The tagline for this conference is the Spirit of Wellness and Oneness.
The feeling of wellness is related with our day to day survival; we must survive and we want to survive well. The feeling of oneness, on the other hand, is about the ideal way of existence. Whereas the former is related with our immediate reality which is openly in our faces every day, the latter is related with the ultimate reality that underlies our existence of which are aware only faintly in an implicit but unconscious manner.
This year’s fifth annual reflective conference on Education to Globalize the Human Mind thus aims to focus on the strategies needed to realize an ideal while facing in the immediate. It thus seeks to address the human problem of resolving the immediate demands of our instinctive needs and appetites with those of our inner core seeking to transcend instinctive emotion in favor of the higher emotion of love and compassion.
Selfish needs and appetites are related with instinctive emotion which tends to pit us against the other drawing a sharp line of social division between “us” and “them”. At a personal level, a lack of satisfaction of our instinctive emotions through the perception of a gap between our worldly reality and a desired state evokes a feeling of mental stress. Mind being related with body, mental stress leads to physical disease. Thus degrees of dissatisfaction, stress, anguish, agony, unhappiness and physical disease at a personal level and feelings of “us” vs “them” at an inter-personal and social level define our human condition.
Wisdom traditions worldwide long understood the havoc played on human condition by the dominance of the basal human emotion over the higher emotion and a degree of disconnect between the two. Realizing that instinctive emotion often hijacks the faculty of human thought running our life processes primarily in an autonomous fashion, they proposed that a regular engagement of human intellect in running our life processes can help resolve the situation.
Cautioning against the potential enslavement of the intellect by instinctive emotion robbing the human being of all humanity turning him/her into a heartless animal, they prescribe the following approach comprised of two mutually complimentary and inseparable parts for awakening the spirit both of wellness and oneness:
1. Cultivation of the faculty of human intellect with regular daily practice with awareness attention of primarily autonomous physiological and/or psychological life processes; and
2. Cultivation of the faculty of human intellect with education of the ultimate existential truth of all beings and/or its meaning to a thinking and feeling human being.
The structure of the human brain revealed by modern science testifies that modern neurophysiology has now caught up with the ancient wisdom tradition. Instinctive emotion and thought processes and handled by two functionally distant parts of the human brain. The former is handled by the primitive limbic brain located on top of the spinal column and connected directly to the sensory and motor nerves located in it. The latter is handled by the distant neo-cortex located around the limbic brain and connected to the nervous system with a slow acting circuit of multiple neurons across a number of synapses. The result of such a structure of the human brain is that the limbic brain disposes of life issues instinctively before the thinking neo-cortex receives the sensory signals from the nervous system enslaving us by our basal instincts in a vicious circle of repeated dissatisfactions and momentary satisfactions, stress, agony, disease, unhappiness and strong “us” vs “them” divisions that robs us of liberating wellness, wisdom, insight and connections unless we cultivate our intellect as prescribed by ancient wisdom traditions.