Prajnanapada/Krishnamurti - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-27-2002, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone out there familiar with these two inspring men?

Let's discuss some of their ideas or how we're working on ourselves with their guidance.
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Old 08-27-2002, 03:39 PM
 
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Count me in--I'll come back with a few things when I have more time, alright?

Edited to add: I've been chewing on Krishnamurti's Think on These Things all summer.
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Old 08-28-2002, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Really? Isn't that coincidental? Here we've been reading the same guy all summer and we didn't know it!

How 'bout we start with a discussion on parenting?

Krishnamurti

How can the child find out what he is without the help of his parents and teachers?

The child will find out about himself if the environment in which he lives helps him to do so. If the parents and teachers are really concerned that the young person should discover what he is, they won't compel him; they will create an environment in which he will come to know himself.

Prajnanapada

When a child asks for guidance, throw as much light as possible and allow the child to decide. The effort should be to encourage the child to find out. The child should be given the three L's: Love, Light, Liberty. Liberty is the most important of the three because adults generally impose themselves on the child and do not allow him/her to grow. The teacher or parent should never impose him/herself on the child or try to make him/her conform. The should should not be made a robot. Do not be afraid of the child making a mistake. It is only when you commit a mistake that you come into contact with reality.

There's some intersting thoughts on lying. But I'll leave that for later.

PS I just ordered the book, so we can be book pals!
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Old 08-28-2002, 01:41 PM
 
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Perfect start, PM. So wonderfully put from both of them. Quite often I wonder if I'll be able to overcome my experience and do the right thing by her in this sense--if the negative aspects of my education & conditioning will seep in somehow. It's good to be reminded that all I need to "do" is sit back and let her show me the way. Which makes unschooling so appealing. I remember the times I felt most enriched by learning were those times I discovered things for myself. What are your thoughts?

Think on These Things is profound, but it didn't quite have the same impact on me as some of his other works. Have you read On Fear? Look forward to going through TOTT with you . And I haven't read Prajnanapada, so I will be on the lookout for that. Have you read Yogananda? I need to pick it up again--it's been over ten years since I read Autobiography of a Yogi.

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Old 08-28-2002, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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There is only one Prajananapada book out in English: Talks with Swami Prajnanapada copiled by R. Srinivasan

Nicolas suggested that you might be interested in Jean Klein. www.jeanklein.org
He is based in Santa Barbara and is a mix of our two gurus.

Re unschooling. I'm not very well-informed. Iris' exposure to English is so limited that I always thought she would need a bilingual school. There is a small international school in Kyrgizstan where they teach in French, English, Russian. I think that if we do end up there she's going to need the language instruction. But I don't like the fact that they claim to be a results-oriented school.

Re your conditioning and education - I think it's already a huge step to realize that there are certain things that you don't want "seeping" in. Gradually you'll catch yourself. You won't be able to stop overnight, but you'll be increasingly aware of each gesture you make towards her. I think we both watch our dds so carefully that we will be able to see when they start to adopt a trait that we don't particularly want to pass on, then we'll have the time to "correct" it! Our mothers probably weren't so conscious/aware.

Re letting our dds be - I'm pretty good about this (though I really want her to become a musician! ) Nicolas and I talk about it so much, discuss almost every way we interact with her. We still make mistakes, but we make the effort.

More later...
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Old 08-28-2002, 04:33 PM
 
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PM--I've been meaning to ask if you're familiar with the Italian preschool system Reggio? I've borrowed some principles in my homeschooling/preschooling approach with Isabel. The teachers are more like facilitators & observe what each child is drawn to each day. Then they keep notes. Everything is child-led--Isabel responds very well to this.

More on gurus later ...
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Old 08-29-2002, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I am familiar with it. The original movement is called Reggio Children. I'm sure you know that. It's nice for me because I just read in Italian. The center where Iris spends 3 1/2 hours a day applies these principles. Iris just gravitates to what she wants and that's what they do....which means tons of books, music and water!

What exactly have you been doing with Isabel? I haven't been so organized about it because of our up-in-the-air situation. She definitely wants school! She even knows she has to take a pen!

Let's talk about this lying thing (and discipline in general I guess) I read (Prajananpada) - even though it's somewhat far-off for us yet:

If a child is prone to lying, let her lie and realize what a lie is and where it leads to. The child should be free to experiment and convince herself. It's better for her to make a mistake than put up an appearance. (this translation is sooo bad!..I'm changing some as I go) The function of the educator is therefore to encourage the child to experiment and draw her out.

Once a child is convinced that you do not mean her any harm, that you are for her interests and not against, she will confide in you. Explain as much as you like, what the consequences for each action will be. Then allow the child to do as she pleases! Her choice must be honored. Then she will be convinced that what you indicated was indeed true. When this experience is repeated, the child's confidence will be strengthened. She now knows she can rely on you. She will, in the future, readily take your advice.
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Old 08-29-2002, 08:16 AM
 
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I like these thoughts and am curious about the lying- so how does this translate into actual behavior and responses? When my daughter tells a lie to "get away" with something I have asked her not to do- for instance...What I usually do i let her know she is not telling me the truth and we discuss trust- she is older, like just turned 9 tho- I dont really think my 3 year old lies...and the other kids I have dont seem to, well I guess my 10 year old ds does too- -so HOW do you "let" the child lie? Im just curious, and I am definately NOT arguing or anything, I want to be sure you are interpreting my question is being respectfully asked
bright happy blessiings, mary
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Old 08-29-2002, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I have no problem with your question! Thanks for joining us!


