Emotional Education: A New Paradigm in Education (Part 1)

Posted: July 2, 2012 / in: Spirituality / 9 comments

Your Intellect May Be Confused, but Your Emotions Will Not Lie to You

Emotions are an intimate part of our life and the bricks from which we build the activity of our Soul.

The silent, mysterious presence of emotions in our daily existence causes them to be ignored or sometimes even denied their right to be a part of our daily existence even though thoughts get so much attention yet have the same immaterial nature.

The importance of emotions in all the domains of our life is underlined today by studies that reveal the mechanisms of the mind. Even if we deny the existence of our emotions by placing them at the periphery of our awareness and understanding, they play a very important role in our life and in the functioning of our mind, making the difference between a robotic mind and an intuitive and spontaneous mind (according to the level of understanding about the way emotions function).

In most educational systems today, the emphasis is placed on logic and memory, the two components of the “robotic self”, the main constituents of our auto-pilot. This kind of education weakens the activity of the soul and cuts us off from the reality of our emotions.

Even in situations when students are encouraged to discover and train the intuitive part of their mind, the emotional part is little if at all studied and understood.

An important observation we can easily make is that most of the decisions we take in life are determined (dictated) by our emotions in that moment and not by our logic or previously accumulated experiences!!!

This amazing statement shows the paramount importance of emotional education and control since this largely influences our future decisions, therefore our future in general.
It is an increasingly known fact that our memory is working in an emotional way. Science is now confirming what spirituality has stated for thousands of years: “what you love is what you sooner or later become”. In this statement we recognize the formative power of one of the strongest emotion generators that we have in our life: LOVE. We don’t become what we consider correct, we don’t become what we consider right or wrong, we don’t become what we admit we should become. We become what we LOVE, what we emotionally seek through love.

The mind only makes associations between the notions that are associated with the corresponding emotions.

Emotional-EducationThe Structure of Memory and The Power of Emotional Memory

Recent studies have shown that the quality of our emotions influences the capacity to memorize. An act that was supported by strong emotions will have a strong imprint in our memory and will be more easily accessible than an act that does not trigger any emotion in us.

In the process of learning we frequently use this mechanism, but it is done more or less unconsciously. Our mind associates emotions with the information that is projected on the inner screen of our mind. In this way, the associative power of the mind works to create memories and to establish a kind of connection between the emotions that happen at the time of the actions or activities.

Through the intense “training” of the associative power of our mind that we go through today, we obtain an almost instantaneous process of association – the connection between an action and the emotion that is predominant in our inner medium at the time we perform that action. In this way the memories that are created depend NOT ON THE QUALITY OF INFORMATION THAT WE GET BUT ON THE EMOTION THAT TAKES PLACE AT THE TIME OF RECEIVING THE INFORMATION (in this category we consider also the actions that we perform).

We Can Remember Things Better If Those Memories Are Formed at a Time When There Is a Strong Emotional Impact: Emotional-Memory Formation

The complete mechanism of emotional memory can be easily synthesized in the following way:
the information we acquire through the work of the five senses generates emotions; in their turn the emotions that we have create a genuine filter (made of resonance) for the future information that we will acquire (we like or dislike the information that is about to come according to the previous emotions associated to that category of information/lesson). In this way the content that is memorized is the result of this double interaction between the information and emotions.

We have to notice here that the memories that we have are defined from at least three perspectives by the double interaction mentioned above:
– Strength of the recording. This is defining the remembrance over time of these recordings: the stronger the recording (through the emotions associated with it) the longer it will last over time.
– Content. This defines the specific resonances that the content of the memory record has.
– Accessibility. This defines the ease with which one can have access to that recording and use it in future constructions as the mean of basic experiences.

To make a complete analogy about the relationship between the mind and the emotions we can say that:
– The mind is the librarian that is taking care of a large library.
– The emotions are the content of all the books that are in that library.

The librarian is not the author of the books but is rather keeping them in good order, thus making their content accessible in our daily life. The intense cultivation of the activity of the librarian makes the library develop the way the books are arranged on the shelves and the different systems of access to the information.

Yet we should not forget that having good mental schemes only makes the arrangement of the books better, BUT IT WILL NOT CHANGE THE CONTENT OF THE BOOKS. We often ignore this aspect and we train only the librarian. This is why we experience richness in mental schemes, but poverty in the experiences that “populate” our mental schemes. The library neatly organized, but contains only a few books. Furthermore, we repeatedly read the same books and every time we want something more we  only try to rearrange the books on the shelves in another way.

Therefore, even from this perspective, emphasizing only on the use of memory to accumulate information without taking care of the emotional background of the teaching process will become a highly inefficient process.

TO BE CONTINUED

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Advaita Stoian

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Comments (9)

  1. Daniele says:

    Super article, Advaita, thank you!
    In the way you put it, things seem a bit more simple. I will re-read again this article sometimes 😉

  2. Ann says:

    Fantastic approach!
    Very few are the ones who can do this. Personally, i am a complete mess.. hopefully just for now 😉

  3. Monique says:

    Very interested topic, indeed. I just realize that your inner woman is.. soo wonderful; to me this, what you wrote, is like written through the eyes and experience of a woman. I knew you are very sharp and intelligent.. i can see you are pretty wise and complete too.
    Thank you 😉

  4. Theodor says:

    Yes, we can use strong emotions, by linking them to different activities, and do those better. But what about when you are over emotions? When you control them? What if you have to do something and there’s no big emotions, not even old ones to link your activity with? Is at this point the power at will that covers the “problem”?

  5. TheSpirit says:

    It seems like you’ve got the women all fired up Advaitananda! I personally don’t think this is a topic only for them but… it’s good they noticed 🙂

  6. Catalin S says:

    I tried some things with the emotions at NLP course. I think it is indeed very helpful, but within some limits. What do you say, Advaitananda?
    Good luck to all the others that are so surprisingly enthusiastic!

  7. Lotte says:

    hmmm – interesting,

    now we know that,

    but then how to actually train the emotions, what to do?

    Lotte

  8. Yes it’s true that we must introduce Yoga to people..We must teach them the health and spiritual benefits they can gain from Yoga.. It would be a very great help for our stressful society..

  9. Jean says:

    Indeed, Ann, Yoga is the most encompassing system of self improvement. This system aims not just at obtaining a healthy and ideal body, or a strong and positive mind, but it teaches us how to control and elevate our emotions and reactions to life’s events. We gradually learn to amplify all that is good in us, and transform that which is limited or painful. I am very glad i have been in this school for many years, on this path of continuous transformation while coming closer to who you truly are. Such precious education is to be put out more and more, available for the society’s different circles.

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