA, Spring 1979 -/- ... A fairly exhaustive comparative study of the concept of mimesis in Greek and Indian aesthetics... wide ranging and at the same time well controlled acquaintance with this proliferating literature is revealed throughout... the co-relation of the Aristotelian linking-up of 'imitation' and 'completion' with Abhinavagupta's integration of imitation with completion is very suggestive and is a help towards the formulation of a universal aesthetic comprising body and soul, the immediate impact of Appearance and the slow revelation of Reality... (the author) has mastered the material and achieved a steady progression in argument so as to sustain the central thesis. -/- -- K. R. S. Iyengar, Professor of English and Vice-Chancellor, Andhra University -/- The book is a significant contribution towards understanding the essentials of Indian aesthetics apropos the Greek (and, through the Greek, the Western)... The author has surveyed the entire field in a masterly manner. His erudition and judgement are both commendable. -/- -- S. K. Ramachandra Rao, Deccan Herald (03.09.1978) -/- ...The author's views hold good even among modern critics including the ones known as 'the Chicago school' and experimental psychologists. -/- -- Indian and Foreign Review (August 1978) -/- The work is a valuable addition to the literature on aesthetics. -/- -- The Indian Express (12.03.1978) -/- The comparison is too smooth and sharply compartmentalized... The book is of great value to those who are interested in the comparative and historical evolution of a very important concept in aesthetics. -/- -- The Hindustan Times (31.12.1978) -/- The work is in two parts. The first part in four chapters examines the concept of imitation in Greek thought, and the second in three chapters explores the meaning of the term in Indian thought... the author offers a brilliant interpretation of Aristotle's theory in the fourth chapter (Pt. 1) which is the best one in the book... The work is a pioneering one and it repays a careful examination. It is probably the first of its kind and every student of aesthetics must read it. -/- -- Prof. P. S. Sastri, Nagpur Times . (shrink)
The guru is our inner wisdom, our fundamental clarity of mind, as the Dalai Lama puts it. In The Mind of the Guru Rajiv Mehrotra brings together twenty contemporary sages and masters who have illumined this reality in their interaction with millions of followers. He elicits from them their deepest concerns and beliefs and the different ways in which they have helped people find a way to happiness. Ranged here are gurus as diverse as Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, who attempts (...) to bridge the experience of contemplatives and the findings of physicists, biologists and psychologists, and B.K.S. Iyengar, who brought yoga from the world of the esoteric to the drawing room of whoever wanted to practise it. There is also Mata Amritanandamayi, whose mere presence invokes an overwhelming awareness of love, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, reaffirming each person's right and access to happiness. While the Dalai Lama sees compassion as an essential prerequisite to happiness in an increasingly selfish world, Swami Parthasarathy emphasizes that the individual needs to be restored to his place of honour in the scheme of things, rather than the current fixation with grand concepts of science and development. And there is also the unique and contrary voice of U.G. Krishnamurti stating that all talk of transformation is poppycock. There are no grand truths or gurus. Salvation lies within you. As Vipassana guru S.N. Goenka says, 'The teacher shows the way. One must walk in the path and experience it step by step.' This book is, perhaps, the first tentative step on that path for the curious reader. (shrink)
Jewish by birth, though from a secular family, Alan Morinis took a deep journey into Hinduism and Buddhism as a young man. He received a doctorate for his study of Hindu pilgrimage, learned yoga in India with B. K. S. Iyengar, and attended his first Buddhist meditation course in the Himalayas in 1974. But in 1997, when his film career went off track and he reached for some spiritual oxygen, he felt inspired to explore his Jewish heritage. In his (...) reading he happened upon a Jewish tradition of spiritual practice called Mussar. Gradually he realized he had stumbled on an insightful discipline for self-development, complete with meditative, contemplative, and other well-developed transformative practices designed to penetrate the deepest roots of the inner life. Eventually reaching the limits of what he could learn on his own, he decided to seek out a Mussar teacher. That was not easily achieved, since almost the entire world of the Mussar tradition had been wiped out in the Holocaust. In time, he did find an accomplished master who stood in an unbroken line of transmission of the Mussar tradition, and who lived at the center of a community of Orthodox Jews on Long Island. This book tells the story of Morinis’s journey to meet his teacher and what he learned from him, and reveals the central teachings and practices that are the spiritual treasury and legacy of Mussar. Alan Morinis has written this book because the wisdom and practices that helped him so much have not penetrated the world beyond the confines of Orthodox Judaism, and may not be fully appreciated even there at this time. His hope is that Jews and non-Jews alike will find in Mussar a time-tested path of spiritual practice that will help them discover the hidden radiance within. (shrink)