Actually, even Dr. Sears has the same theory about lying. I believe you can read about it in The Baby Book. He thinks you should go along with it - not egg the child on, though - and perhaps ask questions that would probably cause the child to slip up. There's something about this approach that I don't really like, though. He does, however, say that when you give your child the benefit of the doubt, she won't necessarily feel so comfortable with that trust and will eventually want to tell you the truth, to ease her conscious. I think I'm getting all this right, but if I'm not it's because I don't have the book in my possession.

Personally, I will not accuse my child of lying even when I know she has. Now I am not in any way telling you that you've been a bad parent! I think you've found a wonderful solution that seems to be working for you. Good job! Remember! I have a 2 year-old and it's really easy for me to say what I will and won't do! I have my own plan, which I can't go into right this minute because I have to work, but we'll talk again later!
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Old 08-30-2002, 12:58 AM
 
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Hi Marymom and ParisMaman--

Thanks, PM, for the link--I'll look at it later. I quickly glanced and see he has a background in Taoism, among other things.
I have another recommendation for another discussion down the road perhaps (shall we start a book discussion? I would love to.) I recommend "The Light of the Soul-The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" by Alice A. Bailey.

On the subject of lying (I prefer fabrication ), I completely agree. A child has to learn ways of taking care of themselves & protecting their boundaries--and to punish them for lying could, imo, leave their psychic protection damaged and vulnerable. And you bring up an interesting point, marymom, about the "lies" becoming consistent behavior. What I've read that I like is discussing with them why they might feel the need to cover up the truth. And to approach their fabrication with tolerance and a sense of humor--sort of a raised eyebrow "oh really?" Of course this is all theoretical on my part--I've not needed to put it into practice yet. I'd like to hear more experienced points of view.
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Old 08-30-2002, 04:08 AM
 
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You know I tried to read both of these people in college and they were just way over my head. I guess I'm more simple-minded. I did enjoy the little bit of Aurobindo that I read, but he really had a lot of run-on sentences and I got lost. hee hee!

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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Old 08-30-2002, 04:13 AM
 
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Well, USAmma--I'm always up for rereading the Bhagavad Gita!
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Old 08-30-2002, 09:51 AM
 
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My Saraih is the one that verbally illustrates withher imagination sometimes, alot more than the rest- theyve all fabricated stuff at one point or another, I think thats something they have to learn about- its not a good/ bad thing, its a developmental indicater , a result, a function, and...stuff like that, to me anyways- and I do the raised eyebrow thing, sometimes I ask questions, sometimes I just enjoy the interesting tale... It is when she fabricates to hide a behavior that causes trust issues that I become concerned about - When you have a large age range of children I think the younger children learn stuff faster, also - they all go to school so I think they learn things like distrust, and have to come home and try it out...I try to detatch from the good bad. outlook but sometimes it gets to me-
soory this is off subject really, - I think Ill just listen from here on in-m
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Old 08-30-2002, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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No! Marymom! You're much more experienced than Ladylee and me. I can speak for her, I think, and say that we're both really interested in what you have to say! I don't think either of us cares about going a little off tangent, either.
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Old 09-01-2002, 02:30 PM
 
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MM--you have a great handle on it--thanks for sharing your insight . PM--speak for me anytime .
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Old 09-01-2002, 04:08 PM
 
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oh yes, can we get a book club going I would love to have someone to discuss these with!!

What would you like to start with, I haven't read any of the ones mentioned yet.
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Old 09-01-2002, 06:13 PM
 
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Shall we start with Krishnamurti's Think on These Things? The opening is very thought-provoking--about the necessity of education. Something that has been on my parenting mind quite a bit lately.
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Old 09-01-2002, 09:51 PM
 
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They don't have it at my local bookstore, so I can jump in once I find a copy :-)
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Old 09-02-2002, 07:51 PM
 
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ParisMaman, I hope you don't mind my contributing a passage from Krishnamurti for discussion. This is about the function of education, and is the first chapter of Think on These Things:

"I wonder if we have ever asked ourselves what education means. Why do we go to school, why do we learn various subjects, why do we pass examinations and compete with each other for better grades? What does this so-called education mean, and what is it all about? This is really a very important question, not only for the students, but also for the parents, for the teachers and for everyone who loves this earth. Why do we go through the struggle to be educated? Is it merely in order to pass some examinations and get a job? Or is it the function of education to prepare us while we are young to understand the whole process of life? Having a job and earning one's livelihood is necessary--but is that all? Are we being educated only for that? Surely, life is not merely a job, an occupation; life is something extraordinarily wide and profound, it is a great mystery, a vast realm in which we function as human beings. If we merely prepare ourselves to earn a livelihood, we shall miss the whole point of life; and to understand life is much more important than merely to prepare for examinations and become very proficient in mathematics, physics or what you will.

So, whether we are teachers or students, is it not important to ask ourselves why we are educating or being educated? And what does life mean? Is not life an extraordinary thing? The birds, the flowers, the flourishing trees, the heavens, the starts, the rivers and the fish therein--all this is life. Life is the poor and the rich; life is the constant battle between groups, races and nations; life is meditation; life is what we call religion, and it is also the subtle, hidden things of the mind--the envies, the ambitions, the passions, the fears, fulfillments, and anxieties. All this and much more is life. But we generally prepare ourselves to understand only one small corner of it. We pass certain examinations, find a job, get married, have children and then become more and more like machines. We remain fearful, anxious, frightened of life. So , is it the function of education to help us understand the whole process of life, or is it merely to prepare us for a vocation, to find the best job we can get?"

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Old 09-03-2002, 11:19 PM
 
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Oh no! Did I kill the thread?

Want to hear what others think before I pipe in .
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Old 09-10-2002, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I lost track of this one! I'll read the passage later and probably get back to you about it tomorrow. Nicolas had me turn off the email notification because I was working on the laptop and the constant emails were driving him nuts! Especially since he knows that if I'm getting lots from here it means I'm not really working over there on the couch!
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