Sunday, October 10, 2021

The necessity of Discrimination and Detachment for Students (Part 1)

Concentration is a term that most people think they understand. With regards to normal, everyday life, this may be true. Everyone has certain likes and dislikes, inclinations and fears and are generally attracted by their likes and inclinations and repelled by their dislikes and fears. This is  the prime motivating factor in the lives of most people.

A young boy who loves the game of golf will find little difficulty in spending hours concentrating his mind in order to hit the perfect shot. The same boy may have difficulty in spending even a few minutes in helping with household chores.

Similar is the case with someone who has a great interest in science and technology. He may be able to make tremendous sacrifices in studying to become an engineer but may find it very difficult to become engrossed in a book about art or culture.

We find it easy to concentrate upon that which our mind is positively drawn towards and difficult to apply our minds to issues in which we have no interest. But, if we are able to practice concentration according to our liking and are able to achieve some measure of success in this regard, why should we bother about 'detachment' at all? The aim of this article is to show why some form of detachment is a necessity for each and every student. 

A precursor to detachment is discrimination. In this context we can understand discrimination in a very simple sense to mean making a value judgment based on a particular scenario. For example, suppose a child has been taught the moral that theft is wrong.

Following this, if the child is left alone in a room full of toys that he likes, he will not be tempted to steal them – or if he is tempted, he will not succumb to the temptation to do so. This is because of the value that has been instilled in him.

(Let us assume for the sake of simplicity that there is no fear of punishment in this situation.)
He disregards the immediate joy/gains that he might get from stealing the toys in favor of the joy the obtains from fulfilling this value which he cherishes. 

(to be continued)

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