Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Jeevan Vidya, post script

Dividing one's needs based on a hierarchy of values and aspirations is nothing new. Human beings obviously have both physical and psychological needs, and thinkers from all ages have recognized this.

Psychological needs need investigation, they need not be accepted as immutable nature. But JV doesn't do that. What JV (and almost every humane or humanistic value system) does is to condemn the "bad" parts of our nature (our propensity for violence, aggression, possessiveness, etc.) and encourage the "good" parts of our nature (our nurturing instincts, our desire for love and affection, etc.).

There exist many other humanistic paradigms. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is one old example. Some hugely popular self-help books, e.g. Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and Scott M Peck's The Road Less Traveled provide similar (and limited) recipes for happy living.

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