Last Updated on
Normally I would never think about leaving the comfort of my very warm bed to go to a campus event in the rain, but the topic was particularly intriguing: educational holism and global harmony. Laj Utreja was the spotlight speaker and after hearing he traveled all the way from India to be at Radford, I was eager to hear what he had to say. I was not disappointed.
The topic was about how to achieve global harmony by incorporating spirituality into the education system, but it was more than that. He discussed the importance of achieving a balanced mind and finding inner peace. Like Aristotle’s Golden Mean, you are in balance when there is no reaction to a pair of opposites. Meaning, you are complete within yourself. The most interesting concept for me was his declaration that the mind is made up of only two things: matter and conscious. Matter, being the body and intellect, and conscious being the spirit. As long as the spirit controls the body through the mind there is compassion, and with compassion there is peace. Peace is defined as a state of existence where there is no demand and in our society presently, there is no peace.
To get there, Utreja proposed the idea of education as collective understanding, not just certain students are smarter or better than others. Together we should be learning to grow, not competing against one another. As a society we have created a false sense of happiness by promoting selfishness and greed, all the while denying what we have done to our environment and resources. By being selfish, we are only destroying ourselves. We are too far gone into materialism to notice that harmony is the natural state of beauty and order, not competition or instant gratification. Moreover, violence and war is for animals not humans. We have obviously evolved enough to not need physical strength to persevere, so why are we still succumbing to the ways of our past? I believe since humans have the ability to communicate more effectively than any other living thing on Earth, we should use that to our advantage. It is, after all, what makes us superior. We have the intelligence to form intricate languages and when we disagree, we have the intellect to resolve it in a way more sophisticated than violence.
So in order to achieve global harmony, we must develop a mind to live in harmony. The first requirement of this is willingness. You must have the willingness to learn, to explore, to achieve, to regret, and to know. An education must provide an environment for self-transformation in order to achieve a balanced mind, and by bringing a spiritual element to education a holistic approach is created. Global harmony is possible; society just has to work for it. But most importantly, we all have to want it.